It’s unwise to insult UKIP and those we lose to them this week

Walaa Idris claims that it's a bad idea for her party to slam UKIP when a loss is on the cards later this week

by Walaa Idris on 29 April 2013 11:13

As it happens the rise of the UK Independence Party (UKIP) is only bad news for Ed Miliband, because his ‘One Nation’ Labour is the furthest left his party has ever been since 1994.

So Tory big wigs need to chill and step away from name calling and panicked reactions. Because the rise of UKIP, whether they are “closet racist loonies and fruitcakes” or “indigent, angry people” led by “a collection of clowns” is a sign of an appetite for hard right politics.

Last summer via my work with the New City Initiative, I met Nigel Farage at a debate event. After the debate I managed a long chat with him. We talked about everything from the weather, the price of gold and oil to of course politics. I found him gentlemanly, charming, engaging, and witty; he was simply a delight to hang out with.

Like most traditional Conservatives, Farage is pro-small business, in favour low taxation, pro-personal responsibility and private charity. He doesn’t do PC, disapproves of specialities lists and programmes and believes promotion should only be on merit.

He is very patriotic and passionate about Britain, her independence from Europe and what’s best for her. But most of all he is a refreshingly straight talker and blunt to a fault. Something no other British politician can claim these days.

Maybe now, he has nothing to lose by speaking his mind, nonetheless that trait impressed everyone who met him that night especially the young interns for whom the debate was part of their internships programme.

We all say we want our politicians to 'talk human' and not beat around the bush. Nigel Farage is very human and says it as it is.

Moreover, the man is not an idiot; on the contrary, he is extremely intelligent and has been working for over 20 years for this week. I understand that we (Tories) are now feeling vulnerable and to some extent scared. But name calling and bad mouthing a minor party will only make them the underdog, and us the bullies. And we all know Britain loves the underdog.

Instead of losing our nerve, we need to ask ourselves why.

Why is UKIP moving into our territory and taking our votes? We need to also remember that every time we belittle and insult them we are also belittling and insulting our supporters who left us for them. Don’t we want these voters back? Don’t we need them and their votes in 2015?

And here is where I agree with Boris Johnson (£). The rise of UKIP tells us, “the voters are fed up with over-regulation of all kinds, and especially from Brussels.” For Conservatives, that is good news and it should be treated as an eye opener.

I have no doubts that this week UKIP will kick our backsides and lose us many seats.

However, let’s not forget that we are in government and are making the hard, unpopular decisions that even in the good times can cost votes.

We must also remember that Labour is proving to be an unviable alternative; otherwise those seats would be moving to that party, instead of to UKIP.

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