Thursday, August 25

UKIP must learn to tighten the purse strings

Figures published by the Electoral Commission have revealed just how much the main political parties received in financial donations in the crucial run up to the May 5th general election.

Donations from April to June totalled £6,071,637 for the Conservatives compared to £5,803,413 for Labour. The Liberal Democrats trailed with £1,192,191.

The figures however did not make good reading for the UK independence Party. UKIP received donations totalling a relatively small £235,181.

Worryingly for UKIP their main donor was one of its very own MEPs. Graham Booth, UKIP MEP for the south west gave the party £10,232.

Mr Booth's donation was small change compared to the half a million pound the Conservatives received from transport entrepreneur Sir Tom Cowie and the £740,000 the GMB union donated to Labour.

The only shred of comfort for UKIP was that they out raised fellow minnows Veritas by a factor of 10 to 1. The party previously led by Robert Kilroy-Silk saw income of just £23,087.

Despite donations to UKIP totalling £235,181, the party was forced to pick up a bill of £250,000 in the aftermath of their abysmal showing at the ballot box.

UKIP was forced to dole out a quarter of a million pounds in the form of lost deposits on the 451 seats it contested.

UKIP's financial woes have not been without consequence. Only last month did a frustrated UKIP Leeds chairman, Peter Rogers, turn his back on the party after being given a mere £400 to fight the general election campaign.

With a round of by-elections planned for the autumn it looks likely that once again Graham Booth and his UKIP chums will have to have a 'whip round' their offices in Brussels to have any hope of fielding by- election candidates.

Source: epolitix

Wednesday, August 24

UKIP scare monger with Eastern EU worker statistics

The Government today released figures, which showed that the number of workers from the new EU Member States registered in the UK has exceeded their initial estimates.

This was something which UKIP's Nigel Farage was quick to seize on, blasting the figures “nothing short of an outrage.”

According to Home Office statistics, around 232,000 applicants from eight countries - Poland, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia, and the three Baltic states - have registered under a special scheme, allowing them to work in Britain. The scheme was set up before the May 2004 enlargement to prevent abuse of the UK's social benefit system.

“UKIP has said over and again that we have lost control of our borders. The government tried to ignore us but now the truth is out. The only way we can get out of this mess is to take back control of our own borders instead of allowing Brussels to dictate who and who cant come to our country,” said Farage.

However, the news is not as devastating as UKIP would have you believe. The scheme set up to monitor these workers has helped the British economy remain the strongest in Europe. The new workers have filled a valuable role in helping British industry remain competitive.

The employees from the new member states are mostly employed in factories (41,000) and restaurant kitchens (12,000), taking jobs the British employers have found hard to fill. They are overwhelmingly young - between 18 and 34 - and rarely claim social benefits. In total, around 1,700 people have applied for benefits (out of 232,000), and only 50 claims have been considered further.

All the while the UK continues to have a booming economy and record low levels of unemployment.

Source: EUobserver UKIP

Monday, August 22

UKIP founder Dr Alan Sked- a Europhile turned sour

This week, UKIP founder Dr Alan Sked gave an interview to cafe babel, the European current affairs magazine. The staunch euro-sceptic is now highly critical of his former party, which he set up as a pressure group, for being too right wing and having disconnected policies. Here is what he had to say:

In 1993 he founded UKIP, with the withdrawal of Britain from the European Union as its central policy. “I was busy turning the Tory party [the Conservatives] into a Eurosceptic movement. But I didn’t think things were moving quickly enough, so I formed UKIP. If parties see their share of the vote shrink, they will adapt their policies much quicker.” Mr Sked believes he has been successful on this front. “All three main parties in Britain [Labour, Liberal Democrats and Conservatives] used to be pro-European. Now only two are.”

Yet the relationship between UKIP and its founder has deteriorated over the past few years. “They hate me now. Maybe even more than they hate Brussels”, he laughs. “The party has just become too right-wing and has completely changed its policies. We never used to want MEPs, there would just have been empty seats in the European Parliament.” This does not mean, however, that Dr Sked’s political career is over. If the Conservative party ‘dares’ to choose a pro-European leader, the academic vows, “I will probably establish a new party. I’ll probably call it the International party, because that’s what I’m for.”

I’ve heard and absorbed a lot of negativity about the whole European project. Just for a change, might it be possible for the historian to imagine a positive future for EU cooperation? “A popular Europe is feasible, but only if we have a common enemy, like Islam for instance. But I sincerely hope that doesn’t happen.”

To Read the full cafe babel interview click here

Tuesday, August 16

UKIP's Euro-myth

In September UKIP are planning to launch a nationwide assault on Britain's membership of the European Union, through a campaign they have entitled "Let the people decide."
The campaign will include an online petition and regional publicity drives, to publicise their ill informed "euro-myth" that the EU no longer resembles the free trade area the British people were allegedly conned in to joining in the 1970's.
Such claims about the European Union can be seen as shorthand for xenophobia, and to raise the myth of ‘foreigners taking over the nooks and crannies of British life’.
It was, Hitler who said that people “will more easily fall victim to a big lie than to a small one,” a quote which UKIP have also used on their website. It is for this reason, that we feel it necessary to dispell the euro-myth which UKIP have founded their campaign on and are intent on using to play up to people's concerns regarding the EU.
The UKIP campaign claims that the British government told the electorate they were simply joining a free trade zone in the 1975 referendum. However this is simply not true. British governments never hid the significance of joining the EU.
The Wilson government, in setting out its reasons for applying in 1967, stressed that “the Government’s purpose derives above all from our conviction that Europe is now faced with the opportunity of a great move forward in political unity and that we can - and indeed we must - play our full part in it...”
The Wilson Government White Paper pointed out that membership involved “Community law
having direct internal effect is designed to take precedence over the domestic law of the Member States”.
The Heath Government’s 1971 White Paper on joining spoke of the aims of “an ever closer union
among European peoples” and not just of trade but “social progress”, “approximating the economic policies of member states”, “stability”, and “closer relations of the member states” - all“objectives to which this country can wholeheartedly subscribe”.
The White Paper went on to say: “ If the political implications of joining Europe are at present
clearest in the economic field, it is because the Community is primarily concerned with economic
policy. But it is inevitable that the scope of the Community’s external policies should broaden as
member countries interests become harmonised. That is the Community’s clear intention. As
regards the co-ordination of foreign policy, the practical obligations which the UK will assume if we join now will involve no more than we have already assumed in WEU. But we shall be joining at a moment when we will be able to influence the process of development. This will also be true of progress towards economic and monetary union”.
It underlined that “what is proposed is a sharing and an enlargement of individual national
sovereignties in the general interest,” and “a Europe united would have the means of recovering
the position in the world which Europe divided has lost”.
It is also worth looking at the statements sent to every household prior to the referendum on
membership in 1975. The Government’s statement explained that this was “probably the most important choice that the British people have ever been asked to make”. A far cry from UKIP's claim of a small trading matter!

Source: Euromyths

Monday, August 15

Kilroy-Silk does 'little or no work' and should quit, say MEPs

A cross-party coalition have repeated calls for Robert Kilroy-Silk to quit the European Parliament on the grounds that he seldom attends and does "little or no work" for his East Midlands constituency.

In a letter to the parliament's president Josep Borrell, four MEPs, who all represent the East Midlands, say Mr Kilroy-Silk is not "fulfilling the pledge he made on becoming an MEP, to serve the electorate of his region".

The letter marks a new low in the political career of Mr Kilroy-Silk. Having resigned from two Euro-sceptic parties, the UK Independence Party and the Right-wing Veritas Party, he currently sits as a non-aligned member in the chambers of Brussels and Strasbourg.

His four regional colleagues - Christopher Heaton-Harris (Conservative), Roger Helmer (Conservative), Phillip Whitehead (Labour) and Derek Clark (Ukip) - said they "deplore" Mr Kilroy-Silk's non-attendance.

"He seems to have done little or no work as a constituency MEP for the East Midlands. This leaves five MEPs to do the work of six and the electorate have been short-changed," they wrote.
"Mr Kilroy-Silk should either do the job for which he is paid, or get out and leave it to those who can."

The parliament has no power to remove Mr Kilroy-Silk, who is understood to have attended the minimum number of plenary sessions required to be eligible for his parliamentary allowances.

"While Mr Kilroy-Silk will remain within the letter of the law, he will hardly be fulfilling the pledge he made on becoming an MEP, to serve the electorate of his region," the MEPs wrote.

Mr Kilroy-Silk last signed the plenary session attendance register on April 12.

Mr Heaton-Harris and Mr Whitehead have followed up their Brussels protest with a letter to local newspapers calling for Mr Kilroy-Silk to go. "He seems to specialise in resignation. So it is time for him to do the decent thing and resign from the European parliament," they wrote.
Mr Kilroy-Silk refused to comment on the protest.

Source: The Telegraph

Thursday, August 11

Farage blasts EU Trade Union initiative "propaganda for the chosen."

The European Commission today launched its annual initiative to help trade unions involved in pan EU dialogue.

The "Promotion of Active Citizenship" initiative aims to assist cross-industry trade unions participating in European social dialogue in areas relating to the promotion of active European citizenship.

The initiative also aims to bring citizens closer to the EU institutions and involve them in reflection and discussion on the construction of the European Union.

Ironically then UKIP's Nigel Farage, who spends his days in Brussels complaining that the people of Europe are being ignored, was first to criticise the initiative.

"This is a transparent use of our money to persuade us to do things we don't want to do", said Farage.

"Looking at the grants that have been offered to Trade Unions in this project in the past, it is obvious that hundreds of thousands of pounds of taxpayers cash are to be doled out to fund meetings where trade unionists meet other trade unionists in order to say how wonderful they are and more importantly how important the EU is in ensuring regressive economic policy."

Once again, it seems that Farage has missed the point of the EU's intentions. By reinforcing the EU social model it will be ensured that the Member States do not off load the social responsibilities of their welfare states, which in turn would mean off loading part of their sovereignty.

Moreover, the initiative encourages active contribution to the EU's future direction- something which UKIP supporters should welcome.

Source: IND/DEM Group

Wednesday, August 10

UKIP launch "Let the people decide" campaign.

In September, UKIP is planning to launch a nationwide campaign to press the Government for a referendum on Britain's future in the European Union. The campaign will include an online petition which UKIP have entitled"Let the people decide." UKIP is hoping to muster thousands of signatures to present to Downing Street.
The party is basing the campaign on the premise that there has been no referendum on the EU since 1975. UKIP claim that since that time the EU has radically changed to the extent that it is barely recognisable from the free trade area of 1973.
In recent weeks UKIP has been desperately calling on its members to sign the on line petition. However it seems that with UKIP's poor support base and limited financial resources the campaign will have little impact and prove to be no more than a publicity stunt.
Critics say that such campaign tactics effectively confirm UKIP's position as a peripheral political pressure group, rather than a serious political party.

Source: UKIP

Sunday, August 7

Immigrants cause water shortages, says Veritas

As if proof was ever needed that Veritas were right wing nutters, the so called "straight talking party," have this week have reached new depths.
Veritas which has been in chaos since party leader Robert Kilroy Silk turned his back on them, is now blamming the current water shortages in the South East of England on immigrants.
"It is not a shortage of rain that is causing water shortages in the UK but an ever increasing population fuelled by mass immigration," said Veritas' environment spokesman, Carl Faulkner in a statement.
He went on, "Britain is full. Mother nature is telling us. Veritas is listening. The other parties are not."

The timing of this outburst is nothing but sickening, considering the unfolding humanitarian crisis in Niger and Mali, where severe drought means tens of thousands are facing starvation. On a lesser scale Spain, France and Portugal are also facing drought affecting their agricultural community.

Nevertheless, it is hoped that immigrants in the South East will listen to Veritas' message by laying off their hosepipes for the next few weeks, to save Britain from instant disaster.

Source: Veritas

Friday, August 5

Kilroy "led us up the garden path," says jaded ex employee

A STAUNCH Eurosceptic who worked as a political researcher for Robert Kilroy-Silk this week criticised the former television presenter and Euro MP for walking out on the political party he founded just five months ago.
Tony Bennett, of Chippingfield, Old Harlow, branded Mr Kilroy-Silk a failure after he resigned as leader of Veritas.
Mr Kilroy-Silk cited the party's poor showing in May's General Election, as well as its lack of cash and proper structure as reasons for his departure. "We tried and failed," he said in a statement.
However, Mr Bennett, a former United Kingdom Independence Party candidate who stood for Veritas in Harlow and polled 941 votes, said it was Mr Kilroy-Silk who was the failure.
"He does appeal to a significant section of the electorate but he has failed us as a leader of a political party," he said. "It was his party, it was his job to lead it well and he's failed.
"His leadership has been absent rather than incompetent. We all feel he's led us up the garden path and abandoned us when we've got to the top of the garden path. There's no staying power at all."
Mr Bennett revealed he resigned from Veritas two weeks after the election because of problems he had with a senior party member.
He also became disillusioned when the party failed to agree a draft constitution he had drawn up and said the leadership was not democratically elected.
His contract as Mr Kilroy-Silk's political researcher ends this month.
Mr Bennett, who has not spoken to Mr Kilroy-Silk for the past four weeks, said: "The name Veritas (Latin for 'truth') was wrong in the first place. It was pretentious, wasn't it? "
A lot of people are saying Robert Kilroy-Silk formed the party as a vehicle for self-promotion. I'm not saying that myself, but I can understand the perception.
"Veritas is in a state of partial ruin. I think it is dying."
Asked about his future plans, Mr Bennett said he would be meeting with other disaffected Veritas members to discuss a way forward.

Source: Herts and Essex News

Another one bites the dust?

Following a recent exodus of party members, it now seems that another crack has appeared in the UKIP foundations.

It has been reported this week that Petrina Holdsworth, UKIP Chairwoman and recent candidate in the general election for Folkestone and Hythe, has been sidelined and replaced.

UKIP party members have received letters, signed from “acting party chairman” Graham Booth, Member of the European Parliament for the South West, without explanation as to the demise of the only prominent female member of UKIP.

Meanwhile, UKIP are planning a series of meetings and conferences for the autumn to discuss the future and urgent restructuring of the faltering party.

Source: UKIP Forum

Tuesday, August 2

Latest EU poll makes miserable reading for UKIP

A recent YouGov poll commissioned by the U.K. Independence Party has back fired in Nigel Farage's face.

The poll shows that 50% of those questionned would vote to leave the EU, whilst over 60% think a referendum should be held on Britain’s continued membership.

The poll of over 2,000 people, which was conducted between the 22nd & 25th July, apparently shows that euroscepticism is on the increase.

UKIP MEP Nigel Farage said, “These results are better than we could ever have dreamed. It now shows that there is a clear majority which wants free trade with the EU rather than membership.”

Although UKIP were quick to seize on the results, they make abysmal reading for the UK Independence Party.

The fact that an alleged 50% of those questionned were against membership, says more of UKIP than the EU.

Many of those questionned appear disolusionned with the EU, but nevertheless do not find the United Kingdom Independence Party a credible answer to their concerns.

In the recent general election UKIP took just a 2.35% share of the vote, and hold only 10 Seats in the European Parliament. This does not correspond to the 50% of people who allegedly share in their cause.

This can be based in part on the internal turmoil which UKIP is currently going through. In recent weeks several prominent members have abandoned the party, which has been on a downward spiral since political loser Robert Kilroy Silk walked out in February, branding them "right wing nutters."

Source: UKIP

What the stats really show....

The YouGov polled commissioned by the UK Independence Party:

Sample Size 2299

Question 1
Do you think a national referendum should be held on whether the United Kingdom should remain a member of the European Union?
Referendum should be held – 62%
Referendum not necessary – 25%
Don’t Know – 12%

UKIPwatch comment: The fact that many people believe a referendum should be held does not mean that they are simply for the abolition of the EU. Compounded by the fact that 25% believe that a referendum is not necessary and many are undecided does not show the widespread discontent with the EU which UKIP suggest.

Question 2
If a referendum were held and these were the available options, which would you choose? Britain remaining a member of the European Union – 34%
Britain leaving the European Union and replacing our membership with a free trade agreement – 50%
Don’t Know – 17%

UKIPwatch comment: 34% of those questionned realise the benefits of the EU, whilst 17% remain undecided. Those who are undecided demonstrate that there is some dissolusionment with the current EU set up. This is in line with recent referendums on the EU constitution, where the electorate have clearly signalled their dissatisfaction with the current set up despite being fundamentally pro EU.

Source: UKIP

Monday, August 1

MEPs call on Kilroy to stop short changing the east mids

Pressure is now mounting on political loser Robert Kilroy Silk to relinquish his seat in the European Parliament, after he walked out on a political party for the third time in his career.
Kilroy who resigned as leader of the Veritas party on Friday following increasing speculation of a leadership challenge, has now been thrown down another challenge by four fellow MEPs who represent the east midlands region.
In a joint statement, UKIP's Derek Clark, the Conservatives Roger Helmer and Chris Heaton-Harris and Labour's Philip Whitehead said they believed Mr Kilroy-Silk's constituents were being "short changed".
Kilroy, MEP for the East Midlands, hasn’t made an appearance in Brussels since April, instead remaining in the UK to focus his efforts on the ailing Veritas party. He refuses to sit on any Parliamentary committees, despite not hesitating to pick up his Parliamentary allowance of a cool 65,000 pounds a year.
"We ... deplore this situation ... We therefore call for his immediate resignation," they said.

It has also emerged that Damian Hockney, a Veritias member of the London assembly and another defector from UKIP, has also resigned as deputy leader of Veritas, but said he would be remaining on the assembly.

Source: The Guardian