Friday, October 17, 2014

Lord Pearson speaks

In this week's Spectator there is an article by and an attached podcast by Lord Pearson of Rannoch, a man who appears frequently on this blog. He explains why it will not be UKIP's fault if David Cameron and the Conservatives lose in the next election (at present that is still unlikely but one cannot tell what might happen in the next seven months) and why they should have listened to him and Lord Willoughby de Broke in 2009 and formed some kind of an alliance.

Curiously, he explains that the offer was to stand aside in 2010, something that most of UKIP would not have agreed to in any case, if the Conservatives were to make a binding promise to hold an IN/OUT referendum.

Neither UKIP nor the Conservative grass-roots would have agreed to a deal. When Lord Pearson, as temporary Leader of UKIP, called for candidates to stand down in constituencies where, according to him, the Conservative candidates were Eurosceptic, there was an uproar in his own party. I wonder if Lord Pearson recalls that uproar and his attempts to soothe his own party's sensibilities.

Secondly, there is no such thing as a binding promise or a promise that UKIP members will believe to be binding. David Cameron has promised to hold a referendum in 2017 and UKIP do not believe him. Neither, apparently do Douglas Carswell MP, who believed it until this April or Mark Reckless former MP, who believed it till August.

I admire Lord Pearson for the good work he has done and continues to do but even he cannot make much sense of what UKIP's intentions are as is clear from this:
But now the moment has passed; Ukip is no longer largely a Conservative protest group. We are supported by many former Labour voters and a chunk of the 40 per cent who have never voted before. Once again Cameron has said ‘absolutely not’ to any hint of co-operation and I’m afraid most people in Ukip now feel: ‘What the hell — what’s the difference between the others anyway?’ The party’s message has become ‘Vote Ukip and get Ukip, with enough seats to hold the balance of power.’
Nothing on the political scene indicates the UKIP will get enough seats to hold the balance of power (one Conservative MP keeping his seat under a different flag is no proof). Nor do we know what exactly do they intend to do should such a miracle occur.

Still, readers might be interested in reading the article as a whole and listening to the podcast.

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