They are scared to death of the idea of allowing by-elections to happen because they know that the Ukip People’s Army is on the march, writes Ukip Leader Nigel Farage MEP.
•During my television tussles with Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg – (you may have noticed that I bested him twice, but I don’t like to talk about it!) – he came out with a line about trust in politics being hard to win but easy to lose.
As I recollect, it was in reference to his own broken promise about supporting an In/Out EU referendum.
I was reminded of Mr Clegg’s words this week when another coalition broken promise came into the spotlight. The Coalition Agreement guaranteed early legislation to deliver a right of recall to electors where their MP has been involved in serious wrongdoing.
The proposal envisaged that a petition signed by 10 per cent of the electors in any constituency would be enough to trigger a by-election in such circumstances.
You would probably have needed to have been living on Mars this week to still be unaware that no such legislation has been forthcoming from Messrs Cameron and Clegg.
The Maria Miller case would have been a classic test of such a right. Local surveys indicated that 90 per cent of the voters in Basingstoke thought that she should resign as an MP and wanted a by-election to put in place a successor.
As it happened, Ukip had a European campaign public meeting scheduled in Basingstoke on the very day that Ms Miller belatedly resigned as a Cabinet minister. I had not originally been down to speak, but I decided to pop along to make a few points and also to introduce to the media our excellent prospective parliamentary candidate for the seat, Alan Stone.
By the time I arrived in Basingstoke a massive media scrum had built up and Old Basing Village Hall, the venue for the meeting was filling up fast. Many of the journalists had assumed that I was going to announce my own intention to stand in the seat. But that was never in my mind - I had a more profound point to make.
It was this: that the entire political class was shielding one of its own from proper democratic accountability. Cameron and Clegg had, typically, carelessly made a promise without having any firm intention to carry it through. For the right of recall you could also read the cast-iron promise on a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty from Dave or the pledge to vote to abolish tuition fees by Nick.
These guys walk away from their promises like pickpockets sliding away from the scene of their crimes – leaving their victims to find out later that something important has gone missing.
And even Ed Miliband failed to mention the broken promise on the right of recall during Prime Minister’s Questions. You know why? Because it would mean putting plenty of his own MPs in the line of fire.
Miliband, Cameron and Clegg all fear one thing above anything else at the moment: democratic accountability. They are scared to death of the idea of allowing by-elections to happen because they know that the Ukip People’s Army is on the march.
But there are local and European elections coming up next month that they really cannot avoid. We aim to unleash an electoral earthquake in those contests and I believe we are on course to do so.
At Old Basing Village Hall every seat was taken and there was standing room only along the sides. The reception accorded to me, to my fellow South East MEP candidates Diane James, Ray Finch and Patricia Culligan and to Alan Stone was amazing. People were clearly ready for a change from the tired old parties – and especially the Tories in this neck of the woods.
After the meeting I repaired to the Bolton Arms in Old Basing where the landlord Duncan Keer runs a fantastic public house. In fact Mr Keer pretty much initiated a second public meeting, making an impromptu speech backing me and Ukip to a very supportive line up of regulars.
It was more confirmation of what I had already detected in recent weeks – that Ukip has well and truly connected with the great British public. The polls seem to be showing us accelerating upwards too. There is plenty of work to be done between now and polling day. But we’ve got the LibLabCon running scared and they cannot run forever.
On May 22nd we in Ukip aim to give you a mass right of recall against the politicians who have let you down. It is up to you whether you decide to take us up on the offer, but I know that more and more of you intend to do just that.