Features

Ukip, the gateway drug — how Cameron can exploit Nigel Farage

Cameron must appeal not to the party’s leadership but to its voters

28 September 2013

9:00 AM

28 September 2013

9:00 AM

David Cameron heads to the Tory conference in Manchester in a far better position than he would have dared hope a year ago. Labour’s opinion poll lead is shrinking, the economy is finally recovering and Ed Miliband is running out of time to persuade the country that he’s a potential Prime Minister. Ordinarily, the Tory tribe would be in high spirits — but there is a spectre haunting this conference, which almost no one dares name: Ukip. Nigel Farage’s insurgent party is fast becoming an existential threat to the Tory party.

The right in Britain is fractured — and fractured movements don’t win elections. In the 1980s, Margaret Thatcher romped to victory against a left that was split between Labour and the SDP. Now the left is united, with Labour welcoming back left- leaning Liberal Democrat supporters who have quit in disgust at the coalition. The 2015 election will pit a united left against a divided right.

This is, in no small part, the Prime Minister’s fault. When Cameron became leader in 2005, he calculated that the right of the party had nowhere to go. He husky-hugged and assumed that, however much those on the right grumbled, they would still vote Tory. After he was forced into coalition with the Liberal Democrats, Cameron compounded the problem by ignoring those in his party whom he has never felt comfortable with. The result: more and more support seeping away to Ukip. In the last 18 months or so, Cameron has begun to address the problem. But these efforts have yet to bear fruit.

Unless Cameron can think of a way to solve the Ukip problem, it will be nigh-on impossible for him to win a majority in 2015 — or any other general election. Ukip will not win many seats, but it is eating into the Tory vote in the most vulnerable areas. Recent polling by Lord Ashcroft shows Ukip at 11 per cent in the 32 key battleground seats and Labour winning every one of them off the Tories. Given that British elections are decided in the marginal constituencies, that suggests Cameron faces something of a crisis.

Many Tories have decided they can’t wait for Cameron to win back the voters he has alienated. The only hope, they argue, is a formal electoral pact. They propose that the two parties should field joint candidates. Advocates of this position — including a surprising number of MPs — point out that together the two parties command well over 40 per cent of the vote, enough to deliver a comfortable right-wing majority.

However attractive the Tory-Ukip proposition might look at first glance, it is seriously flawed. Any merger would only work if the two parties could bring their voters with them — and there’s no guarantee they could do that. It would also admit defeat, formally ceding the electoral territory that the Tories need if they are to win elections. Worst of all, the Tories would be hitching themselves to a party that is not quite ready for professional politics.


The Ukip conference in London last weekend was meant to be a coming-of-age moment. Instead, it was a shambles — a reminder of how much growing up the party still has to do. Godfrey Bloom, one of its senior spokesmen, decided to play word games with the word ‘slut’ and then compounded the damage by bopping a journalist over the head. It was, even Nigel Farage conceded, a disaster which ‘destroyed’ the Ukip conference and led to Bloom’s suspension from the party. If the Tories were formally aligned to Ukip, such antics would have done them immense damage.

Those who want a merger also don’t appreciate what Farage really wants. His objective is not to be elected but to transform the Tory party, a mission that he needs a change of leader and an election defeat to complete. As he put it to me last year, ‘You change it from without.’

The Tories have tried to bring Farage back into the fold. Before the 2005 election, there was talk of a safe seat and hints of a front-bench role. But Farage refused because, as he told The Spectator a few months ago, ‘I’ve always thought that Ukip could be something fascinating, could really be a huge catalyst in British politics.’ His aim is the right being remade in his own libertarian image — not a cobbled-together electoral pact.

At present, the main Tory strategy for dealing with Ukip is to hope and pray. They hope that the Ukip vote will collapse as polling day nears. They pray that ultimately Ukip voters will balk at putting the pro-Europe, pro-Human Rights Act, pro-green-energy Ed Miliband into No. 10. Tory strategists point to how Ukip polled close to 20 per cent in the European election in 2009 and then got only 3 per cent of the vote at the general election less than a year later — they see it as a soufflé party that will crumble at the first firm tap. They are confident that voters can distinguish ‘between elections that really matter and elections that don’t’.

The Tory hierarchy continues to abide by the mantra that the first rule for dealing with Ukip is not to mention Ukip. I’m told that there’ll be no reference to them in the big conference speeches — although one can be sure that the question of what to do about Ukip will dominate conversations on the fringe and in the bars.

A better solution to the Ukip problem is for Cameron to seek a pact not with the Ukip leadership but with its voters — including those who are ex-Labour. If Cameron plays this right, voting Ukip could become the gateway drug to voting Tory for disillusioned Labour voters. Having already slipped the bond of tribal allegiance, they are more likely to be open to persuasion that the Tories are capable of representing them.

To do this, Cameron doesn’t need a new European policy—the pledge of an in-out referendum has not made Ukip go away. But he does need to understand that Ukip is successfully pitching itself as a party of the working class. It now has the support of a fifth of C2DE, the groups that make up blue-collar Britain.

These voters worry that the benefits system has been corrupted. So the Tory emphasis on welfare reform does appeal to them. George Osborne’s benefits cap has addressed some of the most egregious abuses of the system, and I understand that the Tories will have more to say about tough-love welfare next week. But the same voters also think that big companies are making profits at their expense. So Ed Miliband’s new populist socialism — with its promise to cap energy bills — also strikes a chord.

Cameron needs to do what he can to show these voters that he, not Miliband, is their true champion. An obvious area on which he can do this is immigration, the single biggest issue for Ukip supporters. Nick Boles, a Tory moderniser, has advocated denying welfare to any immigrant who has never worked here, something that he insists is possible under existing EU rules.

But Cameron must go further and insist that he will use the upcoming EU renegotiation to challenge the fact that anyone from any EU country can come and seek work here.

He also needs to make clear, however, that he cannot deliver the kind of common- sense policies that many Ukip voters want unless they support him. As Nick Clegg made clear in his conference speech, the Liberal Democrats will veto any attempt to ditch the Human Rights Act, reform the Equalities Act and reduce green energy subsidies. The presence of the Liberal Democrats in government would also bind Cameron’s hands when it comes to any EU renegotiation.

Many Cameroons will find this emphasis on winning over Ukip supporters distasteful. But they must understand that the alternative to wooing these voters is the Tories losing power. Cameron has 20 months to reunite the right. If he can’t do this, the Tories won’t be a party of government any more.

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  • Mors Magne

    I’m a member of UKIP (it’s UKIP by the way – not Ukip – nobody writes that they live in the Uk) and I’d say that this whole article is copy-and-paste propaganda from Conservative central office.

    The solution offered above is delivered in one line towards the bottom – “…EU renegotiation…”. Is this the renegotiation that will not happen until after the next general election? If the author had put this ‘solution’ in the first sentence he would have saved everybody a lot of time because there wouldn’t have been any point in reading the rest of it.

    Most people realise by now that the EU isn’t the sort of organisation to give powers back – and certainly not quickly. For example, an enormous fanfare was made that David Cameron had reduced funding to the EU. Six months later and it transpires that every bit of those decisions has been stopped or reversed through bureaucratic processes.

    UKIP is a completely different animal to the Conservative Party and all suggestions there should be a pact is met by visceral disgust by me and everybody I know who is a member of UKIP – including Nigel Farage.

    • ScaryBiscuits

      I’d say that this whole article is copy-and-paste propaganda from Conservative central office
      I think you can safely say that of anything Forsyth writes.

      • Iain Hill

        Surely it is Yookip?

    • Flora Crane

      It’s Ukip because you pronounce it as a word, like Nato and Tardis. If it were pronounced Yoo-Kay-Eye-Pee, it would then be UKIP.

  • Druth

    For :

    “… that ultimately Ukip voters will balk at putting the pro-Europe, pro-Human Rights Act, pro-green-energy Ed Miliband into No. 10.”

    Read :

    ” … ultimately Ukip voters will balk at putting the pro-Europe, pro-Human Rights Act, pro-green-energy David Cameron into No. 10.”

  • TimHedges

    I’m fed up with the ‘what can we do about UKIP’ schtick. The Tories could destroy UKIP by the PM promising to lead the sceptics – and vote with them – in favour of leaving the EU. This also solves a great part of the immigration issue because we could limit the entry of Bulgarians etc which the Tories can’t at the moment.
    Cameron won’t do that because he is pro-EU, so he will be a historical footnote in Socialist Britain come 2015.

    • saffrin

      I think the fact Cameron has lasted so long should tell us all there are few eurosceptics within the Tory party.

  • dftrtuyuuutt

    The trouble is Cameron does not represent Tory voters any more he is very clearly pro EU because he refused to say he wants out even if he gets no reforms! he also has not done anything to stop immigration or to make sure Brits have jobs, time for UKIP

    Sign petition for UKIP to participate in the 2015 TV General
    Election Debates, over 23,000 have already signed. Please blog, tweet, facebook

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/43153

  • blindsticks

    Many Tories have decided they can’t wait for Cameron to win back the voters he has alienated.

    How depressing that these so called Tories still support this useless prig.

  • procapitalist

    Defecting to UKIP is the rational choice for Thatcherite Tories…. By making UKIP a bigger problem, Cameron will have to placate to UKIP supporters with sounder policies (i.e. ‘pull’ the to the right from the outside). If Cameron does not placate and continues to insult former Tory supporters – then he will lose in 2015, and with the post-mortem analysis revealing the loss was a result of UKIP, then the next Tory leader will address that, and the party will once again have a decent right wing leader….

  • cargill55

    ‘ They pray that ultimately Ukip voters will balk at putting the pro-Europe, pro-Human Rights Act, pro-green-energy Ed Miliband into No. 10.’

    Actually that is the Tory position and you can add to that pro uncontrolled immigration, pro multiculturalism, pro political correctness, pro high tax and spend big state, anti British to get nearer to the Tory disaster under Cameron.

  • cargill55

    ‘ The right in Britain is fractured……………..Now the left is united…………The 2015 election will pit a united left against a divided right.’

    Wrong, the left is united , it is called Liblabcon and UKIP offers a common sense Britain first option to the ideological anti British Liblabcon.

  • cargill55

    ‘ The Ukip conference in London last weekend was meant to be a coming-of-age moment. Instead, it was a shambles’

    Wishful thinking.
    Godfrey Bloom messed up and the anti UKIP MSM took the opportunity to sneer at UKIP, the rest of the conference went without a hitch.
    Zero impact on voters.

    • ogga1

      cargill55

      Just heard J.Vine radio two interview Godfrey, if you found fault with godfreys answers then there is something seriously wrong with your way
      of thinking.
      An ambush and setup start to finish.

    • Lady Magdalene

      Was informed yesterday that membership has now topped 31,000.
      The Conference was so bad, we had another 3 sitting councillors defect to UKIP this week as well.

      • cargill55

        Fantastic.
        The MSM are smearing desperately but it will not work because too many people do not trust the MSM.

    • rtj1211

      Most blog entries I read from voters suggest that Godfrey Bloom was an asset, not a liabiilty to them. After all, Harriet Harman was an ardent supporter of the Paedophile Information Exchange as a young lawyer, which is 100 times worse than anything Bloom has ever done or said. Course, as she’s from titled gentry, no sin will get her kicked out of the Labour Party short of being sent to prison.

      Bad language is unforgiveable, 100,000 dead in Iraq is a minor inconvenience, a little local difficulty, an historical misjudgement.

      Tells you everything you need to know about the MSM, the Establishment in this country.

      Utterly without moral bearings, utterly corrupt and utterly enamoured by the delusion of power.

      • cargill55

        I totally agree there is an msm witch hunt against UKIP which will not go away. but UKIP supporters arestrong enough to deal with it.

    • Two Bob

      The incident got them masses of free publicity. It was seen as them fighting the system.

  • Hmm…I am aware of the difference in importance between which elections are, and those which are not too important.
    I am creeped-out by Ed Milliaband’s ‘return to Socialism’ conference speech.
    As a life-long Conservative voter, I need to reflect and consider which is the more scary.

    Ed Milliband’s proposals, and suffering five years of them – or, David Cameron’s continued insistence that ‘terrorism has nothing to do with Islam’.

    If the opportunity were available in this country, I would vote for Vladimir Putin.
    As it stands, the nearest representative politician – by way of a stress reliever for the general electorate – is Mr Farage.
    Who can fail to like him?

    But….I want to see Mr Gove’s educational reforms through to fruition, IDS’s welfare reforms similarly. I am a firm supporter of both of these men, and believe in their personal integrity. I am hanging on for Social Services to be dyna-rodded, and hence hopefully safeguard our vulnerable babies and small children like baby P, and Daniel Pelka. Toddlers discovered mummified through their misfortune being born to drug and alcohol addicted, inadequate mothers whom enjoy a kind of protected status under labour identity politics.

    I am stressed through the left’s continuing stoking of class war, and manipulation of minorities and the so called, ‘working class’, through divisive identity politics. Ed Miliband sought to dog-whistle the North through stoking grievance, and then flattering – while purporting to stand for ‘one nation Britain’!

    The author is fair and truthful when he describes Mr Bloom’s antics as ‘a play on words’. Thankfully.
    It was hugely refreshing to witness a pioneering retort to political correctness – in both of Mr Bloom’s escapades! And where a theme of Mr Farage’s conference speech, was ‘free speech’.

    I really don’t know, I find myself flip-flopping between deciding to vote for UKIP, or Conservatives under Mr Cameron.

    When Mr Putin banned the teaching of homosexuality in schools, the left were outraged. Despite the big guns shooting off in the Left media, on forums it was evident that the majority of ordinary people felt the same way.
    The same over the Pussy Riot furore.
    The same over Syria. (Though I’m not sure about that one).
    And now, amazingly, Mr Putin’s proscribing of a translation of the Koran, because of it’s incitement to violence.

    Now, if Mr Cameron were to follow suit, he would win by a landslide. That is the singular over-arching issue concerning society today.
    But in all things controversial to the left, and/or risking minority upset and tantrums – he seems more fearful of the Left big -guns shooting off, than relying on the quiet resilience of the stressed silent majority – whom would be hugely supportive and rally behind him.

    • blindsticks

      If the opportunity were available in this country, I would vote for Vladimir Putin.
      As it stands,

      Brave lady.

    • rtj1211

      He absolutely WOULDN’T win by a landslide if he banned the Koran in the UK, because the vast majority of Muslims here are peace loving and hard-working and they’d rightly be absolutely outraged. He’d get zero votes from them.

      He’d lose the votes of every homosexual in the country if he banned homosexuality being discussed openly in school, because young people absolutely need support to discover their true sexual orientation. Of course, if you’d prefer them to enter the priesthood……

      Russia is a very different place to the UK: it hasn’t had mass immigration and during the Cold War its people were completely isolated from the wider world. They didn’t go on gap years, on holiday to Africa, America or Brazil. They lived in a white society with very little democracy and have only known rule by strong leaders. Just remember that Gorbachev was ousted in a coup and Yeltsin sold off state industry to the oligarchs to fund another 4 years of vodka. Those two are the absolute exceptions in Russia.

      All doing what you suggest would do is polarise the votes very starkly.

      I think you’d get 35% supporting Putin and 65% supporting him being locked up after losing the election if he were standing in this country.

      He is a Russian and a leader of Russia.

      He is not British and he certainly wouldn’t lead Britain the same way if he were.

  • fvgfthyyuutu

    There is nothing Cameron can do about UKIP

    Sign petition for UKIP to participate in the 2015 TV General
    Election Debates, over 23,000 have already signed. Please blog, tweet, facebook

    http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/43153

  • The coming Tsunami of Eu migration will put an end to Dave’s hopes and dreams, even the Liblabcon hardcore will be driven to UKIP in number.

    The winds of change are blowing.

    • ogga1

      Dene Lowe
      I look upon it as dave ,ed, and nicks cavalry these people are going to be
      beholding to the pro eu leaders who they will see as saviors, i also believe
      that our last chance to vote and make a difference will be May 2014
      May 2015 after that it will be out of our hands.

  • Peter Stroud

    Unless Cameron, Hague and other top Tories rediscover the Euroscepticism they displayed in opposition, they will lose too many votes to UKIP to ever win the GE outright. They have also to row back on the ridiculous green energy policies: another popular aspect of UKIP policy. The public have seen through the politicisation of science by the UN IPCC; they do not believe in the necessity of covering the countryside with taxpayer subsidised wind generators. They know that the whole CAGW scare is aimed at global wealth distribution. It has little or nothing to do with with the environment.

  • Canterbury City Council by-election results are announced:

    “In a shock result, Mr Bull received 122 votes more than the Conservative candidate Annette Stein.”

    “The turnout was low at 26.1 per cent, with candidates suggesting the poor weather may have played a part.

    Ms Stein, who came in second with 522 votes, was followed by
    Rachel Goodwin, Labour, with 307 votes; Keith Hooker, Liberal Democrat,
    with 147 votes; and Russell Page, Green Party, with 54 votes.

    Votes were counted in just over 90 minutes at the Seasalter Christian Centre.

    In all, 1,676 votes were cast, out of a total electorate of 6,424.”

    So, Labour and LibDems together total 454 votes.
    UKIP and Conservative together total 1,166 votes.

    • rtj1211

      I don’t think I’d take Kent as a bellwether of the UK’s voting intentions.

      Now if you got the same on Merseyside, I’d sit up and take notice.

  • The_Aged_P

    “The Ukip conference in London last weekend was meant to be a coming-of-age moment. Instead, it was a shambles — a reminder of how much growing up the party still has to do.”

    Over egging the pudding again, James? Were you even there? The conference was a great success…I know..as a newbie member I was there http://www.theagedp.com/?p=7752

    Of course Bloom was kebabbed. But there were several excellent speeches, probably the majority of attendees had joined in the last two years and there was an incredible buzz….never heard much report about that from the Speccie.

    You appear to have fallen in to the same trap as the Telegraph, Mail and other media pundits….a few touches on the tiller from Cameron and his team and the sheep will come back.

    Unlikely, James…..Cameron is now perceived as totally bogus. The exiles have found a new home now – and they like it

  • AnotherDaveB

    The Conservatives have passed more powers to the EU during this parliament, and voted against holding an EU referendum in 2011.

    http://youtu.be/c3JnIw50zL8?t=8m47s

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8847123/EU-referendum-how-the-MPs-voted.html

    Mr Cameron’s talk of attempting to get powers back from the EU, or to give us an in/out referendum in 2017 are just words.

  • AnotherDaveB

    Re: immigration

    If the Conservatives had re-introduced the pre-1997 immigration laws, they would have addressed this concern. They chose to tinker with the New Labour laws instead.

    2012 immigration: EU 155,000 / non-EU 260,000

    http://www.migrationwatchuk.org.uk/latest-immigration-statistics

    • Keith D

      Exactly.Cameron is complicit with the Blairite traitors.Theres nothing to choose between these Benedict Arnolds.And guess where most of the non EU ones come from?

      Get out Cameron.

    • Valerie Arnold

      Ed has said he will stop immigration for non EU members, this wont stop the influx from Bulgaria and Romania in Jan, it is just dressing over the issue, the message has still not got through, we are full, full stop. VOTE UKIP

  • ogga1

    Have you a shortage of upper case letters? one main difference i have found is that
    UKIP is much more consolidated more together, no Status Quo, more get up and go
    it will given time win seats, attain power and eventually be a major benefit party
    to the country.
    Heard Godfrey Bloom interview, if you can find a problem with it then you have a major problem.
    Farage acted with speed nipped a media set up in the bud, otherwise the gathering
    was a success according to those who were able to attend.

  • AnotherDaveB

    “Tory strategists”

    At the 2010 election the Conservative Party failed to win a majority, despite the Labour Party only getting 29% of the vote.

    Those “Tory strategists” are in the wrong business.

  • Karl Grosvenor

    6 months prior to the last general elections the Conservatives were riding high in the polls,but then Cameron took he’s party to the left a decision that alienated key Tory votes which prevented him from getting a majority in Government,but it work out well for him because he’s really a liberal not a Conservative and he absolutely loves the EU that’s why he never gave us the promised referendum,remember he’s cast iron Guarantee? and the electorate don’t trust him anymore,but more and more of them are trusting UKIP,so the Torries real problem is Cameron and the Lib Dems,not UKIP.

  • hermann kelly

    You have this all wrong. UKIP is not a pressure group but a grown-up political party which desires to exert powerful political, legal and cultural change.
    No-one is UKIP is going to be bought off.

  • Lady Magdalene

    The UKIP Conference wasn’t a shambles. The actual Conference was a wonderful success. Many of the speeches were excellent and they’re all available on our website if you didn’t hear them at the time.
    Bloom wrecked a fringe event and then compounded it with a follow-up ‘interview.’ As a result he had the UKIP Whip removed and is now an Independent MEP.
    We’re not interested in renegotiating with the EU. You are either a free, Sovereign, independent and self-governing nation ….. or you are a vassal state. You cannot be a little bit pregnant; you cannot be a little bit Sovereign. Even IF the EU graciously agreed to return powers which should never have been given away in the first place, they will retain Control as the Overlord.
    That’s not what we want. We want our Sovereignty and our country back.
    Cameron doesn’t.

  • AdrianHey

    The UKIP conference was not a disaster. It went very well.

    The press coverage of Bloom rather than conference was a disaster, but the fact that Crick did what he did tells you a lot more about the priorities of a supposedly responsible public service broadcaster than it does about UKIP. Yes Bloom was a fool to take the bait, but really, so what?

    • AnotherDaveB

      Quite right.

      The ‘disaster’ is based on press portrayal of a political conference, which is a game of find-the-gaffe.

      It demonstrates the disaster that is British political journalism, not the quality of the UKIP conference.

      Most of the speeches are now available from UKIP’s YouTube channel.

      http://www.youtube.com/user/ukipofficial/videos

      • rtj1211

        Quite right. The Press are now regarded by most people as a bunch of self-serving shysters who wouldn’t recognise the interests of the people if it were served up on a hot poker one inch from their backside.

    • The effect of Mr Bloom taking the bait will probably serve to make Mr Crick think twice before pulling that stunt again? Potentially others of his ilk too.

      Also, Mr Bloom drove a message home that did resonate positively with most people fed-up with PC Gerrymandering.

    • global city

      now they have attempted to sway the democratic process, C4 should be charged.

      The last 6 months of establishment smearing of UKIP is truly unprecedented in UK politics.

  • D Whiggery

    Britain is now entering a period much like the beginning of the 70’s. Cameron is Heath during the oil crisis in 1973. In 1974, voters faced with a choice between a weak Tory leader and Uncle Harold chose Uncle Harold and his looney lefties. 5 years and a change of PM later they realise how calamitous Labour are and vote in a truly rightwing government.

    I have no problem with Labour winning in 2015, and the more lefty they are the better. Barring rigging the vote (always possible with Labour) they’ll last one term max before we can return to sensible government.

    There are not enough people who remember the seventies anymore and so they’re too easily seduced by Ed and his price controls. They’ll need to experience it for themselves before understanding that there is no right and left, just right and wrong.

  • Steve Lloyd

    By election results from yesterday. http://tinyurl.com/no73wfg Some of the UKIP gains are very encouraging. Seems the LibLabCon ministry of propoganda and misinformation over estimated the negative effect Blooms offbeat humour words and actions, would have on the electorate.

    Frantic digging for dirt on UKIP members begins again in earnest, this time they will go back to their primary school days. At least one of them must have sported a Hitler moustache and goose stepped around the classroom.

    • JabbaTheCat

      Ermm…the best Ukip managed was third place, with no figures for turnout available…

      • terence patrick hewett

        According to Guido:

        “It’s like that UKIP conference awkwardness never happened judging by last night’s council by-election results. Their vote held strong, coming in at 22% in St. James on Tendring and 32% in Storrington on West Sussex. Up north they polled 25% in Barnsley, which is worth noting considering they didn’t even run a candidate last time round. The big result of the night came from Crockenhill and Well Hill on Sevenoaks, where UKIP’s Steve Lindsay gained the seat from Labour.”

        • JabbaTheCat

          Lolz…and still the Ukip poll numbers stubbornly hover around 10%, message obviously not getting through to the rest of the population?

  • crosscop

    If Nigel Farage plucks up the courage to confront Cameron about the grovelling lies he came out with after Lee Rigby’s murder and again after the Westgate Massacre to deflect blame from Islam, UKIP will destroy the Conservative Party. The clip on Youtube in which grovelling Cameron tells an audience of Muslims that he wants Muslims in top positions in our armed forces is a killer – and UKIP should make sure everyone sees it.

    The relevant bit starts at 4:00.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0E68tOcZKA4

    • rtj1211

      Actually what I can’t understand is the fear of Islam. Most Muslim people in this country hate Al Qa’ida, they hate radical Islam and they hate the violent jihadis.

      The question is the hold that Saudi Arabia and Qatar have on the UK Government.

      Anyone for bombing them?!!

      • crosscop

        “Actually what I can’t understand is the fear of Islam. Most Muslim people in this country hate Al Qa’ida, they hate radical Islam and they hate the violent jihadis.”
        Never read the Koran then? Never watched the news? Never been to Blackburn market? Islam is a violent, intolerant, supremacist belief system and its brainwashed followers are colonising our country and every other country in Western Europe – and they can never be trusted. Wake up!

      • PeterA5145

        If that’s the case, the Muslim community in this country needs to be much more robust in condemning those who carry out acts of violence and terrorism in the name of Islam. And in condemning child sexual abusers from their community.

    • Valerie Arnold

      Far from Nigel “plucking up the courage” to confront Cameron, it is Cameron who hasn’t got the guts to front Nigel. VOTE UKIP

  • Steve Lloyd

    Good post further down, but here’s the part that needs reiterating over and over.

    Labour and LibDems together total 454 votes.
    UKIP and Conservative together total 1,166 votes

    It’s not rocket salad is it?

    • Smithersjones2013

      Oh for goodness sake its Kent. In 2010 Kent was pretty much a Labour Free Zone. All the councils were Conservative, the County Council was Conservative and all the MPs were Conservative.

      The irony is that Kent could possibly deliver UKIPs first MP’s. When UKIP could possibly breakthrough in Kent why would it compromise and sully itself by entering into some sort of sordid deal with the Toxic Tories?

  • global city

    What a stupid, unoriginal article. James, you have really lost your mojo.
    Every vote that UKIP have picked up in the North takes the piss out of your assertions.

    Cameron cannot ‘win back’ those who now back UKIP but who used to be Tory voters because, unlike him, they have a principled objection to the direction of certain core policy fields that he has no intention of following.

    Cameron made this clear each and every time he decided to push his core voters around, so they left.

    What they have found, that makes it impossible for Cameron to ‘get them back’ is a new community of like minds they had never met before, but who have similar views on those same core issues that Dave will not concede. There is a new community of people who believe in freedom, less government and wish to leave the EU.

    Everyone, including those Ukippers who ARE former Tories, know where Cameron’s heart lies, so even if he lies, they will see through them.

    What’s to be done? Making a commitment to leave the EU may help the Tories a bit… but maybe even then, not enough!

    • Valerie Arnold

      Cameron has made a “commitment” to have a referendum on the EU before and then re-nagged on it, no-one believes any thing he says anymore, if he is truly going to give us a ref why not before the elections, all lies as usual. VOTE UKIP

  • keith

    when I got to the end of this article, ( maybe its just me ), but did it really say anything, we all know the CCHQ orders to MPS and tame journalists is don’t mention UKIP but if you have to, point out a vote for them will get a labour government. James your the political editor, surely you could conjure up something to save the conservatives at the next election, then again with the liberal prime minister we have, I think even you have realised that there’s no hope.

  • John Mackie

    “husky-hugged” – is that a euphemism for ‘courted and politically embraced practitioners of sodomy’ ?

  • Fred Smith

    “Cameron must appeal not to the party’s leadership but to its voters”

    The problem with that is that many of UKIP’s voters are intensely hostile to Cameron and disinclined to believe a word he says. They don’t believe his renegotiation line is something he’s serious about and they don’t believe it would be possible even if he were serious.

    They don’t trust him so as to extend credit, he has to pay in advance, and he isn’t really in a position to do that.

    Anyway, do you really think it’s in Cameron’s genes to deliver any of these common sense policies?

  • Valerie Arnold

    A lot of fuss was made re Godfrey Blooms joke, now lets see the same fuss made over former Labour mp Denis Macshane for falsely claiming £12,900 or Alan Lewis, chairman of the Cons, accused of rape. VOTE UKIP

  • John Fisher

    As a (part) Australian, may I point out that the Conservatives missed the ideal opportunity to keep UKIP in its place as an innocuous entity when they campaigned strongly against the AV system in a referendum a year or so ago. Preferential voting would allow electors to give UKIP their first preference while still putting the Conservatives ahead of Labour. I think Cameron et al deserve to lose because of their ill-thought out attachment to first-past the post.
    Incidentally, as an Australian, I also feel that Milliband et al should be paying royalty fees to Pauline Hansen for the appropriation of her slogan: `One Nation’. I never see it but think affectionately of her and her other slogan: `Please explain’.

    • Smithersjones2013

      Your assumption is predicated on the premise of UKIP voters preferring the Tories over Labour.. Many would prefer to vote for a non entity party than vote for Cameron and a good few would put Labour ahead of the Tories in such circumstances. So your assertion is a non starter.

    • PeterA5145

      In the context of Parliamentary elections, AV is a downright bad system that tends to magnify the distortions of FPTP. It only “works” in Australia because that country only has two significantl political groupings.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Worst of all, the Tories would be hitching themselves to a party that is not quite ready for professional politics

    Worst of all UKIP would be hitching themselves to an outdated (Cameroon words not mine), toxic (Cameroon words not mine), dysfunctional divided party, shunned across large parts of the UK that few trust and who are incapable of winning a majority in their own anymore it would seem and who have ensured that the Libdems will halve their vote at the next election. The Tories are the poltical equivalent of the ‘unclean’. Why would any party take one such a handicap? Why would any party hitch themselves to another that is broken?

  • saffrin

    From the Telegraph.
    The Prime Minister launches what he calls a “mission” to win over hard-pressed families, with immediate help to get on the housing ladder and tax cuts before the election.
    What Cameron means is, since the housing crash he’s made nothing on his taxpayer funded interest only mortgage property.

    • Smithersjones2013

      No what Cameron means is he’s going to tell Osborne to borrow even more money…….

      Unfunded tax cuts anyone?

  • PeterA5145

    For very large numbers of voters, the Tory-led government has implemented policies that cause them to conclude “well, I will NEVER vote for that lot again”. For some it is green energy, for some gay marriage, for some mass immigration, for some the intensification of Labour’s lifestyle bullying on tobacco, alcohol and food, for some savage defence cuts, for some the continued failure to make a robust response to Islamism, for some the monumental folly of HS2.

    A Tory-led government may be marginally less bad than a Labour-led one, but that’s hardly a compelling reason to vote for them. And does anyone really believe that Call Me Dave will do anything more than achieve a token “repatriation of powers” from the EU and then campaign for a Yes vote in the referendum coming up with all kinds of scare stories about the nasty, dangerous world outside?

  • Two Bob

    Sorry but the damage is done. If UKIP are right and romania/bulgaria flood here, the damage will be terminal to the Tories and UKIP will be guaranteed MPs in two years time.

    The UKIP conference was perfectly fine. The speeches were great and so were the ideas. It was engineered as a shambles by the establishment.

    ‘Nick Boles, a Tory moderniser, has advocated denying welfare to any immigrant who has never worked here, something that he insists is possible under existing EU rules.’

    The same man who shows sheer contempt for the English countryside. Do they think we were born yesterday??!! And anyway it is not about welfare. It is about jobs.

  • Adrian Wainer

    The basic point about Cameron is that he is running the UK Government as a front office operation on behalf of the Saudis and the sort of serious and necessary reforms on things like immigration are a no no with his Saudi masters.

    http://i.telegraph.co.uk/multimedia/archive/02390/david_2390425b.jpg

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