It speaks volumes of the UK Independence Party’s internal political warfare – when its people should be focussing all their attention on fighting for this country to leave the EU – that another one of its highest profile MEPs and senior party members, Marta Andreasen, has defected to the EUphile Conservatives. It’s another own goal for Nigel Farage, coming just before the Eastleigh by-election.
Quite how Marta Andreasen thinks she will further the cause of this nation’s independence from the EU from within a political party whose senior members are overwhelmingly wedded to continued EU membership, is a mystery. But then, one wonders if this was ever really her goal and in any case this is a result of what happens when UKIP’s leader puts more stock in pulling attention seeking stunts like recruiting and installing a high profile former EU Commission whistleblower to the party’s candidates list , over and above long standing members who genuinely believe in getting the UK out of the EU, rather than leaving the grassroots to shape the party and its direction. To lose one MEP and senior party member is careless, but to lose two…
The Daily Wail, in its story on this, explains:
Marta Andreasen, who was elected as a UKIP MEP in 2009, said she is going to join the Conservatives because they now offer the only realistic option for those wanting to bring about real change in Europe.
If they were being strictly accurate that would read: ‘Marta Andreasen, who was elected as a UKIP MEP in 2009 and faced imminent deselection from UKIP’s candidate’s list, said she is going to join the Conservatives because they now offer the only realistic option for her to maintain her financially lucrative position as a MEP in the European Parliament and tap into yet more hundreds of thousands of taxpayer pounds and euros.’
The Andreason affair is a problem for which Farage is solely responsible. Yet again his judgement and lack of strategic nous has been exposed in humiliating fashion. It was Farage who parachuted Andreason onto a candidates list that gave her the best possible chance of joining the EU gravy train – by breaking UKIP’s own rules on candidate selection – in the hope her profile developed from her battle with Neil Kinnock’s commission would rub off on UKIP (lots of parallels with the autocratic Cameron you will notice).
Although Andreason managed to secure a Brussels seat and spend her time supping from the never diminishing trough, it is Farage’s autocratic control of UKIP and his allegedly misogynist tendencies that she has found to be not to her taste. She has spoken out about them in a way that has caused maximum embarrassment for UKIP.
Now combine that issue with her worries that the Brussels trough she so savours may soon be denied to her, as she suspected that Farage was planning to repeat his mistakes of taking high profile individuals and combining them with his fetish for the cult of (often minor) celebrity to ‘install’ Neil Hamilton, and possibly his wife Christine, to a winnable candidate’s list so they end up sucking the public teat in the European Parliament. The resulting blow back made it clear Farage’s masterstroke was soon going to become yet another UKIP-harming piece of shortsighted stupidity.
That brings us to today and the sight of yet another unprincipled UKIP rent seeker jumping ship and boarding another vessel, ironically heading in the opposite direction to EU withdrawal, in the hope of securing the patronage of the control freak Cameron and his penchant for top down dictatorial rule.
As usual the losers in all this are the poor bloody grassroots eurosceptics, who again see internal party intrigues, rent seeking, arrogance and the fallout of autocratic foolishness escalate into cause-harming events such as these. It is the worst possible advert for the campaign to enable the UK to escape from the EU. Well done Farage. Well done. Richard’s thinking on the matter appears to be rather similar to mine, as he explains:
Standing back from that, one can only regret that the eurosceptic cause is served so badly by all these shenanigans. We have enough difficulties and hurdles without our own side adding to them.