Whither UKIP?


I thought it would be unfair to spend a day on both Labour and Lib Dems, and ignore UKIP which polled 3.8 million votes. Today seems a good day to offer our UKIP bloggers a chance to give us their thoughts on their party, as there is suddenly an active and lively public debate within UKIP about the leadership, style and policies of their party.

The first question we would appreciate UKIP views on is the leader. Was the Executive right to ask Mr Farage to tear up his resignation, or are Messrs O Flynn and Wheeler right that UKIP now needs a less contentious and softer voice to take it forward?

Why has Mr Farage proved so incapable of winning a seat in Westminster, even after generating so much coverage for himself?  Was I right to say some time ago that if a party candidate these days wishes to win a seat, they need to move in and show they are committed to a given local community, and empathise with local opinion?  Why did Mr Farage think he could represent Buckingham in 2010 but then switch to Thanet South, a very different place, in 2015? If he carries on where would he stand next time? Why did he come a poor third in Buckingham, with a pro EU independent in second place?

The second question is what is the prime purpose of UKIP now we have elected a government which will give us an In/Out referendum?  As most of UKIP’s distinctive policies are based on getting us out of the EU, the sensible thing for UKIP to do now is to concentrate all its resources and political action on contributing to the Out campaign. If we vote for Out then UKIP’s purpose has been achieved. If the UK votes to stay in then UKIP will have to judge the mood and decide if it accepts the democratic will of the people or not.

The third question is was Mr Carswell right to say UKIP should not accept a large annual sum of public money to run an opposition in the Commons, or was the leadership right to say they should take the money and employ staff with it?

The fourth question is why did UKIP fail to break through in it target seats? Why did some of you tell me I had to switch to UKIP to get elected? Why did Mr Reckless fail to hold his seat? What has UKIP learned from its failure to win a single seat in the election, other than to hold a seat won by a Conservative who defected?






  1. Mark B
    May 15, 2015

    Good morning.

    I think it is more pertinent to ask questions of your own party and its behavior towards UKIP.

    Why was your leader reduced to begging former Tory voters back ?

    Why did the Tory and Labour candidates in South Thanet unite to stop UKIP and NF from getting a seat at Westminster ?

    Why did the Tory party put so much money and effort into Thanet South, to stop UKIP & NF ?

    Why did the Tory dead tree media actively campaign for the Tory party against UKIP ?

    To answer your questions:

    Farage should step down as leader of UKIP and allow fresh people with fresh ideas to take over. He has taken that party as far as it can go.

    To answer the problems of why UKIP cannot transfer its votes into seats like the Lib Dems or Greens can, is because UKIPer’s will not face the simple truth, that their strategy has been all wrong. They have looked to Westminster and Brussels as the answer to our problems and have not grasped that you need to be much broader than that. To that end, it is good to see that UKIP have done well in local council elections and have control over Thanet South council.

    Reply The Conservative party put a lot of effort into Thanet South because it had an excellent Eurosceptic candidate who wants to serve the people of Thanet South well, and the party wanted to win. That surely is the purpose of a political party, to work hard to earn the privilege to serve.

    1. Dame Rita Webb
      May 15, 2015

      To right the spotlight should be on Cameron. We are not allowed to question him on how he conducted himself before he entered politics. From Coulson onwards he has shown a regular lack of judgement. Remember even during the campaign he was quite vocal in pointing out the misdemeanours of a couple UKIP candidates, naively believing his lot were lily white. Then guess what happens a Tory candidate is accused of trying incite a race riot! With this form there are plenty of slip ups to look forward to. JR enjoy the fruits of last week while they last. As you know there is plenty of economic data popping out of America to show that the ZIRP and money printing drugs are not working. While in the meantime the banks have bigger balance sheets and an exposure to derivatives than they did in 2008.

      1. Tad Davison
        May 15, 2015


        The significant point now though, is we’ve got Cameron for another five years, so he couldn’t (care a less ed)what others do. He’s crossed the magical line. He’s marginally less bad than Labour, and that’s about the most praiseworthy thing I can say about him.


      2. Hope
        May 15, 2015

        First sentence JR is at best disingenuous. Last week you could not bring yourself to even mention UKIP even when it was balanced or objective to do so in some of your blogs. To now suggest you are doing so should be seen for what it is. Sadly it is a bit like you writing and saying one thing on the Climate Change Act and HS2 and acting in stark contrast to get elected on the Tory manifesto which you tell us you intend to implement. What did you tell the people of Wokingham to get elected? When will they find out your correct position, in fact, what is it? Will they find out when their energy bills drop through the door? Or did you inform them, like you did last week on this site, you did not vote for the Climate Change Act- knowing you abstained at Parliament and were going to vote for it as part of the Tory manifesto on 8th May?

        The rest of your points are, quite frankly, drivel. How many times has your party or the MSM made disproportionate bias detrimental remarks without balancing it against the pro EU LibLabCon cartel. This is just another boring smear.

        Cameron urged the public to kick him out if he failed to deliver on his key promises he made in 2010. When is he going? Economy, immigration, EU, Lisbon Treaty etc. He and Osborne ridiculed Brown that if he kept spending the UK deficit would be higher than Greece. Five years under Osborne and he has spent so much the UK deficit is higher than Greece! The debt has also doubled, he used funny money ie QE, is this the long-term economic plan Cameron ranted on about last week?

        Perhaps he did not read your blogs that they were not making the spending cuts and should have read the red book as you suggested. Perhaps he should have resigned for the no if or buts about immigration. Resign for failing to implement substantive changes after the MP expenses? etc ed

        Reply All my constituents can read this site and were referred to it in my election leaflets. I have always made clear my support for cheaper energy and my refusal to vote for the Climate change law. I have not changed my mind and have always said that my views here, where they differ from a statement in the national Conservative manifesto, are my views.

        1. Hope
          May 18, 2015

          I think you owe your constituents an apology and a by-election. They could be forgiven from reading this site that you supported key UKIP policies on energy and HS2 to be disappointed to learn, if they ever read the Tory manifesto, that you stood and voted for something completely different!

          You should also have been clear and transparent that you abstained from voting against the Climate a Change Act, demonstrating your lack of conviction against your stronger views on this site. Claiming you did not vote leads the public to think you voted against it, which of course you did not.

          Reply What nonsense. I told my constituents I was against HS2 and voted against it. I was against the Climate Change Act and refused to vote for it. I made this clear then and now, and it is all a matter of record. This website provides my constituents with a detailed output of my views and actions, updated daily!

          1. Hope
            May 19, 2015

            If you voted Tory 11 days ago,and stood as a Tory MP, you voted for HS2 and the Climate Change Act. That is your manifesto. You made it clear on TV you intend to implement the Tory manifesto. You cannot have it both ways even if you would like to.

            Reply Nonsense. My opposition to both is well known and was part of my personal manifesto.

    2. alan jutson
      May 15, 2015


      Thought I heard somewhere that the Conservative candidate was an ex UKIP deputy leader of years past.

      Thus no surprise he is Eurosceptic.

      Wonder how many other ex Ukippers your Party will recruit in the future given the success in South Thanet, proof if any was required that they are not all fruitcakes and loonies.

      Reply Yes he was. I have never said they were.

      1. alan jutson
        May 15, 2015

        to answer your questions John.

        Farage should have remained resigned until the party leadership came up for candidate nomination, then he could have made a sensible choice after having taken some time off.

        Mr Farage gets rather more stick than most leaders because he is willing to meet the people, and so open himself up to abuse, he has not been protected like many other senior politicians, who never seem to meet the electorate, such personal attacks, both verbal and physical, on both himself and his family are bound to lead to stress, hence the reason he should now take some time off, so that he his family and his Party can recover somewhat.

        The stand in leader should have taken over leadership until the new leader (be it her or anyone else) was appointed.
        She is a very capable and acceptable face for UKIP.

        Mr Farage can only contest seats that become available in either by elections or every 5 years at a general election.
        Given he is Party leader he is a plus target for all other Parties and given he is also leader he spends much of his time in other areas.

        The Prime reason for Ukip is to try and get us out of the EU time will tell if your Party actually tries hard at negotiation, or is just prepared to give the appearance of trying and then fudging the question.
        Ukip does have some other good ideas.
        Free University courses for Doctors, engineers and chemists who are prepared to guarantee to stay in the Country for at least 5 years.
        A points and quota system for immigration.
        A reduction in foreign aid.
        An increase in Defence spending.
        Scrapping of HS2
        Etc Etc.
        In effect true Conservative ideas really, perhaps your Party may like to try some.

        Yes Mr Carswell is right, and how refreshing that a politician does not spend it all because they can, a bit like yourself with the Welsh budget (some of which you returned, not spent) many years ago.

        Ukip failed to break through, what, with nearly 4 million votes and over 100 second places. when they did not contest even all of the seats.
        The Conservatives should be worried if they do not carry out that which they have promised in their manifesto this time around.

        It is a travesty of the system we have that UKIP do not have as much representation as they should have gained, but that is the system we have.

        Next time even with the system the same, you may be in for a shock if Ukip grow just by 10% in 5 years, and the Conservative support drops by 5%.

        Do not be too complacent

  2. Leslie Singleton
    May 15, 2015

    Dearest John–As I have pointed out before and especially as it is in the heading, as last time, it is whither not wither–unless this is a pun on wither (I’ll believe anything when you are talking about UKIP). There was never any doubt that you would be elected and I doubt anybody said otherwise. Despite your innuendo I think UKIP is reasonably placed and in any event in a better place than many including you were predicting a year ago.

    Reply I am well aware of the different meaning of wither and whhither, but have changed them as it annoys you.

    1. Leslie Singleton
      May 15, 2015

      Eh?–Does this mean you spelt it incorrectly (again, and in a heading) on purpose?

      1. Handbags
        May 15, 2015

        Of course it’s deliberate – that’s the point.

        I think you need a sense of humour transplant.

        1. Leslie Singleton
          May 15, 2015

          Except that he made the same error last year when I would have sworn it was a straight error. He cannot have been commanding UKIP to wither because there was a question mark and you are right I have no sense of humour when it comes to John and UKIP. He seems to think it obvious that the two big Parties have the right to eternal existence. UKIP have come very close to success despite the staggering odds plus the SNP.

          Reply UKIP contributors are never able to accept any criticism of their party but are always taking the worst possible view of everyone else. I do not think any party has a right to existence. I am a democrat. Today I am asking a party which won one seat under a voting system recently approved by the electorate by a large majority what they want to do next, and also to talk about them joining Conservatives and others in running a non party Out campaign. All I get back is party political diatribes.

          1. Hope
            May 15, 2015

            No, it was not accepted by the electorate. The Tories were going to change boundaries and, once again ,failed to deliver on what they told the public. You really must stop distorting fact from your bias towards the Tory party.

          2. Leslie Singleton
            May 15, 2015

            Dear John–By “recently approved” surely you are not referring to the vote against AV. If so I can scarcely believe it. That vote was a negative which can never prove a positive

  3. DaveM
    May 15, 2015

    “Why did some of you tell me I had to switch to UKIP to get elected?”

    I think the suggestion was (from Ukip supporters), that if you and other like-minded Tories joined Ukip you would give the party more credibility and make it look more like a traditional Tory party.

    Many commenters (including myself) suggested that if the Conservatives adopted the populist policies which boosted Ukip’s support, that your party would win the election easily.

    With regards to your second question, you’ve pretty much answered it yourself. If you could only change the PM’s apparent stance on the EU I imagine Ukip would disappear altogether.

    1. DaveM
      May 15, 2015

      And wrt NF moving constituencies, don’t tell us that Con Lab don’t aim candidates towards “safe seats”! I appreciate your loyalty to your constutuency, as with many other MPs, but;

      as I commented before the election, many of the Lab cands (in particular) had very suspiciously home counties accents despite running for northern seats.

      1. Timaction
        May 15, 2015

        So just over a week after the election and promises of major EU reform before a referendum and your Foreign Secretary has back pedaled saying major treaty change is now not needed and he wants to fast track the referendum. Totally disingenuous Tory’s. Who would have guessed they didn’t mean their election promises? This UKIP and about 6million others! Cameron’s Chamberlain moment as predicted. Where’s the MSN hissy fits! Its like living in a North Korean dictatorship. Oh, we are its just called the EU!

        Reply We will deliver the promise of an In/Out referendum which means all this can be tested and decided by popular vote. That’s what I have helped deliver for you all by sticking with the Conservative party and not letting this issue alone.

  4. Lifelogic
    May 15, 2015

    The UKIP support is rather higher than the 3.8 million as many were forced by the FPTP voting system to vote tactically for the ‘stop Labour or stop Libdem’ Candidate. Without that we would now be suffering Miliband/SNP destroying the economy, mugging the rich and destroying the property rental market.

    I see little to suggest that the support has diminished much since UKIP came first with 4.4 million votes to the Tories 3.8 million in the MEP elections. Tory/UKIP have about 50% of the vote between them. Cameron however seemed to prefer to risk losing, rather than move toward UKIP in anyway. He very nearly managed to lose and was only saved by the voting system, tactical voting by UKIP and the combination of the dreadful vision that was Miliband and SNP.

    Had Miliband been less left wing, more personable and able to eat a bacon sandwich rather better or had SNP not had the surge of support in Scotland then Cameron would indeed have lost. Throwing a second election that was always an easy election to win.

    Reply UKIP bloggers here often tell me the Conservative vote is not Eurosceptic.

    1. Lifelogic
      May 15, 2015

      Why is Cameron and Greg Clark heading off on this silly City Mayor tangent? Yet more layers of government is the last thing the UK needs. Greg Clark certainly does not sound like much like a Conservative to me. It seems that ‘whilst at Cambridge he was an executive member of the Social Democrat Youth and Students’. He does not seem to have moved on very much.

      Cameron has quite enough to do without this. They should be slimming government down, getting cheap energy, dealing with malignant tumour that is EU, a fair deal for England and getting the government off the backs of the productive. New City Mayors should not be part of it and certainly is not remotely a priority.

      1. Roy Grainger
        May 15, 2015

        Interesting question. I assume it is like the NHS in Wales – they will force local Labour politicians to work within tight budgets and then shift the blame to them when it all goes wrong. As a way of discrediting Labour in cities where the Conservative vote is low it’s not a bad tactic, but I think that’s all it is.

        1. Hope
          May 15, 2015

          What is Cameron? Heir to Balire socialist or Liberal conservative? Anyone know what he stands for? Where is the Big Society when you need it, does Scotland share that view?

      2. stred
        May 15, 2015

        I watched the enthusiastic reception for city mayors on the BBC news, which had drummed up a lot of enthusiastic local supporters in the Northern Powerhouse to be, and wondered how and why, when the Mancunians had rejected this extra layer of bureaucracy not long ago. Oz is saying that he doesn’t want to force it on anybody- but won’t take second best, which seems to be a bit confusing at best.

        In the manifesto, hidden in the stuff about new roads and railways, they say that they will legislate for Greater Manchester to have a mayor, who will then have £2bn extra to spend on transport, police etc. So there will be no opportunity for Mancunians to say whether they want it forced on them or not. In the other cities, apparently, the electors will have a say.

        New transport links between the cities in the North and to the South because, it states, growth has been higher in the North, and they want it to be even better. While cities and areas like East Cheshire, where Oz is MP, will be able to keep business rates as they are already successful and spend it on things to make themselves even more successful.

        It might be asked, what happens to cities which are not quite successful? Why can’t they have a mayor with shedloads to spend on improvements, like mayors, officials, new city halls, police that turn out to burglaries, and roads to other less successful cities? And will the ones which can’t have it be paying for the ones that do. Rural constituencies can, of course, forget it.

        Well, one explanation for this mishmash may lie in the experience of the politicians behind it and the wish of civil servants to implement EU ideas. Oz is an Anglo Irish aristocrat, who went to public school, had a job as a journalist on the DT Peterborough column for a while, then went into politics as an assistant to J.Major before he lost, was rejected by the Times and then made friends with Dave, who is an Anglo Scottish aristocrat, who went to public school and became a career politician and also worked for Mr Major. Being neighbours, they can probably brainstorm together in clear blue water and rely on top civil servants to put the flesh on the bones of such far seeing policies.

    2. Lifelogic
      May 15, 2015

      To reply:

      Well the Tories are not really EUsceptic, perhaps at best half of them are. The leadership is certainly not EUsceptic either. They are however clearly rather better than Labour/SNP/Libdems & Greens. That was enough to scrape through this election, but only just. This despite the fact that the country clearly wanted and desperately needs to go in a proper Tory/UKIP direction.

      Cameron should remember the size of UKIP support and the many UKIP voters who voted tactically for the Tories while holding their noses. To win the next election he needs sensible cheap energy, a far smaller state sector, far lower taxes, fair constituency boundaries, some real growth, relaxed planning, far fewer regulations, sensible but selective immigration, a fair deal for the English and some sensible arrangements with the EU.

      This will be hard enough to achieve, so why on earth is Cameron mucking about with mayors, for largely lefty Labour controlled cities?

      The election was won despite Cameron’s lefty, EUphile, greencrap, tax borrow and waste direction not because of it.

      1. zorro
        May 15, 2015

        You can be sure that he’ll be putting far more effort into city mayors than EU renegotiation…… I suppose John will be telling us soon that a vote for the MP for Rushcliffe is a Eurosceptic vote! 🙄


        1. Jerry
          May 15, 2015

          @zorro; “I suppose John will be telling us soon that a vote for the MP for Rushcliffe is a Eurosceptic vote! 🙂 “

          Well he is when compared to the previous MP for Rotherham!

          Oh and were would our host be now I wonder, and how many on this site who want his ideas implemented would be happy, had the MP for Rushcliffe not in effect been sidelined by the lack of endorsement from the original ‘Thatcherite’ – sometimes it is better to take the indirect route to start with when climbing the mountain, rather that try to scale the more difficult north face and fail three times in a row…

          PS, I’m sure our host will know what I’m referring to, but if others find the above a little to cryptic then they need to study their UK political history between1997 and 2010.

          1. zorro
            May 15, 2015

            LOL…. Jean Monnet was probably more Eurosceptic than Denis MacShane!! Hardly difficult….. I also see your extremely oblique reference to the Clarke – Redwood ‘marriage made in hell’ affair……



            Reply Which lasted for one day and was based on me as prospective Shadow Chancellor committing Conservatives to opposition to the Euro!

    3. Lifelogic
      May 15, 2015

      The main lessons of this election surely are:

      That LibDem policies are hugely disliked by the electorate – Cameron alas even now still seems to like them.

      The Tory party is now essentially just an English party.

      That UKIP, with a sensible Tory party, can easily have the support of more than 50% of voters.

    4. Tad Davison
      May 15, 2015

      Reply to reply:

      It’s not just your own bloggers John, it’s also the case that some Tory MPs, past and present, feel that way too. It’s just they keep quiet for the sake of party unity.

      I was asked just prior to the election by VERY senior people how ‘we’ can get the Tory party to adopt a policy of lower spending and more euro-scepticism. I couldn’t tell them, for the rot has set in.

      The Tory party is not what it once was, and I suggest that doesn’t auger well for the future, especially if Cameron does a ‘Wilson’ and tries to con us into thinking he’s managed to get all manner of important concessions in his re-negotiations, when in reality, they’re nothing of the kind.


    5. petermartin2001
      May 15, 2015


      I’ve been meaning to ask: what’s with all these comments about Labour destroying the private rental sector, theft from landlords etc? Its been a while since I’ve had any experience of all that, so maybe you can be more specific?

      When I was a student, in a shared rental flat, I remember we applied to what was then known, if I remember rightly, as the fair rents tribunal for a rent reduction. We weren’t successful! So the idea that any scheme put in place by a Labour government is always going to favour the tenant isn’t correct.

      I’m not quite sure why you have a problem with linking rents to inflation. Is that the issue? Most working people would have liked to have their wages linked to inflation over the past few years. That wouldn’t have been any hardship at all.

      1. stred
        May 15, 2015

        Landlords who already let very good tenants have a cheap deal would only have been able to increase rents after 3 years, as tenancy periods would have been 6x longer. A change of tenant, perhaps to one that was very difficult, would involve records of the previous rent and the same increase. ‘Greedy, unscrupulous’ landlords, may have seemed so because they had bought an expensive BTL property, and had to pay the mortgage plus other costs, such as council tax, power and water. These costs were not to be fixed. High rents and low rents would have been treated the same way, inflation linked, irrespective of value.

        For older landlords, who often had bought for a pension, the 3 year period before being able to sell the property would possibly have left beneficiaries on death unable to pay IHT demands.

        The rent tribunals were for the controlled tenancies, which finished private rentals in the same way that has been experienced everywhere else rent control was introduced. These tended to be used by ‘unscrupulous’ tenants who agreed freely to move in, then disagreed afterwards, hoping to get one over the landlord. When the tribunals failed to agree, they must have been getting a very reasonable deal already.

    6. Denis Cooper
      May 15, 2015

      For any party there’s a kind of pyramid, with the party leader at the apex and below him the senior party members, going down through lower levels to the ordinary members, and then firm supporters who are not actually members, and finally the broad base of those who will usually vote for the party’s candidates. For the Tory party, and also for UKIP as it happens, for each party member there were something like 85 people who voted for that party’s candidates, while for Labour and the LibDems it was lower, something like 55, and for the SNP with its now greatly expanded membership it was very much lower, more like 15 voters for every party member. However the few at the top do not necessarily hold the same views as the very much larger number at the bottom, and in the case of the Tory party it seems that support for our EU membership tends to rise the further up the pyramid you look. So personally I wouldn’t question the “euroscepticism” of the average Tory voter, but I do question that of the party’s leaders.

    7. Matt
      May 15, 2015

      Tactical votes runs both ways.
      Ideologically I was much more inclined to vote Conservative, but I voted UKIP tactically to try to unseat Labour.
      Turns out I was right in my thinking as UKIP got more votes in my constituency than the Conservative candidate, just not enough to beat Labour this time.
      Of course if the PM lets us down by exaggerating renegotiation results and stacking the following referendum in favour of “In” it’s unlikely that I will remain ideologically Conservative.

  5. Duyfken
    May 15, 2015

    It’s Friday and I expected a rather clever critique of the BBC, but instead we have this rather snide teasing of UKIP supporters.

    Reply There is nothing snide in asking a few questions of UKIP supporters. I did not do this before the election . but have done to today as UKIP leads the news. This seems like a good day for UKIP to tell their leadership what they think on the important matters of who leads them and how they should be funded. Why do UKIP supporters think their party should not have to respond to sensible questions whereas every other party should be roundly condemned at all possible opportunities?

    1. Duyfken
      May 15, 2015

      You’re still at it! I do not criticise you for doing so JR and in fact it’s quite amusing.

      Reply I seek today to offer UKIP a platform to discuss their future, after an election in which once again they put up a candidate to try to prevent me making the case in Parliament. I think in the circumstances I am the very model of tolerance and restraint, as a good democrat should be.

      1. Tad Davison
        May 15, 2015

        A lot of us are grateful for the opportunity to make our feelings known John, even if our opinions don’t always concur with your own.

        Overall, I would say there’s a lot of common ground. Mostly, we are tied by the disgust and abhorrence that we have been led up the garden path on the EU by underhanded and cynical politicians with a hidden agenda. It has cost us dear, but we seem to differ on the way to extricate ourselves from its clutches.

        Given all that has gone before, I feel the surgery needs to be radical, but I fear Cameron isn’t the one to deliver.


      2. zorro
        May 15, 2015

        Reply to reply – they have the right to stand where they want, and I don’t think the candidate had any hope of ousting you from Wokingham. I seem to recall that feelers were put out to try and not split the Eurosceptic vote in certain strategic seats. But, nevertheless, your questions about UKIP members (I am not one) are relevant but some of your bloggers seem to think that the tone might be a bit of a bear baiting one.


    2. Lifelogic
      May 15, 2015

      If you control rents by law you are depriving the true owner of part of his property and some of the ongoing rental stream. Worse than this it restricts the supply and stops people renting out properties at all. It also causes problem with finance for rental properties. It was a cynical bribe to try get some tenants to vote Labour.

      Under the old rent act rents could be fixed so low that the value of the property (with the sitting tenant) was sometimes as low as 30% of the true value of the flat. Up to 70% of the value was just stolen off the owners and in effect given to the tenant. It is theft pure and simple in an attempt to buy votes with other peoples money. It does not even help the tenants in the end.

      The old rent act was a compete disaster, rather typical of Labour.

  6. Peter Van Leeuwen
    May 15, 2015

    A 5th question might be: What does it say about the UK election system, that 4 million people are left with almost no representation. Would similar distortion have been possible with the electoral systems employed in Northern Ireland, Wales, or Scottish devolved parliaments?

    Reply Under our system everyone is represented by their constituency MP. A UKIP voter, a Liberal Democrat voter and a Labour vo0ter in Wokingham are all represented by me, and I will take up their cases or issues if they want me to do so.
    FPTP is popular with UK voters and won the recent referendum because a constituency MP has every incentive to serve all the electors well, and is very accountable. List MPs would not be so accountable.

    1. James Matthews
      May 15, 2015

      And if that reply convinces you Peter, you are not a Dutchman.

      1. Peter Van Leeuwen
        May 15, 2015

        @James Matthews: of course I don’t and neither should any real democrat in my opinion. Taking individual cases is all fine of course. Imagine I were a Brit in Wokingham with a handicapped child, I’M sure Mr Redwood would take my case asking for more facilities for handicapped children. But would he vote pro European on my behalf? Of course not! MPS ote their party line on national and international issues, if need be convinced by a whip. I cannot and see the UK system as democratic. If the Russian system were popular with the Russians (I read it is), that doesn’t make it democratic all of a sudden. Democracy would require a government do what the majority of the people want. The current minority Tory government doesn’t fit that requirement. If you like strong government, may I suggest Russia or China to you.

        1. James Matthews
          May 15, 2015


      2. Hope
        May 15, 2015

        Do your constituents know what you stand for? Did you tell them about your dilemma over the Tory manifesto and your views expressed on this site?

        Reply This site is a public document, and I referred all of them to it in my election literature!

    2. Lifelogic
      May 15, 2015

      List MPs would be accountable to the party that put them on the list. That is not a good plan. The voters would then have even less power.

    3. Kenneth
      May 15, 2015

      FPTP has consistently produced stable UK governments (not always to my liking though, but that is a different matter). As JR states, it does give all people representation.

      1. stred
        May 15, 2015

        How would you like to ask Alex Salmon for help with a problem if you were English and working in Aberdeen, with English children wanting free university fees there? If larger constituencies had say 3 choice the electorate would have a choice of MPs to represent them.

      2. Timaction
        May 15, 2015

        No it does not. I never voted Labour in my life but was saddle saddl d with them as well under fptp.

    4. DaveM
      May 15, 2015

      I know you won’t agree with this John, because you don’t the like the idea of an English Parliament.

      However, wrt PvL’s post, this is why I believe we should have an English Parliament with members elected on FPTP by constituency, and the UK govt somehow elected by PR.

      Elect the PERSON you want to look after your local/county issues (see how that fits in with your party’s elected mayor policy? Obviously we’d all need an elected mayor!!), and elect the PARTY you want to look after the UK-wide issues. That would mean you could probably cut the number of UK MPs to around 300 max, and they would represent the balanced will of the electorate. Don’t tell the SNP or LibDems that little idea though – they wouldn’t stop shouting for weeks.

    5. Tad Davison
      May 15, 2015

      Reply to reply:

      Whilst I can see where you’re coming from John, that doesn’t quite tell the whole story.

      Undoubtedly, were a supporter from another minor party to attend one of your surgeries with a genuine grievance, you would give wise council, but that is not quite the same as having their point of view articulated to a wider audience from the floor of the chamber. A two-party system effectively stops that.

      For instance, I would be interested to know how you would deal with a question from a pro-EU constituent. Would you merely write to the minister responsible, or would you give it your best on the floor of the house and put the question in the way they would themselves, even if you fundamentally disagreed with it?


    6. Tom William
      May 15, 2015

      But, Mr Redwood, you are ignoring the possibility of a second round system in which the leading candidate has to get a certain %age (in France it is 50%). If not then there is a second vote two weeks or so later in which the other candidates who failed to get a certain %age are excluded. In some countries only the top two candidates run again.

      This has the advantage of maintaining a constituency MP, rather than one on a party list and reduces the “dog whistle” or tribal element of the present system. FPTP is only popular in the UK because the alternative so far offered (pure AV) is worse.

    7. Bob
      May 15, 2015

      the YK electorate have never been offered a viable alternative to FPTP. We can all see how politicians encourage “tactical” voting to manipulate the outcome. I am surprised that you don’t recognise the democratic defecit and push for electoral reform. Any reasonable and honest person can see the problem, but I fear that your party loyalty is blinding you to the injustice.

    8. agricola
      May 15, 2015

      Fair comment Peter, the FPTP system is unfit for purpose when you have up to six major parties. However when you live under a totalitarian, undemocratic regime as in Brussels the Dutch vote not to accept the EU Constitution was just ignored and you have it warts and all in the Lisbon Treaty. The Dutch were not alone in being ignored.

    9. yulwaymartyn
      May 15, 2015

      The problem JR is that does not remove the disaffection. I have voted in nine elections and never has my candidate won. [These are mainstream candidates by the way].

    10. John C.
      May 15, 2015

      I can’t see that in your main task as an M.P. , that is debating and voting in Parliament, you can represent very differing viewpoints, though I’ve no doubt that in the role of the local Wokingham ombudsman, bringing your knowledge and contacts to the aid of the citizens of the area, you are, like many M.P.s, a great asset.
      The fact remains that the debating chamber of this land does not have representatives who can put forward the views that a large percentage of the population voted for, and that is because of FPTP.

  7. Leslie Singleton
    May 15, 2015

    Postscript–Having had breakfast I read your today’s piece again. You degrade yourself by being so snide. Farage has the right to stand wherever and whenever he likes. You attempt but fail to make light of the 4.9 million votes and as ever on the subject of UKIP you ignore what is on the horizon. As best I understand, O’Flynn actively wants Farage to remain but managed to express himself badly in his article. Personally I have never thought that much of Carswell and don’t understand why he defected which I say having listened to some of the guff he has come out with, especially about immigration and now refusing the same money that anybody else would have jumped at. The Conservatives won largely because Miliband was so weak and especially because of the alien SNP. It remains the case that it will be a jolly good thing for Cameron’s feet to be held to the fire on the EU. It is hardly the case that it is done and dusted. Apart from anything else there is the wording of the question to be agreed, which just as with Scotland should ask whether we want to ne independent. A poor show all round today from you.

    Reply There is nothing snide in asking a few basic questions of UKIP< as I do in many other pieces about other people , policies and institutions. What I am trying to get UKIP supporters to recognise is that the Conservative party will now deliver the In/Out referendum you have collectively always said you wanted. So my underlying question/concern is will UKIP now help the Out campaign constructively? Are you all serious about getting the UK out of the EU, and do you understand what it takes to persuade 51% of the British electors to take that step?

    1. JoeSoap
      May 15, 2015

      Perhaps we will help you to help yourself by rejecting biased financial resources and biased questions. If the Tory party really wants out they will reject these too.

    2. fedupsoutherner
      May 15, 2015

      John, many of us support UKIP because we know Farage and his party will be the only way we will hear the truth about the situation regarding Europe. Farage is fantastic in the EU Parliament telling them exactly what he thinks of them. He is right on so many things. We do have too many laws being passed by Brussels. Half the time the British public don’t even know about any of these until it lands on our laps!! We never wanted this when we voted to join the EU and we know that Cameron and most of his cabinet will encourage voters to stay in by scaremongering about loss of jobs if we leave. I have never heard to much cowpoo and am glad Clegg and co have less of a voice too. Together with the BBC the Conservatives and all other parties apart from UKIP will try their best to tell us to stay in for the good of the country. Farage is honest and straightforward in the way he speaks and doesn’t give a damn about being politically correct and this is what people admire about him. They are still a relatively new party and have had to get together in a short time but when you consider how many votes they got then you have to admit that they have done extremely well. The campaign against Farage was fierce and financially unfair. UKIP do not have the funds that some of the larger parties have. I feel that with the crisis in Africa things could get a whole lot hotter for the other parties than they are now and Farage and co could do very well. Farage came across very well last night on QT and Steve Crowther gave a very good interview on Breakfast this morning. They are improving but it all takes time and I for one, cannot quite understand why Farage coming back as Leader is such a surprise. The members want him!!

      Reply The main reason you all know and hear how much power Brussels has and is taking is the work of the European Scrutiny Committee of the Commons, led by Bill Cash, and the work we Eurosceptic Conservative MPs do to bring things before the House and to expose the ways of the EU in detail. THis is all long, serious work with plenty of reading, analysis and exposure, not just a few media outbursts.

      1. Timaction
        May 17, 2015

        ,……I admire your loyalty but we would not be having a referendum if it wasn’t for UKIP. Fullstop.

        Reply It was not loyalty but hard work and digging in by us Eurosceptic MPs that got us the referendum. Can you never acknowledge what we have done?

    3. Brian Tomkinson
      May 15, 2015

      Reply to reply,
      More to the point are you serious about getting the UK out of the EU, and do you understand what it takes to persuade 51% of the British electors to take that step?

      Reply Why do you ask? I have made clear my long term opposition to EU centralisation, opposing Nice, Amsterdam, Lisbon, the single currency etc, and pressing for the referendum we are now going to get. If I am not Eurosceptic enough for you then you will belong to a very narrow and losing group

      1. Tad Davison
        May 15, 2015

        Reply to reply:

        If people are given the facts and the truth about the EU, I suspect many more people, and quite possibly a majority, will want out of the EU altogether. That’s hardly a ‘narrow and losing group’.

        The only reason we have been sucked into the cursed thing to the present extent, is because the people have been consistently conned and lied to by Cameron types.


      2. Brian Tomkinson
        May 15, 2015

        Reply to reply,
        You used the words “are you serious about getting the UK out of the EU”.
        My answer is yes, come what may . What is yours: ‘yes’ but ‘no’ if my leader says he has achieved some renegotiation?

    4. forthurst
      May 15, 2015

      “So my underlying question/concern is will UKIP now help the Out campaign constructively?”

      Will the minority of Conservative Eurosceptic MPs co-operate with UKIP, bearing in mind, the Conservative Cabinet and a majority of their colleagues will be actively promoting the IN Campaign? UKIP is the only party which will campaign with one voice from the top down to get out of the EU straight jacket; it’s as well to remember that. Conservative Eurosceptic supporters have largely been disenfranchised by their own party, as have the English working class, by those purporting to represent them who actually suffer from agorophobia when outside of North London or the Westminster bubble, so I believe that UKIP has addressed a gap in the market.

      I would hope that UKIP focuses entirely on the Referendum issue for now and seeks to work with those of all parties, including JR, who can speak eloquently and with conviction for us to become a free country again.

      1. Tom William
        May 15, 2015

        What is needed is a cross party campaign, not one led by a UKIP which has not yet even addressed HOW to do it.

        Big business is now gearing up to support a vote to stay in and its supporters, and much of the media, are painting a totally false picture of the consequences of an out vote. UKIP, like the many “better off out” campaigners have produced no serious counter arguments.

        “Better hold on to nurse, for fear of finding something worse” is a strong line to present to those who have only a vague idea of the complex problems involved.

        Once again the media’s refusal to countenance Owen Patterson’s eminently practical suggestion of giving the required two year notice that the UK wants to leave the EU but stay within the single market (as it can do under the EEA) and to incorporate ALL EU legislation into British law (to be amended or discarded after proper examination over a period of some years) would spike the the guns of those who only see membership of the EU as bringing an economic advantage economic.

        Mr Cameron will not be able to achieve anything fundamental in our relationship with the EU and is likely to present a few minor concessions as a great victory for his policies. No doubt many EU leaders will say the same and praise his statesmanship.

        Any country which gives away its ability to rule itself for the apparent prospect of economic advantage is likely to lose both.

        1. forthurst
          May 15, 2015

          “What is needed is a cross party campaign, not one led by a UKIP which has not yet even addressed HOW to do it.”

          I agree with the first point provided sufficient prominent and effective Eurosceptics of other than UKIP are prepared to give their single minded and whole hearted support for such a campaign; on the second point, I have just checked the UKIP website and their 2015 Manifesto clearly states how they would intend to leave and what would be the position post Brexit. As JR has pointed out previously, the difficult bit is getting an ‘out’ vote in the first place.

    5. bigneil
      May 15, 2015

      Reply to Reply – – If your party is so set on offering a GENUINE in/out EU referendum ( which I believe there will be some Cameron comment of “the EU won’t let me/ we can’t/ it would be illegal/ legislation prevents me etc to prevent or block its use) – then why wasn’t it included in Election Day? We voted for councillors in some areas, at the same time – this referendum could have been done also, on the basis of “if we win, we already have your vote”. Now, if it ever appears, the whole system has to crank into action again. – -not exactly efficient is it? or is it a delay tactic to set it past a date that sucks us further into the EU?
      I suspect I’m nearer the truth than will be admitted before the (if it ever appears) vote.
      We will see how honest DC has been on his “immigration control” comments with how many ( probably all) we get from Mr Junkers “redistribution”. Again I believe DC will say, “there was nothing I could do – it was the EU told me I HAD to let them all in”

      Reply For goodness sake! There was no majority for a referendum in the last Parliament. It also warrants its own campaign, not to be lumped in with a GE.

    6. Tad Davison
      May 15, 2015

      Reply to reply:

      We’ll have to cut through the mountain of pro-EU propaganda and misinformation to get the right result that works for the UK, and that won’t be easy.

      From what I hear people say, the public clearly needs to be educated, for they are susceptible to all the incoherent BS. Last night, Nigel Farage reminded us that when the Irish voted in their referendum, the EU then flooded the place with money and effectively ‘bought’ the result they wanted.

      Nigel Farage needs to be encouraged and supported as an ally. There will be enough pressure to split the Eurosceptic viewpoint ahead of the referendum, without giving the federalists a head start.


      1. Brian Tomkinson
        May 15, 2015

        You are correct but the Conservatives can’t shake off their tribal loathing of a political opponent even when he is on their side!

      2. David Price
        May 15, 2015

        I believe the exercise needs to be cross-party, non-political, so UKIP should be encouraged and supported in their active collaboration but I don’t think they should lead the charge.

        Several groups have been very active in addressing the UK-EU relationship in the context of Brexit including Global Britain, Better Of Out, Business for Britain, EU Referendum. I believe it is important their efforts and findings are presented in a way that busy people uninterested in politics understand and appreciate but not be sidelined by political circuses.

        Whoever is going to lead the charge had better start soon though as there is not a lot of time and the pro-EU forces are legion and established even if their arguments are tired and shallow.

    7. Leslie Singleton
      May 15, 2015

      Dear John–By “help constructively” I gather you mean “dissolve yourselves and join the Conservatives”. No thanks. What else could you have meant?

  8. APL
    May 15, 2015

    JR: “Was the Executive right to ask Mr Farage to tear up his resignation,”

    No. It sounds like a stitch up.

    1. Jerry
      May 15, 2015

      @APL; Perhaps, but by who, a group within the party who ultimately want Farage out; by a group who never wanted him to go; or by Mr Farage himself who never thought he would have to “Keep his word”, hence his comments less than 30 seconds after announcing his intention to resign that he was minded to reapply for his old job, knowing full well that what Nigel wants he tends to get?…

      Unless the Mr Farage at least stands for re-election against quality candidates [1] then even more than before UKIP will be seen as a one man band with a large number of stage rodeos keeping him in the limelight.

      [1] who, because for the next four or five years UKIP will be primarily a lobbying group, for an Brexit vote in the coming referendum, the leader doesn’t need to be elected local politico, an MP nor MEP, so there should be plenty to choice, assuming the party is the broad church and competencies of membership Mr Farage keeps insisting.

  9. Hefner
    May 15, 2015

    On a slightly different but not completely unrelated topics


    The table includes UK figures from 1994 to 2013.
    For example in 1995, UK has 30.2, and in 2013 39.2, a 29.8 % percent increase over 19 years. Not bad, but compare that to
    Sweden 32.4 and 45.5, a growth by 40.4 % over the same 19 years
    Germany 34.1 and 42.8 by 25.5 %
    France 36.9 and 45.6 by 23.6 %
    Netherlands 37.9 and 45.8 by 20.8 %

    To me, it is quite clear that presenting figures based on the growth of productivity is very misleading if one does not also compare the reference figures. The UK has been trailing the better European countries for years (at least two decades).
    Obviously, there will be some in this blog, especially the “usual suspects”, to say that everything is due to the “migrants”. Maybe they should not forget that the Dutch, German and French whizz (or it is whhith or whith …?) kids working in the City are also migrants, and that their countries of origin also get migrants coming to them. Even so the UK figures for productivity are low, a result very likely linked to the politics of de-industrialization pursued by Thatcher, Major, Blair, Brown.
    Apart from making some noise, the Coalition does not seem to have made much progress about this productivity problem over the last five years. Whether the new Conservative government, maybe spurred by the comments from the BoE governor Mark Carney, will be better remains to be seen.

    And to avoid talking rubbish about immigration (often cherished herein), maybe one might look (and try to understand …) the statistics from Eurostat (obviously, Nigel, while a MEP, must have never had a look at these)



    Reply As I have explained before , two of the main reasons for poor UK productivity growth in recent years is the sharp decline in our oil output, a very high value added sector, and the big reduction in the size and scale of our banks, also a high value added sector in the past.
    Many continental countries have higher productivity because they also have higher unemployment. The recent UK economy has been very good at generating lower productivity jobs for people to do, which is surely better than leaving them unemployed?

    1. Richard1
      May 15, 2015

      Another factor in the productivity conundrum must surely be quantitative easing. If zombie businesses are kept alive by artificially low cost of capital productivity is likely to be lower. An economy which allows zombie businesses to be replaced by new entrants and capital to be recycled into more productive use will show better productivity. It seems a very complex question.

    2. JoeSoap
      May 15, 2015

      Reply to reply
      Well, we still have oil and we still have banks, so how bad was the rest of the economy before the crash???
      Basically too much investment in property and property-related activities, pumped up by the government, and too much in public services, which are always going to be low-productivity.

    3. Lifelogic
      May 15, 2015

      For higher productivity in the UK we need:- a much smaller state sector (that works), cheaper energy, better education, lower/simpler taxes, cheaper housing, far fewer regulations, functional banks, easy hire and fire, far less EU and fewer government incentives to be feckless.

      It is not rocket science, the government is clearly the ball and chain holding industry back.

    4. forthurst
      May 15, 2015

      I’m not aware people have been complaining about immigrants reducing our productivity; they have suggested, rightly, in my view, that mass immigration has depressed wages, particularly at the lower end, not the value of corresponding outputs which, purportedly, is the irrelevant topic introduced here.

    5. Mitchel
      May 15, 2015

      Whither/wither the March of the Makers?!

  10. Denis Cooper
    May 15, 2015

    I watched Question Time last night and saw a relaxed and composed Nigel Farage do a very good job. It wasn’t what one would expect when according to the mass media, and especially the Telegraph, UKIP was in crisis, a total meltdown.

    There was also another chap on, a musician of some kind I believe, who made some very sensible points, both about the inadequacy of our electoral system and especially about the dishonesty of the propaganda fed to the public through the media.

    I was relieved to hear Nigel Farage warn that the “in-out” EU referendum will probably be held next May, to coincide with elections in Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London. In that case those of us who know we want “out” have much less time to get ourselves organised than we might have thought.

    Will you be part of that organisation from its inception, JR, or will you continue to cling to the false hope that Cameron might get such an excellent “New Deal in Europe”* that you will feel able to support “in” after all?

    * http://www.harvard-digital.co.uk/euro/pamphlet.htm


    ‘Her Majesty’s Government have decided to recommend to the British people to vote for staying in the Community’



    This pamphlet is being sent by the Government to every household in Britain. We hope that it will help you to decide how to cast your vote in the coming Referendum on the European Community (Common Market) … ”

    Reply I wish to leave the current Treaties, as I have made clear. Why do you think I want to stay in, given all that I have written and spoken? I also want a new relationship with the EU based on trade and friendship – which will be necessary to persuade the British people to back us. If the Out campaign is to be a competition for greater purity of view it will fail.

  11. Dan
    May 15, 2015

    UKIP came into existence because no existing party offered the ability to address Our EU membership issue. Without UKIP, Cameron’s first choice is to carry on as planned by Westminster elites and lock us into a regime akin to a conquering military force.

    Westminster lacks credibility, and the vote for UKIP is an indicator that many can see this. The majority isn’t heard in Westminster in modern times, many are conditioned to this and accept it, but increasingly many don’t. We have the press still, but increasingly the news is manipulated.

    For now, we all need a UKIP, whether that continues depends upon whether Westminster listens better.

    1. Jerry
      May 16, 2015

      @Dan; “UKIP came into existence because no existing party offered the ability to address Our EU membership issue.”

      Nonsense on stilts, there was much Euroscepticism before UKIP, before its predecessor existed, what is more this scepticism was on the left as much as it was on the right. Don’t be miss lead that the challenge and removal of Mrs Thatcher was solely or even principality about our EU membership.

      “Westminster lacks credibility, and the vote for UKIP is an indicator that many can see this.”

      As is the vote for any of the nationalist parties or protest groups.

  12. Old Albion
    May 15, 2015

    JR, I don’t describe myself as ‘UKIP’ Nor do I describe myself as Labour, Conservative, Lib Dem, Green or SNP.
    There is no serious political party that represents me as I hold English equality as my number one desire. Accompanied by EU exit.

    Should Farage stand down? Probably yes, a new face at the top may well help progress.

    What is the purpose of UKIP now? To keep pressure on for EU exit. Few believe that Cameron will ever give a free and fair referendum on Brexit.

    Q3, I have no idea.

    UKIP was unable to break through the FPTP system that was designed for a two party state. Governments have switched between Labour and Conservative for many decades.
    Now we have a multi party state. For other partries to succeed voting reform is vital. I can’t see Conservatives or labour offering that. FPTP suits them both.

    1. Jerry
      May 16, 2015

      @Old Albion; “What is the purpose of UKIP now? To keep pressure on for EU exit. Few believe that Cameron will ever give a free and fair referendum on Brexit.”

      Few people who believe in UKIP want to believe that of Cameron, for if they do then UKIP is political flotsam…

      “UKIP was unable to break through the FPTP system that was designed for a two party state.”

      In 2010 the LibDems did, in 2015 the SNP did, back in the 1920s the Labour party beat the Liberals to become the second party, so it is not FPTP per se that is causing the problem for UKIP.

  13. David Price
    May 15, 2015

    You ask what UKIPs purpose might be. Even though Cameron has pledged a referendum there is a lot of work to be done to present a good case on either side for the vote, matters can’t be left solely to Cameron and the Conservative party. I agree that UKIP clearly has a role on the EUsceptic side, though I don’t think they should lead it.

    1. agricola
      May 15, 2015

      It will be led by the facts and those that can recognise them. I only hope that they will all be prepared to speak out.

      1. David Price
        May 16, 2015

        I hope so too.

  14. bluedog
    May 15, 2015

    UKIP now faces an acute dilemma, Dr JR.

    Having outflanked the Conservatives on the right by being more Eurosceptic and more anti-Immigration, UKIP finds that its representation at Westminster is miniscule. Prior to the election when the Conservatives faced a threat from the Labour-SNP nexus and was in coalition with the Lib-Dems, the Conservatives were inhibited from being completely Eurosceptic and resolutely anti-immigrant. But after winning an absolute majority in the GE, the whole dynamic changes for the Conservative Party.

    With the collapse of the Lib-Dems and Labour in Scotland, the Conservatives now face no threat on the Left. It therefore becomes possible for the Conservatives to shift to the right and completely neutralise the threat from UKIP. UKIP is already in a vulnerable position having failed in the GE, and has no obvious response to a situation where the Conservatives take its policies. If the Conservatives do take over UKIP’s policies and then execute Brexit, the entire raison d’etre of UKIP dissolves.

    Meanwhile the SNP is about to find out if identity politics have a lasting place in the United Kingdom. It is clearly of the greatest importance that the Conservatives continue to pitch as a Unionist party in Scotland. It seems that the SNP has converted socialists into Scottish nationalists and the reverse may be impossible for Labour to engineer. The Conservatives may therefore have a far higher chance of success in any Scottish by-election than it may appear at present. Scotland could the place where the Conservatives can build on the success of the 2015 GE.

    1. Alex Rantwell
      May 15, 2015

      Two very good points there Bluedog.

      Nothing to stop the Conservatives now finishing what Redwood and co started in the early 90s with a radical free market patriotic alternative to the social democratic leftism of New Labour. The argument has been emphatically won and only the implementation remains.

      1. bluedog
        May 15, 2015

        Thank you, Mr Rantwell. If ‘radical free market’ is a coded reference to Ron Paul style libertarianism you will successfully negate patriotism by its implementation, particularly in Scotland. There are two separate metaphysics here, and you need to decide which has priority, libertarianism or patriotism. In the first instance, the state of the Union calls for patriotism.

        One could go further with comments regarding the opportunity in Scotland. At the micro-level it would worthwhile for a senior Conservative to interview all failed Scottish Lib-Dem candidates in Scotland. There may well be some, such as Danny Alexander, of talent and youth who would prefer to continue their political careers. Subject to an appropriate confession and repentance, there are possibly Scottish Lib-Dems who would accept a slightly different version of the political sacraments if their political salvation seemed more certain. After all, the Conservatives are now the power in the land. So much better to get with the strength rather than bleat in futile protest.

      2. Jerry
        May 16, 2015

        @Alex Rantwell; Except that the Tory party (and UKIP, by proxy) would risk being decimated in 2020 GE, the UK electors do not like extremes, be they from the left, right or even centre.

  15. Alex Rantwell
    May 15, 2015

    Interesting questions.

    I think in a sense Farage’s success and UKIP’s failure are two sides of the same coin. Farage is a hugely recognisable character, but by his own admission a “Marmite” politician who people tend to either love or hate. This has been extremely successful in getting UKIP’s message across to the country as a whole, but less so in generating strong pockets of local support that would enable them to win seats. I still wouldn’t call this an abject failure. 3.8 million votes is a massive result and puts them close to the glory days of the Lib Dems. The distribution of those votes is the problem. I am still optimistic longer term that UKIP can win seats and have an even greater impact on government, but it does need to do this at a local level, not just a national level through a charismatic and bombastic, yet sometimes divisive leader. I think this also answers your fourth question about why the party failed to make the breakthrough locally.

    Whether now is the time to change to a different leader, or whether the party should build a stronger internal structure and groom future leaders more thoroughly is difficult to judge. Initially I thought that tearing up the resignation and moving on under Farage was sensible, but as the cracks begin to show (I don’t doubt exaggerated by a UKIP story hungry media) it’s starting to seem that an election might be the best way to decide that.

    2010 was very different. UKIP was a far more marginalised, minority party. Since then we have had Cameron’s about turn on the Lisbon referendum and massive immigration, plus UKIP winning the European elections outright. He stood in Buckingham as standing against the speaker gave him a relatively high profile. He stood in Thanet because he is from Kent, and it’s a likely target seat.

    As for UKIP’s purpose – I believe they very much still have one with the referendum, and even after the result, whatever that is. Firstly the referendum – I believe Cameron will offer something similar to the choice given to Scottish voters last year. A superficially attractive status quo, staying within the EU with a few concessions, or a vast unknown of “Out” which has been given no real thought or preparation ahead of the vote.

    UKIP must make this case and this preparation because aside from a very few genuine withdrawalists int he main parties I don’t believe that the main parties will.

    Secondly, there is a massive gulf between UKIP and all the main three parties on some very important issues. The greatest of these is the obsession with man made global warming and our response to it, on which Cameron is as one with Labour and the Liberal Democrats. After years of this meaning little more than expensive petrol and burdensome building regulations this is starting to bite in areas such as energy policy, and it’s very obviously and visibly wasting vast sums of money on projects such as wind farms. UKIP are helping awaken the public to this cynical alarmism.

    Though UKIP may have been founded as a single issue party I believe it’s scope has grown to be much more than simply EU membership. On issues like climate change and immigration it is often on the edges of the Overton window, making a difficult and unfashionable case for things which mainstream Tory and Labour voters agree with but do not feel comfortable to say.

    Reply What UKIP supporters must grasp is that to win a referendum for Out may take 16 million votes or 4 times their vote in the 2015 GE. That will require most of the Conservative votes from 2015 and many of the Labour votes as well. Will UKIP help build such a majority, and do they understand it requires different language and a better vision of the future? If UKIP is going on criticising Cameron and the Conservatives all the time I do not see how Out will win.

  16. Ian wragg
    May 15, 2015

    Wait till we have the first power cuts due to the stupidity of Westminster. UKIP will not whither or vanish. The legacy parties are in the last chance saloon. Without drastic change the vote share will be 25% or more next time.

  17. ChrisS
    May 15, 2015

    It is certainly true that our host was extraordinarily generous to UKIP supporters here and tolerated numerous posts that were completely over the top. There were frequent suggestions that UKIP could actually form a government !

    I for one was calling for the Conservative party to do a deal with UKIP for the GE as, like everyone, I never thought that the Labour vote would collapse as it did.

    We clearly have a majority across the UK of rightward leaning voters and many of them in the North of England will currently not vote Conservative but will support UKIP.
    This might change if the government and the Chancellor in particular make a good job of revitalising the North.

    Then there is the issue of the fairness of the election.

    It is clearly in nobody’s interest other than the SNP for them to have achieved so many seats with so few votes while at the same time UKIP and the Greens faired so badly. I deplore the outcome of the election for these three parties and it is disappointingly inevitable that the PM will do no more to change the system than Labour would in the same position because of their own narrow party interests.

    Both should rise above these narrow party interests and think of the country as a whole.
    A change to proportional representation is clearly long overdue.

    As for the purpose of UKIP, for all its faults it was the only reason that the Conservative leadership felt it had to offer a referendum and from here on in, it will provide a resolute voice to keep the referendum on track and try to ensure that the question is fairly put and all the issues addressed.

    If the out campaign was only run by Conservatives like our kind and excellent host it would not be nearly as effective because there would not be enough speakers of the quality needed to put the message across.

    Like him or not, Nigel Farage will be a great asset to the Out campaign however I hope it will be led primarily by Dan Hannan and our host who are best placed to take the serious arguments to the Europhiles. Nigel should be the standard bearer at public meetings and will certainly ensure the debate is lively and interesting.

    We are facing an uphill struggle to win against the established order and, no doubt, the PM and a large proportion of the cabinet. I hope the PM is generous enough to allow members of the Government to campaign on either side. That would only be fair.

    After we win, UKIP may develop into an important domestic party in the North of England partnering the Conservatives in a PR government through taking over labour seats the Conservatives can’t win.

    Only time will tell whether as a result they will suffer the same fate as the Libdems.

  18. Richard1
    May 15, 2015

    perhaps the reason for Mr Farage’s tetchiness is he fears the EU referendum. After all, for a long time he was assuring us it wouldn’t happen. It seems Mr Cameron is to be as good as his word, will attempt a renegotiation with the EU and will then hold a referendum. Even at the moment – without any renegotiation – there is a clear and consistent majority to remain in the EU. If Cameron gets some good concessions from the EU, which he might well be able to do, this majority is likely to rise.

    1. zorro
      May 15, 2015

      The fat lady isn’t singing yet……


    2. Denis Cooper
      May 15, 2015

      Wrong way around, because that majority to stay in the EU actually depends on the prospect of renegotiation which is being dangled before our eyes.

  19. David
    May 15, 2015

    “Are Messrs O Flynn and Wheeler right that UKIP now needs a less contentious and softer voice to take it forward?”
    Yes, Nigel should never have been leader.

    1. Tad Davison
      May 15, 2015

      I disagree. I’m solidly working class, and Nigel Farage strikes a chord with me. He’s got strength, and direction. I’d like a party full of his kind, even if they were all in the Tory party. Such a party would sweep the board. I tire of contemptible lily-livered goody-goodies who dare not speak their mind.


  20. James Matthews
    May 15, 2015

    Well I am sure you have the very best interests of UKIP at heart Mr Redwood, but probably best not to debate the issues you raise in this forum. Who knows? Perhaps some anti-UKIP people read your blog and will seek to use the information they gain here against the party. Unsporting, I know, but that’s politics.

    Reply UKIP supporters always want me to debate Conservative matters in public and honestly, and there are times when that it is necessary and right. Surely today, post election, UKIP has to hold a conversation with itself and the rest of the country about its future, in the light of the strong public remarks already made by its leading figures. I did not ask them to speak out or make this the central item of news today – they chose too.

    1. agricola
      May 15, 2015

      Reply to Reply.

      Yes better UKIP sort their washing in private and then hit the airwaves when they have some idea of what DC is planning regarding re-negotiation. I expect it to be 90% below the waterline, iceberg fashion, until he has the deal he thinks he can sell If it does not return our sovereignty in full I expect UKIP to blow it out of the water, and one third of the conservative MPs in the H o C to join them.

      1. Jerry
        May 16, 2015

        @agricola; “Yes better UKIP sort their washing in private “

        How can any party know what the public is thinking if they are not allowed to see the “dirty washing”, after all it is the public who are the ones pointing out this dirty washing (by not voting for the party), to UKIP their policies and style of delivery made perfect sense on stilts, otherwise why were they in the manifesto, why were candidates spouting/using such nonsense?!

  21. Roy Grainger
    May 15, 2015

    I agree UKIP have achieved their main objective with the 2017 referendum. If Farage stays leader that vote will be lost because he is toxic to non-UKIP supporters who may vote to leave EU otherwise.

    On this comment “Was I right to say some time ago that if a party candidate these days wishes to win a seat, they need to move in” you are wrong, look at Boris in Uxbridge and Douglas Carswell who actually lives in Fulham.

    I think UKIP maybe have a role as a minor libertarian party (Carswell wing) or as BNP-lite (Farage wing) but their main work is done.

    1. Tad Davison
      May 15, 2015


      My own view, is, if Nigel Farage really is toxic as you suggest, the problem lies in the minds of those who don’t listen closely and attentively enough to what he says. Let them come forward and argue against him, rather than harbour some personal antithesis based upon their own misconceptions.


    2. Denis Cooper
      May 15, 2015

      Their main work will only be done when we have left the EU, and in my view also extricated ourselves from the tentacles of the EU extending through the EEA.

  22. John S
    May 15, 2015

    I felt UKIP to be my natural home as I wish to see Britain leave the EU and because I believe in a low taxed, libertarian economy with a small state and also a reversal of this lunatic energy policy relying to a large extent on renewables.. However, all we heard from Farage was immigration, immigration, immigration. This did have an appeal to working class voters and no doubt was the issue which increased UKIP’s share of the vote. This, in my view. is not good for the long term prospects for the party as it risks degenerating into a Mk II version of the BNP.

    To summarise, I would place myself at the Carswell end of the UKIP spectrum.

    1. Robert K
      May 15, 2015

      It’s a shame Carswell went to UKIP – much better if he had stood as an independent.

    2. Tad Davison
      May 15, 2015

      Immigration immigration, immigration is at the core of all that concerns us. It has a bearing upon almost everything – the NHS, housing, wages, employment, crime, our national security, the environment, transport, and much besides, and the way unfettered immigration has been foisted upon us by successive governments is a national disgrace. I feel that was one of the reasons why the Labour and the Lib Dem parties lost.

      But it’s funny that a man who said we should kick him out if he hadn’t got immigration down to the tens of thousands, actually increased his number of MPs. I wonder when Cameron is likely to attend a service of thanksgiving for the power of the Tory press?


    3. agricola
      May 15, 2015

      Immigration is only a symptom. The killer disease is the erosion of sovereignty.

  23. JoeSoap
    May 15, 2015

    It is fair to say most UKIP supporters are fairly chipper post-election. 4 million votes, not bad at all.

    It is also fair to say, unlike Liblabcon, UKIP folk are there for the policies, not in any tribal way linked to personalities. Whether the policies are espoused by Mr Farage or others, they are consistent and they are concrete. They don’t waver, Tory-like from wanting an EU to the Urals one minute and trying to pretend we can limit EU immigration the next.

  24. Lucy Locket
    May 15, 2015

    You ask, why vote Ukip now Cameron looks certain to hold an EU referendum?

    Cameron will get some minor concessions and then campaign to stay in. He will get enormous funding from the EU to support staying in. The campaign will be biased in favour of staying in.

    We still need Ukip. We need a fair and unbiased referendum.

    1. agricola
      May 15, 2015

      Absolutely correct. We need the cattle prod of Nigel Farage to regain our sovereignty.

  25. agricola
    May 15, 2015

    Well here I was all geared up for the BBC and you have bowled a googly.

    The conservative vote may be Eurosceptic but the conservative party in the H o C is about 2/1 in favour.

    Very rarely do politicians or parties respond to sensible questions in public, you being one of the exceptions.

    You are right about FPTP, but with more than three significant parties it can leave a large section of the electorate feeling disenfranchised. I have offered a solution. Your point about an elected MP being there for all his constituents is a valid one. One that many enthusiasts for democracy around the World have ignored to their disadvantage.

    John the overwhelming question for DC and the conservative parliamentary party is, do they support the sovereignty of the UK or not. A question that was avoided by almost everyone during the election.

    Then of course there are these questions.

    1. What does DC intend to re-negotiate.

    2. What, that has come out of our membership of the EU is he content to accept.

    3. DC apart, what are the conservative parliamentary party prepared to accept re. 1 & 2.

    No one knows the answers to the above, including yourself. Nor are you prepared to ask the questions in the euphoria of your unexpected win. We the electorate have been given the mushroom treatment for the past five years at least.

    As to Nigel Farage and UKIP I would say the following. The country needs him to keep reminding us of the danger to the UK and Europe of an undemocratic and totalitarian EU. No UK politician matches him in this respect, which explains why DC would not face him in a straight debate. Two thirds of the conservative party in parliament have soft voices and leave the electorate fearful of what DC is plotting along with his cohorts in the CBI, Civil Service and BBC.

    The prime purpose of UKIP is to continuously snap at the ankles of government from a position of absolute EU awareness. DC cannot be left to get on with re-negotiation, we do not trust him.

    Considering the number of career politicians that parties parachute into constituencies your comments on Mr Farage’s legitimacy in Thanet South are carping. Nor do I know the answer to your third question on Douglas Carswell. All I can say is that he is an MP of integrity.

    To your fourth question I would suggest that the Labour / SNP threat was seen as a primacy by many who then voted to stop it. The end result is as it is today, a surprise to just about every pollster, political commentator, and many conservative MPs who are now in Parliament

    Reply I have always made clear that I think the EU has far too much power, and I am in the business of trying to restore UK democracy. First we had to get a government which would give us a referendum. Now I am worried that still the Eurosceptics wish to argue with each other, instead of uniting to put the case for a stronger better UK outside the federalist treaties.

    1. agricola
      May 15, 2015

      Considering it’s time of posting isn’t it about time it was moderated and published.

    2. agricola
      May 16, 2015

      Reply to Reply.

      I do not see much internecine Eurosceptic squabbling, but then I am 1200 miles from the London bubble. I do not doubt your intentions, but if you desire to return UK democracy you need to concentrate on the restoration of UK sovereignty. From sovereignty flows all.

      So now we have the referendum. Until it happens we need the case for the restoration of sovereignty articulated at every opportunity. I can but offer three mantras that have proved positive in the past; two of which have rubbed off on me.

      Per Ardua ad Astra.
      Who dares Wins.
      To Strive to Toil and not to Yield.

      The UK electorate should hear the full case for the retention of their sovereignty. In this particular case you need to embrace the knowledge and communication skills of Nigel Farage even if you suspect some of his end motives. Quite possibly he suspects some of the conservative establishment too.

      If you do not carry the day it is the end of the UK as we know it.

  26. mick
    May 15, 2015

    Good morning Mr Redwood, the country still needs UKIP and Mr Farage at the helm, i for one don`t trust the tory`s to give the “British only born people” a fair deal on the referemdum, they along with big buisness, the MSM and the ££ backing of the EU and the rest of the polictical establisment will chuck the kitchen sink at the referemdum to try and con the british public to vote to stay in, if it had`nt been for the scare tactics of the tory`s UKIP would have gain alot more seats, don`t forget UKIP poled nearly 4million votes and that is just the tip of the iceberg to the amount of votes that will be used to get us out of the dreaded EU

  27. Iain Moore
    May 15, 2015

    I didn’t vote for Cameron for I loathe the Cameron Conservatives, I voted against having Miliband and Sturgeon rule England, otherwise my vote would have gone to UKIP.

    If there are many like me the Conservatives would do well to walk with care, for they their support is paper thin. Unfortunately it seems the lesson of the election when for most of the time the Cameroons were desperately trying to find someone to like them hasn’t sunk in, and without any sort of the debate the Cameron Conservatives are setting about with relish the project of balkanising England . The way Osborne has hit the ground running shows this was a project ready to go, but something they didn’t want to publicise or have debated in the election. In other words the usual deception and deceit we get from the Westminster village .

    So rather than being worried about UKIP, I would suggest Conservative MPs should spend more time worrying about what Cameron and Osborne are doing, for within one week of this election Osborne is creating the reason why I shouldn’t vote Conservative at the next election.

  28. Ex-expat Colin
    May 15, 2015

    Too many questions/sub q’s to answer:

    To resign or not. Think that was going to be a short fishing trip anyway? It was answered on BBC QT last night and the independently selected independent audience still had to rattle about it. Its a UKIP internal matter and a stupid cackle from the media. Whats all this softer voice cr*p…if its a duck call it that!

    Farage wants to be in Westminster so he can influence/counter the nonsense thats often conducted there. I certainly would not trust any switcher MP to do that alone or in pairs etc. Is Salmond heavily directing his new troops by chance?

    Bucks…think most anybody available at the time wanted to knock Bercow off. Farage likely learnt a lesson there about places that cannot be won. He recommended that us waiverers and UKIP types should vote Tory in places where UKIP certainly had no chance…and I did.

    Thanet is fairly close to where Farage lives I believe? Can I say Yeo here? Farage is an MEP, so I would imagine suddenly becoming an MP would be rather tricky. And the Furst Minister is….nothing but flies a lot, suddenly. Strangely, UKIP takes control of Thanet Council…I don’t quite understand that. I think we need Farage to keep the EU occupied and keep the Tories on track with a fair IN/OUT referendum. Thats the type where major money and effort is not rammed in….like Thanet. UKIP scared you all for sure!

    Whether Farage stands for MP again is….an internal UKIP matter.

    You mean Cameron may/might/could go for a Referendum. Track record not good on that. Don’t think he will do it and attempt to anaesthetise us. Brian May got some of that right..not sure Foxes will do much? Farage says UK should conduct its own business etc….dead right I think.

    UKIP is a better alternative to Tory/Lab/Lib than any other and if they can survive the constant battering from those three (and the rest) + the BBC/Sky etc, perhaps much will improve based on common sense. Farage may self finance support to 4 million.. I hope not despite the overwhelming feeling about troughing etc.

    Think you are solid Tory so I would not expect you to switch. If you did you would likely suffer a Reckless/Farage failure. Stuff works in awkward ways?

    Not sure about Reckless…did Cameron call him a fat ar*e or something similar?

    UKIP learnt that they came very close to targeted wins and 4 million voted for them. See QT last night. He may have got more votes and still lost because he recommend not voting UKIP in heavy red/blue/yellow areas.

    Enjoy your new SNP friends..it all should get very entertaining when really it shouldn’t.

  29. JoosB
    May 15, 2015

    A lot of Tory voters turned UKIP decided to switch back to the Tories last week in a bid to stop England being governed by the Scots. They were duped because it looks like nothing will change. Cameron’s thank you to England is to carry on as normal with the exception of course of handing Scotland & Wales even greater powers whilst still continuing to ignore England. He’s still ratting on his English votes for English votes promise, a sop in itself, instead keeping Hague’s watered down insulting version, ie. UK MPs squatting in English seats being allowed to only veto any English only legislation at the final reading.

    They won’t be fooled again – Cameron and the Tories obvious contempt for England will be a great recruiting sergeant for UKIP in 2020!

  30. The Don of Croy
    May 15, 2015

    If the UK chooses to stay in the EU, the role of UKIP may change, but would it need to disappear?

    I only ask because the Scots had a recent poll, apparently a ‘once in a lifetime’ event, and chose not to de-unify themselves but the SNP soldiers on to electoral success in the aftermath.

    If the SNP can overcome such a logical hiccup, then UKIP have nothing to fear from a ‘no’ vote, and much to gain if it goes their way.

    Or have I mis-interpreted it all? Like the electorate…

  31. WillH
    May 15, 2015

    Think Mr Carswell`s stance on the short money is an example to all MPs that taxpayer`s money should only be spent when absolutely necessary, if all MPs were as careful with our money they might be better thought of, don`t think you got the credit you deserved for returning the Welsh money instead of squandering it as most would have.
    As for the EU referendum, Brian May on question time made a good point in wanting the facts presenting honestly, instead of the usual spin and loads of money spent to influence the result. Suppose this would be too much to hope for ?

    1. Tad Davison
      May 15, 2015

      Spot on Will!


  32. BeeCee
    May 15, 2015

    The Press, as only the Press can do, since discovering that UKIP and Mr Farage were becoming a political force, have repeatedly sought and printed negative articles about them. Even to the extent of rehashing old news about their candidates even though the ‘utterance’, was made when they were members of a different political party.

    The Times, which I read, is a typical example – big derogatory headlines only tempered by the small print beneath. Almost relishing the ‘dissing’. Mud sticks!

    Having resigned, Mr Farage should have remained so. Whether he should stand for re-election as leader is a matter for him alone.

    I do not see why Mr Farage should have to reside in the community he wishes to represent before he is elected. I doubt Boris has lived in Uxbridge for a few years? Nor I doubt did Ed in Doncaster. Local MP’s usually vote the Party Line regardless anyway.

    With regard to Short money – was that only envisaged originally for the Office of the main Opposition? I see Mr Farage will recommend to UKIP that they take non of it.

  33. Atlas
    May 15, 2015

    John, as somebody on the Eurosceptic side I don’t have a problem with you asking questions of UKIP – as you similarly do of other political parties. After all, it’s your blog !

    As regards UKIP and Farage – I feel that he should have stood down and had a contest in the Autumn. What we are witnessing now is that exercise in Egos that all political parties have. The media are certainly enjoying this spat – in olden days it would have been a Colosseum side-show spectacle.

    Certainly Cameron might now try and get a quick EU Referendum while his main opponent is in a little disarray – that is just politics in action. I just think that Cameron’s “reforms” will prove to be mere window dressing. I do not doubt your personal drive for a ‘serious’ reform agenda which if does not materialise ought to result in an Out vote – I just do not trust Cameron on this.

    Yes, for me it is frustrating that UKIP only ended up with one MP for all the support it gets; but there again First Past the Post gave the Labour Party in Scotland quite a useful shock with all those ‘jobs-for-life’ gone eh?

  34. Alan Wheatley
    May 15, 2015

    Answer 1a

    The Executive were right; they were acting on their own judgement supported by large numbers of UKIP Members who petitioned the Executive to ask Nigel to stay. It would have been a kick in the teeth to all his supporters if Nigel had ignored their wishes.

    Answer 1b

    The Conservative Party tactics team know better than anyone how to stop someone they fear from winning a seat. Parachuting in to a constituency didn’t stop Boris, which proves there is nothing wrong in principle.

    Answer 2

    The prime purpose of UKIP is to get the UK out of the EU; the referendum is but a staging post towards that objective. Experience tells us that a Conservative Party will campaign to keep the UK in the EU, and will use what ever tricks they can get away with to achieve that objective. And as you say, the sensible thing for UKIP is to concentrate all its resources and political action on achieving an OUT vote; which harks back to Answer 1a, above.

    Answer 3

    I have no view on this as I do not know about “short” money. I would like to know a lot more; I suggest a future blog subject using the Conservative Party as a worked example.

    Answer 4

    Why indeed? There is no shortage of commentators offering their opinions, but none of them have persuaded me they have any better idea than I do, which is not much of an idea. So perhaps it is a combination of all the options applying across all those who might have voted UKIP but in the end decided not to. As to what UKIP has learnt, we shall see, shan’t we! What we do know is nearly 4M people did vote for UKIIP, and they will surely want UKIP to push forward with UKIP policies. And there is no one better than Nigel to lead that push.

    Reply Only Opposition parties can obtain Short money.

  35. oldtimer
    May 15, 2015

    My observations: I read the UKIP manifesto and agreed with a lot of it. The local UKIP candidate seemed to me to be a weaker potential MP than the alternative on offer, Dominic Grieve, who got my vote on the day even though I think Conservative energy policy with its adherence to the Climate Change Act is absurd and the legislation to mandate a certain level of foreign aid spending equally absurd.

    Re your questions: Having watched Mr Farage on QT last night, I can see why the National Executive asked him to stay. He knows and understands his brief, speaks with great clarity on EU matters and, I imagine, knows and understands EU machinations as well as anyone else active in British politics. In short they were right to persuade him to stay. He will be an effective voice for the No campaign.

    On the money issue I think I heard him say that it might be better all round not to take any of the money on offer, but to attempt to raise it privately. It seems to me they should accept the whole amount on offer. It is there to help the opposition parties be more effective.

    On the absence of a breakthrough, I suspect that reflects several issues. One is a weakness in their ground operation – the reason why they wish to replicate the LibDem approach of building strong bases in local government. Another I suspect was the fear of an SNP supported Labour government which caused some tactical voting and switching to Conservative candidates. That said, it does seem that UKIP progress in many northern constituencies is enough to cause Labour more sleepless nights. I doubt that that threat to Labour would disappear even if a No referendum vote were to win.

  36. Iain Gill
    May 15, 2015

    Well for one the Conservatives flooded that seat with resources to fight Nigel.

    For two the polls were saying the main parties were neck and neck and folk were voting tactically to keep Labour/SNP out.

    Reply Of course Conservatives wanted to help our excellent Eurosceptic candidate – now MP. UKIP also I assume “flooded” the seat to help their leader. If not, why not?

    1. Iain Gill
      May 15, 2015

      As Brian May pointed out on question time mostly the side that can spend most wins in our system. That’s what happened here.

      Indeed from your position you should be fighting to make sure the referendum is setup with the “out” side getting as much resources aka money as the “in” side gets.


    2. Chris
      May 15, 2015

      Excellent Eurosceptic candidate – have you seen his business website, Mr Redwood?

  37. Bert Young
    May 15, 2015

    The role that UKIP played during the Con/LibDem Government was an important one . During this period it clearly won the election of MEP’s and focussed the country on the need to regain independence . Farage led the attack and did a fine job ; his role inevitably made him a “national” figure – admired and immediately recognised .

    Today UKIP has been sublimated by the Conservative win and , like the other leading Parties , has received criticism and challenge to the leadership . If Cameron had “lost” he too would no longer be the Conservative leader ; in fact I’m surprised he still is . The nature of all battles won and lost tends to criticise leadership , very few have been able to sustain a winning series . Farage does have a persona that a) makes him someone to be easily recognised and respected and b) a personality who does not react kindly to challenge . As I read it , there is no-one else to assume the UKIP lead role and Farage – who wants to play a significant part in the run up to the EU referendum , has decided to stick around .

    His challenge the last time round in Buckingham was also an interesting one . He did not agree that the Speaker should automatically be given a “free ride” and , at the time Bercow was an anomaly to the Conservatives . The challenge at the time was a controversial one and the result reflected that .

    There is no doubt that UKIP has to re-think its way forward and there is no doubt that Farage needs a different form of organisation and support . UKIP badly needs a “Tebbit” figure who will be respected and can provide the strategy to get back on track . Of course Carswell cannot justify the money support available , but , UKIP certainly does to do this .

    If Cameron proceeds to move to the right and lead the country through successful negotiations with the EU and re-establish the independence we want , he will be very respected and remove the huge question marks against him . His Back Benchers will stay in line and also cheer him on . The sooner the better !!

    Reply As a Eurosceptic I found it difficult to explain why Mr Farage came third behind a well known pro Euro EU integrationists also challenging the Speaker.

  38. botogol
    May 15, 2015

    1 – Farage didn’t win a seat because UKIP are simply not quite popular enough to come first in any constituency. Carswell had (just) enough personal attraction to propel him into 1st place. Farage didn’t have that.
    UKIP should have a leadership contest because (1) having promised to resign Farage has lost credibility he can only recover by winning a contest and (2)…

    2- I agree. UKIP should devote 100% of it’s efforts to the referendum now. they should choose as the leader the best person for this task (if they do well in the campaign, regardless of if they win, votes will follow, look at the SNP)

    3- they should feel free to take the money, but given the odd circumstances they need to explain exactly what they are doing with it (just saying ‘staff’ isn’t enough). Spending it on the referendum is the obvious one – as you say it will take a lot to persuade 51% of the population, the Short money is a start and I think 4m voters provides justification for taking it.

    4- the Tory promise of a referendum must have helped a lot. there must be many many anti-EU voters who agreed with your analysis that the best way to hasten an anti-EU agenda was to vote Tory and get the referendum

    1. libertarian
      May 15, 2015


      Agreed apart from short money, I think once again Douglas Carswell has shown himself to be one of the few really reliable and trustworthy parliamentarians .

      UKIP doesn’t have a future in UK parliament, it will always be strong in the EU as it is the only opposition party there that really opposes.

      UKIP’s main problem is that its been a one man band for so long that Nige doesn’t know how to manage when a few more talented people have arrived on the scene.

      To be honest Nige should go , but no idea who would take over. Douglas Carswell is a libertarian, whig, Gladstonian Liberal who wants to radically alter politics and democracy. UKIP is an out of date out of touch old school right wing party. They don’t belong together.

      Whilst I agree with Peter vL that our democracy isn’t fit for purpose and its an outrage that 4 million votes got 1 seat, don’t get too carried away, there are nearly 80 million people in this country so 4 million is only 5% and most of those people won’t be around come the 2025 elections .

      A big problem we now face is that The Conservative Party having won a very surprising majority will be even less likely to change itself in a direction that a lot of its “natural” supporters would like to see.

      The Tory party’s fate now rests entirely on how Cameron handles the EU renegotiation/referendum . If he pulls what people see as a stunt that will finish the party for good. If he holds a referendum with fairish questions and the Innies win, then the rump of UKIP will struggle on for a couple of years. If the referendum produces an OUT majority then Dave will have written his name in the history books, the UK will go from strength to strength and USEu will implode.

  39. JJE
    May 15, 2015

    It’s simple enough. UKIP is a party of and for the losers. They are the people who haven’t adapted well to the modern world, either socially or economically, and are being left behind. Plus a few outright misfits.
    It should not be a surprise that these people are not very good at running things.

    1. Tad Davison
      May 15, 2015

      Bilge. They have attracted and will continue to attract many disenfranchised voters the other pro-EU federalist parties cannot hope to attract. Their percentage of the vote has increased. Read your history. Every political party has experienced difficulties whilst finding its feet, UKIP is no different.

      1. Leslie Singleton
        May 15, 2015

        Dear Tad–It is impossible to argue against your last sentence albeit that John tries very hard. I don’t believe he believes it himself. Is a new Party just to spring from zero to 51% in one bound? Unlikely.

    2. agricola
      May 15, 2015

      Pathetic drivel.

      If adoption to your modern world means becoming subservient to a totalitarian undemocratic cabal in Brussels, I want none of it. They cannot even point to economic success, the first building block of any political idea.

      You will find in this column a fair few people who have run and are running very successful enterprises be they UKIP supporters or anything else. A completely vacuous submission.

    3. Mitchel
      May 15, 2015

      The problem with that “analysis” is that the number of losers,as you call them, is increasing due to the effects of technological innovation,the globalised economy,etc…and when the financial chickens of substantial and prolonged western deficit spending come home to roost many who consider themselves to have been winners will be disabused of the notion.

  40. DaveM
    May 15, 2015

    OT but related (ish):

    The BBC are really hammering the ”take us with you Scotland” story, even though it’s just a few socialists who like the SNP’s anti-austerity rhetoric. And of course, the BBC likewise appreciates the SNP’s socialist and pro-EU agenda. They also keep referring to Ukip’s temporary squabbles as the party ”tearing itself apart” – which, of course, the Labour Party isn’t doing at all (!!?!)

    They’really not doing themselves any favours are they? What with the charter review approaching and Mr Whittingdale now looking at them hard.

    1. Tad Davison
      May 15, 2015

      If John Whittingdale sorts out the BBC and makes their news and current affairs more balanced, he does so with my blessing.


      1. Leslie Singleton
        May 15, 2015

        Tad–Agreed, perhaps with the odd factual or scientific documentary thrown in. The Hairdressers magazine stuff with the vast amounts paid to “stars” I can well do without myself

  41. Peter
    May 15, 2015

    UKIP is experiencing growing pains and debate about leadership and direction happens in every party. Without last minute UKIP switchers to Conservative, the election outcome would have been very different and I think it shows a sharp political sense amongst UKIP supporters.

    I think Farage is right to stay on but should be encouraged to take a decent holiday and recharge. Farage is a brilliant performer that Cameron was clearly not comfortable to debate against. In future he needs to balance his public appearances with other UKIP spokesmen.

    As far a Thanet South goes, it is a pity for the Commons to have lost such a great speaker and a shame for the constituents that they overlooked such an influential Person. I don’t doubt Farage would have been able to attract much needed inward investment. Instead, Thanet South have simply got another anonymous grey suit. (Who knows the MPs name?)

    I still don’t trust Cameron on the referendum. Will the question be fair, which side will get the ‘yes’ answer, will MPs be free to campaign, will the EU be allowed to get involved etc. Also, will those against EU membership make common cause and share platforms? Will we see Farage and Redwood together on the hustings?

    Finally, despite wining only one seat, the election was a great success for UKIP. The electorate have now been softened up in many places, especially in the north, and a major breakthrough should be expected in 2020. Originally it was thought that UKIP would hurt the Conservatives, but instead, appears to appeal to former Labour supporters. This has been obvious for ages, but the Conservative leadership have been blind to the fact. Ultimately, UKIP have been doing all the street fighting that got Cameron elected!

    Reply Thanet South has elected a strong minded Eurosceptic who was once a member of UKIP.The Commons did not lose Mr Farage as we never had him. Mr Farage does of course already have a well paid public sector job as an MEP which gives him a good platform and office back
    up paid for by taxpayers.

  42. Brian Tomkinson
    May 15, 2015

    I have no doubt that the NEC was right and that Nigel Farage is the best person to lead UKIP. This man has the communication skills, knowledge and experience essential for the challenge we and the country face – the EU referendum. Many of us have little faith in the so-called Conservative Eurosceptics speaking up for an independent, self-governing free trading UK. History shows that ultimately, with most of you, party comes before country, as it did when you capitulated over Maastricht.
    You will never admit it but without the growth of UKIP there would be no referendum. I have little confidence that the referendum will be conducted fairly.
    Brian May on Question Time last night highlighted the potential problem that the pro-EU lobby will spend a fortune to obtain the result they want and prevent the public from understanding the real issues. In this the BBC will be a prime prpaganda tool. I have said it often before, we are about to see a repeat of Wilson’s 1975 blueprint. I saw through it then and hope millions more will this time.

    Lest you forget:
    UKIP’s share of the vote in general elections:
    12.6% 2015
    3.1% 2010
    2.2% 2005
    1.2% 2001
    0.3% 1997
    UKIP came second in 120 constituencies.
    UKIP secured 3.9million votes.
    Not bad for a party your leader described as full of loonies and fruitcakes.

    The challenge for you is to decide which side you are really on – party come what may or independence for the UK.

    Reply My strategy to restore UK democracy has always been a two stage one – help get a Conservative government elected to give us a referendum, then win the Out campaign – unless we do get our democracy back through the negotiations which you think impossible.
    I know exactly which side I am on, and I know my strategy is working. Your strategy based on seeking a UKIP breakthrough has got you to one seat in the 20145 Parliament (itself the product of a previous Conservative defection) after 18 years of trying. I think you make my case for me with the numbers you supply.
    Do you now see that to win the referendum you will need all the Conservative votes as well as the UKIP votes to do it? How does attacking Conservatives daily help with that cause?

  43. Tad Davison
    May 15, 2015

    I watched Nigel Farage on the BBC’s Question Time last night, and thought he handled the matter most effectively. He outshone all the rest, so personally, I would like Mr Farage to continue in his post. His arguments were sound and delivered in a way people could understand. It worries me that so many members of the public are so ill-informed, so he will be an important asset when it comes to the EU referendum. He also said he would recommend that UKIP did not take the public money the party is now entitled to. That rather sets UKIP apart from the others.

    It’s a pity Nigel Farage isn’t leader of the Tory party, but who knows what heights UKIP might ascend to in the future. Their support base is steadily growing all the time, and may even eclipse the Tories one day, when the public have had enough of Cameron going back on his word.

    It is nevertheless true that there needs to be a greater degree of discipline within UKIP, but that is also true of all political parties. The others hide their divisions and rivalries better, so UKIP could and should learn from them, but one party does something wrong and it barely gets a mention. UKIP has a little local difficulty, and it makes headlines.

    On Mr Farage’s failure to win South Thanet, my own view is in accord with the popular one, that there was a significant threat from a Labour/SNP combination that needed to be seen off for the good of the nation, hence the temporary drift back to the Tories on this one occasion to kill it off.

    I feel UKIP’s policies are different from the rest, so it would seem there is still room for them. They provide a foil and a counter to the rather polarised and tribal parties now ensconced in the palace of Westminster. It will be interesting to see what the Labour party throws up after Miliband’s departure. As for the Lib Dems, it might just be that it is they who are an irrelevance in future and ‘whither’. One less Euro-federalist party to deal with.

    Tad Davison


  44. Sandra Cox
    May 15, 2015

    Not a lot to say today John, because there are just too many questions to answer. However, if likened to a boxing match, the way I see it:

    In the blue corner – Nigel Farage – honest, patriotic, charismatic, under dog – he and his supporters are defending the sovereignty of the United Kingdom – entering the fight to the sound of: I Vow to Thee My Country


    In the red corner – The rest of our treacherous political rabble (with a few exceptions) and their EU-funded mouthpiece, the BBC – defending their country – the Federal State of the European Union – been in the fight game for decades, and still entering to the tune of: The Red Flag. 🙂

  45. Anthem
    May 15, 2015

    The biggest question to come out of the whole election is how a party can receive almost 4 million votes and yet see those votes converted into just ONE MP?

    A secondary follow-up question to that might be: if it is possible for 4 million people to be represented by one MP, why do we need 650 of them for a total population of around 65 million?

    I suspect that there is a lot of anger and frustration within the UKIP ranks because of this appalling injustice at this moment in time but once wounds have been licked and bruises healed, UKIP will be back, with Nigel Farage at the helm and stronger than ever.

    Reply Every UKIP voter is represented by their local MP

    1. Jim Matthews
      May 15, 2015

      “Every UKIP voter is represented by their local MP”. In much the same way as I was, until last week, represented by a LibDem, which is to say she would answer my letters politely, but usually either negatively or with an obfuscation, while persisting in supporting policies which are anathema to me and which will, in due course, assuredly destroy my country.

      Quite possibly she would have been more helpful on local issues had I had any such issues to raise (LibDems are assiduous in this area and she was exemplary on constituency matters), but that is scant comfort. Westminster is a National Parliament and consequently what the electorate want and need is to have their views on national matters represented. For about 35% of the voting electorate (and 55% of the total electorate) FPTP does not provide any such representation.

    2. stred
      May 15, 2015

      Reply to reply. Mine is Caroline Lucas. How much use would she be if I wanted to complain about environmental issues that don’t work forcing industry overseas because of greencrap? A previous MP was instrumental in having small HMOs licenced. Not much use asking him to help.

  46. Brigham
    May 15, 2015

    It is amazing to me, that UKIP had the number of votes that it did. The way the other parties behaved, including yours John, was nothing less than disgraceful, in fact I think that, with the British love of the underdog, it may be that the multiple smear campaigns added to the votes. It did with me. I voted UKIP, even ‘though I am a staunch Tory really.

    Reply I do not smear UKIP. You should also understand that Conservatives get roughly treated quite often by left wing opponents.

    1. Timaction
      May 15, 2015

      I agree with the outrageous behaviour of the MSN and legacy parties before, during and after the election. Of course NF should return as leader as that’s what the grass roots of the party wants. As far as the EU referendum is concerned we know the lies and spin that the treacherous legacies and MSN will say. All lies and deceit. We the 4million plus many more who voted tactically to keep Red Ed out are not represented under the Whip system and we know it. Smears won’t change a belief system based on patriotism. A concept lost by the main parties and its bought media!

  47. A different Simon
    May 15, 2015

    Some of us cannot bring ourselves to vote for the three parties for the reason that they have succeeded in socially re-engineering society .

    I went to the Molly Millar pub the other night and saw a large group of mentally handicapped people who were being treated to a meal out and it made me joyous .

    Three decades ago mentally handicapped people were part of the community and would be seen regularly – but not now .

    The progressives consensus of which your party is part has recently discovered a new human right : “The right to feel comfortable” .

    Evidently this only applies to those who society judges to be fully human .

    It seems to extend to incarcerating handicapped people on the grounds that they make the rest of us feel uncomfortable .

    How very fourth reich , if you can’t kill them before birth just pretend they don’t exist .

    I suspect there are young people who don’t even know these handicapped people exist and ultimately a piece of everyone’s humanity dies because of it .

    1. petermartin2001
      May 15, 2015

      This is just nonsense. There has been significant progress, if not as much as we might like, in the acceptance of mentally handicapped people in the community over the years. At one time children with learning difficulties were officially classed as ‘backward’ or ‘retarded’. Down’s syndrome was referred to as “Mongolism”. Physically handicapped people were known, officially, as “Spastics”. They were regularly institutionalised in previous decades.

      It was people like Stephen Hawking who were incarcerated and labelled, officially, (in unpleasant ways ed). Yet who knows what they were really capable of? Maybe they’d have been Nobel prize winners too, given the right opportunities.

      1. petermartin2001
        May 15, 2015

        I should have checked before pressing the “post” button! I’ve just attributed Stephen Hawking with a Nobel Prize which, if he’d got it, would have been for his work on Black Holes and his successful prediction of Hawking radiation. But, rightly or wrongly, he didn’t get one!

    2. David L
      May 15, 2015

      I spend part of my week helping disabled people in Wokingham to access the wider community and I can’t say that I agree with your observation that learning disabled people are not seen in public. I encountered public hostility back in the 1990’s (e.g. being asked to leave a local cafe as we were “frightening customers”) but I find local people almost always very accepting and friendly. There are issues over funding and there are increasing restrictions on some activities to be sure, but my main frustration is over the absence of any spontaneity in the lives of vulnerable people; everything has to be risk assessed, costed and considered by managers well before it can happen. And why? To protect said managers from any risk of litigation. “Safety” is the priority in too many aspects of modern life, common sense is no longer sufficient, sadly.

      1. A different Simon
        May 16, 2015

        Perhaps it was because in the 1980’s I lived in a village where a lot of institutions for mentally handicapped were located that I perceive there to be less mentally handicapped people in the community .

        A couple of the smaller homes had about 20 residents each who did not need constant care and roamed about a 2 mile radius and had occupational therapy every week .

        My family befriended one of the residents called Charlie .

        When the small homes were demolished and sold off to developers (as they all were including the big hospital) the residents were relocated to a good home in Devon .

        The land was obviously valuable but it still felt to me like they had been squeezed out .

        I’m pleased to say when I visited him he had adapted amazingly well . Died peacefully at 80 years of age .

        You have got me wondering how today’s safety and litigation culture would have affected their lives .

        A lot of what was open woodland is now fenced off so their roaming would be restricted – perhaps for the same reason ; fear of litigation .

        1. A different Simon
          May 16, 2015

          PS , now only one of the original residents remains , Martin , probably by virtue of being old enough to qualify for old aged accommodation .

          The village is much poorer for their departure .

    3. David Price
      May 16, 2015

      I do think the situation is complex though not nearly as bad as you suggest and is improving over time, though support for people can vary depending on where you are. My experience is that health and education support have improved significantly over the last twenty years, particularly in the local area, and a growing number of employers are helpful and accomodating

      However, I do think far too little attention is paid to the plight of the carers and families.

  48. Kenneth
    May 15, 2015

    There is still a gap in the political market for the first political party in a long time to represent working people and those who want the dignity of being able to pay their own way without being propped up by hand-outs.

    The original Ukippers – as with most of the political Right – recognised that no-one has marched for more benefits, or more immigration or any of the nutty ideas of the BBC/Guardian set. The Jarrow marchers wanted to work and they were patriots.

    UKIP blew it as it tried the impossible task of becoming a broad church in a matter of months. It tried to pander to the BBC/Guardian view of the world, even supporting such nutty ideas as paternity pay and ‘gender equality’ (since when have apples and pears been equal?).

    The first party to clear this rubbish away and tune in to the philosophy of the bulk of the British people will be the clear winners. The race is on.

    NB Nigel Farage did himself no favours by stating that he would stand down if he lost (a red rag to a bull) and by threatening the stop the BBC showing mainstream tv shows like Strictly Come Dancing. TV shows are extremely important to millions of people – for many they are far more important than politics – and by threatening to pull them off the air he demonstrated how out of touch he is.

    For what it’s worth, I would like to see Mr Farage step down for 6 months and allow Paul Nuttall to take the reigns for a while. I doubt if that will happen though.

    1. Mondeo Man
      May 16, 2015

      UKIP hasn’t blown it.

      It was up against the Tories claiming to have created record numbers of jobs vs the SNP/Lab threat.

      The reason why UKIP exists is still there and won’t go away. It will get worse.

  49. Observer
    May 15, 2015

    The most important first step is the revision of the boundaries so that each MP is elected by a similar number of voters; if this results in a reduction in the number of MPs so much the better. Eliminate the undistinguished long service awards to the House of Lords and replace with senior representatives of the Law Society, Chartered Accountants, the various medical associations and other bodies of similar standing.

    Regrettably Cameron appears to be going down the same route as Heath (is he also a freemason?). The so called referendum is likely to be a stitch up with the voters afraid to vote for independence in the same way as the Scots were frightened off.

  50. a-tracy
    May 15, 2015

    I’m not a UKIP blogger so I can’t answer many of your questions. One thought has crossed my mind though, so we have an EU referendum and it goes 55% vote to stay in and 45% vote to leave, does that go up to 50% in the next UK Parliament vote and suddenly UKIP do an SNP and come from nowhere to take over 90% of the seats because the people think that will give them more opportunities to argue with the big guns in Europe and demand to give the UK everything that was negotiated before the referendum to persuade us to stay in with extra demands or we’ll run another referendum and another….and another!

    The Tories need to stop looking over their shoulder at UKIP and they need to concentrate on getting their positive news out, new faces, good news, uplifting achievements, confidence looking forward.

  51. Wilson
    May 15, 2015

    > “why did UKIP fail to break through in it target seats?”

    Confused objectives, fringe and irrelevant policies, incoherent strategy. The UKIP manifesto read like they expected to form a government, which was just too silly to make them a serious voting option for most people.

    I’m still baffled by UKIP’s fixation on holding a referendum rather than a straight demand to leave the EU. A referendum, as the Lib Dems and SNP discovered, can be lost just as easily as a general election. By fixing as their objective something another party could safely offer, UKIP ensured a large proportion of the anti-EU vote would go elsewhere.

    Had they instead offered to support whatever party that would do most to get out of the anti-democratic institutions of the EU, perhaps UKIP could have approached the success the SNP achieved with their “kingmaker” shopping list. But UKIP seems to have not so much a strategy to achieve exit, as an infatuation with the political preferences of Jimmy Goldsmith.

    The irony of some in UKIP now calling for a move to the voting system used for EU elections appears to be lost on them. They’re strategic and tactical blunderers, and our electoral system has rewarded them with precisely the outcome they merit.

  52. forthurst
    May 15, 2015

    Clearly, Farage was wrong in assuming that people would not wish to put themselves and their loved ones behind in the queue for NHS treatment or that people whose behaviour caused their infections abroad would not change it so as not to pass those infections on to others whilst spending the rest of their lives here, or is it simply because the populace at large has been fed a diet of hypocritical liberal piffle for so long from mainstream politicians, they cannot take the shock of the idea those politicians should be putting their constituents first before spending our money on helping others on top of the twelve billion already allocated.

  53. Tad Davison
    May 15, 2015

    So you would have the tax-payer pay for everyone, no matter where they come from, or how expensive the treatment they need. That would be prohibitively expensive. Not in my name.

    Far better to encourage their local economies to grow and develop whereby they can treat their own, and remove the ‘need’ to come to the UK.


    1. stred
      May 15, 2015

      My neighbor was not given an implant to prevent tremor 4 years ago because he did not have enough NICE qualis. Despite paying his NI all his life. at 74 his remaining years divided by quality of health were insufficient, so he dad to take drugs instead. Now the leading consultant says the cost of implants is less than the drugs after 3 years. The treatment has failed and he has been taken into care and will have to pay eventually by selling his house. The cost is around £12k.

      Someone with HIV arriving in the UK could have 40 years lifespan, costing £25k pa. There may be many millions of unfortunate victims of unhealthy practice in countries with no anti viral treatment available to those who cannot get private health insurance, many of them female in Africa. But Farage is labelled as homophobic, aggressive and snide when he raises the subject. Guardian think at its best.

      1. stred
        May 16, 2015

        The quali should be quality of life divided by probable lifespan. £12k is the cost of treatment quoted online.

  54. Elliot Kane
    May 15, 2015

    I am a floating voter, though favourably inclined to UKIP. If I were not ill on the day, I would certainly have voted for them at this election, but they are not ‘my’ party in the sense of complete identification.

    With those caveats. here are my thoughts:

    “Was the Executive right to ask Mr Farage to tear up his resignation, or are Messrs O Flynn and Wheeler right that UKIP now needs a less contentious and softer voice to take it forward?”

    I think the executive were right. UKIP largely stands or falls by its charismatic leader. Farage is one of the best orators in UK politics and has had a very great hand in turning UKIP into a party on the verge of breaking through into parliament.

    “Why has Mr Farage proved so incapable of winning a seat in Westminster, even after generating so much coverage for himself?”

    People don’t vote according to known names. If they did, Labour’s Ed Balls would still be an MP, alongside Vince Cable and pretty much every other Lib Dem anyone can name. A personal following can add to a vote, but mostly people seem to vote by party, not by individual MPs. Which is a shame, but the way it is.

    Even the amazingly popular in his constituency Douglas Carswell didn’t exactly keep his seat by a landslide, this time.

    “Was I right to say some time ago that if a party candidate these days wishes to win a seat, they need to move in and show they are committed to a given local community, and empathise with local opinion?”

    No. There are many MPs who are parachuted in by the party machines and win the vote. Most obviously, Stephen Kinnock won for Labour in Abernavon at the last election despite being mainly resident in Denmark!

    “The second question is what is the prime purpose of UKIP now we have elected a government which will give us an In/Out referendum?”

    No offence, John, but I’d wait to see if the chickens hatched before counting them, here. And even if we get the referendum, well, look at the SNP now. Once, UKIP were a single issue party whose only policy was to leave the EU, but that’s no longer the case. I expect them to emulate the SNP and stick around.

    “The third question is was Mr Carswell right to say UKIP should not accept a large annual sum of public money to run an opposition in the Commons, or was the leadership right to say they should take the money and employ staff with it?”

    Douglas was absolutely right. One cannot campaign on a platform of opposition to political troughing, then eagerly stick one’s own snout in at the first opportunity. That kind of behaviour would just not wash.

    I have long admired Carswell, first as a Conservative and now as UKIP. I don’t always agree with him, but I do think Parliament needs more like him.

    “The fourth question is why did UKIP fail to break through in it target seats?”

    Vote is too spread out, and it’s too soon. IMO, this election was never going to be the UKIP breakout. 2020 will be the real test. Providing the party doesn’t self-destruct in the meantime. They have obtained four million votes, which is an astonishing total for anyone not Labour or Tory. Now they need to use all those second place results to encourage the idea that next time they can win.

    A lot of people in Britain vote tactically to keep parties out of power. Others only vote if they think the party they are voting for can win. If the best tactical vote is obviously UKIP, or UKIP look like they might capture seats, they’ll pick up votes.

    I also think that a lot of people will have voted either to keep Ed out of power or the SNP from getting a hold on a minority Labour govt. I suspect those two things had a lot to do with the Conservative victory.

    “Why did Mr Reckless fail to hold his seat?”

    Faced with a stark choice between Cameron & Miliband, more of his constituents wanted to keep Miliband out than wanted Reckless in, IMO.

    “What has UKIP learned from its failure to win a single seat in the election, other than to hold a seat won by a Conservative who defected?”

    This I can’t answer, though I suspect the answer is ‘nothing they didn’t already know’ – which is to say that breaking into the British parliament in strength is a very uphill struggle.


    For me, the next five years are probably the most important for UKIP. They need to build up their brand, show themselves to be a credible party who may yet win and – perhaps most of all! – put forward a compelling and positive case for Brexit.

    There’s also two other things they need to hope for: firstly that Labour pick another disaster as leader. Preferably ‘Mid Staffs Burnham’. I daresay the Tories would be grinning ear to ear if that happened, too. The other, and possibly more important, is that Boris should NOT be leader of the Tories. If he is, I think support for all other parties will all suffer a significant decline, but UKIP maybe worst of all.

    While Nigel Farage is certainly one of the most impressive leaders in British politics right now, Boris has him – and everyone else! – beaten by a country mile.

    You asked for thoughts, and got an essay! Hopefully at least some of it is interesting to you 🙂

  55. Chris
    May 15, 2015

    The significance of the UKIP achievements in the election can be seen in the article and maps in the Independent newspaper. Conservatives would be most foolish to ignore or mock these achievements. The map shows UKIP increased its vote share by more than any other party in 469 constituencies across the UK. The party saw a rise in voteshare in 622 of the 624 seats it contested, and increased support in all contested constituencies in England, Wales and Northern Ireland.

    Ukip also averaged a rise of 10.2 per cent in its contested constituencies, with 20 constituency seats increasing by 20 per cent or higher.

    While Ukip only achieved 1 seat in the election, the rise in voteshare from c3% to 12% has increased the party’s profile and standing as an alternative to the traditional two party system. UKIP’s vote quadrupled between 2010 and 2015.

    What is of particular significance are the large number of second places to Labour in what used to be called the Labour heartlands. Here, voting Conservative is still considered toxic by many, and that is still a major problem for the Cons to address. Overall UKIP got 118 second places which also included second place to Conservatives in southern constituencies.

    Interesting to note that in a multiparty environment, which we have now, proportional representation would have cut the Cons seats by c 80, SNP would have been reduced to 25 and UKIP would have gained 83 seats. Far more reflective of the political will of this country than the FPTP voting system which was first chosen/employed to best represent the 2 Party system at the time. FPTP is anachronistic, and I believe that it won’t be long before we have a significant change to our system.

  56. rick hamilton
    May 15, 2015

    FPTP is popular with political parties but I am not so sure that the voters love it as you believe JR. Politicians always say they will represent all their constituents when elected but isn’t that what we expect – just doing their job?

    The problem is that we have to vote either for the best person to represent our local area or the one who belongs to the party we want in government, which are not always the same. We might have to vote for a person we don’t like for fear of getting the wrong government.

    Other systems around the world recognise this distinction and give two votes. As far as I can tell every newly set up democracy has adopted a PR system. The rejection of PR in the recent referendum was I think more to do with the negatives about the AV system offered than the principle of PR itself.

    As for UKIP, if Cameron had the good grace to recognise the enormous efforts made by Nigel Farage in his efforts to save our country from the stifling embrace of the EU he would offer him a peerage. There are many less deserving placemen on the red benches and I am sure a Lord Farage would enliven the debate in an upper house stuffed with EUphiles.

  57. Tom William
    May 15, 2015

    Farage is seen by the public as UKIP. Notwithstanding his ability to speak well and appear personable he has, in his long time as leader, succeeded in driving out all potential rivals, made many disastrous decisions and in general produced no original thinking. He is, par excellence, a protest vote. Anyone who can say that the 2010 UKIP election manifesto was a load of rubbish is not a serious politician.

  58. Chris
    May 15, 2015

    The Independent sums up UKIP’s success and significance:

    Worth noting that 2015 has been regarded as a springboard for 2020, and that has been achieved.

    1. Denis Cooper
      May 16, 2015

      There’s another interesting map here:


      Or in fact two maps, as you can click on the tabs and switch between one map showing which parties came first in the constituencies across the UK and another map showing which parties came second. There were 125 places scattered across England and Wales where UKIP came second.

      I have long argued that while the extreme “winner takes all” character of the FPTP system for electing MPs is beneficial insofar as we are more likely to get coherent single party governments able to pursue the manifestos on which they are elected, rather than coalition governments with agreements decided behind closed doors after the election, it should be moderated by replacing the unelected legislators-for-life in the present House of Lords with all those who came second in their constituency contests. That would give the best of all worlds: broader Parliamentary representation, more effective opposition but with that opposition only able to delay not block the government’s legislative programme, a reason for people to vote in “safe” constituencies where it would matter who came second even if it was known beforehand who would come first, with every parliamentary representative linked to a geographical constituency, and all through a simple change to the system entailing no extra cost or complexity.

      Reply As your map shows, there were more Con/Lab second places than UKIP, so I am not sure what point you are making

      1. Denis Cooper
        May 17, 2015

        My point is actually a non-partisan point, that we could get broader and fairer Parliamentary representation by using both chambers not just one, and without any additional cost and complexity in the electoral process and without landing ourselves with endless coalition governments.

  59. petermartin2001
    May 15, 2015

    “If we vote for Out then UKIP’s purpose has been achieved. ”

    That’s a good point and I’ve often wondered about that. Will they just dissolve afterwards? Any real political party can’t be just a single issue pressure group with a few add-ons here and there. A change of name from the Referendum Party to UKIP hasn’t changed that. The irony is that by achieving their stated objective they remove their own legitimacy.

    1. A different Simon
      May 15, 2015

      As far as I know UKIP have not claimed to be anything more than a single issue party .

      On the other hand , the establishment has been so determined to deny British people their say on the EU that it forced people to express their wish via the wrong mechanism – a general election .

      It seems that in criticising UKIP for being a single issue party that the establishment think they are entitled to have their cake and eat it .

      Regardless of what happens to UKIP and whether it remains Business as Usual in Westminster for the next few years , the legacy parties are not getting stronger – they are withering .

      LibLabCon have had their day and ironically are in the same managed decline they planned for the rest of us .

    2. Denis Cooper
      May 15, 2015

      In that happy event I expect the members would be asked what they wanted to do. It would not be a question of legitimacy, just whether to suitably revise the objectives stated in the party constitution or to wind the party up.

  60. agricola
    May 15, 2015

    We are financially incapable of saving all those with dire diseases from around the World at zero cost to them. Has it ever occurred to you that their own governments have a prime responsibility for the health of their populations.

    I find it particularly galling to be bombarded with begging TV campaigns demanding money to sink wells in countries that should be sinking their own wells. How much do these charities spend on their own executives and TV advertising I wonder. I would much prefer our overseas aid budget to concentrate on the horror in Nepal or the Mediterranean boat people.

    What is wrong with Nigel Farage pointing out this basic truth, when we give those of our own citizens in dire need a very poor deal.

  61. Margaret Brandreth-J
    May 15, 2015

    Still only one true answer. We are a 2 party nation and conviction votes are like …in the wind

  62. They Work for Us?
    May 15, 2015

    I am sure UKIP will go on from strength to strength because it represents views for a self governing England that is not subject to foreign interference, over regulation, high taxation and Govt both National and Local operating far beyond the remit of protecting its citizens and providing services that the individual is unlikely to be able to provide for himself.
    Facts, the Modern Conservative Party has moved to the Left, tried to recruit voters whose home is with the Liberals, the Greens and the Labour Party. whilst ignoring and sidelining the opinions of 4 million voters, possibly more in 2020 that normally would have a home in a proper Conservative Party.
    The major Parties have done theii damnedest to strangle UKIP at Birth and have been unsuccessful. Why did you not put the degree of effort in preventing Farage from gaining Thanet South into preventing Nick Clegg’s Constituency? Was it because “He is one of us”?

    The main function of UKIP and the relatively few Conservative Eurosceptics who will dare to put their head above the parapet is to make sure the EU Referendum is fair and keep Cameron honest.
    A fair refererendum question,Fair and honest statistics as to the pros and cons, both economic and personal (pressure on NHS, Education, living space etc)

    There must be an unbiased review of any so called concessions obtained by David Cameron to look for the small print and see if they amount to anything).
    Finally only UK Citizens (not residents) must be allowed to vote, it is their country after all. The generous franchise applied to the local and general elections is unacceptable.

    Reply We put more effort into Thanet South because it was a Conservative held seat we needed to hold to get a majority to give you a referendum! Sheffield was not a Conservative seat and we were unlikely to win it.

  63. Ralph Musgrave
    May 15, 2015

    Re JR’s criticism of UKIP for parachuting Farage into sundry seats, parachuting is hardly a “crime” confined to UKIP.

  64. fedupsoutherner
    May 15, 2015

    JR. UKIP aside for a moment. Do you think we could have the prospect of a long term Conservative government because of the actions of the SNP? Let’s face it, it could be good for the party all the time the public are afraid of Labour jumping into bed with the SNP. If nothing changes at the next election then will people not vote UKIP again to keep the Tories in and Liebour/SNP out.

  65. Shieldsman
    May 15, 2015

    I am sick and tired of the Tory and Labour press plus the BBC constantly trying to dig the dirt, their own party misdemeanors are ignored. What they cannot find they dream up.
    Long before Conservative and Labour manifesto’s appeared they were nagging UKIP to produce one, in fact they let their imaginations run riot and invented one from the past. They probably used the Tory Cambell-Bannerman as a template.
    I liken many of the newspaper hacks as being refugee’s from the defunct News on the World.
    Like Mr Redwood’s desire UKIP’s primary aim is, and always has been exit from the EU Political Union, return of Sovereignty and Supremacy to our Westminster Parliament. This should include control of our Borders and an EFTA type trade type pact with Europe
    Because it is our primary the media and the other parties ignore our very creditable 2015 Manifesto, it is there for the reading. I think it even got a thumbs up from one Guardian writer – praise indeed.
    As a party we represent nearly4million voters with a manifesto covering all aspects of government.
    The Party is not a one man band, just as Conservatives elected David Cameron as leader, Nigel Farage is the duly democratically elected leader of UKIP. It is for the party alone to decide, free of outside influence.
    The Labour party is currently in the throes of electing an new leader and it is no business of a partisan press.
    Strangely the two major parties and the press hide from the Public that EU freedom of movement prevents control of immigration from the EU.
    UKIP should be left alone to prepare the ground for an OUT vote should David Cameron obtain enactment of a referendum.
    Just to put the record straight UKIP is entitled to ‘short money just as are the other opposition parties.’

  66. agricola
    May 15, 2015

    John, I would appreciate you comment on the latest utterances coming from Phillip Hammond.

    It would appear that he cannot get reform of the EU so he intends to take it via some as yet to be defined legal slight of hand. Do you believe the EU will buy it. To me it would appear that the man has only been in office for less than a week, but is prepared to sell us down the river.

    I cannot believe the EU would tolerate a legal fudge, and would challenge every step. None of this returns our sovereignty. To quote PH, he wants the UK electorate to be “Relaxed and comfortable about being part of the EU”. What Happy Pills or Anaesthetic does he propose to prescribe, administered no doubt by friends at the BBC.

    Now do you understand why we need UKIP.

    Reply If they do not restore our democracy and enable us to make our own decisions about important matters like borders, then many more will fight for Out and vote for Out. The Out campaign needs to be getting ready, and it need to draw on very wide ranging political support with suitable leading faces and voic.

    1. Denis Cooper
      May 16, 2015

      Reply to agricola:

      On the contrary the other EU leaders would have no problem with a plausible legal fudge which appeared to accommodate Cameron’s demands while in reality changing little or nothing.

      A year ago the FT reported that a French lawyer had already come up with a plan to apparently meet the requirements Cameron had laid down in an article in the Sunday Telegraph, while avoiding any treaty change:


      “Legal loopholes for David Cameron on EU treaty, says top lawyer”

      “David Cameron’s demands to renegotiate British membership of the EU would not necessarily require a treaty change, according to the top Brussels lawyer who helped to draft every EU treaty from Maastricht to Lisbon.

      Jean-Claude Piris, former legal counsel of the European Council and the Council of Ministers, said that Mr Cameron’s seven key demands could be met with some deft legal drafting, provided there was political will and a mood for compromise on both sides of the negotiations.”

      That legal analysis is here:


      And yesterday there was an article in the Wall Street Journal suggesting that the referendum could be held just on a promise to make changes in the future:


      “The Danish Solution for Cameron’s EU Plight”

      “There will be no treaty changes before the UK’s in-out referendum”

      “Legal minds in Brussels are looking at precedents. Some have come up with a model used twice before: the deal secured by Denmark to secure passage of the Treaty of Maastricht in 1992 and the concessions granted to Ireland to win eventual ratification of the Lisbon Treaty in 2009.”

      “This leaves the alternative now being mulled in Brussels: the Danish option. That would require a “decision of the European Council”— the EU leaders sitting in conclave — to agree to incorporate guarantees to London that would be included next time the treaties are changed.”

      That route would make it much easier to bring the referendum forward to 2016, the obvious preferred date being May 5th, but failing that in October.

    2. Denis Cooper
      May 16, 2015

      Reply to JR’s reply:

      As we already know that some other EU leaders will not tolerate any interference with the fundamental principle of free movement of persons, as first enshrined in Article 3(c) of the 1957 Treaty of Rome, and likewise some other EU leaders will not tolerate any interference with the commitment to a process of “ever closer union” first enshrined in the preamble to that treaty, its very first words, and as any changes to the EU treaties still require unanimous agreement, surely you must know already that you will not be able in good conscience to support the continuation of our EU membership, even though most of your Tory colleagues in Parliament will find that they can support it?

  67. Mondeo Man
    May 15, 2015

    Thanks for asking, John.

    Firstly I wasn’t one of those who’d suggest you should join UKIP. Though I did (and still do) think that you’re wasted in the Tory party – after all, you remain on the back bench.

    1) Mr Farage was silly to offer his resignation in the first place. He made himself the target of newspaper campaigns and celebrity challenges. I see no problem in him tearing up his resignation so long as he says “I promised a silly thing. I made a mistake. The party want me to stay and so do my voters, so I will.”

    O’Flynn and Wheeler might be right about the merit of having a less abrasive leader. Even I winced when HIV was mentioned in the Leaders’ debate. UKIP is not a one man band. Nor is it so much a party at the moment as an opinion that is not expressed by other parties.

    This opinion will grow because you – as a pro EU party – cannot stop the bad news coming. And it is coming. No level of EU membership can be reconciled with controlled immigration – this is going to explode as never before on your watch and there is nothing you can do about it.

    The biblical 3rd world diaspora that many of us have been predicting is here and the Tories are doing precious little about it

    2) Mr Farage is a party leader leading a difficult and contentious campaign against big players with small party resources, so he was bound to have difficulty concentrating on a single seat.

    Everything including the Kitchen sink and dirty bog brush was thrown at Farage in Thanet South. Including a celebrity campaigner, relentless smear from the Tory press, the threat of the SNP/Lab prospect and doubtless some unseen dirty tricks too. (He made a target of himself by offering to resign which was ill advised.)

    He should fight a Labour strong seat in a by-election next time.

    3) Yes. UKIP should concentrate on the OUT campaign. And you know how best that the campaign is taken seriously by Tory wets ?

    Through people like me meaning it when we say we are withdrawing our vote from your party. Luckily for all of us UKIP-intendeds came back to the Tory fold to keep Labour out, yet they are already being described as ‘shy Tories’. No they’re not shy Tories. They’re reluctant Tories. It would be wise to remember that.

    I’d be very annoyed at such treatment if I’d voted Tory and am so glad I didn’t.

    4) Mr Carswell is wrong about the money. In order to play in the Premier League of politics the party will need all the funds it can get.

    5) Why couldn’t UKIP win seats ?

    Well the whole Tory press (with the exception of The Express) was printing the most disgusting material against Farage for months (if not years) And then couple to this the SNP/Labour scare mongering.

    All UKIP supporters have been smeared as racists and loonatics. It is we who are shy.

    For believing in things that were normal just a few years ago I now feel like a stranger in my own country.

    We can’t argue even the most obvious things such as ‘more people is causing more pressure on housing and hospitals’ and yet it is we who are called loonatics.


    The Scots could well be sick of the SNP in 5 years when it fails to deliver its Utopia. Those 50 odd seats could go back to Labour – by then led by the photogenic and charismatic Chuka; your party’s reputation in tatters after 5 years of mass-mass immigration and a biased referendum campaign.

    As UKIP take more Labour voters than Tory ones don’t you think it’s in your interests that they don’t wither ?

    Don’t you think it would be prudent of the Tories to be more grateful and respectful to the UKIP-intendeds who listened to your leader’s pleas, held their noses and voted for your party despite not wanting to, rather than gloating at the demise of UKIP ? This is bound to be causing offence. They’ll be feeling duped.

    One thing we can say for sure of UKIP. 100% of the 4 million people who voted for them did so because they wanted to.

    Anyway. The big news is the Labour split, not UKIP’s. It’s telling that the Lab/Con both relish its demise.

    Your party has hidden its split and ended up with the wets running it with MPs such as yourself relegated to the back benches. That split could be news coming soon too.

    I think we’re all buggered to tell you the truth.

    Thanks for all you are doing. I fully understand your reasons.

  68. Denis Cooper
    May 15, 2015

    Off-topic, JR, I note that the FT has interviewed the Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and reports today:

    “He made clear that EU treaty change, a significant point of contention in many European capitals, was not, in itself, a political goal for the Conservative government.”

    “In a nod to concerns in Paris and Berlin that Britain might demand laborious treaty changes, the foreign secretary said the UK will focus on policy substance and would only press for treaty change to ensure the reforms hold up in court.”

    Going back to Cameron’s Bloomberg speech of January 2013, he said:

    “The European Treaty commits the Member States to “lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe”.

    This has been consistently interpreted as applying not to the peoples but rather to the states and institutions compounded by a European Court of Justice that has consistently supported greater centralisation.

    We understand and respect the right of others to maintain their commitment to this goal. But for Britain – and perhaps for others – it is not the objective.

    And we would be much more comfortable if the Treaty specifically said so freeing those who want to go further, faster, to do so, without being held back by the others.”

    I would highlight those words:

    “we would be much more comfortable if the Treaty specifically said so”

    because there is simply no way that the EU treaties could specifically say so unless they were changed; everything else that Cameron said he wanted could conceivably be fudged through secondary legislation – directives, regulations, decisions – but there would be no way to make that fundamental change without changing the treaties.

    Does that mean that this objective of the renegotiation has now been dropped? Even though it was explicitly stated in the Tory general election manifesto:

    “And we want an end to our commitment to an ‘ever closer union,’ as enshrined in the Treaty to which every EU country has to sign up.”

    Reply No, it does not mean that, and I understand there has been a revised version of what Mr Hammond means and thinks more in line with his stated previous position.

  69. Brian Tomkinson
    May 15, 2015

    I note that you have not posted my main contribution.
    Must have been too uncomfortable for you.

    1. Denis Cooper
      May 16, 2015

      Well, it’s JR’s site which he runs at his own expense in terms of both money and more importantly time, so he can choose what he publishes. However since you raise this I had to go out yesterday morning and I rushed to submit a comment which has not yet appeared, and another comment I submitted in the evening has also not appeared, but others have appeared.

    2. Chris
      May 16, 2015

      The same has happened with my comment with details of percentage gains by UKIP i.e. facts to support any claims. However the link to the Independent article was allowed in a separate posting, and that actually shows a virtually completely purple map in England and Wales demonstrating the Party with the biggest percentage gains by vote share. Uncomfortable facts and percentages for the Conservative Party also about the significance of all those second places, and the fact that the UKIP vote and vote share has quadrupled since 2010. There is no value in burying heads in sand. This has to be faced and addressed. Lynton Crosby does not have much praise, after viewing the election campaign first hand, about so many politicians who are so out of touch, and simply have no idea what it is like to have to live on £22,000 a year. UKIP will continue to increase in significance for as long as these politicians in LibLabCon remain out of touch. There is no indication that Cameron is going to change.

      1. Brian Tomkinson
        May 16, 2015

        You have put your finger on it I gave figures showing UKIP’s increasing share of the vote over the last five general elections, something clearly not to our host’s liking.

  70. Brian Tomkinson
    May 15, 2015

    Sorry, I see it has just appeared.

  71. Brian Tomkinson
    May 15, 2015

    Wrong again, it is still in moderation since 8.58 this morning!

  72. Kenneth R Moore
    May 15, 2015

    It’s unfortunate that at this crucial time there seems to be a battle of ego’s between Mr Farage and Mr Carswell – his views denouncing concerns as ‘angry nativism’ sit oddly in a party whose supporters are often (with good reason) angry with politics in general.

    I don’t regard myself as a ‘UKIP blogger’ anymore than a person that believes in political correctness, dear energy, mass immigration, women only shortlists etc. would regard themselves as a ‘Conservative blogger’.

    I can’t honestly remember anyone saying the JR needed to join UKIP to get elected – it was the principled thing to do there was a good chance an MP with his following and experience would get elected under UKIP . Only history will decide if he made the right choice – will the Conservatives rise to the challenge or let us down (again).

  73. A different Simon
    May 16, 2015

    Thanks for your reply .

    There is a lack of talent across the political spectrum so I will take a look at that Steven Wolfe . Thanks for the tip .

    Brain washing works and over the past 25 years the bigoted political left has brainwashed all of us to some extent no matter how hard we’ve resisted .

    The perpetrators should be hung for the crimes they’ve committed against young minds in school .

    Many have been so brainwashed beyond repair and will never be able to contemplate that the concept of sovereignty , nation states and UKIP is not racist .

  74. Ken Moore
    May 16, 2015

    Ukip has it’s faults but at least it’s position is roughly in the right place aside from the inevitable personality clash we are witnessing.
    The Conservatives however remain in a state of dangerous delusion with it’s loony embracing of ‘One nation Conservatism’. .

    Can someone explain how we can be ‘One nation’ when there are intellectuals who think that to support the Conservatives ‘is as objectionable as expressing racist, sexist or homophobic views’. Or with left wingers who believe it is acceptable to deface a war memorial because of non existent spending cuts ?. Or those that believe ‘profi’t is a dirty word.

    Are we going to be ‘one nation’ with wealthy celebrities who hold placards emblazoned with ‘as mad as hell and isn’t going to take anymore’ ….mad with democracy more like .

    How are the Tories going to appease all these people, and the people that agree with them and create this ‘one nation’ and not offend millions of it’s natural supporters.

    Decision time – are the Tories going to make a doomed attempt to appease these noisy windbags or do what the core of the party membership think is right ?

  75. David Price
    May 16, 2015

    Were you aware of the expenidture on HIV immigrants and agreed with the NHS practice or not aware and not happy with Farage’s position and bringing it up at all. I don’t see that such situations must be taboo and accept hard decisions must be made. But the bottom line is that the priority for NHS must be with UK citizens. We cannot solve all disease and treat everyone in the world so must certainly help our own first.

    What I found telling was the reaction of some of the panel, notably two who have no authority or responsibility for NHS England which was the subject of the topic. They were so ready to heap shame where they aren’t having to deal with the same dilema. In fact, in an earlier case involving Ebola the Scottish citizen had to be treated in an NHS ENgland hospital relieving one of them of the problem.

    Did it really upset a large percentage of the country, or just a lot of very loud, leftward-leaning individuals who take insult as a profession?

  76. stred
    May 16, 2015

    R.B. Protestant culture, Jesuit plot! How sectarian and even racist. I hope the nuns I visited in Ireland don’t read this blog. They liked Nigel best and may desert the cause. I can’t remember meeting anyone on the trip that liked the EU. Despite being a nominally Prot agnostic, they made me very welcome and it is disappointing to hear such grumpy, snarling Cathophobic views.

    1. stred
      May 17, 2015

      Well the Irish seem to be very flexible these days. We came across a lady in Cahir who was running a pub and an undertakers in the same building- multi-tasking, as our hotelier and dairy farmer explained.

    May 17, 2015

    “…there is suddenly an active and lively public debate within UKIP about the leadership, style and policies of their party.”
    No there isn’t. And wasn’t.
    Some person wrote something, another person said something. The writer then said something more and the other person said something in addition.
    3.8 million UKIP voters and 99% of UKIP members know the name and approve of the habits, facial expressions, body language and tone of voice of Nigel Farage to the exclusion of all others. ( if they exist ). Hence the Labour Party before and even after the General Election in all northern English regions place UKIP as their main enemy. The victorious Tory government they place in a close second place. Remarkable but true.

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