Despite reams of analysis, many if not most people in Westminster don’t understand why Douglas Carswell defected to UKIP last week.
It wasn’t about the EU, it wasn’t about immigration, it wasn’t about a desire to hold on to his seat or improve his majority. It was because he recognises that Westminster has become dangerously remote to the lives and concerns of the British public, and the democratic deficit needs to be urgently reversed. Westminster needs shaking up, now.
I believe that conservatives and those serious about democratic reform should be focused on holding the Conservative leadership to account, as opposed to leaving for UKIP, but I understand why Douglas Carswell felt too frustrated to continue in that cause.
The central Conservative Party are becoming increasingly aggressive and bellicose towards those in the party who have committed the crime of holding them to the account of their own manifesto.
The 2010 Conservative Manifesto was entitled: “An Invitation to Join the Government of Great Britain”.
It made many promises of democratic reform, localism and citizen engagement with the government. It made no mention, unsurprisingly, of Cultural Marxist policies like same sex marriage or data snooping orders, which were to be thrust on a public who didn’t know what was good for them.
The newly appointed Conservative Lord and “godfather” of the now heavily discredited “modernisation” of the Conservative Party, Danny Finkelstein, yesterday wrote a critique of Douglas Carswell’s defection. It is indicative of the stubborn refusal of those in the rarefied salons of Notting Hill to realise that the people have had enough of the “political class” system.
His thesis is: if you want reform, best let the establishment deal with it behind closed doors, otherwise democracy might inadvertently break out, and then where would we be? The Great British public in charge? What anarchy. Best to keep them in the bingo halls where they belong.
I am a great believer in elitism; the best people rising to the top on merit, but what we have in Britain now is not elitism, it is an elite, based on patronage and not merit. What Thatcher described as the “feckless, spineless aristocracy.”
History has taught us that there is nothing more dangerous to the integrity of a nation than a government becoming wholly disconnected from the governed.
Douglas Carswell has many ideas, many that people will disagree with, but his most important is that the people of Britain should govern Britain.
He is undoubtedly right, and those that sit in ivory towers in opposition to that most powerful cause of freedom and democracy are doomed.