Saturday, November 17, 2012

Corby messages

So Labour duly reclaimed the parliamentary seat of Corby?  Big surprise?  I don't really think so as the former Conservative MP, Louise Mensch, had a rather slim majority, anyway.  Also this was a lowish turn-out of around 45% and so maybe the Conservative supporters just stayed at home?

Nevertheless, this result does pose questions and provides lessons for David Cameron and the Tory leadership.

The minority-coalition partner, Liberal Democrats, were badly beaten into fourth place.  How badly should not be under-stated.  This party that seeks, from a very minority position, to dictate (successfully in most eyes, so far it must be said) the tone and direction of UK Government policy and yet could garner less than 1,800 votes!  A lesson for David Cameron?  Maybe there is no need to be so super-nice to these folks?  Maybe you should press on with boundary reform? And deeper welfare reductions.

The big winner of this by-election, was the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).  UKIP came a very respectable 3rd getting almost 15% of the votes and three times that of the Liberal Democrats!  UKIP's main policy objective is the exit of the UK from the European Union.  In national opinion polls, UKIPis now regularly polling in third position.  A lesson and and opportunity for David Cameron and the Tories.

As I have posted here before, I believe that whichever of  the major party - Tory or Labour - that has the courage to clearly announce a policy of re-negotiation of the relationship between the UK and EU, a policy that does not rule out a possible exit, will greatly benefit in electoral terms. 

In spite of Labour's sudden conversion to an anti-EU stance on the EU budget issue, we know that they are fully on-board with the statist and protectionist policies of the EU as well as their federalist politics and direction. 

After all, in Europe, Federalism means 'do as I tell you. I am an EU politician and therefore I know best!  Okay so I wasn't democratically elected but I still know best and you need to know your place!!  You, are a taxpayer and provide funds for my lavish lifestyle, I don't need your opinion, just your money!'

So there is a great opportunity for the Conservatives to, at a stroke, gain political popularity and seize the political initiative.  I doubt though that they will grasp it.  I sense that come the next general election, of the four main parties, Conservatives, Labour and Lib Dems will all offer a common platform of 'negotiation rather than confrontation' with the EU and so will keep the UK saddled with this enterprise-stifling and dangerously undemocratic organization.

The biggest danger for the Conservatives is, what if UKIP just doesn't 'fade away?   What if they continue to poll third, nationally?  What if they start to put together a policy platform that holds-up all of the Socialist policies that the EU has fostered and brought countries like Greece, Spain and Ireland to their knees and the edge of anarchy, and show that this is the direction where the UK could head?  Then they would be stealing the economic policy of the Tories, as well.

Not good times for the Conservative leadership. 

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