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Douglas Carswell ends his political career

Guido quotes ex-UKIPer Douglas Carswell, who is stepping down as an MP, and who will, he says, be voting Conservative in the general election:

It is sometimes said that all political careers end in failure. It doesn’t feel like that to me today. I have stood for Parliament five times, won four times, and helped win the referendum last June. Job done. I’m delighted.

Lucky man.

Unless: Carswell’s political career has not, despite his present protestations, actually ended, and his actual political career is yet to end. In failure.

Guido’s early commenters say that the Conservatives wouldn’t let Carswell back in, i.e. let him fight a seat for them, and that the UKIPpers are all fed up with him, in short that his career is even now ending in the very failure that he says he does not feel. But I think it altogether likely that Carswell is telling the truth. Carswell switched to UKIP at just the moment when UKIP itself was migrating towards being a slightly nicer National Front. Remember when UKIP used to be rather libertarian? The way Carswell still is? I do.

But I also agree with Carswell that getting out of the EU was far more important than whatever other policies UKIP says it has. A rat, say those commenters, leaving a sinking ship. I partly agree. UKIP is indeed sinking. It had just one important policy and that is now happening. UKIP agrees with itself about nothing else, and is already disintegrating. You would only vote UKIP now to make quite sure that Britain does indeed leave the EU. But once Britain really has left the EU, UKIP will become a mere echo of a very remarkable but now passing moment in British political history. Oh, the remains of UKIP will stagger on for a few years. Political parties in decline always take for ever to vanish completely. But already, British voters are asking: What is UKIP now for? What does voting UKIP now mean? And they are getting about twenty different answers, depending on which UKIPer they ask, which is the functional equivalent of no answer at all.

LATER: I just listened to that entire conversation, linked to above (here it is again), between Carswell and Mark Littlewood of the IEA. The biggest news in it, for me, is that, following Brexit, Carswell’s next target is the fiat money banking system. I wish him well. I hope that effort does not end in failure. A man of his talent and his connections could make a big difference.

22 comments to Douglas Carswell ends his political career

  • The Jannie

    “Political parties in decline always take for ever to vanish completely.”

    I give you – the LibDems . . .

  • Mr Ed

    The Jannie

    I give you – the LibDems . . .

    I’ll raise you ‘The Liberal Party‘.

    From their website:

    The Liberal Party exists to build a Liberal Society in which every citizen shall possess liberty, property and security, and none shall be enslaved by poverty, ignorance or conformity. Its chief care is for the rights and opportunities of the individual and in all spheres it sets freedom first.

    It believes that each generation is responsible for the fate of the Earth and the balance of nature. It works to ensure that people and institutions accept these responsibilities.

    It looks forward to a world in which all peoples live together in peace under an effective and democratically constituted World Authority; in which all peoples are able to enjoy continuous access to the Earth’s environment and natural resources; in which the various cultures of mankind can develop freely without being warped by nationalist, racial or religious antagonism; and in which the free movement of ideas, of people and of goods is guaranteed to the benefit of all. To these ends it sees this country as committed to supporting and strengthening the United Nations, to working steadfastly for the eventual abolition of national armies and armaments, to co-operating with other countries to build a United Europe and to making a special effort together with richer nations towards assisting that part of mankind whose essential freedoms are denied by poverty and hunger. It welcomes the establishment of links with other countries insofar as such groupings advance these Liberal aims.

    At home its goal is a country in which the powers of the state will be used to establish social justice, to wage war against poverty, to spread wealth and power, to ensure that the country’s resources are conserved for future generations whilst being wisely developed for the benefit of the whole community and to create the positive conditions which will make a full and free life possible for all regardless of colour, creed, race, sex or sexual orientation; a country in which, under the protection of law, all citizens shall have the right to think freely, to speak freely, to write freely and to vote freely; power through a just electoral system to shape the laws which they are called upon to obey; autonomous institutions ensuring genuine self-government; an effective voice in deciding the conditions in which they live and work; liberty to buy, sell and produce in circumstances which secure for the consumer real freedom of choice; guarantees against the abuse of monopoly, whether private or public; opportunity to work at a fair wage; decent homes in a varied and attractive environment; good education and facilities for the full cultivation of the human personality; an assurance that the community shall enjoy the benefits of publicly-created land values; and, as a safeguard of independence, the personal ownership of property by all citizens. These are the conditions of liberty, which it is the function of the State to protect and enlarge.

    The Liberal Party consists of men and women working together for the achievement of these aims.

  • Mary Contrary

    Gosh that’s a weird mix of libertarian, Green, trans-nat Utopian, PC, Georgist and a smattering of other nonsense.

  • Alisa

    It believes…
    It looks forward…

    Kill It with fire, before it lays eggs.

  • Paul Marks

    Yes Alisa – Mr Ed has managed to find something more vile than the Lib Dems. Both of us were always rather good at finding evil – although that is not an unmixed blessing as an ability.

    As for Douglas Carswell.

    I like him – yes he left the Conservative Party (an arch sin in political life – at least for a Kettering Tory like me), but I still like him.

  • AKM

    If only they’d stopped at the word ‘security’. 😕

  • Laird

    I’d have stopped at “property”.

  • PeterT

    I’d have stopped at “liberty” since unfortunately some people will only have property if it is given to them – which invariably means it has been taken by the state from somebody else.

  • Laird

    Can you imagine being on the committee which assembled that bizarre collection of words? I’d bet that a significant percentage didn’t survive the ordeal, but slit their own wrists in despair. (Of course, it might have been computer-generated, using an algorithm like this mission statement generator. It does have that sort of a feel.)

  • AKM

    I considered suggesting they should have stopped at both ‘liberty’ and ‘property’ but I was feeling generous.

  • Alisa

    I’d bet that a significant percentage didn’t survive the ordeal, but slit their own wrists in despair.

    One can hope…

  • Patrick Crozier

    Remember when UKIP used to be rather libertarian?

    It still is in many ways.

  • Nicholas (Unlicenced Joker) Gray

    I see they are going for a liberal use of the word ‘Liberal’. Here in Australia, the pro-business party calls itself the Liberal Party, and it is Australia’s right-wing party. Any other uses of ‘Liberal’?

  • Runcie Balspune

    Well the reality is two strands; economically liberal and socially liberal, most are one or the other (and call themselves “liberal”), few are both.

  • the other rob

    Kill It with fire, before it lays eggs.

    I say we take off and nuke the site from orbit. It’s the only way to be sure.

  • PeterT

    Going back to Carswell, it must be remembered that his defection to UKIP, and that of Mark Reckless, where among the things that pressed Cameron into offering the referendum. The rest is history; well, not quite yet.

  • Alisa

    Count me in, the other rob.

  • Watchman

    Hmm, it appears the Liberal Party (UK version, which appears to try and get as many contradictory meanings of the word liberal into its statement as it can) may be serving an important purpose: it is driving forward the development of space travel for the masses (I am less sure driving forward the possession of individual nuclear weapons is such a good idea, although I note it is compatible with pure libertarianism…) through the existence of its mission statement alone…

  • Mr Ed

    PeterT makes a very important point, those who say that Messrs. Carswell (and/or Reckless) were out to destroy UKIP from the inside as Conservative ‘plants’ seem far from reality. Cameron’s fear of his hoped-for majority draining away to UKIP was what led him to the Referendum, a chance to lance the boil ended up boiling the lance.

  • James g

    Now that we are Brexiting, Carswell doesn’t have to pander to political biases. Seeing him on question time supporting things that deep down I’m sure he is against was disheartening. I expect he is relishing the freedom now.

    Fighting fiat money. About fricking time. Good luck to him.

  • james higham

    Good riddance, Carswell – dead loss in every way.

  • Patrick Crozier

    “…a chance to lance the boil ended up boiling the lance.”