LOCAL ELECTIONS: UKIP gives the right signals, but remains in a political siding

Why is UKIP such a signal failure in British politics?

Apparently – according to ConservativeHome’s Tim Montgomerie, no less than Plymouth’s finest son Gary Streeter has opined that “the Tories have lost votes to UKIP because David Cameron isn’t Conservative enough”. A bit rich coming from a former SDP turncoat, but all the same it’s about up to par with the usual searing brilliance of Gary’s observations. Similarly, Dan Hannan tweets that the UKIP share of the vote ‘is the great unreported story of the night’. Getting 14% in a mid-term local government protest election is sort of OK, but what does UKIP really have to show for it?

UKIP has existed as an anti-EU bloc now since 1994. The Party is getting towards the end of its second decade in British politics, and has yet to win a single Parliamentary seat. Nigel Farage (a decent enough bloke, but not really a national leader) blames the system for this, and he is partly right. But the system doesn’t stop George Galloway (a thoroughly indecent bloke) from getting elected with alarming regularity.

Those Sloggers who dismiss me as “having it in for” Farage should put their pride away and look at the facts. I watched UKIP in action on the ground in Bercow’s constituency during the 2010 General Election; to be frank, the organisation was all over the place, and the leadership non-existent. With somebody credible at the helm – and a proper, tactically adept electoral machine in place looking for breakthroughs with genuine thoroughness and imagination – UKIP would double its vote and be bigger than the LibDems within two years.

I do not dislike Mr Farage – I spoke to him once on the telephone and he struck me as quite amusing. His press officer is also an exceptionally nice chap, and Farage made a positive impression on several of the other candidates in Buckingham. Indeed, no less a superbrain than Peter Oborne told me recently that he always looks forward to seeing Nigel “because he’s clubbable and talks a great deal of sense”. However, the newspaper for which Oborne writes – the Daily Telegraph – is very anti-EU…but not UKIP. And, I’m here to tell you, it would take a lot to drag the men on Sark in that direction. Why?

Not a single national newspaper beyond the Express has overtly come out during the eighteen years of Party existence at an important election and said ‘Vote UKIP’. I have to say that, having only that newspaper on your side only adds to the sense of tired old Little Englanders raging at foreigners from their bathchairs. It is largely untrue as an image of UKIP supporters, but only a leadership figure who looks the part and speaks with gravitas is ever going to change that. UKIP – for all that I loathe the man’s hypocritical pragmatism – needs its Tony Blair. And Nigel Farage is not that man.

Dan Hannan is fond of remarking that the BBC’s anti-UKIP bias is a disgrace, and I accept that up to a point as well. Auntie’s website this morning barely mentions UKIP at all. But although the coverage the Party got comes near the bottom of the heap, significantly it looks like this:

  • UKIP has its best ever local election night with a 14% share where they stood but few extra councillors
  • George Galloway’s Respect gains five councillors in Bradford and unseats Labour group leader

Sorry, but for me those items are not biased. In fact, they are spot-on: Galloway gets five more councillors – real power – where UKIP gets a 14% share of the vote….and still has no power.

With the object of his ire falling apart across the Channel – and looking odds-on to drag us down with it – 14% is a very poor show. It smacks of bluff bonhommie and bad strategy. And as a buck, that one has to come back to the leader’s desk.

It’s a toughie to make the political grade in the UK as a single-issue Party. UKIP is a long way from being that, but it’s what most people still think. Were I in charge of their marketing, I’d place far more stress on the word Independence – it is positive, it has many dimensions of great appeal concerning everything from personal liberty to export markets, and it is going to be a very important emotional word in the world that could emerge from the trauma we’re about to suffer. But why is no thinking like that coming through?

Let’s take the age demographic for starters. If the UKIP leadership don’t know by now that their appeal is massively skewed over 55, then they need shooting. But this just happens to be by far the biggest demographic in the UK – and it is concentrated in some very right-wing coastal areas where there are also large undercurrents of the dispossessed fed up with the Ed Miller Band. A lot of them are indeed in the South West – and especially in Gary Streeter’s Plymouth hell-hole. But one minor-league Tory wittering on about lost votes does not a breakthrough make. Where is the obvious ‘localism’ strategy used by the early 1960s Liberals  to convert their efficient local policies into national MPs? Nigel Farage should be cutting a swathe through older Tory voters. But whatever rentagob Gary says, they are staying remarkably loyal to probably the most devious and ineffective Prime Minister this country has ever had – after Harold Wilson.

Look at the Right Wing of the Tory Party. It is chock full of rabid eurosceptics, and shares precisely the same education, tax and defence policies as the UKippers. But not one of them has yet converted to the Farrago of characters orbiting around the UKIP leader. Would Graham Brady ever move across to UKIP? Would John Redwood? In my view, not a chance. Why?

I think the answer is simply this: UKIP is not a serious political movement in the eyes of Westminster, the media, strong political minds, psephology professionals, business, or any but the most virulently anti-EU fringe voter. Fine, the BBC says UKIP supporters are mad and the Tories dismiss its policies as swivel-eyed. Fine, last night one in seven Brits voted UKIP. But at the last count – by ICM/Guardian in October 2011  – 70%  of us want a Referendum on the EU, 49% of Brits would Pull Out tomorrow, and 58% of Tory voters feel the same.

That’s a level of sentiment way beyond the Daily Express tendency – but UKIP isn’t. Nigel Farage is a hail-fellow-well-met bloke from the pub who talks straight and wants the best for his country. But he’s not a Prime Minister, and he is not going to punch a hole through the political class’s wall. If he could do that, he’d have done it by now.

This time, Faragistas, I have restricted my comments entirely to a point by point critique of your hero’s performance as leader of the UK Independence Party. It’d be nice if you responded in kind, but I’m not holding my breath. Anyway, if you start yelling and hurling insults as per last time, the Slogspam fate awaits. It’s your call.

Related: Is Jeremy the Witch going to evade the hunt?

 

133 thoughts on “LOCAL ELECTIONS: UKIP gives the right signals, but remains in a political siding

  1. The Things Aren’t What They Used To Be party is (rightly or wrongly) seen as a single issue party, which always perform badly at general elections.

    As you say, this is a failure of leadership.

    • Single issues do work, but only at a local level (Kidderminster, Tatton et al), and I suppose that the Labour Party was a single issue party at its birth.
      I agree with John that the UKIP should rebrand, and Independent is as good a name as any. I would never vote for UKIP for all the reasons stated, but I did vote for the SDP because it was led by some heavy hitters and I was young and naive at the time. I think the time is ripe for another SDP, but it won’t be Nigel.

  2. Great political upheavals such as the demise of a construct such as The EU, takes decades. Along the way many worthy voices are unheard but still significant. Farage’s speeches and his taking the pompous arrogant EU crowd to task are superb. he has done us all great service and holds a torch which one day will be passed on. it’s all we have to stop the rot so prevalent in Europe.

  3. UKIP are a one issue party and the local elections are not the ideal forum for an anti-EU vote. Has an elected UKIP councillor got the power to withdraw from the EU ? No! Has a UKIP run council got the power to withdraw from the EU ? Once again the answer is, No!

    Do I think a party led by a former bond trader would instictively address the problems in the economy in a fair and balanced way ? No!

    UKIP’s power lies in the pressure it can bring to bear on the Conservative party by potentially denying it power and forcing the Tories into some kind of accommodation of it’s line on the EU.

    Personally, I’d never vote for UKIP. They once had a policy, perhaps they still do for all I know, which would allow ex-servicemen to keep guns in their home (very appealing to the elderly who were forced to do National Service) but in my view the last group of people I’d want to have a gun are people who a) Know how to use one, and b) Could be emotionally damaged by having been in conflict.

    I mention this because other than the EU do people know what they are voting for ? Some ignorantly think that if the UK pulled out of the EU then nothing else would matter and so don’t bother to find out about UKIP’s other policies.

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, the only way to effect real change is to go to the polls and spoil your ballot paper. If UKIP ever did get elected then they would just morph into the ‘Government’ just as oblivious to the concerns of ordinary people and just as quick to pander to big business and the market.

      • @Max,
        Then enlighten me.

        There is only one issue that people who vote for UKIP take into consideration when they go to the polls.

      • @Max
        With respect, I already have done.

        Having a patchwork of policies does not change the fact that UKIP is a single issue party.

        The clue is in the name United Kingdom Independnce Party.

        I mentioned in my original post another UKIP policy, the fact that you, a supporter (member?) couldn’t is worrying but it is a fair reflection of the perspective of UKIP voters in general and I thank you for that.

      • Have to say that it may appear to be a single issue party – but until that single issue becomes a non issue – pretty much none of the other policies can be effected.
        Even cleggy when joining Cameron wanted to make some changes publicly displayed his surprise when told he couldn’t do whatever it was because the EU would not allow it. People do not realise just how deeply this insipid organisation has got its claws into the UK.
        They need to wake up and smell the coffee, stop doing ‘zelebrity polllies’ and support the only viable alternative to the ‘lets have more EU’ bunch of no hopers.
        Thats not to say I am criticising what people say about Mr Farage – but he is the best the country has got at the moment – and the so called Tory Sceptics are more interested in their ‘safe seats’ than being part of a Party which shares their views. To give them support is to damage any chance of escape. The only way to get them to move over and represent the people is to shake to the foundations the ‘Tory safe seat’ construct.
        I think now that the EU will collapse of its own accord before the self interested and self serving polititians get the message – but to continue to support those who have done for themselves before the people is shameful. They do not deserve to be sitting in Westminster – full stop !

      • @ Morningstar

        UKIP always make electoral deals with the very sceptic Tories that you’re railing against.

        All they’ve got to do is sign a piece of paper to say that the would vote for the withdrawal from the EU and UKIP don’t put a candidate up against them.

      • @ Morningstar

        PS, Why would any Eurosceptic Tory MP join UKIP? Often these are in the very constituencies where UKIP could to bear the most pressure.

    • I’m not sure why you believe that those who have been in a conflict are “emotionally damaged”.
      There is, I think, a perfectly valid argument that those who have been in a conflict understand the horror and waste of conflict, and therefore are the last people to wish to use violence.
      In fact there is an argument to be made that the generation of political leaders who had been through war understood what made people of all classes “tick” and therefore were “one nation” leaders.
      Some years ago that insidious creep Jack Straw was shot down for saying the Duke of Buccleugh was unaware of the views of “normal people” because he was so wealthy. The Duke had spent the war as a rating serving with “normal people” in the North Atlantic-Jack Straw has spent his life as a politician. I cannot imagine that such as the Duke would send a man to be tortured-it is all too easy to believe Straw would, and has.

      • As things stand right now, if you don’t vote then you are simply dismissed as apathetic, you don’t care, you couldn’t even be bothered to go to the polling station. In yesterday’s elections over 60% didn’t vote, at General Elections around 45% don’t vote.

        At each election, of those that do go to the polls, about 5% of ballots are void, including those deliberately spoiled. 10% of all postal votes are rejected, people don’t understand that if you have a postal vote then there is a 1 in 10 chance that the computer which scans it will reject it and you’ll never be told if it was counted or not.

        If you vote for a party then you validate the system and the elected person, de facto, becomes a creature of the system which elected him/her.

        ‘Insanity is doing the same thing, over and over again, but expecting different results.’ – Albert Einstein

        Voting in the Greens or UKIP is hope over expectation. They won’t be any better or any different, they would have derived their power from the manipulation of the system and press and will consolodate their position in power to retain power at any cost.

        The only way to effect real change is to change the way people who don’t vote are perceived. Imagine an election where the number of spoiled ballot papers outnumbered the supposed ‘winner’ in the ballot. The elected politician would have a dubious mandate. Now imagine an election where the number of spoiled ballots outnumbered the totalled over 50% of cast votes, that would, if repeated across the country, call into question the system itself.

        Don’t expect anyone elected by a system to reform it, only the shock of total and clear rejection of the system can effect change.

    • @gojam: That’s an excellent set of observations of UKIP.
      You say “…the only way to effect real change is to go to the polls and spoil your ballot paper. If UKIP ever did get elected then they would just morph into the ‘Government’ just as oblivious to the concerns of ordinary people and just as quick to pander to big business and the market.

      I totally agree with your latter point. Most people don’t realise that when anybody new walks thru the door of Westminster some odd things happen in what’s left of their mind: they suddenly become new members of the Establishment and proceed to join the club. That is largely due to rules/regs/protocols that exist in our Parliamentary system (eg: a newcomer doesn’t even get to speak unless The Speaker calls him), but also to the fact that it’s the unelected Civil Servants who are the unseen hand of power behind the throne of government.

      Regarding spoiling ballot papers…ISTM that even if the number spoiled was higher than any candidate, it would be brushed aside. The winning candidate would simply claim that he is a real candidate whereas there is nobody with the name “spoiled ballot paper”.

      • “it’s the unelected Civil Servants who are the unseen hand of power behind the throne of government.”

        Never a truer word written, and that goes for National AND Local Government.

    • gojam
      I have a slightly more extreme view: sod the politicians – they don’t listen, and they are powerless.
      The way to effect change is to inconvenience business, banking and the Inland Revenue.

      • @JW: To cause any real inconvenience it would have to be a massive and sustained campaign of (eg) letter writing, asking spurious questions or whatever. Few people have the skill or can spare the time for such things.
        An alternative may be to go on a spending strike but that would not impact the Inland Revenue or banks.

      • BT,

        I think JW is suggesting non-payment of bills rather than a sustained campaign of letter writing.

        Legal Note: That is my inference and not necessarily what JW has implied.

        ;-)

      • @gojam: You may well be right, but such action has limited effect.

        - Non-payment of utility bills will bring about disconnection.
        - Non-payment of tax will bring about fines and interest charges, followed by legal proceedings.
        - Banks will help themselves to your money for being overdrawn etc.
        - Local councils will issue writs for late payment, often inside 7 days.
        - Non-payment of such things as Road Tax will bring about prosecution.
        - Non-payment of fines will often bring about arrest & prosecution and if for motoring offences, they will give you a few points anyway.

        It goes on…they’ve all got it pretty well sewn up. We are cash cows.

      • If you “inconvenience” the Inland Revenue,i.e. don’t pay your tax, they’ll soon ‘inconvenience’ you by coming and arresting you. That’s the way things are now.

      • @ BT and Judith.

        I’m not advocating the non payment of bills as I agree with you both.

        I’m just trying, almost certainly erroneously, to interpret JW’s post.

        (Though I may withhold my water payment if they add flouride to my water but that is a seperate matter)

      • Response to BT … Have some fun! Go to tesco and by only stuff on promo, they are loss leaders, you can hit them hard and directly in their bottom line. Buy local and pay a bit more for it – keeps neighbours in jobs and strengthens local infrastructure and takes business away from supermarkets. Move banks to ethical or credit unions. Not voting give you the right to bitch about the people running the country to anyone that DID vote!

      • Its pretty clear that Gordon Brown has already inconvenienced the Inland Revenue by merging it with Customs and Excise to form the lamentably ineffective HMRC. If the government raised the tax it should fairly from those who can afford it the countries finances would be in a much better position. We need better institutions that do their job properly, I’m thinking HMRC, FSA, police etc and prosecute all the scumbag grabbers who are bringing us down. In that I include bankers, accountants, lawyers and owners of msm and of course corrupt politicians.
        Unless JW, “inconvenience” is another of your euphemisms. I can imagine hanging from a lamp post would be a major inconvenience.

      • @PhilE: It’s interesting that you say the Inland Revenue was “merged with Customs & Excise”. You may well be right, although I always thought it was the other way round, following HMC&E’s blatantly unlawful violation of the Single Market Treaty which cost its Treasury Minister Paul Boateng his job at the time.

  4. There was a UKIP ‘hug in’ in Dorchester a quite few years ago!

    A few elderly Somerset guys supported him, and us Dorset types went to meet him out of curiosity-
    Nigel is a Nigel, and appeared a bar room bore, I seem to remember he wore suede shoes and had a smokey cackle!
    Alternative political groups are odd things, passions seem quite extreme really, it just seemed to like a naughty boys club – old service men’s drinking type culture and and genuine haters of garlic and anchovies which are in fact my favourites! Not certain it is a political party for women either- but what party is?
    Yes, UKIP types remind me of station buffets , full of stale curly sandwiches and over cooked roast dinners and boiled out carrots and and overcooked cabbage

  5. Thank you, JW, for a fine analysis of what UKIP should be doing to increase their stake in the game. I only hope they read this blog as it’s a message they need to absorb.
    Nigel Farage comes across as a lively speaker and demolisher of b*****s and I admire him; but would he make a good PM? Maybe not. But that’s not the point. The two main parties’ policies are so close (being based on nothing more than consumer group feedback rather than on vision) that coalition governments look likely from here on. And I suggest UKIP couldn’t possibly do worse than LibDem.

  6. I am a gold bug and follow the markets home and abroad. Farage is very well regarded around the world, and a regular feature on many well regarded blogs and media outlets. His polemics in the EU parliament are good solid viral Youtube fare, and not to be missed whatever your colours.

    I agree with John that he isn’t leveraging the sentiment into real domestic power, but after the Kilroy Silk debacle, and a sideways look at the carnage when the BNP garnered a few votes, maybe he is just keeping his powder dry until events at home favour action – a fairer voting system for starters.

    Meanwhile as the “Ron Paul” of the UK, he continues to build his reputation, and keep us entertained! I wish he would get a seat – he would be a scream in the Commons.

    • The simple and palpable reason UKIP aren’t leveraging sentiment is that voters fear letting The Milibandit’s henchmen in by default. If the Lothian Question were answered correctly…

    • Yes, I agree. Nigel Farage is perhaps better known outside the UK than any other current politician. Crikey, even I have listened to his most delighttul tirades and I fled the UK for lovely down under many years ago. I have not willingly listened to any speech by any other UK political idiot since. Tony Blair makes my skin crawl.

      Ron Paul has a surprisingly large following of young people, so I think there is much more going on behind the scenes than the silly old media have woken up to.

    • Local election turnout – 32%. Tories – got avg 30% of that.
      UKIP got avg 14%. So nearly half of the Con vote. Not that bad.

  7. Agree with you up to a point John, but .. is it possible that you are only looking at one side of the equation? LibLabCon politicians have had years of experience in appealing to the stupidity and short-sightedness of the electorate. They’ve got it pretty much sewn up electorally, taking turns to have a broadly socialist/corporatist go, as they drag the UK ever closer to bankrupt mediocrity.

    Poor old Farage is a thoroughly decent bloke who has set out his stall for people to to examine, to reflect upon, to think about and debate. Where this fails is in the unspoken assumption that the British electorate are capable of any degree of independent and intellectually rigorous thought. Some certainly are – they are to be found reading these pages and those of illustrious others – but by God they are a minority.

    I am still pondering a conversation I had with one chap yesterday. He is moderately successful within the confines of a contracted arrangement with the local authority. He said, “We..ell, I did pretty well under Labour but now this lot are in things have got much worse. The sooner Labour is back in the better as far as I’m concerned”. Those nearest to us nodded their agreement. I asked him why he thought he had done so much better ‘under’ Labour (interesting that it’s always ‘under’ …) and he said that he thought they knew how to run things better than the Tories who only want to see rich people get richer while the poor are crapped on.

    Up and down the land this mindset is what guides people’s hands as they scrawl their cross. They honestly do not see the danger inherent in the criminal European enterprise, and will only wake up when they are in the queue for their daily bread allowance and having their electricity turned off for 10 hours a day.

    • @Caratacus. What a perceptive post! I’d never realised before how we all say “under” a government. It says much about how we see our relationship to government, doesn’t it?

      • Also – it’s always informative to listen to a politician when he/she blurts out an answer before they’ve thought about what they are saying. Listen to them banging on about being “in power” rather than the correct “in office”. To be in office suggest concepts of service, of trust, of integrity … when in power the unconscious motivators are very different :-)

    • Caractus – I have to say I agree far more with your post than JW’s (sorry John!) UKIP have come a long way, at a time when politics has been completely two sided. They would not have expected to gain so many votes, if, the usual three parties had their ears open to the electorate.

      And agreed that most voters only listen to what is in their face. Which shows that politicians can say what they want and get away with it. (I applaud Guido for destroying Livingstone’s rubbish btw)

      UKIP are still a small party on the ground, but their influence is bigger than their boot size. At this stage that should be good enough, and only those with a cursory interest in politics would consider them either one subject and failures in this election. Too many have not gone and read their manifesto, and prounounced they don’t agree with them!

    • I think you’ve nailed it Caractacus. The average British voter will moan about the EU but has not shown much sign of stomaching exit from the EU. Only a referendum on in or out will show where sentiment really lies. I think it would be too close to call. Farage is massively entertaining speaking truth to bureaucratic power in the EU parliament, but no more so than George Galloway, who as JW points out at least gets himself elected to parliament.

      A better strategy than advocating exit from the EU is to offer it some real resistance which alot of voters would get behind. There is a rich vein to be mined here and JW does it well but there seems to have been a dearth on EU bashing stories in the msm of late, or maybe I’ve not read them. By pointing out the deficiencies of english rule, Alex Salmond (a charming man according to that unfit owner of the Sun) has skillfully manouvered the scots into a position where they are coming round to the idea of looking into the abyss and leaving UK. We need someone of equal cunning who can do the same with UK and EU. Sadly I don’t see such a politician on the horizon but if there is one, somebody please point him/her out.

  8. Totally agree but I have decided to give them a vote at the next opportunity. Don’t vote don’t moan and a complete lack of alternatives means that choice is extremely limited to say the least. Who knows, a decent vote might start to attract more electorally savvy operators to the UKip ranks. Sad to say but it’s probably our only hope.

    • Trader
      I hope what you suggest materialises. But looking at the London Mayoral bollocks, what choice did we get there? Darious Guppy’s former bouncer vs a Stalinist newt-fancier.
      This is democratic choice?

  9. When only 32% of the population bothers to vote, maybe the politicians should be looking at why people are alienated from the democratic process.
    Even a honest, likeable chap like Farage get painted with the same brush, if you´re a Politician then you´re not quite kosher.

    • The politicians fain concern about a disinterested electorate. In fact they would take a coin toss over a seat where the only ones who voted were the candidates who stood for election – and accept the nomination – thus – and proclaim it as a victory. Do not be misled over their fake concern – the less the numbers who vote – the more likely the ‘entrenched’ system continues its game of ping pong.

  10. The Telegraph is not anti-EU, and the right wing of the Tory party is not chock full of rabid eurosceptics.

    • Denis
      Your evidence for that?
      I was unfortunate enough to spend an hour in a room with most of the Tory Right three weeks ago. They regarded Europe as septic rather than something about which they were sceptical.
      As for the Torygraph, when was the last time (apart from tokenism like Mary Riddell) you saw a comment in there that was pro-EU?

      • Like Cameron the Telegraph may whinge about the EU but in the end it will always say that we must stay in it, and the same is true for almost all of the Tory MPs. You mustn’t confuse a willingness to occasionally whinge about it with genuine opposition to it.

  11. Listening to that extension of the Labour party, Radio 5, this morning there was a lot of talk about how people were rejecting the Coalition because of its perceived lack of ‘fairness’. Fairness seems to be defined as ever-increasing wealth distribution and maintenance of welfare and state employment levels come what may. The trouble is that you need a buoyant economy for that, and we are frankly struggling with no sign of an improvement even in the medium term. Banks have successfully avoided lending to small businesses, and if they can get free money via the BoE who can blame them? I would not trade a bunch of small businesses for a guaranteed turn on state bonds. So we will be borrowing more and more, I guess, and ZIRP and QE will continue indefinitely. This is not looking good, those few that bothered to vote are blissfully unaware of the creaking foundations of our national finances, or else they want to destroy them.

    Oh, and UKIP is and will remain irrelevant. They need big bucks to survive, either immensely wealthy backers or the Trade Union movement. Neither in sight.

  12. Well I’ve commented before on slog posts about Farage and UKIP, I’m a ukip voter and member, but I have to say I pretty much agree with this post. I think I have different expectations from them though. In all honesty I’m not really thinking of them as a future government, I see them as a tool to bring down the “progressive” conservative party, which in my view is little different from the other two. The only thing that changes with government is a different set of vested interests get looked after. Of course there are some people who get looked after by all three parties, banks etc.
    What ukip needs to do is remove enough support from the tories, so that they are forced to change, forced to actually represent the views of many people like me, i.e. get us out of the E.U., get back to having a state based on the rule of common law, small accountable governance and respect for individual liberties amongst other things. To do this I think UKIP needs to poll between fifteen to twenty percent in a general election. they do not need to win a single seat. All they have to do is take down enough tories, that in itself will remove the Cameron leadership.
    So for my money they are on target to achieve this. Short term may mean we suffer a labour government, but in the long run, if it means that we get a conservative party that actually stands for the right things, then it’s worth it.
    And I don’t really see a comparison with the respect party, they are an ethnic/religious based party who have concentrated support in a couple of areas, they will always do well in those areas due to the nature of our electoral system, but will never break out further.

    • Soap – my strategy as well. However if UKIP rebranded as John suggests, roped in the guys at Positive Money and perhaps the Libertarian Party and took on a Ron Paul style leader then my feelings are a lot more people would vote for them.

    • Soapy
      I’m with you pretty much all the way here. My problem is that I don’t want a narrow UKIP teaching the Tories a lesson – any more than I’d want the Commies teaching Labour a lesson.
      I want rid of all of them in favour of new, looser groupings where citzenry needs, not money, are the guiding factors…and where the purpose of power, as Nye Bevan said, is to give it back….and where Big is ineluctably seen as bad.

  13. I’m getting lost here.
    Why is it necessary for an Independent party to have a potential PM standing at a local election?
    Are any of the other candidates for PM any better shod, better smelling or even half way acceptable to most readers here?
    Why pick holes in UKIP when we seem to have little pleasant to say about George the Respect Party for example? Or Alex Salmond for that matter?
    We can’t expect the world from Independent candidates it will take time and support but it’s no reason not to support them.
    14% of the vote seems very significant to me with little media support.

  14. Completely agree with everything that JW says about UKIP and especially the point about how they should re-brand (ouch) and market themselves as Independent thinkers rather than thinking about Independence all the time.

    For them, this might mean dropping the UK part of the name, or shifting it, since as it is up front, it is the first connection that your mind makes – UK: Independent from Europe…end of story.

  15. I shall vote UKIP next time round. People need to take responsibility for themselves and not look to political parties to run their lives. If UKIP is a single issue party then all to the good – it is the most significant issue in our lives at the moment. If they encourage and enable people to make their own decisions about education, health, and all the other aspects of life which the government is manifestly not competent to run then we will all have to grow up and behave responsibly and weigh up issues ourselves, not just wait for the government to tell us what we are going to get.

  16. I once worked for a hopeless boss, one day he brought in a foreman to run things, transformed everything for the better. You out there Farage?

  17. UKIP is a slow-fuse event. Yes, it’s been around for nearly two decades but it is only now that many people are waking up to the truth behind its one-issue stance. They’ve realised that that one-issue is all-embracing, if we got out of the EU, all manner of other issues would be capable of resolution but, staying in, they never will be.

    I have observed close friends, normally major party loyalists, vote UKIP yesterday. They knew UKIP would not win the seat, but wanted to be part of the glowing clamour, to make their feelings heard and to establish some ground-strength from which UKIP may then develop into a major force. These are mature, sensible, thinking voters who now recognise they were conned by the Heathite EU Tendency in all major parties. They intend to carry on voting UKIP until it is resolved in the only way acceptable.

    They are ‘lending’ their votes to UKIP to get that one issue resolved – after that, they will revert to evaluating all the parties’ offerings – that is the considered action of a mature electorate. Let’s all do it.

  18. At age 42 I have never had the opportunity to choose the EU or not!

    I don’t believe UKIP would ever form a government but I do think they are the catalysis for the message that we should get out of the EU and trade with Europe and the rest of the world as a sovereign nation.
    They do need to tighten up now, because the time has come to push the message that Europe is rotten and will bring us all down with it .
    Agree with the need to push the “Independence” message.
    UKIP to me is the “message of a rotten Europe” not any other issue of guns for vets et c.

  19. If Farage and UKIP became popular leaders and led the storming of Westminster followed by Brussels, they’d get wider support. That’s what the UK needs: a party that will lead the revolution. Sadly, they’d probably be taken out PDQ. The weapons are all in the hands of criminals and their lackies. Onward Christian Soldiers.

    On a slightly more serious note…last night’s results are evidence plain and simple that socialist bollix and bullsh*t works and that the balance of political leaning in Britain is to the Left, and has been so for decades.

    • “On a slightly more serious note…last night’s results are evidence plain and simple that socialist bollix and bullsh*t works and that the balance of political leaning in Britain is to the Left, and has been so for decades.”

      I don’t know whether that is an accurate conclusion BT and similarly I find I cannot understand how it is that the allegedly most unpopular government ever, results in that very same Party machine only being a whisker away from being able to form a new government. Then when it has failed by very little to do so, ‘the Party’ sweeps back into control of Councils all over a couple of years later.

      I can’t even decide whether that says more about the stupidity of politicians (which as you know I resist as an idea, preferring cunning and self interest as a more accurate assessment) or ‘the people’.

      So often I hear “but what is the alternative” used as a defence for voting for more of the same when I should have thought ‘none of the above’ a much more obvious and sensible alternative. At the least, a movement towards Independents.

      I dislike the label of ‘sheeple’ so often used to denigrate the Electorate, but you do have to wonder sometimes, is that how it is?

      • Jwoo
        I actually dislike the term Sheeple…I think it innately fascist.
        I think the problem – as many threaders have voiced above – is one of an appalling lack of real choice.

    • @Jwoo:
      I don’t know whether that is an accurate conclusion BT and similarly I find I cannot understand how it is that the allegedly most unpopular government ever, results in that very same Party machine only being a whisker away from being able to form a new government. Then when it has failed by very little to do so, ‘the Party’ sweeps back into control of Councils all over a couple of years later.

      Well, I think you’ve answered your own doubts. (As you know, I also don’t usually buy the political stupidity theory).

      So here we are, the last Labour govt wrecked the economy, created mind-boggling national debts, wrecked society, left more people in poverty than 1997, carried out an assault on our historical rights, passed reams of anti-liberty legislation, (according to many) went to war unlawfully, undermined the Rule of Law, embedded corruption in public service, and a whole raft of other ‘crimes’. AND YET large numbers of people still voted for them at the general election and again last night …despite that it’s now led by a moronic Marxist who hardly knows what day of the week it is and lies through his teeth.

      I can find no explanation for that other than the nation leans to the Left politically and buys all that socialist bollix about “fairness” “justice” “equality” and other assorted progressive socialist slime. EVEN IF it’s because they hate the Tories and quasi-Conservatism, it still means they prefer socialism. No?

      Please enlighten me :-)

      • @BT

        If only I had the ability to impart the tone of voice into the written word. If I typed it thus BT,

        “I don’t *know* whether that is an accurate conclusion,”

        would you be able to see better that I was not challenging your view, merely saying that I didn’t know with certainty that it was correct and had similar difficulties with the other aspects I mentioned.

        Or as my very irritating but well loved and now deceased mate used to say, “Calm yourself big boy”. (I have to say ‘no offence’, because I am still resisting adopting those bl**dy smiley faces. After all, before the web, who used them?)

      • @Jwoo: Please…I understood your expressed opinion well. No problem.
        I genuinely believed you were not certain as to what the explanation is.
        My response was simply to further my line of reasoning. With all that recent muck behind them, Labour still has a fairly high level of support.

        I honestly cannot find any other explanation except that Brits on balance lean towards the Left and only kick Labour out of office when the mess they cause urgently needs sorting out. If anybody has any other rational explanation, please, let’s hear it! :-)

      • “except that Brits on balance lean towards the Left and only kick Labour out of office when the mess they cause urgently needs sorting out.”

        Put like that BT it has the depressing ring of truth to it. As I have said before, now is a very good time to be old and thus not embarking on a lifetime with the knowledge or inevitable truth, one has taken a lifetime to collect.

      • I suspect many voters vote to keep what they get from the state whatever that might be. Governments change when they piss to many people off by making them feel they are losing out. Thus the coalition is doomed and they know it, thats why they are filling their boots as quick as they can. Its truer to say that the nation leans to retaining its own status quo. There is no real left or right in this countries politics.

        We have got a reasonably decent country and people don’t want to lose it. Its that sense of decency that will get us out of the mess…. if it still exists in sufficient depth. And BT if you think that fairness, justice and equality are perogatives of socialists can I assume you are praying that the descendants of Attila the Hun will sweep in from the steppes and sort out all this EU and democracy business once and for all?

      • @PhilE:
        I accept that to a lot of people their political leanings towards Left or Right doesn’t feature too much in their daily thoughts. Nevertheless, by voting for Labour or Tory as many people do, they are in effect aligning themselves on one side or the other. And one major reason we have a fair number of floating voters (apart from the talcum powder crowd!) is because the Tories have inched to the Left for a number of decades to the point where Cameron is hardly a conservative.
        On fairness, justice and equality…whenever I use these terms regarding Labour it has nothing to do with my own belief in them. It is simply the meaningless drivel Labour use to get votes. In office, such Labour aims go straight out of the window.

      • I’m not convinced that the nation leans to the left. I think that there are a few factors that swing people to a Labour vote even when they don’t consider themselves to be left-wing:

        1) In the face of economic disaster and severe personal financial distress it is comforting and reassuring to hear a major bunch of politicians – whose job it is, after all, to know these things! – tell us that “well, yes, we need to do a spot of belt-tightening for a while, but it’ll basically be fine”. Most people aren’t sufficiently versed in economic theory to judge for themselves whether or not the government is cutting too far, too fast (I know I’m not) and will grasp the lifeline in the hope that it doesn’t prove to be illusory.

        2) There is still the view that Cameron’s cuts are ideological and that he will favour his banking chums over “ordinary people”, in what is perceived to be the time-honoured Tory tradition. Things like removing the 50% income tax band may or may not be economically justified but it’s pretty damn hard to make it look good in a recession.

        3) The return of the nasty party! Cameron himself appears to be quite socially liberal, for a Tory PM, but the last 24 hours have seen his colleagues demanding a lurch to the right in the form of dropping “barmy” gay marriage and reform of the Lords, and presumably the adoption of a good old-fashioned vote-winning position of bigotry and fear to play to the Mail readers. As a socially liberal voter who’s inclined to trust the Tories over Labour with the economy (does that make me left-wing or right?), this presents me with something of a problem.

      • @Alex Meadows: I don’t see any of that as evidence that the British electorate doesn’t lean to the Left. I’m not talking here of communism, just a short step Left of Centre. Please see my previous comment re. the damage that Labour has done to Britain. MSM is widely seen as being on the Left, especially the BBC, and it has substantial influence over opinions. IMHO, anybody who is willing to vote for any Labour candidate must also by definition be willing to tolerate another Labour govt, despite a track record of wrecking everything for everybody. One does not need a PhD in economics to know that Labour politicians are mostly innumerate and incompetent and are driven by ideological dogmas. One reason why so many people vote Labour is because of the ‘client state’ it’s created whereby a huge proportion of the electorate receive all or some of their income from the state. But that in itself is socialism, better described as collectivism in the past. I do not accept that acceptance and support of the client state is compatible with a Right perspective. But when the Coalition govt attempts to reign back the Welfare state, huge numbers of people scream “mummy mummy”. Or is it “nanny nanny”?
        Putting it more succinctly, anybody who does not support: properly regulated free market enterprise, personal responsibility, individualism vs collectivism, minimal government, low tax etc, is someone that leans to the Left. I realise that many people who claim to be Tories fall into this category. That’s the way of life we have, in the same way that a large majority of MSM and the gullible population accept MSM’s assertion that fascism is on the ‘Far Right’ (incl the owner of this blog!), when it most certainly is not. YMMV :-)

  20. Perhaps I am wrong but my perception of this topic ( Farage and UKIP ) is that it results in many more variations on a theme of opinions from Sloggers than most other political topics.

    After all it is just another politics issue, but a lot of the other ‘political’ discussions end up with Left versus Right arguments. I would have expected this to be the same. If my impression is correct, it hasn’t been.

    But if UKIP isn’t a Left versus Right issue, what it is? I don’t know the answer of course, it is a rhetorical question after all, but does it come down to a Farage issue? Perhaps, and if so, he needs the assistance of a limelight person. Would he allow it? Perhaps not.

    So all in all, although I don’t feel I have expressed this well, the issue is one of identity and image.

    • @Jwoo; I think you express it well. But unless and until UKIP publish a clear set of policies covering all aspects of government, we will not know if they are anything more than a one-issue party.

      Is UKIP just a Little Englander Nationalist Party full of xenophobia etc?
      Some people see Nationalism as being on the Left a-la Hitler, others quite the opposite. I await their full policy agenda to make my own mind up.

  21. Much as I agree with many of their views I can’t see much point in voting UKIP except at European elections. Apart from Nigel Farage I have no idea who any of the others are and one man can’t change the system. I would like to see them get somewhere for influence but a one man band isn’t much use. Shame he didn’t beat the odious Bercow though.

    • chereie79: With all due respect, you might have more idea who some of the others are if you took more interest in the party or logged on to their site http://www.ukip.org. As for the “one man band” dismissal which I’ve heard so often. For a party which has been maligned, sidelined, mis-represented and kept out of the MSM as consistently as UKIP has a ‘one man band’ appearing on radio, tv and in the press is better than a no-man band. And Nigel, at the moment, is the best proponent of what UKIP is about and what it stands for as he has experience, energy and charisma and is a ‘good performer’ which is what counts in today’s world. However this doesn’t imply that he has no back up. On the contrary, there are hundreds, thousands of people in UKIP playing their part helping to get the message across to a largely apathetic populace – the product of years of lousy education. Not an easy task!

  22. How can you compare George Galloway and imply he’s been successful and Nigel Farage, who should have been successful. Galloway played to the gallery of Muslims . He garnered a sectarian vote and has now implicitly formed the British Muslim Party. The Bradford effect will be replicated in countless other cities from now on. UKIP does not appeal to sectarianism. It is on a broad front, denied media publicity (because it is seen as a threat to the mainstream) and for that reason it is an uphill struggle. And Farage is more than a ‘decent chap’ or a ‘joker’. He is a damned hardworking charismatic leader who has gained the party maximum publicity under extremely difficult circumstances. There is no comparison whatsoever between him and the fly-by-night opportunist Galloway.

    • @JCB

      But aren’t you missing the point here, namely that it is all about how voters perceive the options available.

      Galloway, whatever he is or isn’t played to the elctorate successfully and lets face it anyone who can parade around on TV the way he has and still be taken seriously enough to become an MP must be doing something right. It doesn’t matter what that is, the point is he knows it and plays to it.

      Farage and UKIP by comparison, however brilliant they are, do not manage that sort of success.

      So I ask the question again, is it about identity and image and if so clearly they are lacking. Comments like JW’s article above seem, it appears to me, to prove the point, it is about perception not reality. Farage needs to improve and do whatever it takes to achieve that. Why isn’t he?

      • Galloway isn’t taken seriously and he hasn’t played to the electorate, only a certain section of it. He’s just nakedly opportunistic. He knew how sectarianism works. He has exploited it for his own ends. He doesn’t care what the outcome will be. If success is measured on that scale I am glad Farage doesn’t weigh heavily.

      • @JCB

        “Galloway isn’t taken seriously and he hasn’t played to the electorate, only a certain section of it”

        With respect, he selected his victims, targeted them and them being in the majority as he thought, he won. He is now an MP on board the gravy train. In what way does that differ from what I said?

        “He’s just nakedly opportunistic. He knew how sectarianism works. He has exploited it for his own ends. He doesn’t care what the outcome will be.”

        Do you mean by that he was successful but in your ideal world he wouldn’t have been? Don’t get me wrong but it appears you are confusing what you would like to see happen with what should happen.

        “If success is measured on that scale I am glad Farage doesn’t weigh heavily.”

        Well so be it. I would prefer Farage could adjust his techinique to be more effective in the battle he is fighting rather than the battle he might prefer to be fighting. Again, I am not trying to offend merely to point out that you must adopt the tactics which will be effective before you (the impersonal) get on a high horse and claim any sort of ‘holier than thow’.

        For the avoidance of any confusion, nothing would give me greater pleasure than seeing the Farage bandwagon gather apace and accelerate to the fore. To achieve that I believe he will have to adapt a lot. Failure to make the changes will leave him out on a limb and no-one to blame but himself.

        The passage of time will show which of us is correct, nothing else.

    • JCB
      I think you’re digging a pointless hole here. That wasn’t what I was saying at all. I cannot abide Galloway (type the word into the Slog’s search engine and you can see for yourself).
      The point is, he has the nous and Nigel doesn’t. Tragic, but true.

      • I’m sorry to disagree but you did make a direct comparison between Galloway’s “success” and Nigel’s “failure”. As I said earlier, if ‘success’ is weighed on that scale, thank goodness Nigel failed and if ‘nous’ is being a devious little manipulator of certain fairly ignorant sections of society for your own ends, then long may Nigel not have it. And, in passing, I would ask, as I’ve asked Jwoo here, what would you recommend Nigel do differently in order to achieve the success you claim he is being denied? Positive recommendations are always preferable to negative observations.

    • Correct ! On Wednesday I drove through a few areas of Bradford – Toller, Clayton, Lidget Green etc – and I noticed a thicket of ‘Respect’ posters. These areas have a large Muslim population, so it was actually fairly easy for Galloway to capture seats. It didn’t work in all the wards contested where there was a much more mixed population. Also Galloway was strongly urging a ‘Yes’ vote for an elected Mayor – I ended up driving at the back of him spouting off. Across the whole District that was blown out the water. You’re right that ‘Respect’ is basically a Muslim Party and I doubt it would last 5 minutes anywhere where there is not a significant Muslim population.

  23. Jwoo: You say: ” he selected his victims, targeted them and them being in the majority as he thought, he won. He is now an MP on board the gravy train. In what way does that differ from what I said?”

    You initially implied, by saying “Galloway played to the electorate successfully”, that he had directed himself at the whole electorate rather than a sectarian section of it. I replied to that by saying that he played to a gallery of Muslims and garnered a sectarian vote.

    My “ideal world” doesn’t enter into what I said. I simply said it as it is. see my post above. And how would you suggest Farage adjust his technique to be “more effective in the battle he is fighting rather than the battle he might prefer to be fighting”? (whatever that means). If we’re in the realm of make-believe I would imagine Farage would prefer to be standing up in the HoC fighting whoever is the opposition. And finally …. who’s on a “high horse” and what does “thow” in “holier than thow” mean? an old Anglo Saxon word?

    • “You initially implied, by saying “Galloway played to the electorate successfully”, that he had directed himself at the whole electorate rather than a sectarian section of it. I replied to that by saying that he played to a gallery of Muslims and garnered a sectarian vote.”

      Your point being? Did Galloway break the law or otherwise do anything else that was deemed suitable to disqualify him? No, he got elected.

      “My “ideal world” doesn’t enter into what I said. I simply said it as it is.”

      Or perhaps as *you see it*, which might or might not be the same thing. In my view it isn’t.

      “And how would you suggest Farage adjust his technique to be “more effective in the battle he is fighting rather than the battle he might prefer to be fighting”? (whatever that means).”

      I beilieved if you read what I have written carefully enough you would see what might be required. If that isn’t the case I suggest you make me a proper offer of employment to do his reorganisation and stop trying to get it on the cheap. Please note I am not seeking employment merely trying to give some positive customer feedback. What is irritating is that your defensive and combative response is just so much like all the other lot that it rather proves my and other’s point.

      ” And finally …. who’s on a “high horse” and what does “thow” in “holier than thow” mean? an old Anglo Saxon word?”

      Oh dear. You clearly don’t visit here often or do so and cannot take in what I and others have said from time to time, namely that on occasions we experience screen corruption on WordPress, such that we are typing under dialogue boxes and therefore blind. Once posted, the typos and mental switch glitches are all too apparent, but I had thought this one was so obvious as to be not worth posting further comment to clarify or correct. My apologies, I misread your abilities and priorities and will not make the same mistake twice.

      My turn for a ‘finally’ I think, “Positive recommendations are always preferable to negative observations.” That may be the most dishonest statement in what you have written. If you want positive, make me an offer, if you want constructive, re-read it. If you can only see negative please do not expect to see any change in UKIP’s fortunes in the near future.

      The tone of your responses suggests ‘offical’ connection with UKIP. I congratulate you on your style, you have encountered a *potential* customer with a view and successfully irritated him enough to think that he has wasted his time and is talking to the deaf. What are the chances of me troubling to do so again I wonder?

      • Jwoo: I’ll limit myself to a few words because I can’t think of anything to add to what I’ve said to make it clearer. It’s a pity you find debate irritating, but I had to have a little chuckle though over your allegation that I was “defensive” and “combative” at the same time. Rather like wielding a sword but not taking it out of its sheath in case it did any harm?

      • “Jwoo: I’ll limit myself to a few words because I can’t think of anything to add to what I’ve said to make it clearer.”

        Quite so, it is clear enough to me, in your view Farage and UKIP are perfect and the reason they aren’t more successful is the fault of everyone else. Any comment to the contrary is negative and therefore unhelpful.

        “It’s a pity you find debate irritating,…”

        You have misunderstood, debate is stimulating, exchanges with yourself do not qualify. For example:
        “and what does “thow” in “holier than thow” mean? an old Anglo Saxon word?””

        “but I had to have a little chuckle though over your allegation that I was “defensive” and “combative” at the same time. Rather like wielding a sword but not taking it out of its sheath in case it did any harm?”

        Oh that’s good. Or maybe “Positive recommendations are always preferable to negative observations.” or; well I’m sure you are not as short sighted as you pretend. But it matters not. Many many visitors to JW’s blog will read these exchanges, no doubt you can rest assured that you have advanced UKIP’s cause significantly.

  24. Dear All
    I salute you for an insult-free comment thread that certainly made me think. That IS the point.
    Many thanks to all who contributed.

  25. You are correct about the need for a name change. With the Scotch about to leave the Union, the UK bit will soon be obsolete anyhow. They also need to get rid of their godawful pink web pages.

    • Agree with you there CanSpeccy: We have thought about the “UK” bit if the Scots leave. Perhaps we could be Former UK Independence Party – it would make an interesting acroynm.

  26. Observation:

    1) UKIP need a new name (initials, UKIP, when their competitors have proper names like Labor and Conservative), logo (the Micky mouse £ sign has to go) and a brand strategy, I.e. see http://www.ries.com.

    2) UKIP need a proper political strategy

    3) UKIP need an adviser with experience and knowledge

    I’d love to have a go at their branding, but i have too little experience in these matters. I wonder If there is a retired ad man out there who can help?

    Just a thought.

    • I have never made an Ad but I’ve watched a few. My suggestions are.

      1) UKIP, nine out of ten dogs prefer it.
      2) UKIP, the best a man can get.
      3) For hands that do dishes as your face use mild green fairy UKIP.(that one softens the image while appealing to environmental gay vote at the same time)

    • “2) UKIP need a proper political strategy”

      They promise a 5-year freeze on immigration. Does that mean the same as Dave Comonin, when he said the Cons would “grip” the problem of immigration.

  27. I don’t think anyone has mentioned the London mayoral debacle, where UKIP omitted the party’s name when entering their candidate. He appeared as the Fresh Choice for London candidate on the ballot paper.

  28. John, I have an opinion that Farage does not want Ukip to have power.
    Has he been ‘placed’ to provide the safety valve by the strange people from the MI’s?

    • Uh Oh!
      You mean he’s an Illuminati placeman? Or is it the Bilderbergs? or maybe the Jewish Lizards? of God forbid the NWO? Do tell…………….

      • “an Illuminati placeman?”

        More likely the security services. MI6 is said to have run the German neoNazis. We know they more or less ran the IRA, why not, then, British parties that challenge the mainstream, lib-lab-con consensus?

        Watching Nick Griffin throw the BNP chances in the last election certainly suggests power is not the objective. And now we have the BFP, a BNP spinoff to divide those who remain loyal to the nationalist cause — the BFP, designed to fail through association with mass murderer Anders Breivik, details to be released anytime the BFP shows evidence of dangerous momentum.

        Farage may indeed be different, but in that case, why doesn’t he insist on changing the hideous color scheme of the party’s Web site? Certain proof, surely, of a party designed to fail. LOL.

      • @CanSpeccy: What can I say? It all sounds incredibly possible and exactly like what our Security Services would get up to. Imagine if it’s true and they eventually got enough votes to give them a deciding vote in a coalition govt. We would then have the Security Services running the country, carefully disguised as elected politicians! The mind boggles.

      • BT

        Re: “We would then have the Security Services running the country, carefully disguised as elected politicians!”

        Which is what they have in Russia, with Puti Put.

        And what they may have had in the US since November 22, 1963.– with input from AIPAC and ten thousand other lobbysists. Certainly, the resort to vote-flipping electronic voting machines looks like the end of American democracy.

        May be its a basic law of social development. Spooks rule.

      • @Canspeccy: IIRC you’re in Canada and therefore probably didn’t see the UK BBC TV series “Spooks” a while back.
        Although it was generally enjoyable, the underlying message that I got from it (especially because it was produced by the BBC) was to show viewers what a difficult job MI5/Mi6 have, and how these wonderful patriots risk their lives day-in & day-out to protect *us* from the bad guys, whilst showing respect to democracy and the Rule of Law etc etc.
        IOW yet another pile of State propaganda which never mentioned anything about the unlawful actions they get involved in, which in my mind are rarely to protect ‘the people’ but The State and The Establishment.

      • No I didn’t see the BBC glorification of spooks program.

        But as for their “respect to democracy and the Rule of Law etc etc.”, Dr. Fiona Wilcox, the coroner who presided over the Gareth Williams inquest seems to have some doubts. As a result over 50 MI5 spooks are being tested for a match with DNA in the flat where Gareth Williams was found “unlawfully” killed.

        But surely MI5 would not have assigned the killing of one of their own to one of their own — they contract out don’t they, Mossad, CIA or some other scumbag outfit. So the DNA testing is surely a diversion that will lead nowhere.

      • @CanSpeccy: I dunno if MI5/MI6 do their own dirty deeds or contract them out. But the GW case is overflowing with mysteries. I am certain that MI6 know a lot more about it than they’ve admitted and that his death was at the hands of an agency of the state. But I don’t know which agency and which state, or why. He was a code breaker…that might be a clue as to whodunnit. It was the work of professionals. His apartment was thoroughly cleaned up. I think the spooks call it ‘sterilisation’ and it’s professionals who do that.

  29. The real paradox is what the keeps the two main EU parties in power.
    Labourphobia which prevents Conservatives voting for UKIP.
    Conservaphobia which prevents progressive liberals voting Libdem oddly enough though their not Liberals they just fool themselves that using the name is enough.
    Conservaphobia also keeps Labours client state fearful of losing the full support of the state.
    Not to mention the appointed highly paid useless disasters who just mess every thing up and walk away from it.
    Or perhaps have a nice little non job.
    Or a fat pension to think about for just turning up or maybe not.
    The rest of the nation is beginning to suffer from Politicophobia.
    In fact the majority who do not vote any more.
    This Abstentionism of the political process is not good.
    The establishment of which the political parties are merely a part is in for a shock once they have wrecked society to the point of collapse and I think they may have just succeeded this time.

  30. It is not in the interests of either main party to reduce immigration, on the contrary, it is strongly in their interests to encourage it. By hiding behind all manner of EU agreements and of course asylum (mostly false), whichever party is in power can finesse the situation for ever. Plus of course we have Mrs May in charge, not an encouraging situation. UKIP’s problem is that it cannot focus the public on the issue when the main parties are unwilling to discuss it because of an obvious conflict of interest. Frankly I can’t see that changing. Demographic change (Labour) and very low cost labour (Tories) will continue prevent any change in immigration policy, whatever the main parties may say in public. They just don’t care.

  31. Nice article John. I have not read the comments as I do not wish them to (a) sidetrack me, nor (b) influence that which I wish to write.

    As the ex-chair of Ukip Witney I can speak with some ‘authority’ on matters Ukip, having first-hand experience of the party.

    Ukip is very much a one-man party and some might be forgiven for thinking that it is deliberately structured that way by Farage – I could not possibly comment.

    On the subject of Buckingham it is strange that such an inept campaign was run by the man who, had Farage succeeded, would have taken his place in Brussels – but I digress.

    It is strange that the present Ukip Witney branch did not put up one candidate in Cameron’s constituency and that Ukip HQ did not appear that worried or concerned…….

    It is strange that, as a previous vice chair of a Conservative branch and having been out with them canvassing and campaigning and seen at first hand their ‘system’ (which works, believe me), on offering to tour all Oxon branches to give a talk on electoral law, campaigning and canvassing I was informed that that would be good and I would be contacted – 8 months later I am, still waiting for that contact……

    The above might lead one to believe that Ukip is a ‘controlled’ party, one permitted to exist by the state with a view to providing a ‘centre’ for those against EU membership. Far-fetched? Why else is Ukip still without an MP? Why else does Ukip not have better administration? Why else does Ukip not direct and control its branches?

    Just asking……….

    • I think you’re wrong to say UKIP is a party that’s “permitted to exist”, because no one needs permission to form a new party.
      However, if you’re saying that it’s not a ‘real’ party with elected parliamentary ambitions then it raises the obvious question of *who* is funding it? *who* benefits from that? and who is pulling the strings?
      The only people I can think of are the socialist slime parties eg Labour & Libdems and maybe 1-2 other misguided whacknut parties.

  32. Pingback: UKIP & FARAGE: THE MAYORAL BLUNDER | A diary of deception and distortion

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