Listen! The sound you hear in the damp Tory grassroots as they gather in Manchester for the party conference this weekend is not the noise of a questing vole, but the first, faint squeals of panic as the General Election nears and the cry goes up : ‘What on earth are we going to do about Ukip?’
Already, commentators of a Cameroon bent have started to scratch their heads and gnaw their knuckles as they contemplate the awful truth: without those lost Ukip votes the Conservative party will not win re-election, yet if Cameron remains as their leader, that support will never be forthcoming. Last week the Telegraph’s Iain Martin concluded a column in which he grappled with this conundrum by admitting that he didn’t know what the Tories can do about Ukip; and this week the Spectator’s James Forsyth and Toby Young have both put their minds to the same problem and effectively come up with the same answer: the two parties must unite.
Well, I have news for the siren voices trying to lure those thousands of departed Ukip voters back on to the Tory rocks: we won’t have David Cameron and his catastrophic clique, not at any price. As Ukip’s leader Nigel Farage has repeatedly said – why should we have any truck with a man who has so often demonstrated his contempt not only for our party and its voters, but for his own as well?
But there’s more. Before Miliband’s Labour party breaks open the raspberry spritzers to celebrate a ‘divided Right’ it should note the ominous (for them) fact that Ukip is a two edged sword. As one side of the blade cleaves into the Tory deadwood, the other is slicing into Labour’s soft underbelly too.
In yesterday’s local Council by-elections, for example, Ukip took a Labour seat in Sevenoaks, Kent; and a Ukip candidate notched up 25 percent of the vote in Barnsley, where they weigh Labour votes rather than count them, and where Ukip has never stood before. In the north, as well as the south, Ukip are increasingly the main opposition to the LibLabCon consensus, and the only party offering a coherent, common sense and principled alternative to the failed old parties.
Now, if voters have the courage of their convictions and vote Ukip, then Ukip is what they get. And that is a prospect to shake Britain’s rotting political establishment to its crumbling foundations.
Nigel Jones is a Ukip MEP candidate for South-East England.Tags: 2014 European Elections, Conservative conference 2013, UKIP