The Norwich election coming so close after UKIP's triumph on the 4th of June provided a never to be repeated opportunity for UKIP to establish itself as a a serious player in Westminster Elections. If UKIP's leadership really believed they had made an electoral breakthrough they should be doing everything they could to capitalise on their European result. Can you imagine the impact it would have if UKIP could finish second in a proper, first past the post, Westminster election where the electorate voted for real candidates not party lists?
A TV journalist this morning said everywhere you go in Norwich you find Tory MPs out campaigning for their candidate, the fragrant Chloe. That is a measure of the importance the Tories attach to this election. They know a good result for them will signal the end of Brown's government. I wish the UKIP cabal could realise how crucial Norwich is for the UKIP rank and file who yearn to see a real impact by UKIP at Westminster.
How many UKIP MEP's have been in Norwich for the last week campaigning hard for the UKIP candidate? How many of their army of EU paid political/research assistants have been there? UKIP has 13 MEPs and if we credit them with 3 assistants each plus an RO based in the UK that makes 65 highly informed well motivated UKIP professionals who could have been thrown into this campaign. I doubt if more than 5 man weeks of such effort has been put in by UKIP at Norwich. (My blog is always open for comments and corrections and I would be delighted if anyone can supply the number of these people and the times they have been in Norwich.)
All I read is that Andreasen is jockeying for position on the EU finance committee, Bannerman bemoaning that no other Eastern region MEPs turned up at the EU defence committee and Farage is cutting deals with every unsavoury right wing EU party he can find none of whom want to leave the EU. Shame on you UKIP MEPs! The battle is here, today in Norwich not in the useless EU committees of Brussels.
There are thousands of Labour votes out there in Norwich for the taking! These are voters who will never vote Tory in a month of Sundays but will vote UKIP if they thought UKIP cared about them and if any of the UKIP MEPs showed the slightest interest in them. But I fear the chance has been squandered for a mess of EU potage as Esau squandered his birthright so the Farage cabal has squandered ours.
I want UKIP to succeed at Norwich but success against a demoralised, hated Labour party and LibDem and Tory parties still mired in the expenses scandal means second place in the poll. Anything worse is failure. I pray for success for our country and our children.
Posted at 14:34 22nd July