Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Survation poll shows that only UKIP can beat Labour in South Thanet

A Survation poll on voting intentions in the South Thanet constituency published today makes interesting reading.

The poll shows that only UKIP can challenge Labour in South Thanet and only 22% of UKIP voters would consider voting Conservative if there was no UKIP candidate. Almost two thirds of people who said they intended to vote for UKIP said so because they like UKIP policies whereas most Conservative and Labour voters said they would vote for those parties simply out of habit.

The timing of the poll is perfect because the europhile Tory MP for South Thanet, Laura Sandys, announced this week that she would be standing down at the next election which immediately sparked rumours that Nigel Farage would pick it as his constituency for the 2015 general election.

Predictably, Tory propagandist Harry Cole has tried to spin this poll as evidence that voting UKIP lets Labour win on the Guido Fawkes blog despite the evidence showing that actually, voting Conservative in South Thanet will split the UKIP vote and let Labour win.  If UKIP didn't put up a candidate in South Thanet, the Tories still couldn't win because whilst 22% of UKIP voters said they would vote Conservative if there was no UKIP candidate, 19% said they would vote Labour and 52% of UKIP voters said they would still vote UKIP even if it meant Ed Miliband would become prime minster against just 27% who said they would vote "tactically" for the Tories to stop him.

The Tories have been busily promoting the party line that voting UKIP lets Labour win all over the country and here we have the evidence to back up what we've been telling people all along which is that a vote for UKIP is a vote for UKIP and in many cases voting Tory splits the UKIP vote and lets Labour or the Lib Dems win.

In 2015 we will see UKIP's first MPs elected and Labour getting the most MPs elected. The extent to which Labour will win depends entirely on how much the Tories split the UKIP vote. UKIP attracts votes from all three of the old parties so if they're clever, the Tories will step aside in marginal seats like South Thanet that they just can't win and negotiate with UKIP for support to form a minority government (but no coalition) to keep Labour out of power.

The voters of South Thanet have made it very clear: vote blue, get red.

Are you listening Prime Minister?

There are only 35 days left until 30m of the poorest people in the EU are able to live and work in the UK in unlimited numbers.

So far, over 20k people have signed a petition calling on the British government to indefinitely suspend the abolition of border controls for Romania and Bulgaria due to come into force on 1st January.
In 2014, border restrictions on people coming from Bulgaria and Romania will be relaxed. This will mean nationals from these countries will be equally entitled to jobs, housing and welfare benefits. It will put pressure on our housing, infrastructure, schools, and healthcare at a time when the government is cutting pensions, jobs, public services and the armed forces.

I request that the government suspends indefinitely the relaxing of the UK's border restrictions due to take place on 1 January 2014.
David Cameron has clearly realised too late how much public opinion is against him on immigration because he's announced changes to the benefits system for EU immigrants which he says will send a clear message that we're not a soft touch. The changes he's announced are making EU immigrants wait 3 months before they are entitled to benefits, limit unemployment benefits to 6 months unless the claimant has a genuine chance of a job, making them wait for housing benefit and deporting EU immigrants who are caught begging or sleeping rough.

The problem with Cast Iron Dave's master plan is that it's not achievable.  EU immigrants claiming to be self employed are allowed to claim benefits from the day they arrive, Big Issue sellers are self employed and EU law says that EU immigrants are entitled to the same benefits as the natives of the country they move to.  The EU Commission is currently taking the British government to one of its kangaroo courts to enforce this law so claiming to be able to limit the benefits that EU immigrants are entitled to is simply dishonest.

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Desperate Labour spinner Dan Hodges attacks UKIP

Champagne socialist, Dan Hodges, has described UKIP's upcoming election campaign as "one of the most dangerous campaigns in British political history" in an article for the Telegraph.

A former employee of the Labour Party, GMB trade union official and son of Labour MP Glenda Jackson, Hodges is hardly a source of impartial or even rational political debate and it's a sign of the times when a Tory supporting newspaper gives a platform to someone who describes himself as supporting Labour "with tribal loyalty and without reservation" just to attack UKIP.

It would be easy to attack Hodges just on his irrational, partisan politics (he supports Labour with "tribal loyalty", worked for Ken Livingston but supported Boris Johnson standing against Livingstone for Mayor of London and has shown some extreme authoritarian tendencies) but we'll hoist him by his own petard instead.
The Government has introduced an immigration cap, which is reducing the number of migrants entering the UK.
But this is only a cap on non-EU immigrants. We're applying an arbitrary quota on immigrants from the Commonwealth and beyond whilst continuing to allow unlimited numbers of immigrants from EU countries. The British government has no control over the total number of immigrants entering the country.

The Commonwealth accounts for the majority of immigration into the UK but the EU is closing the gap, increasing from 72m immigrants in 2000 to 151m in 2011. EU immigration overtook non-Commonwealth immigration from the rest of the world in March 2005 and immigration controls being applied to Commonwealth countries will further increase the EU's share of immigration into the UK to be the largest single source of immigrants.
Measures have been introduced to limit their access to health and social security provision.
But this only applies to non-EU immigrants. Immigrants from the EU are entitled to the same benefits as people already living here and a common loophole for EU immigrants is to claim that they are self-employed as soon as they arrive in the country which qualifies them for benefits from the day they arrive in the country.
The Tories have sent vans on to our streets telling migrants to go home, whilst Labour has again started to call publicly for British jobs to be reserved for British workers.
There was such criticism of the "go home" vans that they got pulled after only a few weeks and Labour can call for British jobs to be reserved for British workers all they want but that's illegal under EU law.
Many people, me included, have been trying to reassess our attitudes towards immigration. We recognise we took our eye off the ball. Our inclination towards tolerance meant we ignored the justified anger and frustration at the impact immigration was having on our fellow citizens.
It wasn't "tolerance" that drove the destructive abolition of border controls, it was an intolerance of the views of the majority that were telling people like Hodges that mass immigration was wrong and would damage the country. That intolerance still exists today, except people like Hodges now loath themselves as well as the rest of us for realising that their deliberate campaign to change society through immigration was wrong.
But next year we’re going to have to pick a side. Paul Sykes, Nigel Farage and their fellow travellers are preparing to run one of the most dangerous and divisive campaigns in British political history. Drunk on their new-found celebrity, and their wealth, they plan to target immigrants to secure their own narrow political objectives.

They are quite open about this. Ukip will attack those who see to come to this country legally, in pursuit of work and the opportunity to provide for their families; some of these people will find themselves portrayed as criminals or scroungers.
So when he says "the prohibition on discussing immigration has been lifted", what he means is that you can talk about immigration but only as long as you don't want to reduce it or control it and as long as you don't suggest that immigration also brings criminals alongside the ordinary, law abiding people. If you do then a perfectly sensible policy that says there aren't enough jobs or houses to go around the people already living here so economic immigration needs to be frozen for five years to help solve the housing crisis and rampant unemployment will be misrepresented as "dangerous and divisive" and framed as bigotry and racism. When we need economic immigration, a UKIP government will welcome skilled people from overseas who can plug the skills gaps we have at the time.
The collapse of the BNP and the EDL will see many of their supporters switching en masse to Nigel Farage’s party, whether he likes it or not. Ukip is famously disorganised; how can we be sure that extremists have not made it through the screening process and on to the candidates' list?
They won't because UKIP is the only mainstream party that bans past and present members of the BNP, EDL, National Front and other unsavoury parties and organisations from joining the party. The screening process for candidates is so robust that a sitting MEP failed to be reselected and the party disciplinary process is strong enough to have expelled the leader of the UKIP group on Lincolnshire County Council from the party resulting in UKIP losing its position as the official opposition group on that council. UKIP's actions in the past and to this day have shown that when tough decisions need to be made, they will be.
So we will all have to choose. We can stand back as Nigel Farage and Ukip attempt to drive a wedge between the people of Britain and the new arrivals from eastern Europe. Or we can challenge them.
Nigel Farage and UKIP aren't attempting to drive a wedge between any sections of society. Our immigration policy is sensible and straightforward and doesn't discriminate at all. Unlike the LibLabCon who discriminate against our friends and allies in the Commonwealth and elsewhere in the world to support a divisive and discriminatory policy of unlimited and unrestricted immigration from the EU, UKIP treats all prospective immigrants the same and will apply the same restrictions to everyone.

Monday, 18 November 2013

Nigel Farage to undergo back surgery tomorrow

Nigel Farage will undergo surgery on his back tomorrow to try and sort out the problems he's had since the plane crash in 2010.

He had to pull out of this weekend's North East conference at the last minute because of his back pain.

We wish Nigel all the best for his surgery tomorrow and a speedy recovery.

Sunday, 17 November 2013

Multi-millionaire Paul Sykes is backing UKIP's election campaign

Multi-millionaire Paul Sykes has said he will do whatever it takes to make sure UKIP wins the EU elections next year and is expected to spend millions of pounds doing so.

Sykes donated £1.5m to UKIP in 2004 and in the last few years has been sponsoring Tory MPs who pretend to be eurosceptic. He has told a Telegraph reporter that he's supporting UKIP because "I am certainly not wasting my time, energy and money on any of the others".

This will provide a real boost to UKIP in next year's EU elections. The Tories and Lib Dems are backed by millionaires and Labour is funded by the unions. All three of them will get taxpayers' money to campaign for greater integration with the EU during the next election whilst UKIP relies on donations from members and supporters.

Social Mobility: Some Very Hard Truths

It is the subject that won't go away. Yet again this week we have had seemingly endless numbers of articles and comment concerning the apparent lack of social mobility in modern society compared to that enjoyed by the post war generation.

It is cited like a mantra that the fundamental reason for this decline is the destruction of the grammar school system, though as Janet Daley writes brilliantly in the Telegraph today, it was the destruction of the cultural attitudes that they symbolised which was far more important.

However,  irrespectively of the decline of standards in state education, a question not often asked is this: has society changed in fundamental ways in recent decades that means social mobility may now be much harder to achieve than it once was?

The answer is, depressingly, yes.

Here are some reasons:
  • Private Schools Have Changed: it tends to be forgotten that traditionally the private (or "public") school system did not emphasise academic achievement all that strongly. In a society dominated by the "Old Boy Network", it didn't need to, and instead tended to emphasise life skills such as leadership and self-discipline. The rise of the grammar schools in the 1960s caused some private schools to close, but the remainder adapted to a more meritocratic age by becoming academically much more rigorously both in their selection procedure and emphasis. Even without their manifest advantages, many of those attending the top "public" schools today would succeed in any case because they have the natural talent to do so.
  • Nature: no one likes to admit it, but genetics, according to many scientists, are a strong component of one's abilities: some geneticists think that our fundamental make-up affects between 60-80% of our academic abilities. **IF** they are right, then sadly the huge social changes that have transformed society in recent decades - though in other ways thoroughly benign - make it hard to see how we can achieve much social mobility. The emancipation of women, rise of the knowledge economy and expansion of higher education means that society is now strongly filtered according to intellect. Whereas once universities and the professions were exclusively male, now of course women attend and compete on roughly equal terms. As a consequence people are much more likely to meet their partners through university or work: highly capable professional people marry other highly capable professional people, and therefore their children will tend to inherit their genetic advantages. Politicians are deeply reluctant to talk about this subject for very obvious reasons. Firstly, it risks insulting the poor and would instil a gloomy fatalism amongst the disadvantaged to accept their lot in life, thereby making social mobility even more difficult. Secondly, in a liberal society it is difficult to see how any solutions to the issue of genetic inheritance could be regarded as morally acceptable. Lastly, at the very worst, it could even lead to making evil ideas such as eugenics once again intellectually respectable.
  • Nurture: the tendency of highly-educated, highly paid professionals to marry each other has naturally concentrated income and with it opportunity. The children of these couples will tend to grow up in an environment that strongly values education and is highly aspirational. The children from wealthy professional couples have other more subtle advantages as well: studies have shown that the number of words heard by a small children in richer families may be up to 32 million more than in the poorest groups by the time a child reaches the age of four, and this is the most significant environmental factor in shaping a child's cognitive abilities.  Lastly, on average wealthy, professional couples have fewer children, so the income and time spent on a child's development may be vastly more than in poorer families. (However, it should also be noted in mitigation that professional couples have children at well below the demographic replacement rate - for example in the UK almost half of graduate women remain childless. Theoretically this should mean that this demographic gap can be filled by children from less affluent households, increasing social mobility.)
  • Immigration: the demographic gap created by low professional class birth rates may be thought to act in favour in increasing social mobility. In reality of course, the large influx of skilled professionals from elsewhere in the world, particularly to London, mean that young British adults are competing against the best the rest of the world has to offer.
  • Rise of the London City State: London is now an international city with pretensions to global leadership. As Iain Martin blogged recently, it is home to a developing international superclass that belongs to an entirely different culture than the rest of us, and are busy bringing up their children in precisely the same way, preparing them for an internationalised, globalised life. Naturally, London is also home to most of the very well paid jobs held by our indigenous elite as well. However, the grotesque inflation of London house prices that it's status has brought has effectively priced out large sections of the UK population from living there, and with it reduced access to job opportunities for those who do not already live in or will one day inherit London properties.
  • Family Breakdown: the link between marriage and adult wealth is now well established, as is the link between the poor prospects of children who come from broken homes. Single-parenthood and family breakdown is far more common in lower income groups than in higher ones, whereas in the 1960s when social mobility was at it's height, divorce and single parenthood were rare in all social groups.
  • Changes in the Way We Work: the post war decades saw a great shift from manufacturing to service industries and also the shift from blue-collar to white-collar work. Previously far fewer people - almost all them men - had any kind of professional jobs or what might be called a 'middle-class' career progression. The explosion in professional jobs allowed opportunities for working class children to enter the new middle classes. However, it is not clear whether this trend is continuing, and many economists have suggested that for all but the elite wages and opportunities will continue their recent decline with the advent of new technologies such as automation, driverless cars, robotisation and machine learning.
It is clear from the above that several factors in society, not just the abolition of grammar schools, have acted against social mobility in recent decades. Depressingly, further technological changes may make the task of achieving social mobility even harder in the future. Faced with such an array of factors, UKIP's flagship policy of reinstating the grammar's does look rather crude and one-dimensional: what is more necessary is a resurrection of the aspirational ethos in the culture of education. Michael Gove's free school initiative is excellent in this regard, as it allows schools to be created by enthusiastic people free of the sub-marxist culture that infects a great deal of the educational establishment. Other policies should be brought into the mix, not least strong support for marriage and the review of ideas, such as those advocated by Toby Young, of children starting school as young as two to help close the 32 million word gap.

But in reality there may well be a limit to what we can do about social mobility in the modern age within a liberal society: the advantages enjoyed by the elite being so huge compared to the rest of us. Instead, perhaps the best we can hope for is rather than emphasising relative social mobility between classes is to make sure we build a model of capitalism than means that all sections of society benefit in absolute terms, even if they don't do much better relative to others. (After all, in a stagnating economy, there is not much point in one person getting to the top if it means that someone else must fall to the bottom to make way for them.) To this end, rather than endlessly banging on about grammar schools that cater only for the intellectually talented (or rather those who show intellectual talent at eleven), it would be much better if UKIP would emphasise both building Gove's free school system and allowing all state schools to specialise according to ability. This could, potentially, give all children the chance to exploit the talents, whether academic or otherwise, that they already have or create for themselves.

Thursday, 14 November 2013

Hypocrites attack UKIP over poppy wreaths

A couple of UKIP branches have attracted criticism for laying wreaths at Remembrance Day events, with one in particular coming under sustained criticism for the size of the UKIP logo in the centre of their wreath.

Members of Plymouth & South West Devon branch laid a wreath at the war memorial in Plymstock which had a large UKIP logo in the centre. Labour and Tory councillors immediately went on the attack seeking to score political points despite being told that the design of the wreath is something that the Royal British Legion decide on and that members of the branch have no say in what it looks like. The Royal British Legion have also confirmed that they produce wreaths with the logos of all the mainstream political parties on so similar wreaths will have been laid across the country by the Tories and Labour.

A wreath with a small UKIP logo was also laid in Lincolnshire without the branch's knowledge which also brought out the political opportunists with the leader of the Tories there trying to make political capital out of it by attacking the local party.

Trade union funded anti-UKIP campaigners, Hope not Hate, have attacked UKIP's Thurrock branch for laying the same type of wreath - the design that the Royal British Legion choose and the branch has no say over - at the war memorial at Grays in Thurrock.

It's worth noting the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems all lay wreaths at war memorials on Remembrance Day and have done for years yet there has been no criticism in the press of those parties for doing what some UKIP branches have done in exactly the same circumstances.

Three of these identical poppy wreaths are an acceptable way to remember our war dead and one of them is a disrespectful political statement that brings shame onto the people who bought it and belittles the contribution our armed forces to the nation. Can you spot the odd one out?

Tuesday, 12 November 2013

The Rise Of The New International Dynasties

Iain Martin writes persuasively in the Telegraph that London is being dominated by a new superclass. More important even than their enormous wealth is the access to elite English public schools that a London domicile gives them, ensuring as it does that their children will grow up with colossal advantages: highly educated, schooled in several foreign languages and with a contact network of peers who will form the next generation of movers and shakers.

In short, we don't just face the prospect of a rule by a new international class - something that most of us are now well aware of - but new international dynasties who will network and marry each other, and whose primary loyalty will be to others in the same class rather than to any nation-state.

Perhaps Iain Martin doesn't read bloggers4ukip, but he could have read it here first: it is a constant theme of this blog that we are in the early years of a neo-medieval age, dominated just as the medieval age was by a small, internationally-focused oligarchical elite. Beneath that elite, of course,  is the peasant class - i.e. the rest of us - that they are largely uninterested in except as unit of production or, sometimes, as cannon-fodder in their stupid wars. To call the rest of us latter-day peasants may seem a little extreme - after all we still have a huge number of opportunities and material advantages barely imaginable to most people even 50 years ago, but the direction of travel is ominous: living standards for most people beneath the superclass are being progressively ground down as inflation outstrips wages year after year, and most people spend an ever-greater percentage of their budget in essentials rather than luxuries.

What is amazing is how many columnists, Martin amongst them, are clear-sighted about the huge change in societal structures we are undergoing but somehow think that the political framework we live in will stay the same. As UK politics is now dominated by parties into which members of the elite, or wannabe members of it - are firmly embedded, it should not, and probably will not.

The rise of UKIP has been attributed to many things - most commonly that we are a bunch of disgruntled Tories. However, I believe the rise of the party and it's broadening appeal is best understood as a modern form of a peasant's revolt to the neo-medieval concentration of power and wealth. Because there are far more losers than winners in this new dispensation, the prospects for the party are far brighter than members of the blinkered London commentariat perceive. People see the truth and they have had enough.

In the words of Shelly:

"Rise like Lions after slumber,
In unvanquishable number,
Shake your chains to earth like dew
Which in sleep had fallen on you,
Ye are many - they are few."

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Portsmouth shipyard closure may well prove to be the fatal blow for the union

Yesterday's political motivated closure of HM shipyard at Portsmouth was a desperate attempt by the British government to scupper pro-independence sentiment in Scotland but may well prove to be the fatal blow for the union.

The comments from the sacked workers, from the local MP and from the local council have all been pretty consistent: this is English jobs for Scottish people. The British government has sacrificed Portsmouth to protect jobs in Scotland because closing the  Clyde shipyards in Glasgow would hand Alex Salmond a big propaganda coup in the run-up to the Scottish independence referendum.

The Scottish independence people don't have a problem with the union per se, they have a problem with England. Most of them would stay in the UK if England was no longer part of it and it's because of this that the English will forever be the British sacrificial lamb. The price of Scottish unionism is denigration and discrimination against the English and it's a price the British are happy to pay.

UKIP's had a record Scottish by-election result in Aberdeen Donside in June - Otto Inglis came fifth with 4.83% of the vote, losing his deposit. The party put a lot of money into the campaign and the membership in Scotland worked like troopers but we will never see a breakthrough in Scotland because UKIP doesn't represent the views of the majority in Scotland who are left wing, pro-independence europhiles. It doesn't matter that declaring independence from the UK and then joining the EU is like a woman leaving one abusive partner to move in with another, that's what they want and that's what wins votes.

UKIP has nothing to gain from Scotland and everything to lose by not standing up strongly enough for the interests of the English people who do share UKIP's vision of the future - the UK (or rather, England and whoever tags along) out of the EU and back in control of our own destiny. The party needs to be campaigning strongly for a radically reformed British union that provides enough benefit to each member state of the UK or for Scotland to declare independence and leave England, Wales and Northern Ireland to get on with things. There will be no justice or fairness for the English whilst the union remains in its current form.

The only viable long term future for the British union is to reorganise it as a confederation with all four member states becoming sovereign nations and joining a British union by consent rather than compulsion. There's a great definition on the CIA factbook of a confederation:
Confederacy (Confederation) - a union by compact or treaty between states, provinces, or territories, that creates a central government with limited powers; the constituent entities retain supreme authority over all matters except those delegated to the central government.
In effect, the member states of the confederation are independent, sovereign nations voluntarily pooling sovereignty on limited matters whilst retaining the right to act in their own interests in all matters. It turns devolution and federation on its head - instead of the central (ie. federal of quasi-federal in the case of the UK) government having sovereignty and the right to legislate on all matters, the member states of the union have this status and the central government is limited in its powers. It's not dissimilar to how the EU, UN, NATO and other intergovernmental organisations are constituted. I wrote the case for a British confederation back in 2011 and it's still absolutely valid today - more so after what happened in Portsmouth yesterday.

The alternative is that the UK breaks up and as more discrimination is meted out at the English it is increasingly likely that it is the English who will bring down the union, not the Scots. Opinion polls already show that more people in England want Scotland to declare independence than people in Scotland do and the last major survey into devolution and independence in the UK showed that as many people in England want English independence as people in Scotland want Scottish independence. This is a direct result of the discriminatory policy of allowing Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland to run their own domestic affairs whilst refusing to allow England the same right and the British government's willingness to discriminate against England to benefit the Scots (and to a lesser extent the Welsh and Northern Irish).

UKIP's equivocation on reform of the British union is costing the party votes. The last policy agreed by the NEC - still to be made public a year after being agreed - would have the unintended consequence of resulting in a confederation of the type described above to provide democratically accountable government. This is a good thing but the policy is gathering dust on the "to be announced" shelf which means it will probably be revised yet again - another policy agreed in principal that never sees the light of day.

As a party we support an English Parliament - the only serious party to do so - and Nigel Farage publicly confirms UKIP's commitment to equality for England on a regular basis but there's no meat on the bone. We need a full, coherent policy on how we're going to reform the British union put into the public domain and a commitment for a high level campaign to accompany it.

The union in its current form seriously disadvantages England and any mainstream party that promises comprehensive reform of the union so that everyone benefits and not just the relative few will undoubtedly be rewarded at the ballot box.

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Remember, Remember.....

Tonight is Bonfire Night.

Although many of us will have celebrated it over the weekend, today of course is the anniversary of the discovery of the plot to blow up Parliament and King in 1605 by Guido Fawkes and his fellow conspirators.

The precise meaning of "Bonfire Night" has of course changed with the passing centuries. During the centuries of tumult that followed the Protestant Reformation, it was celebrated as "the Deliverance of our Church and Nation from Popish Tyranny and arbitrary Power" though few, outside the villages in parts of Sussex and Surrey remember it in such terms today. Instead, as the passions of religion faded in society it became a celebration of  the defeat of terrorism - or even a celebration of anarchism and the sneaking suspicion that perhaps blowing the whole bunch of charlatans sky high was a very good idea!

Of course, in recent years the importance of Bonfire Night has faded in favour of the tacky, commercial American import of Hallowe'en. No collapse in tradition could be perhaps be more symbolic of the decline of our national identity and descent into multicultural confusion.

Such traditions matter, and it is incumbent on all of 'Kippers as  British patriots to stop and reverse such malign trends.

Therefore, may I suggest a solution, and that is that wherever possible, UKIP branches start hosting their own bonfire night celebrations in future.

I am being perfectly serious, because the purposes and advantages of doing so are manifold. Firstly, it helps in some small way to help keep alive a cherished British tradition. Secondly, it provides a night out for UKIP members and their families. Thirdly, it would allow us to invite along local people and help embed us in local communities. Fourthly, as a celebration of the defeat against arbitrary power, it publicly reaffirms our belief and commitment to free our society from continental tyranny in the modern age.

And finally because....

"we see no reason, why gunpowder and treason, should ever be forgot!!!"

Saturday, 2 November 2013

The Tories Wither On the Vine

It is not often Michael Heseltine gets things right, but he hit the nail on the head in his otherwise risible performance on the Sunday Politics.

When asked about John Major's speech which included an intervention on fuel prices (7:20), Heseltine said: "I myself was more interested in the other part of his speech....the need for the Conservative Party to recognise what is happening to's membership is shrinking into a southeastern enclave."


Reading between the lines, this could well be the fate of the Tory party. Outside of the well-heeled home counties, support for the party is fading away. UKIP is taking a considerable percentage of the old "Thatcher Tories" vote - those aspirant working class and lower middle class voters notoriously labelled  the 'C2s' in the jarring marketing argot. Even in rural areas, where support for the Conservative Party is still weighed rather than counted, recent reports suggest that support is not as solid as it once was.

There are many reasons why this should be so: the ever-increasing concentration of wealth in London and the South East stockbroker belt plus rampant immigration has left poorer rural areas and "Essex man" voters feeling the pinch alike. As a result, these former Tory heartlands are increasingly vunerable to growing UKIP support. The whole situation is not exactly helped by Cameron's decidedly metropolitan leadership which to put in mildly does not come across as sympathetic to these area's concerns.

However, as valid as these reasons are, there are long term reasons for the Tory decline in these demographics that they will find it very hard to recover from. To understand why, you have to understand that the Conservative Party isn't really at heart a "conservative" party at all, it is a Tory party, dedicated above all to preserving elite power and privilege.

Arguably, during the past few decades the Conservative party has done as much if not more damage to institutions and traditions that people of modest backgrounds relied on to prosper. It can be argued that the three most important of these are (were) family, national identity and grammar schools. Of these three, the so-called  Conservative party initiated and engaged enthusiastically in the destruction of the first two and stood idly by as Labour maliciously destroyed to third. It was the Conservative Party, during the Chancellorship of Ken Clarke, who started the revocation of the marriage tax allowance. It was the Conservative Party, of course, that signed us to the then the European Economic Community in 1973 and have had a more or less disgraceful record on the subject of "Europe" ever since. As for grammar schools, although their demise was initially a result of the Labour education minister Tony Crosland's malevolence, it suited high Tory purposes that these were levelled down to "bog-standard comprehensives" because it meant less competition for their own, usually privately educated, children.

The results of this vandalism are all visible all around us: an ill-educated, socially-immobile, confused and demoralised population reeling from the effects of family breakdown and a rapid weakening of national identity. A properly "conservative" party would surely have defended all these institutions and more with gusto. However, because their survival  meant little to the elite they completely failed to do so. Yes, the Left have taken full advantage of circumstances to make the situation indescribably worse, but they would not have been able to advance their  multi-cultural sub-marxist ideology to anything like the same extent they have if the Tories had not been asleep on the watch.

Many of the more dim-witted and myopic Tories blame the rise of UKIP as the cause, not a symptom, of their travails. However, the reality is that the rot was well set in long before UKIP arrived on the scene. The Times  journalist Matthew Parris once came up with a great metaphor to describe how political change happens in society, likening it to the tipping of gravel into a swamp. For a long time no change seemed to be occurring on the surface, but all the time underneath the pile of gravel continues to build, until one day it breaks the surface. Arguably that is what the rapid rise of UKIP represents - long neglected voters are finally in revolt. A similar process is also underway in Labour voting heartlands, as the ever more marxist Labour Party becomes progressively estranged from the concerns of it's core voting demographic.

The Tories are finally waking up to the need to change, and are now making substantial efforts in order to re-engage with the voters. Doubtless their efforts will meet with some success, and UKIP should by no means be complacent in under-estimating the threat that the ideas of Douglas Carswell could pose to our party. However, in the great scheme of things it is almost certainly too late to reverse the decline entirely: the neglect, contempt and betrayal felt by many previously conservative-voting demographics is so deep-rooted that millions will find it extremely hard to trust the party again. Instead, many seem to be attracted to UKIP as a new, energetic and (largely) unsullied rival. A future as a minority, perhaps even south-eastern regional, party seems the best the Conservatives can hope for.