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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Time For UKIPPERS To Sheathe Their Swords


I know that I upset a few readers by being honest about my feelings as to UKIP's lack of any clear strategy, as to how to get Britain out of Europe.

I am not trying to stir up trouble for no good reason. There should be more thinking going on about what the future path of events could be. Ukippers should think of this.

There are many signs that if Cameron makes it to Downing Street, he could be facing a highly rebellious bunch of MPs, who believe strongly in policies such as the return of the grammar school, withdrawal from the EU or repatriation of powers.

It only takes 15% of the total of MPs to launch a leadership challenge on the Party leader, whether the leader is Prime Minister or not. The more eurosceptic Conservative MPs that make it to Parliament, the more chance that, if Cameron turns out to fulfil UKIPPER's worst nightmares, and is weak in negotiating with the EU, the more likely a coup d'etat against Cameron might be successful.

Read James Forsyth's Sectator article from this week's issue -

..Then there are those on the back benches who feel that they have been badly treated by Cameron and would enjoy the chance to repay him. Patrick Mercer, who Cameron sacked for saying that the use of the phrase ‘black bastard’ was part and parcel of army life, was left so isolated that he agreed to work for Gordon Brown on a homeland security review.

Graham Brady, who resigned over grammar schools, is now regarded as the favourite to be the chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers. The election to this post of the one Tory to quit Cameron’s front-bench team over a difference on policy would send a clear message to the leadership.

The ranks of the disaffected will swell considerably by the end of the first week of a Cameron government. Any existing Tory MP who is not given a job straightaway will conclude that they are never likely to get one and so have little to lose. There is already mumbling from the over-50s about being victims of a cult of youth: that the party is led by young men who are, in turn, advised by even younger men and the odd ‘celebrity oldie’ like Ken Clarke.

Mr Cameron’s allies might well dismiss many of these critics as bitter cranks. But as Charles Clarke has shown, lone wolves can destabilise a leader if they are determined enough. The dissenters will have several issues to play with: both the proposed defence cuts and the refusal of Dominic Grieve to repatriate powers over English justice from Strasbourg could cause trouble before the end of the year.

Crucially, if Mr Cameron wins a majority, most of his MPs will be newly elected. He will, like Tony Blair in 1997, be a leader of a party which has just had a massive transfusion of new blood. But surveys of the likely 2010 intake show them to be anything but Cameron groupies. Of those candidates who are fighting winnable seats, only a third were on the initial A list of priority candidates drawn up by Central Office. The remaining two thirds know that they were not the leadership’s first choice, something that is not likely to increase their loyalty to the Cameron operation.


Full article HERE.

To the piece by Forsyth might be added the so-called hoax letter, which was circulated amongst MPs, which makes explicit a desire to remove Cameron as leader. If it was a hoax, it was a very well written one, and even then, it gives a flavour of how a palace revolution would be entirely possible in the right circumstances.

Read 'hoax' letter HERE

For a UKIPPER who wants out of the EU, thee are two points here.

OPTION 1 - If the Conservatives escape the Hung Parliament that the media are so hopeful of, and achieve a majority, either Cameron will repatriate powers, or

OPTION 2 - if he doesn't, he could face an internal revolt. That revolt might either enforce a stronger line on EU matters, or it might even fell him during his first term in office.

A UKIP candidate standing at the GE in 2010 can only help Labour and the EU. A bigger vote for the Conservatives will swell the number of backbenchers who will have more clout, the bigger their number.

I stood for UKIP in 2001 for Shrewsbury & Atcham. There was no hope of a Conservative majority at that moment due to the Lib-Lab voting strategy, and a UKIP breakthrough still seemed possible. Hague had to rush around defending the £ to outflank us (UKIP) which, in itself, was a highly significant event.

UKIP later delayed the EU COnstitution by promising a referendum on it, which was matched by Michael Howard in 2005.

With UKIP coming 2nd in the EP elections in 2009, all talk of a system of PR for Britain, once a serious threat has been shelved.

UKIP has major achievements under its belt.

But right now the UKIP game is counterproductive to the eurosceptic cause. The people who want Britain out of the EU should use their noddles. The best thing a UKIPPER can do in 2010 is stand down if you are a candidate, and all should vote Conservative.

There is only one seat where this does not apply - Buckingham, for a reason that is obvious. Farage would be influential in Parliament.

PICTURE - Graham Brady, who stood down from the Front Bench over the Grammar Schools issue, saying that they were engines of social mobility. MPs like him will not permit Cameron to carry out policies they don't agree with, without a fight.

From Forsyth's Spectator article again -

Graham Brady, who resigned over grammar schools, is now regarded as the favourite to be the chairman of the 1922 Committee of Tory backbenchers. The election to this post of the one Tory to quit Cameron’s front-bench team over a difference on policy would send a clear message to the leadership.

The Chairman of the 1922 Committee is influential over all backbenchers. And if the leader acts in a way that MPs cannot accept, they take their concerns to him. If he receives enough letters (15% of the total of MPs) to launch a bid to change the Party leader, he then calls a vote. For example IDS was dismissed in this manner.

The game of power to fight Britain's EU membership, to renegotiate it or to end it, will, if they win the election, be fought inside the Conservative Party.  UKIPPERS are helping their own enemies by standing to one side. It's time to put down the UKIP sword and get into the game of saving Britain, not as a pressure group, not as a thorn in the side, but on the inside, within the Conservative Party, once more.

ALSO - A new commenter on Political Betting called Sherlockholmes dropped this off today -

I’m a long time lurker on this great site, since 2005, but this is my first post.

I’ve thought for some time the Uniform National Swing across the whole of Britain is likely to underestimate the number of seats gained by the Tories. The swing in Scotland, for instance, with few Lab/Con marginals, is likely to be far smaller than that in the Midlands, with a large number of marginals.

I have created an Excel Spreadsheet model at:

http://www.filefactory.com/file/a2f9g9h/n/Election_Seats_2010.xls

which tries to estimate which seats which will change hands using regional swings and in comparison with UNS.

I have plugged in the regional and national data for the Populus poll for January.

The National poll had:

CON - 41%, LAB - 28%, LIB - 19% giving:

CON 354 seats, LAB 221 seats, LIB 44 seats using the National swing model.

The regional swing model gave:

CON 391 seats, LAB 172 seats, LIB 54 seats

The regions are those used in the Populus dataset

ie Scotland, North, South East, Wales and South West and Midlands, though the sample sizes will be small with obviously a large margin of error.

I’d appreciate any constructive feedback from you guys.

Incidentally the regional model shows the third greatest Tory gain to be Morley and Outwood, seat of Mr Edward Balls.


If this is true there could be 400 Conservative MPs far out-stripping the expectations of the planners inside the Conservative Party. The sheer numbers of back-benchers owing nothing to the leadership is surely the most fruitful potential eurosceptic workface imaginable. If this coincides with a major crash within the eurozone, all the political momentum will be to get powers back from Brussels. Ukippers should be on board the train, not stranded, trying to work out where they fit in.

6 comments:

Anonymous said...

Before the violins start playing for poor Patrick Mercer let’s get something straight. Everyone knows that life in the Army is tough but is racist abuse an excepted part of it? YES according to Patrick Mercer, in his interview he could see nothing wrong with them being subjected to the worse possible racial insults. But that’s the way it is in the Army he told the Times.

Patrick Mercer, said that when he joined the army the atmosphere in which recruits were trained was in many ways utterly unacceptable nevertheless "nothing was said about this,it wasn't challenged, it was taken on the chin because that's what made you a man"

Mercer was utterly indifferent and under the troubling circumstances treated fairly. Working for Gordon Brown was I think an act of vengeance and betrayal.

telegraph.co.uk: (I am told that Mr Mercer wanted to go "even further into the heart of Labour", but that his offer was politely declined)

Mercer was asked any regrets? And replied "I don't regret it at all" and that he was not in politics to be a member of the Conservative Party first and foremost. It would seem that the man is happy on the back benches saying what he wants and writing lots of money-making letters to the media and if Cameron knows what is good for the Tory party Mercer is best positioned on the back benchers from where any future scandals will not become ammunition for the embittered opposition.

tapestry said...

That was written from the heart. Thank you, anonymous. We need more honesty and openness if we are to cut through the mountains of bullshit piled high by the media and the political class.

The Greek crash is starting to spill across the eurozone. The next two weeks could change the whole outlook.

'We can't go on like this' will become 'how can we survive this?'.

Robin said...

We cant vote for a party on the hope that they will deselect their leader soon after an election (how many times for the Tories ?).

If You Conservatives want our EUrosceptic vote, offer EUrosceptic policies.Otherwise you dont get them. Especially if your leader is making EUrophile noises.

The best way out of the EU ; vote a EUrosceptic party. Form tells us that.

tapestry said...

Vote for Blair, cool Britannia - get war. Vote for Brown, for Prudence. We go bankrupt. Form tells you not to look at what politicians say, but at what they do.

So far Cameron has done nothing. Everything is based on a strategy to win power, to neutralise the anti-Tory instincts of the media, and to kiss as many arseholes as is required to win power.

Once you are in power, you can stop kissing arseholes.

Your dream of a UKIP government is a million years away. Mine of either a good Cameron government, or a replacement if Cameron is not up to the level, is weeks away.

The forms of politics that you and most people would prefer to operate, are no longer functioning. Activism has an important role to play, but not he one you imagine, Robin.

Robin said...

We will not be voting for Blair or Brown. We are voting to get out of the EU, which Cameron is not even mentioning.
His past form and the Conservatives past form means we cant vote for them.
As for this new politics you say is out there, you are advocating the old style, viz we can only choose Labour or Conservative, the same as been about for sixty years. In that, you are with the likes of the BBC ,working to reduce the choice.

Michael McManus UKIP said...

Will be interesting to see how a Cameron administration handles the Eurosceptics within its ranks. The issue of Britain's relaitonship with the EU has always been the achilles heel of Tory unity.