Today was the day when UKIP gave up any pretence at speaking for the working class, as it emerges that Nigel Farage plans to offer the Tories a deal that would see Cameron remain in power in return for an EU referendum this year. Without doubt this is a kick in the balls to all those who still think that UKIP is anything other than the voice of rancid British Poujadism.
When I joined UKIP it was still able to present itself as a broadly based anti-EU front, and on that basis I was proud to shake Farage's hand in the run-up to the 2013 council elections. When Thatcher was summoned to join Hell's legions I quickly became an ex-Kipper and the people of Pendle Central were denied the chance to vote for UKIP, but one candidate in one ward does not amount to very much. UKIP could still pretend that they were trying to speak for the people on the estates who drank themselves into a happy oblivion when the news of the old slag's death reached them. Well not any longer, not after today.
Now it is clear that if you vote for UKIP then you are voting to keep the Tories in power. The Tories, the creatures who are lower than vermin, the party of the employer and the employer's man. Vote UKIP and keep Cameron - that's the deal on offer.
As a strategy to take votes off the Tories it might be a winner, as the sons of Alf Garnett really do seem to hate the Bufton Tufton element who rule the Tory roost. However, the wheeze will crash like a lead budgie on the estates where the desire for revenge for the 1980s is still palpable. Farage must know that, so his willingness to ignore the estates can only mean that he has written off the working class, big city, council estate vote.
In Scotland the SNP has realised that there are not enough people who have done well out of the post-1979 era who are willing to vote for a party that wants Scottish independence, so it has changed its policies. Instead of speaking to the old Tartan Tory element it now puts forward polices that are aimed at the traditional working class. This appeal to vote for a better tomorrow almost succeeded last September when the council estates voted Yes and the landed ones didn't.
UKIP seems not to have the political nouse to realise that it's middle class supporters who put leaving the EU above everything else are already in the bag and will vote for the party come what may. Nor does it have the wit to grasp something which the SNP quickly did, namely that the core Labour vote is very, very soft indeed. Policies that involve keeping the wages up and the management down would probably work for UKIP as well as they work for the SNP.
Instead, UKIP prefers to remain the voice of the crappier small towns, speaking for a demographic of men who wear their cardigans and ties at home to eat the traditional Sunday roast, prepared by wives who have cast iron perms and sour expressions.
The message to the cities is clear: vote Labour in England and SNP in Scotland. UKIP isn't interested in your vote and is offering you nothing other than more of the same from the Tories.