Stephen Jenner wrote:
I have just read Campbell-Bannerman's dissertation on why he thinks UKIP is going backwards, and it is crap...
What it really contains is the witterings of a Tory, who thought he could jump ship from the Tories, because he couldn't make it there and try and turn UKIP into a mini Tory party. Now that he has failed at that, he has wandered off back to the Tory party to be non-descript and boring there.
However, he has really delivered a kick to the people that backed him and supported him in his campaign to represent UKIP as an MEP, first by criticising their efforts (which were successful) and then by failing to resign now that he has defected.
Let me think now... What would someone do if they wanted to be involved in getting the UK out of the EU? I can think of lots of things, but certainly joining the Tory party would not be one of them.
Like him or loathe him, Nigel has got things right... as you yourself have pointed out Richard, it is all about the idea... Referism... EU realism... ism this and ism that... ism it a shame. You can't kill the idea.
UKIP IS a pressure group... But unusually for this concept, it seeks peoples votes, and this it is doing in increasing numbers... Campbell-Bannerman has been sending UKIP way off course for a long time now with his policies and his attempt to turn UKIP into the fourth political party. If it had been successful, it would have had some MP's by now... Why should people trust a fourth party any more than they trust the other three... A sort of UKLIBLABCON? At the London hustings during the last leadership campaign, his performance was more effective than mogadon... He was wittering on about AV+ for God's sake... Something that was never on any agenda, except his.
I want to hear two messages from UKIP:
1) Get out of the EU...
2) Get citizen triggered binding direct democracy for the people of the UK.
Those two things, which incidentally, cover your "referism" idea, would fundamentally change OUR relationship with government and you can't get number 2 without first getting number 1.
(Just posting this and noticed that JWGuest writes that "most people who joined UKIP did so with positive aims only to have their best ideas crushed, ignored and disregarded...", marvellous if true... Unfortunately for his argument, far more people are joining UKIP than leaving it. Particularly those that are the future.)
Obviously could not disagree more. DCB was, is and always will be a wet, which is why he has joined the Tories. He is however right that there is no plan in UKIP to achieve its long-term aims. Its plan consists of growing membership and building a pot of money to get as many MEPs elected as it can, not realising that no one outside the bubble could care less about the Euros. Then comes the general election and epic failure, splits, rifts and leadership changes ensue (two choices - Farage on the throne or Farage behind the throne). The bright, enthusiastic new members piss off in disgust.
And if UKIP is a pressure group - why does it waste its member's money and effort on standing in elections it cannot win? There are other ways of gaining political influence and a voice and many of them are more effective in this era of mass disillusionment with conventional politics as Dr North has pointed out. UKIP standing to fail in every General Election has the same effect as the 'March against the debt' - it shows the establishment and the eco-socialists that we are weak and that they can ignore us with impunity. If UKIP is a party then it has to act like one - it has to contest elections on the full range of policies which influence the way people vote. Time and again it has been shown that EU issues are low down the public list of priorities at General Elections and that UKIP is a sidelined irrelevance. A superior medium for educating people about the EU has to be found.
Like most Eurosceptics you over-emphasise the talents of Farage simply because he says things you like to hear. The mark of a really good orator is to change minds and to impress even those who abjectly disagree. Farage simply preaches very effectively to the choir. People who don't agree with his basic points find him invariably irritating or slimy.