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.