I have to admit I rarely read Janan Ganesh in the FT: if I wanted to read right wing nonsense in the morning I had, until the last couple of days, usually been offered plenty of it here. But he is interesting on Douglas Carswell's defection to UK for precisely that reason. As he says:
Mr Carswell’s departure was both shocking and inevitable. He is one of life’s believers, which marks him out in a party (and a country) that used to be defined by its pragmatism and wariness of ideology.
He then, rather neatly, describes the world of the libertarian ideologue:
[T]hey live in an intellectual ghetto, reading books that reinforce what they already believe, interpreting every real-world event as vindication of their non-falsifiable ideology.
It s also a world without compromises:
They will not appreciate the comparison but dealing with the right is like negotiating with the Soviets. Nothing is ever enough for them.
And as he concludes:
The Tories’ worst split since the Victorian age could be in the works. This is what happens when a party that abhors ideology becomes soaked in it
Too true: the lid may not be containable for the Tories for a lot longer. Most of its activists are libertarian ideologues.
But let's not for a minute be complacent. These people aren't. They want it all, by denying it to everyone else. A split with UKIP may well hold them back for now, and it is true that the UK really does not like ideologues so they may be, temporarily at least , unelectable. But that means the pressure to create positive thinking on the policies that can be be offered that will really make life better for most people in this country is vital.