Wednesday, 30 April 2014

UKIP's Newark by-election candidate

Who should UKIP put up as their candidate in Newark? Farage has ruled himself out. That's the smart thing to do. Farage has that great quality all leaders, luck! Cameron clearly upset Mercer along with many others and now its pay back time. So how can UKIP best capitalise on this stroke of good fortune? Farage certainly has a big part to play in this campaign supporting the chosen UKIP candidate. He is far more effective in that role.

The above is the line Farage is feeding to our uncritical, unthinking media. The real reason as it always is and I have described before with Farage is money. He makes a huge amount of money and fringe benefits like pensions from the EU for very little scrutiny. After May he will lead the largest national eurosceptic group in the European parliamement. He will then be able to set up and lead his pan - european party which will bring him even more dosh and fringe benefits from the EU  with zero scrutiny from the UK media. After all if they cannot investigate Nigel in the UK how will they do it in Brussels?

Finally Farage does not want to be an MP. Its hard work, involves meeting ordinary people and runs the risk of scrutiny and is poorly paid  and expensed compare to the no questions asked EU gravy train. Its a pity our great free press cannot see this. The truth is they don't want to see it as it would make more work and a less easy life for them.

Start by looking at who the Tories will put up and assess their strengths and weaknesses.
The Tory candidate is Rober Jenrick who has been working the constituency since selected. Click to read a brief bio of Mr Jenrick. He looks a very good candidate to me. Obviously clever but claims to have been, educated at state primary and Wolverhampton Grammar. Not quite what it seems. WGS is a fee paying school currently charging almost £12k pa at senior school. It also has a fee paying junior so which primary did Mr Jenrick. He went to Cambridge, got a first in history and then went on to qualify as a solictor. He is currently writing a book on Newark in the Civil War. He has a presentable looking wife and two young daughters so the only gay cavaliers will be in his book methinks. He currently works for Christies the London auction house so probably currently lives in London

So he is a professional, Oxbridge, white heterosexual male from the metropolitan elite who says if elected he will live in the constituency.

UKIP should be looking for a candidate who is none of these things. Ideal would be a self made, articulate comprehensive educated  woman with a happy marriage and two or so children who has lived and worked in Newark for at least 5 years. Another Mrs James would do very well. I am not familiar with the constituency demographics but I can safely assert over half will be women.

There are two problems however. First, the obvious UKIP may not have such a woman which one can do little about. Second, Farage got the fright of his life when Mrs James almost won at Eastleigh. Another week of the campaign would have seen her victorious according to no less a person than my near neighbour Lord Paddy Pantsdown. If she had won  or if the UKIP candidate wins in Newark then they immediately become defacto leader of UKIP in the UK. Farage will never allow that therefore he will take no chances and ensure a barely adequate candidate will be UKIP's choice for Newark. The local party will be told who to select and it won't be another Mrs James. That would be much to dangerous for Nigel!

It might even endanger Nigel's unfulfilled ambition of a seat on the red leather of the House of Lords.  After another 5 years on the EU gravy train Nigel can retire to a comfy HoL billet and like Lord Ashdown appear over more frequently on UK TV as the great man of Euroscepticism.. He might even get his own TV chat show!


ALAN WOOD said...

Naughty boy Mercer does the honourable thing and resigns.
Tory honour upheld !
Newark is a place I frequently go for judging or showing dogs. It features on TV for its Collectors' Fairs. Never seen a Romanian, Bulgarian or West Indian face there. It's the centre of the Tory heartland.

The Tories will win. UKIP must contest with their best local candidate in order to nail the "frit" jibe. The UKIP challenge will be to beat all the other parties by pinching the Labour vote and the Lib-Dem vote which was 22.3% and 20% in 2010.

Its not a perfect 4-way seat to fight in order to win but it will give UKIP a pointer as to how such seats will play in the 2015 General Election.

In the 2015 General Election UKIP has to beat the number of seats won by the Lib-Dems to try to hold the balance of power. Newark is a chance to relegate them to 4th place and make them look weak.

Eric Edmond said...

Yes, the Tories will win, reduced majority UKIp second Cameron happy, Farage happy

Mike Bridgeman said...

I agree with your comments that Nigel did the sensible thing. Especially going for a local candidate. No A-listers parachuted in as the Conservatives will do at the general election.
What I find amazing are the comments by the Daily Telegraph journos on the subject in their blogs. The Telegraph used to be a respected newspaper, now employing idiots.

Eric Edmond said...

I agree Mike, the hacks do not know what they are writing about.

The Double Event said...

Farage told ITV on the evening of Mercer's resignation that he was "going to think very hard" about standing in Newark, so it's no good for him to speak now about his lack of connections with the constituency. He was already aware of that whilst telling the media he was thinking very hard about standing.

The fact is, when it comes to him bottling it over by-elections, Farage has got form. He followed exactly the same pattern when Huhne resigned in Eastleigh last year, first telling the media he was going to give serious consideration to standing and then chickening out.

On that occasion, Farage's half-baked excuse was that he didn't want a by-election run to distract him from leading UKIP's local election campaign. The problem with this excuse was that he made it at the end of January when all the expectation was that the Lib Dems would delay the by-election as long as possible and probably call it for the same day as the local elections in May. In fact, they did the opposite and got it out of the way as quickly as they could, on 28 February, long before the local election campaigns had even got into gear. Farage's bluff was thus well and truly called, his excuse rendered irrelevant, but no-one in the media challenged him about it.

With Eastleigh, as with Newark, Farage ducked the fight after intense media speculation he could win the seat. Given how close UKIP's previously unknown candidate actually got to winning in Eastleigh, Farage may well have done so. And here's the rub: when figures as diverse as Stuart Wheeler and Ken Clarke postulate for their own different reasons that Farage backed out of Newark because he expected to lose, they couldn't be more wrong. Farage backed out of Newark not because he was scared of losing, but because, as in Eastleigh, he was scared of winning. Or, more precisely, he was scared of winning and then losing, as is the case with so many by-election victors come general election time.

The plain fact is when it comes to by-elections the timing is all wrong for Farage. He has been an MEP for 15 years now and is preparing to turn it into 20. If he had won in Eastleigh in 2013, he would have had to vacate his cushy seat in Brussels and, still at Westminster now, would not have been able to fight this month's euro elections. Then, if he had lost Eastleigh at the general election in 2015, he would be facing four years without a seat in either parliament to place his well-settled backside upon. In Newark, the calculation is similar. Win in 2014, fine - swap Brussels for Westminster; but then lose in 2015, nothing for the Farage posterior for four years.

Now that there are fixed-term parliaments at Westminster, which means that UK elections normally will always follow one year after the euro elections, there will never be a convenient by-election for Nigel Farage, the man who has grown to like his attachment to a guaranteed seat in Brussels rather too much (and, as you rightly point out, the man who has also grown to like his tinpot position as "Il Presidente" of his group of ragtag continental nutters too much). Expect him to stand in a UK general election, probably, for a win therein would guarantee him the full five years to which he has become accustomed across the channel. But for Farage to stand in a by-election? Don't hold your breath.

Eric Edmond said...

Double Event, I largely agree with your perceptive comments. Do you know arage personally?

ALAN WOOD said...

Double Event has a plausible argument. Farage looks after Farage's pocket, and always has done. I aver that he would have lost Newark.
Eastleigh had a very good UKIP candidate - better than Farage in many respects for it gave a chance for ladies to support a "sister".
Farage also is no fool. He judged that the Tory press was trying to provoke him into fighting Newark and he was wise enough to swim around the hook then spit out the bait.
Whilst I loathe Farage for so many things, I have to concede that he has put UKIP on the map with his excellent rendering of the case for leaving the EU. By highlighting the flaw in the EU plan - Open Borders before equalization of economic strength - he has rightly drawn attention to a major problem which affects not only jobs but housing, NHS, Schools and so much else.
People have forgotten the plight of our once-formidable fishing fleet thanks to the EU's unfair Open Seas policy.
The USA encouraged the EU as a buffer to RUSSIAN power politics and wanted the UK to play its part within the EU rather than as a satellite of USA defence. We were useful in Iraq in that role.
The UKRAINE situation is a test for the EU. The USA must be very worried that the EU has fouled-up over UKRAINE and let in RUSSIA through the back door of CRIMEA.
Farage should watch the situation very carefully. He may need to make the case for remaining out of an incompetent EU which has lost control of Energy supplies and created civil war in UKRAINE.

lemon said...

Farage would never stand as he is concentrating on the Euros and the General Election is only a year away.

If UKIP are to win several Commons seats then Farage is a certainty to be elected as he will hand pick the best winnable seat.

Farage does enjoy being an MEP as there is not much work, lots of perks and money, and he can drive to Brussels/Strasburg from his Kent home and have lots of adventures.