Tuesday 31 January 2012

Cameron vetoes his own fake veto

David Cameron is being slated by some of his own MPs for allowing the €urozone members to use EU institutions that we're paying for to run their separate financial arrangements agreed before Christmas.

When Cast Iron Dave wielded his non-existent veto on the non-existent treaty at the end of last year he said he would block any attempts to use EU institutions to carry out their dirty work but true to form, he has capitulated and we will be paying a sizeable chunk of their administration costs through our EU budget contributions which will need to increase to cover the cost of the extra work that they'll be doing absorbing the €urozone economies into a Greater German economic zone.

The EU Act, introduced by the Tories because they said we needed legal protection from the EU, has yet to stop a single EU power grab or major change to our relationship with them.  While this change doesn't give the EU any more power over us at the moment, it will cost us a lot of money at a time when we don't have any and services are being cut to save cash.  To hand over even more money to run an undemocratic fiscal union when cuts are being made to essential public services is morally wrong at the very least.

As for the supposed "rebel" Tories ... well, not one of them has been principled enough to stop propping up their own treasonous leadership so far and there's very little sign of it happening any time soon.

Wednesday 25 January 2012

We are UKIP Black Ops

It takes a "special" kind of person to invent a shadowy group of anti-English (anti-English defined as not an English Democrats supporter) activists called "UKIP Black Ops" and it takes any even more "special" kind of person, having invented this group, to be able to convince themselves of its existence.

Step (or stumble) forward Steve Uncles, chief fantasist at the English Democrats and 99 of the "100 writers" on the English Passport blog (the other one is the former BNP member, Eddy Butler, who Uncles recruited to the English Democrats last year).

Deciphering the incoherent ramblings on his anti-UKIP hate blog, he seems to have invented "UKIP Black Ops" after a Christmas binge declaring his old enemy, the respected English nationalist and civic campaigner, Gareth Young a member of an anti-English, anti-English Democrats group in UKIP apparently in the pay of Nigel Farage.

At some point, another UKIP member and prominent English nationalist, Jamie McCaffery, was also declared as a member of "UKIP Black Ops" and of course it was a natural progression for him to decide that I too am a member of "UKIP Black Ops" and in the pay of Nigel Farage.

Jamie and Gareth found this most amusing and created a "UKIP Black Ops" badge of honour for their Facebook profile pictures.  Uncles saw this as "evidence" that the group he made up just weeks ago is real and that Gareth (who Uncles describes as anti-English because he has a Welsh first name and Scottish surname, even though "Young" is of Anglo-Saxon origin!) has outed himself as its leader.

It's a wonder the English Democrats aren't already running the country with this political genius in charge.

Tuesday 24 January 2012

Angus Reid have UKIP on 6%, put UKIP in infographics

Polling company, Angus Reid, has UKIP on 6% in an opinion poll published today.

Labour are leading the pack with 37%, followed by the Tories on 35%.  The Lib Dem vote has rallied slightly from the doldrums that they found themselves in at the end of last year to 10% with UKIP's drop in the polls as a result of Cameron's fake veto proving to be temporary with a return to pre-vetogate levels.

You will notice that the graphic on the Angus Reid website for the poll result includes UKIP alongside the LibLabCon for the at-a-glance percentages.  Bloggers4UKIP can claim the credit for this, we have been talking to a VP at Angus Reid who has changed the template for their graphic to include UKIP.  Future poll results will include UKIP as a matter of course.  This is a positive and welcome step by Angus Reid who have recognised UKIP's consistent polling.  It remains to be seen whether other polling companies follow suit but we will be having similar conversations with them all.

Meanwhile, the English Democrats' fantasist and chief BNP recruiter, Steve Uncles, has claimed on his blog that UKIP has only 1% support.  Citing results of unspecified elections "in December" he "proves" that UKIP is the 7th party in the UK.  Yet this clearly bears no resemblance to any opinion poll or the results of any of the elections I am aware of that UKIP contested in December.

His "evidence" is of course meaningless because not all parties contest all elections.  The Greens, for instance, contested only one election in December and that was in Brighton & Hove which is unlike any other constituency in polling terms.  The English Democrats contested two that I'm aware of and bombed in both of them.  You could take the results of the by-elections in December and come up with an estimate of electoral support but it would bear no resemblance to reality.  It would be like predicting the results of a horse race by watching half the field cantering around a field a couple of times.  The only reason you would want to use such a small and disparate set of figures is if you want to mislead people for political gain.

Given that the English Democrats - who managed to lose to the Monster Raving loony Party in a by-election last year - don't even appear on his list, it's understandable that their de-facto leader and major creditor (over £26k last time I checked) is so threatened by UKIP that he would spend most of his time trying to discredit the party and its members and supporters rather than trying to sort out the toxic English Democrat brand.

The Junius libel factory has reposted Uncles' dodgy maths.  It was only a matter of time before this pair of anti-UKIP wasters got together over a pie and pint (or twelve), we can only assume that they're collaborating on their output of fantasies, libels and conspiracy theories.

IPPR confirms support for English Parliament

The Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) have released a report on the English Question with some very interesting results which show UKIP, once again, ahead of the curve on public opinion.

The report concludes that there is unhappiness with the status quo viz the way the UK is governed and the way government has changed in light of devolution has resulted in an increasingly political representation of Englishness.

Now, before I delve into the contents of this report I will recap on where UKIP stands on the subject of Englishness, Britishness, the union, devolution, the West Lothian Question and the English Question.

UKIP has traditionally been a British nationalist party.  There's a clue in the name: "United Kingdom Independence Party".  However, there is a UKIP Scotland, UKIP Wales and UKIP NI so like the other parties, there is an acknowledgement that the UK isn't a nation in the traditional sense and that a federal structure of sorts is required to properly represent the electorate or at least to fit into the way that politics works practically.

For a long time, UKIP policy has been to oppose devolution and promote the idea of Grand Committees of British MPs legislating for the nations they were elected in.  In itself this demonstrates the somewhat incoherent and inconsistent British nationalism that has driven policy thus far - the belief that devolved national governments undermine the concept of Britishness and so should be replaced with British Grand Committees representing exactly the same geographic area.

There is the EU element of course (well, it wouldn't be UKIP if there wasn't an EU conspiracy theory!) - there is still a prevalent belief that devolution is the work of the EU who want to break up the UK to more easily assimilate us.  There is no doubt that the EU wants the UK to be broken up and they have worked hard to ensure regional administration puts down deep roots.  However, the fact that Scotland, Wales and NI are both nations and euroregions has muddied the water understandably giving credibility to the theory that the EU was behind their devolution settlements.  If the EU were involved in the devolution settlement for Scotland, Wales and NI it was to give consent, not as architects.

So UKIP has, for many years oppose devolution based on the belief that it will undermine Britishness to the extent that the union will fall apart.  Until, that is, Paul Nuttall's recent policy paper that outlined a new policy of supporting devolved government for all four member states of the UK.  Which brings us more or less up to where we are now.

The IPPR report is the first major investigation into English (as English, not a subset of British) politics, national identity and English opinions on devolution and governance.  So what did they find?

Firstly, the English have changed their minds on the impact of Scottish and Welsh devolution on how the UK is governed from ambivalence to believing it has made it worse.  IPPR attribute this change of attitude to the perception of disadvantage for England in a post-devolution UK.  The opinion of around half of all English people polled was that Scotland benefits most from the union financially with the other half being unsure, thinking that both England and Scotland benefit equally and a very small minority thinking that England benefit most.

Secondly, the proportion of people in England who think that Scotland should be independent from the UK has risen to 22%, equal to those who think it should be governed by a devolved parliament with more tax-raising powers and who think it should be governed directly by the British government.  19% think that it should stay as it is and 15% don't know.  The number of people in England who think Scotland should have its own government with tax-raising powers - what is planned for Scotland - has nosedived from a high in 2001 of 53% with independence and don't know accounting for most of the difference.

The number of people in England supporting a ban on Scottish MPs voting on English laws now that Scotland has its own government has increased remarkably since 2007.  The number disagreeing remains very low.  The report is reporting these figures as support for English Votes on English Laws which it isn't - the question specifically asks "Now that Scotland has its own parliament, Scottish MPs should not be allowed to vote in the House of Commons on laws that only affect England".  Supporters of an English Parliament and elected regional assemblies would also express the opinion that MPs elected in Scotland should be banned from voting on English laws.

English people are quite unequivocal in their opinion of whether the British government looks after the interests of all parts of England equally - between roughly two thirds and three quarters of English people think that they don't.  Even in London, which most English people think gets too much attention from the British government, 58% of people thought that the British government didn't treat all parts of England equally.

An interesting statistic is the number of people who trust the British government to work in the long term interests of England.  42% have "not very much" trust in the British government to work in England's interests, 17% "not at all".

On the preferred form of government for England, just over a third think that "English MPs" in the British government should govern England.  24% support the status quo, 20% support an English Parliament, 9% support regional government and 14% don't know.  While this does appear to show support for an English Parliament quite low, the option for "English MPs" is misleading for most people.  They aren't "English MPs", they're British MPs elected in England - an important distinction because "English MPs" implies an English mandate.  More on this in a moment.

When excluding an English Parliament, an overwhelming number of English people believe the British government has and should have the most influence over the way England is run.  27% of English people believe the EU has the most influence over how England is run yet only 1% think that is right.

The report compares the number of people in England who think the EU has the most influence against other "regions" of the EU as a measure of euroscepticism which shows that England is by far the most eurosceptic - far more eurosceptic than Scotland where only 8% think the EU has most influence over their country.  However, this isn't really a measure of euroscepticism, it's a measure of how many people think the EU has most influence over their "region".  It is natural that such a large number of people in England would think that the EU has most influence for two reasons: English people are generally more eurosceptic than most and because every other "region" in the list has its own devolved government which makes most of the decisions that affect their day to day lives (notwithstanding the fact that most of those decisions are covered by EU regulations, a fact that is sadly lost on most people).

Going back to the preferred method of government, there is an inconsistency in public opinion depending on the question asked.  Asking for an outright choice of a form of government produces a markedly different outcome to asking who should have most influence over the way England is run when the answer is an English Parliament.  This shows how important the question asked is - people are turned off by politics and not many people really understand the often subtle differences between different forms of government.

When forced to choose a national identity between England and British, English is now the majority choice and the trend over the last couple of years is for a very rapid increase in the English identity.  Last year's royal wedding saw the country draped in British flags and the British Olympics are almost permanently in the news.  The British government and the BBC in particular have used both these events to try and promote their Britishness agenda yet English national identity has gone through the roof.

More people in England identify with England rather than Britain than the other way round, 17% of people consider themselves English but not British but only 7% consider themselves British and not English.  The number of people who consider themselves English to some extent is overwhelming.

English national identity is the third strongest "regional" identity in the EU.  Scotland tops the table, unsurprisingly, followed by Catalonia (no surprise there) and fourth place goes to Wales.

Despite the persistent campaign of denigrating the English identity by the British government, the BBC, the left wing press and others, there is an overwhelming sense of pride in being English.  A similar proportion of English people feel proud of being British as being English but that pride is less equivocal with more people being "very proud" to be English compared to "fairly proud" to be British.  48% are very proud to be English and 31% are fairly proud.  38% are very proud to be British whilst 39% are fairly proud.  More people are proud to be English than British.

Similar to the national identity question above, the degree of attachment to England is higher than to the UK.  English people are less equivocal about attachment to England than they were in the national identity question with a very similar proportion of people "very attached" and "fairly attached" but combined they show that 85% of English people feel an attachment to England against 76% for the UK.

An overwhelming number of people think St George's Day should be a public holiday.  74% of people agree strongly or tend to disagree, only 12% disagree - 1% less than "don't know".  A 2009 Freedom of Information request found that the British government has spent just £230 in five years on promoting St George's Day, including the £114 cost of a flag to fly once a year over the Department for Culture, Media and Sport's offices - a British government department with an English-only remit.  More money is spent by the British government promoting St Patrick's Day than St George's Day.

The report helpfully lists the responses of non-white English people to their national identity.  The number of non-white people describing themselves as "English not British" has gone from 1% in 2007 to 9%.  The number describing themselves as more English than British has gone from 3% in 2007 to 13%.  The number describing themselves as equally English and British has gone up from 18% in 2007 to 23%.  The number identifying themselves as more British than English or only British has declined, as has the number identifying themselves as something other than English or British.  More on this shortly.

When asked which party best stands up for English interests, the majority said none.  Bizarrely, the Labour Party which introduced devolution for Scotland, Wales and NI but refused to do so for England and installed a Scottish MP as Prime Minister who presided over a number of controversial English-only laws that no English person could judge him on at the ballot box, came top with 21%.  The Conservatives, whose leader proudly boasts of the Scottish blood coursing through his veins, who has gone to Scotland a number of times to slag off the English and who has said more than once that he doesn't want to be Prime Minister of England, came second with 20%.  UKIP came third with 9% of people thinking that we would best represent England interests.  More people thought that British National Party would represent England's interests better than the English Democrats - a damning indictment of that party's failed leadership that they come bottom of a poll of political parties that would best serve English interests when that was the sole reason for the party being set up in the first place.

It is interesting to note the year the decline started.  2007 is the year the Scottish MP, Gordon Brown, was installed as the heir of Blair and the agressive promotion of Britishness started in earnest.  The increase in sense of Englishness might be a reaction to the enforced Britishness agenda, it might be a reaction to a Prime Minister elected in Scotland who is unaccountable to the voters whose lives he most influenced, it might be a reaction to the increasing rights and privileges of the Scots and Welsh or it might just be a natural phenomenen.  My money is on all of them combined and any number of other factors but it's not important, the shift in the national psyche has already happened and what needs to happen now is for the political establishment to catch up with the views of those they are supposed to represent.

It is interesting that there is a large increase in the proprtion of non-white people identifying themselves as English.  Minorities in England are encouraged to be British, their interaction with the state from day one is with all things British.  In Scotland a newly-arrived immigrant's interaction will be mostly in a Scottish context.  The British government encourages immigrants to be British (in a half-hearted manner) whereas in Scotland they are encouraged to be Scottish not just by the Scottish government but by their Scottish peers.  By encouraging immigrants to identify with the British identity, the British government are creating a barrier to integration and simply replacing one minority identity with another one.

The message coming out of the IPPR report is that the English identity has finally replaced British as the dominant identity in England, that Englishness is rapidly gaining and as yet unrealised political aspect and that the English are dissatisfied with the way their country is governed.  The IPPR report would seem to suggest, based on one set of figures, that most English people want the constitutional fudge most commonly known as English Votes on English Laws to replace the current situation where British MPs from all four member states of the UK vote on laws only affecting England.  This is more or less what UKIP's current/outgoing policy is.

However, as I pointed out above, the question - Now that Scotland has its own parliament, Scottish MPs should not be allowed to vote in the House of Commons on laws that only affect England - doesn't actually ask for opinions on English Votes for English Laws, it asks whether Scottish MPs should be banned from voting on English laws which also encompasses an English Parliament, independence and regionalisation.  The number of people who came out in favour of banning Scottish MPs from voting on English laws is almost exactly the same as the combined support for an English Parliament, English Votes on English Laws and regionalisation.  You have to look further down the report to find a more relevant measure of support for a particular form of government in the question of who should have most influence over decision making in England where the majority were in favour of a devolved English Parliament.

The British government will surely have to take notice of this report, the likes of which they have been diligently avoiding commissioning themselves.  The results are unequivocal and the conclusions are pretty damning.  It shows that UKIP has been on the wrong track opposing devolution but also shows that we are once again ahead of the curve as the first mainstream party to come out in favour of an English Parliament to balance the assymetrical devolution already in place.

Saturday 21 January 2012

Jakob Whiten for Ibstock and Heather

On the 16th of February (that's one month's time if you aren't too good with dates) I will be standing in the District Council by-election for Ibstock and Heather ward in Leicestershire.

This is why there is a by-election and the Labour Cllrs reason for resigning form her seat and the District Counncil  -  I left that pompous and self-serving party.

Next Saturday and every Saturday we will be holding action days and it would be great if you could support me.  I also need help right up to the election, so if you can, please help leafleting and canvassing in the week days.

If you think you can help, please contact me on mail@jakobwhiten.co.uk or 01530 417350. We need to get the UKIP messege out there! The Conservatives and Labour can not be trusted, we are the only voice that will serve the people of Ibstock and Heather!

You can follow me on twitter: @jakobwhitenukip or through the hashtag #letsmakelocalpoliticslocalagain

Wednesday 18 January 2012

Immigration up, unemployment up ... do the maths

The Office for National Statistics has published some pretty gloomy unemployment figures today.

Unemployment rose in the UK in the final quarter of last year by 118,000, leaving 2.685m people out of work.  Unemployment rose slightly in Scotland but decreased in Wales and Northern Ireland.  Clearly the devolved governments have a better handle on unemployment than the British government.

The media all have some pretty extensive coverage of the news and the BBC ironically quotes an "expert" from RBS - which has been sacking people in England and moving jobs to Scotland - saying that it's not going to get better any time soon.

Nobody seems to be drawing a correlation between the rise in unemployment and the fact that net immigration last year was 227,000.  Assuming three quarters of those immigrants were, or should, be seeking active employment (given that a large proportion of immigrants don't come with 3 generations of benefit-seeking hangers on as the Daily Mail would like you to believe) that's 170,000 people looking for jobs over and above the two and a half million people that already live here who are also looking for jobs.

It's clearly unsustainable yet only UKIP has a policy that will deal with the problem - ban economic immigration for 5 years and then allow limited immigration with a points-based system to ensure we only get sustainable immigration and the skills we need.

Friday 13 January 2012

Encouraging result in Cinderford West

UKIP contested an election in the Cinderford West ward of the Forest of Dean District Council in Gloucestershire for the first time yesterday.

The results are encouraging:

Lib Dem89

The last few local election results show that UKIP is quite firmly cemented as the third party in English local politics.  We are the second party in EU politics in the UK and we have three peers.  What we lack is a breakthrough in the House of Commons but that will come at the next election.

Well done to Colin Guyton and the UKIP Forest of Dean branch for their hard work and encouraging result.

Wednesday 11 January 2012

Plymouth City Councillor defects to UKIP

A Tory councillor in Plymouth is the first UKIP defection of the year.

Councillor Peter Berrow, a councillor for Southway on Plymouth City Council, defected to UKIP last night after becoming increasingly disillusioned with the Tories.
I entered politics to represent local people and increasingly I have found that the Conservative leadership both in government and at Plymouth City Council are ignoring local communities.

I have become increasingly frustrated with the Conservative leadership at Plymouth City Council who are not taking account of local community voices in much of their decision making.

I am very much encouraged by UKIP's longstanding policies for local government, including referendums on major planning decisions.

I have decided that now is the time to stand up for my local community by joining UKIP so that in the forthcoming May elections I can speak freely and openly about how this council and this Government are letting our local community down.
Councillor Berrow will find UKIP a refreshing change from the Tories.  There is no top-down dictating from the party, there is no whip, just the freedom to pursue a truly local agenda.  Although Councillor Berrow is the only UKIP councillor on Plymouth City Council, my experience of being a councillor has been that being a non-LibLabCon councillor makes it much easier to deal with other councillors because the Tories are usually too busy trying to score points off Labour and vice versa to bother playing games with you.

Thursday 5 January 2012

FCO: no EU Treaty was drafted at the European Council in December

Three weeks ago we submitted a Freedom of Information Request for a copy of the EU treaty that David Cameron was supposed to have vetoed.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office have responded today with the following:
Dear Mr Parr,

Thank-you for your email. I apologise for the short delay in getting back to you.

We are not treating your email as an FOI request as no EU Treaty was drafted at the European Council in December. So I have passed your email asking about the Prime Minister’s rejection of a new EU Treaty and a financial transaction tax to my colleagues in our Europe Directorate for a response. They will be in touch shortly.
No treaty?  That's interesting because according to the Conservative Party website on the 9th of December ...
Prime Minister David Cameron has today spoken of his decision to veto a new European treaty following a round of discussions with European leaders in Brussels.
The Conservatives misleading the public?  Surely not.

If you read the FOI request that we submitted, the first question asks for a copy of the treaty that Cameron vetoed and "If no draft treaty exists, please provide a précis of the intended purpose and contents of the proposed treaty".  So no thanks, a statement from the EU Directorate isn't really good enough.
Dear Mr Leinster,

Thank you for your reply.  In the first question in my request I said "If no draft treaty exists, please provide a précis of the intended purpose and contents of the proposed treaty".  As no treaty exists but the proposed contents of said treaty were "vetoed" this information must surely exist and as such I should be entitled to it under the FOIA, notwithstanding the usual restrictions around national security/interest.

Tuesday 3 January 2012

For services to the enlargement of the EU

Via EU Referendum, Archbishop Cranmer has spotted a curious knighthood for a supposedly eurosceptic party and Prime Minister ...

Dr Michael Leigh has been given a knighthood for "services to the enlargement of the European Union".

Polish MEPs defect to EFD Group in EU Parliament

Four Polish MEPs have resigned from the eurofederalist ECR group that the Tories sit in and joined the EFD group which UKIP formed.

The four MEPs resigned over the ECRs policies on gay marriage, climate change and limiting agricultural expenditure.  They will have more in common with the Lega Nord MEPs than UKIP as UKIP don't oppose gay marriage and think CAP is one of the biggest wastes of money in the EU.

The resignations widen the gap between the ECR group and the far-left European Greens and leaves the EFD group one member short of the sixth largest group, European United Left/Nordic Green Left.

Monday 2 January 2012

It's political correctness gone mad, I tell you!

Lincolnshire County Council has been changing its pelican crossing signs to replace the term "Green Man" with "Green Figure".

A senior engineer at Linconshire Road Safety Partnership has given the nonsense justification for changing the signs as telling people when to cross the road safely without explaining why changing the word "man" to "figure" will make crossing the road safer.

In fact, if a green man walking and a red man standing still are too complicated for the uneducated masses to understand that a sign is actually necessary as Lincolnshire Road Safety Partnership seems to think, surely this change could possibly make it less safe to cross the road.  What's easier for a child or barely literate person to read?  "Man" or "figure"?  How about someone who doesn't speak English as a first language?  I know the word for "man" in 5 or 6 foreign languages, I don't know the word "figure" in any.

This is nothing to do with road safety, it's a hand wringing liberal's perception of what is and isn't offensive regardless of whether the "wronged" section of society actually has a problem with it or not.