This deserves some thought, for long-time EU Sceptic Conservative voters it is not an ideal position to be in.
Here is the dilemma, (as I see it). If, as described I am a long time Conservative voter in General Elections, the question is do UKIP now more closely represent political position and views? If so, then logically I should now vote UKIP. However, because so many EU Sceptics are considering this, and because the electoral system is now weighted so much in favour of Labour do I give my vote to UKIP and leave the door open for Labour to clinch a hung Parliament and retain power?
The argument is that if I vote UKIP, I vote Gordon Brown through the back door, and bring with it 5 more years of socialist rule and even more EU. The notion of joining the EURO was mooted by Mandelson not long ago, the EU is still seeking to reduce the UK working week, and whatever happens there will be no consultation or referendum on EU membership under Labour. In five years the economy will have further crumbled and the full extent of Lisbon will be felt and the exit-the-EU movement could stall. However, there is a train of thought in the anti-EU movement that the worst possible scenario has already happened, and that because Lisbon is already ratified a Cameron Conservative Government, which is unwilling to visit the argument on the UK’s overall membership will be unwilling and unable to address many, if any of the EU Sceptics concerns. As such, a Cameron Conservative vote is not one which will improve our situation regarding the EU. Additionally Cameron seems keen to alienate anti-EU voters, who are in other fields being courted, why should a person vote for a party that is making it clear that they do not want them?
For EU Sceptic voters that have listened to the Conservative Party of late they will heard that the Conservative Party is for staying in the EU in the post Lisbon world, and seen the leadership move towards their traditional role of picking certain fights on certain issues - fighting to be "In Europe, but not run by Europe".. The leading EU Sceptic voices in the Conservatives such as Daniel Hannan are no longer maintaining the pretence that David Cameron is a closet EU Sceptic who is just waiting to grab power before revealing a radical shift in the party's position. The EU sceptics in the Conservative Party do not sound confident that their party will answer the big questions on the EU, and are cautious to concede that they understand how little that can truly be done to redress the erosion of sovereignty.
Looking long term and with a dire economy to manage, it seems pretty inconceivable that if a second term were granted to David Cameron that EU membership would be any more likely to make the main debate. The Conservatives stated position is to stay in the EU, and work from within the EU. We are no longer in an association of countries; the EU is the foetus of the Federal European Republic.
It is a tough choice for those of us who have traditionally voted Conservative but who have tired of to the notion that the EU can be reformed from within, or that the EU is of greater benefit to us than we can immediately see. The truth of the matter is that the EU has not pulled the wool over our eyes, we did it to ourselves. Those within the UK who sought this union have lied and cajoled us to where we are today and not once have we sufficiently found enough of a voice to insist that enough is enough. The EU in its various guises have always been the Federalist club, it is the forces inside the UK who pretend there is a third way on this that have fooled so many. It is the rotation of successive EU embracing parties to Government that both Labour & Conservative Parties have held a monopoly over and take sole account for that have led us to where we are today. When they have lied, which they have we have simply replaced a governing EU accepting party with another. If we do not break this cycle will history not judge us poorly for being so complacent? When their lies are held up for all to see, they sneer and jeer for they know that as long as the power stays in the main parties there is only one direction for the UK to follow on the EU, our vote just decides at what speed.
Despite my better judgement, I do still believe there are people in elected positions and seeking elected positions within the Conservative Party that do wish an end to our membership of the EU and see how membership is incompatible with The Conservative Party’s true core beliefs. It is certainly true that at the grass-roots, the core membership is still much more EU Sceptic than the other Westminster Parties. It is unfortunately not the direction of the leadership. Those EU Sceptic Conservatives who would bring us out of the EU, and who are willing to discuss the EU in the open are truly worth the consideration of people's support, even if the Party has abandoned the rest of us. Likewise, as UKIP’s David Samuel-Camps put it to me
"UKIP's raison-d'etra has always been that of an amicable divorce from the European Union. It continues to be our position"So if you are stuck on whether to vote UKIP or Tory, or if you are traditionally of another party but want to ensure an EU Sceptic vote - and if you are open to a suggestion, here is mine. There is still time before the election to seek out the answers to the nagging questions in your mind. Email or write a letter to your MP and the Parliamentary Candidates in your constituency and ask them to sign up to the Albion Alliance Pledge. Ask them to put our country above their party. Insist that the candidate that you vote for, regardless of their party allegiance is able to openly and publically declare the following.
I pledge to work tirelessly to give the voters of my constituency a democratic and direct voice in the United Kingdom’s continued relationship with the EU.It is a very simple pledge, and one that any EU Sceptic candidate from any party should have absoilutely no problem whatsoever in signing up to. If they unwilling or unable to pledge, then you can really consider, regardless of yours and their party allegiance whether or not they are the best candidate for you to vote for. I would suggest they are not.
I pledge that I will sponsor a Private Members Bill, written in clear concise terms, calling for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union – and/or support any motion for such a referendum – and to vote positively for any Bill that may call for such a referendum, irrespective of Party Whip, with a view to the successful outcome of this pledge within 1 year of a new Parliament or sooner.
It is after all not a lot to ask that our elected representative respect our wishes and desires. The EU question is not going to resolve itself, and it serves only the Federalists to see the EU Sceptic vote arguing amongst itself. We need to likewise put country above Party and insist that the people we vote for are going to do as we ask, not as they prescribe. We need to show them the way and put in our efforts now because they have been and will be quick to turn the tables back on to us if we don’t. Let’s make sure that if you, like me care about the UK and want a vote then we make sure that we know every candidates mindset so that we can make an informed decision about the people we are electing.
For those that may be wondering, I have emailed my MP and the two known other prospective candidates in my Constituency, and I am as yet to get an answer, but I have signed the Albion Alliance’s voter pledge, so unless I get a pledge they will not get the consideration of my vote. Simple really. I would urge others who are feeling in the middle here to also give this some consideration.
For the benefit of the UKIP and Conservative split, here are the UKIP and Conservative Candidates who have already taken the pledge:
Bermondsey & Old Southwark Loanna Morrison Conservative
Glasgow Central Ramsey Ewan Urquhart UKIP
Horsham Harry Aldridge UKIP
Rochfield & Southeast James Moyies UKIP
Selby & Ainsty Darren Haley UKIP
Vale of Clwyd Matt Wright Conservative
Wentworth & Dearne John Wilkinson UKIP
Witney Nikolai Tolstoy UKIP
Wythenshawe & Sale East Christopher Cassidy UKIP
And to be fair, here are the others who have taken the Albion Alliance Pledge:
Devizes Nic Coombe Libertarian Party UK
Gillingham & Rainham Dean Lacey English Democrats
Hastings & Rye Rod Bridger English Democrats
Sevenoakes Alan Bullion Liberal Democrat
Torfaen Ian Parker-Joseph Libertarian Party UK
Wirral West David Kirwan Independent
Witney Paul Wesson Independent
With a number of candidates as yet to receive an email and with many more who have and are yet to respond the above are the only Candidates who have stepped up and taken a pledge to guarantee they will work for a referendum on EU membership if elected to Parliament, and they are all deserving of your voting considerations.
To follow soon… Some examples of who has failed to pledge so far. These are the people who have replied to the Albion Alliance, and the people who have refused, for one reason or another to pledge to put country before party. In some cases these are candidates who believe in the EU, and in some cases these are people who claim to be EU Sceptic or want a referendum, but who refuse to pledge in any event. They are the people that the EU Sceptics should focus on unseating in place of EU Sceptic candidates who are not afraid to pledge.