One of the policy points on our list for local election candidates here in Oxford is privacy. UKIP is of course opposed to the Labour City Council's policy, announced last November. of recording all conversation on public transport. Buses, coaches and even taxis will all have to conform. Those taxi-drivers who resist have been told that they will not be given a licence to drive a taxi at all.
Of course we're against it! We're the party of common sense. And freedom.
So far I haven't found any voters who like the policy, but they are scared to vote against the old established parties. One man told me on the doorstep today that if he got into a taxi, he would tell the driver to switch the recording machine off. I pointed out that this would be illegal, and the taxi had to obey the law. He said, "If he wanted my business, he would have to turn it off."
In effect he was saying that he would vote for a bad law, in the hope of being able to defy it.
Why vote for a law you hate and don't want to obey? Wouldn't it be better to make laws that people agree with and then keep them? He responded only with a sullen shrug.
The sad fact is that many people are scared to vote against the established parties of power. They have a deep-seated attitude of deference to the "powers that be" and see old political parties as being entitled to wield authority - they are the lords and we are the peasants. New political parties are seen with disapproval and suspicion. Facts and reason have little impact on this sort of prejudice.
I've heard enough in my life about the "lunatic fringe", the tiny extremist parties, the "weirdos" and now I think it's time to laugh at the mad majority.