Friday, April 29

Lessons learnt from G.W can't be bad

More details have begun to emerge about UKIP candidate, for Halesowen & Rowley Regis, Nicole Sinclair. As reported yesterday, Ms Sinclair hit the headlines when she was arrested for inappropriately demanding the floor at Birmingham's 'Queer Question Time' debate.
Ms Sinclair is not shy to political campaigning. It turns out she once campaigned for American President George Bush and that well known political maverick, Californian governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Speaking yesterday to the Birmingham Evening Mail on her time in the states, Ms Sinclaire said, "It was an exciting time and I learnt a lot of new techniques which I am using in my own campaign."

Source: Birmingham Evening Post, April 28, 2005

Thursday, April 28

Carry on at Question Time

This week marked another embarrassement for UKIP, as again one of their members made a fool of themselves in front of the cameras.
A cross panel debate entitled "Queer Question Time," which took place in Birmingham was delayed by half an hour as UKIP Parliamentary candidate for Halesowen & Rowley-Regis, Nicole Sinclaire demanded a more prominent role in the debate.
Ms Sinclaire, political assistant to UKIP deputy leader Mike Nattrass, was not given a place on the main panel, which was reserved for the three main parties to discuss homosexual perspectives in the current election campaign.
Panel members including, ex international development secretary Clare Short repeatedly asked Ms Sinclaire to leave, when she started to raise her voice and disrupt proceedings. The organisers were left with no option but to call the police, who subsequently arrested her.
Ms Sinclaire later claimed that she was protesting against a lack of democracy, due to the fact that smaller parties were not invited to join the panel.
It seems hardly surprising that an invitation was not extended to UKIP, considering their position on homosexuality. In 2004, UKIP candidate for the London mayoral elections Frank Maloney, said that he would not be campaigning in Camden because there were "too many gays" there. UKIP also align themselves with the League of Polish Families party in the European Parliament. This is an extereme nationalist party that describes homosexuality as "a condition which is unacceptable."

Source: Birmingham Post, April 26th, BBC News, 29 April 2004

Friday, April 22

Indecisive Whittaker

UKIP Euro MP for the North West, John Whittaker, has announced that he is to stand as a candidate in no less than eight constituencies for the coming general election on May 5th. This is legal under UK electoral rules.
If elected in more than one seat Whittaker would have to choose one constituency to represent. However, if the current opinion polls hold true, it seems unlikely that this is a decision that Mr Whittaker is going to be faced with.
Whatever the outcome it looks like UKIP will be faced with rather a hefty bill for loss of electoral deposits-the amount charged to stand in an election. Even if Mr Whittaker is elected in one seat, the party may still have to pay for the other seven deposits. Nevertheless, this would only be small change, when compared to the 422 electoral deposits UKIP lost in the 2001 poll.

Source: The Times 21st April 2005

Thursday, April 21

Hospitality Hiccups!

This week UKIP launched an attack on an array of EU Commissioners following alleged hospitality offered to them in the form of free holidays. The attacks centred on Commissioner for Trade, Peter Mandelson and the Commission President José Barroso.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage had posed 25 written questions to the Commission, questioning their hospitality arrangements but was given a rebuttal in one short answer as all Commissioners were found to have acted within their code of conduct.
It is true that UKIP, like all members of the European Parliament, have a duty to hold the Commission and other EU institutions to account. Nevertheless, it would appear that this self styled war on sleaze is somewhat ironic considering the voting patterns of UKIP members in last week's vote on financial discharge in Strasbourg. In this vote UKIP members Batten, Bloom, Farage, Nattrass and Wise abstained on a vote which called on the Commission to ensure that all its civil servants are aware of the means by which they can report any suspicions of wrong-doing or mismanagement and if necessary use 'whistleblower' procedures.
It would appear that such a voting pattern shows that perhaps either UKIP members have something to hide themselves, or they simply do not understand what they are voting on, or finally they are completely inconsistent in what they say.

Source: UKIP website

Friday, April 15

Optimism as UKIP manifesto is launched

UKIP today launched their manifesto for the upcoming general election and targeted 20 marginal seats it sees as possible victories. One of the main aims of the party will be to convince the electorate that it is more than a single issue party, by fighting the election under the slogan: we want our country back.
They reaffirmed their intent to pull Britain out of the European Union, which it says has imposed an 'alien system of government' on the country. UKIP also proposes to restrict immigration, cut council tax and increase Britain's dependency on nuclear power.
In his foreword to the party's manifesto, UKIP leader Roger Knapman says UKIP exists because 'none of the old political parties are prepared to accept that the real government of Britain is now in Brussels'.
UKIP had their best-ever election results in the 2004 European Parliamentary elections but since then have suffered following the high profile spat with MEP Robert Kilroy-Silk. He controversially left the party to set up rivals Veritas. Mr Knapman said UKIP would not suffer because of Mr Kilroy-Silk's departure. Nevertheless this has not stopped fellow UKIP member Godfrey Bloom from resorting to extreme measures. Bloom, of "women dont clean behind the fridge enough" fame, has placed his own fridge up for auction on ebay. It is hoped this publicity attempt will raise funds for the party. Unfortunately for UKIP the highest bid currently stands at £0.99.

Source: UKIP Manifesto, Financial Times

Wednesday, April 13

Waste of time and money

Members of the European Parliament meeting in Strasbourg for their regular plenary session, yesterday voted on reforms aimed at controlling their personal allowances and pensions. Many Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat MEPs voted for the reforms, including fines and suspension for gross financial irregularities of Members.
Kilroy Silk and Ashley Mote once again upheld their extraordinary record of abstaining. This time they abstained on some key votes including measures aimed at limiting travel costs afforded to MEPs and contributions to MEP pension funds being matched by public funds.
Another significant vote called for the European Parliament to have a single seat located in Brussels. However, the UKIP delegation along with Kilroy Silk and Mr Mote all voted in favour of an amendment which went against this proposal. This appears a rather strange tactic considering UKIP's main policy objective is to do away with EU bureaucracy and its alleged abuse of tax payer's money.

Source: EU Website

Sunday, April 10

Another UKIP own goal!

A row broke out this week end following UKIP's strategically planned sponsorship of the Coca Cola championship league clash between Burnley and Gillingham, who were playing at home.
The Professional Footballers Association (PFA), chief executive Gordon Taylor made comments ahead of the game, suggesting that UKIP's immigration policies were not compatible with football. UKIP leader Nigel Farage soon hit back threatening the PFA with legal action. He also went to lengths to expain that UKIP members are not racist but committed to equal opportunities.
It seems that Mr Farage has a very short memory. Everyone of course remembers Godfrey Bloom's infamous opinions on equal opportunities, which amount to "women not cleaning behind the fridge enough," and former UKIP MEP Robert Kilroy Silk's views on Moslems. Neither of which were forced to withdraw their comments at the time.
Back on the pitch Burnley lost 1-0 to Gillingham. Lets hope that this will be the only UKIP sponsored victory in the coming weeks!

Source: UKIP website

Thursday, April 7

Where does the money go? You tell us Godfrey!

Godfrey Bloom, the UKIP MEP for the Yorkshire region, recently pointed out an apparent "scandalous waste" of tax payer's money being spent on the European Parliament's Internal Market and Consumer Protection Committee. Mr Bloom describes the committee's main role being simply to discuss "the size and shape of whiskey bottles."

This apparently useless committee has in recent weeks put forward successful legislation to stop unfair commercial practices ranging from rip-off prize draws to scam lotteries, practices which have been conning many vulnerable people out of their hard earned money.

Had Mr Bloom actually turned up to take note of the committee's work he would in fact realise that it does not just discuss whiskey bottles. Amongst other things, it is trying to abolish prescribed size and shapes of packaging on a whole range of products, by doing away with cumbersome standard measurements uniform throughout the EU.

On a more positive note, Mr Bloom claims that he donates his attendance expenses from this committee to local charities. It can only be assumed that such charities don't rely on Mr Bloom as their main donor judging by his dismal attendance record, which wouldn't buy them much more than.....a bottle of whiskey for a tombola perhaps?

Source: Godfrey Bloom website

Friday, April 1

Red faces as UKIP apologise

UKIP today faced an embarassing climb down regarding accusations it made relating to Siim Kallas, the EU anti-fraud commissioner.
UKIP had claimed that Kallas had a criminal record for "providing false information," in a statement issued on November 19th 2004. This claim has now been apologetically withdrawn.
Mr Kallas was in fact never convicted of such a crime, after being acquitted in a case relating to an oil deal, which took place during his time as governor of the Central Bank of Estonia.
It appears that UKIP based its accusations on what it described as "an erroneous newspaper article."
This latest set back puts question marks over their credibility and is further evidence of their ignorant and ill informed attitude towards Europe.

Source: UKIP website