Saturday, 5 November 2011

The Tory Delusion

The blog The View from Cullingworth has a post titled Why UKIP members should join the Conservative Party. It contains the usual Tory clichés which have been wheeled out for years if not decades. I posted a lengthy comment in response (Now approved) which I reproduce here:
If I may, as a UKIP supporter, I would like to respond to a number of points that you raise in your post.

Firstly I get the impression that you're implying that UKIP is an exile party for former Tories. This is simply not the case. It derives its support right across the political spectrum. For example one of its heartlands is in the South West which is Lib Dem territory and one of UKIP's best recent performances was in Barnsley - a Labour stronghold. Asking UKIP members who used to be Lib Dem or Labour to vote Tory is a bit of a long shot to say the least. I personally have never voted Tory and am very unlikely to ever do so.

The second point I would like to make is the loose term of the word Eurosceptic - it is a term that is often misused. The vast majority of Tories want to stay in the EU.

You write "that half the backbenches in parliament supported an in/out referendum reflects that fact" That is not entirely true, the motion also contained an option to "repatriate powers" which means continuing membership - this what attracted backbencher support. The vast majority of Tory MPs agree with this latter option as indicated by your comment here: "My Party becomes more opposed to the continuation of EU integration with each passing day."

Repatriation of powers, though technically possible is not going to happen. Technically it's possible for me to land on the moon but the chances of it happening is precisely zero. Arguing for repatriation woefully misunderstands 'ever closer union' and the process of acquis communautaire. Euroscepticism is a term used to try to keep the Tory faithful on board while keeping EU membership - it is a deception.

And that leads me on to my third and more important point - that the Tories are not eurosceptic.

Andrew Carnegie once said “As I grow older, I pay less attention to what men say. I just watch what they do.”. This most definitely applies to Tories. In nearly 40 years, despite the rhetoric, they have:
  1. Entered the EEC on a lie (read the 1971 internal document FCO 30/1048)
  2. Campaigned in the 1975 referendum for a yes vote, including Thatcher
  3. Passed the Single European Act
  4. Shadowed the Deutschmark in preparation to enter the ERM.
  5. Entered the ERM which directly lead to the early '90s recession
  6. Passed the Maastricht Treaty
  7. Have become, in Roger Helmer's words the most pro-EU government ever, since elected in 2010.
Actions speak louder than words and no amount of rhetoric can cover the fact that the Tories cannot wait to constantly integrate further.

To use a football analogy; I have supported my team for over 25 years, in that time I've criticised players, managers and the board but every year I still renew my season ticket. That makes me a supporter not a sceptic. And the same is true of Tories, despite the criticism of some aspects of the EU, when that EU season ticket renewal comes up they gleefully renew. They are supporters not sceptics.

Then there's this comment: So long as UKIP leaches those votes, there will not be such a majority and we'll remain on that seemingly inexorable course to a federal Europe. Leaving aside the question of 'Tories are Euroscpetic' as countered above this assertion has been my experience for a long time as a PPC and a local candidate. Tories have a habit of accusing UKIP of 'stealing our votes' or 'splitting the vote so Labour gets in'. Not mine or UKIPs problem I'm afraid, party polices are rather like goods in a shop, if no one wants to buy them that's the shop's fault not the customers. The solution to the Tories haemorrhaging voters and members is to look in the mirror.

And it's for those reasons that I will never support them or any other of the main parties.
Update: Simon Cooke (Magus), author of the post, has tweeted rather weakly, in my view, that all of his comments miss the point. In what way? I'm happy to be corrected. I suspect I won't be because, rather than miss the point, the comments tell an inconvenient truth.


  1. Your comment has been approved now.

    I think Simon Cooke is one of the good guys, as is his local Tory MP Philip Davis.

    But he's been given a right telling off in the comments.

    Maybe it's time for him to defect to UKIP ;-)

  2. Thanks Curmudgeon, will amend post. And so he should get a telling off - the Tory record hasn't changed in decades ;-)

  3. A good posting TBF. I used to be a Conservative voter but haven't been so for a few years now. I am a member of UKIP, mainly because I can't identify another party that I even remotely believe stands a chance of acquiring sufficient support that it will have to put its money where its mouth is. I hope UKIP gains in strength and therefore brings us out of the EU socialist reich. But as you quote Andrew Carnegie, I am only interested in deeds, for words are cheap.

  4. Thanks for your kind comment JiC. Like you, I suspect, I have no other political home to go to. As you say deeds not words, that's what we need.

  5. I wrote to my MP, Stephen Phillips, to ask that he vote in favour of a referendum.
    He wrote back, quickly too, but although expressing somewhat "Eurosceptic" views, he still said he'd vote against the motion, seems he was elected to support the PM, not me!
    He's already on the payroll, serving on some committee about the EU.
    I've put UKIP as my first preference for EU elections for some years, since there's really nothing to chose between the two major parties on the subject, nor on "Climate Change", for that matter, I'm voting UKIP at the next General Election too.

  6. The Tories have several problems:

    They've tried to woo the floating voters with the idea that they are refreshingly different to Nu Labour while being reassuringly the same.

    With their traditional supporters they've overplayed the fear of letting Labour in. Under Cameron in particular, it's obvious there's no substantive difference and so nothing to fear.

    On the EU, they're finally being asked to call heads or tails and their answer is heals and if that isn't acceptable argue it's possible for a tossed penny to land and remain balanced on its edge.

  7. Curmudgeon, Simon Cooke can't be one of the good guys when he encourages people to join a party that takes the opposing view to his own by following an integrationist agenda.

    I note with interest he has failed to engage with commenters on his post thread. Instead he went on Twitter to say people have missed the point - while failing to articulate what point that is.

    Cooke is just another tribal Tory putting party before principle, like Mark Reckless and Steve Baker.

  8. What a joke. The simple question for people like that guy is what the hell are they doing in the Tory Party if they don't believe in being ruled by Brussels?

    Even the ones that voted for a referendum were voting for a hamstrung compromise, due to the insertion of the repatriation option.

    Better an open adversary than a sneaky, treacherous friend who puts his arms around you only to stick the knife in your back.

  9. My MP, Fallon, whom I urged to vote for it, weaseled out of the referendum vote with, "I am strongly Euro-sceptic but...". You can guess the rest, ways of achieving these aims, change through proper channels, etc., etc., bollocks

    UKIP is the home for true Tories, not the other way around - DC's conservatives are a party going nowhere except (hopefully) towards oblivion.

  10. Surely any political party seeking your vote or membership should be asked the following question.

    Do you believe that the United Kingdom should be an insependent self governing democracy?

    Along with the Lib Dims and Labour the Conservative party would have to say No to that one.

    Perhaps im naive but it really is that simple!!