populism is a good thing, not an insult

This is a letter, which I sent to the Daily Express (24/4/2014), along with the published version.

Original version:

You report that Nick Clegg will charge UKIP with being populist and xenophobic.
If this is true, then Nick Clegg really isn’t in touch with the British people.
Clegg sees himself as a good European, who wants to progress the takeover of Britain by a Franco-German superstate.
Anyone who opposes this is, by his standards, a xenophobe (a racist?).
Few of this generation of voters will have been told who Quisling was but Clegg risks attracting a comparison.
Neither Churchill, nor Thatcher were loved by those on the Left, but the majority of voters still swung behind them in their xenophobic repulsion of foreign invasions.
The British electorate is xenophobic in the face of an aggressive influx of aliens but is accommodating of those fleeing persecution.
The Jews fleeing Hitler and the Asians fleeing Idi Amin were accepted, albeit with some whinging (like late arrivals in a theatre).
The present influx is not people fleeing persecution but an imposition, engineered by “Good Europeans”.
 
More damning, in electoral terms, is Clegg’s assertion that UKIP is populist.
It doesn’t damn UKIP, it damn’s Clegg.
Populism is only a dirty word in The Westminister village.
For the rest of the UK, it is synonym for something which we have long been denied i.e. political representation.
Like most of the political elite, he eschews democracy for their own peculiar concept of leadership.
They see themselves as shepherds, forcing the dumb sheep to better pasture, whereas, many of us see them as Judas goats, being lead by their own masters.
Labelling UKIP as xenophobic will do them no harm.
Labelling them as populist may actually attract support from those who have stopped bothering to vote.

Published version:

Nick Clegg insults prove how out  of touch he is
YOUR report that Nick Clegg believes Ukip is populist and xenophobic left me astounded (“Frantic Clegg fights to halt Ukip’s surge”, April 24).
If he truly thinks this way, then Mr Clegg really isn’t in touch with the British people.
Neither Churchill, nor Thatcher was loved by those on the Left but the majority of voters still swung behind them in their `xenophobic’ repulsion of foreign invasions.
The British electorate is xenophobic in the face of an aggressive influx of aliens but is accommodating of those fleeing persecution. The Jews fleeing Hitler and the Asians fleeing Idi Amin were accepted.
Populism is a dirty word only in the Westminister village. For the rest of the UK, it is a synonym for something that we have long been denied i.e. political representation.
Labelling Ukip as populist may actually attract support from those who have stopped bothering to vote.

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