As a UKIP Euro-candidate I glory in our stunning successes, even though I didn’t make it past the winning post myself.
I have, however, learned some valuable lessons while on the campaign trail and for what it’s worth I’d like to share them with UKIP Daily readers.
1) Protest is not enough
It is, I think undeniable that UKIP have picked up much of the ‘plague on both your houses’ protest vote that used to go primarily to the hapless Lib Dems, who have been hopelessly compromised by their disastrous decision to join the arrogant, non-listening Coalition. Our task now is to convert that negative protest vote into a positive pro-UKIP posture that will become permanent. The way to do this – and the process is already underway – is to develop popular, coherent and common sense policies across the board on the issues urgently facing us, to be put into effect when we regain control of our country.
2) No pacts with the toxic Tories
Cameron’s fake Conservative party is as much a busted flush as Nick Clegg’s sorry band. In the town where I am PPC, Eastbourne, it was UKIP, not the Tories, who led the polls, beating the Lib Dems into a humiliating third place. (Eastbourne is currently a Lib Dem seat: a mistake we intend to rectify at the earliest opportunity).
Tory Euro MEP Dan Hannan’s call for a UKIP/Tory pact (which in any case has already been contemptuously rejected by Cameron) is a cry of despair from a dwindling party with no answers to UKIP’s amazing rise. The cold fact remains that the Conservative party, while it is in the flabby grip of the Cameron clique, remains a Europhile party wedded to the abolition of Britain and our sinking into the swamp of a single federal state. The Euros show that we should have no truck with this treacherous shower: we can defeat them, and we will.
3) The Westminster bubble still has not burst
David Cameron’s angry post-poll personal attack on Nigel Farage resembles a spoiled schoolboy who finds that someone else has snaffled the buns in the Eton tuck shop that he thought were his by right. He and his minions in the Tory Media, whose disgustingly dirty campaign of anti-UKIP abuse backfired on them so spectacularly, still do not ‘get it’: UKIP are here to stay because we reflect what ordinary people outside the Westminster bubble think and feel. To arrogantly dismiss us with a mix of pique, petulance and outright denial shows that the bubble have learned nothing from the drubbing they have suffered at our hands. Very well then, carry on following your course to catastrophe and see UKIP continue to grow.
4) A UKIP vote is a vote for UKIP
Up to this week it could still be argued in some quarters that a UKIP vote was ‘a waste’ that would lead nowhere and only let in the party people liked least. This is no longer the case. All over the UK UKIP councillors and MEPs have been returned in triumph. We are now a truly national party with the wind of success in our sails. Success breeds success. Increasingly, if you vote UKIP – UKIP is what you get.
5) Occupy the Commanding Political Heights
Finally, UKIP’s guerrilla army conducting occasional raids into enemy territory must transform itself into a people’s army permanently occupying the commanding political heights. The other three Europhile parties have been tried and found wanting. Say it loud and say it proud – for a UKIP vote is both respectable and sensible – we want our country back and that is what we are going to get.
Nigel Jones is UKIP prospective Parliamentary candidate for Eastbourne.