Thursday, January 02, 2014
I Don't Understand #2-UKIP
It seems quite simple to me. The European elections will elect MEPs. There are around 750 MEPs in total. The UK elects 73 MEPs. To 'win' the election UKIP would have to get 326 MEPs elected. Even then the European Parliament doesn't have the power to expel or allow a member state to leave.
Even if all 73 UK MEPs elected were UKIP they would still not have the power to extricate us. It is only our national parliament that can effect our withdrawal.
UKIP MEPs have some of the poorest attendance and voting records in the European Parliament, largely down to their belief that they are not there to make the EU work better, but to campaign in the UK for withdrawal. I know, because I used to work for a UKIP MEP. But, apart from Farage popping up on Question Time now and then, when did you last receive any information from your UKIP MEP? Indeed, when, apart from at election time, did you last receive any communication from UKIP? Apart from withdrawing from the EU can you, without using Google, name a single UKIP policy?
I was a member of the Anti-Federalist League in the '90s, but didn't keep up my membership when it morphed into UKIP. Although they then had a policy of not fighting EU elections I wasn't convinced that a single issue party could achieve independence for Britain. After a rethink I joined UKIP in 2000, not resigning until after the NEC elections early in 2009. I am more convinced than ever that the party is a lost cause.
If you like statistics this website has all the results from the last EU elections in 2009. Interesting UKIP only increased their vote by 0.3% on their 2004 results. The Tories meanwhile improved on their 2004 result by 1%. In terms of votes UKIP got 2,500,000 Tories 4,200,000. With Labour 6.4% down on 2,400,000 it's hard to see UKIP outperforming both this year. Indeed, I would put money on Labour beating UKIP this time around. Even the Lib Dems, the most pro-EU of the mainstream, could rally and pull back their losses in 2009, their by-election results don't support the theory that their involvement in the coalition will see them wiped out.
What's the point of electing people to a parliament that they believe to be powerless, that they then don't engage in and that they ultimately want to withdraw from? And all that for a salary of £70,000pa plus very generous allowances. Nigel Farage, before becoming a highly paid MEP in 1999, played a key role in changing UKIP's policy of not standing in European elections.
How will voting UKIP send a message to the EU? If voting against the EU's wishes in national referenda are ignored (Ireland, France, Denmark, Holland) how will a few more Godfrey Blooms make a difference?
I don't understand.