I Won’t Lie About Douglas Carswell
There are a number of MPs I admire, including my own MP Steve Barclay. But for many years my favourite MP has been Douglas Carswell. I met him at Conference in 2009 and purchased a copy of the book he wrote with Dan Hannan MEP, “The Plan”, a book which I have read many times and which I still believe is a defining piece of political philosophy. It’s worth noting that Dan Hannan is also my favourite MEP. I have heard them both speak on numerous occasions and it is rare that I disagree with anything either of them say. I do sometimes, but it’s rare.
It was Douglas Carswell’s blog which gave me the itch to start my own blog. It was Douglas Carswell’s ideas on the relationship between the State and the Individual, the importance of localism, the vital role of politicians in being representatives of the voice of the electorate, which has influenced my own ideas.
Today there is the news that Douglas Carswell has defected to UKIP and is standing down to force a by-election in his seat, where he will stand as both the sitting MP and the UKIP candidate. It’s not easy to express how depressed I feel about this. One of my favourite journalists and writers, James Delingpole, went over to the dark side a year or two ago and I felt that was a tragedy. But this, for me, is on a whole other scale.
Several times on this blog I have expressed the idea that the country seems to be going mad and that it was going to get worse before it got better. I still think this is true. There is a disconnect between elected individuals and the people they represent which has been simmering for years. It is a recipe liberally spiced with the parliamentary expenses scandal, with the uncontrolled immigration levels made possible by our membership of the EU and encouraged by the previous Labour administration. The pot is regularly stirred by a predatory, desperate and immoral media, many of whom seem to care nothing about the truth anymore, but only about the next colourful and exaggerated or misleading headline.
I won’t lie about Douglas Carswell. I am gutted. I won’t be following him, in case anybody thinks that is where I’m going with this blog post. I feel UKIP are a racist and truly evil party whose rise in UK politics is a blot on our proud nation. But the other parties are partly to blame for all this. We all sowed the seeds for this shadow to fall upon us. All the parties ignored the warnings, sneered at the concerns, pretended there was no such thing as social damage. Any damage the rise of UKIP does weighs equally heavy on the shoulders of all national politicians.
The loss of Douglas Carswell is, I feel, significant. This is a fiercely bright, philosophical and original thinker, a man of integrity and honour. Losing him is a huge blow to the Conservatives and a massive gain for UKIP. David Cameron and his team should hang their heads in shame for letting it come to this. I believe Douglas Carswell will come to regret his decision. But any thinking Conservative should already be regretting it, in my opinion. It is a bleak day for us.