Why UKIP is not the answer to the EU problem

The estimable Dr Richard North, writing at EU Referendum, has published a very personal and thought provoking essay explaining why he believes UKIP, rather than being the solution for those who want Britain out of the EU, is actually part of the problem. It almost completely encapsulates my thinking and saves me explaining separately why I am not a UKIP member or voter.

37 Responses to “Why UKIP is not the answer to the EU problem”

  1. 1 John Coles 11/09/2011 at 4:46 pm

    A thoroughly unpleasant attack on the only political grouping that is doing anything about galvanizing the anti-EU sentiment in this country. Whilst you, Autonomous, and Dr North wallow in your political purity some of us try to do SOMETHING about getting the country out of the EU. As to Dr. North’s crack about Nigel Farage’s “dire tutelage”, I sense that this silly and unjustified assessment is born of an old man’s bitterness and little else.

  2. 2 permanentexpat 11/09/2011 at 5:50 pm

    See my comment at EUReferendum….John Coles makes the point but much more bluntly.

  3. 3 Autonomous Mind 11/09/2011 at 6:26 pm

    John, if you have read the piece and given it some thought you should see a way forward is being suggested outside the party political process. This isn’t to do with political purity, it’s about finding a way that works to achieve our aims.


    As examples like this show us, UKIP under Farage may appear articulate and appealing to many, but it seems incapable of achieving our aims.

  4. 4 Richard North 11/09/2011 at 6:41 pm

    AM makes exactly the point. Look at the models that have successfully achieved change, and emulate them. Stop chasing after a failed model that has not worked and where theory tells you it cannot work.

    For sure, doing something is necessary and doing the wrong thing just for the sake of doing something does not earn any brownie points. Too often that seems to be the guiding ethos of eurosceptics, who then get all precious when you suggest that if, after four decades, your tactics have not worked, it might be a good idea to revisit them.

    As for Farage’s dire tutelage, if you think he is a good leader, I have this brilliant bridge I want to sell you.

  5. 5 Uncle Badger 11/09/2011 at 6:46 pm

    While I respect Richard North’s experience and opinion, I suspect he is wrong – though not necessarily about UKIP itself.

    If he is reliant on Euroscepticism (for want of a better word) standing more chance of succeeding if it is not associated with one political party, then we have two questions to answer.

    The first:as the Europhille political class absolutely owns each of the three parties, how could it achieve its ends? It needs power to act.

    The second: in the absence of contesting for political power, how can it even be heard? The political class will drown it out, even more effectively than it does already.

    As for UKIP, he may well be right. I don’t have his visceral contempt for Farage, but then I’ve never met the man. I have met UKIP candidates and activists.though, and they were, to a man, a sorry bunch.

    It may sound like a BBC stereotype, but they really do come across as blazer-wearing, disaffected, former NCOs who have never quite got over the banning of the birch.

    Maybe I have met an unrepresentative selection?

    It seems clear from the general murmurings in society at large, now finding voice on blogs like this, that there is serious and growing disenchantment with the way politics works in the West. One of Dr North’s contributors draws attention to this in the comments to his piece, relating Sarah Palin’s very cogent views on the political problem in the USA – a problem which we share – a political class that runs both government and corporations in its own interests.

    And that, I would suggest, is what we need – not some gaseous movement generally agitating against the EU, but an electable figurehead and an opportunity for us to to propel that figurehead into office with a mandate to clean out the stables.

    We could rid ourselves of the EU and still be up to our necks in muck, as we would continue to be ruled by the same people with the same opinions and the same allegiances. We need a completely new force and it needs to be political.

    It won’t be anyone currently from the three main parties and it won’t be UKIP. But if it isn’t to be Dr North’s bloody revolution that changes things it will need to be something dynamic and fresh, that can win an election.

    Ideally, of course, not someone with a toothbrush moustache.

  6. 6 Autonomous Mind 11/09/2011 at 7:00 pm

    Excellent. We are finally seeing some discussion and some thought.

    That is not meant to sound disparaging, it is just that too many people who recognise this country needs to extract itself from the EU think the solution is to join or vote for a party describing itself as Eurosceptic.

    Here we see a kernal of intellectual debate that could lead to something more constructive.

  7. 7 Peter 11/09/2011 at 7:02 pm

    North has always had a bee in his bonnet about UKIP because he was denied a place in becoming an MEP. He has an ego the size of the EU and after reading some of his loonier posts I can see why he was rejected.
    The reality is that under Farage UKIP have gone up in the polls from 1% to 7%. This obviously does not sit well with North’s agenda or bloggers who have no idea how to start and sustain a politcal party through thick and thin. UKIP is here to stay. End of story.

  8. 8 TomTom 11/09/2011 at 7:47 pm

    Well in Northern England they have elected BNP and UKIP MEPs because they don’t like the look of the others. This proved so confusing to the Conservative Macmillan-Scott he flounced across to the LibDems which seem to have the largest bloc of MEPs in the North………..surely they are vulnerable in 2014 ?

    The problem is that the System reduces Euro elections to humdrum to avoid anything contentious, so turnover collapses. No issues are ever debated so the debate never takes place in public just as national elections are soporific beauty contests of unbelievable boredom. It is the Belarus approach to democracy – one party viewpoint – no choice, no opposition to be heard – no discussion

  9. 9 AJC 11/09/2011 at 8:35 pm

    One of the major problems with the Euro elections is the operation of the list system.

    Isn’t that one of the main reasons for the (mostly) dire candidates with far too many apparatchiks, timeservers and expenses crooks?

    Breaking the list system by letting us have open primaries seems a no-brainer to frighten the muels and radically improve the quality of the candidates.

  10. 10 cosmic 11/09/2011 at 8:41 pm

    We have a huge public sector in favour of the EU, for obvious reasons. The political parties are largely the suit it’s wearing currently. This is a smaller version of the EU, bureaucrats calling the shots and politicians there for appearance.

    By and large, people don’t question having such a huge state. For instance, a friend gave me a lecture on eating five a day. I asked what was the basis for five a day, why not seven a day or three a day? All this came from the government and what business was it of the government’s? Why were our taxes being used to pay for this intrusive crap? Did she think there was anything that wasn’t the government’s business? All this seemed like a perverse line of thought and she said that my scepticism would get me into trouble eventually. Maybe, but gullibility has a price as well.

    I see this big state machine, which is out of control and pretends to be able to control everything, but can’t control very much properly, as being the road to mediocrity and poverty, both material and spiritual. Furthermore it’s self-defeating as it kills the goose laying the golden egg. The problem isn’t entirely the EU and getting out of the EU isn’t all of the answer.

    UKIP is something I’m willing to vote for. I’m not impressed by a lot of their antics and characters, but I can’t see any harm in voting for them. They are along the right lines, with all their faults.

    As for changes coming from outside the political parties, from movements which propagate ideas which alter the political establishment, it’s not just ideas, it’s events such as WWI and WWII.

    There are plenty of movements of one sort or another, opposed to the EU and the big state, but they’re all fairly rarified and appealing to a fairly small sector of the population. They’ve gained no traction.

    I’d say the potential mass movement with a real grievance and obvious source of redress which can change things is the likely reaction to a failed green energy policy after a bad winter where people die, all because of policies supported for years by the EU and the whole political set up, to solve a problem which is obviously non-existent.

    Otherwise, other crises where the all-embracing state we have been sleepwalking towards, is shown to be no answer, just an expensive sham.

  11. 11 cosmic 11/09/2011 at 9:04 pm


    Euro elections are different for a number of reasons:

    Generally only people motivated vote.

    There’s a PR system.

    The focus is on the EU. Generally, everything seems to come from Westminster so the EU hasn’t figured greatly in GEs. The EU is a rather boring and distant thing which increasing numbers of people are complaining about and needs its wings clipped through some process which isn’t entirely clear, but it’s gone too far.

    It isn’t really serious, there’s no fear of letting the other lot in and if they are let into the EP, it won’t make any obvious difference as in the way things are blown up to make a difference in Westminster. Nobody seriously cares who gets into the EP. We never hear anything about it much. We could as well be electing a troop of officials to live it up at the UN for no obvious purpose but to line their pockets.

    It’s a safe protest vote to send a message without offending tribal loyalties too much.Apart from sending a message, it wouldn’t make much difference if all MEPs were UKIP and BNP.

    A useful thing about voting for MEPs other than LibLabCon is that it introduces people to the idea that they can vote otherwise. A delightful consequence of having a couple of BNP MEPs returned was that the BBC was reduced to a state of shocked mourning.

  12. 12 Dave_G 11/09/2011 at 9:21 pm

    A vote for “EU Referendum” or a vote for “Autonomous Mind” isn’t going to make a jot of difference.
    A vote for UKIP might, just might, make that jot happen.
    It’s all we’ve got.

    We shoud use it.

  13. 13 Sarah Green 12/09/2011 at 12:23 am

    ‘Autonomous mind’ and North are like so many Armchair critics, no real appreciation of the nuts and bolts of real politics. If they want to really impress us with their wisdom then they should stop being all mouth and no trousers and start their own party.

  14. 14 Richard North 12/09/2011 at 12:27 am

    Dave G

    A vote for UKIP has not made any difference and as it fails to achieve its breakthrough into Westminster shows not strength but weakness.

    Your view that it is “all we’ve got” betrays your limited understanding of political movements and your inability to read or understand the piece on which you are commenting. Most of the major political changes in this country have originated from outwith the party political system, including the movement which led to Britain joining the Common Market.

    By all means chase after the UKIP fantasy. But you will find that the pursuit of action for the sake of action is not a winning option. It sometimes helps you use your intelligence first.

  15. 15 Chairman of Selectors 12/09/2011 at 4:57 am

    I thought North’s piece was quite weak, and while I recoginse this sounds slightly trite, I am disappointed in AM (who despite being simply a faceless voice in the ether for me, I find myself admiring hugely) for endorsing it. It does not offer a way forward. On the contrary, it offers meaningless, bitter ideology, which as years of Labour government amply demonstrate, achieves absolutely nothing. UKIP have put forward a very distinct platform, offering a way out for the UK which is both sensible, deliverable, and right. North is suggesting we simply sit around and talk our way out of the mire. And yes, Richard, no doubt you wil accuse me too of not understanding “political movements”. But I assure you, if I can’t understand it, then neither can 99% of the population. I want lower taxes, a smaller state, less immigration, I want the hell out of the EU and I DO NOT WANT HS2. UKIP is the only party that wants the same. How is sitting around intellectualising about the nature of political movements going to help? Love the blog by the way, just dont agree with you on this one. And to Uncle Badger’s point, while I am disappointed he felt that way about the UKIPers he met, let’s be honest – how often are political activist not a bunch of wierdos? I say that hoping to be the exception that proves the rule, as I intend on offering my help to UKIP when I return from overseas.

  16. 16 Radders 12/09/2011 at 7:48 am

    Political change in Britain has always been a glacially slow process of two steps forward, one step back.

    When the force of Chartism could no longer be resisted, the vote was granted to working-class men without a property qualification, but to ensure they didn’t gain power, the vote was granted at the same time to the wives of property owners, doubling the vote in favour of the status quo. Wives of non-property owning men, and indeed non-property owning women, had to wait another seven or eight decades for their votes.

    When at the end of the 19th century the working classes were doing it for themselves, with co-operatives, mutuals, friendly societies, health insurance and even funeral plans, and were organising politically for parity with the owning-classes, a system of State Welfare was organised that effectively killed the independence and self-sufficiency of the working class; henceforth they would be represented in Parliament by decently educated middle-class Oxbridge men who could be relied upon to represent ‘labour’ responsibly.

    AM and Richard North are correct in that the plurality of issues under an umbrella of ‘Reform’ can’t be represented by a single national party with a single national manifesto. It simply won’t succeed. National politics is a matter of branding, and the task is to launch a new cola drink against the entrenched market share of Pepsi and Coke. The UKIP brand associated with middle-aged men in polyester blazers in favour of a spot of light birching isn’t going to gain traction with the under-35s.

    Part of the answer (and only part) may be a ‘SPAR’ solution; a plurality of independent local parties sharing a recognisable national brand, ‘REFORM’ or something suitably catholic (small c) but without a national manifesto, sharing the most simple platform of pro European free-trade, pro Local, pro Probity in public life, pro democratic and pro Equality of opportunity. None of which either of the two main parties offer.

    The alternative to moving the political goalposts is an inchoate, unfocused angry mass of frustrated voters and a descent into anarchy and violence that will only damage our nation and our people.

  17. 17 Andy Baxter 12/09/2011 at 8:41 am

    Great stuff guys…..this is what political debating should be all about….passion, intellect, reasoning….

    I had considered voting for UKIP once, but then I am so switched off from the whole tawdry business of politics (I’d say I am representative of the majority in Britain today not a minority) and feel like all the others “what’s the point?” nothing changes, nothing ever will while self interested parties and the people who run them for personal aggrandisement and posturing are in the driving seat.

    Farage while entertaining at times just comes across as an angry man, yes he’s articulate but his message is I agree one of mostly negativity and delivered with anger…..that is never going to work, no matter how correct his point of view is….nor appeal to enough numbers to make a difference in a ballot box.

    and as for criticism of AM and Dr. North…at least they attempt to analyse with thought and intellect, they try to reason and debate and have come up with some suggestions including Referism (what happened to that by the way?)if any criticism is valid it should be why is Referism not a force growing in numbers and profile since it was first mooted?(I totally buy into the idea of controlling the purse strings of those elected to office, its the ony way to control their largesse..) if Dr. North is guilty of anything (and those who support the idea of Referism on their blogs) its for not driving this idea, this movement forward…? just asking?

    I think the current political system is too systemic, too party first and cult of the leader driven with constituents last and voting for any party, UKIP included only perpetuates the status quo. We no longer want the status quo, millions of us want change and sadly most are sheep needing to be led, We need to move away from this system and drive an idea a movement forward until it gains traction…then mass popular appeal and we can learn from history…

    the parralls to the 1930’s are uncanny…we have mass unemployment, high taxes, a bleak economic outlook, rampant inflation, a devalued currency, a political system in decline and perceived as corrupt and ineffectual. we have police becoming servants of the Sate instead of servants of the law, we have an honest middle class and honest working class being driven to the precipice of impoverishment by Government and its agents stealing as much as they can from us in taxes and fines, to fund their largesse and failed wasteful policies (education, health, energy, the deliberate breakup of family by the State, defence, constitutional reform et al) which can only be explained by ‘deliberate stupidity’ while a whole generation of people mostly the young who are becoming unemployable with no sense of responsibility or community, no family beyond the self intrested ‘gimme gimme gimme’ ‘I’m entitled’ viewpoint who will be breeding a new generation to reinforce their numbers…

    now I’m not suggesting we look for another Adolf but reading ‘Adolf Hitler by John Toland’ was a most enlightening tome full of insightful observations.

    And before the numpty’s who haven’t got the intellect to understand the point I’m making jump on the band wagon and criticise me for drawing parralels LISTEN: I’m not advocating National Socialism nor the policies of Hitler or the regime it became, nor even a cult of the leader like he fostered so effectively.

    I’m pointing out that we have a perfect opportunity like he did from turning the ‘German Workers Party’ with just seven members which was in effect not a political party at all but a “debating society” (his own words) into a ‘movement’ that eventually changed the face of Europe! I agree he went about in the wrong way by venturing on a grand tour of Europe between 1939-1945 but nevertheless he achieved immense change by capturing some simple ideas linking them to the woes of the country at the time and offering a set of simple solutions (seriously no pun intended)

    no political party support for the status quo is not the answer, we need to drive a movement, an idea or set of very simple ideasforward that the majority can identify with, take ownershipof and drive forward with momentum of numbers….for its our numbers that the Powers that Be will fear, that and only that is the way to change.

  18. 18 Richard North 12/09/2011 at 9:55 am

    You are right about Referism … but it has to come slowly and steadily, as it needs a lot of work to develop the idea. I am more or less determined that I will write a book on it … a sort of Mein Kamph?

    The study of Hitler and Nazism itself is important, in that it provides a model of a successful 20th Century revolution, and one can certainly draw some lessons from it. If you enjoyed Toland, you would enjoy reading Shirer’s Rise and Fall.

    I am still struggling to work out what precisely Nazism has to offer (as a revolutionary technique), and am gradually coming to the conclusion that, although it shares the central tenet of the revolution – the “idea” – it has little to offer because it relies mainly on violence in violent times.

    The European Movement model, therefore, seems to be more promising, although that has its distinct limitations … but there are elements which I am certain we could use.

    However, we all seem to under-exploit the most powerful weapon available to us – the internet – and I am sure that the way forward is a meld of old ideas and modern technology. My thinking is that we should create an online or “virtual” movement. We might build that and then gradually give it substance by increasingly large public meetings, marches and demonstrations.

  19. 19 Richard North 12/09/2011 at 10:05 am

    Chairman of Selectors … yes, you are right. It does sound trite, and you are guilty of more than a little straw mannism. No one is suggesting we simply sit around and talk our way out of the mire.

    What I am doing – and I am far from alone as more activists have been in UKIP and left the party than are currently in it – is try to think through a successful modus operandi before we commit ourselves to battle.

    “Euroscepticism” has been an element in British politics since the 1960s and, so far in the broad sweep of things, it has been an unremitting failure. A good general does not reinforce failure, but looks for another way round.

  20. 20 right_writes 12/09/2011 at 10:36 am

    @Richard North:

    “Most of the major political changes in this country have originated from outwith the party political system, including the movement which led to Britain joining the Common Market.”

    I think you might find a book called “The Great Deception” an interesting read…

    The authors (can’t remember who they are) went to great lengths to explain how the bureaucracy at the League of Nations, led by Jean Monnet and his seretary Arthur Salter (later a Tory MP and Lord) drew up plans for a European superstate based on the “soviet system” as espoused by the Bolshevic “political” party. At Monnet’s behest, Salter drew up a plan which used a form of stealth to create this supreme soviet in Europe, by replacing the force as used by the Bolsheviks with a system of incremental “slowlee slowlee catchee monkey” seemingly unrelated treaties.

    Our friend Adolf thought there was a better way of creating this superstate, but he miscalculated. However, he did impede Monnet and Salters plans, which were picked immediately the war ended.

    The steps that slowly built the EU and EC politburo system that we have today, was entirely political, had nothing to do with the ordinary joe and was perhaps aided by a general feeling among many aspiring politicians (along with the influence of the men in grey suits like Salter) that the solution to repeated wars (started by THEM), was a European committee of dictators.

    @Uncle Badger:

    “It may sound like a BBC stereotype, but they really do come across as blazer-wearing, disaffected, former NCOs who have never quite got over the banning of the birch.

    Maybe I have met an unrepresentative selection?”

    You are right, you have met an unrepresentative selection… Whilst that may have once been so, as has already been pointed out, UKIP has gone from 1% to 7% in the polls, but what you might not know is that amongst 18-24 year olds, they are currently just over 14%.

    But you are right sir, the party that makes the final cut and thrust may well not be UKIP (I suspect it may be from somewhere completely unexpected, like Slovakia, Finland or the Netherlands), but it will not be for want of trying and pioneering, unlike the moribund breed of (Junius type) theorists that are populating this blog increasingly, nothing is more poisonous than a woman scorned, methinks.

  21. 21 Uncle Badger 12/09/2011 at 1:19 pm

    It is clear that UKIP is not going to win a general election. It has yet to gain a single seat. Richard North’s points about the need for a party-independent movement are well taken, but it will still need political power to implement those ideas. None of the three parties will get us out of the EU and are widely held in contempt.

    If we were to start afresh, what might be common ground on which to build?

    We can take exit from the EU as given.

    Our police force is in need of major reform. The war on the law abiding
    must cease and that against the real criminal must be heightened. Equally, there must be an end to police arrogance. Policemen, by nature, tend to be fierce dogs and fierce dogs need to be properly controlled.

    Sentencing policy must reflect what society wants – not the whims of judges
    or politicians who ‘know best’. The public temperature must be taken
    and applied.

    Immigration needs to be properly controlled.

    Welfare needs to be available for the genuinely needy and removed from spongers.

    Energy policy needs to reflect what people need – not be driven by activists.
    The artificial inflation of energy costs must stop, conventional and nuclear
    power capacity must be greatly increased. Energy, including road fuel, must
    be affordable.

    Basic education needs to be greatly improved with more emphasis on
    vocational training.

    Local councils must be properly local and councils stripped of draconian
    powers and all but basic functions. Council workers must serve the wishes of
    electors, not vice versa. Councillors should not be paid like company

    Banks must not be kept afloat by taxing the people. If nationalised, staff at
    the top should be paid like civil servants. Shareholders of all companies must be
    made to accept moral hazard. If they allow their employees to wreck the business, they will suffer the losses in full.

    MPs should be accountable to electors, not parties. A way of greatly reducing party power needs to be devised and MPs should become, like the police, judiciary and local councils, servants not masters.

    I offer these, in true back of a fag packet style, just to open a discussion. I believe a majority of people in this country would agree with most of them and would support them, regardless of how they vote in general or local elections.

    Could a new party, not tainted with failure, get sufficient support with such a platform?

  22. 22 Stuck-Record 12/09/2011 at 1:50 pm

    The thing I just don’t understand, and have not been able to get my head round, is why everyone is so keen to sell out the United Kingdom?

    Don’t get me wrong, I understand why the leftist, anti-western, closet communist lot are so keen to sell the UK (and each of their individual European countries) down the river to the EU, but what’s in it for everyone else? Why do conservatives buy into this? Why do bureaucrats from local town halls all the way up to Whitehall want to have their authority replaced by someone elsewhere? Surely it goes against Parkinson’s law of power accumulation?

    What’s in it for them?

  23. 23 right_writes 12/09/2011 at 2:16 pm

    @Uncle Badger:

    “It is clear that UKIP is not going to win a general election. It has yet to gain a single seat.”

    I tend to agree, even though I support them…

    However, as things currently stand they are becoming more appealing to all age groups and all disaffected supporters of the other parties.

    My continuous point is that standing on the sidelines sniping at UKIP and Farage, when one could be, if one felt so inclined in there displacing Farage and turning it into a national movement… Even though that is already well under way, and Farage…


    recognised this in his speech on Friday. The “other lot” that people want to see the back of, are all of them, there is nowhere left to run for the LibLabCON, they all have a liberal dose of sh*t on their hands. What was that he said: “The CONservative party is an exercise in mass deception and they have been rumbled”.

    Regarding your earlier point about old codgers, it is the modern way to view these types as not suitable leaders, and that is probably right… It is encouraging then that the fastest growing part of UKIP is in the 18-30 age group. There was a very well received speech by a young member called Sanya-Jeet Thandi, the conference chairman wondered whether this was a speech by a future leader of UKIP.

  24. 24 right_writes 12/09/2011 at 2:20 pm

    Jaysus… That comment did not scan well!

  25. 25 Richard North 12/09/2011 at 3:58 pm

    12/09/2011 at 10:36 am
    @Richard North:

    “I think you might find a book called “The Great Deception” an interesting read…”

    If you are going to use the book as an authority, it would help if you conveyed the message correctly. As co-author (as well you know), I do not recognise the pastiche you present as in any way representing what I wrote.

  26. 26 TomTom 12/09/2011 at 5:03 pm

    I want the hell out of the EU and I DO NOT WANT HS2. UKIP is the only party that wants the same

    In Wetherspoons in the North they had stacks of postcards for people to mail in and say why they wanted HS2 – some lobby group had left them. So why should Northerners who might want HS2 vote UKIP ?

    You can see immediately how Southern UKIP’s bias is and why it offers nothing to the North, even if HS2 was relevant to the North which I doubt……but it does show that disgruntled Home Counties Tories are UKIP’s membership base

  27. 27 jameshigham 12/09/2011 at 5:37 pm

    There are many UKIPers thinking along the same lines but many are staying mum about it for now.

  28. 28 Dave_G 12/09/2011 at 8:55 pm

    @Richard North

    Of course the votes for UKIP haven’t made a difference – so far. If (when) I see a Referist party representative on my ballot paper I’d be inclined to vote for them. Except I’m not prepared to wait 10, 20 or 30 years for that to happen. I’m already exasperated waiting for the ‘million man march’ to kick off (and yes, I know that I have my own part to play in that little scheme….).

    UKIP, as far as my meagre understanding of the subject goes, IS all we’ve got – right now – this very instant. Unless I can accept some wisdom from yourself on any of the credible alternatives?

    UKIP may have all the problems and issues that have been widely reported (and to which I largely agree with) but they also have a visible platform, a mouthpiece that appeals to the common man and a chance, albeit slim, of actually making a difference in the next election. I’ll take that chance.

    Or should I just sit back and wait?

  29. 29 Richard North 12/09/2011 at 11:15 pm

    Dave G … you do have a little difficulty understanding things, don’t you. You will never find a referist candidate representative on your ballot paper. Sadly, it appears your understanding is very meagre.

  30. 30 Brian Hall 13/09/2011 at 12:03 am

    AJC above refers to the key: Primaries, open or otherwise. Emulate the US Tea Party: rather than fighting the duopoly on its collaborative turf, pick one of the two majors as a target and take over from within/below. Keep the core movement-message and goal clear and simple.
    Start with local organizing bodies, take control of candidate nominations, hold their feet to the fire continuously.

  31. 31 NickM 13/09/2011 at 10:56 am

    Primaries, Referism, Direct Democracy, or any other number of brilliant ideas won’t work. Why? Because the establishment is not going to give any of it to us, any more than they will get us out of the EU. That is why UKIP, or another political party, even flawed, that can use our remaining democracy, is the only realistic answer at the moment. It won’t be the LibLabCon, of course, so voting for any of them is a wasted vote.

  32. 32 TomTom 13/09/2011 at 1:07 pm

    that can use our remaining democracy

    Well that is an uphill struggle with a State Broadcasting Corporation and regime-sponsoring Media barons like Murdoch and Rothermere…….just what are you going to do ? Not much evidence you’ve cracked the Internet, and they aren’t killing UKIP supporters in the streets simply ignoring them………

    To get anywhere you’ll have to pose a threat to something, and then they’ll get vicious….and you’re on your way

  33. 33 james davis (@derrfe) 13/09/2011 at 3:08 pm

    if AM and north don’t believe that any party can achieve their referism , would it be better to establish a referism think-tank?. Ayn rand’s think tank has become somewhat mainstream in u.s conservative circles.

  34. 34 futureboy 17/09/2011 at 2:25 pm

    So if you don’t vote UKIP you either don’t vote at all or vote for somebody else. Having gone so far as to say who you don’t vote for I think, for balance, you should what your alternative is.

    One does not have to be an enthusiastic supporter of UKIP to see that either of these alternatives will be of limited use.

  35. 35 Autonomous Mind 18/09/2011 at 9:39 am

    Futureboy, I’ve made clear several times that I don’t vote for any of the parties. I want to be able to vote positively for someone, not because they are the least worst option. UKIP may be the least worst option in some ways, but I feel Farage is an autocrat who forces out anyone he thinks to be a threat to him, irrespective of their wisdom or ability.

    I think a group that is not aligned to the political parties stands the best chance of forcing the withdrawalist agenda.

  36. 36 futureboy 18/09/2011 at 1:56 pm

    Ok I wasn’t aware you had answered that previously. We are going to have to agree to disagree.
    I would love to always be able to vote for somebody I fully agree with but that seems unlikely I would never suggest that voting is the only or even best way to achieve change but voting does not prevent doing other things as well. I think we should take every opportunity available and that includes voting.

  37. 37 David 18/09/2011 at 3:44 pm

    I’ve been in UKIP since 2000 and they still havent given me a blazer … doh.

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