Recent posts here have discussed UKIP supporters’ resentment at everything that’s happened since 1963 and that the only thing they like about Britain is the past.
1963 seems to be a key turning point, and not just because of Philip Larkin’s poem. The significance of that year was analysed in an article by Stuart Jeffries in the Guardian.
Jeffries acknowledges that everything didn’t suddenly change in 1963. But 1963 was significant as the year of the Profumo scandal, when the hypocrisies of the establishment were laid bare. It was also the cusp of a long process of sexual liberation:
Writing of the effects of liberalising legislation on abortion, gay sex and the reduction of censorship in the 60s, Andrew Marr in A History of Modern Britain stresses this lapsarian image: “A fair verdict is that the changes allowed the British to be more openly themselves, and that while the results are not pretty, the apple of self-knowledge cannot be uneaten again and returned to the tree.”The key word here is ‘lapsarian’. Might this be the real reason for UKIP’s appeal? Its supporters are yearning not just for the 1950s but for a time of innocence. Their yearning is based on the oldest idea of all, the basis of Judeo-Christian mythology, the Fall of Man. Deep down, UKIP supporters want to return to a time before Adam and Eve ate the apple, when God punished them by driving them out of the Garden of Eden and into the world where they would be subject to sickness and pain and eventual death.
So Nigel Farage thinks he can turn the clock back that far? Good luck with that.