Friday, 26 June 2009

Does UKIP have British political values?

Consider the way the mainstream UK political parties respond to their members who disagree and criticise their parties’ leadership and policies. These were Cabinet members in Labour’s case! Compare this with what UKIP does to members who dare disagree with Nigel Farage!

On May 3rd May Hazel Blears wrote an article in the Observer criticising Gordon Brown’s ‘lamentable’ failure to communicate with the electorate. One month later, on 3rd June, the day before the County Council elections she resigned as Communities Secretary of State. Her department was in charge of local government!

Her resignation statement said: “Today I have told the Prime Minister that I am resigning from the Government. My politics has always been rooted in the belief that ordinary people are capable of extraordinary things, given the right support and encouragement." She continued: "The role of a progressive Government should be to pass power to the people. "

James Purnell wrote in his resignation letter to Brown of 4th June, released at 10:00 pm just after the election polls closed, “I owe it to our party to say what I believe no matter how hard that may be. I now believe your continued leadership makes a Conservative victory more, not less likely.”

Both remain as Labour MPs.

John Bercow, the Tory MP just elected as new Speaker, is detested by the Tory leadership and his fellow Tories. He has often spoken for, and supported Labour policies, to the extent that there were strong rumours that he might defect to Labour. Did Cameron have him expelled or deselected? No! Will Brown move to have Purnell or Blears expelled? No! All the above were allowed to remain as MPs. None were deselected or expelled from their party.

That has been the British political tradition of tolerating within parties those who support the cause but not the leadership. One thinks of Ken Livingston, Wedgewood Benn, Enoch Powell, and Churchill etc. Why is this important? Well in the long run some of these mavericks have been proven right!

Farage’s UKIP however does not follow this tradition. As it is currently constituted UKIP behaves as European dirigiste party, centrally controlled and directed, subservient to one man. Just like these European parties Farage's UKIP has only one way of responding to members who criticise the leader's cabal, anonymous personal smears and character assassination followed by deselection and expulsion. Real debate is not allowed; tolerance is not practised only subservience to the leader. It is an EU model party, based in Brussels, financed by Brussels and run from Brussels.

If we seriously want to get out of the EU this has to change. We have to return to traditional British political values of tolerance and fair play and have a party based in, run from, and financed in the UK, as is every other British political party.

I echo James Purnell’s words and sentiments: “I owe it to our party to say what I believe no matter how hard that may be.”

I want to get the UK out of the EU and regain control of our country for our children. I want to see us have a Switzerland type relationship with the EU covering trade etc but controlling our country ourselves.

I believe Nigel Farage’s continued leadership of UKIP makes a UK withdrawal from the EU less, not more likely.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

EU Regulation will Damage the City

The penny has finally started its long descent as to what will happen to the City once it is subject to the new EU, Brussels based, Franco-German dominated Euro financial regulator. The City of London Corporation has just realised how dangerous these new Brussels rules/laws are to the City.

Stuart Fraser, chairman of policy and resources stated:

" We have lost the broader argument about ceding control of UK rules to the EU, although we are happy some concessions have been made.

We now have a situation where binding arbitration dictated by Brussels could overrule the UK FSA"

Mr Fraser added this could lead to the exodus of hedge funds from the UK. Well you read it here first! Mr Fraser then goes on to say the EU seems hell bent on driving hedge funds out of Europe. I would say removing hedge funds from the UK is more accurate.

Hedge funds, 85% of which operate out of London, are one of the main the driving forces in the City providing billions of pounds of business for banks, market makers, lawyers and insurers.

As Mr Fraser puts, "it if this legislation is not radically changed the cost to the UK economy will be huge".

Well pressure from the top brass forced Gord to hold his Iraq enquiry in public. Will pressure from the City grandees force the EU to climb down? Not a hope unless LibLabCon say they will concede an immediate UK referendum on Lisbon. The Irish got huge concessions from the EU on lesser matters than the future of one of the worlds main financial centres. The problem is our MPs, MEPs and government are only concerned with their own personal and party selfish interests as shown last night in the deplorable election of Bercow, a proven expenses flipper, as Speaker by Labour to stuff the Tories. Who cares about our country?

Wednesday, 17 June 2009

Euro Problems for Latvia

Latvia is in the EU and wants to join the Euro just like Mandy wants the UK to join. To this end the Latvian government has pegged its currency to the Euro prior to entry just like we tried to shadow the DM and stay in ERM limits in Lawson's day. Latvia is now in dire straits economically, a 20% drop in GDP this year for the same reasons we were in a slump in the early 90s until we were forced out of the ERM in 1992.

Latvia however is also in a political bind. Out of its population of 2.4 million over 28% are Russians with another 6% Ukrainian and Belarusian. It elects 8 Euro MEPs and 3 of these are strongly pro Moscow. The Euro peg is partly to keep Latvia firmly in the EU and out of Putin's hands but its not working.

Paul Krugman, Nobel Laureate in Economics wrote in Dec 2008,

"The most acute problems are on Europe’s periphery, where many smaller economies are experiencing crises strongly reminiscent of past crises in Latin America and Asia: Latvia is the new Argentina "

Argentina was pegged to the dollar and endured a similar slump in 2001 and resolved it, in the IMF approved way, by exiting the peg, letting the peso float, cutting public spending by 30%, redenominating its debt from dollars into pesos and foreign creditors lost 70%. Public spending was cut by 20% and the government fell after 3 days of rioting with many people killed.

Latvia is also cutting its public spending, firing 30% of its teachers, cutting police, doctors and nurses pay by 20% and dismantling its welfare state. The central bank lost 10% of its reserves in 2 weeks (sounds familiar). Unemployment is now 17%. The IMF advised Latvia to ditch the Euro peg last year but Brussels said No! Why? Well it is dominoes. If Latvia leaves the peg so might others like Bulgaria which abuts Greece the sickest man in the Euro. Euroland banks would of course be big losers as per the Argentinian experience. Also those UK nationals,who egged on by TV property programmes tales of easy money, bought flats and houses in Latvia. They will lose considerably and should remember excess returns come with excess risk.

There will be civil unrest and and an aggrieved police force will not be too motivated to quell the riots. Enter the Russian dimension. Its not just the EU that can have a beneficial crisis! The Euro peg is driving Latvia into the arms of Russia with the possibility of a military confronation.

It is ironic that the EU, set up to avoid another European war, might well precipitate one through its imperial ambitions. Europe extends to the Urals!

Monday, 15 June 2009

EU takes over the City of London

The most immediate threat the EU poses to the UK is its proposed EU super financial regulator controlling the City but reporting to the EU commission. There will be three EU sub-regulators, a banking regulator based in London, an insurance regulator based in Frankfurt and a securities regulator based in Paris but the supreme regulator will be based in Brussels and will be able to over ride the decisions made in London, Frankfurt and Paris. The Lisbon Treaty is more dangerous in the long run but the super regulator is a clear and present danger to the wealth generated for hundreds of years by the City of London.

It has been a long term EU aim to wrest this lucrative business from the UK and locate it in the new Franco-Prussian empire called the EU. I have written previously about this danger but our MPs and MEPs are too obsessed with their personal financial interests to bother about mortal danger to our countries' economy.

The UK government has of course stuck its head in the sand and refuses to see the danger. Paul Myners, he who got shafted by Sir Fred the Shred of RBS over his pension pot is the man in charge so we know what to expect . AEP wrote a good piece in the Telegraph on this advocating the UK adopt the de Gaulle empty chair nuclear option to stop the EU robbing us. But Gord is no de Gaulle. De Gaulle always put his country first and gave up power to retreat to Colombey des deux Eglises for a number of years. Would that Gord would retreat to Dunfunkle kirk.

As AEP says either the UK controls the City or the EU does. The ironic thing is if, as I expect, the EU wins then the main beneficiaries will be the gnomes of Zurich and other tax havens not the EU. Its crunch time for the City but our PM as with all politicians is obsessed with hanging on to power and who cares about the UK. Even the Queen has more important matters to attend to - its Ascot week! Any tips for tomorrow's Coventry Stakes your Majesty?

Thursday, 11 June 2009

Defeating the BNP

How well Nigel Farage exploited the media establishment's hatred of the BNP for UKIP's benefit in the recent Euro elections. The media ran the UKIP campaign for him! Despite this and lack of funds the BNP still gained two MEPs. Since then as GLW points out in his blog, click here, the treatment of these elected representatives has been deplorable. GLW and I both detest racism but we do support civilised standards of behaviour and debate.

The way to defeat the BNP is to rebut their racist arguments not ignore them. Ignoring them or physically attacking them makes them martyrs. The BNP represent in part the poor indigenous population that used to be represented by the old Labour party. New Labour is little more than a collection of special interest groups and has disconnected from ordinary working people. This lets the BNP thrive. Don't blame the BNP the fault lies with the political elite of New Labour and the Lib Dems.

Tuesday, 9 June 2009

UKIP's 4th June Victory

UKIP did well on 4th June However in incredibly favourable circumstances their share of the vote went up by only 0.3% on 2004. This shows what a good performance 2004 was when of course there was no credit crisis or MP's expenses scandal to damage the Labour party. The test will be what UKIP does with this new good result to further the cause of UK withdrawal from the EU. Only time will tell.

Even Farage admits the good result in 2004 was pissed away. Let us hope it is different this time but I do not see what getting MEP's elected does to get us out of the EU. It only adds legitimacy to an organisation whose legitimacy we do not accept. I don't think the result will be any different this time. The strategy is wrong.

Tuesday, 2 June 2009

Farage's Future post 4th June

If 4 weeks ago some one had asked me could I envisage a scenario for 4th June in which UKIP was expecting to increase its number of MEPs then I would have admitted defeat. However given all three major parties have managed to shoot themselves in both feet at the same time anything is possible. There is a continuous scale of UKIP MEP possible numbers from 3 to 20 say compared with 12 last time or 11 to allow for the reduction in the number of UK MEP seats.

I think Farage will step down post 4th June whatever the result. Ten or more seats will be a glorious triumph for the great leader to exit on. Less than 10 will be blamed on the usual BNP moles sabotaging the great leader. But the bottom line is NF wants to enjoy the high life in Brussels, large office, large salary, large pension, chauffeur driven limo that will come his way as leader of the IndDem group in Europe without the need to be involved in tedious British domestic politics. It will of course be spun as a necessary fight for UK independence from the EU, allies in Europe etc, but the truth is Farage went native years ago.

Where will that leave UKIP? Bannnerman & Nuttall both have leadership aspirations. Bannerman was and is a Europhile whom the Tories rejected years ago. Nuttall wants to be in Brussels rather than Bootle. The only decent choice for UKIP is Trevor Colman who would undoubtedly work in the UK to free us from the EU yoke but may not want the leader's job.

Coming back to the result the d'Hondt method does pretty well reflect the percentage vote with an obvious cut off on smaller parties that get less than 8% in the South East and 12% in regions with less seats. It is possible to construct scenarios that could deliver a seat to a small party with slightly less than these percentages but it is not likely. So on this basis I give my estimates of the percentage vote necessary to deliver 1 and 2 UKIP MEPs in some areas.

East Mids (5) UKIP gets 1 with 20% and 2 with 36%
Eastern (7) UKIP gets 1 with 14% and 2 with 23%
London (8) UKIP gets 1 with 12% and 2 with20%
North West (8) UKIP gets 1 with 12% and 2 with 20%.
South East (10) UKIP gets 1 with 10% and 2 with 17%
South West (6) UKIP gets 1 with 16% and 2 with 30%
West Mids (6) as for South West
York & Hum (6) as for South West
Wales (4) UKIP gets 1 with 25%

If we look at the recent IPSOS/Mori poll:

CON 40%
LAB 18%

with the smaller parties splitting nationally:
Scottish/Welsh national: 4%
Greens: 6%
UKIP: 7%
BNP: 4%
Other: 3%

It looks like only a strong regional/personal vote for UKIP will deliver seats with South East NF looking reasonably secure, South West will exceed the national average by a factor of 2 to 3 and Eastern is likely to do well despite Bannerman but could be upset by the Greens and UKF.

There is a considerable North/South split however so although Nuttall looks like having a good chance in Lancashire the BNP may poll strongly there and in Yorkshire and the East Midlands.

It all depends on which poll you believe but it looks like a tough ask for UKIP to get more than 5 seats. What could upset everything is what the Sun comes out with tomorrow and on polling day.

Monday, 1 June 2009

More Farage Media Porkies

Nigel Farage gets away with making up fiction after fiction which is swallowed unquestioningly by our supine and idle media. Well I guess it takes hard work to check facts. Why spoil a good lunch which I believe NF recently bought Peter Odone of the Daily Mail.

On Sunday I read a piece by one Melissa Kite in the Sunday Telegraph retelling the story of how Nigel's November NEC was stormed by a BNP delegation whom Nigel single handedly repelled and what a good media performer Marta Andreasen was . I emailed Ms Kite on Sunday, copy to her editor, pointing out there never was a BNP delegation at that meeting, indeed only UKIP members. How do I know? Well I was there and come to think of it I have never met any BNP members or sympathisers in UKIP ever so the next time NF trots out this story just ask him who these people are. I would like to know. He won't be able to tell you because they probably don't exist like all of Farage's bogey men.

Returning to Ms Kite I include below the email I sent to her, her boss and the Sunday Telegraph editor.

Dear Ms Kite,
Your piece above is incorrect in its description of the BNP storming the UKIP NEC meeting of 3rd Nov 2008. It is sad to see such lies being retold in your paper. I was at that meeting as an elected member of UKIP NEC. I knew everyone at the meeting. No members of the BNP were present, I checked on their leaked membership list.No storming of the meeting took place by the BNP or anybody else. There was no delegtion for Mr Farage to "tell to leave". This is a pure fiction made up by Mr Farage, one of many I might add.
I have put my full recollections of the meeting on my blog below and if you contact me I will give you the contact numbers of three other people present at that meeting who will vouch for the truth of my account. These are David Abbott, a hospital doctor, Martin Haslam, a senior partner in an Accountancy practice and Del Young an East Midlands businessman.
I hope you will publish a correction and learn not to accept the uncorroborated word of duplicitous politicians.
More subjectively your assertion that Ms Andreasen is 'an effective media performer' is open to question. Compare her bumbling performance on Question Time on Thursday 21st May with that of P Y Gerbeau a week later on the 28th May. Andreasen gave her game away by calling the audience 'you' while PY identifies with the UK and spoke to the audience using 'we' and 'us'.
I would also point out that Ms Andreasen's candidacy applications was invalid under UKIP rules on 5 or 6 counts. She does not even live in the UK and her UK address provided to the Electoral Commission may only be a temporary accommodation one. You could try asking her what her views are on the sovereignty of Gibraltar and the Falkland Islands. I and the voters would like to know her answers before Thursday.
Eric Edmond

David Abbott wrote a similar email:

Dear Ms Kite

You seem to have been too easily taken in by Nigel Farage.

Your colleague, Neil Tweedie, published similar nonsense last Saturday.

The only statement in that article that was not open to question was from Tim Congdon: 'Ask Nigel Farage how much time he spends in Brussels as opposed to here. UKIP has ceased to be about getting the British people out of the EU, its about getting a number of individuals into the European Parliament'

Those who have seen him in action will know that has a great gift for telling convincing lies, especially if it advances his main objective, to stay on the EU Gravy train for another 5 years, with all the unaccountable expenses, free mud baths and pension rights that go with being an MEP.

I was at the meeting when he alleges the BNP stormed in. Nonsense. Only members of the UKIP NEC were present, together with UKIP's Argentinian treasurer, the deputy treasurer and one other invited guest. All present were UKIP members. No BNP members were present.

Voters who want to vote for a withdrawalist party have several other parties to choose from.

You are welcome to ring me on 07887.500572 for further details.

David F Abbott MRCP

Ms Kite nor anybody at the Telegraph bothered to reply. A major national paper is content not to correct demonstrable lies 4 days before a crucial election. Why?

The Telegraph are not alone in retelling Mr Farage's propaganda, today a similar uncritical piece on Mr Farage appeared in the Independent. The quote below gives the flavour of the piece by Andy McSmith,

But this energetic, extroverted man has gone a long way towards clearing out the racism and nastiness that lurked on the fingers of UKIP, when The Independent appropriately described its members as "the BNP in blazers".

Well who were these racists? Who were these men or women in blazers? What evidence did Mr Farage have of their views? I have only heard the phrase BNP in blazers once before and it came from long time Farage supporter Malcolm Wood.

At the start of my first NEC meeting in April 08 I had the temerity to ask Mr Farage what evidence he had to support a tirade he had just delivered against a UKIP branch demanding its suspension. I was then subjected to a tidal wave of abuse from Denny, Duffy etc for not simply accepting the word of the great leader. Well I asked for evidence and continued to ask for evidence but it seems our journalists don't. I conclude that in the area of political journalism shoddy standards are commonly accepted on our national dailies but why is Farage being given such an easy time by our media?

Finally I switched on the Andrew Neil, Daily Politics show today to find, Yes, N Farage as guest. Even Mr Neil remarked how often NF had been on and was NF still after a job on the show as he had mentioned on his previous appearance 4 weeks earlier. Neil easily trapped Farage on the £2 million expenses he claimed he used to finance UKIP but then he gave NF an easy ride. Thank goodness there was also a Labour MP and a No2EU left winger who rightly gave NF a harder time than Andrew Neil.

So what is going on? Clearly the media see building up Farage as the antidote to the BNP. You only have to talk to Farage for 2 minutes to know what he is. The media are not stupid but they and the LibLabCon establishment are clearly are running scared of the BNP. As always the media will build Farage up so as to knock him down later. They have plenty of material to do this with but so far they have not used it. The Labour party however has some very damaging material on UKIP and they are getting desperate so it may be like today's Daily Politics the comrades will be the ones to put the boot in to burst NF's bubble.