Wednesday, 1 March 2017

My party pooper prediction revisited

A look at the current headlines suggests that Ukip will last about as long as Nigel Farage's marriage, so now seems like a good time to reality-check my prediction that the Kippers' big donors are about to jump ship.

It turns out that I was wrong, at least if you take the statements coming from Ukip's gobbiest banker at face value. Far from ditching Ukip, Arron Banks has promised to to take back control of his political plaything by standing against its only MP at the next general election.

If so, this would be a good thing - I'd sooner see this rabble fully occupied in tearing each other apart like rats in a sack, rather than doing anything rational, like joining their natural allies in a Conservative Party now effectively purged of all non-jingoists.

But, as Banks's mate Farage has shown, Ukip promises are easily broken. My guess, for what it's worth, is that we can't take Banks's promise at face value. By 2020, Banks has probably calculated that Carswell will already have jumped ship, or even that Ukip (which he's now busy concern trolling as being "run like a jumble sale") may have fallen apart, so he'll be spared the inconvenience of actually having to put up or shut up at the hustings.

Ukip's self-destruction would provide perfect cover for this slippery customer to defect back to the Tories, without being accused of disloyalty. This probably explains a lot of the inflammatory rhetoric Banks is flinging in the direction of his Ukip comrades - he's deliberately turning up the emotional temperature, in the hope that they'll stab each other in the back, so he doesn't have to.