While there is still precious little recent content from the loathsome Toby Young anywhere in the vicinity of the Telegraph of late – I did suggest that he may have been sacked, or jumped before being pushed, recently – he has left a lasting legacy of cluelessness that explains why even the Murdoch Sun, home of Louise Mensch, Katie Hopkins and Tony Parsons, binned him as well.
Still stuck in the Weinbunker, Tobes?
Tobes, who is on the rabidly Europhobic wing of the Tory Party, considered Young Dave’s pledge of an in-out referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU, declaring that this was A Very Good Thing, and not just because it was his duty as a loyal sycophant to do so. And there was another potential benefit: “Will Cameron's in-out referendum pledge shoot the Ukip fox?” he asked.
There was more: “As a eurosceptic, I like David Cameron's Europe speech – I like it a lot. ... So what if the prospects of Cameron extracting any meaningful concessions from Brussels during a post-election ‘renegotiation’ are vanishing-to-zero, as various clever clogs keep pointing out? That just means the British public are more likely to vote ‘no’ in 2017”. I love it when Tobes calls me a “clever clogs”.
But he was sure that “eurosceptics will have a good reason to vote Conservative at the next election ... I'd be amazed if this doesn't see large number of Ukip supporters return to the Conservative fold. Not in next year's European elections, when I expect Ukip to top the polls, but in 2015”. How about in Parliamentary by-elections caused by Tory MPs defecting to UKIP, then?
I suspect Tobes didn’t see that one coming, but he is sure that “It also makes it more likely that Ukip won't field candidates in Conservative marginals against those Tories who promise to vote ‘no’ in the referendum”. Dougas “Kamikaze” Carswell and Mark Reckless would have voted ‘no’. But had they not jumped, the Kippers would have fielded candidates against them.
And that would prove true anywhere else, no matter how marginal or otherwise the constituency: UKIP is better funded now, and its supporters are not for doing deals with the Tories. But on ploughs Tobes with his mirth-inducing conclusion: “All in all, then, a good day for the Tories. This won't be enough to put them over the top in 2015 – it'll take an economic recovery to ensure that – but it will undoubtedly help”.
A good day for the Tories? All Cameron did was to embolden the Kippers, letting them see that they were the tail wagging the Tory dog, extracting a referendum promise from a desperate leader. The only place that led was more UKIP votes in the European Parliament elections, and now two MPs elected on the party’s ticket. Tobes once again proves clueless; he just can’t think these things through.
Far from shooting UKIP’s fox, Tobes shot himself in the foot.