Wednesday, January 20

UKIP attack women who wear burka

Some controversy for UKIP on the announcement of their wish to ban women from wearing the burka in public.

It led to a series of letters in yesterday's Times where Alan Sked, one of the original founders of UKIP said: "Sir, During the greatest financial crisis facing this country since the 1930s, how typical it is of UKIP’s present pathetic leadership that its flagship policy for the forthcoming general election should be to attack the less than 1 per cent of our female population who wear the burka. This is desperate and inane.

If the party is really so obsessed with race, immigration and Islam, it should simply merge with the BNP, which it increasingly resembles. Why have a competition in intolerance? Why not present a united front? After all the political expediency that drives both these anti-EU parties to take up seats in the European Parliament surely dictates such a measure. But let us dismiss any thought that either of them represents “British values”.

I founded UKIP as a tolerant, liberal and democratic party. By 1997 I could already see the far-right writing on the wall and quit as party leader and member. It is a decision that I have never regretted, now least of all. I hope that all decent people will condemn the party as you did in your splendid leading article.
Dr Alan Sked
London N1

The Leader article "Veil of Ignorance", which was published on the 16th January, was a very thoughtful piece and went on to highlight UKIP's inconsistencies. After all, were they worried about women being "marginalised" when Godders said "any small businessman or woman who employs a woman of child-bearing age needs their head examined” or that women don't clean behind the fridge enough"? UKIPwatcher thinks not.

Nigel Farage knows a bandwagon when he sees one and jumped on board at the speed of light - it is already known that is his successor as leader of UKIP, Lord Pearson, has said he wants to step up the party's campaign against radical Islam. Nigel said "What we are saying is, this is a symbol. It's a symbol of something that is used to oppress women." "And the real worry - and it isn't just about what people wear - the real worry is that we are heading towards a situation where many of our cities are ghettoised and there is even talk about Sharia law becoming part of British culture."


Thursday, January 14

Godders reprents The City?

The good citizens of Yorkshire will be no doubt be tad irked to find that their UKIP representative in the European Parliament, Godfrey Bloom, feels his time in the Parliament is better spent talking on behalf of the City of London!

Godfrey "........makes no apology for speaking on behalf of the financial services of the city of London" In contrast, Linda McAvan, Yorkshire and Humber's Labour MEP said "I represent Yorkshire. It's where I come from, it's where I live and the people of Yorkshire elected me."

Godfrey Bloom (born in London!) is a UKIP MEP for Yorkshire. Every time there is a new set of 27 Commissioners (one from each member state) they have to come before the European Parliament to answer questions. If the MEPs are unhappy, they get chucked out (technically the MEPs threaten to chuck them all out, and an agreement is made), a bit like the Hearings for the presidential appointment in the US.

One Commissioner-designate, Michel Barnier, who is a very able French politician, faced the European Parliament's internal market committee. He performed extremely well. The UK press are very interested as he will be responsible for upcoming reforms in the banking/finance/City area. Godders asked a question about financial regulation. He asked the Commissioner-designate a question including the phrase "I am talking here on behalf of the financial services of the City of London". Other MEPS were asking him "Question? Where is the Question?" and the Commissioner (who has had a lot of contact in the meanwhile with The City, the FSA etc.) replied, including the phrase "You have the right to express your belief. It surprised me that you were speaking on behalf of the London Financial Services Industry, I believe you are supposed to speak on behalf of your constituents?" (people laughed and smiled). Godfrey then goes on to say " I make no apology for speaking on behalf of London." You can watch for yourself by clicking here. Godders starts at about 18.51