Wednesday, June 03, 2009

An Open Letter to Lord Kalms

Dear Stanley,

Nearly two years ago, in July 2007, you took great exception to a blogpost I wrote which suggested that party donors should be seen and not heard. When we met to discuss it we had a good laugh about it and buried the hatchet. I explained my motives for writing it and you told me why I was wrong. Since then Stuart Wheeler has been expelled from the Party for declaring his support for UKIP. Today, you have publicly stated that you may well "lend UKIP" your vote tomorrow. I beg you to rethink.

Stanley, I much enjoyed working with you on the David Davis campaign and I am a great admirer of your achievements. You have a wonderful turn of phrase and your criticisms of the Conservative Party are often very valid. But can you really justify coming out in public, as a Peer who takes the Conservative whip, and saying that you are minded to support a rival political party?

I understand why many ordinary Conservatives are tempted to vote for UKIP, and there will be many party members up and down the country who will no doubt do so in a misguided attempt to make a statement on Europe. But you are no ordinary party member. You are a former Treasurer and a leading Conservative Peer. Surely you owe the party more than that? Surely you cannot expect to do this without any consequences.

I know you see this as a matter of principle, but many will see your intention - announced on the day before an election - as particularly self indulgent. Even at this late stage, I hope you will have second thoughts.

Yours Ever



saucepan said...

Iain what part of wanting to vote conservative again but also wanting out of the EU do you and your party not understand? Conservative used to stand for 'small Government' not 4 bloody layers*!!! That's why my vote will go to UKIP tomorrow.

*Brussels, Westsminster, Scottish/Welsh/Northern Irish parliaments/assemblies, local authorities.

Anonymous said...

UKIP - is that a matress manufacturer? Thet sure put me to sleep

Anonymous said...

My open letter to Lord Kalms ...

Dear Stanley
Only a pillock would contemplate voting for UKIP.
Yours ever,

peter_dtm said...

why won't ANY of you ever admit that the real protest vote is a spoilt ballot ?

Voting for a party you don't beleive in is stupid.

I may vote BNP tomorrow - to shock the tories. That is the ONLY purpose of the BNP. Sat in an relevant bent anti democratic 'debating' house we can have all the BNP idiots we want.

If I don't vote BNP I will spoil my ballot.

Until the tories stop the europhile nonsense; and promise to lay aside the illegal treaties of accession (see the 1689 Bill of Rights) and GET US OUT of the EU I will NOT vote tory at any EU election.

Please discuss : Spoiling a ballot is a valid form of protest; not voting is an endorsement of the status quo

Grenville said...


Why should I not vote UKIP tomorrow, and not Conservative as usual?

Brian Tomkinson said...

A vote for UKIP IS making a statement on Europe. Just because it isn't one you support, Iain, doesn't make it a misguided attempt to make a statement. You are beginning to sound as arrogant as Brown.

londonmuslim said...

bet you still buy your washing machine from Curry's

Anonymous said...

There, there, be a good donor... give us your money and vote for the monkey with the blue rosette.

Gawd, let us be shot of this whole tribal nonsense. Hell, maybe with a few more Kalms, on a few more issues, we could get people, in and out of the House, who voted according to conscience and intellect, rather than the unseemly squabbling for favour and patronage that passes for political debate.

Anonymous said...

I regret that SK is right.No one is going to reform the biggest gravy train in Europe and Dave is playing the big con by pretending he can.We now need the TRUTH and nohing but the TRUTH.

Anonymous said...

Still need to read it all but had to point out:

"Nearly two years ago, in July 2007, Some months ago"

Well which was it spin-meister?

Me said...

I think it's the sign of a healthy party that Lord Kalms can say this. I'm sure come the General Election he will be working as hard as anyone for a Tory victory.
I myself, who wish to see a Tory general election victory with almost religious fervour, will be voting UKIP tomorrow because I despise the corrupt and undemocratic European project. To vote Tory at a European election is to endorse the EU. Russell

Fausty said...

Perhaps Lord Kalms feels that his debt to his country is greater than his debt to his party.

Guido blogged on Country before party today.

The future of this country rests on the fate of the Lisbon Treaty. That's why so many are coming out for UKIP. If the Conservatives had taken a stronger line on Lisbon, the UKIP vote would have vanished.

Like Lord Kalms, I'm a conservative in every fibre of my being, but will not vote Conservative tomorrow.

Tim Hedges said...

People's views tend to remain the same, it is party policy which changes. Cameron told everyone, and John Redwood criticised me for arguing, that powers would be repatriated from Brussels. Where now is the meat to this?

Of course Stanley Kalms,and many others are losing faith. Formerly on the candidates'list, I was hoping this would be the first election since 1987 when I could vote Tory.

All Cameron has to do is speak. Let's hear it.

Northern Monkey said...

At June 03, 2009 9:48 PM , Blogger peter_dtm said...

why won't ANY of you ever admit that the real protest vote is a spoilt ballot ?

Voting for a party you don't beleive in is stupid.

But for the European Elections I must certainly do believe in UKIPs major policy.

As do many others who would normally vote Conservative in General/Local Elections I'd say. Even then it's the least worst option for a Libertarian like myself!

AEG said...

Oh for the love of God. Why can't Cameron simply promise to roll back our membership to a free trade agreement? He'd kill UKIP dead in the water. And Libertas (who?). It's what his entire party wants. Does he not wonder why he's only in the low 40's when this government are so widely despised and so amazingly incompetent?

But all this fuss is about nothing, to be honest. I mean, what can MEP's actually do? Nothing. So precisely what is my vote going to achieve?

Alfred Wells said...

" a misguided attempt to make a statement on Europe"

Yours is not the ultimate truth.

BulloPill said...

The EUSSR is a grand socialist project, run by people hell-bent on imposing their vision on all of us. After years of patiently waiting for any sort of "reform from within" it's now plain to me that it can't happen. We've been conned. I suppose I'm a natural Conservative voter. But not this time, Ian. It's UKIP for me - we're better off out.
I can't understand the present Tory blind-spot on the EU. The whole thing is hugely centerist and anti individual liberty. We don't want to be run by an unelected grand quango. Don't you and your party get that?

acadman said...

Sorry, the Tory party deserves all it gets in these Euro elections. As an ex member (now UKIP), I take exception to the elite of the Tory party patronising us on the European issue - always talking a good game but carrying a small stick, while expecting us to stump up subscription fees and stuff envelopes like good little gophers.

It serves you damn well right. Lesson to be learned - you can't take your activists for granted for ever!

Obsidian said...

Europe's an elephant in the room, and one the Tories don't seem to want to acknowledge for fear of another internal battle.

You're going to have to deal with it at some point, and UKIP will keep leading you a merry dance until you do.

Anonymous said...

The main problem with voting Conservative is that you can't count on what sort of Conservative MEP you are going to get. There are several on the Conservative lists who would be more at home in the Liberals with their pro European views. There were enough of them on the last list. Some of these candidates were so Europhile in their Young Conservative days that they would make Kenneth Clarke look like a card carrying Eurosceptic.
The only way to get the message over is to vote UKIP until this fifth column is off the list.

Anonymous said...

I have already voted (postal) for the conservatives. UKIP are a spoiler party.

JoshONyons said...

Woop - Vote UKIP ! I am

Sir Dando Tweakshafte said...

Dear Stanley

Please close the door behind you...

Bird said...

It's a waste of time mentioning Europe on this site Iain.
Unfortunately, UKIPPERS regard it as their party noticeboard.

Anonymous said...

Surely everyone has a right to express how they are currently thinking on a particular issue - self indulgent or not.

Is the assumption here that most of us mere mortals haven't the wit or wisdom to make an informed decision on how we should use our vote (or not use it should we choose so).

Anonymous said...

Cameron needs to be tough with these people: UKIP if you want to. You can't have this sort of dissent in the party itself.

I, however, will still be voting UKIP.

Anonymous said...

If Kalms wants to vote UKIP - let him. but do not take the Tory whip.

If any of you peabrains want to vote UKIP - go ahead, but do not expect to remove a Labour Govt.

And Acadman ... so from being in some position to influence the Tory party you move to one where you cannot .... and STILL you complain?

You are now in a party led by Nigel Farage and you expect to be taken seriously?

Of far more importance is the way Huw Edwards has just delivered one of his well known incompetent servile and sycophantic interviews with Mandelson.

Rush-is-Right said...

Iain, just how do you think the message is ever going to get across to the Tory party (of which I used to be a member, canvasser and candidate) that EU membership is a massive error that has to be corrected?

A conservative vote tomorrow says to them that everything is fine. Please carry on.

A UKIP vote tells them that there is a part of the electorate that wants out. The greater the UKIP vote, the greater liklihood that Call Me Dave will cotton on that there is a big vote out there just waiting to come home.

As somebody said, why isn't the Tory vote in the polls at 50% plus? Isn't it time they latched on to a policy idea that would be popular throughout the country?

Just what is holding them back? Ken Clark?

cosmic said...

So many words for such a simple letter.

Try this:

Dear Stanley,

You clearly don't understand this donor lark.

You give us your money and we go off and do as we please. If you don't like it, tough. If you don't like it and mouth off, you are a thorough ingrate and meddling idiot, not to mention screwing up a vast plan the workings of which are far above your meagre intellect.

Gottit? So pay up and shut up!

Your humble and obedient servant etc.

y dyfodol said...

Ha, you reap what you sow Iain... judging by the comments so far your blog is viewed by a bunch of Eurosceptic nutjobs.

I sense the Tories are in as much trouble as Labour at these elections. A plague on both their houses - I'm voting Plaid.

Anoneumouse said...

Iain, without the support of 26 nations within an IGC how will the conservative party change our relationship with the EU?

Answer quickly I will be queueing to vote UKIP at 7am

Catosays said...

Having read blog after blog, looked at poll after poll it's taken me, a member of the Conservative Party, a very long while to decide.
Tomorrow I shall vote Conservative in the local elections and UKIP in the Euro elections.

As others here have said, if only Cameron had had the political nous to do what almost every other Tory in the country wants, his poll rating would be up in the mid eighties and we'd hear no more of UKIP....nor for that matter the Labour Party.
There are times when I despair of our leaders!!

Lime_Smoothie said...

AEG, you've hit the nail on the head. Most voters are inherently Eurosceptic and any mainstream party standing on a platform of removal from political/social aspects of the EU would clean up - and not just in this country.

Mark said...

why would anyone who wants out of europe vote Tory, you can't get a straight answer out of any of them!

Time is running out and non commital waffle is just not good enough.

It's time to step up or shut up.

insert-coin-here said...

Iain I seem to remeber a little while ago that on this blogg you demanded the expulsion of a young lad from york from the party for voicing this opinion.

So when its a student with little influence in the party you demand his head but when it is Lords Kalms or Tebbit then it is time for gentle coaxing back to the fold?

You are begining a to show a rather nasty side to yourself.

Lord Kalms is mearly saying what everyone else is thinking and if you,or any other,think that the conservatives can fudge the european issue then you shall be in for a nasty surprise.

I back UKIP as they are representing my stance as a libertarian conservative,and shall continue to back them until the PCP stops treating its grass roots with the same sort of arrogance that will soon be the death of the Labour party.

This issue will snowball until either the UK have a democratic say on their future or Cameron is ousted.

The ball is in his court and I hope that he realises that the achilles heel will do for him what it did for others.

In some respects Brown is in a better position than Cameron as leader of his party.

The Labour gene pool is so shallow that natural challengers to his position are few and far between.

Cameron is in no such position.

Glynne said...

I'm voting UKIP.

We have to draw the EU poison,

The UK voted for a trading relationship - what we are doing is transferring sovereignty to unelected bureaucrats with a federalist vision.

Time for the people to either agree to that or we get out.

Time to stop the waffle and ask the people.

Iain Dale said...

Insert Coin Here - and believe me, you deserve it.

What part of "there will be consequences" don't you understand?

Of course he should be expelled if he urges people to vote for another party. He's a Conservative Peer for God's sake. That's not being nasty. it's telling a self evident truth.

Twig said...

Which of UKIP's policies don't you like?

cosmic said...

y dyfodol

You're voting Plaid? Are you sure? They're nationalists and socialists and we all know the links made between the two words of late.

Have you thought of voting Green or if you're really determined on this course, bite the bullet and vote BNP. Why mess with ersatz national-socialists when you can work to empower the real deal?

Catosays said...

If you think,as you have just said, that Kalms should be expelled then why did you not say that in your open letter to him?

Will Dean said...

What *better* way could there be for people to the right of politics to communicate an opinion on Europe to the Conservative leadership than to vote UKIP?

I've sat through DC's horrible Blair-ish fudging of the Lisbon issue on both R4-Today and last week's Marr, and the result of those interviews is that I'm not going to vote Con tomorrow. Misguided or not, I was was guided to this choice by DC himself.

Voting for single issue parties is a FANTASTIC way to communicate public concerns to the major parties. I very much doubt that there'd be a green tree on your party logo were it not for the way the 1989 EU elections went...

If you really care about the Conservatives, you'll be writing properly sincere, closed, letters to DC telling him what a botch he's making of this. The stupid "that's a lot of 'ifs'" stuff is just plain insulting.

Iain Dale said...

Catosays, what part of "Surely you cannot expect to do this without any consequences." could you possibly misinterpret?

cosmic said...


Here's another self-evident truth. Carry on like this and you'll create another UKIP peer.

Anonymous said...

At some point, Dale, you're going have to recognise that Tory policy on Europe is hideously out of touch with the voters' wishes. The half-in, half-out approach didn't work for Major and it won't work for Cameron. If he won't toughen up and take a firm Euro-sceptic line, including the reclamation of powers already surrendered to Europe, you can expect nothing less than the same kind of civil war that destroyed the Conservative Party in the 1990s.

You demand a blind tribal loyalty from Tories and Tory voters. You expect us to swallow our beliefs for the sake of party unity and fall in line behind policies that wrecked our party before and will wreck it again, but you fail to understand that the unity you are trying to impose is a false unity.

The Conservatives are as split over Europe today as we were in 1994. Pretending that it isn't so won't fix the divide. All that can fix it is for the Conservatives to stop faffing around and declare, one way or the other, what their unequivocal stance on Europe is. If Cameron is pro-Europe, that's fine - I, and a lot. of others, will go to UKIP and begin the process of destroying the Con-Lab-Lib triumvirate; if he is anti-Europe, then the Europhiles can bugger off to the Lib Dems or set up a new pro-EU party. Either option is infinitely preferable to your insistence that we see no evil, hear no evil and speak no evil in the pursuit of a party unity that Does.Not.Exist.

Anonymous said...

There, there, be a good donor... give us your money and vote for the monkey with the blue rosette.

Well, exactly. You have Iain Dale in a nutshell - he doesn't want donors to speak, he doesn't want voters to speak and he doesn't want party members to speak. In point of fact, the only people with a right to voice an opinion, according to our Mr. Dale, are parliamentarians following a strict party line.

Iain, when you look at the last twelve years, is that really the lesson you've learnt? Do you really believe that our country is best served by slavish devotion to the whip and a conspiracy of silence on policy disagreements? If it is, I can only conclude - and I know I'm not alone in this - that the country comes a very, very distant third in your list of interests, right behind The Conservative Party in second-in-place and Iain Dale Enterprises in first.

For once, man, just for once, put principles ahead of your ambitions. And if you don't have any principles, just for once respect that other people do.

Robert said...

I will vote UKIP tomorrow.

In the general election I will not be voting for the Conservatives unless we are promised a referendum on Lisbo, ratified or not.

If we do not get a referendum from an incoming Conservative Government I will never vote for them again.

Dimoto said...

Libertarian Conservative is an oxymoron, just a thought ...

Anonymous said...

I will be voting UKIP tomorrow in the euro elections and con in the local so will all the household thats five people yes five, as will my daughters and their partners, I have said for the last year if call me Dave grew a pair re the EU he might loose say 5/7% but gain 15/20% do the maths, In this area UKIP posters are every where, its nothing to do with the expense scandal its soley the EU. Plz if you think you have any influence Iain pass this on!

P.S Con voter for the last 32 yrs and my father for over 50 yrs.

jojoko said...

Maybe you haven't noticed that 58% of the population (at a CONSERVATIVE estimate) want out of the EU and that no major party is once again paying any attention to what we the people want. A vote for UKIP is to get the attention of the politicos and if there are enough, wil they pay any attention? Or will they continue to deny the democratic principles that they preach?

Fausty said...

TrevorsDen, conservatives are voting for UKIP in the EU elections - not necessarily the local elections.

English First said...

By voting in European elections you have become an accessory to treason and sedition.

Iain Dale said...

Anonymous 11.18, don't try to be clever. I do not vote on single issues. Anyone can speak out but they have to take the consequences. If they urge people to vote for other parties, they get expelled. And quite right too. Especially if they do it the day before an election. And if you can't see that you're deluded.

We all have principles. I have red lines too. But I wouldn't ever be so disloyal as to cross them the day before an election.

Anonymous said...

Iain, OK, you have written an honest letter spoken from a Conservative Party loyalist (yourself) to one who is perhaps not so loyal right now.

Your loyalty is commendable, but perhaps may I suggest (and I apologise, this is a pretty big and decisive suggestion) that your loyalty to your party is still overriding your loyalty to the nation?

The huge majority of the electorate hate the EU and wish to see ourselves extricated from its clutches. Now, the Con. Party is currently saying nothing to us about this huge issue. Surely there must come a time when we have to ask the Con. Party to explicitly endorse our views on this, if they wish us to keep voting for them? Because really, this is such an important issue that if Lisbon is ratified, then to my mind it will no longer make any difference which UK Party we vote for, as all power will have been secceeded to that of the EU. If you disagree with that statement, I'd like to hear your arguments.

I respect and admire your loyalty, in fact it marks you out as a man of integrity. However, I still think you're failing to fully grasp the enormity of what is at stake here. We need to get out of the EU as a matter of great urgency, and that is of far greater national importance than our allegiance to any current UK political party, including the Conservatives.

Anonymous said...

don't try to be clever.

I don't have to try. It comes naturally. It disappoints me, however, that your sole response when challenged is to fall back on name-calling.

But I wouldn't ever be so disloyal as to cross them the day before an election.

Disloyal to whom? To the voters or to the Conservative Party?

Every politician must, in the end, choose whether to be a creature of their party or a representative of the will of their constituency. If you don't understand that, and it seems to me you never will, you've clearly already made your choice. You've also made it quite apparent that you simply feel that you are far more intelligent that the dirty little proles who vote and, therefore, you need not be guided by them even as you seek to be their representative.

The issue of Europe will not go away. Your demands for a conspiracy of silence will not make it go away.

Iain Dale said...

UKIP will never have power. They have very little influence. I'd rather try to influence Conservative Party from the inside. You seem to think I am some sort of deluded Europhile. I am not. I would never, ever vote to join the euro, a pledge I made at the last election. I can also see circumstances where I would vote to withdraw from the EU. But would I vote for UKIP? No. The task for all Conservatives should surely be to try to influence Tory Party policy in the way they wish it to go.

Anonymous said...

I respect and admire your loyalty, in fact it marks you out as a man of integrity.

It really, really doesn't. Loyalty by itself is a meaningless abstract - plenty of people have been loyal to bad, not to mention downright evil, causes over the years and we wouldn't call them men of integrity.

What matters is where your loyalties actually lie. Loyalty to a good cause is commendable. Loyalty to a bad one is not.

If Dale were arguing either a pro- or anti-EU agenda, I could respect his principles regardless of whether I agreed. But that is not what he is doing. He is insisting that tribal loyalty to the party must trump all else.

In fact, to be more precise, he's insisting that by pointing out any flaws in policy, by disagreeing with policy, calling for changes to policy or merely - as the boy in York did a couple of weeks ago - by pointing out the stark differences in party polices, one is necessarily an act of disloyalty to the party (and, indeed, that presumes that loyalty to the party is a greater good than loyalty to anything else).

Iain may dress himself up in the language and garb of integrity with his constant refrains about loyalty and honour, but the fact is it all comes down to one thing: Iain's Conservative Party is a top-down regimented organisation in which there is one voice and that is the voice of The Leader. If he is truly representative of the face of Cameron's Conservatives, it seems we will simply be exchanging one set of authoritarian vandals for another. I hope, I truly hope, that Iain is not the face - or the voice or the brain - of modern Conservatism.

Obnoxio The Clown said...

Dear Stanley,

I fear I must agree with you.

The Tories have been snouting at the trough, just like Labour. Their policies are no different to those of Labour, which is how the Prime Mentalist can nick them, which is also why the buttered new potato won't announce any policies. The buttered new potato is a "social conservative", which means pretty much the same thing as a "progressive", unless you belong to one tribe or another, in which case you will rant for hours about how different they are, but no-one outside the tribes can understand the difference.

Because the Conservatives do not differ from the Labour Party in the issue of "the state is the solution, what is the question", because the Conservatives show no sign of repealing New Labour's draconian state, because the Conservatives have no enthusiasm for the rights or responsibilities of the individual, because the Conservatives wish to remain in the EU under the pretence that they can somehow make it better, I too will be casting my somewhat less valuable and glamorous vote elsewhere tomorrow.

I hope that the buttered new potato catches the hint, but I don't think he's going to.

Yours ever,


Anonymous said...

UKIP will never have power. They have very little influence.

UKIP have forced Cameron into a quasi-Eurosceptic policy. Europe was the issue that destroyed your party last time around. Yes, I think UKIP has all the influence they need - they have kept Europe on the agenda since Maastricht.

I'd rather try to influence Conservative Party from the inside.

How can you influence a party if you call endlessly for obedience to the party line

You seem to think I am some sort of deluded Europhile.

I really don't and I have never implied that. If you really want to know what I think, it is this: I think you have comparatively little interest in Europe either pro- or anti-. I think you are far more interested in other issues and do not instinctively understand why Europe is such a killer issue for your party.

I think that you want everyone to shut their goddamn mouths about this stupid Europe thing and get on with doing other more important stuff. As a result, you end up advocating an authoritarian follow-the-leader three-wise-monkeys approach which is shockingly illiberal.

The task for all Conservatives should surely be to try to influence Tory Party policy in the way they wish it to go.

How can Conservatives do that when you have a hissy-fit every time anyone says "Y'know, I don't like party policy on Europe..." and start accusing everyone of treason?

I understand that you dislike the way that divisions over Europe has dominated Conservativism for two decades but, Iain, don't you see that you cannot paper over the cracks? I am begging you to hear me and to understand me: the half-in, half-out approach will tear the party apart just like it did for Major. You must be willing to let everyone in the party speak freely and be damned or you will not have a party.

We did not lose in 1997 because of sleaze. We lost because the party became a laughing stock and the government lost all authority. Why? Because of Europe. Those divisions are still there. Those divisions took Major, a decent man who won an unprecedented number of votes in 1992, and turned him into a laughing stock, a joke, and exiled the party for 12+ years. You cannot be so naive as to believe it can't happen again. It can and it almost certainly will unless the party is willing to speak openly about Europe even if that means deviating from Cameron's line.

insert-coin-here said...


HaHa yes of course,please forgive me.Its been a long day and I am a little jet lagged with masses of news to catch up on.

Pehaps saying 'A conservative with libertarian instincts' would of been a little better.


My gripe was not so much with the content of your statement (after all its your blog and refunds are availible on the way out) but the manner in which you deal with different people according to their station.In such matters it says a great deal about a persons character.

Sombody made the comment that you are helping to create a UKIP peer.I would disagree.It is Cameron who is ultimately responsible for creating this rift,I just hope he is prepared for the shouldering the responsibility of lost tory seats come the GE.

If the Lisburn treaty IS ratified then it could break his party.

If he wants in to the EU then that is fine.He can use his powers as a politician to persuade us that it is for the best and put it to the vote.The best arguement will win in a democracy....correct?

Any party not offering us a choice is undemocratic in principal and not worthy of office.His entire stance makes a mockery of all talk about 'change' and 'reform' (I know you have read 'The Plan').

If you are a 'party man' through and through then thats fine,however I warn you that this blog will soon lose its appeal if it becomes a party cheerleading podcast after we have had the GE.I would imagine you are indifferent to this though as you see yourself as having a chair at the table in the future.Fair enough.

One of the appeals of blogs is that they hold others to account (Guido being the ultimate example....even some Labour blogs are fast catching up,it would be gratifying if some of the conservative blogs did a better job of it.

(And in the interest of fair play I include Hannans,Redwoods and Carswells in this....perhaps we will see more of it once the tories are bedded in.)

Anyway enough of egg sucking 101....

Rebel Saint said...

Iain, you've just done your survey. You know most of us are loyal Tories. So please try to understand that the public at large realise that the European Elections are not real elections at all. We are not voting for a particular party manifesto. We know that MEP's are a fa├žade & a sham & riding a gravy train. There is no "European Conservative Party" & no manifesto.

We're not going to play along with the "party line" crap. It's all a nonsense.

The emperor has no clothes on and Kalms & Tebbit & York Student Conservative leader & virtually all your readers know it.

Iain Dale said...

Insert, you make some interesting points. But one day I will go through this blog and make a list of the almost countless occasions when I have criticised Tory policy or disagreed with the party line. From the way you speak I am just a party hack with my tongue so far up Cameron's arse it has disappeared. If you actually read the blog properly you would know that I am quite open in my criticism when it is warranted. Would I really get the readership I do if people just felt I was blindly loyal? English Parliament, Tax cuts, calling for James Gray to be deselected, Heathrow, Climate Change policy. Should I go on?

But I am a Conservative,and will also say so when I think Cameron gets it right, which I think he does most of the time.No one agrees with their party all the time. But when you don't you really can't choose to say so on the day before an election if you are a Tory Peer.

insert-coin-here said...

Fair enough Iain.

But just as you blog against the party line at times (in the interest of keeping them honest) so will your readership do when they find things that you do objectionable.

Again you could say,as Guido does,if you dont like it feel free to collect your refund on the way out.

Ironically this is exactly what the european issue is already doing for the conservative party.And it will snowball,perhaps irreversibly as time is running out for the tories.

There can be no denial of the fact that Kalms timing of the statement is disloyal to the party,but at the same time it could be argued that he is doing so in it's best interests.

I dont want to have to vote UKIP at a GE,but Cameron may leave myself..and many,many others,with no choice.

Labour voters have deserted them because they have forgoten what they are really all about.I would implore you to use your influence and not let the tories do the same.

Rebel Saint said...

"you really can't choose to say so on the day before an election".

But that's the point Iain,this is not an election. It does not determine who gets power. It will not change any European policies. It will not provide us with representation. It will not give anyone a mandate. That is why we don't give a shit about the 'party line' stuff.

We understand all your arguments Iain. We just profoundly disagree with them. If you could just realise that for the vast majority of us the European elections are northing more and nothing less than an opportunity to tell our NATIONAL PARTIES what we want their approach to Europe to be.

..Silicon Implant!! said...

Saucepan, it's 4 layers in England now with the new Regional 'strategic' level that Neu Liebor is in the process of implementing. At least the Scots/Welsh/N.I. voters have some measure of democratic control over their layer of the cake...

PeterS said...

It seems to me that a vote for UKIP today IS a vote FOR the Tories.

Think about it:
If UKIP do well (at the Tories expense) - the Tories WILL know the Eurosceptic message resonates with voters.

If the Tories do well (at UKIPs expense) - the Tories WILL know their Eurosceptic message resonates with voters.

In the balance, I would think that any Tory supporter would be more likely to focus the party's mind on the will of the electorate by voting UKIP.

Tub said...

The Conservatives are said to be split over Europe. Is this split a vertical split running down the party from the leadership through the MPs and down to the humble Tory voter such as myself, or is it an horizontal split between the parliamentary party and the voters? I suspect it is the latter and Cameron should recognise that Tory voters are more Eurosceptic than the Tories at Westminster and let some of his MPs go. If he loses Ken Clarke and one or two others I am sure he can find more than capable replacements.
I wish Cameron well, but until he hardens his stance against Europe I will definitely vote UKIP. How anyone can vote for what amounts to an undemocratic junta, and a corrupt one at that, I fail to comprehend.

..Silicon Implant!! said...

As others have said, it's called an election, but that implies that it makes a pot of piss worth of difference to anything that happens. We are 'electing' a bunch of ciphers to take a ride on a gravy train. Dan Hannan can got to Brussels and make brilliant speeches slagging off Broon that get lots of hits on Youtube, but he could have done that with a webcam in a phone box in East Cheam for all the difference it makes to anything, and it would have cost us the taxpayer a lot less if he had!

The Euro 'elections' then are nothing more than a giant opinion poll, or as close to a referendum on various issues that have little to do with 'representation in the European Parliament' and everything to do with whatever ios boiling people's urine at the moment.

I'm voting Libertas later today. It will probably contribute some unfortunate unintended electoral effect on the overall result, but I really don't care, because it reflects and records my opinions reasonably accurately. In a Westminster election, I would be considering voting tactically in order to achieve a specific electoral outcome, but today I just want my voice to be heard by a bunch of politicians in Westminster who want to pretend that I don't exist and that my views are so invalid that they are not even worth engaging with!

Dan said...

I don't see a virtue in party loyalty when it means supporting a party that no longer represents your views.

Unsworth said...

'Lend'. Such a weasel word. What does he mean by that? Is he going to ask for it back at some stage? Is UKIP going to voluntarily give it back - or is Kalms going to have to make repeated hints for its return?

This is merely his means of attempting to avoid the public embarrassment of expulsion - whilst deliberately choosing to embarrass his espoused party. Duplicity apparently exists in the world of business, as well as the world of politics.

If Kalms is a man of honour and integrity, he should no longer sit with the Conservatives and should remove himself to the cross-benches.

Catosays said...

Iain, you can argue semantics all day long, but saying that 'surely you can not expect to do this without any consequences' is not quite the same message as saying 'you should be expelled'.

For the last few days, I've run, as have many others, a poll on my little blog. In that poll and on all the others that I've read, UKIP is streets ahead of the rest. Now why do you imagine that would be?
I've voted Tory all my life and as I said am a Party member. Now ask yourself why I'd be voting UKIP. Then ask yourself why many others like me will be doing the same.

The answer I think is because we are totally pissed off with the EU. We don't like it. It was foisted on us by Grocer Heath, surely one of the most mendacious hoons ever to grace the British political stage. We are tired of being ignored by party leaders who think they know better than us.

Well, Iain, you vote your way and we'll vote ours but Cameron is going to get a nasty shock and unless he alters course, he'll get naother at the GE.

Sunray said...

Iain, I have just returned from the polling station where I have voted for UKIP. I want David Cameron to take over as PM at some time during the next twelve months. I also want a very large number of UKIP votes from today's election to remind him of the opinions of many of his supporters. The second reason for voting this way is to increase the very real possibility of beating Labour into third or even fourth place!
I think that a third place in this election would move things along quite considerably in terms of finalising Gordon Brown's future.

Blackacre said...

I just love watching tories (both Conservative and UKIP voters) tearing themselves apart again over Europe. Contrary to what you all perceive, most voters do not give a stuff about Europe.

David said...

Those who want to repatriate powers from Brussels (and who doesn't) must realise that Euro MPs are as irrelvant in that context as any other. The power in the EU is in the Council of Ministers and the only priority is making sure there are Tory ministers there should Lisbon need to be renegotiated. Anyone who votes UKIP today is indulging themselves and damaging the prospects of improving our control of our own affairs.

Triffid said...


On principal you are wrong. Your comments are wrong.

We WANT Lords (and if miracles happened, MP's) to have their own thoughts. We want someone who is able to admit he supports the policies of another party. Agreeing with one point in a portfolio of issues doesn't mean you should leave a party. It doesn't matter if it was the UKIP, Jury party, Monster raving looney or any other.

Incidentally though, you were right that donors should be silent. A loud donor and a reacting party = corruption.
Just need to talk to a couple of Labour Lords about that.

Weygand said...


I agree entirely with your sentiments re Kalms but I would suggest that they are inconsistent with the paean of praise for the Chipmunk.

As one who spends so much time and energy trying to win support of Joe Public for your party, you will have no difficulty in imagining the dismay she will have caused the few remaining Labour party activists.

They will have spent days trying to defend the indefensible PM and receiving threats and abuse for their efforts only to be undermined by a calculated blow from their own Chipmunk on the very eve of the elections.

She must have known her resignation could only weaken the resolve of would-be Labour voters to turn out the following day; was it that she didn't care or did she even welcome the chance to add injury to insult?

Whatever her motivation (and whatever the provocation from Brown and his evil henchmen), as a fellow activist what would you have felt about her actions had she been a Conservative minister?

acadman said...


The split in the Tory party is horizontal, as most party splits are. The political leadership in any party always has to reconcile the convictions of its activist base with the pragmatism of getting into power, and that means also appealing to the more moderate, usually uninterested, floating voter.

However there is another far more dangerous and depressing reason why the Tory leadership will have to be dragged kicking and screaming of out the EU.

Until it absorbed the 19th Century liberal tradition after the eclipse of the liberals a 100 years ago, the Tory party was, and to some extent remains, a cynical device for the acquisition and retention of power by the elite with a sense of entitlement.

This sense of entitlement includes a belief, inculcated during the British Empire, that the British elite has an automatic right to a seat at the top tables in the councils of the world. I call this affliction 'Top Table Syndrome'.

Call Me Dave and his fellow Old Etonians very much belong to that tradition. They simply can not imagine a world where politically the UK doesn't at least appear to have a grand stand seat anymore. They also know that exit from the EU would mean the complete end to any kind of British role on the world stage, and - perhaps more importantly - it would visibly be SEEN to be the end of that role. Heaven forbid - one's 'form' would not be preserved!

People on this blog ask in exasperation why CMD wont follow in the direction the British people are plainly going. Well, that's the reason why. Nothing to do with electoral calculation or the interests of the British people, everything to do with the psychological difficulties and insecurities of the British public school boy who was brought up to believe that in all cases he was 'born to lead'. Analyse Blair's (educated at Fettes) character and decision making in foreign affairs and you'll find exactly the same conceits and vanities.

I am being perfectly serious when I say that most of the disastrous foreign policy decisions we have had since the decline of Empire have been due to 'Top Table Syndrome', through membership of the EU to the ludicrous myth of a 'Special Relationship' with the United States.

Its a long standing and deep rooted psychological problem, and therefore I fear a permanent split in the Tory party that will only be resolved by a profound re-alignment in British politics which is in any case long overdue.

DominicJ said...

I'm a Tory member voting UKIP.

Its not a misguided attempt to make a statmenet, they have better candidates and better poicy, end of.

Anonymous said...

Country before party.

The fact is I think almost everyone in the Tories would prefer UKIP to be in power than Cameron. The electoral system prevents this in Generals, but not in EUrope.

ukipwebmaster said...

Seems as if you've claimed another scalp: