Yet another Conservative defection

This time, it’s Lord Dartmouth who has joined UKIP, their fourth recruit  in recent days (two other ex-Tory peers and one Tory economist being the rest).

All this follows hot on the heels of David Cameron’s party losing two councillors to the independents, costing them control of one more council, and a former councillor to the Lib Dems. Oh, and don’t forget the five other councils they’ve lost in recent weeks.

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  • The Tories seem to be shaking off their ‘nasty’ tag and the right wing loonies appear to be leaving in droves. One problem as Cameron widens the support base is that they are now treading on LibDem ground. When they were right wing anti-imigrant, homophobic xenobhobes we knew where they stood and people knew where we stood. ‘Project’ Cameron has so far demonstrated to the public that he is not going to have his strings pulled by big money backers (hence some defections to UKIP) and he is not going to be blackmailed by the ‘right’ (hence even more defections to UKIP). This is being described in some media cirlces as the tories clause 4 moment or Labour shaking off the loony left and militant. UKIP could be described as the tories Militant tendancy. We may laugh and rub our hands at glee at the tories losing backers and members – but our job will become hardes as the toreis continue to rebrand and the loony right jump ship to UKIP.

  • Don’t be deceived. David Cameron is the most “elitist” Tory leader since Alec Douglas Home. He is an Old Etonian, who believes that the aristocracy is a superior form of creation which has been chosen by God to rule over us. The veneer of modernity and trendiness that has been built around this man is a total sham. To get elected, Cameron has to look presentable to the public. He has to be all things to all men, and needs a buzzy, media friendly image. If, by some terrible misfortune, Cameron does get elected, he will serve the interests of his puppet-masters with utmost servility. With Michael Gove as Foreign Secretary, expect unquestioning British support for war with Iran.

    The Tories should be afraid of UKIP. Firstly, most Tory members – and voters, too – agree with UKIP on most issues. They are anti-Europe, anti-foreigner, favour traditional sexual mores, believe in hierarchy and worship authority. Secondly, UKIP is a respectable party of the far right, which the National Front never was, and the BNP still isn’t. It has a powerful appeal to the disaffected petit bourgeoisie, and could do the Tories serious damage in key marginals.

    If you’re a conservative, you vote for a conservative party.

  • Tony Greaves 21st Jan '07 - 2:41pm

    As noted in the story, Lord Dartmouth is not a member of the House of Lords. The story should therefore be no more than “President of constituency association defects”.

    Tony Greaves

  • Jeremy Hargreaves 21st Jan '07 - 7:10pm

    Tories moving to UKIP is good news for Liberal Democrats – especially in a first past the post system. I hope lots of Conservative voters follow those mentioned above.

  • With intelligent leadership UKIP could seriously damage Cameron’s Conservatives, but the problem with most UKIP activists is that they are patent nutters. I tried to encourage the UKIP candidate in one of our marginal council seats to appeal to traditional Tories who felt they were being sidelined by Cameron, but she insisted on starting her leaflet with a direct quote from Cameron’s attack on UKIP as being racist and loony, and the rest of it wasn’t much better. We lost.

  • “Tories moving to UKIP is good news for Liberal Democrats – especially in a first past the post system.”

    Up to a point, it’s suggested that we wouldn’t have won Romsey, Taunton and Eastleigh if there hadn’t been a UKIP candidate. However, if they get some credibility they start to compete with us for the anti-establishment/plague on all your houses vote.

  • Bobaitinba is wrong in most of his characterisation of UKIP, for reasons which should worry the LibDems. We Ukippers aren’t anti-Europe (only anti-EU) or anti-foreigner, we don’t all have traditional views on sexual mores (our gen secretary until a couple of years ago was an ‘out’ lesbian), we don’t believe in hierarchy or worship authority (though the peers who’ve just hopped aboard are of course very welcome). UKIP strongly supports free trade and the liberty of the individual, and opposes ID cards and the Iraq war. In the past we’ve had almost as many recruits from the LibDems as from the Tories, including a number of district councillors. The current wave of defections is all from the Tories, but many core UKIP positions are old-fashioned liberal. So we’re coming for you next!

  • Mr Wilde, obviously you haven’t spoken to many of your members lately. More Hegel than Hayek, I think you’ll discover. Why did Robert Kilroy-Silk leave you? Is it not because of his secularism, and liberal views on crime and sexuality? And what do you make of David Irving’s very public support for your party?

  • Dave Saunders 29th Jan '07 - 10:53pm

    So where were UKIPs 10 MEPs when Liberal Democrats campaigned against the war in Iraq? I can’t find a single example of any official UKIP stance on the war until very recent mutterings. UKIP are just trying to jump on the anti-war bandwagon. Until now they have been silent and have sat on the fence. Those involved in the anti-war movement are not stupid and UKIPs complete abscence has been noted. We all know from first hand experience of your election candidates what a nasty bigotted anti-foreigner, anti-Muslim bunch your really are. Labour said you were the BNP in suits and Mr Cameron’s description is entirely accurate.

  • Hi Bobaitinba, actually I’m constantly gossiping online with other Ukip supporters. We’ve a varied bunch, but your description of us as Hegelians is a scream. (Though I admit I did struggle painfully through about 20% of the Phenomenology of Spirit one tedious summer). Hayek had a vogue among Tories, but I’ve rarely heard him mentioend in Ukip circles. He was a good guy but imho rather overdid the stuff of mild socialism leading inexorably to totalitarian dictatorship. Nothing is really inevitable except death and income tax. I think the only work of political philosophy to attract really widespread approval among us Ukip cranks and gadflies is Mill’s On Liberty, which I’ve heard discussed in glowing terms many times. Kilroy-Silk left Ukip because he wanted to be top dog immediately and wouldn’t wait 18 months until the next scheduled leadership election. Are you sure about David Irving? I have a huge appetite for rumour and gossip, but I’ve never heard that one before and apparently neither has Google. Hi Dave Sanders. Oh dear. Well, Ukip only had 3 MEPs back at the time of the Iraq invasion, not 10. I remember reading an anti-war letter by our then leader Roger Knapman in the Times (I think it was) back in 2002, and also read a press release on similar lines on the Ukip website, but so far as I know it wasn’t picked up by any of the media. Ukip had a very hard time getting any coverage in those days. Personally, I was on both the big London demos and I know other Ukippers were too, though I didn’t march with any of them. I agree Ukip as a party could have done better and shouted louder, but at least we were genuinely opposed before the invasion, unlike the Tories.

  • Dave Saunders 4th Feb '07 - 2:31am

    Tom Wilde you spout absolute crap. On 27th March 2003 MEPs voted on 3 main resolutions. The first condemned war as “illegal and unjustified”. The second backed invasion only as a last resort and only with UN authorisation. And the final one stated that conflict was unavoidable, placing responsibility squarely on the shoulders of Saddam Hussein.

    Of your three MEPs Jeffrey Titford and Graham Booth both voted for the war. Nigel Farage was absent.

    You are opurtunist fence sitters who have only changed opinion and started making anti-war noises in the hope of gaining the anti-war protest vote.

  • Yes, it does seem that I have been spouting crap, then. Sorry about that – it wasn’t intentional. My own position has been strongly anti-invasion from the start on the grounds that it would be an unjust war. As I mentioned, I was on the two big London marches. I knew that opinion in UKIP was divided, but I was under the impression that the party’s official position was anti-war because of the lack of a definitive UN resolution, the lack of evidence that an invasion would be in the UK’s interest and the lack of a clear objective. I am therefore disappointed by your news that two of our MEPs voted in favour, if that is true. (Can you supply a link to that information? I’ve just wasted 30 mins searching the European Parliament website for an archive of past votes, without success.) Of course if you mean the MEPs backed the 2nd resolution rather than the 3rd, then that would be quite different, as that wouldn’t be a pro-invaasion vote at all. I take it you do mean they backed the 3rd resolution, saying an invasion inevitable and it was all Saddam’s fault? Gloomily, Tom

  • No link, then?

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