Thursday, December 23

`BNP links' man quits UKIP post

A WOODBRIDGE man has quit as Parliamentary candidate for the UK Independence Party in Suffolk Coastal after confirming he had been "briefly attached" to the UK Independence Party.

Nicholas Betts-Green, who has also resigned as UKIP's branch chairman, was questioned by the party's leadership in the East of England following reports last month in the East Anglian Daily Times that he had found the BNP "appealing" because of its hostile attitude to the European Union.

UKIP's regional organiser Charlie Cole visited Mr Betts-Green who, after considering his position, decided to stand down.

His resignation was confirmed by UKIP Euro MP Tom Wise, who said Suffolk Coastal UKIP members would hold an emergency meeting on December 29 to discuss replacing Mr Betts-Green and would then issue a statement to the media.

Mr Betts-Green, who could not be contacted yesterday, was cleared originally to stand by the party's national leadership in September, even though he had admitted his BNP connection to the then acting Chief Executive Piers Marchant when interviewed for the candidate's list.

A former teacher at Cheltenham Ladies College and Farlingaye High School in Woodbridge, Mr Betts-Green was educated at Woodbridge School, as was Nick Griffin, the BNP leader last week released on bail after being arrested by police investigating the extent of racism in the organisation.

When questioned by the EADT last month, Mr Betts-Green confirmed his links to British National Party. "Unwisely I agreed to attend a talk he (Griffin) gave in Ipswich.

"Knowing of my dislike for all things about the EU, he played up the BNP's anti-EU stance.

"It was this which persuaded me, very briefly, to attached myself to the BNP. I regretted it at once because the people I met were somewhat rabid in their views."

A former member of the Conservative Party, Mr Betts-Green remains a member of the Conservative Monday Club which was expelled from association with the Tories in October 2001 because of its views were said not to be compatible with mainstream conservatism.

Suffolk Coastal's Tory MP John Gummer said yesterday he did not wish to comment "on UKIP's internal affairs."

Source: East Anglian Daily Times, 20 December 2004
See also: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/suffolk/4111579.stm

Monday, December 13

Ex-Tory will fight for UKIP at next election

A Former Conservative councillor is to represent the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) in Gloucester at the next General Election.

Coun Gary Phipps defected to the anti-Europe party in the summer, after becoming disillusioned with the Conservative Party's attitude towards membership of the European Union. Tory leader Michael Howard has stated that his party wants to stay in the EU, a policy Coun Phipps felt unable to support.

He said: "Michael Howard has made it clear that the Conservative Party is committed to membership of the EU, however damaging that is to this country.

"That is unacceptable to me because I believe that the people of this country should only be ruled by those whom they can hire and fire, namely members of the Westminster Parliament.

"UKIP, on the other hand, believes in only friendship and free trade with Europe.

"It is the only party which does not want to surrender the government of this country to unelected EU officials like Peter Mandelson.

"So it is the only moderate party in British politics today which can have any real policies over most issues.

"UKIP branch chairman Mike Smith said: "Gary would make an excellent MP for the city."

He has proved himself to be a hard-working county councillor with a reputation for getting things done.

"He obviously cares deeply for his community and serves it well.

"UKIP came third in the European elections in the city and with the disillusionment and distrust of the Government and the reluctance of the electorate to turn to the main opposition party, we expect to do even better whenever Tony Blair goes to the country.

"Coun Phipps added: "I feel privileged to be in a party which appreciates its members as individuals and for what they can contribute.

"UKIP is the only truly pro-British, non-racist party in politics.

"I am proud to be British and to live in a multiracial Britain, something I hope all British citizens, of whatever origin or faith, will join me in promoting.

"I am honoured to have been chosen to make my contribution to the city of Gloucester."

Source: The Gloucester Citizen, December 8th 2004

UKIP call Tory MP Cash's bluff over Europe

For more than a decade, Staffordshire Conservative MP Bill Cash has been the public face of euro-scepticism.

But now he has been targeted by the United Kingdom Independence Party - for not being critical of Europe enough.

Their deputy leader Mike Nattrass, a West Midlands MEP, has been chosen to fight Mr Cash's Stone seat at the next General Election.

UKIP, which has its headquarters in Birmingham, is putting up one of its strongest candidates because they believe Mr Cash is merely "posing" as a euro-sceptic which might come as a surprise to the MP himself. He led the campaign against the Maastricht treaty which almost destroyed John Major's government, voting against it 47 times.

He can also be relied upon to mention the EU almost every time he speaks in the Commons. However, UKIP said he did support Maastricht.

Mr Nattrass said: "So far, Mr Cash has been posing as a eurosceptic. Does he believe in the sovereignty of Parliament and the self-determination of the British electorate in all matters or does he believe that powers should be ceded to the EU?

"If he believes in the former he should sign a UKIP membership application form immediately and fight the seat as a UKIP candidate".

Paul Barnish, chairman of the UKIP Stone Constituency Association, said: "I am delighted that this branch will stand up against Bill Cash who for too long has been trying to get the best of both worlds by facing in both directions."

Source: Birmingham Post, December 10th 2004

Friday, December 10

Will they be there next time?

In advance of session in Strasbourg next week, we'll look at the reports which MEPs will be discussing.

Foreign Affairs Committee
Turkey's progress towards accession
Bulgaria's progress towards accession
Romania's progress towards accession
Democracy, the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms in third countries
Gerard Batten (substitute) not present for the votes in Committee

Budgetary Control Committee
Convention on the future of the European Union (2003 discharge)
Jeffrey Titford and Ashley Mote not present for the vote in Committee

Culture and Education Committee
Framework for the transparency of qualifications and competences (Europass)
Tom Wise present for the vote on Committee

Fisheries Committee
Extension of the EC-Comoros Fisheries Protocol
Protection of deep-water coral reefs in certain areas of the Atlantic Ocean
Nigel Farage (substitute) not present for votes

Source: www.europarl.eu.int

Thursday, December 9

UKIP opens general election shop

The UK Independence Party (UKIP) has opened its first "general election shop" in the Kent town of Ramsgate.

The shop will sell "patriotic goods", among them umbrellas bearing the pound sign, bathrobes and stickers.

The store is in Labour MP Stephen Ladyman's South Thanet constituency, being contested by Nigel Farage, UKIP leader in the European Parliament.

Mr Farage opened the shop on Wednesday and said the party was looking to get its first MPs at the next election.

Mr Farage said: "It's very important we make that first breakthrough and get into Westminster.

"We've got every chance of doing that provided we target our resources correctly."

The UKIP shop will also provide election campaign and policy information to voters in the South Thanet constituency.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/england/kent/4080483.stm

Titford: Farage will be next leader

In a public meeting in the East of England region last week, Jeffrey Titford said that Nigel Farage will be the next leader of UKIP. He said Farage is young and brilliant and Kilroy-Silk has given the party and the UKIP cause, nothing.

Source: Anonymous

UKIP leadership vote rejected

UKIP could face a court challenge after its high command rejected demands for a vote on whether to hold a leadership contest.

Fifty-one branch chairmen who support MEP Robert Kilroy-Silk have called for an emergency general meeting - enough to force the move under party rules.

But the leadership says the motion is invalid as the chairmen need to hold local meetings to support the demands.

The emergency general meeting would vote on whether to hold a postal ballot of party members on choosing a new leader. However, Roger Knapman says that his telephone poll shows he has the support of the party chairs. Kilroy-Silk declared the poll as unfair.

UKIP spokesperson Quentin Williamson said: "The faction which wants to press Robert Kilroy-Silk forward as potential leader has gathered the signatures of 51 branch chairmen to demand an emergency general meeting of the whole party.

"It was presented to the national executive committee on Monday. But to have an emergency meeting it means all those branches must have had an emergency general meeting to permit their chairman to do so.

"This has not happened in any case."

London Assembly member, Damian Hockney will meet with lawyers next week to discuss the next step for the party. He said: "We have to take advice immediately because because if we are going to do something, it has to be done quickly so it does not conflict with the election campaign."

And he said the leadership was concentrating on campaigning efforts, with its first election "campaign shop" due to open on Wednesday in the target seat of Thanet South.

Ex-chat show host Mr Kilroy-Silk says UKIP would self-destruct if the leadership expelled him from the party.

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/4075063.stm

Wednesday, December 8

Rustie to fight for Forest seat

Former celebrity chef Rustie Lee will fight one of the Midlands most hotly-contested constituencies for the UK Independence Party at the next General Election.

Lee was recently selected as the UKIP prospective parliamentary candidate for Wyre Forest by local party members.

She will campaign on the re-opening of Kidderminster Hospital and will aim to ensure local residents receive better healthcare provision.

She expressed her anger at the closure of the local hospital, saying: "They would not allow this to happen to their own families."

The independent MP announced last month she is to stand again.

Retired GP Richard Taylor said he would defend his seat, which he won with a 17,630 majority in 2001, at the next election.

Dr Taylor defeated Labour's David Lock following a campaign dominated by the future of Kidderminster Hospital.

Source: Birmingham Post, December 7th 2004

Tuesday, December 7

UKIP vote against Ukraine resolution

UKIP voted against a resolution on the Ukraine that strongly condemned the conditions for the second round of the Presidential elections and the validity of the result. UKIP's reasoning for doing so was on the grounds that the EU should not be interfering in the affairs of the nation state especially ones that are not even members of the EU. Indeed, they believe that using the European Parliament to bring about change only strengthens the institution.

However, all UKIP has shown is a deep lack of respect for the people of the Ukraine. They must think that the recent elections were free and fair, untainted by interference.

Source: Anonymous

Monday, December 6

Wreaths are not a Political Football

A Political party has been accused of attempting to make political capital out of Remembrance Day by laying wreaths with the group's logo. The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) laid wreaths for fallen heroes marked with the group's bright yellow and black pound-sign logo.

They were placed at Cenotaphs in Stoke-on-Trent, Newcastle, Leek and elsewhere across the region as part of 4,000 across the country.

Wreaths are usually laid by the mayor on behalf of communities - without any political allegiance.

Councillors claim UKIP has used Remembrance Day as a "political football" and say advertising political parties at such services is in bad taste.

UKIP representatives have hit back by dubbing the dispute petty and unfair and have revealed that each wreath was bought for £18 from the Royal British Legion (RBL), raising £72,000 for the organisation.

Newcastle UKIP chairman David Nixon laid his party wreath at the town centre cenotaph, saying the party was only following the wishes of veterans by laying 'political' wreaths across the county.

He said: "At our national conference, a veteran stood up asking UKIP to lay wreaths across the country because it would raise money for the British Legion."

He argued that if the RBL could produce wreaths for UKIP there was nothing stopping other political parties raising money for war veterans by doing the same.

Newcastle Conservative group leader Simon Tagg also took part in the Newcastle ceremony, saying Mr Nixon's wreath-laying left "a bad taste".

"Political parties don't put down their own wreaths because the Newcastle mayor does so on their behalf," he explained. "These wreaths are not political footballs."

Source: The Sentinel (Stoke), November 20th 2004

Slurry tipped over Kilroy

Robert Kilroy Silk had a bucket of slurry tipped over him last night.

The Eurosceptic MEP was attacked on arriving to appear on BBC Radio 4's Any Questions? at a Manchester school. Some of the slurry also struck the Cabinet Office minister, Ruth Kelly. The MEP said his assailant (over 6ft and white) shouted: "You've offended my religion, I'm doing this in the name of Islam." A school worker apprehended the man.

Mr Kilroy Silk said he told his attacker: "You obviously like shit, have some back." He claimed he had "gently massaged it into his hair and spread it across his face". The man was allowed to go while the MEP changed his clothes.

He said afterward: "This is what happens when people can't deal with free speech."

In January, he stepped down as presenter of Kilroy after being taken off air by BBC bosses for describing Arabs as "suicide bombers, limb-amputators, women repressors".

He was elected East Midlands MEP as a member of the UK Independence party, but has since resigned the party whip. Speaking on Any Questions? he said he hoped to be elected leader before Christmas. A Ukip spokesman later said this would be impossible, because 70 days' notice was required for an election.

Source: The Guardian, December 4th 2004

Wednesday, December 1

BNP link admitted by candidate

A PROSPECTIVE parliamentary candidate for the UK Independence Party has admitted he was “briefly attached” to the far-right British National Party.

Nicholas Betts-Green, from Woodbridge, who has been selected to fight the Suffolk Coastal seat at the next election, said the British National Party (BNP) had appealed to him because of its hostile attitude to the European Union.

A retired teacher and motorcycle enthusiast, Mr Betts-Green was educated at Woodbridge School, as was BNP leader Nick Griffin.

“Unwisely, I agreed to attend a talk he gave in Ipswich. Knowing of my dislike for all things EU, he played up the BNP's anti-EU stance,” said Mr Betts-Green.

“It was this which persuaded me, very briefly, to attach myself to the BNP. I regretted it at once because of the people I met were somewhat rabid in their views.

“I have always felt the BNP to be unelectable because of their earlier National Front associations and I detached myself as rapidly as possible."

I never did anything of any kind for them and that one meeting was the only time I ever attended any sort of group.”

Mr Betts-Green said he had made it “absolutely clear” in August to the UK Independence Party's (UKIP) then acting chief executive, Piers Marchant, that he had attended the Ipswich meeting.

He wrote to Mr Marchant saying he would understand if his brief connection with the BNP ruled him out as a UKIP candidate, but was told he could proceed with his application.

Mr Betts-Green was interviewed by a panel of three UKIP members after the annual autumn conference in Bristol and given permission to seek the nomination to contest the Suffolk Coastal seat held by Conservative MP John Gummer.

Although no longer a member of the Conservative Party, Mr Betts-Green has remained a member of the Conservative Monday Club, which pledges its “loyalty to the Crown, opposes any interference to our judiciary, Parliament or economy by Brussels” and believes that anyone offered UK citizenship “must be able to show that they can use English as a first language”.

The club was expelled from association with the Tories in October 2001 because its views were said not to be compatible with mainstream Conservatism.

Mr Betts-Green, who served in the RAF and worked for British Airways before turning to teaching at Cheltenham Ladies College and later Farlingaye High School in Woodbridge, said his reason for joining the Monday Club was to enable him to get hold of the organisation's research papers, which were “mines of information of an anti-EU nature”.

Source: East Anglian Daily Times, 30th November 2004

Monday, November 29

UKIP faces chaos under Kilroy - leader

Uk Independence Party leader Roger Knapman last night warned that the anti-EU party would descend into chaos if the former television presenter Robert Kilroy-Silk succeeded in his latest leadership bid.

Mr Knapman, one of the UKIP's two Euro-MPs in the South West, warned that senior figures in the party could not work with Mr Kilroy-Silk, whose supporters say he is close to pulling together the backing needed to trigger a leadership contest.

He suggested that a win for Mr Kilroy-Silk would provoke a constitutional crisis for the party as fellow MEPs would refuse to serve under him.

He added: "Some very hard things have been said and it has come to the stage where I and most of my fellow MEPs could not, under any circumstances, work with him again. In that respect the stakes are now rising dramatically."

Mr Kilroy-Silk was one of 12 UKIP members elected in the party's stunning breakthrough in June's European Parliament elections. But he quickly fell out with colleagues after repeatedly making it plain that he believed he should be leader.

Last month, Mr Kilroy-Silk withdrew from the party whip in the European Parliament. Since then he has taken part in a series of meetings with UKIP members across the country in a bid to drum up the support to trigger a leadership challenge.

Under UKIP's constitution, an emergency general meeting can be called if it is demanded by one-fifth of the party's 223 constituency chairmen. An aide to Mr Kilroy-Silk told the WMN that he now had the support of more than 50 local party chairmen.

But a letter has not yet been received by the party's ruling committee. Mr Knapman said it remained far from clear whether Mr Kilroy-Silk had the support needed.

Source: Western Morning News, Plymouth, November 27th 2004

Thursday, November 25

Not there again...

This week in the Committee on Budgetary Control, 5 Commissioners with the biggest responsibilities were questioned and an exchange of views was held on the 2003 Discharge, including the ECA Annual Report 2003.

On Monday, at the hearing with the Commissioners for Administrative Affairs, Audit and Anti-Fraud and for Financial Programming and Budget, Titford signed in, stayed for a short time, but left before the debate with the commissioners. Mote stayed and made his usual accusations, but left within the first hour when the Commissioner for Agriculture was being cross-examined.

Neither MEP was present for the hearings with the Commissioner for Regional Policy and the Commissioner for Employment and Social Affairs.

In other words, 5 Commissioners were cross-examined on the accounts and UKIP didn't bother to stay and listen.

Source: Anonymous

And it goes on.....

UKIP is again facing a new leadership challenge. After Knapman's poll of constituency chairs, we thought it was all over, but apparently it isn't.

Since resigning from the UKIP whip in the European Parliament, Kilroy-Silk has spent his time touring 10 local branches. To begin the process of ousting Roger Knapman as party leader, branches can call a local meeting at which they pass a vote calling for a leadership contest.

According to Kilroy-Silk's aide, Tony Bennett, 12 branch chairman have already passed such a motion and more are in the process of doing so. They need 47 - the number required by the party's constitution before an emergency general meeting can be held.

Tony Stone, the UKIP party secretary, said, however, that he had not received a single valid letter on the subject from the branch chairman.

London Assembly member Damien Hockney, chairman of UKIP's Kensington and Chelsea branch, said today: "I believe a leadership contest is now inevitable. I will work with anyone who is elected, but I will be voting for Mr Kilroy-Silk."

Nigel Farage said that the move would inflict huge damage on the UKIP's general election chances: "It is the last thing we need. Even if they succeeded in getting a general EGM, members would vote overwhelmingly against Mr Kilroy-Silk, who has behaved appallingly."

However, Knapman is ever positive saying, "It's just a regular group from London trying to cause problems for the party."

Sources: http://www.timesonline.co.uk/section/0,,2,00.html
http://www.thisislondon.co.uk/news/articles/14911622?source=Evening%20Standard

Tuesday, November 23

UKIP aren't voting

There is clear evidence to suggest that UKIP are not fulfilling their role in the European Parliament.

To date, none of the current 10 UKIP MEPs, nor the 2 former UKIP MEPs, have voted on a report in committee.

Isn't it funny that UKIP set out to destroy the European Parliament, a legislative body, yet fail to contribute to the legislative process?

Source: European Parliament website

Kilroy says: I haven't read the boring EU constitution

TV personality and MEP Robert Kilroy-Silk may be fighting the proposed European constitution, but he has admitted not reading the entire document.

Europe's future may hinge on the constitution, but, in an exclusive interview [with the Yorkshire Post], Mr Kilroy-Silk said he had more important things to do than spend his time reading about such a "boring subject".

Full story here.

See also: http://winneker.blogspot.com/ for more information on the Constitution and Referenda

Nattrass: Tibet and the UK have a lot in common

During the debate on breaches of human rights in Strasbourg last week, Michael Nattrass likened the situation in Tibet to that of the UK in the EU.

However, he failed to stay for the vote at the end of the debate.

Source: Anonymous

Friday, November 19

Football Hooligans represented in Parliament

Following Farage's outrageous outbursts in the European Parliament this week, all the political group leaders attacked him.

Graham Watson, leader of the Liberal Group, said: "I am sometimes ashamed of Britain's reputation across Europe for its football hooligans. I fear we now have their representatives here in Parliament."

Source: European Parliament website

Tuesday, November 16

Official: Kilroy-Silk no longer a member of UKIP

On Monday 15th November, the Independence and Democracy group informed the President of the Parliament that Kilroy-Silk is no longer a member of the group and had become a non-attached member.

Source: European Parliament website

Kilroy urges revolution within Ukip

Robert Kilroy Silk said his battle for the leadership of the UK Independence Party was "not over yet", claiming he had signed up enough branches to force an election at a time of his choosing.
And he said he would stand as an MP in the upcoming general election, whether for Ukip or a new party.

The East Midlands MEP last month resigned the Ukip whip in the European Parliament amid a furious row over his bid for the leadership.

He said it was time for grassroots members to mount a "revolution" to seize power from the current leadership, who he dismissed as a "small cabal". If he was leader, he would get rid of a racist element that existed within the party, he said.

In an interview to be broadcast tomorrow on Channel 4's Morgan and Platell programme, the former chat show host insisted he had no regrets about saying he would "kill" the Tories or over the controversial remarks about Arabs which got him the sack from the BBC.

He also said that he had turned down the offer both of a knighthood and a peerage.
Asked about his efforts to unseat Ukip leader Roger Knapman, Mr Kilroy Silk said: "It isn't over yet. Believe me, it isn't over.

"I'm going round the country, we have people organising the branches, we already have far more branches than are necessary to force an election signed up. But we want more, and we want to choose our time. The members have to have a revolution in which they take control of the party."

He insisted his campaign for the leadership was not driven by egotism: "I honestly don't want the title. I was offered a knighthood and a peerage and I've turned (them down). The only thing I ever wanted was to have the letters MP after my name."

Asked whether he would stand for Parliament in the election expected next spring, he replied: "At the moment that is my plan, yes." But he acknowledged he did not know whether he would be standing as a Ukip candidate, saying only: "That's another matter."

Source: Birmingham Post, November 13th 2004

'Mischief-making' UKIP rebel hits leadership close to home

Ukip rebel Robert Kilroy-Silk visited the Westcountry over the weekend to throw down the gauntlet to party leader Roger Knapman in his own backyard. Speaking to around 100 people at Lakeview Country Club in Bodmin on Saturday, the East Midlands MEP and former television chat show host said it was disgraceful that, five months after UKIP dealt a telling blow to established parties in the local elections, Mr Knapman, of West Devon, had failed to come up with clear policies.

He said: "I have been invited here to speak to UKIP members by UKIP members themselves. We don't have any policies for the General Election a few months away, and I think it is negligence on the part of the leadership. There has to be a revolution from the bottom up. If the leader won't lead, then let someone else take charge." But Sue Palfrey, manager of UKIP's South West office, said Mr Kilroy-Silk had little support among party members.

She said: "There are policies. We have a 2001 manifesto and there is a new manifesto being prepared as we speak."Mr Kilroy-Silk has only been in the party a few minutes and he is just mischief-making. We are fully behind Mr Knapman and the sooner all this bickering stops the better."

Source: Western Morning News, 15 November 2004

Thursday, November 11

Bloomers ready to quit shock

FIRST the United Kingdom Independence Party loses the services of that most lucid statesman Robert Kilroy-Silk.

Now comes the devastating news that another highly sophisticated political operator may soon step down.

Godfrey Bloom UKIP's Yorkshire MEP who enraged feminists everywhere with his quips about how women should clean behind the fridge has told the Diary he has no intention of remaining a politician for long. "I never intended to ever stand more than once " he said. "I've been told never say never in politics. But I do have a real job."

One reason may be the cost. The financial broker who lives near Selby told the Evening Press back in June that he couldn't live on an MEP's £57 000 salary. Now he has revealed that his election campaign cost him £30 000.

Not the £2 billion spent by John Kerry and George Bush in America certainly. But a fair sum nonetheless.

"If you cannot write some big cheques you don't have a prayer which means that the system always throws up the same people.

"Why else is it that all politicians are white male middle class?" says Bloomers the well-known young black lesbian.

Source: www.thisisyork.co.uk

UKIP man has a new theory

Steve Reed (Chairman, UKIP Wells and Weston-super-Mare branch) wrote: "I place `renewable resources' in parenthesis [sic], because the resources meant are not renewable, whereas fossil-fuels are. … Fossil-fuels are constantly being produced on the tectonic conveyor-belt. This is not just academic nit-picking: these processes are generally very slow, but oil-wells do refill".

Steve Reed also revealed: "Taking energy from winds and tides irreversibly enervates the weather system and slows the rotation of the Earth".

Source: http://www.britainineurope.org.uk/theissues/enews/enews-01-10-04
Yorkshire Post, August 5th 2004

Wednesday, November 3

Knapman on the Constitution

"The very name of our party gives a clue to our objections to the European constitution: it would erode our independence by supplanting our own constitution.

The origins of the British constitution stretch back a thousand years and the result has been honed by years of debate and adaptation to changing circumstances.

It is not perfect - nothing abstract contrived by man ever is - but having had its teething problems sorted out it must be better than something contrived from scratch whose precise meaning is subject to different interpretations during translation.

Successive Labour and Conservative governments have signed away British rights to the EU for many years now, but none has gone so far as this: signing away the right of the British people to self-government.

Our country has granted, or fought for, self-determination for more countries than any other.
Belgium is a good example which was established and guaranteed its independence by Britain and France under a treaty of 1839.

The violation of its independence in 1914 was what brought Britain into the First World War.

Poorly thought out?
How bitterly ironic it would be to hand over Britain's own self determination to an unaccountable institution only eight miles from Waterloo!

Of course no British government has managed to bring any powers back from Brussels, because under the acquis communitaire this is not possible.

But all that has been previously signed away pales into insignificance alongside what must be the most poorly thought out constitution of all time.

A constitution is supposed to be politically neutral, setting out the powers of the state and its relation to its citizens.

Golf club?
This constitution most decidedly is not, with its commitments to full employment, price stability, a social market economy and its promotion of scientific and technological advance.

Laudable as these aims may be, they are political objectives which serve to constrain within tight bounds the future direction of the European Union. What happens when these constitutional aims conflict?

The simple truth is that the British electorate is being lied to once again by the professional politicians.

Jack Straw suggested that the EU constitution is no more important than the constitution of a golf club, and yet what a golf club that would be, complete with its own army, police force, judiciary, parliament, currency, foreign minister and diplomatic service!

We should most emphatically not sign this constitution.

Aggressive expansion?
It fundamentally erodes still further the sovereignty of the United Kingdom, and sets a dangerous precedent for the future.

It extends EU competencies, and does so in such an imprecise way that it is almost impossible to quantify the long-term effects.

It allows the European Union a role in domestic education and health care, and as we have seen in the past, once it has a foothold in specific policy areas, it aggressively expands its influence until national parliaments are left with nothing.

For any who doubt that, look at the economic catastrophe which is the eurozone, or the destruction of fisheries and agriculture wrought by those common policies areas.

Withdrawal call
The truth is straightforward.

Great Britain does not need a European constitution which reverses the legal rights and privileges of British citizens, and never will do.

Defeat of the constitution in a referendum will at best merely slow the rush towards the creation of a United States of Europe: we have seen just this week the commission attempting to circumvent democratic rejection of the constitution by implementing its proposals on immigration, justice and home affairs before it is even signed, let alone ratified.

There is only one way to safeguard the sovereignty of the British people, and that is for us to withdraw from the European Union."

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3962309.stm#knapman

Friday, October 29

Joan Collins may not vote UKIP

Jaon Collins revealed this week that she may be a patron of UKIP, but she wouldn't necessarily vote for it.

In an interview for Spectator Magazine she said, "I am not a supporter. I'm a patron. 'Patron' means they put my name at the head of their paper. And it means I could be a supporter but it doesn't necessarily mean that I'm going to vote that way. I understand there have been some changes."

The news came after Kilroy-Silk withdrew from UKIP. Kilroy-Silk persuaded her to join the party.

Source: http://politics.guardian.co.uk/otherparties/story/0,,1338144,00.html

You're all Barmy!

Kilroy-Silk withdrew from the UKIP whip in the European Parliament on Wednesday (27th October).

The decision means that he will be under no obligation to vote with, or work in general with, other members of the party in the Parliament. He will retain his office in the European Parliament but will sit with the independent non-aligned MEPs in the Chamber.

He refused to take part in the usual daily meeting of UKIP MEPs in Strasbourg this week and announced his decision to withdraw from the whip to the press, without consulting with his colleagues.

Kilroy-Silk said, "I am relieved and happy to leave a group which engaged in barmy politics."

Leader, Roger Knapman, was keen to point out that Kilroy-Silk jumped and was not pushed from the party. Knapman said, "He did have talents, particularly in the promotion of the party and of himself. But he has caused us a lot of negative coverage."

Sources: http://www.ukip.org/abc_news/gen12.php?t=1&id=1068
http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,,1337642,00.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3958273.stm

Mote confused about Corruption?

Dismissed UKIP MEP, Ashley Mote, released a press release on 21st October entitled "MEP says Britain should stop paying Brussels £12 billion/year until fraud eliminated."

Mote served documents on Robert Wardle, director of the Serious Fraud Office, inviting him to investigate the persistent and massive misuse of British taxpayers’ money.

The documents include include allegations such as the lack of financial control within the EU, saying some 95 percent of EU funds are not properly accounted for, and there has been no audit of the EU’s treasury for the last 14 years.

Why then did Mote sign into the Budget Committee on Monday 25th October, but fail to stay? The Committee was discussing irregular payments under the CAP and the procedure for future appointments of the OLAF Supervisory Committee.

Wednesday, October 27

Oi!

Kilroy-Silk was refused the floor by Josep Borrell, but he was not ordered to leave the hemicycle.

As MEPs discussed the controversy about the proposed appointment of Rocco Buttiglione as a European commissioner, Kilroy-Silk laughed and shouted, "Point of order. Oi! Point of order" while banging his desk.

As he yelled out Socialist group leader Martin Schulz, who was trying to speak during a debate on the new EU Commission, said sarcastically: "Perhaps Parliament's medical services could despatch some tranquillisers."

Sources: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3958273.stm
http://news.independent.co.uk/europe/story.jsp?story=576756
The Sun, Thursday 28th Ocotber 2004

Wednesday, October 20

Irrecoverable position

Has the UK Independence party (Ukip) developed as much disdain for people with mental health problems as it has for Europe? The party's website states that, to protect itself from "extremists", anyone "with a record of serious mental illness" is barred from applying to become a parliamentary or council candidate.

Evidently, winning votes from the mental health lobby has never been Ukip's priority. Its most high profile MP is Robert Kilroy-Silk, who last year was shortlisted for Mind's bigot of the year award for his anti-mental illness rants in tabloid newspapers.

Ukip's director of communications, Mark Croucher, insists his party will not change its policy. He clarifies that the party's definition of serious mental illness encompasses schizophrenia, but not depression or manic depression. "As the condition [schizophrenia] is widely regarded as incurable, this is a good reason to debar such people from office," he says. "The majority of people recognise that while schizophrenia is controllable with medication, you cannot get better.
"I am not aware of any MP or someone holding political office who suffers from schizophrenia.
With manic depression, for example, there can be a resolution."

Paul Farmer is director of public affairs of Rethink, a charity that campaigns against discrimination towards those with a mental health diagnosis. He accuses Ukip of "shocking" discrimination and has demanded that it change its rules.

"Ukip's shocking policy on mental health issues beggars belief," Farmer says. "Their stigmatising approach is based on prejudice, ignorance and fear, not the facts about severe mental illness. It is a rule that belongs to the dark ages, not the 21st century. People who have experienced severe mental illness have gone on to work in business, politics and public life."

I put Croucher's comments to Ron Coleman, who, after being diagnosed with schizophrenia, went on later to become a director of a company with 14 employees, and now travels the world lecturing on recovery. "It's nonsense that people do not recover from schizophrenia," he says. "Ukip knows nothing about mental health."

Source: Society Guardian, Wednsday 20th October 2004

UKIP Leadership Challenge - is it finally over?

Kilroy-Silk has finally been told to join the team or go it alone.

The results of Knapman's phone poll of party chairmen clearly shows that they are happy with the current leader. 75% of the 235 chairmen polled support Knapman, compared to 12% who are in favour of a change.

Knapman told BBC Radio 4's Today Programme, "We are asking him to make up his mind either to support the party or plough a single furrow."

He said he wanted Mr Kilroy-Silk 'back in the fold - but as a team player'.

" Team players must cease attacks on their own party on this daily basis. I very much hope Robert will come back into the fold because if he continues to cause problems for the party then it dispirits our thousands of activists who really are very very, motivated."

However, Kilroy-Silk is determined not to give up. He told BBC radio today that he would become a team player. " The problem is there is no team. There was not a single spokesman on a single subject." I am trying to create a serious political party. It is not about the leadership, it is about what kind of party we want. I want the party to be in fighting-fit form at the next General Election."

He said that to keep quiet would be to let down the British people.

" I would actually be perpetuating a fraud. You are asking me to keep quiet about what I know to be extremely important and serious defects in the party. And that would be a fraud on the British electorate and I am not prepared to be a party to that deception."

He denied he was now out in the cold.

" It does not feel very cold where I am. I feel in the heat of the kitchen and you know what - I am not getting out."

Sources: Gallery News, Wednesday 20th October 2004
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3755012.stm
http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,,1331241,00.html

See also: The Joy of Swivel Eyed Loons by Anthony Wells

Tuesday, October 19

Kilroy-Silk bemused by "secret leadership poll"

The UKIP leadership debate is still threatening to tear UKIP apart as Kilory-Silk found out about Roger Knapman's poll of party chairmen intended to consolidate his power in the job.

Kilroy-Silk told thee BBC today that he was 'very bemused' but happy they had been converted to the idea of a leadership election. "But why don't they hold an honest, open election where the results are verifiable - instead of having this backdoor poll which is reminiscent of a banana republic. If they want to have a poll let's have a proper one."

It had been agreed in Brussels last week to put to one side any questions about the leadership but that agreement had been broken by the leadership with the poll, he said. But since that meeting, Mr Kilroy-Silk had written to 400 party chairman asking if they wanted to be ruled by a cabal and whether they wanted to be a political party or a pressure group. Mr Kilroy-Silk said his letter had not been a leadership bid but a call for a debate on the party's future.

However, it appears that Knapman has more supporters than the former Labour MP. So far of the 115 chairmen contacted so far out of a total of 235, 79 have backed Mr Knapman, 15 supported Mr Kilroy-Silk and 21 were undecided.

The new UKIP donor, Alan Bown, has now threatened to withdraw any more funding if Kilroy-Silk continues his leadership bid. He has appealed for unity. He said, "It seems to me completely unnecessary to go through a leadership contest so near to a general election.

"The figures agree with my own view that there should be no contest.

"Consequently, I am appealing to Robert to abandon his leadership bid for the sake of party unity.

"If Robert decides to continue with his leadership challenge, I will reluctantly have to reconsider the funding that I have promised for his personal election campaign in the East Midlands. "

Mr Bown praised Mr Knapman in his efforts as the party leader, adding that he has increased party membership from 8,000 to 26,500.

Source: Gallery News, Tuesday 19th Ocotber 2004, http://politics.guardian.co.uk/otherparties/story/0,,1330879,00.html
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3755012.stm

Monday, October 18

Disgraced Aitken 'May Stand as Ukip Candidate'

Disgraced former Tory Cabinet minister Jonathan Aitken may attempt a political comeback by contesting his old parliamentary seat for the UK Independence Party, it emerged today.

Aitken, 62, lost his Thanet, Kent constituency at the 1997 election after 23 years.

He was jailed for 18 months for perjury in 1999, and Tory Leader Michael Howard has made it clear he will not be allowed to represent his old party in the House of Commons again.

However, in an interview with the Kent On Sunday newspaper published today, Aitken said he was now considering standing as a UKIP candidate.

“There’s a temptation there, an interest there, so I am genuinely pondering it in a hesitant way.

He added: “We know from the very good vote that UKIP got in Thanet generally, and in Kent, that the UKIP candidate will get a very respectable vote.

“There is bound to be a UKIP candidate in South Thanet. Whether he’s called Brown, Jones or Aitken that candidate will do well.”

Aitken said he would wait until after the UKIP party conference in Bristol next month to make a final decision on whether to run.“

I want to see a bit more of UKIP I’m planning to go as an observer to their conference.”

Source: http://news.scotsman.com/latest.cfm?id=3520688

Bloom faces harrassment claim

Bloom has officially failed to redeem himself as a non-sexist member of the European Parliament's Women's Commitee.

After inviting a group of female students from Cambridge University last month, he is now facing accusations of sexual harrassment from one of the group.

In a formal letter of complaint written to the President of the Parliament, Rebecca Bowtell claims she witnessed the MEP "sexually harassing a number of women, and making a constant stream of sexist and misogynistic remarks."

In her letter, Ms Bowtell, claims that Mr Bloom turned to a colleague and said: 'Isn't she the most delicious bimbette? Absolutely thick, but good tits'.

Mr Bloom has strongly denied any allegations that he touched the Ms Bowtell's leg telling the Independent: "I was not sitting at her table. My wife was at the dinner, there was no impropriety. The whole thing is complete and total nonsense. It has been concocted. She is following a political agenda. It was a grotesque abuse of hospitality."

He believes that Ms Bowtell has political motivations. He said, 'I think there is a political motive here. She is from Robinson College women's union - which explains everything. I am relatively new to politics and not used to this sort of thing.

As well as feeling intimidated by Mr Bloom's comments, Ms Bowtell is also shocked that he used EU funding to subsidise a visitors group not from his own constituency. She wrote in her letter: "As none of us are actually Mr Bloom's constituents, my first complaint against him is that he is misusing EU funds to further his own ends, in this instance a PR exercise involving the Cambridge University Women's Rugby Team."

Ms Bowtell is seriously considering reporting Mr Bloom to the Belgian Police.

Sources: http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=572690
Daily Mail, Saturday 16th October 2004,
Sunday Mirror, Sunday 17th October 2004

Friday, October 15

Ukip party split over Tory stance

STAFFORD’S UK Independence Party (Ukip) is refusing to toe the party line by supporting Tory Euro sceptic David Chambers instead of fielding its own representative in a general election.


The party in the town wants to avoid anti-European voters being forced to split their vote between either themselves or the Conservatives - and allowing Labour’s David Kidney to remain in Parliament.
The move could anger senior Ukip members nationally as it goes against the party’s decision to field candidates in all constituencies rather than helping the Tories.

Speaking at the weekend, high-profile MEP Robert Kilroy-Silk said if the party refused to put candidates forward in some areas it would go against Ukip’s aim to "kill" the Conservatives.

Ukip’s main cash provider multi-millionaire Paul Sykes this week withdrew his backing because he believes standing against Tory Euro sceptics will be a disaster for the country.

He says Ukip cannot win a general election and standing in every constituency would damage the Tories, the only Euro sceptic party capable of forming a government.

Mr Sykes, who has funded many of Ukip’s campaigns, has now opted to support the Conservatives instead.

Paul Gilbert, Ukip’s Stafford constituency association chairman, said he was pleased by Mr Sykes’ decision.

"I am delighted that Mr Sykes has reinforced the commitment that I and the association have made," he said.

"This is a stance I feel we should make.

"It would be a pointless exercise for the Ukip to field candidates in constituencies with sitting Europhobe MPs or where there are stronger Europhobe candidates with a greater possibility than the Ukip of winning that seat.

"The probability will be to split the Euro sceptic vote and return a pro-European to Westminster. This is certainly self defeating.

"We should be consistent throughout the country as otherwise it will dilute the Euro sceptic vote."

Mr Gilbert said Stafford members would now use their energies to support Victor Chell, chairman of the South Staffordshire constituency, in his efforts to dislodge MP and pro European Sir Patrick Cormack.

Meanwhile, Mr Chambers, speaking from the Tory party conference in Bournemouth, said he was delighted with the news.

"I am a Euro sceptic. I support Michael Howard in wanting to pull powers back from Brussels," he said.

"If we were unable to do that then I personally would call for a referendum for the British people. I think Ukip members in Stafford are very happy to support that.

"A lot of people in all walks of life are unhappy with Europe’s role in their lives. If we have a third term Labour government we will enter the single European currency and that will lead to a federal Europe. The vast majority of people are totally opposed to that."

Mr Kidney said he was unconcerned by the news, but declined to comment any further.

Source: http://www.staffordshirenewsletter.co.uk/detail.asp?cat=General%20News&id=4947269

Wednesday, October 13

UKIP - No Connections with the BNP?

The UK Independence Party held its AGM this weekend, and following its success in the European elections the leadership is determined to show what a thoroughly sane and respectable bunch they now are - even if the the presence of Robert Kilroy-Solk would seem to suggest otherwise.

As the UKIP website boasts: "In order to protect the party from infiltration by extremists... all prospective parliamentary candidates and constituency office bearers must sign declarations confirming that they have no criminal record, no record of serious mental illness and no previous association with extremist political groups of right or left."

No doubt this will come as surprise to Martyn Heale, charman of the fast-growing UKIP branch in South Thanet. Heale, a sometime prison officer at Wormwood Scrubs, was previously a branch organiser and council candidate for the National Front.

Source: Private Eye, Number 1116, 1 - 14 October 2004

Monday, October 11

25 things you didn't know about UKIP

Press release from Richard Corbett MEP and Britain in Europe:

Corbett and BE expose UKIP’s darkest secrets

Pro-European campaign group Britain in Europe has published a comprehensive report, entitled 25 things you didn’t know when you voted for UKIP.

Written by Richard Corbett, an expert on the European Parliament and an MEP in Yorkshire, the document is to be launched tomorrow at a press conference in Brussels. It is already available in the UK.

The cornerstone of Corbett’s report is an analysis of current and recent links between UKIP and other extreme-right groups, including the BNP, the National Front and the New Britain Party.

But the document also highlights UKIP’s pronouncements on subjects ranging from immigration (“bleating blacks and Asians… why don’t they stop whining and get a life?”), to women’s rights (“No self-respecting businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age”), to terrorism (the UK's position in the EU is analogous to Chechnya's position in Russia), to gay rights (“I don’t want to campaign around gays… I don’t think they do a lot for society”).

And it investigates the dubious histories of many of UKIP’s leading activists, as well as the appalling record of UKIP’s MEPs in the European Parliament.

Richard Corbett said:

“It’s been common knowledge for months that there’s more motivating the UK Independence Party than they are prepared to admit. But this is the first time that a single document has brought together strands of evidence from dozens of sources, each carefully referenced and double-checked.

“The views expressed by UKIP’s representatives range from the sickening, to the risible, to the downright bizarre. This report exposes them for what they truly are.”

Full document here: 25 things you didn't know about UKIP

Friday, October 8

UKIP - Not A Proper Party?

UKIP are not a proper party in Wales, as is proved in the Electoral Commission's publication: 'The National Assembly for Wales Election 2003 - Campaign Spending'. Instead of running a proper, funded local campaign in every seat, they opt for high visibility advertising.

"The United Kingdom Independence Party reported having spent £33,779 on election materials, more than either Plaid Cymru or the Conservatives. While they incurred significant expenditure of£6,162 and £5,124 on producing party broadcasts and overheads respectively, UKIP's expenditure appears to have been mainly concentrated in two areas - election materials and advertising - on which they reported having spent £23,182, more than any other party that contested the election."

"UKIP reported a high level of campaign expenditure. Constituency candidates representing the party however reported relatively low levels of expenditure. The 19 UKIP candidates who submitted election expenditure returns reported total expenditure of£11,209 - an average of £509 per candidate. Where party expenditure is higher but the expenditure levels of the party's candidates are comparatively low, this could reflect a more centralised or generic campaign strategy."

Another notable aspect of UKIP's expenditure was the £90 it spent onits manifesto. (This compares with £11,215 spent by theConservatives). By comparison, UKIP spent £33,779 on unsolicited materials to electors. This demonstrates their complete arrogance with regard to policy development and the democratic process with regard to the Welsh Assembly.

It is also noteworthy that Elizabeth Phillips UKIP's candidate in Brecon & Radnorshire was one of only four candidates not to submit returns as to election expenses. (The others were 2 Independents and one Tory in the Rhondda). Failure to submit expenses is an illegal act.

Source: http://www.electoralcommission.gov.uk/templates/search/document.cfm/8855
Wales in Europe

What exactly do MEPs do...? (Part 3)

It appears the novelty is wearing off for some of the UKIP MEPs. Titford and Mote were both absent from the Cocobu Meeting last Tuesday when other committee members debated the ECA (European Court of Auditors) Special Report on the Recovery of Irregular Payments under the CAP amounting to €3 billion with the ECA and Commission.

It also appears that UKIP have decided not to put a member on the Temporary Committee on Policy Challenges and Budgetary Means of the Enlarged Union 2007-2013.

Source: Anonymous, European Parliament web site


Wednesday, October 6

Not So Wise...

MEDIA is the EU funded programme that promotes European film - pump-priming smallproducers and targetting cross-border productions and specialist areas of film. It actually generates income that is then reinvested in film production.

In a discussion on the new programme in the Parliament's Culture Committee, Tom Wise (UKIP Member for Eastern Region) described the programme as propaganda, the like of which Goebbels would have been proud.

Source: Anonymous

Kilroy-Silk told to "toe the party line"

UKIP leader, Roger Knapman, has warned Kilroy-Silk to "toe the party line" and become a "team-player" or face disciplinary action.

Knapman confirmed in an interview on BBC Radio 4 that there was never a deal that Kilroy-Silk would replace him after the June elections. "Does he want a UK independence party based on politics or a Kilroy-Silk party based on showbiz?

"I'd like to make it perfectly clear, despite what was said, at no stage did I ever enter into any conversation, let alone discussion with Robert about handing over leadership of the party. Therefore there is no agreement, and therefore no agreement which I could renege upon.

"The party leadership was determined by one person, one vote, so there would be no straight hand over, " he said."If I was to resign, then quite frankly other people would put their hats in and quite frankly I wonder at Robert's age why he wants to do it because I think the vast majority would go for somebody like Nigel Farage, the next generation."

He added: "It is one thing to be ambitious. He must start to think about being a team player. I think Robert is beginning to understand that politics is a bit more serious a business than he might have been engaged in for a while."

"But he must understand that we can't forever tolerate people who cannot toe the party line. We have disciplinary procedures - it is not a question of that as yet.

"He wants to be party leader apparently. I think he will soon grasp the understanding that there is no question of that happening, but if he waits for two years and has a good record in the eyes of the party membership as a loyal member of the team, then he stands a chance of being made leader."

Sources: Gallery News, Tuesday 5th October 2004, http://news.independent.co.uk/uk/politics/story.jsp?story=569237

New Donor for UKIP

After the shocking news yesterday that Paul Sykes was refusing to fund UKIP, it didn't take long for a Kent businessman to come up with the cash.

Alan Bown, who has already dontated £500,000 to UKIP, said on BBC Radio 4's, The World Tonight that he would "continue to fund any shortfall that's necessary through Paul's withdrawing.

"Two hundred thousand pounds would be no problem. I'm not saying I can raise £1 million overnight, but I have a considerable property portfolio and I'm happy to back whatever it takes."

Sources: Gallery News, 6th October 2004, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3715446.stm

Tuesday, October 5

Sykes: UKIP have "blown it"

Yorkshire millionaire, Paul Sykes, has said he will not fund UKIP at the next general election after they said they wuld put candidates up against Tories who are anti the European Constitution.

The last straw came when Kilroy-Silk described the Conservative Party as a dying party and UKIP's role was to kill it.

Sykes believes that these tactics will only lose the Conservatives seats. He said on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme: "There is only one major party now that is anti-Brussels, that is for repatriating powers," he said.

"I am at least warming to what I am hearing from the Conservative Party and I have no intention whatsoever of upsetting their applecart."

Nigel Farage said the news came as a "blow" and told the Today Programme: "We have never been about UKIP as a party, as a tribe, being the most important thing."

"The most important thing to us is we get out of the EU and get back to a simply free trade agreement.

"In my opinion, we should not fighting against sitting Tory and Labour MPs who are prepared to say the right things."

However, Kilroy-Silk isn't so concerned as he explained that they have had other offers of funding. He said: "The people who have offered donations did not say so but the assumption is that they will be paying for a challenge that I will be spearheading."

Farage is now hoping that UKIP will review its position and persuade Sykes to change his mind. He said: "If he sees the UK Independence party reassess what it did on Saturday - and I very much hope that in the cold light of day we do reassess what happened on Saturday - I wouldn't rule out at some point Paul helping us again."

Sykes' announcement comes just after it has been made clear that Kilroy-Silk will not become leader of UKIP. Nigel Farage said that Kilroy-Silk will be disappointed if he wants to become leader, adding: " There is no appetite within the party at all for any form of internecine warfare. There is no desire for a leadership contest at all."

Sources: Gallery News, Tueday 5th October 2004, http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3715446.stm
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/conservatives2004/story/0,,1320144,00.html

Mandelson 1 - 0 Farage

Farage failed to upset Mandelson duing his Commissioner's hearing yesterday.

Farage, who had promised to "be there in force at the hearings" and to put Mandelson under a lot of scrutiny asked the former MP for Hartlepool whether swearing the Commissioner's oath to further EU common interests alone was a contravention of his oath of loyalty tothe Queen as a British Privy Counsellor. Mr Mandelson responded with a clear "no." He said: "I reject completely the idea that one cannot serve Britain by pursuing the interests of Europe as a whole. There is no contradiction between the two."

Mandelson didn't even get angry when Farage requested he came to the UK and campaign for a Yes vote for the European constitution, saying it would help UKIP's cause.

Mr Mandelson said he would indeed be campaigning for a Yes vote and, he retaliated to the Eurosceptic MEP by pointing out the word sceptic actually means "open to persuasion".

Sources: Sunday Express, August 15th 2004, http://www.europarl.ep.ec/press/audicom2004/resume/041001_mandelson_EN.pdf
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/politics/3712186.stm

'Kilroy for PM' Poll Scrapped

An online poll asking readers to vote for the best candidate for Prime Minister has been scrapped - after Robert Kilroy-Silk came top.

The Bruges Group, a Euro-sceptic think-tank, organised the ballot but withdrew the results from its website saying they had been "sabotaged".

One computer had voted for UKIP MEP Kilroy-Silk more than 1,400 times pushing Tony Blair into second place, said the group's director Robert Oulds.

Before the results were scrapped, a UKIP spokesman said that Kilroy-Silk had 1521 votes, Blair 691, UKIP leader Roger Knapman 284, Liberal Democrat leader Charles Kennedy 242, Conservative leader Michael Howard 119, and Chancellor Gordon Brown 92.

Mr Oulds said the poll was put on their website late on Friday, adding: "This happens all the time with internet polls."

He said they "run the risk of somebody sabotaging them - just a shame, it ruins it for everyone else".

Mr Kilroy-Silk stated he had no knowledge who might have been behind the alleged internet "sabotage".

He added: "It may well be that one person has masqueraded as a thousand. If they did, if they were doing it as a bit of mischief, they should have been supporting the party leader."

Source: http://icliverpool.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/budget/page.cfm?objectid=14692601&method=full&siteid=50061

Monday, October 4

Kilroy-Silk to Challenge Leadership?

Robert Kilroy-Silk urged party members to tell the current leader, Roger Knapman, that it was time to go. He has accused Knapman of going back on his promise that he would stand down as leader after the European elections in June.

Knapman, in his defence, said: "I am here to serve. I have done my best for the party and I am happy with my record, the party is still growing. I fully anticipate serving a full four-year term as leader."

Knapman has received the support of Nigel Farage, the UKIP leader of MEPs, who said: "He has been the safe pair of hands. He has been the person with the real political experience and it has worked".

However, Kilroy-Silk responded by saying: "What everybody tells me they want is for the current leader to accept the inevitable and to stand down. That is the only way it can happen.

"We have got a very short period of time between now and the next general election - we need to start now. If we can't start now then we have missed that window of opportunity."

As there is no mechanism for Kilroy-Silk to launch a leadership challenge, he believes now members must act if they want to see he becomes leader before a possible general election next year. He claims that he has support from grassroot members and senior members of the party.

Source: http://politics.guardian.co.uk/otherparties/story/0,,1318834,00.html

Hartlepool By-Election: UKIP Push Tories into 4th Place

The turnout was 46% in the Hartleppol by-election on Thursday 30th September and UKIP celebrated as they came 3rd place, with 149 more votes than the Tories. In a press release, UKIP said the result was a "severe embarrassment for leader Michael Howard..."

UKIP leader, Roger Knapman said: "Tonight means that we approach the General Election with some confidence.

“And I very much hope and believe we can go on to win seats next year when a General Election is called ...

“We beat the Liberal Democrats in the European elections. We beat the Conservatives tonight. We are on our way.”

The Hartlepool results in full:

Iain Wright (Labour) 12,752 (40.66%, -18.49%)
Jody Dunn (Liberal Democrat) 10,719 (34.18%, +19.15%)
Stephen Allison (Ukip) 3,193 (10.18%)
Jeremy Middleton (Conservative) 3,044 (9.71%, -11.15%)
John Bloom (Respect) 572 (1.82%)
Iris Ryder (Green) 255 (0.81%)
James Starkey (National Front) 246 (0.78%)
Paul Watson (Fathers 4 Justice) 139 (0.44%)
Christopher Herriot (Socialist Labour) 95 (0.30%, -2.09%)
Richard Rodgers (The Common Good) 91 (0.29%)
Philip Berriman (Independent) 90 (0.29%)
Alan 'Howling Laud' Hope (Official Monster Raving Loony) 80 (0.26%)
Ronnie Carroll (Independent) 45 (0.14%)
Edward Abrams (English Democrats) 41 (0.13%)

Laour majority 2,033 (6.48%)
18.82% swing Lab to LD
Electorate 68,517; turnout 31,362 (45.77%, -10.47%)

Source: www.ukip.org, http://politics.guardian.co.uk/byelections/story/0,,1317475,00.html

Wednesday, September 29

Britain should be able to negotiate its own Trade Policy

In an interview this morning for Radio 4's Today Programme, Nigel Farage MEP confirmed his belief that Britain does not need Europe for trade. He thinks that as the UK is the fourth largest economy in the world, that it should negotiate its own trade policies and have its own voice at the World Trade Organisation, which would help the Third World more than protectionist Europe.

His arguments are reiterated in the 2001 UKIP manifesto.

In the same interview, Farage claimed that 50 years of peace in Europe was due to NATO and not the European Union. But then UKIP believe that the integrity of NATO is being undermined bu the EU's new defence arrangements.

Source: BBC Radio 4 Today Programme, Wednesday September 29th 2004, http://www.ukip.org/index.php?menu=manifesto&page=manifestotop

Apology demanded from UKIP deputy for Chechnya remarks

THE deputy leader of the UK Independence Party faced calls for a public apology yesterday after suggesting Britain in Europe was similar to Chechnya under Russian rule.

Michael Nattrass, West Midlands MEP, stunned a Cardiff audience by saying Britons, like Chechen rebels, might have to fight their way out of Europe.

His comments come just weeks after hundreds of children were killed and hundreds more injured after Chechen rebels lay siege to a school in Beslan, southern Russia.

Mr Nattrass made his comments during an Institute of Citizenship Conference in Cardiff, held to debate the European Constitution.

He said, "In the same way as Chechnya is forced to be a part of Russia, we are forced to be a part of Europe. I hope we won't have to fight our way like them but I suspect we will have to fight our way out."

Among the audience was Rhondda MP Chris Bryant, of the Labour branch of the pro-EU Britain in Europe group.

Mr Bryant said the comments were at best nonsense and at worst offensive to the victims of Beslan.

He said, "If Mr Nattrass cannot see how offensive this is after what happened in Beslan, then he has no right to be a politician.

"Sadly I fear that the debate over Europe is likely to be polluted by just this type of nonsense. He should apologise immediately."

Mr Nattrass was unavailable for comment last night.

But a UKIP spokesman said, "We have long said that any situation where a country is forced to belong to a group against the will of its people there is a potential for violence as people try to get control of their nation back.

"UKIP is and remains committed to a democratic solution to bring about our withdrawal from the European Union."

Source: http://icwales.icnetwork.co.uk/0100news/0200wales/page.cfm?objectid=14682417&method=full&siteid=50082


Friday, September 24

Bloom: "Do I sound like a Millwall fan?"

According to the European Voice this week, Godfrey Bloom "reckons the politically crowd in Strasbourg is out to trip him up..."

Bloom blamed a group of Conservative MEPs for sending him flying as he left the gents toilet during a drinking session in Strasbourg, it says in the European Voice. UKIP colleague, Nigel farage, had to restrain Bloom from searching for the perpetrator.

Although Bloom has confirmed that the incident took place, he asked: "Do I sound like a Millwall supporter?" claiming he had no intention of using violence.

Source: European Voice 23rd - 29th September 2004

Thursday, September 23

Kilroy-Silk challenges travellers

Robert Kilroy-Silk has confronted travellers who sawed through a fence and occupied a cricket pitch.The East Midlands MEP walked on to the land off Sandhurst Road, Bulwell, followed by a camera crew making a film about him.

The ex-TV presenter, who was sacked by the BBC after making controversial comments in a newspaper column, spoke to them about the damage they had caused to the field.

He said: ''Nobody should be allowed to do this, and the law needs to change to protect the local community."Up to 15 caravans plus cars and vans arrived at the playing field last Thursday, churning up turf just laid thanks to a £40,000 grant from the city council.

Women the MEP spoke to said they were sorry and the mess was embarrassing. One, called Mary-Joyce, said: "We wouldn't be here if a site was provided for us."

Fellow MEP Phillip Whitehead was not impressed with Mr Kilroy-Silk's stunt. He said: "I assume his actions have less to do with his minimal attendance as an MEP and more to do with his ambition to leave us for Westminster."

Source: http://www.thisisnottingham.co.uk/displayNode.jsp?nodeId=133965&command=displayContent&sourceNode=133948&contentPK=10998292

Wednesday, September 22

Kilroy-Silk accuses Howard of plagiarising policies

UKIP MEP Robert Kilroy-Silk has accused the Conservatives of plagiarising his policies after Tory Leader Michael Howard called for upper limits on immigration.

"We made the policy announcement two weeks ago saying we would limit immigration to 100,000 and that we would have a points system where people would be selected on the basis of their skills and their aptitudes and ability and their ability to integrate into British society and make a contribution.

"He is saying virtually the same thing. He is plagiarising it, " Mr Kilroy-Silk told BBC radio.

UKIP also wants to pull out of the Geneva Convention on Human Rights to'deal more effectively with asylum seekers'.

Conservative party co-chairman Dr Liam Fox has reportedly warned the Tories need to strengthen their stance on immigration to woo back voters who defected to UKIP at the European elections.

Mr Kilroy-Silk accused Mr Howard of promoting the same policies because 'his chairman Liam Fox is telling him he has got to steal UKIP's clothes because we are stealing their votes. He is actually parroting virtually what I said last week.

"I made a speech last night about Turkey and the government's policy of it wanting to join the EU and I presume Michael Howard will make a speech on Turkey next week.

"The MEP said the reaction from his East Midlands' constituents to UKIP's policies was very positive. "They all feel the same.

"They are fed up with the old political parties. I can't see them - given an opportunity to vote for a party that tells the truth, that is honest and straight-talking - I can't see them going back to Labour and I certainly can't see them going back to the Conservatives.

"They regard the Conservatives as losers." Dr Fox admitted that reports of his warning on the Tories' immigration stance were 'selective' but 'accurate'.

"This is a real problem. I notice about some of the language about 'lurch to the right'. This is an issue which concerns a very great number of people in this country and they don't think in left and right the way Westminster commentators do."

Firm immigration controls were essential for management of race relations, management of public services and national security, he said.

"This isn't trying to shore up our core vote. This is rather to reach into areas where we need new votes, the inner cities, the ethnic communities, because they more than anyone else know we can preserve good community relations only by getting the system properly under control."

If the side effect was to deliver more votes for the Conservatives, that would be welcome, he said.

Source: Gallery News, Wednesday September 22nd 2004

Wednesday, September 15

What exactly do UKIP MEPs do...? (part two)

Even less than before, it appears. The minutes of the European Parliament on 14 September 2004 inform us that Derek Clark will be replaced on the Committee on the Internal Market and Consumer Protection (IMCO) by a Swedish member of the Independence and Democracy group, Hélène Goudin.

Kilroy to campaign in Hartlepool

UKIP proudly announced today (in a press release that is, bizarrely, dated as Saturday 18 September) that Robert Kilroy-Silk is "taking time off from his Parliamentary duties to travel 250 miles from his home in Buckinghamshire to talk to electors in Hartlepool."

For an MEP who is not a member of any committee of the Parliament, and who vowed to visit Brussels and Strasbourg only when it was "necessary and important", can he really afford to take any more time off...?

Sources:
http://politics.guardian.co.uk/elections2004/story/0,14549,1238346,00.html;
http://www.ukip.org/abc_news/gen12.php?t=1&id=986

Monday, September 13

UKIP in-fighting continues

Paul Sykes, the millionaire backer of UKIP, has now called on the party to make Robert Kilroy-Silk its leader, according to BBC News. The position of Roger Knapman MEP, the party's current leader, has been under constant threat since Kilroy became a candidate and leading personality in the European elections and helped deliver twelve MEPs for the party.

Kilroy claims that he already has funding to fight for a Westminster seat in the East Midlands (after party in-fighting and the suggestion that he may upstage Knapman were blamed for his failure to get the nomination for the Hartlepool by-election). Kilroy also made the assertion that the party had the funds to fight 44 key marginals at the next general election. He said: "I have personally been promised all the money I need to fight every marginal seat in the country. We have the money to set up offices, agents, campaigns when I decide to press the button" (emphasis added).

Gallery News, the internet politics press service, asked Nigel Farage MEP if this language meant that Kilroy was de facto party leader - Farage replied that "[Kilroy] has only been a member of the party for four months [...] Robert is Robert. He is who he is, what he is. It isn't a problem."

So little a problem, in fact, that UKIP was forced to release a statement backing Roger Knapman. The party's parliamentary whip, Jeffrey Titford MEP, said: "We wish to make it crystal clear that Roger Knapman is the Leader of the UK Independence Party and he still has more than two years of his period of office to run. This Party owes a great debt to Roger for the excellent Leadership he has shown in the last two years. He has led us to our greatest ever electoral success in June this year and we look forward to his continued Leadership.

“Any further press speculation is pointless and malicious. No single individual will decide who will lead this Party. We are a democratic Party and it is for the members to decide who our next Leader will be but there is no vacancy for the foreseeable future”.

However, it seems that one single individual with deep pockets will have a greater role in the decision than the other party members...

Source: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3645020.stm; http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3642104.stm; http://www.ukip.org/abc_news/gen12.php?t=1&id=981

What exactly do UKIP MEPs do...?

As previously noted, UKIP MEPs are not renowned for their attendance at the European Parliament.

Despite claims by Robert Kilroy-Silk MEP that UKIP will be present in Brussels and Strasbourg when it is "important and necessary", it seems that this does not include meetings of the European Parliament committees.

Kilroy-Silk, along with party leader Roger Knapman, have no position on any of the Parliament's twenty committees or two subcommittees, despite the committees being widely regarded as the place where the detailed work of the Parliament is carried out and where individual members can play a crucial role in changing legislation.

Surely Kilroy should be standing up for important and necessary British interests at this stage... or is he happy simply to shout from the sidelines...?

The full list of committee membership is as follows:
Nigel Farage: International Trade (member); Fisheries (substitute)
Gerard Batten: Foreign Affairs (substitute); Security and Defence (member)
Godfrey Bloom: Internal Market and Consumer Protection (member); Women's Rights and Gender Equality (substitute)
Graham Booth: Regional Development (member)
Derek Clark: Employment and Social Affairs (member); Internal Market and Consumer Protection (member)
Robert Kilroy Silk: neither a member nor a substitute on any committee
Roger Knapman:
neither a member nor a substitute on any committee
Michael Natrass: Transport and Tourism (member)
Jeffrey Titford: Agriculture (member); Budgetary Control (member)
John Whittaker: Economic and Monetary Affairs (member)
Tom Wise: Culture and Education (member)

This leaves UKIP with no voice in major legislative committees such as the Committee on the Enviroment, Public Health and Food Safety, the Committee on Industry, Research and Energy, and the Committee on Legal Affairs... surely the most appropriate fora to put the brakes on what Nigel Farage called "regulation, more regulation and even more regulation"...?

Sources: http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk_politics/3803599.stm; http://news.bbc.co.uk/vote2001/hi/english/parties/newsid_1179000/1179163.stm

Friday, September 10

Kilroy Silk: We have the cash to fight marginals

Kilroy-Silk revealed that UKIP will have as much money as they need in order to fight at least 44 marginal seats. They also promise not to stand against any candidate who supports withdrawal from Europe.

He told a Press Gallery lunch today: " I have personally been promised all the money I need to fight every marginal seat in thecountry. We have the money to set up offices, agents, campaigns when I decide to press the button."

However, Kilroy-Silk refused to divulge the source of the funding, though Paul Sykes, a Yorkshire businessman, was the key donor in the European elections in June.

Source: http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,,1301225,00.html
Gallery News, Thursday 9th September 2004

Wednesday, September 8

UKIP... backing Britain?

On 24 August, UKIP took the extraordinary decision to back the Paris bid for the 2012 Olympic Games - despite London's candidature.

The party's two London assembly members unfurled a pro-Paris banner at City Hall, headquarters of Ken Livingstone, London's mayor.

Damian Hockney, UKIP London assembly member, said London bid organisers were "suffering from delusion on an Olympian scale" by claiming the cost of being host city would be £3bn. Athens' games had gone over budget, the Olympics were playing to empty seats, and tourism in Greece had dropped, he added.

Mr Hockney denied he was unpatriotic, saying an Olympics-free London would save the country from billions of pounds of debt. As for Paris, "the French will make it work and make a thumping great profit out of it".

True to form, UKIP also demanded a referendum on the issue, with a switch in its support to London conditional on the approval of Londoners.

Ken Livingstone, a vocal supporter of London's bid, dismissed UKIP's protest as a stunt. "Some people will obviously say and do anything to get two minutes on the television," Livingstone said in a statement.

"Polls show 70 percent of Londoners are right behind our Olympic bid and the new investment, transport, jobs and housing it will bring to London,"he said.

UKIP's support for Paris was swiftly brushed off by senior executives of the French bid, who made an official complaint about UKIP's unauthorised use of the Paris logo and the Olympic rings.

Sources: Financial Times, 24 August 2004; The Evening Standard, 25 August 2004; Reuters News, 24 August 2004.

UKIP founder: party lacks "intellectual content"

In an interview with the Chatshow Network on 1 July, the founder of UKIP, Dr Alan Sked, turned on his former colleagues.

In the interview, Dr Sked states that:

  • "Elements of the leadership and membership are infected by xenophobia and racism";
  • UKIP's success in the European Parliament elections was due to the media being "manipulated by Dick Morris and Max Clifford";
  • the three UKIP MEPs from 1999 to 2004 (Nigel Farage, Graham Booth and Jeffrey Titford, all of whom were re-elected in June) "had done nothing, were never heard of";
  • UKIP has been "driven by internal disputes over the past five years";
  • UKIP's policy and campaigning has "no intellectual content".

Dr Sked led the party until 1999 and left UKIP shortly afterwards due to concerns about extremism in the organisation.

Source: http://www.chatshow.net/interviews/interview.aspx?interviewID=63


Tuesday, September 7

Fighting fraud?

In an article written on 21 May for the UKIP website, Ashley Mote, who won a seat for UKIP in the European elections, stated that "Fraud and corruption in the European Union are out of control and the Brussels bureaucrats have proved themselves incapable of putting their own house in order."

Unfortunately, despite now being in Brussels in fight these problems and show the 'Brussels bureaucrats' his own capabilities, Mr Mote decided to leave a meeting of the European Parliament's Budgetary Control committee, held on 31 August and 1 September, before a representative of the EU's anti-fraud office, OLAF, started a one-hour presentation of the organisation's report. This was in spite of being told by the committee chair when the report would be presented and that he would have the opportunity to ask questions about fraud and corruption at this time.

UKIP's other representative on the committee, Jeffrey Titford, did not make an appearance at the meeting.

Tuesday, August 31

UKIP's darkest secrets

Article by Richard Corbett MEP on UKIP's darkest secrets - this version written before the June 2004 elections but soon to be updated and expanded.

Saturday, July 24

UKIP's enlightened view of women's rights

Amongst a series of embarrassments for UKIP at the first plenary session of the new European Parliament, none was bigger than comments made by Godfrey Bloom MEP, whom UKIP named as its representative for the European Parliament Committee on Women's Rights and Gender Equality.

Proudly proclaiming that he would be representing "men's rights" on the committee, Bloom made clear his views on a number of gender equality issues.

On maternity leave, he said that "[if] you want to have a baby, you hand in your resignation and free up a job for another young lady", explaining that he would like to overturn EU maternity legislation if his position allowed. He said maternity laws that gave women six months of paid leave and the option of another six months unpaid leave, had resulted in women losing jobs and employment. Many businesses only employed women over 40, he said.

"Regulation in protection of women is all well and good in academic and government circles. If you're a small business, you'd be a lunatic to hire a woman of child bearing age." A party spokesman then backtracked from Bloom's position, suggesting that an exemption for businesses with less than 20 employees could solve much of the problem.

He also claimed that he wanted "to deal with women's issues [...] because I just don't think they clean behind the fridge enough." He added: "I am here to represent Yorkshire women, who always have dinner on the table when you get home."

Labour MEP Glenys Kinnock said that Bloom is "entitled to join the committee, though I wouldn't hold out much hope he'll enjoy it or get an easy ride." However, UKIP's attendance record in the last parliament suggests that he will attend only enough meetings to qualify for parliamentary allowances.

Kathy Sinnott, an Irish member of the Independence and Democracy group, to which UKIP belongs, said that she is considering whether she can remain a member of the same political group in the Parliament.

Despite his bluster, neighbours of Bloom point out that for all his straight talking, his home life does not bear out his notions of a woman's work being cleaning and cooking - his wife Katie is one of the country's leading horse physiotherapists.

In his home village of Wressle, Yorkshire, the Guardian found that Mr Bloom's neighbours were distinctly unimpressed with their new representative in Europe, with women in the village describing him as a "buffoon".

"My husband and I are a small business, and I can tell you they wouldn't exist without women," local businesswoman Claire Smith told the Guardian.

The Guardian was also told of Bloom's notoriously explosive bonfire night party and how, according to fellow guests, he lectures dinner parties on subjects such as the "lack of famous women composers".

Sources:
http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,,1266246,00.html; http://politics.guardian.co.uk/eu/story/0,,1266963,00.html; http://www.guardian.co.uk/guardianpolitics/story/0,,1265637,00.html; http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,,1265336,00.html; The Independent, 21 July 2004