Friday 31 August 2012

Congleton Town Council Result

UKIP's Louise van de Bours secured 27% of the vote in yesterday's Congleton Town Council by-election, missing the win by just 90 votes.

The turnout was a very low 19.23% and the Tories managed to scrape a victory with 614 votes, followed by Labour with 533 votes and UKIP in third with 524 votes.  Some minority party who I vaguely remember having been successful at some point last decade called the Lib Dems came last with 340 votes.

This was the first time UKIP have contested an election in Congleton so this was a great result.  If the Tories hadn't put up a vote-splitting candidate, Louise van de Bours would have beaten Labour.

Tuesday 28 August 2012

Spare a thought for those less fortunate

While UKIP members are still basking in the 12% predicted vote share - in front of the Lib Dems once again - in Sunday's Survation poll, we should spare a thought for those less fortunate than ourselves.  No, I'm not referring to the Lib Dems, I mean the English Democrats.

The political brain behind the English Democrats' consistently disastrous performance at every election they contest bar one and the man responsible for their awful public profile, terrible reputation, the BNP takeover of their party and attempted deals with terrorists, Steve Uncles, has read the Survation polling data and taken heart from the fact that 10% of the voting intention was for "nationalists".

Except it's not.  The 10% the English Democrats are laying claim to is all non LibLabCon and UKIP votes.  In this respect the English Democrats are not unlike the Tories who think they have an automatic right to any eurosceptic vote.  These "nationalists" include the Greens and Respect, one-world communists who have less respect for nations than Steve Uncles has for mentally-ill, suicidal bloggers and over half of the "other" votes was for the Green Party.

It's easy to see where the English Democrats are going wrong though when you consider that their campaigns guru is trying to spin an opinion poll where the English Democrats came bottom of the list of voting intentions as being a good thing rather than pretending it didn't happen as you would expect when the polling company can only find two people who said they would vote for you.

The "other" parties break down as follows:

Green 5.1%
SNP 2.2%
BNP 1.8%
Respect 0.5%
Plaid Cymru 0.3%
English Democrats 0.2%
Another Party 0.2%
Undecided 0.5%
Refuse 1%

Over half the "other" votes would go to the Greens, a party that's pretty much the polar opposite of the English Democrats.  Despite plundering the BNP's membership for assorted knuckledraggers and holocaust deniers, nine times as many people were less embarrassed to say they'd vote for the tainted BNP than the English Democrats.  The Respect Party, represented by George Galloway who's managed to offend half the population in the last couple of weeks trying to play down rape and now calling a Twitter follower a "window licker", can expect more than double the votes of the English Democrats.  The SNP can expect 2.2% of the UK-wide vote despite only contesting seats in Scotland and Plaid Cymru can expect 0.3% despite contesting only Welsh seats yet the English Democrats, who they proclaim as the English version of the SNP, can expect just 0.2% of the vote from contesting elections in 85% of the UK.

These aren't encouraging results for the English Democrats, they're an embarrassment second only to the embarrassment that has publicised them.  And to think, this is the party that said it was going to beat UKIP in the Barnsley by-election!

If there is anyone left in joke of an outfit who's serious about politics and isn't a BNP reject, come and join the other half of the English Democrats who've already made the move to UKIP.

Monday 27 August 2012

State Funding of Parties: The Political Class Circle the Wagons

Matthew d'Ancona, for several years now the rectum inspector-in-chief for the Political Classes, writes
blatantly kite-flying article in the Sunday Telegraph, preparing the ground for state funding of political parties. 

For anyone who values freedom and accountability of course, the idea is utterly appalling. Quite obviously parties funded by the state cannot fail to become agents of the state over time, leading to the Political Class conspiracy against the voting public becoming even more deeply embedded than it is now.

However, although the idea of state funding may appear at first glance to be a significant threat to UKIP, in many ways in it an encouraging development.

Firstly, that the idea is even being considered shows that the almost total detachment of the Metropolitan elite and their LibLabCon political wing from the general public remains intact. State funding will rightly be seen by voters as a blatant money grab and protection of vested interest by a corrupt cartel. It would be especially humiliating for David Cameron's Tories, running completely counter to Cameron's flagship 'Big Society' project, replacing voluntarism with state coercion of resources. To even suggest such a development after the expenses scandal and at a time of austerity shows an almost total unworldliness. 

But the very reasoning behind d'Ancona's article also shows a Political Class in complete denial: its entire thrust is that state funding is necessary because of the big donor funding scandals that have blighted political parties in the last few years. In true Metropolitan bubble fashion, he completely fails to explain or explore why sources of funding have dried up from individual donors, namely that the LibLabCon parties no longer listen to the people they purport to represent.

In this context, it is also very significant that d'Ancona's article doesn't mention UKIP at all, even though it is fair to say that the issue of funding has also caused UKIP some embarrassment in the past. To him and his kind, politics is an elite parlour game of musical chairs between the established Big Three parties. That a collapse of funding of one or more of them may lead to new players arriving on the scene and a much needed shake up of the system is completely unthinkable.

UKIP should of course refuse to participate in any state funding arrangements for reasons both of principle and low politics. Seen as a party which stands outside of the Metropolitan Elite, we are in a very strong position to capitalise on public revulsion to this measure. Secondly, state funding should prove the absolute final straw for many Tory MPs and the rapidly dwindling number of  decent Tory activists, leading to a further collapse in Tory Party membership and potentially new recruits for UKIP. Indeed, one could go further and say that state funding should be a watershed moment for UKIP's attitude to defectors generally: anyone whom remained or became a member of the LibLabCon parties after state funding is introduced plainly has political principles wholly incompatible with UKIP's, and should be banned from joining our party in a similar way that we ban members of other organisations. As we grow, defecting to UKIP will be increasingly an act of opportunism rather than principle, and we must at all costs avoid becoming infected by the moral corruption and cynicism which has so blighted our established politics for so long.

In the wider scheme of things, the introduction of state funding could also prove a watershed moment in our democracy; with the cartel operated by the political class against the people brought into a very hard focus. if we play our cards right, it will also finally crystallise the perception of UKIP as a pro common sense, pro-people, anti-Metropolitan party rather than a just an anti-European one - a transition which has, of course, been underway for some time.  

If state funding goes ahead, it may well be moment that the mould is truly broken.

UKIP on 12%in Survation poll

A Survation pool for the Mall on Sunday yesterday had UKIP on a record 12%, a good 2% clear of forth place Lib Dems.

We've known for a long time that UKIP us has taken over from the Lib Dems as the third party in English politics but why do these poll results rarely seem to translate into the electoral success they predict?

The First Past the Post electoral system is by far the biggest reason. UKIP out polled the Lib Dems pretty consistently in this years local elections yet the Lib Dems got many times more seats than UKIP. They weren't more popular than UKIP, they merely benefited from the mediaeval voting system that maintains the LibLabCon's stranglehold on local and national government. EU Parliament elections are all the evidence you need of how the First Past the Post system is failing voters (and UKIP of course) - in a system where almost every vote it's counted, UKIP got the second largest vote share and the second highest number of seats. People got what they voted for and at the next EU elections UKIP is widely anticipated to beat the europhile Tories and come first. Under the First Past the Post system UKIP would have been lucky to get an MEP, let alone 12.

The next biggest reason is the perception that only Labour or the Tories (and in some cases, the Lib Dems) can win. This is a ridiculous belief to have because the party that most people vote for well win, regardless of which party it is. We've been so conditioned by vested interests over the years into belting there are only two and a half political parties capable of winning elections that we've forgotten that it's us - the electorate - who decide who can and can't win, not the establishment political parties who perpetuate this myth.

It's not just the LibLabCon who maintain this lie that only they can win elections though, the media and most of the polling companies do too. The BBC listed UKIP alongside the LibLabCon in an article on is website the other week for the first time ever. The party has been in existence for well over a decade, has hundreds of local councillors, is the second largest UK party in the EU Parliament, is the fastest growing mainstream party in the UK and has beaten LibLabCon parties in Westminster by-elections many times yet the BBC had only now deigned to treat UKIP as equals. The only time the state broadcaster has ever given UKIP a proportionate amount of coverage prior to an election was when Nigel Farage almost killed himself in a plane crash on election day. The BBC will always promote the Greens as the fourth party whether there is any evidence that they are or not because it fits the BBC's agenda. The dead tree press aren't much better either, with the exception of the Express - a Tory rag which gives UKIP soft support to try and pressure David Cameron into adopting a eurosceptic stance at which point they would drop UKIP like a hot potato. It doesn't help that the media is almost entirely controlled by Tory supporters with a couple of exceptions but then newspapers are big business and socialists are bad for business.

So what of the polling companies? Survation it's the only polling company that offers up every party in a list for the respondent to choose from, rather than offering LibLabCon and "Other" and their record speaks for itself. Angus Reid and YouGov include UKIP in their headlines and graphics but only after extensive lobbying by us but they still list UKIP under "Other" when asking for voting intention. At by-elections the polling companies are happy to give parity to UKIP because it makes for interesting headlines but in local and general elections they want the same comfortable two and a half horse race they're used to because that's where the money is so they put the blinkers on and join in the only Labour/Tories/Lib Dems can win here mantra and do their bit to make sure that's the case. They know how to predict LibLabCon results and nobody is interested in a polling company that can't predict election results so they manipulate public opinion to keep the system they're comfortable with. The polling companies regularly ask respondents their opinion out the LibLabCon leaders to see which of them the public thinks is the least worst but they would never dream of putting Farage into the mix because he'd wipe the floor with Cameron, Clegg and Miliband and that would make things unpredictable. The last thing a polling company wants is an unpredictable election.

It would be nice to have a fair election without manipulation by the LibLabCon, the media and the polling companies but it's not going to happen. The establishment parties set the agenda, they have the money and they have the influence but they can't control the news or alter facts (well they can and do but not that successfully). If UKIP win elections they can't pretend we haven't. If UKIP is leading on local issues they can't pretend we're not. If UKIP is making the news rather than following it they can't pretend they're not being left behind. We have to keep working hard and contesting elections and working for our local communities and making sure that it it's UKIP that people see actually doing things rather than just talking about them. Most importantly we have to do this all the time, not just at election time like the LibLabCon. UKIP had been on the brink of success for a long time but the voting system and vested interests are working against us. But we can make that success happen from the ground up with local people doing things in their own communities where people can see what a positive difference UKIP can make for them. Actions speak louder than words and with enough action the LibLabCon, the media and the polling companies won't be able to say only Labour/Tories/Lib Dems can win here with any credibility.

Sunday 26 August 2012

EU light bulb ban starts tomorrow

With absolutely no fanfare our even prior warning, the EU ban on light bulbs comes into force today.

From tomorrow it will be illegal for anyone to import or sell normal light bulbs, forcing consumers to buy expensive and inferior energy saving bulbs or prohibitively expensive LED bulbs instead.

The British government quango responsible for producing propaganda about energy saving bulbs, the Energy Saving Trust, claims that an energy saving bulb can save £3 per year. The claim is based on dodgy maths but even if it wasn't, is it worth spending a year sitting in half light for the price of a bunch of grapes and paying ten times as much for the light bulbs for the privilege?

Luckily for us, retailers have found a loophole so that they can still sell us proper light bulbs - the ban doesn't extend to industrial light bulbs and there is no law against selling "rough service bulbs" to the domestic market. The National Measurement Office warns that household insurance policies might not cover you for the use of the bulbs in your home but as they're exactly the same as normal household bulbs except for having stronger fittings and bulbs, it's hard to see a reason why an insurance company could claim you put your home at risk by using them and refuse to pay out if they're actually safer. It's seems to be nothing more than scaremongering by the quango responsible for enforcing the ban on proper bulbs. The supermarkets won't sell the "rough service bulbs" though, they're happy to help enforce the ban because they make more money off a £15 light bulb than a £1.50 light bulb, especially when - despite the green lobby's claims to the contrary - energy saving bulbs last no longer than a normal light bulb.

My advice is to stock up on light bulbs while you still can because that particular loophole will be closed by the green fascists pretty sharpish.

Thursday 23 August 2012

Greek PM begs EU for permission to ease collective punishment

The sight of Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras begging for permission to give some relief to the Greek people from the EU's punishing - and ultimately doomed to failure - austerity measures should be setting off alarm bells all over Europe.

Merk-heil, Merk-heil ...
In his speech to the Greek Parliament he set out plans for reducing Greek debt, accelerating the privatisation of state-owned utilities and services and the accelerated sale of state-owned property.  Tax and spend in Greece is controlled by a group of unelected economists answerable to the EU Commission, EU Central Bank and IMF so Samaras is effectively just reading from a script with the possible exception of the begging to be allowed to scale back some of the collective punishment being meted out at the Greek people.

I say possible exception because it's quite likely that the EU/ECB/IMF appointed bureaucrats just can't balance the books with the EU-imposed austerity measures they're forced to work with and with Samaras being nothing more than a sock puppet, have used him to ask their bosses for a bit of relief.

The elected leader of an EU member state having to beg the EU for permission to help out his citizens should worry other leaders of EU member states more than a little and their people even more so.  The EU staged a coup d'état in Greece (and Italy) in the guise of a friendly bailout and so far they've got away with it.  History has shown that allowing aggressive regimes to get away with taking over weaker neighbours - even with a vichy government helping them - rarely ends well.

Wednesday 22 August 2012

Desperate Tories call for desperate measures

A "rebel" Tory conference has been organised by Windsor Conservatives in association with ConservativeHome editor Tim Montgomerie on the same day as the UKIP Conference in Birmingham.

The "Conservative Renewal Conference" is being billed as a grassroots initiative but the speakers list is a who's who of media-friendly establishment Tories and of course the chair of the conference, Tim Montgomerie, is paid to work for the Tories.  Six Tory MPs, three Tory MEPs, a Tory AM and assorted Tory councillors, staffers and hangers-on is less grassroots and more gooseberry bush.

A cynical person might think that Montgomerie had organised the conference to coincide with the UKIP conference to try and attract disaffected Tories who might otherwise go to the UKIP conference and see first hand why so many Tories are defecting.

Monday 20 August 2012

Dear Dan, the answer is no

There was talk last week (from the Tories) of a UKIP/Tory pact in the next set of elections.  We said that it's not UKIP's job to fix the Tories and gave 5 reasons why there should be no pact.
UKIP in his heart,
Tory in his pocket

Now Dan Hannan MEP has weighed in, calling for such a pact in time for the next election following Conservative Home's revelation that 60% of Tory members think a pact with UKIP would increase their chances.  More Tories thought that a "bankable" promise of an EU referendum (yes, another Cast Iron Guarantee™) was a better idea proving both that you can't fix stupid and that Hannan doesn't trust Cameron to give another Cast Iron Guarantee™ or to stick to it if he does.

A poll was started on a Facebook group open only to UKIP members last night asking if UKIP should enter into an electoral pact with the Tories.  So far 20 members have said no, 1 member has said maybe and nobody has said yes.

So just in case any Tories with big ideas about an electoral pact with UKIP haven't got the message yet: it's not our job to fix your party and it's certainly not our job (or in our interests) to help you win elections.  The answer (from the membership, at least) is NO.

Sunday 19 August 2012

The EAW will prevent Assange from safely surrendering to Sweden

Julian Assange is expected to make an appearance on the balcony of the Ecuadorian embassy shortly to make a statement.  He has said that if Sweden promises not to extradite him to another country then he may surrender himself to stand trial there on what he says are trumped up charges of sexual assault.
I'm not going to pass judgement on Assange although I am inclined to believe that he has been set up by the Americans and that the timing of the sexual assault claims in Sweden is too suspicious to be coincidental.  However, it is important to bear in mind that Sweden is a member of the EU and signatory to the EU Arrest Warrant.  It is because of an EU Arrest Warrant that Assange faces extradition to Sweden and it is because of the EU Arrest Warrant that he would be foolish to surrender himself to the Swedes no matter what promises they give him about not shipping him off to the US.
The EU Arrest Warrant is little more than a technicality, a procedural mechanism for the legalised kidnap of one country's citizens on the basis of an accusation by the police force of another country without the need for any evidence to be presented.  For an EU Arrest Warrant to be considered valid it simply has to have all the relevant boxes filled in and a signature, whether there is any evidence of the crime the subject of the warrant is accused of even being committed, let alone by the accused, isn't a consideration.  Grounds for objection to an EU Arrest Warrant are pretty much restricted to whether the form has been filled out correctly and whether the correct procedures have been followed.
It is for this reason that Assange would be very silly indeed to surrender himself to Sweden even if they promise not to deport him once he's there.  Once in Sweden, if charges are dropped against him or he is found innocent then all it takes is for a US lap dog such as the British government to issue an EU Arrest Warrant themselves and the Swedish government would be obliged to hand him over.  If the Swedish government is conspiring with the UK and US to get Assange to America then this is almost certainly what will happen.

Saturday 18 August 2012

Police Commissioner candidate announced at Corby Launch

UKIP's by-election campaign for Corby was launched today with UKIP candidate Margot Parker joined by UKIP MEPs Nigel Farage, Roger Helmer, Derek Clark and Stuart Agnew and activists from all over the country.

The UKIP candidate for the role of Police & Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire Police, Jim MacArthur, was also officially announced at the Corby campaign launch.  MacArthur has served in the RAF, Army, SAS and as a Special Constable.

Thursday 16 August 2012

Tories & Labour talking down Corby election prospects

With the "resignation" of Tory MP, Louise Mensch, Corby is very much in the news and both Labour and the Tories are warning their respective party faithful that they're going to lose the election.
Labour is odds on to win the by-election but by talking their chances down they will hope to get a bigger turn-out to consolidate the lead they think they have.  The Tories will hope that by conceding defeat already they will be able to motivate more of their supporters to come out and vote and narrow the gap and perhaps allow them to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat.
But all this is a bit presumptuous by both Labour and the Tories who seem to think they have a god given right to carve up the country between them.  The bookies are giving UKIP half the odds of the Lib Dems to win in Corby and Westminster by-election results in the last couple of years have been really quite promising for UKIP.  Council by-elections have been great recently with a couple of outright wins in three- and four-way fights.
The UKIP candidate when the election is eventually called is Margot Parker, a Corby local who's already got the support of local businesses.

UKIP's message is that only Margot can beat Labour in Corby and that's probably right.  The Tories have blown their chances pretty much everywhere for the foreseeable future with their disastrous coalition with the Lib Dems and lying toerag of a Prime Minister, the Lib Dems are a spent force politically and Labour are effectively rudderless with a useless leader and a shadow cabinet of political lightweights.

All Labour have in their favour is that they're not the Tories or Lib Dems.  UKIP is the real opposition now and hopefully Corby will hammer that message home.
UKIP's Corby campaign is being launched at the Samuel Lloyd in Corby at 10am on Saturday by Margot, Nigel Farage, Roger Helmer and Derek Clark.

Friday 10 August 2012

Godders standing for Humberside police commissioner

Godfrey Bloom has been confirmed as UKIP's candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner for the Humberside police force.

Godders will be up against champagne socialist former Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott of Two-Jags and Conservative Councillor Matthew Grove who was chosen over former Tory MP Walter Sweeney who want considered to be a pliable enough party stooge.

I am absolutely opposed to the politicisation of the police but if we must go through with this sham then I'd rather we had right thinking UKIPpers in charge of the police than a bunch of failed politicians and party clones who think the most important PC in the police is political correctness.

Wednesday 8 August 2012

Nantwich councillor defects to UKIP

Nantwich Councillor Stuart Hutton  has defected from the Tories to UKIP.

Cllr Hutton was elected to Nantwich Town Council last year but has become increasingly disillusioned with the pro-EU leadership of the Tories and feels (like most of the population) that the £50m a day cost of EU membership would be better spent creating jobs and paying for public services here rather than bailing out the €uro, paying for motorways in Albania or subsidising Spanish fishermen.

A UKIP - Tory Pact? Five Reasons why not.

The current death spiral of the Tory party, fast draining members, support and morale under the inspired leadership of "Agent Cameron", has led once again to talk of some kind of electoral pact with UKIP.
Many would say that the growth of UKIP and the eclipse of the Tory Party amounts to a major split on the right of British politics in the same way that Labour and Liberals split in the early 20th Century. Just as that split ushered in a Tory dominated century, this split would ensure the domination of the Left in British Politics for the foreseeable future. By this analysis how to deal with the 'Tory question' is the most important strategic issue UKIP faces.
However, there are reasons to be extremely cautious of a pact with the Tories for the following reasons.
  1. UKIP is developing its own unique identity and, if it is to have any hope of power, must look to appeal to voters beyond the Tory base. For example, Many UKIP policies appeal to people who would consider themselves 'Old Labour' types. Many such people would never dream of voting Tory for atavistic tribal reasons of class prejudice, and will not support UKIP if it is seen as being tainted by association and just a Tory mini-me. UKIP's position in Northern England and Wales, where we may shortly overtake the Tories in  popular support, would be particularly damaged.

    But it's not really about "stealing" votes from other parties: the biggest prize in British politics is to appeal to the huge percentage of the population who no longer vote or never have done, utterly alienated from the political process. The LibLabCon are rightly seen as part of an  inward-looking Metropolitan clique totally out of touch with the average person. There is a huge opportunity for a party that continues to stand resolutely outside the tired old politics that have clearly failed the country.
  2. The Vision Thing.  UKIP has a clear, unique and progressive vision for this country which chimes with the instincts of the British people. The eternally myopic Tory Party does not and never will have. The lack of a coherent alternative vision over the last 20 years has allowed the PC Left to dominate the debate and advance their interests almost without opposition, particularly in matters of culture. Irrespective of whether we ever hold formal power, it is vital our vision and message is clearly propagated to the British people as a viable alternative to our current wretched condition. On no account must that be diluted or subsumed.
  3. A huge realignment of British Politics may be coming. The rapid decline of the Tory Party may be followed by collapse of the Labour Party, many of whose suporters only continue to vote Labour out of hatred of the Tories. At that point the whole situation will be in flux and UKIP must have maximum mobility and freedom of action to exploit the situation.
  4. Although the Tory Party contains many decent people, historically it has always been dominated by a ruthless and careerist elite who believe in power at any price. A pact with such people is likely to end in tears and bitter betrayal.
  5. Many UKIP activists would feel uncomfortable being in a pact with a party whose leadership has repeatedly smeared us as racist.
For these reasons, a pact with the Tories is better left alone. We have struggled mightily over the years to get where we are by going it alone. Even greater achievements will be ours if we continue to do so.

Tuesday 7 August 2012

It's not UKIP's job to fix the Tories

A recent poll has concluded that as much as 60% of the Tory membership want an electoral pact with UKIP, seeing it add their only hope of avoiding a drubbing at the next election.

It's great that so many Tories prefer UKIP to the Conservatives but any suggestion of an electoral pact should be dismissed without a second thought. It is not UKIP's job to fix the Conservative Party.

At the next election UKIP will make significant gains and UKIP MPs will enter Westminster. In the process a number of Tory MPs will be unseated and a great many candidates disappointed. The same applies to the Lib Dems and to a lesser extent, Labour. There is no such thing as the lesser of two evils where the LibLabCon are concerned, we are a political party, not a Tory pressure group. If Tories are worried about being on the wrong side at the next election then they can join UKIP.

Monday 6 August 2012

House of Lords reform: a real alternative

With Lords "reform" all but dead in the water, its time for UKIP to take the initiative on the subject.

The Liberal Party first broke the House of Lords at the turn of the last century with the passage of the Parliament Act which removed the ability of the House if Lords to stop bad legislation by allowing the Commons to pass laws with the Lords' agreement if they disagreed three times in one Parliament.

The Labour Party broke it even more by removing a large number of experienced, independently-minded Peers from the upper house and replacing them with career politicians appointed on the basis of their usefulness and loyalty to their party.

The Lib Dems tried to break it even more not long ago by trying to replace it with an elected House of Lords which would be as sleaze-ridden, impotent and whipped to within an inch of is life as the Commons. The attempt was scuppered by the Tories not so much out of any ideological standpoint but because Lords are more "their sort of people".

UKIP has conflicting policies on Lords reform which need to be addressed as part of the ongoing policy review that has seen the thankfully short-lived enforced Britishness policy superceded by the new devolution policy that's going to be unveiled at the next party conference which would see the House of Lords replaced with an elected federal British Parliament.

In an ideal world we would keep the House of Lords even with a fully federal government but in this day and age the electorate is unlikely to accept more layers of government no matter what the benefits are. Losing the House of Lords is unfortunate but it's a price worth paying for real national democracy.

Support for devolution is overwhelming in all four member states of the UK and given the opportunity to turn that support into votes, most would vote yes to turning the British Parliament into an English Parliament and the House of Lords into an elected federal British Parliament. However, you should always have a fallback position in case things don't turn out as expected. If the House of Lords did continue to exist after the creation of an English Parliament then how can the system be reformed to make it work better?

The main problem with the House of Commons is that party politics gets in the way of the democratic process. It is a rare occurrence for an MP to defy the party whips and those that do are punished severely, losing jobs and facing suspension or even expulsion from their party for doing so. The fraud and sleaze is still a problem even after being caught with their fingers in the till but it doesn't generally prevent the democratic process from running it's course. An elected House of Lords would be subject to exactly the same systemic failures that the Commons is and far from improving democracy, it would instead take away any semblance of opposition to the Commons for much of the time because it is inconceivable that the electorate would elect a Tory majority to the Commons and a Labour majority to the Lords and staggering the elections would only produce an effective opposition for half a term - two years - at best. Imagine Tony Blair's 10 year rule without the House of Lords stopping internment, investigating the illegal war against Iraq, protecting the right to trial by jury, opposing control orders and banning the use of evidence obtained through torture. With a Labour majority in the upper house most of our centuries-old rights and liberties would have been abolished and the England that Orwell warned of in 1984 would be a lot closer.

So if the answer isn't electing the upper house, how can it be made more accountable and how can it be done whilst sticking to UKIP's principles? The answer lies in the direct democracy policy introduced during Lord Pearson's brief stint as leader where Swiss-style referenda would be held on contentious issues. Any piece of proposed legislation that can cause the Commons and Lords to disagree to the extent that no compromise can be found three times in less than a year surely qualifies as contentious so why should it be left to 600 politicians to decide what's right when a thousand peers say they're completely wrong and that their viewpoint is almost entirely without merit?

So here is the answer: restore the hereditary peers, remove the politically appointed life peers who serve no function other than providing loyal lobby fodder for the party that put them there and amend the Parliament Act so that instead of the Commons having the ability to ignore the Lords when they can't agree the decision is instead made by the electorate via a binding referendum. This means the composition of the upper house is an accident of birth rather than a political stitch-up and the decision-making process is far more accountable to the electorate than simply choosing the least bad candidate on offer every four years in the futile hope that they will have the balls to defy the whips when it comes to important decisions.

UKIP should continue to promote the idea of a federal UK and replacing the House of Lords with an elected federal British Parliament as it is part of what is by far the most progressive set of policies on constitutional reform of any party, not to mention being popular with the electorate. But we should always have a contingency plan and on House of Lords reform, this is better than anything anyone else has to offer.

Saturday 4 August 2012

Electoral Commission investigating Labour donations

Back in June we took a look at the Labour Party's funding, concluding that as much as 90% of their donations came either directly or indirectly from the taxpayer.

There were three dubious donations in the Labour Party's returns totalling over £23k from the Australian Labor Party, an unincorporated organisation that turned out to be a limited company and a company that doesn't appear to have been trading for a couple of years.  According to the Electoral Commission, the donation from the Australian Labor Party is legally permissible as it was to pay the costs of a political visit.  The other two donations are still under investigation so we'll have to wait and see if they've been taking dodgy donations and if the Electoral Commission will make them pay them back.

Why does Dave lie about his EU veto? No comment.

Some time ago I wrote to Devious Dave the Dictator of Downing Street asking him why he continues to lie about wielding a veto at a meeting of the EU Council last year when the Foreign & Commonwealth Office have confirmed that no EU Treaty was drafted at the European Council in December.

It's taken a while but I finally received a response in the post yesterday:
Dear Councillor Parr

I am writing on the Prime Minister's behalf in response to your email of 1 July regarding your recent correspondence with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.  I am sorry that you feel unable to accept the Department's response.

The Department will have examined all aspects of your correspondence very carefully and I regret that we are unable to add anything further to the Department's reply.

I am sorry to send what I know will be a disappointing reply.

Yours sincerely

Neal Illegible
Correspondence Officer
Well done Neal, you'll go far.  Answering my question with the answer to a completely different question whilst studiously ignoring your master's repeated lies is sure to earn you a promotion this year.

I have responded as follows:
Dear Dave,

I have today received a response to an email I sent you some time ago regarding your continued claims that you wielded a veto in December but the response is far from satisfactory.

The letter - penned by one of your staff - says that the Foreign & Commonwealth Office will have investigated my queries already and you have nothing to add.  They did indeed investigate my request for a copy of the Treaty you have repeatedly claimed to veto and advised me that "no EU Treaty was drafted at the European Council in December".

What they haven't investigated and clearly wouldn't be in a position to investigate is the reason why you are repeatedly dishonestly claiming to have vetoed a Treaty that didn't exist.  Only you can answer that.

So once again, please can you advise why you continue to claim that you wielded a veto in December last year when there was no Treaty to veto?

Cllr Stuart Parr
UKIP Parish Councillor

Tory peer threatens to defect over EU

Lord Vinson has warned Cast Iron Dave that he and other Tory peers will defect to UKIP if he doesn't get back powers from the EU.

The Lisbon Treaty only makes provision for more powers to be transferred to the EU, not the other way round and any attempt to "repatriate" powers in contravention of the Lisbon Treaty from the EU would require the unanimous agreement of every EU member state.  Repatriation of powers from the EU is a nonsense, it's all or nothing so we will soon find out whether Lord Vinson is a man of his word or just using the threat of UKIP to try and force CamEUron's hand.

Another win for UKIP

Former Conservative councillor, Alan Preest, has been re-elected to the council he resigned from a year ago with a massive 73.9% of the vote.

Cllr Preest was elected to Lydney Town Council on Thursday after leaving local government under something of a cloud last year after being accused of shoplifting and of verbally abusing a council officer at a public meeting.  He has always protested his innocence at both accusations.

Since resigning his position, he has exposed some pretty serious failures in the financial controls of the town council that resulted in a rebuke from its auditors which will no doubt have contributed to his victory this week.