A study by the University of Cardiff has revealed that 82% of Britons are in favour of wind energy. The Danish island of Samsø takes 100% of its elecricity from wind power, and now exports energy to the mainland, and guess what - the lights don't go out when the wind stops blowing! Last year, wind generated elecricity in Spain peaked briefly at 52% of total national demand. UKIP, however, has a different take on all this. A few years ago an e-mail was circulated by a UKIP member stating that it takes a single wind turbine 2 years to generate enough electricity to boil a kettle. Most famously, a UKIP researcher once wrote that wind turbines adversely affect the rotation of the Earth.
UKIP is now in danger of becoming the 'Alternative Reality' party.
The party's Head of Policy is one Christopher Monckton, a man who has recently been chastised for pretending to be a member of the House of Lords. Prior to the Copenhagen conference he claimed to have seen a secret treaty that would be signed by world leaders handing over power to a new world government. That this failed to happen, is something he has yet to address. His testimony to the US Congress on climate change was greeted with derision, and he was again humiliated over his claim to be a member of the House of Lords.
On the day the eurosceptic MEP Derk-jan Eppink presented his excellent book 'Bonfire of Bureaucracy in Europe' in Brussels, UKIP MEPs were supporting the launch of a book about the Bilderburg group. Personally, I am not particularly worried about the activities of an NGO, but some seem to think that this group is planning world domination. Another one of those 'secret governments'?
Society needs dissent. Dissent is good for debate, and it is good for democratic integrity, as it keeps the centre ground fluid. A stagnant polity is vulnerable in terms of the strength of its democratic process. Dissenters come in two types - 'disclosers', who are there to challenge the system and ensure transparency, and 'contrarians', who serve little purpose at all. UKIP now falls into the latter category, with all received wisdom seemingly being rejected on no firm basis whatsoever. This is a great shame, as UKIP made a huge contribution by being the catalyst and rallying point for many thousands of people who felt that their voices were not being heard, or that their concerns about the EU were not being taken seriously. Good people who had grown disillusioned with the established parties got out onto the streets, delivered leaflets, challenged their MPs, and stood in elections they knew they could never win. The contribution of UKIP to British politics has been immense - that makes it even sadder to see what the party has now become.