Saturday, May 08, 2010
The Conservatives said any mention of a deal had been rejected "straight away".I am very glad that offer was not accepted, partly because it would merely have been a "cast iron" written promise by somebody who is clearly pro-EU & partly because I believe UKIP has gone beyond being a single issue lobby & at the election produced by far the best manifesto which appeals to any libertarian or traditional liberal.
We offered that if we got a clear, written promise with an agreed wording for a referendum on whether we stayed in or left the European Union... then we would stand down for the general election, providing we had this absolutely clearly in writing.
"And then when we had the referendum - which we believed we would win - we would then be out of the European Union and then at that point UKIP, well it would have been up to UKIP, but it would probably have disbanded
David Cameron must be sick at the opportunity lost.
EU Referendum is compiling a list of (currently) 34 seats where the UKIP or occasionally UKIP & BNP vote exceeds the majority by which the Conservatives were beaten. In 16 of them the UKIP vote is more than twice the winner's majority so in these cases we can say with certainty the Conservatives lost because of refusing this offer. With those & few of the others they would certainly have had a majority.
On such hasty decisions the destinies of nations turn.
This is an interesting example of the "butterfly's wing" effect of Chaos Theory. No single act by any individual brought us here but it depends on a whole series of acts by all parties, some aiming for this but most not.
The Conservatives cannot now, having entered negotiations with the LDs, to allow them to fail in any way which will not be seen as the LD's fault. Moist specifically they cannot allow them to fail on the issue of whether the electors be allowed a referendum on PR. If they did a lot of their electors would desert them in the subsequent, fairly immediate, election. To do so would be to swing as large a proportion of their vote away as they lost to UKIP.
Equally the LDs have to ensure the negotiation doesn't fail on any other point. The electorate would then correctly conclude that the LDs, far from being moderates between the 2 parties, are simply an irreconcilable adjunct to Labour committed to protest but not power. They would lose half their votes to the Tories in the subsequent election & be wiped out.
This is a moment that is going to change our entire political culture. More than that even. If PR is seen to be an improvement here & I am confident that though not a miracle cure it will, it is likely that the other countries in the Anglosphere will take notice. In particular in the USA where the Tea Party movement is struggling under the same outdated system (though their primaries system alleviates some of the problem) an electoral system that doesn't entrench 2 sclerotic parties against the people's wishes will be seen as worthwhile.
Link to a blog some time ago which I wrote, primarily for the American audience, explaining PR
This will come down to the form of electoral change and balanced constituency sizes is an easy and strong argument to make.
UKIP is clearly a not entirely comfortable amalgamation of libertarians & old Tory farming type interests. This also shows in their housing policy which would act to restrict housebuilding (though probably not more than all the others).
However politics is the art of getting along with potential allies & I am now pushing the LD policy on PR, even though they have engaged in every sort of insanity, becuase on that, for whatever reason, they are right.
I would be seriously split on coalitition if Cameron had not already sold the farm to the LDs on "a low carbon economy" which shows that was what he wanted to do anyway. I just hope something turns up on that.
Really, this nonsense could destroy us as I am sure you know.