But that doesn't alter the fact that his party tribalism has actually obscured his rationality. He attempts to answer your humble Devil's post...
Firstly, in his title he asserts his is the principled position. It isn't. A person with principles will make the decision most likely to lead to actual results as close to those principles as possible.
No, they won't. A person with principles votes with the party nearest their principles.
You can make the politics of the possible argument as much as you like, but this is not a principled decision; why pretend? And why is it that the Tories have so much dofficulty understanding the position of UKIP supporters such as myself? In this post I laid out why I support UKIP not the Tories; for those who cannot be bothered to click, I lay out those principles below.
Because UKIP definitely stand for precisely the same things as the Tories, don't they? Let's just cast our gaze over a few of these policies and see how very little difference there is between them, eh?
- The Tories are pro-EU, as their Chairman stated quite categorically a while back.
Some people have accused UKIP of acting in a "lemming-like" way by opposing the Tories because the Tories have the same attitude, i.e. they are EUsceptic. Let's just pop that little bubble, shall we?
In the words of the Conservative Party Chairman:It is not the Conservative Party's view that we should be out of the European Union.
Now, if that is too complicated for some of the fuckwits who continue to argue that the Tories are EUsceptics, let me spell this out for you again: THE TORIES DO NOT WISH TO WITHDRAW FROM THE EU. If you still can't grasp the concept, you may like to remember which party took us into the EEC (without a referendum) and which party signed the Maastricht Treaty (without a referendum and using a three-line whip to ensure that their MPs voted for it); a clue: it was the Tories.
Therefore, to argue that UKIP are shooting their cause in the foot by opposing the Tories—even if UKIP had no other policies—is just totally fucking stupid, OK? If you don't like the EU, if you think that its unelected bureaucracy controls too much of our lives, then there is only one party that can do anything about it and that party is not the Tories.
And anyone who thinks that the EU can be reformed is an idiot: why not check out the Serf's post to find out why?
The EU has been estimated to cost Britain's economy nearly £100 billion every, single fucking year, and about 70% of our laws are initiated by EU Directives that we have no control over. Plus, of course, we have a trade deficit with our wonderful EU partners.
- The Tories believe that government spending is at the right level. There have been, despite some claims, no firm moves over tax cuts or public service reform. All we have had from the Tories is some meaningless blather about "sharing the proceeds of growth". This is horseshit: whilst taxes are so high, growth is going to be fucking pitiful anyway. More importantly, the Tories do not seem to believe in tax simplification (which would allow for tax cuts anyway through the cutting down of the administrative burden).
UKIP have a detailed Flat tax policy (which the Tories seem to have shelved) which, briefly, runs like this.
- Income Tax and National Insurance merge into one income tax, rated at 33% across the board,
- Personal Tax Allowance raised to £9,000 to take thousands of low earners out of tax completely,
- The shortfall of £34 billion to be recouped from growth, lower administration costs and a freeze (and eventual drop) in the rate of government spending.
The Tax Policy can be found here [PDF] and my detailed assessment can be found here.
UKIP also support the abolition of Inheritance Tax (which brings in a pathetic £3 billion) and Capital Gains Tax (£2 billion).
- The Tories support the state funding of political parties, a policy which even ConservativeHome opposes.
UKIP utterly oppose the state funding of political parties.
- The Tories have not published any detailed Education Policy, but we do know that the Tories are opposed to grammar schools and selection generally.
UKIP's Education Policy document can be found here [PDF] and my assessment can be found here.
The most important points are that UKIP support the privatisation of schools and funding through vouchers, a system similar to that which has been so successful in Sweden. They actively support selection and grammar schools.
- The Tories support Green Taxes supported by extremely dodgy science [DK passim ad nauseam, but have a look at Junk Science for some rather more robust science.]. Furthermore, these green taxes will allow the EU far more power over our economic policy since the Environment is a wholly EU competence.
UKIP think that the whole climate change malarkey is so much hysterical bollocks and so don't support Green Taxes but support the funding of new technologies to wean us off the burning of hydrocarbons.
- The Tories don't support free trade (since they are pro-EU, they cannot).
UKIP believe that free trade enriches us all, and so support entirely free trade with everyone (including Europe).
- The Tories oppose electoral reform and seem unsure about an English Parliament.
UKIP support limited reform and support an English Parliament.
Need I go on? Would you like to tell me, precisely, to what degree UKIP are simply "vote-splitters"? I would call them a distinct party with a distinct agenda, wouldn't you?
By the way, the correct answer here is "yes".
But apart from all of this, Matthew misses the single most important point that I made. And I made it because he pointed it out, and it is only because of his blinkered tribalism that he has decided to ignore it: please remember that.
You see, Matt Sinclair has decided that the best way to change Tory policy is to do so from within the Tory Party.
As such, the only reason to leave the Conservative party is if you think its members aren't those who will be easiest to convince of your position (they're easily the most Eurosceptic portion of the population so that seems unlikely) or if you think your cause is hopeless but would rather be screaming at the wind than be dirtied by the compromise of contact with the Conservatives. If you can't convince the Conservative membership you're never going to be able to convince the public at large and the problem is in the case rather than the party.
The trouble is that the internal Tory party workings are simply not open to that kind of suggestion, as The Nameless One (a former Tory activist) pointed out.
Yeah, um, think you are over-estimating the impact one Tory party member can have. I spent a lot of my time trying to persuade other members of the validity of my positions but it did not stop the party from electing the ideological vacuum that is David Cameron as party leader. Sure, you could argue that, as a Davis supporter at the last leadership election there is an element of sour grapes seeping into my thinking. But I find the assertion that a member can influence the vast array of people in the party enough to influence the outcome of a leadership election staggeringly naïve.
Quite, and that last was in response to one of Matt's posts; one can only assume that Matt doesn't beother to read the critiques. But let us take Matt Sinclair's idea and run with it. How is one to convince the Tory leadership of the rightness of the position that many Tories, including The Nameless One, take, i.e. that we should be out of the EU, that we should have a smaller government, that we should embrace free trade?
Should we petition the Conservative leader, or deliver a drubbing at the polls; which do you think he will take more notice of? If you are a Tory and you think that NuLabour taking a kicking at the election office will send them a stark warning, then surely the most effective way that you can tell the Conservative Party that they don't represent you if to vote for a party that do.
If you vote for UKIP in a council election, you are not destroying the Tories chance to be our central government. You are not denying them victory at the General Election and nor are you ensuring a continued Labour government. As I said:
However, if you would like Dave to take a more EUsceptic line; if you would like him to embrace the concepts of free trade; if you would like him to stop crapping on about the environment and instead make taxes both lower and simpler; in short, if you want a conservative (small "c") party to vote for at the next General Election (which does matter) then you need to show Dave that this is what you want.
The best way to do this is to vote for a party, minor though it may be, that espouses these principles. Then maybe, just maybe, Dave will sit up and listen to what you have to say. Maybe he will find his balls and form a EUsceptic policy. Use your protest vote to show Dave the direction that you would like the Tory party to go.
That is why, for a proper EUsceptic conservative who wants to see a properly conservative party up for election at the next GE, voting for UKIP is the only sensible tactical vote.
On the other hand, if you are merely a Matt Sinclair style tribalist moron, you'll just keep on voting for Dave—spurred on by the Gordon Brown fear—and effectively endorse Cameron's Green, pro-EU, stuff-the-fucking-party, all-spin-and-no-substance agenda.
In which case, you can fuck off as far as I am concerned: you stand for everything that I loathe. There is toss-all point arguing policy with those, like Matt Sinclair, who are voting purely on tribalistic principles. Because if Matt was really interested in debate, he would have addressed those last three paragraphs quoted above; alas, he couldn't do it, and so automatically relegates himself to your humble Devil's list of people who's opinion is not even worth the half-penny that we no longer have.
Lame, Matt; fucking lame.