Monday 28 May 2012

Osborne confirms pasty tax will go ahead

George Osborne has apparently "backed down" on the pasty and caravan taxes.

The Chancellor announced the pasty tax and caravan tax in his April budget which were immediately jumped on by their respective industries.

The pasty tax was to add 20% VAT to hot pastry products such as pasties and sausage rolls and the caravan tax was to apply 20% VAT to static caravans.  The "climb down" will see 20% VAT applied to pasties if they're served out of the oven and 5% VAT added to static caravans.  Less than two months ago there was no pasty tax and no caravan tax, now we're going to have a pasty tax and caravan tax and this is being called a u-turn.

When he announced the new taxes, Osborne claimed it was a tidying up exercise to remove an "anomaly" in the tax system.  The truth is that it is compliance with EU rules on VAT and that's why some form of VAT is still being applied despite the opposition from voters and industry.  And remember, once VAT is applied it can't ever be removed under EU law.

One hypocritical Cornish Lib Dem MP, Stephen Gilbert, has been claiming partial credit for the supposed u-turn:
The Cornish people have won and there will be dancing in streets from Land's End to the Tamar as people hear that the Government has dropped their plans to clobber local people and local businesses with this tax.


Since the Budget, I have worked with the industry to find an alternative and I'm delighted that the Government has listened and agreed.
"The government" is the British government and the Lib Dems - his party - are part of the coalition.  His party are also even bigger eurofanatics than Labour and the Tories, determined to keep us in the EU that is responsible for the tax in the first place.

Cllr Ben Walker defects to UKIP

Councillor Ben Walker has defected from the Conservatives to UKIP today, ahead of a UKIP public meeting in Bristol.

Walker is a councillor for Bradley Stoke in South Gloucestershire and a former mayor of Bradley Stoke.  He has defected because of bullying in the local Conservative Party and because of the Tories' "ill targeted" cuts and support of the EU.

A spokesman for Bristol & South Gloucestershire Conservatives said that Walker has let down the hundreds of people who voted for a Conservative last year.  I can't seem to find any condemnation of David Campbell Bannerman's defection the other way last year on their website or in a Google search so it must only let people down when it's Tories defecting to UKIP.  Which is unfortunate for Bristol & South Gloucestershire Conservatives because it's happening every other week at the moment!

Friday 25 May 2012

David Cameron: a lounge lizard for the digital age

It used to be said of the singer Bryan Ferry in his later, post Roxy Music years, that he exactly personified the character of a 'lounge lizard': immaculately groomed, fey and effete, spending his days lying listlessly on a chaise longue, flicking through the latest edition of Country Life, surfacing once every few years to produce an album of crooning self-pity. Apparently this image used to annoy Mr. Ferry enormously, though God alone knows why when he seemed to spend his entire life cultivating such a persona. It was certainly distressing to those of us who remember the avant-guarde vitality of Roxy Music.

I was reminded of Mr. Ferry when I heard that our dearly beloved PM, Mr. Cameron, spent an apparently 'crazy' amount of time playing a game called "Fruit Ninja" on his iPad. The suggestion was rapidly squashed by his PR flunkies, and it's easy to see why.

You can just see it can't you? David Cameron, languidly reclining on his sofa in his Oxfordshire home. The issue of Country Life replaced by an iPad (perhaps there isn't an app for that): a lounge lizard for a digital age. Stylishly presented but essential vacuous, surfacing once in a which to make speech then going back to dozing in the midday heat. And just like Mr. Ferry, his declining fan base looks on in sadness and distress, wondering what happened to the vitality and original thinking of the band he leads, forced to look back with nostalgia and think of better times.

Royal Navy turf Spaniards out of Gibraltarian waters

The Royal Gibraltar Police and a Royal Navy ship had to evict a number of Spanish fishing boats and police cruisers from Gibraltarian waters today.

The Spaniards are still trying to bully the people of Gibraltar into submission over Spain's spurious claims to Gibraltar with unacceptable delays at border crossings and now incursions into Gibraltarian waters.

Today's stand-off was down to Spanish fishermen illegally fishing off Gibraltar and the Spanish police boats that went along to "protect" them.  Spain disputes the UK's claim to waters up to 3 miles off the coast of Gibraltar and fishermen and the Spanish police have made numerous incursions into Gibraltar's territorial waters.

The situation has been confused somewhat by the EU's refusal to condemn Spain's bullying of Gibraltarians and in allowing Spain to claim jurisdiction over all Gibraltarian waters outside the harbour under EU environmental protection laws.

When all this kicked off in the latter half of 2009, Nigel Farage told us that UKIP was committed to Gibraltar's right to self-determination and quite unequivocally said that Spain needs to stick to what it has previously agreed on the rights of Gibraltarians.  The Chief Minister of Gibraltar, Fabian Picardo, described Spain's actions as an "obviously carefully premeditated challenge to our indisputable sovereignty, jurisdiction and control of British Gibraltar Territorial Waters and our airspace".

What is the British government's response to this act of war?  The EU Minister, David Lidington, was going to phone the Gibraltarian First Minister today and reassure him of the British government's position and Wee Willy Vague will tell his Spanish counterpart that Gibraltar is ours so stop being so mean.  Scary stuff.  Like being menaced by a hamster.

It's time we had a UKIP Gibraltar.  They vote in EU elections as part of the south west of England and as the only party that opposes the EU which causes so many of Gibraltar's problems, UKIP should be able to establish itself quite effectively as a political force on the rock.

Thursday 24 May 2012

Farage: No deal offered to anyone

Nigel Farage has released the following statement following claims in the Spectator that he has offered to merge UKIP with the Tories or to stand candidates on a joint ticket at the next election:
Dear UKIP Member

When was the last time you saw
Cast Iron Dave™ crack a smile?
In this week's Spectator, there is an article by James Forsyth talking about potential deals between UKIP and Conservatives. This has already been followed up by the Press Association, Dan Hannan and Conservative Home.

I think it is important to point out that at no stage have I offered a deal, or any intention to stand down, to anyone.

My plans are clear: that we must contest more local election seats than ever before, and prepare to stand everywhere at the next General Election.

Many Conservative Associations now fear that an alliance with the Liberal Democrats could be put to the electorate next time; an alliance which would see both parties' names appearing on the ballot paper under single candidate. Indeed, electoral law has been changed to allow such an arrangement.

As David Cameron has already spoken of a 'Conservative-led' government after 2015, their fears are well founded. The vast majority of Conservative Associations would prefer an alliance with UKIP.

My own view is that any such alliance could only be contemplated after a promise to give the country a fair In-Out EU referendum had been made an unbreakable Manifesto pledge.

For that to happen, we would need to pose an even greater electoral threat than at present.

Please remember that this whole debate is only happening because of your hard work and the very solid recent local election results.

We must prepare for the 2013 County Council elections now.

Yours sincerely, Nigel Farage.
Some members have been quite vocal about the Spectator's claims but there are several reasons why it just wasn't plausible, primary of which is that Nigel Farage has no authority to enter into this type of agreement without a vote of the membership - indeed, nobody in the party has the authority to do so without a mandate from the membership.

There is simply no appetite in the party for a coalition or any type of alliance with the Tories and why should there be?  Other than being notionally right of centre and broadly conservative, what else do the two have in common?  Let's do a quick comparison of UKIP and Tory policy on key issues:

EULike the majority of the population, want the UK to leave the EULike the majority of politicians, wants the UK to be integrated even further into the EU
ImmigrationFreeze economic immigration for 5 years then introduce points-based system for everyone wanting to move hereOpen borders to anyone and everyone who wants to move here, anyone from EU entitled to social housing and benefits
DefenceProperly funded military capable of defending our interests at home and abroadSharing an aircraft carrier with the French
EconomyShrink government as much as possible, bring £1tr public sector pensions into line with private sector, introduce flat tax and raise threshold to take low paid out of the tax system altogetherMore government, more tax
EducationExpand the grammar school system so children get an education suited to their needs and abilities, restore status of universities to institutions providing top quality higher education in useful subjects to people who will make use of itContinue the war against academic selection forcing children who will benefit most from a vocational education to persist in a one-size-fits all education system, suffering humiliation and disenchantment in the process
CrimeLife means life, punish criminals properly, more police on the streets, withdraw from the EU Arrest Warrant, put the rights of victims firstSoft on crime, soft on punishment, cut police budgets and officers
HealthProvide NHS vouchers for those who prefer to see a doctor privately, free opticians and dentists on the NHS, put matrons back in charge of wardsKeep throwing more and more money at a failing system

I see very little common ground there on any of the big issues.  There is plenty of common ground with most ordinary members of the Conservative Party but they don't make policy and have proven to be either incapable or unwilling to unseat the idiots at the top that do.

UKIP is a political party - the number three party in the UK and the second largest UK party in the EU Parliament.  We are not a Tory pressure group, nor are we a eurosceptic think tank or campaign.  UKIP had the largest and most comprehensive manifesto of the four main parties at the last election, putting the policy books of the LibLabCon parties to shame.  We are here to win elections, not force the Tories or Labour into holding a referendum on the EU by picking off their councillors, MPs and MEPs one by one or by attracting large numbers of their members to UKIP.  We don't need to form a coalition with the Tories because we are capable of doing what we need to do ourselves.  We certainly don't need to form an alliance with the Tories or stand joint candidates because we are strong enough in our own right.

It is a misconception that all UKIPpers are disaffected Tories and that if Cameron promised a referendum on membership of the EU then we would all "come home" to the Conservative Party.  Firstly, who would believe him if he did promise a referendum?  He gave a Cast Iron Guarantee™ of a referendum on the EU Constitution and went back on that promise.  The public forced a parliamentary vote on membership of the EU through a petition and he whipped his MPs to vote it down and deny us a referendum.  What reason is there to believe that we would get a referendum if he promised one or that the questions wouldn't be rigged to provide the "right" answer?

Secondly, we are not all disaffected Tories.  In fact, the youth wing of UKIP - Young Independence - is growing at a fair old rate of knots and a sizeable proportion of these new members aren't old enough to have belonged to any other political party.  Others (myself included) have never even voted Tory, let alone been members of the Conservative Party.  It's like listening to the BNP talk about sending immigrants "home" when they were born here and have only ever left the country for a fortnight's holiday on the Costa del Sol.  Just because someone's got brown skin doesn't mean England isn't home and just because someone is a member of UKIP doesn't mean the Conservative Party is their natural home.

Conservative MEP, Dan Hannan, has written in his Telegraph column today suggesting that UKIP should merge with the Tories and stand joint candidates in the next election.  I think all his points have pretty much been covered off above but if they haven't, the hundreds of comments largely telling him either that he's come up with the best plan to save the Tories or to bog off, UKIP wouldn't touch the Tories with a barge pole, should do.

Tuesday 22 May 2012

Only UKIP has the answers to our problems

Another day, another YouGov opinion poll and of course UKIP is in front of the Lib Dems yet again.

This one is quite interesting - only 28% of people who voted Lib Dem in the last election said they would vote Lib Dem again.  Seven out of 10 traditional Lib Dem voters have abandoned the party and 8% of people who voted Lib Dem in the last election said they'd vote UKIP!

The most important issues, according to respondents, that are facing the country right now are the economy, immigration, the EU, health, pensions, crime, tax and education in that order.

UKIP is the only party with sustainable and achievable economic policies because it is the only party that wouldn't be hamstrung by EU rules and targets and the massive drain on our resources that comes from membership of the EU.

UKIP is the only party that will freeze economic immigration for 5 years so that people already living here (be they newly arrived immigrants or descendants of Alfred the Great) can fill job vacancies and move into newly available homes and that will introduce a points-based system for every person who wants to come and live here (this obviously doesn't apply to asylum seekers who need to live here, not want to).

UKIP is the only party which will allow patients to use NHS vouchers with private health providers, introduce elected health boards, bring back free NHS opticians and dentists and put matrons back in charge of wards.

UKIP is the only party that will bring the £1tr public sector pensions into line with private sector pensions, withdraw from the EU common pensions fund and reduce tax rebates on pension contributions for high earners to help fund increases in the state pension.

UKIP is the only party that will put the rights of victims before those of criminals, establish elected police boards, abolish the Human rights Act (which has very little to do with human rights), increase prison places and withdraw from the EU Arrest Warrant that has already seen so many miscarriages of justice.

UKIP is the only party that will introduce a flat tax along with an increased tax allowance to take most low-paid workers out of the tax system altogether.

UKIP is the only party that will bring back the grammar school to allow academically able children to get a more academic education and less academically able children to get a more vocation education rather than bringing everyone down to the lowest common denominator.

UKIP is the only party that actually has an answer to the issues that people put the most importance on, it's no wonder that people are abandoning the three old parties for UKIP and no wonder the increasingly extreme left wing Lib Dems are haemorrhaging supporters.

EU Court orders British government to allow prisoner votes

The EU Court of Human Rights has ruled that the blanket ban on prisoners voting is a breach of their human rights and the British government must allow some prisoners to vote.

The court has ruled that Italy can legally deprive prisoners of the right to vote because it's not a blanket ban but that the British government's ban on voting is illegal because there are no exceptions.  It has given the British government 6 months to change the law to allow prisoners to vote.

The policy director of Liberty, Isabella Sankey, has criticised the ban on prisoners voting and seems to suggest that because it is an old law (an "irrational Victorian law) then it must automatically be wrong.  Liberty, of course, campaigns for the protection of the fundamental human rights English people have possessed since the writ of Habeas Corpus was first used in the 1100's.  Are they suggesting that Habeas Corpus, Magna Carta and the Bill of Rights should be be repealed because they're old?

If you commit a serious crime you will (or more accurately these days, may) be punished with the temporary suspension of certain rights that society has, over the course of centuries, decided should only be enjoyed by those who respect the law.  These rights include the right to liberty and the right to vote.  If you can't live in a way that the rest of society finds acceptable then why should you have a say in who makes the laws to (theoretically at least) ensure the population behaves in a way that society deems acceptable?

Membership of the EU requires submission to the primacy of the EU Court of Human Rights and the EU Court of Justice.  Technically they aren't organs of the EU state but in all practical terms they are merely arms of the EU and EC, there to ensure that EU laws are adhered to by member states.

Monday 21 May 2012

UKIP ahead of the Lib Dems once again in YouGov poll

UKIP is yet again ahead of the Lib Dems in the latest YouGov daily poll for the Sun.

Labour are still way out ahead on 44%, the Tories limping in to second with 32%, UKIP are third (as usual) with 8% and the Lib Dems are fourth with 7%.

YouGov are slowly getting their act together where UKIP is concerned.  UKIP didn't even get a mention in their headline, even if it was in third place and now the party is mentioned in the headlines (most of the time).  UKIP was in brackets at the end of the headline as if it was an afterthought or a statistical anomaly and now the brackets have been dropped.  Next thing they need to do is stop putting the fourth placed party (Lib Dems) in front of the third placed party (UKIP) followed by taking UKIP out of the "other" parties and offering it as an option alongside the three old parties.

We are still plugging away at the CEO of YouGov to get him to sort out this ridiculous manipulation of the political system and hope he will see sense soon.  There is no three party system in the UK any more and there won't be a three party system again unless the Lib Dem decline proves to be terminal.  YouGov is supposed to be in the business of predicting election results, not trying to unduly influence them by talking down UKIP and talking up the LibLabCon.

UKIP 4% clear of Lib Dems in Survation poll

UKIP received another polling boost yesterday with the release of a Survation poll for the Mail on Sunday.

Survation differs from other opinion pollsters in mentioning UKIP alongside the three old parties and has so far proven to be more accurate at predicting UKIP's performance than other polling companies as a result.

The poll shows that UKIP is well out in front of the Lib Dems and creeping up on the Tories.  Labour was in the lead with 36.6%, the Tories were second with 25.8%, UKIP third on 11.5% and some minority party called the Lib Dems on 7.4%.

Almost 6 out of 10 of the people Survation surveyed think Greece should abandon the €uro and return to the drachma and that Germany should not fund another Greek bailout.  More than three quarters of those surveyed think Greece will leave the €uro.  Almost 4 in 10 think the €urozone will break up (nearly 5 in 10 say it won't) and 4 in 10 think the EU would be better off if it happened (3 in 10 think it would be worse).  4 in 10 think the UK would be better off if the €urozone breaks up whilst 3 in 10 think we would be worse off.  Half of people asked think that the EU will survive a break-up of the €urozone.

Opinion is split on the subject of the UK leaving the EU with 45.4% saying no and 43.8% saying yes whilst 10.8% don't know.  This is much closer than other polls which usually show a clear majority in favour of leaving.  Looking at the regional split, it is most likely London and Scotland skewing the figures.  It's a shame Survation didn't extend their policy of including UKIP with the three old parties to the respective party leaders because it would have been interesting to see how Nigel Farage compares to the three pro-EU leaders - I suspect that he would have come out top in most of the questions.

The Crumbling Pillars of the Political Class

Our good friend Dan Hannan is at it yet again, exhorting some kind of pact or merger between UKIP and the Tories.

The obvious unworldliness of it hardly bears examination:  exactly how, after slandering UKIP in the most offensive terms as 'fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists', would Cameron explain away a pact without it being depicted as a totally humiliating climbdown? And wouldn't such a pact risk - horror of horrors - 'contaminating' the Tory brand amongst Dave's  achingly fashionable friends? More to the point, why would UKIP want to risk being contaminated by the taint of Toryism?

Be that as it may, Hannan's thinking is based on a flawed analysis, namely that the emerging split in the Right of British politics (essentially the de-merging of the classical Liberal and Tory traditions) would give the Left a more or less permanent monopoly on power.

This analysis wholly ignores the likely effect the eclipse of Toryism would have on the Left of British politics, namely the collapse of the anti-Tory tribal Labour vote.

The Right like to rant and rail that the Tories have betrayed their core constituency - and so they have - but that is nothing to the betrayal that the Labour Party has enacted on the indigenous working class. It was once famously said of the  Labour Party that it  'owed more to Methodism than it did to Marx', representing as it did socially conservative working class voters who believed in a measure of economic redistribution. Dominated as it now is by decidedly non-Methodist middle-class Guardianistas,  the Labour Party has followed a social agenda in recent years which could hardly be more inimical to working class interests, fuelling mass immigration, family breakdown and the destruction of national identity. Consequently a large section of what were once Labour's natural supporters simply support the party out of tribal hatred of the Tories, or fail to vote at all.

The journalist Peter Hitchens, no friend of UKIP, nevertheless came up with an outstanding metaphor to describe the current party political situation: he likened the Labour and Tory parties to a pair of crumbling pillars, each holding each other up by virtue of the hatred each set of core supporters had for the other.  Of the two pillars, the Labour Party is perhaps in the stronger position, having as a backstop the powerful vested interests of the public sector unions. Nonetheless, collapse of one pillar would inevitably lead to collapse of the other.

It is now possible to see the circumstances for such a collapse coming into view: if UKIP continue to chip away at Tory support to the extent that the Conservative Party loses the next general election badly, the perception may gain ground amongst working class supporters that a Tory majority government is no longer to be feared, with the result that a vote for the Labour Party is no longer essential.

Waiting in the wings to capitalise is the newly formed alliance between the sectarian English Defence League and British Freedom Party, standing on an unashamedly politically-incorrect, anti-Islamic, patriotic, pro-Christian platform which includes withdrawal from the European Union. Whatever one thinks of the EDL and BFP, they are not as heavily tarred with the charge of racism as the BNP is, and are thus more likely to make significant inroads into Labour's bedrock support.

As the situation in Europe deteriorates by the hour and it becomes clear that our rotten Political Class lack the inclination, the courage or the foresight to deal with what could rapidly spiral down into a truly catastrophic situation, we could be on the verge of the greatest re-alignment of British politics since the 'Strange Death of Liberal England' in the early 20th Century.

So, Dan, thank you all the same, but please don't ask again, as refusal often offends. In the not too distant future, marriage with you Tories would likely prove, in the words of Marshall Petain, "fusion with a corpse".

Saturday 19 May 2012

ComRes puts UKIP on 7%

A ComRes poll has UKIP on 7% amongst those who have indicated that they intend to vote with the Lib Dems on 9%.

Interestingly, while the 26% of traditional Conservative voters saying they would vote UKIP if there were a general election tomorrow is almost a given nowadays, a surprisingly high 14% of Lib Dem and 11% of Labour voters said they too would vote UKIP.

One interesting and quite odd statistic is that if voting was a legal requirement, 6% would vote UKIP or Lib Dem but 7% would vote Green.  If voting was voluntary, only 2% would vote Green which would suggest that either environmentalism doesn't motivate people enough to actually go out and vote for it or the left wing extremism that underpins the Green Party's wide manifesto is a big turn off.

UKIP and the Greens are the parties most likely to attract floating or protest voters according to the question "who would you seriously consider voting for at a general election".  13% of respondents said they would seriously consider voting UKIP or Lib Dem while only 10% said Lib Dem and 9% said Labour or Conservative.

The most surprising statistic of all is that 7% of people who consider themselves to be UKIP think leaving the EU would be bad for jobs and trade and 3% would vote to stay in the EU in a referendum and 6% don't know.  UKIP is clearly attracting people who are soft on the EU but support UKIP's other policies enough to vote for the party.  If a referendum were held on leaving the EU, 46% of people would vote to leave, 30% would vote to stay in and 24% are undecided.

The Euro: Irresistable force meets immovable object

With Greece predicted by almost everyone to be exiting the Euro soon due to the irresistable forces of global capitalism, it is worth considering the reason for why it has remained for so long, and why the European Establishment has been so slow to retreat from it's impossible position. (Note that the term 'European Establishment' is not quite the same as the European Union, courtesy of the lunatic decision to allow Christine Lagarde to become head of the IMF.)

A good deal of the reason is, as many commentators have pointed out,  the emotional attachment the European Establishment have to the Euro as a totem of the 'inevitable' flow of history towards European unity. The fear that, once that illusion is shattered, then the whole project (and their careers) will lie in ruins is plainly a very powerful one.

However, there is another reason thats bears attention: the immovable object of German culture.

Anyone who has worked has the good fortune to work in Germany will find much to admire in the Germanic way of doing things: notably the meticulous attention to detail in planning and execution, as well as the steely psychological toughness to see things through over the long term.  As the recent BBC documentary 'Eurocrash' by Robert Peston explored,  the German nation  coped magnificently with reunification through collective discipline and sacrifice over a period of 20 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall. It's doubtful that any other European nation could have achieved such a success given such huge difficulties. Certainly we in Britain, faced with our own dire economic problems and a pathetically cowardly government response, can only envy them their unity of purpose as well as their willpower.

However, all cultures have weaknesses, and the EU is now being smashed on the anvil on that same German Will. The German mentality is to plan meticulously for every eventuality, then execute 'The Plan'. However, once 'The Plan' is underway, it is essentially on railway tracks and no deviation from it can be countenanced. Difficulties will be bulldozed aside and it will be seen through, come what may. Very often this approach works, but if unforeseen and insurmountable circumstances arise, Germans often find abandonment of the held position virtually impossible.  Thus mistake is compounded and re-compounded by intransigence until total disaster overtakes it. In a recent speech, Angela Merkel showed this absolutist mentality in all it's hubris.

"If the euro fails, Europe fails. That must not happen."

But as we all know, the problem for Merkel is that Germanic stubborness to make the Euro work only has a chance of success if reflationary monetary policies are pursued and a fiscal union created between the member states. That, of course, brings the only policy likely to save the Euro in collision with  the equally tough Germanic insistence on sound money. Thus we have the grotesque situation that, irrespective of a forced Greek exit, Germany will almost certainly continue to compound it's errors and to defend the Euro with savage deflationary policies until the last peripheral European economy is totally smashed.

And smashed is not too dramatic an expression. We often tire in the media of hearing sensationalist rhetoric from politicians or commentators  about economies 'collapsing' or being 'destroyed' by this or that government policy, and Armageddon (almost) always fails to arrive. But for once the horrible  reality really seems to be matching the hype. If reports are to be believed, parts of Greece and Spain are returning to a pre-modern barter-based economy. Germany, in the meantime, continues to prosper mightily as the greatest export engine the world has ever known on the back of a cheap Euro.

As Nigel Farage has repeatedly warned, Cassandra-like,  some European states may be headed for civil war or revolution. Certainly, some of them seem to be leaving the developed world.

And they said the EU would guarantee European peace and prosperity in our time.

Friday 18 May 2012

UKIP pull 2% clear of Lib Dems in YouGov poll

UKIP has pulled 2% clear of the Lib Dems in the latest YouGov daily poll which puts Labour on 44%, the Tories on 31%, UKIP on 9% and the Lib Dems on 7%.

YouGov still puts UKIP's result in brackets at the end of their headline voting intention as if it's an afterthought or also-ran and lumps the party in with the "others" when asking polling.  We're still working on them to get them to take UKIP seriously but it's really getting quite ridiculous.  UKIP is consistently polling between 1% behind and 2% ahead of the Lib Dems - the junior party of the coalition - yet YouGov still treats the party as some sort of statistical anomaly.

Had the last local elections been held under some form of PR, it is estimated that UKIP could have won around 400 seats yet because of the antiquated First Past the Post system we use, we ended up with 9.

Anyway, the regional breakdown is quite interesting.  Remember that the sample sizes are way too low to be even vaguely accurate and they don't have any weighting applied to the them but they are useful for establishing a trend.  In London the Lib Dems are on 5% and UKIP on 3%, whilst in Scotland the Lib Dems are on 4% and UKIP on 2%.  But those are the only two polling regions where the Lib Dems are ahead of UKIP.  In the north of England both are level on 7%, in the south of England (excluding London) UKIP is on 12% with the Lib Dems on 9% but in the midlands/Wales polling region UKIP is on 12% witht he Lib Dems on just 7%.  UKIP support in the midlands/Wales polling region is traditionally suppressed because Wales and the midlands are like chalk and cheese - different country, different political system, different government and of course like Scotland, Wales is ideologically socialist - so the gap (albeit taken with a pinch of salt) probably belies an even bigger gulf between the two.

Thursday 17 May 2012

UKIP councillor becomes mayor of Preesall

UKIP Councillor, Chris Lamb, has been appointed Mayor of Preesall, Lancashire.

Chris is a very busy man in the local community and has been a councillor since 2008.  I'm sure he'll make an excellent mayor and it's great to see a fellow UKIPper that can do sign language - maybe we'll start a group for signing UKIPpers!

Congratulations Chris.

Monday 14 May 2012

Greece president proposes new "technocrat" government

Attempts by the three main parties in Greece have failed to produce a coalition, thanks largely to the unwillingness of all three to move on their position on the EU's austerity demands.

Syriza refuses to back down from its opposition to EU austerity whilst New Democracy and Pasok refuse to back down from their support for it.  The parties are split 151-149 in opposition to the EU's austerity measures but that includes Golden Dawn which none of the other parties will deal with.

The Greek President has been desperately trying to get a unity coalition together but the Syriza leader was a bit put out that the only minority parties invited to join it were pro-austerity.

Experts predict that if a new election is forced, the anti-austerity Syriza will do even better and may even top the polls which is good news but it might not be enough.  Lots of people voted for anti-austerity parties as a protest against the EU-imposed austerity measures that are making life hell for most Greeks but having made their protest and sent a message to the leaders of their traditional parties, are likely to vote as they usually do.

The Greek president, Karlos Papoulias, has suggested another technocratic government, which is another way of saying unelected dictatorship.  This is vaguely reminiscent of the Greek military junta in the 60s where the King legitimised the military leaders who had taken over the country in a coup d'état.  This time around the King is the President and the military junta is a team of unelected EU placemen.

If new elections are called it's likely to be in about a month's time.  In the meantime Greece is still without an elected government and austerity measures are still being implemented by the undemocratic rump they've been left with which ordinary Greeks aren't likely to find particularly palatable and as we saw in June last year, when the Greeks get upset they do it in style.

Monday 7 May 2012

Angela Merkel is having a bad day

Angela Merkel has suffered a series of setbacks this weekend, first losing her favourite poodle in the French presidential election, then facing a challenge to her authority in Greece and finally a poor result for coalition allies Free Democrats has put her coalition's control of the Schleswig-Holstein region in jeopardy.

Poor Angela really isn't having a good time at the moment but on the bright side, there are federal elections in Germany next year so she might not have to worry about it for much longer.

Greek election produces no workable majority

With 99.92% of the vote counted, there is no outright winner and things are so close that another election might be necessary to try and find some sort of consensus.

Syriza has gone from fifth to
second in 3 years
New Democracy and Pasok both suffered big losses whilst Syriza almost doubled their vote share and the new Independent Greeks party have taken over 10% of the vote in its maiden election.  The Communists failed to make any significant gains but the hard right Golden Dawn increased their vote from less than 0.3% to almost 7%, gaining 21 seats in the Greek Parliament in the process.

It is unlikely that any party will form a coalition with Golden Dawn so there are effectively 279 seats to play for in any coalition.  Maintaining the current New Democracy/Pasok coalition would produce a coalition with 149 seats - two short of an absolute majority but an effective majority of nine if Golden Dawn are taken out of the equation.  Dimar is ideologically close to Pasok so a three-way ND/Pasok/Dimar coalition is a possibility.

A right wing coalition of New Democracy and Independent Greeks would produce a coalition with 141 seats - ten short of an absolute majority but an effective majority of one without Golden Dawn's seats.  A left wing coalition of Syriza, Pasok, KKE and Dimar would produce a coalition with 138 seats - thirteen short of an absolute and effective majority.

The support of Golden Dawn, with its 21 seats, could be the key to forming any minority coalition.

Sunday 6 May 2012

Pasok/ND coalition takes a battering in the polls

Results of flooding in for the Greek elections and as expected, Pasok and New Democracy have taken a particularly brutal battering.

The current largest party, Pasok, is currently in third place behind the left wing coalition party, Syriza.  New Democracy is clinging tenuously to the lead, probably more by virtue of being the only established right wing party in Greece than because they're doing something right.  Independent Greeks and the Communist Party (KKE) are in fourth and fifth with the hardline Golden Dawn in sixth and newcomers, Democratic Left (Dimar), in seventh.

As it stands, with Laos and Ecologist Greens just shy of the 3% required to get a seat in the Greek Parliament (Laos is being punished for agreeing to join the last coalition before changing its mind), it would take a coalition of all of the opposition parties to keep Pasok and New Democracy from forming a coalition.  Such a coalition would probably spell the end for Greece's involvement in the €uro and maybe even in the EU - something that the Greeks should be hoping for as the only way for them to get themselves out of their current mess.

Whoever ends up forming a government in Greece next week, one thing is for certain: the Greek parliament is going to be full of extremists.  They'll have representation from the Stalinist KKE (Communist Party), the Greek equivalent of the BNP (Golden Dawn) and other minority far left parties.  It doesn't bode well for a stable Greece but they've been in a state of virtual anarchy for so long now, probably nobody would notice!

For an excellent near realtime map of how things stand in Greece as the results come in, check out this from Infographics.

Hollande closer to Cameron than Miliband

François Hollande has beaten Nicolas Sarkozy in the French presidential election, marking the start of some interesting times for the euro-fanatics.

Hollande is a committed europhile but he's a socialist whilst Angela Merkel is a conservative.  He wants to renegotiate France's relationship with Germany making it stronger but with a leftist tilt.

Looking at Hollande's manifesto, it all looks quite familiar:


Withdrawal from AfghanistanXX
Shared militaryX
Separation of retail and investment banksXX
Unachievable "green" energy targetsXX
Merge income tax and national insuranceX
Introduce punishing higher rate tax
Subsidised apprenticeshipsXX
Reducing corporation taxX
More judges and policeXX
Massive housebuilding schemeXX
Dropping retirement age
Same-sex marriageXX
Development funds for deprived areasXX
Pie in the sky plan to abolish deficitXX
Pandering to native minoritiesXX
More EU integrationXX

On major policy issues, it seems the socialist Hollande has more in common with the Tories and Lib Dems than he does with his fellow socialists in the Labour Party.  Of course, there's barely a fag paper between the LibLabCon parties when it comes to anything important and the Tories have lurched to the left in recent years so it's hardly surprising.

Rumours abound that Hollande's election could drive a wedge between France and Germany that will bring the EU and the €uro crashing down round van Rumpy-Pumpy's ears but in reality it's unlikely to make all that much difference.  Eight out of ten laws in the UK come from the EU but it's even higher in France as they're in the single currency and Shengen.  Heads of state for EU member states mainly oversee the implementation of EU laws, it doesn't make much difference what colour their rosette is and Hollande is a europhile so don't expect any opposition to greater EU integration.

Greeks go to the polls today

Greeks have gone to the polls today, bringing to an end 5 months of EU suzerainty under the Brussels-appointed economist, Lucas Papademos.

The vote is expected to be split significantly by a myriad of predominantly left wing anti-austerity parties started by rebel MPs from the establishment parties who all supported the EU-imposed austerity measures that have devastated the country.

Opinion polling has been banned in the run-up to the election but the last lot of polling conducted showed both PASOK and New Democracy set to take a drubbing in the election.  The ironic thing is, the level of opposition to the Greek government and EU austerity will probably save the establishment parties because there are so many new opposition parties vying for the protest vote that most of them will struggle to get enough votes to get MPs elected.

Here's a prediction: in the next few days we will see a PASOK-New Democracy minority government formed.  Such a coalition will be necessary to impose the EU's will on Greece, protect the €uro and keep collaborator politicians in power.  A minority government or rainbow coalition would be too fragile to guarantee the passage of new austerity measures in June and a pro-EU and pro-€uro government in perpetuity so the two will be forced together through internal pressure and pressure from the EU and IMF.

Fresh Choice was the wrong choice

Thursday's performance in London was pretty disappointing with mayoral candidate, Lawrence Webb, gaining only 2% of the vote and the party failing to hit the 5% mark required for a seat on the London Assembly.  But what went wrong?

The general consensus is that having "Fresh Choice for London" on the ballot papers was the reason behind the unexpectedly low result for UKIP in London and the consensus is probably right.  The UKIP name is well known now and upwards of 1 in 10 people told pollsters that they would vote for the party.  On average it was actually 14% of people that voted UKIP so the polls underestimated the purple vote.

London bucked the trend though with less than 5% in the London-wide vote and 2% in the mayoral election.  The London mayoral election is like a Westminster election so the 2%, whilst disappointingly low, isn't particularly unusual.  But the sub-5% GLA vote is and it can only be down to the absence of UKIP's name on the ballot paper.

The decision to have "Fresh Choice of London" on the ballot papers instead of UKIP was a mistake.  Not just the slogan but actually asking for it - someone was told to fill out the papers with the wrong information and because the papers were filed at the last minute, it was too late to try and do something about it.

Some party activists who helped with the campaign in London are understandably unhappy with the "Fresh Choice for London" cock-up and some have called for whoever was responsible to be sacked.  As unnecessary as the mistake was, there's really no need to sack anyone.  There are lessons to be learnt from the London campaign but there's no need for any sackings.  Mistakes happen and election prospects go unrealised; as long as the mistakes are accepted and lessons have been learnt, we need to start working on the 2015 election campaign and consolidating the massive boost we received at the ballot box this week.

Friday 4 May 2012

Some analysis of yesterday's election results

UKIP had some great results in yesterday's elections with over 130 second places and UKIP on 9 councillors.

Now, comparing 9 councillors to Labour's 2,158 or the Tories' 1,005 it looks pretty dire.  Even comparing it to the Lib Dems' 431 it looks poor but the ConDems have just lost 741 councillors and control of 13 councils between them.  Those 130 second places means UKIP has beaten two out of the three old parties 130 times.  There have been a string of third places to compliment the seconds which means that UKIP has beaten one of the three old parties.

It isn't all good news of course - a few sitting UKIP councillors have been lost in Labour landslides and London mayoral candidate Lawrence Webb is sitting on a pretty disappointing 2% of first preference votes.  Second preferences should see the UKIP vote rally but with the widespread voter fraud in London bumping up the Labour Party vote, it's not going to make a material different to the end result.  Sadly UKIP has missed out on getting a seat on the GLA despite all the early indications that we would win at least one, possibly two.  It's a shame but it's impossible to compete with Labour's army of Bangladeshi ghost voters.

Regardless of these minor disappointments, UKIP's vote share has more than tripled in many places and is only 2% behind the Lib Dems.  The UKIP candidate for Salford's elected mayor came third which is a great result and the Mayor of UKIP-controlled Ramsay took over 60% of the vote proving that UKIP can run a council successfully and with the confidence of residents.

The First Past the Post system has frustrated democracy once again - almost as many people voted UKIP as the Lib Dems yet the Lib Dems have got 48 times as many councillors as UKIP.  We've had our once in a generation chance to change the electoral system and the career politicians who have so much to gain from it managed to protect the status quo so we have to persevere with the antiquated FPTP system.

The Tories are veering between delusional dismissal of UKIP and spitting feathers at how UKIP cost them the votes they have a god-given right to.  If only the Tories would stop splitting the UKIP vote, we could have seen real change yesterday.

Some highlights of the election so far

Sadly last night's announcement on the Basildon Council website about UKIP winning three seats was a bit premature ... and wrong!  In the end, Basildon Council had declared 15 results in total despite only have 4 seats contested.

Moving on from that minor disappointment though, UKIP has made gains at the expense of the Tories, the Lib Dems and Labour (the former two more so as expected).  Some of the highlights include: gained one councillor in North East Lincs, one in Thurrock (taking the total to three) and one in Vale of Glamorgan; turned a Tory majority of 700 into 25 in Great Yarmouth in a ward that has never had a UKIP candidate before; a great second in Hetton (Lab 1628, UKIP 1363, LD 154); second or third in all seats in Plymouth and all except one in Tandridge; two second places out of four wards contested in Runymede.

Only one mayoral election has declared so far - Liverpool - and the UKIP candidate came 8th out of 12 on first preference votes.  Second preference would have been the interesting one to see but the Labour candidate got over 59% of the vote so they weren't counted.  Three elected mayor referenda results have been declared so far and all three have said no.

Thursday 3 May 2012

UKIP wins three seats in Basildon?

The first few UKIP results are in and they're looking great.

UKIP candidates have secured some very close second places and it appears three UKIP councillors have been elected in Basildon. Confirmation is being sought on this.

UKIP candidates are leading the political revolution tonight, we can expect more successes as the results trickle in through the early hours (although possibly not on here as some of us have to work tomorrow)!

Electoral Fraud in London

The MP for Enfield North, Nick de Bois, has cross-checked a list of 100 illegal immigrants who've asked for his help fighting deportation and found that 21 of them are on the electoral register.

Police are already investigating voter fraud in Tower Hamlets where one in seven postal votes cast in a recent by-election were fraudulent and where the police were investigating massive postal vote fraud in 2010.  The fraud always benefits Labour and in 2010, sitting Labour councillors were implicated with their flats apparently housing large numbers of adults who all registered to vote a few weeks before the election.

Either postal and proxy voting needs to be controlled properly to eliminate fraud or Labour's vote needs to be automatically decreased by 20% across the country to take into account the electoral fraud.

Wednesday 2 May 2012

UKIP level with Lib Dems again in Yougov poll

Today's YouGov results are just out and UKIP is level pegging with the Lib Dems on 8% today.

Labour have a 10% lead over the Tories on the eve of tomorrow's important elections on 43%, the Tories are on 33% and UKIP and the Lib Dems are joint third on 8%.

The gap in London has closed again with the Lib Dems on 9% and UKIP on 8%.  UKIP is out-polling the Lib Dems in the south of England and north of England polling regions and level in the midlands/Wales polling region.  Only Scotland is saving the Lib Dems from dropping a couple of points against UKIP.

This is great news ahead of tomorrow's election.

Be part of a political revolution tomorrow: vote UKIP

Tomorrow is election day for half the country and the biggest test of the ConDem coalition's popularity so far.

Labour will be the biggest winners tomorrow on sheer numbers (but not in the London mayoral election) but UKIP are on track to cause the biggest upset, consistently polling equal to, or 1% above or below, the Lib Dems for weeks in every opinion poll.

A vote for the LibLabCon tomorrow is a vote for the status quo, for the same tired old politics, sleaze and corruption.  Be part of a political revolution tomorrow: vote UKIP.

Pink News making up stories for Lib Dems

The LGBT website, Pink News, seems to have turned into Yellow News for the election, posting a false story claiming a UKIP campaigner had burnt a picture of Lib Dem mayoral candidate, Brian Paddick, in a homophobic act.

A UKIP spokeswoman has clarified, on the Politics Home website, that the "UKIP campaigner" in question isn't even a UKIP member but a gay man disillusioned with the Lib Dems.

There is still no retraction or correction on the Pink News website which still carries the story uncorrected under the headline "UKIP campaigners burn picture of gay mayoral candidate Brian Paddick in Soho".

It is, of course, possible that the writer in question hasn't seen the corrections or that the editors haven't seen the corrections or whoever looks after the Pink News twitter account hasn't seen the corrections posted on Twitter but even if that is the case and the story was posted in good faith, what is it about burning a picture of a politician the day before an election they're taking part in that warrants that headline?  Why would burning a picture of Boris Johnson be ok but burning a picture of Brian Paddick is a homophobic hate crime because he's gay?

Well, according to some of the commenters on the Pink News website, the fact that it happened in Soho proves it was deliberately homophobic.  The fact that the person burning the picture is gay himself (which the article on Pink News acknowledges) isn't reason enough for it to have happened in Soho, it must be a deliberate attack on homosexuals.  The fact that Brian Paddick is a politician contesting an election tomorrow and the "campaigner" is surrounded by posters for a rival political party isn't reason enough for burning a picture of him, it must be a deliberate homophobic attack.  The fact that the "campaigner" is gay doesn't mean burning the picture is likely to be a political statement, it must have been homophobic.  One comment even says that the "campaigner" in question can't be gay because he's Asian - feigning outrage at supposed homophobia whilst making a sterotypical comment accusing muslims of being intolerant.  You can't make this stuff up (well, Pink News probably could)!

One thing that doesn't seem to have been noticed is that - assuming the "campaigner" in question doesn't have three arms - it isn't actually him that's set fire to the picture, he's actually holding it while someone else is setting it on fire.

Tuesday 1 May 2012

Email address for election results

We have set up an email address to collect election results for Thursday's elections.

If you are at an election count or get news of election results, send us an email at

As well as us, the email goes to Young Independence and other UKIP bloggers so you can do your bit in spreading the good election news!

UKIP on 8% in YouGov poll

UKIP are 1% behind the Lib Dems again in tonight's YouGov poll on 8%.

The Lib Dem vote in London has rallied with them on 15% with UKIP dropping to 5%.  UKIP and the Lib Dems are level pegging in the south of England and the midlands/Wales polling regions and ahead of them in the north of England.  The Greens have jumped to 6% in London, perhaps indicative of the BBC's shameful electioneering on their behalf.