The problem is that the “Labour movement” happily includes everyone from New Labour all the way through to the various communist parties. It included the late RESPECT “party”, the SWP, and all the rest of the crazies. Conversely, there is no right-unity. One could never imagine a conference at which representatives of the English Democrats, Conservatives, UKIP and the BNP were all speakers. It would not happen, ever.
The reason for this is simple: the Conservatives, as the party of government over the last 150 years have spent more time pissing off more people than any other party. UKIP members are often disgruntled Conservatives who hate the Tories over their “betrayal” on Europe, etc (with which I am entirely sympathetic, and I know the first few years after Maastricht seemed hopeless, but change from within is always the way to do it). BNP members are usually very disgruntled Labour voters, and positively despise the Tories. Tories are hated from all angles, and this, being a country unused to coalition and without Parliamentary representation for more than a few parties, does not have to find common ground between parties. Far more attractive for the average UKIP member is to be a principled patriot and Eurosceptic, rather than ever compromise on a position in order to form a coalition. Perversely, despite only marginally different Parliamentary representation from about 20 years ago, there is high voter de-alignment; people identify less with the established Westminster parties than at any other point. It’s very unlikely that 14 million people will ever vote for a party, as they did in 1992.
Who is to blame for this failure of the Conservatives? President Eisenhower. His disgraceful treatment of Britain during the Suez Crisis, motivated by his own goal of advancing American influence and power in the region, of course ultimately led to Anthony Eden’s resignation. Eden did not advise the Queen on who to appoint as his successor; this meant the Queen consulted a number of figures on who to appoint as Prime Minister, and the consensus was Harold Macmillan. This was unfortunate. Macmillan was decent, but Rab Butler would have been the far better option, and would have gone on to win in 1964 as well. Instead, when Macmillan resigned on the grounds of ill-health in 1963, he also failed to appoint a successor, but “took soundings” instead. There were a number of possible successors: Heath, Maudling, Butler,