Secret Lib Dem-UKIP talks revealed

farageEven before the Eastleigh result was announced it had become clear that strong Liberal Democrat and UKIP campaigning has the potential to crush Conservative support from both sides. Many Conservative seats throughout England could fall to one party or the other given the right co-ordination of UKIP and Liberal Democrat strategy. Even where the Liberal Democrats could not win, the Conservatives could be sufficiently weakened to hand a seat to UKIP, and vice versa.

While of course UKIP and the Liberal Democrats have big policy differences, most notably on Europe, if there is one thing we have learned from being in coalition, it is that it is right to work with your opponents when there is a common cause to be found. Thus LDV can exclusively reveal that in a series of secret meetings, Nick Clegg and Nigel Farage have hammered out a deal which could transform the political landscape in 2015.

Lib Dem strategists have alerted the party to a startling possibility – that the above strategy creates a perfect storm for the Conservatives, almost all of whose support falls either into the economic liberal camp occupied by the Liberal Democrats, or the “stop the world I want to get off” camp of UKIP. Sources within the Conservatives talk darkly of a party about to tear itself apart over issues such as equal marriage and the government’s failure to cut taxes for the rich. This would lead to a previously overlooked outcome in 2015 – a hung Parliament, with Liberal Democrats and UKIP jointly holding a majority in the House of Commons. If so, the national interest will demand a coalition is formed, and this is what Clegg and Farage are determined to be ready for.

Party leaders took advantage of the recent by-election to meet with their aides in the upstairs room of a CAMRA recommended pub just outside Eastleigh. They agreed to closely examine each party’s policies to find potential areas of agreement on which they could build a Coalition Pact. Chris Davies for the Liberal Democrats and Roger Helmer for UKIP were dispatched to start this process, which, LDV understands, they completed over chips and mayonnaise in a Brussels bar. Initial soundings suggest that these policies are being considered:

  • Hold the “in/out” referendum on the EU. Each party will campaign on opposite sides, but both have agreed to respect the result
  • Introduce a flat tax – which can be progressive given a high enough threshold – and raise the threshold for income tax and NI to the level of the minimum wage
  • Introduce a holiday tax on all package holidays taken outside the UK.
  • Give every child a bottle of milk and an apple, and give their parent 20 Nectar points every day that the child attends school.
  • Revert to British imperial units as the standard forms of measurement.
  • Give parents the absolute right to choose the school their child should attend. All schools must offer places to all the children who apply. The maximum permissible class size will rise to 50. Older pupils may be used as teachers’ assistants in larger classes. Individual desks with lids and storage for books will replace group tables in order to fit the children in.
  • Based on the academy model in education, allow customers of pubs to vote in a binding referendum on whether they should become free houses.
  • Reduce the waiting time to three weeks for the repair of potholes over 2 inches deep.
  • Extend the citizen’s power of arrest by issuing one pair of handcuffs to everyone over the age of 18.

It is believed that further top-level talks will be held at the Larif Pool Hotel in Ibiza in August.

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19 Comments

  • Richard Whelan 1st Apr '13 - 10:54am

    Is this the April Fool?

  • Richard Whelan: surely not!! – Rather a wet dream for a couple of regular contributors to these pages.

    Nonetheless it does raise the serious question of what are the limits to coalition policy. With what policies do we refuse to compromise and with which political groups do we refuse to work?

  • Peter hayward 1st Apr '13 - 11:34am

    UKIP PLUS LIB DEMS. GOD FORBID. HARNESS THE PENSIONER VOTE AND GO ALONE. WE WANT HONEST PLEDGES NOT CLEGG WAFFLE

  • Shaun Young 1st Apr '13 - 11:39am

    WHAT???? No discussions to create a new merged Dept. of Culture & Transport to be headed by a newly enobled ‘Lord Clarkson of Top Gear’ oh well perhaps one day! :-)

  • Richard Kruse 1st Apr '13 - 11:42am

    Where does UKIP stand on the “backdoor” privatization of the NHS?

  • SHARE TIP: Buy shares in dairies, orchard owning agri businesses, handcuff manufacturers and whoever owns Nectar points!

    ::grin::

  • Nigel Jones 1st Apr '13 - 12:33pm

    You forgot to include the introduction of imprisonment for any government minister who breaks a promise made in the election manifesto and a rule forbidding anyone to stand for election to an institution they want to get rid of.

  • Anthony Hawkes 1st Apr '13 - 3:28pm

    If we could negotiate an agreement with the Socialist Workers Party, then we could take on Labour as well. Let’s get ready for government!

  • Libdems and UKIP could work as a means to re-introduce Left & Right politics. The era of center politics under Blair, has left people with views outside of the center ground without a voice.

    The unions no longer feel they are supported by Labour & the Conservatives are losing support of the traditionalists. It makes sense to re-introduce this style of politics, it does seem that the public is protesting about center politics.

  • You forgot to negotiate an end to the smoking ban and reducing tax on beer. Also there isn’t enough about how Brussels is planning to outlaw the full English breakfast in a frankly sinister bid to force everyone to eat organic yogurt and souffle with every meal.

  • Martin Lowe 1st Apr '13 - 7:54pm

    Ha ha. And April Fool to you too.

    But on a serious note, it probably would have been a good idea to have had talks with UKIP prior to the referendum on AV. Nigel Farage was eager to campaign for AV but was effectively cold-shouldered by the useless “Yes!” campaign that was more interested in preaching to the choir.

  • Mack(Not a Lib Dem) 1st Apr '13 - 10:55pm

    After you and the Tories formed your Molotov/Ribbentrop pact nothing would surprise me .

  • david thorpe 2nd Apr '13 - 2:52pm

    @ richard krusse-the coaltiin are renationalising as much as ‘privatising’ the nhs-UKIP’s NHS policy is to blame the immigrants

  • They say truth is stranger than fiction. I’m knocking on doors in my ward tonight with a survey. Where people are out I scribble a note on the back of the survey form and leave my name and mobile. So a text arrives, which I reproduce verbatim “Dear Janet, sorry i missed u 2. Please would u and UKIP GET 2tgether and rid us of this 2 party scourge that has reduced this country 2 the benifit ridden train crash it has become. U’ve only gotta year. So shake ur tailfeathers, guys and girls. Urs expectantly.”

  • Liberal Neil 6th Apr '13 - 8:47am

    I’ve also had people telling me that they’re choosing between me and UKIP this time – and mostly ex-Tories.

  • Billy Boulton 7th Apr '13 - 8:55am

    While obviously I appreciate this is intended for humour, I would suggest that the sentence “the Conservatives’………. support falls either into the economic liberal camp occupied by the Liberal Democrats, or the “stop the world I want to get off” camp of UKIP is actually not a million miles from the truth. Despite the obvious differences of opinion within the Lib Dems I would say that the least idealogically coherent of the main parties is by far the Tories. Which presents the Lib Dems, if clever, with an opportunity to implement more liberal policies in Government now, and to gain additional support at the next election.

  • Add the restoration of pre-1972 county boundaries and I think you’ve got a credible manifesto there.

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