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Saturday, 31 January 2015

UKIP's Call: Siren, or Clarion?

UKIP appear to have two solid policy objectives: to leave the EU, and to introduce a points-based immigration system. All well and good, but beyond that, what do we really know? Granted, these two issues are very important, and the three mainstream parties - along with the Greens, the SNP and Plaid Cymru - all possess the same policies regarding these themes:  they are pro-EU and pro-mass immigration. In this respect, UKIP is clearly the party of choice for those voters who dislike the EU political project and a de facto open borders immigration policy.  

In 2009 following UKIP’s strong performance in that year’s EU elections, Lord Pearson approached David Cameron and offered to disband UKIP if the latter would commit the Conservative Party to a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty. Although this never occurred, it was suggestive that UKIP really was a single-issue party. Subsequently, Nigel Farage has described UKIP’s 2010 General Election manifesto as “drivel.” So, what do UKIP stand for? 

We have yet to discover the party’s manifesto for the May 2015 General Election, so it is not yet possible to discover whether or not it should be classified as “drivel”, but a posting on the UKIP website from earlier this week, entitled ‘100 days till the election, 100 reasons to vote UKIP’, appears to forward a list of 100 concrete policy suggestions, but will they translate into policy pledges? Upon an initial reading, the majority of these suggestions are ones that I would support, but it is hard to discern how UKIP proposes to tackle the deficit and finance its pledges which involve additional public expenditure. Simply leaving the EU, slashing the foreign aid budget and ending mass immigration would not in themselves plug the budgetary black hole. Then again, nothing offered by the established political parties regarding tackling the deficit, let alone the national debt, appears to be overly credible.

It therefore remains to be seen if UKIP can successfully transform itself from a single- or dual-issue vehicle of popular protest shouting “none of the above!”, into a fully-fledged political party with a cohesive set of policies that move beyond a populist cry of frustration and discontent. From an initial reading, its ‘100 reasons to vote UKIP’ suggest that the party has moved away, to a certain extent, from its earlier Atlanticist Thatcherite bent, which is encouraging. Whether or not UKIP is offering a siren or a clarion call, well, I shall reserve judgement until the manifesto is published.



  1. I might vote UKIP even though I don't really want to and would prefer to vote for a proper nationalist party. In my very safe Tory seat of Brentwood and Ongar my vote means zilch anyway and won't have any effect upon the overal election result like other people's votes won't in around 500 seats. Then again, I might vote for the English Democrat candidate even though I do oppose their new policy of outright separatism. In one way, a strong performance for UKIP without gaining many seats would be good because our farcical and blatantly unfair and undemocratic electoral system needs (ONCE AGAIN) to be shown-up for the archaic fraud it is and to put this issue of REAL electoral reform on the table at long last.

    I would vote BNP like I did last time but they are now a complete joke and not a credible nationalist party like they should have turned themselves into ie like Marine Le Pen's FN in France.


  2. P.S If UKIP are finally moving away from an ultra-globalist Thatcherite approach to the economy then that is good. It is certainly something they need to do if they are to not just split the Tory vote and gain the support of people from the other side of the political spectrum.


    1. Well Barry, I see that your incumbent MP – possessing a majority as sizeable as his girth – is the unappealing and rather Dickensian character named Eric Pickles. Like yourself, if there were to be a straight choice between the two, I would prefer the policy stance of the English Democrats over UKIP, but UKIP have the wind in their sails, so Robin Tilbrook looks distinctly beleaguered and likely to poll in the region of the 1% that he did last time. The UKIP candidate – Mick McGough – about whom I know nothing, will do much better, and is likely to make a dent in the Conservative majority. Even in 2010, the combined share of the vote going to UKIP, the BNP and the English Democrats in your constituency totalled 7.9%.

      Given their current extra exposure, it’ll be interesting to see if the Greens tear chunks out of 2010’s Liberal Democrat share of the vote. As to who I’ll be voting for, my choice is likely to be far more limited than yours, and considerably less appealing. The French are some way ahead of us in having a party as credible and as strong as the Front National. UKIP remain something of a conundrum, but for the want of anything better, I am hoping that they perform well this May. I’ll be writing more on UKIP, as well as something very soon on the Front National, that you might find of interest.

  3. Yes, my seat is an extremely safe Tory seat. Infact, Mr Pickle's percentage majority (the more important figure you need to halve to get the 'swing' needed to the second-placed party for them to win) at the last election nearly returned to the heights it was in 1987 when the then Tory MP gained a majority of 35% and Mrs Thatcher won a majority of over 100 seats which just goes to show how rock-solid a Tory seat it is. According to this site: we are the 31st safest Tory seat in the land.

    Yeah, I reckon UKIP will do well. According to this site: UKIP will come second with about 22% whilst Pickles will still get about 50% of the vote.

    It is certainly possible that the Greens might tear a little from the declining Lib Dem vote in my seat but probably not much as it is quite a wealthy seat. As it is quite well-off the Lib Dem vote here has not collapsed as much as it has in less wealthy areas.

    I am leaning now more towards voting UKIP albeit it with quite a heavy heart. The Tories in Brentwood and Ongar need to be given a bit of a fright and for the national party to start addressing the issue of immigration in particular with much more seriousness than they have done so up to now.


  4. Thanks for the link to the site Barry. I haven’t taken a look at that one before, so will investigate. A figure of 22% for UKIP in your seat seems quite plausible. As for the mainstream parties and mass immigration, I think that a strong showing by UKIP will only force them to change the mood music a little rather than implement any meaningful policies to control the influx. All three of the parties – and the Greens – remain wedded to the concept of mass emigration for a variety of globalist reasons.


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