So it has happened. UKIP’s only MP has left UKIP. Those who wilfully misunderstand UKIP may say that he was forced out because he was not racist enough. The truth is more mundane and rather sad.
Douglas is MP for Clacton, which is one of three Westminster constituencies that are in the geographical bounds of Tendring District Council. I was a UKIP member on Tendring District Council. I have met Douglas on many occasions and I have a decent feel for what the rank and file Ukippers in Clacton wanted from their party. My sadness is that, overwhelmingly Douglas and the UKIP membership want the same things.
And what they want is a fair crack of the whip for everyone in the United Kingdom. Yes – that involves leaving the EU [obviously]. And – Yes it involves reducing the numbers of immigrants. It definitely involves reinvigorating our democratic processes and ending the crony corporatist government that has mis-governed the UK until now. It involves taking back control not only from Brussels, but also from Westminster. Government needs to be held to account by servants of the people in a way that does not happen at the moment.
One of Douglas’ favourite aphorisms was that it was the role of an insurgent party to change the political landscape, so that it was in the political self-interest of your opponents to make good decisions. He did that in spades with Brexit. Yes – of course we owe Nigel Farage a huge debt for his tireless service. And – Yes, of course Nigel Farage should have been knighted by now. However, it was Douglas that scared the wits out of David Cameron by leaving the Conservative Party and joining UKIP. Without that action there would have been no referendum promise from David Cameron!
We will have to wait and see how Douglas influences the political landscape in future. However, now would be a good moment to remember that Douglas Carswell alone gave us the Brexit referendum. And we should all be mightily grateful for that.