Monday, 17 October 2016

Crying Woolfe

Steven Woolfe's departure from the rapidly collapsing Nigel Farage Fan Club comes as no surprise. He always did cut a rather incongruous figure in it.

Despite the fact that Farage, and UKIP itself as such, were not allowed in the official Leave campaign at all, they nevertheless believe that they were responsible for the result.

They are adamant, indeed, that the referendum itself was only held because UKIP had dropped from all of two seats to all of one.

They are like the dotty devotees of an obscure pop singer of yesteryear who insist that he was the most influential artist in the history of the genre.

Even the claim to have reframed the debate on immigration does not stack up.

Most people who support immigration controls, as to some extent almost everyone does, do so by reference to the pressure on jobs, services and infrastructure.

Even then, they almost never quite mean the immigrants, or the descendants of relatively recent immigration, whom they themselves happen to know.

And most people do know immigrants, and the descendants of relatively recent immigration.

Leaving only the people who just don't like people, who don't get out much, who wouldn't even want to.

The people, bluntly, who don't have any friends, or any real hope of acquiring any.

Such are those who devote their lives to the idea that an obscure pop singer of yesteryear was the most influential artist in the history of the genre.

And such are those who join UKIP. Certainly, such are those who are going to remain in it even now.

Back to the Conservatives for Woolfe, then.

To a Leader who has not invoked Article 50, and whose only legislative proposal on the subject is make all EU law that of the United Kingdom even after we had left.

There, he can give every possible support to such soundly Breitbartish policies as the abandonment of the Budget surplus target, and the abandonment of the Work Capability Assessment.

As workers' reps on boards, and restrictions on pay differences within companies.

As a crackdown on tax avoidance, and a ban on tax-avoiding companies from public contracts.

As a Department for Industrial Strategy, and a huge programme of infrastructure spending in general and of housebuilding in particular.

As a cap on energy prices, a ban on foreign takeovers, and an inquiry into Orgreave.

Like at least half of UKIP, Woolfe just wants to be a pukka Tory again, and he doesn't care what he has to say or do in order to achieve that.

Likewise, Emma Nicholson, who left the Conservative Party because it was insufficiently pro-EU for her even under John Major, has gone back ostensibly because the Lib Dems are now too pro-EU for her.

And because of a grammar schools policy that she must know will come to nothing. That has most emphatically never been the policy of the Lib Dems, either.

The Tory family is determined to reunite, in the way that the Labour family is determined to reunite.

There will always be the Far Right irreconcilable to the Conservative Party, in the way that there will always be the ultra-Left irreconcilable to the Labour Party.

But that is all.

Why, if it were not for the Teaching Assistants and their need to deprive 57 Labour councillors of their seats next year, then I myself might have made some effort to go back by now.

Except for those who actively wish to participate in my council and parliamentary campaigns, and do please get in touch if that is you, then I would and do strongly encourage people to join the Labour Party, and to involve themselves in it in every possible way.


  1. There's really not much opposition to immigration at all. That realisation will be the big story of this Parliament.

    1. Not in proportion to the amount of noise made by certain people, no. But there is a certain amount in a time of austerity. The solution to that is to end austerity. At least in theory, that has already begun. Whatever 172 Labour MPs might prefer.