In America, the Republicans have to worry about that pesky Tea Party, while in the UK, the Tories (and everyone else, it seems) has to worry about that pesky UKIP. Both the Tea Party (which is a movement, not a party) and UKIP (which is both) are on the rise due to under-representation of a large block of voters in both countries. But much like the superior Star Wars movie “The Empire Strikes Back,” the establishment powers are doing just that.
Many political news stories in America this year have been about a Tea Party on the ropes. What has happened? Well, it’s pretty simple. The establishment GOP, even though they have a majority in the House thanks to the Tea Party, are pissed off that some of their long-time members are getting bumped off, i.e. Richard Lugar, Bob Bennett, et al and decided to enact revenge in the only way they know how…spending more money. The MSM feigned shock that the Tea Party candidates had a rough go of it this year when it was as simple as the fact that they got outspent and vilified in the press by Republicans. Again…simple, easy.
Across the pond, UKIP just had their watershed moment in the recent by-elections and took from every party: Tories, Labour, Liberal-Democrats. Needless to say, the Tories are pissed and have upped their game:
It is the Conservatives who have gone all out, however – nervous of the damage a win for Ukip would do, the party has reportedly ordered every single one of its MPs to visit the constituency at least three times before Thursday’s ballot.
On David Cameron’s fourth trip he spoke to a group of workers, and told them: “A dog is for life not just for Christmas, it’s a bit the same with your Member of Parliament.”
All the canvassing has prompted something of a local backlash, with one quick-witted businessman setting up an offer of 50p per “single egg for throwing” – encouraging market-goers to “pick a politician”.
But all the activity seems to have paid off, with a poll from Lord Ashcroft suggesting the Tories now have a significant lead among prospective voters.
Interestingly, the Tories haven’t taken the tack of becoming more like UKIP to win back voters but instead have considered a deal with the devil:
An unholy alliance between the Conservative and Labour parties is emerging, with party members in Thurrock, Essex, deliberating on how best to keep Nigel Farage’s new UKIP councillors out of decision-making processes.
Last year, Conservative Party activists slammed UKIP for considering a coalition to keep the Tories out of power in Norfolk, but the Conservatives seem to have adopted these very same tactics as animosity between the two parties shows no sign of relenting.
The Thurrock Gazette reports that in the Essex town where UKIP picked up five seats (three Conservative, two Labour), the Tories and Labour are now in talks over a “grand coalition” which seeks to lock UKIP’s six councillors out of the decision-making process.
It had been noted when the results came in last week that UKIP may now hold ‘kingmaker’ status in the council. But representatives of the 23 Labour and 18 Conservatives members “had anticipated a Ukip surge and were discussing the prospect of teaming up ahead of last week’s vote, which left both Thurrock’s main parties a lot lighter.”
One source told the local paper: “I’d lay my money on a grand coalition between Labour and the Conservatives. Talks have already taken place and more are planned.”
This scheme didn’t pan out, but it shows you just how far the establishment types are willing to go to protect their turf. Imagine, the Democrats and Republicans in America forming an alliance to keep the Tea Party down. Well, we don’t have to imagine it. It happens every day.
Turning to Mississippi, we have an establishment Republican incumbent being challenged by a Tea Party candidate and all hands are on deck to maintain the staus quo, even if it means delaying retirement:
The Abramoff connection is another reminder for Mississippi voters that Cochran’s real address isn’t his cabin in Oxford or his phantom apartment at Webber’s crib. It’s on K Street.
In fact, in a Washington Post interview over the weekend, Cochran said he had intended to leave the Senate after this current term, but he changed his mind:
Cochran said he is running because others encouraged him to seek another term. “I thought it was time for me to retire,” he said. “I thought I’d served long enough. …But people were saying, what are we going to do without you?”
Crush the establishment.