In the General Election, as I told Russia Today in this interview click here >>>
UKIP’s leadership should have known, from the work of Professors Matthew Goodwin and Rob Ford, in their book “Revolt on the Right”, that UKIP’s best opportunity was to move into being English Nationalists.
I had always thought that, as a result of my discussions with Nigel Farage and other leaders within UKIP, that in fact UKIP would never go for this, as their leadership are too much focussed on being an old fashioned British nationalist party.
I have of course been saying this to anyone that would listen within the system, including some influential people within the Conservative Party. I don’t think that it is any coincidence that the Conservatives had spotted that UKIP’s leaders unwillingness to commit to English nationalism was a potentially serious weakness in UKIP’s position.
In the run up to the General Election the Conservatives had begun to make noises that would please less critical English nationalists, such as commitment to English votes for English laws and Cameron’s comments immediately after the Scottish referendum, they had not gone as far as agreeing to have an England specific manifesto, despite the obvious need for such a specific manifesto in a partially devolved “United” Kingdom. What however did happen was they waited to see what UKIP would do.
In the event UKIP opened themselves up to being triangulated (in the Blairite language i.e. outmanoeuvred) on the English nationalist flank by the mistakes of launching a British manifesto with very few mentions of England in it and then they compounded this mistake by launching a Scotland specific manifesto and a Welsh specific manifesto and a Northern Irish specific manifesto, but none specifically for England.
Once UKIP had done this the Conservatives came out with their specifically English manifesto. Although this was a fairly thin piece of work and its detail would not satisfy committed English nationalists, it wasn’t aimed at us, it was aimed at ordinary English people who are feeling increasingly left out of the devolutionist way in which the United Kingdom is going.
Anecdotally I can say from talking to quite a lot of people it worked brilliantly. One of the best examples being a sub-post master living locally where I live in Essex, who told me that although he and his family were long term trade unionists and Labour voters, even he in the end couldn’t bring himself to vote for Labour and for the first time ever he voted Conservative in order to keep the SNP from having a decisive say over England and being able to get Scotland even more favourable treatment than it has already!
As English nationalists we must of course hope that the habit of voting along national lines will grow!
I do think Scotland’s history suggests it will. After all it was Labour that was riding the Scottish nationalist lion in the 1980s as a way of undermining the Conservatives there. Once people got into the habit of voting along national lines they were far more open to voting for a specifically Scottish nationalist party!