Wednesday, June 29

UKIP face facts in Cheadle

UKIP who last week announced their most successful election result to date, in the Staffordshire South by-election have finally come to terms with reality.
UKIP leader Roger Knapman today announced that UKIP will not field a candidate in the up coming Cheadle by election, in effect confirming UKIP's lack of support and resources.
The move is highly embarrassing for Britain's self styled fourth political party. Following last week's by-election in Staffordshire South, UKIP claimed that "The rise in UKIP support shows that people want to send a clear message to Tony Blair about the EU." Unfortunately the masses of UKIP supporters in Cheadle will now be denied this opportunity.

Source: UKIP

Friday, June 24

FAT cats UKIP

UKIP this week continued with their hypocritical voting standards in the European Parliament.
On Thursday MEPs voted on a report to establish a statute aimed at capping their pay. An overwhelming majority of the Parliament's members voted in favour of this, which when put into practice will cap their pay at around £60,000.
As things stand MEPs are paid the same wage as their colleagues in national Parliaments. This means great disparity amongst the euro MPs. Latvian MEPs currently earn around £600 a month, whilst their Italian counterparts rake in £10,000 a month. British MEPs earn roughly £55,000 a year.
All UKIP MEPs voted against the proposal, flying in the face of one of their fundamental aims - to stop the alleged financial drain the EU presents the tax payer.
It seems that UKIP are intent on protecting their generous pay packet. Last year when UKIP MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, Godfrey Bloom was asked about his parliamentary salary, he spluttered "I can't live on that!" and was hastily forced to back track by UKIP bosses.

Source: European Parliament minutes, York evening press, 27 July 2004

Staffordshire South Sad "success"

UKIP today boasted their most successful Parliamentary election result to date. The party managed to poll 2,675 votes in the Staffordshire South election, coming home in fourth place. The poll, postponed from the May 5th general election, due to the sad death of the Liberal Democrat candidate Jo Harrison, was naturally a low key affair.
UKIP claimed success by polling a 10.4% share of the vote, up on the 10.3% they managed in last year's Hartlepool by-election.
UKIP can take little heart from this result. Firstly, turnout was only 38%. Traditionally it is low turn out which favours extremist, opposition parties. Secondly, this poll falls at an opportune time for UKIP. With the recent publicity surrounding the EU "crisis," and Tony Blair's trip yesterday to Brussels, European issues shot back to the top of the agenda, allowing UKIP to play their one and only party trick.
Their poll results are therefore nothing out of the ordinary, and merely in line with the level of support they received during the 2004 European Parliamentary elections.

Source: BBC news, UKIP

Thursday, June 23

Blair warns of extremist threats

The Prime Minister, Tony Blair today addressed the European Parliament in Brussels to mark the beginning of the British Presidency of the EU.
In setting out his vision for the next sixth months, Blair emphasized how the EU must listen to the messages the French and Dutch referenda have sent, and undertake a period of reform to make the EU competitive for today's economic challenges.
Blair went on to criticise Nigel Farage and UKIP, for their opportunism in light of the recent set backs to the EU. Blair lambasted Farage for using the EU's present difficulties as an opportunity to wreck it. However he urged EU leaders to persevere with the current challenges in the face of such extremism. Blair said: "Ideals survive through change, they die through inertia in the face of challenge."
Mr Blair claimed the debate on the EU's future was being misrepresented as a battle between a free market Europe a social Europe and a Europe of extremists. He said this was not the time for "trading insults".

Source: European Parliament minutes

Blair's address to the European Parliament

To read the entire transcript of Tony Blair's speech click here.

Plan to upstage PM fails

In a subversive move UKIP political assistants and the supporters in the European Parliament today tried to switch attention from the Prime Minister, who was addressing the house.
The public gallery, surprisingly reserved for members of the public, was taken over by UKIP assistants who had cunningly applied for outsider visitor passes. Once there, the assistants donned white t-shirts protesting against the EU.
The UKIP supporters frequently made attempts to heckle the Prime Minister, attempts which were constantly drowned out by applause in support of his message.

Wednesday, June 22

Mote likely to face prosecution

The legal affairs committee of the European Parliament have voted in favour of a recommendation to lift former UKIP MEP Ashley Mote's immunity from prosecution.
Mote who faces nine charges of false accounting and one of making false represntations in relating to housing benefit now looks likely to face prosecution.
The accusations against mote surfaced last year, when he failed not only to declare the charges to the European Parliament, but also to his former UKIP colleagues, resulting in him being expelled from the party.
The MEP for the south east region, must now wait for the entire Parliament to vote on the recommendation of the legal affiars committee likely to take place in Strasbourg next month.

Tuesday, June 21

Mote attempts to deflect attention from Vote

Former UKIP MEP Ashley Mote today made an opportunistic attempt to divert attention away from a pending European Parliament vote on his immunity from prosecution.
UKIP removed the whip from Ashley Mote last year after learning that he faces trial over allegations of housing benefit fraud. Mote failed to inform UKIP leaders of a pending court case which only came to their attention after an article appeared in the Telegraph. The Telegraph reported that he is facing nine charges of false accounting and one of making a false representation.
Today Mote, released two letters one addressed to President of the European Commission, Jose Barroso accusing the European Court of Auditors of "fraudulent" auditing arrangements.
In a second letter to fellow MEPs, drafted jointly with recently expelled Tory MEP Roger Helmer, Mote criticised alleged attempts by European leaders to introduce aspects of the draft EU constitution "by the back door."
It is unlikely that such a smoke screen will divert attention away from the real issues in question. Members of the legal affairs committee look likey to vote overwhelmingly in favour of a recommendation to remove Mote's immunity from prosecution.

Source: The Telegraph June 15th 2004

Monday, June 20

Batten it!

UKIP MEP Gerard Batten recently waded in to the debate on the future of the EU, in the typical misinformed, opportunistic manner we have come to expect from UKIP.
In a recent letter to fellow MEPs Batten sighted an alleged influx of "imported cheap labour" from new Member States as a threat to the British economy and a reason why voters in France and the Netherlands voted "no" to the constitution.
This protectionist attitude which he and UKIP are trying to invoke achieves little more than arouse xenophobia and bring nothing to the European debate.
EU enlargement to the east has simply expanded the market place in which British firms and workers can sell and offer their labour- a fundamental reason why the UK has one of the most successful economies in the world.
Claims that Britain is being faced with an influx of cheap foreign workers are completely untrue. European social and labour law are harmonized to ensure that the same minimum standards are present throughout the 25 EU Member States, preventing "cheap labour" from swamping Britain. Moreover, the EU creates a level playing field with increased opportunity for workers to be successful.

It is ironic that the man who helped Batten win his seat in the European Parliamentary elections in 2004, UKIP campaign strategist Dick Morriss, recently played a major role in the Romanian presidential election battle. The main policy which his campaign promoted was to push for Romanian accession to the EU.

To read Batten's ramblings click here

Friday, June 17

This week in Brussels

UKIP's "work" this week centred on drumming up negative debate on the future financing of the EU and the ratification the EU constitution.
On Monday Nigel Farage, dismissed British attempts to defend the UK rebate as "insignificant" and a case of "throwing good money after bad."
These were strange words coming from a man committed to ending the apparent drain the EU represents to Britain's finances. It would seem from his sentiments that he has little regard for the rebate, used to correct the unfair distribution of EU money against Britain's interests.

On the future of the EU constitution, something which EU leaders have been at logger heads about in Brussels this week, UKIP's Jeffrey Titford stated that "[The French rejection] is a step in the right direction for those of us who believe that Europe's nations should be independent and self-governing,"
Foreign Secretary Jack Straw announced to the UK Parliament on 6 June that in the light of "no" votes, the second reading of the European Union Bill had been postponed, putting on hold plans for a referendum in the UK.
UKIP were quick to criticise the government for not letting the British people go to the ballot box on this issue sometime next year. UKIP Leader Roger Knapman said, "The whole history of Britain’s involvement in the European project has been one of preventing the electorate from making their voice heard."
Perhaps Mr Knapman needs reminding that he was key figure in the Tory party in the early nineties, which implemented a similar strategy, putting the ratification process of the Maastricht treaty on hold following a "no" vote in the Danish referendum.

Source: UKIP

Thursday, June 16

Cranks and Gadflies: The Story of UKIP

"Crank and gadflies," is the name with which the Tories have recently branded UKIP, and it is under this title which the first in depth look into the dark inner workings of the UKIP Party has been published.

The thriller-writer Mark Daniel has recently traced the UK Independence Party shedding new light on its obscure origins and history, from an academic pressure group in 1991 to the euro-sceptic, deep-seated anti immigration party it is today.

The book lifts the lid on huge internal rifts, showing how UKIP's founder plundered the party's bank accounts to fight accusations of slander, and the recent story of a party member who became so enraged at a national executive meeting that he had a heart attack and died. This is not to mention the high profile spat with Robert Kilroy Silk.

The work puts on view how the party became infiltrated by the infamous British National Party and attempted to downplay the extent of the holocaust in the media. This is before going on to illustrate how the party which has been quick to point a finger accusing EU officials of financial foul play, has a few skeletons in its own closet. The book alleges how a UKIP south east European Parliamentary candidate stood for election in 2004 without declaring charges of housing benefit fraud against him.

It is no wonder then that the work sums up UKIP as no more than a party of "idiots, paranoiacs and conspiracy theorists... freelance artists... traders, whores and vagabonds."

Source: Cranks and Gadflies: The Story of UKIP by Mark Daniel The Daily Telegraph Books Saturday June 11th 2005

Thursday, June 9

Mystery of the invisible tan

Ever wondered what ex UKIP MEP, Robert Kilroy Silk is up to nowadays?
Kilroy Silk, the man who threatened to "bring the European Parliament down from the inside," has certainly failed in what he set out to achieve.
The last time that the so called MEP was seen in the corridors of the European Parliament was way back in January. Since then RKS has not taken part in one single vote in the European Parliament.
All the while, he has been entitled to an MEP's salary of €70,000 and office expenses worth up to €15,000 a month. That tan has to pay for itself somehow!

Source: Official attendance register of the European Parliament

Wednesday, June 8

European Parliament sends Farage and Co a clear message

The censure motion initiated by UKIP leader in the European Parliament, Nigel Farage, against EU Commission President, Jose Barroso hit the buffers today as MEPs in Strasbourg overwhelmingly voted to throw it out.
It was a rowdy voting session in the European Parliament, which began with an announcement that Tory rebel MEP Roger Helmer, had been expelled from the European People's Party (EPP) for adding his name to the motion. This was followed with a rapturous applause from the majority of EPP members obviously glad to see the back of him.
Chairman of the Independence and Democracy Group, Jens Peter Bonde, then publicly invited Mr Helmer to joint their ranks and sit with the likes of UKIP. This was something which even the staunch euro sceptic MEP declined.
When voting finally got under way the censure motion failed miserably. The motion could not even muster the complete support of the 90 MEPs who originally supported it, with only 35 MEPs voting in its favour. Even the likes of Jean Marie Le Pen could not support it in the final vote, citing the ill informed and unclear facts upon which it was founded.
A massive 589 MEPs rejected the motion, a clear signal that Farage's attempts to censure Barroso amounted to nothing more than an opportunistic and disproportionate publicity stunt.

Sunday, June 5

UKIP vs VERITAS: Round 2

The row between UKIP and Veritas, the party headed by rebel ex UKIP MEP Robert Kilroy Silk, rumbled on this week with a dispute in the Greater London Assembly (GLA).
Last year UKIP threatened two of its ex GLA members with legal action after they defected to Veritas, despite being elected from the UKIP list. Damien Hockney and Peter-Hulme Cross have now renamed the party which they represent in London as UKIP-Veritas.
Hockney said “So important was this to UKIP that the Party Leader of UKIP himself Roger Knapman paid his first visit to London Assembly members as part of the attempt to ensure greater co-operation.”
Consequently UKIP issued a press release in which it details a completely different chain of events. "As regards the Veritas London Assembly members, Damian Hockney and Peter Hulme-Cross, UKIP confirms that it has recently been approached by them with a view to their leaving Veritas and re-joining UKIP.”
UKIP now look set to make a formal complaint to the GLA and the electoral commission. Veritas meanwhile had nothing to say on the matter, probably enjoying a return to the headlines after a hammering in the general election.
It seems ironic that the parties who both promised “straight talking politics,” cannot even decide on a name for themselves. In recent weeks they have tried to spin the result of the general election in their favour and now another high profile row is surely enough to confuse any potential voter.

Source: UKIP, Veritas

Friday, June 3

UKIP should Practice what they preach

In a hypocritical move UKIP MEPs this week ignored calls from their leader in the European Parliament, Nigel Farage, to disclose their financial declarations of interest on the Parliament's website.
The MEPs who last week were at the forefront of a censure motion against EU Commission President, Jose Barroso for an alleged conflict of interest, refused to declare their own earnings.
UKIP MEPs Godfrey Bloom, Roger Knapman and John Whittaker have so far failed to post their incomes on the Parliament's website. They stand alongside four other MEPs in the Independence and Democracy group who have also not come clean on their financial income.

Source: European Voice vol 11, no 21

Thursday, June 2

12 months of UKIP votes

UKIP MEP Graham Booth once quippeed that the voting system in European Parliamentary debates was so simple that "you could get 26 chimps to do the job....then we could all piss off and play golf." (The independent July 22nd 2004).
Over the last 12 months UKIPwatch has monitored the voting patterns of each UKIP member at the Parliamentary voting sessions which take place twice a month, once in Brussels and once in Strasbourg, to see if Mr Booth's theory does indeed prove true.
UKIP founder, Dr Alan Sked, has said that "UKIP's MEPs are a standing joke at Strasbourg, where their attendance record, even by the standards of most MEPs, is relatively poor." (The Sunday Telegraph May 30th 2004) It seems that this claim is completely justified.
Out of the 112 electronically registered, roll call votes, which MEPs have taken part in over the last 12 months, it can be seen that UKIP fail miserably in what they were elected to do, namely represent those who elected them.
Our calculations from the official records show that UKIP Leader in the European Parliament, Nigel Farage, took part in only 46% of votes over the last 12 months. But even he was out done in the non attendance stakes by Yorkshire and Humber MEP Godfrey Bloom, who only took part in 33% of votes. The most diligent UKIP Members proved to be Derek Clark, Gerard Batten and Tom Wise who attended just over 80% of votes.
Nevertheless, this comparatively high attendance record is less impressive when one considers their voting patterns. Out of the votes we monitored, East Midlands MEP, Derek Clark for example voted 91 times, with 77 of these votes being against the issue voted on. Seven of these votes were abstentions and four were secret ballot. Only 3 times did Derek Clark vote in favour of a proposal. Nigel Farage, proved just as unimaginative voting 41 times against the proposals, abstaining 6 times and voting only twice in favour.
continued....
Such voting patterns can only suggest one thing - that UKIP do not understand what they are voting on. As excluded Conservative MEP, Roger Helmer has said: "UKIP's [voting] record speaks for itself..... often they have no idea how to vote. They frequently abstain. They have even on occasion asked for copies of the Conservative voting list because they no idea what to do." (Guardian Unlimited, 26 May 2004)
Their abysmal voting record contains some notable observations. Over the last twelve months, UKIP have abstained on resolutions to help the victims of the Tsunami disaster, assist the McCartney sisters in their fight for justice and efforts to create a single seat for the European Parliament. They have voted against resolutions on climate change, enlargement and various efforts to aid human rights abuse. One of the few times they voted in favour of a resolution, it was for a motion against the EU budget.
UKIPs voting record speaks for itself. The party whose Members were elected in order to defend British interests in the face of the "undemocratic" EU barely show up to votes where key British interests are at stake. It can hardly be said they are doing the job they were elected to do.


Note: The votes monitored are roll call votes. This poll does not compile individual roll call votes to each individual amendment of the reports in question. It includes only the final resolutions on each report, which are nevertheless indicative of how UKIP voted on each individual amendment.
Source: Europarl website