Coffee House The Spectator Podcasts

Podcast: Cameron’s dilemma, the collapse of the Lib Dems and Salmond’s secret weapon

29 May 2014

9:14 AM

29 May 2014

9:14 AM

How can David Cameron appeal to his own natural supporters in Ukip? On this week’s View from 22 podcast, Douglas Murray and Mats Persson from the Open Europe think tank discuss this week’s Spectator cover feature and whether it is too late for the Prime Minister to win back the Ukippers. How does the triumph of Ukip compare to the other populist parties in Europe? What kind of response can be expected from the European Union? And will other countries push for changes in the EU’s open borders policy?

James Forsyth and Isabel Hardman also discuss the aftermath of the European elections in Westminster. Was it predictable that the Lib Dems would collapse following their disastrous results last Thursday? Will Nick Clegg survive as leader until the general election? What role has Lord Oakeshott played in stirring up tensions? And will the Euro results affect the Newark by-election?


Plus, Freddy Gray and Alex Massie discuss Alex Salmond’s secret weapon in the Scottish independence referendum — the England football team. Will Roy Hodgson save England from itself? Or would an England victory produce an unbearable tide of nationalism that would turn Scotland away?

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Show comments
  • MrHarryLime

    As a football fan who’ll be gutted to see Scotland leave the union, I enjoyed the piece on the danger of England’s World Cup campaign giving Alex Salmond an unexpected boost. I’m a Welshman who supported England at World Cups until my late 20s. I stopped backing my English cousins after moving to the home counties, where I found people had a very dismissive attitude towards my homeland: drain on the Exchequer, useless lazy Celts, etc. I had never encountered this dismissiveness when I lived in the north of England or the midlands.

    Trivial though football is, it’s a shame more of us don’t support each other’s countries as a ‘second team’. I know a very well-educated lawyer in the home counties who wants the Scots out of the union because some newspapers list the results of the SPL before those of the English lower leagues. Honestly. This man is indignant about the matter. It’s not enough for him that England comes first; the Scots have to be pushed right to the bottom of the pecking order.

    It used to be different. My father tells me that England World Cup win in ’66 was met with delight in the Welsh valleys. What has changed?

    I’m afraid to tell you, Speccie readers, that it’s your woman, Thatcher, who began the Celt-bashing that will lead to the break-up of the union this autumn.

  • Mike

    Cameron has lost trust and only direct actions might regain some trust but he’s unwilling to do that !

  • Rillian

    Dave the ‘Change’ ?

    Not a bloomin chance.

  • manonthebus

    David Cameron cannot. The Conservative Party will probably regain some of the supporters who have switched to UKIP, but not all of them. The damage has been done and cannot be undone. David Cameron is an untrustworthy leader of the Conservative Party and i doubt that he can lead them to outright victory in the 2015 General Election.

  • NotYouNotSure

    He would have to rethink many of his core political principles, admit he is wrong on many things and would need a damascene conversion from being a liberal to a conservative.

  • Peter Stroud

    Whatever happens with droves of voters leaving the Tories for UKIP, and however optimistic the kippers are, it is unlikely that UKIP will capture, but a handful of seats. Their loss to the Tories might, or might not let Miliband into number 10, but they will have no power, where it matters – and whoever wins power, will not change this.

    • NotYouNotSure

      So the correct way according to you is to never vote for what you believe in, but rather vote for a party that at best represents very few of your views and at worst is openly hostile to them (and just in case you are not sure, I am talking about the Tory party here).

  • George__Floorwell

    There’s nothing he could do or say which would make me vote for someone who doesn’t comprehend the destruction the Labour and Conservative parties have vented on this country by their zealous attachment to the EU. We’re overpopulated and going bust and they call us who want drastic change, fruitcakes and racists.

    Trade yes, political union no. And that is why I’ll be voting UKIP.

  • Fred Smith

    “How can David Cameron appeal to his own natural supporters in Ukip?”

    Since Cameron embodies what drove these people from the Conservative party in the first place, and most of them just don’t believe a word he says, he can’t.

    Furthermore, there’s no realistic prospect of the Conservatives dumping him before the GE.

    It’s not even as if it’s just Cameron, he simply represents a powerful school of thought within the Conservative Party and that won’t change with a different figurehead. Arrogant, out of touch and dismissive of even its own rapidly diminishing grass roots, leave alone the wider electorate.

    The threat of letting Labour in isn’t much of a threat either. Most of them can’t see a lot of difference, and selling something on the basis that it isn’t quite as bad as the opposition isn’t much of a sales technique.

  • Tom M

    “How can David Cameron appeal to his own natural supporters in Ukip”.
    Too late. There’s revolution in the air and I’ve spotted an alternative so I’m going to give it a go. It might be a bad choice but it’s the only choice available.

    If there were no other alternative (as in years gone by) you shrug your shoulders and accept the reality but now there is the real possibility of something different which says things I like to hear (not at all like the SDP “breaking the mould of British politics” some years ago).

    So Cameron won’t get this ex Tory voter back.

    • Mike

      One major factor that doesn’t seem to have been raised over UKIP’s success’s is the fact that we have the internet now and many social sites to share comments and information.

      When the LibDumbs started to make in roads decades ago, we were reliant on the media spin to make some judgment but times have changed as Clegg found out to his cost against Farage. A large swathe of the public use social sites for forming opinion, the MSM don’t figure much any more, the BBC is correctly labelled as a left wing propaganda tool and people for the first time can share their thoughts with their peers. Thats why the smear campaign against UKIP backfire so spectacularly.

      There is a real alternative to the LiLabCon artists and the media inadvertently steered people to their direction but there are NO real Tory supporters in UKIP as the Tory party under Cameron is just Blairs Labour party in disguise.

  • Denis_Cooper

    “How can David Cameron appeal to his own natural supporters in Ukip?”

    He could try insulting them, or just deriding them, or maybe he could get
    his friends in UAF to beat them up?

    But whatever he does it won’t do much to help the Tories beat Labour.

    When Lord Ashcroft finds that about half of the 17% who (he says) now support UKIP expect to still support UKIP at the general election, while a fifth think they
    will probably vote for the Tories and a tenth think they will probably vote Labour, the conclusion is that the net benefit to the Tories vis-à-vis Labour would then =
    one fifth – one tenth = one tenth, and even in the unlikely event that materialised
    it would be less than 2%.

  • Lussac

    The thing they just don’t get is that there is a sizeable slice of the population that feel completely alienated from the Lib/Lab/Con elite of professional politicians and see them as completely and utterly out of touch with the problems that “normal” people have. They spend their whole time ensconced in the Westminster bubble and can’t see anything outside of that and one thing is certain is that all they want to do is preserve that status quo and the alienated folks want something different now.

    • Makroon

      Is that why UKIP is busily trying to “professionalise” itself as fast as possible ?

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Well, given the course you Camerloons have chosen, it’s clear that UKIP is going to be replacing them as they die, and likely within the next 10 years. They’ll respond accordingly as they step into that role, all the while seeking to avoid what the previous failures did, your buddies.

  • Colonel Mustard

    “How can David Cameron appeal to his own natural supporters in Ukip?”

    Probably not by conniving with extreme far-right parties in Europe to undermine UKIP’s influence in the European parliament:-

    It’s a pity that his apparent enthusiasm for that sort of on the hoof conspiring is not matched when it comes to his supposed “renegotiation of powers”.

    • Hello

      Seeing as though it’s impossible not to conspire against Ukip (I’m quite sure there was something suspicious about the pigeons in Trafalgar Square this morning), I do hope that’s true.

      • Colonel Mustard

        I don’t conspire against them. And I don’t find that difficult at all let alone impossible. Maybe if your party thought more about persuading positively by its own policies rather than negatively trying to eliminate opponents (a page taken from the Labour party’s strategic manual of dirty tricks) there might not have been 24 UKIP MEPs.

        • Hello

          Says the party that runs around with catchphrases designed to discredit their opponents, and not a single policy?

          You say “LibLabCon — they’re all the same” when they are blatantly not the same, not even close.

          You say David Cameron broke his promise to hold a referendum, that voters were tricked into voting Conservative. The promise was on the Lisbon treaty, and it was withdrawn before the election. No one was tricked.

          You’re the ones that campaign negatively, that take your strategy from the Labour party, and then have the audacity to claim victimhood. You’re the scum of the earth — the mere scum of the earth.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Er, I am not a member of UKIP and I don’t think I have ever referred to “LibLabCon”. I still believe in the Conservatives, even with Cameron as “leader”, as the least worst option. Or at least of not being all bad, like Labour. You and Hooky are doing a good job of dissuading me even of that tenuous adhesion though.

            Whether you care for them or not UKIP are a legitimate political party and people have the right to vote for them. Trying to shove them out of the picture as some kind of neo-Nazi group is incredible and abusing their supporters is pointless.

            Mark my words. Until and unless the Conservative party find some sort of an accommodation with UKIP they are doomed. As long as people like you think that UKIP rather than Labour are the “scum of the earth” we will probably be subjected to another Labour government. That accommodation is unlikely to happen as long as you have a closet socialist and UAF supporter as leader.

            • Hello

              Who is saying that Ukip isn’t a legitimate political party? Who is saying that people don’t have the right to vote for Ukip?

              Who is accusing them of being neo-Nazis?

              I’ve read one Dan Hodges article that suggested that Ukip were racist, but none other than that. As far as I can tell, it’s Ukip running around all day screaming “We’re not racist” to imply that they’ve been accused of it. To say “God! Look at the nasty establishment bullying us!”

              The Conservatives have already tried to accommodate Ukip. They’ve offered a referendum, they tightened their immigration stance, they altered the gay marriage legislation. In the end Ukip just find something else to dispute.

              Also, there is a difference between Ukip members and supporters. No one is abusing their supporters.

              The most pro European person I know voted Ukip in the European elections, and he was jolly proud of himself for having done so. Ukip is not a serious contender in a general election. No one actually wants Ukip elected, least of all it’s own supporters. They just think it’s a bit of fun. It’s the new Monster Raving Loony party.

              • Colonel Mustard

                There seems to be a disconnect of logic between the “Says the party..” of your first comment and your “Who is…?” of your second. I might have answered the first with your second but chose instead to clarify. If you don’t grasp this I suggest you read carefully the “Says the party…” bit of your first comment against what I actually wrote in mine.

                The impression is given that you are argumentative and just want to beat UKIP with a stick crafted from the straw men of your imaginary attributions to me.

                I’ll pass over what you say the Conservatives have “tried” to do as rolling on the floor laughing hard enough to detach my posterior from my person is not good for a man of my age.

                • Hello

                  There is no disconnect, and I said nothing of the sort. I just don’t like Ukip, in the same way that I don’t really like Labour or the LibDems, but that doesn’t mean that I think or say that they’re illegitimate or racist, you bloody idiot.

                • Colonel Mustard

                  That sums up your position nicely, thanks.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  You’re a confused LibLabCon mendicant, laddie. You need to keep it simple for yourself, as in recognizing that in 11.25 months, your personal hero the H2B is going to have his head mounted on a spike.

                  Keep it simple, and you won’t have to continue confusing yourself with all your flailing against your much-hated conservative enemies, and you can just focus on your own actions, based solely on the coming spike-mounting.

                • 2trueblue

                  Where as you have no solutions, just deriding everyones post and calling them ‘laddie’.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Sorry to bust your bubble, lad, but mounting your hero the H2B’s head on a spike is the most important solution. That’s why the People have chosen it.

                  Keep it simple, lad. Focus your actions on dealing with that reality, that your boy’s head is headed for a spike.

                • Mike

                  You have a serious disconnect with the reality of the Tory party with Cameron in charge !

              • Vera

                We don’t expect to win a general election, we don’t have to.

              • berosos_bubos

                In the last month there has been the most widespread and concerted slur campaign across all media outlets ever experienced in this country, and it has been rather embarrassing to watch and revealing too, and also did not bring us any closer to any practical solutions.

              • Mike

                “The Conservatives have already tried to accommodate Ukip. They’ve
                offered a referendum, they tightened their immigration stance, they
                altered the gay marriage legislation.”

                And it all means squat !

                Cameron can’t be trusted to actually hold a referendum even a skewed one, immigration has not come down and as far as gay marriage is concerned, that wasn’t a UKIP issue and nothing of any significance was changed anyway.

                I think you’ll find more and more people want UKIP elected in a general election as the LibLabCon artists are bereft of ideas, stuck in their ideology and do NOT represent most in the country !

            • Vera

              I’ve been a life long Tory, and a member, until now. I’ve been a Eurosceptic for years and if given the choice voted UKIP but only in the European elections. But the dirty tricks played during this past election by the Tories and others have ensured that I cancelled my membership a few weeks ago, voted UKIP, will vote UKIP in 2015, and certainly won’t be back while Cameron is in charge. And no doubt there are others who feel the same.

          • Vera

            We must be over the target.

        • dalai guevara

          Exactly Colonel.
          Britain = France ≠ Germany

          • the viceroy’s gin

            you = at least a dozen sockpuppets = a socialist nutter

            • Inverted Meniscus

              You must balance the equation Viceroy I.e. = a gibberish spouting idiot.

    • Vera

      He can’t. How can we ever trust him again?

  • ButcombeMan

    By becoming a Conservative.

    At the moment, he is “not one of us”.