I am very tolerant of UKIP commentators on this site. I regularly post their comments. They are the one group who are often partisan, and regularly post exhortations to vote for their own party. Contributors from others parties are usually more restrained. UKIP supporters here also often make big claims for what their party can and will achieve. Again other party supporters rarely do the same.
Following their defeat in every one of the 24 Police Commissioner elections they fought, without even a second place to their credit, they tell us they made a big breakthrough. They give no credit to the English Democrats, who achieved a creditable 15.56% of the vote and second place in the South Yorkshire PCC election. There are two reasons I sometimes highlight the poor electoral showing of UKIP in successive elections. The first is because some of their supporters here are unpleasant in what they say and write about fellow Europsceptics in other parties, and the second is because they are always claiming that they are doing well electorally or are poised for a breakthrough. Their main case for others to vote UKIP is that they will win, and then miraculously take this country out of the EU. To do that they would need to win 326 seats in Parliament in a General Election. So far they have never won a single seat, even in by election conditions when they can concentrate their efforts, or in a seat where the 3 main parties withdrew their candidates at the 2010 election. To win 326 they would need of course to win seats from Labour and Lib Dems as well as from the Conservatives, yet they always seem to concentrate on fighting against Conservatives.
Every day in Parliament 100 plus Conservative MPs watch the measures and agendas from Brusssels. We highlight issues of concern. We vote against measures we think unacceptable. We urge Ministers to negotiate us out of various measures, or seek to see them voted down in the EU itself. Many Conservative MPs voted for a referendum, and voted for a lower EU budget, against 3 line whips. We feel we do the work and take the arrows of opposing the growing powers of the EU day by day. There are no UKIP MPs to help us or to swell the vote against extra EU power in the Commons.
We are sometimes successful in persuading the Coalition government to withstand Brussels pressures. The Prime Minister did veto a Treaty for the UK, which would otherwise have bound us into EU controls over our budgets and tax policies. Instead of getting thanks from UKIP, this is misrepresented as a non veto. The government has said it will veto any move to increase the EU budget, something the former government would not have dreamed of doing. We have persuaded the government to adopt as its policy the need to negotiate a new relationship with the EU, making it clear the UK has no intention of being bound into a political and monetary union. The Conservative leadership has now accepted that there will need to be a referendum at some future date. We are now discussing when and what about.
I have no wish to waste time criticising people or policies in UKIP. I appeal to all Eurosceptics of good will to see we are stronger working together instead of some fighting petty feuds, seeking to split the Eurosceptic movement for their own personal advantage.
We need votes in the Commons now. We need to carry on influencing the government in a Eurosceptic direction now. It is not UKIP that is driving this process, but Eurosceptic MPs, and the mood and commonsense of the British people. We need more Eurosceptic members in the Conservative party to help us with our cause. We need any party that wishes to fight EU federalism to direct its fire at the federalists, not at fellow Eurosceptics. Smaller Eurosceptic parties may develop a stronger negative capability from time to time and in various locations, to be able to damage other Eurosceptics more. This does not help solve the EU problem for our country.