Here’s How the Tories Want to Stop Ukip. And It’s Not Pretty

Tim Wigmore, Telegraph (London), July 25, 2013

Nigel Farage criticised the Conservatives as “nasty, unpleasant” and “big brother” this morning. Nothing surprising in that–except that he was talking about immigration policy.

The Conservatives unveiled their master plan for stopping Ukip winning next year’s elections this week. That’s not what they called it, of course, but how else can you view the Home Office pilot scheme aiming to tackle illegal immigration?

It’s ugly stuff. Vans with giant billboards, featuring the slogan “go home or face arrest” are being driven around London. By texting “HOME”, illegal immigrants are treated to “free advice, and help with travel documents.” Vans are currently touring Hounslow, Barking & Dagenham, Ealing, Barnet, Brent and Redbridge highlighting how many illegal immigrants have been arrested in the areas. It is a way of fusing Lynton Crosby’s advice–to focus relentlessly on core concerns including immigration–with calls for “white van conservatism” to hone the Tory appeal to the working class.

It is also Mitt Romney’s solution to illegal immigration in America–“self-deportation”–by another name. If you don’t hand yourself in, your neighbours might do the job instead.

When Farage says “What the billboards should say is please don’t vote Ukip, we’re doing something. That’s what it’s all about, of course,” it is hard to disagree. The European elections are coming next year and a Ukip victory would be disastrous for Dave. It would give Ukip new momentum less than a year before the general election, leading to an increase in party donations and renewed vigour from the party footsoldiers–at a time when 44 per cent of Conservative members spend no time on party activity in an average month. If Ukip use European election victory as a base to get six per cent or more at the general election, Dave will have plenty of time to chillax in political retirement.

Lynton Crosby is focussing on immigration as a way to stop that. A simple technical change to the voting in the European elections could be another. It sounds boring–but could be the Tories’ best answer to Ukip yet. A new LSE study suggests that the Conservatives could achieve a five per cent gain–and Ukip a six per cent fall–at a legislative stroke. Changing from a closed-list to an open-list voting system, allowing voters to choose specific Conservative candidates who matched their Euroscepticism, might be enough to keep the Tories ahead of Ukip next year.

It might seem a desperate solution to the Ukip problem. But, as the van campaign reminds us, little seems out of bounds to Conservatives when the target is Nigel Farage.

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  • Puggg

    Translation: Tories co-opting the issue, faking that they’re concerned about it. Probably there will also be persecution of UKIP leaders and activists. Look for a “big arrest” of a big name UKIP leader within a week of the election.

    • David Ashton

      Or a smear or a fiddle or a bribe or a scandal of some kind.

    • Oil Can Harry

      The Tories are swiping the Nick Sarkozy Playbook: talk tough on immigration during an election year, then drop the matter the day after the election.

  • Spartacus

    “A new LSE study suggests
    that the Conservatives could achieve a five per cent gain–and Ukip a
    six per cent fall–at a legislative stroke. Changing from a closed-list
    to an open-list voting system, allowing voters to choose specific
    Conservative candidates who matched their Euroscepticism, might be
    enough to keep the Tories ahead of Ukip next year.

    It might seem a
    desperate solution to the Ukip problem. But, as the van campaign
    reminds us, little seems out of bounds to Conservatives when the target
    is Nigel Farage.”


    God, I can’t wait till we rid ourselves of this filthy “democracy” (It’s not actual democracy, but you get what I mean) . Give me a strong Caesar/Fuhrer/Voievod/Duce that has the nation’s and the race’s interests at heart , and I’ll be happy with him as my ruler for life.

    • David Ashton

      He was imprisoned without trial in 1940 and died in 1980.

      • Spartacus

        Who ?

        • David Ashton

          Oswald Mosley.

          • Spartacus

            I’ve heard that name before… Gonna have to check up on him.

          • Sick of it

            You won’t regret the time spent. He was a very intelligent and far sighted man.

    • RisingReich

      Fascism is neither left nor right, despite the uneducated voices shouting it down.
      Fascism attempts to balance capitalism with the interests of the people and the Nation’s culture.

      • Sick of it

        So far it’s been the opposite in America.

    • Kronolog

      Yes, let us have a strongman that sends all our best and brightest young men to die upon the wire…

      The problem that plauges the west is hardly democracy – given that, what we call democracy might more aptly be described as aristocracy – but rather to little democracy; if a plebiscite had been held, and the people asked if they wanted millions upon millions of foregneirs to settle inside their borders – foregneirs who would be allowed and encouraged to leech off the welfare and who would never risk beeing severly punished for any wrongs which they would commit – then I dare say that there would be no mass immigration. And even if they did vote in favour of it, then they would certainly wise up after a while and hold another in which the result would be the opposite.

      In any case it’s to be lamented that the EU has become the target of british dissatisfaction, when it seems secondary to the quite larger threat of all the various foreigners already legally present in great numbers. If I have understood it correctly, the brits never muched cared for the continent, but Brussels and the gipsy caravans are far from the greatest threat to any European nation.

      • David Ashton

        Mosley fought in WW1, and completely opposed WW2 and foreign interventions beyond Europe. He was the first to oppose “colored” settlement in Britain and offered constructive policies on this question all along. He believed migration across Europe should be controlled until his wage-price mechanism had helped to raise worker incomes in its east and south, and thereby also prevent internal labor-cost driven undercutting within the continent. He was a consistent opponent of Soviet communism, although friendly towards the working people and honest trade unionism. He was one of those who tried to synthesize our national patriotism with the need to protect our larger “white” civilization, and condemned the cosmpolitan bureaucratic incubus in Brussels.

    • Boris_baiter

      The best form of government is a benevolent dictatorship. Plenty of dictators willing to do the job, but the benevolent ones just can’t seem to get to the top.

      “Democracy is the worst form of government…. except for all the rest.” – Churchiill

  • David Ashton

    I thought these vans were, so far as they went, an unexceptionable idea.

    A Muslim female commentator on TV recently visited Southall, an Indian colony which I think is mainly Hindu, and asked on screen just three south Asian gentlemen their view. The first was dead against illegal immigrants too. The second said he was a student constantly being questioned about his status. The third said – I am not making this up – that he had come in on a lorry without papers and was here illegally!

  • Chris Granzow XI

    It’s sad that it took their party to the brink of disintegration for them to finally take some action. But, Nigel Farage should welcome it as a step-forward instead of calling it “nasty and unpleasant,” regardless of the implications it has for his party. Otherwise he risks being just as self-centered as the people he seeks to replace.

  • IstvanIN

    The UK needs a written constitution that guarantees freedom of speech, freedom of association and freedom of political association as well as a monarch with the power to enforce those freedoms. The current “constitution”, which consists of laws and traditions that the political class can change at will and whim offers no protection to the British people.

    • David Ashton

      You are exactly right in your prescription, but what we need in the UK (if it stll exists) is not what we will get with a Con-man “bill of rights” whether or not this rejects or incorporates the PC bits from “Europe”.

  • Anglokraut

    When did “chillax” become an appropriate word to use in newsprint?

    • More corruption of our language I suppose. I can guess as to where “chillax” first came from though and the groups that may have coined it. I think the newspaper should have fitted it with quotation marks or something, becauseI believe it refers to a previous bruhaha David Cameron was involved in, in which I think “chillax” was used by some of cabinet ministers defending his relaxation time.

      • Anglokraut

        The first use of “chillax” I can think of is from the theme song for the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, with a young Will Smith rapping along.

    • Triarius

      When “hater” became a proper label for a political opponent. As a young person, it is shocking from my perspective how immature debates have gotten between professionals and politicians. I’m still waiting for someone to be called a doody head.

  • KenelmDigby

    The truth is that the Tories are terrified of UKIP. Apparently, they are not scared of Labour, the opposition party, as Labour are floundering in the polls – they should be doing much, much better at this stage of a parliament after all the economic pain the British people have been through in the past 3 years – . UKIP represent the difference between success and failure at the next election for the Tories, so they are absolutely desperate to steal the UKIP vote. Hence the silly little stunt described above, a PR execise for the press and cameras and nothing else, ( a party serious about controlling immigration would have speeded up deportations and heightened the bar of entry into Britain and would have done both quitely and expeditiously).
    The truth is purely and simply that you cannot trust the Tories to be tough and serious on immigration despite all the stunts and propaganda. Remember that that the Tories were in power during th bulk of the mass immigration period into Britain.

  • Of course it is a political stunt designed to fool the British people that something is being done, and a little bone to throw at would-be UKIP voters.

    What is more, I bet the estimated 1.5 Million illegals in this country are absolutely wetting themselves laughing at being mauled by such a toothless sheep.

    The government still cannot (or does not want to) keep them out – and the record of actual removals is something shocking. These illegals won’t be going anywhere.

  • Rusty Shackelford

    Nothing will spur a politician to action like the fear of losing the next election. UKIP should keep the heat turned up.

  • WR_the_realist

    This sounds like the Republicans just before an election. Remember how John McCain made that ad in his primary campaign where he said, “Build that fence!”. He fooled enough people to win the primary, and Arizona was once again stuck with Juan McAmnesty.