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The Right loses as Ukip wins

28 May 2014

4:56 PM

28 May 2014

4:56 PM

In Brighton in 1996, an insurgent party held its first and as far as I can see only conference. Liberal journalists gazed on the gaudy spectacle with wonder and disdain. We could see that he Referendum Party was a sign of the coming age of the super-rich. It was created by Sir James Goldsmith, a corporate raider who inspired the English tycoon Sir Larry Wildman, in Wall Street, and, you may not be surprised to hear, was a vain and bombastic censor to boot. (He persecuted Private Eye in the courts for not treating him with the deference a mighty plutocrat deserved.)

Goldsmith spent most of his time in Mexico and France. During one of his visits to Britain he found the time spend some £20 million on funding anti-EU candidates in every constituency. What a crew his supporters were. To us they represented everything that was wrong with the old Britain we thought New Labour would sweep away: Andrew Roberts, Sir Charles Powell (pronounced “pugh-ell” if you please) Lord McAlpine, Alan Walters, Freddie Forsyth, John Aspinall and, inevitably, Taki, stood alongside women who slept with their best friends’ husbands and men who were best friends with Lord Lucan.

And yet from such unpromising company, the supposedly vainglorious Sir James put forward a programme that was not remotely grandiose. The Referendum Party was meek and modest, with a self-denial that bordered on the monkish. Goldsmith was terminally ill with pancreatic cancer and wanted to see one simple thing before he died: a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union. He told the conference

The sovereignty of this nation belongs to its people and not to a group of career politicians. It is the people and they alone who must decide, after a full debate and a public vote, whether Britain should remain an independent nation or whether her future will be better served as part of a new country – the single European super-state, also known as a federal Europe.

That was the limit of his demands. Once parliament granted a referendum, Sir James would dissolve the Referendum Party. He had no other ambitions. He did not say that you should support leaving the EU because you want to stop or slow immigration. A Britain outside the EU might have open borders or not, that would be its choice. He did not say that Britain should leave because it wanted an end to regulation and red tape. You could want, as the old left wanted, to leave the EU because you believed in socialism in one country, and thought the EU’s “bosses’ club” stood in the way.

Sir James’s minimal programme had an obvious advantage. You could support it if you were left wing or right wing, green, yellow, blue or red. Signing up to opposition to the EU entailed a commitment to self-determination and nothing more.

The Referendum Party had another virtue that hardly anyone noticed at the time. Because its sole demand was so simple, there was no need for complicated pacts let alone for a governing coalition, which could destroy a party’s reputation, as the Liberal Democrats have learned. The only deal the Referendum Party offered sitting MPs was this: if they promised to support a referendum, Goldsmith would not run a candidate against them. Once again, MPs could be green, yellow, blue or red. They could want to nationalise the commanding heights of the economy or privatise everything. It didn’t matter. There were no strings beyond a commitment to popular sovereignty.

For all the advantages, the party faced an insuperable problem. As Goldsmith found, only a minority cared enough about the EU to vote for him at a general election. To be precise, Goldsmith found that just 810,231 cared enough – not a bad haul of voters, but the Labour landslide buried them.

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As Tim Newark records in Protest Vote, his excellent and timely history of the decline of the old party system, a few of Goldsmith’s candidates yearned to break with the movement’s purity and harvest votes by taking stances on local and national issues, as Ukip has done now.

I don’t want to dismiss the triumph of its poujadistes. I wish my comrades could snap themselves out of their petty post-modern obsessions and accept that the Left is in the most terrible state if the main source of protest after a crisis of capitalism comes from the Right. Yet as brighter right wingers are noticing, Ukip offers them none of the old advantages of the Referendum Party.

Nervous Tories want local pacts with Ukip after its success in the European elections. They understand that although the right is advancing, its vote is split, and under first past the post, splits can let in the opposition.

But how would a pact work? It’s not like in Goldsmith’s day when all a sitting MP from any party had to do was say he or she supported a referendum. Today the only talk is of Tory/Ukip pacts, and only with suitably right-wing Tories.

I don’t see how Nigel Farage can deliver even these. He has placed the conspiracy theory that we are ruled by an EUSSR-Zanu-NuLab-Lib-ConSpiracy in the minds of every know-nothing loudmouth in the land, and cannot now turn round and say he approves of sweetheart deals with the Con element of that conspiracy. Lord Pearson, Farage’s predecessor, proved my point when he asked Ukip candidates to stand down at the 2010 general election to give the fruity local Tories a free run. His candidates ignored him. “To stand down would be a betrayal,” said one.

Just so. If you build a political movement on the belief that democracy is a sham and ordinary politics is a fix, you run the risk that your activists may be stupid enough to believe you, and will turn on you when you try to engage in politics as usual.

David Davis regards Ukip supporters with an avuncular tolerance I cannot match. He sees the revolt against the established parties as an inevitable consequence of the elite populism of the Blair/Clinton era, where smart operators advanced their careers by manipulating the masses.

But he tells me that as he looks at Farage he thinks of the story of Alexandre Ledru-Rollin, the French radical politician, who on seeing revolutionaries tearing through the streets of 19th century Paris, is meant to have cried: “There go the people. I must follow them, for I am their leader.”

Like Ledru-Rollin, Farage must ride his tiger. If he offers deals, his supporters would denounce him. In any case, Ukip’s hard core is not going to vote for a Tory candidate anymore than moderate conservatives are going to vote Ukip if the Conservative candidate steps aside and allows it a free run.

For Ukip has added a baggage train to the simple demand for the British to have a say on whether they stay or leave, which appals moderate conservatives and many others. It has turned EU membership from a constitutional question into a culture war. Look at the British right today, and you see that Farage’s chicanery has made being against the EU mean being against gay marriage and sexual and racial equality, and in favour of flat taxes and Vladimir Putin as well. We have yet to see what policies Ukip will offer at the 2015 election, but it would not be a wild guess to suppose that it will also be against the NHS, benefits for the working poor, the minimum wage, the living wage, social housing, alternative energy sources, unemployment benefit and comprehensive education.

There’s a market for this, as Ukip’s success shows. But there’s a market against this as well. Ukip is telling people, who value progressive policies from the welfare state to the emancipation of women, that they cannot be anti-EU. All right then, we reply: We’re not.

A perceptive Daniel Hannan has noticed that the first casualty of a right-wing culture war are its friends. As Ukip prospers, the Eurosceptic cause flounders

We’re losing, we Get-Outers. Every opinion poll shows that opposition to EU membership has fallen over the past 12 months. Most now have a majority for staying in.

No one should be surprised. Ukip has made a mistake Goldsmith never made. It has tied opposition to the EU up in a bundle with policies which have nothing to do with Brussels. And those of us who do not like the policies, find ourselves concluding that our enemy’s enemy is not so bad after all.


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Show comments
  • moderate Guy

    It is always so, ah, nice, when pathetic leftists are so “concerned” about the fortunes of the right. Too bad (for them) everyone has now figured out the ploy.

  • wimsb

    “every know-nothing loudmouth in the land”

    Pot calling the kettle black, Cohen. How’s the smear campaign going?

  • DaHitman

    “The Right loses as Ukip wins”

    Honestly, you think Cameron “I love the EU and want to give £13 BILLION away in aid while (censored)ing the British public” is of the ‘right’?

  • Smithersjones2013

    A perceptive Daniel Hannan has noticed that the first casualty of a right-wing culture war are its friends. As Ukip prospers, the Eurosceptic cause flounders

    We’re losing, we Get-Outers. Every opinion poll shows
    that opposition to EU membership has fallen over the past 12 months.
    Most now have a majority for staying in.

    Possibly the most moronic conclusion of the year so far and one which clearly demonstrates Hannen’s lack of credibility because surely the reasons for the decline in the out polling are

    a) the economic crisis is abating and their are no longer pictures of rioting Europeans on the streets of their capitals

    b) the gullible Tory blue donkey brigade have swallowed Cameron’s EU posturing hook, line & sinker.

    Hannen’s losing because fools like he are backing his leader’s prevarication and are putting party before country!

  • Agrippina

    The reason Goldsmith was standing on the referendum platform alone was because in 1996 labour had not been elected. Then from 1997 they let all and sundry in esp the A8 in 2004.

    Tories have done nothing to stop it and dave thought no-one would notice that as EU members we can’t.

    UKIP to put Brits 1st and reform.

  • Andy M

    If the Tories were still on ‘the right’ people wouldn’t need to be voting UKIP. There currently is no right, just two very similar parties full of career-politicians who like to make it look like they disagree on a lot, when infact when analysed on paper they disagree on very little. The only difference between Labour and the Tories is that after the mess they’ve left us with after their last stint, I don’t think they can be trusted to run our country from a financial perspective.

  • terence patrick hewett

    You can b*gger the bear, if you do it with care,
    In the winter, when he is asleep in his lair,
    Though I would not advise it in spring or in fall
    But the hedgehog can never be b*ggered at all.

    Herpetologists gasp you can b*gger the asp,
    Entomologists claim you can b*gger the wasp.
    If an insects your thing man, then just have a ball
    But the hedgehog can never be b*ggered at all.

    At the end of the day, when you’ve had your rough way
    With all of those creatures, you’ll just have to say
    “That damned Erinaceous has been my downfall”
    For the hedgehog can never be b*ggered at all!

  • Wessex Man

    You will find that an awlful lot of the British electorate don’t care that you don’t particularly like UKip, we would never of expected you to like us and to steal a chant off of the Millwall fans ‘We know you don’t like us and we don’t care!’

    Enough people liked us at the Euro Elections to put us at the top of the poll, your fellow journos at the beeb are now saying that we only got 27% of the total of the people thar bothered to turn out so that shows the electorate wouldn’t vote for us at a GE, hows that? it’s yet more spin to try and put people off voting for UKip.

    The percentages if you base it on that means that 2% more electors will vote for us rather than Labour, 4% more than for the Tories and 20.5% more than the Liberal Democrats at the next GE RESULT!

  • Nkaplan

    “Look at the British right today, and you see that Farage’s chicanery has made being against the EU mean being against gay marriage and sexual and racial equality, and in favour of flat taxes and Vladimir Putin as well.”

    As you well know this is utter drivel. UKIP are not against sexual and racial equality in any way. Nor do they suggest that being against the EU means being opposed to gay marriage – rather they have said that they cannot support gay marriage while it remains the case that the EU (technically the ECHR – but you cannot be in the former without being signed up to the latter) would use any such legislation to force religious institutions to hold ceremonies of which they disapprove (this is – whatever your opinions on gay marriage – a pro freedom position, not an anti-gay position). Nor are UKIP any longer committed to a flat-tax, since they have (regrettably) signalled that this will not be included in their next manifesto. And saying that the West’s absurd posturing around Putin (about which they will never actually do anything) is a farce is not the same thing as being ‘in favour of Putin.’

    Deliberately misrepresenting your opponents and attacking straw men does you no credit. Indeed it makes me wonder why you refuse to deal with their actual arguments – I am left only to assume that it is because you are incapable of doing so.

  • greggf

    For most of your piece I was with you Nick. I beleive that UKIP’s role is to leave the EU. Once out it would be business as usual but without all the Imperial rules and dirigisme. A strategy to admire: although the inheritance of Goldsmith it is also a sort of UK version of Sinn Fein without the need for a terrorist wing, or the SNP and Salmond’s independence policy.

    But near the end you start to conflate some rudimentary policy ideas of UKIP into a cast manifesto while forgetting that, once free of the EU, their dirigiste dogmas about such issues would be open for free debate.
    And anyway being pro-Putin, against gay marriage (an oxymoron), the NHS, benefits for the working poor, the minimum wage, the living wage, social housing, alternative energy sources, unemployment benefit, comprehensive education and hanging are not the preserve of UKIP but many voters as well as those in the Tory party and some in Labour.

    And as for Hanan’s jingoistic trends; do you think Farage and UKIP will give up if the get-outers fail this time or are stymied by Miliband? And do you prefer Brussels to impose dogmas on the UK, or have an argument and a vote here about them?
    Because the EU will never change its ways as will soon be evident.

  • logdon

    He has placed the conspiracy theory that we are ruled by an
    EUSSR-Zanu-NuLab-Lib-ConSpiracy in the minds of every know-nothing
    loudmouth in the land.

    You still do not get it, do you?

    It’s called democracy in case you forget.

  • Rallan

    “… every know-nothing loudmouth in the land … your activists may be stupid enough to believe you …”

    Well gosh Mr Cohen, when you put it like that I’m sure all UKIP supporters will abandon the party and join with the Modern Conservatives. You smooth talking devil, you.

    “As Ukip prospers, the Eurosceptic cause flounders”

    Really? Or is that just because David Cameron has promised a negotiated EU membership? Let’s see how the support for continued EU membership holds up when restriction of the freedom of movement has been ruled out, and supremacy of the EU over British Justice has been confirmed.

  • br14

    It’s hard to know where to start so much of this article is inaccurate.

    UKIP will have no problem in engaging in exactly the same deal as Sir James Goldsmith. Any Tory or Labour MP that states publicly they will support a referendum need not fear competition from UKIP (unless they happen to be in a marginal constituency with a big UKIP vote).

    As for the majority being for the EU, that presupposes that every Labour and Tory voter at the Euro elections is for the EU. Many Labour voters are one supposes, but freed from the tie of party loyalty in a single issue referendum, there is a greater probability of an Out vote from loyal supporters of both major parties.

    Then there’s the “success breeds success” factor. Having seen how well UKIP did in the last election, many who were nervous about voting UKIP will see it as a vote with a purpose, rather than a wasted vote. The next election in Newark will supply evidence or otherwise of that possibility. But it’s a fair bet UKIP will do well in the Newark election. If by some miracle they turn over the Tory majority, Cameron will have little choice but to offer a referendum in 2015 or risk losing his party altogether.

  • Inigo Montoya.

    UKIP? Good look with that one. I’ll see the 5% at the next election.

  • Chingford Man

    Another long tedious article of Kinnock windbag proportions. Can’t Cohen find a country to invade – and take Hodges with him?

    • Shazza

      Leave Hodges hear. I love arguing with him.

  • http://www.ukipsupporter.blogspot.co.uk/ Bill Sticker

    UKIPs peoples army has just handed Clegg his P45. He was the only party leader who twice defended his beloved EU and on this 3rd occasion now the entire world knows the full outcome of those debates. His party has been totally humiliated and was nearly left with no MEPs at all.

    If he hasnt either the wit or the wisdom to see what implications that has for himself his party and the whole rotten EU social engineering experiment then we sincerely hope he stays on and completes the job for us!!

  • Penny

    “… every know-nothing loudmouth in the land”

    Whereas trawling through social media, looking for the stupid utterances of ordinary people (who happen to be UKIP candidates – not councillors, not paid, not yet working for a community) is something to be proud of, Nick?

  • Crumbs

    It’s because of this kind of anti-UKIP drivel that I cancelled my subscription. But I still read you online. I would like to come back and pay up but not while this goes on.

  • Ed_Burroughs

    Problem is that your claim that, “Farage’s chicanery has made being against the EU mean being against gay marriage and sexual and racial equality, and in favour of flat taxes and Vladimir Putin as well.” Is just complete fantasy. The fact that UKIP voters elected Amjad Bashir and David Coburn attests to that.

  • John Little

    Mr Cohen, I’ve always enjoyed your columns and articles. Here I thought is a fair minded and rational man. Because I admired you, to my surprise, I found your comments in this article actually hurtful.
    I voted UKIP, was happy to do so. It felt right and true. I will vote Ukip at the general election too. The decision to vote UKIP was taken after a long process of looking at the issues, the state of my country and what the other parties were saying about Europe, immigration etc. But it seems I, and millions of your fellow citizens, are merely Poujadists, ” no nothing loudmouths”, oh and you can’t tolerate us . Well, I don’t have to tolerate you either, so, although it wont mean a thing to someone as arrogant as your good self, I wont return to this column or anything else with your name on it in future. My loss I’m sure.

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  • Dogzzz

    The complete falsification of UKIP’s position in this very misleading, inaccurate and insulting article is typical of the arrogant and out of touch “chatteratti” who cannot be bothered doing a scrap of research into what they are writing about.

    “being against gay marriage and sexual and racial equality”

    You are utterly incorrect on each of these.

    Gay marriage. UKIP’s position is that it is legal and that will not change. The former position was that it is not the state’s responsibility to dictate religious doctrine to the church. Like all three parties, UKIP was split over Gay marriage, with some members in favour and others fundamentally opposed. The party’s official position was not to interfere in the church. In spite of the change in the law, that remains the case. The law on same gender marriage will not be changed from what it is now under UKIP.

    Sexual and racial equality. UKIP are the single most equality minded party in British politics. We personify “all are created equal before the natural law!” We love Dr Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech. We consider ALL people, regardless of race, colour, gender, sexuality, etc… as being inherently equal, and each INDIVIDUAL should only be judged on the content of their character, their own merits, their abilities and their own behaviour. That is true meritocracy.

    This is why UKIP rejects the prejudice and discrimination inherent within Political Correct discrimination and “all women” short-lists. If it is wrong to discriminate and be prejudiced against someone because they are black or female, it is equally wrong to discriminate against people because they are white or male too.

    UKIP is a colour blind, gender blind party. This is why for an allegedly racist, sexist homophobic bigoted party, we WON a national election and managed to elect people from ethnic minorities, an openly homosexual candidate and many women, WITHOUT resorting to politically correct discriminatory lists. ALL were selected and elected on individual MERIT!

    I have fought against racism and prejudice for 3 decades. I first approached UKIP 3 years ago to expose their racism and bigotry. I attended large meetings and spoke to members, candidates and people in leadership positions. I discovered that UKIP are the LEAST prejudiced of the four main parties. Just as labour and the tories have had some problems with a very very small minority of racists, UKIP have attracted some too. Unlike labour or tory, the media put these UKIP supporters on the front page, and UKIP kicked them out of the party. Labour and tory still stand by their nutters and racists.

    UKIP supporters have the bravery to take on the intolerant, ‘diversity of thought hating’ “progressives” and expose racism in EVERY community. The “progressive” left would rather we turned a blind eye to racism and crimes in some communities as it makes them feel uncomfortable. Many progressives even think racism cannot possibly exist in any race other than the Caucasian race. That is utter delusion.

    The Progressive left have blood on their hands in the form of hundreds of young white female kids who have been abused by rape gangs who selected those young children for the colour of their skin. They consider white girls to be less than pigs. This is obscene racial and sexual abuse. Many state funded organisations, including social services, child protection services and the police, all turned a blind eye to such abuse for many years, for fear of being labelled “racist” and were satisfied to allow hundreds of girls across the country be repeatedly gang raped for years in defence of their own spineless political correct adherence to “progressive thought”

    The law is supposed to be colour blind. It is NOT racist to uphold the law. What is racist is a blind refusal to uphold the law because the suspects in many crimes have dark coloured skin!

    UKIP believe that the law should be colour blind again! This is the opposite of the “progressive” left’s overt anti-white discrimination and racism.

    We patriotic, tolerant, decent British people have had OUR tolerance abused for too long by an intolerant, hateful “progressive” establishment who deny others diversity of thought or opinion. Who ostracise and condemn whole swathes of British people purely because they have the audacity to hold a contrary opinion to the “accepted thought” as personified by the BBC’s output.

    There are a growing number of decent, intelligent, caring and responsible people, who are tolerant of all races, who are not prejudiced, but who are sick and tired of the arrogant bullying of an intolerant establishment who are so far out of touch, and who are committed to betraying our country and her diverse population, by giving away OUR sovereign right to elect and vote out those who make OUR laws, by increasingly handing that power to make law to a foreign unelected bureaucracy.

    In short, stick your incorrect and misleading insults up your colon as far as you can thrust them. Your class no longer speak for the British people. The establishment media have behaved abominably in uniting to repeatedly lie and lie and lie again in a pathetic and doomed attempt to shut down legitimate election campaigning and shut down support for the only decent party who have a genuine desire to speak UP for the British electorate, instead of betray them and sell them out.

    We see through your lies and we no longer trust anything you elites say as we know you ARE the enemy within the gates. The betrayers, traitors and haters of everything this once great, free and independent nation stood for and could stand proudly for again.

    You and your political class have awakened a sleeping giant, and now we KNOW our potency, we shall never tire until we have restored OUR nation and won the long struggle ahead against arrogant liars and traitors such as yourself Nick Cohen.

    Be warned. UKIP will take our country back.

  • Mukkinese

    As a scurrilous leftie I find the “arguments” against what Cohen is saying here hilarious, proving his point by example.

    You lot really should take a step back and look at some of the nonsense you are writing.

    Deliberate mis-interpretation of what was said is the smallest and least funny of the tactics used, but it abounds here.

    As for sneering at those less “intellectual”? Well some of you are painting targets on your own foreheads.

    If I ever needed proof of the self-delusion of hard-core kippers, some of you have fulfilled that need in spades.

    Thanks for the entertainment…

    • Dogzzz

      While you laugh. UKIP are taking our country back. This makes me laugh.

      • Grrr8

        So far the main “taking” seems to be elected kippers helping themselves to taxpayer funded salaries and expenses whilst not showing up to work. We wait with bated breathe to see what happens next.

        • Cyril Sneer

          Oh yes using EU money to finance their anti-EU campaign. Beautiful if you ask me, simply beautiful.

          • Grrr8

            Yawn ….

    • Cyril Sneer

      I note that you haven’t provided any examples. I presume then that you don’t have any and you’re just making sh t up.

  • Dogzzz

    “Lord Pearson, Farage’s predecessor, proved my point when he asked Ukip
    candidates to stand down at the 2010 general election to give the fruity
    local Tories a free run. His candidates ignored him. “To stand down
    would be a betrayal,” said one.”

    They were willing to stand down, so long as their was a guarantee of an in or out membership referendum from Cameron. Cameron never offered such a referendum and paid the price in marginal constituencies.

    The reason UKIP have evolved into a party which will have a full range of policies in 2015, is precisely because Cameron’s intransigence on so many issues, besides an honest referendum, which he is refusing to hold, has meant that there is now room for a new party to fill the void left by the liblabcon all rushing to occupy a rapidly shrinking section of the political spectrum, which is a section which fewer and fewer people support.

    It is the out of touch, corporatist, establishment, who have abandoned and betrayed the British electorate in so many ways, that has caused a need for UKIP and thank God they are here to speak up for us.

    None of the other parties do.

  • The Masked Marvel

    1400 words to rehash the old talking point that UKIP are a single-issue party? Is the Speccie paying by the syllable now?

    Never mind, Nick. Head back in sand, if you please.

    • Grrr8

      A more careful reading of the article would inform you that UKIPs real problem is that it isn’t a single issue party anymore. Therein lies it’s un-electability.

      • The Masked Marvel

        No, the article informs me that UKIP is a single-issue party and will now have to take positions on other issues. Labourites and Progressives will be pessimistic about their chances, as the author is here. It’s difficult to see how the majority of current UKIP supporters would be put off by UKIP taking conservative positions on things like the NHS, although perhaps a few of those Left-wing protest voters will go back to Labour next time.

        We’ll see what Mrs. Duffy does, eh?

  • Martin Jennerson

    Except no evidence at all that the increase in stay-iners is a consequence of the rise of UKIP. Unfortunately this is the usual barely rational rubbish from Cohen.

  • global city

    He also makes the usual lefty mistake of assuming that all immigrants are one homogeneous blob, with no individuality and as such are there to be exploited by the Left, ascribing all sorts of ‘attitudes’ and weaknesses, the Left then have to ‘defend’

    Muslims inability to face questions without rioting is a recent one. One constant refrain I used to hear from migrants when I used to get to London in the 1990s’… pre having my nosed rubbed in diversity, was them complaining about the place being too full of foreigners, the problem for them usually being that they ‘thought they were coming to England to live amongst the English’

  • Streben80

    A Lefty ‘guesses’ what UKIP policies will be or rather trots out the narrative that UKIP will destroy the entire world. And the NHS.
    A measure of the intellect of the author is that he suggests UKIP are against the minimum wage, in full knowledge ( as anyone with moderate research skills would know ) that UKIP are calling for the income tax threshold to be raised to £13,000 so people on minimum wage dont pay income tax – how that makes UKIP a party against the low paid I really dont know, but I am not a leftwing loony.

    • Dogzzz

      The left are terrified because UKIP are now clearly taking loads of votes from a labour party who have done nothing for the poor, other than increase their numbers and their dependence on the abusive, nannying, interfering and bossy state

  • global city

    I was with you until you got to this point.

    “Look at the British right today, and you see that Farage’s chicanery has made being against the EU mean being against gay marriage and sexual and racial equality, and in favour of flat taxes and Vladimir Putin as well. We have yet to see what policies Ukip will offer at the 2015 election, but it would not be a wild guess to suppose that it will also be against the NHS, benefits for the working poor, the minimum wage, the living wage, social housing, alternative energy sources, unemployment benefit and comprehensive education.”

    Then I remembered that you are pathologically tied to the Left, and so feel compelled to put silly qualifiers into every blog that you nearly get right.

    Stop it.

  • wattys123

    UkIP voters aren’t worried about the EU, this is a party who’s voters are looking at politics from a cultural perspective not economic. Labour goes on about jobs, Tory’s economic recovery – neither of these deals with people’s concerns about Islam.

    • la catholic state

      Well said. Man does not live by bread alone. But Tory and Labour pretend we think we do. We know we don’t.

  • martin_lowe

    Very astute article. Of course, ukippers are just going to stick their fingers in their ears, sing “la laa laa I can’t hear you” and paste in the stock phrases “EUSSR” and “liblabcon” into their responses to this article as they have a closer affinity to members of a religious cult than members of a political party.

    • Dogzzz

      And we are correcting the very many errors in the article as the author clearly has not got a clue what he is writing about.

  • andagain

    We have yet to see what policies Ukip will offer at the 2015 election, but it would not be a wild guess to suppose that it will also be against the NHS, benefits for the working poor, the minimum wage, the living wage, social housing, alternative energy sources, unemployment benefit and comprehensive education.

    Or they will simply not have any policies at all, which strike me as being a lot more likely. They haven’t needed any policies so far – why should they suddenly start having them in 2015?

  • ohforheavensake

    This is one of the best posts on Ukip I’ve read.

    • Lucy Sky Diamonds

      One of best and one of the worst….. depending on your point of view of course…..

    • Dogzzz

      Only because the many lies in it reinforce your own arrogant prejudice.

      • Rtd Colonel

        Oh the irony …

    • girondas

      It wasn’t that bad

  • Grey Wolf

    Nick Cohen, the stooge of Trotskyist neo-con cabal with one eye on middle-east, is back again peddling his globalist bollocks. Ignore this sad man.

    • mightymark

      “Trotskyist neo-con cabal ”

      I gave up reading after that as I collapsed with laughter. Have you any more idiocies like that?

      • Wessex Man

        only you.

      • Grey Wolf

        You are an idiot. Plus, you haven’t bothered reading anything, neither history nor politics. Obviously, names like Irving Kristol and Norman Podhoretz will not mean anything to you. You represent the dumbed-down voter one has to deal with today.

        • mightymark

          Not those two – but as look up from my keyboard to my bookshelf I do spy my well thumbed volume of Irving Steltzer’s (positive) take on “Neo conservatism”.

          More importantly, if you can not see that while some neo conservatives were indeed previously Trotskyist (or any of the other of the 57 varieties of Marxism) they could not be both at the same time as you clearly suggested, then of the two of us, it isn’t me who is the idiot.

          • Grey Wolf

            Did you quickly google ”neo-conservatism” before writing this post. Read a whole lot more and then perhaps you could revert with any sensible point of view.

            And yes, you continue to demonstrate high levels of idiocy.

            • mightymark

              Obvious bluff – you ignore my para 1 and clearly have no answer to my para 2.

              • Grey Wolf

                In your 2nd response you admitted to your idiocy included in your 1st response. Go back, review your responses, and you will understand.

                You continue to be an idiot.

              • Grey Wolf

                And by the way, David Aaronovitch is also a stupid, vile Trotskyite.

                • mightymark

                  You continue to make clear you have no argument – and no, vulgar abuse is not a substitute for it.

                • Grey Wolf

                  Well, if you review the chain of comments you will notice that you started with the vulgar language. I am merely repaying you with the same coin.

                  Looks like you are also the obsessive commenter who must have the last word. Fine. Bring it on.

      • Cyril Sneer

        “Have you any more idiocies like that?”

        Yes, you.

  • tastemylogos

    Nick Cohen continues with his sneers and patronising bol**** aimed at the ‘less educated’ masses who happen to disagree with him wholeheartedly.

    Problem with people like you, Nicholas is that you define yourself against others rather than working from first principles. It is pathetic. If you think the people should have a say on the EU then you support it. End of. Don;t turn your nose up at it because some people you disagree with espouse the same demand. Grow up. You ‘modernising’ types (whatever that means) are about as mature as what one sees in a student union. What a pompous, unaware fool.

    • Ed

      I despise a party that runs Roger Helmer as an MEP and by-election candidate also. There’s nothing ‘unaware’ about saying it’s a pity that UKIP was a less unpleasant outfit. It’s vile.

      • girondas

        I don’t see how it is any more vile than the modern Labour Party: A party that utterly betrayed those it was elected to represent.

        • Ed_Burroughs

          And Helmer is an ex Tory, but its OK for them.

          • girondas

            I couldn’t give a damn about the Tory Party Ed.
            I care about a working class that has been turned over by the middle class crooks that hijacked the Labour Party. Harsh words perhaps, but jusified I believe

            • Ed_Burroughs

              My point was that Helmer’s personal beliefs re homosexuality never caused any consternation when he was a sitting Con. Whereas UKIP attracts unbelievable levels of attention over their candiidates/ supporters private utterances.

              • girondas

                Sorry for misconstruing your post

                • Ed_Burroughs

                  Nay bother.

            • Kitty MLB

              Yet unfortunately Tony Blair that arch- deceiver was the only
              way Labour were going to become re elected. They pretended
              to be Tories but as socialists made a utter mess of it and it was a lie. You cannot make a silk purse out of a pigs ear. Blair
              said ‘ we are all middle class now’ rubbish we are all different.
              Blair was just ashamed of his own working class Labour voters, utter betrayal. I truly hope UKIP replace Labour
              for those people without a party.

              • Shazza

                Hear! Hear!

              • Wessex Man

                We’re going to replace you all!

                despite you trying to pretend we are socialists, I don’t know the art of spin in the Tory party is floundering nowadays!

                • Kitty MLB

                  All of us ? there will be no other parties, only UKIP ? Good
                  Heavens. The point of replacing Labour as the party for the
                  working classes, is that it would be the end of socialism..
                  Oh, do keep up… Yawn !

                • Wessex Man

                  I was actually joking then you come back with more rubbish and tell me to keep up, what’s sad is you and Shazza believing we would enter any sort of pact with the Labour Party why that’s near as astonishing as forming a pact with Call me Dave.

      • tastemylogos

        Eddy, get over yourself. 70 year old finds homosexuality abhorrent… BREAKING NEWS. Good grief.

        I suppose you have stpped watching the BBC, Btw? What with its covering up of kiddy fiddling for decades? No? I thought not..

        Vile hypocrite.

      • Wessex Man

        Typical really typical, I point out below that are some really very unpleasant vile people in the other three political parites and after I’ve posted the comment — up flashes the message Hold on, this is wating to be approved by spectator Blogs.

        The censorhip here is showing worrying signs of not letting people express true observations!

    • Chris Morriss

      You sure his name is Nicholas? With his surname I thought it might be Nicodemus.

  • Lucy Sky Diamonds

    David Camerons version of the Tories is not ‘the right’. Your second guessing of UKIPs 2015 manifesto is laughable. UKIP will preserve the NHS and are ditching the flat tax.

    • Shazza

      Not forgetting Wales. The BBC/MSM is ignoring the real story of the EU elections – UKIP coming a very close second to Labour in Wales.
      More rich pickings for UKIP in previous staunch Labour Wales (!)

      • Lucy Sky Diamonds

        Indeed!

      • Kitty MLB

        Indeed, the peoples army march closer to what was the peoples party.
        Although they never were for the people. Just controlling socialists.

      • Ed_Burroughs

        Scotland was the biggest surprise methinks!

        • Kennybhoy

          Only to those who do not pay attention…

          • Ed_Burroughs

            Are you referring to Mr Salmond?

            • Kennybhoy

              Among others. The briefest examination of past election results in Scotland indicated that UKIP were in with a shout.

        • Shazza

          I would have loved to have seen the Oily Fish’s face when he got the result!

    • Kitty MLB

      The Conservatives and UKIP need each other do they. I really don’t think so.
      The Conservative Party without being tied to the Lib Dems with their experienced and respected Conservative MP’s and a Conservative majority will be fine and the economy is on the mend.
      Labour have nothing to offer except Browns old ministers and that fool Miliband and we are quite finished with coalitions, they do not work.
      I think you know you personally are just hoping for a coalition with the Conservatives.
      That is not what UKIP want and it will be no good for them if they want to replace Labour, one day as the party for the working classes.
      And we have had it with those who have vision, we have been there and done that.

      • Crumbs

        Like the Greens, UKIP can force the bigger parties to adopt large parts of its agenda, thus achieving its aims without having to hold power. It also stands a chance, eventually, after the next Labour government, of destroying the Tories and replacing them as the party of the centre right, as in Canada.

        • Kitty MLB

          We have our own Conservative policies. We have been in coalition by the way and admittedly allowed the Lib Dems
          to much say. Conservative have no issue with the actual party
          just the direction it has taken recently. But it remains a legitimate party with respected and experienced Conservative
          MP’s. Leaders come and go but the party remains.

      • Wessex Man

        No I quite agree with you, we in UKip don’t want any deals with the Tories, they are damaged goods, their entire leadership are just as disliked by electors as the Lib/dums.

        There will be people posting fatuous comments here that Ukip is drawn from labour but we all know that our membership is mostly made up with disillusioned ex Tories and that we are now also picking up members who’ve had enough of Labour and the Lib/dums.

        We will be ignored at the Westminster village’s peril. We will also not be conned by individual desperate housewifes, no sorry desperate Tory MPs trying to do local deals, like one did down here not so long ago.

      • frederickdixon

        Any suggestion that UKIP should strike a deal with the Tories reminds me of the old saying “he who touches pitch is defiled thereby”. Let UKIP keep itself clean and it can take the white working class vote and then – who knows? – we might yet see the Tories and UKIP as the two principal Parties of government.

    • MarkAttwater

      Nice. Do we get free candy floss?

  • tastemylogos

    Nick Cohen continues with his sneers and patronising boloques aimed at the ‘less educated’ masses who happen to disagree with him wholeheartedly.

    Problem with people like you, Nicholas is that you define yourself against others rather than working from first principles. It is pathetic. If you think the people should have a say on the EU then you support it. End of. Don;t turn your nose up at it because some people you disagree with espouse the same demand. Grow up.

  • http://semipartisansam.com/ SemiPartisanSam

    “We have yet to see what policies Ukip will offer at the 2015 election, but it would not be a wild guess to suppose that it will also be against the NHS, benefits for the working poor, the minimum wage, the living wage, social housing, alternative energy sources”

    Yes – UKIP could be against the NHS but for good health outcomes for Britons; against the as-is welfare state and for a short term safety net; against social housing and for a population wealthy enough to own or rent privately without government being the nation’s biggest landlord.

    UKIP stands for many things – just not the failed consensus and delivery mechanisms of the past. Some clearly find that scary. But others see opportunity.

    http://semipartisansam.com/2014/05/24/how-do-you-solve-a-problem-like-nigel-farage/

    More on the misunderstanding of UKIP’s support at the link above.

    • global city

      We should all log this blog and compare with what UKIP produce, when they actually get round to it!

      • Dogzzz

        They will “get around to it” at their Autumn conference this year, before all the other parties “get around to it”

  • allymax bruce

    UKIP are a red hering; they are The Conservative Party, that has
    ‘jettisoned’ their ‘traditional Tory’ Right Sector, in an attempt to
    steal the Centre, and Centre-left ground back from Labour. UKIP are
    basically the ‘British’ T-Party. The Conservative Party are now
    on-course to take a majority at the 2015 General Election. All-the-while, MEP ‘Coburn of Scutlund’, is now busy infesting Scotland with ‘traditional Tory’ ethics; not in the job 5 minutes, and UKIP Coburn is already telling Scots women to breed more, so that Scotland doesn’t ned an immigration policy!

    • Kitty MLB

      Actually reading one of the American newspapers Ally. They think that Nigel Farage is the Tea Party. And some liken him to Margaret Thatcher.
      I have no idea how those two ideas work together its quite mindboggling !

      • Shazza

        Sarah Palin, Nigel Farage and Margaret Thatcher are all conviction politicians – they may not have like minded ideologies but their relentless stamina and vision for what they believe in, unites them.

        Oh yes, and that sense of righteousness!

        • sarah_13

          I’m not sure how anyone could place Margaret Thatcher and Sarah Palin in the same sentence?!! Margaret Thatcher was much much more than a politician of conviction, just about the only similarity worth noting is that they are both female. Margaret Thatcher had a formidable intellect and was a scientist, was incredibly disciplined and lacking in vanity, was cunning and strategic in her decisions and had a grasp of world geography to name just a few things that differentiate her from Palin.

          • Shazza

            Never said anything about Palin being Thatcher’s intellectual equal. I was merely looking for similarities as to why the Americans would link their Tea Party with Farage and Thatcher, i.e. conviction politicians.
            You are looking for depths which I did not attempt to probe.

      • David

        I think we will see Farage pitch into GE 2015 with a range of policies which are the ‘second coming’ of Margaret Thatcher’s 1987 manifesto. Lower taxes for poor and middle class, popular capitalism, grammar schools, social mobility, no meddling from Europe, strong defence, etc. People loved it then and people want it now – sad that Cameron isn’t offering it. The door’s wide open for UKIP to sweep 10-15 seats and get at least some power in a year’s time…

        • Ed_Burroughs

          So basically what he’s been saying all along; way to stick your neck out!

      • allymax bruce

        Hi Kitty, EU ‘transaction tax’; once the EU gets their ‘foot-in-The City-door’, then it’s a downhill spiral for London’s square mile. Shake-up coming; hence, why David Cameron is working so hard for an EU ‘reform’ package. Labour really screwed us with Lisbon.

    • Wessex Man

      Well I did hear the Scuttish birth rate had fallen, so sound thinking on his part!

  • David

    Ho hum. A pretty ‘cute’ rhetorical flourish at the end, but not really true. Nick fails to see that our membership of the EU maps across a wide part of British life now – from jobs to school places to petrol prices and much more. It’s no longer possible to disentangle it from people’s lived reality as easily as it was back in 1997. Furthermore, like every mature political party, UKIP is a broad church – and there are plenty of libertarians who believe in everything from gay marriage to drug decriminalisation who are members too.

    • Nick Elles

      School places, petrol prices??? Do you have any proof of that? Cause the last time I checked those were definitely nation state competences not the EU.

      • David

        Mass uncontrolled immigration from the EU is making it harder to get places in state schools, just in case you hadn’t noticed. EU carbon pricing has had cost-of-living implications right across peoples’ lives, too.

        • Nick Elles

          Again what proof do you have for that- really? You really believe EU carbon prices has had an actual cost-of-living implication? Not the fact that we’ve given regional monopolies to large energy companies? Nor the fact that we have have a government that really couldn’t care less about lower and middles classes? Even if you scrap the carbon pricing it wont change that. And just so you know the carbon pricing failed because of industrial lobbying on it- also it does try to help (though not efficiently) to fight against climate change. For schools I agree that immigration is part of the issue- but what is the government doing? Basically cutting funds from state schools in general while at the same time syphoning off funds to put them in failed free schools. Again immigration is part of, but is not the only problem.

          • David

            Perhaps you’d like to prove how setting an artificially high energy price does *not* adversely affect energy costs? And an extra half a million people per year – with no extra funding from government – is making it harder for people to get housing, school places, doctors appointments, social workers, and so on. That’s why a lot of Labour voters are now going to UKIP, because they see that Labour isn’t standing up for them – indeed it’s working against their own interests. And disgracefully, instead of Labour responding to this, it is turning around and labelling those people ‘racist’. This is disgusting, and Miliband will be out of a job by this time next year as a result.

            • Dogzzz

              I guess that Nick is the sort of person who would invite 100 people to a wedding and plan the seating and meals on that number and then not consider it a problem if 2000 turned up instead.

      • tastemylogos

        I do not need a cowardly appeal to authority through an ‘economist’ or ‘academic’ paper to conclude intuitively that an increase in the population increases the demand on public services. A 15 year old would tentatively ask the same rhetorical question.

    • djkm

      But surely that ‘broad church’ has diluted the message, no? The party was supposed to, ‘do what it says on the tin’ – that is, lobby for independence from Europe. Unless someone can prove that homosexuals are a product of ‘meddling EUROcrats’ then it’s no longer about that. It’s become a sanctuary with people who imagine that this party represents their prejudices. This is exactly the reason why the founder has disowned the party.

      • David

        It’s more complex than that. Just as the Labour party had homophobes in it when I was a member (and I hated them then, as I do now), so UKIP has a wide range of people who’ve latched onto it. This isn’t unique to UKIP – the Tory party ranges from ‘hang ’em high’ Colonels from Salisbury Plain to metrosexual sorts like Cameron. That too is a broad church. I strongly disagree with some in UKIP who against gay marriage, but am encouraged that Farage recently ended his own opposition to it and has scrapped any policies that oppose it. I always thought it went against the grain for a libertarian party like UKIP.

        • Cooper1992

          UKIP seem to have three groupings now.

          1. Libertarians – particularly the young.
          2. Conservatives – socially and economically conservative.
          3. Economic ‘socialists’ – okay they are probably not socialists per see but they will want some redistribution especially in Wales and the North East counties. They are probably socially conservative.

          How on earth should UKIP hold the three together. Well I am a UKIP voter but I am not a Libertarian.

          Economically I would go down the distributism route. This is what many of the Christian democracy parties advocate but hasn’t taken off by Liblabcon before. Try to get business out of London and focus on small/medium businesses (not BB) and support core welfare state but not lots of benefits.

          Socially I would stick to general conservative values particularly concerning immigration. I personally don’t think you can ever go too libertarian (drugs etc) as I just don’t think the public will buy it.

          Morally I would advocate freedom of speech again. Get rid of all this PC rubbish. Shape all this as a grassroots movement. Scale back local governments influence too as they waste money and spout rubbish.

          That is how I would keep the three groups together (F.T.R I am mainly Group 2 and partly Group 3).

          • Kitty MLB

            You seem to have an awful lot to do. And clearly must have
            capable and experienced people to help you do this, most people only associate UKIP with Nigel Farage. But clearly
            you must have your own Michael Gove, IDS and the likes
            of David Davies , John Redwood etc.. to make all this happen.
            Its nice to have ideologies though. And yours sound impressive.

  • Jabez Foodbotham

    Farage’s chicanery has made being against the EU means being marriage and sexual and racial equality, and against gay in favour of flat taxes and Vladimir Putin as well.

    • martin_lowe

      Wrong. Putin is a good example of the intellectual dead end that Farage has driven UKIP into.

      UKIP has to interpret EVERYTHING to do with the EU as “bad”. It’s an article of faith. And it’s this article of faith that has led to Farage siding with a despot. Plays well to the fundamentalists they’ve recruited as supporters (who are more akin to cult members), but it’s shrill and off-putting to members of the reality-based community.

      • Bill_der_Berg

        If the idea of a UK government ‘siding with a despot’ troubles you, you are going to have trouble finding any party to vote for. The Green Party, perhaps.

        • martin_lowe

          You’ve missed the point, Bill.

          Farage’s knee-jerk response is ‘the enemy of my enemy is my friend’ – unfortunately for him, eventually all but the most simple-minded will see through that.

          • Dogzzz

            Martin, you clearly misunderstood what Farage said. He never claimed Putin as an ally. He said he respected how he operates, much as it is possible to respect any adversary who is effective whilst vehemently disagreeing with them.

            The media then wilfully twisted what Farage said in the most childish and dishonest way.

          • Bill_der_Berg

            Farage said that he admired Putin as an operator, not as a man. He was referring, of course, to the way Putin outsmarted John Kerry over Syria. I have to say that there are many in the UK who were glad that this helped to stymie the intended attack on Syria. We have not forgotten the Iraqi debacle.

            I had no idea that the EU regarded Russia as an enemy.

          • Nkaplan

            Farage never said he viewed Putin as an ally or anything other than a despot. He said that he respected how he had been an effective operator – that doesn’t mean he likes what he has achieved.

        • Nkaplan

          The Green Party may not want to side with despots, but given half an opportunity they’d certainly behave like them.

          • Bill_der_Berg

            They would force you to eat muesli at the point of a gun.

      • Dogzzz

        But he was right about how the EU does have blood on its hands. The newly elected leader of Ukraine claims that he is fast-tracking EU membership and integration.

        Which part of the Lisbon treaty specifically exempts Ukraine from the human rights legislation which would allow Ukraine to become a member whilst using fighter jets and helicopter gunships against their own civilians?

        The EU pushed Ukraine into civil war. There is no doubt about that at all.

        • martin_lowe

          No – the timeline clearly shows that it was the Ukraine that first approached the EU for a closer relationship.

          Your post is a prime example of how self-deluded and brainwashed UKIP sympathisers are.

      • Fergus Pickering

        What Faqrage said about Putin is right. We will not go yo war for the Ukraine,but we will make warlike noises.

        • Kitty MLB

          Nigel “Faqrage ” ? Oh a very clever play of words- sounds Turkish and the irony. Let me see. Macabre Milipede, Halfwit
          Hunt ( poor Tristram) Bonehead Balls, Nick Comatose and
          Theresa Mayfly. Well you started it….Just Sayin !

          • Fergus Pickering

            It’s the Persians on his mother’s side..

            • Kitty MLB

              Oh, that’s why he wears those Persian slippers. Maybe he
              could have a Persian rug made. And fly across the sky. He
              might even bump into the Alec Salmond ego floating up there.They will both look down on the benighted establishment.
              We will be in Suffolk for a few days next week, might go for
              a hot air balloon ride, you’ll never know who you’ll bump
              into. I shall take a pin just in case I bump into Alec Salmond
              and a very hungry cat, looking for a fishy supper.

              • Fergus Pickering

                I’ve always wanted to go in one of them thar balloons.

                • Kitty MLB

                  You should do that Fergus. My husbands mother did so ages
                  ago on her 65 birthday. Nr Bath where she lives and said it
                  was amazing and comfortable, but a little noisy.She had to wait for the perfect weather, which took a while but worth
                  the wait.
                  Its not the right weather for hot air balloon rides so we wouldn’t be able to whilst in Suffolk in reality.
                  Just walking, visiting old book shops and hopefully the
                  theatre. But not a balloon in sight.
                  But you must do that one day, Fergus old fellow, you must.

                • Fergus Pickering

                  Three cheers for balloons!

                • Kitty MLB

                  Yes, I second that. Three cheers for balloons!
                  I have always wondered how far they can travel. But not
                  too far in reality, I am sure. Never mind, they are delightful.

      • Jabez Foodbotham

        ‘his article of faith that has led to Farage siding with a despot.’

        There you go. Farage did not side with Putin. He said something entirely different which others below here have pointed out, but his words have been shamelessly twisted by journos like Cohen so some people, like yourself, now believe he ‘sided with a despot’.

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