The Eastleigh Upheaval


The Eastleigh Upheaval


by Michael Shrimpton


As I predicted last week my badly-led party WAS in a competition for second place with the much better-led United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP).  We lost, and we deserved to lose.  The party is like a rudderless ship with David Cameron ‘in charge.’  He is arguably the weakest Conservative leader since the notorious Neville Chamberlain. 

I make no apology for commenting to a mainly US audience on UK domestic affairs.  Firstly UKIP’s outstanding performance has international implications.  Cameron has been mortally wounded, like the gladiator in Gladiator after Russell Crowe has thrust two swords into his chest but before Russell takes his head off.   He is bleeding into the sand, waiting for the final blow.

His successor is likely to be Owen Paterson MP, who is performing well in response to the European horsemeat scandal, in which the EU let thousands of tons of horsemeat into Britain disguised as beef.  He has sensible views on the EU, with respect, i.e. he is likely to commit to withdrawal.  The other potential candidates are far weaker.  Liam Fox, the former Defence Secretary, is a nice chap, but has wobbled on Europe.

It’s thought he favours ‘reform,’ i.e.  some repatriation of powers, but with the UK still left crushed by the massive burdens of EU membership, with our people forced to eat diseased Romanian horsemeat.  Liam is also not willing to do anything to stop the threatened massive influx of Romanians and Bulgarians when the border controls on those two countries disappear completely on December 31st.  The only way to secure our borders is to leave the EU and withdraw from that terrorists’ charter, the ECHR.

Michael Gove, the Education Secretary, has pretty much ruled himself out.  Theresa May would like to be Prime Minister, but she’s a wimp, no offense intended.  She stood by and did almost nothing during the London Riots – not one single looter was shot.  Hopeless!  She has also presided over the immigration fiasco and has completely lost control of her department to the Cabinet Office.  It is now a national laughing stock.

The next leader has to support EU withdrawal.  His election (there are no credible female candidates) will signal a deal with UKIP, re-unification of the conservative forces in this country, collapse of the failed Coalition and an early General Election.  There would be no need for a referendum – a manifesto commitment to withdraw from the EU would be sufficient.  There was no referendum before we joined.  The Cabinet Secretary, Sir Jeremy Heywood, a hate figure on the Right, would be forced out and hopefully stripped of his knighthood.  The German intelligence operation in London, GO2, would be shut down.

There would be a significant increase in the UK’s defence posture.  This would include badly needed reinforcement of the Falkland Islands, given Argentina’s apparent desire to start a second war, encouraged by Secretary Kerry’s bizarre statement in London last week.  Without consulting the Foreign Office Kerry altered the US position on the sovereignty of the Falklands Islands, recognized as British by the Reagan Administration, for whose invaluable support we remain thankful.

Whether he intended to or not Kerry basically green-lighted a second illegal Argentinian attack.  We now have to prepare for a large-scale war in the South Atlantic, without US logistical support, which means a massive ramping up of defense spending.  That in turn means EU withdrawal, privatising the disgraced NHS and reforming the wasteful $375 billion dollar a year welfare budget.  At the moment we could barely bomb Buenos Aires, never mind targets further south.

The second reason the Eastleigh result is relevant in America is that it has destroyed the center-ground argument.  This has implications for the Republican choice of candidate in 2016.  The left-wing/Bush 41 argument is that the Republicans should go for another weany like Romney.  Elections are won however on the high ground, not the center ground.  Unless voter participation is near 100% politics is not a zero sum game.  UKIP did well in Eastleigh because people who were turned off by weak and corrupt politicians and do not normally vote turned out in large numbers.  UKIP actually offers sensible policies, similar to those of the god-fearing Tory Right.

UKIP voters turned out on the day in greater numbers than the Liberal Democrats.  They won because of postal votes, which were in cast in staggering numbers – nearly 10,000, when the winning candidate polled fewer than 15,000 votes.  There may even be a UKIP challenge in the Electoral Court.  Postal votes are wide open to fraud.  Corrupt parties can get up to all sorts of tricks, like getting senile old folks to sign blank forms.  As we all know the line between dementia and voting Liberal Democrat is a fine one.

The huge number of postal votes explains why the Lib Dems were largely unaffected by the sex scandal, which broke last weekend.  This may have been prompted by the Huhne scandal, which saw the pro-EU Chris Huhne pleading guilty to perverting the course of justice after getting his wife to take speeding points for him.

Lord Rennard, at the center of the sex for political favors allegations, backed Huhne’s rival Nick Clegg in the bitter LibDem leadership contest.  If there is any truth in the allegations made by five women against Lord Rennard (he is not a proper peer by the way, only a life peer), and Clegg knew, he may have had leverage over Rennard in the leadership contest.  The whistleblowers are thought to be allies of Chris Huhne, i.e. the LibDems are tearing themselves apart.

Michael Shrimpton

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