ID: What advice would you give to Nigel Farage now he's become leader of UKIP again? What does he need to do to make progess?So the advice amounts to sit tight, sort out your own house in policy terms and keep talking to people. To me this all sounds pretty sensible. But I would be interested in your thoughts.
SH: All Nigel has to do is wait, actually. He's got to play a waiting game and let the Conservative Party get into such a mess about Europe that he becomes the natural alternative. He has also got to broaden what UKIP does. To be fair, at the last election he was talking about grammar schools, talking about tax cuts... There are also a lot of people in the press who are determined to make no distinction between the BNP and UKIP, which is insane. UKIP is not a racist party like the BNP. It doesn't have any views on that at all, other than being very firm on immigration.
If I were Farage, I would be talking to people on the right of the Conservative Party, both at MEP and MP level and in the House of Lords, about whether they can find common purpose in some way. This coalition may be the beginning rather than the end of a realignment in British politics. I know Cameron seems to feel incredibly happy in bed with Nick Clegg, much happier than he is with some of his own party. The logic is that the Conservative Party, which is of course a coalition anyway, can't last in its present form. It may take 20 or 30 years. It may be Nigel Farage's successor that does that. I admire Farage. He's incredibly committed. He's incredibly articulate and he's got great convictions. He's right about a lot of things. To make UKIP a more serious party he needs to start convincing Conservative voters that they will never get what they want from Dave Cameron, but they will get it from him.
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