Saturday, January 21

UKIP Anger MEPs With Autism Jibe

This week, UKIP had scheduled a meeting critical of the European parliament for debating the future of the European Constitution. The renown politically incorrect Party entitled the press conference "Parliamentary Autism".
This angered some members, including Labour MEP Richard Howitt a member of the Parliaments disability intergroup, who called on UKIP to withdraw the title as it was offensive to people with autism.
However, the East Midlands Conservative MEP, Roger Helmer, responded to Howitt by asking him, via email: "Would you have a problem if I were to write a maritime novel and say 'the ship was crippled by a torpedo'? Perhaps you would but, if so, it only illustrates the absurd lengths to which political correctness and the verbal fascism of the left has gone."

Source: The Guardian, 19 January 2006

UKIP U turn on Port Services

In a rare show of unity, MEPs from all political parties representing the UK in the European Parliament voted in a similar fashion this week, to throw out the infamous Port Services Directive. The draft directive, which proposed opening up ports to competition had earlier in the week caused huge demonstrations on the streets of Strasbourg.
UKIP MEPs who were to blame for the directive not being slung out of the Parliament in November, joined Labour, Conservative and Liberals in sending the European Commission a clear signal - that their sloppy port services package is simply not good enough.
Labour MEP Robert Evans said “ We are not rejecting this for the sake of it. It is because the proposals in front of us will do nothing to encourage business, secure jobs or advance health and safety. If the Commission wants to change port services, they'll have to go back and think again.”
UKIPs position, in throwing the directive out, marked a huge U turn after they voted to keep the draft directive back in November (probably as a result of pressing the wrong button in a vote in the Transport Committee.) UKIP joined Tories and Liberals in changing their mind on the draft law- they too had voted to keep the directive last time it was before the Parliament.

Source: European Parliament Minutes

Monday, January 16

European Parliament Prepares to Pick up Pieces of UKIP's mess.

This week 6000 angry dockworkers will be descending on the European Parliament in Strasbourg to show their fury at European Commission proposals to open up ports to competition.
If put in place, the port services directive would mean opening up EU ports to external competition- something which has angered dockers' unions who claim the plans will put 25,000 jobs at risk.
The whole situation however could have been avoided if it wasn't for a clueless UKIP MEP on the Parliament's Transport committee.
The Transport committee had the opportunity to throw out the draft law last month, when Socialist MEPs supported by both Tories and Lib Dems put forward a motion to send the proposals to the scrap heap.
Howver, UKIP MEP Mike Nattrass along with former UKIP MEP Ashley Mote -so used to voting against whatever is put in front of them, voted against throwing the sloppy legislation out.

Labour MEP Robert Evans said: "We didn't try to reject this proposal for the sake of it. It is because the proposals in front of us will do nothing to encourage business, secure jobs or advance health and safety. If the Commission wants to change port services, they'll have to go back and think again."
By aiming to throw out the proposal at the upcoming Parliament session Evans said:
"This shows the power and strength of the European Parliament. MEPs are flexing their muscles and telling the Commission that we will only work with decent proposals that will reap real benefits for people in Europe."

Voting to keep the legislation is the latest in a series gaffs from UKIP, who clearly have no understanding of EU transport policy or how the Parliament works.
Last month UKIP were the only members out of the 732 strong Parliament to vote against plans to make discrimination against disabled airline passengers a thing of the past.
All eyes will be on UKIP this Tuesday when the Port Services directive will be voted on. British Conservatives, Lib Dems and Labour members remain united in their determination to throw the law out.

Source: European Parliament

UKIP in Ostrich withdrawal shocker!

The UK Independence Party has this week abandoned plans to take a fancy dress ostrich to the European Parliament in Strasbourg.
The Eurosceptic party wanted to protest about this week’s debate on the European constitution.
However, UKIP organisers have apparently been deterred by new moves to improve the behaviour of MEPs.
Under the plan, also to be debated this week, MEPs who misbehave (for example, by dressing up as ostriches) could face the ultimate penalty: having their allowances withdrawn for up to 10 days.
UKIP insists it did not cave in under this threat. A UKIP spokesman admitted: “We couldn’t find an ostrich costume.”

Source:

UKIP bring benefits of the EU to the South West

Graham Booth MEP for the south west region this week showed overwhelming support for a new development in his constituency, by promising to use EU funds to help get it up and running.
Booth said he offered "unreserved support" at the proposal to build a seafood park at Newlyn Coombe. "I have nothing but encouragement for the team who have put together this deal. I have written a letter to the South West Regional Development Authority [SWRDA], informing them they have my unreserved support, and offering any help which I can deliver from the European Parliament.
UKIP who are traditionally dead set against EU assistance in developing smaller regions of the EU, only last month blasted Tony Blair for beefing up the EU budget to help rural areas like the south west.
Booth added: "Developments on green field sites and the environmental issues they arouse, must always be balanced against the needs of the local community. There is no contest on this issue; it is crucial that fishing remains as a viable industry. I have every hope that a deal can be struck by SWRDA and look forward to hearing the developments as they unfold."

Source: UKIP

Thursday, January 5

UKIP admit to rigging BBC poll

A BBC poll revealed this week has named EU Commission President Jose Barroso as the most powerful man in the UK.

Barroso, was voted the man with the most power over Britain in a Today Programme Listeners Poll on ‘Who Runs Britain’ following a debate on the programme with daily items presented over several weeks.

The poll, which saw Prime Minister Tony Blair trail home in seventh position behind the likes of media mogul, Rupert Murdoch and Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy now appears to have been rigged by UKIP supporters.

UKIP and Daniel Hannan, the fiercely Eurosceptic Conservative MEP have both admitted to the Guardian that they separately sent emails encouraging supporters to vote for Mr Barroso.

UKIP's press officer in Brussels, Gawain Towler , said: "It would be a lie to say that people weren't encouraging each other - of course we were."

Mr Hannan said : "I had no idea Ukip were doing it. I was going to take sole credit for it. I heard the programme and thought why not tell people?"

UKIP leader, Roger Knapman who it seems was also in on the ploy sent a message of congratulation to UKIP supporters, telling the BBC:

"It is the only chance you'll get to vote for him [Barroso] or for that matter against him.

He is now a bureaucrat perceived as the most important man in this country and that is quite shocking."

In response to the result, former Europe Minister Dennis McShane MP said that it was "an urban myth" to suggest that Britain's laws were decided solely by Europe.

Source: Guardian, 5 January 2006

Monday, January 2

Knapman wants a return to post war Britain

"Id rather live in 1945," was UKIP Leader Roger Knapman's new year message to party members at the start of 2006.
In setting out UKIP's aims for the new year, Knapman suggested that UKIP must fight the European Union, in a similar way to which allied forces had to fight Hitler's Nazi regime.
"In 1945 we were at least able to celebrate the defeat of the last great effort to create a united Europe.....Britain had summoned up its every effort to preserve its freedom and independence. In 2006, in a different way, we have to do the same.
Referring to the way in which Tony Blair recently blasted UKIP MEPs in the European Parliament for their outdated views, telling them they are more akin to war time Europe, Knapman said:
"I’m glad Tony Blair brought up the subject of 1945. Those who do not learn from history are doomed to repeat its mistakes. "
So far in this Parliamentary term the UK independence Party has failed to make any impact in the European Parliament, becoming a standing joke amongst fellow MEPs for their financial misdemeanours and lack of understanding of EU policy. Their MEPs are regularly absent in key debates where British interests are at stake.
Knapman therefore urged the party to sharpen up its act for 2006:
"In 2006 it rests with us to fight for the cause of British independence. We must increase our strength and effectiveness so that the old Parties know they cannot press on with their European policies unchallenged or hide them from public view."

Source: UKIP

Polish MEPs turn their back on UKIP

Three Polish MEPs have walked out of the Independence and Democracy (IND/DEM) group in the European Parliament to sit as non attached Members.
The three Members of the Polish League of Families Party had sat alongside the UK Independence Party making up the IND/DEM group.
Their decision to quit the group will come as a blow to Nigel Farage and UKIP. The three Polish defectors,Maciej Giertych, Sylwester Chruszcz and Bernard Wojciechowski will take with them not only their three valuable votes but also cash and resources that the struggling party so desperately needs.
The Independence and democracy group is now one of the smallest groups in the Parliament, made up of 33 MEPs, 10 of which are from the UK Independence party.

Source: Independence and Democracy Group