Having had two days occupied by ‘outside interests’, returning home I see that Richard North, EUReferendum, has ‘stolen my thunder’, to a certain extent, with this post.
It is to my continual amazement that so much ‘hype’ is applied by pundits in the media – and also those of the ‘Twitterati’ – about by-elections; and in this respect those writing about – and supporters of – Ukip need to rein in their over-blown and mis-placed enthusiasm for the results of recent by-elections, especially where percentages are concerned – points made by Richard North.
By-elections are renowned for containing two elements: namely, the protest vote and those abstaining – ie, not bothering to vote. Consequently, for the Labour Party to crow that the results of recent by-elections are condemnation of the Coalition; and for Ukip to now attempt to place themselves, in the minds of the public, as the third party in politics, not only stretches incredulity but lays them open to charges of misrepresentation.
If UKIP emulated the LibDem machine of local activism, focusing on community priorities to take seats in local government, they would by now surely have had MPs in the House of Commons. The problem for Ukip is that they don’t think strategically, they only know a ‘grapeshot’ method of fighting – no belay that, Ukip don’t think, period. Ukip have no strategy because they do not have a strategist or anyone who has the slightest idea of strategy.
Tim Congdon, an economist who was once part of the ‘Wise Men’ at the Bank of England and who is now a Ukip member, produces a ‘newsletter’ (receipt of which is free and available by subscribing) and from the latest, one paragraph:
“I have little respect for the politically correct ‘governing class’/’political establishment’ types, such as David Cameron and Nicholas Clegg, who have done so much damage to our country. (Nigel Farage has a nice phrase for them, ‘the rich kid political elite’, as quoted in yesterday’s The Sun.) But – if the ‘rich kids’ want the UK to stay in the EU – I would give them some words of advice. Hold an In/Out referendum on EU membership as soon as possible and – somehow, somehow – win it, despite the opinion polls showing that you will lose. The longer the referendum is postponed, the more likely that the vote will be for withdrawal. Indeed, the longer that the three ‘main parties’ ignore the popular resentment of their country’s betrayal, the more likely that UKIP will over time become the UK’s largest single party and will form a government in its own name.” (Emphasis his)
Tim Congdon may be a respected economist, but strategist he most definitely ain’t – so the message must be: ‘don’t give up the day-job, Tim’……..
Ukip – and those in it – may well have the best of intentions and are, no doubt, committed people. Unfortunately, until they and the party ‘get a brain’ they are destined to remain where they are – on the fringes of the political scene in this country.
Afterthought: With apologies to those of my readers who are of the opinion that Ukip are the saviour of our country and saviour of democracy in our country.