I was scanning the internet today when a news article reached across, grabbed my attention and shook me about a bit.
UKIP ‘knowingly let violent criminals and racists stand for election.’
The article, published online by the Independent, asserted that no less than fourteen of the party candidates for last May’s election had a violent past whilst five of those have been convicted of offences such as grievous bodily harm and assault. In addition to this, a further twenty-three candidates had expressed some sort of sexist, homophobic or racist view.
Now, there will be those who are not in the least bit surprised by this. People who will say that UKIP, by its very nature, is a party that encourages distrust, hatred and (by virtue of doing this) violence between people. People who will say that a party that is so happy to stir up discontent between different cultures to gain the populist vote is bound to have some bad apples in the crate.
Some may even go so far as to question whether UKIP is allowing this information to be known so that other, more serious offenders, can escape under the radar of public scrutiny.
On the other hand, there will be those who are supporters of UKIP – people who will point out that there are MPs and politicians out there currently facing sexual assault charges – arguably more serious and horrific crimes than the acts of violence discussed in the article. There will even be those who just dismiss the article as leftist propaganda.
Just reading the comments section of this article has given me a real overview of the arguments going back and forth over this issue. UKIP, a political party that had the potential to do well in the last election, has divided as many opinions, if not more, than any of the other major political parties in Britain. People hurl insults at each other – ‘lefty tossers’, ‘racist bigots’ – and all the while the truth is right there for us all to see…
The Expenses Scandal
Child Sex Abuse Scandals
Reports Full of Omissions and Lies
Are we really surprised that some of the people running for election into our parliament are criminals?
Would we be surprised if it was a party other than UKIP?
We live in a world where we are increasingly finding out more and more about the lives of our elected officials. It is becoming more and more apparent that the people who run our country are just as corrupt and liable to stray across the line of the law as any of the rest of us. In the words of one commenter on this article; ‘The House of Lords and the House of Commons are packed with people who have criminal records.’
At what point will we find ourselves in a position where the people running our country are part of some giant criminal band? Has it already happened and we just haven’t realised it yet?
It is a truly terrifying thought.
We elect out officials and trust them to be as morally upright as they can be, but it never occurs to us that the people we are choosing from might all be just as corrupt as each other. It never occurs to us that, when the only choice you have is between half a dozen criminals selected by a small group of equally corruptible criminals, we aren’t really living in a democracy.
In writing The Bluebell Informant, I have thought a great deal about this question. The world my story is based in is a world where every politician has been bought. Where far-right parties who preach hate and distrust have garnered enough support that they form the government of our country. Where rigging an election is second nature and nobody bats an eyelid.
I write about that world. That is the world that I created, that I imagined could lurk in our future if we continue to tread the path we are walking.
And that world terrifies me.
But what terrifies me even more – what literally chills me to the bone – is the idea…
… that it might already be happening…