Sunday, October 03, 2004

Live long and prosper

UKIP voters are "intelligent people who care desperately about democracy in Britain". So says Mr Redwood in today’s Sunday Telegraph.

But, it appears, only if they vote Conservative. They "can make a lame protest or join us", he adds, in what passes for a charm offensive aimed at wooing back disillusioned Tories.

"Hartlepool doesn't matter," he said. "By-elections are by-elections. They don't tell you what will happen in a general election. You won't find a single opinion pollster changing his polls on the basis of Hartlepool."

Redwood then tells the Telegraph:

"UKIP voters are hurting. They have far more Brussels government than they want. But they can either make a lame protest, which will guarantee a federalist government, or they can join us and make a difference. Of course I understand their worry about the advance of Brussels power, and I share their view that the currency is not right for Britain. I share their view that the constitution is not right for Britain. I share their view that we don't want a foreign policy directed by a European foreign affairs minister. I share their view that we don't want a European public prosecutor. I share their view that fishing would be better under British control. We agree about a great deal.

"What I don't agree with is their tactics of setting up a single-issue party and saying they want automatic unilateral withdrawal, and that of course is dishonest because they can't get elected and they won't do it and they would have to negotiate anyway," he adds.
Meanwhile, according to the same edition of the Sunday Telegraph, yesterday, from the stage in Bristol's Colston Hall a series of speakers joyfully reheated (sic) the trouncing of the Tories into fourth place in the Hartlepool by-election last week.

Then, lest anyone forget the party's unprecedented success at the European elections last June, a lone bagpiper led 11 of the UKIP's Euro-MPs - billed as "our boys from Brussels" - up onto the conference stage.

No one there seems to have got the impression that it was UKIP voters that were hurting. They seem to have been listening to the wrong Vulcan.

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