Sunday, 30 August 2009

Off for a bit of Culture

Having survived my younger son's 21st party I have decided to recharge my cultural batteries by visiting Edinburgh, the city of my birth, for the end of the Festival. I won't be posting for a week to give McTrough, Septic and all the other Caballeros a well earned break from their thankless task of defending the unspeakable as darling Oscar might have put it.

I will not be attending UKIP's Southport conference as I am unhappy about the security arrangements. No doubt it will be a triumphal event to rival the annual Nuremberg Rally.

Saturday, 29 August 2009

The Tide of Economic History

Yesterday Toyota announced the closure of their car plant in California. They have cheaper, more efficient plants in the developing world. Adam Smith wrote about this phenomenon in "The Wealth of Nations" 200 years ago. It is an economic tide which cannot be resisted but I can assure you the EU, Like King Canute, will try!

Our two children are medical students and need a car to get them around various hospitals and GP practices for their training. As we were unhappy about them driving long distances in an old banger this year we decided to buy them both new cars as a sort of 21st birthday present. My wife took a fancy to a Primrose yellow diesel Fiat Panda. I could see why. It has a distinctive appearance and is very economical to run, tax and insure. So we bought one and it was made in Italy.

Being of a more pragmatic, mean, Scottish nature I researched the market a bit more and bought for child 2 a Hyundai i10. As cheap to run tax and insure as the Panda but with a petrol engine. I thought these were made in Korea but as the salesman pointed out they are made in India.

Both cars ended up costing around £6800 each, with scrappage on the Hyundai but not the Fiat so we shelled out a total of £13.6k which was roughly the cost of a VW Golf with go faster stripes beloved of our daughters Oxford contemporaries.

So there you have it. Two cars for the price of one. Having driven both cars I found an assembly flaw on the Fiat, the 12 Volt accessory socket point for SatNavs etc is too shallow and the device plugs fall out. The Hyundai is slightly bigger,no faults and has many more features as standard eg aircon and is in my view a superior product but does look like every other small car on the road. You can see from this Jeremy Clarkson has nothing to fear from competition from me in motor journalism.

Hyundai was reported as the car manufacturer that had done best out of the scrappage scheme. I am not surprised but. Clearly the writing is on the wall for mass car manufacture in developed countries. Luxury and niche brands, Mercedes, Range Rover certainly, BMW and Audi will survive but I am less certain about Fiat, Renault, Peugeot, Citroen. I opine a clear Franco German split here. The British built Honda Jazz, a nice car was I felt expensive at £10k plus and of course Toyota and Nissan also have UK assembly plants.

Now I have zero interest in cars and will happily defer to anyone on the pros and cons of different models but cost plays a huge part in most car buying decisions. In the early 70s when I worked for HMG I had to talk to UK car manufacturers trade associations about the perrenial idea of increasing petrol tax and doing away with road tax thus charging people pro rata for their road use. This was always greated with horror by the manufacturers who said it would destroy the UK car industry as it would encourage people to buy smaller, possibly diesel cars and the UK car manufacturers could not make money out of making small cars. I replied the French, Italians and Germans seemed to make money in this market. This was always met with the cry of cheap labour, government subsidy etc and lack of government support. Car design, plant management practices etc were ignored as irrelevant.

Well its deja vu all over again as Dubya would say. Despite the terrific improvements in UK productivity brought about by Nissan, Honda and Toyota they cannot hold back the economic tide. The French dominated EU will attempt to set up a car version of the CAP to keep the third world cars out. But will the French etc consumers be as supine in paying the price for this mistaken policy as the UK consumers were in paying for the extravgancies of the CAP.

I think not. Civil unrest seems certain even here in the UK. What happened in California can easily happen in Swindon, Derby or Sunderland. Its not the tide caused by global warming we should worry about its the economic tide of the rise of the third world.

Friday, 28 August 2009

Pro UKIP, anti Farage's EUKIP

I wholeheartedly support UKIP's core policy of withdrawal from the EU and negotiation of a Swiss type free trade agreement with Europe and Brussels. My problem is the current UKIP leadership seems to have no strategy to achieve these aims. Sitting on EU committees in Brussels does not further our policy aims. Indeed it is positively working against UKIP policy! This has to stop and the current leadership has to go and go quickly to stop it. Otherwise our cause is lost for my lifetime.

The current most effective advocate of our policy is Daniel Hannan, the Tory MEP. He has written another very effectice piece in today's Telegraph entitled,

"There is no harm in agreeing to disagree"

Cick on the title to read the full article. Hannan is still trying to get the Lisbon Treaty vote reversed, something the Farage UKIP Cabal gave up months ago to concentrate on their number one priority, getting on the EU gravy train.

Hannan is an outstanding politician, well educated, thoughtful and articulate. His latest YouTube interview done in the US market can be seen by clicking on the link below,

Hannan Latest YouTube Interview

Its beautifully crafted for the US market and rooted deep in Anglo Saxon democratic traditions embodied and articulated by Thomas Jefferson, the third US president and principal author of the US Declaration of Independence. It is a must watch piece, far more so than his attack on Brown.

Most significantly Hannan talks of how the Internet breaks the stranglehold of the leftist media if used correctly by a skilled, well educated exponent. He calls this disintermediation. Sadly, UKIP had such people but they have all left, appalled by the actions and selfishness of the UKIP ruling Cabal or been forced out by Farage. Farage and his Cabal are simply not in Hannan's league, intellectually, morally or in media skills but worse they deny the floor to those that are.

Getting 13 MEPs does not move us one step closer to getting out of the EU. It entrenches us deeper in the mire. Even if UKIP had 70 + MEPs the result would be the same and we would be even further embedded in the EU. The money such as it is remains largely in the MEP's own pockets and frankly money is useless without a plan on how to use it to achieve one's policy goals.

We need a new leadership and a new strategy. We need it soon and we need it in the UK. Let those who support the EU go to Brussels where they can be seen for the collaborators they are.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Why Scum Rises to the Top in Politics

UKIP is the only political party I have ever been a member of. When I joined, about two years ago, I was overwhelmed by the transparent honesty, decency and dedication to the cause of getting us out of the EU shown by the ordinary branch members. They were without exception people I counted it an honour to know. I helped with the parish poll campaign against local post office closures and as a result ended up on the SWRC. This was much more a curate's egg. There were some excellent people dedicated to the cause, notably Trevor Colman and Alan Wood who I worked with on organising constituency wide polls on the Lisbon Treaty which quantified the huge opposition to the Lisbon Treaty in 10 constituencies spread over the UK and also in a sample poll that Alan and I ran in Gordon Brown's own Dunfermline constituency. I was very proud that using a postal sample of 500 voters we got a 20% response rate and a result showing 80% oppostion to the Treaty which was bang on the results of the much bigger polls conducted with our help by the Campaign for Democracy.

When I was asked to stand for the NEC, something I agreed to as there was no SW representaive then on the NEC, which was strange given the region had the biggest UKIP membership I came face to face with UKIP's ruling Cabal. I had in my youth been a civil servant and I well remember a Minister's PPS, one of our permanent politicians, telling me that the major pre-requiste inborn talent of political life was an ability to assess people very quickly within no more than 5 minutes of meeting them. I had it, and I never lost it. I quickly saw through Farage, Bannerman, Andreasen etc on the NEC and Malcolm Wood the SW RO and I did not like what I saw. I suspect Kinnock saw the same things in Andreasen that I saw. There were people, Del Young and David Abbott on the NEC who were patently 100% for the cause and there were others who clearly had different, more personal ambitions, at the top of their agendas.

There is now again no SW representative on the NEC as David Abbott and I were voted off by the Cabal and Del was so sickened by them he refused to stand again. David was flying back from the US at his own expense to attend these meetings and I well remember the October 2008 NEC being cancelled at short notice almost when David was in the air as the Cabal would not have been able to muster sufficient votes to push through their programme. So much for democracy at the top of UKIP.

Guido Fawkes, the celebrated blogger, gave a link today on his blog entitled , 'Why scum rises to the top in political parties" click here to see the original article which comes from the USA. I quote below from this article:

"Tyler Cowen and Arnold Kling correctly point out that professional politicians are likely to be individuals who place a high value on power and prestige. To such people, there is a lot at stake when they risk losing their positions. True, they won't starve. But they will lose the power they greatly value and have dedicated their lives to achieving. Yglesias notes that the same politicians who routinely sacrifice the public interest to preserve their positions wouldn't think of committing murder. That, however, is at least partially because in the US and other liberal democracies committing murder usually destroys a politician's career rather than bolsters it. In countries where killing people often does advance your political career, (think any of numerous Third World states where political leaders can get ahead by killing or repressing political opponents), the political class is indeed filled with murderers.

One might still ask why the power-seekers tend to predominate over those who place a higher value on the public good. The key explanation is selection effects. A politician willing to do anything to take and hold on to power will have a crucial edge over an opponent who imperils his chances of getting elected in order to advance the public interest. The former type is likely to prevail over the latter far more often than not. This is especially true in a political environment where most voters are often ignorant and irrational about government and public policy. Candidates have strong incentives to pander to this ignorance and exploit it in order to win elections. Those unwilling to exploit public ignorance because they place the public interest above political success are likely to be at a serious disadvantage relative to their less scrupulous opponents. Thus, politicianswho value power above other objectives are more likely to get into office and stay there. As economist Frank Knight wrote back in the 1930s, "[t]he probability of the people in power being individuals who would dislike the possession and exercise of power is on a level with the probability that an extremely tender-hearted person would get the job of whipping master in a slave plantation."

Tyler Cowen's comments are especially apposite re UKIP. Anyone who knows Cabal will recognise what he says.

"Many people -- especially those who become politicians -- really do want fame and power and it is amazing what they will talk themselves into to get there and to stay there. They don't even want fame in the sense of being recognized, in the longer run, for having done the right thing. They want more personal influence and power now."

Arnold Kling comments again from a US perspective that also links to our recent credit crunch experience,

"I would add that I would explain excessive risk-taking and high pay for CEO's on similar lines. Just substitute "CEO's" for "politicians" in Tyler's paragraph.

Both the corporate world and the political world are high-stakes status games, and we would expect the successful players to be the ones that are most highly skilled and motivated to play. As far as motivation is concerned, I think that the extremes tend to be in the male gender. The desire to dominate, to be the alpha male, has to be very powerful if you are going to get to the top in business or politics, because those are very popular status games. If you are willing to play a different status game--trying to be the best tiddly-winks player in your area or the leading expert on tribal customs on Bora-Bora--you don't have to be quite so driven and ruthless about it.

One of the points that I make in my forthcoming Unchecked and Unbalanced is that the growth in concentrated political power in this country leads to a system that selects for leaders with exaggerated senses of self-importance and a remarkable lack of perspective on their own foibles (think of Elliot Spitzer or Mark Sanford or John Edwards). One of the problems with large-scale politics and large-scale capitalism is that there is this tendency to select the most overconfident, driven, and aggressive men for leadership positions."

It is as Del Young often said, the ordinary UKIP members have no conception of the amoral, self seeking, people in the UKIP Cabal. The membership think the leadership are decent people like themselves who want the same things and conform to the same moral code as they do. They do not. No more than the leadership of the many failed banks conformed to the same standards as Capt Mainwaring or as the Nazi leadership conformed to the same standards as the mass of the German people. Rules are for other people. Only those of us who have been there know the truth.

The problem is that once these people are in control of a Bank, Country or Political Party nothing short of a war, bankruptcy or revolution can shift them. They control the information that is given to the foot soldiers and more crucially the mis-information and propaganda that is put out about the ruling groups legitimate critics. It's pure Big Brother in Orwell's book,1984. They exploit ordinary peoples loyalty to the Party, their Country or the Company board for their own aggrandisement and until we have a proper Athenian democracy, now made possible by the Internet, it will always be thus.

Look at the programme for the UKIP annual conference and reflect who are the speakers who will dare criticise the leadership? None! They saw what happened to me and David Abbott, Richard Suchorzewski and others before that. They want to keep their place on the EU gravy train so they will keep silent. Getting our country back takes second place to taking the EU's Euro.

Monday, 24 August 2009

2010 General Election - a Poisoned Challice

I am increasingly coming to the view that winning the 2010 UK General Election will be worse than losing it. The conventional view is that with finances in such a mess taxes will have to rise and public services be cut to bring some sense of fiscal probity to HMG. Without this the UK credit rating may well slip from AAA and we will have to pay a higher interest rate price to sell government debt, gilts. These necessary actions will be horrendously unpopular politically and will lead to a host of sob stories on UK TV with single mothers, the unemployed especially the young and the homeless being portrayed as victims of an uncaring government. This is an unedifying prospect for any government, particularly one with a small or no majority facing another election in 2011/12.

The over riding aim of all politicians however is to be re-elected back on to the gravy train. Margaret Beckett's claims in the DT this morning that "A career in politics leaves MPs out of pocket" is risible and shows how out of touch she is with the electorate. Does she take us for fools? The obvious conflict of interest between a desire to be re-elected and the poisoned challice is easily resolved - be relected as an opposition MP! This needs you to be selected for safe Labour seat and there may be some competition for those even after the expense claim junkies have been weeded out. The nice thing is you will then have Dave's inexperienced A listers to shoot at for a couple of years on a 'result' wicket just like at the Oval. Even Labour's bowling will look good and when Dave is skittled out for a low score, well all options are open!

The elephants in the room, the EU, Islamic birth rates and culture, the white under class living on benefits won't get a mention by the main parties. Why not? Because they are all vote losers stupid. Another sure fire vote loser is Farage's pet project to bring back grammar schools. For every child that gets into grammar school five to ten will not. So its one winner who might vote for you and five or more losers who will vote against you. I believe in selection in education but you have go to be a lot more subtle about how to bring it back than Farage's simplistic approach. The Cabal don't do subtle. They are not clever enough.

So how will UKIP fare in the UK general election? Not very well I fear. The leaders are all nicely tucked up in Brussels so there is no real incentive. There is also no District Councillor base to build on and no UKIP policies targetted at this election despite the valiant efforts of people like Alan Wood in Salisbury to build both these areas up. UKIP's core, get out of the EU policy is not a GE issue and is easy meat for its opponents who can point to the UKIP MEPs like Andreasen who is clearly not a withdrawalist.

Worse for UKIP however is that the BNP may get an MP. They have a local authority base in some areas with a number of councillors on some councils. The UK electoral system rewards this geographical concentration of support. Also the BNP core stop immigration policy will be a big issue in the General Election especially in these areas that people have to meet the effects of immigration day in and day out. They are a transparently British party, based in, and run from, and financed in UK . They don't have an Andreasen/EU flank that opponents can attack them on. They will almost certainly come second in one or two seats and thus be well placed for a further push if there is a quick second election.

All in all I fear UKIP has probably seen its electoral high water mark.

Monday, 17 August 2009

Daniel Hannan again

Daniel Hannan has hit the headlines over his comments on the NHS, made in the US. I have no problem about Hannan speaking his mind about an organisation that is the biggest employer in the UK and spends £119 bn of tax payers money. For comparison, our total income tax payment is £141 bn. Figures are from the 2009 Budget report. Indeed I find the total silence on this topic from other MEPs baffling.

I would that all our UKIP MEPs spoke their mind with the same disregard of party political considerations as Hannan has. He has clearly been a major embarassment for Cameron but there is not the remotest possiblity of Hannan being disciplined in any way. His defence would be, as mine was when I was kicked of the NEC by the UKIP cabal, is that he is doing what he was elected to do. Cameron knows in a major public debate he would lose that argument. UKIP gets away with its completely undemocratic actions simply because it is too small to merit the media's attention. That may change however in the run-up to the coming General Election.

What is really interesting is that Hannan was given such prominence on US TV media to comment on the hot issue of health reform. This coverage arose out of his brilliant performance at the European Parliament session that Gordon Brown attended where Hannan made an outstanding critical speech that attracted millions of YouTube hits. This earned Hannan much US media coverage that he handled equally brilliantly and this established him as a US media star worthy of commenting on Obama's proposed health care reforms. In the parochial world of the US media that takes some doing!

Farage gave his usual rant at the same EU parliamentary session, got a reasonable number of YouTube hits but was ignored by the mainstream UK media let alone US media. The truth is that in media terms Hannan is the real deal. Thank goodness he is a real Eurosceptic as is his fellow Tory Roger Helmer. They are our best hope of stopping the EU juggernaut. Nigel will huff and puff but I fear his heart is not in it and his media skills have been vastly over-rated.

Friday, 14 August 2009

Tories can criticise their leaders, why not UKIP?

Daniel Hannan, the Tory MEP, has been upsetting the Tory apple cart again today by criticising the NHS and participating in the US campaign opposing Obama's health service reforms modelled on the UK NHS. As some one who has been married to an NHS medic for many years I can see much merit in Mr Hannan's remarks. The NHS is in sad need of real reform. What it does not need is more money, managers, box tickers, choose and book etc. The interesting thing is that when Andrew Rawnsley, the Tory health spokesman, was asked would Hannan be disciplined by the Tory party his answer was to the effect, "No, we have free speech in our party and allow a diversity of views".

If Farage's UKIP had this ethos UKIP would not have lost so many talented activists over the last few years. I remember Roger Helmer, another Tory Eurosceotic MEP, making a remark in similar vein to Rawnsley's at a local meeting I attended. We even have Norman Tebbitt and Stuart Wheeler advising voters not to vote LibLabTory. Will they be discplined and kicked out of the Tory party? No they won't. The Tories know a political party has to accommodate a diversity of views and retain its talented people, not force them out to play for another team as Farage's UKIP does.

Hannan is not frightened to challenge the sacred cows of British politics like the NHS. He speaks his mind and is not governed by what he thinks the voters want to hear. His was the attack on Brown at the EU talking shop that made the major US news channels and had millions of Youtube hits. Farage's rant against Brown in identical circumstances had hits measured in tens of thousands!

Why can our UKIP MEP's not have a similar independent mind and the courage of their convictions? Well, they have seen what happens to those who contradict Nigel and they want to hold on to their MEP sinecure. To be brutally frank none of them have the talent or intelligence of Hannan. The ruling cabal ensures anyone of intelligence capable of independent thought joining UKIP and prepared like Hannan to speak their mind is soon smeared and expelled. How long can UKIP continue as a political force with these self seeking people in control of the party? Not long I fear and all UKIP will be left with is a group of increasingly irrelevant MEPs in a foreign capital collecting a lucrative pay check until June 2014.

Wednesday, 12 August 2009

How UKIP becomes EUKIP in Brussels

There was an interesting post today on the Democracy Forum by Geoffrey Collier in reply to Baron von Lostov who I presume is a Farage fan. (Is he related to the Red Baron?)

Baron von Lotsov:

UKIP is an interesting party in that it was put together by an academic who thought that it should never contest an EU parliament election, and he has since distanced himself from what he created.

Geoffrey Collier in reply:

Alan Sked was not against contesting EU elections. He believed that we SHOULD fight EU elections but should not take a seat should we win one. He said that should we succumb to that temptation our MEPs' would be corrupted with largesse; money, flattery and nepotism, food, drink and every other distracton ( if we sent them to Brussels). It would corrupt our cause and not in any way further it. We can only be liberated from the EU, he argued, through support and representation at Westminster. I fear BvL that you are not an accurate chronicler.

Del Young rang me yesterday to say I should have a look at the newly formed EU Assembly Committees and UKIP MEPs declaration of interests. Click on below for the root link.

European assembly

to see for yourself.

It shows how prescient Dr Sked's warning was that, " our MEPs' would be corrupted with largesse; money, flattery and nepotism, food, drink and every other distracton "

The above link shows how the EU will distract our elected MEPs. Click on the committees to see the membership. Every UKIP MEP is there. Not important you say? Well when I was on the NEC and the Lisbon Treaty was going through its Lords committee stages none of our MEPs could be bothered to send submissions to the Lords. All the Yeovil UKIP committee submitted evidence. I raised this omission by our MEPs at the NEC. Derek Clark got very irate at me saying how could he possibly be expected to know of such events and any way he had his EU committee work to do. That says it all about our MEPs once they get to Brussels. Alan Sked may be an academic but he is a lot smarter than any of our MEPs past or present and he knew what would happen when you send relatively untalented inexperienced people against top grade Eurocrats. Its like expecting Exeter City FC to come out on top versus Barcelona FC, Marta's home team.

Talking of Marta, after you have clicked on the MEP's name you can click through to their handwritten declaration of members interests and other income. Andreasen reveals she is being paid £2500 per month plus travel expenses until 5th October 2009, as UKIP treasurer. Her travel is presumably paid from Barcelona! Martin Haslam used to do this job for nothing but he did not want to be a Farage UKIP MEP. How many members subs went to support this lady?

Out of idle curiosity I looked at Nick Griffin's entry. He said he was paid by the BNP as an employee but after his election as MEP on 4th June this would cease with effect from end June. I leave it to you to judge who has behaved with the more probity in this matter. UKIP benefitted hugely from the MP expenses scandal but the Cabal should realise who benefits from the exposure of the financial scandals of others may perish themselves by media exposure of their own activities.

Monday, 10 August 2009

Marta Andreasen, Nigel's self inflicted problem

Suddenly on the democracy forum people are realising the problems with La Andreasen. She does not seem to live or appear in the UK. It is not clear whether she pays UK, EU or Spanish taxes. I quote a recent posting from Aardvark, a moderator on Democracy Forum that sums up peoples concerns.

"Where is Marta living at present? Has anybody seen her at her London address recently? Where does her husband live? Has he ever declared an address in London as his residence? If not, is Marta divorced or separated? It is a strange relationship where a husband believes himself to be resident in Spain and his wife believes herself to be resident in the UK (all the overseas contractors I know are either colocated overseas with their spouses or are resident in the UK for tax purposes). UKIP, British jobs for British workers, has an ethnic Danish MEP born in Argentina and currently holding Spanish citizenship employing a Dutch researcher in Brussels who doesn't yet visit the UK on her behalf. As her constituent I do not feel she properly represents my interests having no real connection with my constituency (London isn't in the SE region for electoral purposes) or my country.

UKIP could easily have had a British MEP using Marta as his/her researcher in Brussels. He/she would have asked the same questions and made the same points in committee (it's not like the HoC where you can debate and therefore have to think on your feet). The difference being that those of us in the South East Region could have been represented by someone who lives here and knows some of the area.

I think UKIP have made a mistake and will regret their choice at a later stage."

Moderators are usually quite careful not to give their personal views on contentious issues to preserve their impartiality so this is strong stuff.

There were always questions about her previous employment record. A poster describing himself as ex-member writes:

"I am particularly glad to see the forum moderators taking the Andreasen scandal on board. I am afraid that Farage and Pearson have fallen for the simperer. I do not think Pearson was even aware that Andreasen was suspended from OECD till recently and would not be surprised if she concealed the suspension from Farage.
Perhaps the two gentlemen might be asked whether they were aware of this suspension,whether they have investigated it and would they answer the disquiet about it?"

I was on the NEC when concerns about Andreasen were raised particularly by Lynnda Robson, Gerard Batten's political assistant who herself hoped to be an MEP candidate for the London region. I cannnot improve on the email she sent to the NEC asking for Andreasen to be disqualified from standing. I quote from her summary,

"To paraphrase George Orwell: 'Why are some candidates more equal than others?' I am absolutely sure that if when I had applied I had said :

I'm not a UK resident;
I'm not a fully paid-up member of UKIP;
I can't get a CRB check;
My proposer has also proposed someone else;
I'm not on the UK electoral Register; and
I have no intention of mentioning I will be standing in two Regions

I believe I would have been very firmly rejected - and rightly so."

Lynnda points out that 5 or 6 of UKIP's own selection rules that every other candidate had to conform to were waived for Andreasen. This was done by Gill, an ex Tory MP who was responsible for seeing the rules were observed! This was clearly at Farage's behest and Gill lamely claimed that "he was trying to be helpful"! I asked helpful to whom to which I received no reply.

More damaging politically is that Andreasen is on record as wishing to reform the EU from within, the failed policy of every UK government since Heath and directly contradictory to UKIP's core 'leave the EU policy'

The problems now emerging with Andreasen, and there will be more to come, could have been avoided if the UKIP selection rules had been applied fairly but Nigel seems to think rules are for other people like Robin Page and not his Cabal.

Now there is nothing that Nigel or anyone else can do about this woman. She has her bum on a UK MEP seat for the next 5 years and cannnot be removed. Nigel has made his bed and he will have to lie in it. The sad thing is that all the decent, ordinary UKIP members have coughed up their 10 or 20 pounds to help get Andreasen into this very cushy job will have to lie in that same bed! I doubt they realised that when they voted for Nigel.

The worst thing of all is the damage she will do our withdrawal cause. She will be a god send to the Europhiles at the next UK General Election about which Marta knows little and cares less. She has what she wants.

Friday, 7 August 2009

How to get out of the EU

It is axiomatic that only the Westminster Parliament can repeal the 1972 European Act and hence get us out of the EU. This requires a majority of the House of Commons to vote for the repeal Bill. These will not all be UKIP MPs, indeed it is likely UKIP MPs will form only a small part of this repeal vote but what is crucial is that there be enough UKIP MPs plus their allies on this issue to hold the balance of power in the Commons and be thus be able to bring down the government of the day. What allies? Its a pity Liga Nord cannot have seats at Westminster but the BNP, whose views are less extreme than Liga Nord, might well have seats in Westminster and they also want out of the EU.

Even if the government supported the repeal bill with a 3 line whip many of its Europhile MPs, particularly those in safe seats, will vote against the repeal bill. The UKIP numbers must be sufficient to outvote these rebels and at a rough guess we will need at least 30 UKIP MPs and allies plus a government desperate to hold on to power to achieve this. The current government would do nicely! Its a big ask and a long haul but we have to start now but where?

The UK parliamentary system rewards geographic concentration of votes. As the BNP vote is more geographically concentrated than UKIP they might well win a seat before UKIP. For many years the Liberals got millions of votes but only 5 or so MPs because their vote was spread over the whole country. UKIP is in much the same position as the Liberals but must try to avoid getting sucked into the lots of votes but no seats scenario which is what Farage's current strategy seems to be. I cannot envisage that either the Cons or the Labs will ever introduce electoral reform along the lines of STV or similar. Both big parties like the absolute power the current system gives them.

It therefore seems sensible to look at regions where UKIP did well in the Europeans, have a good candidate and a good local issue they can target. The South West, where UKIP membership is also strongest stands out. They have a potential good candidate in the well liked UKIP MEP Trevor Coleman. The decline of the fishing industry linked to high unemployment and poor wages are issues UKIP can exploit. There are also some unpopular sitting MPs badly tarnished by the expenses scandal

The Eastern region would also be a strong candidate except for the chicanery that has occurred in that region over UKIP MEP selection ending in their best potential parliamentary candidate Robin Page leaving UKIP. Worse, one of UKIP's MEPs Agnew is reported lobbying the EU for GM crops an issue that is unpopular and as far as I know is contrary to UKIP policy! Robin Page might well stand for UKFirst and if he does UKIP should not oppose him. For me its the cause that matters not the party label!

I don't know about the West Midlands region but given the melt down in manufacturing there is a local issue to exploit but I know of no good local potential Westminster candidate.

The South East foot soldiers seem very demoralised. Branches are folding. I have no doubt Farage will stand but will he be big enough to recognise that Trevor and Robin have much better chances than he has and let the South West have most of the campaign funds and not fund a campaign against Robin Page if he stands somewhere in the Eastern region. Knowing Farage, I expect and fear another costly Bromley fiasco.

The North West, Yorkshire and the East Midlands I regard as poor prospects even with a plethora of 18 year old candidates! These are also areas of BNP strength where we do not wish to give the BNP a propaganda coup. Wales may be more hopeful if UKIP can exploit the Labour expenses backlash. Labour voters in Wales want to vote against Labour but will never vote Tory. The SNP look unstoppable in Scotland.

I would not discourage any UKIP branch that wishes to put up candidates from doing so but they must realistic about their prospects and not get demoralised by a bad result. Also, if Cameron gets only a tiny majority or no overall majority, there will be another General Election to fund and fight within 18 months. So, if Trevor for instance came second in a Devon seat it would be a great achievement and establish him and UKIP as credible in any subsequent Wstminster election.

Targeting a few good Westminster prospects must be the right strategy. Its a no brainer!

Wednesday, 5 August 2009

Tories show UKIP how to select Candidates

Yesterday Dr Sarah Wollaston a 47 year old GP and mother of 3 was selected by the Tories as their PPC for Totnes by a constituency wide postal primary covering voters of all parties. She will replace Anthony Steen, the sitting MP who was badly damaged by the MP expenses scandal and is standing down after accusing his voters of jealousy over the size of his house likened by some to Balmoral. Dr Woolaston who has no political experience won 7914 votes, the second was Sara Johnson, the council leader got 5495 votes and Nick Bye, mayor of Torquay got 3088 votes. There was a 25% overall response.

To see her post victory interview with the BBC click here

I found her a very impressive candidate and it does the Tory party centrally and locally great credit that her name was alowed to go on the short list. She works and lives locally in the constituency. I hope she has not got a big house.

UKIP could have had a candidate in the South East of similar calibre, Dr David Abbott, a Member of the Royal College of Physicians, which is the required qualification to be a hospital consultant physician. Like Dr Wollaston David is not a career politician, is of high intelligence and independent mind, and as such is anathema to Farage and his Cabal. They expelled David from the NEC on trumped up charges. They acted as prosecutor judge and jury in their own court. As long as UKIP is dominated by this self seeking cabal UKIP has no prospect of winning a Westminster seat. That requires candidates of the calibre and independence of mind of Dr Wollaston and Dr Abbott.

Farage's UKIP instead prefers career ex Tory politicians like Bannerman and non-resident, non UK citizens, ex EU employees like Andreasen plus assorted other political careerists and liabilities.

Look now at UKIP's latest much trumpeted PPC one, Christopher Cassidy, picture below, an 18 year old, still at school with no graduate level qualifications, no experience of life but a desire to be a career politician. He certainly looks the part.

Who do you think the British electorate will want to be represented by?

Which party do you think the electorate will vote for?

Answers on a post card to Nigel Farage c/o the EU Brussels