In the meantime, UKIP's Spring Conference has produced some media attention, which is never a bad thing. No less a person than Michael White of the Guardian has written an article about the party and its conference, in particular about its new members, many of whom are young and glamorous and who, thus, change the old image the party has presented. To be absolutely honest, Michael White is a little behind the times. That old image is very out of date. Any UKIP conference of the last few years would have shown a fair proportion of young faces among the older ones.
For a long time now UKIP has attracted young supporters, many of whom find the other parties somewhat pointless and disillusioning. Whether they stay long enough or make a difference to UKIP's outlook is another matter but they are certainly there.
Star of the show seems to have been the delightful Alexandra Swan (well, she sounds delightful) whom Mr White describes:
No, the new Tory defector whose scornful tone might have rattled Cameron was Alexandra Swann.
Smartly dressed and well-spoken, sporting long blonde hair and 3in heels, she does not fit the Ukip stereotype. No blazer and regimental tie, no beard or beer gut, Swann is researching a PhD on 19th century social Darwinism and the small state. She is also 23, a political anorak since 16, former deputy chairman of the Tory youth wing and a visible blogosphere presence.Ms Swan made her appearance in the Irish Times as well, where she was photographed with the Leader. (I must admit they both looked like escapees from any Conservative Party Conference but, one cannot deny the fact, that they were smart.)
Of course, as Stewart Wheeler reminded the conference remains in the mid-sixties but that just shows that UKIP is no different from other political parties except when it comes to winning elections. Then again, we have a government made up of two parties, neither of whom managed to win the last General Election and one of whom did considerably worse than expected or predicted.)
Nor is the libertarian message, occasionally promoted by the Leader, which attracts people like Ms Swan (and others I have spoken to on various occasions) is always prominent. A good many of UKIPers at the Conference and off it prefer a message of protectionism and anti-immigrants of all kinds, whether they work or claim benefits. Libertarians, of course, Libertarians like Ms Swan (I assume from her self-description) believe in free trade and think people should be able to get jobs wherever those exist but nobody should claim benefits. That is not necessarily a winning formula but neither has the traditional UKIP message been so far except in the European elections.
At the risk of attracting yet more ridiculous personal attacks I have to repeat: UKIP has the potential to change the face of British politics; it has had that potential for years but nothing much has happened. Should they not stop simply shouting "huzza, huzza" whenever the Leader appears, pat each other on the back, assure each other that next time they will definitely win but, instead, sit down and work out what has gone wrong so far and what needs to be changed. Strategy should not be a dirty word.