UKIP loss rate of MEPs

UKIP have now lost 38% of their elected MEPs since 2009 with the departure of Mr Bloom from their party. This is an unusually high rate of loss. Parties are prone to lose the odd one or two representatives, but the attrition rate is usually in low single figure percentages.

In my recent post on UKIP I pointed out that 4 of the 13 MEPs elected in 2009 for UKIP had left the party. That should now read 5, as today Mr Bloom has left to become an independent MEP.

I would welcome explanations from UKIP supporters who are always so keen to highlight the problems in other parties. It will naturally lead people to ask who and what they are voting for if their choice of party cannot even be sustained for a single Parliament by such a large proportion of the  representatives.


I would also welcome information on what the UKIP MEPs have achieved for us.


(Those departing were Bloom, Campbell Bannerman, Sinclaire, Andreasen and Nattrass. 2 have joined the Conservatives, and one is an independent)

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  1. lifelogic
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 4:09 pm | Permalink

    Well UKIP got Cameron to promise a referendum, admittedly 2 years after he will already have left office. They should have been able to get Cameron not to rat on the cast iron promise but he decided to throw the election away instead. This as he is a essentially a pro EU, Heathite, soft socialist at heart and soul.

    We shall see what May 2014 brings.

    Doubtless Cameron will approve of Milibands Heathite price controls on energy? So they push the price of energy up with the green religion and daft energy subsidies then try to control the price with legal controls. Have the right honourable members (on all sides) taken leave of their senses is the phrase that comes to mind.

    Dreadful speech by Miliband, all usually stuff, just childish emotion over any engaging the brain. Needless to say it went down well with all the soft in t’ed delegates. It reminded me of Cameron rather, though he is slightly better at the pregnant pauses, the jokes and other pathetic gimmicks of delivery.

    Political speeches always seem to be addresses towards dim 7 year old’s. Most of the things they say are so obviously true as to be not worth saying at all and the rest are just false, the magic money tree (buying votes with), rubbishing the rest, or appeals to irrational, superficial & childish human emotions – usually delivered in truly a nauseous manner.

    Reply Conservative MPs got the promise of a referendum and are now voting for a Bill to hold one. UKIP played no part in any of that. UKIP really does go out of its way to attack the MPs in the Commons who are battling for an independent UK!

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

      Mr Bloom was just making a joke, never a good move in politics as the BBC will take it out of context, blow it out of all proportion and repeat it again and again. Rather like the Welsh National Anthem clip. Unless that is you are a Labour, Fake Green or Libdem “BBC think” person that is.

      Personally I always clean behind the fridge, but only when I move house every 10 years or so. Latterly not even then, as we include all the white goods.

      What is the acceptable PC and BBC approved term for “Bongo Bongo” land nowadays I wonder?

      • Bazman
        Posted September 24, 2013 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

        You would have to ask a seven year old that one. As for Milibands freeze of energy prices it shows the profiteering going on with their opaque accounting and blizzard of billing schemes hiding behind green issues.

        • libertarian
          Posted September 25, 2013 at 10:01 pm | Permalink

          Hey Bazzy

          What percentage of each energy bill is tax, duty and climate change levy? How much is carbon floor tax adding to price of electricity and gas? What about the VAT on gas and electricity?

          60% of the cost of a litre of petrol is tax and duty

          Whilst no big fan of the energy companies I realise that most of the complexity of energy bills ( and a large portion of the costs ) is down to the government and not the energy businesses

          • lifelogic
            Posted September 26, 2013 at 2:27 pm | Permalink

            And the enforced insulation they stupidly have to pay for, the unreliable wind they have to about 3 times the going rate for and free (very dim and useless) light bulbs they have to pay for and give, out mine went to the charity shop.

          • Bazman
            Posted September 26, 2013 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

            It will be this for the Climate Change Levy
            Plus 5% VAT.
            Since 2009 the “Big Six” – British Gas, EDF, E.On, npower, Scottish Power, SSE – have made total net profits of nearly £10billion. Where do you think these profiyts come from? The air or the customers?
            What do you propose for energy conservation in domestic property lidogic? Building regulations on new property like car safety imporvemts. NCAP etc, insulation, more efficient boilers/lighting When did you last try the latest bulbs? Or as usual do nothing? Just let the tenant pick up the lecy bills? Ram it.

          • David Price
            Posted September 27, 2013 at 7:13 am | Permalink

            Quite – according to a previous bill from British Gas the 2011 breakdown was;

            Government obligations (green & social spt) 4%
            VAT & Corporation taxes 6%
            Profit 5%

            Government obligations (green & social spt) 12%
            VAT & Corporation taxes 6%
            Profit 5%

            How is this profiteering when taxes are at 10% and 18% while the profit is 5%, the profit including money carried over for further investment?

            A large part of the finger pointing needs to be at Milliband Hune and Davey who have been responsible for ensuring energy security over 16+ years yet despite the higher taxes they and their advisors have utterly failed to do the job.

          • Bazman
            Posted September 27, 2013 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

            It was on your bill?! Must be crystal clear and true. Interesting to find out how much the generator sold the energy to the billing company who are often one and the same in all but name and how much of this profit was taxed and did not mysteriously vanished via offshore accounts and tax scams. It does not? LOL! Banking and energy are the same for sure.

      • Iain Gill
        Posted September 25, 2013 at 9:11 am | Permalink

        Alan Clarke used bongo bongo land quite a lot I seem to remember.

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 26, 2013 at 2:33 pm | Permalink

          Useful short hand, like “bagpipe land” perhaps.

          I rather like bongos, Richard Feynman the brilliant physicist, who died far to young, used to play them rather well, I recall.

          • Bazman
            Posted September 26, 2013 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

            This is the mentality we are talking about. The trouble is with racism jokes is they have to be funny…

      • John Wrexham
        Posted September 26, 2013 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        Godfrey Bloom’s comments aren’t proof that he hasn’t got a great sense of humour, but rather that he doesn’t appear to think very much before opening his mouth. He is one of the UK’s representatives abroad so (the way he acts ed) is not good enough. He isn’t fit to be a parish councillor.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

      John, please–Did you really say that UKIP played no part? It is as plain as a pikestaff that the Conservative MP’s, acting as you say, did so for fear of UKIP coming up behind them. Stick around to next year and you will see UKIP’s influence increase further and consolidate as it wins the next lot of Elections going away. How can you doubt it? Indeed I do not believe you do.

      reply No, I can assure you UKIP and the “threat” of UKIP played no part in the discussions I and others had with Mr Cameron to persuade him to make the Bloomberg speech. Mr Cameron does not think UKIP is a “threat” as he thinks come the General Election, as in 2010, most people will wish to influence whether they have a Labour or a Conservative government. The 16.5% showing of UKIP in the 2009 Euro elections did not frighten Mr Cameron into offering a referendum for 2010. Why do the people writing into this site never listen and try to understand the mood of the country and the attitudes of those who do have seats in parliament? If you see conspiracies under every issue it is difficult to grasp what is going on. Given the way some Eurosceptics behave on this site, it is no wonder we don’t win enough of the time!

      • Hope
        Posted September 25, 2013 at 4:05 pm | Permalink

        Pompous and arrogant reply JR. Few MP listen or know the mood of the country. They do not represent their constituents views very well putting the EU, party and career way before the mood of the public or constituents.

      • John Wrexham
        Posted September 26, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

        Good stuff, John. I am afraid for smoked fish the kippers make a lot of noise, but they are not a majority in the Home Counties, let alone the whole of the UK. I am afraid some people think we can wind the clock back to before Suez and sail off into an imperial sunset. Conservatives, with their experience of actually being in government, taking decisions and having to defend the consequences are far better placed to defend the national interest than UKIP who are a one-trick pony and appear to shed MEPs like a tree leaves in autumn.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 5:25 pm | Permalink

      I do not think UKIP should put candidate up against the sound 100 or so Tory MPs, I agree that is counter productive. But Cameron is so little different from Miliband anyway what is to be lost. The Tories need to do a deal with UKIP, but could UKIP ever trust heart and soul & no Greater Switzerland on anything? I think the UK is doomed to be an undemocratic region of the EU which is Cameron’s plan it seems.

      Now we have a voting at 16 policy from Labour too. Best to get voters who do not pay taxes, are pumped with green wash and left school material and teachers, as most will vote Labour. Well done Cameron for foolishly setting the president in Scotland.

      We shall see what happens after May 14 I suppose.

      • Alan Wheatley
        Posted September 24, 2013 at 6:06 pm | Permalink

        The problem with not standing against “eurosceptic Conservatives” is that Cameron will claim every vote cast for every Conservative candidate as an endorsement for his leadership and policies, irrespective of the views of those candidates.

      • Bazman
        Posted September 25, 2013 at 5:51 am | Permalink

        The greater Switzerland as a middle class society with many taxes and regulations has yet to be explained in a British version by you as has a no tax version with tolls on every service paid to private companies ,who will presumably employ everyone at below minimum wage with no benefits and policing themselves? Do you ever think or learn in your right wing dream world? A world that most 16 year old do not live in, alas for you and many like you who when confronted on this have no answers except childlike repetition hiding behind middle age. Ram it.

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 26, 2013 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

          When something is true it is usually good to repeat it. Not that it usually makes you popular.

      • John Wrexham
        Posted September 26, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

        Labour appear a bit confused (predictably): they raised the school leaving age in effect to 18 and now wish to lower the voting age to 16. I don’t mind the age of consent being 16 as that is, in effect, a private matter, between two individuals, but voting in an election means taking the wider community’s interests into account, not just your own, and seeing the bigger picture. With scientists, saying the brain doesn’t fully mature till 25, perhaps we should be raising the voting age.

    • Bob
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 6:34 pm | Permalink

      “Dreadful speech by Miliband…”

      No time for that, the Tories are more preoccupied with ukip.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 25, 2013 at 7:55 pm | Permalink

      How exactly is capping energy prices going to increase their cost?

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 26, 2013 at 2:45 pm | Permalink

        You reduce investment and thus reduce future supply. Then we have the usual supply and demand law so it ends up either more expensive or not available at all!

  2. Antisthenes
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 4:36 pm | Permalink

    UKIP would not be where it is today and not such an irritant to the Conservative party if were not for David Cameron. He did indeed need to detoxify the party as the lefts smear campaigns had effectively given the party an undeserved nasty label. What was needed was some movement leftward but not to the extent Cameron did. Better would have been messages to the public that Conservatism had many of the same aspirations as the left but not all as some are blatantly ridiculous and dangerous to wealth and health. They should have pointed out that Conservatives would have made the same gains without the painful unintended consequences of Labours policies and practices. One major set back for the Conservatives is that when it comes to political fights they tend to play by Queensberry rules while the left completely ignore them. UKIP main strength comes from Farages’s plain speaking their weakness is that he does not do detail and it shows with poor party organisation and control.

    • cosmic
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 6:17 pm | Permalink

      As I recall the ‘Nasty Party’ label was applied by Theresa May. A magnificent own goal. However, part of being a politician is that you are going to have these things unfairly hung round your neck like Peter Mandelson and his Guacomole and chips.

      It’s not a mystery that Nu Labour got the Tory Sleaze tag to stick, what is a mystery is how they managed to almost immediately start doing far sleazier things and got away with it, indeed getting elected three times. Blair was a genius in his way.

      The Tories had become a toxic brand and many Conservatives were complaining that people liked their policies when they were described to them, up to the point they found they were Conservative policies, then they changed their minds.

      Cameron didn’t manage to de-toxify the brand, he changed the toxicity and made it intensely toxic to much of his natural support, without creating a bait for the LibDem persuasion who were never going to vote Conservative anyway.

      The trick was to avoid messing with branding and create an honest message of the right with broad appeal. Basically smaller state, individual responsibility, a safety net for people who can’t cope which is not allowed to become a poverty trap or a career for the feckless. There’s a hard edge because it says some things are a waste of time and money and trying to blunt the hard edges of life too much leads to a fantasy world which will collapse. The temptation was to drift to the left and go for the middle ground, but I believe this middle ground to be a Westminster construct which avoids a lot of questions people are interested in.

      So basically they had to concentrate on a product which worked and people were prepared to pay for, and then worry about presenting it, rather than agonise over the presentation and hope it would sell something not well defined.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 26, 2013 at 2:48 pm | Permalink

        Indeed “Cameron didn’t manage to de-toxify the brand, he changed the toxicity and made it intensely toxic to much of his natural support, without creating a bait for the LibDem persuasion who were never going to vote Conservative anyway.”

        He has now toxified it as the party that promises something in Cast Iron terms then just rats on it like the EU and Inheritance tax. So nothing promised can every be believed again. The say one thing do the opposite party.

  3. Roger
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    The votes that have created UKIP Mep’s have had the desired effect of forcing David Cameron to negotiate a new arrangement with the EU. This would not have happened otherwise. Sadly the new deal, if there is one, will be flimsy but acceptable to our leader.

    reply Dream on. It has been the Conservative MPs which you constantly attack who have worked away to get the Bloomberg speech and the referendum promise. The UKIP MEPs were elected in 2009, not 2012!

    • Roger
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

      John I’m sorry I don’t attack conservative Mp’s and over fifty years have never voted for any other party. However if pressure has been put on David Cameron to offer this referendum it is because they know that if he didn’t UKIP would hurt our party so much as to prevent it forming a government in 2015. Unfortunately it won’t work unless he tells us what his red lines are and convince us that if they are not met he will campaign for ‘out’. Sadly most of us are convinced that whatever concessions he is fobbed of with will be enough for him to campaign for ‘in’.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted September 26, 2013 at 9:21 pm | Permalink

      If i recall correctly Dr Alan Sked had barely founded UKIP when the likes of John Major were winning the argument in Europe and getting a whole series of opt-outs that Tony Blair gave away. DC could look to the ‘grey man’ for a few tips on how to get your way when everyone says you are in a minority of one. Of course, I know JR disagreed with the Prime Minister, but both of them were actively shaping policy when the likes of Farage were either making a quick buck or pontificating at the bar.

  4. Atlas
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 4:45 pm | Permalink

    You are right to ask the question.

    “Nice Policies – shame about the people” is my opinion.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 5:19 pm | Permalink

      Atlas–I for one don’t care about the people–They can all be joke-telling monkeys for all I care provided they get us out of the EU.

  5. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    Strange how it is only UKIP’s loss rate that interests you (not strange at all actually but totally predictable). What about all the elected representatives from the indentical triplets parties that have been “lost”? How many are in prison, how many are under arrest and facing criminal charges …? I could go on, but why waste my time you are only interested in demeaning UKIP because you know that they present a real threat to your party’s chances and that wouldn’t do, would it?

    Reply The loss rate of the main parties, as I stated in the piece, is much lower than that of UKIP which is why it is of interest.

    • David Price
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 7:15 pm | Permalink

      But an attrition rate of 38% is notable, it suggests the environment in the political group is not a happy place, that there might be significant friction between leadership and minions. This is a party that is supposed to be putting the UK’s interest and the fight for independence from the EU first yet can’t even work together effectively. What prospect then for a coalition government.

      Or is the UKIP grand strategy to let the country suffer five years of catastrophic mismanagement under another Labour government because UKIP can’t get it’s act together and panders to a leader who makes good soundbites but cannot lead?

      • Mike
        Posted September 25, 2013 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

        If you asked the entire membership whether they would choose destroying the tory party or getting out of the EU I suspect we’d choose the former by rather a wide margin.

        Tories really don’t seem to understand the visceral hatred they instill in the vast majority of ukippers. Call me Dave’s cast iron guarantee is usually cited.

        As for what the MEPs have achieved I would confidently state that they have achieved far more than any other bunch of politicians in the land. (seeks to publish lies and untrue allegations abnout me ed)

        On the other hand those fourteen, with it has to be said more than an honourable mention to Mr Hannan, have reinvigorated our democracy. They have exposed Brussels as the stinking morass of pointlessness which it is and given the demos an alternative.

        They’ve raised UKIP’s profile far beyond anyone’s expectations, they’ve held the EU to account – even if that is deliberately pointless. They have shown how childlike and smug the european parliament is, and the quality of people elected there. They have exposed the EU’s dodgy accounts, which was always Marta’s reason detre.

        They have given people an interest in politics, frankly the only non UKIP political video I have ever heard of being deliberately played on youtube was of Gordon Brown picking his nose in parliament.

        The have provided the only opposition in short. You might be sick of hearing it but the liblabcons are all the same party.

        Take Mr Miliband as an example… The other day he had the bare faced cheek to suggest capping energy prices when it is directly due to his own legislation that energy prices have risen. He knows he can get away with it too as no-one in parliament has the right to hold him to account for one simple reason. With 4 honourable exeptions they all voted for the miliband tax. You included John as I recall. (NO it did not ed)

        20% increase in every households energy bills at a time when people are struggling with nary a punch landed by either of the opposition parties. Strikes me as a bit odd, in fact it stinks.

        We hear about the bedroom tax but not the miliband tax. His speech at the conference was cheeky, almost mocking the public for their ignorance and knowing that hardly a murmur would be raised. The omerta however will hold as criticising him means admitting that you all voted for a bill that you knew nothing about.

        If our vote holds up at the GE and we take 12% without a seat it will still be a great achievement and one more nail in the coffin of the tories. I’d take that happily. Red Ed doesn’t scare me as much as the tories seem to think.

        Saying that John I think we both know we are going to take a great deal more than 12% and that youand your party aren’t going to enjoy the next couple of years.

        • David Price
          Posted September 25, 2013 at 7:36 pm | Permalink

          But you didn’t actually answer the question or address the issue of UKIP leadership quality, instead you exagerated a smidgeon the role UKIP has played then act like a Labour shill. More information on the EU goings on has come from other sources – Mr Hannan, The Bruges Group, Global Britain to name a few.

          UKIP doesn’t even host a public discussion site itself, it seems to use this site instead. In any case policy information has been significanlty reduced on the UKIP site so how is to know what the strategy is any more. It certainly doesn’t sound like you are putting the UK’s interests first when instead of using the democratic process to benefit the UK you are determined to use it to undermine the UK.

          Perhaps that’s why you haven’t won any seats yet, your penultimate paragraph ays it all – instead of directing your visceral hatred at the people who actually gave powers away for 13 years when UKIP effectively did nothing to stop them you sound more like Labour shills.

          • Mike
            Posted September 26, 2013 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

            The original question was addressed by other posters, though frankly no-one seemed to be too interested. I rather feel for the MEPs who have been deselected and therefore resigned but you can’t make an omelette without breaking eggs. We are assured that the selection procedure for our future MEPs is a thorough one so no arguments there.

            As for our leadership quality if any of the three old parties could clone Farage alone they wouldn’t be as miserably treacherous towards their own support or as rudderless as they appear. He is ably supported to my mind, indeed many of the churn has been down to people who held senior positions when the party was small. Can’t see anything bad here personally.

            As to the tories own support I think you’ll find that many of them do post here rather than Kippers ( we have our own internal forum thank you very much). The mistake you have made is an easy enough one given that they, and the country, don’t agree with much that the party does. The whisper is that even tory activists are only two pints away from admitting their true loyalties… I should know, I’ve turned a few myself..

            Please remind me who Edward Heath was and which party he was a member of? Add Major and Cameron to the mix and it really sounds as though you’re banging the same old broken drum which Cameron burned along with his boats.

            “It certainly doesn’t sound like you are putting the UK’s interests first when instead of using the democratic process to benefit the UK you are determined to use it to undermine the UK”

            Being lectured on patriotism by a tory? Ye gads, the gods are crazy! Or delusional at any rate.

            I do understand that you probably equate the UK with Eton toffs, country estates and a cheap workforce of oiks up north to do the heavy lifting. You probably think that what is good for the tories is therefore good for the UK, in a bizarre and twisted way.

            Sorry to inform you old chap that the plebs are revolting. Government of the plebs, by the plebs and for the plebs rather than of the toffs and for the toffs sounds to be very much in the UK’s interests.

        • John Wrexham
          Posted September 26, 2013 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

          The trouble with UKIP is that it only appeals to a narrow band of people on the right and that is typical of such parties across Europe. None of them have really made any impact because of the calibre of people they attract and their motivations. If you are in politics because of ‘visceral hatred; then frankly you ain’t going to be any good.

          SNP, Plaid Cymru, UKIP, BNP – they all bang the same drum, it’s just that their tunes are slightly different, and the general theme they all rely on: someone else is responsible for all our problems.

    • Antisthenes
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

      True. You are both right. It is a pity that politics has sunk so low these days that any accusation can be leveled and it will have some truth attached to it. Parliamentary democracy is in a crisis only a few MPs like Mr Redwood still have the interests of the people at heart. It is time that government became closer to the people and they were included in the decision process. Listening to Millipede today all I got was nothing but bribery with UK taxpayers money and an awful lot of promises of more socialism to bankrupt the country once again. RedEd is flying his true colours again and he is too dim witted to realise it will do to him what it did to Foot and Kinnock. I hope. If not then god help us.

  6. margaret brandreth-j
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    I wanted to know who the deserters had sided with.
    I have just spent the day motivational interviewing .Why do we treat everyone as though they are in a Jeremy Kyle show? Surely people in and out of politics understand power relations more than we give them credit for.
    The ones who creep around waiting for someone to criticise the another they don’t like and then jump on the bandwagon to back up their jealousies etc and the ones who attempt to ridicule as though satire was a new invention which makes their tactics look original………………..and so on

    • Bob
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

      “I would also welcome information on what the UKIP MEPs have achieved for us.”

      I would welcome information what Tory MEPs have achieved for us?

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 24, 2013 at 7:44 pm | Permalink

        They almost got rid of hip packs, they got rid of the M4 bus lane, they made squatting illegal (but not for commercial properties alas), they reduced, very slightly, the absurd wind and PV subsidies………. I think that is about it on the plus side – any I have missed? No enough time for all the negatives it would take hours alas.

        • Bob
          Posted September 25, 2013 at 7:03 am | Permalink


          I think you’re talking about MPs, not MEPs.

      • forthurst
        Posted September 24, 2013 at 8:00 pm | Permalink

        “I would welcome information what Tory MEPs have achieved for us?”

        Things need to be made official: “They also serve who only rubber stamp”. What do you want, anarchy?

  7. Terry
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 5:02 pm | Permalink

    UKIP have achieved. They have informed us of the workings of the EU and how much of our money is wasted there.

    Unfortunately, they like all other MEPs, are powerless against the unelected Commissioners who dominate the whole show. So we could say that none of our MEPs have earned their salaries and expenses but what can they do but complain, argue, debate and lose to the parasitic europhiles? The EU runs on the principle of “Don’t bite the hand that feeds you”. The Commissioners stifle dissention and would remove the pensions from those ex-MEPs who say derogatory things about Brussels. Freedom of speech apparently, is not allowed by the hierarchy to this exclusive socialist club and that is hardly democratic. And we are expected to tolerate this?

    Reply If that is true UKIP MEPs should expose and put principle above pension.

    • David Price
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 6:50 pm | Permalink

      Is that the best UKIP can do? At least 14 years as MEPs and that’s all they have to show for it? Far more information has come from other groups and think tanks and they didn’t cost us millions. What were UKIP doing while the Labour government spent 13 years giving away so much to the EU? What tangible benefit and value has it brought to this country – a few hours of Youtube amusement watching EUphilics being belittled doesn’t really qualify.

    • Martin
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 7:10 pm | Permalink

      “exclusive socialist club” ? Perhaps you should have visited East Germany before the wall came down.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 25, 2013 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

      You seem to have ignored that all the Commissioners have to be approved of by the European Parliament. It would be interesting to know which Commissioners UKIP voted for.

  8. cosmic
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    UKIP is a shambles of a party with an unfortunate history of MEP selection. A terrible lot.

    Why on earth do people vote for them when there are the Conservatives who you assure us are eurosceptic, and are a proper party? Probably because people don’t believe the Conservatives are eurosceptic, it’s just a fake, and they go out of their way to do too many other things which have people spitting tacks.

    Now I don’t doubt there are a few genuine eurosceptics and Conservatives in the Conservative Party, but the Parliamentary Conservative Party is neither of these things.

    What turned a lot of people off was the Cast Iron Promise. Now I know you argue that it was nothing of the sort, but the fact is that people were left feeling deceived. Big mistake. The attempts to excuse it with references to the small print don’t help, they make it worse.

    If you want to know why people support UKIP, despite the fact they’re a mess, I suggest you have a long look at the Conservative Party, especially under Cameron’s leadership.

    As for the accomplishments of MEPs in the useless EP, none of them accomplish anything much.

    Reply There was a big row before the election when Mr Cameron said after ratification of Lisbon there would be no referendum. Everyone interested knew there was no referendum pledge in the Conservative Manifesto. Some of us included our own promise to vote for one, and we have kept our word.

    • cosmic
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

      Mr Cameron found that people were happy to believe something he knew wasn’t true and he wasn’t going to spell out that it wasn’t true, that is that he would unconditionally hold a referendum on the LT.

      He was hoping that the 2nd Irish referendum result and later Vaclav Klaus would bail him out.

      When this turned out not to be the case, people felt deceived and let down.

      I remember seeing William Hague interviewed on the Andrew Marr show about what “We’ll not let matters rest there” meant and what would happen of the result of the 2nd Irish referendum was yes. It was a nauseating of evasion and refusal to answer a reasonable question. It didn’t give the impression of honesty at all.

      Sorry, this episode was at least hugely mismanaged and showed total misjudgement, and it was immensely damaging.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 7:58 pm | Permalink

      “There was a big row before the election when Mr Cameron said after ratification of Lisbon there would be no referendum.”

      In fact, when he broke his very, very, clear and cast iron promise on Lisbon, made to the nation with great fanfare, threw away all his credibility and lumbered the nation with the Libdems and soon with Labour.

      • bluedog
        Posted September 25, 2013 at 12:30 am | Permalink

        Precisely, lifelogic.

        There is always a covenant between the government and the electorate, based on statements made and the written manifesto issued by the winning party before the election. Cameron won most seats in the 2010 election because he looked and sounded like an old school Conservative, and Labour was discredited. That was the brand that the electorate bought by backing Cameron, and he offered a compelling covenant, for a while. Cameron’s decision to renege on his cast iron promise was a huge misjudgement and reflected his misplaced belief in his PR skills. Cameron clearly believed he could spin his way out of that breach of promise. He failed, and Cameron now faces a situation where the electorate will never trust him again.

        Of course, we have also discovered that Cameron is well to the Left of any previous Conservative leader and in Thatcherite terms is a ‘Wet’. And very wet at that. The sudden emergence of (Gay marriage? ed) as a key social policy, unannounced in any pre-election manifesto, has compounded the perception that Cameron is unsound and untrustworthy. The enactment of (gay marriage ed) constituted a further breach of Cameron’s covenant with the electorate.

        Cameron is fortunate that his competition is restricted to Clegg and Miliband. A half decent political talent would easily beat all three.

        • John Wrexham
          Posted September 26, 2013 at 9:29 pm | Permalink

          We get the politicians we deserve.

  9. Anthem
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 5:37 pm | Permalink

    UKIP may or may not have achieved anything. People who vote for them may or may not actually know what they are voting for.

    The point is, though, that they are as sure as heck that they know what they are voting against.

    It has long been a wish of the elctorate for there to be a “none of the above” box on the ballot form. The dwindling numbers of people who actually vote tell us this.

    UKIP, if nothing else, provide that box.

    If that sounds all rather sad and pathetic then, yes, I have to agree but such is the state of politics in the UK and Europe.

    reply If you wish to object to all the candidates on offer then you can spoil your ballot paper by writing that on it. Very few people choose to do this. Better still would be to put up a candidate you do think is worthy, or join a party and help them choose good candidates.

    • Alan Wheatley
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      I have never heard of any analysis of spoilt ballot papers. I am not even sure they would be available to carry out such an analysis. So, at best, all we have is the number.

      There are innumerable reasons why a ballot paper is judged to be “spoilt”, including simply making a mistake, so the idea that by so doing you are making a point simply does not stand up.

      Reply All spoilt ballot papers are studied by all the candidates and their agents individually, to argue over whether any of them is a vote for a named candidate. So someone who writes a message on their ballot paper will have it read by all the candidates.

    • Rob
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

      Reply to reply.

      But the threat of a vote to another party is more effective in getting the other parties attention than no vote at all, especially when it’s one seen as a threat like UKIP so obviously is – otherwise it would simply be ignored rather than continuously facing attack via the UK media. The Tories should have learnt that this will more than likely annoy the British public who do not like being taken for mugs.

      My mother decided to give the Tories a chance at the last election for the first time in her life. Now that their policies are destroying her pension and savings after their promises to help the financially prudent if elected, she feels she’s been very badly deceived. She has worked very hard all her life bringing up three children single handedly after my father left her alone, and now the Tories are taking her savings off her (actually stealing it to give to the banks and the feckless, increasing foreign aid, keeping the bloated Quangos rather than having the talked about bonfire etc.) through ultra low savings rates caused by cheap credit via Funding for Lending and Help to Buy. As if QE and ZIRP were not damaging enough already.

      She is now still working at age 64 to make ends meet. What has she done to deserve this?

      She will now give UKIP a chance. Call it a protest vote or whatever you like, she’s now had enough of the main three parties.

  10. Acorn
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 5:45 pm | Permalink

    If UKIP put up a full set of candidates, I would start worrying if I were your leader. Words like rosette; pin and donkey come to mind. Protest parties are just that, the candidate doesn’t matter. Farage is a breath of fresh air in party leaders, and he doesn’t produce weasel word answers on the “Today” programme. Unlike the rest of our politicians, he doesn’t seem to have been extruded from the political sausage machine.

    “During a stirring spring conference speech on Saturday, UKIP leader Nigel Farage attacked the ‘political class’ who let down working people through mass immigration taking jobs from unskilled workers. In a swipe at David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband, none of whom had real jobs before entering Parliament, he said: ‘We have really had enough of them. They really do all look the same… they all go to the same schools, the same Oxbridge colleges.’

    As for Tory Party members, in his memoir Flying Free he dismisses them as ‘estate-agents’ and  ‘racists’. So it’s fair to assume that he has a higher opinion of his own party’s members? Not so. In the book, published in 2011, he says they include: ‘Blazered buffoons and unschooled oiks who have not progressed beyond the 1950s in their attitudes towards other cultures.’ He goes on: ‘A party is a broad church and must be able to accommodate eccentrics, obsessives, romantics and down- right nutters.’

    So where does the chain- smoking, beer-swilling Farage draw the line when it comes to welcoming supporters to his banner?Although I was a libertarian to my fingertips, and would have welcomed the chance to fight for the nation’s cross-dressers, swingers, naturists, prostitutes, adult nappy-wearers, consensual cannibals and the like who would no doubt have flocked to our fold, they might have been a distraction from the main agenda.’ However, Farage does have one role model. ‘I approve of Jesus. He seems a decent sort who liked his wine and the company of riff-raff.’

    PS. If the UK had open primary elections, the little people could choose the nutters they wanted to go forward to a general election.

    PPS. Talking of a breath of fresh air. Is it not time we put term limits on elected office. The House of Lords is full of wisdom I am told. Unfortunately,it is always two to three decades out of date. Like wise, two to three decades as an MP? Is that really optimal for a dynamic modern digital economy like the UK? 😉 😉 😉 “Who loves ya, baby?”

    Reply UKIP fought against most of us last time, so we are used to that!

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 6:56 pm | Permalink

      Comment on Reply–You seem to believe what you say, but whilst admittedly you do manage to land a few blows about the close-to-irrelevant history of UKIP you seem to ignore the strongly held opinion that UKIP is almost certainly as you must know going to improve and continue to increase its share in the very near future so that your fight next time might be very much harder. It’s no good your getting upset, because so many of us simply no longer care what Cameron thinks or doesn’t think and his decisions, apart from being hardly believable, are irreversible so we are not likely to change our minds anytime soon.

  11. Athelstan.
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 5:58 pm | Permalink

    “I would also welcome information on what the UKIP MEPs have achieved for us.”

    Honestly John, really – I thought you knew, Strasbourg has no power, that is just how the Kommissars like it – a bit like Westminster really – all the decisions are made by Brussels, emanating via Berlaymont palace.

  12. matthu
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 6:36 pm | Permalink

    “I would also welcome information on what the UKIP MEPs have achieved for us.”

    Well, they have increased their party membership for a start.

    They have also publicised policies that prospective voters can feel proud to stand behind.
    (Exiting the EU. Scrapping green energy madness. Burying HS2. Stamping down on the influx of immigrants. Cheaper energy. Lower taxes.)

    They have attracted voters from all of the three main political parties because they have a leader you can trust.

    And they are likely to win the 2014 MEP elections – which must be a good stepping stone whatever else you may say.

  13. Anonymous
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    UKIP are a crude outfit but are quite clear about what they stand for. The other parties are not. In common with UKIP they have nutters and they all make promises which they cannot keep. Worst of all none of them display the EU flag on their campaign literature, nor at their conferences.

    This is a grave deceit and is – on its own – reason enough not to vote for them. (A few fringe Eurosceptics does not make for a Eurosceptic party.) You’ll only go on to tell us that the people – yet again – supported a pro EU mandate.

    If the EU is where your leader wants to take us then the EU flag ought to be displayed.

    The UKIP option gives us what Parliament won’t which is – effectively – a ‘none of the above’ box which allows us to confirm our inclinations; not wishing to know our inclinations is hardly surprising since the lack of EU flags at conference time means that the main parties are reluctant to reveal theirs.

    Let’s change the slogan:

    “Vote UKIP – get Labour” ?

    How about “Keep Dave – Get Ed” ?

    What have UKIP done for people ? Made Parliament stop ignoring us.

  14. matthu
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    I would also welcome information on what the UKIP MEPs have achieved for us.

    One more: they have stood up for greater democracy. Sadly not a very high priority with Conservatives.

  15. JoeSoap
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    Not quite sure what your point is here.

    Are you saying that people who support the following are genetically inclined somehow to being deselected from being MEPs?

    – an EU referendum now and would promote an out vote,
    -want promises kept on debt and spending reduction,
    -want to repair the banks, and stop showering free money on them,
    -want to retain some selection in schools, to promote advancement of our skill sets in appropriate areas
    -assist economic growth by lowering taxes and
    -prevent totally free movement of folk into the UK ?

    Or are you saying that people who break promises on most of the above are genetically more inclined than average to hold onto their seats as MEPs?

    I am not sure that any causal link is proven.

  16. David Price
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 7:05 pm | Permalink

    What does such a high attrition rate say about the UKIP leadership and how successful it would be in government, even a coalition government, protecting and developing the UK’s interests. Such high rates of turnover might suggest that Mr Farage may have real problems building and maintaining an effective team within his own party even when the interests of the country are supposedly paramount.

    Frankly, if UKIP are the only hope for UK leaving the EU as advertised by so many bloggers then we are truly in deep trouble.

    • cosmic
      Posted September 24, 2013 at 9:16 pm | Permalink

      “Frankly, if UKIP are the only hope for UK leaving the EU as advertised by so many bloggers then we are truly in deep trouble.”

      Yes, we are in deep trouble.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 25, 2013 at 2:07 am | Permalink

      Yes David UKIP is our only hope and Yes we are truly in deep trouble. That helps a lot I am sure.

    • John Bracewell
      Posted September 25, 2013 at 9:04 am | Permalink

      You are correct. UKIP, however well they do in the 2014 European elections, will not get any seats in the 2015 GE. Since Westminster is the only place that can legislate to take the UK out of the EU with Labour and LibDem firmly committed to the EU and the Conservatives with a pipedream of a significant renegotiation of EU powers, we are truly deep in trouble.
      Why the Conservatives think they can reverse the outcome the EU has been working towards since its inception, that of forming a single country with one government and one currency in the image of the USA, is unbelievable. The UK is being inexorably sucked towards that outcome and the likes of Heath, Heseltine, Major, Clark, Cameron have facilitated that slide, by telling us that we need to stay in the EU and the EU is good for Britain, with some of them playing the game of keeping the Eurosceptics sweet with titbits like renegotiation, the odd meaningless veto and budget increase reductions (never budget cuts though).

      Reply But now the Conservatives are offering an In/Out referendum the UK can say NO to more integration and the single country goal.

      • Sean O'hare
        Posted September 25, 2013 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

        …the EU has been working towards since its inception, that of forming a single country with one government and one currency in the image of the USA

        I fear it is more likely to be in the image of the USSR.

      • John Bracewell
        Posted September 25, 2013 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        But Mr Redwood, in reply to your reply:-
        Cameron’s stance in the renegotiation is that however little is gained, he will still recommend staying in the EU. Whereas a more intelligent and believable stance would be along the lines of:- if totally successful on renegotiating topics A to D and partially successful on topics E to H then Cameron will campaign to stay in but if unsuccessful on any of topics A to D then he would campaign to take the UK out of the EU. Cameron and the Conservatives need to spell out what topics A to H are, so that the people of the UK can judge what is being attempted and how successful the negotiations are i.e. he needs some red lines but like his alter ego Blair, he is too slippery for that.

      • John Wrexham
        Posted September 26, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

        UKIP supporters have to realise that they won’t get support or get their policies realised by slagging off everybody and moaning on and on from the sidelines. They don’t come across as a bunch of people anyone who isn’t a raving right winger would want to be associated with. They are like the Militant Tendency or the Socialist Workers Party, they spend most of their times spewing bile at those with whom they probably have most in common. Very strange and totally ineffective.

    • Bob
      Posted September 25, 2013 at 10:31 am | Permalink

      @David Price

      1. We are in deep trouble.

      2. The Tories are offering a referendum at some indeterminate future date depending on being in majority government and having renegotiated our membership terms.

      3. Labour and the Tories are each saying vote for us or you’ll get the other.

      4. UKIP is offering to return the UK to independence and free trade.

      If voters are convinced by item 3 on the above list, then nothing will change apart from minor tinkering with tax and benefits, but the trend to further EU hegemony will continue. The fact is that Labour, the Tories and the Lib Dems are committed to the EU and voted overwhelmingly against having a referendum in October 2011. They don’t want the public to express their opinions – can you guess why?

      • David Price
        Posted September 25, 2013 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

        UKIP can offer nothing because it’s strategy will not change the fundemental arithmetic in parliament in favour of a referendem let alone getting the UK out of the EU. Instead of working to change that arithmentic there are idiots declaring that a dose of Milliband doesn’t frighten them. Such an attitude is not compatible with putting our country first and does nothing but benefit those who wish us to be more deeply fettered with the EU.

        I think Cameron should have offered a referendum before the GE and said as much on the blog. But I think UKIP have screwed up their strategy, they have positioned themselves as a home for conservatives who are anti EU when they should have focussed on being a home for cross-party Eurosceptics. That and the inability to build a credible team makes for a wholely lightweight proposition.

        As to your last statement, UKIP does not offer a public discussion board and removed current manifesto and policy material – so who is trying to limit public opinions?

        • Bob
          Posted September 27, 2013 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

          @David Price

          “UKIP does not offer a public discussion board and removed current manifesto and policy material”
          -> Check their website.

          “they have positioned themselves as a home for conservatives who are anti EU”

          ->judging by last night’s council by-election results. Their vote held strong, coming in at 22% in St. James on Tendring and 32% in Storrington on West Sussex. Up north they polled 25% in Barnsley, which is worth noting considering they didn’t even run a candidate last time round. The big result of the night came from Crockenhill and Well Hill on Sevenoaks, where UKIP’s Steve Lindsay gained the seat from Labour.

          UKIP are forever banging on about how their vote is not just made up of disaffected right-wingers, but Labour supporters and voters in the north. Last night they held strong in the south, improved in the north and gained a seat from Labour. Where the Tories held seats they did so with a reduced vote share. Maybe they have a point…

  17. JoeSoap
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

    Perhaps the reason is that UKIP MEPs are wedded to their beliefs regardless of having to be “nicey-nicey” to their leaders because it isn’t their first professional career option. Perhaps they have more diverse backgrounds than your average Tory Boy, Labour Lass, or Libdem Creep which means they aren’t dependent on their seat and career in politics for economic and career survival.

    I kind of take to that, actually. A more honest and less sycophantic approach.

  18. Peter van Leeuwen
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

    During the last decade, the Netherlands twice had a populist party in parliament, first the Pim Fortuyn list, then the Wilders List (Freedom Party), both with a very high “mortality” rate. Maybe these “teething troubles” may beset populist parties just a little more than traditional parties.
    Having “teething troubles” after twenty years is a matter for the dentist. 🙂

    • John Wrexham
      Posted September 26, 2013 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

      Too many egos!! They are parties for people who want to opine rather than work out a solution that will work in the real world.

  19. Paul
    Posted September 24, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Permalink

    If we look at each individual case it is not as bad as it looks. Campbell Bannerman and Andreasen defected to the Conservative Party simply because they knew they would be deselected in 2014. They were not popular within the party, had unrealistic personal ambitions and lacked the calibre, as did Sinclaire. It’s a pity about Bloom and Nattrass, who are both excellent MEPs, but it is clear UKIP is moving in a new direction as its popularity grows – it has a much more rigorous and stringent selection process – some individuals simply do not have the necessary quality, experience or character to help move the party forward.

    UKIP MEPs do exactly what eurosceptics want them to do – vote against (or abstain) and speak up against every single proposal put forward by the European Parliament. They cannot ‘achieve’ anything major because all the other British MEPs (from the main parties) are europhiles. However, they continue to gain support and heavily influence the UK Conservative Party. Would Cameron be offering a referendum in 2017 if UKIP did not exist? No. And if UKIP win the 2014 Euro Election, as it looks likely to do, then who knows, the Conservative Party may finally wake up and get rid of their useless and incompetent leader.

    Reply UKIP has not influenced the veto of the Fiscal Treaty (which they deny) nor the offer of a referendum.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 25, 2013 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

      Dear John. You worry me when you talk like this. Perhaps UKIP’s influence has not been as direct as we might have liked (I only say this to be courteous to you on your own site and don’t really believe it) but it has certainly been there nonetheless, albeit indirect and vicarious. Let’s put it this way, Conservative MP’s would have been crazy not to notice that an increasing proportion of the population are rooting for UKIP.

      Reply You always forget that many Conservative MPs are not only dedicated to a new relationship with the EU basedon trade and co-operation, but voted against Nice Amsterdam and Lisbon and wish to reverse the damage they did. We do not need UKIP to get us to do these things. What we need is more public support so we have more Eurosceptic Conservative MPs!

  20. David Hope
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 7:46 am | Permalink

    As someone who likes a large section of the Conservative party and who also backs Farage, I don’t understand why you feel it necessary to write many anti UKIP blogs.

    Yes they will take conservative votes which could damage EU referendum hopes.

    However, the point is that if party does nothing people want but they continue to vote for it they have only themselves to blame. The Conservatives in recent times (yes I know there are coalition pressures the last 3 years) has been pro expensive green energy, pro high deficit, pro high taxes, pro regulation, pro quantitative easing etc. There has been no move to a significantly smaller state despite rhetoric.

    With this in mind I don’t see how voting conservative does any favours. Yes it blocks labour in the short term, but it doesn’t provide an incentive for the conservative leadership to change.

    Thus UKIP provides an alternative with some of the policies I might like and the choice of who to vote for becomes a difficult one.

    Reply I provide analysis of UK politics so sometimes have to write about UKIP. I do not slate them, merely ask a few questions.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted September 26, 2013 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

      The Conservative leadership doesn’t operate in a vacuum as the parliamentary party, the members, the media, lobbyists and other organisations all have a huge impact. Traditionally Conservatives have realised that the most important thing a party can do is to ensure that it is in government, if necessary making compromises, rather than in opposition, yet remaining idealogically pure. The Conservatives have changed massively – just look at the journey the party has taken since Edward Heath!!

      On occasion the Conservatives have forgotten the lesson about the benefits of being in power or have just got tired of government and the country has never opted for something more right wing, instead the votes have gone to Labour or the Liberals/LibDems.

  21. Peter Davies
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    UKIP have in fairness opened many people’s eyes to the dysfunctional/non democratic nature of the EU – they have lost a high percentage of MEPs for one reason or another granted – call that growing pains and lack of party governance.

    Most of us probably didn’t before understand the role of MEPs and their subservient relation to the commission who hold the real power making the appearance of the European Parliament a democratic sham in my view. As I understand it the USSR had elected politicians but the real decisions were made by a small clique of people.

    What I still would like to know is how many Westminster laws which are passed are actually EU laws dressed up that Con/Lab/Lib do not like to admit and therefore rarely oppose – I think having a group of UKIP MPs in Westminster would serve a hugely useful purpose in that respect.

    For me the speech given by Mr Milliband yesterday indicates a break from the centre of politics for Labour and if enacted could cause huge problems down the line – land grabs, price fixing all sounds like Mugabe/Stalin type politics to me so UKIP candidates allowing labour MPs to get voted for in Eastleigh fashion will not bode well for our futures and could let these clowns into No 10 by default – the last thing we need.

    The reality is that UKIP is operating from a tiny base even though they have substantial support in many parts of the UK – though coming 2nd or 3rd in 200-300 seats will not get them anywhere. Better I say to concentrate on laser targeting winnable seats occupied by federalist type MPs – after all there are plenty of them to go after – 57 Lib Dems and 210 Labour for a start,

    leave the seats of MPs who would vote to leave the EU tomorrow alone.

    If the assumption that the Shadow Chancellor’s constituency voters were disaffected Tories that had gone to UKIP is correct – then he would not be in the shadow govt right now, this says it all for me – how a once great country like the UK votes to politicians of this sort of caliber is beyond me.

    • John Wrexham
      Posted September 26, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

      The reason the European Parliament is powerless is because the national governments of Europe prefer the current system where they choose the commissioners and together with the Council of Ministers, the commissioners make all the decisions. We could give more powers to the European Parliament, but that would mean we would be in favour of a more united and federal Europe, rather than a Europe of nation states. Going by the comments on this site, i don’t see much support for that.

  22. Richard
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 9:51 am | Permalink

    Mr. Redwood,

    Re : I would also welcome information on what the UKIP MEPs have achieved for us.

    UKIP MEPs have highlighted the uselessness of all MEPs and the enormous deficiencies of the EU.

    At least UKIP provides one party that electors can vote for that is not pro EU.

    Continued voting for the 3 main parties provides the pro EU lobby with the argument that the UK electors are happy with the current relationship the UK has with the EU.

    At the last GE, although UKIP gained no seats, at least it could be recorded that 900,000 people voted to leave the EU, which was more than 3 times the total number of votes cast for the Green Party who gained one parliamentary seat.

    So UKIP will provide a very important role at each election in determining how many people in the UK wish the UK to leave the EU.

    • Sue Doughty
      Posted September 25, 2013 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

      At the last GE UKIP made sure the Conservatives didn’t get an overall majority and had to include hard europhile Lib Dems in government! You ought to be ashamed of that achievement

      • cosmic
        Posted September 25, 2013 at 8:06 pm | Permalink

        You assume that all the UKIP votes would have gone to the Conservatives and that’s far from a safe assumption.

        The Conservatives didn’t have to enter into a coalition with the LibDems, they could have formed a minority government.

        You appear to be suggesting that the reason the Conservatives didn’t get an overall majority was the voters’ fault! I beg to differ. Brown offered an open goal and Cameron’s Conservatives didn’t present a sufficiently appealing alternative to gain a clear majority.

        If your attitude is typical of Conservative thinking, it’s hardly surprising they didn’t succeed.

        • John Wrexham
          Posted September 26, 2013 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

          There’s no evidence a more right wing Conservative manifesto would have gained the party a majority – just remember what happened in 2001 under William Hague and 2005 under Phantom of the Opera star, Michael Howard.

  23. Neil Craig
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    I answered John’s question in a previous post but I will do so again.

    The Conservatives and others have the carrot of ministerial preferment and a corrupt electoral system which, as he has well demonstrated, favours large centrally controlled parties. It is thus hardly surprising they can maintain discipline. Also, it must be admitted, UKIP are a new party with members not brought up in decades, sometimes generations of obedience.

    However it is clear the Conservatives are divided. One 1 MP has said that he would rather have “a tramp off the street” as PM than Cameron it is unlikely he is kept in the party by respect for its leader.

    It is certain that a lot of UKIP supporters and potential supporters contacted Tory MPs to demand they stand firm for a referendum and unless one assumes constituents have no influence on MPs, they must have influenced that debate.

    This applies also to the Syria debate, probably moreso since it was called when MPs were not yet reacclimatised to the Westminster bubble and were being influenced by real people.
    On the question of whether UKIP should give a clear run to about 100 MPs. John are you willing to say the Tories should give a clear run to UKIP in the same number of seats or does this supposed duty run only one way.

    I would also remind you the UKIP differs from the Tories on a range of issues not just the referendum – immigration, the immense cost of the Climate Change Act, level of commitment to market freedom, the redefinition of marriage, allowing the free market to work in energy, opposing HS2, technological progressivism generally, PR, right to Swiss style referendums. Why would it even be right to defer to those who agree with us on only 1 or 2 issues particularly when one of the ones we disagree on is the constitutional one of whether we should have a democratic electoral system or one designed to disenfranchise UKIP and keep the LabCon cartel in power till the crack of doom?

    Reply I have made clear I see no prospect of UKIP wishing to do a deal on the 2015 General Election. THose of us who refused to vote for Syrian military adventure were not swept up because we had been away from Westminster! 81 of us wrote to the PM against Syrian military activity and pro a Parliamentary vote before the summer recess.

    • Leslie Singleton
      Posted September 25, 2013 at 10:26 pm | Permalink

      Dear John–You are beginning to make a habit of saying stuff that while true doesn’t actually say much, to put it politely, meaning UKIP for some time wanted a deal as you well know and were rebuffed and now understandably won’t touch slippery Cameron with a bargepole. Lots could happen fast if Conservatives got rid of him. From the knees down he was concrete, from the neck up he was space–that sort of thing.

      Reply I deal wuith the world as it is, not as UKIP woulod like it to be. I don’t think UKIP ever wanted a deal with the Conservatioves, and clearly not now, nor does Mr Cameron want a deal with them as he thinks people will see the need to choose between Labour and Conservatives come a General Election. The Conservatives are not about to change Mr Cameron, and would certainly not want to change their leader on the instruciton of a party with no MPs.

      • Neil craig
        Posted September 26, 2013 at 10:01 am | Permalink

        It is a fact that Lord Pearson, as UKIP leader offered to stand down before the last election if given a credible promise of a referendum. I think that was unwise of him even then but it is a fact. UKIP has since made noises about a deal and the Tories have rebuffed them.

        If there can be no deal it is disingenous to pretend that this is UKIP’s fault. If Labour gets is it will be because the Tories actively put them in in preference it to a free marketist government committed to maintaining our corrupt anti-democratic electoral system which gives you buggin’s turn at power, which in turn says why the Tories do not deserve to win.

        The country does not deserve either of you,

      • John Wrexham
        Posted September 26, 2013 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

        A Conservative-UKIP alliance might appeal to those on the barking right, but in most of the country it would be a complete turn off and a gift to the Liberals and Labour. UKIP haven’t even run a parish council yet so we have no idea if they are capable of holding it together in office because they are as flakey as the famous Cadbury’s chocolate bar even while in opposition.

        • Rob
          Posted September 27, 2013 at 10:56 am | Permalink

          @John Wrexham

          Your posts here demonstrate that you are of the mistaken belief that UKIP are only made up of people from the far-right. This is not the case. A great many are also former labour and lib-dem voters who are sick of the old three parties and feel that it’s time to move on.

  24. The PrangWizard
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    I am not a UKIPer. I support the idea of an independent UK. I watch BBC parliament when I can and there is a dedicated group of hardworking Conservatives who press on to regain our freedom from the EU. I hope we get out and good luck to all those who are working for it.

    I don’t want to put a damper on that and I can see how frustrating it is for those who have to follow procedures and fight against Establishment forces, but getting out of the EU is only part of a fight for freedom and democracy.

    I am an advocate of a new English parliament – indeed, I now go further as I want independence for England, which means the end of the UK, the end of the British State apparatus. This may be considered far too radical for most, but is brought about by the refusal of the British Elites to grant an English parliament. And anyway, if it can be considered reasonable for Scotland, what’s wrong with England having the same opportunity? We, the English people, are not the British and we should not feel under any obligation to defend the Union.

    To start with Mr Redwood, will you declare for an English parliament?

  25. lojolondon
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 11:20 am | Permalink

    To be fair, John, UKIP representatives are enthusiastic, passionate amateurs, who are getting into politics because they are appalled at the sight of England and Britain being run by Brussels. They have not had media training, very few have been to university, they are just normal people. As such, they can come across very badly when facing hostile interviews and when put against professional life-MP’s from the main three parties. I can see why Bloom had to go, but I find his openness refreshing and a welcome change from the politically-correct BBBC speak that comes from every other candidate.

  26. Phil Ray
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    UKIP has evolved in the past few years, moving away from being a single issue party in order to appeal to the wider cross section of voters required to win seats in our first past the post electoral system. We have succesfully achieved this at the local level with Councillors elected and have radically improved our share of the vote in recent by-elections for MPs. It would appear that our strategy is working but there is still a long way to go and a great deal of work to be done.

    I guess some of these MEPs felt that the way the party was evolving and the direction the new leadership of the party is taking them in wasn’t for them and stepped aside or joined a party which was a better fit for their beliefs. Not unsimilar to how many Conservatives are feeling with regards to the direction Mr Cameron and the leadership is taking their party in I should imagine.

  27. Sue Doughty
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    I hope you don’t mind but I liked your piece so much I propagated it further on my Facebook page, where many Ukippers tend to lurk in secret and will have to take in on board.
    This is the post that enraged me –

    Tim Montgomerie
    16 hours ago via Twitter ·

    Most chilling thing said to me at #lab13: We only have to match Neil Kinnock’s share of the vote and thanks to UKIP we’re in charge.

    • Dave
      Posted September 25, 2013 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

      The point is though, is there any difference between the 3 old parties? Cameron can say what he likes but he’s a proven liar. To me he’s as big a liar as Blair was. On top of this he got it all wrong by aiming too far to the left in his policies, perhaps hoping to appeal to as wide a range of the public as possible, or perhaps because he’s just following orders “from above”. If he has been trying to appeal to the left then he was always going to fail – no matter what is put on offer the left will ALWAYS expect a better deal from Labour.

      It’s all Camerons fault if the Tories lose the next election. Don’t try to pin it on UKIP or anyone else.

    • peter davies
      Posted September 25, 2013 at 4:23 pm | Permalink

      thats the scary thing – labour is a dangerous beast, we need them like a hole in the head

  28. They Work For Us
    Posted September 25, 2013 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Thanks for your piece John it is appreciated but many feel that you are a voice in the wilderness against the LibCon left of centre alliance. If only you were PM or Chancellor.

    The best outcome for UKIP is for them to sweep the board at the elections for MEPs BECAUSE this will force all MPs to consider – could I lose my seat by UKIP splitting the vote, better adopt some pro UK credentials soonest.

    Canny UKIP supporters should only vote for UKIP in seats they have a good chance of winning – else vote conservative. Where conservatives can’t possibly win then conservatives should vote tactically for UKIP. Let us hope for the political annihilation of the Lib Dems

    It would be nice to have an unashamedly proper right of centre party/ coalition in power.

    • Neil craig
      Posted September 26, 2013 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      “The best outcome for UKIP is for them to sweep the board at the elections for MEPs BECAUSE this will force all MPs to consider – could I lose my seat by UKIP splitting the vote, better adopt some pro UK credentials soonest.”

      That’s a very good point TWFU.

      John’s position is that natural Tories should vote for whichever “right wing” party is ahead (unless they strongly believe Tory policies on immigration, windmills, warming, the EU, PR, general referenda etc are better than ours) and so should UKIPers, (if we feel their policies are significantly better than Labour’s). In which case the EU election is a test of who is actually ahead, and equally importantly, who is ahead in particular regions. At which point the electorate, who have long proven themselves willing to subvert our anti-democratic electoral system by lining up with the local challenger (else the LudDims would have far fewer seats) will have the knowledge to choose irrespective of whether the leaders can make a pact.

      That would certainly be good for the country since it would stop Labour getting a majority on 30% of the vote. Which of the 2 free market parties would end stronger is not readily apparent, at least not to me. While it is not exactly proper as a UKIP member I hope, even if UKIP gets a larger regional vote in the EU election he survives in Wokingham – he would be missed.

  29. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 26, 2013 at 1:48 pm | Permalink

    It’s not clear to me how any MEP can do much good. The European Parliament has limited powers. One power they do have is to sack the European Commission, a power that they have used only once. A joint effort by Conservative and UKIP MEPs to repeat this would be welcome, the specific reason being to reduce or halt the flow of useless Directives.

  30. George Earle
    Posted September 27, 2013 at 11:19 am | Permalink

    “I would welcome explanations from UKIP supporters who are always so keen to highlight the problems in other parties. It will naturally lead people to ask who and what they are voting for if their choice of party cannot even be sustained for a single Parliament by such a large proportion of the representatives.”
    As a UKIPman, I believe people vote for us in a Euroelection because they like our Party and its main policy of withdrawal from the EU. Nothing to do with the individuals on the list of candidates. You cannot compare the Euro parliament with Westminster. The former is a talking shop to give a veneer of democracy to the EU Commission and has no real legitimacy. The Euroelection is the nearest thing to an EU referendum as we are likely to get.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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