Dissecting UKIP propaganda

March 6, 2015 9:00 am

I am an old hand at dissecting propaganda and UKIP’s poster, affectionately called “Your Daily Grind” Poster, is an easy guinea pig for the learner.

Let’s start with the phrase “daily grind”, which attempts to capture the employment experience of UKIP’s target audience, the British working class. In Farage’s position, had it occurred to me that my target voters suffer “daily grind”, I would try to do something about the grind itself. What is the grind? Long hours? Poor pay? Little decision latitude? This may very well describe the working life of many UK workers, but UKIP are not planning to change the inflectioned suffering of boring employment; UKIP implicitly support “daily grind” as an end in itself, since their gripe, and this poster, is about something quite different.


Having positioned themselves as the pro-grind party of the UK, UKIP show us the typical victim of post Thatcherite employment. She is young and fatigued. She presumably does not own a car or else as a UKIP supporter (and by implication a Top Gear viewer) she would be driving it to work.  Indeed, to digress a little, is the bus actually the “daily grind”? Perhaps UKIP partly seek the end of communual public transport, guilty as it is of keeping carbon emissions down.


The point of the young woman in the poster is that she is being exploited. She works too hard, whilst others reap the benefits. According to UKIP, though, the young everywoman cares not that she is being exploited (she accepts that as part of the neo-liberal condition). Rather she objects to the fact that she is being exploited by the Eurocrat. The Eurocrat is portrayed in the adjacent image. What a sociopathic rascal he is. Dressed in his three piece suit and adorned with self importance, he could be mistaken for a financier (remember the kind that needed bailing out following acute malpractice in 2008).


Are UKIP a socialist party? Are they drawing attention to the disturbing inequality in the UK? No, the problem with the Eurocrat is that he exploits the young woman through his administrative profligacy in Brussels at the taxpayers’ expense. (And that, after all, is the banker’s job!) She will be exploited whether UKIP win or not: the point is, under UKIP, the aggressor in the three piece suit will be a British hedge fund manager or a CEO. So, will the end of EU membership and, therefore, an end to Eurocrats also end the exploitation of a population who are underpayed, overworked and infantilised by meniality? No, says the poster, the aforementioned are part of what makes us British.


UKIP’s appreciation of UK working classes extends no further than this: there will always be grind and exploitation, but the British worker accepts and even welcomes this; what the British working classes object to is exploitation by MEP’s because the British worker understands, and has always understood, that shameless and gratuitous exploitation is the preserve of the upper middle classes educated at UK institutions like…now where did Mr Farage receive his adolescent instructions? We will all be so much better off when dispossession of wealth is back in the hands of the white middle classes. How much sweeter will be the sound of wage repression when delivered again by received pronunciation.




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