Friday, September 28, 2012

UKIP, The EU, A Referendum And A Conspiracy

One of the things that sometimes amused me, but often really angered me when I was active in politics was the conspiracy theorists. Believe me in Eurosceptic politics there are plenty of conspiracy theorists.

On Wednesday I posted about UKIP and the We Want A Referendum Party, you can read it below. There are several comments from a very typical conspiracy theorist. He is typical because he bends the truth, or simply ignores the truth, because it doesn't fit in with his theory. So he began by saying that the We Want A Referendum Party is a black op initiated, I presume, by the secret service to kibosh UKIP. He then changed tack and the We Want A Referendum Party became merely a vehicle for people to jump aboard the Brussels gravy train. He even cited incorrect reasons for the party's founder, Nikki Sinclair, leaving UKIP. When I pointed out the reality, that she hadn't resigned the whip but refused to sit with ultra-right extremists in UKIP's group in Brussels, as did two other UKIP MEPs, she was expelled while the other two were not, he convenmniently ignored this truth.

I have waffled on above to highlight the point. I'm sure most people have come across similar whether it be a theory about the EU, the assassination of JFK, the sinking of the Titanic or whatever. It serves no purpose to debate with these people because no matter what evidence or argument you put forward they do not believe the reality. Usually, if you're case is particularly strong, they will eventually accuse you of being in on the conspiracy.

In the case of the EU/UKIP conspiracy I do not believe one exists. The starting point for this particular conspiracy theory is that 50%, maybe more, have wanted to leave the EU for many years, but we are still deeply in there. Well forgive me but similar numbers want the return of the death penalty, is that a conspiracy too? I'd say that way more than 50% want overseas aid at least cut if not scrapped. Is that too a conspiracy? No, governments have a habit of ignoring the people when it suits them, and if you don't get that you don't get the nature of government and why so many of us are so very disillusioned with our system. Rather than face the reality, which might mean getting off their arses and doing something, it is easier for conspiracy theorists to sit at their laptops and tilt at windmills.

The reason Eurosceptics haven't achived independence from the EU is quite simple. The movement is a disparate group of politicos who agree on little other than leaving the EU. Secondly although around 50% of the electorate would be happy to leave the EU they vote in elections on health, education, law and order and a whole range of issues. They do not feel strongly enough about the EU to vote on that single issue. To those who are vehement that the EU is the only issue they cannot caccept this and search for a sinister reason for their failure. Up pops a conspiracy.

Then there is UKIP itself. People over the years have been attracted to UKIP, despite them having MEPs, because the argument was that they would use the MEP resources to build a solid party in the UK to fight elections to Westminster. Sadly, whereas with never more than two MEPs since 1999 the Green Party now has an MP in Westminster and even Respect has an MP, UKIP is no nearer gaining a seat today than they were in 1999. Incompetence? The MEPs have gone native and enjoy the gravy train a little too much? Or is Nigel Farage part of a conspiracy to derail the Eurosceptic movement by coralling Eurosceptics into a cul-de-sac?

For my part I believe UKIP have gone native. They have some of the worst attendance records in Brussels but do little that attracts publicity in the UK. In short they get their fat salaries, huge  expenses and allowances and do very little of any worth.

As for taking seriously our Westminster elections I suggest you watch the Daily Politics clip that I posted on Wednesday from about 4 minutes in. If you do then bear in mind that UKIP claim that MEPs and the Euro Parliament is a complete waste of time and money and that it is only our parliament in Westminster that can get us out of the EU. You will hear UKIP's deputy leader telling Katie Hopkins of We Want A Referendum that her party should not fight UKIP in the 2014 Euro elections but should fight the 2015 UK general election.

Now, why would UKIP's deputy leader prefer the Eurosceptic vote to be split in a Westminster election rather than a Euro election? Conspiracy or boring old, straightforward gone native?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

UKIP v We Want A Referendum

The following is an appearance on The Daily Politics by Katie Hopkins of the We Want A Referendum Party.

What I find really amusing is the sheer panic of UKIP MEP Paul 'Scouse Farage' Nuttall at the prospect of losing his seat on the gravy train if the party splits the Eurosceptic vote in 2014. He declares that no number of MEPs would bring about a referendum and that a UK election is where they (We Want A Referendum Party) should be concentrating. Does that mean UKIP are not as interested in UK elections as they are in Euro elections? It would seem so judging by this little debate.

More gravy anyone?

Monday, September 24, 2012

Andrew Mitchell MP

There are serious issues facing the country, indeed the world, but the media and political classes are obsessing about a government minister having a go at a bobby. Fair enough Mitchell sounds like a prat but please, let's get a sense of proportion and forget about it.

As for the Police Federation banging on about an enquiry well they need to grow up. To use the fact that two police women were murdered in the same week is a cynical and emotive ploy by them and is far worse than anything Mitchell did. The Police Federation might also like to remember  that the incident occurred just after we found out about the police lies and cover-up over Hillsborough. But that wouldn't suit the bobbies' union agenda would it?

Saturday, September 22, 2012

An Englishman's Home Is His Castle?

I have no time for this government. I loathe David Cameron and Nick Clegg for their smarmy self-satisfaction, a bit rich considering neither actually won the 2010 General Election.

As far as welfare goes I broadly agree that changes need to be made to a system that over many years, has rewarded the feckless and the lazy. However, I do not object in the least to paying my taxes to help pay benefits for those genuinely in need, it is the wasters I object to funding. So reform of benefits is a must but in at least one area I believe that this government has got it seriously wrong. What's new?

Among the forthcoming welfare reforms is a reform of Housing Benefit. Currently those who qualify have their rent paid by the state to the landlord. In their wisdom this government is going to change the system so that Housing Benefit is paid to the tenant who must then pay the landlord. Madness. The overwelming majority of people in rented accomodation, and receiving Housing Benefit, are fine but there is a sizeable group who are not. If a junkie is faced with paying his landlord or his dealer what will he choose? The family in hock to a local loan shark. Are they likely to pay the rent or use the money to stop said loan shark breaking legs for non-payment. To many it will be like giving the keys to the sweet shop to a child.

Then the reform will introduce the concept of 'under occupation'. Social landlords will have to check occupancy and if a family have a spare bedroom they will lose 14% of their Housing Benefit. Two spare bedrooms and they lose 25%. This means that when the children grow up and leave the home, their parents will either have to find more money to top up their benefit, find a lodger to pay rent to cover their loss of benefits, or move out into a smaller property, often private which will cost the taxpayers much more in Housing Benefit.

We are talking here about family homes, not just bricks and mortar. Many of us bought our houses but many more, for whatever reasons, chose to rent. If a couple have lived in a home for thirty years or more, raised a family in that home but in retirement exist on a state pension and Housing Benefit, why should they be forced out of the family home with all its memories and momentoes? Why should they be forced to take in a styranger as a lodger? These are peoples' homes we are talkng about, not state operated workers' hostels or workers' dormitories.

In many ways Cameron and Clegg seem to go out of their way to appear 'caring' and 'of the people'. These reforms merely show how very out of touch both of them are with the real world. The sooner they are gone the better. At least then the Tories may actually find a conservative to lead them.

Friday, September 21, 2012

UKIP Launch The Pantomime Season

The panto season seems to come around quicker each year, perhaps it's my age. Today sees the start of the 2012 UKIP panto in Birmingham. You'll know UKIP, their leader Nigel Farage has a comedy routine that goes something like this:

Farage: "UKIP is Britain's third political party!"

Electorate: "Oh no you're not!"

But once people reach a certain age they believe in Farage's UKIP about as much as they believe in Aladdin or Cinderella.

The problem for the Eurosceptics in this country is that they have failed to realise that the electorate, although increasingly Eurosceptic, vote in UK elections on a whole range of issues and will not ignore health, education, law and order etc by voting for a single issue party such as UKIP.

Thus a single issue party will pick up votes in elections that aren't seen as important, the European Parliament elections, where they can make an impact as people protest vote for a party they wouldn't normally vote for. Couple that with a high level of abstinence and proportional representation system and hey presto, you win a few seats, which has given UKIP a fig leaf of electoral respectability.

But if you look at it logically we all know what is behind the fig leaf. In UK elections UKIP continue to fail dismally with Nigel Farage losing in Buckingham in the general election of 2010 coming in behind an independent, Europhile, former Tory MEP. I've said it before and I'll say it again that most of UKIP's councillors are co-opted town/parish councillors or defectors from other parties who rarely retain their seats when they defend them.

We all know that MEPs are a waste of time with no power or serious responsibility. Most people in the UK couldn't even name one of their MEPs and many don't even know that there are only around 76 MEPs for the UK with as many as 9 representing a region rather than a traditional single representative for a one man constituency.

Sadly the Eurosceptic movement in the UK has been seduced by the very organisation it claims to want to leave. Eurosceptic MEPs receive huge salaries and allowances, are surrounded by highly paid assistants and enjoy living the life of a politico without the responsibility. Once they have tasted that lifestyle most of them look at the real world and don't want to return to it.

It is quite apt therefore, that the political panto season should be launched by UKIP.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

We Demand A Referendum Party-Aiming At The Wrong Target?

Having a couple of days to ponder Nikki Sinclaire's new political party I am slightly concerned. It seems that they intend taking up seats in the European Parliament if elected in 2014. I fear that standing in the Euros, and taking up seats, could be a huge double mistake.

Many of us were seduced into UKIP post-1999 with the promise that their MEPs would use their huge amounts of money to build a credible force at home in the UK. Sadly they went native and there are now just a number of people with a lot more money in their bank accounts as a result of being MEPs or working for MEPs on fat salaries, but not a single MP. Furthermore they have few elected councillors, most are co-opted onto town/parish councils. The few elected are usually defectors from other parties who lose their seats when they stand under the UKIP brand.

I believe that Nikki's movement would come across as much more principled if they refused to take up seats if elected. After all, most Eurosceptics know that MEPs have no power and any number of MEPs elected would not bring a referendum any closer, it has nothing to do with the European Parliament.

The real target for making an impact is Westminster. Hitting the governing parties in a general election is the way forward, not in meaningless EU elections. Remember James Goldsmith's Referendum Party? If the Tories were in danger in a Westminster election that would make a difference.

Sadly it seems that Eurosceptics have been seduced by the proportional representation system in Europe where, with a relatively small vote, they can gain representation, and fat salaries. Yes some misguidedly genuinely think it will help, others are in it for the cash.

I would not discount the We Demand A Referendum Party, but I will really take some convincing that it will be worth voting for in 2014.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Archbishop Nichols On Business

This is an article in the Telegraph by Archbishop Nichols, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales.

It is well worth a read and chimes with what many of us think is wrong with many large corporations.

Monday, September 17, 2012

New EU Referendum Party

Great news this morning, Nikki Sinclaire MEP has launched a new party to fight the EU elections, the We Demand A Referendum Party.

Polls suggest the party could win betwen 8 and 22 seats at the next European elections and will be fighting all seats in the UK. My only hope is that, if elected, they refuse to take up their seats, unlike UKIP who have sold out since having their first MEPs elected to the gravy train in 1999.

Some hope that there will be a party to at least consider voting for at the next Euro elections, which there really wasn't at the last elections. All we need now is a party to vote for in UK parliamentary elections.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Friday-Morrissey Time

What a change these last twenty years. If nothing else the hard men in the Middle East have been replaced by stone age nutters in the so-called 'Arab Spring'. The western nations, and soppy politicos who actually believed despots would be replaced by liberal democrats, colluded to endanger us all and we are now seeing the consequences with Islamist nutters kicking off all over the region.

But we still have Morrissey. This one from twenty years ago:

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Nikki Sinclaire's EU Referendum Campaign

Apart from the usual fatuous quote from UKIP's chief loon Nigel Farage, this is a very interesting article on the possibility of a referendum on any new constitution as a result of Barroso's desire to further erode our independence.

Many years ago UKIP's MEPs 'went native' and, despite having MEPs since 1999, have had little impact in domestic politics where they still struggle to retain deposits and can only boast a few dozen councillors, most of them co-opted town/parish councillors or defectors from other parties who lose their seats upon seeking relection under the UKIP brand.

The only serious politician actually working for our independence is Nikki Sinclaire who has been using her position as a West Midlands MEP to fight for an in-out referendum. I doubt we would be given such a referendum, or that there would be a level playing field if we were given one, but at least Nikki's campaign is keeping the issue live and is a thorn in the side of Cameron and his despised Coalition.

This week I asked 12 people if they knew who their North West MEPs were. None of them knew any and they had no idea they had a UKIP MEP. While UKIP MEPs grow fat on the Brussels gravy train Nikki is delivering another kick at the EU via 10 Downing Street. Following is her statement on the latest petition:

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Nick Clegg And The Lib Dem Bigots

The Liberal Democrats make me sick, especially little Nicky Clegg. Do we really expect the Deputy Prime Minister to behave like a tantrum throwing, attention seeking teenager?

He has now called those of us who oppose gay marriage 'bigots'. How very grown up. But of course, in true Lib Dem fashion, he withdrew the remarks when he saw the damning reaction when he circulated advance copies of his speech. Why do people like Clegg assume that those who disagree with them are 'bigots' or worse?

For what it's worth I firmly believe that marriage is an institution for a man and a woman. Further than that I do not believe it to be my business, or anybody else's, what consenting adults do together in the bedroom. That does not make me a bigot Mr Clegg. 

Thursday, September 06, 2012

Wearing A Crucifix

British government lawyers are fighting a group of people who want the right to wear a crucifix. This is despite Cameron pledging to defend the right of christians to do so.

Since I was a child I have worn a crucifix, admittedly under my shirt, t-shirt or whatever but occasionally it is visible. As far as I'm aware my wearing of a crucifix has never harmed another person so why shouldn't people be allowed to wear one to work just as other people wear necklaces?

The fact that people have to fight for this right in the courts shows what a sorry, authoritarian state we are living under. Stalin and Hitler would be proud.

Full story here.

Tuesday, September 04, 2012

David Laws-Coalition As Bad As New Labour

One of the people below went to jail, the other is about to return to the Cabinet. One rule for them and one for us: