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Beware the Tories

The defection of Douglas Carswell was great news.  However we must be wary.  Whilst I believe that Carswell defected for all the right reasons, others following him might not.  Carswell  had not altered his opinions, but the Tory party had moved away from him, and he remained true to his convictions.

I feel sorry for the selected candidate for Clacton, Roger Lord, and I think that this situation could have been handled a bit better as far as he is concerned.  But I think that this is an opportunity that cannot be missed and the greater good of the party (and eventually the country) has to be given priority over the individual.  A Westminster seat before the general election will give us a much bigger voice during the election campaign.  This may, however, prove an advantage for Roger.  In a general election Roger would have little chance of succeeding against Carswell in Clacton, due to his personal popularity there, but if he can be selected for another constituency he may have a better chance by virtue of a sympathy vote for the way he has been treated.  I sincerely hope to see both men in Westminster next May.

So much for the advantages of the situation.  There is talk of other Tories coming over to us, and while this sounds like good news it may be the start of something not quite so advantageous to the party.  What we have to beware of in the future is rats leaving a sinking Tory ship, and trying to use UKIP as a vehicle to maintain their parliamentary meal tickets.  We must be very careful about the sincerity of Tory defectors, even if they bring a parliamentary seat with them.  Most of the rats that defect will be concerned solely with their own interests, and should not cause much trouble, but we must beware of Trojan horse sleepers that join the party to try and change our policy on the EU or try to inflict as much damage to the party as possible.  We must carefully examine the voting records and past statements of any Tory who wants to defect.

Those who appear to be insincere, but bring a parliamentary seat with them, should be allowed to join, but it must be made clear to them that their defection is not an automatic guarantee that they will be selected as candidates for any constituency in future elections.  This should weed out those who want to join us purely to further their own interests and don’t give a hoot about their constituents.  The whole essence of UKIP is to get rid of the venal, corrupt occupants of Westminster, and replace them with honest UKIP members, who can be trusted to do their best for their constituents.  Putting the same people back in Westminster, albeit under new management, may not go down too well with the electorate, and lose us votes.

There is also something else to be considered.  We are never going to get to be a significant presence in Westminster unless we can attract a significant amount of the Labour vote.  We are not going to appeal to Labour voters if we seem to be morphing into a Tory party mark two.  Hopefully our policies will appeal to the ordinary working man who makes up a lot of the Labour vote, and probably feels betrayed by Labour.  We must not be seen to be cosying up to the Tories, and there should be NO DEALS with any Tory MPs in the general election.

Politically, we live in interesting times.  If we play our cards right we can make a real impression on British politics.  I hope that the scenarios that I have described above will not materialise for us to fall into such pitfalls.  I look forward to seeing Douglas Carswell totally demolish the Lib/Lab/Con at the Clacton By Election, and hope it is the first of many such results.

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About Phillip Smith (43 Articles)
Phillip Smith is a retired aircraft maintenance engineer and former serviceman. He has been a member of UKIP since 1995.

8 Comments on Beware the Tories

  1. So much about UKIP resembles the SDP. Remember them? New
    party. Represented a new politics. Shot to a high position in the opinion
    polls. People breaking away from existing parties. People coming in who had not
    previous involvement with politics. The need to set up completely new local organisations.

    The Clacton situation is not exactly the same as the Glasgow Hillhead situation but there are similarities. A Liberal candidate had been selected to fight the seat at the next General Election when the sitting Tory MP died, resulting in a by-election. The Liberals and the SDP agreed that Roy Jenkins (SDP) would fight the seat and the Liberal candidate gave way. However, unlike Clacton, this was all organised in a perfectly harmonious way. The result was that Roy Jenkins went onto win the seat in the by-election, although only by a small majority. And the Liberal candidate who stood down? Where is he now? He is now a Member of the Scottish Parliament – as a member of the Scottish National Party. One other person with a connection to Hillhead is Vince Cable. He was a Labour Party candidate in Hillhead in 1970.

    Sounds like some people’s heads need banging together if Roger Lord only found out about Douglas Carswell on the television. What crass stupidity and insensitivity. People making silly comments about Hitler. A UKIP candidate bundled out without warning. Strikes me that some people in UKIP have got a lot to learn.

  2. I posted on the telegraph blog that Mr lord was treated unfairly, i know this was not done deliberately by UKIP but a silly over site but he is due a public apology from all concerned. However hard done by (and he had very right to feel angry) going bleating to the press first before trying to solve his disputes in house first was in my mind a mistake. Talking to the left wing shrill James O’Brian on LBC was for me very politically naive. Mr Lord should have taking a step back and looked at the bigger picture. Alas he has now properly lost most of the sympathy he so rightfully deserves. I hope he stays on in UKIP as we do need dedicated loyal people like him. If he turns back on UKIP and joins the Tory party as he has suggested he might, then i would question his political motives.

  3. Great article, lots of Common Sense. Hopefully Head Office occasionally look at these articles and consider what’s been said

  4. I think the BBC’s focus on Roger Lord the day after the Douglas Carswell announcement was a typical instance of the BBC trying to hole UKIP’s boat, and Roger was wrong to go along with it. I understand that Nigel could not afford to try to square Roger before the announcement but I agree someone senior should have spoken to him within the next 24 hours , which Roger (who strikes me as a man of some integrity) says did not happen. There will definitely be other defectors to come – the NEC urgently needs to come up with a “defector policy”. We can’t afford to faff around with problems each time we get a defector – the key consideration is that WE GET OUR COUNTRY BACK

  5. BitMiffedButOk // September 1, 2014 at 9:22 pm //

    I think the party’s handling of Roger Lord is lamentable. I believe that
    Douglas Carswell is the right chap for the job, but I also believe that
    how the party has virtually blanked Mr Lord is out of order. A UKIP
    press release on this issue would be most helpful. A question that needs
    asking is this- if hardworking UKIP members agree to stand during the
    GE, and a Tory (or Labour for that matter) MP defects, will the prior
    candidate also be nudged out of the way? This is a situation that we
    could have well done without- it’s giving people an excuse to say that
    UKIP are no different than the other parties. And that is not true. But
    the fact remains that Mr Lord was selected by his branch as candidate
    and then effectively de-selected by head office. Is this really the
    ‘Peoples Army’? My argument is not that Mr Carswell shouldn’t be the
    candidate for Clacton, but rather that Mr Lord should have been treated
    with a little more respect. I hope we as a party learn from this, and I
    hope Mr Lord continues to support us as it would be a damn shame to lose
    such a loyal UKIPper in such a shameful fashion. I love UKIP- it’s the
    only party that rekindled my hope and interest in politics- so PLEASE
    don’t become as the Tories, Labour, Greens, and those other ones. We
    need to be honourable in our dealings with all our members. Ok, rant
    over 🙂 Vote UKIP!

    • I believe that a lot of us felt this way about the mis-handling of Mr. Lord. Let us hope he is a forgiving sort of a guy!

  6. Stephen Barraclough // September 1, 2014 at 9:10 pm //

    I am also concerned for the medium term, if we start taking in dis-affected Tory MPs and their bargain is to ‘bring their seat’ with them! However, should they change party allegiance, resign from the Tory party AND JOIN UKIP AS AN ORDINARY MEMBER then seek selection along with and in direct competition with other UKIP hopefuls, THAT IS ‘a different kettle of fish’. Those I would give a warm welcome to – as I would to ‘ordinary’ conservative OR LABOUR party member! Their branch should be able to fairly easily assess their commitment long before (IF A ‘TROJAN HORSE’) they were in a position to do any serious harm to UKIP. The main thing is that we DO need new, keenly committed political-minded members in some considerable numbers, who understand that the ‘old way of thinking’ IS OVER, and that the members’ feelings and wishes are THE PARAMOUNT INFLUENCE on policy AND strategy from now on!

  7. I agree that Roger Lord was a little hard-done-by and suggest he should have been told of the party’s decision before hearing it announced on television. Perhaps, as a consolation, he could be found a prospective candidacy that he might just win.

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