COMMENTARY | The Daily Caller notes that a new political party in Great Britain, the UK Independence Party, has made “surprising” gains in local elections. The UKIP is a conservative party which bears a great deal of resemblance to the tea party in America.
It’s platform includes cutting back on immigration, tax cuts, a reform of the National Health Service that includes issuing vouchers for Britons to seek health care in the private market, opposition to the European Union, and skepticism toward climate change/green energy The UKIP is being bolstered due to discontent against Britain’s two main parties, the Conservative Party and the Labour Party, both of which are increasingly seen as being out of touch.
However, as the New York Times mentions, the UKIP will not actually control any local council nor does it have any members in the British Parliament. The latter could change next year when national elections take place. The Independence Party seems at least poised to deny any of the established parties a majority, perhaps forcing a Conservative/UKIP coalition for the next government. This would mean a decidedly rightward tilt on a variety of policies.
What seems to be happening in Britain, as well as a number of other European country, is a slow but growing revulsion against the status quo, similar to what has happened in the United States since the election of President Obama. Many Europeans seen their countries on a path to decline, mainly because of the policies of their various governments. Between floods of refugees who do not share European values from North Africa and the Middle East to continuing economic malaise, some Europeans have had enough and are turning away from the older, established political parties and are embracing new, decidedly right-wing parties.
How far this trend will go remains to be seen. The UKIP is a long way away from electing its own government. But it is causing people to take notice and has become a major force in British politics.