Why UKIP will hit the buffers

UKIP claims to be a party that wants to break the mould.  The reality is that the party is nothing like that.

In a recent post this blog made a passing reference to UKIP, where we highlighted that UKIP has departed the field where the EU membership battle is being fought.  We outlined briefly that the party is instead focusing itself on ignorant immigration pledges, train lines and water usage in urinals and toilets, rather getting the UK out of the EU.  No doubt there are UKIP supporters who would reject this observation, but the evidence is clear.

A piece published yesterday by the Guardian, whose editorial meeting recently played host to Nigel Farage, goes some way to explaining why UKIP is leaving EU membership behind:

Facile explanations about the surge of Ukip support being exclusively about Europe have been comprehensively dismissed in extensive research commissioned by Lord Ashcroft. It showed that Britain’s relationship with Europe was the top issue for only, roughly, a quarter of the people considering Ukip. And yet the surge in support is a phenomenon that remains, to paraphrase Churchill, a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside the enigma that is Nigel Farage.

Firstly, let us get this ridiculous talk of a surge in support out of the way.  Looking at an average of the 16 polls (accounting for weighting) carried out in October by YouGov, Populus, Opinium, Ipsos-Mori, TNS, ICM and Survation, UKIP’s support is sitting at 11%, just about neck and neck with the detested Liberal Democrats.  Electoral Calculus in September had UKIP’s polling average at 13%.  In May it was hard to find a poll where UKIP wasn’t sitting on around 16%.  So where is this surge?  UKIP’s support trend since the 2013 local elections is downward.  It is falling away as the people who flirted with the party have discovered the political equivalent of the Emperor’s new clothes.

Back then to UKIP’s quiet departure from their previous core objective of getting out of the EU.  What the Ashcroft polls, referenced above, have shown simply reinforces what Farage has already grasped.  It is possible to appeal to some voters if you talk to their issues, even if they are not particularly exercised about yours.  So Farage, in an attempt to make UKIP an electoral fixture as a fourth mainstream national party, is trying to be all things to all men.

Sure we still get the odd bit of poorly understood and even more poorly researched nonsense about the latest guff they think they’ve uncovered coming out of Brussels.  Just look at this story, written in a manner so appalling it makes the Daily Sport look highbrow in comparison.  Let’s not forget also UKIP’s capacity for ‘cor blimey’ write ups of stories they’ve jumped on that aren’t even true, such as the supposed banning of the UK flag on meat packaging.

But the party (Farage) has decided to focus much more on domestic matters.  In this way Farage hopes to hoover up the protest vote that previously went to the Lib Dems – before they got their feet into Whitehall and showed they are every bit as establishment as the Tories and champagne socialists.  That is why UKIP is reverting to dog whistle politics by banging on about HS2 and sentencing in courts across Britain.  It’s part of Farage’s desire for a chip in the Westminster game to help him achieve personal ambitions he is trying to realise through UKIP.

The problem is that far from breaking the mould, UKIP is trying to squeeze itself firmly into it.  It is trying to compete in a relatively crowded space by talking about the same issues the mainstream parties are, albeit by taking a opposing view to capture protest votes.  This approach has been taken in order to service party electoral interests, rather than push the core objective of leaving the EU.

While UKIP is taking this approach and slipping backwards, the debate about EU membership and business inspired nonsense about the single market is ramping up and UKIP is nowhere to be seen.  By intent.  The proxies of the mainstream parties are pushing the narratives and trying to convince voters of the need to stay in the EU, confining the arguments to the degree of imaginary reform that is required; and UKIP is somewhere else, playing to narrow issues which are largely rooted in EU regulations and directives in any case, but themselves refusing to point at the EU elephant in the room.

Why will UKIP hit the buffers?  Because the UK electorate is becoming so polarised the next general election will see the classic two party squeeze.  The debate will be channelled onto the economy, energy, NHS, defence and other core areas where UKIP has no profile.  UKIP with its sensationalist, badly thought through and BNP-like focus on immigration in the south east and East Anglia, and small voice on HS2 around London and the south midlands, won’t get a look in.

UKIP’s core vote may help to undermine Tory candidates in a number of marginals, but that will be the extent of the UKIP impact.  Having given up its place in the fight on EU withdrawal, the party has structured itself as a dustbin for the disaffected with no positive message to offer.  Farage, far from increasing UKIP’s appeal, has found a way of restricting it.  With impetus lost after an expected good performance in the most meaningless of elections (European elections in 2014) and no succession plan to replace the vain and money motivated Farage, UKIP will slowly contract back into terminal irrelevance.

Dr Eric Edmond, a man a greatly admire for his principle and abilities, gets it when it comes to Farage and his harmful priorities.  Regrettably he remains convinced that a political party is the vehicle to use to secure an electoral mandate for EU withdrawal. But what UKIP – and every other party –  teaches us is that good intentions at the beginning inevitably give way to servicing party interests, internal squabbles, vote chasing by talking to other issues and diluting the objective.  Alan Sked’s New Deal, if it actually fully gets of the ground, will end up with internal squabbles and like UKIP will, over time, lose track of its original aims and become opportunist.  It has already tried to position itself on the political spectrum, playing immediately into the hands of the mainstream parties.

Norway’s non-party political anti EU campaign offers us a model to follow.  It was a success because rather than fighting within the party political electoral arena and taking on the incumbents, it made itself relevant with an unswerving and well informed message, and had the politicians seeking its endorsement at election time.  Getting out of the EU is not something the kind of campaign that a political party can win, because no party can succeed as a single issue entity in the way a non party political movement can.  History shows us no party ever has and the UKIP experience has simply reinforced it.

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49 Responses to “Why UKIP will hit the buffers”


  1. 1 Bellevue 02/11/2013 at 4:49 pm

    Very interesting thoughts, AM (and wonderful to have you back on top form – after the talk of giving up!!)
    I believe you are in favour of NOT voting, but I cannot agree with you. As long as SOME people vote (even 20% or thereabouts) the PTB can convince themselves they have a mandate. So, my question is: if you felt that you had to use your vote, who would you vote for? I intend to vote for UKIP as a protest. I dont know whether it will change anything, but I cannot bring myself to vote for either of the main 2 parties. I want to give them a kicking, and the ONLY way I can see to do that is to vote for UKIP – however flawed the party is.
    I realise this will probably infuriate you (sorreeeee!) but I would really be interested in your thoughts on this subject.
    Many thanks.

  2. 2 maureen gannon 02/11/2013 at 4:59 pm

    I believe that they will make an impact even if only at the EU elections . listening to friends and colleagues many will protest vote ,They are sick and tired of watching corruptionin the political classes, watching as they cut cut cut while they languish in homes paid for by us and the counyty sets up food banks while they get a pay rise,
    UKIP may not form a government but from what I hear they will take a caning next year,
    I sincerly hope so, I will protest vote I saw Dennis Law Tom Watson pontificating in the house and felt true anger at how they had flaunted the law on our money.

  3. 3 DICK R 02/11/2013 at 5:30 pm

    Why do you constantly try to undermine the effort of UKIP,are you a eurofanatic who wants our country permanently under foreign rule by unelected bureaucrats?

  4. 4 Autonomous Mind 02/11/2013 at 5:58 pm

    Bellevue, if I was compelled by law to mark ballot paper, I would spoil it.

  5. 5 Autonomous Mind 02/11/2013 at 6:01 pm

    Maureen, the problem is the Euros are irrelevant. People know they’ve nothing to lose if they support UKIP in those elections as a protest. Many Tories are planning to do that.

    But come the General Election, when in theory the election matters, many UKIP voters at the Euros will return to support one of Labour or the Tories. That’s an important point I’ve tried to make. The two party squeeze will hit UKIP hard.

  6. 6 Autonomous Mind 02/11/2013 at 6:10 pm

    No Dick, UKIP undermine themselves, I simply point out what’s happening.

    Over the nearly four years I’ve been writing this blog, I’ve done more to accurately expose the issues facing this country and articulate how we can exit the EU, than UKIP.

    Go figure.

  7. 7 barry laughton (@kilkeal) 02/11/2013 at 6:41 pm

    In your blog you note the Economy, Energy, and Immigration amongst others. All these policies are EU governed. UKIP should focus on these important electoral issues pointing out that the UK has no influence on so many issues whilst remaining in the EU.

  8. 8 Autonomous Mind 02/11/2013 at 6:57 pm

    UKIP are talking about immigration Barry, but their leaflets recently circulated are still talking about 29 million Bulgarians and Romanians and are reminiscent of BNP flyers. There’s no recognition of beneficial immigration of skilled migrants who can offer something valuable to this country, which for me highlights UKIP’s lack of credibility even in this space.

  9. 9 Dave_G 02/11/2013 at 8:21 pm

    UKIP have to associate with the vast majority of ‘normal’ voters who’s attention span truely is as short and simple as ‘immigration’ – the actual complexities of an EU exit are above and beyond the need-to-know of these voters AT THIS STAGE OF THE GAME. The current Labour and Conservative voter base are hardly on-subject with high finance, EU inscrutibilities and complex EU laws now, are they?
    The whole political edifice has dumbed down to this…. it’s pathetic. BUT if UKIP see fit to exploit this then good luck to them.

  10. 10 Autonomous Mind 02/11/2013 at 8:39 pm

    Dave, I can’t agree with you and yours is an argument that is often rolled out to justify the kind of incompetence and lack of attention to what’s going on that UKIP is exhibiting. It reminds me of all those Tories who said Cameron is secretly a Eurosceptic and will reveal it once in office.

    Labour and the Tories were not formed with the aim of getting the UK out of the EU. UKIP was and it has turned its back on that aim. And UKIP isn’t exploiting anything. As I explained, the polling is going backwards and UKIP is jumping around from cause to cause like a hyperactive cricket – and when debate about its raison d’etre is taking place, UKIP is completely, utterly silent.

    Not only that, but the party spends more time on internal matters than on campaigning. Here’s another case in point… UKIP in Scotland now appears to be in schism. Even less focus on getting out of the EU will be happening there, I suggest.

  11. 11 Anthem 02/11/2013 at 10:12 pm

    AM, if there was an alternative to UKIP out there, I could understand your constant criticism of UKIP but, as it stands, you just seem to be criticising UKIP for no gainful purpose or obvious reason. It’s all very weird.

  12. 12 Autonomous Mind 02/11/2013 at 10:28 pm

    What’s weird is why Eurosceptics continue to support a party that is doing ever less to get the UK out of the EU. What has UKIP achieved that moves us closer to an EU exit?

    The obvious purpose here is to highlight UKIP’s failures. The gain, a long shot at best, would be UKIP finally upping its game and getting into the fight rather than servicing Farage’s personal ambitions to be an MP.

    The alternative to UKIP is a non party political campaign for Brexit. Far more people say in polls they want to leave the EU than say they support UKIP. That should tell you a great deal. Don’t kid yourself that UKIP is the route to freeing us from Brussels’ control.

  13. 13 Anthem 02/11/2013 at 11:40 pm

    Not going round and round again.

    But, just to clarify, you believe that Nigel Farage left the Conservative Party 20 years ago in order to setup UKIP as part of his master plan to become an MP?

  14. 14 Autonomous Mind 03/11/2013 at 7:50 am

    Anthem, did you do comprehension in English at school? Where did I make that assertion, ever?

  15. 15 Anthem 03/11/2013 at 11:03 am

    From the main article:

    It’s part of Farage’s desire for a chip in the Westminster game to help him achieve personal ambitions he is trying to realise through UKIP.

    In your reply to me earlier:

    The gain, a long shot at best, would be UKIP finally upping its game and getting into the fight rather than servicing Farage’s personal ambitions to be an MP.

    Maybe I have misinterpreted which is why I asked for clarification.

  16. 16 Autonomous Mind 03/11/2013 at 11:44 am

    Anthem, I have made the point in other posts before, Farage is directing UKIP’s focus and resources in a way that best helps him realise his ambition. He has always wanted to be an MP, but I don’t think anyone has ever suggested he left the Tories in order to realise that ambition. He would prefer to be a Tory MP, that’s well known among those who know him well.

  17. 17 Anthem 03/11/2013 at 12:34 pm

    You might think that I lack comprehension skills but I think I actually understand what you’re saying even better than you do yourself.

    To leave the Tories and throw your weight behind a fledgling party would be suicidal from a career point of view and would obviously not further any ambitions he had of becoming an MP so to assert that he left the Tories in order to become an MP would indeed be ridiculous but that is what you are actually suggesting.

    He left the Tories twenty years ago and has, on and off, given his all to UKIP for those twenty years and, according to what you’re saying, his ambition was always to become something he may well have already been had he just stayed with the Conservative Party.

    It just doesn’t add up when you put it into the proper context.

    Now, if you want to say that Farage and UKIP are wrongly getting involved in other “side issues” and “domestic matters” then that’s fine but you can see the dilemma UKIP have here.

    As you allude to in your post, if they ignore all these “side issues” then they’re accused of being a one-issue party with no policies on matters other than Europe.

    There’s a General Election coming up and I do think that UKIP are trying to position themselves to appeal to more than just the “protest vote” – they want to be seen as a credible alternative to the main parties in their own right.

    Seems Farage is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t.

    Sir, it’s your blog and, of course, you can write whatever you damn well pleasy but if you want to push The Harrogate Agenda, why don’t you just do so?

    Perhaps tell us more about what it is, how it intends to do rather better to achieve its objectives in the next few years than it seemingly has in the previous fourteen, tell us what we can do to get behind it.

    Maybe the political party route isn’t ideal but, as you’ve probably noticed,simply saying “We Demand” isn’t all that effective either.

    Simply knocking UKIP and Farage does nothing to further the cause of THA, though.

  18. 18 Autonomous Mind 03/11/2013 at 2:10 pm

    Plenty of assumptions and assertions there Anthem. Perhaps some evidence in support of them would be nice.

  19. 19 tallbloke 03/11/2013 at 7:17 pm

    A.M. : UKIP is somewhere else, playing to narrow issues which are largely rooted in EU regulations and directives in any case, but themselves refusing to point at the EU elephant in the room.

    ========================

    UKIP.org Website main policy page, ‘What we tsand for; para 3:
    “the political class tells us the EU is good for the UK.
    A gulf has opened between the ruling elite and the public. Each of the establishment main parties are now so similar they offer voters no real choice.
    Only outside the EU can we start to solve the problems our country faces.

    Perhaps the mainstream media might be contributing to A.M.’s perception by not reporting UKIP’s many direct rejections of E.U. membership and instead trying to focus attention on what UKIP says about other issues; thereby diluting and fragmenting the core message.

    I’m a bit surprised at A.M.’s gullibility in being taken in by the establishment media tactics. Perhaps he’s been seduced by the confirmation of his own prejudice instead of looking at the situation objectively.

  20. 20 tallbloke 03/11/2013 at 9:00 pm

    Some google stats to consider:

    “harrogate agenda” + “EU exit”
    About 232 results (0.30 seconds)

    UKIP + “EU exit”
    About 16,000 results (0.29 seconds)

    I’ve just used google trends to check when the combination of UKIP+EU exit” has been most newsworthy. Unsurprisingly it has been near elections.
    The highest result is this year, following UKIP’s electoral success in May.

    In terms of raising public awareness, and shifting public opinion, UKIP has been highly successful. A majority in the UK now think we should leave. Before May, a majority thought we should stay in.

    This achievement is due to the hard work of thousands who have dedicated their time and energy to UKIP’s cause. To see it dissed and derided here is sad, but fortunately irrelevant to the thrust of UKIP’s effort.

    It proves the point that UKIP’s efforts to achieve electoral success are the correct tactics to employ, whatever the difficulties and wrangles and growing pains that may be associated with that drive in an imperfect system.

    Those like AM who prefer not to vote and maintain their ideological purity are entitled to their viewpoint. I have to say I’d rather see that expressed in constructive debate rather than through the shabby attempted hit-job on display here.

  21. 21 Autonomous Mind 03/11/2013 at 10:26 pm

    Hahahahaha, thanks for the laugh Rog.

    A one line reference dug out of an entire website is supposed to be evidence that UKIP is actively engaged and campaigning on the subject?

    Farage doesn’t seem to have any problem finding column inches for comment on other topics, complete with those photos of him in cringeworthy poses. There is still nothing on UKIP’s website exposing the issues being pointed out here or challenging the the Europlastics. That has nothing to do with the mainstream media and everything to do with UKIP’s lack of focus on the core issue of EU withdrawal.

    I notice no counter to anything else written, thus confirming the accuracy of what I wrote here.

  22. 22 Autonomous Mind 03/11/2013 at 10:37 pm

    Sory Rog, nice try but that dog ain’t gonna hunt.

    An agenda that hasn’t even gone public yet is no comparison with a political party that has been active for years.

    Nothing you have written disproves UKIP’s falling poll ratings. Nothing you have written disproves UKIP’s error in talking about regulation of how much water is used in a toilet flush, which is just plain untrue. UKIP hasn’t even held a single seat won in May that has since been contested again, yet you talk of success.

    To have the facts presented in my post dismissed by a UKIP candidate is unsurprising.

    I recall recently your ideological purity in dismissing my explanation that Article 50 is the route to take to leave the EU. You said it was an EU trap. Farage has since confirmed at your own party’s conference that Article 50 is the correct exit route. Do you now agree with him, or are you saying your leader and the legal experts he consulted are wrong?

  23. 23 tallbloke 04/11/2013 at 7:47 am

    “An agenda that hasn’t even gone public yet is no comparison with a political party that has been active for years.”

    This is true. Good luck with your campaign.

    “I notice no counter to anything else written, thus confirming the accuracy of what I wrote here.”

    I don’t think your long and tendentious article is worth a point by point rebuttal.

  24. 24 tallbloke 04/11/2013 at 8:31 am

    Regarding article 50 and Brexit, my personal view is one thing, my responsibility as a UKIP candidate another. I dislike being pulled two ways, but the world isn’t perfect, so I have to make the best of it. So long as we end up as a free an independent nation again, I’m willing to get behind whatever it takes to achieve it.

    Here’s a partial transcript of what Nigel Farage said in the Q&A at the UKIP conference (With thanks to the Boiling Frog)

    “…the one problem is this, that under the current treaties (under the Lisbon Treaty) the only mechanism by which we can withdrawal is Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.
    Now A50 can be cited to renegotiate a relationship or to lead through to a divorce that takes 2 years. I have difficulty … recognising the legitimacy of A50 because it’s part of a Treaty that should have been put to a referendum that was actually bullied through Parliament…However I have to accept that it is the law of the land.
    And I would say this; if legally what we have to do is to enter into full divorce proceedings by using the legal article of that treaty we will do so in an open and amicable spirit…”.

  25. 25 Autonomous Mind 04/11/2013 at 9:08 am

    I know what was said, it was covered here on the blog, complete with video.

    What you’ve said demonstrates the problem with party politics and part of the reason why UKIP has shifted focus to domestic matters and says nothing of consequence on getting out of the EU. You are now forced to back the party line and compromise your ‘ideological purity’ or fall foul of its discipline by holding true to what you believe.

    A campaign that focuses on a single objective and, like Harrogate Agenda or the Norway ‘No to EU’ campaign, refuses to be divert focus onto specific side issues, has more chance of success than a party which has to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds.

    As I’ve said before, I really wish I could support UKIP. But there’s too much baggage there, too many problems and the internal politics will be the ruin of any prospects it has. Now the party doesn’t want to bang on about ‘Europe’ it has lost even more appeal.

  26. 26 tallbloke 04/11/2013 at 9:52 am

    Perhaps the best way forward is to build on both approaches. A non-party affiliated single issue campaign as advocated by yourself, and a party political campaign broadly in line with the same principal objective. Then those brought to awareness through your campaign can choose which party can best serve them at election time, and the party’s supporters can be better informed by the focused approach of the single issue campaign. Better informed people bring about change in the policy of the structures they choose to be a part of.

    It seems to me that a mutually tolerant approach such as that is more likely to lead to the adoption of your viewpoints within the party and Brexit for the nation than this backbiting which serves only the interests of those who want to keep Britain subjugated within the E.U.

  27. 27 Autonomous Mind 04/11/2013 at 12:25 pm

    Rog, what you prefer to think of as backbiting is frustration at UKIP’s utter failure to step up when needed.

    What is the point of labelling UKIP as a Eurosceptic party when it doesn’t get involved in correcting fallacy and blatant falsehoods being spread by the Europhiles? UKIP is nowhere on the issues that matter.

    How does getting irate about a false story on the amount of water that can be used in a toilet flush, help address the wider and far more important issue of, for example tax sovereignty? Point to me where UKIP has covered this essential pillar of a nation state and shown how it has been snatched away without people even noticing. Has UKIP even noticed?

    That’s the sort of thing I’m talking about and that’s the reason for my criticism. I would love to be able to point to meaningful and accurate info that educates people about the real issue on which a referendum has to be fought. But your party just isn’t delivering.

    When it steps up and gets in the fight and helps the cause, I’ll be there encouraging and praising. Until then, expect the well justified criticism.

  28. 28 tallbloke 04/11/2013 at 1:18 pm

    “UKIP… doesn’t get involved in correcting fallacy and blatant falsehoods being spread by the Europhiles? UKIP is nowhere on the issues that matter.”

    Do you mean through the channels over which UKIP has any control, or the mainstream media?

  29. 29 Autonomous Mind 04/11/2013 at 1:21 pm

    Both, Rog. Your party’s website has nothing on it about tax sovereignty. It has nothing on it about the Norway option. Hell, your party doesn’t even seem to have anyone managing the role of media and PR.

  30. 30 tallbloke 04/11/2013 at 1:26 pm

    Here’s the current number 1 story linked directly below the masthead on the front page of UKIP’s website.

    http://www.ukip.org/newsroom/news/947-the-word-they-dare-not-speak-in-the-corridors-of-strasbourg-euroscepticism

    “UKIP Leader Nigel Farage heralded the rise of Euroscepticism across the EU member states this week in Strasbourg, telling the Parliament its rise was normal, sensible, assertion of identity.

    He told the chamber: “There is only one real debate going on here this week in Strasbourg, it is the fear stalking the corridors. The concern you’ve got about the rise of Euroscepticism.”

    Your ‘justified criticism’ doesn’t withstand five seconds scrutiny.

    When ‘the Harrogate Agenda’ achieves that level of getting the message across inside the monsters den, we’ll applaud you. Meantime, excuse us for ignoring the impotent carping.

  31. 31 Autonomous Mind 04/11/2013 at 3:07 pm

    If you think talking to a bunch of MEPs who aren’t listening is potent, you are kidding yourself.

    Talking about a rise of Euroscepticism in Espace Léopold doesn’t, for example, explain to the British people that the reason the corporates are paying little or no tax in the UK is EU law that prevents the UK from taxing those profits.

    I’m not even sure your spokesmen understand the significance of this. It means, despite every assurance of the politicians, the UK is NOT sovereign. We would not have given up a bit of sovereignty, but lost an essential pillar of what defines a nation state.

    UKIP should be shouting this out loud in every interview and it should be splashed across their own website. But instead they are focusing on 10 packs of cigarettes and water volumes for flushing toilets.

    Sorry if you think this is carping. For Eurosceptics it is central to what we are fighting for. But you carry on with your party’s focus on HS2 and British flags on packs of meat. That will really help swing people around to voting to leave the EU…

  32. 32 tallbloke 04/11/2013 at 4:19 pm

    Farage’s excellent haranguing of the EU parliament get many thousands of views on youtube and have helped swing the polls in favour of getting out..

    “Harrogate Agenda” gets a single result: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0sVxeXmYTHU

    Which has been viewed 275 times.

    When is this campaign of yours going to start?

    If you’d prefer UKIP people to pick up on legitimate points such as those and give them the consideration and promotion they deserve, it might be an idea to increase the useful fact to snark and sneer ratio in articles with UKIP in the title.

    Just saying.

  33. 33 Autonomous Mind 04/11/2013 at 6:47 pm

    Oh, more ‘play the man’ crap? I note you’ve still been unable to counter a single thing I’ve said – and despite this post having nothing to do with Harrogate Agenda, you have developed a fetish for trying to mention it in every comment to mock it. But I doubt you even understand it.

    While I’m trying to provoke UKIP into getting into the game and encourage its members to question and cajole, by criticising failings, all you’re doing is trying to attack perceived opposition with pathetic appeals to authority about the number of Google search returns, which does nothing to counter the fact UKIP is backing away from EU debate.

    Look Rog, I’ve played this straight down the line. UKIP is a bloody shocking shambles. Sorry if that upsets you but that’s the reality. You called it wrong on Article 50 and you’re calling it wrong denying the domestic focus Farage is pushing.

    You’re a party member, so ask Farage why it is he shies away from the EU debate. I know the pathetic answer because I’ve been told on absolutely reliable authority what he said by a man in the room. Perhaps rather than read it here and get all tribal and precious, you put it to him and deal with the response in your own way.

    When UKIP gets its bloody act together I’ll lay off. Try getting your leader to up the party’s game. Assuming he’s not too busy trying to hold UKIP in Scotland together.

  34. 34 tallbloke 04/11/2013 at 7:31 pm

    I’ve been responding to this:

    AM: “A campaign that focuses on a single objective and, like Harrogate Agenda or the Norway ‘No to EU’ campaign, refuses to be divert focus onto specific side issues, has more chance of success than a party which has to run with the hares and hunt with the hounds.”

    It sounds wonderful, when is it scheduled to commence?

    I mean, it is something more than a vanity project or pipedream, isn’t it?

  35. 35 Autonomous Mind 04/11/2013 at 8:16 pm

    I’m not going to bother responding to your piss taking any more, Rog. You brought up Harrogate in the first instance to distract attention from UKIP’s lamentable performance and backsliding poll ratings.

    When you want to respond like an adult and not a partisan, tribal political wannabe playing to the gallery, let me know.

  36. 36 tallbloke 04/11/2013 at 9:42 pm

    http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/2013/07/ukip-membership-hits-30000-could-it-overtake-lib-dems-next

    In another sign of its remarkable growth, UKIP has just announced that it now has 30,000 members, an increase of 8,500 since March.
    The party’s next aim is to overtake the Lib Dems, who were reported to have just 42,501 members at the end of 2012, a fall of 35 per cent since 2010

    Doesn’t look like UKIP is “Hitting the buffers” to me.

    So, which other Eurosceptic movement does it have similar membership numbers to? Ah yes:

    http://www.neitileu.no/articles_in_foreign_languages/

    nei_til_eu_no_to_the_eu
    No to the EU is a member-based, nationwide organization with 27.000 members (2012), regional offices in each of the 19 Norwegian counties, and a staff of 21 employees.

    The organization No to the EU is a non-governmental organization. Simultaneously the organization functions as an arena, a resource centre and as a coordinator for all organizations and political parties opposing Norwegian EU-membership.

  37. 37 3x2 04/11/2013 at 10:00 pm

    Rog: It sounds wonderful, when is it scheduled to commence?

    I mean, it is something more than a vanity project or pipedream, isn’t it?

    Yes, something like forming a political party 20 years ago with the pipedream of getting us out of the EU. How’s that working out? Any closer yet?

    Or are you moving further and further away from the founding principles?

    A long time ago I was asked to examine the concept of the ‘corporate mission statement’. I hated it at first but came to see how valuable it can be.

    Let’s take IKEA …

    At IKEA our vision is to create a better everyday life for the many people. Our business idea supports this vision by offering a wide range of well-designed, functional home furnishing products at prices so low that as many people as possible will be able to afford them.

    This may seem irrelevant but stop to consider what would happen should IKEA be offered Manchester United on the cheap. The Board, considering the offer, simply have to examine their mission statement. What part of their mission would be fulfilled by buying Manchester United? Plainly none. Deal rejected (even if very profitable).

    Funny that the most successful enterprises are those that refuse to get sidetracked. I don’t see Apple getting into the fast food business or Microsoft building furniture.

    There is a lesson for UKIP and future ventures in there somewhere I’m sure.

  38. 38 3x2 04/11/2013 at 10:10 pm

    Dave_G 02/11/2013 at 8:21 pm

    UKIP have to associate with the vast majority of ‘normal’ voters who’s attention span truely is as short and simple as ‘immigration’ – the actual complexities of an EU exit are above and beyond the need-to-know of these voters AT THIS STAGE OF THE GAME [...]

    Have to disagree. If ‘normal voters’ have such short attention spans and are unable to deal with complexity then please explain why ‘the other side’ spend so much time trying to ‘inform’ them?

    Surely, if they are as thick as you seem to believe, the opposition wouldn’t bother getting out of bed in the morning.

    Seems like a dangerous set of assumptions to me.

  39. 39 tallbloke 04/11/2013 at 10:32 pm

    3×2: “forming a political party 20 years ago with the pipedream of getting us out of the EU. How’s that working out? Any closer yet?”

    Great screen name.
    With a recent 20% increase in membership and 140 councillors, we’re getting a lot closer than the Harrogate Agenda, written 14 years ago in 1999 and scoring zilch since. You want to help or carp?

  40. 40 Autonomous Mind 05/11/2013 at 10:54 am

    Oh do me a favour Rog. You’re turning into a bloody child with this stupid obsession of doing down Harrogate.

    It clearly hasn’t registered in your disjointed thinking that Harrogate is not competing with UKIP or any other party. It isn’t designed to. That’s why it wasn’t mentioned in the post. But you sought to bring it up because of your insecurity at UKIP’s failings being given another airing.

    Perhaps the reason for your Harrogate obsession and factually incorrect assertions (1999? What on earth are you on about? The demands were drafted from the floor by attendees at a meeting in 2012) in this thread is a fear of something with a bit of intellectual weight, as compared to the lightweight playground politics UKIP has descended into, along with an increasingly disturbing cult like mindset among a sizable number of its members.

  41. 41 Autonomous Mind 05/11/2013 at 11:06 am

    While we’re at it Rog, how many other parties are planning to stand down candidates to give candidates from an opposing party a better chance of winning? How many other parties have restored deselected candidates to the party list against the wishes of local members?

    UKIP is being run into the ground by Farage and you can’t see it. Most of your votes increase in recent elections correlates with the numbers that supported the BNP previously.

    Many of UKIP’s membership additions have come about due to desperation among people fed up of the main three parties. We’ll see how long they stay once they get a taste of party life and reality bites. I wager a good number will join the staggering number of UKIP members who have left over the last 10 years once they have experienced what an omnishambles it is.

    The sad thing is it could have been all so different. All these wasted years and on EU withdrawal not a single thing achieved.

  42. 42 tallbloke 05/11/2013 at 2:19 pm

    At least I’m trying to do something positive to get UK out of EU. Talking to constituents, raising awareness. Better than negative carping from the sidelines in my opinion.

  43. 43 Autonomous Mind 05/11/2013 at 3:18 pm

    Raising awareness about what? The water in a toilet flush? British flags on meat packaging? The evils of HS2? 29 million Bulgarians and Romanians just poised to flood into the UK? How is that getting us out of the EU? Where’s the UKIP voice countering the rubbish coming out of the CBI, Business for Britain, BNE, Open Europe etc?

    I suppose you guys don’t talk about ‘Who should run Britain?’ because too many of you are focused on other issues. It’s understandable because your leader only talks about other issues now.

    If you don’t like the criticism, be better. If UKIP wasn’t so increasingly irrelevant to EU withdrawal I wouldn’t be pointing it out. Filling seats on parish councils and posturing about (frequently inaccurate) stories in the media doesn’t move us a millimetre closer to leaving the EU. Still, I suppose it makes a few Kippers feel good about themselves, even though it changes diddly squat in a single town hall or parish council.

  44. 44 tallbloke 05/11/2013 at 3:27 pm

    AM: “1999? What on earth are you on about? The demands were drafted from the floor by attendees at a meeting in 2012″

    Whatever you say AM. If you look on http://harrogateagenda.org.uk/ under the “six demands” it is signed:

    Peter North 10/09/1999

    The name is linked to a user profile page which is

    Blank.

    And this is the organisation you compare in stature to the No-to-EU Norway campaign which has a similar number of members and paid employees as UKIP, and tell us the ‘Harrogate Agenda’ campaign more likely to lead to Brexit than UKIP’s efforts.

    The ‘six demands’ read like thy were penned by someone who once did a 6th form course in constitutional politics.

    Looks like a failed vanity project to me. But I’d love to be proved wrong. When is the ‘Harrogate Agenda’ campaign starting for real?

  45. 45 tallbloke 05/11/2013 at 3:40 pm

    AM: “Raising awareness about what? The water in a toilet flush? British flags on meat packaging?”

    No. I talk to them about the EU forcing Drax to switch half its turbine boiler feed to woodchip felled in the US. The Subsidy paid to the windfarmers and to the big six to do R&D on more windmills. Then I tell them about the strike price agreed on the impromptu nuclear power station to be built at Hinckley, and the long term failure of previous administrations to get to grips with keeping Britain’s energy generation capability on track. I tell them this is due to their co2 fetishist MP’s & lobbyists living in la-la land while the country has been going to the dogs.

    Stuff like that.

    Pretty effective I can tell you. You should try it. It feels good to inform people with stuff they need to know. Better than trying to undermine the only electable eurosceptic game in town with ill judges internet rants IMO.

  46. 46 Autonomous Mind 05/11/2013 at 6:53 pm

    Whatever I say, eh Rog? You are doubting the facts I have shared with you? The date against the six demands was set as far back as the system would allow to anchor them as the first item. Clearly you see conspiracy in everything, when you’re not misrepresenting my comments with rubbish such as:

    And this is the organisation you compare in stature to the No-to-EU Norway campaign which has a similar number of members and paid employees as UKIP, and tell us the ‘Harrogate Agenda’ campaign more likely to lead to Brexit than UKIP’s efforts.

    I have never compared Harrogate in stature to No to EU – that’s your imagination at work. Also I have never said Harrogate is more likely to lead Brexit. These are just blatant lies, which I trust you will now apologise for and withdraw.

    The six demands were written from the input of over 30 contributors and address a problem of democracy that UKIP isn’t even bothered about. It’s very sad to see you have resorted to trolling. I used to think you were OK, but it is clear you’re just an utter dick with nothing to contribute that is worth reading.

  47. 47 tallbloke 05/11/2013 at 7:41 pm

    Anthem said: “Sir, it’s your blog and, of course, you can write whatever you damn well pleasy but if you want to push The Harrogate Agenda, why don’t you just do so?

    Perhaps tell us more about what it is, how it intends to do rather better to achieve its objectives in the next few years than it seemingly has in the previous fourteen, tell us what we can do to get behind it.”

    It would seem strange to someone newly visiting this thread that Anthem made this remark about the Harrogate Agenda seemingly out of the blue on the 3rd Nov. Clearly he also was misled into thinking it has been around since 1999.

    But that was before AM post-edited his earlier response to him in which he did indeed compare the non-party-aligned No-To-Eu Norway campaign with the ‘Harrogate Agenda’. That has now been removed from the reply AM made to Anthem here http://autonomousmind.wordpress.com/2013/11/02/why-ukip-will-hit-the-buffers/#comment-23399.

    I’m still committed to honest and open debate, but I’ll continue it somewhere where AM isn’t in control of the delete key.

  48. 48 Autonomous Mind 05/11/2013 at 8:10 pm

    I’ve removed my initial comment here, to tone down what I said.

    I do not remember mentioning Harrogate in my comments in this thread. I do not believe I did so. I have certainly never discussed the stature of Harrogate as comparable to No to EU, that is just ridiculous so I know you definitely have that wrong. I also want to make clear I have NEVER edited one of my comments AFTER it has been replied to. That would risk changing the context of the reply and I just would not do that to any commenter. It would be plain wrong.

    I would like Anthem to tell me whether his comment – what would have been a much later comment – was a direct response to a reference to Harrogate that I do not remember, or whether he was just assuming because of my support of Harrogate that my blog post was an inferred pushing Harrogate without me saying as much.

    Please do clarify, Anthem, as I am either owed an apology or owe one myself. I write thousands of words a day here and elsewhere and cannot remember introducing THA to the comment thread. Tallbloke’s comment has me second guessing myself as a result. I am a person of integrity and want this resolved.

  49. 49 3x2 05/11/2013 at 11:16 pm

    tallbloke 04/11/2013 at 10:32 pm

    3×2: “forming a political party 20 years ago with the pipedream of getting us out of the EU. How’s that working out? Any closer yet?”

    Great screen name.
    With a recent 20% increase in membership and 140 councillors, we’re getting a lot closer than the Harrogate Agenda, written 14 years ago in 1999 and scoring zilch since. You want to help or carp?

    Good to see that you are increasing membership and so forth but how does 140 councillors get us out? Come to think of it how exactly would UKIP taking every UK seat in The EP next election get us out?

    I think you and others need to decide what exactly it is you are trying to achieve. A viable alternative to the current dross come the next election? A place to park ones otherwise spoiled ballot paper? Laudable goals, but I don’t see UKIP, at the moment, providing the focus for any kind of ‘out’ campaign. The pro-EU lobby have had a free ride for a long time. Even while sectors of the EU were obscured by tear gas UKIP here in the UK was nowhere to be seen. Unforgivable in my view.

    As to the Harrogate Agenda, well I’m a little confused here and can only think that it is something you read into my words rather than words I actually wrote. Ho Hum … That’s the net for you. I am not involved in any way with the HA. Then again, I shall pay more attention to the HA from now on. So thanks for that.

    As to Carping, you seem to be taking any criticism of UKIP to heart instead of responding positively to it. I remember my great grandfather telling me the story of Winston Churchill first arriving in Oldham. Trust me, ‘carping’ is the least of your problems if you want to get out there and ‘meet the people’. (he did win the seat BTW but at great cost to his dignity (and laundry bill))

    Great screen name. Glad you like it, though I’m not sure why. Look me up on Google sometime though – 8 1/4 million references :)


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