Coffee House

The Tories and Ukip: deal or no deal?

23 May 2014

I can understand why some of my Conservative colleagues are calling for a pact with Ukip. At varying times over the past few years I have been concerned that our party isn’t doing enough to respond to the electorate’s hunger for an EU referendum, and I agreed that Ukip put necessary pressure on all political parties, and especially on the Conservatives in getting them to commit to a European referendum. However, time has moved on and the Conservative Party—and the country—now has that pledge.

This is a time to hold our individual and collective nerve – and not to make knee-jerk decisions while we’re focussed on today’s results and not the broader political landscape.

The local election results have removed some able and experienced Conservative Councillors. We may lose also some good MEPs, but we should still not do a deal with Ukip. We do not need to do a deal and we certainly do not need or want to be tied by the shackles that such a deal would invariably demand.

Furthermore, a pact with Ukip would hamstring David Cameron in his negotiations with Brussels. He would become a hostage to Ukip’s endless demands, and he would be viewed differently by European leaders if the Conservatives allied themselves with Nigel Farage.

When David Cameron goes to Brussels to negotiate on Britain’s behalf he needs to be diplomatically agile. That means he needs public and private room to manoeuvre. This kind of diplomacy is not Nigel Farage’s natural suit.

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Moreover, Ukip’s membership doesn’t want a deal, and neither, it seems from comments by Nigel Farage today, does its leadership. Some of Ukip’s supporters are Labour switchers and Farage doesn’t want to lose them because of a deal with the Tories.

The Conservative Party needs to use the twelve months before the general election to make the philosophical, political and emotional case which will attract Ukip voters back to their Conservative home. David Campbell-Bannerman, the former Deputy Leader of Ukip, is a man who knows about returning to the Tory fold.

We must also continue to deliver on welfare reforms, growing the economy, and most importantly, we need greater definition and clarity on immigration. I suspect a growing economy could also bring a justified tax cutting pre-election budget. Not a giveaway – but a national reward for the country having taken the pain of re-balancing the economy and stopping piling more on its credit card bill.

When I campaigned in the local elections I heard voters mention immigration time and time again, and I saw that the smart British electorate are getting smarter. The conversations I had were about ‘European immigration’ – not non-EU immigration. It’s a policy area where the government has had great success, but the EU migration issue is not going to disappear and will have to be tackled – sooner rather than later.

The Prime Minister needs to keep making the case for what he wants to be reformed in Europe, including the free movement of peoples.

His challenge is that European leaders don’t want to address the issue, as recently stated by Chancellor Merkel during her recent visit to the UK. But if there is a way of, as David Cameron himself has suggested, restricting new EU member states from full freedom of movement of peoples, perhaps until their economies have reached a certain level of GDP per capita, then Brussels could still offer the benefits of Europe to emerging accession countries without existing member states and communities and public services bearing the strain of flows of new EU migrants.

David Cameron should not consider a pact with Ukip. I doubt he is. You don’t cut a deal if you don’t have to cut a deal. The Conservatives are strong enough without a deal. They don’t have to do a deal.

My colleagues should also ask themselves a very important question: can they trust Nigel Farage?

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Show comments
  • Bondage place

    yet for those who answer yes I can strongly suggest to gear up with the online shop 😉 this will give a pre-taste of what it does….

  • Bondage place

    well, no more boundaries with brussels ? yes or no ?

  • global city

    The points that you suggest need to be renegotiated are ridiculously inconsequential.

    The tricks of the Tory party have been spotted by the people, and you are part of the inner elite who think you can still deceive us all about what the EU is.

    Cameron is the heir to Heath and you are a Heathite. We don’t want your EU

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  • Conway

    Furthermore, a pact with Ukip would hamstring David Cameron in his negotiations with Brussels.” I would hope so; I’d expect UKIP to hold Cameron’s feet to the fire so that he doesn’t keep saying to the EU, “oui, monsieur, ja, mein Herr, three bags full Senor Barroso, how high do you want me to jump?”

  • Freeborn John

    How come David Cameron can make “a big comprehensive offer” to the LibDems but not to UKIP? Clegg is no less yielding on his approach to the EU than Farage so it cannot be he is easier to work with.

    The conservatives are ceasing to be a party of government because they do not have popular policies on the issues driving UKIP growth. They are going to find themselves permanently replaced as a party of government unless they start to make the case for leaving the EU. They were in power for 70 of the 90 years before Maastricht and have not won a majority since but are now in real danger of permanent eclipse.

    • Conway

      Clegg is no less yielding on his approach to the EU than Farage so it cannot be he is easier to work with.” The difference being Farage wants to get us out, which Cameron disagrees with, while Clegg wants to keep us in, just like Cameron.

      • EschersStairs

        It makes Clegg sound like he’d support the EU on principle, but I don’t think he knows what that word means.

  • Ian Walker

    “…the Conservative Party—and the country—now has that pledge.”

    Is it as ‘cast iron’ as the last one?

    No-one will trust you on this issue unless you change the leader who broke his last promise.

  • Jonathan Burns

    Can we trust Cameron?

    • Smithersjones2013

      Is the Pope Muslim?

      • EschersStairs

        Well Muslim are saved while Protestants are not according to the Catholic Church, so perhaps something a little stronger.

    • Denis_Cooper

      What, after more than eight years as Tory leader during which time he has repeatedly shown himself to be totally untrustworthy?

    • Makroon

      We can trust Cameron to continue to introduce trivial and futile “social radical” (read metro obsessional) measures, which will continue to irritate his base vote, and to pontificate on every trivial nonsense that rears it’s head on Twitter.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …well that and a beard would probably get him a Eurovision win, I suppose.

  • Tony_E

    I suppose that there is the possibility that UKIP could do as much if not more harm to Labour at this point than the Conservatives. Con switchers tend to be pretty hard headed, not really tribal voters (except for the fact that they won’t vote for socialism on principle).

    Labour voter however, do have a much more tribal loyalty factor, especially in the North. If that has broken for many of them, they might be less likely to return to the fold in 2015.

  • ButcombeMan

    This is chaff, masquerading as serious political comment.

    There will be no Tory deal with UKIP got that? Farage himself said if he polled UKIP members the answer would be no.

    UKIP having pulled low hanging fruit from the Tory tree, is going after the politically disaffected and (especially) the Labour disaffected..

    The old ideas of left & right are being broken. The Tory party was, if not killed by Cameron, seriously damaged. Labour is in disarray with Milliband looking weak and Balls looking ridiculous.

    UKIP would be mad to even think about a deal.

    It is Cameron who is not trusted.

    • Tony_E

      Farage seemed quite interested on the Today program this week when it was suggested. However, I agree that it’s a non starter. But the obvious reason is simply that the Conservative constitution absolutely forbids it, and that won’t be changed.

      • Denis_Cooper

        Nor would UKIP members allow the UKIP constitution to be changed to remove the absolute commitment to getting us of the EU.

        • Tony_E

          No, and that’s absolutely the correct approach. UKIP should simply get on and make their case for the seats they wish to target. If they want to gain seats they need a solid set of policies that they could drive into a coalition with one of the other parties. That will be the key to gaining Westminster Seats.

      • ButcombeMan

        Farage is playing games with the commentariat.

        He enjoys it and knows most of them are too stupid to spot the game.

        He is having enormous fun.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          It’s fun, but it’s also destabilizing to the people UKIP’s seeking to sap votes from. This is typical populist strategy. UKIP has to draw votes from others, it’s that simple. They need movement, not stasis. Uncertainty in LibLabCon leadership is to UKIP’s advantage, and Farage is clever enough to promote that. .

      • the viceroy’s gin

        I think I witnessed an interviewer asking Farage about a deal, and he offered one up to all the parties, not the Camerluvvies in a vacuum.

  • duyfken

    A merger or pact with UKIP is not the most pressing question the Tories should be asking themselves. Rather they might care to ruminate on why so many of their supporters are sitting on their thumbs if not defecting outright. The answer is obvious but it seems cannot be discerned by the committed faithful. Conservatives, Cameron and his cadre are your problem and will remain so until the lot of them are ejected.

  • Makroon

    Given the strong evidence of UKIP damaging the Labour vote, it would be madness for either party (Cons & UKIP), to start discussing “pacts”.
    Osborne could have quite easily helped to stop many Con defections to UKIP, simply by saying that tax at source on deposit income up to (say) £250K, would be suspended while BoE interest rates are below 2%.
    Of course, the twin idiots Willetts and Letwin would oppose this as being “a sop to the boomers”, and those two clowns in charge of policy, is one of the Conservatives greatest handicaps.

  • kyalami

    “Ukip put necessary pressure on all political parties, and especially on the Conservatives in getting them to commit to a European referendum. However, time has moved on and the Conservative Party—and the country—now has that pledge.”

    Like the cast iron guarantee over the Lisbon Treaty?

    • Tony_E

      You need to park that one in the trash where it belongs. You and everyone else who was watching at the time knows exactly what was said – that if the Lisbon treaty had not been ratified, Cameron would guarantee a referendum on it.

      It was passed by Gordon Brown’s government.It therefore became part of the treaty of Rome and constitutionally indistinguishable from it, and irreversible. What was he supposed to call a referendum on? What would have been the action taken had we voted against it retrospectively?

      • Denis_Cooper

        Total rubbish.

        • Tony_E

          What is – that the treaty no longer exists but is part of the Treaty of Rome, or that Cameron could have reversed it on his own?

          Pull the other one Denis, it’s got bells on.

          I suppose he could have held an in/out (because that’s all that was on the table), but seeing as he didn’t have the majority in parliament it’s unlikely to have got as far as the voters.

          • Denis_Cooper

            Of course the Treaty of Lisbon still exists, you can read it here on the EU’s website:


            • Tony_E

              ….Amending the Treaty on European Union and the Treaty Establishing the European Community..,

              And you prove my case with your own words.

              • Denis_Cooper

                Yes, the Treaty of Lisbon is an amending treaty, and note that I say it “is” an amending treaty, not “was”, because as you can see from the EU’s own website it still exists as a separate legal document, a treaty, contrary to Cameron’s brazen lie that it had ceased to exist as a treaty.

                And likewise the European Union (Amendment) Act 2008 is an Act to amend the European Communities Act 1972, and once again it is a case of “is” not “was” because it still exists as a separate legal document, an Act, it did not somehow cease to exist at the instant it came into force.

                • Tony_E

                  But it cannot be repealed on its own – so therefore it has no independent legal status. The Treaty of Rome, once amended, would need another treaty to change it (even to a former draft). The Government cannot legislate that issue away. A referendum would have been moot.

                  What would you have had Cameron do if we had performed the referendum and voted to ‘not ratify’ a treaty that had already been ratified?

                  Look Denis, we’re on the same side – I want us rid of the EU (I’d like to see the whole of Europe rid of it to be frank, my friends across the water gain little or nothing from it either).. But you have to be realistic about what is possible in the realm of domestic politics, and attacking Cameron for not holding a referendum on the Lisbon treaty is just not productive.

                  What we should be looking at now is how we elect a Tory government in 2015, hold it to the referendum pledge in 2017, and bloody well make sure we win that referendum.

                • Denis_Cooper

                  Of course it could be repealed on its own in the same way that the Act could be repealed on its own. In both cases it would need a legal measure of equal status, ie a new treaty to repeal the treaty, a new Act to repeal the Act.

                  For two years the Tory party strung the public along by pledging that if the Treaty of Lisbon came into force without having been approved in a UK referendum then as it would lack democratic legitimacy in this country and as it would give to much power to the EU “WE WOULD NOT LET MATTERS REST THERE”, a pledge included in the Tory manifesto for the elections to the EU Parliament in 2009.

                  Then just months afterwards, on November 4th 2009, Cameron announced that he would let matters rest there after all by swallowing the treaty whole as a fait accompli, even though by the Tories’ own argument it still lacked democratic legitimacy and still gave too much power to the EU – a decision which Daniel Hannan has denounced as “unconscionable” – and added insult to injury by his brazen, unscrupulous lie that the treaty no longer existed.

                  The answer then was the same as the answer Cameron actually gave in September 2007 and should have stuck too, and should have repeated in June 2008 and should have stuck to afterwards – that if he became Prime Minister he would not allow the Treaty of Lisbon to be imposed on the British people without a referendum, and therefore even if it had already come into force he would still put it to a retrospective referendum.

      • ButcombeMan

        The action taken would have been secession via Article 50, the Treaty provides for it, (though Cameron will not tell you that).

        • Tony_E

          You could see the Lib Dems voting that through!

          • Denis_Cooper

            Cameron’s abject surrender over the Lisbon Treaty was on November 4th 2009, and the loss of support it caused was probably enough to cost him an overall majority at the May 2010 election.

      • kyalami

        Well here’s what Cameron said

        “But there’s nothing “new” about breaking your promises to the British public… And it is the cancer that is eating away at trust in politics. Small wonder that so many people don’t believe a word politicians ever say if they break their promises so casually. If you really want to signal you’re a break from the past, Prime Minister, do the right thing – give the people the referendum you promised.

        Today, I will give this cast-iron guarantee: If I become PM a Conservative government will hold a referendum on any EU treaty that emerges from these negotiations.”

  • Sue Ward

    I’d be in favour of a pact if it keeps Labour out. A Labour government is hardly going to advance the eurosceptic agenda and I am sure most UKIP voters do not want to see Labour wrecking the economy again any more than we conservatives do. The only positive thing about yesterday was that the right wing vote grew. It would be a pity if it ushered in a socialist future.

    • Wessex Man

      You’ll have to find yourself a new leader who is honest, not so arrogant and has a brain!

      • Sue Ward

        And you could do with one who’s foot isn’t permanently stuck between his molars!

        • Makroon

          UKIP haven’t gained control of any councils yet (still possible), but have become much more exposed by having >100 more loose cannons rolling about the place.
          I think you are wrong – UKIP voters are now not necessarily “right wing voters”.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …yes, but in 11.5 months, your leader is going to have his head mounted on a spike.

      • Tony_E

        You’d have to remodel yourself as a party of the free market. In the north, your voters would leave in droves.

        No, UKIP has a vested interest in keeping their distance from the Tories in the North and from Labour in the South. It’s intellectually dishonest, but that didn’t stop me voting for them in the Euros as they will still go to Brussels and frustrate the Eurocrats over there.

        But at a national election. I won’t be voting for a Socialist party of any colour.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          What’s “intellectually dishonest”?

          • Tony_E

            Pretending you are one thing to one group of voters and something else to another.

            The arguments on the ground are different in different areas, just like with the Lib Dems, it doesn’t always stand up to close scrutiny.

            Let’s see how UKIP maintain the support of both ex Cons in the south and ex Labour in the North once the GE manifesto is published and scrutinised.

            • the viceroy’s gin

              Not following you, that “arguments on the ground are different”. Have you any examples?

              And of more importance, you’d have to document that UKIP’s overall program is conflicted, as transient campaign literatures and local blatherings will occur as a matter of course.

      • Makroon

        Nigel Farage’s charisma is very important for UKIP.
        Cameron is not so important for the Tories, they can tolerate his frequent foolishness, as long as he presents an acceptable and well-mannered face to the heavy majority who are not much interested in politics. And he is kept on message by more serious senior colleagues.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          …his head and his message are going to be kept on a spike in 11.5 months time, lad.

    • ButcombeMan

      The best way to prevent Labour wrecking the economy is to support UKIP driving a wedge into Labour voters, especially in parts of the North.
      That is now the main UKIP objective, not the Tories.

      • Makroon

        Down here in true-blue Tunbridge Wells and Weald, the turnout has been 40%, and (so far), the Tories have taken two LibDem seats, and reduced the one Labour hold-out (in miserable Southboro’), to a razor thin majority of three votes.
        Far from typical, but I can’t see most southern/midlands constituencies letting the wreckers back into power.

  • the viceroy’s gin

    No, sorry, my obsequious bubble friend, but UKIP doesn’t want a deal with you Camerluvvie muppets. It’s amusing how it’s being slantingly offered, too. Did your foreign political consultants come up with that one? I hope you didn’t pay too much for it.

    This one’s going to the finish, and there will only be one. Strap in, lad. Bear up. It’s coming.

    • Tony_E

      Your big problem is that your attitude, and that of UKIP’s most vocal supporters in general, is starting to sound very much like the SNP – arrogant and condescending. You made big gains last night (I voted UKIP in the Euros, so I’m not unsympathetic to the cause), but that’s no good if you don’t make it stick next year.

      You make no arguments, you just shout ‘Camerluvvie’ a lot and protest that you are the voice of the people. You don’t have a published plan for Brexit. You don’t have an economic policy, you don’t have a social policy, you don’t have any departmental experience or a proper party structure in the ranks, and many of your candidates are bloody useless. You’ve got a long way to go.

      Let’s see the 2015 Manifesto first eh? Then we’ll talk about Westminster and whether people will again lend their support to UKIP.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        Yours and LibLabCon’s big problem is that you whine too much, and mostly whine because you are being displaced from your sinecures. This isn’t arrogance and condescension, it is commitment and principle. You likely don’t recognize these, given current affairs. Take a few deep breaths and see if you can re-familiarize yourself with them. Your heroes have not a clue of them.

        The gains made are good because they move the argument. You seem to want to measure by your LibLabCon yardstick. You shouldn’t. UKIP doesn’t and won’t. They shouldn’t. Remember, they are principled, unlike you. They want to move the argument, not move a notch on your LibLabCon establishment yardstick.

        And you LibLabCon muppets just went through an election without a SHRED of argument, with nothing but bile and filth. You miserable wretches shamed yourselves and the entire body politic, yet you have the temerity to accuse others of having no arguments?

        Muppets, the lot of you. Hysterical muppets.

        There’s a line, lad. If you’ve chosen a side, fine, but be prepared to have at least as much hurled back at you as you muppets have illegitimately hurled out. Shame on you. Shame. Shame. Shame on you. Talk about arrogance and condenscension.

        Now dance. That is the real point of politics… movement. And you appear to be dancing now. Good.

        • Tony_E

          And repeat.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            You’ve made that post in reply to me, but it is unintelligible.

            • Tony_E

              You make my point for me Viceroy – your whole attitude is condescending and confrontational. You should take a big sip of that gin, and explain how you’re going to get us out of Europe (which is what we both clearly want) without

              a) A Brexit strategy to sell the people.
              b) A manifesto which appeals equally in the Labour heartlands of the North and the Tory shires (the economics usually alienates one or the other – it’s difficult to hold them under one banner)
              c) A Tory government in Westminster to pass the necessary legislation. (because as Farage acknowledges – he’s not going to have a majority in 2015).

              The difference between you and I is not the idea or the aim, simply the means to achieve it.

              • the viceroy’s gin

                You make my point for me, lad. Your whole attitude is whiny and self entitled, like all the bubble muppets. You should take a long look at the shameful non-argument you LibLabCon socialists just engaged in this election, and all the hysterical bilge you produced, and then lie down prostrate in shame at having again demanded somebody else produce an argument. Shame on you. Shame. Shame. Shame on you.

                You think in absolutes, and your mates LibLabCon do as well. They are in 100%, and in bondage, and want all to be. Others, more expansively thinking than you, think in terms of sovereignty, not cutesy and absolutist terms like “Brexit”. You just don’t get it. Seriously. You don’t have the aptitude. Take a few deep breaths, again, and understand that there are people who are principled, not manipulative establishment hacks like you seem to prefer. Try to imagine what it might be to be one of those people, if you can, and to think like they do. It might give you a leg up on the rest. .

                You LibLabCon muppets and your hero Dave refused to fight this election, fled the battlefield, and now you’re again demanding somebody else do something, manifesto or otherwise? Do you realize what a hypocrite you are? Seriously, do you?

                UKIP doesn’t need a Camerluvvie government in 2015, lad, to achieve its ends, which are going to come eventually one way or another. This is all being played by the rules of the long game. Remember, your LibLabCon yardstick doesn’t work in the long game, and you kneejerk LibLabConsters wouldn’t understand that game in any event, and neither would your foreign campaign consultants. Just trust that Dave’s head is going to be mounted on a spike in 2015. You know it, he knows it, Farage knows it, everybody knows it. Your campaign consultants don’t want you to know it, because they want to get paid. Good for them, at least the Camerluvvies are doing something for somebody, even if they’re foreigners.

                The difference between you and I is that you are not principled, and you are hypocritical, and you can’t possibly allow yourself to understand the other guy’s position. That’s always a failing. It’s always the ultimate failing in politics, and is always fatal when it festers and is left untreated.

                • Tony_E

                  Again, lots of insults, but no answer. You don’t know me yet you think I stand to lose my ‘sinecure’ – I’m just a craftsman who watches politics from a distance.

                  I’m also not a socialist, and have no vested interest in the current system.

                  I’m also not a Conservative – I have lent them my vote in the past but I’m not the member of a political party. Just as I lent UKIP my vote yesterday.

                  In the end, like the Cybernats, you are your own worst enemy.

                • the viceroy’s gin

                  Again, lots of whining, but at least you didn’t again demand that which you adamantly refused to provide yourself. And you stand in for the LibLabCon socialists, lad, so their sinecure is your own, as is your sense of self entitlement. You don’t have to fight their corner, you know.

                  You say you’re not a socialist, but I’m seeing you side with the LibLabCon socialists. You reap as you sow.

                  Very few people are part of the Cameroon party, less than half what they numbered before he showed up in fact. That tells us little, either.

                  In the end, you’re whining, because people disagree with you, and you’re certain they should agree with you or it’s all going to turn out badly for them. You exemplify the LibLabCon position and mindset, in other words. And in 11.5 months, that position and mindset will have Dave’s head and mind positioned on a spike.

  • Smithersjones2013

    Other than short polite dismissals of the idea have the Tories missed the deafening silence from the UKIP ranks every time some Tory mentions a pact.

    There will be no pact because UKIP don’t want one. There is nothing a broken dysfunctional divided Tory party can offer that is of value to UKIP. So what Pritchard is wetting his panties about goodness knows after all does he seriusly think anti-establishment kippers are going to take any notice of shallow formulaic (did Crosby draft it?) disingenuous Tory propaganda like this?

    • Hello

      Ooh, you’re “anti-establishment” are you? That’s an awfully big word, isn’t it?

      “Ukip ranks” — what, do you think you’re an army or something? Haha.

      • Smithersjones2013

        And I suppose you think that passes for being clever and witty does it? Don’t hold your breathe waiting for the plaudits (or on the other hand do)!

        PS Are you standing in for Hooky on his day off or something?

        • Hello

          Solidarité, bruv.

          • Wessex Man

            Yeah Hooky babe’s younger dimer brother!

      • Kitty MLB

        I think they might be a Purple army taking over revolting ( if that’s the right word) betrayed Red Labour soldiers.

    • Karl Stuebe


    • EschersStairs

      Don’t think I agree. UKIP have demonstrated they have ideas that people like enough to vote for, but the question of legitimacy always looms large on the horizon for minor parties. If UKIP formed a Coalition with the Tories, this would boost their prestige immensely. Yes they’d have to demonstrate how their voters will benefit from it, and yes they’d have to talk tough in public to the Tories so that voters don’t get the impression that they are under the thumb. But really, UKIP voters could get a whole lot of influence out of a relationship like that.

  • Raddiy

    Methinks the lady does protest too much!!

    Whenever talk of a deal comes up, it is always from the Conservatives, who in equal measure are either for or against, and are so desperate that they come up with the most ridiculous ideas.

    There will be no pact of any type, UKIP does not want a pact of any type.

    If they want voters, then offer voters the policies they are demanding, rather than continuing to patronise them. The airwaves this morning have been full of politicians who are still ignoring what has happened, and think they can just continue with the usual load of obfuscating bo**ocks, as if nothing has happened.

    • the viceroy’s gin

      UKIP will wants to go slow, and make the LibLabCon muppets grovel and sweat, for a short bit at least. Unless the Camerluvvies dump their dear leader, this will all go dormant in a little while, I’d suspect, and not get going great guns again until after the jocks vote that referendum. UKIP is best served tending to their knitting, in their various council seats and EP harangues, alongside the fresh new haranguers in Brussels.

    • rtj1211

      Methinks the aim is divide and rule, rather than anything else…….neuter the randy dog causing all the mayhem with the bitches.

    • Kitty MLB

      Well said Raddy. No pacts, parties are completely different, and must work for a majority and see who wins. Coalitions do not work in this country, as we can see from the Lib Dems. Besides UKIP are making significant ground in the North and a party for the working classes. But Labour in their arrogance doesn’t see that. The official opposition to my party, the Conservatives at
      Westminster and nothing less…

  • Adrian Drummond

    What makes you so sure they’d want a pact with you?

    • Hello

      “Moreover, the Party’s membership doesn’t want a deal, and neither, so it seems from Nigel Farage’s comments today, does the Ukip membership”

      I just thought that maybe you didn’t read that line. So I copied and pasted it for you.

      • Adrian Drummond

        Thanks; i hadn’t read that line as you point out. However, in recent weeks I’ve largely given up reading in detail what Spectator journalists and contributors have to say.

        • the viceroy’s gin

          That’s quite understandable.

  • @PhilKean1

    From 2010, Conservative members and voters did a big favour for what is laughably called the “Eurosceptic movement”.

    And their reward was to be betrayed, patronised, insulted and vilified by those “Eurosceptics” who hadn’t the courage or the principles to take the action necessary to force David Cameron to stop signing Britain up to European political and economic union.

    This is how it happened.

    (1) – 2010, and it quickly became apparent that Cameron had turned native and would be pushing for the completion of the Federal enabler that is the “Single Market”.

    (2) – “Eurosceptic” MPs and their media puppets protested, but – in typical fashion – sat back and took no credible action to prevent Cameron’s Euro-Federalism.

    (3) – So it fell to decent Tory members and voters to indicate that they would be leaving the party and voting UKIP unless Cameron stops signing Britain up to economic and political union.

    (4) – It worked, but only to a point. Cameron’s free-loading backbenchers and their media conduits hijacked our strategy and allowed themselves to be bought-off cheaply with a pledge that allowed Cameron to buy himself and the EU the time they need to further enmesh Britain inside economic and political union – thus making it much more difficult for the British people to escape EU dictatorship.

    (5) – No matter how hard we tried to persuade “Eurosceptics” that they’d made a treacherous and catastrophic mistake, they insisted on propping up David Cameron

    There is now no going back. Ok, our model predicts only a possible seven seats in 2015 if trends remain consistent. But seven seats is at least a start.

    • Hello

      You’re full of sh*t, Phil. It’s the fact that the single market is not completed that is the “federal enabler”. Once it’s completed we can just say no to further integration. Until then we have to be diplomatic.

      Secondly, the Conservative vote has moved by a few percentage points since the election. For a variety of reasons. Not everyone is as obsessed as you are about Europe.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …but “everyone” is going to conspire to put Call Me Dave’s head on a spike, 11.5 months from now.

      • Smithersjones2013

        When the single market was core to what we joined in 1975, you’d have thought even the corrupt incompetent shower of Bureaucrats and Europhile politicians in Brussels would have completed it in 40 years?

        But you say that its not complete? What have they been doing? Admiring the size of their treaties?

      • Tony_E

        I hold no particular candle for UKIP, but I think that’s unrealistic. The other EU nations don’t share the shame free market economically liberal view that we in the UK have of a potential completed single market.

        There are too many mechanisms being invented using the ‘closer co-operation’ methods of groups – like the Eurozone countries, for the potential advantage of the Eurozone over the rest. It’s dangerous to think that we could ever alter that balance. It’s also against our interest to be part of the eurozone. So its hard to see how there is any position left which could be even equitable to the UK, let alone advantageous.

        As an Island nation, I think we found our own solutions to all numbers of issues, solutions which run against the grain of mainland European thought. We will always be a minority easier and easier to suppress.

  • Mike Barnes

    “When David Cameron goes to Brussels to negotiate on Britain’s behalf – he needs the private and public space to manaeouvre and be diplomatically agile. ”

    Astonishing sentence, you must know how that reads to a simple minded, uneducated, racist, UKIP voter like me.

    “Diplomatically agile” is a euphemism for lies, spin and deceit.

    What you are basically saying is David Cameron needs a bit of leeway to pull the wool over our eyes. To agree one thing with Europe but sell it as something different back home. Farage will ruin his Cameron’s plan by making sure we get things written in blood.

    • Blindsideflanker

      Reading Pritcard’s piece made me hoping mad. They just do not get it.

      • Hello

        I know, right?! He almost acts as if Ukip is not the executive wing of the Conservative party! The man is clearly barmy!

        • Wessex Man

          It’s not, it’s a sound Political Party getting stronger every day and when the Euro election results are known it’ll be even stronger!

          • Tony_E

            I agree that it will do very well in the Euro elections. (I bloody hope so anyway – the more obstructive objectors we can place in the Eu parliament the better, it will slow them down a bit!).

            But the real problem is how we get that referendum AND WIN IT.

            Neil Hamilton was very impressive on Question Time, but he is a figure of fun in the mainstream media and has to overcome his past at every turn. However, his points hit home and he makes them without the hostility that some UKIP supporters seem to exude. UKIP, with the ability of people like him to deliver a message about what the EU actually does , I hope, will be the hammer that keeps the Tories honest and gives me the chance to vote OUT in 2017.

    • Hello

      That’s not what he’s saying at all. He’s saying that Cameron can’t be forced to set out his strategy in public. Because then everyone would know his strategy. And then it wouldn’t work.

      • the viceroy’s gin

        That’s the difference between you authoritarian socialists and everybody else. You think the People are to be drove.

        • rtj1211

          I think he needs to keep it away from Hermann van Rompuy, Jose Barroso, Guy Verhofstadt, Martin Schulz and those kind of EU troughers, friend.

          After all, Neville Chamberlain tried the old ‘I say old chappie, not really cricket telling the bally Slavs that they’re not up to Aryan standards, what?’

          Had to hand over to someone with a rather more robust approach to European negotiations.

          This time, the weapons will be the keyboard, the pen, the spoken word.

          • the viceroy’s gin

            Apparently, the authoritarians socialists disagree with you, and have no need for keyboards, pens or spoken words. They need only the whip, to drove the People.

      • Adam Carter

        Cameron can’t set out his strategy in public, he can’t say what his red lines are, because he hasn’t got any. If he told us what he was aiming for then we could see whether or not he has been successful.
        So he keeps his position secret and then , if he gets an undertaking that the EU will not issue a directive on the size and colour of our postage stamps he will present it as a successful outcome and recommend staying in because of a ‘ successful’ renegotiation.
        Face facts, admit the truth. Cameron wants to stay in the EU WHATEVER the outcome of any ‘renegotiations’.

      • Denis_Cooper

        Cameron’s strategy is to keep us in the EU at all costs, and the foreign politicians with whom he would have to deal in these hypothetical negotiations already know that. They will have worked it out from his public statements, but in addition he will have reassured them on that matter in private meetings, and asked for their help in duping the British voters with some trivial and probably temporary concessions which could then be presented to the British as being major changes. Probably with some of those foreign politicians then letting the media pick up their complaints about the hard bargain that he drove, while also expressing some grudging respect for his determination to get what he wanted. It’s all so bloody transparent, except of course to the voters who are fed tripe by the mass media.

  • Blindsideflanker

    “My colleagues should also ask themselves a very important question: can they trust Nigel Farage?”

    I am sorry but that is outrageous, you slippery, smarmy operators in Westminster don’t have any right to question the integrity of others when you are masters of lies and deceit.

    Just look at Cameron’s vacuous EU renegotiating position, there is nothing honest about it.

    • telemachus

      The single most telling point is that each and every Tory MP who deeply Eurosceptic considered defecting to Ukip (there have been 7 who have seriously been down this route) have pulled away after talking to Farage
      As reported by Speccie one even specifically said he looked into Farage’s eyes and felt he could not trust the man

      • Colonel Mustard

        What a pity we cannot look into your eyes. Although it is not difficult to guess what we would find, your own dishonesty and dissembling runs through these pages like a name through a stick of rock.

        • Wessex Man

          would there be anything thwere Colonel, I think you would find an empty vessel!

        • telemachus

          The reasonable among us look for more than nihilism and sneering
          You have no beliefs and no consistency
          You love to look at your posts tagging anyone who supports the government or takes a compassionate view of governance

      • Smithersjones2013

        As reported by Speccie one even specifically said he looked into Farage’s eyes and felt he could not trust the man

        Well with a leader like Cameron its hardly surprising his MP’s are insecure to the verge of paranoia now is it?

        • telemachus

          On the only issue that Farage truly addresses ie the European issue Cameron in fact has the most sane policies of any leader (note I did not say party)

          I absolutely trust Cameron to do the best for our country and then put it to us

          As Charles Moore posted yesterday there are already more of us wanting to stay in:

          “The latest Ipsos Mori poll has 54 per cent wanting to stay in (and 37 per cent wanting to get out), compared with 41 per cent (with 49 per cent outers) in September 2011.”

          • Smithersjones2013

            Oh for god sake give up with the tedious propaganda nobody on here takes any notice of it.

            As for Charles Moore check which response has got the most ratings, read it and learn!

            • telemachus

              From your reply you clearly define propaganda as something that goes against your received wisdom

              • Darnell Jackson

                And in reverse that’s how you define diversity

      • Kitty MLB

        Labour is the most dishonest and treacherous parties in the united Kingdom. You would not look into any of their eyes and see the truth.
        But never mind UKIP may take them over.

    • Conway

      I think the more important question, far more important than the opinion of his colleagues, is does the electorate trust Farage. I’d say they do, far more than the three stooges at least.

    • timinsingapore

      I quote:

      “‘My colleagues should also ask themselves a very important question: can they trust Nigel Farage?’

      I am sorry but that is outrageous, you slippery, smarmy operators in Westminster don’t have any right to question the integrity of others when you are masters of lies and deceit.

      Just look at Cameron’s vacuous EU renegotiating position, there is nothing honest about it.”

      Which is entirely consistent with the continuous questioning of Cameron’s integrity that we have come to expect from ‘Dodgy’ Nigel and the Denture Gnashers. You chaps may have rather narrow horizons, but at least you can look in the mirror … ?

      • the viceroy’s gin

        …in 11.5 months, you can loop up at the top of the spike, where Call Me Dave’s head will be mounted.

  • jazz606

    There isn’t a spoon long enough for UKIP to do a deal with the Tories.

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