David WilkinsonView More
The Fall of UKIP
UKIPpers would be quite entitled to equate this local election "collapse" of their party's support with the rejection of Churchll in the July 1945 election.
But I write not to commiserate with UKIP but to urge a warning for the whole anti-EU movement.
The war was not over on May 9th 1945 (sorry, the Russians hacked this article): Japan had not yet been brought low nor had we experienced the final defeat of the post-war negotiations for the arrangement with USA and the USSR.
UKIP actually deserve little sympathy because they are failing as a party. They have been deserted by their old leader as he seeks new opportunities and seem to have no clear idea of their role in this stage of the Brexit process. While their leaders promised to "hold the government's feet to the fire", they seem much more interested in putting their own feet by the fire. Instead of scrutinising and challenging the May provisional government they have sought lush new pastures.
Poor old UKIP cannot escape this judgement as it has been handed down by the hanging judge we call the electorate. The rest of us do not face such brutality and may therefore not heed this warning.
But we must.
The broader anti-EU movement must understand that Brexit has not yet been achieved. All that has happened is that there was a referendum a year ago. We have not replaced the political elite as they do in proper revolutions, we have not seized the airport nor the TV station. And Brexit is subject to a costly negotiation process. Unlike, as the Russian Embassy pointed out yesterday, when countries left the USSR.
The anti-EU movement has a vital role now. I am convinced that the May provisional government fully intends selling us out on JHA: there will be European Arrest Warrants issued for the detention of Her Majesty's subjects after Brexit. We will still be tied in to EU military cooperations such as Royal Navy ships being under EU command in anti-piracy operations - not to mention funding EU expansion to the East bringing conflict with Russia. May will return with Home Rule or a Free State but not Brexit.
I do not hear Mrs May squealing with hot feet. I only hear delusional expressions of trust in May. Politicians can only be trusted when held at bayonet point.
UKIP are appealing for gratitude. They are appealing for loyalty. Neither exist in the hearts of electorates. What UKIP are failing to offer are ideas and reason to vote for them. They ask people to rally around but offer no argument.
The same goes for the rest of us, if we fail in our purpose in this stage of our country's history, we will lose all support as well. And deservedly so.