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Apparently, there is an ICM poll for the NotW out today putting the Tories on 39%, Labour on 35% and the Lib Dems at 20%. Clearly indicative of sustained progress under David Cameron. I trust we can expect a full report on this poll during the day?

ICM havn't been Tory biased is a long time, IIRC, some of their polling figured gave labour a bigger lead than expected a while back.

Progress is clear now.. This might be the beginning of a new era.

Reuters is saying that Cameron/Hague will ditch any tory MEP's who refuse to move;
"We are ready for talks and details first need to be hammered out," a spokesman for the party told Reuters.

"It is not the case that we are becoming more euro-sceptic but the new group would gather parties, some from the EPP, that oppose the EU constitution in its current shape."

"Our target is to eventually have 60 members. The next financial cut-off point for funding is March 31, so that we hope to have agreement by then," a senior Conservative MEP said.

"The Poles have told us they are ready to move and we also have assurances from some French, Swedes and Lithuanians."

This is excellent news, Cameron has to spill blood now to get the message across... Change to Win

The Lib Dems still as high as 20%?

I am pleased that Cameron is sticking to his commitment regarding the EPP. This should hopefully undermine UKIP.

Very good news on the EPP front.

"Apparently, there is an ICM poll for the NotW out today putting the Tories on 39%, Labour on 35% and the Lib Dems at 20%. Clearly indicative of sustained progress under David Cameron. I trust we can expect a full report on this poll during the day?"

What are you suggesting??!! This blog has covered every poll so far!

Good! I look forward to reading your report on it then, Tim. It should certainly make a change from all the gloom and doom on offer lately.

"Gloom and doom"
It's great to see we might win. It's frightening to think that if we win, we will do little or nothing to make Britain better.
If we win by ditching Conservatism, would we actually have won? Or would we have succeeded only in cementing the position of leftist bureaucratic managerialism? Thereby ensuring a relative decline against the exciting new economies of India, China, etc?
Oh well, let's enjoy the poll anyway.

UKIP polled a little over 600k votes, spent £650k and won no seats. They had the least effective spend by a long margin over all the others parties.

In the last quarter they received just £1,500 in donations, less than a third of their next rival, the mighty Cannabis Alliance.

Most people have rumbled UKIP now as the figures show.Just looking at the most popular thread on their forum this week, a fight with their real rivals, the BNP over the BNP's site being hacked into to.

They now want to become a "rounded" party with a full set of policies, but do not have a values-base to form them on. Other small and much better organised parties like the EDP are catching them up rapidly.

Once (and as long as) the EPP withdrawal and formation of a new looser centre-right alliance of parties is formed, the better.

What people are seeing now with UKIP is a party with its power base in the heart of Europe (its MEP's) which is also its primary source of income. UKIP is by far the party most dependent on the EU, and really should call itself EUKIP.

I totally understand the reasons for its formation, and this is not a bash at the thousands of people who were frustrated at the EU policies of the main parties, but UKIP's strategy was amateurish and they dropped the ball when their opportunity struck at the last election.

If instead of playing the egotisitcal "national party" and spreading themselves too thin across the country, they have concentrated their resources on winning one or two seats in parliament, they really could have changed the whole nature of the EU debate.

The UKIP leadership have let everyone down who would like to see a looser European alliance, and now parties have moved on, and thie EPP withdrawal should finally end their stay.

I just hope the Tories seize this opportunity, as although we are always glad to see the back of extemist members, most of UKIP's votes came from perfectly sensible people disillusioned by the main parties.

EPP withdrawal will display a pro-European alternative to federalism with a looser alliance that preserves nation states. This important step will win back these small, but vital disillusioned voters, but it must be with delivery and not promises.

UKIP is now being advised by the libertarian think-tank International Policy Network. IPN is funded by corporations including Microsoft, Monsanto, Exxon and Pfizer.

Two good pieces of news - firstly, that we are really making really great headway in the polls, and the second is that UKIP are going to make themselves more attractive to headcases that have pitched camp in our lawn for too long - I look forward to watching them leave.


An excellent day for the Conservative party. These right wingers are increasingly looking like the drunk bores at the end of a party when the lights have been turned on. It's time for the host to hand them their jackets and show them the door.

EDITOR: COMMENT DELETED BY THE EDITOR AS LIBELLOUS


Careful ukrap. I'm shocked your post hasn't been deleted.

An excellent day for the Conservative party. These right wingers are increasingly looking like the drunk bores at the end of a party when the lights have been turned on.

Those two sentences are logically disconnected, for it is the case that ‘a house divided against itself cannot stand”.

There are three or four years to go and yet a kind of cocky triumphalism is making some of you people quite delirious. If you exercised even half as much vigour in attacking Labour as you expend on your venomous attacks on right wing Conservatives and UKIP (our rivals not our enemies) we might one day be in with a chance of winning the next election.

"Nattrass and his croneys took over the party by blocking out a selection meeting with supporters, kicking out the previous leadership."

Is that why Roger Knapman is still the party leader?


Indeed. I thought it was quite a witty comment when it popped into my head. However you're exactly right that only a united and hard working party can attract the public's support.

There is no doubt that Farage is committed to the withdrawal of Britain from the EU.

Really? Astonishing! Tell us, how many years did it take you to figure that one out?

[UKIP are] Like the IRA

Jeez! LOL!

Come on, calm down guys.

Here's an idea for you:

UKIP are now actually ahelping to protect the Conservative Party's right flank, by occupying, in a rather unattractive manner, the ground that could be taken by a more credible rightwing party able to attract something like 10% of the vote at national elections.


Interesting idea Peter, what would your conclusion be?

I would guess that right wing support for the Cameron Tories is broad but brittle. Were UKIP to get its act together, perhaps re-branding itself as an English party, that support could prove surprisingly friable.

And to cap it all, even Simon Hughes is getting in on the Orange Book act. Happy Days!

As long as Cameron completes the EPP withdrawal and forms a pro-European nation-state grouping, then we will not have to give UKIP a second thought.

Failure to do this though could understandably repeat the vote-splitting tactics.

People will vote for the party that can actually deliver a route out of the EU federalist drive.

Now is the time for the Tories to show they are pro-Europe but anti a federalist United States of Europe.

It is time to move the debate on from a rather xenophobic "in or out?" to a positive pro-European "alliance or union?"

Let's not waste time on worrying about ukip or anyone else and instead focus on showing there is a way to be pro-European but anti-federalist.

I am sure the voters will respond positively to an "alliance or union" approach as it encapsulates the desire to be central part of "Europe" without merging into a U.S.E.

And that doesn't even mention the fact that during the supposed worst week for us for the last two decades (since the merger), we still managed to poll 20%. Signs that we have a core vote.


I'm passionately pro-European Union but equally can see the sense in the Cameron/Hague attempts to form a new grouping in the parliament. If we can, as Chad says, move away from the staid "in or out" argument then we will have advanced the European debate and strengthened the euro-sceptic position of the party.

People will vote for the party that can actually deliver a route out of the EU federalist drive.

Agreed. And Cameron is surely conscious of the fact that one year before the likely general election date there will be the European elections. Two things should worry him about that (and probably do):

1 public opinion is likely to be even more disenchanted with the EU than it already is;

2. UKIP is low on the media radar at the moment and needs to be kept that way.

He simply cannot afford to let UKIP repeat its 2004 performance and take 15-20% of the Euro vote; if it does, it will then become a magnet for other issues of discontent and may well siphon off 2% to 4% of the Tory vote at the forthcoming general election. Result: Cameron loses.

(and of course Labour will have a vested interest in boosting UKIP in that final year before the election - and Labour has plenty of friends in the media…)


Tacitly the Cameron/Hague/Fox strategy on Europe could be very clever.

With a new smaller grouping Cameron can both present a more sophisticated and apparently tolerant approach to EU matters, while being resolutely euro-sceptic.

Unlike most left-wing Conservatives I’m not afraid of this new approach and think it could bring refreshing change and honesty to the debate.

I cannot wait till we pull out of the EPP, it has been long overdue. Cameron must stay strong on this one!

Any suggestions what the new Group should be called?

I cant think of anything catchy. But would like to see emphasis on words such as Freedom or Liberty.


"Group for European Reform" - gives a sensible a rational impression of a moderate group of centre-right parties campaigning for "reform" of the EU.

Nothing ideological, nothing extreme, just moving the centre-right agenda on from "in or out".

Oh Dear,
Press the panic buttons!
You can always tell when the Cons are afraid, they go into insult and rumour mode.
So - will Dave start to do some furious back-pedalling, or continue on the road to Lib-Dem land? He has already done a Nu-Lab and plastered the Union Jack behind him. UKIP have now opened up a real choice so stop crying into your milk which has gone sour and start looking in the mirror.

ALways funny to hear fringe nutter parties insisting they offer a "real choice", regardless of electoral reality.

I think with the creation of a new, more moderate but robustly Euro-sceptic grouping in the parliament the UKIP "alternative" will look pretty dubious.

It's always been a weakness in our approach that we make ourselves look like UKIP-lite. The Cameron/Hague/Fox European policy will re-invigorate right wing euro-scepticism. Giving mainstream, euro-sceptic right wingers an opportunity to highlight the differences between themselves and UKIP extremists.


I have the impression that right wing Conservatives have never really been forgiven for (a) ousting Heath, and (b) succeeding in ending Britain's relative economic decline.

"Managed decline" is something that many people found oddly comforting.

Frank: "Interesting idea Peter, what would your conclusion be?"

Orange Booker: "I would guess that right wing support for the Cameron Tories is broad but brittle. Were UKIP to get its act together, perhaps re-branding itself as an English party, that support could prove surprisingly friable."

My conclusion would be to give thanks for a party to our right that can't get its act together as opposed to one that might! We should also give thanks for a party to our left that had got its act together but then threw it all away at the first glimpse of David Cameron. Happy days indeed, Mr Booker.

And thank you UKIP-not-Tory for that magnificently mixed metaphor I think I can spot at least four in there!

May I rebut the comment that UKIP did not target seats in the last General Election?

They most certainly did target Boston & Skegness, where the Conservatives MP had a slim 500 seat majority. Indeed I have it on good authority that this was their number one target seat.

Thankfully local Conservatives had anticipated this and, with a lot of hard work from volunteers and the help of a professional agent from a neighbouring constituency, successfully countered the threat.

I guess it is now safe to say that the UKIP boat is now sunk. And, once Conservatives and their allies in the European Parliament have completed the formalities of forming a Euro-realist group, the UKIP boat can be considered sunk without trace.

Looks like a lot of the truth denying EuroTories on here are spending a great deal of time telling themselves how insignificant UKIP are in this Country of ours.I respectfully suggest that if the Conservatives want to win anything at all,they start by stating clearly that they want us out of the EU,and secondly,recognise the threat of UKIP as being especially real and determined.

UKIP is so nearly cognate with f***wit, ain't it?

It's just not possible to do the cognitive dissonance that their apologists would like us to do. That is we're supposed to view them as a straightforward decent bunch who simply want out of the EU and ignore the way they make you feel when you look at them. I can't do that, and whether you pick up on their real intent by the silences between the lisped, sibillant lines they permit themselves to say in public on matters like immigration, or whether you just look at the leathery skin of most of their rancid supporters, it's clear to me what they're about. Therefore was not surprised to read ukrap's posting.

Sometimes, some of the libertarian right (whom I connect not one iota with ukippers) on this blog go on at Cameron supporters that we're either not real conservatives or that when we do win the election it won't be worthwhile because some sort of Faustian social democratic pact will be required to get there. Well I don't agree really with that, but what's sauce for the goose etc ... I agree with Oberon - I couldn't give a flying f*** if most UKIP supporters were Tory voters in the 1930s, everyone of them that I've met was repellant. I'm glad they've p*ssed off to their little rump movement where they can all w*nk off into each other's stripy blazers and reminisce about the monocultural Britain they've convinced themselves they grew up in. 'oo was that geezer on the blog the other day whining on about lesbians in Bethnal Green? Very typical ukipper I imagine, who even when he thinks he's being amusing just causes the decent to step carefully backwards, maintaining eye contact, while edging for the door. Thank god his lot is out of our party and out of the east end.

Don't let's take them seriously. Who came up with the blog headline about UKIP aiming to take us on from the libertarian right? Purlease. There's no connection between the libertarian right and the stripy blazered loser brigade. Their best hope was Robert Kilroy Silk! And they f***ed that up!!

It really doesn't matter how unpleasant UKIP are personally -- they are never going to be in government -- so those who might vote for them will simply be sending a message.

So yes, you should take UKIP seriously, if not for themselves, then for those who are unhappy about Cameron's policy of apeing Labour and are ready to vote for them.

"Any suggestions what the new Group should be called?"

As I have said before, I'm all for "European Alliance" as it is clearly pro-European and differentiates itself from the federalistic "Union".

www.europeanalliance.org.uk

"I respectfully suggest that if the Conservatives want to win anything at all,they start by stating clearly that they want us out of the EU,and secondly,recognise the threat of UKIP as being especially real and determined."

You're welcome but misguided. The aim of a major party (i.e. one that could actually become the government) is not to sound xenophobic and promote negatives like "withdrawal" but to offer realistic alternatives and even to be visionary and suggest new ways to achieve values and goals.

As you are well aware (assuming you are the same Hartlepool from the ukipforum), my drive for an "EA" over an "EU" has been received well by many moderate UKIP members who have suggested that they would switch to the Tories if such a policy was adopted.

I believe by naming the new group outside the EPP as the EA (European Alliance) would be a powerful, visionary and positive message of a close Europe, without the federal or superstate aims, ie, an alliance of nation states.

This would create a new approach for the electorate, and real choice of:

Union (Lab & LibDem)
Alliance (Tory)
Withdrawal (UKIP, BNP)

...and I would suggest making the Alliance, tory approach the centrist and most sensible one. I am sure when presented with Federal USE, nation-state alliance, or total withdrawal, the public will opt for the Alliance.

Not only does this preserve the status quo, but it is pro-European, small government and creates a positive framework for European cooperation without all the fears of the union approach.

There are many Conservatives like me who really share the UKIP aim of leaving the EU and negotiating a free trading arrangement in the same way as Norway or Switzerland. Roger Helmer and Dan Hannan have expressed such views. We believe in trying to achieve that aim from within the Conservative Party. There are many Conservative MPs who also share that view, though they do not make it a big issue. Indeed polls have shown that a large proportion of the public share that view.

The main reasons that UKIP has such a small vote in UK elections are that the public know that they have no chance of getting elected, and they also do not put leaving the EU high on their list of priorities.

Leaving the EPP is a good policy, but it is a great pity we have ditched the policy of repatriating our fishing rights. Unless we continue to oppose further EU integration, and campaign to roll back the powers of the EU there is a real danger that we could lose vital votes to UKIP.

"UKRAP" posted a comment much earlier in this thread suggesting something libellous. It has now been deleted and the source IP address banned. If you ever see anything like that please email [email protected] or [email protected] and we'll act accordingly. Thanks.

'oo was that geezer on the blog the other day whining on about lesbians in Bethnal Green?

Trying just a wee bit too hard to pass yourself off as a proletarian.

East end? I suspect you're more of a south coast wallah.

De-bile yourself and then concentrate your fire on Labour.

Chad's idea of forming a looser European Alliance is a good idea, but doesn't this organisation already exist? It is called the European Free Trade Area [EFTA] In order to go back to this we would need to renegotiate our current membership of the EU. The fact is that none of the main parties would dare to risk frightening the voters by suggesting anything so radical. But that does not stop it being an excellent idea. If it is going to become mainstream, we have to campaign for it.

"I couldn't give a flying f*** if most UKIP supporters were Tory voters in the 1930s, everyone of them that I've met was repellant."

People in glass houses..........

The Conservative Party leaving the EPP would be a welcome move. I have to admit that my personal hope is that this would be a first step towards eventually adopting a policy of a withdrawal from the EU, and re-negotiation of the UK-EU relationship. My great fear of any alternative approach is that it will be self-deluding, with much talk of 'reforming' the EU from within, but with little in terms of changes in EU policy or structure. I am open to persuasion, but I cannot see any way that the UK, even in alliance with some other countries, can significantly alter the course of the development of the EU.

With the Eurocops now taking an active role in UK police investigations a Federal European Police force is surely not far off.

These first steps towards withdrawl need to be a lot faster.

I personally would be happy with the notion of "reforming the EU from within" if it was even remotely possible. But given the nature of the EU and, those that govern it, it will never happen. I hope not just for our withdrawal from Europe, but for the total collapse of the whole damn project.

the truth is never libellous

"Chad's idea of forming a looser European Alliance is a good idea, but doesn't this organisation already exist? It is called the European Free Trade Area [EFTA]"

Hi Derek,

Yes and No. As I put on the europeanalliance.org.uk site, the aim for the EA is to leverage existing agreements (notably EFTA) and work together on others aside from trade, all under a looser umbrella of EA.

EA is a single name for a series of agreements (including EFTA) between nation states, but giving them a collective term to aid the overall comparison with the federal EU or withdrawal options.

However, it is important to work one step at a time as we can respond to the reaction of our European partners.

Far from isolation, I believe the withdrawal from the EPP to form a new group focussed on a nation-state approach will appeal to many to other conservative groups too.

It would only take one or two other countries to join the 'ea' group within the EU to make real change. The EU will be faced with either have to reform or see the group split away.

Let's just take it that one step at a time. Withdraw from the EPP first and create a new grouping dedicated to this looser alliance of nation state cooperation, then watch as partners come onside.

David Cameron could show real vision for a stronger nation-state Europe with his EPP withdrawal plan, and the sooner it is implemented the better.

UKIP's elected representatives in London are there because the vote counting system is so rigged to make it virtually impossible for any party to have more that 9 members and without them, we would not be able to block Emperor Ken's budgets.

However, if all their constituency member votes had switched to the Conservative candidates, we would have got one, possibly even two, more GLA members and they would still have got their two top ups.

Logically, we should be targetting UKIP voters in 2008 with that message, not sending them off further from us by insulting comments about their dress sense!

Just repeat that many ukip are far more bothered about being big fish in a small pool than getting UK out of EU. kilroy silk e.g. was blocked by the cabal, and they threw away a chance of rapid growth - not for the first time.

fortunately the cabal that controls ukip, which has its origins in New Britain (Delderfield's avowedly racist party) is divided and stunningly incompetent.

nigel farage speaks to the USA on radio every week, and is influencing many Americans to euroscepticism. other ukippers seem more devoted to promoting their own careers. they always attack eurosceptic conservative leaders much harder than europhile ones. wonder why?

maybe when they see P45's on their way, they shout louder.

UKIP are "in your face"with their obvious Euroskeptic image,nobody can mistake what the aims of UKIP are.The fist Party of the Big Three to state its Euroskeptic aims as clearly as stated by UKIP will become this Countries Government for many, many years. I know it,you know it and they know it,anyone out there brave enough to stand up and say "yes,you're right"or"no,you're wrong"?Lets hear some views on this,Conservative views will be especially welcomed by this UKIP activist.

Members of EFTA also need to be members of the EEA to enjoy free trade with Europe. Unfortunately it also involves accepting various EU regulations. Switzerland is the only EFTA member that is not an EEA member as well.

When we do get out of the EU it would not be a bother for us to accept"various EU regulations"as long as the EU has no problem with accepting Various UK Regulations.I think that is fair and the way to go too,dont you?

UKRAP said: "fortunately the cabal that controls ukip, which has its origins in New Britain (Delderfield's avowedly racist party) is divided and stunningly incompetent."

Presumably this is a reference to the fact that Nattrass and Titford were once New Britain members. The world is littered with ex-New Britain members. I gather they had a big split over the Kosovan War, with the anti-war faction going into the BNP.

Delderfield has been an irritating pain in the backside over the years but I rather thought he had called it a day - he must be 80 by now. If UKRAP has anything to add to this, the world awaits the truth with baited breath.

There is nothing to be gained by aping UKIP - as an irrelevent bunch of fringe nutcase they can always position themselves several steps beyond what is palatable for a mainstream party with aspirations of government.

Outside of European elections UKIP have a negligible effect on anyone's electoral chances - we should be targeting the millions of former solid Conservative voters who have voted Labour or (particularly) Liberal Democrat since 1993, not the handful who have switched to UKIP or (more likely) died out.

A negligible number of voters switched parties compared to the number who simply stopped voting.

Well, if that was the case, then a negligible number of a negligible number switched to UKIP, and what they do is therefore completely irrelevent.

Yes, Iain, if you look at the figures, in 1997 Tony Blair polled *less* than John Major did in 1992. Labour's share of the vote went up slightly, but what *really* explained the landslide was the total collapse of the Tory vote.

The point being: *some* switched from the Tories to Labour; *some* switched from the Tories to fringe parties like the Referendum Party and UKIP; but the great majority just stayed at home.

The point being that the 1997 election was not a huge endorsement for Tony Blair or "progressive politics"; it was a total vote of no-confidence in John Major's (woeful) Tory government.

"Well, if that was the case, then a negligible number of a negligible number switched to UKIP, and what they do is therefore completely irrelevent."

Not if your party's strategy is aimed solely at the people who vote already (as Cameron's can be said to be). As Lord Tebbit noted, those people who voted for Conservative until 1997, when they stopped, are hardly likely to be won back to the fold by a party that repudiates the approaches they supported.

UKIP getting those 600k votes really set the CONs back a long way last time.I expect the CONs will be trying to get those 600k votes back next time around.I think that those out there who are realistic are fully aware that next time could be the CONs biggest nightmare.Lets not forget,4 months from now Local Elections take place,lets see how well the CONs do in them shall we before engaging mouths on the strength of a Bliar clone taking the wheel of the CONs brokendown war wagon eh?

The level of delusion in this thread is frankly astonishing. The idea that by withdrawing from the EPP we will eliminate UKIP as a threat is simply absurd. Firstly the vast majority of the public, and probably most UKIP voters, have no idea what the EPP is. Secondly withdrawal, while a welcome move, does not address any of the serious questions about our relationship with the EU. Anyone who thinks that more than a handful of people will vote conservative instead of UKIP because we withdraw from the EPP is living on another planet.

More worrying is the horryifyingly stupid view that driving right wingers away actually helps the party. Right wing abstentions and votes for UKIP or the BNP already costs the party dear and the way we are going it will cost it far more. I know many of you think that Cameron will pick up votes at the other end especially off the Lib Dem's but the belief that the Lib Dem's are going to collapse is hopelessly divorced from reality. Even if they struggle on the national stage they are brilliant at fighting on the ground and their ability to embed themselves in a constituency is astonishing. Look at the time and effort it took to regain Newbury, remind yourselves that Romsey is still Lib Dem. Their success in these places (and others like them) is not just down to their leader but their tireless work on the ground. As much as we wish they would they simply are not going to collapse.

The drops in turnout since 1992 have been by far most pronounced in solid Labour constituencies, and solid Labour areas in safe seats of all colours. Here in Worsley the 2005 turnout was 53.1% but I know that the strongest Conservative area turned out well in excess of 70%.

I've seen no evidence on the ground of these "missing Conservative voters". Floating voters in marginal constituencies flocked to Labour (and the Liberal Democrats in Lib-Con marginals) in 1997 and for the most part have yet to return. Alongside that, turnout in safe Labour seats plummeted, which also accounts for a large chunk of the disparity in the electoral outcomes under FPTP.

Right-wing Conservatives have spent the past eight years arguing that there is a mythical band of voters who will return if we bark the right message. There aren't, and they won't. Let's appeal to voters who actually exist.


Correct, Richard. We can hope to gain votes at the margin from the Lib Dems (and that will be enough to win several constituencies from them), but we aren't going to get droves of former Lib Dems voting for us, and that party isn't going to disappear either.


Well done Iain. Keep it up!

"The drops in turnout since 1992 have been by far most pronounced in solid Labour constituencies, and solid Labour areas in safe seats of all colours."

In safe Labour seats the biggest falls in turnout could be expected, since those were the seats where the result was more certain and the extra votes least needed. So the fall would be expected in any case.

While it's true that the majority of the total number of missing voters were inclined to vote Labour, there's no polling evidence that suggests these voters previously supported Labour.

Indeed, Worcester and Mortimore have shown that they were in fact disillusioned Conservatives who would have voted Labour if they had turned out to vote. Like other disillusioned Conservatives, they wanted Major defeated, but were happy to avoid voting Labour.

In 1997, 2.5 million 1992 Conservative voters didn't vote at all, 1.5 million swung to Labour or the Lib Dems, and 400,000 or so swung back to the Conservatives.

"Right-wing Conservatives have spent the past eight years arguing that there is a mythical band of voters who will return if we bark the right message."

And we've offered the wrong message and the wrong messangers.

"Let's appeal to voters who actually exist."

You mean "let's fight over an ever shrinking pool of voters, where to stand a chance of winning we need to adopt social democratic policies."

"More worrying is the horryifyingly stupid view that driving right wingers away actually helps the party"

And it's entertainingly espoused by the very people who squeal the loudest when their dismal brand of Collectivist Conservatism is questioned!

Sean & Richard

What the last election showed was that for the first time we were able to get seats back from the LDs - with a basically core vote and IMHO unattractive set of policies. We also defended those type of marginals that in 1997 or 2001 conditions we would have lost.
The LDs could build fortresses when they were few in number (so individuals held seats on their "fame') but there are plenty of soft seats out there now that I believe we could get back with strong local campaigns.
We need to select candidates quickly for those seats and really work on getting them back. I do not believe we can squeeze the LDs out of existence but if we can continue the success of 2005 we can turn the orange tide in the South & South west.

This debate is making me smile.At the very time we are enjoying the most favourable polls and coverage in the media we've had in five years we are worrying about a bunch of people who got 2% in the polls and more importantly have nothing of interest to say to the electorate outside the European issue.

Agreed Malcolm. UKIP are a busted flush now that they've lost their publicity magnet Robert Kilroy-Silk and the media hysteria over the European Constitution. We tried playing to the Eurosceptic gallery in 2001 and it got us nowhere.

Ukip - so called because when Roger Knapman speaks, everybody falls asleep...

Ted

Yes there are seats that we can gain from the Lib Dem's but mnay of their seats will be real tough nuts to crack. We will do very well to make a net gain of 8-10 seats and anything higher is IMO out of the question. We will never reverse the 1997 losses to them in one go.

"and more importantly have nothing of interest to say to the electorate outside the European issue."

But that appears likely to change. If UKIP offers significant tax cuts and radical public service reform it will prove very attractive to the types of conservatives who are dismayed at where Cameron is going.

"We tried playing to the Eurosceptic gallery in 2001 and it got us nowhere."

Probably because we fought the election on "saving the pound", which had been rendered an non-issue by the government's pledge to hold a referendum prior to entering the single currency.

So all that's a lesson against is irrelevance...

"... it will prove very attractive to the types of conservatives who are dismayed at where Cameron is going."

And protest votes leading to underperformance at local and European elections were what helped do for IDS.

Having read your comments page for the first time, I see that there is a much higher percentage of unpleasant people with foul mouths and mad ideas than I have ever met in my 9 years in UKIP.

A question - what on earth is extreme about believing in self-government for Britain? And for the rest of the nations in the world for that matter? In 1950 there were about 60 countries in the world, now there are nearly 200 - so why is the EU going the other way?

The smug self-satisfaction I have seen on this web site astonishes me - a quite small move in the polls, as Cameraon turns himself into Kennedy, but sober (as far as we know) is no indication whatever of being able to win the net election.

It should also be obvious to those few of you in possession of half a brain that moving steadily towards the centre - if not the Left - leaves wide open a gap on the right through which former right wing Tories will slip, to fall into the lap of UKIP.

Having been to almost every Party conference of all 4 parties since 1998, and spoken to innumerable Conservatives who know that I vote for UKIP, I can tell you that the vast majority of Tories - including many Tory MPs - agree wholeheartedly with us - and that we have to leave or perish.

There is, and never was, any prospect of the EU being fixed from within - it is what it is because that it what it was always intended to be - systemically corrupt, totalitarian, and insane in economic terms. It's collapse is inevitable, and coming soon. Those who think that we can stay and make it work should give up whatever it is they are smoking.

Incidentally - UKIP will make enormouse gains from the Tories at the next EP elections - unless you steal our clothes by coming to your senses and saying that we are leaving.

Idris Francis


"And protest votes leading to underperformance at local and European elections were what helped do for IDS."

We never contested European elections under Iain Duncan Smith's leadership.

"We never contested European elections under Iain Duncan Smith's leadership."

A minor slip on my part! However poor performances in 2004 were undoubtedtedly warning signs for the party, and lead in part to the focus on immigration to try and stop further haemorrageing of the vote to UKIP.

T"here is, and never was, any prospect of the EU being fixed from within - it is what it is because that it what it was always intended to be - systemically corrupt, totalitarian, and insane in economic terms. It's collapse is inevitable, and coming soon."

I think this is the point that too few people (especially Tories) understand, probably because European matters are too esoteric. Most people are generally hostile to the idea of a superstate, but they don't realise just how impossible "reform from within" actually is.

Furthermore, far too many of the attacks against the "europhobic right" consist of personal abuse, and that doesn't advance the argument at all.

Robert Kilroy-Silk was the class example. He was mocked, insulted, demonized, jeered, had slurry poured over him, and yet hardly anyone tried to argue as to why they thought he was wrong.

And they say that it's the right-wing that's nasty!

Oh and by the way - for those who still think we can sup with the devil:

Corpus Juris - the EU plan for a single legal system for the whole EU, abolishing habeas corpus, jury trial, lay magistrates, common law and the defence against double jeopardy. And allowing indefinite detention without trial.

The EU Arrest Warrant - including "Racism and Xenophobia" as defined, any way they wish, by the EU

Funding and "recognition" of political parties - and by definition and statute, non-recognition of those that do not subscribe to EU objectives.

The piece-meal introduction of the Constitution, continuing steadly, regardless of the NO votes.

Galileo - th give the EU a navigation system that the USA could not deny them when the EU goes to war against a US ally -or the US itself.

The EU police force, which the British police force is as we speak being squeezed into 12 bite sized chunks, ready to report to Brussels

Regionalisation

Ever more jobsworths absorbing our money doing non-jobs, but dependant on the EU for their income. This includes many hundreds if not thousands of Professors and lecturers and departments in universities

The Soul for Europe Project which provided funds to Bishops who camppaign (unconstitutionally) for regionalisation 0 while denying that it is anything to do with the EU.

EU control of roads, and road safety - imagine, Portugal and Spain tellings how to drive safely! And the French and Italins..

The Directive that is putting every health care busines out of business

Enough for the moment?

Idris Francis


"Robert Kilroy-Silk was the class example. He was mocked, insulted, demonized, jeered, had slurry poured over him, and yet hardly anyone tried to argue as to why they thought he was wrong."

Probably because he was right, but it's easier to demonise someone by associating them with Le Pen or Mussolini jr. than it is to meet them in reasoned debate.

We saw that in the deleted post in this thread that compare UKIP to... the IRA.

and I forgot - I first realised I was a Conservative when I smuggles a crystal set under my bedclothes in 1951 to listen to Churchill getting back.

I abandoned the Conservatives listening to Major at Maastricht, betraying everythin we stand for. Others had done so before him of course - Traitor Heath (reportedly an Abwer stooge since the 1930s) and MacMillan, who agreed in the mid 1950s with De Gaulle that the peoples of Europe would never accept what was intended if they knew what was intended, and that they would therefore have to be deceived.

But most of all - having worked 70 to 80 hours a week from 1964 to 1991, I woke up when I heard Mrs. Papandreou tell us all, from Maastricht "NO! You will NOT be allowed to work more than 48 hours a week! There have been FAR TOO MANY EXCEPTIONS ALREADY! You WILL NOT work more than 48 hours a week, you WILL take a continuous break of at least 36 hours a week every weekend.

It was at that moment, when I realised that the EU intended to give criminal records to people who work hard, that I realised that they are clinically insane and would bring the economies of Europe to their knees. I have seen nothing since to change that view, and an enormouse amount more to tell me how much worse it really is.

I do not have time to read this list constantly, but if anyone needs any information on any of these issues - I have 14 years' worth - ask me on [email protected]

Idris Francis

Isn't there some statistical analysis that shows that UKIP's votes come from across the spectrum and not just disillusioned Tory voters?

If I were to believe the hypothesis that a more eurosceptic indeed euro obsessed conservative party would gain support I would have to believe:
- that we won in 2001 and 2005
- that our support would collapse if we moved to the centre
- that a europhile libdem party did not have over 10 times the level of support of UKIP
- that a euro friendly labour party did not win three landslide victories

I would clearly believe that the current spate of opinion polls putting the conservative party in the lead for first time in a decade were some kind of media plot perhaps run by Campbell?

Arthur Scargill tried a similar strategy - offering a pure socialism to those put off by Blair. I can't remember him winning many seats in 2005 but then again maybe he is actually PM and I have being living in n alternative universe where a narrowly focused Conservative party just keeps losing elections.

"Isn't there some statistical analysis that shows that UKIP's votes come from across the spectrum and not just disillusioned Tory voters? "

But that might have something to do with the fact that alot of "Old Labour" people are really small "c" conservatives who hadn't woken up to the new divide in politics post-Thatcher.

Kilroy-Silk himself was in the Labour Party of course.

UKIP gain votes from across the party range. However, thie vote mostly comes from former Conservatives.

Most importantly though it should be remembered that people vote for them not to get them into government, but as a protest that the main parties' policies don't match their aspirations.

http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:vv8rJozbmCAJ:politics.guardian.co.uk/elections2004/story/0,14549,1239108,00.html+who+votes+for+UKIP&hl=en&client=firefox-a

"If I were to believe the hypothesis that a more eurosceptic indeed euro obsessed conservative party would gain support I would have to believe: "

First of all, the europhiles in the party are no less "euro-obsessed" than the eurosceptics. If you want evidence of this, take a look at Ken Clarke and Michael Heseltine who were ready to revolt under the Pro-European Major government because he offered to hold a referendum on joining the Euro.

Secondly, perhaps you'd have to ignore all the polls that show that the British people are extremely hostile to the European project?

How can you say that being "eurosceptic" is unpopular if the people of this country are demonstrated to be eurosceptic?

"- that we won in 2001 and 2005"

In neither of those elections did we offer a referundum on membership. In 2001 Hague ran a campaign on keeping the pound when the Labour government had already offered a referendum on the issue; in 2005 Michael Howard barely mentioned Europe!

Indeed, it was noted at the time that neither party wanted to talk about Europe at all! So how you can claim that 2005 was run on the "narrow" agenda of Europe really is beyond me.

But once again this demonstrates the tendentiousness of those on the left of the party to pretend that all past failings are the fault of the right!

"I would clearly believe that the current spate of opinion polls putting the conservative party in the lead for first time in a decade were some kind of media plot perhaps run by Campbell?"

And you ought to realise that this has nothing whatever to do with Europe, and much more to do with the fact that Cameron is nice and presentable and has received positive media coverage. Furthermore, if someone is described in glowing terms as a "winner" it becomes a self-fulfilling prophesy.

But I see no evidence that Cameron's policy proposals are what are attracting people to the party! Nor do I believe that his jettisoning of past Tory policies are popular.

Most people didn't even *know* about the school voucher policy (which tells you alot about our gutless 2005 election campaign) let alone dislike it.

"Arthur Scargill tried a similar strategy - offering a pure socialism to those put off by Blair. I can't remember him winning many seats in 2005 but then again maybe he is actually PM and I have being living in n alternative universe where a narrowly focused Conservative party just keeps losing elections."

Except that we didn't lose the 2005 election because of Europe, because it wasn't even mentioned. And it was a "narrow" agenda because most of our policies were the same as Labour's! It was not "extreme right-wing" in the slightest!


"Isn't there some statistical analysis that shows that UKIP's votes come from across the spectrum and not just disillusioned Tory voters?"

I would suggest from the below two links, that most UKIP voters are ex-Tories (centrist not far-right) and they did indeed make a significant impact on the election result as a protest vote-splitting exercise.

Richard North's stats on the seats that UKIP cost the Tories:
http://eureferendum.blogspot.com/2005/05/ukip-won-it-for-labour.html

Here's an online study of voters that suggests that most UKIP voters are actually centrist conservatives.
http://ex-parrot.com/~chris/wwwitter/20050415-my_country_right_or_left.html

So yes, their total vote is small, but highly significant and likely to be coming from disillusioned ex-conservative voters.

That is why, imho, it is important to address the concerns of these 600k people better than UKIP has.

Richard North's stats only have a big effect if you look at them crudely. If you apply any sense of realism, the number of affected seats drops significantly:

If 75% of the UKIP vote came from former Conservatives, and 0% from our main challenger (an unrealistic situation I'm sure you'll agree), the following seats fall:

Battersea, Burton, Crawley, Dartford, Eastleigh, Gillingham, Harlow, High Peak, Medway, Romsey, Sittingbourne & Sheppey, Solihull, Somerton & Frome, Staffordshire Moorlands, Stroud, Stourbridge, Taunton, Thanet South, Torbay, Warwick & Leamington, Westmoreland & Lonsdale (21)

If 60% of the UKIP vote came from former Conservative, and 20% from our main challenger, which I think is still (extremely) optimistic but possible, then we would have won the following:

Crawley, Gillingham, Harlow, Medway, Romsey, Sittingbourne & Sheppey, Solihull, Stroud, Stourbridge, Taunton, Thanet South, Warwick & Leamington, Westmoreland & Lonsdale (13), and Eastleigh would have been lost on a knife-edge.

So if we throw Eastleigh in, that's Conservative +14, Labour -9, Liberal Democrat -5. A nice boost, but even that's with optimistic figures, and it's hardly earth-shattering.

The truth is a little more complicated.

(1) We did not lose the 1997 because Tories stayed at home. We lost in 1997 because a lot of our people switched sides, some people voted tactically to kick out Major, and some Tories stayed at home.

(2) We did not lose in 2001 because we were too-right wing. We did not lose in 2001 because we were too left-wing. We lost in 2001 because the voters decided that Blair did not deserve to be kicked out.

(3) UKIP do not take their support exclusively from the Tories. Where their votes come from tend to be different in different parts of the country. I've always assumed in East London, for example, that its a renegade residents' association/dissafected Labour vote - but on the other hand, in the South West it does seem to be renegade Tory.

(4) Yes, if you add UKIP & Veritas votes to Tory votes in 2005, then we would have taken more seats. I'm not convinced we would have got all of those votes if the UKIP/Veritas candidates had not been standing - although there probably are cases where that was true. However, better local organisations in certain places would have been a more effective and certain way of winning seats - in all parts of the country.

(5) I'm not convinced UKIP current members want a particularly aggressive right-wing agenda. Yes, some of UKIP's high command are ex-Tories - but a lot of their activists are people who have not been involved in politics before (part of their problems). They're pro-tax cuts, but in the sense of taking the lower-paid out of tax altogether - which I think is (just about) what every party is advocating.

(6) Kilroy-Silk was offering a socially conservative platform, but he wasn't promising rampant Thatcherism - which gives some idea of where he thought his market was. In some ways he was basically offering a throwback to the 1950s. I'm not really convinced there was that much difference between the UKIP and Veritas manifestoes - other than the identity of their candidate for prime minister. People like the current UKIP support won't come back to a Cameron Tory Party, however much they agree on matters, unless he adopts an EU-withdrawal policy (otherwise they'd be in the Tory Party already and wouldn't have joined/voted UKIP).

(7) However, what we don't know is how things might change. UKIP has never resolved the tension as to whether it's a pressure group or whether it's a party. When they do - what ground will they occupy? Whose votes will they get?


Indeed. It's hard to beleive that some people really think that we lose elections because we haven't been right wing enough

Frank Young: "It's hard to beleive that some people really think that we lose elections because we haven't been right wing enough"

In the past, we have lost elections because we haven't been good enough. Right-wing/left-wing didn't come into it.

"(1) We did not lose the 1997 because Tories stayed at home. We lost in 1997 because a lot of our people switched sides, some people voted tactically to kick out Major, and some Tories stayed at home."

2.5 million stayed at home, 1.5 million switiched (Worcester and Mortimore)

"(2) We did not lose in 2001 because we were too-right wing. We did not lose in 2001 because we were too left-wing. We lost in 2001 because the voters decided that Blair did not deserve to be kicked out."

And because we ran an appalling campaign that tried to fight on issues that simply did not matter to the electorate at that election. Not to mention that this followed an inpet and inconsistent period in opposition where we fought - and lost - all the wrong battles.

"(3) UKIP do not take their support exclusively from the Tories. Where their votes come from tend to be different in different parts of the country. I've always assumed in East London, for example, that its a renegade residents' association/dissafected Labour vote - but on the other hand, in the South West it does seem to be renegade Tory."

Agreed. I'm in the SW and UKIP here are almost exlusively disaffected Conservatives.

Point 4 agreed.

"(5) I'm not convinced UKIP current members want a particularly aggressive right-wing agenda. Yes, some of UKIP's high command are ex-Tories - but a lot of their activists are people who have not been involved in politics before (part of their problems). They're pro-tax cuts, but in the sense of taking the lower-paid out of tax altogether - which I think is (just about) what every party is advocating."

Hmmm. I'd agree that like most of the electorate they probably don't find that things like voucher schemes for schools set their world alight, but largely because they're unexplained. The localist agenda that underlies those ideas would appeal to them IMO.

Point 6 - I think the UKIP manifesto had a far more apparent tax cutting and deregulatory agenda, otherwise point taken.


"In the past, we have lost elections because we haven't been good enough. Right-wing/left-wing didn't come into it."

I'd disagree in so far as our adoption of "moderate" positions in 2005 forced us to distinguish ourselves by fighting a narrow campaign that - by defintion - wasn't good enough.


To add my two hapennyworth, there's little doubt that the Conservative Party has, overall, moved to the Left since the downfall of Margaret Thatcher.

It's not obvious that such a shift has been electorally beneficial.

However, I think William Norton's point is sound. We've lost because we haven't been good enough; not because we've been too right/left wing.

"We've lost because we haven't been good enough; not because we've been too right/left wing."

And that stands a repudiation of the modernisers and parrots, who try and blame electoral defeat on the party's right, and not the (literally in some cases) criminal incompetence of Major's government, and subsequent uselessness in opposition.

"We've lost because we haven't been good enough; not because we've been too right/left wing."

Cameron is proving that having good PR and media abilities improves the party's poll ratings and popularity. I'm yet to be convinced that the current Tory resurgence is anything to do with moving to the left.

But the thoroughly tendentious left-wing Tories on this site, however, seem to wish to blame every past failing on the right of the party (even making the preposterous claim that our 2005 campaign was too Eurosceptic), and wish to attribute the party's current success on Cameron adopting their agenda, ignoring any other non-political factors which might be contributing to his success.

If you asked the average person what they thought of Cameron they could well be positive (not surprising given the media coverage); if you asked them what his position was on a range of policy issues they wouldn't have a clue.

John's quite right, especially the last point. If DC sorts out the MEPs, by withdrawing from the EPP that will be a help in setting out our eurosceptic credentials ready for the next EU elections in 2008. We can then give the same message in Britain and Brussels.

A pollster once showed me her question sheet.
It was so biassed that one could have little faith in the result of an election unless the media were able to exclude discussion of the minor parties, as they did in 2005, and it was the day before the result was announced.

The result by ICM, whereby the 3 largest parties get 94% and others 6% has been similar ever since I can recall.

Hear the questions and know the percentage of people who were prepared to give an answer before believing Opinion Polls.

There are more floating voters out there than penguins in the southern oceans.

In the hope of shattering your complacency, I copy below the first few lines and the last paragraph about Cameron's extraordinary stupidity. If you want to read the rest of it and cannot find it elsewhere, I will copy it to anyone who asks for it

Idris Francis [email protected]

Great Britain: the new Germany - from The Business
January 15, 2006

IT’S official: Great Britain is no longer a low-tax economy. For the first time
in recent history, Germans will pay less tax than the British this year, signalling the end of an era and Britain’s 15-year dalliance with economic liberalism.

lots snipped:

The intellectual bankruptcy of the Tories is breathtaking: at a time when British tax rates are poised to overtake Germany’s and the economy is at a symbolic turning point, the Conservatives are utterly devoid of a rational intellectual framework to analyse the world and come up with an alternative.
Instead, according to the new Gordon Brown-David Cameron-LibDem consensus on the
economy, there is nothing wrong with a British economy where taxes are higher
than in Germany, a proposition which would be laughable if it were not so serious at a time of intense globalisation, technological change and footloose capital. Not for the first time, the British political stablishment is proving scandalously incapable of responding to the most important challenges of the era.

did that wake anyonbe up?

Unless wee cut tax rates, remove most regulation on business, put the 5m who are either unemployed or being paid fancy salaries for getting in the bloody way, and become nimble on our feet, we, like the rest of the EU will perish in the near future, at the hands of the East and Far East who do not have this bilge.

Being nice will not solve the problem

Idris

As many here know little or nothing about the real issues, or about UKIP I show below an impartial list of public meetings where information will be available. I would be happy to copy updates to anyone who wants them, just ask on [email protected]
If you are aware of any meetings - especially Conservative public meetings - I woould be happy to add them to this list
Idris Francis
List of Meetings related to the EU. This list of all known meetings, pro, anti or ambivalent is maintained free of charge in the interest of maximising debate. No responsibility is accepted for the accuracy or otherwise of these details. Please contact event organisers before making plans. All meetings assumed Free unless otherwise stated.

Monday 23 January 7.30 Guildhall, Winchester, Hampshire UK Independence Party public meeting "The EU Constitution by the back door "Nigel Farage MEP + "Mr Brown and the Euro" Godfrey Bloom MEP Questions & Answers session Admission Free (Turn up on the night or reserve seat by telephone prior to meeting) 01962- 711112

Tuesday, 24th January 7:00pm - 11:00pm The Two Chairmen 39 Dartmouth Street Westminster London SW1 Michael Brown to address the Bonar Law Club Member of Parliament for the Conservative Party, 1979-1997. Chm.Cllr Adrian Lee Journalist and Lecture: 7:00pm - 8:00pm Discussion: 8:00pm - 8:30pm Drinks and refreshments: 8:30pm - 11:00pm Admission 2 Cash bar 07984 610696 E-mail: [email protected]

Gresham College 0207831 0575

Tuesday 24 January 6.00 Staple Inn Hall, Holburn, public meeting "The referendum: direct democracy and the Constitution" Professor Vernon Bogdanor CBE FBA, Gresham Professor of Law In 1975 we held our first and - so far only nationwide referendum. It was on whether we should remain in the European Community, as it then was. Until then, the referendum was widely regarded as unconstitutional. Yet a number of non-nation-wide referendums have since been held - mainly on devolution - and more are promised. What are the advantages and disadvantages?
Does it have any role at all in a parliamentary system of government? What are likely to be the constitutional consequences of the increasing resort to the referendum device?

Friday 27 January 9.00 to 11.00 County Hall Exeter Special meeting of the SWRA to approve the Regional Spatial Strategy. We plan a demo targeted at the SWRA and the RSS.
Saturday 28th January 11.30 Chairman's house in Finvoy, Ballymoney Public meeting "The EU Conspiracy, the Gunpowder Plot, Napolean and Hitler" Pastor Nigel Owens B. Th.,B.A.
(Hons) Admission £5 - Members Free (Tickets from N.I. Club, PO Box 35, Ballymoney, County Antrim, Northern Ireland BT53 7YE

Tuesday 7 February 12.30 Counting House pub, 50 Cornhill, London EC3V 3PD The Freedom Association, City of London Branch Meeting: Talk by Philip Davies MP Philip is the Conservative Member of Parliament for Shipley and a TFA Council Member.He is the first sitting Conservative MP to advocate Britains withdrawal from the EU and is a vocal opponent of political correctness.He recently presented TFAs petition against ID cards to the House of Commons.In his maiden Commons speech he said wish to remain on the Back Benches and to speak up for the things that matter to me and my constituents.I want people to know that when I say something ,I say it because I mean it, not because someone has told me to say it There will be a voluntary collection at the meeting. Robert Brock. Telephone: work 0207 488 4533 Michael McGough. Telephone: work 0207 226 6658 Mobile 07979695611 e-mail: [email protected]

Wednesday 8 February Simpsons-in-the-Strand Traditional Britain Dinner Guest-of-honour/speaker will be the acclaimed author (Like The Roman at the prestigious on - The Life of Enoch Powell, Ralph Vaughan Williams, A Tory Seer - T.E.Utley, and others) and current Associate Editor of The Daily Telegraph, Simon Heffer. Simon Heffer is just about as traditional as one could get today in mainstream politics. Please make every effort to attend this most important dinner, and bring your wives and as many friends and relations as possible.Tickets are 45 each (we are making NO profit) but the venue is great, and the meal will be GOOD. It 's Black Tie, of course.Please write with your applications to The Traditional Britain Group (to whom cheques should be made) BCM Box 9045, London. WC1N 3XX.

Thursday, 9th February 7:00pm - 11:00pm The Two Chairmen 39 Dartmouth Street Westminster London SW1 The Rt Hon. Lord Tebbit of Chingford Chm.Cllr Adrian Lee Journalist and .Lecture: 7:00pm - 8:00pm Discussion: 8:00pm - 8:30pm Drinks and refreshments: 8:30pm - 11:00pm Admission 2 Cash bar 07984 610696
E-mail: [email protected]

Sunday 12 February 2.00 in The Bear, High Street, Marlborough Lindsay Jenkins will cover the subject of her new book, "Disappearing Britain - The EU and the Death of Local Government". Many have lunch together before the meeting, and they usually meet around noon in The Bear. Everybody is most welcome, and we are non-partisan. Contact:[email protected] or phone Robert Francis on 01672 515 275.

Tuesday 28 February 2006 Time: 6.30pm Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building London School of Economics Speaker: Valery Giscard d'Estaing Chair: Howard Davies hosted by the European Institute at LSE and supported by LSE's Annual Fund.This event is free and open to all however a ticket is required. Members of the public, LSE staff and alumni can request ONE ticket via the online booking form which will be live on this weblisting from 10.00am on Monday 20 February 2006. For further information email [email protected] If you are planning to attend this event and would like details on how to get here and what time to arrive, please refer to Coming to an event at LSE. Graphics etc at www.lse.ac.uk/events

Wednesday 8 March Time: 6.30pm Venue: Old Theatre, Old Building London School of Economics Lord Ashdown will give a lecture on The Western Balkans: are they really part of Europe? Hosted by the European Institute at LSE and supported by LSE's Annual Fund.This event is free and open to all however a ticket is required. Members of the public, LSE staff and alumni can request ONE ticket via the online booking form which will be live on this weblisting from 10.00am on Monday 20 February 2006. For further information email e[email protected] If you are planning to attend this event and would like details on how to get here and what time to arrive, please refer to Coming to an event at LSE graphics etc at www.lse.ac.uk/events

Saturday 25 March SW UKIP Rally at Exeter University Great Hall

.

Why did UKIP do so well in the 2004 European Elections when in 1999 they only returned three MEPs? One reason, Robert Kilroy-Silk. Having Kilroy as a candidate gave them far more press coverage than they otherwise would have attracted and under proportional representation they were bound to pick up a few seats as a result of this.

Kilroy has since proved to be a national joke and has gone off to form his own party, no doubt he will loose his seat in 2009. Another one of their 2004 intake Ashley Mote had to leave the group over some financial matter.

Since 2004 or 1999 come to that what has UKIP actually achieved? When was the last time you saw a UKIP MEP on the news telling us the truth about the EU and what they are doing about it? I really can't remember.

I am a passionate supporter of withdrawal from the European Union but UKIP will never achieve this goal as they will never become the governing party back here in Blighty. Only the British government can take Britain out of the EU.

UKIP do however take votes away from us and the combined UKIP/Veritas effect in 2005 did cost us some seats, it may do so again in 2009 and 2010. What can we do about this?

The simple answer is to withdraw from the EPP-ED and form a sensible Eurosceptic group. We then make it Party policy to offer the people a referendum on our membership of the EU, we however would campaign to remain members but we would do on the grounds that our relationship with Europe needs to be resolved once and for all. This would kill of UKIP.

"One reason, Robert Kilroy-Silk."

I think three years of dismal underperformance by the Conservatives combined with an effective UKIP campaign also played a big part...

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