This continues on from the one post of many which most seem to be linking to.
In order to get a government into power which represents the views of the bulk of the blogosphere and a substantial portion of the people, there are some fundamental principles which must be borne in mind:
1. Labour must not be handed victory on a plate. Those who are anti-split point out that we would be doing just that. False argument. If we do nothing, Cameron will lead us to a minority government in a hung parliament, if we’re lucky. There are three aspects of moving forward:
a. Eurosceptic MPs already inside;
b. Groundswell of public opinion;
c. The problem of converting this groundswell into seats.
Therefore, all people of like mind should really meet online and Sue suggested Facebook but it doesn’t matter how. We need to get a forum going and combine with other fora and initiatives up and down the country, subordinating ours if necessary.
2. It really must be coordinated [leading to cost-saving too] so that no one in the ES Tories, UKIP or LPUK stands against a fellow Eurosceptic who has a good show of getting in. There must be no splitting of the vote. Hence UKIP unopposed in Buckingham.
This is fundamental as there are not all that many seats to play with. For now, we keep to our own parties and work from within them but always with an eye to wresting power combined.
3. The ES Tories have an uphill battle in that they only have Hannan and Helmer so far and both are still MEPs and need to be inside Westminster, which Cameron is hardly likely to endorse and will stymie through Central.
So, unless a constituency offers, they are high and dry, despite their standing in the community. They need to stand where there is a weak Labourite and a dull Tory, preferably a Europhile. If we had an embryonic coalition in place, no one has committed treason or left a sinking ship but we could coordinate countrywide to promote and support these two men and hopefully others.
4. Unless a sitting MP comes over to the group, e.g. David Davis, Douglas Carswell or whoever, it looks pretty much stymied. The only point of a coalition is not to slowly build and say well done to coming second in every constituency, taking maybe ten seats all up but to have a chance of taking government in one swoop – in the 2010 GE.
This is a “taking government” push, not a “create a new party, in line with our conscience” push.
5. There need to be written out clear policies on which we’re all agreed [see UKIP manifesto for many of these] and the minor details can be attended to later. For example, West Lothian and the Lords would need to wait until the primary economic questions are sorted.
This is no mammoth task because we’d filch from existing policies. We need to be professional and get past the anger and hurt stage. Our eyes should be on the ball. The ES coalition needs to look like a government in waiting. Clearly, Dan Hannan and Nigel Farage would be right up there.
6. As Lord T points out, we must get past this idealistic “everyone will be in work” type manifesto. One small example. It’s ridiculous to think we can come in and throw people off the dole like that – there are livelihoods involved. So it’s a fair and gradual thing – you have two years to find a job, providing the expansion of new businesses and vacancies matched this, after which the money stops.
Or else we run a progressively diminishing dole over that time, in line with increased vacancies in each field of work. So if IT exploded, out of work IT people would have less time than a still stagnant field after that time. Let’s not get bogged down here in ideas – the point is that it has to be rational and take into account Labour and Lib Dems too – it’s the whole country involved, not just our side of politics.
We must look like a government, not a spanking new party of idealists.
7. It needs to be done now. It will be too late once the economy turns, people feel more secure [false sense of security] and Labour picks up a few points in the polls. It needs to be spelled out why Cameron’s seeming anti-EU stance, complete with autism accusation, is a con-trick – he has no intention of doing anything serious.
8. Now, as a humble blogger with a few connections, if I combined with other bloggers with connections and we all combined with MEPs and MPs to run a national coordinating committee [something I’d help out with in a minor capacity], I do believe that the wider public would see something happening and everyone loves a new project, lvoes seeing it succeed. We’d carry quite a few votes that way.
9. The blogosphere is not irrelevant. Iain Dale might be right about overall visitor numbers being low in the UK but our opinions are out of all proportion to our individual strength. No great achievement has ever been made in the UK without all people, great and small, mucking in and helping.
Farage and Hannan are the flagship – we now need admin people in there coordinating and combining.
10. We need a name – I like the word Alliance but what else to call it has to be thought out. It needs a logo and webpage with forum and messageboard so that people feel they are part of the process and ideas are constantly generated. That part is easy and there must be webdesigners amongst us. Hell, i could design one at a pinch but it should be professional.
11. Money – once it’s up and running, it will need our tenners. I’m perfectly happy to put in if it will achieve the result and if a lot of people put in fives and tens, that aggregates nicely.
We need to have a neutral site to at least discuss the matter with a view to going forward and we’d need to invite the key personages who are already public to view it too. It needs to be not my doing but ours. A Facebook group concurrently would also help.
If no one has any ideas, I’ll set one up tomorrow.