Saturday, March 20, 2010

No change then

I really was going to leave UKIP alone for a bit, since I have spent rather a lot of blogging time on them recently. Nevertheless, I need to mention UKIP and, in particular, Lord Pearson of Rannoch, if only indirectly. The main character in my tale today is the Boy-King of the Conservative Party who has made another speech today, this time in Putney, in which he has promised to take on vested interests in order to effect change. Like President Obama Margaret Thatcher did.

No, he is not going to cut down on politicians or their emoluments, on civil servants and other regulators and he is, most certainly, not going to take on the colleagues in Brussels. Heaven forfend. He is .... tadaaa .... going to tax bankers more. They must return the money they received in those bail-outs.

Of course, this blog and EUReferendum were against those bail-outs but I do not recall the Boy-King making any kind of forceful comments on the subject. However, taxing banks because they are banks and, just possibly, that will be a popular policy sounds to me like economic ignorance. This country relies rather heavily on its financial sector and banks are rather useful, quite apart from bankers being a heavily taxed part of the community already.

Nor is the talk about world-wide harmonization of taxes on banks gets us anywhere (I am not linking because there is so much of this talk around the place). It all rests on the assumption that there are not many places outside Britain, other West European countries and the United States where banks can go to. Well, I have news for these people: there is the whole of South-East Asia where countries are salivating at the thought of us crippling our financial sector.

Looking at ToryBoy blog today I find there are several interesting postings. One quotes the great Daniel Hannan, soi-disant eurosceptic and would-be leader of a controlled tea-party movement. Hannan is indulging in his usual politicking: he is calling on eurosceptics not to vote for UKIP as only the Conservative Party can possibly save this country from many things, including the European Union. How is that going to be accomplished?
What I’d ideally like – and what I assume my UKIP readers also aspire to – is a situation where UKIP no longer needs to exist: where it can award itself a medal and retire with honour, job done. Obviously, we’re not at that point yet. But I worry that every activist who deserts the Tories for UKIP is retarding the prospects of a Euro-sceptic Conservative Party without taking his or her energies to an alternative party of government.
Indeed. After all, the development of that Euro-sceptic Conservative Party has been so successful. They are really getting there cast-iron guarantee by cast-iron guarantee. What Daniel Hannan would really like is for the Conservatives to swallow and pre-empt any kind of real opposition.

Above that posting we see another rather sad result in the polls for the Conservatives, which makes me laugh as I was told today by one rather pompous member of that party that it is not my vote they are looking for. Change, he added idiotically. I suggested very politely that they might not have had my vote in the last few elections either and added that they appear to be saying that to most people: it is not your vote we are looking for. It appears from polls and local by-elections that the people are giving the response one would expect: fine, you are not getting it either.

For what it's worth I still think the Conservatives will have the largest number of seats in the Commons. But the mere fact that this is now a matter for discussions at the end of the third term of an unpopular and incompetent government shows some kind of political genius on the part of the Boy-King and his courtiers.

Below the Hannan-worship (which is not shared by the comments, incidentally) there are two postings, one by Tim Montgomerie and one by Jonathan Isaby on the Cameron speech. Both emphasise Cameron taking on those vested interests and sounding like the leader of an anti-establishment party. Well, of course the Conservatives are anti-establishment. Did you not know that? Oh you didn't? Well, never mind.

My question is very simple: is it entirely a coincidence that the day after Lord Pearson's well-publicized speech in which he pointed out that UKIP was the only party to stand up to the entire political establishment the Boy-King decides to use the same theme for his own pronoucements? Could they be more worried about UKIP than they admit?


  1. See also

  2. Afraid I am not a great believer in a European constitution of any kind, much as I agree with the details of your proposal. After all, a constitution implies that it is a single political body.