Tuesday 30 April 2013

ComRes put UKIP on 22%

We haven't been reporting opinion polling results lately because it's all got a bit samey - the Lib Dems are dead in the water, we're catching up with the Tories and Labour's lead is pretty unassailable.

However, it's worth reporting that polling company ComRes has got UKIP on 22% tonight, just two days before the election.

Lib Dems12%

EU Referendum Bill quietly dropped

The Bill to give effect to David Cameron's Cast Iron Guarantee™ for an EU referendum - the one that he says we'll have in 2017 if he wins the next election - has been quietly dropped.

So what now for all those Tories who've kept the faith in the misguided belief that Cameron would finally deliver on a promise and give them an EU referendum?  The Bill that would allow a referendum has been dropped and the Tories aren't going to win the next election so it's time to stop propping up the lying europhile Tories and start supporting the only party that will give us a referendum on our membership of the EU.

Citibank predicts Greek and Cypriot €uro exit

Citibank has published a damning report on the €urozone's future, predicting a Greek and Cypriot exit from the single currency and structured defaults for Italy and Spain.

The Cypriot government is yet to vote on the EU's austerity programme and half of Cyprus' MPs say they're going to vote against it so a Cypriot exit might come sooner rather than later.

Desperate times call for dirty tricks, it seems

The Tory sleaze machine has been in overdrive since the weekend but that's not the only attack on UKIP in this election - activists and candidates are stealing and defacing posters, attacking candidates in the media and in their leaflets and using their influence to otherwise interfere with UKIP election campaigns.  It is a sign of how desperately scared the LibLabCon are of losing that they put so much effort into attacking UKIP.

In Shropshire, a Conservative councillor defending his seat against one other candidate - UKIP's David Baynham - posted pictures of himself on Facebook stealing UKIP posters.  His Tory-controlled parish council later instructed Baynham to remove his posters from lampposts, describing them as an "eyesore".  Elsewhere in Shropshire the Labour Party went onto private land to staple their own posters onto UKIP posters.

In Leicestershire a young candidate has been described as homophobic by his Conservative opponent for signing a pledge against same-sex marriage, potentially interfering with his work as a youth worker in the gay community much to the detriment of the vulnerable youngsters he supports.

UKIP posters in Roade and Towcester in the East Midlands have been stolen and at least two candidates are claiming to have had their Facebook accounts hacked and inappropriate comments posted in their name at the same time that the Tories have been targeting UKIP candidates' social media accounts and causing trouble on Facebook with fake profiles claiming to be UKIP supporters.  At least one Conservative candidate has designed their leaflets in UKIP purple and yellow colours to try and confuse voters, just like they did in the Eastleigh by-election in February.

This fake UKIP leaflet is being distributed in Lancashire:

So who is behind this deliberately misleading leaflet? Let's take a look at the other side ...

Is it still an offence to mislead voters?

Sunday 28 April 2013

UKIP Rise Signifies the End of the "Safe Seat" and with it the Decline of the Political Class.

When I was growing up in the Soviet Socialist Republic of South Yorkshire, as the area was then only half jokingly known as, we right-wingers bitterly called it "Red Monkey" territory, meaning that you could have put a monkey up as a candidate and as long as it was wearing a red rosette, it would be elected to office. Similarly, socialist friends of mine who lived in the Shires just as bitterly termed it "Blue Poodle" country, for identical reasons.

The tragedy was that both descriptions were in some constituencies probably literally true: the tribalist instincts of voters being so strong, and the majorities so overwhelming, that no matter what candidates stood for office, victory or defeat was a foregone conclusion.

"Safe seats" as these are understood to be are the bane of the British political system. True, they are still preferable to the "party list" system that Proportional Representation brings, but only just. What constitutes a safe seat is to a certain extent a matter of interpretation, but there are certainly a lot of them. Even in the Labour landslide of 1997, less than a third of seats changed hands. More normal elections  have seen proportionately far fewer seats change.

The large volume of safe seats has been  major factor in the rise of the Political Class in recent years. It's members can plan their careers based on the fact that the chances are that a safe seat will come available sooner or later through the death or retirement of a sitting MP. Therefore, they spend their time greasing up the powers that be within a party hierarchy, rather than putting in any spadework amongst the foot-soldiers on the ground. Once at seat does become available, they can then be parachuted in easily enough. Thereafter, they don't need to worry about their constituents beyond the bare minimum of application, leaving them free to spend all their time climbing the greasy pole of office.

There is nothing new, of course, about MP's representing constituencies with with they had little previous physical affiliation, in the sense of actually living there. However, back in the days when local associations had much more autonomy in selecting candidates, it was perhaps more probable that the MP was a better cultural fit, in the sense he or she may come from a background that would allow them to identify with many of the local issues. Traditionally that meant candidates from the industrial heartlands   for Labour, and the Shires for the Tories.

Now, however, the rise to predominance of London and it's slick Metropolitan culture has eclipsed the local traditions in both the Labour and Conservative parties. Instead, we have the grotesque spectacle of smooth, young Metropolitan men and women, most of whom have never had a real job and spent their entire lives within the party machine, shoe-horned into safe constituencies with which they have absolutely no cultural affiliation at all. Their contempt for the people they are elected to serve is evident that they so easily disgard their constituents for pastures new once they careers enter decline in a way that was unthinkable to previous generations of politicians. In the New Labour years this meant the cynical absurdity of those well known horny-handed sons of toil Tony Blair representing Sedgefield , Peter Mandelson Hartlepool, David Miliband South Shields and Ed Miliband Doncaster! (A running joke at the time, again sadly half-believable, was that Peter Mandelson walked into a chip shop in Hartlepool and mistook the mushy peas for guacamole.) Three of those four MP's, of course, subsequently resigned mid-term when it suited their needs.

Once he was leader of the Tories, the self-styled "Heir to Blair" took this strategy to even more shallow and more patronising levels with his self-styled "A-list" candidates. Their behaviour has proved just as selfish and egotistical, as the rampant self-publicist Louise Mensch showed with her resignation from her Corby seat.

Not surprisingly, seeing themselves reduced to little more than envelope stuffers,  local party memberships have atrophied and political alienation has grown. Early indications that people were sick of being treated so arrogantly came as early as the 2005 election when the official Labour candidate for Blaenau Gwent, Maggie Smith, lost the seat to a Labour party member standing as an independent candidate preferred by the local people. Similarly, in 2010, many of Cameron's "A-listers" failed to be elected.

The advent of UKIP as a serious force in the domestic political scene has applied rocket boosters to these trends. Although is probably true that, thanks to the first-past-the -post electoral system,  the rise of UKIP won't be translated into us becoming a major parliamentary force in the short term, what it certainly does do is massively erode the perception of a safe-seat for any of the wings of LibLabCon. Devoid of tribal baggage, UKIP is proving a formidable competitor in those seats where they have been no effective competition for generations. Take the coming by-election in South Shields, a seat that has never elected a Tory MP since the Great Reform Act of 1832. UKIP are unlikely to win the seat, but they are likely to make heavy inroads into the Labour majority. The emergence of a non-tribal contender and four party politics will make it extremely difficult to calculate the effects of voter swings from constituency to constituency.

All that is very bad news indeed for the Political Class, their highly centralised party operations and the rest of their revolting paraphernalia. As constituencies become more marginal and unpredictable, having local candidates and an energised local  constituency team who understand the facts on the ground will be become ever more important. Local associations can expect to gain more power from the centre, and authentic local candidates rather than political class robots selected. Thus, the organic link between the local voluntary political party and it's constituency will be restored.

Ironically, in one sense at least, the rise of UKIP is bringing about Cameron's "Big Society".

Thoughts of a Young Independence member: Immigration

After watching the latest episode of BBC Question Time, I really get a feeling of how Ukip foreign policy is still seen by many people: as something very Nationalistic, and possibly leaning towards xenophobia. It's very saddening, particularly because Ukip is the most global party of the lot - seeing prosperity beyond the regulation fuelled shackles of the EU. Admittedly foreign policy is still quite elusive. There is also a sense that Ukip does not appreciate the melting-pot granted by immigrant populations settling in Britain over the past decades; and this sense is false. I want to differentiate between integrated immigrants and incoming immigrants; as well as assemble some picture of foreign policy, or to the least how I see it.

Yes - Britain is a melting-pot, and that's obviously wonderful as the diversity instilled has really driven our economy forwards, especially in terms of small business which our county has always naturally thrived out of; but mass open door immigration, which brings forth unskilled labour, just increases exploitation. And then there are those who don't work and seep out of the benefit system, as well as getting involved with a lot of criminal activity. Basically, if we left the EU we can get some co-operated skilled immigration from English speaking counties, whose people can integrate. How can we embrace such immigration? It's simple; they've been right under our noses all along. The people of the Commonwealth.

Coincidentally, it has been part of Kippers’ tales for a while now for Britain to negotiate free trade agreements with - our true allies - the Commonwealth under a Ukip government, and perhaps we should go further to establish a military alliance; frankly because it's the best way to uphold a global network which defends against redoubling cascades of threats emerging from the world, and Britain cannot afford to keep it up alone in an epoch of slow growth. That also goes for Britain's - the Commonwealth's - investment in the sciences, and there's nothing wrong with saying we want to be a leading science power once again: it's not looking back because we're a miserable bunch; it's common sense. In the meantime, the EU is an utter fiasco - and Britain must start the process of dismantling it by leaving; and pushing the rest of Europe into a far more flexible, freer agreement in an organisation like the European Free Trade Association, where global countries like Switzerland have cherished for their success.

Moreover, what we have seen in migration descending from EU membership and, bluntly, open door immigration in all aspects, are pockets of societies expanding and drifting apart from Society's mainstream course; and consequently we have seen a rocket in crime, extremism and, (gasp!) artificial Labour tribalism in post-Blair immigrant communities. However, when we look at our previous immigration waves, Commonwealth immigration waves in particular, you see something much more stunning: you see a great deal of respect and concern for the nation, therefore why talks should be held with credible representatives of the Commonwealth community, internally and externally, on how to establish an immigration agreement which makes ambitious skilled newcomers excited, as well as the indigenous population. But it would principally be controlled.

As I write, Lord Ashcroft publishes his ‘open letter’ to Nigel Farage on the Daily Mail, which fundamentally regards Ukip supporters “[knowing] the world is more complicated – a vote for UKIP is a vote against the complication.” This is part of the current wave of smearing leading to the local elections of 2013 where Ukip can feasibly win big; but is only true in the aspect of unfolding the glories of the past – not retreating to the past, where our economy has no chance. The party’s admiration of Thatcher only goes as far as admiring her strength in troubled times, but to attempt to regenerate Thatcherism only demolishes our claim that there is no street Ukip can’t build momentum on; mutatis mutandis Ukip attempts to unify a country previously divided by ideology. And the signs are it's succeeding. Besides, Ashcroft's studies show that a large chuck of the party's supporters are in fact traditional Conservative voters; so this further conveys how out of touch the old establishment are, and the best is wished for Ukip's success in every election.

Saturday 27 April 2013

More Labour postal vote convictions

Three Labour Party activists in Birmingham have been convicted of electoral fraud.

The three were caught in a police raid on what is described as a "vote-rigging factory" set up to defraud the postal vote system.  They were also found guilty of offering money for votes and of using threats and intimidation to secure votes, access ballot papers and intimidate voters.

Last year the Electoral Commission launched a review of vulnerabilities in the electoral system after almost a third of people surveyed after the last election said that electoral fraud had taken place.  In almost all cases it is Labour that are accused of electoral fraud and Baroness Warsi says that it is primarily Asians that are responsible.

There was a time when postal votes were available only for people who were out of the country on election day or too ill or otherwise incapacitated to attend the polling station.  Postal vote fraud in those days was rate, now it's considered to be normal and expected in many places and the party that benefits most from widespread electoral fraud is the party that introduced it.  The widespread fraud around postal voting shows that postal voting on demand is systemically flawed and the only way to stop it is to bring back the restrictions on postal voting that existed before Labour broke the system in 2001.

South Shields by-election office

Conservative anti-UKIP research unit exposed

On Thursday we said that Tory activists had been caught creating fake Facebook profiles pretending to be UKIP supporters and using them to try and discredit UKIP and antagonise supporters.  Today the Commentator reports on leaked documents from CCHQ briefing the Tory supporting press against UKIP candidates.

A team of Conservative Party researchers have been wasting time and money trying to dig up dirt on UKIP candidates rather than trying to win elections.  They have compiled dossiers on UKIP candidates from their Facebook and Twitter activities, even criticising someone's dancing ability in a Facebook video and suggesting that a picture of an undergraduate in a black tie undermined his bid to become a local politician.

As Nigel Farage told the press, UKIP doesn't have the time or resources to vet every one of its 1,700 candidates centrally and relies on branches to vet their own council candidates (Westminster and EU candidates are vetted centrally).  People joining the party sign a declaration that they aren't past or present members of a number of parties and organisations including the BNP, National Front and English Defence League.

In most cases the nutters and undesirables are either prevented from joining or caught out soon afterwards and expelled from the party but sometimes they aren't.  It should be remembered, though, that UKIP is the only party that bans these people from being members whereas the LibLabCon and others have no problem with former Nazi's standing for them or even actively recruit members of racist groups.

Thursday 25 April 2013

LibLabCon dirty tricks in the face of UKIP threat

The big question on everyone's lips for next week's elections is just how badly are the LibLabCon parties going to do at the hands of UKIP.

If you want to know how worried they are about the threat from UKIP then you just need to look at their leaflets and the behaviour of their candidates.

All over the country UKIP candidates are reporting LibLabCon leaflets directly targeting UKIP, warning that a vote for UKIP will split the vote and let in another party.  None of them have positive reasons for voting for a LibLabCon party, they just warn about splitting their vote as if they somehow have an automatic right to a certain percentage of the vote.  As most people have finally come to realise from recent council by-elections, a vote for UKIP lets UKIP win.

There is also a "false flag" campaign with activists from other parties creating fake profiles on Facebook pretending to be UKIP members and saying ridiculous things to try and discredit the party and antagonise UKIP supporters.  One Conservative Party activist happily admitted to doing it when he was caught out and said he was "just doing [his] job".  His fake profiles and his own account have since been suspended by Facebook.  There are also reports of some of these activists phoning in to radio talk shows pretending to be UKIP members and doing the same thing.

We're currently at DEFCON 2 on the Gandhi scale:

Tuesday 23 April 2013

Happy St George's Day

Still no public holiday or official recognition of our national day

Monday 22 April 2013

Iceland "will likely withdraw" EU membership application

The Icelandic government "will likely withdraw" their EU membership application after this month's elections.

Voters go to the polls on 27th April and two parties polling 20-30% each with a coalition agreement already in place have pledged to withdraw the application if they are able to form a government.

The Icelandic government opened membership negotiations with the EU in 2010 despite 70% of Icelanders being opposed to EU membership.  For their sakes, let's hope their membership application is withdrawn.

Concerns about Romanian and Bulgarian immigration aren't xenophobic

There has been some criticism of UKIP's warnings about Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants recently from both the pro-EU media and the Bulgarian government itself with one Bulgarian politician calling UKIP leaflets "propaganda".

Top marks to Gandul for
the ad campaign
The facts about Romania and Bulgaria and the potential for mass immigration into the UK are quite simple.

Romania and Bulgaria are the two poorest countries in the EU and their own governments have expressed concern at the number of people their own polling tells them are planning to leave for the UK as soon as immigration controls are relaxed.

As well as the very poor Romanians and Bulgarians, there are hundreds of thousands of ethnic-Romanian Moldovans who are even poorer and are being given Romanian passports.  There are 3.6m people living in Moldova and 800,000 of them have applied for a Romanian passport and are sat in the backlog waiting to be processed.  Over 1m Moldovans have already left Moldova with nearly a million more waiting to follow them.

We've already written about the Bulgarian residency permit loophole that is being used by organised crime gangs such as the Russian mafia to gain EU passports.

We have seen what happens when you allow a poor eastern European country to join the EU and its people are allowed to migrate freely - they end up here in huge numbers.  There are more Poles in the UK than Irish despite sharing a land border and centuries of shared history.  Romania and Poland are top of the list of EU countries for citizens living in another EU country and the UK has the fourth largest EU immigrant population after Germany, Spain and France.

UKIP doesn't believe that all immigration is bad and despite repeated claims to the contrary, doesn't want to ban immigration.  We have skills shortages that immigrants can fill and of course some people want to move here for family reasons - to get married, to care for family members, etc.  What we don't need is millions of unskilled or low-skilled immigrants competing for jobs and houses that are already in short supply.  This isn't xenophobia as some have claimed, it's common sense and the sort of basic maths that an infant (but apparently not the BBC) should be able to understand.

Very few people in the UK - if any - dislike Romanian or Bulgarian people.  Most people will almost certainly never have met a Romanian or Bulgarian and even fewer will have actually been to either of those countries.  People are worried about the impact on the economy, jobs and housing not the fact that they're foreigners.  No amount of spin, humorous ad campaigns or dodgy maths is going to stop those concerns and when migration restrictions are lifted at the end of the year I have every confidence that UKIP will be proven right once again.

Friday 19 April 2013

UKIP call to arms in South Shields

UK Independence Party
Dear Supporter,

As well as the Council elections on the May 2nd, we also have the South Shields by-election where UKIP's candidate Richard Elvin will be fighting hard for the party.

If we are to repeat another stunning UKIP by-election victory then once again, we need your help.

We need as many people as possible on the ground in South Shields this weekend as postal votes go out Monday and a third (21,848) of people vote by post in the constituency.

Our Campaign Office is at 111 King Street, South Shields, NE33 4DP. Contact telephone number is: 07561409388.

If you would like to help but cannot physically make it to South Shields, then you can still help UKIP fight hard by making a donation.

Whilst I realise that many of you will be busy with your own campaigns, if you could lend just one or two days to this crucial by-election it would be much appreciated.

Lisa Duffy
UKIP Party Director


This is, of course, the busiest time of the year for any political party and 2013 is no exception.  With under a fortnight to go until polling in the County Council elections, the mainstream media are talking up UKIP's prospects.  Our first Party Election Broadcast has already gone out, and seems to have been very well received indeed.  If you missed it, it can be seen again online at http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Cw0ejfjX2yA.

The mainstream media continues to pick up on UKIP's success in getting candidates onto the ballot paper.  Some articles have been more accurate than others .  An article in the Independent newspaper was spectacularly wrong when it said: "The wildcard on May 2 could be the UK Independence Party. The anti-EU party is consistently in double figures in the opinion polls and is fielding 1,001 candidates, up from 319 last year. Its best hopes are in Hull, Hartlepool, Stockton-on-Tees and West Wiltshire."  In actual fact, we have 1,734 candidates – up from 593 last time.  Hull, Hartlepool and Stockton-on-Tees don't even have any Council elections this year, whilst West Wiltshire council was abolished in 2009.

The Daily Mail comes up with rather different figures.  It appears that they have taken only the County Councils (not the unitaries) and looked at which wards each party is contesting, considering multi-member wards as being one ward.  They come to the conclusion that UKIP are standing in more places than the Liberal Democrats, but because of their methods they quote a lower figure for both parties.  They quote UKIP as contesting 1486 seats to the Lib Dems' 1443.  The article is well worth a read: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2310978/UKIP-fight-shire-councils-Lib-Dems-new-poll-puts-Farages-anti-EU-party-DOUBLE-Cleggs-support.html.

There has been another benefit to the surge in the number of UKIP candidates.  We have never had two Council election broadcasts before, but this time we have managed to field so many candidates that we have been allocated an additional broadcast.  The second broadcast will be aired on St. George's Day, Tuesday 23rd April.  It will be shown on BBC1, BBC2 and ITV. (I believe they will be at 6.55pm, 5.55pm and 6.25pm, the same as last week's broadcast, but don't quote me on that yet!)

The Party's membership continues to grow.  In the last newsletter, I reported that the Party had just hit 25,000 members.  Today, I can tell you that April 2013 has already become the busiest month on record (eclipsing June 2004) for new Party memberships – and there are still another 11 days to go in the month!

Meanwhile, the opinion polls continue to look good for UKIP.  In previous forum newsletters, I have discussed opinion polls and methodology in detail.  Opinion polls conducted by telephone traditionally give UKIP low scores, but MORI's April polling shows UKIP on 15% - the highest ever by a telephone polling company.  In another boost for the Party, the same poll showed that Nigel Farage is the only Party Leader with a net positive rating.  One interesting feature of the MORI poll was that it showed UKIP voters being more likely to vote – which should bode well for the Council elections on May 2nd.

In other polls, Angus Reid has shown UKIP on 16% - DOUBLE the Lib Dems' vote share - and YouGov daily polls continue to fluctuate around the 11-12% mark.  Even ICM (which uses a 'spiral of silence' adjustment hugely critical to the UKIP vote) put us on 9%.  The ICM adjustment allocates 'don't knows' to the Party they voted for in 2010, and as UKIP took just 3% in 2010 this hammers our vote projection.  I won't repeat the full analysis and breakdown I've given in previous newsletters, but the skill with understanding opinion polling lies in understanding how different companies' methodologies and assumptions affect the results.  Every poll must be taken in context.

South Shields by-election

The South Shields Parliamentary by-election has now been called on a very short timescale, with polling day being May 2nd – the same as for the County Council elections.  This presents a real challenge as we have members campaigning all over the country at the same time.  Nevertheless, a Parliamentary by-election is always of critical importance.  The campaign office is open for volunteers at 111 King Street, South Shields.  As ever, please contact Party Director Lisa Duffy on 07890 110225 or by email at partydirector@ukip.org if you want more information.  However, the office will of course be open every day until polling day – so please feel free to pop down any time and help out.  The candidate will be North East Regional Chairman Richard Elvin, who previously stood at the by-election in Middlesbrough.

St. George's Meal in Hull

I am informed that there are still a few tickets remaining for the St. George's meal (which takes place tomorrow, 20th April, as the closest Saturday to St. George's Day) in Hull.  UKIP Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall MEP will be the guest speaker for an evening with a three-course meal with a singer and DJ.  The venue is the Mercure Hotel, (formerly station / royal hotel, in the city centre), Ferensway, Hull.  Arrive at 6.30pm for dining at around 7pm.  Tickets for the fundraiser are priced at £35, and a limited number are still available from Ken Hordon on 07766 147526.

UKIP solid Council by-election results continue

Last night, Young Independence member Thomas Hoof took over 26% at a Council by-election in a ward never before contested by UKIP, finishing in second place.  The result in Donnington ward was as follows:

Labour – 426

Thomas Hoof – UKIP – 255

Independent - 120

Conservative – 113

Find your UKIP candidate for the County Council elections

A full list of UKIP candidates for the County Council elections on May 2nd is now available on the Party website.  This list doesn't include those candidates who are standing in Council by-elections on polling day, but does include all of the scheduled elections.

Remember that in 2013, it is almost exclusively County Council elections and therefore most people living in cities do not have Council elections this year.  We have candidates in over 70% of seats, which is an impressive showing.  Remembering that we have only just passed 25,000 members, and that many areas do not have Council elections this year, we have still managed to put over 1,700 candidates onto ballot papers.  In areas which do have elections this year, that means that roughly 10% of our membership are standing as candidates!

Particular praise must go to those counties where the Party has managed to field a full slate of candidates.  I know of four (my apologies for any unintentional omissions): Buckinghamshire, Surrey, West Sussex and Essex. For the full list of candidates, please visit http://ukip.org/page/county-council-election-candidates.

Jonathan Arnott (UKIP General Secretary)

Thursday 18 April 2013

Farage fever to reach new heights? - Commentator

Farage fever to reach new heights?

Before the death of Lady Thatcher, Farage was only party leader with a positive poll rating. Current events can only help that to go up

Farage's following is growing
Andrew Ian Dodge
On 18 April 2013 08:30
The most fascinating thing about the drama surrounding Lady Thatcher’s death and the aftermath is its possible effects on future elections (especially the local ones coming up soon). Speculation has provided a good distraction from the vile hate coming from the far-left.
There were those who were discussing a “Thatcher bounce” for the Conservatives as nostalgia caused Conservatives, both current and lapsed, to rally round. As far as polling goes that may be the case – but no one is sure how long it will last.
UKIP is also benefiting from the nostalgia – but in this case for a strong leader that seems in tune with the nation. UKIP voters are looking for a strong leader that speaks to them, someone who listens to them. In short they are looking for a modern Lady Thatcher. Whether you agree or not, from what we have seen of UKIP poll ratings and the success of the listening tour, that mantle is clearly placed with Farage (for now).
Gone are the days when UKIP events were seen as being filled with cranks with a grudge. Check outthe statement from Fraser Nelson in the “Torygraph” who attended one such stop:
“No one seemed even to vaguely conform to the Prime Minister’s now infamous description of Ukip supporters as ‘fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists’.”
Hell even Nick Cohen, no friend of the right, has realised  that UKIP is a genuine force, not fringe or racist, but serious. Granted he wheels a few clichéd tropes about the party as you might expect. But for someone writing in the Observer, making it clear that UKIP is not “BNP in suits”, it is quite a significant event. The following conclusion should send a twitch of fear down the spine of loyal Tories:
“It is Cameron's fear, rather than any faith in the opinion polls or admiration for the statesmanlike qualities of Ed Miliband, that suggests to me the Conservatives may be in more trouble than they seem.”
And even supporters of Thatcher and the Conservatives have been concerned by the spectacle that Cameron chose to put on for Thatcher’s funeral.  Peter Oborne had this to say about the ceremony”:
“I am afraid that the decision to turn Lady Thatcher's funeral into a state occasion was a constitutional innovation and, like almost all such innovations, both foolish and wrong."
Will those on the right in retrospect cringe at Cameron saying “I think in a way we're all Thatcherite”? And does that help them in areas of the country where memories of Thatcher are not as rosy as one would hope.
Ultimately it may be irrelevant if Cameron wants to engage the UKIP threat or not. With the death of Margaret Thatcher, his weak leadership, and his inability to win an election against the much-maligned Gordon Brown being highlighted again, Britons are looking for a strong strident leader who reminds them of a time when the UK was striving forward.
Before the death of Lady Thatcher, Farage was only party leader with a positive poll rating. Current events can only help that to go up. Expectations are high with Farage needing to deliver on the post-Eastleigh wave. 

Godders calls for St George's Day bank holiday

UKIP MEP, Godfrey Bloom, has called for St George's Day to be made a public holiday in England.

The Grimsby Telegraph reports Godders as saying:
Every year a big fuss is made about St Patrick’s Day and it would be fantastic if as much fuss was made about the patron saint of England.

There has been an improvement in public recognition over the past few years but it is really still a very low key event. It is something UKIP is pushing for and we have today set up an e-petition.

We have far fewer public holidays in this country than many European countries and I believe it would be appropriate for one to be instituted for St George.
We don't have a lower number of public holidays than many European countries, we have the lowest number in Europe.  St Andrew's Day is a public holiday in Scotland and St Patrick's Day is a public holiday in Northern Ireland.

I haven't found the e-petition yet but we'll post details when we get them.

Tuesday 16 April 2013

UKIP Party Election Broadcast

This is, without doubt, UKIP's best ever party election broadcast and my only criticism of it is the "My Britain" theme when it's for the English local elections.

Time to muster the troops

We have received an urgent appeal for help from Mark Staplehurst, a Target seat candidate and one of our best chances of winning a County seat.
Mark is standing in FARNBOROUGH WEST Division.  35,000 leaflets have been got out.  He now needs urgent help with Canvassing.  Without that, potential votes may be lost.
 He says:  "West Heath Ward has 3 elected UKIP councillors, we have a huge opportunity to get our first County seat, so much so that the Sitting County Councillor is in a bit of a flap, so much so she is going round telling many lies, which are falling on many deaf ears, but also on receptive believers!
 I am asking that any UKIP members in Hampshire or the South East that really want a county seat for the party come up to Farnborough to do some serious canvassing with me over the next couple of weeks, only by doing that will we have a chance to get elected. I have spent the last three weeks putting out thousands of leaflets, I now need some help!
 It will be great if we can get a team of 10 – 20 people over 8 evenings (days for those retired and at a loose end!).  FYI if I get elected, I will be putting a proportion of my CC allowance into the Hampshire UKIP pot wherever it is needed, so I am doing this for the greater good, but to get some help would be very helpful at this time, I have run out of time!
 We have a real chance here (we won a 64% majority last year in West Heath, if that is anything to go by it is 60% of the votes we need for the County!) but without the canvassing it won’t happen, as I physically can’t knock 9,870 houses on my own!"
I know everyone is up to their eyes in work - but please, if you can send even 1 or 2 of your branch members for a day it will make a big difference.
 Cllr Mark Staplehurst F.Inst.S.M.M.
34 Green School Lane
GU14 7PS

Mobile: 07834 159439

Monday 15 April 2013

Party Election Broadcasts

With the English local elections less than 3 weeks away, the party election broadcasts are being aired.

The Tories have turned to the UKIP manifesto for their party election broadcast, focussing on tax and the deficit.  They claim that income tax has gone down, that petrol prices have gone down and that people are "quite impressed" with their efforts to reduce the deficit.  Income tax has, of course, gone down for high earners but none of the actors ordinary people they spoke to in the street looked like they earned more than £100k.  Petrol prices have gone up over 40p per litre in the last 5 years and the price is going up and up all the time.  The deficit was down by a considerable amount in February but it was a one-off thanks to a windfall from the Bank of England and the sale of 4G mobile phone spectrum.  The national debt is rising year on year to pay for unsustainable levels of public spending.

Labour's party election broadcast was also clearly influenced by the UKIP manifesto and was all about immigration and immigrants learning English.  Multi-millionaire socialist David Miliband droned on about how immigration was a great thing but that it must be made to work for everyone.  He said that more investment was needed in English language teaching to teach immigrants how to speak English and that teaching immigrants English was more important than most non-essential translation services.  He said that Labour would make it law that public sector workers working face to face with the public had to speak English which will no doubt upset the Welsh who have Welsh language requirements for the same jobs.  This is, he tells us, what "One Nation Britain" is about.  So the party that by its own admission deliberately introduced unfettered immigration as part of a social engineering experiment and is wholeheartedly in favour of deeper integration with the EU which is responsible for our inability to control the majority of immigration into the country is asking voters to trust them to make immigration "work for everyone".

UKIP's first party election broadcast will be aired tonight at 17:55 on BBC2, 18:25 on ITV1 and 18:55 on BBC1.  The second will be aired on St George's Day.

Saturday 13 April 2013

The Two Thatchers And UKIP's Future

After almost a week since the news that Margaret Thatcher died, we have had endless reams of historical analysis, diatribe, twitter storms, hanging-wringing about the state of the nations youth and not least reactions varying between the graceful and dignified to the outright ugly.

After this deluge, and I mean no disrespect, we are getting close to being Thatchered out.

However nonetheless some more comment is necessary. This is because, perhaps enough naturally in the circumstances, there has been very little commentary on what Thatcherism, or it's passing, means for the future. Ed West made a stab at it in the Telegraph, but apart from that serious analysis has been remarkably light.

Plainly, there were two Margaret Thatchers. There was the ultra-courageous, adamantine-willed Boudicca who almost single-handedly brought Britain back from national ruin, unleashing a bonanza of free enterprise and prosperity. Then there was the cold-hearted, cruel and ruthless dragon who decimated manufacturing industry and Northern mining communities in particular. You believe in one or the other: there is no middle ground.

UKIP gets the first Thatcher perfectly. That is hardly surprising when it's leader is almost a caricature of the 1980's Thatcherite wheeling and dealing City trader. But to acquire power, UKIP must also really get to grips with understanding the second. Why is it that so many people, in the North especially, still hate Margaret Thatcher as profoundly as they do? This is a subject many people think they understand, but few really do.

As many people have said in defence of Thatcher this week, it is hard to convey now just how desperate and threatening the situation seemed back then. Industrial strife led by often nakedly political trade union leaders seemed to seriously threaten not just the economic survival of the country but it's very freedom. Growing up as I did in deep red Sheffield at the time, what I remember most is an almost sectarian level of class hatred and a profound resentment and mistrust towards anyone who had succeeded in life. The very idea of profit was a dirty word. The seriousness of threat was greatly magnified by the Cold War and the sinister, enigmatic Soviet Empire to the east. It seems incredible now, but contact with Eastern Europeans was virtually unheard of. Poles, Slovaks, Czech, Russians and even East Germans were all trapped behind the Iron Curtain and the grey melancholy of "Die Mauer" - the Berlin Wall.

The ideological threat that Thatcher succeeded in vanquishing forever loomed very large in our minds, and for this reason many, if not most commentators have assumed that those who hated her were ideologues who found themselves on the losing side. Led at that time by charismatic marxist orators such as Arthur Scargill or Derek Hatton, such people certainly made the most noise, and continue to do so.

The alternative explanation, that people hate and hated Thatcher because they lost their jobs, often baffles right-wing commentators. Yes, millions did. But millions lost their jobs in the recessions before and since. Moreover, Harold Wilson had closed more mines than Margaret Thatcher did. Why then this endless bitterness towards one woman?

It is only now with the perspective of age that I realise that the reasons for that hatred are primarily cultural, not economic. By the end of the 1970s, the industrial working class way of life that had endured and evolved since the industrial revolution itself was on it's last legs. Yes, more jobs losses may have been endured in previous times, but Sheffield still - just - remained Sheffield, Liverpool Liverpool, Manchester Manchester and so on. But Further job losses and the collapse of industries would spell not only economic heartache but the end of these cities' whole reason for being.

It was tough way of life, to be sure, but not without nobility - and a masculine nobility in particular. Working men - and women - could be justly proud not only of doing dangerous and arduous work they faced with stoicism and courage, but of painfully building their communities up from nothing. I remember visiting the district where my late mother was born in the Lower Don Valley a few years ago. At the end of the road was a library - now shut - built by public subscription so that the local people could hope to better themselves through education. It stood as a stark, forlorn but deeply touching symbol of a profoundly dignified but now disgarded culture.

In the early 1980s as the closures and redundancies mounted, men often talked about "being thrown on the scrap heap". But in reality it was a whole way of life that was thrown on the scrap heap, and done so in what appeared to be ruthless indifference. Even if most people in these communities are materially better off today, that psychological wound has never healed.

To those of us to whom Margaret Thatcher was a heroine, the real villains of the piece were her pusillanimous forebears, who must have known the truth but lacked the moral courage to act until the situation became truly desperate. They, not Thatcher, were ultimately the sewers of discord and division.

But it really does not matter what we think. In many areas, her name is mud and always will be, and if UKIP is to be successful in the North, we have to take on board the reasons why, and what can be done to heal the still raw wounds.

As regular readers of this blog will know, I fervently believe that UKIP has a unique opportunity to revitalise the North, devoid as it is of the class baggage of the Tories and the ideological baggage of the Labour Party. Obviously the days when vast industrial concerns employed men by the several thousand are gone forever. But most of the UK can't and won't follow the now somewhat tarnished London City-state model, built, it seems to outsiders, on financial chicanery and hot money. Working class Northerners may admire Nigel Farage's straight-talking manner, but his way of life will never resonate with them.

Instead, UKIP must develop policies that encourage the North to develop it's own form of capitalism based on it's own traditions. The timing is perfect: it seems we are on the cusp of an exciting new technological revolution, with astonishing technologies such as 3-D printing, open source and advanced manufacturing being developed, and, not least, the enormous potential of shale gas.

Moreover, much of the groundwork has already been done: Michael Gove's free schools should allow industrial companies to set up their own technology schools specialising in advanced technologies. Just as importantly, although much of the North may remain bitter about Thatcher, the absurd marxist hostility to profit and enterprise has faded. What is missing is genuine localism where tax raising powers and decision making is devolved to local level. Let the North, not Metropolitan London, determine it's future, and it will rise to the challenge.

It can be done, if only the will - and the sensitivity - is there.

Wednesday 10 April 2013

UKIP fielding record number of election candidates

The numbers are in and UKIP has managed to field 1,727 candidates in the May elections - only 33 less than the Limp Dems.

The last time these same elections were held in 2009 UKIP had just 593 candidates.  We patted ourselves on the backs at getting such an unprecedented number of candidates at the time and were disappointed but satisfied with gaining 8 councillors and finishing second or third in almost every seat we contested.

How times have changed.  We're now looking at nearly three times as many candidates and expecting a lot of them to win.  In the last five weeks we've had five by-election wins - this has never happened before in the party's history and it bodes well for next month.  If tribal voting wins on May 2nd it won't be through lack of trying on UKIP's part.

The extremists aren't doing too well this time round with the Greens fielding just 877 candidates, the BNP fielding 100 and the English Democrats 29 with an ongoing investigation into their Kent candidates list which includes some dubious names such as "Anna Cleves" who apparently lives near Anne of Cleves Road in Dartford and "Steves Uncle" who, according to the nomination papers, lives with a relative of their local organiser and candidate for Swanley division, Steve Uncles and Eastleigh flop Mike Walters.

Tuesday 9 April 2013

Conservative member of 50 years defects to UKIP ahead of county council elections

Conservative member of 50 years defects to UKIP ahead of county council elections

A CONSERVATIVE member of more than 50 years has defected to UKIP and will now stand against his former party in May’s county council elections.

Harry Carr, 72, a former Tory district councillor, made up his mind to leave the party before Christmas and will now contest the newly created Stroud Central ward for Nigel Farage’s anti-EU party next month.

Mr Carr, who joined the Conservatives as a 16-year-old after leaving school, said he was ‘totally dissatisfied’ with the party’s policies and its leader David Cameron, who he said ‘changes his mind every two months’.

At a national level, Mr Carr said he was unhappy with his party’s stance on Europe and uncomfortable with welfare reforms which were ‘taking money off disabled people’.

He also criticised Gloucestershire County Council’s Conservative administration for signing a contract with Urbaser Balfour Beatty for the Javelin Park incinerator before planning permission had been awarded.

"All those years I was a Conservative but I’ve just become totally dissatisfied," he said.

"There are a lot of Conservatives turning to UKIP at the moment. Their politics are very honest, very straightforward and they do exactly what they say on the tin."

Debbie Young, the Conservative Party candidate for Stroud Central, said: "One of the reasons why Harry has jumped ship to UKIP is because he wasn’t selected for the seat which I’m standing in so it is a shame really.

"We all have disagreements with our party both locally and nationally but sometimes you just have to swallow it.

"Just like any Labour Party member I would never say I agreed with every single thing my party did. I was outspoken about the incinerator at the district council, for example, but the Conservatives are still my political party."

Mr Carr and Cllr Young will also be standing against the current Green Party councillor, Sarah Lunnon, Labour's Tosca Cabello-Watson, and Adrian Walker-Smith of the Liberal Democrats in the elections on May 2.

Agent Cameron's Road to Nowhere

It is reported that Our Man in the Tory Party, Agent Cameron, is considering "going it alone" with his very, very, most exceedingly important review of EU competences after being humiliatingly rebuffed by France and Germany.

It's difficult knowing whether to laugh or cry. What exactly does he hope to achieve by such a fruitless exercise, apart from the further personal humiliation and demoralisation of his own party? It really is truly heart-breaking that we have been reduced to the point as a nation where "going it alone" means our government gets to conduct a nice, shiny review all by itself without outside intrusion.

This revelation, coming as it has a day before the death of the titanic patriot Margaret Thatcher, shows in stark relief how far we have fallen in such a short time. Much of the national malaise who those of us were alive in the 70s remember, has returned. Weak leaders, cynicism and a lack of national belief stalk the land.

But given that it's usually better to laugh rather than cry, here is a parody of Agent Cameron's position, to be sung to the tune of Talking Heads "Road To Nowhere" (with apologies to David Byrne).

"Well we don't know where were goin',
But we know, where we've been,
And we know, what we are knowin',
But we can't tell them, what it means,
Because we, are little college kids,
And we love, our careers,
But our future's now uncertain,
Because the voters, have worked us out.

We're on a road to nowhere!
Our policies a laughing stock,
Takin' that ride to nowhere!
Our heads on the block!

We say we want powers back from the EU!
It's foolish we know,
We are on the road to electoral oblivion!
Here we go, here we go.

We know it drives you plebs crazy,
But we don't care,
Stand on principle?
We don't dare, we don't dare.

Tell you our true beliefs? 
That's not our style,
Because underneath,
We are all Europhile.

We are all running scared now,
We didn't suspect,
That you'd have the intelligence,
To UKIP elect.

Yes we're on a road to nowhere,
We're on a road to nowhere,
We're on a road to nowhere
We're on a road to nowhere"

UKIP the only party to contest every division in Surrey

The Conservatives have cocked up in Surrey, failing to submit the paperwork for sitting councillor, Simon Gimson, to stand in the May elections to defend his seat.

As a result of the mistake, UKIP is the only party fielding candidates in every division of Surrey County Council.

If recent by-election results are anything to go by, Shalford is the one to put money on!

UKIP win in North East Lincolnshire

UKIP had another by-election win on Thursday with Stephen Harness gaining a second seat on North East Lincolnshire Council.

Cllr Harness secured 42% of the vote to take the seat off the Tories.  He will join Cllr Ron Shepherd who was elected to represent Scartho last year to form a UKIP group.

Stephen HarnessUKIP1,09842
Harry HallCon73828
Ashley SmithLab47018
Stephen SteadLib Dem31112

Turnout: 30%

Monday 8 April 2013

RIP Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher died peacefully this morning after suffering a stroke.

Baroness Thatcher was a controversial character, loved by the right and viciously hated by the left.  She started off well but during the later years of her term in office the line between strong leader and stubborn dictator were blurred.

While there will be partying in the streets by left wing politicians and trade unionists, most will be saddened by her death.  I grew up in a household that suffered by Thatcher's later policies and she was certainly far from popular in our family but as time has gone on it is clear that her successors all, without exception, pale in comparison.  I would rather endure a decade under Thatcher of old than a year under these LibLabCon cretins.

Farage's High Wire Act

It is fair to say that the endless talk of pacts between UKIP and other parties is a sensitive issue amongst UKIP members. Previously, reports that Nigel Farage discussed the possibilities of a UKIP-Tory pact over dinner with Rupert Murdoch were received with less than unalloyed joy. Now, Farage announces that he could indeed see a pact with a Boris-lead Tory party,and that he would be happy to explore the possibility of a pact “with theDevil” if it lead to our country exiting from the European Union. This latter comment was interpreted to mean that Nigel would be happy to do a deal with Labour or even the Liberal Democrats, assuming, of course, that he doesn’t regard either as worse than the Devil.

The UKIP strategy is now becoming clear. Sending out the message that UKIP would deal with a Boris-led Tory party further undermines David Cameron's position. At the same time, hinting at the potential for a deal with Labour means that it's notoriously tribal supporters will have less fear of at least “lending” their vote to UKIP in forthcoming local elections, the South Shields byelection and of course 2014 European elections, all adding to our momentum.

A strategy that places greater emphasis on undermining Labour support in the run up to the 2015 General Election also makes strategic sense at this time: it is an ever growing concern that some form of Labour – Liberal coalition will be formed after the next election, and the Liberal Democrats especially will use the opportunity to lock us forever into the EU structures. Indeed, it was reported recently that the Lib Dems, obsessed as they are with constitutional matters above all else, are starting to explore some form of constitution for the UK to be put into place after the next election. You can bet the house that whatever is put forward would be designed with ultimate subservience to Europe in mind. Even a majority Labour government maybe happy to indulge the Lib Dems in this: after all, Labour were not adverse to outrageous gerrymandering of the system for their own ends when in power.

To stop this happening, a more Eurosceptic position from the Labour party must be locked in prior to the next General Election, so holding out the olive branch of a pact makes sense. Moreover, as the recent debacles on welfare and immigration have shown, Labour is now hideously vunerable, being wholly out of touch with their voting base on both highly emotive issues. If UKIP start making serious inroads into Labour support in the run up to the 2015 election and it becomes a very close race, it’s likely that both Tory and Labour parties will seek to move more closely to UKIP’s position in an ever more frenetic bidding war. Meanwhile UKIP has to do nothing more than drop appropriate hints here and there, while always keeping it’s options open.

Thus, rather like Queen Elizabeth who constantly played off her two more powerful rivals, France and Spain, against each other, Farage’s UKIP is a maid who will be  “wooed but never won”.

None of this, of course, resolves the dilemma of what exactly we would do if we found ourselves in the position of being able to forge “a pact with the Devil” after 2015. Having made so much of being apart from the corrupt consensus, how would we not be inevitably tainted by association?

And that’s the ultimate problem with pacts with the Devil. As the saying goes, when you sup with him, it’s best to use a long spoon.