Matthew Parris

Ukip isn’t a national party. It’s a Tory sickness

Understand that, and much that seems mysterious about it becomes clear

3 May 2014

9:00 AM

3 May 2014

9:00 AM

It can happen that something ought to feel wrong yet somehow doesn’t; and you wonder whether this means that in some deep way it could be right. Take for example a discussion on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Saturday last week. The subject was the rise of the ‘Teflon’ United Kingdom Independence Party. I ought to have found the programme’s handling of this to be inappropriate; yet it felt both appropriate and natural. In this column I shall discuss why.

Radio presenters do not give explanatory headlines to political interviews. At about 8.20 a.m. Evan Davis simply said ‘Let’s talk about Ukip’ and off they went, ‘they’ being himself and his two guests, Isabel Hardman of this magazine and Dr Robert Ford, a politics don from Manchester University. There was no indication that Ukip itself had been invited to join the discussion; the party was being discussed almost clinically, as a phenomenon. Mr Davis’s key questions were essentially as follows: (1) ‘Why does Ukip so easily survive scandals [about expenses, etc]?’ (2) How should parties like the Conservative party respond to the threat? Should they ‘tack to the right’, as Davis put it, or ‘take Ukip on’? (3) How would one advise the main parties as to ‘the real vulnerability of Ukip’?

I found the discussion fascinating and wouldn’t have wanted it any other way. But when the programme moved to the next item and I thought about what we’d just heard, it struck me there had been something very odd about focus and format. Ukip were being discussed not as players in the political game, but as spoilers to the political game: a kind of viral infection which it was proving devilishly difficult to shake off. Viewed like this, there was no more cause to involve the party itself in the discussion than there would have been cause — were we discussing an outbreak of meningitis — to invite someone to put the virus’s side of the story. Yet we were discussing the party that leads all the others in opinion polls anticipating the European elections later this month. We were discussing the favourite as if it were a rank outsider. Why?

Here’s why. Ukip has assumed the form of a political party but it is not a political party: it is a mutiny within Conservatism. In this case the mutiny has been externalised, so the Tory guns appear trained on a target beyond the fortress walls. But really they are aimed inwards, at an insurrection. The principal mutineers and their leader, Nigel Farage, are indeed without. But, within, their philosophy — their ‘mindset’, if you will forgive the word — is implanted inside the heads of many Conservative MPs and party members. It is within those heads, and between those heads and opposed heads, that the real battle is taking place. Farage & co., though apparently outsiders, are actually outriders: outriders for what is at heart a very Conservative rebellion.


Nigel Farage is not an anti-Conservative: he’s a rebel Conservative. He’s not my kind of Conservative, but he does represent a strain of thinking that is powerfully present in the party. He doesn’t really think (whatever he may protest) that there ought to be a need for Ukip at all: he regrets the need. He thinks it would and could go away if only the present Tory party would embrace the approach and policies that Ukip has set out. He’s sorry the leadership of the Conservative party doesn’t see it that way, but he believes not only that millions nationwide see it that way, but also that the Tories should be listening to them, and offering them a home.

Mr Farage, I believe, feels in his heart that he’s a kind of outcast from the Conservative party; and many of his members and millions of his voters feel the same. They have been forced into the wilderness (they feel) by a party that ought to love and listen to them, but doesn’t. A fierce and energetic minority of Tory MPs, party members and loyal voters would like to welcome them back.

That is why I say that this is really a kind of civil war, with the rebel troops externalised in the form (but without the substance) of an extraneous, free-standing political party. This is what makes the conflict so bitter and confusing.

It is also why supporters of the outriders are not much bothered by talk of scandal (directed against the outriders) or by sneers that the outriders don’t have a proper manifesto — or contradict themselves, or each other, or are unfaithful to their wives, or whatever. This doesn’t much bother sympathisers because they’re only pretending to see the outriders as a real political party; they know deep down that they’re a rebellion, not a party.

Finally, it explains why the possibility that the UK Independence Party could deliver a Labour government, by robbing the Tories of seats, troubles some supporters but fails to nullify their support. If the aim is to remake Conservative politics in Britain (they reason), then the present Conservative party has to be shown that it cannot win in its unreconstructed form. It’s a pity (they think) but there’s no other way.

As for slightly desperate Tory talk about how Ukip are just as much of a threat to the Labour party because they’re attractive to many working-class voters — well, true; but the Conservative party is attractive to many working-class voters, too, and could not win without them. It should worry us Tories, not console us, that this kind of populism appeals in quarters where we too are seeking votes.

I don’t, in the above, pretend to have some novel explanation of what’s going on. I’m describing what I think we all already know, deep down, is going on. Ukip is a Tory sickness, not a national party; and — as that Today discussion cruelly demonstrated — nobody knows the cure.

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Show comments
  • Richard N

    Oh, the panic of liblabcon – with every single media in the UK desperately attacking them.

    If this doesn’t show people how all the media in this country is controlled by the same people, who are now terrified that UKIP could threaten their vital interests, then I don’t know what would.

    • amicus

      medium

      • Anglica Bee

        Yes, and lose “single”

        • Tom M

          Yep, “single media”, tautology

          • Aberrant_Apostrophe

            Yes, it’s unnecessary repetitious tautology.

          • vieuxceps2

            “single media”is not a tautology.Single indicates one, media is a collective noun used in the singular.

    • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

      Why do they keep telling us their version of what UKIP is? It’s interminable. UKIP is called UKIP, there’s a clue. If they were called “Sick Tories” he might have a point. The Tories love the EU. UKIP don’t.

      • Doggie Roussel

        Completely agree… every time that anyone from the present establishment opens their mouth, it is to utter an utterly patronising and condescending platitude which says, We know what’s good for you… do shut up…

        • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

          Our lack of referendum illustrates this point. Cameron’s so keen to “let Scotland decide their future” “Let the ‘Falklanders’ decide theirs”……. What about our future?

          • CHBrighton

            We decided our future in a ‘once and for all’ referendum in 1975.

          • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

            That was a referendum on the European Economic Community membership.

            Get an education, please.

        • CHBrighton

          But membership of the EU is what is best for this country and its people.

          • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

            HOW??????!!!!!!!!!

    • CHBrighton

      Not panic, but disgust that such a nasty right wing rabble should be making such headway. The Ukip persuasion will destroy everything that is decent about modern Britain just as the national socialists did in Germany.

  • Sorry Matthew, but your analysis has the air of an a posteriori justification for your headline. UKIP drew its membership from labour voters up to 2010. it is still doing that, as well as drawing from the conservative party. It is not itself a sickness with the Tory party, it responds to the sickness that IS the Tory party; it is an expression of basic British conservatism of the kind Margaret Thatcher or Winston Churchill appealed to, not metrosexuals like yourself and Dave Cam et al.

    • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

      They also draw from people who’ve never voted. There’s nothing more dull as to know someone who has such insipid political views as a liblabcon voter.

    • DaHitman

      Agreed, my dad was Labour through and through but he’s voting UKIP next because he’s worried about his grand children’s future under the treasonous Lib-Lab-Con

  • rhys

    More desperate attempts by Mr Parris to prop up his cronies in the Establishment who – like him – have never worked a day in a real, hard, job outside the privileged political bubble of Westminster.

    Whilst hardly perfect in organizational terms, UKIP is indeed a real political party, and with a much more genuinely democratic structure than the Cons ( is there any point at all now to being a member of a local C.A. given that the former ability to select prospective parliamentary candidates from a wide range has been transformed into a permission to annoint one of a pre-selection of Cameron approved clones of Cameron, like the ridiculous [ but young and female ] Louise Mensch ? ).
    The two major political parties ( as also the Lib-Dems ), and thus Parliament itself, have been captured by the never-worked. They would have been thrown out long ago if the FirstPastthePost system did not so hugely favour them.
    A great challenge for UKIP to break through that barrier, but not entirely impossible ( remember Canada ? ).
    And if next year UKIP keeps Cameron out and there is a Lib-Lab coalition with a vote on proper PR for Westminster and local council elections – well, what’s not to like ?

    • James Beer

      I keep having this post taken down at the Times. It is a big ask, but if you could pass it on that would be great. If not, it may be of interest to possibly some of your readers. I am concerned that on the one hand m.parriS can say all the UKIP( all capitals m.parriS. I’ll stop when you do) voters were wrong with impunity, and my free speech to reject the view is removed. Censorship should be foreign in the UK (see m.parriS, all capitals for UKIP, are you getting the idea m.parriS)

      Are you 11 years old m.parriS ? Jumping up and down, the weight off your shoulders, the public display. Are you so lacking in confidence in your own judgement you publicly have to embrace a colleague for some morale boosting support. Bad enough that might happen in the office where you call Nige Nigel Mirage, not much of a mirage presently I would have to say, but back to the confidence thing better to keep that quiet. But then these last few weeks have not been so great with the objectivity thing which brings me on to your “However did we all talk ourselves into supposing UKIP had anything more than minority thought” m.parriS

      I thought that it was incumbent upon political reporting, if it was not to be propaganda, that individual thought, upon which might be built a well deserved reputation, was paramount and that this post of personal relief for you is anything but.

      And that thing m. parriS about the voters preferences being wrong. Were those in support of gay marriage wrong too?

  • Keith D

    The “teflon” effect is still in operation favouring the 3 dinosaur parties. Each one complicit in the unapproved transformation of our country into a Multicultural cesspit. the fact that any of the 3 can attract a percentage of the vote is adequate testament to this.

    The bubbles panic over UKIP is a joy to behold and this onslaught in the media is having the opposite effect to the one you all intend. No-one listens to you any more. No longer do we take what any of you say at face value. You have all proven your disdain for the electorate and its views.

    Sure there have been some ill advised comments from some UKIP members but not once have I heard any of them say, you know what, lets marginalise the British working family.

    None of you will ever change and every outburst just proves it all the more.
    The game is up.

  • Saikourufu

    Labour isn’t a national party. It’s a Liberal sickness.

  • Streben80

    Things is Matthew, many UKIP voters will NEVER vote Tory but have no issue with conservatism, especially social conservatism, the Tory brand is toxic and I heard Roger Helmer speak the other day – he said that UKIP, drawing support from all the main parties voters and from those who have been non-voters is the true One Nation party. The Tories are essentially a South-East party and will remain one going forward, UKIP is a national party, that is why you view is so narrow minded.

    • Kennybhoy

      “…many UKIP voters will NEVER vote Tory but have no issue with conservatism, especially social conservatism, the Tory brand is toxic…”

      Anciently true but it has never been of electoral significance and I have seen no evidence that this has changed…

  • Major_Eyeswater

    What a strange analysis. Groupthink from the bubble-bound- you should get out more Mr Parris because the revolt you are struggling to describe is much broader than a Tory civil war.

    My lefty neighbour went UKIP when central govt decided to impose 50 cheapo houses in our village, ignoring all local planning input.

    My true-blue mum got mugged by a thug from Albania. She went UKIP.

    My business is getting thumped with rates, taxes and red tape up the wazoo. I am sick of being shat on by Labour and shovelled up by Tory (h/t Withnail). I’m going UKIP.

    Do you see? It’s not about you (the Tories) no one in the real world gives two hoots about the fortunes of one party or the other. Unlike you we are not tribal loyalists, we do not view our situation from the perspective of one party or another. It’s about facing the day-to-day reality of failed policy after failed policy.

    You’re a decent man and an excellent journalist so please start thinking outside the box you’ve pulled up around you. The electorate are increasingly minded to kick the bums out – all of them. This mood is growing.

    • Kennybhoy

      “Unlike you we are not tribal loyalists, we do not view our situation from the perspective of one party or another. It’s about facing the day-to-day reality of failed policy after failed policy.”

      Would that it were so man but “tribal loyalists” is precisely what a majority of the electorate are. Policies have been failing for a generation or more and the electoral mould hasnae’ broken..

      “You’re a decent man and an excellent journalist…”

      Aye, as I wrote above, quite sad …

      “The electorate are increasingly minded to kick the bums out – all of them. This mood is growing.”

      Alas at the present time I think that this is more of a prayer than an observation from reality. Particularly under FPTP. “We (who) are not tribal loyalists” are just as capable of groupthink. There is more than one bubble…

      • Major_Eyeswater

        Thank you very much for your reply. Of course you are absolutely correct that I can be as prone to wishful/group thinking as the next old fart. These thoughts may well be mere fragments I have shored against our ruin.

        However the insurgency is growing apace. Up the road from me the Kippers are expecting 20,000 to turn up for a rally. In a European election…. In Swansea…. I find this quite staggering. We’ll know when the vote’s in how many have cleft to the old order and how many have found a new tribe.

        I just can’t help feeling that well, “there is a tide in the affairs of men..”.

        PS. I hear by your accent you may be Scottish. Please lets stay together?

    • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

      “shat on by Tories and shovelled up by Labour”- Withnail

      • Major_Eyeswater

        Really? You mean I have just misquoted the greatest, most quotable film ever made?
        Thank you very much for spotting this shameful error. I will immediately prepare a Camberwell Carrot and re-watch it. (Any excuse..).

        • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

          I’ve often thought it should have been the other way around, for Thatcher came into a labour mess.

  • Kennybhoy

    I have a lot of time for you Maister P. I am not a UKIP supporter. But the panic here is quite something to behold. Quite sad really…

    • Bill_der_Berg

      I’m surprised that there has been no mention of jackboots.

  • Pip

    Last ComRes Poll put UKIP ahead on 38%, obviously an awful lot of people don’t agree with you Mr Parris but then again your nonsensical establishment supporting rants have often been laughable.

  • Hereward

    Classic rationalisation of the politically correct, liberal establishment
    ,which so dominates politics, the public sector, judicairy and media. Things like exs scandals don’t worry uKIP supporters becasue, they perceive the 3 main parties as beeing much worse and anyway it is them thye increasingly hate.

  • saffrin

    UKIP is a pro-democracy freedom party and the LibLabCon artists, along with their unelected, positively anti-democracy masters in Brussels are scared sh*tless the little people are beginning to understand this.
    Hence the unleashing of £billions in EU propaganda funds to media outlets such as the Specy

  • cambridgeelephant

    More fatuous, self righteous whining and bleating from Parris.

    The cause of British self government used to be at the heart of the Conservative Party and hundreds of thousands of Brits have died for that cause, down the years.

    Now in Dave’s little world, his acolytes can only scoff. Says it all really. And says why a lot of us are voting UKIP on May 22nd and well beyond that.

  • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

    Stop telling us what your skewed version of UKIP “is” We know what they stand for and we support it……. Here’s a clue….. UKIP is their name.

  • anyfool

    The sickness is not a Tory sickness, it is a political sickness.
    This sickness is in the heads of all the main parties and their journalist groupies, try reading Mary Riddell in the Telegraph, I doubt if you have ever given credence up until the last election about any voters not Tory or Labour, you now pay lip service to the Lib Dems because they hold the current balance of power and actually they really are in your minds ” one of us “.
    Now someone comes along who to all intents and purposes is seemingly cut from the same cloth as the mythical Tory of old and you find your new best friends the Lib Dems your Euro whipping boys in trouble over Europe and lying.
    Your own parties are now getting it in the neck because people have realised that you both parties are just the same as Lib Dems, in the sense that you all want the same thing, something that suits you lot as opposed to what the majority of the country wants, you can tell the people your ideas are the best, but they do not believe you.
    They do not believe you because like all fads being part of a Euro superstate and its follow on a multicultural progressive society,it is just a bubble in the context of British history and you lot are to put it mildly like that pop song, Dedicated followers of fashion, no real beliefs no substance just waiting for the next witless catwalk show, only it is not this years hat that can be thrown away after Ladies day at Ascot, it is the whole structure of the country that created the society we live in that you seem so intent on destroying.
    That is why you come out with bilge like this, you are talking to yourselves and when ordinary people around the country look at you lot, they see the real fanatical swivel eyed fruitcakes and think to themselves, UKIP must be doing something right to have that lot so much more frothing at the mouth.

  • Mr Creosote

    Matthew – take your fingers out of your ears and listen up!

    UKIP West Midlands Polls Huge 52% Voter Intention

    Today’s poll released by Comres shows that a whopping 52%
    of people in the West Midlands region (including Herefordshire, Worcestershire,
    Warwickshire, Shropshire & Staffordshire) are intending to VOTE UKIP!

    • Cyril Sneer

      I live in Worcestershire – I’m voting UKIP!!!

  • The ice cream freezer

    The white elite like Mathew parris that play the white Westminster born to rule game and looking out of the window and seeing nothing but himself.

  • NeilMc1

    Think you’ll find it is the Tory party that is not a national party, but UKIP is, and the Tory party is sick, which is why all your chums in the media are trying so hard to destroy it as it threatens your cosy stitch up.

  • Doggie Roussel

    Matthew Parris…. your problem is that you belong to a minority who have been appeased by LibLabCon…. gay marriage, and a host of other irrelevant minority interests have been championed by Cameron and all the other self-serving opportunists in the aforementioned coalescence.

    I don’t give a monkey’s foreskin that gays want to have their physical and spiritual unions sanctified by religious institutions whose very foundation is based upon the tenets of a heterosexual union.

    Fine…. construct your own formulas and found churches and religions based upon the endorsement and blessing of homosexual unions, but leave our long-established traditions to the tenets and statutes upon which they were founded..

    I have no idea why the God of our Christian… or any other faiths… sought to endow so many of the adherents who have found themselves estranged from the beliefs, diktats and dogma of the religious into which they were born, from the sexual dispositions to which some divine force appears to have consigned them… just get over it and bugger off.

    Tally ho !

    • Kaine

      Wondered how long it would be before someone brought Mr Paris’ sexuality into this.

      • Doggie Roussel

        Why ?…. do you think someone’s sexuality should be covered up or treated as off-limits, in the defence of minority predilections ?

      • Hexhamgeezer

        Wonder how long you had your finger on the ‘Post’ button?

    • Fergus Pickering

      I think it is actually a majority who favour gay marriage.

      • Doggie Roussel

        Well, Marie Stopes would certainly endorse your opinions …

      • Realpolitik/ fruitcake/ racist

        That is pure fascism. How dare you disregard a faith’s teachings on the bias of an irrelevant sociopolitical stance.

  • terence patrick hewett

    You would say that Matthew because you are a pederast.

  • Chingford Man

    I want to see the Tory Party smashed because it is an electoral “bed blocker” and keeps genuinely conservative people out of Parliament. It is dying out anyway. But we can’t wait until it pops its clogs from natural causes. If Farage and UKIP kill it and do nothing else, that’s fine by me.

  • Ben

    Vote Ukip

  • Raddiy

    You suggest that you have no ‘novel’ explanation for what is going on, when the reality is you have no explanation at all. You neither understand UKIP, its people, or its modus operandi, you are still living in the post Maastricht world of circa 1994, having learned nothing in the intervening years. You don’t understand the problem and are clueless about the solution.

    From the beginning your analysis and comment on UKIP has been coloured by your partisan support of the Conservative Party, and like others in the commentariat you have modified your opinion from comment to comment to avoid looking completely stupid, as your views are found to be as divorced from reality as it is possible to be.

    I think you have failed by the way, the stupidity of your views shines through like a million candlepower searchlight !!

    Watching your television, radio and printed media output on all matters UKIP over recent years, would be a fine research archive for a doctoral thesis on whether useful idiot disorder is a genetic condition or a learned behaviour.

  • Khun Kru Mark

    On the other hand it could be quite simple… The British would like to regain control of it’s borders and have a say in it’s own destiny… Or is that just too simple a concept for politicians and political writers to get a handle on? I’ll be voting for the UKIP and I hope that they add to their manifesto that every LibLabCon member of parliament for the last 20 years should be shot for treason.

  • Rtd Colonel

    “but the Conservative party is attractive to many working-class voters, too, ” – under old spoonface and his cronies – ha, ha, oops there goes another rib.

  • XH558

    Mr Parris was once a shrewd and entertaining commentator. I read his autobiography and (apart from his dislike of Alan Clark), enjoyed it greatly. I have not read much of his output since he disappeared behind the Times paywall, but such quotations as I have seen have been characterised by the sour agenda which permeates this piece. I am glad I don’t pay to support his opinions.

    • Bill_der_Berg

      He does sound uncharacteristically nervy and querulous these days.

  • TRAV1S

    The days when we had to bend or knee and tug our forelocks to the LibLabCon cartel is definitely over!

  • IfItPleasethThee

    Also a Miliband government would be a catastrophe, and therefore perhaps the strongest chance for the Tories to dominate the next few decades … ?

    • Terry Field

      If only the British shared your wise opinion.

      • IfItPleasethThee

        It’s a prediction, not an opinion. I could be wrong; we’ll see.

  • Terry Field

    Simon Jenkins wrote thoughtfully about UKIP, and mused that the concept of the citizen had been defunct but it was alive and well again.
    This is the core issue; it is not about economics. Corporate life, the corporate state that promotes globalising capitalism is utterly hostile to the idea of the citizen. Yet that idea id=s the cornerstone to 250 years of European thought about how man should live and what ‘rights’ are.
    The consumer is a plastic concept unbounded by the protection of ideas concerning rights, the place of the individual vis a vis the state and the moral purpose of state power and its attendant authority.
    The casualties of globalisation have unconsciously found these concerns to be relevant and important for their lives.
    I anticipate there will be enormous traction to community matters and the desires expressed by ‘groupists’ like UKIP in the decades to come, particularly as the educated and sophisticated are displaced from work, and removed as valuable consumers, and find they wish to have their place as citizens restored, by the action of much more intelligent computer systems and ever more sophisticated globalisation. the state and its main beneficiaries will have a problem here – they focus on ‘duty’ yet there will be a clear abnegation of duty to more and more citizens as the ravages of impoverishing globalisation cut swathes through our already suffering……….citizenry.

  • Cyril Sneer

    Perhaps if you Tories had actually listened to us for the last decade on major topics (Immigration, the EU etc) then maybe some of us would’ve voted for you. But as it stands, you don’t listen, you fail to adopt the policies we want, and yet you’re still confused as to why people go to UKIP?

    Why do you expect people to vote for you if you don’t listen and fail to adopt any policy we want. Remove your heads from your asses.

  • djkm

    UKIP as it stands today is not what was envisioned by it’s original founder, Alan Sked. So much so, that he disowned it, and is trying to start again, with something closer to that vision. He also doesn’t have much in the way of nice things to say about Farage and likely holds his head in his hands in despair at what it has become, which is a annoyed, hateful old man tory splinter group. Anyone outside of this exclusive group who wants to vote for it is simply doing so for the same reasons that the BNP ‘enjoyed’ some support – that they made promises, and pointed fingers at minorities as being the cause of all their problems.

    • Cyril Sneer

      “Anyone outside of this exclusive group who wants to vote for it is
      simply doing so for the same reasons that the BNP ‘enjoyed’ some support”

      Thanks for speaking on behalf of all kippers.

      You keep telling yourselves these things if that makes the world around you all fluffy and nice.

      In the meantime we will vote UKIP for other reasons other than that turd you just posted.

      • djkm

        What does UKIP stand for, then? Noone knows! the only manifesto you have has been disowned by it’s leader, and there is no replacement. until you have one, you’re basically a party made up of elderly delinquents. I repeat: the person who set UP your party now believes that it is miles away from his original vision.

        • Fergus Pickering

          I shouldn’t have thought that th present Labour Party is very close to what Kier Hardy envisaged. So what?

        • Rallan

          No one cares about Skeds “original vision”. People are joining and supporting UKIP as it is today, and UKIP is rapidly evolving to best serve that support.

        • Chris Morriss

          We had better find Mr Noone soon then! The problem appears to be that no-one can find him.

    • Fergus Pickering

      Who cares what Sked thinks? UKIP doesn’t belong to him.

    • Bill_der_Berg

      “….that they made promises, and pointed fingers at minorities as being the cause of all their problems….”

      Has UKIP really blamed minorities for our membership of the EU? How peculiar.

  • McQueue

    Whatever, Matthew – carry on trying to imagine the world that fits and supports your biases – it’ll get more and more complex, but less and less a reflection of a rather straightforward reality. Perhaps I am politely trying to say that you appear to be engaging your nose and other facial features with your colon, which is unfortunately only possible through accessing via the rectum – I do hope your neck is not too wide for a comfortable fit with your sphincter.

    Re Ukip, In the land of the blind, the one eyed man is king, and the traditional three have been completely blind for a very long time – we don’t agree with any of the europhile agendas, seeing them as not in our best interests, in fact directly against our interests and aggressively so.

  • Your Correspondent

    So the Tories haven’t won a general election for more than twenty years and they are not going to win in 2015. And yet Tory supporters still believe this is some sort of electoral aberration. I suppose in fifty years time when they are down to six or seven MPs they will still think they are on the path back to electoral success.

  • PeterA5145

    Even assuming your analysis is correct, isn’t it a terrible indictment of the current Conservative leadership that they have allowed the traditional Tory “big tent” to be dismantled and this kind of fracture to develop?

  • Gregory Mason

    Or a simpler explanation, the Conservatives have ceased to be conservative and they’ve just found a new home in a new political party that is conservative. The only reason the remaining Conservatives are in the party is because either, a, they’re not conservatives, b, they don’t realise how little the Conservative party represents conservatism, or c, they’re tribal voting.

  • wattys123

    has Matthew Paris been forced to pay his gardener more than £3ph, nothing like the wealthy having to pay more than slave wages to get them on thier moral high-horse. Who cares if mass immigration ruined the lives of the British working classes, it’s not like they went to Cambridge or anything.

  • snotcricket

    Matthew you really don’t get it sat in your lofty well insulated dovecote, sometimes it is timing that brings about such.

    There are those who believe they voted for a trade agreement not a legislature, there are those who believe that foreign policy should neither be handled by external interest & amateur unelected individuals no matter their UK citizenship, there are those who feel our own legal system is abused by the ECHR, there are those who feel that feel the CAP is in itself a massive waste of legal/financial resource, there are those who feel the EU all encompassing trade agreement is stymies a members state who has 15% of its exports in the EU yet 100% of its exports are subject to the EU trade agreement, there are those who feel the UK net contribution to the EU is at best imbalanced & at worst is detrimental to wealth/capita in the UK, there are those that feel housing/health/education is in serious difficulty as the impact of economic migrant numbers rise significantly with neither the room or true economic growth/capita to accommodate their ever burgeoning stat, there are those that feel our defence policy/budget is now being used for matters beyond the defence of the ‘realm’ by the imaginatively named EU foreign policy & the other 27 member states, there are those that believe the Commonwealth is a far better organisation for trade & cohesion with its far larger geographical number/reach.

    Of course internally there are those who believe they have been failed for decades by broken promises of all hues, there are those so forlorn they do not use their vote, there are those who think whatever they vote they will always get the same both in policy & failure, there are those agog at the sentencing of the knife wielder as opposed to the lapsed TV licence payer, there are those that believe the three parties of failure have had too many chances, there are those that believe those of the very same party of 3 (& how similar they are in reality) are completely untrustworthy & of course there are so many who believe that all 3 are populated by professional politicians with little or no experience of the sharp end of life & all with the similar credentials as they await their right of a safe seat somewhere far from the streets they live but will continue to reside after winning the for gone conclusion some 200 miles to the North & West of Islington & similar locations.

    Could this be why the UKIP might be in the ‘right’ place at the ‘right’ time…could it be the electorate are sickened with the lies, deceit & the assumption we are but a stupid race of people who will at the drop of their expenses funded headgear vote for them….hopefully the UK is waking up, hopefully it will nail its colour to any flag but that of the Lib/Lab/Con or BNP & send a message not only to the 3 parties of failure but their far too friendly political commentators that enough is quite enough & with that change politics in favour of those who should be heard ie the voter/taxpayer…if ever their was a red rag to a bull it is the term ‘government money/funded’….no such thing, voter/taxpayer funded….it is time to wipe the arrogance from the faces & the words of the political elite, hopefully that will be some time soon….hopefully with the added bonus of balanced electoral boundaries & the party whip being made illegal.

    Of course the establishment will eventually ensure the upstarts get only what the establishment allow…..but even they might remember, so many reasons not to vote for the 3 parties of failure & so many reasons to vote for other options.

    • Alexsandr

      re you comment about UKIP being the right place at the right time. I believe the hacking to death of Lee Rigby was the catalyst.

      • snotcricket

        Ne’er, it may be another increment in their growing support…….my own feeling is that many people are sickened by the three parties of failure, their professional, never had a proper job, teams of MP’s & their open disdain is now so apparent they openly lie to the electorate while expecting them to show tribal loyalty.

        The UKIP support grows without the same level of funding by the establishment the Lib/Lab/Con parties of failure do, they seem to have resonated with the people/voters at this point in time, however should they do anywhere near as well as being predicted in the EU election & reinforce that with a quadrupling of councillors in the council/local elections on that day then they really might have a fight on their hands as the full force of the establishment is used in retribution to not only the UKIP but the electorate of the UK, democracy is a wonderful concept as long as its outcome is that required by those in the shadows…..bit like an EU referendum, let them have their say, then ignore it……hey what do we know, just give ’em your money.

  • hannathegreat

    Good to see a more balanced article from Matthew regarding UKIP. I suspect he’s right. I would like to see ‘proper’ Conservatives (as in: small state, low tax advocates) running this country. They need to ditch ‘Dave’ first though. I suspect that will happen soon enough.

  • hannathegreat

    Saying that, I just read this: http://www.breitbart.com/Breitbart-London/2014/05/03/the-times-fight-ukip-fight-lies-fight-now I’m not a subscriber of the Times, but Matthew sounds rather desperate here.

    I think the conciliatory approach to lost voters may be rather more effective.

  • jack coyle

    Ukip isn’t a national party. It’s a Tory sickness

    What a stupid comment. Easy to make impossible to substantiate.

    UKIP is attracting support from across the board. Give us a few concrete examples that support tye ststement. Or go back to sleep.

  • DaHitman

    “he’s a rebel Conservative”

    I’d say he’s a genuine Conservative unlike Cameron. The problem with the Conservatives is they allowed the Left to infiltrate the party. Lets remember the first thing Cameron done was to get Ken Clarke out of his coffin!

    This is why UKIP are thriving, the fascist left thought they could control the Lib-Lab-Con and no one would notice

  • kandanada

    So, preserving democracy and saving the country from the rule of the political elite is a sickness?

    I vote for democracy.

  • Kirk Dickenson

    A Tory sickness – a Lib Dem D&V (they have it coming out of every orafice)………… A Labour ‘Parkinsons’………they sure have got the shakes! you can call it a rebelion, but we are out canvasing just like political parties should……we are leafletting and we will have elected candidates in the Euro Parliament (sic) by May end. It is looking to me like a political party with a future…………your’e in denial Spectator!

  • Jikli

    Matthew Parris has proved himself to be an hysterical shrieking drama queen and has lost all credibility; as has The Times (Tories Inventing More Erroneous Shi**) which is probably permanently commercially damaged by making up blatant smears and insulting its paying readers who are now UKIP voters
    If his beloved Tory Party had listened to the people they were voted in to represent, if Cameron hadn’t lied about the EU referendum, they wouldn’t be deserting it in millions for UKIP.
    And Parris, they aren’t coming back to the Tories while it is a poor copy of 1990s Nu-Labour; The Tory Party is dead…. RIP. Cameron and people like you killed it.

    We are all voting UKIP now, and that includes many many former Labour voters too

  • Bob339

    Dear Mr. Parrish,
    Please fuck off and die.

  • transponder

    Well he’s my kind of conservative: he’s a classical liberal and the torchbearer of the Enlightenment — the best thing that ever happened in human life.

    I’m with UKIP and UKIP’s with me!

  • global city

    The way that the glittering commentariat insist on telling legions of people what they are thinking and why they are thinking it is a main driver behind the continued growth of UKIP.

    How offensive is it to be told by weak minds that you are a seething, resentful, dumb primal screamer… rather than someone who has stopped by to look at what is being said in the context of some serious policy issue?

  • bernard

    a vote for ukip is a vote for the torys at the general election next year labour voters in the north will realize this as well ,labour voters all over England will realize this next year .

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