The commentators 29-08-14
...on Douglas Carswell's defection
The Clacton by-election is of huge significance not just to the future of Ukip but to the whole of British politics. It will indeed be our high noon. The answer to the question of how many others might defect – which is the classic media response – will be answered by the by-election.
- Nigel Farage, The Independent
Even if Mr Carswell’s exit turns out to be a containable event for the Conservative party, the real dread must be that it is just a flash of a civil war to come. If the referendum goes ahead, then Mr Cameron will almost certainly campaign to stay in the EU while heading a party in which a third, a half or perhaps by then even a majority of MPs wish to leave. This does not even take into account the grass roots. The Tories’ worst split since the Victorian age could be in the works. This is what happens when a party that abhors ideology becomes soaked in it.
- Janan Ganesh, Financial Times
The Right now suspects that Cameron would find a way to lead a campaign to stay in Europe. That is why they are pressing him to spell out his negotiating terms, terms that can never satisfy at the same time both his own Eurosceptics and the rest of Europe with whom he must negotiate a deal. In short, a decisive Ukip presence at Westminster may begin to look like the best way to get Britain out of the EU.
- Anne Perkins, The Guardian
Douglas Carswell’s defection to the UK Independence Party raises questions that are almost too numerous to count. Questions about the Conservative Party, about the general election, about future defections, about the role and responsibility of individual MPs to their constituents. But it raises one question that matters more than any other: what is Ukip?
- James Kirkup, Daily Telegraph
When people talk of local electoral pacts being done between the two parties, Essex is precisely the sort of place where they might work. From what Heffer knows of Essex Men and Women, Douglas Carswell’s defection should trigger a wake-up call whose reverberations will sound for some time yet.
- Simon Heffer, Daily Mail
The ethnicity of the guilty men is a central feature of the abuse, and council officials were certainly inhibited because of it... but this was a regime unwilling to confront the problem at all - regardless of who was behind it. This was a dysfunctional council that operated in a macho atmosphere of bullying and sexism. Women were lesser beings and discussion of subjects such as sex abuse was almost impossible.
This isn't about political correctness, it's about incompetence
Please sign up for SubScribe updates
First World War centenary