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As In The United States . . . Voters See Reasons To Rise Against Elite Establishments In Britain

June 2, 2014 Frontpage No Comments


The British political elite’s lukewarm or hostile positions toward traditional-values issues could have been a major reason that some voters instead chose the insurgent United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) in recent elections, a British pro-life leader told The Wanderer.
“It is certainly likely that UKIP has benefited from voters disillusioned with the stance of other parties on pro-life and family issues,” said Paul Tully, general secretary of Britain’s Society for the Protection of Unborn Children (SPUC). “In the case of Conservative Party voters defecting to UKIP, [Conservative Prime Minister] David Cameron’s championing of so-called gay marriage is likely to have been a major factor.
“This may also have been an issue for Labor [Party] voters defecting to UKIP, although the media pundits generally prefer to ascribe the working-class support for UKIP to xenophobia and racism,” Tully added in a May 27 e-mail to The Wanderer.
UKIP’s unexpectedly strong performance in the late-May elections showed it winning significant support from both Conservative and Labor Party voters, each of whom was said to have felt left out by the agendas of elite leaders.
While some voters seeking a traditional-values alternative may have turned away from the long-established parties, there were complicating factors that meant a vote for UKIP, founded only in 1993, wasn’t necessarily a straightforward pro-life vote.
Tully, the SPUC official, said, “UKIP does not take a position on core pro-life issues, though it did oppose the legal redefinition of marriage to include same-sex couples when this was being debated last year (in the UK Parliament).”
Moreover, Tully said, as candidates sought to become members of the European Parliament (MEPs), “It is also difficult to assess the impact of pro-life issues in the European elections for structural reasons.
“Officially the European Union has no jurisdiction on abortion — it is a matter for individual member states to legislate on,” Tully said. “This is rather misleading, however, since the EU certainly does involve itself in abortion politics and abortion promotion (e.g., in developing countries). A recent example of the EU engaging on abortion was the Estrela report — a radically pro-abortion report submitted to the Parliament that was very narrowly rejected.
“Despite this, many MEP candidates refuse to declare a position on abortion because formally it is not a matter within the competence of the EU,” he said.
“A further difficulty is that the voting system used in England and Wales does not allow voters to designate a preferred candidate,” Tully continued. “Votes are cast only for a party, and MEPs are elected depending on the number of votes their party receives. Because issues like abortion do not always run on clear party lines, it is usually impossible to ‘vote pro-life’ — unless it is possible to elicit the voting commitment of all the candidates on pro-life issues, and unless it happens that all of a party’s candidates hold a similar commitment.
“The size of constituencies and difficulty of contacting candidates mean that even the first step is virtually impossible (in the London constituency, for example, there were over 120 candidates in total),” Tully said.
In any event, he said, “SPUC remains firmly nonaligned in its approach, and will continue to lobby for pro-life policies regardless of the party-political situation.”

Wins In Ireland

Meanwhile, Cora Sherlock reported at LifeNews.com on May 27 that there were some heartening results for pro-lifers in the recent Irish elections: “A significant number of the newly elected councillors are immediately identifiable as strongly pro-life from their vocal opposition to the recent abortion legislation. This is a really encouraging development.”
Writing in Britain’s liberal Guardian about UKIP’s strengths, John Harris noted on May 23, “If a party is averaging 47 percent of the vote in a Labor stronghold such as Rotherham, toppling Tories from their perches in crucial Conservative territory, and apparently heading toward first place in the European contest, something important is obviously afoot.”
The Labor Party generally would be thought of as socialist.
“Moreover, if people are supporting UKIP in such large numbers — even after the media’s massed guns have been rattling at it for weeks — it is probably time to drop all the sneering and think about why,” Harris said.
He added that “on my side of politics, the most difficult stuff to process is about things from which the left tends to avert its eyes: notions of identity and belonging, anxiety about accelerated change and the fact that that leftie hooray-word ‘community’ can actually have chewy connotations. Crudely put, when you meet a Labor-UKIP switcher who expresses worries about immigration, you can’t simply reduce what they say to falling wages and the lack of social housing.”
A victory photo on the online home page of UKIP showed party leader Nigel Farage surrounded by celebrating supporters. Of the seven clearly identifiable people’s faces around Farage, two were black, and a woman appeared to be from perhaps India or Pakistan.
U.S. radio talk host Laura Ingraham on May 27 played Farage’s voice gloating that the other parties’ leaders looked like goldfish tipped onto the floor that were desperately gasping.
In an analysis posted early on May 26, Neil Munro, White House correspondent of The Daily Caller web site in the U.S., said Cameron’s Conservative Party “lost a large share of its votes to UKIP as immigration escalated year by year — spurring competition for jobs, housing, and education services.”
It was a complaint frequently voiced — that unlimited immigration was holding down wages and limiting citizens’ opportunities.
Munro noted a parallel with “the Constitution-minded Tea Party movement in the United States, which opposes ‘crony capitalism’ in Washington, D.C., and the push by progressives and business groups to double the annual inflow of legal immigrants and guest workers up to roughly 4 million per year.
“That inflow would be roughly equal to the number of American youths who turn 18 each year, and would drastically increase the labor supply, amid a slack economy, a shrinking middle class, increasing automation, and flat wages,” Munro wrote.
Farage issued a statement as election time dawned, saying that Prime Minister Cameron had broken his promise to the British people to get immigration under control. Cameron “has done so because he refuses to take back control of our borders in respect of more than 400 million people from more than two dozen countries on continental Europe,” Farage said.
“. . . It is also clear that we are seeing a very significant surge in immigration into the British labor market from Romania and Bulgaria, as well as a more general rise in EU immigration, just as I forecast,” Farage said. “We simply cannot go on like this if we are to even begin the task of restoring the living standards and community cohesion available to millions of hardworking British families. Enough’s enough.”
Meanwhile, moderate conservative blogger and Catholic Tim Stanley of Britain’s London-based Telegraph wrote:
“Ukippers have been scorned and mocked for a long time, but they’ve now earned the right to be treated with respect. They are a key part of the British political process in the sense that they now are the soapbox for those who feel left behind, envisage a radically different future, or who are just fed up with how things are and want their frustrations to be heard. We should listen to them.”
And the editor of the Telegraph blogs, Damian Thompson, also a conservative Catholic, noted that among Church officials, “assorted prelates have dismissed [UKIP’s immigration policies] as wicked without giving the matter a second thought.
“It’s true that UKIP aims to replace our open doors with a strict points-based system. You can make an argument that this is un-Christian, but if the Churches are going to insist that there’s an imperative to oppose it, then they also have to say that no Australian Christian can vote for the country’s ruling Liberal/National coalition, which is operating such a system with popular support,” Thompson said.
Various observers noted the similarities between UKIP and the U.S. Tea Party movement, both of which arose in outrage that vital national concerns simply were ignored by the established powers — although the Tea Party flexed its muscles faster.
Even after Tea Partiers burst onto the scene in 2009 because of Barack Obama ramming massive federal spending even higher, the establishment made little attempt to accommodate their concerns. The Republican upper crust sneered, and Obama, as subsequently became plain, threw the oppressive power of the federal government against this citizens’ movement.
Pro-life voters would be another group that expects to see action from the political class, not mere symbolic words that go nowhere.
More than 90 lawsuits have been filed against the anti-conscience “mandate” of Obamacare — which requires taxpayer funding of risky contraceptives, sterilization and abortifacients.

Familiar Betrayals

However, conservative editor Terence Jeffrey wrote that neither pro-life Republican U.S. Senators Tom Coburn of Oklahoma nor Pat Roberts of Kansas asked Sylvia Burwell to express any commitment that this imposition would be changed (The Wanderer, May 29, p. B3, “HHS Confirmation Hearings: 49,000 Words, Zero On Abortion-Drug Mandate”).
Burwell is Obama’s choice to succeed pro-abortion radical Kathleen Sebelius as head of the Obamacare-administering Department of Health and Human Services. Burwell, a longtime left-wing Democratic activist, served in the White House of strongly pro-abortion Bill Clinton.
In fact, editor Jeffrey reported, Coburn declared he supported her nomination — as did “moderate” GOP Sen. John McCain of Arizona. McCain had praised her nomination from the first. Meanwhile, socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont felt perfectly free to push for Burwell to help with a single-payer government medical program for his state, Jeffrey reported.
“In two Senate committees, not one senator had the moral courage to ask her where she gets the moral right to impose this kind of tyranny on the American people,” Jeffrey wrote, referring to the anti-conscience mandate for abortion drugs.
Kansas Sen. Roberts’ office told The Wanderer on May 27 that Roberts did question Burwell about the lack of transparency regarding abortion coverage provided through health plans on the exchange, and also voted against Burwell in the Senate Finance Committee hearing.
During questioning, Roberts told Burwell: “When Secretary Sebelius testified during a subcommittee hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee last October, she promised to provide Congress with a list of federal insurers on the exchange that do and do not include abortion coverage in their plans. To date, Congress has not received that information. If you were confirmed as the next HHS secretary, would you be willing to provide Congress with that information?”
Burwell dodged: “As [Office of Management and Budget] director, I was not directly engaged on this topic. I understand that [the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services] is committed to ensuring that HealthCare.gov provides the key information consumers need to make an informed selection from among the [Qualified Health Plans] available to them.
“Additionally,” Burwell continued, “each plan in the Marketplace must include a summary of benefits and coverage and a link to the plan brochure, where consumers can learn more about which services are covered. If confirmed, I will continue the work of the CMS to assure that consumers have access to information regarding the coverage they are purchasing in the Marketplaces.”
Oklahoma Sen. Coburn’s office told The Wanderer on May 27: “Dr. Coburn is not on the [Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions] or Finance Committees, so he did not question Ms. Burwell. Dr. Coburn only introduced her at the Finance Committee hearing. However, he will continue to press for religious freedom with regard to the contraception mandate.”
The office of Coburn, who also is a medical doctor, didn’t address the fact that Coburn publicly announced his support for Burwell without saying he sought any stand by her against the mandate.
Jeffrey wrote: “Unless Burwell rescinds Sebelius’ regulation — which she will not — she will become the enforcer of the single-greatest attack on freedom of conscience in the history of the United States.”
Rob Haney, immediate past chairman of the Republican Party in Phoenix’s Maricopa County, lamented to The Wanderer that GOP betrayals have become all too familiar.
“I have heard so many like stories of Republicans not objecting to these appointments that they all seem to merge into the same continual story,” with “nary a word against McCain for destroying the party and country,” Haney said.

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