Friday, December 15, 2006

UKIP: 'How Stupid Can You Get?' - Redwood

John Redwood is probably the best known politician to start blogging. His blog is only two days old and you can find it HERE. In his latest entry he has a right old go at UKIP.

I find it extraordinary that well intentioned Eurosceptics can think the UKIP strategy is a winning one which will make the problem better. The last three General Elections have shown that neither the Referendum Party nor UKIP can win a single Westminster seat, however strongly and fiercely they put their case for disengagement or withdrawal from the European Union. They have also shown that by putting some of their better candidates and strongest efforts into opposing Eurosceptic Conservatives in seats the Conservatives can win, they may give us more federalist MPs by tipping the balance in favour of the pro-EU Liberal Democrat or Labour candidate. How stupid can you get?

Read the whole post HERE.


Anonymous said...

Is it Redwood or his site that is in beta? If the former that explains a lot!!

The problem with his argument is that the Conservative strategy is clearly not a winning one. Which is why support is haemorrhaging.

Clearly he doesn't read this blog because the issue has been debated ad nauseam here.

Anonymous said...

I guess when you have no policies this is all you can talk about.........

Anonymous said...

Redwood's arguments seems to be "we are a better UKIP"

Anonymous said...

Iain, I look forward to the next rant from your favourite UKIPPER.

Anonymous said...

UKIP claim they are different from the three main parties because they want to leave the EU. Yet their other policies are similar - state education and healthcare, maintenance of taxation above 30% of GDP, maintenance of laws criminalising use of drugs etc

Can we please have a genuinely radical alternative? Those jokers in RESPECT don't count, they just take the current system to its logical conclusion.

David Lindsay said...

There are more Eurosceptic Labour MPs than there are Tory MPs at all, including the most Eurosceptical Foreign Secretary since Bevin, and a Cabinet Minister who (unlike any member of the Shadow Cabinet) voted against the Maastricht Treaty (whereas Redwood was a Cabinet Minister at that time), which Francis Maude actually signed on the UK's behalf, firmly in the tradition of Margaret "Single European Act" Thatcher.

Now, I'm not denying that many Tory MPs are Eurosceptics. But neither that, nor the fact that Euroscepticism (or anything else) is the editorial line of the Daily Telegraph or the Daily Mail, makes it the policy of the Conservative Party. Have the Tories actually left the EPP? Well, there you are, then.

Anonymous said...

Redwood attacking UKIP...

It seems a bit desperate to be honest.

With their main opponents the officially worst government in living memory, to slag off a supposed minnow can be seen as nothing more.

I fear the end may not be nigh, but at least is in sight for the "official" Conservatives.

Sad really.

Perhaps the best to hope for is a speedy end, and the birth of something better.

Anonymous said...

More publicity for UKIP?

Anonymous said...

The real Peter Hitchens has been promoting the death of the Conservatives for quite some time now, and I think he is right.

The danger is, though, that no new party will be allowed to emerge once Labour has its teeth, unmolested by an opposition party, around the throat of Britain.

This is a real problem for the multi-culti, multi-sexi Tory party that nobody wants as a substitute for the ZaNu-Sleazy party. Yet if they go away, there really is no telling how the Blair socialists will scamper all over the ancient architecture of British law and colonise it.

Rock and a hard place, but I think for now, in my opinion, we probably have to vote Tory.

Anonymous said...

"Perhaps the best to hope for is a speedy end, and the birth of something better."

Absolutely. It's long been the case that a split in the Tory Party would be desirable. However, it would have been preferable to have done it when the Thatcherite wing were in control of the party (through expulsions of the Wet Tendency, Ted Heath first).

Anonymous said...

As stupid as UKIP?

UKIP branch Chairman James Robertshaw, owns a shop selling power-generating windmills.

UKIP policy is to halt the erection of all wind turbines (UKIP General Election Manifesto).

So Mr Robertshaw supports a party that, if ever elected, would put him out of business.

The words STUPID springs to mind!

What a loony fruitcake!!!

Jens Winton said...

Yes, indeed, Jeremy. I have posted a fair amount over on Redwood's thread and it seems to me that the ranting against UKIP is a form of guarded praise. Of course, there was one odious post who has tried to make us out as racists. But that's the Conservatives for you, eh?

Anonymous said...

Hi Iain,

That's a really inept attack that will backfire.

It will only take 6 Labour MP's to join Austin Mitchell as BOO's for Labour to fairly claim to be the most eurosceptic party, and thus, the Tory argument of not splitting the 'most eurosceptic vote' will end up biting you on the arse.

Of course you really know that people support UKIP for so many more reasons from its support for grammar schools, opposition to state funding, flat tax support, end to eu protectionism that harms poor non-eu countries, thinks 'tough' not 'tough love' is needed on crime etc etc.

The Times survey this week showed how Tory perception of themselves is wildly different than the rest of the country. You are in a bubble.

It will be popped at the next general election.

Overall, we of course find the sharp increase in attacks on UKIP as a refreshing confirmation of our progress. We offer a choice. We are a seperate political party.

Didn't the Tories used to support free choice too?

Anonymous said...

So. There are eurosceptic tory MPs, but the party isn't and never will be while Desperate Dave and his ilk are in charge.
But the public (and especially the tory core vote) is mostly eurosceptic.
What to do?
Traduce the only party that reflects public opinion, of course.
Which makes the tories look even less tory-like, which will probably persuade more old-time tories to consider switching their votes.
Well done, that man!

Anonymous said...

not sure i understand the reference in the other post to 'maintenance of tax above 30% of GDP'.

No party has ever had tax below this level, and it has hovered between 35% and 40% of GDP, regardless of whether Labour or Conservative are in power.

The 'spin' about high tax or low tax parties is just that. The cuts made in income tax by the Tories grabbed the headlines, but the slice of the cake taken changed very little.

Archbishop Cranmer said...

His Grace has submitted the following entry, which is 'awaiting moderation'...

Mr Redwood,

While His Grace has enormous sympathy for you and your position, he cannot ignore the fact that he was present at a meeting when Mr Cameron gave his ‘cast iron’ guarantee to remove Conservative MEPs from the EPP ‘within weeks, not months’. It was this promise, from a man that His Grace wanted to trust, that swung his vote away from Mr Davis, who was making no such promise.

His Grace has no time for the capricious hopelessness of UKIP, but you must admit that Conservative promises on the EU amount to nothing at all. A ‘principled’ objection to the Euro or the Constitution today, in opposition, is easy to give. One wonders if both will be upheld when in the stark realities of office, or if the ascendancy of the Gummers and Clarkes of this world means that the Conservative Party will continue in exactly the same direction as Labour, if only because the whole direction of the EU project is fore-ordained, and our subjugation to it therefore ‘inevitable’.

Anonymous said...

What sort of people vote for a party that brings about the exact opposite of its purported aims?A close eye should be kept on where exactly it's funds come from.(If it should receive funds from Europe,voted for by Socialists) or even directly from Labour/Lib Dem supporters/coffers.

neil craig said...

You cannot ethicly object to this vote splitting effect when it hurts you if you insist on supporting the FPTP electoral which causes it. You can't both run with the fox & hunt with the hounds.

Anonymous said...

A bad move by Mr Redwood. It will only strengthen the resolve of the two or three Tory MPs who are considering defecting to UKIP. Which is itself split from top to bottom following Gerard Batten's resignation from UKIP's NEC.

Anonymous said...

"What sort of people vote for a party that brings about the exact opposite of its purported aims?"

Have you been following the thread on ConHome? It looks like that is exactly what a Tory vote doing.

If the Tories worked with UKIP instead of attacking them, then UKIP could have a free run of one or two seats, and the Tories would win the election.

Nigel Farage, despite Cameron's insults has offered an olive branch with his BOO strategy but the tories continue their LibDem love-in.

We could have c-r values in govt but it requires the c-r to work together not bash one another.

So you see, it is the Tories keeping Labour in office, not UKIP.

Anonymous said...

cranmer: His Grace's entry is still awaiting moderation as is this invitational posting from myself:

John, I have read your comments with very mixed feelings. We should recall that BETTER OFF OUT held an immensely popular fringe meeting at the Conservative Party Conference at which I was privileged to assist. It attracted one of the largest audiences Bournemouth '06 had seen. Hundreds of people packed the De Vere Suite at the Royal Bath Hotel, leaving standing room only, to hear Philip Davies MP, Roger Helmer MEP, Laura Midgley (Campaign Against Political Correctness) and Daniel Hannan MEP make the case for freeing Britain from the EU.

Highlighting the facts that the EU makes the majority of British laws, promotes political correctness, controls all trade and hobbles economic growth and competitiveness, they made the case for withdrawal to loud cheers and enthusiastic applause from the 400-strong audience.

Mark Wallace, BETTER OFF OUT Campaign Manager, said, "David Cameron may not want to 'bang on' about the EU, but we think it absolutely right to bang on about how to achieve a successful economy, a healthy democracy and a free society. Leaving the EU is crucial in achieving those goals."

A major benefit of BETTER OFF OUT is that it brings clarity to the debate. By asking people to sign up to the principle and the case that Britain would indeed be more prosperous and more free outside the European Union, we give them the opportunity to make their views clear on a cross-party initiative. That David Cameron has decided to ban those who do so from his front bench is misguided of him, but we should not let that blur the debate itself- that is what our opponents would like us to do.

In pledging not to oppose BETTER OFF OUT-committed MPs, UKIP has been very constructive and the whole anti-EU campaign has taken a big step forward. The unambiguous clarity BETTER OFF OUT has brought allowed that to happen. Before the ten MPs committed their support to BETTER OFF OUT, there was no way for anyone to be clear about sitting MPs' views of the EU. Whilst I am a free-market, libertarian Conservative, I can see entirely why UKIP are not willing to extend their offer to MPs who profess to be "eurosceptic" but are not willing to commit to BETTER OFF OUT. As Nigel Farage has said, "The BETTER OFF OUT campaign has redefined euroscepticism in Britain. Anybody not signed up to BETTER OFF OUT should not call them eurosceptics". As UKIP's aim is to get Britain out of the EU, it is hard to see how they could justify dropping opposition to MPs who simply want to renegotiate and stay inside. What is the difference between saying that and William Hague's impractical "In Europe not run by Europe"?

BETTER OFF OUT of course understands that there are MPs who sympathise but don't feel comfortable in committing yet, and our job is to reassure them and coax them into a full commitment, not to accept them half on board; to do that would be to blur the lines whose clarity has been so crucial to our success thus far. We also appreciate that there are frontbenchers who agree but are kept from public agreement by Cameron's ban. The best thing to do is to marshall support in their party and in their constituencies sufficiently that they do feel able to join us. Dilute the campaign and we will not gain more supporters, nor will we make any headway against the EU. Rather we will lose our current purpose, lose our publicly committed supporters and also lose any attraction. We are not in this for a quick partial fix, we are in it to succeed through a principled, pragmatic and open-minded approach. The success we have had to date is a testament to that, and is a sign that we should not turn aside now. In light of the foregoing John, why not sign up to support BETTER OFF OUT?

Anonymous said...

"No party has ever had tax below this level, and it has hovered between 35% and 40% of GDP, regardless of whether Labour or Conservative are in power."

Exactly - they don't offer an alternative. Tax was last below that level in the 1920s although a taxation level of Edwardian Britain would be preferable.

Anonymous said...

Oi you, I thought you said he had set up a blog? Tell him he needs to check on a regular basis to see if he has comments. It is one thing to say your piece, quite another to blog which is supposed to be interactive. John Redwood? Deadwood more like!