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COULD UKIP, the BRITISH version of the TEA PARTY, REALIGN BRITISH POLITICS?

I have been writing for weeks about the remarkable rise of UKIP, the United Kingdom Independence Party.  Someone asked Tom White:  Why all the articles about British politics?

I told Tom:  Tell ’em I have Aspergers!

But really I am interested in UKIP because it is in many ways like the Tea Party in US politics.  There are some emphasis on social issues in UKIP but the primary issue is independence and sovereignty for the UK from the EU superstate.  Tea Party activists are not all social conservatives.  The issues driving Tea Party members are respect for the Constitution, control taxing, spending and debt and stop runaway intrusive government.  The anti-EU platform can affect millions.  The UK ought to be able to deny prisoners the vote, deport suspected terrorists, and allow weights and measures to be sold in pounds.  The EU wants to regulate HOW olive oil is eaten!  They also said it was false advertising for bottled water manufacturers to say it prevents dehydration!  Their vision of Europe is a United States of Europe – a super empire not unlike the USSR.  Not formed of states who wanted to be united like the US but rather by elites seeking power for themselves at the expense of their nation.

There is now evidence that UKIP could even become the new Conservative Party.  Yes that’s right.  In the US, the Tea Party is an interest group in the GOP.   But in the UK, it is a separate political party.  I have shown that they can take power with much less than a majority.  UKIP also seems to draw from Labourites as well as Tories:

The political assumption has long been that all UKIPpers are disaffected Tories, but this is a flawed generalisation. Lord Ashcroft’s polling [PDF] found that UKIP voters in 2010 were as likely to identify with Labour as they were with the Conservatives. Tories are the largest party group among those considering supporting UKIP at 31%, but they are outnumbered by the 33% who feel no affinity to any party at all – and Labour supporters make up 21% of the total.

This is compounded by a fascinating analysis of local election data by Survation which shows that the composition of UKIP’s voter base is not static, but changes as their level of support rises.

Up to 16% in the polls, the bulk of their new votes come from Conservatives – but past that point, the majority of their new switchers come from Labour. As the only party to secure over 20% in both South Shields and Eastleigh, it is clear their performance is more complex than simply capturing outrage in Tunbridge Wells (though they perform well there, too).

All I can say is wow.  Now UKIP is only 2 points behind the Conservative Party in a recent poll.  If there is a by-election in the right district in the next few weeks, or if there is a UKIP sweep of the EU elections in 2014, there could be mass defections.  There is scared talk in the Tory halls of power right now:

Cameron reached out after senior Tories, who were enraged by allegations that the Tory co-chairman Lord Feldman had made disparaging remarks about Tory activists, warned of a sea change in the parliamentary party as growing numbers of MPs decide that the prime minister is becoming a liability. Feldman strenuously denied the allegations which he described as “completely untrue”.

But senior figures indicated that the chairman of the Conservative backbench 1922 committee, Graham Brady, was expected to receive further letters calling for a confidence vote. Brady, who is understood to have been sent a limited number in recent months, will have to call a vote if he receives at least 46.

Some think UKIP leader Farage is a better choice for PM than PM Cameron!  The Daily Mail’s report sounds like the wheels may be falling off the Tory party.  Six Conservative councillors have defected to UKIP:

It is expected to trigger a fresh round of defections from the Tory party to UKIP among local councillors as well as rank and file activists.

Six members of the Conservative group on Merton council in south London have announced they are switching.

“It” is the comments by a “senior Tory ally” of the Prime Minister described TORY activists as “mad, swivel-eyed loons.”  Here is an article saying there are defections to UKIP:

Local Conservative party campaigners, including the chairman of one constituency association, will this week pledge their support for Nigel Farage after one of David Cameron’s allies described grassroots Tories as “mad, swivel-eyed loons”.

Can you imagine Mitt Romney calling GOP Tea Party activists “mad,swivel-eyed loons”?  Maybe the Tory party is indeed irretrievably broken.  UKIP needs to have the platform to have a solid conservative party.  No more gay marriage:  Rather take marriage out of the code, set up civil unions, and protect the church to say what it believes the Bible says.  Not yet touch the abortion laws.  Protect Christians and other religious believers.  By all means show what will happen if no more EU rules, regulations and judicial decisions binding upon the UK.

The question can only be placed openly:  Will someone seek Cameron’s party position and if so, will it be a euroskeptic or europhile?  (Now if there was a serious party challenge from a wonderful libertarian like MP Steve Baker, that would be a good development.)

A pro-European Tory member of the House of Lords, said this:

Mr Cameron was also strongly criticised by Lord Howe, the former Conservative Chancellor who helped bring down Margaret Thatcher.

He said Mr Cameron was ‘losing control’ of the party after pandering to Eurosceptics by offering an in/out referendum. Lord Howe, who also served as Foreign Secretary, accused Mr Cameron of ‘running scared’ of his own MPs and UKIP.

Lord Howe also said that “…deep anti-Europeanism” is now “infect[ing] the soul of the party.”  I am appalled:  What country do you give allegiance to, Lord Howe?  If the United Kingdom, then support her!  If Europe, than you ought not be in the Lords!

AND the Tories expect UKIP to win the EU parliament elections in 2014:

David Cameron expects the UK Independence Party to win next year’s European Parliament elections despite his pledge to hold an in/out referendum on Europe.

A senior Conservative source said it was now taken as a ‘reasonable assumption’ in Downing Street that UKIP would top the poll next May – sparking a fresh round of Tory bloodletting on Europe just 12 months before the General Election.

My thoughts, unsolicited, is that UKIP needs to come up with a realistic alternative to the EU.  Libertarian and anti-EU think tanks should fill the bill. It shouldn’t be difficult.  If the Tories sack PM Cameron, that might save the party – if they draw a strong euro-skeptic.  But if they do not, there could be true realignment.  UKIP can study the voters it needs to get the 36% it needs to come to power and restore British sovereignty.  Remember, UKIP’s fight is our fight.

 

 

About Elwood Sanders

Elwood “Sandy” Sanders is a Hanover attorney who is an Appellate Procedure Consultant for Lantagne Legal Printing and has written ten scholarly legal articles. Sandy was also Virginia’s first Appellate Defender and also helped bring curling in VA! (None of these titles imply any endorsement of Sanders’ views)

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    Tom White Says:

    Nothing is more conservative than a republican wanting to get their majority back. And nothing is more liberal than a republican WITH a majority.

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