Monday, December 8

Health warning for pheasants and partridges in West Norfolk

Bringing a bit of pre-hogmany cheer, UKIP's Eastern Counties team have organised an 'exclusive' days shooting in a bid to fundraise in advance of the European elections. The highest bidder wins the days' hunt in Weasenham in West Norfolk - but those feeling the effects of the credit crunch should bear in mind that the commercial value of the shoot is about £900.

UKIPwatch, not being a regular hunter and shooter, was particular amused by the point that several party members "have very kindly offered to accommodate the UKIP guns overnight, if this is required". Does this mean the hunters or the guns themselves?

On a serious note, however, any pheasants and partridges in the area would be well advised to make themselves scarce that day.

Monday, December 1

UKIP to implode?

A blog written by a disgruntled UKIP member has surfaced attacking Farage and the current state of UKIP. The blog, written by "Junius", provides an insight into the party by someone on the inside. Farage is reported to be pulling his hair out over the revelations made by Junius, and the blog has certainly caused a stir over on the Democracy Forum, popular with members of UKIP on the net. Not that we didn't know already, but this just confirms the infighting currently paralysing UKIP and could mark the beginning of UKIP's implosion so soon before next year's European elections. Junius certainly has a lot of support from the rank and file membership of UKIP, if comments on the Democracy Forum are true.

Click here to read Junius' blog.

Thursday, November 27

Goodbye to Kilroy

So farewell to Kilroy, whose brief sojourn in the Australian jungle on "I'm a celebrity…Get me out of here" has come to an ignominious end - being the first to be voted off by the public.

It's difficult to see precisely what the perma-tanned one achieved in his couple of weeks, other than falling out with former Star Trek actor George Takei and the ubiquitous 'star' of Saturday morning children's entertainment, Timmy Mallet. However, Mr Kilroy-Silk did emerge victorious in one of the show's "bush tucker trials", although it's unlikely that this will cut much ice with his constituents who, in the words of Labour East Midlands MEP Glenis Willmott, "expect their politicians to do a job of work, and you can't do that if you are in the jungle, covered in cockroaches, eating kangeroo's testicles".

Now that Kilroy's brief return to TV is over (although not before he pocketed a reported £15,000 appearance fee for "I'm a celebrity"), you might expect that he will be back to work in Brussels. But let's not hold our breath - Tories Chris Heaton Harris and Roger Helmer famously offered a bottle of champers to people with Kilroy sightings in Brussels, and didn't get any takers. UKIPwatch's pockets are not quite so deep as an MEPs, but is prepared to offer a cockroach and kangeroo's testicle to anyone who make's a sighting (plus a bottle of wine to wash it down).

Gawain Towler MEP?

It seems that a certain Mr Towler has had a sudden promotion, according to the Scotsman, although Mr T is being a little bashful over on his blog. Or does he know something we don't?

Wednesday, November 19

More trouble and strife in the UKIP happy family

Political parties are diverse and dysfunctional entities made up of individuals who come from different backgrounds, believe in different things and want often can't stand each other. It stands to reason that not all Tory party members are going to be mates - among the MPs, you can't imagine that Ken Clarke and Bill Cash are going to be great buddies, or that David Cameron enjoys a drink with Dan Hannan. The same is true in Labour, back in the 80s, Militant MP Dave Nellist shared an office in Westminster with a certain Anthony Charles Lynton Blair - it's difficult to imagine that these two were in the same party.

However, while major parties have prominent members who might dislike or disagree with each other, in UKIP when a prominent (I use the word in the loosest possible sense) member disagrees with another, he (and it's virtually always he) dobs his colleague in to the police!

UKIP candidate for Suffolk Central and Ipswich North, John West, reported MEP colleague Jeffrey Titford to the Essex police for alleged abuse of parliamentary allowances. The police investigation cleared Titford of wrong-doing, although the Parliament's anti-fraud office stated that it was, itself, gathering information to conduct an investigation.

Not surprisingly, even for a party as deranged as UKIP, the party has decided that this uncomradely attitude was slightly overstepping the mark and have suspended West from the party, although party chair Paul Nuttall, in his letter to West, continued the theme of brotherly love in saying that while he "cannot allow this situation to continue….this is particularly hard for me as I have always found you to be hard-working and extremely likeable".

West, apparently, remains unrepentant, lodging a claim with Ipswich County Court so that he can get his £500 deposit to be a UKIP candidate in the European elections back, and blithely telling his local paper that "I was made aware of alleged irregularities and passed them on to the police. I have no regrets about my action".

Honestly, it's surely a sign that a party's falling apart when its members try to have each other arrested.

Farewell to Ashley Mote's "Straight Talking Express" - no laughing at the back....

The ignominy just keeps mounting up for the indefatigable benefit fraudster Ashley Mote. Having been sent to prison, losing countless appeals against his convictions, trying and failing to get the European Parliament to pay his legal bills for him, and flirting with the BNP in order to stand for re-election next year, the world's favourite ex-UKIP MEP must have thought that things could not get any worse.

However, he reckoned without the European Parliament's Secretary-General Harald Römer, who has order Cashley to sell the single-decker bus he has had converted into his office and give the cash back to the Parliament. While the Motester claims that he needs the bus to travel across the eight counties he 'represents', this is pretty weak - why not just drive a car like every other politician does Ash?

Unfortunately, UKIPwatch can only conclude from this sad tale that Ash was trying to emulate John McCain's famous 'Straight Talking Express'. The lack of self-awareness really is too much.

Wednesday, November 12

Farage - the Queen has 'beheaded herself'

UKIPwatch has been sent a lovely story from a co-conspirator about a recent UKIP meeting at West Hill on 17th October Nigel Farage agreed with a questioner that the Queen has 'beheaded herself' by assenting to the EU Amendment Act. But he intimated that the Duke of Edinburgh had 'sound ideas' about the EU, and that the late Queen Mother, he knew, detested it. Given this week's unsurprisingly revelations by a BBC journalist that the Queen Mum was not exactly an EU-enthusiast - she is alleged to have said that the EU could never work because it was run by "huns, wops and dagos" - it's hard to disagree with Nige on this.

However, the funniest incident (from the Richard Littlejohn school of 'you couldn't make it up' was a long rant by the other main speaker, the Earl of Dartmouth, who is number 2 on UKIP's list in the South-West (which still causes much chagrin to one of UKIPwatch's favourite blogger's, the estimable Gawain Towler) about EU plans to 'force motorists to keep their lights on at all times'. A few minutes after he sat down a steward announced that someone had left their car outside with the lights on. Yes, you've guessed, it was the Earl's VW!

Lovely stuff, although shouldn't an Earl (and, as a U-kipper, no doubt a staunch patriot, at that) be driving an English car?

Thursday, November 6

You just can't teach an old dog new tricks

When it comes to the subject of taxpayer's hard earned money, Ashley Mote, the far right's very own benefit fraudster, just can't resist. Never mind deceiving HM Revenue & Customs to get that extra bit of something on the sly, why not just launder taxes which he "has access to" as an MEP. This was what happened at a committee meeting on Monday when Mote walked in half way through, signed himself on the register to get his per diem and promptly left. Certainly it would be no hyperbole to bill this as Ashley's latest count of fraud, but the greatest crime must be the deception of the voter. Mote here tried to pretend that he attended the meeting and was representing the voters in the discussions and debate of the committee. No such luck for the unfortunate voters of the South East.

It seems that Mr. Mote is being counter-productive in his crusade against corruption in the Parliament. His mission might be resolved very much quicker if he practised what he preaches. As the ever pithy Ashley has put it "I'm taking the 'devil's' money to do God's work". More like the 'devil's' money to do no work eh Ashley?

Tuesday, November 4

More woes for poor Tom Wise

More sad news about the plight of UKIPwatch's beloved porker Tom Wise. Dear ol' Tom has been on police bail since June when he was arrested on suspicion of obtaining money by deception following allegations of defrauding his assistance allowance. Unfortunately for poor Tom, who continues to protest his innocence, his bail was extended until next February last week. Is Mr Wise going to become the second UKIP MEP elected in 2004 to do time at the pleasure of Her Majesty?

Monday, November 3

Kilroy signs up for I'm a Celebrity!

You really couldn't make it up. UKIPwatcher was delighted to see that the perma-tanned Robert Kilroy-Silk will be appearing in the upcoming series of 'I'm a Celebrity get me out of here'. Oh, how the mighty have fallen. Four and a half years after promising to destroy the EU from within, the orange one is reduced to japing in the jungle with Ant and Dec and a collection of Z-list celebrities.

Honestly, what's next? First we had gorgeous George Galloway on Celebrity Big Brother, now Kilroy on I'm a Celebrity. I suppose next it'll be Nigel Farage on Strictly Come Dancing.

Still, Kilroy's appearances on TV will be helpful for his parliamentary colleagues. After all, the orange one does so little work that most people have forgotten what he looks like.

UKIP block pact with BNP - but is there more than meets the eye

Well it had to happen sometime. An attempt by the BNP to establish a non-aggression pact of the extreme right with UKIP for next year's European elections has collapsed after being rejected by UKIP leader Nigel Farage and the UKIP NEC. Farage is now proclaiming that this is evidence that UKIP is a 'non racist and non sectarian party'.

On the face of it, this seems like good PR for UKIP. However, on closer inspection, there seems more to this than meets the eye. The pact was brought before UKIP by Buster Mottram, a former member of the National Front, who claimed to be speaking with the blessing of BNP leader Nick Griffin. The thing is, though, that Buster Mottram was, until today that is, also an active member of UKIP. Indeed, only last year he wrote, on UKIPs behalf, to a number of Tory MPs warning them that they would be 'decapitated' at the next election if they do not sign up to the Better Off Out campaign. Farage even went on the record to defend him, describing Mottram's former NF membership as 'youthful indiscretions'. Weren't quite so 'non racist' then were we Nigel?

Secondly, UKIP are claiming that the offer was rejected 'unanimously' by their NEC. Yet, tucked away at the bottom of their press release is revealed the fact that two members of UKIPs NEC resigned today - presumably because they supported the pact. This is either a spectacular coincidence or yet another example of Nigel Farage's particular interpretation of the phrase 'party democracy'.

Besides, UKIP have co-operated with the BNP in the past and there's an argument that the two parties of the extreme right would fare better if they came to an informal arrangement not to attack each other. After all, the BNP are hoping to gain seats at the euro-elections, and will be particularly targeting London (where they gained a seat on the Assembly this June) and the North-West, where the bulk of their local councillors are. Were they to also focus their resources in Yorkshire, the South-West, East Midlands, East and South-East, they could take UKIP votes to deny them seats won in 2004.

A further fly in the ointment is the announcement by Declan Ganley, the frontman of Libertas which led to 'No' campaign on the Lisbon Treaty in Ireland, that he intends to stand candidates in all 12 regions of the UK and is attempting to raise £75m to establish Libertas as a 'European political party'. This is another threat that could fragment the eurosceptic right. Libertas would expect to take votes from UKIP and the Conservatives and, with Ganley's millions, would be able to comfortably outspend them during the campaign.

It will be fascinating to see how this plays out. UKIP, in particular, will be desperate to avoid Libertas candidates standing against them. One thing is for sure - such a fragmentation of the extreme eurosceptic right could lead to these natural ideological bedfellows collectively putting each other out of business.

Wednesday, October 29

Farage on Enoch Powell, his MEPs and the shame of only earning £60,000 per year

UKIPwatch had a bit of fun reading Nigel Farage's shameless interview with Iain Dale in the new Total Politics magazine.

In it, Nigel claims that "we are a non-racist, non-sectarian, pro-libertarian outfit. We are so far away from the image of the authoritarian right on issue after issue." But, this is simply not true and Nigel does rather spoil it at the end of the interview by admitting that his political hero is the 'mad prophet' Enoch Powell of 'rivers of blood' notoriety, whose anti-immigrant and anti-foreigner rhetoric inspired both Monday Club Toryism and the National Front in the 1970s and, latterly, the BNP.

Besides, you only have to spend an evening with a UKIP MEP/official or check out the party faithful on the Democracy Forum to see that they are, with a few honourable exceptions, a collection of hang 'em and flog 'em, right-wing authoritarians and assorted lunatics and conspiracy theorists. If you called Tory defector, and now UKIPs sole MP, Bob Spink a libertarian, he'd punch you in the jaw.

Farage also reveals his contempt for his own MEPs, admitting that "you attract a few people you would rather not have had" and, in a thinly veiled reference to convicted benefit fraudster Ashley Mote MEP and the alleged expense abuses by Tom Wise MEP, "part of the weakness of being a small, grassroots based party (is that) a con man can come along and con people".

More astonishing chutzpah can be found in his claim that "there is no preferential treatment for existing MEPs or party officers." Funny then that Gregg Beaman, a UKIP stalwart in the North-West who topped the members ballot to claim the No 1 spot on the UKIP list in the region was swiftly forced to stand down in favour of new party chairman Paul Nuttall, who, lest we forget, was personally appointed by Farage without the agreement of the UKIP NEC. No favouritism for your cronies, Nigel? Come off it!

It's also good to see that Nigel Farage's commitment to public service knows no bounds. On being asked "have you ever thought: why am I doing this" Nige replies "every month when I get my bank statement". Is he really saying that £60,000, plus expenses, not forgetting the £25,000 Farage pays his wife to work as his secretary, is not enough to live on?

It all rather smacks of Godfrey Bloom's remark upon hearing that his parliamentary salary would be just under £60,000 that "I can't possibly live off that"! If Farage is really claiming that MEPs, particularly those that do as little work as UKIP MEPs, deserve to be paid more, then he needs his head examining.

Tuesday, October 21

Justice as malignant Mote loses bid to charge legal costs to the taxpayer

The long running saga of disgraced former UKIP MEP Ashley Mote's attempt to avoid justice for multiple counts of benefit fraud may finally have come to an end. Mote used every single procedural trick imaginable to block and delay his prosecution. With criminal proceedings against him beginning just before his election in May 2004, he was able to delay until finally being sentenced in September 2007.

What is galling is that Mr. Mote, having served his time (albeit just 3 months out of a 9 month prison sentence) and returned to Parliament, sought to overturn the Parliament's decision to waive his immunity, challenging the legality of the decision and suing for the Parliament to pay all costs. It was unquestionably the right thing to do when the European Parliament took the overwhelming decision in 2005 to waive his immunity, in order to allow criminal prosecution for multiple benefit fraud to be brought against him. Happily, the European Court of First Instance slapped down his case this month. Publishing their decision on Wednesday last week, the judges dismissed the case as "inadmissible" and "unfounded."

But it is the hypocrisy and the desperation of Mote's newest ploy to evade both the voter and the law that is most shocking. Having spent years decrying the 'supposed' wastefulness of the Parliament's budget (which incidentally costs the individual taxpayer a mere £4.46 yearly, as opposed to £11.40 for the Commons), Mr. Mote sought to burden the taxpayer with upwards of £70,000 in legal costs. This comes on top of the £65,000 he defrauded from the taxpayer in benefits. Pots, kettles and dark colours spring to mind.

Furthermore, 4 years in office have seen a large portion of his time divided between prison and fighting his case. The voter, needless to say, hasn't had much of a look in. Indeed this latest episode smacks of a last desperate attempt to shore up what tatters of credibility he thinks he (but probably doesn't) has left. Given Mr. Mote's record, (and the recent rumours that he is trying to stand for the BNP in the South-East) he can't be looking forward to the voters' verdict on his work in the upcoming European elections. Voters in the South East were deceived in 2004 and have had their good faith abused since. It must be comforting to know that the malignant Mr. Mote will be given the boot in a little over 8 months time.

Monday, October 13

Is Farage set for another UKIP purge?

The barking mad members of Democracy Forum continue to be a delight to UKIPwatch, with a series of conspiracy theories having been posted over the last few weeks. This one claims that Nigel Farage is set to change UKIP's internal party rules in order to expel a number of senior officials and two MEPs - London's Gerard Batten and Roger Knapman from the South-West.

Given the astonishing (though understandable) lack of respect that Farage has for his party's members, this theory should not be dismissed out of hand. Many on the list have been openly critical of Farage and both Piers Merchant and Gregg Beaman were shabbily treated after the recent MEP candidate selection, with Beaman forced to stand down after topping the list in the North-West. As for the MEPs, Knapman is retiring next year and Gerard Batten will struggle to retain his seat, if his dismal showing in this year's London Mayoral election is anything to go by. But expelling two more MEPs would mean that UKIP would have lost exactly half its MEPs elected in 2004 within one parliamentary term. Can it really be true?

Thursday, September 11

UKIP on the brink

The weekend's press gave a fascinating, and long overdue, insight into UKIP's latest series of crises. This has been a bizarre week for the party (and particularly internal UKIP party democracy), with candidates being forced to resign from winnable positions on the party's candidate lists, the new party chairman being, apparently, suddenly appointed by Nigel Farage, without the consent or knowledge of party members or even the party's National Executive. All of which has occurred while the party 'enjoys' its annual conference in Bournemouth.

The Independent ( revealed an attempt from within UKIP party headquarters to oust Farage as leader, with the conspirators including David Abbott, a member of UKIP's NEC who has donated money to the BNP. Elsewhere, Roger Knapman (who has always hated Farage since his own removal as party leader in 2006) and his allies also hope to force Farage out.

The Devil's Kitchen ( has an interesting post on UKIP's travails. The reality is that the infighting is between personalities, but also for the party's identity. UKIP is split between anti-tax and anti-state libertarians who think that Britain should leave the EU because its common market has common rules on environmental, social and consumer protection standards (in many ways their libertarianism is not wholly dissimilar to the more right-wing US Republicans).

The problem for these characters, which include chief of staff, Gawain Towler, press officer, Tim Worstall and new chairman, Paul Nuttall and, amongst the MEPs, by Nigel Farage, Graham Booth and John Whittaker, is that they are a minority elite. Most of the UKIPs activists and votes are not libertarian but authoritarian - the sort of hang 'em and flog 'em extreme right-wingers who hate foreigners and think Enoch Powell was too soft on immigration. Significantly, the likes of Towler and Nuttall (and former press office Annabelle Fuller whose ousting also appears in the Indy's piece) are all former Tories who defected after the 2004 breakthrough and are still regarded with suspicion by the old-guard who founded UKIP back in the early 90s when they were even more of a rag-bag of nutters and racists.

The new UKIP elite, which really only amount to a very small number, have run the party from the centre, frequently getting into trouble with the Electoral Commission over their financial declarations and cutting the NEC and party members out of decision making. The shenanigans surrounding allegations of fraud against Tom Wise MEP, which the party leadership have known about for the last three years, have been allowed to rumble on. Furthermore, the allegations made last week by party members on the Democracy Forum ( site that the MEP selection ballots were rigged by the leadership are further evidence that long-term party members are fed up with being treated with contempt.

Needless to say, the old guard are also apoplectic at the talks between Farage and Conservatives to establish some kind of non-aggression pact in advance of next year's European elections, presumably in exchange for UKIP not standing candidates in marginal Labour held seats that the Tories need to win to form the next Government.

UKIP are suffering from the inevitable problem of trying to turn themselves into a serious party. Farage is an effective and intelligent media performer, but most of his MEP colleagues are semi-literate buffoons. Mike Nattrass, Godfrey Bloom and Derek Clark are deadweights who don't seems to do any work and seldom get any media coverage, while Roger Knapman and Jeffrey Titford are similarly inactive and, in Knapman's case, hell bent on wrecking Farage's leadership.

Consequently, we have a brutal power struggle between the racist hard-right (who constitute most of the old guard and party members) and the so-called libertarian free traders (who want UKIP to be a serious and viable political party). The old adage about student politics being so vicious because the stakes are so small also applies to UKIP!

But, if UKIP collapses, where do their votes go? As the Independent says, if UKIP totally collapses, then the BNP will stand to benefit. The BNP comfortably outpolled UKIP in the London Mayoral and Assembly elections this year, they have more members and, unless the likes of Paul Sykes are prepared to give UKIP a couple of million as they did in 2004, they will have similar financial resources. And, of course, the BNP are in favour of British withdrawal from the EU. So if, as seems inevitable, UKIP's vote collapses and they lose most of their 12 seats won in 2004, it is likely that the BNP will win several seats, with the East Midlands, North-West and London the most likely regions.

However, a collapsing UKIP vote could also be good news for the Tories. In 2004, the Tories took only 28% of the vote (at the height of Government unpopularity over the Iraq war) with many natural eurosceptic Tory voters giving UKIP a try. With UKIP in turmoil, Cameron will expect to see these voters returning to the Tory fold.

The bottom line seems to be that, outside Farage and his cabal of 'modernisers', UKIP as a party are rotten to the core. After the 2004 breakthrough they look set to be consigned to obscurity, a blot on Britain's political landscape. Few will shed any tears.

Wednesday, September 10

Is Ashley Mote crossing the floor to the BNP

It looks as though the chequered political career of Ashley Mote is not yet complete. The convicted benefit fraudster and former UKIP MEP is apparently attempting to seek re-election in next year's European election…….heading the BNP list in the South-East where he was elected along with Nigel Farage for UKIP in 2004. And you thought he couldn't stoop any lower.

Monday, September 8

Summer loving, had me a small chat with the police

Amid the excitement (well minor interest), farce and toys-from-pram throwing of the UKIP selection process, it is easy to forget the heroics of the established MEPs who have bumbled along at their usual standard over the summer months.

First, there was Jeffrey Titford, who had to have a little chat with the police over the summer following allegations of "financial irregularities". The News of the World reported that the complaint came from none other than UKIP's Chairman in Ipswich and East Suffolk. Oh dear.

Second point of vague interest, possibly, is the ramblings of Godfrey Bloom. Back in 2004, Godfrey was UKIP's premier hotshot gobshite, spouting all sorts of offensive nonsense to the delight of the media. Of course since then, others elected alongside him have spent time in jail, been investigated by Olaf and generally behaved rather worse than merely waffling away like the pub bore.

In fact, UKIPwatch is struggling to find the motivation to post Bloom's recent thoughts on green energy. They were predictable and wrong. Is this the best Godders really can do these days? Come on Godders, raise your game. Some of us are waiting to be offended.

Thursday, September 4

The farce continues as UKIP No 1 in North-West resigns

Just a week after the results of UKIP's MEP selection were announced the party continues to suffer embarrassment.

Gregg Beaman, who was ranked No 1 by UKIP party members in the North-West, and would have hoped to cling on to the seat won by John Whittaker in 2004, has resigned from his candidacy. Not content with that, he has resigned as UKIP Regional Organiser for the North-West.

All of which leaves UKIP staffer Paul Nuttal as No 1 in the North-West - unless the rumours of impropriety turn out to be true and the entire election is re-run.

Funnily enough, there is not a single prominent mention on UKIP's freshly designed website on their candidate selections for next year. Strange that!

Wednesday, September 3

UKIP ban candidate from standing for euro elections

UKIP may be in desperate straits, but are clearly not so desperate to be able to refuse to allow one of their candidates to stand.

Robin Page, who was UKIP's 3rd candidate in the East of England in 2004, claims to have been blocked from standing by the party hierarchy. Page, who used to present BBC's "One Man and his Dog" claims that, after following the advice of UKIP staff, he was ruled out of the internal election process for European Election Candidates, as the instructions he was given were said to be wrong.

In the words of Mr Page: "In my view I have been well and truly “stitched up”. It has, it seems, been a Banana Republic election – apparently having much in common with a Zimbabwean election. I even knew what the result would be before one vote had been cast. There is so much sleaze in UKIP at the moment with people being investigated by the police and OLAF (the European Anti-Fraud Office) for a number of alleged offences – I think the hierarchy wanted to prevent me from standing in case I won a place at Brussels and saw how some of them behave. It is a disgrace; the whole thing has been run like a Zimbabwean election – even the UKIP Returning Officer – former Tory MP Piers Merchant is appalled – but claims he cannot do anything about it: “I seem not to have been given the powers to call the election off”, he says, “but shall be preparing a full report in which I will highlight several areas of inadequacy and also cases such as yours, which need a proper investigation”.

Because of the flawed election process several local UKIP branches are refusing to help with next year’s European Elections and want the Electoral Reform Society to be involved in all future UKIP elections.

UKIP are in dreadful trouble through a combination of vicious and malicious infighting and rank incompetence. But it's interesting to hear the accusation that the party is undemocratic, considering UKIP's regular claims that the EU is remote and as democratic as a banana republic.

Monday, September 1

UKIP launches Euro 2009 motley crew

UKIP's motley crew of candidates for next year's European election has now been announced. Not a star in sight at the moment, although UKIPwatch is still hoping for a surprise candidacy from celebrity chef Rustie Lee, Edward Fox or, even better, the paragon of selfless virtue that is disgraced 'cash for questions' former MP, Neil Hamilton.

Replacing the convicted benefit fraudster Ashley Mote as number two in the South-East is former Commission whistleblower Marta Andreasson, whose own brand of euroscepticism is a little less extreme than her UKIP colleagues.

UKIPwatcher was also intrigued by the performance of the IND-DEM staffers. Paul Nuttal is 2nd in the North-West, with Michael McManus 3rd - neither have any chance of being elected, which is also the case for Ralph Atkinson (3rd in London) and UKIP's chief of staff and blogger Gawain Towler (3rd in the South-West).

David Campbell-Bannerman (not quite as distinguished as his illustrious former Liberal Prime Minister ancestor) takes the top spot in the East, with Jeffrey Titford's assistant Stewart Guilleford managing only fourth.

In Yorkshire, the oafish Godfrey Bloom has seen off the challenge from Jonathan 'boy' Arnott for the number 1 spot, while 'deadweight' Derek Clark and Mike Nattrass top the lists in the East and West Midlands.

Also interesting to see the vote shares in the South East and West - Nigel Farage gaining a whopping 1720 votes - ten times as many as Derek Clark's meagre 145 in the East Midlands. In the South-West, new MEP Trevor Colman was the only one to get close to a thousand votes, with 900.

So, how will UKIP fare next June. Not very well if you believe the UKIP party members and assorted hard-right extremists on the Democracy Forum, 49% of which are betting on UKIP being reduced to 4 MEPs or fewer. Nothing like a bit of confidence amongst the footsoldiers!

Sunday, August 24

Amusing Ash and his (misquoted) 'Yes, Minister' gag

Good to see Ashley Mote's commitment to serving his constituents remains undimmed. After a constituent enquired about the Government's plans to introduce 'positive' discrimination legislation, the great philosopher king wrote back saying:

"In future, as an employer, you will be expected to give preference not to the best candidate for the job but to a black homosexual female dwarf who is a rehabilitated drug addict (what about rehabilitated convicted fraudsters Ashley?) in a wheelchair."

Helpful Mr Mote keeping his constituents informed!

Of course Ash, who will be leaving the European Parliament next June is very pleased with himself and his wonderful wit. However, without wishing to burst his bubble, the gag is not his own - pilfered (and misquoted) from 'Yes, Minister'.

Wednesday, July 30

The plot thickens around Tom Wise

It seems that Tom Wise has been arrested for a second time, with the Hemel Gazette reporting that Wise has been arrested on suspicion of making a false instrument, obtaining money by deception and converting criminal property. Wise has been released on police bail until 29th October, leading to renewed rumours that he may become the second UKIP MEP elected in 2004 to face criminal charges.

UKIP will no doubt claim that Tom Wise has been expelled from the party and is sitting as an independent, but a little look at the Electoral Commission's website would suggest that Wise and his lady wife are still the Treasurer and First Officer of their local UKIP branch (surprising that the UKIP South-Bedfordshire branch would entrust their accounts to a man under investigation for alleged fraud, but that's another matter).

UKIPs class of 2009

UKIP's candidate list for next year is now available, and a much depleted team it is too. Not only have they lost over 30% of their members since 2004 - now boasting between 16 and 17,000 members depending on which NEC member you ask - but only 5 of the 12 UKIP MEPs elected in 2004 will be standing for re-election.

Needless to say, not even UKIP would try to re-select Tom Wise while he is still being investigated by the police for expenses fraud, while convicted benefit fraudster Ashley Mote and the ubiquitous Robert Kilroy Silk departed the UKIP scene shortly after being elected. Added to these losses are South-West MEP Graham Booth who is standing down next month for family reasons, while Roger Knapman, party chairman John Whittaker and Jeffrey Titford have all stated that they will not be seeking re-election next year - although although Mr Titford's decision might have been prompted by his becoming the latest UKIP MEP to have his collar felt by Inspector Knacker.

The list of candidates includes a number of IND-DEM staffers - including Paul Nuttal, Ralph Atkinson and Gawain Towler. Other notable candidates include Marta Andreasen, the former European Commission whistle-blower, who recently took one of the most thankless jobs in politics by becoming UKIP's treasurer and accountant, who is on the shortlist for both London and the South-East, although it's difficult to imagine that the UKIP membership will want to select a foreigner to become one of their MEPs though).

It seems that UKIP have not been rushed off their feet by applicants, with a number of candidates short listed in two regions. Maybe they've been put off by the exorbitant cost of standing for the party - as UKIPwatch explained here, merely being selected as a UKIP candidate will cost you a cool £1050.

The short-lists are also light on celebrity. 5 years after Kilroy's media savvy helped UKIP get more exposure than was justified for a collection of fruitcakes and assorted right-wing nut jobs, there is a distinct lack of celebrity stardust, although Joan Collins will no doubt be wheeled out during the campaign. UKIPwatcher is also disappointed to see that neither 'celebrity chef' Rustie Lee or Day of the Jackal star Edward Fox are running, while disgraced former Tory turned U-kipper Neil Hamilton (he of 'cash for questions' fame) has also eschewed the chance to stand.. Instead it looks like we'll have to make do with the Earl of Dartmouth and Bishop Brennan lookalike Godfrey Bloom.

UKIP have struggled to make an impression in any election since their stunning result in 2004 when they comfortably outspent Labour and the Lib Dems. Despite claiming that they are no longer a single issue party, they fared abysmally in the 2005 general election, and local elections and were wiped out in the London Assembly elections this year - losing the 2 seats they won in 2004 and being comfortably outstripped by the BNP for the far-right vote. With a tiny membership, apparently meagre funds (although it is not unthinkable that Tory eurosceptic Paul Sykes will open his wallet to boost their coffers) and an uninspiring set of candidates, the indicators are that UKIP are a busted flush and will lose most of their seats next year.

Friday, July 25

From 12 to 7 after latest UKIP resignation

Oh dear, another one bites the dust. South West MEP Graham Booth has announced his intention to resign in September, meaning that 5 of the 12 UKIP MEPs elected in 2004 are UKIP no more. UKIPwatch wishes him well.

Booth is set to be replaced by Trevor Colman, number 3 on UKIP's South West list, and the man who conducted UKIP's internal inquiry into Tom Wise's alleged expenses fraud.

Friday, July 18

UKIP continue to leak like a sieve

Looks as though UKIPwatcher is not the only one being leaked information by desperate U-kippers. Seems as though they're also sending stuff to Richard Corbett - a man not usually regarded as being a friend of UKIP!

Tuesday, July 15

Did Mote receive illegal donation from the Queen?

When disgraced former UKIP MEP and convicted benefit fraudster Ashley Mote was released from the slammer last December, he was full of effusive praise for his prison governor who, said Mote, had allowed him to continue his constituency work. This ensured, according to the pompous buffoon, that "my constituents did not suffer as a result of my incarceration". Perhaps Cashley even penned the towering "J'accuse" - a tour de force that sealed his status as a political philosopher and pamphleteer to rival Mill, Locke or Paine - when serving his time.

On a serious matter, MEPs have to declare their office expenditure and all donations in the register of interests. Indeed, all donations, either financial or 'in kind' must be registered with the Electoral Commission and European Parliament. Therefore, you would expect that a donation of free office facilities from Her Majesty's Prison Service would feature in Cashley's declaration. However, a quick check of Mote's declaration and a glance at the Electoral Commission's website shows that he does not mention it. There are two possibilities: either Ash paid for his prison facilities or he is simply too proud to declare a donation in kind from the Monarch? More to the point, has Her Maj been told?

Wednesday, July 9

When europhobes fall out

Like a car crash shown in slow motion, the Tom Wise saga has been excruciating but compelling viewing. First UKIP backed him, then they said they'd sacked him, then they said he was innocent. Now Tom Wise, who it seems has finally been kicked out of UKIP and the IND-DEM group (although you wouldn't think so to see his website), seems to have decided that if he's going to be hung out to dry then he'll take a few former colleagues with him.

This open letter by Wise alleging "inappropriate or even illegal" use of IND-DEM funds is dynamite, but builds on similar information sent anonymously to UKIPwatcher a few weeks ago. He states that "following consultations, I have presented this (evidence) to Roger Vanhaeran, Director General of Finance, who has subsequently confirmed that this matter is now the subject of a formal investigation".

All this is interesting enough, but small potatoes compared to this bile-laden response from the superbly named Herman Verheirstraaten, the Secretary General of IND-DEM. The Hermanator accuses Wise of lying, incompetence, treachery…you name it.

There are numerous nuggets in Vanheirstraaten's ripost, and UKIPwatch was particularly tickled by "I still owe you the bottle of UKIP labelled champagne you gave me for all my help during the financial investigation against you. I can't possibly drink it, because it would taste very sour". Kind of sums UKIP up really.

So, according to a UKIP MEP, UKIPs political group has made illegal donations to the EU Democrats, and Nigel Farage was either complicit or at least knew what was going on. Intriguingly, Vanheirstraaten urges Wise to name the two EU Democrat employees he claims are being illegally employed by IND-DEM. The question is whether the notoriously indiscreet Wise will take the bait.

All in all, it's like a third-rate crime thriller. Still, just ten months until the electorate will be able to put this bunch of clowns out of their misery.

Monday, June 23

Tom Wise twist - plucky porker arrested in fraud investigation

It seems that the plucky porker Tom Wise has had a busy weekend with coppers from Bedfordshire police arresting him on suspicion of fraud.

It'll be interesting to see how UKIP respond. Back in October last year, their head of press criticised UKIPwatch for writing a piece on Mr Wise, accusing us of "unsubstantiated mud", while Bob Feal Martinez (who also appears to have a soft spot for this blog) took a swipe and defended Wise's integrity. Now that the press are baying for Wise's blood, UKIP have changed their tune and are frantically trying to disown Wise. But it won't wash, Tom Wise was (along with jailbird and convicted fraudster Ashley Mote) elected as a UKIP MEP in 2004. Even now, UKIP are still more than happy to take membership subs from him. It's unclear how UKIP are going to spin their way out of these scandals at the next European elections, their best bet is presumably to hope that nobody notices.

UKIPwatch also noticed that Wise was released on police bail. Wonder whether the ubiquitous Wise will, true to money-grabbing form, try and put his bail on expenses?

Thursday, June 19

Get real Gawain!

UKIPwatcher's eyes were drawn to this piece in the Irish Independent by Fionnan Sheahan on the eurosceptics who helped campaign for a 'No' vote in last week's referendum in Ireland on the Lisbon Treaty. It's good fun, knockabout stuff. However, not for a certain Mr Towler, who took umbrage at Sheahan's description of UKIP as "the golf club version of the BNP". Pretty accurate, although UKIPwatch thinks they're more like the BNP with posh voices. Mr Towler was probably also offended by Sheahan's reminder that Alistair McConnachie, the five-time UKIP candidate and former national executive member, endorsed David Irving's denial of the Holocaust.

Nonetheless, UKIPwatcher has some time for Mr Towler, who despite questionable political beliefs is an eloquent blogger. However, his claim that UKIP is a party with a "love of liberty" is, not to put too fine a point on it, more than a little rich. Last week, Bob Spink, whose dishonourable defection from the Tories means that UKIP have an MP until the next general election, voted to increase the length of time that terror suspects can be banged up without trial to 42 days. UKIPs refusal to vote in favour of a European Parliament report on combating female genital mutilation and hardline anti-immigration stance might also be considered by some to be at odds with claims to be a "party of liberty". To be blunt, Gawain Towler may be a libertarian, but his party certainly ain't.

Besides, if Gawain really thinks that UKIP is closest to the Irish Progressive Democrats (the party of former President of the European Parliament Pat Cox) then he really does needs his head examining.

Wednesday, June 18

UKIP party democracy and more on the neverending Tom Wise saga

With wearisome predictability, the extended car crash that is the Tom Wise saga has taken a fresh twist. Len Baynes, the chairman and founder of the Fenland and Cambridge branches of UKIP has resigned, leaving a parting shot that UKIP has been taken over by "career opportunists".

UKIPwatch was particularly amused to read Baynes' questions about Farage's approach to party democracy:

"(Nigel) is treating the party as his own personal property. The branches as such get no support whatsoever and I was surprised when asked to attend an NEC meeting to explain the worries of my members that I was not allowed to speak."

Hmmm - this would be the same Nigel Farage that is so fond of lecturing EU politicians that they are undemocratic and don't listen to the people? Funny that.

Moreover, anyone who needing reminding that UKIP couldn't organise a piss up in a brewery should read this as, pouring another can of petrol onto the already smouldering fire, Baynes contradicted the standard UKIP line that Tom Wise is no longer a UKIP MEP - "in 2008 he met with all the top politicians of the Channel Islands along with UKIP MEP Roger Knapman and was indeed described by the press as a UKIP MEP. He has also had his membership of UKIP renewed in March 2008, a year after the whip was withdrawn. I find this baffling and can get no reason or comments from anyone."

So Wise is a UKIP MEP? Well, not according to this statement by Nige Farage.

All of which begs the question: if Wise is still a member of UKIP, will he be standing for re-election next year on the UKIP ticket?

Tuesday, June 17

New allegations of IND-DEM assistance scandal

UKIPwatcher was intrigued to receive some information from a fellow conspirator to the effect that the Parliament's Secretary General Harald Römer has apparently launched an investigation into the funding of at least 5 UKIP/EU Democrat staff members. An investigation has also been launched into the alleged plans to pay veteran eurosceptic campaigner Jens Peter Bonde to subsidise his future work for the EU Democrats.

This issue has cropped up a few times before in a similar vein. One of the open secrets in the European Parliament is that UKIP uses money from the IND-DEM group to pay its party staff. Mike Nattrass's assistant Denis Brookes took his former boss to an employment tribunal last year alleging that he was being paid using IND-DEM money when he was actually a UKIP regional organiser, although the case was eventually thrown out.

UKIP MEP deadweight Derek Clark has also weighed in. In a letter to that great bastion of Europhilia the Sunday Telegraph, Deadweight said:

My employment of two staff at our party head office in Devon is perfectly legitimate.

Any assistant of an MEP is required to assist the MEP with all aspects of his or her duties, including political activities as an MEP, so as to enhance the work of the MEP. By helping to promote the party and by raising public awareness of our aims, those working in our head office enhance the role of all our MEPs wherever they are, including me.

That is what I said live on the BBC’s political hour last Sunday. I change not one word of that but perhaps I had better quote a long standing EU civil servant.

I refer to The Secretary General of our political group in the European Parliament, Herman Verheirstraeten, who says:-

“The internal rules of the parliaments don’t tell us anything about what is the exact task of a parliamentary assistant. The policy of the parliament is clear; do everything, inform people, make sure they come out to vote, make sure the political parties, the national parliaments are aware of what is happening in Europe. That is their real political duty. This is why I am convinced that the parliament would rather applaud the fact you have people working in your national state under your instructions and promote your work, exchange ideas with the party, coordinate the work of the other UKIP MEPs and inform the members as well as the UK public not just the East Midlands. It should be added to this particular case, that UKIP is a party that has his core interest in what is happening in Europe, unlike the others who have other core business. That is one more reason to welcome the fact that you do what should be done, and that is invest in contact with the party and the public”.

I trust that you can accept the word of such an experienced and unbiased EU official as Herman Verheirstraeten. I find it rather sad that a paper with the reputation of the Sunday Telegraph should allow itself to publish misleading articles based upon ill informed comment.

(It's fascinating that Clark describes the General Secretary of the IND-DEM group (headed by UKIP who seek to destroy the EU) as an "unbiased EU official" - he's clearly been taking spinning advice from UKIP press maestro - but we'll leave this for another time.)

Anyway, watch this space because something is clearly afoot. It may be that another UKIP assistance allowance scandal is about to blow.

Has Ashley Mote got a new job?

The new EU Commissioner for Justice was cross-examined in the European Parliament yesterday, with his appointment prompting a furious denunciation in a UKIP press release.

However, the quote from Deadweight Derek Clark made UKIPwatch do a double-take: "this gentleman was convicted of fraud and embezzlement of public funds….and would have received a substantial prison sentence….he failed to declare this situation before taking office". What the hell?!? When did former UKIP MEP Ashley Mote become an EU Commissioner?

Wednesday, May 21

More to Life than (reading UKIP) Shite

Trawling through the blogosphere can be a mind-numbing but strangely captivating experience. No matter how barmy most blogger comments are, there’s some perverse pleasure to be had from reading them.

The More to Life than Shoes blog, run by UKIP press officer Annabelle Fuller is case in point. Usually consisting of ill-tempered rants blaming the EU (sorry that should be the Soviet/Nazi/Fascist/Socialist EU delete according to which of her prejudices is on display) it’s not a monument to high class discourse or thought but strangely enthralling nonetheless. Ms Fuller is clearly not the sharpest knife in the draw, but this combination of racism and breathtaking ignorance really takes the biscuit.

She really has surpassed herself with this effort, in which she defends the vigilante mobs who have torched a number of Roma camps in Italy on the grounds that “the main issue started when someone from Romania murdered and raped an Italian woman”. So that it makes it ok, eh Annabelle? This very crude eye-for-an-eye approach is pretty low stuff, but sadly typical of the hate-filled, knee-jerk reaction of UKIP politics.

What is happening in Italy (ie a rise in the rule of the mob and far-right) is scary. Moreover, she complains at the comparison of some Italians to fascists – fair enough, this is slightly wild hyperbolé. But lets not forget that the recent Mayoral elections in Rome (won by a former member of the Italian Social Movement), were celebrated with fascist salutes and chanting.

It’s also amusing that she sees fit to criticise the line -

“I also hope the Slovenian Presidency will find some courage to tell the Italian Government that anti-Romani actions are forbidden to take place in the EU”.

Well – the Roma are a race (and, despite what Trixy/Annabelle might think) they are not subhuman and so discriminating against them is racism. What else can be inferred from this other than Trixy/Annabelle is being a touch racist?

Ah well, UKIPwatcher is consoled by the fact that Trixy (Ms Fuller) obviously has a very limited understanding of European politics otherwise she wouldn’t write this unutterable garbage.

Tuesday, May 20

Venal Mote to pay back fraud cash - but has he received legal aid

Disgraced former UKIP MEP Ashley Mote has been ordered to repay £67,000 of benefits he falsely claimed after losing his appeal at the Court of Appeal. Mote has tried every procedural trick in the book to thwart and delay attempts to bring him to justice, but finally will be forced to pay back the taxpayers’ money he stole.

One question that begs to be asked is where is he getting the money to pay his lawyers. Unless Cashley is getting legal aid his legal bills must be enormous as it is now over three years since he was formally charged with benefit fraud. Indeed, three years of running legal bills would probably make him close to bankruptcy. The other possibility (not completely unlikely since Mote is notoriously pompous and self-regarding) is that he has represented himself. If, however, Mote has been receiving legal aid, then this is a scandalous misuse of public money that must run to tens of thousands of public money. Legal aid is designed to help those who can’t afford a lawyer, not MEPs earning £60,000 plus expenses a year. I think we should be told…..

Tuesday, May 13

Plucky porker Wise caught with his snout and trotters in the trough

UKIPwatch shuddered nervously as it heard that there was a News of the World exposé on Tom Wise. What sordid sex secrets would be revealed? How many times a night would it be? Would there be pictures? Fears of a topless spread fortunately proved unfounded.

It seems that having innocently given a young lady work experience, Wise preceded to jovially tell her about how he takes full advantage of the European Parliament’s expenses system while at the same time admitting he hasn’t got a clue what he’s supposed to be doing.

Of course, the young lady on work experience was actually a reporter for the News of the World and, job wrapped up, the story, complete with undercover tape recording (how exciting!), was published for all to see on Sunday. Ooops.

Now UKIPwatch does not condone undercover reporting. It is deceitful and hardly the mark of a great journalist but if you don't say or do anything worth reporting then you won't be splashed all over the newspapers. And if you read the story it is clear that Tom Wise’s expenses are within the rules, far too lax rules that need changing, but rules nonetheless.

So why the story? It's probably because of the glee Wise clearly takes in grabbing every last cent of expenses for his own pockets while cheerfully boasting about his half-arsed approach to the job.

Having nonchalantly revealed that "Yes, I am milking the system, in as much as I'm overpaid for the amount of expenses I've had" he went on to admit "I don't know what an MEP's job is. No one's ever given me a job description. I've no idea what an MEP should or shouldn't do. So you make it up as you go along."

There is also the implication that Wise 'signs in and sods off' to collect his daily allowance, though UKIPwatch is slightly suspicious at Wise's claim that "You get here at 7am, you sign in...and then you can sod off." 7am? Bollocks, Tom.

The article also begs the question about Wise’s position in UKIP. The News of the World seem fairly certain Wise is no longer a UKIP MEP but then the News of the World is fairly certain people are interested in Lee Sharpe’s sex life (Kim Ryder apparently).

Following the story in the News of the World, Nigel Farage even dusted down his typewriter to distance Wise from UKIP who he asserted was now an Independent MEP. No one seems to have told Wise though, whose website remains in UKIP colours and maintains that he is proud to be a UKIP MEP.

Talking of Wise’s website, his statement in response to the News of the World article shows a level of conceit that even the very worst Apprentice contestents would cringe at. He first congratulates the News of the World for publishing the story and then shrugs off any question that what he is doing is wrong by saying he is merely highlighting the issue of expenses in the European Parliament.

Brave, brave Mr Wise gobbling-up every cent of taxpayers money (in the recording he claims to be making a profit of nearly £2000 a week from expenses scams - that's £1/2 million over his five year term) it is possible to squeeze and wring from EU citizens, while chuckling away at the fact he is still clueless about how to do his job.

But you remember this people, the plucky porker is doing it for you!

Monday, May 5

Nattrass for Crewe as UKIP unveil their own 'quiet man'

So Mike Nattrass has been selected as UKIP's candidate for this month's by-election in Crewe and Nantwich. This is a bit of a surprise as Nattrass represents the West Midlands in the European Parliament and has no link to Crewe. He is also one of the least assiduous MEPs - he has made a grand total of 3 interventions in the Parliament in 2008 and has one of the worst attendance records. The obvious candidates to stand would have been John Whittaker, UKIP MEP for the region Crewe is in, or Nigel Farage.

Farage fought the Bromley by-election in 2006, following the death of Tory Eric Forth but took a measly 8% of the vote despite spending £70,000 on the by-election campaign. Rumours that most of this largesse was spent providing 'entertainment' for renowned UKIP party boys Farage and Godfrey Bloom remain unconfirmed.

By selecting Nattrass, who has achieved precious little since becoming an MEP (save for being taken to court by one of his employees), UKIP are clearly going to do this election on the cheap.

UKIP spinner convicted fraudster

So, not content with electing convicted benefit fraudster Ashley Mote it seems that fraud is something that runs in the UKIP family.

Clive Page was UKIPs press officer during the Hartlepool by-election in 2004, when UKIP councillor Stephen Allison beat the Tories into third place to achieve UKIP's best ever by-election result. He was then appointed as UKIP's Deputy Communications Director. Just months earlier, Page had been sentenced to an 80 hour community punishment order after being convicted of over £5,000 worth of benefit fraud.

A poor man's Ashley Mote - now there's a novelty!

Knapman and Farage feud on whether to keep it in the family

One of UKIPwatch's helpers came across this intriguing letter from Roger Knapman in last week's Western Daily Press. Knapman welcomes the vote in the European Parliament to ban MEPs from employing family members as assistants, adding that "UKIP has a rule that MEPs should not employ their wives, agreed at the start of the 2004 Parliament". Indeed, Knapman goes on to say that "MEPs expenses should not be channelled into the pockets of their own family. That is a misuse of taxpayers' money".

This "rule" was agreed when Knapman was still leader of UKIP. However, his successor has shown less respect for the principle of not employing family members. Nigel Farage employs his wife Kirsten as a home based secretary and pays her an alleged £24,000 per year from his parliamentary allowance. It's fair to say that Knapman's "rule" is not being applied.

Roger also makes a not-so subtle dig when he says that "it seems some MEPs are paying their wives when little or no work is being done". To whom could he possibly be referring?!?!

Of course, it's no secret that Knapman and Farage hate each other. They had bitter disagreements over the handling of the Tom Wise scandal (when Knapman threatened to resign the whip) and it is rumoured that Knapman was responsible for telling the Sunday Times that Farage was employing his student son, a story which Farage refuted and the Times now seems to have agreed was baseless, as the story can no longer be found on the paper's website.

Honestly, can't they just play nicely?

UKIP play the blame game after poll drubbing

The London Mayoral election and local elections were pretty awful for the Government, but the unnoticed disaster was UKIP's performance with the party's candidate finishing seventh in the Mayoral race and the party being wiped out of the Assembly. In the town hall elections across the UK, they finished with a grand total of 8 councillors, fewer than, for example, the BNP, Greens, the old Liberal party and the Kidderminster Health Concern party.

UKIP had spent the weeks leading up to polling day claiming that they were the fourth party in London. Back in 2004, boxing promoter Frank Maloney polled 6% in the mayoral race and 115,000 first preference votes. Last Thursday, however, the hapless Gerard Batten picked up a paltry 22,000 votes - 0.9% - well behind the Greens, the BNP and the Christian People's Alliance.

The BNP picked up 5.3% of the vote and 1 seat on the Assembly. It is hugely disappointing that an unreconstructed fascist party like the BNP has won a seat on the Assembly, but the vote share picked up by the extreme right in London has declined significantly since 2004 when UKIP took 10% and 2 seats and the BNP took 4.7%, narrowly missing out on a seat.

UKIP press officer Annabelle Fuller puts up this threadbare and deeply embittered defence, blaming (no, this isn't a joke) the media for the Greens finishing fourth and the BNP winning the battle of the extreme right, because by giving cursory coverage to the Greens and the reviled BNP, UKIP were denied the media spotlight. No, Annabelle, the Greens get more coverage than UKIP because they have more elected representatives and get more votes. She also describes the party of Caroline Lucas and Darren Johnson as "the Communist Green Party". It's fair to say that Ms Fuller has never read any Marx…..

It is also interesting to see her endorsement of Boris Johnson - "I'm not a Tory, but I think Boris is a bloody good bloke". Fuller, of course, was involved in Conservative Future until a couple of years ago. With UKIP so obviously a busted flush, does she think defecting back to the Tories will be a good career move?

Tuesday, April 29

Tom Wise saga rumbles on

The Tom Wise alleged embezzlement saga rumbles on into its third year still, apparently, no closer to being closed.

It is claimed in the Bedfordshire press that Bedfordshire Chief constable Gillian Parker told Mr Wise that no action would be taken against him. As the police investigation is still ongoing it could be argued that this prejudices the continued investigations into Mr Wise. Meanwhile, local councillor Andrew McConnell gives his two cents worth here - calling for UKIP to sack Wise.

It is now three years since the first investigations into Tom Wise's alleged embezzlement of over £35,000 of his assistance allowance. What are the odds that it'll still be going when next year's European elections are held?

Wednesday, April 23

Bob Spink - man of "determination and principle"

UKIPwatch referred to the Farage 'kiss of death' describing disgraced former Tory and now UKIP MP Bob Spink as a man of "determination and principle".

Once again Nigel demonstrates his unerring judge of character. In an email sent last month to his former colleague Nadine Dorries MP, Spink asks "what is this nonsense about me joining UKIP….How do they make it up", before going on to add that "being Independent….works for me and should give me more influence"

A fairly clear statement you might think.

Four weeks later……Bob Spink joins UKIP. Clearly a man of "determination and principle", eh Nige.

As Bob points out, "the wonderful people of Castle Point…are very astute and know exactly what has been going on" - in which case you'd better start thinking about your next job Bob, because the seat won't be yours for long.

Tuesday, April 22

Too extreme for the Tories, Spink joins UKIP

So Nigel Farage's wet dream has come true and UKIP have their first seat in the Commons to go with their two hereditary peers and nine remaining MEPs after Castle Point MP Bob Spink, who was kicked out of the Tory party last month, joined UKIP.

Bob Spink would be diplomatically described as a 'controversial' or 'colourful' character and more accurately described as being more right-wing than Attila the Hun. Back in 2005, his main campaign was to attack asylum seekers under the slogan "what part of send them back don't you understand, Mr Blair". Given UKIPs anti-immigrant mantra and Nigel Farage's comments about black people, UKIPwatch is sure that Spink will fell at home in UKIP.

His complicated office arrangements also demonstrate that he will be amongst friends in UKIP - in February it was revealed that Spink was employing his daughter, ex-wife and the daughter of his ex-lover out of his parliamentary office allowance, truly a remarkable achievement.

Unfortunately for Bob, Nigel Farage has already put the kiss of death on him by describing him as "hard working and deeply principled". However, when it comes to his parliamentary seat, Mr Spink is a bit more defensive, claiming that a by-election is unnecessary as: "I was elected as Bob Spink". Yes, Bob, but you were also elected on the Conservative party ticket, while the official UKIP candidate got 7% of the vote. It's fair to say that the people of Castle Point did not elect a UKIP MP.

However, UKIP had better enjoy having an MP while it lasts. There is as much chance of Gerard Batten becoming Mayor of London as UKIP winning a Westminster seat and Castle Point will again be a Tory/Labour marginal when the next general election is called.

Those who can, do; those who can't, chat

The day UKIP wields any power will be a desperate, desperate time but occasionally they come out with an idea so preposterous it would be quite intriguing to see just how they would go about fulfilling their madcap ideas.

Gerard Batten's campaign for the London mayoral elections is a case in point. In between complaining he's not being invited to hustings, he's also promising a five year freeze on immigration.

Quite how Batten proposes to do this remains unclear; other than letting in the odd person with the "right skills" he's not really gone into detail. Hopefully it will involve some heavily-armed border guards racing around the M25 shouting at anyone in an Audi who works in advertising to get back to Essex before sunset or they'll face big trouble but it will probably just mean targeting foreign types.

Being the savvy politician that he is, Batten does actually admit there's nothing he can actually do about immigration should he win but he has promised to talk about it.

So, um, yup he appears to be promising something he can't deliver but he will at least chat about it. Right, that sounds, err, good. Lets hope future UKIP promises include getting everyone into heaven (except from immigrants) and getting everyone a game for a Premiership football club (except for immigrants). That will be some good talking.

Tuesday, April 1

We're not racist, we just don't like immigrants......

It was interesting to see a UKIP leaflet produced for the recent council by-election in Wyre Borough. It didn't do much good, with UKIP finishing fourth behind the BNP. is the standard UKIP fare, but one paragraph is particularly amusing:

"Of British parties only UKIP voted against EU enlargement in the European Parliament that has resulted in over 600,000 Eastern European immigrants entering Britain. It is IMPOSSIBLE to regain control of our borders within the EU. UKIP will freeze immigration for 5 years and speed up deportation of up to 1 million illegal immigrants. UKIP is a non racist/non sectarian party."

You couldn't make it up…..

Thursday, March 27

Godders and Tim Kirkhope - the end of the Bentley affair

Godfrey Bloom continues to cultivate his reputation as a throwback to Colonel Blimp and is always good for a chuckle. He is famous for a love of the high-life - commenting when he saw his £60,000 MEPs salary that "I can't possibly live on that". His latest foray into the press would indicate that he may have had a point, since one of Godfrey's 'passions' is his beloved 1982 classic Bentley and his membership of the Bentley Drivers' Club.

He is not the only Yorkshire MEP to favour the Bentley as his drive of choice; Tory Tim Kirkhope is a fellow enthusiast and member of Godders' driving club.

However, their enjoying friendship as Bentley lovers has bitten the dust, after Godders', taking umbrage at being fined £400 by President Pöttering for heckling the Portuguese Prime Minister, bizarrely claimed that Kirkhope was responsible for the fine as a member of the Parliament's Constitutional Affairs committee. The great man even accused Tim of "caddish behaviour". In the words of Frankie Howerd: "Ooh er missus".

Accusing a fellow classic car owner of "caddish behaviour" is the thin end of the wedge and hardly the way a true gentleman should behave. Watch out for Kirkhope challenging Godders to a dual - pistols at dawn, sir!

Shock horror! Racist homophobe turns down UKIP seat!

Spend a little time with the average u-kipper and they will invariably try and persuade you that they're not all Johnny foreigner hating loons. Some of them even like to describe UKIP as being a libertarian, 'eurorealist' party.

But, as UKIPwatcher has seen, scrape the UKIP façade and you find racism, homophobia, sexism and appalling bigotry.

The latest example is the farce over Sean Gabb, who spoke at a UKIP rally in Exeter on 8th March and was invited to another rally in Morecambe this Saturday, only to have the invitation withdrawn when some U-kippers took umbrage at his unique brand of 'libertarianism'.

Sean Gabb is the director of the Libertarian Alliance (this is ironic naming in the same way that the hard-right anti-immigration organisation set up by the McWhirter brothers calls itself the Freedom Association). He alleges (and this has not been denied by UKIP) that during the conference he was approached by a "(sic) senior person in UKIP… and asked if I would like to stand in the European elections…with a position on the party list that would give me some chance of being elected".

All seemingly normal UKIP activity, as the party is always desperate for candidates. However, Mr Gabb's politics are so extreme they should make even Nigel Farage's eyes water. Clearly no fan of black or gay people, Mr Gabb says that he would be happy for employers and pub landlords to be allowed to say "niggers and faggots need not apply" in the advertisements. Gabb's other policy positions include legalising all drugs, decriminalising the possession of child pornography and repealing the UK's race relations laws. So there we have it: an unabashed racist, homophobe who has no problem with child exploitation being legal.

Gabb says that he turned down the offer (although he will continue to vote UKIP and describes them as "our last and our best hope in politics"), but the bottom line is that UKIP invited this despicable individual to speak at a party rally and then courted him as a candidate. The whole episode really tells you all you need to know about UKIPs warped politics and is another reminder that Nigel Farage's UKIP are no better than the BNP with posh accents.

Friday, March 14

Selby superhero's fall from grace

Something’s afoot in the neighbourhood. Some young punk is causing trouble and there’s a damsel in distress on the streets of, err, Selby but soon a UKIP sign is roving across the night’s sky alerting the town’s new superhero to the danger. Minutes later a figure comes striding, well alright shuffling, through the mist. Pow! Ooooff! Clunk! It's Bloomman and he saves the day!

Yobs beware, Godfrey Bloom has volunteered to dispense summary justice on the streets of Yorkshire after his friend got a ticking off from the police following a falling out with a "foul-mouthed yobboe" over a parked van.

He concludes his letter (to the forces of darkness presumably) with "May I suggest we disband our now ineffectual uniformed police and let people like me and my colleague sort these anti-social morons out ourselves?"

Anyway back to the story...

Bloomman peels off his tights after another night fighting evil. Today’s crime? Kids not being allowed to drink tea at school. Pouring himself a drink, Bloomman soon reverts back to his everyday character of Godfrey Bloom, UKIP MEP for Yorkshire. His sidekick, the boy Arnott, hands him a letter informing him of his punishment for unparliamentary behaviour in the European Parliament. Sock! Pow! Zam! Crunch! Zlonk! It’s a fine!

Yes, the man standing up all things decent and good, Bloom has been fined for his part in December’s raucous protest in the European Parliament which disturbed a speech by the Portuguese Prime Minister, behaviour which could only be described as, well, yobbish.

But don't worry folks, Bloomman doesn't play by the rules, and in a typically maverick move he's apparently ready to do battle in the great 2009 European election dust-up. Kapow!

Thursday, March 13

Batten - Lets bring back the rope

Gerard Batten is an interesting political character - combining an unhealthy obsession with sharia law with political beliefs that put him slightly to the right of Genghis Khan.

It seems that part of his pitch to become London mayor is to bring back the death penalty, ignoring the fact that the death penalty is a barbaric practice that has no place in a civilised society and is no better than state-administered murder. U-kippers would do well not to base their policies on the book of Deuteronomy.

Needless to say Gerard's death penalty rant still managed to find a way to blame everything on the EU, claiming that "even if a British government had the guts to reinstate the death penalty they would be prevented from doing so" on the grounds that membership of the EU forbids capital punishment. It is, of course, true that this is one of the terms of EU membership. And a bloody good thing too.

Tuesday, March 11

UKIPs bid for Oscar glory

Demonstrating again their talent for making sinister film, UKIP have released "Remote Control", a video in which they again try to portray the EU as the epitome of evil. Alongside the stupidly portentous music come the usual cacophony of myths and exaggerations. One thing's for sure - the academy can sleep easy.

One of the odder claims in the film is that 98% of France's contributions to the EU budget go back to France, while the humble British taxpayer forks out £14bn a year. A little cursory research reveals that this is total rubbish. France makes a net contribution of £3bn per year, slightly less than the UK contribution of £3.9bn - incidentally, the net contributions of France and the UK combined are still less than the £8bn contribution made by Germany.

UKIPwatcher's favourite moment is when Nige Farage comments that "our way of life going back centuries is under threat". How Nige? Is the Lisbon Treaty going to abolish village cricket, steak and kidney pud and public schools?

Interestingly Nigel repeats his claim that 75% of UK laws are made in Brussels. As readers will be aware, this is a matter where U-kippers have tended to disagree, usually picking a random figure between 50 and 90% and passing it off as the gospel truth. However, Nige does seem to have settled on 75%, presumably against the advice of UKIP spin doctor Eliab Harvey aka Gawain Towler who wrote on this blog that " the figure that we will appropriate from now on". Clarification gentlemen, please!

Now the Devil's Kitchen deserts UKIP

UKIPs member haemorrhage continues unabated. The foul-mouthed old-Etonian Chris Mounsey, who runs the Devil's Kitchen blog, is the latest to jump ship, leaving UKIP to become communications director for the fledgling Libertarian party.

Chris Mounsey, who last year stood as a candidate for UKIPs NEC, is notorious for swear-ridden and violent blog posts. It's unclear how this philosophy will fit into a party whose motto is "for life, liberty and prosperity".

UKIPs feathery farce

UKIP have proudly unveiled their "Chicken Run" video detailing their protest against the European Parliament's endorsement of the Lisbon Treaty last month. It makes for fun viewing, not least for the spectacle the three chickens (UKIPwatch has it on good authority that all are UKIP parliamentary candidates), ably led by UKIP press officer Mr Harvey, who gets his feathers well and truly ruffled.

With the ridiculous portentous music (it's no wonder few genuine eurosceptics take UKIP seriously when they produce this melodramatic bilge), bemused Parliament officials and yellow-feathered farce, this film is like a cross between Creature Comforts and Armageddon.

Wednesday, March 5

Farage, the Sunday Times and family affairs

UKIPwatcher was amused by the story in last week's Sunday Times alleging that Nigel Farage was employing his wife and his son. Nige has vigorously denied employing his son and threatened to take legal action against the Sunday Times which has, as yet, not retracted the story. Rumours abound that the story may have been fed to the Sunday Times by a maverick U-kipper with an axe to grind with Farage (although UKIPwatcher appreciates that this doesn't narrow things down very much!).

However, the story was particularly surprising to UKIPwatcher as Master Farage is, apparently, such a devoted follower of his father's political career that he is a member of Conservative Future, the youth wing of the Tory party!!!

Notwithstanding the fact that it's distressing for a family to be divided by party politics - it'll be interesting to follow this one and see whether the Times backs down, not least because Farage put in a particularly bombastic performance on Newsnight just three days before the exposé.

Monday, February 25

Ashley Mote - former U-kipper, benefit fraudster and friend of white supremacists

Not content with fighting with Chichester council over who paid to prosecute him for benefit fraud, Ashley Mote has been spending his time as an elected representative cultivating some interesting friendships. The most shocking is his appearance at a conference organised by the American Renaissance, a white supremacist magazine.

American Renaissance claims, amongst other things, that non-whites pose a demographic threat to western nations and are less intelligent than white people. Indeed, in August 1997, a poll of readers on who had done most for the "white race" gave the most votes to Adolf Hitler.

So, over the weekend, Ashley spoke at the American Renaissance conference as one of "a remarkable group of speakers and guest - undeceived, outspoken and committed to the defense of Western Civilization" alongside racial activists including Sam Dickson, Eugene Valberg and the editor of American Renaissance, Jared Taylor. Former luminaries at AmRen conferences include Ku Klux Klan member David Duke, Don Black, the organiser of the white supremacist website and BNP leader Nick Griffin.

Ash was, of course, a member of the, thankfully, shortlived Identity, Tradition and Sovereignty group in the European Parliament, a group which featured convicted Holocaust denier Bruno Gollnisch (a fellow speaker at the AmRen conference), Jean Marie Le Pen, some Bulgarian fascists and Mussolini's granddaughter. If Ashley has the brass neck to stand for re-election next year, his constituents should be reminded of their MEPs chequered past.

Interested readers may care to take a look at this rogue's gallery of speakers.

UKIP base press release on inaccurate info shocker

Yesterday's Observer, was quick to pour scorn on UKIP after they turned on Prince Charles following his speech to the European Parliament on Climate Change (reported here in more detail on UKIPwatch).

The bombastic press release they put out, which furiously claimed the Prince recieved £70million worth of European subsidies, was swiftly followed by another email to the paper which said: "Ignore press release regarding Prince Charles. Press release based on inaccurate info."

Friday, February 22

Hypocrite Mote has amnesia over UK benefits system

UKIPwatch hoped that it had seen the last of the pompous, thieving hypocrite that is former UKIP MEP Ashley Mote. Fat Chance! In his latest pamphlet, imaginatively titled 'J'accuse', Cashley laughably claims that the UK benefits system "pours money into foreign pockets". This, of course, is the same Ashley Mote who, last year, was sentenced to 9 months in jail sentence after being convicted nearly £70,000 of benefit fraud. You simply couldn't make it up and it is heartening to see Nick Johnson, director of policy at the Institute of Community Cohesion, giving Cashley a piece of his mind.

Still, UKIPwatch has just another year to wait until the 2009 elections when this crook will be out on his ear.

Tuesday, February 19

From Kilroy to Rustie Lee - the demise of UKIPs celebrity culture....

UKIPs spectacular fall from the heights of their 12 MEPs elected in 2004 is summed up by the quality of celebrity they are able to attract to the euro-crank cause. In 2004, it was permatanned chat show host Robert Kilroy-Silk. In 2009, their star attraction is set to be obscure "celebrity" TV chef Rustie Lee whose last regular TV gig was on "TV-am" back in the 1980s.

Of course, as UKIPwatch pointed out a couple of weeks ago, standing as a UKIP parliamentary candidate is not a cheap hobby. Bidding to become a professional europhobe will cost you a £250 deposit just to be interviewed and a further £800 to be a full candidate for the 2009 euro elections. Rustie will have to get selling her new cookery book "A Taste of the Caribbean" to raise the cash.

Monday, February 18

Tit by name, Tit by nature

Demonstrating UKIPs propensity to exaggeration and the disdain they show for the democratic mandate, Jeffrey Titford has called for a campaign of “civil disobedience” to try and block the ratification of the Lisbon Treaty.

In a speech given to the somewhat ironically named Freedom Association (the thinktank of the extreme right and various wannabe Colonel Blimps), Mr Titford stated “it may even be necessary for our cause to have a martyr, someone of a high profile who is prepared to go to jail to show how repressive the European Union has become”.

Perhaps Titford has forgotten Ashley Mote’s stint in jail for benefit fraud – although it is hard to see how Mr Mote’s attempts to scam the tax payer were a principled opposition to the EU. Either way, it will be pretty impressive if UKIP can manage another jail sentence for one of their members.

Nige Farage - the latest recruit to the republican cause??

Poor Nigel Farage must be devastated. After years of waiting to meet Prince Charles, when the great moment finally came he could only sulk and sit on his hands while others gave the Prince a standing ovation. Leaping on the opportunity to embarrass Nige, Labour leader in Europe, Gary Titley, accused Nige of “anti-Royalism” and disrespectful behaviour towards the Prince.

The Prince, of course, was giving a speech on the role of the EU in tackling climate change during which he told MEPs that “determined and principled leadership has never been more needed. Surely this is just the moment in history for which the European Union was created.” It stands to reason that environmental protection is one of those issues where collective action by the EU 27 is more effective than 27 different approaches.

However, this was a real double whammy for Nige. Not only was the Prince being pro-EU but he was also talking about the fight on climate change (U-kippers, lest we forget, refuse to acknowledge that man-made global warming is a problem). So, he claimed that the Prince’s speech was a “government-approved” plot to influence UK public opinion about the Lisbon Treaty.

Either way, a bit of a fuss about nothing, you might think – most people wouldn’t be too upset at being labelled “anti-Royalist”? But not for UKIP who were mortified that their devotion to the Windsor family was being questioned. The UKIP press officer offers this stiff defence of his leader on his blog -
“UKIP members are probably as a group the most passionate pro-monarchy types in the Kingdoms. They do not see the monarchy as most do, as an attractive aesthetic constitutional bauble plonked on top of the country, there to please the tabloids and foreigners. No as ardent royalist they actually believe in the institution. As such they have done strange things like read the Coronation oath, and what is more believe that it is not just some arcane form of words to be breathed but not lived. They believe that their loyalty to the Monarchy must be reciprocated by the Monarch's loyalty to them.”

So that’s that problem solved – looks like the campaign for an elected head of state will have to wait a bit longer for Nige’s support.

Monday, February 11

UKIP associating with far-right

French MEP Paul-Marie Couteaux who sits with UKIP in the IND/DEM group in the European Parliament last week appeared in Belgrade in support of the Radical Party candidate, Tomislav Nikolić, for the Serbian Presidency. Mr Nikolić has a particularly nasty past including allegations that he was involved with war crimes in Eastern Slavonia, Croatia in 1991. Although he denies involvement in the massacre that took place in the Croatian town Antin in 1991, human rights activists are adamant that he was involved in the massacre.

It seems that Couteaux's friend Mr Nikolić narrowly escaped winning the second-round of the Presidential election which was held on the 3rd February, in which the Radical Party gained 47.69% of the vote. This result will come as a relief to many Europeans, as the winning candidate pro-western European Mr Tadić will now remain in Office until 2012. The election victory for Mr Tadić was not helped by our friend Mr Couteaux who spoke at an election rally for the Radical Party candidate in support of his far-right politics.

Mr Couteaux demonstrated his political judgement when he made the following speech in the European Parliament calling for the EU to provide the Palestinians with nuclear weapons!!!

"There is, however, another serious imbalance for which we are in part responsible, namely the imbalance of forces. I have no hesitation in saying that we must consider giving the Arab side a large enough force, including a large enough nuclear force, to persuade Israel that it cannot simply do whatever it wants."

The sad thing is that Mr Couteaux is just one of the many extremist fruitloops UKIP MEP's sit with in the IND/DEM group.

Wednesday, January 30

UKIPs BNP connection....

One of the interesting sidenotes to the news that Tory MP Derek Conway has been censured by the Standards and Privileges Committee for paying his son large amounts from his parliamentary assistance allowance for doing little to no work, is the source of the complaints alleging malpractice. The complaint against Mr Conway was brought by a Michael Barnbrook, who stood as the UKIP candidate against Conway in Old Bexley and Sidcup constituency at the 2005 election. Since then, however, Barnbrook has done as many a u-kipper before him and defected to the BNP. A great shame for UKIP high command who will probably think twice before trying to claim the credit for this one!

All of which has provoked this little exchange!

Tuesday, January 29

Homophobic Batten shoots straight from the lip

No one could ever accuse UKIP of not shooting from the lip. Their candidate for the London mayoral elections, the hapless Gerard Batten has promised to refuse funding for gay rights and ethnic minority groups. The hapless Gerard pledged that he would "cut all that rubbish" before then accusing Mayor Ken Livingstone of "cultural Marxism". UKIPwatcher is sure that Red Ken is quaking as we speak…

Having Mr Batten as candidate is a bit of a come-down for UKIP. In 2004 they were able to persuade millionaire boxing promoter Frank Maloney to stand for them. Without the media exposure brought to them by Kilroy, UKIP have to make do with a penniless bigot rather than a rich one. Fortunately, London's gay community need not fear the prospect of Mr Batten taking over city hall in May. UKIP polled 6% in the 2004 election and there's more chance of hell freezing over than this chump becoming Mayor.

Monday, January 21

UKIP NEC member receives death threat

The farce continues at UKIP. The Times carried news at the weekend that Delroy Young, the only black member of UKIP's national executive, had received a telephone death threat, during which several men threatened to kill him on the order of a senior UKIP official.

In the words of a UKIP insider: "This is causing the party hierarchy a huge amount of embarrassment", an impressive display of stating the blindingly obvious if ever there was one.

David Cameron famously described UKIP as a bunch of "fruitcakes and closet racists", causing u-kippers to froth with indignant rage. Faced with these allegations and Godfrey Bloom's choice attack on the Archbishop of York, perhaps they will admit their misjudgement.

Wednesday, January 16

UKIP suspends MEP Tom Wise again!

After what may seam like years of debating the future of UKIP MEP Tom Wise UKIP have once more decided to suspend him. UKIP seem to be dancing around in circles, this is now the UKIP MEP's second suspension. One would hope that this will be the final. How much more of this tom-foolery can we take?

UKIP has finally confirmed that Tom Wise has been suspended following years of speculation and allegations of financial irregularity and a gross abuse of the European Parliaments assistant's allowance. As has been well documented, Wise is alleged to have claimed £40,000 to pay his assistant. However the UKIP MEP was in fact channelling a large amount of this money into his own account. His assistant was only receiving £13,555 whilst Mr Wise spent some of the proceeds on a French car.

UKIP has admitted that the complaint panel that is assessing the case against Tom Wise have confirmed that 'there is a case to answer' and have thus suspended him until a 'hearing'.

This leaves us pondering what the disciplinary hearing will consist of and indeed who from UKIP will be on the panel. If he is indeed found guilty in this hearing will he be dismissed or will he be further suspended until UKIP can make up its mind on this matter?

All this begs a question, how many disciplinary hearings does a UKIP MEP need before he can be found guilty?

Tuesday, January 15

A grand old team to play for?

It’s been a fun-filled four years for those lucky 12 men elected for UKIP in 2004. The European Parliament did what the British public had long been dreaming of by helping Robert Kilroy Silk vanish form the media spotlight; poor old Ashley Mote got an extended holiday in jail; Tom Wise awaits his fate; and John Whittaker wielded his axe ruthlessly.

And if you have ever wished of joining this motley crew, then now’s your chance. The 2009 candidate selection process is under way, just don’t forget your cheque book.

Before you even get to the interview stage, so that's pretty much anyone who applies, you will be requied to pay a non-returnable deposit of £250.

Should you be lucky enough to be shortlisted you will get invited to the odd husting and, providing you do the business, and we have already mentioned some of those that did the business last time, you will become a UKIP candidate for the 2009 European elections. Well once you've coughed up another 800 quid.

You may well see some of that again but that depends on how many deposits UKIP manages to save. So potentially, you could end up paying over a grand to be quizzed by the UKIP faithful and then face humiliation at the polling booth. UKIPwatch is ruling itself out with immediate effect.

Anyone who's still interested should probably check these rules out and note that a CRB check is now mandatory.

Gorgeous Godfrey - UKIPs Bernard Manning??

Good to see that the Guardian have been picking up enlightening tips by listening to Godders' pod-casts. Personally, UKIPwatcher thinks that Godfrey wit and charm is wasted on politics. There's a real niche market out there for stupid, wilfully ignorant bigotry - perhaps Godfrey thinks he is the new Bernard Manning?

As for the material, such delightful vignettes as "Colonel Mercer put his cock in the custard" (when former Tory front-bencher Patrick Mercer made some casually racist remarks about black soldiers in the army) are hard to beat. However, Godfrey has now decided to make an enemy of Dr John Sentamu, the Archbishop of York. In particular, Godfrey questions the Archbishop's claims that there are racist elements within the Church of England with his usual brand of pig ignorance and casual racism by rambling for a few minutes before concluding - "I would have thought that the fact he was made archbishop with a face as black as Newgate's knocker would belie that". Astonishing….

Of course, Godfrey is a pompous attention seeker who obviously loves the sound of his own voice (why else have a podcast??) and thinks he is funny. He also has no credibility to lose (never had any in the first place) and will be standing down in 2009. The man expected to be UKIPs No 1 candidate in Yorkshire is Jonathan Arnott who, by chance, works as Godders' "political advisor". Perhaps Mr Arnott could reveal whether he writes Godfrey's 'gags' for him?

Wednesday, January 2

Unwelcome Xmas gift for Cashley Mote

Scandal ridden former U-kipper Ashley Mote had an unwelcome Christmas present, when the Court of Appeal rejected his appeal against his conviction for multiple benefit fraud. Mote has also been ordered to pay back the £67,000 he defrauded from the public purse.

However, Cashley was at pains to insist that “never ever would I seek to defraud the public purse” adding that “ going to the benefits office…was an agonising acknowledgement of at least temporary defeat” and “my only purpose was to get myself off benefit, not to sponge off the state”. No Ashley, you stole nearly £70k of taxpayers’ money.

Hopefully this will be the end of this nonsense and Mote will admit culpibility and stop wasting everybody’s time. This may be wishful thinking since Mote has vowed to “mount a further appeal” in the future.