Tuesday 31 December 2013

Happy New Year

2013 has been the most successful year of the party's history. We've increased our membership threefold and had our best ever set of election results. Here's to an even more successful 2014 and an historic victory in the EU elections.

Romanians and Bulgarians already heading for the UK

The Daily Fail is reporting that all flights and buses from Romania and Bulgaria to the UK are fully booked for weeks with one airline charging £3k for a one-way ticket.

In just a few hours, immigration controls will be lifted for Romanian and Bulgarians and hundreds of thousands of the poorest people in the EU are expected to come to the UK.  Those claiming to be self employed will be entitled to benefits from the day they arrive whilst access to the health and education services are available to all from day one.

That eastern Europeans have an excellent work ethic isn't really in dispute- the problem is that there aren't enough jobs to go around the people who already live here without flooding the job market with low paid immigrant labour, no matter how skilled or hard working they are.

The line taken by the left is that working immigrants pay tax and contribute positively to the economy but they conveniently ignore the fact that every newly arrived immigrant that finds work is depriving someone who already lives here of a job so unless that newly-arrived immigrant is earning enough to pay the cost of the services the state provides them as well as the cost of providing services and benefits to an unemployed person they are costing the taxpayer money.

The minimum wage in Romania and Bulgaria is £135 and £115 respectively; in the UK it's over £990. It's not hard to see why the UK is so attractive to people who want to work and with one of the easiest and most generous social security systems it's obvious why the UK is so attractive to people who don't.

The empty promises David Cameron made to bring in last minute restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians to protect the economy came to nothing as expected - another worthless Cast Iron Guarantee™. The promises to charge immigrants for using the NHS and make them wait before they can claim benefits are similarly worthless when the EU is already taking the UK to court for breaching EU laws requiring immigrants from other EU member states to have the same access to benefits as people already living here.

The simple fact is, we can't do anything to tackle the imminent influx of Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants or the detrimental impact they will have on jobs, services and the economy whilst we remain members of the EU and only UKIP will take us out.

Second ice breaker stuck in antarctic ice

There has been another setback in the rescue mission for the stranded ship carrying climate scientists and journalists researching melting ice in the Antarctic after one of the rescue ships has become stuck in the ice itself.

The Akademik Shokalskiy has been stuck in thick ice for a week and a number of rescue attempts have failed with ice breakers unable to clear a path. The latest plan was to effect a rescue by air using the Aurora Australis and Xue Long but the Xue Long has itself become stuck in the ice.

As if a ship full of climate change propaganda merchants getting stuck in the ice they were supposed to be telling us was disappearing wasn't ironic enough.

Sunday 29 December 2013

Farage calls for UK to take in Syrian refugees

Nigel Farage has called for the UK to take in some refugees from the civil war in Syria.

According to the BBC there are an estimated 9m Syrian refugees and there has been agreement to house only 12,000 of them in various countries.  The Labour Party says it wants to accept between 400 and 500 refugees, the Tories and Lib Dems want to accept none and throw hundreds of millions of taxpayers' money at the problem instead.

Farage's comments have attracted both criticism and support from members and supporters. Most of the criticism seems to stem from a misunderstanding of what a refugee is. Refugees are not economic migrants looking for a better life in another country, nor are they people fleeing persecution wanting to settle in another country. Refugees are people forced to leave their homes because their lives are at risk who are expected to go home when it is safe to do so.

Some people have questioned the practicality or sense in accepting Syrian refugees when we are already short of houses, jobs and money and a popular suggestion is that they are sent to Saudi Arabia or another of Syria's Arab neighbours.

Refugees - like asylum seekers - can't work so they won't be taking jobs off people. I would expect them to go to a refugee camp and remain there for the duration of their stay (and by refugee camp I mean something like a disused industrial estate, not a tent city in some fields). They wouldn't be taking houses or jobs off people already living here because they would be living in the refugee camp and they wouldn't be working.

The British government has already pledged £525m in aid for Syria and has promised to give more to help the UN raise £4bn for Syrian refugees so there is clearly money available to help them. Rather than give that money to the UN or an aid charity that will eat up a big chunk of it in administration costs and wages, let's bring some refugees over here and give them what they need ourselves.

Sending Syrian refugees to neighbouring countries risks spreading the conflict to the wider Middle East and increases the risk of vulnerable people being radicalised.

Of course, it's highly likely that some of the refugees would claim asylum when the time came to go home but that's no more likely than would happen if they weren't already here as refugees. Being a refugee doesn't make you any more likely to be a successful asylum seeker - in fact it probably makes you less likely to be successful because your refugee status ends when your host nation's government deems your home country to be safe.

Nigel Farage has put UKIP's humanitarian credentials on the table for all to see today. While the LibLabCon want to throw money at the problem and at best allow a token handful of refugees to seek safety here, UKIP is saying that we should honour our moral and legal obligations to provide temporary safe refuge to people whose lives are in danger in their own country. Some UKIP members and supporters will be unhappy with this announcement but such is life. We are a broad church in UKIP and if you can't tolerate the party having policies you disagree with then you're going to be sadly disappointed wherever you make your political home.

Saturday 28 December 2013

It's going to be 2014 and we still have FPTP

In 2013 we have witnessed spectacular technological breakthroughs as a planet, with artificial intelligence with greater intelligence, smart watches, the XBox One, and the Japanese have even  managed to teleport a particle from point A to point B; but back at home manage to cling onto exceeding ancient realms. One of those is the voting system for general elections - the First Past The Post.

Frankly, how can anyone wake up in the morning with such a disastrously unrepresentative voting system? It's a serious issue that has to be dealt with, especially in a epoch when Britain is entering a crampy interval of five party politics, including Ukip and the LibLabConSNP - which will soon be four with the bump off of the Liberal Democrats. And ultimately we are in very colourful interval in British politics with LabCon only achieving 67% of the vote in 2010, the SNP has an overall majority in Scotland, Ukip's successes in various European and local elections and the different range of political parties dominating Northern Ireland.

I've never found sense in pointing out the flaws of FPTP to MPs because, simply, they know the flaws only too well. You want a scandal? There's a massive one right under our noses crippling any opposition to the two main parties, establishing 'safe seats' where party bosses can cherry pick their whipped candidates and the apparent victories of candidates with an, often extreme, minority of their constituents' vote - 66.6% to be precise. 

The AV referendum was a very cunning distraction to an exceedingly serious debate but few are ever going to be at peace until we have a proportional system that has MPs representing constituents. A lead campaign tactic seemed to be the fortunes of extremist parties under reform. It was not understood that in the eyes of democracy there is no such thing as a political party which must be excluded from the political process; and besides, it was unlikely to see any extremes under AV. 

FPTP's golden monkey has always been that it continually assembles strong, stable government, however that has no longer been the case  and that case seems more and more inane as both failed old parties lose voters to others, particularly Ukip. There is the Single Transferable Vote which is relatively proportional AND provides strong, stable government, like is seen in Northern Ireland and New Zealand. All that will solve this democratic deficit is a grassroots movement thoughout the country, because this set of MPs have absolutely nothing to offer which would make real change.

Let's enter 2014 with our eyes open.

Friday 20 December 2013

Private Eye on Cameron's illegal EU immigration crackdown

Ian Hislop might be an annoying little tit but Private Eye is on the ball over Cameron's sham immigration crackdown. All the restrictions he says he's going to bring in for EU immigrants before the end of the year are illegal under EU law.

Labour and Lib Dem councillors defect to UKIP

A Labour councillor in Barking & Dagenham and a Lib Dem councillor in Worthing have defected to UKIP this week.
Cllr Dee Hunt has been a Labour Party member for 25 years and a Labour councillor for 12 years. She has also been mayor of Barking & Dagenham. Cllr Hunt will join Cllr Robert Douglas - who defected from Labour to UKIP in September - to form a UKIP group on Barking & Dagenham Council.
Cllr Trevor England has been a Lib Dem councillor on Worthing Borough Council since 2010 and joins Cllr Charles James who was leader of Worthing Conservatives until he defected to UKIP in July. Cllr England cited UKIP's policy of not whipping its elected representatives as the deal clincher.

Wednesday 18 December 2013

Daily Mail in second attack on Victoria Ayling

The Daily Mail launched another attack on Cllr Victoria Ayling at the weekend in a desperate attempt to recover from the embarrassment of being comprehensively dressed down by readers on their own website the previous week.

Last week's smear was based around a heavily edited video from several years ago given to them by Cllr Ayling's bitter ex-husband in which she said that she would like to send all illegal immigrants home. Despite being classic Daily Mail rhetoric, they tried to portray this as a racist outburst with the result that the comments section on the website was flooded with comments agreeing with her and criticising the Daily Mail for attacking her.

The latest attack on her is a claim that she was a member of the National Front in the past - again this has come from her ex-husband and this time her mother has joined in, making "the painful decision to speak about the past for the sake of the family" and saying that she doesn't think her daughter should be a politician.

Cllr Ayling says that she attended National Front meetings as a student as part of her research for her thesis for a politics degree. Her ex-husband says this is a cover story, her mother says she doesn't remember it being about a degree and one of her friends who is such a good friend he helped the Daily Mail carry out a second attack on her a week after the last one says that she was a member and took him along with her.

The Daily Mail has once again referred to her as a "trusted ally" of Nigel Farage and refer to "public outrage at her comments" despite there being no such public outrage at her, just at the Daily Mail for its attack on Cllr Ayling.

Cllr Ayling says that this is just the latest in a "bitter vendetta" against her by her mother and it certainly seems that way.  She says that her ex-husband took to cross-dressing and forced her to go out with him while he was dressed as a woman and cheated on her with other women.  She says that he refused to leave the family home when their marriage broke down and threatened to go public with details of their divorce which she wanted to avoid for the sake of their son.

The Daily Mail's obsession with Cllr Ayling, their misleading comments, their reckless disregard for the welfare of her son and providing a platform for what is evidently a campaign of vindictiveness and revenge by her mother and ex-husband is irresponsible and unprofessional.

Tuesday 17 December 2013

Survation polling shows UKIP the only competition in 3 more constituencies

The latest constituency polling by Survation on behalf of Alan Bown will make grim reading for the Tories who are going to have to rethink their strategy of telling people that voting UKIP lets Labour win after another three constituencies are shown to be a two horse race between UKIP and Labour.

UKIP donor Alan Bown has commissioned Survation to conduct polling in some marginal constituencies and the results are clear: only UKIP can beat Labour or Conservative in 5 of the 7 constituencies polled so far.

In the South Thanet constituency UKIP is polling in second place and most UKIP voters wouldn't vote Conservative even if there was no UKIP candidate. In Great Grimsby UKIP is polling in second place and 70% of people who said they'd vote UKIP didn't vote Tory last time.  In Dudley North constituency UKIP is polling in third place.

The latest four constituencies carry on that theme.

In Folkestone & Hythe constituency UKIP is polling second behind the Conservatives in what was a safe seat in the last general election with a 19% Tory lead over the Lib Dems who are now polling in fourth place on just 10%. The Conservatives are still polling in first place with 35% of the vote but UKIP is closing the gap with 28%, followed by Labour on 21%.

In Bognor Regis & Littlehampton constituency UKIP is again polling second behind the Conservatives in what was an even safer seat than Folkestone at the last general election. Here the majority of 27% the Tories enjoyed in 2010 has been slashed to 10% with UKIP well clear of Labour. The Tories are polling 37%, UKIP are polling 27%, Labour are polling just 20% and the Lib Dems are again languishing in fourth place on a measly 10%.

Great Yarmouth is probably the most interesting result. The UKIP vote has gone from 5% in 2010 to 30% which is enough to move to second place. The Tories currently hold Great Yarmouth but Labour are now polling in first place with 37%, UKIP is second with 30%, Conservatives are third with 28% and the Lib Dems an irrelevant fourth with just 4%. The results show that UKIP is attracting almost as many Labour voters as Tories in Great Yarmouth.

Finally, in Crewe & Nantwich the UKIP vote is lower than in the other three constituencies polled at 11% (compared to 3% in 2010) but these are fairly evenly spread across traditional Tory and Labour voters. The weak UKIP vote means Labour are predicted to hold Crewe & Nantwich (the scene of one of the most hypocritical negative election campaigns Labour has ever run in 2010) with 46% of the vote, the Tories are second on 33%, UKIP are third on 11% and the Lib Dems are fourth on 6%.

Most people who intend to vote UKIP said they would vote UKIP even if it meant Ed Miliband becoming Prime Minister (another one of the ridiculous non-arguments the Tories have been peddling as a reason to vote for them) and most people said they wouldn't vote at all if there was no UKIP candidate. This shows quite clearly that there is a UKIP vote that is tribally UKIP and not a loaned vote from one of the other parties. This is another milestone in the maturity of the party and demonstrates UKIP's successful transition from a single issue protest a decade ago to the third party in UK politics and a credible party of government.

Saturday 14 December 2013

Snow in the Middle East, scientists fear for their bank accounts

Snow has fallen in Cairo for the first time in over a century as wintery weather has brought snow to Egypt, Syria, Israel, Palestine, Jerusalem and Lebanon.

There are some fake pictures doing the rounds (some good, some just using Google's new auto-awesome snow effect) but there are many verified pictures on every major news website showing snowy scenes in Cairo and Jerusalem and confirmed reports that two Egyptian ports have been closed because of the snow. Jerusalem experienced a blizzard yesterday which dumped 20" of snow on the city.

Children playing with frozen global warming in Egypt
Picture: Egypt Independent
Of course, when I say "every major news website" that doesn't include the BBC whose policy of suppressing stories that don't promote global warming has become so extreme that there is no mention of the freak event on the BBC News website which instead carries a story about how scientists think the Bar-Tailed Godwit will be able to cope with climate change and continues its blanket coverage of Nelson Mandela's death.

The news of snow falling in the Middle East will have the global warming propaganda merchants spinning for their lives at the prospect of losing their lucrative grants in the face of reality. We've been told for years that the earth is getting hotter and we're all going to die from global warming unless we start living like nomadic hunter gatherers yet the weather stubbornly refuses to do as it's told to back up their crazy, discredited theories.

There will come a point very soon where even the most stubborn politician will have to say "sorry, we were wrong" and a lot of the snake oil salesmen who've been masquerading at scientists are going to have to readjust their lifestyle when the propaganda slush fund suddenly dries up.

Tuesday 10 December 2013

UKIP councillor "racist" smear by Daily Mail

On Saturday the Tory-supporting Daily Mail published a smear against UKIP Councillor Victoria Ayling, accusing her of making an "astonishing racist rant" in a 2008 campaign video given to them by her bitter ex-husband.

Cllr Ayling publicly resigned at the Conservative Party conference earlier this year telling David Cameron to his face how disappointed she was with him. The disappointment at Cameron's weakness - even 5 years ago - is obvious from the 2 minute extract of the 20 minute video that the Daily Mail have published.

By careful editing the Daily Mail has managed to remove the context from the video to enable them to make the accusations of racism. The "astonishing racist rant" was Cllr Ayling saying that all illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers - people with no legal right to be in the country - should be repatriated.

As well as smearing Cllr Ayling, the Daily Mail is trying to portray her as a "close ally" of Nigel Farage. They point out she has a picture of herself standing next to him, that she spoke on stage at conference, that she was invited to a photoshoot in London by him and claim that he fast-tracked her as a council candidate.

Nigel Farage has his picture taking with hundreds of people at conferences because he's extremely popular not just with members but with ordinary people. Having a photo of yourself with him doesn't make you a "close ally".

A great many ordinary members speak at conference and I had a 2 minute cameo appearance at one conference trying to convince members not to vote to send Nigel Farage on a "tour de force" of Scotland to promote the union (the vote passed and he ended up having to have a police escort out of a pub in Edinburgh but hey, you can't win them all). Speaking at Conference doesn't make you a "close ally".

Every UKIP councillor was invited to London to take part in a photoshoot as part of the party's anniversary celebrations. I got the invite as well. It wasn't a personal invite from Nigel Farage, it was arranged by the conference organisers and the press office. Being one of hundreds of councillors invited to a photoshoot doesn't make you a "close ally".

Nigel Farage is leading the fastest-growing political party in the UK - a party with over 30,000 members - as well as a group of 35 MEPs in the EU Parliament. The idea that he has the time or inclination to personally intervene in the selection of a candidate for a county council election when the party was coordinating the largest local election campaign in its history is frankly ridiculous.

We can expect more of these attacks from Tory and Labour supporting newspapers as the EU elections get closer and certainly when the 2015 general election campaign starts. The smear has backfired on the Daily Mail judging by their readers' comments which are overwhelmingly in favour of Cllr Ayling's comments and critical of the newspaper for attacking her.

Wednesday 4 December 2013

UKIP second and third in Grimsby and Dudley

Another two of Alan Bown's constituency polls have been published by Survation showing UKIP in second place for Great Grimsby and a close third for Dudley North.

The first of these polls showed that UKIP is the only party that can beat Labour in South Thanet.  These two polls aren't as close but they show that UKIP's vote is consistently holding up in key marginals and that UKIP is as big a threat to Labour as it is to the Tories.  In all three cases, the Lib Dems are an irrelevant smudge at the bottom of the graph.

Great Grimsby and Dudley North are 9th and 10th on the Conservative Party's list of most winnable seats which would suggest a drubbing for the Tories at the next election.  What is really interesting is that 70% of people who said they would vote UKIP in the next general election didn't vote Tory last time.  The claim that UKIP only attracts Tory voters and that voting UKIP lets Labour win is just nonsense as these polls are showing.

Sunday 1 December 2013

Nigella is a Symbol of MetroLib Decline

Times come and go, but usually it takes the fall of a specific individual to crystallise in the minds of the people that an age has well and truly passed.

In the 1980s, a signal that the "greed is good" era had become passe was the conviction of the financiers Ivan Boesky and later Michael Milken for insider trading scandals. Now, it is at least arguable that the end of Metropolitan Liberal cultural predominance is symbolised by the fall from grace of Nigella Lawson. Of course, it should be stated that the allegations of drug taking made against her are unproven, but it hard to see how her "brand", to use the ghastly MetroLib phrase, has not suffered irreversible damage.

Nigella was the perfect symbol of MetroLib ascendancy - a media superstar who became fabulously wealthy from her own efforts, she personified the new go-getting successful woman who could "have it all". In many ways a very admirable individual, her fate may seem in some ways  rather unfair. If as alleged she did turn to substance abuse after personal tragedy, she is far from the first person to do so, and there are many members of her MetroLib tribe who are far more deserving of public ridicule - a certain T. Blair immediately springs to mind.

However, her travails are merely a symbol of something that has been apparent for some time - namely that the time of Metropolitan Liberal ascendency is coming to an end. As always happen when an elite goes into decline, the first stage is confusion and denial: the raging MetroLib blairite Dan Hodges, who fittingly seems to have switched his allegiance from the Labour to the Conservative Party, argues for a mere tactical retreat from Tory  "modernisation". This is just a temporary blip, you understand, and normal service will soon be resumed, particularly as the economy improves.

Well, maybe that is what life looks like from their North London bunkers, but the fact is the economy is not going to improve in any meaningful sense anytime soon, if ever. It's underlying structural weaknesses and  malign trends remain extant, as will become apparent once the sugar rush of Osborne's cynically engineered housing boom comes to an end.  Even with major structural reform, the huge debts we have accrued mean we simply can not afford the easy prosperity we once took for granted.

Whether we like it or not, our society simply can longer afford to be dominated by the insufferably smug, effete, emotionally driven impulses of the Metropolitan London elite any longer. Most people realise this, and are less and less willing to tolerate it's excesses.

I can not put it better than the commenter "Vampiresquidandchips" on the Telegraph blogs, who said in response to Hodges' delusions:

"The liberal progressive, soft-left politics of the North London elite belong to a decadent, whimsical era of economic boom and the ascendency of style over substance.

We live now in serious and dangerous times, requiring people of substance to take difficult decisions based on common sense and dealing with the world as it is, and not as we wish it were. The days when we could afford the luxury of having the country run by a cabal of light weight, posturing show ponies, all trying to solve global poverty one glass of champers at a time, are over."

For the MetroLibs, it will never quite be glad, confident self-adoring again.