I didn’t exactly need to consult my crystal ball when I wrote of Godfrey Bloom’s “potential to do irrevocable damage” to his party here on Trending Central last month. That inevitable damage has now been done, with Bloom suspended from the party in disgrace on Friday.
The fact he guaranteed himself weekend front page headlines, just as his autobiography hit the shelves, is surely just coincidence.
Yet for all those headlines, for all that hard work by Nigel Farage gone to waste – some fifty interviews in 48 hours – Bloom’s behaviour was not the worst thing to happen at UKIP’s conference.
For obvious reasons, little reported was Farage’s commitment that there would be no form of electoral pact with the Tories before 2015. This is also a commitment that UKIP will aid and abet Ed Miliband all the way to Downing Street.
Sources in the party hierarchy protest this charge as unfair. There is no difference between Labour and the Tories so it matters not which party gets in, they insist. One of Farage’s favourite lines is that David Cameron is a “social democrat” just like Miliband, so if UKIP helps the latter into Number 10, the change will be negligible.
This is utter rubbish. Of course the Tories are not doing enough to satisfy UKIP sympathisers on issues like Europe, wind farms and High Speed rail (HS2). Personally, on those issues, I am much closer to Farage than Cameron. But these policy differences pale in significance when you consider the consequences of another Labour government.
Who cares about wind farms if the two Eds are back in charge of the economy, raising taxes, reversing welfare reform, reversing free schools, massively increasing the size of the state, refusing to reform the NHS? Who cares about HS2 when Labour is putting the demands of trade union bosses above the needs of the public? When we end up with Miliband representing us on the world stage against Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin?
“But so much of our vote comes from Labour,” UKIP bleats, “particularly in the north”.
“Many more of our supporters haven’t voted before.” they insist.
Again, this is nonsense. UKIP is increasingly popular in old Labour areas but they are kidding themselves if they do not think the vast majority of their support takes away from the Tory vote share. It is a right-wing populist party whose main impact will be to hurt the Conservatives. Those right-wingers that make up so much of the party must open their eyes to what a Labour government would mean.
The last line of defence UKIP offers is that it is not there to help anyone, it is its own party with its own policies. If you vote UKIP, you get UKIP, as Farage loves to tell us. This is cute, but it is just simply untrue.
UKIP probably won’t win a seat in 2015, it certainly won’t win many. If you vote UKIP in a general election, you will not get UKIP. Grandiose exclamations of what it stands for are all well and good, it won’t make jot of a difference after election day.
If UKIP is willing to put Ed Miliband in Downing Street because it is too proud to do a deal with the Tories, then it is not a friend of the right. As things stand it is blindly heading towards that outcome. 2014 might be about giving the Tories a deserved slap, but 2015 is not, and shouldn’t be.
If UKIP’s supporters don’t open their eyes and realise this, it is they, and we, who will suffer the consequences.
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