Here is Nigel Farage’s letter to Conservative voters, published in the national press today. (Click to enlarge.)
Image by The Prime Minister’s Office via Flickr
We know from past remarks that David Cameron and his cronies who run the Conservative Party don’t think much of UKIP.
We have been called “fruitcakes”, “loonies”, “closet racists” and “clowns” by the Prime Minister and his close associates.
We also knew that Mr Cameron and his friends have what they call a “modernising agenda” in their own party. Theresa May claimed several years ago in a conference speech that people were calling the Tories the “nasty party”.
From green policies to “nudge theory” to gay marriage, Mr Cameron has been at pains to show how much the Tories have changed. He has tried to be “hip” and “cool” and align himself with “yoof culture”. As young people look on with increasing bemusement, he has told them he is the “heir to Blair”, in the hope and belief that Mr Blair had some kind of magic that might rub off on him.
Remembering Mr Blair’s most notorious act, the taking of Britain into a war in Iraq on the basis of little more than spin, he has been loud himself in calling for intervention in other wars, in Libya and Syria.
But now the truth is out. Fact is, he has as much contempt for his own party as he does for UKIP.
The remarks were made by a senior figure in the Conservative Party who has strong social connections to the Prime Minister. “There’s really no problem,” the Conservative figure said about the parliamentary turmoil. “The MPs just have to do it because the associations tell them to, and the associations are all mad swivel-eyed loons.”
Mad swivel-eyed loons, eh? To Mr Cameron and his mates, ordinary people are a nuisance. The “plebs” are an obstacle to his getting on with running the country.
That goes for grassroots members in his own party, and it goes for the whole of UKIP, because UKIP speak for the little people who are such a nuisance to the Tory grandees.
Right wing Tory MPs are not too impressed with this latest gaffe.
One MP was quoted as saying:
“Slagging off your troops is not the way to win your battles.”
Another, Douglas Carswell, said:
“If you treat the membership as the problem, you will eventually end up with a membership of one.”
They really are rather missing the point. Having no members would make the grandees very happy. They believe they are far more important than ordinary members. In fact, ordinary members are an obstacle to “modernising” the party. If they can be driven out of the party, so much the better for Mr Cameron and his mates.
They don’t need those coffee mornings and jumble sales. They will fund the party with donations from their rich friends. And they don’t need election footsoldiers. They will campaign in “modern” ways, using television, Facebook and Twitter.
I believe they are absolutely, completely wrong. It is real contact with real people that matters. If you have contempt for the electorate they will have contempt for you too.
At the end of the day, it is not spin and clever marketing that wins elections. It is the trust of the people, whose votes you need. That trust comes from genuine engagement with ordinary people, not least through your own members.
I have seen Nigel Farage speak several times. Nearly always, his first words are, “How are we all today?” It seems genuine too. I believe he was genuinely upset by those attacks in Scotland. He would much rather argue a point, with a pint in his hand and a ready grin, than be hidden behind a wall of police minders.
That is the biggest contrast imagineable with Tory Toff Cameron, who loves spin and smooth marketing and is at his most comfortable when protected from the “nasty” public.
You might say that this gaffe today is just an ephemeral piece of rather unimportant news. It is not. It is indicative of a whole approach and set of beliefs. It exemplifies everything that is wrong with British politics in all three Establishment parties.
And of course it plays into the hands of his real opposition. Mr Farage’s grin must be especially wide this morning.
“Cameron to Rush Out Law for EU Vote” says the headline.
It would be funny if it wasn’t so tragic for our country.
David Cameron has been dragged kicking and screaming to the position he is now in, by pressure from UKIP. His party is facing meltdown at the next general election, and he knows it.
UKIP support is running at 16% in the latest Yougov survey – around 5-6% higher than before the local elections. With every win, the party becomes more credible. That hoary old chestnut about “letting Labour in” by voting UKIP is beginning to look a bit shrivelled.
UKIP have now passed half of the level of Tory support in that survey. Make no mistake, if UKIP’s figures stay as they are now, even if they go no higher, the party will win MPs at the next general election.
And so, in desperation, David Cameron promises to publish EU referendum legislation. It won’t save his party, for four reasons:
- Nobody trusts David Cameron any more.
- Quite a few of his own MPs will not back the call for a referendum. This will openly call into question whether he would even be capable of delivering a referendum, if he were to win the next election.
- It’s about so much more than the EU now. UKIP are transforming from an anti-EU pressure group into a deadly serious revolt against the whole political establishment. Their ranks are swelled by ex-Tory activists – people who absolutely know how to fight elections, and are completely alienated from their old party. UKIP has become the stuff of Tory nightmares.
- Nobody trusts David Cameron any more. Whatever he says, people now laugh.
Here’s what could so easily happen in the next decade:
The Tories get rid of David Cameron before this time next year.
The Tories are crushed at the next general election, and UKIP win nearly as many seats as they do.
Labour win the election, and over the next few years, so mismanage the country that a real crisis ensues. Meanwhile, the Tories are losing by-elections – to UKIP.
The Tories are forced into a merger with UKIP – with UKIP taking the upper hand. The merged UK Conservative Party wins the election in 2019.
And Nigel Farage finally becomes Prime Minister.
It happened in Canada, and it can happen here.
Yesterday some of the search terms that people used to find this blog were:
adam collyer “edl”
“adam collyer” “british national”
adam collyer muslim
From this I conclude that the Conservative Central Office trawlers have been looking for dirt on me. I guess I should be flattered.
So if you are from Conservative Central Office, please note: you are wasting your time with me. I don’t have any brief for racism or extreme politics. In fact, I was a member of your party until 2010, when I finally became so disillusioned and disgusted with your betrayal of Britain that I left. You are going to richly deserve the pasting you will get in the local elections today.
Nigel Farage with UKIP’s candidate at the Eastleigh by-election
Image by Jennifer Jane Mills via Flickr
The Daily Telegraph has pretty much always been the Conservative Party’s newspaper.
For months, the paper has been treating UKIP as a bit of an amusing diversion. And perhaps even a useful one, as a means if pressurising the Tory leadership to adopt the policies the paper favours.
Now though, the Tory local election campaign is wilting and the party is set to lose hundreds of seats. And the Telegraph has belatedly woken up to the UKIP threat.
We have seen in recent days increasingly shrill and desperate attempts from the Telegraph to stop the flood of Tory voters who are deserting to UKIP.
One article, for example, declares: “Vote for Farage? Are you completely bonkers?” and resorts to such devastating criticism as to point out that Nigel Farage has a foreign-sounding name.
Today the paper’s anti-UKIP campaign reaches a new low however.
Rowena Mason, one of the paper’s hacks, has apparently been trawling around looking for dirt on UKIP election candidates. And she’s found some – surprise, surprise.
She quotes a small number of cases where UKIP candidates have expressed extreme views on Twitter, Facebook and a personal blog. Sure, they are pretty shabby views. Those 3 candidates (out of over 1,700 being fielded by the party) probably shouldn’t have been selected. But I’m sure that in her heart Ms Mason knows well that these few are very far indeed from the decent men and women standing for UKIP all across the country.
Declares Ms Mason:
The party is facing questions over its vetting after campaigners criticised the “far-right connections” and “cuckoo conspiracy theories” of some of its potential councillors.
Campaigners like Ms Mason herself, one assumes. Who are fearlessly forcing UKIP to “face questions”.
Ms Mason accuses UKIP of failing to vet its candidates properly.
She forgets to mention that UKIP, unlike the Tories, have a bar on people who have ever been members of extreme groups like the BNP or EDL even joining the party – let alone being candidates.
The article (which, unusually for the Telegraph website, does not allow comments) is headed:
Nigel Farage, the leader of Ukip, admits there have not been background checks on all the party’s local election candidates.
Well, I stood as a Tory candidate at a local election a few years ago. I can confirm that the Tories did not vet my background, or that of any other candidate as far as I know.
That was before I left the Tories in disgust at that party’s antics in government of course. But the Tories’ failure to vet their candidates may explain some of the problems they have had in the past with their own candidates.
This article is just muck-raking negative campaigning by a newspaper that is joined at the hip to a discredited and even hated Tory party.
They really are running scared, you know. Another reason for the growing UKIP family to take heart!
UPDATE: Looks like this did indeed come from Tory Central Office.
Come on then, you Tories. Do your worst! Have a trawl through this blog looking for dirt! Have fun.
In Egypt’s sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desert knows.
“I am great Ozymandias,” saith the stone,
“The King of kings: this mighty city shows
The wonders of my hand.” The city’s gone!
Naught but the leg remaining to disclose
The sight of that forgotten Babylon.
We wonder, and some hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when through the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the wolf in chase,
He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
What wonderful, but unrecorded, race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.