Thomas Paine

Thomas Paine
"These are the times that try men's souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman."

Sunday, 29 August 2010

The United Kingdom Thatcherite Party

Some members and ex members of UKIP may be frustrated by the Party's leadership apparent inconsistencies in going about the business of getting the UK out of the EU. Clearly after 17 years in existence and recording just 3% support at the last General Election, it is going to take the Party a very long time to take the Nation from the Union - since the only way out is through Westminster. This slow development is concerning, not only because the longer we are a part of the EU the more the people become accustomed to our membership and all that entails, but also the youngest voters, those who are replacing the eldest - who are most against our membership - are generally in favour of membership.

What is not recognised of the UKIP leadership, or not recognised sufficiently, is that they are essentially Thatcherites and although this is valuable for those wishing to leave the EU, because she was against its increasingly federal structure - but happy to belong to a free trade organisation, she was passionately against the ERM [the preparation for monetary union] which was the next necessary step to full political union.

This blind support of Thatcher's policies does have a downside unfortunately, because for those in the Party and in the leadership positions, the whole package has to be taken on board - not just her opposition to a federal Europe. Analysis shows that, if a political party wishes to gain the support of the majority who are against our membership of the EU, its policies need to be of the centre ground because, although it is true the most ferocious opposition is from the right wing, the healthy opposition from the centre and left is needed to take us out.

Objectively, it must be concluded that UKIP's leadership, in recent times, is more concerned that UKIP is a Thatcherite party, than one which takes us out of the EU. Also, a very strong case could be made that the recent leadership's primary aim is to prepare the Party for a split in the Conservatives between the old 'one nation Tories' and those who believe that Thatcherism should be at the central core of the Party. Clearly, under Cameron, the Thatcherites have been sidelined, however, those Tory MPs who support this cause are very unlikely to risk their future careers at Westminster on a matter principle.

Thatcher may have been admired as a strong leader when in power, but she was never liked - polls consistently showed that she was less popular than the Conservative party. So even if the current leadership are successful and are able to attract those Thatcherites currently staying loyal to the Tory Party, UKIP will never be much more than a fringe party doomed to increasing obscurity. However, before those members and ex members who would like the Party to put getting out of the EU first try to wrestle UKIP away from these Thatcherites, they must feel confident that this is the wish of the mainstream members. The danger is if, in the main, they are also committed Thatcherites, a great deal of energy could be wasted - energy which could better be used finding an alternative way out of the EU.

It does seem as if Tory supporting males of a certain age were captivated by her [Nigel Farage a prime example] and she has become a Jungian anima figure, making her seem some kind of, all-seeing, goddess figure. If this is the case it would be a hopeless task trying to convince them differently - realism may strike at some time, but it is not something that can be instigated by others. Those who became fully mature before she came on the scene were able to see her for what she was and, of course, those who born after her term in office will not be so deeply enslaved.

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