Ukip Party Secretary Michael Greaves gives his view on Daniel Hannan’s seven reasons for Ukip to back the Tories in Eastleigh.
Daniel Hannan, who claims to be an EU Withdrawalist but who rather confusingly still takes the Whip of a party whose policy is to remain in the EU, claims there are seven reasons why a UKIP supporter should vote Tory at the Eastleigh bye-election.
I beg, respectfully, to differ.
The only way the Tory party, which is for the most part utterly dishonest on all matters to do with the EU, will get the message that it should adopt withdrawal as its policy, is to present it with the stark alternative of defeat and disintegration.
We know only too well that Cameron has zero credibility when it comes to trust. But when he says he wants to stay in the EU, he really means it: UKIP voters should take him at his word.
But let us look a moment at Hannan’s seven reasons.
“First, and most obviously, it would mean one more vote in Parliament for withdrawal.”
Forgive me, but we have heard all that before. We are routinely told by Tory candidates that they are ‘Eurosceptic’ but the moment they plant their bottoms on the green benches of the Commons, this Euroscepticism evaporates like so much gas. Sorry, Dan, we have stopped trusting such assertions.
“Second, it would impress voters. ‘Golly’, they would say, ‘these UKIP people really mean what they say about putting country before party.’ “
Really? I rather suspect they might actually think we were being naive and rather foolish to fall for this idea. I do not believe for a moment that voters equate us with the rest of the political class (in which the order is self, cronies, party and then country). They know in their hearts that for us it is always ‘Country first’.
“Third, it would put pressure on the Tories to reciprocate. If my party was dismissive, it would be we who looked small-minded, and voters would react accordingly.”
Oh, dear: the Tory Party reciprocate? Well, Dan, I too have fairies at the bottom of my garden. The Tory party (AKA ‘The Nasty Party’) does not do ‘reciprocate’. And the Tory party already looks small-minded to plenty of voters without any help from us.
“Fourth, it would encourage other Conservative candidates in marginal seats to come out as anti-EU, and thus boost the ‘No’ campaign.”
Until the Whips and Party managers have a quiet word in their shell-like ear, that is…
“Fifth, it would facilitate an eventual reconciliation on the Centre-Right, which would, I hope, make it easier for younger UKIP supporters to remain in public life after the referendum has made their party redundant.”
I beg your pardon? Made UKIP redundant? Many of us have actually arrived at the point where we rather have it in mind to hand out P45s to the Tory Party. I blench somewhat at use of the word ‘arrogant’ but this assumption that the Tory Party somehow has a God-given right to exist really gets up every UKIPPERs’ nostrils. We come to bury you, not meekly rejoin you, as if somehow we are merely wayward children.
“Sixth, it would be an acknowledgment that UKIP’s policy had succeeded. ‘The better we do, the more we’ll force the other parties to adopt our policies,’ UKIP supporters like to tell me. Well, it has worked. What more do you want?”
UKIP is by its constitution, recently endorsed overwhelmingly by 91% of the membership, a low-tax, small-state, localist, radical libertarian party .The Tory Party, having become an integral part of Europe ‘s Social Democratic family, has abandoned all pretence to being any of those things. There is no perceptible difference between Labour, the Lib Dems and the Tories. We are the opposition now.
“Seventh, and most important, it is the right thing to do. Friends in UKIP often say that their party is unique in that its success is not an end in itself, but a means to an end, that end being national independence. I believe them. Here is their chance to behave accordingly.”
See above: most of us have got the Tory thingy out of our systems now. We no longer trust the present political class to manage the post-EU future. Many of us believe that we should remain in the field and advance an alternative vision. And we are going to go for it. If you cannot hack it any more, get out of the way.
Better still, join us and help us reclaim our country’s freedom.
Michael Greaves, Ukip Party Secretary