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Friday, 28 May 2010

Thirsk and Malton Result

Toby Horton, UKIP's candidate for the Thirsk & Malton constituency, polled 6.6% in yesterday's election to come in in fourth place.

Toby almost doubled the Liberal Party's vote and was just shy of half the Labour Party's vote.

Although I'm sure he's disappointed not to have won, he should at least be reassured by the fact that he broke the 5% barrier to retain his deposit, beat the Liberal Party and achieved over a 100% swing for UKIP.

Thursday, 27 May 2010

Thirsk & Malton

Good luck to Toby Horton who today finds out whether he will become UKIP's first MP.

The Thirsk and Malton election was postponed due to the sad death of the previous UKIP candidates, John Boakes and is being held today.

Toby used to be Conservative constituency association chairman for William Hague's constituency and once stood against Tony Blair in Sedgefield.

Best of luck Toby!

Monday, 17 May 2010

UKIP offering free membership

UKIP is now offering 12 months free membership for new joiners.

Free members don't get voting rights in the party until they convert to full (paid) membership, nor do they get Independence magazine but they do get an e-newsletter and advance notice of UKIP events in their area and more importantly, an opportunity to stick two fingers up at the tired old LibLabCon parties.

This is what's referred to in business as a loss leader - you give something away to gain from it at a later date.  It's a great idea and I'm sure it'll bring in a lot of new members.

You've got nothing to lose so why not sign up for free membership?  And if you do decide to continue your membership after the free 12 month period, I believe it's the lowest membership fee of any UK party!

Sunday, 16 May 2010

German Marks re-printed?

(Click to enlarge)

The collapse of the Euro has been predicted by Ambrose Evans-Pritchard for some time, and now, speculation (pardon pun) is gathering pace as people begin to grasp that the massive Greek bailout is but a mere sticking plaster. It merely buys time.

Most pundits (Bob Chapman amongst them) believe that the Euro is toast and that Greece will never be able to repay its debts, even if its loans are restructured.

Germany would be hit harder than any other nation, should Greece default - or any of the PIGS, and for this reason, there is speculation that it has begun printing German Marks.


Monday, 10 May 2010

Is it time for Lord Pearson to go?

Saturday, 8 May 2010

We need answers

Well, all the results are in and for UKIP they're pretty disappointing.

There are some positives to take from the results though, it's certainly not all negative.

UKIP received 917,832 votes across the UK - not that far off a million votes.  By vote share, UKIP is the fourth largest party in the UK by a considerable amount.  The fact that UKIP secured 3.1% of the vote but returned no MPs whilst the far left Green Party only managed a trifling 285,616 votes nationally and managed to return an MP is proof, if proof were needed, that some form of proportional representation is desperately needed.

This time round, 62 candidates achieved 5% or above of the vote and kept their deposits.  This is a great improvement on the 2005 general election and reflects in an increase of about 1% in the overall UKIP vote.

So why the poor result?  The Leaders "Debate" programmes had some bearing in the poor performance of anyone not in the LibLabCon coalition, as did the Tory newspaper adverts on the fictitious and spurious "dangers" of a hung parliament.  But ultimately it was down to sheep-like voters doing what they've done for decades and voting for the same dishonest, corrupt, thieving politicians based on nothing other than the colour of their rosettes.

Sadly, UKIP is still seen as a predominantly single-issue party and to a certain extent the mentality inside the party bears that out.  But UKIP does have a full manifesto and most members aren't focussed entirely on the EU.  I don't know how we can shake of these misconceptions but it has to be done.  The media don't help by concentrating on the EU whenever they talk to Nigel Farage or Lord Pearson but then how much effort does the party put into presenting spokesmen (or women) for other topics?  That's a rhetorical question, by the way, the answer is "not enough".

Incredibly, there are still people who haven't heard of UKIP.  I say incredibly because UKIP came second in the EU elections last year and came close to getting a million votes in the general election this year.  Most people have heard of the Green Party, the BNP and even the Monster Raving Loony Party yet by vote share, UKIP is bigger than the Greens and the BNP combined.  However, if someone says they don't know who UKIP is, they often know who Nigel Farage is and that's another one of the problems facing the party - Nigel is still seen as the de facto leader of the party and is the most (perhaps only) recognisable figurehead.

If Lord Pearson intends to stay on as leader then he needs to have some answers.  How is he going to raise our profile?  How is he going to improve communication with candidates, activists and other supporters?  How is he going to increase membership?  How is he going to bring us some big name supporters?  How is he going to bring in some serious cash?  And most importantly, how is he going to bring us electoral success?  I'm not saying that Lord Pearson should resign or that members should attempt to oust him because of this disappointing election result but if he can't answer these questions and somebody else has then he should step aside and let them do what he's so far been unable to do.

A lot of people put an incredible amount of hard work into this election and the result really didn't reflect the effort that was put in.  There will most likely be another election before the year is out and we must be ready to fight it but we need some answers before we get started.  The question is, who is going to answer them?

An open Letter to Lord Pearson and the UKIP leadership

In the aftermath of another disappointing set of election results the leadership must make some crucial decisions, and involve the party membership in the decision making process. The failure of the party leadership to listen to rank and file members is culpable. UKIP must decide if it’s a party only interested in gaining seats in Europe or if it has ambitions to be a mainstream political party, dedicated to governing in Westminster. The concept that gaining seats in the EU would raise the party’s profile in the UK election is no more than a myth as results demonstrates.

If UKIP has a genuine desire to gain seats at Westminster, then we must get away from the concept that UKIP is a grass roots party and join the real political world by understanding what is required to gain seats in parliament, that means UKIP must become a professional mainstream political part. That requires a change in party structure, policies, funding and targeting seats; it requires a change of attitude towards the whole concept of where UKIP stands today, UKIP can no longer be led by mavericks wearing a Tory rosette on one lapel and a UKIP rosette on the other. It can no longer wash its dirty linen in public; it can no longer consider coming fourth a success story or keep using lack of publicity as an excuse for failure. UKIP must take action to bring in professional fundraisers, professional PR consultants and professional leadership.

The results from this election confirm that in order to gain seats any candidate requires both funds and a large team on the ground for months not weeks before an election, the next GE will s in all probability be held within the next 18 months, so planning must start now.

UKIP must understand that it currently lacks the funding and activists to contest the 400 plus seats that were contested at the current election, putting up paper candidates is not the way forward. UKIP should be looking at targeting between 50 and 75 seats selecting these candidates using a professional approach not the “who ‘s willing to stand’ approach each candidate to be approved by the NEC based on their ability to win the seat. Once selected the candidates must be support financially and by a strong election tem at constituency level.

The importance of gaining seats on local councils cannot be underestimated, nor should the importance of local issues when campaigning for parliament. Local council elections are scheduled in many regions for next May (Possible coinciding with a fresh GE) again UKIP must start planning now by selecting candidates, holding local surgeries and general becoming active at community level. None of this will happen on its own, it requires coordination at national, region and local level.

Another weakness within UKIP is the lack of local branches, difficult to remedy but an essential task for regional organisers to tackle.

Finally we come to the crux of the issue, why did we perform badly in the current GE, Even allowing that UKIP increased its share of the vote nationally, in the majority of seats where both a BNP candidate and UKIP candidate stood in the same constituency, the BNP candidate gained more votes. A thorough analysis of all the results is required and quickly to answer some vital question as to which of the UKIP policies appealed to the voters and which failed to impress.

There is also an urgent requirement for UKIP to appoint spokespersons on a wide range of issues that are bound to arise from the hung parliament, on a professional basis we can no longer leave this task to Nigel and Lord Pearson, UKIP requires a much wider range of people promoting UKIP policies in a professional and concise way and making more media appearances in the process, trotting out Lord Pearson or Nigel every time the media require a sound bite from UKIP has a negative effect and quickly becomes stale.

Philip Wray

Friday, 7 May 2010

Hung Parliament, tens of millions of votes ignored

Well, it looks like people didn’t use their vote wisely after all.

The expected anti-LibLabCon backlash didn’t materialise with people voting for the LibLabCon coalition. The Leaders “Debates” shown on Sky, ITV and the BBC successfully deflected attention from the local candidates and onto the party leaders even though only a few thousand of us could vote for them and the anti-hung parliament propaganda in Tory newspapers scared a lot of people into so-called “tactical” voting.

The BBCs partiality in this election needs to be investigated and steps taken to ensure that the privileged and powerful few aren’t given an unfair advantage over the already disadvantaged smaller parties.

And when the Tory media complains about the fact that Gordon Brown is still Prime Minister despite losing by 2m votes and 50-odd seats, they have only themselves to blame for interfering in the election. If they’d left people to get on with voting for who they wanted instead of peddling propaganda about a hung parliament the result could have been very different. If they’d stuck to slagging off Liebour and the Limp Dims instead of telling lies about a hung parliament they wouldn’t have motivated the LibLab voters.

It looks like UKIP’s hopes are all pinned on Nigel Farage. The result has been pretty disappointing nationwide for UKIP but it looks like a lot of deposits have been retained and UKIP have beaten the BNP in almost every seat contested.

In Telford, David Wright managed to cling on to his seat with a reduced majority of about 1k, reduced from 5k. Denis Allen got almost 2.5k votes, keeping his deposit and effectively depriving the Tories of a victory. That was certainly the general consensus anyway – the Tories were fuming with us and the Liebour lot were shaking our hands blinking away the tears in their eyes, thanking us for seeing the Tories off!

In the Wrekin constituency, Mark Pritchard increased his 500 majority to 9k. Malcolm Hurst for UKIP got 2,050 votes and missed the 5% needed to keep his deposit by about 350 votes.

As I type, there are over 2m more votes for the Tories than there are for Liebour and a difference of 47 seats. There are 1.6m votes between the Limp Dims and Liebour but the difference in seats is 189. The electoral system is fundamentally wrong and needs changing. Under proportional representation, based on current vote share with 43 seats left to declare, the seat allocation for the main parties should be something like:
  • Con: 235
  • Lab: 185
  • Lib: 149
  • UKIP: 20
  • BNP: 12
  • SNP: 11
  • Green: 6
Tens of millions of votes will be ignored no matter what the outcome is because we still have this medieval first past the post electoral system.

Cross-posted: Wonko's World

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Send us your election night news

The polls are closing in half an hour and the first results will be rolling in shortly afterwards.

You can send your election night news to [email protected] or via Twitter @bloggers4ukip and mobile phone signal and energy levels permitting, it'll magically (ie. by me typing it up on my trusty Nokia E71) appear on Bloggers4UKIP.

Amusingly arrogant Tory

Most people involved in election campaigns have amusing stories and I think I've had more than my fair share this time.

Tuesday was putting posters up on a lampost outside David Wright MP's office and Labour activists walking out and haranguing me while I was up the lampost.  Yesterday was scaring David Cameron away from Telford.  Today it was my dad's story about the Tory canvasser who knocked his door ...
Tory: Can I speak to you for a moment?
Dad: Yes
Tory: Are you going to vote for them? [Points at UKIP poster in the window]
Dad: Yes
Tory: You're wasting your vote you know?
Dad: Why?
Tory: Only the Tories can win here
Dad: I don't care
Tory: Why are you going to vote for them? [Points at UKIP poster again]
Dad: Because I think they're the party that will represent me best
Tory: Well you're bloody stupid for wasting your vote then
Dad: Don't talk to me like that
Tory: Well you are
Dad: Piss off and don't come back
The Tory then crosses the road and knocks on the door of a neighbour.
[Much the same opening lines - dad's already convinced him to vote UKIP!]
Tory: The trouble with you lot round here is you haven't got the sense you were bloody born with
Neighbour: Get off my property and don't come back
The bit about them not having the sense they were born with was the most amusing part.  My dad is 6'5" and the neighbour is over 6ft tall and a body builder!

Farage and other candidate in plane crash

Nigel Farage and another man UKIP candidate, possibly New Forest East PPC, Peter Day, were involved in a light aircraft crash this morning.

Picture: Reuters
The other candidate man was piloting the plane which was towing a banner inviting people to vote for UKIP.  Shortly after take-off, it is believed that the banner got caught in the tail and the plane crash landed.

Both men somehow got out alive and are currently in hospital.  The pilot is currently in hospital in Coventry with possible spinal injuries whilst Nigel is in hospital with broken ribs and head injuries and is drifting in and out of concsiousness.  Neither of them is thought to be in a critical condition.

I'm sure I'm not alone in saying that our thoughts are with Nigel, the pilot and their respective families and in wishing both of them a speedy recovery.  And Nigel, next time you want to get UKIP in the news, shave your head for charity or do a bungee jump - no more death defying plane crashes please!

Thanks to Gawain for the heads up in the comments that the pilot wasn't a candidate after all.  He is a professional pilot with a similar name to a UKIP candidate.

The good news is, both Nigel and the pilot are doing well.  The pilot's injuries aren't as bad as first thought and Nigel is already bossing people around responding to comments on the UKIP candidates website.

Use your vote wisely

The polling stations have been open for 20 minutes now and today is probably a once in a lifetime chance to change the face of English politics forever.

For too long, English politics has been about the same tired old parties - the dishonest Conservatives, the illiberal and economically illiterate Labour Party and the weak and ineffectual Lib Dems.  We've seen our country bankrupted and sold to the EU and our trust abused by thieving politicians.  Today we have a chance to break the stranglehold the corrupt LibLabCon have over our country and change the way it is governed.

It might not seem like it with the media's obsession over Brown, Cameron and Clegg and the exclusive "Leaders Debates" but today we are voting for an MP, not a Prime Minister.  If you listen to the LibLabCon and cast a so-called "tactical" vote then you've cast a wasted vote.  If you vote for somebody you don't want to try and stop someone else you don't want from winning then all you're going to get is someone you don't want representing you for the next 5 years.

You know that feeling you get when you're choosing a new mobile phone?  You look at all the features and read the reviews and think "Can I live with this phone for the next 12-18 months until I'm due my next upgrade?".  That's the feeling you should be getting when you look at your ballot paper multiplied by a thousand.  The person you vote for today (if he or she wins) is going to represent you in Westminster for up to 5 years.

Forget about the Leaders debates - unless you live in Kirkcaldy & Cowdenbeath, Witney, Sheffield Hallam or Bangladesh, you're not voting for any of them.  Forget about a hung parliament - a hung parliament is healthy for democracy, it's only the megalomaniac party leaders that have anything to lose from a hung parliament.  Forget about the "big picture", it'll look after itself.

There is no such thing as a wasted vote, us it wisely.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Cameron runs scared of UKIP in Telford

I was tipped off this morning that David Cameron was planning to visit Telford at 1pm today, at the motorway services. So guess where I was at 1pm today ... well, it would have been rude not to go wouldn't it?

I managed to successfully infiltrate the crowd of Cameronian groupies with a UKIP poster without anyone noticing and had a chat with the photographers from the local paper.  Then someone had a phone call to say he was delayed in Dudley and would be half an hour late which was lucky because that gave enough time for the two UKIP candidates to turn up as well.

Shortly after the UKIP candidates turned up came the announcement that Cameron had cancelled his visit.  The official reason given was that so many people wanted to talk to the Messiah in Dudley that he simply didn't have time to stop at Telford on his way to Newtown.  The journey from Dudley to Newtown took him up the M54 through Telford and past the services that he was supposed to be visiting but he didn't have time to take the 704yd detour (I've measured it on Google Maps) up the slip road and round the corner to meet his groupies who'd been standing in the rain for 45 minutes to touch the hem of his Armani suit jacket.

The unofficial reason - given to me by someone who was there - was that Cameron had been told some UKIP people were there and had called it off because he was worried.  It's amazing what some people will tell a complete stranger!

The incumbent MP for the Wrekin decided to battle on and give a rousing speech for the reporters party faithful so they all gathered round him, gazing rapturously into his beaming face, holding their Conservative posters up behind their backs for the photographers.  All of them too engrossed to notice the three UKIP supporters standing between them and the cameras with UKIP posters or the big grins on the faces of the photographers who, I would imagine, were pretty pissed off with being stood up by the Messiah.

They weren't the only ones who were pissed off either, the TV cameraman that was there didn't bother interviewing the Tory candidates after Cameron cancelled and interviewed the two UKIP candidates instead.

All in all a productive and entertaining lunchtime.  Cameron bottled out at the first sign of trouble, the local Tories were livid (Mark Pritchard was fuming) and UKIP got some valuable publicity at their expense.

It was more entertaining than putting UKIP posters up outside David Wright MP's office last night while Labour Party activists watched me!

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Lord Pearson visits Ludlow's next MP

Lord Pearson took a trip up the M6 today to visit Christopher Gill, the UKIP candidate for South Shropshire.

South Shropshire is a target seat for UKIP with Chris Gill (who was Conservative MP for the constituency a decade ago) worrying the incumbent Tory, Philip Dunne, so much that he's spent the last few days scaremongering about a hung election.  Rather than spending the last couple of days of the election campaign giving people a positive reason why they should vote for him, he has instead been making up bizarre scare stories about how interest rates will go up with a hung parliament!

Lord Pearson was shown around Bridgnorth by (amongst others) Shropshire PPCs Christopher Gill, Councillor Denis Allen and Malcolm Hurst; Councillor Derek Armstrong and UKIP NEC member, Councillor Jill Seymour.

Meanwhile, the Shropshire Star is very much of the opinion that Chris Gill is going to cause an upset on Thursday.

Monday, 3 May 2010

Wonko's World: Election Prediction

Election Prediction

The election is almost upon us and it’s time for a prediction I think: Nick Clegg will be Prime Minister.

Now, don’t get any silly ideas about the Lib Dems winning the election because they won’t. The Tories will win the election with most seats but they won’t have a working majority and Cameron would rather go without than share power. The newspaper ads and constant talk about how terrible a hung parliament would be confirm that Cameron is out for absolute power and nothing less.

There will be no shortage of offers to form a coalition with Cast Iron Dave but they will be rebuffed. The party faithful will be told that it’s better to let a LibLab coalition limp along for a few months before collapsing and then the Tories can romp home to victory in a snap election. Most of them will fall for it of course and those that don’t will accept it for the greater good.

So that just leaves the Lib Dems and Labour. The Lib Dems will come second on Thursday, relegating Labour to third place. Clegg will want a coalition of the left which rules out the Tories and whilst the SNP and Plaid will make gains at the election (the former more so than the latter) they won’t have enough lobby fodder for Clegg to see off the Tories so it will be a LibLab coalition with Clegg as Prime Minister.

Whether El Gordo will manage to cling on as leader after the election remains to be seen. Mandelson is already leader in all but name and I expect him to take over the reins from El Gordo at some point after the election. Clegg says he won’t work with Brown but once he smells victory he’ll soon change his tune.

And what about the non-LibLabCon/celtic nationalists? Well, UKIP will come out with a handful of MPs – I think between three and five. The BNP will retain some deposits but they won’t win and seats. The English Democrats will spring a few surprises but won’t win any seats. The Greens will come worryingly close to winning a seat but won’t quite make it.

Saturday, 1 May 2010

Belgian government pass anti-burkha law

The Belgian government, in its death throes, has at least spent its time productively by passing a law banning muslims from covering their faces in public.

The law passed through the lower house with 134 of 136 MPs voting in favour and the other two abstaining.  It could be law by June or July if the upper house don't interfere with it too much.

The Belgian government has introduced the ban for security reasons and because the burkha and niqab are oppressive to women.

Banning so-called "islamic veils" - which aren't required in the Koran - has been UKIP policy for a while now, the only party in the UK that advocates such a ban.

BBC admits that only UKIP will address immigration

At last, the Biased Broadcasting Company admits that UKIP alone will deliver.


OK, and the BNP. But then, UKIP is not racist.

UKIP wins the iPhone app battle

PA Consulting technologist, David Reinhardt, has reviewed the iPhone apps of the political parties standing in the  general election and the winner is ...

And the killer feature that swung it for UKIP?  The fact that the app encourages sharing on social networks and shows an unfiltered Twitter feed for people talking about UKIP, even if it's criticism.

No matter what the result next week, we can be safe in the knowledge that we've won at least one battle this election!