Just what Dave needs. His old pal Andy Coulson is back again, making the second of a series of interventions in GQ magazine. This time he is offering his wisdom on the Tories’ UKIP problem:
“UKIP has become a club for disgruntled, invariably older Tories fed up with the leadership’s attitude mostly, although not entirely, towards Europe. More dangerously it allowed the party to present itself as the natural home for anyone fed up with mainstream politics.”
Coulson advises that the ‘loony’ rhetoric is “self-defeating” because “increasingly significant numbers of Conservative supporters” are voting UKIP. The current policy, which Whitehall wags wearily describe as “there is nothing we can do”, clearly isn’t working either. So what is Coulson’s masterplan? Kill em. An attack video demolishing UKIP’s dark side, focusing on Farage’s “less pleasant and stranger utterances”, with William Hague dispatched to take him on.
“The Conservatives should meet the UKIP debating challenge sooner and have Farage boxed off long before the first TV debate. It should be led by a senior Cabinet member, not the PM. Hague, as Foreign Secretary, is perfectly placed for some net practice on Farage’s preferred playing surface of Europe.”
Which could certainly go both ways. Then again if the Tories fancy winning something has to change…