.. I had been invited to give the keynote address to the first Ukip national conference in Central Hall Westminster. I told the 900-strong audience that there would be only two parties fighting that election. One consisted of the Tories, Labour and Lib Dems who, not just on Europe but on a whole range of issues, had become almost identical. The other was Ukip, the only party trying to fight for the people of Britain against a “political class” that, in alliance with Brussels, had hijacked our democracy. For some years I had been reporting on an astonishing revolution taking place in how Britain was governed. Thanks not just to the increasing powers of the EU, but also to those of our own officials, we were now being ruled in a new way. After talking to ministers and politicians of all parties, I had been struck repeatedly by how they seemed to have become mere ciphers in a vast, unaccountable bureaucratic system that appeared to have lost any contact with reality and the concerns of ordinary people ..
.. The sense that we are now ruled over by a political class cut off from the rest of us in a bubble of unreality has become the most conspicuous feature of our politics. We see it everywhere, from the powerlessness people feel over uncontrolled immigration to the insanity of our energy policy. Above all, we see it in the all-pervasive power of that weird system of government centred in Brussels, which has so blatantly now lost people’s trust not just in Britain, but also across Europe. It is not only here that this profound sense of alienation is finding political expression in the rise of new parties not dissimilar to Ukip ..