Yesterday I had a couple in interesting conversations. The first was with a prominent Conservative MEP.
He was asking how I was getting on in my new Party. I said that UKIP had a refreshing approach to policy. We looked at each question with an open mind, and tried to find a common-sense approach. Then if we found that London cabbies agreed with us (that’s always a good litmus test) we figured we had it about right.
“Ah”, said Fred (I’ll call him Fred) “I can remember a Party like that, which used to have a pragmatic, common sense approach”. “I know, Fred”, I replied, “I used to be a member of it”.
The other was with a prominent Labour MEP, who volunteered the view that “UKIP is on the up”. “Labour has a difficult position on this”, he said. “We’re a pro-European party. But we can’t ignore the fact that 56% of voters would vote to leave the EU. We have to recognise that, and respond to it. That’s what Miliband is trying to do”. I replied “But it seems to me, Joe (I’ll call him Joe) that Miliband has ended up with the failing Tory policy — we want to stay in the EU, but we want reform”. Joe didn’t entirely agree. I asked if he was getting much airtime. “Not much”, he replied, “but you seem to be on Five Live all the time”. A slight exaggeration, but good to hear. He added “UKIP has the views that people seem to want to hear”.