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If you care about the Tory Party, vote UKIP

Before I proceed, let me make several things clear… Firstly, although I have a certain fondness for Mrs. T (that whole ‘facing down communism at the crucial moment in history’ thing cuts you a great deal of slack with me), I am not a Tory: I just happen to think Britain needs an effective and differentiated opposition party. Secondly, I personally do not vote for anyone as I am opposed the entire system of kleptocratic populism called ‘democracy’, particularly as it is practiced in Britain… but as I realise as I cannot wish it away, I have to address democratic politics. Thirdly, although I find Roger Knapman pretty impressive for what I have heard of his views so far, I also think some of the things certain members of the United Kingdom Independence Party stands for are truly odious and amongst its ranks are to be found no small number of crackpots, conspiracy theorists and crypto-fascists.

I mention that last point because if you are going to vote for the Tory Party (and therefore obviously hold democratic politics and the Tory Party in vastly higher esteem than I do), you might do well to ask yourself why are you voting Tory?

If it is because you like the idea of broadsheet reading Grandees with their safe pair of hands on the tiller of state and trust them to do whatever they see fit in your name (i.e. you are a Ted Heath/Michael Heseltine/Chris Patten fan and therefore support Labour Party-Lite), then please stop reading now and piss off, I am not talking to you… and anyway, what on earth are you doing reading a blog like Samizdata.net which is written by people like myself who utterly despise you?

If however you vote Tory because you think the Anglosphere approach of not conflating state and society is vastly preferable to the state-centred systems which generally prevail in Continental Europe… or you have the notion that British politics of any sort should be made in Britain rather than Brussels (and yes, I suppose I am talking to no small number of Labour supporters here too)… then you have a very simple decision to make.

If you want force to the Tory Party to support traditional civil society rather than have it do nothing mote than debate the speed with which Britain acquiesces to a regulated and therefore politicised existence more in tune with Continental norms… then you must send the message that continued support for Euro-statism is not acceptable to you. And the only way you can do that is not just to abstain, but to vote for the UKIP. Only that sends an unmistakable message why you did not vote for them.

And if by doing that you cause the Tory Party to lose to Labour yet again… so what? If you care enough about the Tory Party, you will do whatever it takes to demonstrate the electoral cost of saying platitudes like ‘In Europe but not ruled by Europe’ whilst demurring to regulation after regulation from Europe which indeed amounts to being ruled by it.

Vote UKIP, at least until you have clubbed some sense back into the Tory Party.

31 comments to If you care about the Tory Party, vote UKIP

  • Ron

    I shall certainly be giving UKIP my “second vote” in any ballot paper with a “second vote” column that comes my way on June 10th.

    I think that gives the message equally loudly (assuming the Tory leadership have the sense to appreciate it) while doing the most to stop the openly statist parties.

    “Slow-and-cautious” statism is still a magnitude better than “Full-speed-ahead” statism.

    Perhaps we could also spare a thought in this thread to how things have changed in practice since IDS was ejected from the Tory leadership (and recently found to be blameless).

  • Gazaridis

    Crypto-fascist … until now I thought it was a made-up word (the only time I’ve seen it previously used, was in a Red Dwarf episode where they go back in time to see Lister’s band). But yeah – tory Europe policy seems a bit wishy-washy. While not entirely sure if I support immediate unconditional withdrawal from the EU, the tory line doesnt mean anything. “In europe but not run by europe” is a nice idea, but there isn’t anything concrete they’ve proposed – like withholding payment until the hideous CAP and fisheries policies are gone (or at least we’re outside), or the civil disobedience of blocking everything until they get their way (which I believe has been French practice all along). Tory Europe policy sounds more like “In Europe, Run by Europe, but not dreadfully chuffed”.

    Given that our Euro MPs are relatively powerless anyway (the important decisions aren’t made by them), there’s plenty of reasons to go for the protest vote. Hopefully it might make Labour and the Tories wake up about what we want with Europe (the Lib Dems, as usual, a lost cause).

  • Guy Herbert

    “[…]broadsheet reading Grandees[…]”? Er, should that be broadsheet writing (in Hesletine’s case, dictating since he’s dyslexic) grandees? You are referring to same people for whom television is a communications medium, not a form of entertainment.

  • Ron

    Perry, what do you think about this from the May 30th Telegraph:

    “As founder of the UKIP, I will vote Tory”

  • Guy Herbert

    Gazardis, I believe “crypto-fascist” was also used by Reginald Iolanthe Perrin. But that might just confirm your view that it is a made-up word.

  • Guy Herbert

    Who’s more crypto-fascist than New Labour anyway?

    It’ll be hard to vote for their oiky mayoral candidate tho’

  • Ron: that article was more or less what spurred me into writing what I did.

    Guy & Gazaridis: ‘crypto-whatever’ just means a person who is not open about what their real views are for tactical reasons. A crypto-fascist is someone who has a fascist ideology without the obvious name and trapping.

  • Could you flesh out which of the UKIP policies you consider “odious” (as opposed to ones that you just disagree with/think are stupid).

    Because your post makes you sound distinctly like the Torilites and Neeulaborites you so despise.

  • The odious bit for me is the anti-immigration policies which, given the background of some of the people involved with UKIP are just thinly veiled racism and sundry bigotries expressed as policy. As UKIP have zero chance of actually gaining serious power (their power lies in denying power to the Tory Party) and the racist aspects have little broader traction (regardless of what the various tedious racist types who we periodically cull from infesting our comments section might like to imagine), clearly if the Tory Party (or for that matter that Labour Party) wants to largely neuter the ascendant UKIP, they will have to become robustly anti-EU rather than racist (which is to be fair only the way I would describe certain odious factions within the UKIP rather than the entire party… I am not claiming it is the ‘BNP in sheep’s clothing’).

    Because your post makes you sound distinctly like the Torilites and Neeulaborites you so despise.

    And I am supposed to care?

  • Doug Collins

    Crypto-fascist was also used by Gore Vidal on William F. Buckley during the 1972? US presidential convention televison coverage. Buckley demurred rather memorably by demanding, with drawn back fist, that Vidal take it back or have it crammed right back down his throat. (That is not a direct quote but I think it captures the tone.)

    I don’t know if this throws any light on the meaning of the term other than that Buckley and Vidal differ on it.

    Of course one should obviously take the fact that Vidal is an ass into consideration.

  • John Harrison

    I thought long and hard about this and it comes down to who I want to hurt most. While a protest against Michael Howard’s softening of the line on Europe is tempting, kicking Blair while he is down is far more appealing. The Tory party have been in opposition for so many years and Labour are the current threat. Frankly, putting some lofty argument about changing Tory policy marginally on Europe ahead of dealing a real blow to Labour is getting one’s priorities wrong.

  • GCooper

    John Harrison writes:

    ” Frankly, putting some lofty argument about changing Tory policy marginally on Europe ahead of dealing a real blow to Labour is getting one’s priorities wrong.”

    On the contrary, surely? If the EU gets one inch more grip around the UK’s throat, the debate becomes entirely academic. Whoever squats in Westminster simply will not matter.

    If we don’t stop the bastards now, there will be nothing left to defend and a strong warning signal sent to both Eurotoadies, Blair and Howard, is the only avenue open to us, short of bloody revolution.

    Not that I’m entirely averse to that idea, you understand….

  • Frankly, putting some lofty argument about changing Tory policy marginally on Europe ahead of dealing a real blow to Labour is getting one’s priorities wrong.

    Far from it… Because I would contend that without such an application of force at the core of the Tory Party, electing an unreformed Tory Party may get rid of Labour but will result in much the same policies being implemented, in which case whilst pro-Tory tribal sentiments might be assuaged for a short while (if that is why you vote Tory), in terms of policy it is hard to see a vast amount of difference other that quibbling over timetables… or were you under the impression that Chris Patten et al were not still members of the Tory Party? Unless that faction is heaved out of the party, you are kidding yourself that you will do more than add a short pause for breath before Britain vanished into the European blackhole anyway. Vote Tory just to get rid of Blair now rather than in a few years and nothing important changes. And in any case, on civil liberties issues there is nothing to choose between the ghastly Blair/Blunkett and Michael ‘a touch of the night’ Howard, so it is hardly like that is such an urgent issue.

  • “And I am supposed to care?”

    Yes – being anti immigration doesnt necessarily equal rascism. Immigration control can and does have some rationale and attributing racist motives to anyone who makes this case is very neu labor – pretending that anyone who disagrees with you is somehow morally defective. In particular who exactly in UKIP do you think is racist?

    But the real reason why you should perhaps think twice is this. What do you make of this

    “First Dick Morris, former polling strategist to Bill Clinton, came aboard to offer polling advice….hortly beforehand, the UKIP published a little-noticed account of a strategy weekend in Torbay at which Dick Morris presented a simple analysis: Many voters were “anti-EU”, not so many were aware of the UKIP.

    The task, he told them, was simply to bring these people who were already hostile to the EU “on to the UKIP bandwagon”. They should not sell an anti-EU message but a pro-UKIP one, he said, and not spend any time winning new converts to the cause”

    The article also mentions Max Clifford as being invloved. Now it may seem a little paraniod but this sudden confluence of thirdwayers in then UKIP cause raises my eyebrows – in particular Morris’s admonition that the UKIP shouldnt try to convert people – it should only try to attract converts i.e. latent Tory supporters.

    It seems to me that some laborites would be prepared to give the UKIP a victory in elections to an ineffective parliament if it takes away the Tory votes and more importantly gets people to (self) attribute a degree of “odiousness” to the cause they support?

    Don’t you think that after june we’re going to have a UK le Pen moment where some of that “odiousness” is going to stick to the rest of the right by association and admission?

  • Guy Herbert

    Perry, I know what crypto- means. Like you, I see their actual motives as irrelevant–particularly since they are nowhere near power. But I’m not at all convinced that there’s a fascist underpinning–or any ideological underpinning at all.

    They have the same maddening views on immigration as nearly every other organised party in Britain, but they are a bit more consistent, if no more coherent. From their PPB and website, they are plainly desperate to avoid appearing racist, while aware that that is a strong appeal of any “little England” party to their core lower middle-class voters.

  • H.

    Perry writes: “I am opposed the entire system of kleptocratic populism called ‘democracy'”

    Assuming you are not an anarchist but a minarchist, how exactly do you propose we form governments? Because no matter how small government is, it will still have to make vitally important decisions such as how to pay for defence and security, whether to invade countries like Iraq etc., etc.

  • Ron, when reading the piece by Alan Sked bear two things in mind:
    1. Alan Sked is employed by the Tories
    2. Alan Sked is mid-sulk (Heath style) because the party he was a founder member of (NOT the founder as he claims) did not agree with his views and did not wish him as their leader.

  • I suspect a vote for the UKIP from an ex-Tory voter is the most desirable outcome from Blair’s point of view. The Tories are in fact resistant to the EU.

    UKIP may perform the same function for Blair that the SDP did for Thatcher…

  • GCooper

    Mark writes:

    “Ron, when reading the piece by Alan Sked bear two things in mind:”

    To which I’d add a third: that the Telegraph commissioned Sked’s article specifically because Tory panjandrums are clearing the shelves of Diocalm, due to the rapid rise in support for the UKIP.

    No doubt cultured words were whispered in cultured ears. I mean, steady the ranks, old boy. We can’t let the “lower middle-class” express an opinion, can we?

  • GCooper

    paul d s writes:

    “UKIP may perform the same function for Blair that the SDP did for Thatcher…”

    It’s a mater of weighing two respective evils: the danger of a Eurostate swallowing this country, or enduring a little more Blairism in the short term.

    The chances are that ‘New’ Labour will win the next election, but that Gordon Brown will rapidly ruin what remains of the country’s economic dynamism, by a reversion to traditional Labour union-led statism.

    He will be defeated at the election after by the Conservatives.

    So the question is, which kind of Conservatives do you want in power at that point? Heathite patrician traitors, or something properly anti-EU and (one hopes) more genuinely in favour of less government?

    A vote for the UKIP is the best chance we have of ensuring the latter outcome.

  • Giles
    Interesting, I had a chat with a leading London UKIPer this week. He made a comment, “It’s odd but we are being invited to every single public event this time. It is the Labour party that is making sure that we turn up to every public meeting”. When asked if he thought this was a deliberate strategy on the part of Labourt in London he replied, “Of course. We don’t expect to win much, maybe a GLA seat, maybe a MEP seat, but what we will do is to remind the Tories who their suppoters are”.

  • Gawain
    The question is to ask what the Tories approach should be. We know what labor s will be – look at these odious little Engalnders the represent the hard cose radaicals at the heart of the Tory party etc.

    So my advice to the Conservatives would be
    1. Patronise but dont attack the UKIP; i.e. say we understand the problems but etc. Dont fall into the ad hominem UKIP’s are rascists line.

    2. Openly point out how labor men (current and former) are involved in the UKIP – so if Labor starts playing the little Engalnder race card – some of it will rebound.

    3. Get UKIP to recruit and give publicity to former labor politicians in their ranks.

    4. Dont take Morris’s advice and go out and make converts from the labor heartlands, then send them over to the tories.

  • Guy Herbert

    Not sure that the UKIP are the Tories biggest strategic problem. What’s much more difficult to deal with is the wrong people persistently voting LibDem.

    If voters evaluated actual policies and behaviour then the LibDems would be seen as shifty, nasty and somewhat to the traditional left of the current Labour administration, thus not a safe place for disaffected Conservative voters. An increase in their vote would harm Labour more than the Tories. Actually the public has them wrong on all counts and the reverse is true.

  • GCooper

    Guy Herbert writes:

    “What’s much more difficult to deal with is the wrong people persistently voting LibDem.”

    Quite! I’m appalled by the way voters in the South consistently express their dismay with the Leftist policies of ‘New’ Labour by voting for a party even more socialist.

    Many, I suppose, will have been hoodwinked by the Biased Broadcasting Corpration, which apeared to take a high-level policy decision after the last election to cast the Lib Dems in the role of HM’s official oppositon.

    It has become BBC practise to give Kennedy and (in particular) the sanctimonious Menzies Campbell amounts of air time vastly in excess of what their parliamentary strength could possibly justify.

    Frequently, only a Lib Dem will be asked to comment on the latest Blairite scam.

    For people who vote by scent and appearance, as opposed to thought and principle, this will have confered some spurious crediblity on these two Caledonian conmen.

  • GCooper

    Grrr…. there are two ‘p’s in appeared and two ‘r’s in conferred.

    Proof-read, damn you!

  • Matt Davies

    I find it pathetic when any party tries to con the public into voting for them by telling them that a vote for party B is really helping Party A. Every person should look at every party and vote for the one that sounds closest to their own particular views.
    I will be voting for the UKIP as they are the only party who want out of the EU as do I and they also hit a lot of right notes with their shrinking of government and freedom values. If thats extremist then count me down as an extremist.

  • Verity

    Melanie Phillips (Link) has a good piece about the Tories’ mishandling of the UKIP issue. She says that the British voters are getting sickened with “the project” and its push to Europe at all costs and are ready for something radical.

  • GCooper

    I must back Verity’s recomendation of the Melanie Philips article – it is a far better analysis than any other I’ve recently seen and a good antidote to the party tripe currently being dished-out by the increasingly off-target Telegraph.

    Instinctively – for how else can you judge these things? – I get a sense that the swelling ranks of UKIP supporters are rebelling against more than just the EU.

    If I’m right, Michael Howard would be very wrong to assume that people are only voting UKIP in protest about the EU. Bound-up within that bundle of disquiet could well be concerns about everything from speed cameras to poor police performance and rampant political correctness.

  • Ron

    A more accurate link to the Melanie Phillips article is this.

  • Maj

    Ad hominem arguments are not justified in philosophy. But they are in politics, because a party is only as good as the people in it.

  • Mike

    I voted Tory last week. Bit pointless really as I live in a safe Labour seat. But I voted because I was proud to ‘stand up & be counted’

    True, Michael Howard isn’t perfect but he understood that the Tories had to win some seats this election or risk becoming forgotten about.

    Posters dishing him seem to for not being ‘right wing’ enough seem to have learnt nothing from Blair. Does anyone serious believe Blair’s objectives have changed just because his principals have?

    I’m not saying the Tories should be a dishonest as Blair but we need to get back into serious contention before indulging in some of the more fanciful wish thinking I read here & elsewhere.

    To do that we need to take people with us – & that is a step process that starts with practical reasons to vote Tory.

    Highbrow libertarian debate can wait – lets get back in power first!