Melanie Phillips lets rip into David Cameron

Following the recent rise of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), "conservative" leader David Cameron ridiculed UKIP as a bunch of "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists". Here, Melanie Phillips rips into Cameron for dismissing the "perfectly reasonable" concerns of such voters regarding mass immigration, and ceding power to the EU, etc.

UKIP are a danger to the Tories because of the danger that they will split the Tory vote. But Mr Cameron has made a tremendous rod for his own back, because he scorned UKIP as a party of "closet racists, loonies and fruitcakes" - rather like we've been hearing from members of the audience this evening. And the problem is that since very, very large numbers of people who always used to vote conservative have the same kind of views about immigration, about the EU, about human rights, about traditional values of one kind or another - Mr Cameron basically insulted his own core vote. He insulted the vast majority of conservatives.

And as a result, conservatives have felt for years, true conservatives, first of all, totally disenfranchised because their so-called conservative party had actually decided it had to become left-wing in order to gain power. And not only did they become disenfranchised but they became subjected to the kind of insults that we've heard from members of the audience, in which people who have a perfectly reasonable point of view, that while immigrants are going to add greatly to the value of the nation, there has got to be a limit, you cannot have everyone coming in. That there are genuinely profound reasons why British people might want to retain democratic control over their government rather than cede it to the EU.

These are legitimate points of view. You may disagree. You are welcome to disagree. But to call people: "scaremongering, racists, disgusting". This is why... It is this vilification of the point of view of ordinary decent people in their millions which is what Mr Cameron has managed to achieve. He's managed to tell his core constituency: "I don't want you on board, because I think you are disgusting! You backwards men. You conservatives. I'm going to turn this into Not The Conservative Party." And look where it's got him. And it serves him right.
File under: a perfectly reasonable point of view.

(Via GatesOfVienna)

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