Brake: UKIP standing aside because May has adopted their agenda

At the last General Election, we did this “Beware Blukip” thing to warn against a Tory/UKIP coalition. At the time, I thought it was a bit ill-advised because my real worry was the Tories getting a majority. They did that and look what havoc they have wreaked since.

If the Labour manifesto is supposedly going back to the 70s, the Conservative one will be going back even further to a rose-tinted view of the 1950s, rolling back as much of the social progress we’ve made in my lifetime as it can.

I mean, fox hunting. Really.

It now emerges that UKIP are standing in only 377 seats in this election and, frankly, are unlikely to win any of them. This should give us no relief whatsoever because their agenda has now been adopted by the Conservative Party.

As Tom Brake put it:

UKIP are standing aside for the Conservatives because they know Theresa May has adopted their divisive agenda wholesale.

As Nigel Farage has said, Theresa May is now using the exact words and phrases he has been using for the last 20 years.

The scene has been set for a Conservative landslide that would be bad for people’s jobs, our schools and the NHS.

But it’s not too late to ensure a strong opposition and a better future for this country.

The Liberal Democrats are the only party can challenge Theresa May, fight to protect our schools and hospitals and stand up against a bad Brexit deal.

 

* Caron Lindsay is Editor of Liberal Democrat Voice and blogs at Caron's Musings

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31 Comments

  • To an extent I want a strong UKIP voice, if that best represents a group’s viewpoint within our UK society. That there were hundreds of thousands of people next to unrepresented at the end of vote count in 2015 was a bad thing but UKIP joining the voices calling out for political reform was good and helped it reach right and centre-right who believed strongly in Brexit. Seeing UKIP crumble in a series of bitter disputes with moderate UKIP voters (if that is not an oxymoron) rejoining the Tories and those remaining become even more right wing has weakened the argument for reform and strengthened the party most naturally opposed.

    We live in a country where the majority of press are far from the fact-checkers on political parties’ comments but are ruthless in being critical of opposition parties and overly-supportive of the current government. That is not a good thing for the UK and having a popular centre-right/right wing voice saying it would have helped progressive politics in the long run. It actually would have also helped the conservative party.

    It now emerges that UKIP are standing in only 377 seats in this election and, frankly, are unlikely to win any of them. This should give us no relief whatsoever because their agenda has now been adopted by the government which will now most likely have a larger majority.

  • Bill le Breton 13th May '17 - 12:01pm

    Well, it is still the same error as in 2015. How many Tories are going to be put off voting Tory because of this claim? Zero.

    How many UKIP voters are going to have yet another voice (this time us) saying that it is ok to vote Tory because they’ll get what they want and be on a horse that ‘can win here’?

    One would be too many and there will be thousands.

  • YellowSubmarine 13th May '17 - 12:50pm

    LIb Dems need a new cause, something that many would appreciate and would be deliverable without huge cost. Something that proved the LIb Dems could pursue evidence based policy’s.
    Motorists have been at the sharp end of poor policy’s now for decades. They have had to endure ever increasing fines and an increasing raft of methods used to pursue them. Speed cameras on motorways, lower speed limits applied and then never re assessed to see if they actually improved accident statistics at that site. road humps damaging vehicles and a mass increase of traffic lights bringing the UK to a stand still.
    It does not take much investigation to discover this all adds up to reduced UK productivity and less tax revenue to spend on NHS, police and infrastructure.
    There needs to be a country wide re evaluation of the road network and how it can be reset to stop penalising people for using it and focusing on a common sense approach.

  • The problem is

  • The issue here is the archetypical UKIP supporter fills many Liberals with revulsion. The mistake they make is that they believe it has that affect on the majority of the population. You can revile them but don’t be surprised if your views are held by the rest of the population. pointing out UKIP and Tories are the same won’t put people off, they know that; destroying their arguments will.

    Aim at people hearts and their fears and you will win. Tis what the Tories do every single time. Using sensible arguments won’t.

  • Peter Watson 13th May '17 - 5:10pm

    Thinking about this article has highlighted to me some fundamental flaws in the Lib Dem approach to this general election.
    Firstly, it has strongly positioned itself as a single-issue party, an anti-UKIP. However, UKIP are truly a single-issue party and would probably stand aside for either a Labour or Tory eurosceptic MP but I can’t imagine the Lib Dems doing the same for europhile MPs, so the strategy looks a little inconsistent.
    Secondly, Lib Dems have called for a strong opposition but seem to be following a strategy to deliver a divided and weak opposition to a Tory government. It is easy to make Pythonesque comparisons to splitters and the Judaean People’s Front. Talk of a progressive alliance soon seems to collapse and it looks unclear whether Lib Dems dislike Corbyn’s Labour or May’s Conservatives more.

    It seems to come down to a lack of clarity about whether or not Brexit is the be all and end all, and if it is not, where in the political spectrum do Lib Dems lie.

    I don’t know what the alternatives are, but at the moment the best feasible outcome might be enough of an increase in votes and seats compared to 2015 to at least justify claims of a Lib Dem fightback.

  • Lorenzo Cherin 13th May '17 - 7:12pm

    Tom Brake is saying it as it must be said, but less of the Corbyn is as bad as May on Brexit, doesn’t work.

    If the Tories are like UKIP , and we say the Labour party are too, we look like the odd , one out, and only attract a fringe of voters obsessed with the EU !

  • Lorenzo,

    We are stuck between two parties peddling populism. It is in the present climate appealing. Simple populist answers to complex problems, what’s not to like. The problem is which ever part wins (and odds on it will be the Tories) then has to satisfy the voters it has convinced can live in a world of milk and honey. that is the difficult bit, they can try to find scape goats but eventually their failures mount up and they are in deep trouble. The danger is the people will rush after the next group of politicians peddling their version of populism; deeply worrying and even more reason for Liberals to fight.

  • Jayne Mansfield 13th May '17 - 10:47pm

    @ Frankie,
    I have discovered my inner populist.

    i.e the argument that there are complex reasons for people including nurses using food banks. My inner populist response is that the reasons why people use food banks is anything but complex, it is simply because they cannot afford to feed themselves and their families.

  • At least the Labour Party Manifesto was recognisable as being based on a coherent wealth-distribution, social justice ideology. I also think we need better employment protection, cheaper rail fares, a reduction in tuition fees – completely over-priced for some courses.. There was quite a lot to agree with.

  • Jayne,

    That isn’t your inner populist. The question is should nurses use food banks and how can we stop it.

    The answer to the question should they use food-banks, is in my opinion is no.

    How do we stop it; well I’d increase there wages although some populists would just deny it is happening and would probably just ban them from using them as it’s rather embarrassing.

    So far populists and myself are in sync (at least the left-wing one, the right-wing ones would just claim it doesn’t happen or shouldn’t happen) , but this were we part company. I’d say we need to campaign to show that higher taxes are required to pay for adequate services, in the words of my nan you don’t get out for nowt. The populist would however just claim someone else will pay and that is were the problem is.

    In summation

    Right wing populists claim that less is more and eventually we will do everything with nothing. Left wing ones just claim everyone should have everything and someone else will pay. I’d like to think there should be room for politicians who say yes we need a functioning NHS, functioning social services, good transport and a country that cares about it’s people but for that we must pay for it and if we don’t we won’t have it. I could of cause be hopelessly delusional.

  • Richard Underhill 14th May '17 - 1:00pm

    Try a Google on ‘UKIP resignation’ and get a screenful including ‘latest UKIP resignation’ which does not include the latest UKIP resignation. Apparently criticising the current UKIP leader is not acceptable, please see BBC Sunday Politics Southeast.
    A regional issue is also a national issue. Trade with the continent of Europe going through Dover has been affected by huge backlogs of lorries on the motorway, to be relieved by a lorry-park. What the CBI calls “frictionless access” to EU markets is highly desirable but is at risk if the PM is re-elected and given a blank cheque. She may wish to squash UKIP in the general election, but will then need to listen to lobbying about the realities of trade, including the effects on tax revenue.

  • Richard Underhill 14th May '17 - 1:09pm

    Jayne Mansfield 13th May ’17 – 10:47pm One of the audience on BBC TV Question Time has a daughter who is a nurse and resisted strongly on the basis of her earnings and spending.
    My local hospital at Pembury has a café concession at Costalot ‘high street prices’, quite unlike Victoria Wood’s Dinner Ladies.

  • Dave Orbison 14th May '17 - 1:26pm

    @ Yellowsubmarine “road humps damaging vehicles”?

    No, it’s the driver that damages the vehicle only IF they drive too fast – that is what they are supposed to do. As for the poor driver…. why not scrap seat belts and drink driving laws too if you want a truly distinctive policy?

  • Jayne Mansfield 14th May '17 - 3:09pm

    @ Richard Underhill,
    I used Fact Check, the independent fact finding charity to check the claims.

    ‘How many nurses are using food banks’.

  • Jayne Mansfield 14th May '17 - 3:56pm

    @ Frankie,
    I have given a reference to Richard Underhill.

    A student nurse , a single mother, gives her story in a Daily Mirror article.
    ‘Trainee nurses depend on food banks and payday loans to survive as unions warn of NHS time bomb’

    I am concerned that anyone regardless of their occupation or status has to use food banks in 21st Century Britain.

    I would however like to point out, that the idea of a student nurse as an 18-21 no longer holds true. Student nurses are as likely to be mature adults with family responsibilities. Also,one does not have to have special qualifications to be entitled to the title, ‘nurse’, and these nurses are often doing care work that is both valuable and low paid.

    One doesn’t need to be a trotskyite to know that this country can still afford a fully functioning health service. It is about choices. 3billion was wasted on a top- down reorganisation that has thrown the service into chaos.

  • YellowSubmarine 14th May '17 - 4:34pm

    Dave Orbison

    No, it’s the driver that damages the vehicle only IF they drive too fast –

    What is the difference between potholes and road humps ? Applying your logic councils do not need to repair potholes as it’s the drivers fault for moving to fast.

    I am sure the motoring public will be happy to here that you have just sorted this problem out for them next time they have to replace a wheel or tyre.

    If you think about it, and it appears you have not, Speed humps affect vehicles differently depending on size and design. A large 4×4 capable of crossing a ploughed field will be hardly affected by road-humps yet a small town car with smaller wheels and limited suspension travel might have to slow almost to a stop to preserve their car from damage.

    So they do not have a similar effect on the speed of all vehicles. Why should the owners of big 4×4’s have such an advantage over the little old lady in her town car ?

    Unless a system can have the same effect on all traffic it cannot be considered a success or useful.

    A speed limits create an even playing field and should be perfectly adequate for any situation. It helps vehicles move through an area at a constant speed.

    Speeding up and slowing down also creates extra pollution that we are told is killing 40,000 people a year.

    Do you want to be responsible for that ?

  • Dave Orbison 14th May '17 - 5:08pm

    @Yellowsubmarine “what’s the difference between a pothole and a speed bump?”

    Are you Jeremy Clarkson? A pothole is a and unintended hidden defect that poses a real danger to all road users of course, I I assume you accept that.

    Whereas speed bump are in many ways the opposite. They are specifically installed and signposted to slow traffic down in residential areas as lower speed saves lives whereas potholes cause accidents. Death rates from being hit by moving vehicles rises substantially when hit at 30mph or higher compared to 20mph or lower, or do you despite this?

    Re damage from speed bumps: The design of the vehicle is irrelevant as if you drive over the bump slowly, you cannot damage your vehicle.

    As for traffic flow, pollution etc I think you are confusing motorway and major roads with residential roads. They are of course not the same thing.

    But good luck with your campaign to have LibDems be the first party to campaign to scrap them, I think you’ll need it.

  • YellowSubmarine 14th May '17 - 10:07pm

    Dave Orbison
    Are you Jeremy Clarkson?

    Damm, my cover is blown.

    – “Death rates from being hit by moving vehicles rises substantially when hit at 30 mph or higher compared to 20 mph or lower, or do you despite this?”

    No, it is simple physics, but vehicles could move through residential areas below 30 mph without fitting speed ramps.

    There is though a bigger problem, there appears to be no appreciation that lowering speed limits does harm as well as good. Slowing roads, not just 30 mph, but all limits also kills people !

    Reducing speed limits from 40 mph to 30, 50 mph to 40, 60 mph to 50, dual carriageways from 70 mph to 60 or 50. All of these safety improvements reduce flow and the road networks capacity, this, along with a mass increase in traffic lights has been going on unchecked for more then twenty years. It has significantly reduced UK productivity.

    Reduced productivity reduces tax revenues meaning less spending on NHS. The health service has less doctors and nurses which will affect patient treatment, inevitably leading to poor care and loss of life.

    So there may be a few extra folk benefiting from reducing road speeds, if involved in an accident, but it’s not the whole story, they then suffer when presenting with health issues at GP or A&E.

    The risk is moved not reduced and the overall cost increased.

    It is this appreciation of the other side of the coin that is either ignored or considered insignificant, it is not.

    In my view this has to change. There has never been a better time to take the brakes off the UK economy and generate more money for struggling public services, without borrowing, by increased UK productivity.

  • Dave Orbison 14th May '17 - 10:18pm

    Yellow submarine You call on the LibDems to adopt ‘evidenced-based’ policies. Can you refer me to the evidence that shows increased speed will increase productivity and off set the cost of additional accidents, injuries and deaths that will occur?

    Also, you are right many drivers observe the speed limit – sadly some don’t and as a result people, often children, are killed. I prefer the inconvenience of a speed bump to the alternative.

  • Nonconformistradical 15th May '17 - 8:58am

    @Dave Orbison and @Yellow submarine

    “Also, you are right many drivers observe the speed limit – sadly some don’t and as a result people, often children, are killed. I prefer the inconvenience of a speed bump to the alternative.”
    Chicanes may be better than speed bumps.

    However – frankly I do not care if a driver wrecks their car on a speed bump – it’s their own fault for failing to drive according to the road conditions in that particular place.

  • I tried to find the information about food banks but apart from sites which my computer said were unsafe the only information which appeared to be available was in Full Fact, a charity, which was as follows:-

    “Full Fact : Media reports show that at least some individual nurses and trainees have visited food banks. We don’t have solid evidence of the scale of use.”

    It is not clear what exactly this means.

  • YellowSubmarine 15th May '17 - 12:37pm

    Dave Orbison
    “Can you refer me to the evidence that shows increased speed will increase productivity”

    I can indeed – Some extracts and links.

    Study, led by the former Cabinet minister, Grant Shapps, surveyed 85 per cent of local authorities, which are responsible for 93 per cent of the country’s road network. It found that across the UK’s 245,000 miles of roads, there is one “controlled junction” or crossing every 5.7 miles.
    The number of these controlled junctions has risen by 66 per cent since 2000, but traffic levels have increased by only nine per cent over the same period, according to the report.
    It estimated that delayed journeys caused by too many traffic controls costs the economy £16 billion a year, the equivalent of £514 for every registered car in the country. –
    telegraph.co.uk/news/2016/04/29/calls-for-traffic-lights-to-be-switched-off-as-study-finds-drive/

    In 2005, almost all traffic lights were removed from the Dutch town of Drachten as part of a radical road safety experiment. The result was a reduction in accidents.

    DfT Statistical Release ‘Free Flow Vehicle Speed Statistics’ –
    In 2014, for all accidents, 2.5% of vehicles had ‘exceeding the speed limit’ as a contributory factor.
    http://www.roadsafetygb.org.uk/news/5160.html#sthash.ZgyupReE.dpuf

  • YellowSubmarine 15th May '17 - 12:38pm

    Some more –

    Would there be an advantage to the UK if the speed limits on motorways were increased?
    In 2014 INRIX, a leading international real time traffic information provider released results from a study with the Centre for Economics & Business Research.
    They found that between 2013 and 2030 congestion would cost the UK some £307 billion. This equates to £2,057 per household simply due to congestion.
    From an economical point of view, allowing Britain’s arterial routes to flow quicker would make clear sense to businesses.
    The past four years have seen £45 million of speeding fines so the Treasury might not be so keen.
    Gulian et al concluded that congested roads led to higher levels of stress and driver aggression, although we don’t need psychologists to confirm the frustrations we have all experienced sitting in traffic jams.

    laird-assessors.com/time-increase-uks-speed-limits/

    There have been several studies done showing that the UK has gone past the point where ever more methods for penalising drivers has a real effect on road safety and it is now just costing individuals and the economy money.
    Unfortunately scientific work on this is not touched by politicians as they must feel that the usual ‘speed kills lobby’ will appear from the woodwork and make them look like speed freaks and hooligans.
    Although the conservatives did pledge to look at raising M way speed limit to 80 MPH, once in power, it was quietly dropped.

  • “From an economical point of view, allowing Britain’s arterial routes to flow quicker would make clear sense to businesses.”

    But that is a problem that simply raising the motorway speed limit would have no impact on, from memory evidence suggests that simply increasing the speed limit would make matters worse, particularly as the optimum flow rate on our motorway network is around 55mph.

    Hence, as has been demonstrated with the variable speed limit on the M42 around Birmingham, the proper application of integrated technology and feedback to drivers of road/traffic conditions can massively ameliorate the problem.

    In 2005, almost all traffic lights were removed from the Dutch town of Drachten as part of a radical road safety experiment. The result was a reduction in accidents.
    This seems to be quite a common effect, it would seem that you can implement too many safety features and thus either overload drivers with warning signs, barriers etc. so that they don’t see the person blindly walking across the pavement heading for the crossing without heeding the traffic, or create ‘hazards’ such as traffic lights where some drivers will accelerate to get through a changing light, yet the same drivers, when the traffic lights are out of action, will approach the same junction with a degree of caution…

    So evidence-based policy, if truely evidence-based can lead to solutions that are logically obvious, but not perceived to be obvious.

  • Dave Orbison 15th May '17 - 1:34pm

    Yellowsubmarine – you missed my point.

    Obviously, traffic congestion is bad for the economy and for the environment. It’s your take on speed bumps and presumably other traffic calming areas in residential areas that I take issue with.

    As a matter of fact I’m rather inclined to raise speed limits on motorways so I am not ‘anti speed’ per se. It’s just that I totally reject your arguements on traffic calming in residential areas.

    On that issue I side absolutely with the view as expressed by @ Nonconformistradical.

  • paul barker 15th May '17 - 1:47pm

    On Topic (hint,hint)
    ICYMI UKIP support continues to fall, 0.5% in the last 4 days according to the Britain Elects average.

  • YellowSubmarine 15th May '17 - 3:20pm

    Roland 15th May ’17 – 1:27pm

    “But that is a problem that simply raising the motorway speed limit would have no impact on, from memory evidence suggests that simply increasing the speed limit would make matters worse, particularly as the optimum flow rate on our motorway network is around 55mph.”

    The 55 mph figure is for a road running at or above full capacity, there will be roads that run at or near full capacity for a lot of the day but not all or even the majority.
    For roads that are still operating at near design levels of traffic, or less, a higher speed limit would be beneficial.

    New smart M ways could accommodate this without modification.

    Looking at one road is not the best way to assess the situation, any road that is operating below its optimum might only be costing a few £ an hour in lost revenue.
    Its only when you consider that UK motorists covered a total 320.5 billion vehicle miles last year that you can see how things start to add up.

    A speed ramp here, a needless set of lights there, a reduced speed limit somewhere else.
    As my Gran used to say “look after the penny’s and the pounds will look after themselves”

    The subject needs to have the emotion taken from it, looked at logically and a new evidenced based policy introduced.

    With that I wish you all adieu. 🙂

  • Richard Underhill 28th Jul '17 - 9:17am

    Updating Tom Brake’s comment, UKIP’s only council was Thanet, Kent until one of their councillors defected to the Tories, but despite Tory glee, it is not clear that the three opposition parties agree on the major local issues.

  • Richard Underhill 29th Sep '17 - 7:37pm

    Henry Bolton has been elected UKIP leader, their fourth this year, with the support of Nigel Farage, MEP.

  • Richard Underhill 12th Oct '17 - 1:45pm

    UKIP’s new leader has said that UKIP currently has about 27,000 members, some have joined since June 2017 for the leadership election, so he thinks they will leave, but not necessarily create a rival political party. BBC Daily Politics 12/10/2017.
    An interview with the BNP leader a month or two ago on the Daily Politics had him saying twice that the BNP membership had increased since UKIP’s electoral difficulties (under Paul Nuttall).

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