Showing posts with label Farage. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Farage. Show all posts

Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Cameron Tries To Block UKIP Funding

Mary Ellon Synon reports that "Cameron is trying to sabotage UKIP’s influence at the European Parliament, just days after trying to appear sympathetic to euroscepticism by telling the British people that their message at the polls was “received and understood.”
Instead of accepting UKIP's victory, Cameron has started a drive to cut off the legs of “the people’s army” in Brussels and Strasbourg. He has assigned Conservative Party fixers to do deals with hard-right and populist parties which, until now, the Conservatives claimed were “unacceptable.”
Conservative moves which have the full support of 'Judas Goat' Hannan:
Last week Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan was in Denmark telling Copenhagen television that the Danish People’s Party (DPP), which sat with UKIP’s group in the outgoing parliament, would now be welcome to join in the Tories’ Europe group at the European parliament.
But in 2009, Conservatives rejected an approach from the DPP to join their group, “because of their unacceptable views in a number of areas.” Thus far from listening to the British people we have yet another example - which undoubtedly comes as a large shock to everyone - of the complete contempt held by those in Westminster have of UK voters. Farage has it right when he says:
There is a big dissident voice now in this parliament. And yet, I just sat in a meeting where you wouldn’t think that anything happened at all.
It does though neatly illustrate a number of intriguing observations. That the EU Parliament is used by UK parties (and other countries) to try to manipulate domestic audiences politically. Cameron is willing to align himself with "undesirables" in order to try to shore up his election chances at home - by depriving UKIP of money - regardless of reputations. He accurately calculates that most in the UK couldn't care less about the EU Parliament and how it works.

It also demonstrates that the very understandable desire to give the main three parties a "kicking" in the Euro elections by UK voters is one that has been shown to be largely impotent, a sentiment that is echoed by Farage himself.

The EU Parliament via groupings and the use of money ensures that it is just another EU institution whose primary function is to facilitate the further progress of the supranational project rather than be an independent "check and balance" on the executive or other bodies:
For example, in the 2012 budget, UKIP and the MEPs from ten other countries in the Europe of Freedom and Democracy group, had an allocation of more than €2.5m, with €881,000 still in the bank carried over from the previous year’s grant. This was on top of all the expenses individual MEPs were given to run their offices, research and travel.

By contrast, the giant pro-EU powers European People’s Party (EPP)...was allocated €21m.
Is it little wonder that the EU are so lax about expenses allowances; there is nothing better than easy money to turn people "native". Then there's the European Court of Justice, who rather than be an independent judiciary has instead the primary role of extending and reinforcing the supranational authority of the EU Commission, its "coup d'etat" was this judgement from 1964 :
It follows from all these observations that the law stemming from the treaty, an independent source of law, could not, because of its special and original nature, be overridden by domestic legal provisions, however framed, without being deprived of its character as community law and without the legal basis of the community itself being called into question.

The transfer by the States from their domestic legal system to the Community ... Treaty carries with it a permanent limitation of their sovereign rights, against which a subsequent unilateral act incompatible with the concept of the Community cannot prevail.
Obviously it's clear that UK exit is not going to materialise from Brussels or MEPs contained within nor indeed many members of Westminster. Our exit is likely to come via a referendum and to win that requires negating many of the lies, deception and FUD that has characterised over 40 years of membership. To do that requires a proper, well thought-out exit plan:

It's interesting that despite Cameron's continuing deception on the EU, in terms of how it works regarding treaties he appears to be pretty naive - in fact he's made a substantial strategical cock-up.

Cameron gave a promise of a referendum in 2017 after claiming that he would negotiate reforms with the EU. As has been well noted on many occasions such reforms cannot be done without approval of other member states nor without Treaty change nor within the time frame.

Cameron then said on Andrew Marr that a referendum would be held anyway in 2017:



Essentially this means that any referendum in 2017 won't be based on a fudged reform (because there isn't time) but instead it will be a straight in/out. Here we have a fighting chance. But it is only one chance and one chance only. To win needs co-operation and planning among eurosceptic groups to ensure victory. Without that we lose.

Rather like Neil Armstrong et al going to the moon, they either got it right or they died. There were no second chances.

Sunday, 18 May 2014

Losing The EU Referendum

Let's not beat around the bush, without a fully worked-out policy and strategy on how to leave the EU any referendum on EU exit will be lost for those who wish out. It's as simple as that. And should the "outers" lose it's game over for at least a generation, probably more. We won't have another chance - it won't be a "best of three".

We don't actually need to have a referendum - there was no referendum to enter the EEC (EU) - and there needs to be no referendum to leave. Yet we must acknowledge that the reality of current political momentum which suggests strongly that our exit will hinge very decisively on one being called.

So should a referendum be called, we face an extremely unfair fight against a pro-EU and ignorant media (including the Express and the state broadcaster), an unfair fight against all of the main political parties, an unfair and dishonest fight against FUD and the need to overcome the "status quo" effect which has an inbuilt advantage of around 20%.

It's imperative therefore that there should be a reassuring policy on EU exit which attempts to alleviate any concerns. This involves invoking Article 50, parking the economic issue temporarily via EFTA/EEA membership, and campaigning on the political (democracy) issue alone giving us a fighting chance.

On Article 50 at least we thought that the UKIP's position was settled when Farage confirmed at least twice that the Article would have to be invoked. But despite being a one man party he clearly isn't in total command when UKIP literature is being distributed contradicting him in the run up to the Euro elections.

Such confusion and a lack of available policy on UKIP's website means the "Life on Mars" option is still alive and kicking as Witterings from Witney notes:
Yesterday evening The Boiling Frog and I spent some time on twitter trying to convince three Ukip supporters that that which they were tweeting was pure fantasy. We were presented with statements such as the old canard that repeal of ECA 1972 meant the UK was free of EU membership; that abrogation of ECHR would mean the EU would promptly rescind the UK’s membership of the EU; and that a new trade agreement could be placed on the table within 24 hours for signature. In our attempted ‘debate’ matters are not helped when it is suggested that I should Go and smoke another spliff – leave it for the rest of us to sort out the mess; neither when I am called a supercilious tit in the comments to this post. Such ignorance is indeed a tad terrifying. 
That somehow 40 years of integration and hugely complex international agreements can just be undone in 24 hours really does defy belief.

More crucially failure to confront the nature of our exit by UKIP inevitably leads to split messages. And split messages don't win referendum campaigns, in the same way split parties don't win elections as per the 1906 General Election when the Conservatives lost by a landslide which was largely attributed to a party split over free trade.

The lack of a policy by UKIP leads this rather incoherent interview with UKIP councillor - who defected to UKIP from the Tories - Suzanne Evans. She was asked by Andrew Neil on the BBC's Sunday Politics if UKIP had published a "roadmap" if the vote was a yes to leave.

Suzanne Evans response was; "wouldn't that be great?" Well yes it would actually, which begs the question why has it not been done?

Some argue that UKIP is an "amateur party" with limited funds in contrast to others, but that of course is no excuse. Seventeen shortlisted entrants to the Brexit prize produced papers on precisely that issue within four months including one from a 15 year old boy. A damning indictment on UKIP's failure to produce one in twenty years with well-paid MEPs.

As Christopher Booker observes in the Sunday Telegraph:
It is equally disturbing that a party founded on a desire to extricate us from the EU should have no properly worked-out policy for how this could be done. Ask Ukip what are the practical steps whereby we could achieve a successful exit from the EU, and the answer is little more than a blank stare and empty platitudes. 
Andrew Neil pressed Suzanne Evans further on whether UKIP had a "roadmap". Her answers remained very unconvincing stating that she's "not a legal expert on this" and that "we could come out quickly or there's a longer route as well". Then the question put to Suzanne was "but have [UKIP] published any of that detail". The response being;
"well...not, not that I have read but there are ways to do it..."
Then Suzanne continues that UKIP want to revert back to 1975 to "what people voted for". This despite the EEC was never an economic project nor a common market. The Treaty of Rome makes this perfectly clear:
"Determined to lay the foundations of an ever closer union among the peoples of Europe"
With Suzanne's statement to effectively revert back to a "golden age" that never existed she then gets caught out...Andrew Neil rightly asks her that the vote in 1975 involved the "free movement of people" which goes against a party which is now chasing the BNP vote on immigration. What a mess...

No doubt some will see this as another gratuitous anti-UKIP piece. My philosophy though was always been clear right from the outset when I joined the party - "my loyalty is to the cause not to any party". In its present guise UKIP are damaging the cause and for that reason I can no longer support them.

UKIP's current stance will lose us the referendum, the choice is increasingly becoming clear; it's either the party or EU exit. The two are no longer compatible.

Wednesday, 2 April 2014

Nigel Farage Not Up To The Job


Not my words but those of Godfrey Bloom. With Clegg vs Farage Round 2 about to commence we have Bloom coming out of the woodwork with an interview in the Telegraph. He makes some pretty disparaging comments about Farage:
[Bloom] said that although Mr Farage acted as a "charismatic" and "articulate" salesman for the Ukip brand he is not up to the role of "managing director or chairman of the board."

Asked if he believed Mr Farage was intelligent, Mr Bloom replied: "In what way?"

By contrast, Mr Bloom said there were many "bright young people" waiting in the wings of Ukip but that Mr Farage was blocking their chances of coming "to the surface" of the party. He added: "Nigel has been doing it for twenty years, I think perhaps one might argue that's too long.”
This is not the first time that Bloom has criticised Farage, and it is probably not lost on most that these comments have only happened after Bloom fell out with him. He was more than happy to be on the gravy train and keep quiet when it suited. Now he's seen which way the wind is blowing out he comes.

Nor are we sure Bloom is the right man to criticise others for “not being up to the job” given his ban from hotels after relieving himself in the corridors and being caught in public cavorting with prostitutes.

When we look at his interview in full (at the bottom of the Telegraph article) it's 46:30 minutes long yet nearly 42 minutes of that time is spent with Bloom defending his attitude to women. His comments about Farage don't come until near the end. How this is supposed to further the Eurosceptic cause boggles my mind.

That said the nature of the messenger doesn't always negate the message. With UKIP more prominent, more scrutiny comes with the territory. And under such intense scrutiny Bloom is right Farage is clearly coming up short. With Farage also currently under a very serious Police investigation we wonder how long he will be around as leader.

Friday, 28 February 2014

Farage Standing Down?

From the International Business Times:
Nigel Farage dramatically raised the stakes in Ukip's quest for political power by vowing to resign as leader if his party fails to get any seats in the 2015 general election.
Farage made the pledge on the day he told the anti-EU party's spring conference: "This is our moment.
After speaking in Torquay of "ruthless targeting" to win seats at the general election, Farage put his own future on the line.
"I said in my speech we could get several MPs, or a good number of MPs, in Westminster in 2015 provided, and I made it absolutely clear, that would not happen unless we clear this hurdle effectively on May 22 [the local and European elections this year].
"I stand by that. This is the election Ukip has waited 20 years for."
When asked if he would stand down in the event of the party not returning any MPs to the House, he said: "I would have thought so, good lord yes. I would be out the door before you could say Jack Robinson."

Monday, 10 February 2014

Are UKIP The New Judas Goats?

I have been in two minds whether to publish this post or not. While it may not always be apparent on this blog, I tend to pull my punches when it comes to criticism of UKIP.  And I do so out of deference to the many hard working UKIP volunteers on the ground (of which I have also been one of them). They are the unsung heroes of the cause- the backbone of the party.

On the other hand there is also the consideration that some issues within UKIP need to be addressed – the issues that fundamentally, and possibly fatally, undermine the very same hard work by volunteers. It saddens me and frustrates me greatly.

I rejoined UKIP just over a year ago – albeit reluctantly - trying to help out with the impending local elections in May 2013. My membership now over a year old expired last month and I have taken the reluctant decision to let it lapse without renewing it.

The final straw for me I guess was Farage’s recent description of the 2010 manifesto as “drivel”:
"Malcolm Pearson, who was leader at the time, was picked up in interviews for not knowing the manifesto.

"Of course he didn't - it was 486 pages of excessive detail. Eighteen months ago I said I want the whole lot taken down, we reject the whole thing...
"I didn't read it. It was drivel. It was 486 pages of drivel...It was a nonsense. We have put that behind us and moved onto a professional footing."
This would be the same "drivel" manifesto that Farage and Lord Pearson signed and approved of:
Mr Farage signed the foreword to the 2010 manifesto as the "chief party spokesman," along with Lord Pearson and Mr Campbell Bannerman.
The clue here though is David Campbell Bannerman, the man who drew up the 2010 document, and then later defected back to the Tories.

As a consequence under intense questioning from BBC's Andrew Neil, Farage decided to make a personal dig at Campbell Bannerman by dismissing the manifesto in derogatory terms. For the sake of the party he could have instead played a straight bat and simply argued that UKIP had moved on from 2010. But the personal dig was evidently more important – further evidence that UKIP is Nigel Farage’s plaything.

Nothing demonstrates Farage's priorities more clearly than when he is prepared to effective dismiss for personal gain, not only the work of those who spent their time drawing up the manifesto, but the hundreds of UKIP volunteers (in the main) who stood in 2010 in front of hustings meetings, and knocked on doors, defending that manifesto.

Only now are they to be told that Nigel thinks it was all "drivel" despite him approving it at the time and standing at the last election on its promises. Well thanks a lot Nigel... for knowingly sending out hard-working volunteers to the electorate with nothing more than “drivel” to defend themselves. His comments are quite a smack in the face to UKIP members from the “Dear Leader”.

With no surprise the fallout from Farage's comments has already happened, UKIP supporters' arguments are now easily dismissed by using their leader's remarks, as Dr Eric Edmond observed:
Click on link to call Clegg to see how the Lib Dems are profiting from Farage's stupidity. The relevant call is about 10 minutes into the tape. Clegg was able to brush off a UKIP supporter by simply refering him to Farage's denouncing of the 2010 manifesto and decent honest hard working UKIP members.

All that hard work undone by one interview. And, as to the next manifesto for 2015, how do we know that this one won't be "drivel" as well? It's certain that Farage will be asked whether the next manfesto is "drivel"; questions will be asked as to its content in those terms.

Then reflecting on the running theme throughout UKIP's history we have another example of "falling out with Nigel", by Nigel's drinking partner Godfrey Bloom no less: Godfrey Bloom has hit out at Nigel Farage for scrapping Ukip's 2010 manifesto, saying the party has adopted a "no-policy policy":
In a strongly-worded warning to his former colleagues, the independent MEP said the party was turning into a "don't-frighten-the-horses, all-things-to-all-men, pale blue party. The current lurch to the no-policy policy will damage Ukip in 2015,"
Nigel seems to have developed an unhealthy habit of "falling out" with people; UKIP's history is littered with many many examples. Thus Bloom's comments resonate. Though it's worth noting that Bloom was quite happy to take the shilling while on board the EU gravy train without complaint and many of his troubles have been brought upon himself by himself.

We have evidence of UKIP's "no-policy policy" when we come to the recent flooding, particularly in the Somerset Levels which has dominated the headlines. As Richard North and Booker have demonstrated there is a very significant EU dimension to the Somerset floodings. This is a complete open goal for UKIP if ever there was one regarding how our country is run - low hanging fruit in plain sight.

It's a chance for Farage and UKIP to lead the media debate, a chance to fully expose normally secret EU laws, a chance to reveal the damage EU laws are having on our country when flooding has and will dominate the headlines for weeks. But no, Farage chooses not to despite being informed of the details. Instead the leader of the UK's most prominent Eurosceptic party has this to say (via Autonomous Mind):
I don’t know the truth to the extent the Environment Agency is now bound by European Union rules and laws, I just don’t know, which is why we need to have a public inquiry.
That is an astonishingly pathetic response. Where's the detail? Where's the research?

What is clear is that UKIP - by its leader's actions - is removing itself from the EU debate. The question is why? We are reminded of Dan Hannan who indulges in convoluted intellectual gymnastics to pretend he supports exit from the EU but acknowledges as a consequence inadvertently that his priority is power which comes via his membership of his party.

In light of Farage's deep reluctance to highlight the EU's involvement in the current flooding crisis, does one conclude he doesn’t want to upset the establishment after all? Is he a Judas goat - not really wanting EU exit because it would not mean being a member of this or does he really want to become a member of this.

Like many I voted, and joined UKIP, because I had no other political home to go to with regard to EU membership. Sadly as an opponent of our membership of the EU, the clear policy of UKIP to now vacate that arena means I no longer really have anyone to vote for at all.

Farage's current actions are a betrayal of the hard working volunteers; they - we - deserve much better.

Sunday, 22 September 2013

Farage Supports Article 50 To Exit



Albeit reluctantly and not entirely unequivocally it has to be said. Farage mentions first certain arguments of the "sudden exit" advocates, I guess in order to try to appease them, but he certainly acknowledges that Article 50 is "the law of the land". (1st question in):
...the one problem is this, that under the current treaties (under the Lisbon Treaty) the only mechanism by which we can withdrawal is Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty. 
Now A50 can be cited to renegotiate a relationship or to lead through to a divorce that takes 2 years. I have difficulty … recognising the legitimacy of A50 because it’s part of a Treaty that should have been put to a referendum that was actually bullied through Parliament…However I have to accept that it is the law of the land.
And I would say this if legally what we have to do is to enter into full divorce proceedings by using the legal article of that treaty we will do so in an open and amicable spirit…
Incidentally what he said is not far removed from the email I received from Tim Aker the contents of which I was not allowed to make public.

hattip: JO on eureferendum forum

Thursday, 2 May 2013

Corporate Corruption Of Our Police Force?

A little later today, after I pick up Mrs TBF from work, I will be visiting my local polling station to vote for...myself.

A situation far different from November last year when I deliberately, and on principle, boycotted the elections for a Police and Crime Commissioner. As I noted at the time how long would it be before a scandal erupts, where a PCC of a certain party persuasion is advised by a government of the same party to lean on 'his' police force whose constables are investigating a corrupt MP of the same party?

Now today we learn that the Police are set to be "sponsored", a proposal naturally couched in terms of "huge potential benefits".
A police tsar has held talks with a possible sponsor for his force in a bid to survive "austere times with a shrinking budget and workforce".

Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Dorset, Martyn Underhill is considering private sponsorship, on an arrangement involving all five PCCs in the south west region.

The former detective chief inspector for Sussex Police wrote on his blog that he could see a "huge potential benefit to forming appropriate sponsorship relationships with reputable organisations".
The implications of this are enormous. The Police will now go from upholders of the law to a force that has to bear in mind where its funding originates from, thus turning it from a service supposedly accountable to the public to one that can, and will be, de facto, if not de jure, influenced directly by outside interests This begs all sorts of questions; would potential sponsors now have preferential treatment from plod? Would potential sponsors influence other aspects of upholding the law? Who decides who are "reputable organisations" - certainty not the people, given the horrendously low turnout, and the above average spoiled ballot papers in the election.

When Cameron stops faffing about with promises he has no intention of keeping he might like to reflect on that tonight when the bad news filters in (I doubt he will). What this illustrates is the discontent goes much deeper than a simple vote on the EU, to the extent that even The Sun newspaper has given up:
THE Sun is not going to tell you how to vote today.

From our very first paper, 44 years ago, we have always remained politically independent.

We have never served any set party — and we never will.

Sometimes we endorsed Labour or the Tories at election times.

But today, as 18 million people have the chance to elect new local councils, none of the big four deserves our support.

Tories, Labour, Lib Dems and yes, even UKIP, have all proved beyond your trust.

David Cameron’s Conservatives should be the best at getting value for your pound.

But many of their councils have defied the PM’s demand to freeze council tax for struggling workers. That is unacceptable.

Labour is still in complete denial about the economic mess they created while in power.

And to judge Ed Miliband’s competence, look no further than his shambolic last few weeks.

Nick Clegg’s Lib Dems remain as two-faced as they ever were, cutting in Westminster then moaning to the heavens about it on doorsteps.

And UKIP? Nigel Farage has shaken up Westminster’s cosy elite with admirable plain talking. But little of it really stands up as proper thought-through policy.

And how can you trust a chaotic mob that mistakenly puts forward so many fruitcakes and extremists?

Who you choose today must be a local decision, not a national one.

Read the leaflets. Listen to what all the actual candidates are telling you, and judge them individually.

Did they deliver on their 2009 promises? Have they the right priorities for the next four years?

Let them all win back our faith the hard way. One by one, from the bottom up.
We need another way, urgently.

Thursday, 11 April 2013

If Cameron Was Serious...

...he would invoke article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty to leave the EU
So says Mr Farage in the Express. It's the only sensible way to exit.

Saturday, 10 November 2012

All Publicity Is Good Publicity?

Thanks to a comment on a previous post, alerting me to the appearance of Nigel Farage as a guest on last night's HIGNFY, I made the effort to watch, something I've been reluctant to do since the first episode this series.

Doubts were made at the time about how wise that would be and as it turns out not entirely without foundation.

Thursday, 24 May 2012

Depressed

Aware as I am that my patience levels are less than normal at the moment, as I'm still currently still trying to move house and also to find a new job (what is it with house moving that brings out the tosser in people?)

I've tended to pull my punches on this blog where UKIP's failings are concerned, largely out of respect for the copious numbers of members who spend a lot of money and time fighting for a cause they rightly feel passionately about. But the above headline merely tempts me to comment that allowing my membership to elapse in recent months may not have been such a bad thing after all. What on earth does such an offer achieve? Not only is a referendum tactical suicide, but the Tories can never be trusted on any question on Europe and why attach yourself - limpet style - to a party that is destined to lose the next election anyway?

Thus it appears despite a lot of chatter not much has changed, and certainly for the foreseeable future UKIP ain't going to do much changing.

So I've amused myself by uploading BBC's Robert Peston's 'Great Euro Crash' video aired last week, which can be viewed in the side bar, before the BBC whisk it away never to be seen again. In the meantime I take comfort in the words of Mr Bennet;
"...don’t despair, it’ll pass; and no doubt more quickly than it should.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Euro: Even The BBC is Stunned

I've just watched the 6:00 pm news this evening on BBC1 and eventually at 6:20 they've reported on the Euro crisis. But what was significant was the voice the BBC used to give opposition to Barroso's remarks (to 'balance' the coverage); it was not a Tory nor a Labour nor a Lib Dem spokesman but Nigel Farage's speech in the EU Parliament.

I'm genuinely speechless. The game is surely up

Monday, 6 September 2010

UKIP Conference

As you may have guessed I returned back yesterday from my weekend jolly on the south coast. I had intended to post a few comments straight away, but got waylaid, so here's a short summary today. Speaking to relatives yesterday, it seems that coverage of the conference by the media was scant if any at all. Hardly surprising when the BBC's attitude amounts to this.

Onto the conference itself (many thanks to Witterings for the lift). This was the first full proper party conference I've ever attended. So a slightly new experience for me. (though most conferences, political or otherwise, can usually be summed up with one word - alcohol). First impressions; good location and well organised, although a slight black mark for the person who forgot to remove the EU flag from a pole on the roof above the entrance.

I listened to about 3/4 of the speeches. Highlights on day one, speech wise, was Petr Mach a politician from the Czech Republic and founder of the eurosceptic Free Citizens Party, Lord Stoddart a very early Labour critic of the common market before the UK joined, and Lord Monckton. Lord Monckton told me a wonderful and amusing story outside the hall, before he was due to go on stage, about how he conducted a citizen's arrest on a traffic warden for breach of the peace, when said warden tried to ticket his motorbike for a parking offence.

The most powerful speech for me in the whole conference was given by Gerard Batten on the Saturday regarding the failings of the European Arrest Warrant. His speech can be found here in full, it really is worth a read. As part of the speech, a short video was played regarding the case of Mark Turner and Jason McGoldrick who were victims of the warrant. Locked up for 117 days, without charge, on trumped up evidence; their accounts of conditions in the Hungarian former KGB jail were truly horrific. It took the hard work of UKIP MEP William Dartmouth to secure their release, unfortunately only on bail at the moment. Mark and Jason had turned up in person to thank UKIP and specifically William Dartmouth in person. Where were the other parties' MEPs and MPs in this case you may ask, why was it left to a UKIP MEP? Well I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

Batten's speech in fact left me feeling so angry that I had to leave not long after he had finished to calm down. Here's an extract regarding Andrew Symeou which indicates why (my emphasis):

It was obvious to the Appeal Court Judges that there was no real evidence against him and what there was appeared to be fabricated by the Greek police. But they were powerless to consider it.

They did the only thing that they could which was refer the appeal to the House of Lords on the basis of asking if the apparent fabrication of evidence amounted to an abuse of process of the EAW. The House of Lords, in what must be one of the most despicable decisions in its long history, refused to even hear the case on the grounds it “did not have an arguable point of law of general public interest”. So it became official. The highest court in the land did not think it of general public interest if one of our citizens is consigned to a foreign prison system on trumped up charges.

The political establishment really hate us don't they?

The other major issue was, of course, the next leadership election. Nigel Farage used his speech to put his name forward, not entirely unsurprising in my view, as did others - David Campbell Bannerman launched a not very veiled attack on Farage. Let the leadership shenanigans begin.

I also went to an unofficial fringe meeting hosted by Nikki Sinclair. She was launching this referendum campaign which aims to gain a 100,000 signatures for a referendum on our membership with the EU, in accordance with these proposals from the coalition not yet debated:
Present proposals to the House of Commons to ensure that any petition that secures 100,000 signatures within a given year will be eligible for formal debate in Parliament, and that the petition with the most signatures be tabled as a Bill
Nikki's campaign is not to be confused with this one.

So all in all a successful conference, it's good to meet up again with familiar faces and meet new UKIP ones such as Mark Wadsworth, but slightly overshadowed by what will be another bout of UKIP's tendency for in-fighting.

After it was all over I had a quick beer in a recommended pub in Torquay while waiting to go home. It was a proper local's pub, very friendly. Obviously me being in a suit and tie led to some inquisitive questions from those sat at the bar. A discussion about politics quickly followed. The first complaint / concerns from the locals? Yep you've guessed it, immigration.

As an aside, if you should wish to visit and stay in Torquay then I thoroughly recommend this place. It was one of the best B&B's I've ever stayed in.

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Prospective Parliamentary Candidate

That's me; now made official at a PPC meeting on Saturday. Campaigning now starts in earnest. As expected Brown didn't call an election yesterday for 25th March, and from a slightly selfish point of view I'm rather relieved- it gives me more time to prepare.

After the formalities and a run through UKIP's election campaign timetable, a special guest speaker turned up and began by saying:
"I don't mean to be rude but..."
No prizes for guessing who it was.

It's Nigel's disciplinary hearing today at 1pm for his 'outburst' at the unelected Van Rompuy, for which Nigel expects to be suspended for a week.

Nigel's comments have caused outrage in the usual quarters but interestingly Nigel himself has said that the response on the doorsteps in Buckingham have been largely positive, and those that weren't so positive were very unlikely to vote UKIP anyway. This chimes with my much more limited experience so far - there's a lot of anger and disillusionment with all the main parties.

A perfect illustration of this, is this Times article, brought to my attention by 13th Spitfire:

This newspaper did not want a leader of the European Council either. But no, Mr Farage, you do not speak for the majority of the British people. They would not dream of being so pathetically rude and neither do they relish being represented by the political equivalent of Alan Partridge.

Aside from the fact Farage is elected so does speak for his 2.5 million voters, the comments beg to differ with editorial (my emphasis):

He certainly speaks for me. Perhaps not in quite the way I'd like him too, but since no-one ever got to express an opinion over Van Rumpy, Ashton etc. then he and Hannan are the only people who can speak for us. The EU is a ludicrous, self-perpetuating, bloated farce and I am heartily sick of it. Well done Farage for at least having the cojones to stand up.

And anyone who saw him speaking will have seen the sycophantic Schulz crawling up to Van Rompuy, talking of trampling on the dignity of the house. What about the dignity of democracy, that has been well and truly trampled to death.
Exactly.

Update: Farage has apologised...to bank clarks the world over.

Update II: Farage has twittered:
Senetence [sic] passed, letter from Parliament President: Maximum allowable fine 2,980 euros. Free speech is expensive in Brussels


Sunday, 13 December 2009

Is Bercow running scared?

Interesting little snippet in the Mail on Sunday, who claim that the Speaker is looking for a way out of a possible election defeat by UKIP's Nigel Farage:

Speaker John Bercow wants to switch to a new seat with only MPs as his ‘constituents’ so he can avoid a humiliating defeat by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage at the nextGeneral Election.

It would mean abandoning his Buckingham seat for the newly created one called St Stephen’s – the name of the old House of Commons chapel – where, effectively, it would be impossible to challenge him.

He put forward the idea amid speculation that he may struggle to defeat Mr Farage, who stepped down as UKIP leader to take on Mr Bercow in defiance of the custom where the Commons Speaker is not challenged by the main parties.

If the tradition ended, said Mr Bercow, it could be hard for any Speaker to survive for more than one parliamentary term.

Mr Bercow suggested giving the Speaker ‘a separate constituency, known as St Stephen’s, representing a small area around Westminster’.

The Speaker’s original constituency would hold a normal election and choose a new MP, he explained.

‘The Commons can always decide to do that if it wants,’ he told Total Politics magazine. If MPs supported such an idea, he would not oppose it. Ordinary members of the public would not be allowed to be ‘constituents’ of the Speaker’s St Stephen’s seat.

Any Election challenge would have to be made on an individual – not a party – basis, making it harder to unseat the Speaker.

Mr Bercow said: ‘It is both possible and necessary for the Speaker to continue to be a highly active constituency MP.

I suspect I won’t face major party competition – but I will face opponents.’


I'm not sure there would be enough time to get this through Parliament before the next election, and Labour will be unlikely to support a measure that gets the Tories off an uncomfortable hook.

That said this will be a big morale boost for Farage, it certainly gives him more ammunition to use during his campaign.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

Could UKIP win their first seat?

Benedict Brogan has highlighted an interesting article in the Evening Standard which features an interview with the Speaker's wife.

John Bercow, the Speaker of the House of Commons, holds the safe Tory seat of Buckingham, and by tradition the mainstream parties don’t stand against the Speaker.

Usually minority parties don't pose a significant problem to the Speaker's seat, however at the next election it is my view that Bercow is rather vulnerable to Nigel Farage's UKIP challenge.

There have been persistent rumours that Bercow was poised to cross the floor to the Labour Party, his election as the Speaker was largely due to Labour MP's votes and so subsequently he lacks the trust of the Tories.

Added to that, Bercow's wife has announced that she will stand for Labour in the local elections, she then compounds the problem by criticising Cameron in the Evening Standard article:
He’s just a merchant of spin. I think he’s really an archetypal Tory. He favours the interests of the few over the mainstream majority

I would imagine that the fine folk of Buckinghamshire are not going to be happy.

More and more Nigel Farage's decision to stand against the Speaker is looking like a shrewd move.

One line in the article intrigued me though:
But now it's time for her "skeletons", as she puts it. Deep breath.

I can't help wondering whether this is a damage limitation exercise and that she was tipped off about an 'exposure' before Sunday's newspapers.

Friday, 27 November 2009

UKIP Leadership Campaign

The new UKIP leader to replace Nigel Farage, who is stepping down to fight the Speaker John Bercow in the General Election, will be known later today.

There are five candidates standing in the contest and they are:

Lord Pearson,

Gerard Batten MEP

Mike Nattrass MEP

Nikki Sinclaire MEP

and Alan Wood, a councillor from Wiltshire.

In a contest that has seen some controversy Lord Pearson appears to be the favourite, and he is the preferred choice of Farage, who upset the other candidates earlier this month when on the BBC Daily Politics show he claimed:
"Only one of them is a serious credible candidate, and that's Lord Pearson"

Lord Pearson himself, made some comments critical of Muslims claiming that they are:

“breeding ten times faster than us. I don't know at what point they reach such a number we are no longer able to resist the rest of their demands. We must be looking at somewhere between 10 or 20 years. If we don't do something in the next year or two we have in effect lost."

During the campaign it also emerged that candidate Mike Nattrass is being investigated over his expenses.

Given that UKIP are the only genuine eurosceptic party worth voting for, yet again it seems they display much better talent at shooting themselves in the foot than promoting the eurosceptic cause.

The announcement should be about 3pm today, although the result will probably be known before then.

Update: No surprise, Lord Pearson is the new leader of UKIP.

Results are as follows:

Lord Pearson 4743
Gerard Batten 2571
Nikki Sinclaire 1214
Mike Nattrass 1092
Alan Wood 315