UKIP, UK Independence Party
12/19/12, "TRADITIONAL TORIES ARE DEFECTING TO UKIP IN DROVES," UK Express, O'Flynn
"Creating a successful new party in the British
political system is fearsomely hard. Not even the combined talents and
contacts books of Roy Jenkins, David Owen and Shirley Williams could in
the end achieve lift off for the SDP in the Eighties.
So it is
perhaps no wonder that the political class has been very slow to take
seriously the rise of a still small right-of centre party that has been
routinely written off as peopled by cranks and gadflies, fruitcakes and
But we have now reached a point where not even
the most complacent member of the British Establishment can ignore the
rise of Ukip. Three separate opinion polls on Sunday put it on a 14 per
cent vote share. More polls yesterday confirmed that it is in double
figure territory. This does not mean it is yet on course to win a slew
of seats at the next general election – though that is no longer an
unthinkable scenario – but it does mean it is taking millions of voters
from the Westminster parties.
Were the voters flocking to Ukip’s
banner coming in roughly equal number from the Conservatives and Labour,
then the leaderships of those parties could afford to regard it as an
embarrassment rather than an existential threat. But detailed new
polling shows Ukip is attracting approximately a dozen people who voted
Tory in 2010 for every one who voted Labour.
If this trend continues David Cameron can forget about winning the next general election.
The party’s rapid progress has been a team effort. It is full of people
who believe profoundly in its values and work like Trojans on its
behalf. But two men in particular can take the lion’s share of the
credit for the quadrupling of its support.
The first is its
leader Nigel Farage – a straight-talking ball of energy with real-world
experience who has been shown to be bang on the money about the failings
of the European Union. Mr Farage’s speeches at the European Parliament,
during which he lays waste to the reputations of EU eminences such as
Herman Van Rompuy, have become internet sensations.
anyone who has previously belonged to the BNP or any other racist party
from joining Ukip, Mr Farage has also removed the ability of the
political Establishment to associate it with the Far Right in the eyes
of public opinion.
That battle was decisively won last month when
fairminded people of many political persuasions turned on Rotherham
social services for arguing that Ukip members should not foster children
from mainland Europe.
You may find the identity of the second man who has helped Ukip move
from a three per cent party to a 12 or 14 per cent party more
surprising: it is David Cameron himself.
From the moment he leapt into
coalition with the pro-immigration, pro-EU Nick Clegg, Mr Cameron began
to alienate traditional Conservative supporters.
The baleful influence of the Lib Dems can be detected in almost every nook and cranny of Government policy.
The appointment in 2010 of Ken Clarke as Justice Secretary heralded the start of two years of soft law and order policies.
Equally, there has been no decisive break from the meddling of the European Court of Human Rights.
more has been thrown into the foreign aid money pit too, despite major
cuts being imposed upon our armed services. Energy bills have been
allowed to soar, in part to raise funds for fashionable green
initiatives of dubious value.
And while immigration has been reduced, that reduction has proceeded at snail’s pace.
the insistence of the Lib Dems, non-contributory benefits were last
year uprated by 5.2 per cent – far ahead of pay rises for working
Above all, the Government has let down Conservative
supporters on the European Union, with Mr Cameron continually fending
off demands for an In/Out referendum. By the end of 2013 when all
controls on Romanian and Bulgarian immigration into Britain will be
removed at the behest of Brussels, the two great issues of Europe and
immigration will become one.
Mr Cameron has presented himself as the Better Off In leader of what is
now largely a Better Off Out party. So it is hardly surprising that the
alternative offered by Mr Farage has been so appealing to so many.
a long time many Conservatives who were deeply disappointed by Mr
Cameron gave him the benefit of the doubt, understanding that he had
been given a difficult political hand to play.
But a few weeks
ago he managed even to alienate a substantial portion of these
sympathisers by picking an entirely unnecessary fight about gay
marriage. Not only did this remind long-suffering Conservatives about
the last entirely unnecessary row he picked with them (about grammar
schools), but it also transmitted a more damaging signal: that David
Cameron holds their views in contempt. The most recent boost Ukip has
received – around four points in the polls during the last month – is
surely a direct result.
All of these actions by Mr Cameron were
underpinned by an assumption he may finally be understanding is
incorrect: that traditional Tories have nowhere else to go. They do.
a lot of them have already gone. And the centre-ground “progressives”
his advisers told him would be won over by more foreign aid and gay
rights have failed to show up to replace them. Can Cameron win back the
traditionalists by 2015?
Some, perhaps. But some won’t be good enough."