UKIP’s strategy

 

            As I assumed, UKIP have said they are going to fight all the seats at the General Election. That means there is no deal to be done between the Conservatives and UKIP. They have no MPs to help us in the current Commons, and they want all Conservative MPs  thrown out of Parliament. That includes those  who have sustained the battle against federal Treaties, in favour of a referendum and in favour of EU exit.

           What is more surprising is Mr Farage, generally thought to be their best candidate, still will not confirm he is fighting the next General Election himself, and will not tell us where he would want to be a candidate if he does. The three main parties with MPs in the Commons all think that you need to choose candidates early to have the best chance of success, particularly if you are the challenger starting well behind in the polls.

            I myself was selected with two years to run to the next General Election. Those two years were invaluable to be able to get know the constituency, its people and problems, to move in and become part of the community. As a candidate you have no late nights at Westminster to worry about and more free time to get out and about. Where Conservative or Labour have won marginals, it normally follows a long period of hard work in the constituency by the candidate.

                 With UKIP on 10% in the polls the question of electing MPs is academic. If the vote remains that low and is widely spread there will be no UKIP MPs in 2015, any more than there were in 2010. The UKIP strategy is to hope that the European election acts as a springboard for them. These are not my predictions, but come from the UKIP website itself. They host a long article on the polling – though they say beneath it is not endorsed by UKIP! Nonetheless the article is clearly written by a UKIP supporter and given pride of place on the official website of the party.

          The article says that at 16% of the vote – the highwater mark of polls before the recent decline in support – UKIP does most damage to the Conservatives. From 16-25% UKIP damages Labour more.  The site says “UKIP only wins 2 seats at 25% of the vote”, the level it has reached in a recent  by election. The site goes on to say “Is it too outlandish to think that UKIP could hold the balance of power? Probably….” So UKIP themselves do not think they can win very much, or indeed anything at all at Westminster.

          Certainly last time they polled much better in the European elections, and did secure 13 MEPs, coming second to the Conservatives with 16.5% of the vote.  However, their vote subsided by 2010 in the General Election to 3%. The present scarce polls on the European elections show again that they may poll better in those than their general poll rating, which stays well below the level to win a seat. So for the strategy of take off to work, there needs to be some new factor in 2014-15  that did not apply in 2009-10.

           Maybe that explains why the Leader will not commit himself to a Westminster seat. Maybe he  does not think he can find one where he can win. Meanwhile, of the 13 MEPs who were elected for UKIP in 2009, only 9 are still UKIP MEPs. Four have left to join other parties or have left for other reasons. It’s a high attrition rate, implying problems within the high command. It would be interesting to hear from UKIP supporters why their MEPs have found it so difficult to stick with them, and what they think of UKIP’s polling analysis. What also do they think of the “We demand a referendum party”, with support from former UKIP people? What did they think of yesterday’s conference, condemned by Mr Farage as a failure?

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120 Comments

  1. Leslie Singleton
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    Love very easily turns to hate and that is what Cameron has managed to achieve and at least as far as he is concerned I believe irreversibly so. It is not true that a new factor is necessary in the sense you imply. The mere passage of time alone may well work and don’t forget the capacity of the big parties for making outright pillocks of themselves, not to mention the studied relentlessness of the EU’s determination to continue to annoy us Brits, which of course works to UKIP’s benefit. As regards your comments about no deal, you seem to have forgotten that a deal was offered some time back and the Conservatives rebuffed it–as they would, because they do not see getting out of the EU as any kind of real goal. I don’t blame Farage for not trusting snake-oil Cameron one inch. I also think it perfectly sensible of him to hold his horses as long as possible re what he himself should or should not do come the General Election. Why would he want to foreclose possible options, such as an unexpected by-election which he could not sensibly fight, if he wanted to, if he had declared he was going to stand somewhere else?

    Reply The technique of parachuting g yourself into a seat for the General Election at the last minute reduces your chances of winning. Mr Farage did this last time in Buckingham, where there was no Labour or Conservative candidate, and came a poor third. I am just pointing out how parties with a large number of MPs fight elections, which might be of interest.

    • Hope
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      How many MPs are parachuted in? It should be a requirement for any candidate to live in the area for five years before seeking election. Cameron’s judgment issceriously flawed as we recently saw with Syria, yet he still seeks only to give local people a limited choice of his favoured EU loving clone candidates.

      The recent documentary on the Thatcher years reminded us of the treachery in the Tory party and those involved are still ever present putting the EU before country, sovereignty and party.

      Cameron has been wrong on so many issues no right minded person would believe him. As you wrote so sensibly the other day about Clegg and the Lib Dems, why would anyone trust them. Answer: Cameron did and does. He hates his supporters and they now hate him. Tories will lose the next election and be out of power for a very long time.

      You also know the local elections are proving very beneficial for UKIP and the MSM and the Lynton Crosby strategy to smear UKIP is in full flow, presumably this blog being part of it. Try harder JR your party is finished. Let us all wish the deputy speaker well in his trial and hope justice prevails. Any news on the dinner for donor inquiry where Cameronwcas present?

      Reply Of course my blog is no part of the Conservative spin machine as is obvious to any sensible observer. Today I am mainly giving airtime to a UKIP article from UKIP’s own site! The Conservative party does not parachute in candidates – they are chosen by the local party. If you join you can help choose.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 21, 2013 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

        “If you join (the Tory party) you can help choose”

        Well they certainly need some new members thanks to the unpopular, compass lacking, Cameron. He has managed to half the numbers in his years as leader.

        But who would want to join a party that rats on its main promises (EU, IHT, Marriage allowances). Also one that has an agenda of giving away UK democracy to the undemocratic EU, of uncontrolled immigration, ever more tax borrow and waste and ever more regulation of everything?

      • libertarian
        Posted September 21, 2013 at 2:57 pm | Permalink

        JR

        Your reply made me laugh out loud. You don’t parachute in candidates? Really so the local association where I live in a rock solid Tory seat chose the candidate they did because they really wanted someone who didn’t not only come from the constituency but not even the general region, they also decided that they actually really needed an ex Labour party member and failed Labour councillor as a Tory MP. Of course ticking all the PC boxes never entered into it.

        Remind me what an A list is.

        As a very successful entrepreneur I’ve spent many years warning well established British institutions that they will fail if they don’t radically change their ways. The Conservative party is one of those failing institutions now. You have a small window of opportunity to change, but you have to do it quickly and ruthlessly. UKIP aren’t the final answer they are just the catalyst that will clear the decks and enable a new more vibrant true small government, low tax, enterprise friendly locally focused party to emerge. You’ve had enough warnings now.

      • Sean O'Hare
        Posted September 21, 2013 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

        If they don’t parachute in candidates what was the ‘A’ list all about?

      • Chris
        Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

        JR, they parachuted in Liz Truss despite huge local opposition from Swaffham, Norfolk, Conservatives (who, unfairly were smeared as the Turnip Talibans). The Cons seem to have their McBrides too.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for Reply and of course there is something in what you say but nobody, least of all you, said Farage’s task would be easy and on balance I think he would be crazy to declare himself too soon.

  2. MickC
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 7:08 am | Permalink

    It would be best for the Conservative party to concentrate on trying to retrieve the myriad of supporters it has lost, than attack UKIP.

    Regrettably, under Cameron that is unlikely to happen.

    Iain Martin’s Telegraph article was spot on about how the “modernisation” has destroyed the Party.

    Miliband will walk the next general election-and strangely enough that probably won’t be as bad as the press make out.

    Reply My article does not attack UKIP, merely give more publicity to UKIP’s own poll analysis.

  3. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    Farage is fairly charismatic . This being recognised is exactly why the media have been delving into his past to try and discredit him and UKIP. The membership is increasing. I don’t think it will dwindle into nothingness as there are a few issues which I and many others fervently believe are right if we want to stay British and not European.
    I am reading yet again Aneurin Bevans ‘ In place of fear’ .It seems to me that the fear that is being slowly generated by increasing immigration , loss of our identity , threatened poverty and take over by both European and global concerns appears to now be gaining a contra stand by a party with the confidence to address the issues. I do not agree with much of the UKIP .As a social democrat, I believe in the power of cool collectivism , yet at this time some show of strength by the British is needed and we should be prepared to let a voice of unhappiness be seen. A comment by Bevan said that if Churchill threw union jacks over 20 tanks the world would see the tanks as many more. Perhaps the same principle applies to UKIP.

    Reply That view is clear amongst UKIP supporters. Come the election all of us who want our country back as a self governing democracy have to decide which way is most likely to achieve it. My view is the only way to do it is to have a majority Conservative government with plenty of strong minded Eurosceptic MPs.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      It really is not often that I disagree with you, our host. But this is quite impossible. With the leadership firmly against leaving Europe and the total impossibility of any form of meaningful reform, the Conservative Party will always be in favour of staying in – as the Prime Minister has said on many occasions. Candidates who are Eurosceptic simply will not be shortlisted.

      Reply Many of us are already MPs!

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 22, 2013 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

        Perhaps 100 tops of EU skeptic Tories and many of them seem to believe in the mad quack energy and Global Warming Exaggerations?

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 9:48 am | Permalink

      Comment on Reply–Yes, great, EXCEPT that you have to admit there is a good chance it won’t work because the Conservatives are unlikely to gain an outright majority. GIVEN THAT, would have thought you would favour a Referendum NOW asking, Do you support the idea of renegotiation followed by an In/Out referendum later? THAT way the Conservatives might actually win the next election. What would be wrong with that??

    • Sean O'Hare
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

      Reply to JR’s reply

      Come the election all of us who want our country back as a self governing democracy have to decide which way is most likely to achieve it.

      We’ve waited 40 years John. That’s enough, we’ve lost patience and now realise that its never going to happen with a Conservative government. I could probably have forgiven Cameron for reneging on his “cast-iron” guarantee given that the Lisbon Treaty had been fully ratified by all EU members, but I cannot forgive his actions since. So much power has been passed over to Brussels over the past 3 years. Why hasn’t the referendum lock been utilised? It was a sop to the anti-EU membership is why!

      It is quite likely that supporting UKIP in 2015 will result in Ed Miliband becoming PM. Does anyone seriously think he will make a go of it? I think he will be a union puppet, the country will suffer great hardship and he and Labour will be hounded out within 2 years. Both Tory and Labour on the skids. That will be UKIP’s opportunity to make real progress.

    • sjb
      Posted September 22, 2013 at 9:44 am | Permalink

      To JR’s reply:
      I am curious as to how you think the Conservative Party will win an outright majority at the next General Election?

      Since 1979, British parties in government have never increased their share of the vote.[1] I can see the Tories winning a few seats from the LibDems but it seems likely they will lose more to Labour – maybe not the 32 currently suggested – even if they manage to claw back voters from UKIP.[2]

      [1] The Conservative Party was elected in 1979 with a 43.9% share, which fell to 42.4% in 1983, 42.2% in 1987, and 41.9% in 1992. Labour’s victory in 1997 was on the back of a 43.2% share of the vote but this fell to 40.7% in 2001 and to 35.2% in 2005.
      [2] http://lordashcroftpolls.com/2013/09/labour-still-on-course-in-the-marginals-but-its-not-over-yet/

  4. Anonymous
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 7:29 am | Permalink

    UKIP voters are under no illusions that it as a viable party nor that it has some nutters in it. Also that it can’t fulfill election promises. Aren’t all parties like that ?

    The real damage to the Tories is being done not by UKIP but by mass immigration, foreign aid (during austerity), high energy bills, high food costs …

    UKIP is a last ditch, suicidal protest vote. We are anxious. We are scared. We really think it’s over. We feel (our country is being changed against our wishes ed).

    The Tories have to convince us that it’s not over. ‘Vote UKIP, get Labour’ is a pretty lame election slogan. It won’t work. The best it will do is make us not vote at all.

  5. Old Albion
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    The core of the problem JR, is the Conservative party (with a tiny amount of exceptions) is a Europhile party. Just like Labour and the Lib-Dems. The electorate hardly believe a word any of you say.
    UKIP on the other hand, was created to get us out of the EU. So for all of their naivety in other areas, they will and do attract the vote of those who wish we could return to governing ourselves.

    Reply The modern Conservative party is a Eurosceptic party, committed to a renegotiation and an In/Out referendum. We are currently trying to pilot a referendum bill through this Parliament, but may need a majority to do it next Parliament. All Conservative MPs are voting for the Referendum Bill.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:14 am | Permalink

      Is the modern Conservative party a Eurosceptic party? Perhaps you would give us the number of Consrevative MPs who want the UK to leave the EU. Your leader has been described as Eurosceptic and yet he told us in his Bloomberg speech :
      ” Because I believe something very deeply. That Britain’s national interest is best served in a flexible, adaptable and open European Union and that such a European Union is best with Britain in it. Over the coming weeks, months and years, I will not rest until this debate is won. For the future of my country. For the success of the European Union.”
      That is not my idea of scepticism. Your party leader only announced this referendum to shoot UKIP’s fox and stem the rate of defections from your party. It failed because there is no trust in your leader and it was seen for what it was – political expediency.

      Reply Most Conservative MPs believe the current relationship is completely unacceptable, and will only vote to stay in if there is a successful renegotiation based on trade and political co-operation, not common government. That is why we are as a united force voting for a referendum so you can say In or Out.

      • zorro
        Posted September 21, 2013 at 11:29 am | Permalink

        Reply to reply – I think that there are differing shades of EU sceptics amongst Tory MPs. Can you really be sure that ‘most Tory MPs……will only vote to stay in if there is a successful renegotiation based on trade and political cooperation, not Common Government’….. How many out of the 300+ would vote that way?

        zorro

      • Dave B
        Posted September 21, 2013 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        The “majority of Conservative MPs” voted against a referendum in 2011, and the government’s assessment of what powers it should seek to regain from the EU came to the conclusion that there were no powers to be regained. That the status quo is ideal.

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2374418/William-Hagues-review-branded-Whitehall-whitewash.html

        Reply The review is far from concluded and I am assured they will be wanting substantial powers back come the renegotiation.

        • Dave B
          Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

          Given that the Conservatives have passed _more_ powers to the EU since 2010, I suspect that will require a very generous definition of ‘substantial’.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:25 am | Permalink

      Yup – but how many of the Conservative MPs will be following the Prime Minister into the “Stay in Europe” campaign, I wonder?

    • Old Albion
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:28 am | Permalink

      You know as well as I. There will be No referendum during this current government.
      As for Cameron’s talk of re-negotiation, laughable. The EU doesn’t do re-negotiation. It’s ‘invoke article 50′ or shut-up.
      By the way, he has to win the next General Election before all this……………..

      • zorro
        Posted September 21, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

        I don’t like the fact that the referendum promise is being held like a gun at the electorate’s head…..

        zorro

        • zorro
          Posted September 21, 2013 at 11:31 am | Permalink

          It smacks of desperation……

          zorro

      • Sean O'Hare
        Posted September 21, 2013 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

        Shhh! Don’t mention Article 50 – it means giving notice of our intention to leave and that would never do!

    • ian wragg
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 9:37 am | Permalink

      John, you can’t be serious. The Tories a Eurosceptic party. Jam tomorrow is finished John. Weasel words will no longer wash.

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

      ” The modern Conservative party is a Eurosceptic party, co”

      John , when did the Conservative party change to being Eurosceptic ?

      Can you point to a date , a period in history , an event or other turning point please ?

      A few years back politicians were keen to talk say that “Britain needs to be at the heart of Europe” .

      It occured to me recently that the UK , with Germany , IS at the heart of Europe and the other countries are by and large non-entities .

      The whole system of transfer payments from the UK and Germany to France , the latin countries and most of the FSU countries will be never ending .

      All the transfer payments to Latin countries do is enable them to perpetuate the corruption which means nothing happens over there because every wheel has to be greased .

      Perhaps the UK and Germany are the pushers of Europe , making the Latin countries totally dependent on handouts so they will never learn to stand up for themselves ?

      In a simmilar way perhaps the same applied to our masters in Brussels and the UK .

      When you look at the illustrious histories of Italy , Greece , and Spain , and our own , it’s sad to see what they have descended into .

      Reply Late 1990s, when we became against the Euro in principle and went on as a party to vote against Nice, Amsterdam and Lisbon on 3 line whips.

      • A different Simon
        Posted September 22, 2013 at 7:44 am | Permalink

        Thanks for the reply .

        Things always look simpler from the comfort of ones living room , whether it be football or anything else .

        I’m sure that unless one is involved hands on like cabinet ministers and influential backbenchers one cannot appreciate the complexities .

        Euro-sceptics should perhaps take some inspiration from the UK shale gas pioneers .

        Up until very recently the proposal to extract hydrocarbons from shale would have been consigned to the “too difficult” bin – it’s honest work rather than the easy money and the juggernaut of policy was accelerating in the other direction .

        Now , thanks to the persistence and hard work of the few it is getting a fair crack of the whip .

    • APL
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

      JR: “The modern Conservative party is a Eurosceptic party .. ”

      Oh no it isn’t!

    • Wireworm
      Posted September 22, 2013 at 2:59 am | Permalink

      Even if the House of Commons were to become Eurosceptic, there would still be the problem of the ‘pouvoir’, that is to say, the unseen and informal alliance between the highest levels of the City, the FCO and the BBC. This is who Cameron represents so faithfully, having, as Charles Moore once pointed out, had every door opened to him since adolescence. Factor in Eton and Oxford (pity about the Guards) and you have the perfect avatar.

  6. Richard1
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 7:56 am | Permalink

    There is no-one in UKIP other than Mr Farage who is even semi-articulate. Their conference was a farce. Anyone who wants a renegotiated EU deal or to get out of the EU needs to vote to get a majority Conservative govt, in spite of the wind farms, overseas aid etc. Today’s poll has the Tories and Labour each on 36%. Thanks to the LibDems’ contempt for democracy and treachery on the coalition deal, that continues to mean a Labour govt with a large majority. There will then be: no referendum, even more taxes, wind farms and other rubbish, and perhaps a further attempt to gerrymander the voting system to ensure a right-wing govt can never again be elected.

    Reply On current polling the choice of the next election is clear – do you want a majority Labour government, or will the Eurosceptics come together to vote for a Conservative government that will renegotiate and give us all an In/out referendum. Purists who simply want out and like UKIP would end up deeper in the EU with a Labour government that had no intention of getting a new relationship and no wish for people to have the right to vote Out.

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:18 am | Permalink

      There is the small matter of total lack of trust in your leader.

      • Douglas Carter
        Posted September 21, 2013 at 9:27 am | Permalink

        Exactly – this is the core problem of the matter.

        It would be easy to rake up a ream of comments Mr. Cameron has made with regard to how he sees EU membership as so important to the UK – it would be academic to quote them – no doubt, Mr. Redwood, you’re only too aware of these historic comments.

        The nature of the suspicion with which this Referendum is viewed is well encapsulated in your own piece in The Times recently when you noted that the review of EU competences currently in process begins with the loaded qualifier that EU membership is in British interests. It would be interesting to hear that you had been awarded a satisfactory reply on the matter.

        But Mr. Cameron’s stance is also based on the notion that outside the EU the UK has ‘no influence’ over trade, trading standards and on single market policy, which has been questioned very successfully by researchers elsewhere. Those findings elsewhere have not been subjected to peer-reviewed scrutiny; their work simply goes unacknowledged.

        Thus far John, it would seem to me that the promised referendum is only a symbolic Totem for Cameron – very pertinent questions are being asked on its nature and those questions – not least some of your own, go openly evaded.

        If Mr. Cameron wants the EUsceptic movement to subscribe to his own referendum policy, he seems extremely reticent to answer questions with regard to its legion flaws? Can you blame people for that suspicion?

      • Sean O'Hare
        Posted September 21, 2013 at 3:59 pm | Permalink

        There is also the small matter of the impossibility of re-negotiation without invoking Article 5o of the Lisbon Treaty. That the Conservatives won’t do of course because it means giving notice of our departure.

    • Mike Stallard
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:23 am | Permalink

      The whole problem, as Mr Farage says, is that Mr Cameron is not trusted to get us out of Europe ASAP. You only have to look at his actions on TV to see that he is completely at home in the European set up and that he has absolutely no intention of leaving. Mr Hague, similarly, has none either – I think. He doesn’t say an awful lot. Then there is the pressure of all the people who want to keep their jobs and to keep things as they are at the moment (see Dan Hannan’s blog).

      So UKIP is our only hope.

      PS Allow me to recommend Roger Helmer’s blog.

      • JoeSoap
        Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:32 am | Permalink

        Totally agree. Mr Redwood’s idea of a Eurosceptic Conservative party is more of a dream than UKIP in power. Get real, it’s going to be 5 more years of Labour to wreck us again, THEN bounce back with a decent Tory government or UKIP forcing its hand, and Cameron/Hague out of the picture.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply:
      Sometimes you have to reach rock bottom to bounce back. Brown, it is reported today, feared that he would need to impose a curfew and troops on the streets in 2008. A pity it didn’t happen. That would have found the bottom, and we’d have bounced back more successfully than your party has managed, with Labour discredited for a generation.
      So perhaps we need to go there again, Labour spending and borrowing even more than your lot, going bust, troops on the streets etc. rather than continue in this rather sclerotic way for another 5 years under your lot.

      • A different Simon
        Posted September 21, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

        Joesoap ,

        There is something in what you say .

        I heard via a spook that the home office and security forces (in the UK and elsewhere) were paranoid about the prospect of civil unrest around this time .

        Even they are amazed at how much crap the populace will take . As a nation it appears we don’t have it in us anymore .

        I think UK politicians are tempted to establish a managed command and control economy like China but they are deluding themselves by thinking they are anywhere near as competent as their counterparts in China .

      • Bazman
        Posted September 21, 2013 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

        Are you living in a dream world? A small point you seem to forget is that Labours spending and borrowing did not cause the financial crisis. Though you would like the blame to lie with the poor welfare payouts it was caused by the banks.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 10:03 am | Permalink

      Comment on Reply–The best, indeed it seems to me only, realistic way that EUsceptics might come together is joint candidates. Somehow I missed the early discussions on this. Could you comment on its genesis please? Presumably there was a reason or trigger for this change in electoral law?? Are you aware of any likely joint candidatures??? I cannot begin to see any objection to the idea because of course if an electorate doesn’t like the idea there is not the slightest compulsion to vote that or any other way.

    • zorro
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 11:32 am | Permalink

      Yes John, but Cameron has a credibility problem…..very unfortunate.

      zorro

    • libertarian
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      JR

      Let me answer your question. As a businessman I want out of the EU, I didn’t want a rise in VAT, UBR , MIn wage, AWD, IR35, WTD, I didn’t want banks bailed out, QE, zero interest rates, and most of all I didn’t want a laughable green scam that has made our energy costs amongst the highest there is. I DID GET ALL of THAT from the Conservative Party. So I couldn’t care less whether Tories or labour win the next election as your policies are identical

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:01 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply.

      “Vote UKIP and get Labour” seems to be the only thing in the Tory bag.

      I for one cannot bear the thought of voting for Mr Cameron.

      • Leslie Singleton
        Posted September 21, 2013 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

        Anon–I for two totally agree with you

  7. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:09 am | Permalink

    Your UKIP may offer a clear populist choice on Europe and on immigration, but abusive language and imagery has been for so long the hallmark of its grabbing headlines, that it will take more than a damp rag to clean up its image into “respectability”.
    Populist parties have their place in democracy nowadays, at least on the continent. It remains a pity that under the UK FPTP system, UKIP will continue to be at a huge disadvantage to represent its followers in parliament.

    • Posted September 21, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

      UKIP has no intention of doing anything much about immigration: they just make marginally more noise about the subject than the Labour and Tory parties. If Labour, Tories or UKIP had a grain of honesty, they’d tell us what the big advantage is for the UK of (much more immigration ed)

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 21, 2013 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        @Ralph Musgrave: If UKIP makes the UK leave the EU, there will be far more scope to limit immigration. Like you, I believe there are real benefits from immigration if organised with proper safeguards for the non immigrant workers.

      • A different Simon
        Posted September 22, 2013 at 7:55 am | Permalink

        Ralph Musgrave ,

        Luring the smartest people and go-getters from emerging nations and simultaneously ensuring a flight of human capital from those potential competitors is indeed to the U.K.’s advantage .

        However , what about people like my Brother-In-Law who is only qualified to do jobs in catering ?

        He can’t even get a job in that industry anymore because the employers and individual hotels (tend to employ recently arrived migrants ed) .

        My Sister and his family and their children have only been able to keep hold of their house thanks to the ability of the rest of the family to help them .

        The job in hotels wasn’t much infact it was literally slavery at times with illegal holiday allowances permanently being on call but for someone prepared to work hard it payed more than the minimum wage – or it did back then .

        You might not have experienced the disadvantages of immigration yourself but the poor have suffered terribly .

    • libertarian
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      Peter don’t always believe what you read in the press.

      Care to comment on the fact that the Nederlands have abandoned the welfare state?

      http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/dutch-king-willemalexander-declares-the-end-of-the-welfare-state-8822421.html

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 21, 2013 at 10:19 pm | Permalink

        @libertarian: It’s not about believing what I read in the press but having heard and seen them myself, using abusive language through the years.

        About your “welfare state” question: this will be a very gradual process. It will about finding creative solutions when it is clear that costs will keep rising otherwise. Take e.g. care for the elderly, after pilot schemes, there will now be more “appeal” on family members to participate in this care on a volunteer basis. Caring for children of working mothers can also be cheaper if it is more organised on a community basis rather than just by the state. I’ve mentioned before that the Dutch word for “society” is “living together”, so one could imagine a gradual change in culture in which neighbour services on a modern footing will emerge. Think longterm for this, just like the Dutch cycling culture took shape over decades.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 22, 2013 at 2:41 pm | Permalink

          So Peter

          What you and the Dutch government are now saying is that you agree with Margaret Thatcher about how the community should take care of itself and not the state. Interesting.

          Just how many UKIP members do you know and how many have you met ?

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted September 22, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian: If you think this is like what Thatcher wanted I give up on you; remaking a fabric is different from tearing it apart.
            Only few UKIP members make the headlines and for a UKIP image that’s all we need to see, even if there are better people working in the background.

          • libertarian
            Posted September 22, 2013 at 9:26 pm | Permalink

            Sorry I thought you were aware of our political parties and speeches. Its exactly what Thatcher outlined in her there is no such thing as A society only a community of people.

            I couldn’t care less if you give up on me or not, I don’t need or want your support

          • Peter van Leeuwen
            Posted September 23, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Permalink

            @libertarian: A soundbite is not a policy. Thantcher’s policy on “society” couldn’t be more different from that of the Dutch government.

        • Lindsay McDougall
          Posted September 26, 2013 at 2:28 pm | Permalink

          The problem is that when you perceive a long term problem and recommend action, or even a choice of actions, to deal with it, you get criticised from all sides. It is estimated that the number of over 65s in the UK will have risen by a third by 2030. Unless taxes are to go through the roof, expenditure per capita on them will have to go down.

          I have advocated several solutions to the problem. Whenever I do, I get called callous. But none of my critics has answers. It needs to be dealt with progressively, starting now.

    • Anonymous
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:21 pm | Permalink

      Abusive language has most certainly NOT been the hallmark of UKIP. The left wing media and all main parties have been waiting for something to pounce on and here it is.

      Mr Bloom was very silly to behave this way but one foolish comment has been taken completely out of it’s original context and his loss of temper over a pamphlet was after much intense pressure over the former.

      That said he has to go. Nigel Farage says he has to go.

      There have been loons far worse than Mr Bloom in every party. Would you like me to list them and their antics ?

      How nice of you to deign that we little people should have ‘populist’ parties to sate our desire for a voice to represent us in politics. UKIP won’t be a disadvantage because of the FPTP system. If it leads to the demise of the present fake Tory party it might set the way for a real one.

      • Peter van Leeuwen
        Posted September 21, 2013 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

        @Anonymous: I beg to differ, having heard and seen several UKIP members over the years, thanks to internet and recorded EP debates. Populist parties aren’t just for “little people”, and if I don’t like these parties, that is my free choice. But that UKIP has not a single seat in the H.o.C after 20 years of trying and having real support for its policies is a real distortion of democracy and it perplexes me that you cannot see that.

        • Anonymous
          Posted September 23, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

          If by ‘abusive’ you mean critical of EU politicians rather than being racially abusive then I might agree.

          There is nothing wrong with robust addresses in politics.

          That UKIP hasn’t won a seat is down to the fact that the British are a moderate people and their chosen ‘populist’ press is moderate too – this despite frequent claims that The Daily Mail, The Sun and The Express are somehow radical and extreme. If you think that UKIP is nowhere then the far right BNP is non-existent.

          The people cannot be trusted – it seems – to not ‘lurch’ to the far right and yet the evidence shows us otherwise. No. The problem is actually with those of a Leftist disposition who cannot bear the public to veer away from the centre left – and so everything is micro-managed and the very language of debate is monopolised controlled so that ‘abusive’ comes to encompass any sort of robust dissent.

          I’ll believe it’s ‘abusive’ language when we have a UKIP MEP ejected from the debating chamber.

          I find myself censored on this site for perfectly reasonable statements – conservative in tone. Yet I understand why. It seems to me that we have come to a pass whereby it is illegal to express conservative opinion. So what place a Conservative party in the modern scheme ?

          UKIP is not a serious prospect – but the rejection of the fake Conservative party most definitely is. For you to disparage UKIP is to miss the point. It provides us with the ‘none of the above’ option that we should have on our voting slips – with the added bonus that it gives some indication of my political inclinations. And the more we are patronised the more we are likely to use it.

  8. Bryan
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:17 am | Permalink

    Despite the anti-UKIP vitriol in the media (of which The Mail today is an example) the UKIP vote at the next General Election will ensure a healthy Labour majority.

    Mr Cameron’s love-in with Mr Clegg continues to ensure that outcome despite Mr Milliband’s lack of appeal.

  9. JoeSoap
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Yes, it is easy to discredit the tactics of a new party, and run them down because they only had whatever small percentage of the vote applies at any particular time. These are meaningless arguments, like arguing that because most people at one time thought the earth was flat that it must be.

    I DON’T CARE.

    1 UKIP hasn’t promised us referenda that never happen, and try to BS us with weasel words about future referenda, as has Lib Lab and Con.
    2 UKIP hasn’t worked up a massive debt like Labour, and carried on racking it up further like the Con Lib coalition.
    3 UKIP hasn’t had uncontrolled immigration like Labour, then failed to tackle it in any realistic way (signs on the side of vans kind of don’t cut it, do they?).
    4 UKIP hasn’t dramatically cut the standard of living of working people and pensioners by printing money, like the 3 main parties.

    UKIP is the only part which will tackle these issues, and if it takes a UKIP-Labour or UKIP-Tory coalition to make a start on the way up so be it. If it takes another 10 years, so be it. At some stage, all these issues need tackling by able men, not the weaklings of the past 20 years, from Major on.

    Reply And what exactly have the 13 now 9 UKIP MEPs achieved to make the UK more self governing and give us a choice?

    • GrahamC
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:39 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply.

      Am what precisely have the Conservative block done to achieve the same thing?

      • Mike Wilson
        Posted September 21, 2013 at 9:02 am | Permalink

        Indeed. What have all governments – Labour and Tory – done to make us nore self-governing since joining the EU. It is an absurd question from Mr. Redwood – the nature of the beast is that all the countries become continously less self-governing. All you can do if fight it.

        And at least when Nigel stands up, Barruso and Van Rumpoy know what’s coming – criticism of their grand plan to remove democracy from Europe.

    • JoeSoap
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:41 am | Permalink

      Reply to reply
      As I say, Aristotle had little support in proposing that the earth was a sphere, not flat, at the time. He was however right in the end, and isn’t it better to vote for his plan than continuing with the Flat earth society? Debt has to be repaid, peoples have to be self-governing, politicians can be honest, even if a little too honest at times!

      • uanime5
        Posted September 21, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

        When did Aristotle ever have a problem trying to prove the earth was a sphere? You do realise that no one ever believed the earth was flat and there’s evidence from the Medieval period that people knew the earth was round.

    • peter davies
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 2:09 pm | Permalink

      The problem with your rationale is that the longer we stay in the EU mess, the more people will get used to it and find it acceptable and worse still, the more dependent on EU institutions rather than running things themselves our political elite and their “yes minister” civil servants will become.

      UKIP need to selectively target seats they think they can win with federalist incumbents and use the Euro skeptic Tory or even Labour MPs as leverage.

  10. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:39 am | Permalink

    Interesting to see you spending so much time looking into UKIP affairs. Was that one of Crosby’s ideas at Thursday’s away day? You cannot deny that there rise in popularity since the last election has put the wind up your party. Many of the policies they espouse are what people want. We are tired of the three main parties in Westminster, aided and abetted by their pals in the media, peddling slight variations on the same policies. I stopped supporting your party when you analysed so clearly for us Osborne’s budgets in 2010/11. That showed me that we had been conned by your leaders. You may all try and ignore the deficit and the debt but when you take your heads out of the sand they will still be there. It isn’t good enough for you and your party to say that if I vote UKIP we shall have a Labour government. How about a positive message? Difficult, I know, when you have a leadership which isn’t trusted and you adopt policies which we don’t want.

    Reply As it has been UKIP’s conference I am giving UKIP supporters some publicity. I did the same for the Lib Dems, and will move onto Labour tomorrow. It is nothing to do with Mr Crosby!

    • Brian Tomkinson
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:40 am | Permalink

      Sorry for putting ‘there’ instead of ‘their’

  11. Mike Wilson
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    AOL have a poll on the home page of their web site every day. A few days ago the question was; ‘How do you intend to vote in the 2015 election?’

    Over 10,000 people responded. What the demographics of AOL users are … who knows. A fairly broad representation of society I would think.

    37% said they intended to vote UKIP.

    How many that will be after the media circus at their conference yesterday is anyone’s guess. Hopefully it will fade into insignificance in time.

    Next January it seems likely a new wave of immigration will occur – into an already very over croweded country with a housing crisis (a housing crisis the present government has done NOTHING about). At which point UKIP will soar in the polls and very likely win the EU elections outright.

    This should, at last, send a very clear signal to LibLabCon that, at the very least, a very significant percentage of people have had enough of the EU. (Another £174 million on new offices is the latest wheeze. Still, what the hell, we can afford it eh? Just borrow a bit more all round.) But it won’t. LibLabCon will continue to treat us with contempt and carry on regardless. As long as Farage can keep oafs away from the cameras and makes all his people show iron discipline in the face of the determined attempt by the media (all the media, every paper and TV station) to bring UKIP down (the media show no interest in debating policy of course) – 2015 will be a very interesting election.

    Even in your constituency Mr. Redwood, I think you might be very surprised how many people will vote UKIP if a credible candidate is put up. I know I will.

  12. Acorn
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 9:08 am | Permalink

    Don’t be too hasty JR, it is not out of the question for the Conservatives to have to have a pre-election alliance with UKIP. I am not saying a “joint ticket” but constituency based strategic withdrawal of candidates. Another Con/Lib Dem coalition will implode the Conservative Party. A Labour Lib Dem coalition is more likely and more natural politically, in 2015. I may be wrong but, I am not seeing a Conservative overall majority at the moment; hence, no EU referendum this decade at least. I may have wagered in haste.

    Anyway, I am getting so excited about next years Euro Elections aren’t you? Only 243 days to go. ;-) .

  13. Posted September 21, 2013 at 9:38 am | Permalink

    What a hoo-ha about Godfrey Bloom’s use of the word “sluts”. Naturally, political opponents of UKIP, supporters of political correctness and media hacks keen to stir up feelings to enhance their own image have leapt on the words to claim offence has been given to the world at large and UKIP has turned into the nasty party (or is it the fruitcake party?)

    Those more senior in years and perhaps more mature in judgment will remember that before the current wave of attempts to change the meaning of words like ‘marriage’,
    sluttish behaviour was more often used to describe poor housekeeping efforts and a propensity to smoke in the street while wearing bedroom slippers!

    Perhaps those who claim to be offended by the use of such a word should be asked how much they are offended by the murder of thousands of babies each year in abortion clinics (a matter fully supported by senior members of Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties) and the recent decision of the head of CPS that it was not in the public interest to prosecute doctors offering abortion on the grounds of the sex of the baby, despite it being against the current law.

    John Wrake.

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 22, 2013 at 12:46 am | Permalink

      John Wrake ,

      By any chance did you hear about the changes to abortion laws in Victoria Australia ?

      The state assembly held a conscience vote on removing the right of medics to conscienciously object to being co-opted into participating in the procedure .

      There is no requirement to administer pain relieve before dismembering a foetus – that would humanise it – yet pain relief would have to be administered in the case of experimentation on an animal embryo .

      If the baby is born alive due to a failed abortion there is requirement for it to be given medical support .

      I don’t think a “pro-choice” position can ever be logically consistent unless it includes a willingness to extend the legal limit beyond 9 months .

      • A different Simon
        Posted September 22, 2013 at 12:47 am | Permalink

        typo : is NO requirement

  14. A.Sedgwick
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Cameron has bust the Conservative Party. Membership figures were flushed out of Central Office as rumour had it they were worse than the approx. halving under DC’s tenure. Cameron is not a Eurosceptic. A genuine Eurosceptic would not have given the store away to Clegg, for which many of us old school Conservatives will never forgive. Cameron has no hope of renegotiating any meaningful revision of our terms, even if he genuinely wanted to, because that would effectively be the end of our membership or the EU. Barroso, Van Rumpuy and Ashton are splendid examples of the organisation’s culture.

    You and say 50 of your backbench fellows may wish to continue to bury your heads in the sand but Cameron has made a very basic mistake by trying to turn the Conservative Party into a Liberal Party. Members of a Golf Club don’t want the fairways covered in lines and goal posts.

    The percentages you mention and I highlighted recently show how undemocratic and indefensible our electoral system is. NF is an MEP and part of the UKIP strategy is to win the European Elections and more Council seats – he has enough on his plate until then. Your time I suggest was a little less preoccupied in 1985.

    For many of us there are currently two voting options: UKIP or NOTA.

    As regards the loss of some UKIP members, which I am not, the antics of the three main political parties over the years make more interesting reading.

  15. Atlas
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 9:49 am | Permalink

    John,

    In regard to yesterday’s UKIP meeting:

    Good policies – shame about some its elected representatives. In particular, I believe their In/Out referendum pledge.

    Unfortunately for the Conservative party I simply do not trust the present leadership in their In/Out Referendum pledge. I also think some of IDS’s policies smack of the nasty party.

    As somebody who is now a floating voter (I’m not a UKIP troll) this is a problem for the Conservatives. By the way, the ‘vote UKIP get Labour’ slogun may be correct but I no longer care, as I want my opinions expressed in the ballot box.

  16. Lifelogic
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 9:52 am | Permalink

    The elections system for MPs clearly restrict voters hugely. It is more a case of voting to stop someone than voting for someone. In the MEP vote voters can express their true opinion as it is only a very expensive powerless talking shop and fake democratic veneer for the EU.

    I suspect UKIP will beat Cameron in votes in May 14 despite the BBCs best efforts. No one could expect UKIP to do a deal with Cameron he is simply not trustworthy on anything and at all as he has proved anyway he clearly does not want one. He prefers to bury the Tory party again in the John Major style.

    A labour majority is the overwhelmingly most likely outcome with No Overall Majority we will surely have a Labour Libdem Coalition unless the numbers are too tight for Labour as now. Miliband will not be much worse than Cameron he will be largely the same – dreadful. And at least he saved Cameron over this Syria warmongering thank goodness.
    Current Odds,
    Labour 5/4 – 41% chance
    No Overall Majority 6/4 – 32% chance
    Conservatives 3/1 – 21% chance

    Without some huge change of position by Cameron such as a complete brain and direction compass transplant. A huge change of direction on the EU, on quack energy, AGW religion and over tax borrow and waste – I cannot see they have much chance at all.

    Perhaps 21% is a bit low as some event might shift the odds but he is surely dead in the water without some Falklands type of event.

    The boundaries are against them, Cameron’s word is totally valueless, UKIP will hit them far harder than Labour, the are crippled by the Libdems on policy (thanks of course entirely to Cameron) and no one can replace Cameron to any benefit at this stage nor is there anyone suitable who could command support from the rabble of Ken Clark type of lefties in the party.

  17. Martin Ryder
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    I am not a UKIP supporter but will be voting for them in 2014, as this is the only way that I can express my wish to leave the EU. Though my vote will be lost amongst millions of others at least it will be out in the open where it can be counted as a vote against the evil empire. A vote for the Conservative party will be seen as a vote for the EU, whilst Mr Cameron remains the party’s leader.

    May 2015 is another matter. I consider that the Conservative Party, with all of its very many faults, is still the best of a bad bunch. Even Mr Cameron, who is such a disappointment, is not as bad as Mr Miliband or Mr Clegg. I do not consider that UKIP, with or without Mr Farage, could govern the UK. Who would be the Chancellor, the Foreign Secretary, etc?

    May 2015 is going to be an interesting time. It is my duty to vote but I may have to do it with my fingers over my nose.

  18. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    UKIP clearly plans to advance on a broad front, gaining at each election.

    I doubt that they will be given the time. If the IN/OUT referendum does not happen and the Lisbon “Treaty” remains in place, I fear for the remaining vestiges of independence that the UK still retains. Pressure to join the Euro will build and the European Court will continue to rule in favour of the EC and against Member States whenever a dispute about the rights of Member States arises. There will be a never ending steam of Directives to “complete the Single Market”. [It was more complete in 1987] Herr von Rumpey Pumpey and Baroness What’s-her-name will be replaced by more substantial figures who will expect to be obeyed.

    UKIP’s energies in 2015 would best be deployed ensuring that all Europhile Conservative candidates are defeated. Why doesn’t Nigel Farage stand against Kenneth Clarke? Or perhaps Damian Hinds, heir to Michael Mates and closer to Mr Farage’s base.

  19. Geoffm
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Its going to be poverty, perceived or otherwise that is going to decide the o/c of the next election.
    There are two winters to overcome before the g/e and already this year BG have announced an increase in the their price of gas by £100 the others will follow,(night and day).
    Those dreaded words “Fuel Poverty” will not be combated by telling the energy producers to tinker around with their prices, someone with a pair has to get a grip and abolish the Climate Change Act to save this country. Milli will not abolish the CCA as its his bill in the first place.
    Do UKIP have a policy on fuel poverty yes, well sort of.
    So that leaves DC to sort out the mess before the g/e, if he feels like facing another 5 years as the PM.

    Mr R you have blogged before about the damage being done to business by these ridiculous energy prices and the hindrance punitive taxes are doing to business, so there’s no need to go over that one again.
    Any chance of a blog about Article 50 please?

    Reply There are just 2 things to say about as I have often said before. It would get us out, but Parliament has n o majority to vote for it.

  20. Neil Craig
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 10:58 am | Permalink

    Presumably you also say the Tories “have said they are going to fight all the seats at the General Election. That means there is no deal to be done between the Conservatives and UKIP”

    I think that is wrong. having an initial position should not preclude one altering it as part of a deal – indeed that is what the Coalition members did.

    I suspect that if the Tories did not have the carrot of ministerial preferment and an electoral system that works in your favour you would have lost more members than us. That you have one MP who said he would rather have “a tramp off the street” than David Cameron as PM and he remains in the party supports that.

    The “other parties” are essentially without members. The media will promote them for obvious reasons but nobody takes them seriously.

    If I were privy to what our tactics will be I obviously could not speak but since I am not I can say we should just try to persuade as many people as possible and let the chips fall where they will. If we get 25% we may struggle to get 1 seat. If we get 35% we will have an overall majority. If the Tory tactic is to try and bully the electorate with this corrupt electoral system it may have the opposite effect. You may persuade anybody who believes in either democracy or British fair play that they should vote to get rid of the political bullies.

    However the most remarkable thing about your article was that you did not suggest ANY policy which should persuade people to vote for your party rather than UKIP. On ALL the significant policy issues (the EU, immigration, fuel poverty-catastrophic warming-ending recession, PR, popular right to referenda, support of technological progress, cutting the deficit etc etc) I suggest our policies are both correct and more popular (I even think you John, unofficially, agree with that). And we are seen as believing what we say and not breaking “cast iron” promises.

    If the only argument the Tories have for people voting for them is that they support a corrupt electoral system and it supports them I suggest they are intellectually bankrupt and ought, in the nation’s interest, to lose.

  21. Peter Stroud
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Clearly Cameron and his cabinet would do worse than return to the clear Euroscepticism that was evident, when the party was in opposition. They are leading a largely Eurosceptic rank and file membership, and it seems that there is a majority of back benchers who favour UKIP’s EU polices. Though I am not sure of this. Furthermore, I guess that the majority of voters of every, or no political persuasion, are sympathetic to UKIP’s ideas on immigration, at the very least.

    Cameron is no longer the man whose political ideas encouraged me, and no doubt many others, to rejoin the Tory Party. In fact I really do not know what he thinks about many important aspects. But his declared wish to remain in the EU, if at all possible, worries me a lot.

  22. zorro
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    John, what sort of things did you discuss at the away day, or are you sworn to secrecy?

    zorro

  23. Bob
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    Despite the rhetoric we all know from bitter experience that there is no difference in practice between LibLabCon.

    The Tory Party are splitting the conservative vote, and as the saying goes, in order to make an omelette you need to break some eggs. So, it follows that the Tory Party needs to be demolished to make room for a new party of conservatives (aka UKIP).

    You are a fantastic MP John, but I’m afraid that your party are letting you down.
    It makes me sad, but alas the Tories are no longer fit to govern.

  24. lifelogic
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

    I cannot help but think that the misnamed “bedroom tax” is (as the poll tax did) going to become a large political disaster. Perhaps taking Cameron below a 20% chance. I suspect with all the legal aid, the challenges and transitional arrangements it will not save much in the end anyway either.

    Even if it is right in principal.

    • zorro
      Posted September 21, 2013 at 9:50 pm | Permalink

      Lots of things seem sensible in principle, but are politically disadvantageous to implement in practice….

      zorro

  25. Phil Ray
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

    The UKIP strategy is very clear to me as and that is slow and steady wins the race.

    UKIP need to make continual improvements at every level of the organisation and use elections (at every level) to gauge their success in doing so. There is a huge amount of work to be done and it will take a bit of time, the Wokingham Branch for example was only re-established in July of this year.

    Polls showing UKIP on 20%, 10% etc… are pointless if come election day voters are unable to vote for the party they support. It is imperative that UKIP is always on the ballot paper. In the 2010 local elections for Wokingham UKIPs share of the vote ranged from 5% to 15% in the wards contested, unfortunately only half the wards were contested meaning our overall share of the vote was about 4% and many potential UKIP voters were disenfranchised. This needs to be fixed even if in the short term it means paper candidates or candidates “parachuted” in at the last minute.

    In the 2015 general election if UKIP don’t contest every seat it will be difficult to gauge public opinion for exiting the EU as UKIP is the only mainstream party committed to doing so. In fact if there is an upsurge in support for the Conservative party in the 2015 election it would indicate, surely, that the public at large are in favour of the Conservative parties commitment to remain in the EU and stand full square behind your leaders statement to fight tooth and nail to make this happen.

    I was unable to attend the UKIP conference but have seen some of the presentations on-line, it is good to see impressive new members such as Patrick O’Flynn being given more prominence.

    Your post was the first I have heard of the “We demand a referendum party” however as a single issue party I would suggest that they will find it difficult to gain traction in our first past the post electoral system. Are you thinking of joining them? Your profile, experience and expertise would lend them instant credibility and you might feel more fulfilled lending you energies to a party dedicated to exiting the EU rather than a party whose leaders are dedicated to remaining within it.

    • David Price
      Posted September 22, 2013 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

      If a ward is not due for elections how can those voters possibly be considered disenfranchised? In the 2012 elections UKIP got 5.4% standing in 8 of the 17 wards up for elections, all the candidates, including UKIP had an equal chance didn’t they yet UKIP did not win any seats, or are you suggesting something else?

      BTW The WDAFP was launched over a year ago by Nicki Sinclair the UKIP MEP who left UKIP so noisily. How can you have not heard about losing one of your few active politicians?

      The UKIP strategy has changed from getting UK out of the EU to merely getting in to power, they are now no different from any other political club and despite many years as UK representatives in the EP have done nothing for the UK. By his actions Farage has demonstrated he prefers his EU gravy train more than focusing on canvasing in the UK and working to get us out. The evidence for concrete benefits to the UK is not on Farage’s side, in fact all the evidence is that he and UKIP will actively support a Labour government getting in to power regardless of the consequences to this country, UKIP supporters have said as much many times on this blog.

      So, by their actions UKIP are effectively supporting Labour and the LibDems and no more trustworthy than anyone else.

      • Phil Ray
        Posted September 22, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Permalink

        Thank you for making my point for me. In the 2012 Wokingham council elections you quite rightly state that overall UKIPs share of the vote was 5.4% but in the 8 wards where we had a candidate standing UKIPs percentage of the vote ranged from 5% to 16%. Potential UKIP voters in the wards where we did not field a candidate couldn’t vote UKIP; this is unacceptable and is a priority for the party to fix. Our membership is now over 30,00 and growing, we need to get these new members (myself included) active at a local level and to have the confidence to stand as candidates in elections.

        John and yourself appear to be suggesting that people like me should give up before we get started and not field candidates so as to make the life of Conservative candidates easier come elections; well sorry but I disagree, let the voters decide from a broad range of candidates.

        Here is a suggestion, how about the Conservative party doesn’t field candidates at the 2015 General Election in the 30 or so Labour constituencies with Eurosceptic MPs who have voted against their party on European issues? If you did this you could prove yourselves a Eurosceptic party and claim the moral high ground on this point.

        Take your point re Nicki Sinclair but I’m completely focussed on what I can do to help UKIP succeed at the local level now and in the future, worrying about what previous members are up to now would be a distraction; I’ve no idea what Robert Kilroy Silk is doing these days for example.

        Nigel is extremely active in supporting local campaigns, probably far more so than your leader. When did David Cameron last attend an open public meeting? More interested in focus groups I suspect.

        I don’t understand your last paragraph, of course the last 20 years has shown that not having power means all we can do is shout from the sidelines. That is what needs to be fixed from the local level up.

        • David Price
          Posted September 23, 2013 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

          You claimed voters were disenfranchised (ie deprived of a vote), you have not explained how these voters were prevented from voting or even voting for specific candidates.

          I don’t suggest you give up, I am suggesting that in line with past comments on this blog from apparent UKIP supporters that the clear UKIP goal is to sabotage the prospects of a Conservative majority.

          Over the last 20 years UKIP has had political representation in the EP. It is not clear to me exactly what they have done with it, nor what benefit they have brought the UK despite the enormous amount of money they have cost.

          If UKIP really wish to improve the chances of the UK leaving the EU then they could focus on ousting the LibDems, or even competing with Labour. Instead your party wants to damage the chances of conservatives thereby decreasing the chances of leaving the EU. Doesn’t this dichotomy strike you as being irrational?

          I would like to see the UK out of the EU, I don’t believe that UKIP is going the right way about it and in fact are more likely to prevent that happening. All this while enjoying the EU gravy train. You might want to consider that Mr Farage is as much a liability for your party as Mr Cameron appears to be for the Conservatives.

          • Phil Ray
            Posted September 26, 2013 at 6:03 am | Permalink

            After 13 years of Labour in power and the economy in meltdown, the Conservatives failed to win a clear majority in 2010. You cannot blame people for deciding there might be a need for a new party to take the fight to Labour and the LibDems more effectively.

            I totaly refute and resent accusations that UKIP are Labour shils. Most of the recent by-elections UKIP have fought hardest in recently have been Labour strongholds in the North, Rochdale, Corby etc… Where the Cnservatives are nowhere to be found.

            Then there’s the LibDem stronghold of Eastleigh of course. If the Conservatives had stepped aside there would be one more Eurosceptic MP sitting in the house of commons today!

            Got to support your partners I suppose.

  26. peter davies
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    If as you say there is no deal and their whole purpose is to achieve BREXIT then it seems a rather odd strategy to field candidates in all potential Westminster seats when they are starting from 0 in a FPTP system with no PR.

    Why not pick on say 100 constituencies that are winnable and currently held by a federalist MP and follow the strategy you say of embedding candidates into those communities a couple of years before the GE.

    There are 57 Lib Dem seats for starters, some in areas of the country which must be feeling the effect of Labour/EU policies.

    It seems to me that UKIP are picking the wrong fight to win the war, you would have thought that Eastleigh would have taught them that!

  27. Bert Young
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 3:19 pm | Permalink

    There is no doubt that UKIP suffered a severe body blow yesterday and Farage made a great mistake referring to the Bloom matter in his concluding remarks . If UKIP do contest every seat my view is they will secure a number of MPs ; this result , however marginal , will be at the expense of the Conservatives . If Scotland meanwhile achieves independence ( I hope not ! ) , there will be fewer Labour MPs ; perhaps this co-incidence will be a Conservative advantage and so make the case of UKIP more difficult . The best solution is for the Conservatives to come to a “deal” with UKIP once the outcome of the European elections are out of the way . Cameron and Farage have to overcome their stated positions and put the case of the country first . There is little or no hope of an “In – Out” decision in the life time of this Parliament , so an effective compromise with UKIP has to be achieved within two years . Our position within Europe will be the main plank in the coming election and , if the mood of the country remains the same , it will be won by the party promising to regain our independence as the main issue . Short term nominations for candidates standing for Parliament is not a good idea for all the reasons you have mentioned ; again this points to an early arrangement with UKIP .

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 22, 2013 at 12:53 am | Permalink

      Great post .

      Spot on about ;

      “Cameron and Farage have to overcome their stated positions and put the case of the country first .”

      • David Price
        Posted September 22, 2013 at 1:10 pm | Permalink

        That’s the whole point isn’t it yet neither appear to have done so.

        I would not hold the antics of Bloom against UKIP, I am more concerned with their overall actions and strategy which don’t appear to jibe at all with the goal of getting the best for the UK or out of the current EU.

  28. John Byrne
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    If Cameron were still to be PM after May 2015, I simply and truly don’t believe that we would be given a meaningful referendum on EU membership.
    I think many others believe this too, and it will be the most significant single reason why the Tories will lose the election.

  29. wodge
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 3:34 pm | Permalink

    Wrong to say candidates are not parachuted in .Liz Truss was parachuted in to north west norfolk,dissenters were dubbed turnip taliban!

  30. uanime5
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 3:35 pm | Permalink

    As general elections and European elections use different voting methods you can’t use the result of one election to determine who will win the other election. For example UKIP got the second highest number of MEPs but no MPs. So even if UKIP gets the most MEPs there’s no guarantee that they’ll get the most MPs.

    Also what has UKIP achieved while in the European Parliament?

  31. Neil Craig
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

    My previous post seems to have suffered from some glitch. This largely repeats it:

    John you said “UKIP have said they are going to fight all the seats at the General Election. That means there is no deal to be done between the Conservatives and UKIP”

    But if that were meaningful it would be the Tories, who have always said that, who are refusing to deal. In fact negotiations always take place after each side has said what their ideal is and politics is partly the art of negotiation. Remember that at the last election UKIP offered a deal if the Tories would guarantee a referendum and were rejected. No such easy deal would work now but don’t pretend that UKIP are being intransigent.

    In the council elections we got 22% putting all 3 main parties close. The Tories are clearly preparing for us to push them into 2nd place in the EU elections. Everything is to play for.

    I am not privy to our election tactics or I couldn’t speak but I think, if no deal is on offer, we should simply fight for every vote and let the chips fall where they may. At 25% of the vote we would struggle to get more than a seat but at 35% we would have a majority. This will increasingly show how corrupt our electoral system is.

    I note that in your post you mention no actual policies on which you think the Tories right & we wrong. I suggest that on all our main policies – the EU, immigration, ending fuel poverty & recession through giving up the catastrophic warming lie, popular referendums, PR, supporting technological progress, cutting government spending – we are right and largely more popular too (& I suspect you know it)

    If the Tory tactic is to try to bully people with an openly corrupt FPTP electoral system you may find you are merely offending those who believe in democracy or the British sense of fair play. If the Tories do that, rather than try to fight on the issues, they are intellectually bankrupt and in the country’s interests, do not deserve to win.

  32. john
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Milliband leads the ‘Welfare Party/ Gerrymandering Party’.
    Clegg leads the even more ‘Welfare/Gerrymandering Party’.
    Cameron leads the ‘Going Nowhere Fast Party’.
    And they all love the EU.
    Stuff ‘em

  33. Tom
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    “It would be interesting to hear from UKIP supporters why their MEPs have found it so difficult to stick with them” – we’ve lost a few (like Marta), and gained Tories (like Helmer). Some have been naughty, but so have Tory MEPs (and MPs for that matter)…Those in glass houses John…. Admittedly some bad decisions were made in 2007 in terms of picking candidates. It wont be happening this time round…

    “and what they think of UKIP’s polling analysis.” I was in the Tory party for 16 years and been in UKIP for 2yrs… Have attended many meetings/dinners in both parties – let me just say this: If you want to know where all those Tory voting c1,c2,d folk went – the type that liked the Tebbitts and Thatchers of the world -well, theyve joined UKIP and are not coming back to the Tories…So, does UKIP have a broad appeal, left & right – absolutely…

  34. Tom
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    “What also do they think of the “We demand a referendum party”, with support from former UKIP people? ”

    They will get virtually no where…

    “What did they think of yesterday’s conference, condemned by Mr Farage himself as a failure?” Farage didnt say it was a ‘failure’. Sure, its frustrating to see the media focus on a joke made by one individual (to which all the ladies in the room laughed at – even the journos) but which ‘Miss Faux Offended of Brighton’ condemns as evil and sexist – but we need to take it on the chin and learn that the media are there to make headlines not be nice to us.

  35. Posted September 21, 2013 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Great article Mr Redwood.

    As a UKIP member I am appalled that the leadership has let the attack on Mr Bloom get to them in the way that it did. Are we or are we not a non-politically-correct party?

    In my humble opinion we should keep Ukip in the ‘adolescent’ happy-go-lucky phase that Farage wants to break out of, and take on head-to-head these journalists that want to ignore the politics and focus on political correctness.

    We have nothing to fear from a left-wing independence party such as the ‘I want a referendum party’ or whatever. In the long term they will be our allies, and do a better job at splitting the Labour vote than we ever will.

    I would prefer Ukip to be more like the US tea-party, and stop trying to be some kind of anti-EU alliance, which it will never be with Farage at the helm.

    MD

  36. Dave B
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    Mr Farage has said he intends to stand as a candidate for one of the Kent constituencies at the 2015 general election.

    http://www.express.co.uk/comment/columnists/patrick-o-flynn/398783/Nigel-Farage-will-stand-for-Parliament-in-Kent

    Reply maybe – which one? The point I was making is that if you are serious about wishing to win a seat buy your party is not ahead in the polls etc you surely would need a couple of years to get know your chosen seat and work hard in it.

  37. Dave B
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    I can’t find the polling article you mention on UKIP’s site, but your description seems to refer to two source articles.

    1. Survation’s analysis of where UKIP’s vote comes from. This was based on analysis of published polls, before the May 2013 elections.

    http://survation.com/2013/05/local-elections-2013-seat-projections-too-conservative/

    2. Electoral calculus’ article on seat projections for UKIP.

    http://www.electoralcalculus.co.uk/Analysis_UKIP.html

    Re: UKIP’s highest poll rating.
    This would probably be the 22% they reached with Survation twice in May 2013.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_for_the_next_United_Kingdom_general_election#2013

    UKIP Seat projections.
    Analysis of the results of the May 2013 elections suggested that UKIP would win 10/11 seats, if the results were repeated at a general election.

    http://survation.com/2013/05/ukip-won-in-8-westminster-constituencies-last-thursday/

  38. Dave B
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    “…for the strategy of take off to work, there needs to be some new factor in 2014-15 that did not apply in 2009-10″

    There is. UKIP is now the only party with a credible offer of an EU referendum.

    I know the Conservatives speak of holding a referendum in 2017, but as the majority of the parliamentary Conservative Party, voted against an EU referendum in 2011, this not a credible offer.

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8847123/EU-referendum-how-the-MPs-voted.html

    • David Price
      Posted September 22, 2013 at 1:15 pm | Permalink

      “There is. UKIP is now the only party with a credible offer of an EU referendum.”

      What offer?

      There is nothing stopping UKIP running a referendum, but they haven’t.

  39. Roger Farmer
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

    I think it tactically a mistake to fight the 100 or so Tory and labour MPs who have had the courage to vote against their party whips on membership of the EU and the means of ending the political relationship. Better they concentrate their fire on the cannon fodder MPs who for reasons only they know are prepared to ignore the wishes of the majority of the electorate.
    Don’t get too mislead by polling figures, wait for a real result during the May 2014 European and Local elections. They will be reality. There are too many slanted polls in the market place.
    Anticipate that Cameron will do all he can to see that candidates for General Elections support his view which is sycophantically Europhile.
    We outside the Westminster bubble want our country back whether it be by electing you, my own MP, or UKIP. We are just tired of being lied to.

  40. matthu
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

    Immigration will be the number one issue at the next election. There is talk of pupils going to school 3 days a week! The Conservatives have no answer to that.

    And they are not open to change.

    On immigration. On the climate act. On EU membership.

    Set Point.

  41. david
    Posted September 21, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

    ” The article says that at 16% of the vote – the highwater mark of polls before the recent decline in support – UKIP does most damage to the Conservatives. From 16-25% UKIP damages Labour more. ”
    Perhaps the Tory press should be nicer to UKIP. Or better still give us a free market in politics and introduce PR so new parties can enter the market place, maybe UKIP would be one maybe some other party.

    “A free market does not require the existence of competition, however it does require a framework that allows new market entrants”
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Free_market#Low_barriers_to_entry

  42. Richard
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 8:55 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    Whilst I greatly appreciate your efforts within the Conservative Party to change your party’s views on Europe, and consequently our relationship with Europe, I can no longer vote Conservative (after many, many years) whilst your party leader says that “Britain’s future lies in the EU” and that he will “fight heart and soul for Britain to remain in the EU”.

    This is made all the worse whilst it is still Conservative Party policy to admit Turkey into the EU.

    Whilst the politicians of all main parties continue to say that votes for them show that the majority of the population is pro EU and/or that the issue of Europe is unimportant it leaves me with no option but to vote for UKIP if I wish to register my vote to leave Europe.

    Reply The way to get an In/Out referendum is to vote Conservative

  43. Normandee
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    “and they want all Conservative MPs thrown out of Parliament. That includes those who have sustained the battle against federal treaties, in favour of a referendum and in favour of European Union exit.”

    And what exactly have they achieved ? compared to UKIP since Eastleigh, nothing ! claiming a totally useless promise of a referendum is futile, as regardless of anything you might say, you know it is not going to happen unless Cameron is against a wall with a gun at his head. So stop with the word games, if the conservative mp’s you mention were as serious about getting out of Europe as you estimate, they would have done something more positive than just endless waffling and wringing their hands. As an independant group in Parliament they would have the ability to create serious change, as a powerless splinter of an overwhelmingly pro europe party they are and have proved to be useless.
    We have had this conversation before, change is created by hard work and taking risks, until you and your chums get off your comfy seats and get your hands dirty nothing will change.

    Reply IT has been Conservative MPs who have influenced the PM to veto the Fiscal Treaty for the UK (Lab/Lib Dems would have signed it), pledge a renegotiation and an In/Out referendum when we have a majority and have launched a referendum Bill on the current Parliament. Stop criticising and get behind us!

    • Normandee
      Posted September 22, 2013 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

      Define “us”, Cameron, Clarke, Hague, and the rest who are committed to keeping us in the the EU ? The fiscal treaty was a smoke screen vetoing it made no difference at all to the outcome, we still ended up paying more. What did I say about word games ? The Referendum promise owes more to the pressure from the public via UKIP than anything you have done in parliament. Cameron doesn’t take you seriously because he knows that at heart you will stay in Europe before you vote against the party. You are, like the rest, paralysed with fear that a true anti Europe party might consign your precious social democrat party to the oblivion of opposition for a lifetime, but UKIP have to build, you cannot get a “pret a porter” political party, and if it means putting labour back in power thats what it might take. However a break away group without Cameron aligned with UKIP could get a share of power, enough to make a difference, on their own the social democrats of Cameron et al will just take us down the same road as labour.

      Reply Complete nonsense. The battle for an independent UK is being fought in this Parliament, by Conservatives. We have vetoed the Treaty, cut the budget and are now seeking to legislate for an In/Out referendum. Do try to catch up with what is going on.

  44. Felicity
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 11:55 am | Permalink

    Mr Redwood is indeed correct to surmise that there are big problems in UKIP high command. it is falling apart. Nikki Sinclaire left because (words left out ed) she placed their agenda above all else. That might have been predicted. (personal false allegation left out ed) Marta Andreasen was a far greater asset and she was cheesed off by Farage’s autocratic behaviour and the way he thinks he can promote or fire people at will. He behaves as if he is running a private business, not a political party. There have been so many UKIP councillors sacked at a moment’s notice for saying something supposedly non-PC, that the list of credible MP candidates is shortening all the time.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted September 22, 2013 at 9:06 pm | Permalink

      Actually, Mart Andreasen was forced out (gives a reason I cannot find in any of the coverage – it appears she fell out with Mr Farage and resigned from UKIP attacking his stance on women ed)

  45. Felicity
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 12:00 pm | Permalink

    Regarding a referendum, Cameron will never hold one, and he has already admitted that if he did and the answer was No, he would not honour it – he would stay in the EU.
    So no point in making even that feeble excuse for him.
    How on earth can anyone call themselves a Conservative when they don’t defend this country’s independence, they don’t pay our troops, they don’t defend our way of life from encroachment by alien cultures and they vandalize the institution of marriage?
    I regard Cameron as (culpable ed), not a Conservative. (false allegations deleted ed)

    Reply Mr C has said he thinks he can negotiate a new relationship with the EU that the UK voters will approve. Of course if he cannot we will leave the EU.

  46. Iain Gill
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

    I think the political bubble and metropolitian elite are missing quite a lot of points, and even UKIP themselves are probably underestimating their likely votes…

    I personally wouldnt be surprised to see a UKIP majority government

    • Mike
      Posted September 25, 2013 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

      I’m sure enough to have put a bet on it. Excellent odds too.

      Well worth me devoting a full two months before the GE ( which thankfully we know the date of) to make my campaigning self financing.

  47. Terry
    Posted September 22, 2013 at 4:24 pm | Permalink

    “Reply The way to get an In/Out referendum is to vote Conservative”.

    And in that sentence is the proof of Cameron’s disreputable, ulterior motive. This is blatant electioneering on a grand scale and demonstrates the facade he has built over the threat from UKIP. “Vote for me ’cause I’m the only one who’ll let you have some sort of say when (not if) we return to the EU”. Or “A vote for UKIP is a vote for Labour”. No doubt, Miliband’s lot are preaching something similar. It no longer carries any weight for us.

    I don’t think any of the mainstream parties actually see what is going on here. Voters are sick of the LibLabCon Alliance. It does not matter who gets in, they are all the same, just like an exclusive club.

    All these professional politicians are in it for themselves – that is the perception. We plebs and the Nation do not matter anymore, as long as these people are seated at the top, enjoying their self determined salaries and their hand outs and their oodles of power that goes with the position.
    We people in the back streets have had enough of the lies and the confidence tricksters of Parliament and we will vote for anyone who is not mainstream. We demand change and the only way to get it is via the election box. It does not matter that a particular small party is attacked by the mainstream. Such action will reinforce our beliefs that the mainstream are too self-satisfied and too complacent to care about our own aspirations but they, brutally, seek to squash any possible interference to their cosy set-up.
    Instead of attacking them why do you not adopt their policies? You know, the ones that are actually demanded by the electorate and over ride those tired old cliches of ideas that sway less and less of the public.
    You must know that the Tories have a problem with dodgy Dave as he has fallen well short of expectations and is now seen, to put it politely, as less than honourable. If you and the rest of the backbenchers cannot make him change, then you should be prepared for mayhem in 2015.

    Buying votes with scams like QE and Help to Buy won’t help you but honesty and adhering to the wishes of the citizens, will.

  48. Phil Ray
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    Lets take Reading West as a hypothetical example of a key marginal in 2015. Labour have had their PPC in place for a year now and it appears she means business. Can the Conservatives confidently state that they will retain this seat in 2015? Surely if the answer is no then having another party standing in the constituency that are taking 20% or more of the Labour vote in by-elections in the North might help not hinder your cause no?

  49. M Hayworth
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 8:53 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood would do well to visit the MP Watch pages on the Bruges Groups’ website where he will find the appalling voting records of his fellow Euro-plastic Tories. Yes the thought of a Labour government sends chills down my spine – but when it comes to the EU, the Tories have voted for further integration, far more than both Labour and the Lib Dems combined. The facts are right there for anyone who is tired of the fake anti-EU spin from the party to took us into the EU, ousted Thatcher when she realised the danger, and signed most of the treaties to date.

  50. L Kaye
    Posted December 16, 2013 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

    As an elderly life-long Tory voter I have notice that David Cameron’s Party:
    Cannot be trusted with an election promise of an EU Referendim
    Fails to get a grip on spiraling National Debt
    Done nothing to mitigate rapidly declining living standards
    Lost control of immigration
    Constantly losing battles with EU courts
    Failing to achieve an export led recovery
    Drowning the party and the country with undemocratic EU red tape
    In short the current Government is only a whisker less disasterous than that of the Brown years.
    My father voulunteered in 1939 and won a Militarry Cross fighting tyrany in Europe and I believe there is no greater political imperative today that we again rescue our Country from the madness across the Channel.
    The only chance of my vote and anything like a Conservitive majority in 2015 is to put a full bloodied euro-sceptic – equivcalent to Farage – if not Farage – into Number 10 now with the full support of the Party. Then call the Referendum as soon as possible thereafter.

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  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood has been the Member of Parliament for Wokingham since 1987. First attending Kent College, Canterbury, he graduated from Magdalen College, and has a DPhil from All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has been a director of NM Rothschild merchant bank and chairman of a quoted industrial PLC.
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