Where would our nation be, at this very moment, had UKIP never existed?
For a start, the Cameron-Osbourne dream-team of liberal infiltration would still be at the helm of our Conservative party. What’s more, they’d still be struggling electorally. Most importantly of all, the UK would still, without question, be a member of the European Union.
Now before I begin, I must be clear. There are many within our party, from its top to its bottom, who worked tirelessly towards Brexit and who were instrumental in its deliverance. Without Conservative voters, Conservative members and Conservative Parliamentarians, we would not have achieved the monumental victory for democracy and localism that we did on June 23rd.
Nevertheless, in recent weeks, there has been an increasingly determined effort by some Tories to change the narrative and rewrite history for their own advantage. Indeed, some would now have us believe that it was a united and passionate, true-blue Conservative Party that led the charge toward independence from the beginning.
We ought never to forget how ferociously we had to fight generations of the Conservative Party establishment before we, the people, won the chance to decide our future. It was not Brexiteers who left the Tory party. It was our party who left us.
It was UKIP, who gave us our voice, our referendum and ultimately our victory.
The Stunning triumph of UKIP in the European elections of 2014, the defections and subsequent by-election victories of Carswell and Reckless and the ever-present ever-eloquent and ever-passionate Nigel Farage, meant that even if Cameron was determined to avoid the EU debate for ideological reasoning, he could no longer avoid it for strategic.
Does anyone really believe that without the fear among the Tory top brass, that Conservative members and voters were deserting them in their droves for a credible, respectable alternative, they would have dreamed of offering us a referendum? Of course not.
There is however no way to spin it. UKIP are in trouble and last Thursday’s Local Election results were an unmitigated disaster. But why are so many Conservatives so gleefully pleased to see them fall? Tim Montgomerie, on Twitter, was quick to suggest that Media Broadcasters consider reducing UKIP’s exposure. Likewise, other Conservative activists and commentators, who once looked admiringly albeit distantly at UKIP, are now only too quick to herald their demise.
Without UKIP, Conservatives such as Tim and Hannan would still be tweeting and writing from the sidelines - exerting pressure on the party without really being listened to at all.
It was Ukippers who bravely stuck their necks out and put the interests of their nation above that of their career-prospects. How many of UKIPs best young prospects could have slowly risen the ranks of the Conservative Party had they, like their eloquent young Tory Party colleagues, sat comfortably on the fence and been ‘a bit less vocal’ regarding their conservatism.
Instead, they put their cards on the table, spoke unapologetically for their cause and faced a barrage of hatred for their trouble.
I’d like to thank every single one of you.
In addition, we have even more to thank UKIP for than our Brexit triumph. UKIP proved that its real conservatism that wins elections and May, having incorporated many aspects of their policy agenda will triumph in style on June the 8th.
Further, the purple army allowed us to build, for the first time in a generation, a powerful ‘united right.’ It was UKIP not the Tories who connected with millions of working-class voters, abandoned and scorned by a Labour party who once represented them. It was they who showed them that conservatism not liberalism will fight their corner most passionately and they who built a bridge that will see millions of working class voters mark their X next to our party come election day.
It always comforted me to know that we had a passionate and credible alternative to our party on the right of British Politics. It’s essential to remember that there continue to be many influential enemies of conservatism that sit and canvass amongst us, cough cough, Anna Soubry. Characters such as these, devoid of any meaningful principle or ideology care only about power for its own sake and will be empowered by the lack of an alternative conservative electoral challenger.
Nonetheless, it’s a great time to be a conservative and a pleasure to have a conservative coalition united in our fight against the yuppie ‘progressive alliance.’ For the first time in decades we have a Conservative Prime Minister who can be considered a conservative and I hope Theresa May proves a radical and successful one, although time will tell if that’s to be the case.
For all those kippers who left and have now come home, welcome back and thank you. To those who have voted for UKIP before but not yet for the Conservatives. I hope our party will stay true to your interests and values, found in true, ideological conservatism. And for those Kippers still fighting for conservatism in Purple I wish you only the best of luck.
Regardless, UKIP are the most successful political party in political history. Let’s give them the credit they deserve.