Recently, while I was trawling about on the Internet, I came across the website uk.isidewith.com. It offers a questionnaire that you complete with your opinions regarding a number of topical issues, about which all the UK’s major political parties have taken a stance. Then it compares your opinions with the policies of the parties and calculates how much, overall, you’re in agreement with them. You end up getting your percentage of agreement with each party, which is a bit like having your political DNA tested – you find out how much of you is Labour, how much is Conservative, etc.
When my results came through I was surprised to find that the party that figured highest in my political DNA was the Green Party. I was told that 96% of my opinions matched its policies. I was surprised because I assumed I’d de-Greened myself when I answered a question about my view of nuclear energy. Unlike the Green Party’s line, I’m reluctantly in favour of having nuclear-power stations. (I agree with the Guardian’s environmental correspondent George Monbiot that generating nuclear energy is an evil necessity while humanity tries to reduce carbon emissions and limit manmade climate change.)
In joint-second place after the Greens were the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru. I’m 95% in agreement with them, which I suppose isn’t a surprise considering how I’d answered a question about whether or not Scotland should be independent. And just behind them was the Labour Party. 93% of my views match the policies of Ed Milliband and Ed Balls, apparently. This is despite the fact that I’ve always thought life under a Milliband / Balls regime in Westminster would be little better than life under the current Cameron / Osborne regime. The rhetoric would no doubt be more touchy-feely but the economic and social reality, I suspect, wouldn’t change much.
But I was really shocked when I was informed 44% of my opinions match the policies of the United Kingdom Independence Party, that ragtag gang of Little Englanders led by Nigel Farage who want to take Britain out of the European Union and change it back to its glorious, monochrome 1950s version — a Britain where everyone is white and Christian (Church of England, preferably), where the working class doff their caps before their betters, where teachers have the right to take canes and belts to naughty pupils, where smokers have the right to give other people lung cancer in public places, and where television is a Mary Whitehouse-style paragon of decency that’s devoid of bad language (although good old-fashioned non-PC terminology, such as Jeremy Clarkson uses for black people, is probably okay). Nearly half of my mindset, I was told, was identical to the UKIP mindset. Well, I can only assume that the 44% of me that agrees with Nigel Farage is the 44% of me that’s located closest to my arse.
At least it gives me an excuse to show a picture of Britain’s best-known right-wing buffoon being struck by an egg whilst campaigning yesterday for the forthcoming European Parliamentary elections. Ha!
(c) The Independent