Conservatives will do anything to hold onto power.
Most commonly, they try to pretend they aren’t the Nasty Party at all, attempting to emulate whatever’s popular at the moment.
So we have Michael Fallon with his UKIP impression yesterday (October 26), saying an “emergency brake” should be applied to immigration between EU countries.
He went on to say: “”That is still being worked on at the moment to see what we can do to prevent whole towns and communities being swamped by huge numbers of migrant workers.”
His words echoed those of UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who said in February: “In scores of our cities and market towns, this country in a short space of time has frankly become unrecognisable… Having whole areas taken over is difficult… it’s happened on a scale that nobody could ever have imagined.”
Oh, but don’t worry – it turns out that Fallon didn’t mean to say “swamped” at all! He meant “under pressure”. That makes it perfectly acceptable! Right?
It’s another UKIP tactic, of course – the swift apology. How many Kippers have been caught making much more abusive comments than Fallon’s, only to have to retract them later? (We’ll leave that question open in the hope that UKIP supporters will read this and try to pretend this never happens. It’ll be funny.)
Eoin Clarke had it right when he tweeted: “Tories’ ‘swamped’ comment & then retraction follow the UKIP pattern. Minimise the damage, maximise the appeal. Racism is a vote winner, sadly.”
Meanwhile, The Guardian has reported an even more bizarre transformation – Tories who claim to be followers of Labour icon Tony Benn!
“The right-wing Bennites do not look to their leadership for guidance. Like Benn used to do, they follow other lines of democratic accountability. Due to a matter of deeply held principle, the leader can never count on their support, even when he seeks to appease them,” writes Steve Richards.
How ridiculous. A Tory could no more be Bennite than Yr Obdt Srvt could be Thatcherite. They don’t understand the meaning of the word but use surface similarities to claim that they have adopted him. The result: Tony Benn’s memory will be discredited.
For crying out loud – one of the pillars of Tony Benn’s philosophy was that the people should be able to get rid of bad politicians – and here they are trying to usurp his memory in order to cling on to power!
It’s a filthy, underhanded trick from a filthy, underhanded organisation and you shouldn’t believe it.
Mr Richards acknowledges the differences, although he doesn’t give them the emphasis they need: “He [Tony Benn] was a socialist and they most emphatically are not. Benn regarded the state as a benevolent force, and sought wider state ownership, while a lot of the Tory Bennites want government to play a much smaller role.” That’s a huge, irreconcilable difference. If the ideologies are opposed, any similarity of method is just window-dressing.
With UKIP, it’s different; the ideologies are not opposed. UKIP and the Tories might as well be the same political party and politicians like Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless have already indicated that they view the two as interchangeable.
They are – and the voting public needs to be aware of this.
But Tony Benn and the Conservative Party most certainly are not.
Follow me on Twitter: @MidWalesMike
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