Farage is on the right track

! This post hasn't been updated in over a year. A lot can change in a year including my opinion and the amount of naughty words I use. There's a good chance that there's something in what's written below that someone will find objectionable. That's fine, if I tried to please everybody all of the time then I'd be a Lib Dem (remember them?) and I'm certainly not one of those. The point is, I'm not the kind of person to try and alter history in case I said something in the past that someone can use against me in the future but just remember that the person I was then isn't the person I am now nor the person I'll be in a year's time.

UKIP bashers have seized on Nigel Farage’s words at the UKIP conference this week and have decided that he’s no longer a eurosceptic.

What he actually said makes perfect sense:

I think we have got to change some of the things that we have been saying and some of the things that we have been doing.

Because I think too often it’s been easy to characterise UKIP as people who just knock and knock and knock and knock – we say this is wrong, we say that’s wrong.

We have not been offering good positive alternatives and what I want us to do is to paint a vision of a 21st Century relationship between Britain and our European neighbours.

To attract more mainstream voters, UKIP needs to offer an alternative to the eurofederalist Liebour, Lib Dum and Conswervative Parties.  Not just an alternative party to vote for but an alternative to eurofederalism.

The vast majority of voters are opposed to our continued membership of Federal Europe but they continue to vote for the big three, all of which support a federal union in Europe.  Why?  A lot of it can be put down to the way people vote for a particular party without even knowing what their policies are simply because they’ve always voted for the same party, their parents voted for the same party and/or because they don’t like Liebour/Conswervatives (whichever is the opposition).  But some of it has to be put down to the kind of people who say “yes, I agree we need to be out of the EU but …”

We can’t ignore Europe, it’s the continent we’re part of and we do a lot of trade with the rest of Europe.  This does not mean we have to be ruled by an unelected foreign quango but it does mean that we have to be realistic about how far we can distance ourselves from Federal Europe.  UKIP can’t just say “we want out of Europe”, they need to be able to tell people what kind of relationship we’re going to have with Federal Europe when we get out.  Will we aim to cut as many ties as we can with Federal Europe and concentrate on trading with the Commonwealth and the US?  Will we aim to do more trade with Federal Europe?  Will we have a customs union?

Instead of saying no to ever closer union, no to the euro, no to the European arrest warrant, no to an EU Olympic team, no to an EU armed militia; UKIP needs to offer an alternative.  We don’t need ever closer union because our society, constitution and values are incompatible with those of our neighbours.  We don’t need the euro because our economy is different to the rest of Federal Europe and we have already seen how damaging it is to the eurozone economies.  We don’t need a European arrest warrant because the continental legal system is inferior to and incompatible with our own legal system and we can sign extradition treaties with those neighbours who we trust to treat our citizens fairly.  We don’t need an EU Olympic team because only countries compete in the Olympics and Federal Europe isn’t a country.  We don’t need an EU armed militia because we can police ourselves with our own civillian police force.

Farage is on the right track.  UKIP does have that air of negativity about it because, let’s face it, the central theme of UKIP policy is negative – opposition to the idea of being part of a Federal Europe.  If voters perceive UKIP as negative then their opinion of UKIP will be negative as well and that will be reflected in the ballot box.

DK said much the same thing

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  1. John Franklyn (59 comments) says:

    I think it will take time to turn people around from seeing them as a single issue party.

    I certainly believe that members need to start raising the Parties profile by concentrating alot more on local and community issues, definately in Telford. things like the letters to the SS for example are always EU related and I cannot recall any writing about local issues.

  2. Charlie Marks (365 comments) says:

    I thought Ukip was just a vehicle to shift the Tories to an overtly eurosceptic position?

    If you ask me it’s foolish to try and branch out – as Farage has suggested in the past – into other areas of independence (schools, hospitals, etc.) because people will just be bemused. But it’s right that in politics there has to be a positive alternative – I just think Ukip would be wise to keep the focus on the question of Europe.

  3. wonkotsane (1133 comments) says:

    I agree that UKIP should focus on the EU because that’s the raison d’être of the party. However, MEPs alone will not get us out of Federal Europe. UKIP needs MPs and to get MPs it needs as broad a range of policies as the other parties and a stepping stone to getting MPs is to get councillors because it raises the profile of the party at a local level. There are a couple of places in England where UKIP is close to controlling a local council and they are the places that are most likely to produce an MP.

    I don’t ever envisage UKIP forming a government but all it takes is a couple of MPs to start making a difference. The majority of people in this country are eurosceptic but the main three parties are eurofederalist. Nobody gives a flying fuck about the euro sham elections which is why they are happy to vote UKIP without knowing anything more about them than that they are anti-EU. When it comes to a general election, when the people that are being elected have more of a direct impact on our daily lives, the electorate votes for someone they are familiar with. It’s a fallacy, of course, because 75% of our laws come from the EU anyway but that’s the way people think.

  4. axel (1214 comments) says:

    The SNP is a good choice of how a one trick pony can progress. They have cherry picked from both main parties and even taken a few from the jokey parties to produce a relatively nice set of policies.

    I would think, the UKIP needs an epiphany to realise that politics does not have to be in the standard mold of Tories vs labour and then they can start to pick and choose what good policies they want to have

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