There a two schools of thought on the importance, or otherwise, of Douglas Carswell's decision to quit the Tory party for UKIP and force an immediate by-election. Some commentators, all vastly more knowledgeable than me, describe it as not so much a storm but more of a squall in a Westminster teacup. Others disagree and insist that the earth just moved for them. For the moment - so yes, I am shilly-shallying - I tend to the tectonic motion idea and the more I read and think about it the more I am inclined to fasten my seat belt and prepare for a rough landing!
Of course, as so often in these passionate disputes, it soon becomes apparent that both sides are arguing about different things. The 'soft' Tory line, and they think it is a clincher, is that there is only one man in British politics who is promising a referendum on Europe and that man is David Cameron, ergo, it is mad to vote for anyone else and thus ensure a Miliband win because he has absolutely ruled out a referendum. There is no doubt that at first glance it is a very persuasive argument and it is put forward in a Telegraph editorial and by Fraser Nelson at The Coffee House. However, in both articles the writers assume that Cameron will negotiate deep and fundamental changes to our relations with Europe and will, if unable to win the concessions he requires, return home and lead an 'OUT' campaign at the referendum. Even Fraser Nelson - and I am deeply disappointed in him! - avoids answering the question as to whether Cameron would ever lead an 'OUT' campaign. The lack of an answer, of course, is an answer!
So, now the moving finger points, er, at me, actually! If, as I am currently minded to do, I (and the many 'zillions' of people who think like me) vote UKIP at the next election I will be partly responsible for bringing a man into No. 10 who, under the guiding cosh hand of Len McCluskey will force through economic measures that will make President Hollande look positively Right-wing! We all know - well, apart from the dafter sort of Lefty - where that will lead - straight back to another 20o8 situation. I am also uneasily aware that in such a situation a destitute Britain, like Greece, Portugal, Italy and now France, will be easy prey for the Berlin-Brussels axis to impose their rule. One may hope that by, say, 2019, the EU itself will be imploding given their huge internal contradictions but it is not a hope that can be relied upon.
There is another scenario which might offer hope in the event of a Miliband government. Having lost next year's election, Cameron would be forced to resign and possibly - well a man may dream, may he not? - a true-blue Rightwinger will take over. If my forecast of economic turmoil under Miliband proves correct then that new Tory leader will be well placed to win in 2020. The Tories, rather surprisingly, are always prepared to be original thinkers when it comes to their leadership - remember, they produced the first woman prime minister! - so my eyes (assuming I have any by then!) will be fixed on Mr. Sajid Javid MP, a politician of considerable potential in my opinion.
So, what I am coming round to - at last! - is the fact that I am minded to vote UKIP at the general election even if that results in a Miliband disaster.