Friday, September 25

UKIPs lie-ridden Lisbon leaflet ripped apart by the Irish

Although UKIPwatch knew that UKIPs group had sent a glossy leaflet campaigning for a "No" vote in the Lisbon Treaty referendum (and had highlighted the bare-faced hypocrisy of UKIP meddling in the political affairs of Ireland), we hadn't been aware of the amateurish nature of some of the fibs they told in it.

The Irish Labour party have done a great job ripping the UKIP leaflet to bits.

So, what have UKIP said? There are a number of glaring lies. Firstly, it is implicitly anti-Muslim (not a surprise, since UKIP remain a racist party), by telling people that the treaty would lead to Turkey joining the EU. They also claim that Ireland will lose control over its immigration policy, conveniently ignoring the fact that Ireland has an opt-out from EU law in this area. That's the spirit UKIP - vote "Yes" and Europe will be full of 'swarthy Turks'!

Similarly, they allege that the treaty is a threat to Ireland's tax rates, despite the fact that every single EU treaty states that tax matters are up to individual countries, and that Ireland will have to pay more to the EU budget, again ignoring the fact that Lisbon would not change the size or contributions to the EU budget.

Again, they repeat the same old rubbish about the Lisbon Treaty turning the EU into a "superstate" in which Ireland, the UK and the rest would merely be 'provinces'. Yeah, right.

Most amusing is their reference to the rulings of the European Court of Justice on the Viking, Laval and Ruffert cases, stating that these rulings mean that foreign workers can be employed in Ireland on lower wages than nationals. It caused UKIPwatch to break into a wry grin for several reasons. Firstly, U-kippers don't mind bringing in foreign workers and treating them like shit - remember former leader Roger Knapman being caught after having imported some Polish labourers to come and do some re-building of his country mansion in order to save himself a few quid! Secondly, of course, is that it's not true - EU law explicitly says that foreign workers cannot be paid less than the rates laid down in national law.

In other words, an amateurish document from an amateur party, although one suspects that a certain flamboyant UKIP spin-doctor by the name G. Towler has been involved in penning it. UKIPwatch hopes not, because, love or loath him, Mr T usually writes elegantly and without talking a load of dishonest bollocks. Maybe it was contracted out to one of UKIPs less cerebral officials (of which there are countless).

Come on UKIP! Surely your research team can do better than that?!

Tuesday, September 22

Irish "No" campaign tells UKIP to get stuffed

On October 2nd, the Irish people will vote for a second time on whether to approve the Lisbon Treaty. It's not the only thing that’s happened twice. Despite shouting their mouths off criticising the EU for interfering with other countries political systems, UKIP have been doing precisely that in Ireland. Next week, for a second time, UKIPs attempt to lead the "No" campaign and interfere in the politics of Ireland will come to an end. Never mind, eh, who ever said that UKIP weren't a bunch of stinking hypocrites?

As in last year's referendum, UKIP and their allies in Brussels have ploughed cash and campaigning resources into Ireland. This time around, they have sent a leaflet to 1.5 million homes in Ireland. Meanwhile, Nigel Farage has been going around the Emerald Isle, unintentionally drumming up support for the "Yes" campaign. This is a hilarious prospect - can you imagine: Nigel in his pin-stripes, Godfrey Bloom in his bowler hat, braying for Britain, and how that would go down with the fine people of Galway, Kerry, and Cork (the latter particularly proud of its role in the struggles around the 1916 Easter Rising)? Do that for a couple of weeks and there'd be no need for anyone else to do any campaigning!

Moreover, the media darling of last year's successful "No" campaign Declan Ganley (yes, remember him) of Libertas, has also taken umbrage at UKIPs antics, telling them to "pack up its tent and go home" and adding that UKIPs interference in the Irish campaign was "unwarranted, unwelcome, unhelpful and unnecessary". Given that Ganley basically bankrolled last year's "No" campaign and was widely expected to make a deal with UKIP before this June's Euro elections, this will be a huge shock for all U-kippers.

They would have been less surprised by Labour Youth and other pro-treaty groups accusing them of being racist and extreme right-wingers.

UKIPwatch was particularly amused by Farage's latest rant in Dublin, in which he accused the EU of forcing Ireland to give up its independence and that it wished to be "a global superpower, both economically and militarily". Maybe he was really talking about UKIP? UKIP must be flush with cash to be able to organise a 1.5 million leaflet drop, and Bloom, Derek 'deadweight' Clark and Mike Nattrass must have some old bayonets hanging around for when the revolution comes!

Wednesday, September 16

Farage resigns UKIP leadership to go after Commons seat

UKIPwatch was as shocked as anyone else by Nigel Farage's decision to resign as UKIP party leader. Farage has always been a slick media operator and performer and has always been effective as the presentable non-barking mad version of UKIP. Politically, he is essentially a hard-nosed, hard-right Thatcherite and a professional politician to his core.

However, after shocking most attendees of UKIP conference (including UKIPwatcher herself) by announcing with astonishing chutzpah his intention to challenge House of Commons Speaker John Bercow to be MP for Buckingham, Farage decided to throw in the towel on UKIP.

In his speech, Farage stated that it was "important for UKIP to get a voice in Westminster", and he is right (the fiasco over Bob Spink MP and whether he did/didn't defect to UKIP) demonstrated that UKIP need to be more careful about who they choose to ally themselves with.

The point is that a Westminster seat would give UKIP more visibility. It wouldn't make any difference to their influence on the political scene. Nobody in the European Parliament takes UKIP seriously, and their MEPs are bone-idle (with the honourable exceptions of Marta Andreasen and Paul Nuttall).

Still, Farage may not be party leader, but he will still lead the UKIP, Lega Nord and assorted crackpot political group in Brussels and Strasbourg. He will also, no doubt, still be their main media performer.

But the sheer chutzpah of telling the world that he will be standing as a 'clean' candidate, untainted by any expenses scandal, is beyond belief. As UKIPwatch has mentioned before, at least five OLAF investigations were launched against UKIP MEPs in the last five years, while UKIP elected MEP Ashley Mote was imprisoned on multiple counts of benefit fraud and former UKIP MEP Tom Wise is currently standing trial for a range of financial offences including money laundering. The notion that this party is 'clean' is unbelievable - UKIP are the most crooked party in British politics.

Moreover, who will take his place as UKIP leader? The obvious choice is Paul Nuttall. Although a new MEP, Nuttall is party chairman, also standing for a Westminster seat, and quite media savvy (although he does have the unhappy problem of physically resembling a young Benito Mussolini!) He would probably be Farage's choice.

Other options include, from amongst the MEPs, David Bannerman and Nikki Sinclaire, both of whom have proved themselves to be effective campaigners, while former Tory peer Lord Pearson of Rannoch has already announced his intention to stand. The rest, frankly, are either too old or too stupid.

In any case, dear reader, the chances of Farage (or indeed any U-kipper) of winning a seat in the Commons are pretty damn remote. UKIP have never finished better than third in a Westminster seat, and Farage himself could only poll 8% of the vote when he stood in the Bromley and Chislehurst by-election in 2006.

And, if that wasn't enough excitement, you can now see how the party membership intend to vote at the wonderful 'Democracy Forum'.

Tuesday, September 15

Marta the Martyr bites the dust as UKIP Treasurer

UKIPwatch was, like most observers, quite bemused by Commission whistleblower turned UKIP MEP Marta Andreasen’s sudden resignation as the party’s treasurer. The official story is that Andreasen fell out with UKIP party chairman and North-West MEP Paul Nuttall over the salary of an unnamed party official.

Nuttall, who is clearly going to run for the party leadership following Nigel Farage's decision to resign and stand against House of Commons speaker John Bercow, seems to be the main subject of Marta the Martyr’s ire. In her words:

“I resigned because I disagree with how the party is being managed at the level of the chairmanship (Nuttall’s job)

“There have been certain breaches in the procedures that I have implemented, therefore I warned the NEC this is not the way I want to handle the finances of the party” adding, finally, that “I do not want to see funds being wasted, and the management of this party needs to wake up.

However, rest assured dear reader, because Marta the Martyr’s sudden attack of the morals and Road to Damascus conversion in seeing what UKIP truly are, does not mean for one second that she will resign as the party’s MEP and give up her 88,000 euro salary.

Andreasen’s resignation is a disaster for UKIP. At one stroke, by getting a Spanish lady and well known whistleblower to stand as an MEP and sort out their finances, UKIP were able to distance themselves from accusations that they were a racist party who hated foreigners, and also to portray themselves as a ‘clean’ party, unaffected by the expenses scandals which afflicted the three major parties. Despite the fact that, at one stage five UKIP MEPs were under investigation from the EU’s anti-fraud office OLAF for misuse of parliamentary funds, that Ashley Mote MEP (who UKIP have assiduously tried to airbrush out of recent history) being convicted on multiple counts of benefit fraud, and that Tom Wise is soon to face trial for money laundering and false accounting, UKIP got away with it in the June elections. Most people did not care about UKIPs dodgy financial history; they only wanted to give the major parties a great big kick in the bollocks because of the expenses scandal. As a result, UKIP, having faced virtual wipe-out just weeks before the election, suddenly found themselves with a completely undeserved poll boost and 13 seats in the European Parliament.

Now, UKIP are humiliated, having lost, along with Farage, their main electoral asset. Indeed, Stuart Wheeler, a gambling millionaire who made one of the world’s worst bets when he give William Hague’s Tory party £5m just before the 2001 election where the Tories got stuffed on a comparable scale to their 1997 drubbing, gave £100k to UKIP earlier this spring on the grounds that “the unimpeachable Marta Andreasen...is now the treasurer of UKIP, and one of the main reasons for voting for them”. Oh dear, there are a few people with egg on their faces now, aren’t there?

One point that UKIPwatch found particularly interesting was Nuttall’s assertion that “I am the party chairman. I get paid to make decisions”. Fair do’s mate, but you’re are also an MEP and your 88,000 euro salary plus expenses is paid for by taxpayers like me.

UKIPwatch was also highly amused by the fact that Marta the Martyr chose to work for UKIP, the most crooked and downright deceitful party in British politics (though not as extremist as the fascist BNP), with two of its elected parliamentarians either jailed or facing trial for financial impropriety, and a long running scandal with the Electoral Commission over illegal donations.

Still, as the lovely Nigel Farage put it, “Marta...is now an MEP and busting EU fraud is a full-time job”. Busting UKIP financial fraud is clearly a job that is too big for one person.