That Stuart Wheeler has been turfed out of the Tory Party as a result of lending his support to UKIP for the European elections highlights one of the major differences between the two parties. Indeed, it highlights a fault line that runs right through politics.
There are those who are in the process to argue for, fight for, a particular point of view or ideology. There are also those in the game simply to ensure that it is their tribe that comes out on top.
We in UKIP have always been arguing for a point of principle, that the UK should be ruled by we who inhabit the country.
We shouldn´t be either contracting out 75 per cent of our lawmaking to Brussels, as we do, nor should we be allowing ourselves to be dragged into ever closer political union or a federal superstate.
Stuart clearly shares that view which is why he has so kindly donated to our election funds and has stated that he will be voting for us in the euro elections. He has also indicated that he would be voting for the Conservative Party in the local elections and later for Westminster seats.
That is the way that he sees his views, his ideals, being best represented. We in UKIP have always known that our policies have deep and wide support in some areas: some recent polls have shown that over 50 per cent of the electorate would vote to leave the EU if anyone would be kind enough to actually go and ask them. But we´re also aware that the policies of some other parties attract in some areas as well.
This is why we´ve always been open to dual membership, dual support. We´re entirely happy with people being members of UKIP and also being part of the Labour Party, or the Tories etc. For we´re pursuing that ideological goal, that pure vision, of repatriating political power to these shores. And we know very well that there are many who share that aim without seeing eye to eye with us on every other issue.
We do draw the line at those who are officers or candidates for other parties, it has to be said and, no, BNP membership is not compatible with UKIP membership.
But other than that, if you share our major aim then we´re delighted to welcome you and work with you. For it is very much the achievement of our goal that is important, not whether it is “us”, our tribe, that gets to exercise the power.
Contrast this with Cameron´s Tories: if you advocate leaving the EU through membership of the Better Off Out group you will not gain promotion to the front bench.
If you, as Stuart has done, donate money to an organisation that holds the same belief as you do, then you´ll be thrown out. Even if you disagree with party policy, you must simply accept it. For nothing is more important than that the party gain power: this is the politics of tribe. Never mind the policy, just feel the width.
Another way of putting this is that there are two important questions in our current political arena.
This first is where is that political control over us going to be exercised from? Brussels? Westminster? That´s the question for the European elections.
Then there´s the question of who is going to exercise whatever power still does exist at Westminster: that´s what the General Election will decide. It´s obvious that one might support different parties at the different elections: different questions, different answers, after all.