Mainstream parties conspire against Ukip
It is not so much a conspiracy, for there is no secret plot or hush-hush plan to do harm or bring ill. But there is apparently a strategy being pursued by a group of powerful people in the hitherto mainstream parties to brand a hitherto minor party as that which it is not - essentially, to smear, misrepresent and defame them as being 'racist'.
Now, some of you may think that Ukip are doing the job very nicely themselves: they do undoubtedly have among their ranks some unsavoury types including one or two racists, nutters, fruitcakes, loonies, etc, etc. But - you know what? - all political parties do. And all parties have their fair share of nutty, eccentric or 'bigoted' candidates, too. When a Conservative peer phones His Grace and refers to a malignant politician colleague as "the nigger in the woodpile", or when a very senior party employee sends an email referring to the "Asian tribes" of a certain constituency, one might be forgiven for detecting an undercurrent of racism.
And even the Church of England is at it. Over the weekend, its Head of Communications the Rev'd Arun Arora tweeted: "UKIp says Lenny Henry should 'go back to a Black Country'. Racist nonsense. Lenny was born in Dudley - that's THE Black Country you fools."
Ah, but the Rev'd Arun Arora is not the Church of England, you might say: he tweets (he says) in a personal capacity. And yet that is precisely the conflated disarrangement made by the Rev'd Arun, for the offensive and ignorant comments about Lenny Henry were made by one Ukip member - just one (out of nigh-on 40,000) - but the good Rev'd begins his tweet "Ukip says..".
If it be possible for the Church of England's Head of Comms to tweet in a personal capacity, it ought to be possible for a single Ukip member to make a prat of himself.
How can a party which, as a policy, actually favours increasing immigration from the brown-skinned corners of the British Commonwealth and diminishing it from the white-skinned provinces of the EU, be racist? What type of racism is it which seeks to prioritise the jobs, welfare and security of the indigenous population and then implement a controlled plan of immigration based on a points system, according to national economic need? Is Australia racist?
Indeed, isn't this now the professed policy of some of the so-called mainstream political parties? Except, of course, they are powerless to limit immigration from within the EU, to which the free movement of people is a foundational article of faith.
Perhaps the saddest and most disappointing thing about this "cross-party campaign to brand Ukip as racist" is that, instead of addressing the causes of the party's support - political disenfranchisement, alienation, cynicism and disillusionment - it essentially brands all independence-inclined eurosceptics as racists and bigots, for those who declare for Ukip in the opinion polls, and those who intend to vote for them in the imminent euro elections, are just ordinary people - millions of them - from Labour's working heartlands to the leafy suburbs of Tory professionalism. Ukip is drawing them in by the thousands.
So, cast them all as racists, if you will. But know that when you do, you simply perpetuate the slander that decent British people believe crassly in the innate superiority of fair skin, blue eyes and blond hair; that being best means being white and Christian. And by asserting this egregious lie; by confining all consideration of the discontents to a narrow intellectual agenda, you simply perpetuate the dominance of an elite ruling class which is aloof and alienated from the ordinary concerns of the people - good school places, clean hospitals, the price of bread, next month's mortgage or rent - and indifferent to the mundane worries of everyday life.
If the sameness of the Cameron-Clegg-Miliband political hegemony is intent on branding Ukip and its supporters as racist, lacking compassion, intuition or empathy, then it is for the people to rise up and protest the truth and moral virtue of their difference. For when sameness means dominance and oppression, there is nothing left for the excluded but the protest of powerlessness.