Monday, 30 May 2011

Yes, it's time to change UKIP's devolution policy

UKIP member, Chris Palmer, is calling for a change of UKIP policy on devolution over at Independence Home.

Chris favours a federal UK with all four home nations having equal powers to each other and a unicameral federal British government for reserved matters.  Like most supporters of an devolution, Chris believes that support for devolution amongst the electorate means it is now impossible to return to direct British rule and that extending and equalising devolution across all four home nations is the only way to protect the union.

To be honest, I can't really fault what Chris says other than the suggestion that London should be governed separately from the rest of England.  For me, the idea that England's capital should effectively secede from England is just not acceptable.  Some people might point to Washington DC as a precedent but it's not the same situation.  Washington is the capital of the United States, not one of the states.  Washington isn't even in one of the states, the District of Columbia is administered by the federal government directly with only a city council between residents and Congress.

I digress.  Like I said, I can't really fault what Chris says but there is a problem with the idea of a federal British government and the idea of a federal court.  The English constitution says that no parliament can bind its successor - that means a British federation could be dismantled by the British government and they could overrule a constitutional court because an Act of the British Parliament creating either of them could be repealed by the British Parliament at any time.  The constitutional court might rule it unlawful but the Parliament makes laws, not courts.

Don't get me wrong, I am 100% committed to the creation of an English Parliament but I don't want one constitutional abomination to be replaced with another one.  I don't want a devolution settlement dictated by the British government and that can be abolished on a whim by this or any future British government.  That's why I favour a British confederation rather than a federation.

But regardless of personal preferences on the form that devolution and the evolution of the union should take, it is immensely reassuring to see so many UKIPpers these days pulling apart David Campbell Bannerman's ridiculous Grand Committee policy and advocating a common sense policy of supporting devolution for all four home nations.  It's a common sense policy, it's a vote-winning policy and it's the right policy.  It's what the policy committee proposed before they were overruled by DCB.  It's what most of the voting public wants.  Screw what the backward Big Britishers who oppose devolution say, we won't win elections by ignoring what voters want!

Just one final comment on Chris Palmer's article: we won't attract thousands of members from the English Democrats by adopting the right devolution policy because they don't have thousands of members to lose and there are so many ex-BNP members in the party.  But we would mop up most of their membership who only support them because they're the only party that advocates an English Parliament and the voters who vote for them for the same reason.  We might even be able to plunder the SNP- and Plaid-voting masses in Scotland and Wales who vote for the europhile nationalist parties even though they're eurosceptics because they're the only parties that support greater separation from Westminster.

Pledge your support for the UKIP 1997 Group's call for UKIP to adopt a sensible devolution policy and make the party electable!

Sunday, 29 May 2011

The Pan European Party Issue; What's your thoughts?

The Pan European Party for UKIP has been an issue for a couple of years now and will finally be coming to a head on Saturday 4th of June.

I am currently undecided on which way to vote. I am inclined to vote no, but do not feel compelled to shout from the roof tops about it.

I'm sure most of you are as undecided or nonchelant about the issue, so I have compiled some links from UKIP related sources which discuss the issue rather eloquently.
The first article is by Chris Palmer, a rising star of Young Independence which you can read by clicking here.

Another is by a long standing member whose blog is known as Witterings From Witney which you can read here.

The official 'YES' argument from UKIP Stuart Agnew MEP, Steph McWilliam of the South West Region and NEC Member Mick McGough can be read here.

And finally the official 'NO' argument from UKIP MEP Trevor Coleman can be read here.
What are your opinions? Do you passionately believe that we must and should vote yes? Or that voting yes is a step too far?

Why UKIP must support Israel

These are precarious times for the Middle East. As revolution sweeps across the Arab world, op-ed columns are replete with suggestions of historical parallels. To be sure, we have seen this kind of thing before. But is this the Middle East’s 1989? Or are we witnessing a repeat of 1979?

Read the Rest on the UKIP Friends of Israel Blog

Thursday, 26 May 2011

Bufton gets it wrong again

UKIP MEP for Wales, John Bufton, has written to the Shropshire Star (yes, Shropshire is in England) expressing concern that the Welsh Assembly might take on tax raising powers.

Following the referendum earlier this year, the Welsh government can take fiscal powers from the British government giving it the power to vary taxes in Wales as the Scottish government currently does (but chooses not to do, preferring to spend English money instead).

Bufton campaigned for a no vote in the referendum for extra powers for the Welsh government and 63.49% of people voted for them.  He campaigned alongside UKIP candidates against the very existence of the Welsh Assembly and we didn't get a single seat.  Welsh people want more devolution, not less.

Once again Bufton is wrong on devolution and to add insult to injury, he's complaining about an expansion of powers in Wales in an English newspaper knowing full well that despite 7 out of 10 people in England saying they want devolution, the British government won't let us have equality with the Welsh.  Talk about rubbing salt in the wound.  If only we in England had the luxury of arguing about how much power our government should have - we don't even have one!

You can help send the message to Bufton and the other Big Britishers in the party that they have to stop their crusade for a return to 18th Century Britain, move with the times and listen to the people.

Pledge your support for the UKIP 1997 Group's call for UKIP to adopt a sensible devolution policy and make the party electable!

Tuesday, 24 May 2011

When one door closes, another one opens

Telegraph journalist turned PR man Alex Singleton has joined UKIP today because David Campbell Bannerman has left.

Singleton was a lead writer for the Daily Telegraph and the Sunday Telegraph, a writer for the Express and the Guardian, a writer for a number of technology magazines and was Research Director at the Adam Smith Institute.  Now he has his own PR consultancy.

As they say, when one door closes, another one opens.  We've got rid of a dictatorial traitor and gained a respected journalist and PR guru.

Hat-tip: Heaver.

Bye bye Dave, don't let the door hit you on the way out

So David Campbell Bannerman has finally done what everyone expected him to do last year and gone back to the Tories.  I'm amazed he stayed as long as he did.

When he lost to Nigel Farage in last year's leadership election (14%) he said he couldn't work under him.  Despite DCB complaining to the BBC about Farage appearing on Question Time during the hustings and doing UKIP out of some media exposure and despite the smears during his leadership election campaign, Farage said he would still have a job in UKIP.  He chose instead to sulk.

What appears to be the straw that broke the Campbell's back (see what I did there?) was the mass abandonment of DCB's policies.  DCB's approach to policy making when he was head of policy was to form a committee, get the committee to produce a policy and then take out all the bits he personally didn't like and add in some of his own stuff.  That's how we ended up with a set of schizophrenic domestic policies that contradicted each other and didn't follow any sort of consistent agenda.

I won't go into details of his parting shot at the party that got him elected as an MEP in the first place, you can find it and judge him yourselves but here is UKIP's statement:
It is clear that David Bannerman has decided to put career before principle. He was obviously disappointed with his result in the Leadership election last year where he achieved 14% of the vote, and concerned about whether he could get re-selected by UKIP members in the Eastern Region.

So he has decided to secure his berth in the European Parliament until 2019, by joining a pro-EU party.

David has expressed his admiration for David Cameron, who has announced that he will not give the people of this country a referendum on Europe, because he believes we should stay in. He has some nerve criticising UKIP’s credibility.
When he was chosen as a candidate for UKIP in 2008, David signed a statement that said that he would “remain as a member of UKIP for the full 5-year term or otherwise retire from the Parliament”.

We call on him to resign, so that we can get a real Euro-sceptic to take his place.
He won't resign of course, his only concern is his career and that's why he's gone back to the Tories with his tail between his legs.  Two of the Tory MEPs for the east of England euroregion are due for retirement which gives DCB his best chance of getting re-elected and after the way he behaved last year, it was likely that when the regional lists were voted on by the membership he wouldn't have finished close enough to the top to have been re-elected.

DCB's defection now leaves Stuart Agnew as the only anti-EU MEP representing the east of England while DCB will sit with the pro-EU Tory MEPs and the most europhile traitor of them all, the Lib Dem MEP Andew Duff.

It's never nice to lose MEPs or any member for that matter but as far as DCB is concerned, good riddance to bad rubbish I say.  I have consistently criticised the way he works and the trouble he has caused in UKIP.  He was a dictator and not a very good one at that.

Looking on the bright side, we are now rid of DCB and in 2014 there is another EU election at which point we can deprive hi of the seat that UKIP activists worked so hard to get for him.  As a UKIPper has apparently told Guido: "our problem is now their problem".

I'll leave you with a quote from DCB last year which Total Politics (one of Iain Dale's projects) has kindly resurrected:
Cameron has spent the last five years ditching Conservative policies on Europe… It’s overwhelmingly clear now that trusting Cameron with Europe will be as misguided as trusting Blair on Iraq.

Conference 2011

Summer/Autumn conference this year is 9th-10th of September in Eastbourne on the south east coast.

There are very few details at the moment but the venue is the Congress Theatre.

I may go, I may not.  Depends on workload and how motivated I am to either make the horrendous five hour, four train journey from Telford to Eastbourne or the traumatic drive round the world's largest car park (M25).

Why do we always seem to have our conferences in far flung places that have poor transport links and subject half the membership to 5+ hour journeys?

Monday, 23 May 2011

Nigel Farage on The Politics Show 22/05/2011

The Politics Show on Sunday featured Lisa Duffy, shown in the blog post below and Nigel Farage.

Sunday, 22 May 2011

Lisa Duffy on the Politics Show 22/05/2011

Lisa Duffy of UKIP featured on The Politics Show which explored UKIP's recent success in Ramsey.

On the show she was asked such questions as:

"you've got 9 people haven't you on the town council, are they all members of your family?"

"the Duffy Mafia?"

The report also suggested all Lisa Duffy was responsible for was a few lamp posts (but not all of them) and a couple of duck ponds.

Despite this irreverent form of questioning (such as will UKIP now get Ramsey out of the EU) Lisa Duffy handled herself incredibly well. In fact, so well you'd be forgiven for suggesting that she is a natural on television, something the party lacks in many of its high profile members. You could also be forgiven for pondering the idea that she could some day certainly be a very strong contender for the future leadership of UKIP.

I found myself applauding when she explained that UKIP must start from the bottom up, not the usual top down nonsense. That UKIP at the grassroots level is where we can show people that we are a credible alternative for the voters. She is bang on.

Well done has to go to Lisa Duffy and the whole UKIP team in Eastern Region for such a fantastic achievement. It is inspiration for the good people in UKIP, inspiration which will revitalise sections of the party.

Saturday, 21 May 2011

Using Twitter to Influence Your Campaign Messages

I've been invited to speak next week to do a presentation on 'The impact of social media on political PR'. I plan to talk about how the internet has made it much harder for PR hacks in politics to spin or market their messages to people. I also however, discuss the potential which social media has brought for public relations in politics which in my opinion, far outweighs the negative impacts it has brought.

A very simple tool that candidates and campaign directors (I've abbreviated this to CCDs in the rest of the article) should be using is Twitter. The role that Twitter can have in a campaign isn't simply to send messages out (of which even this basic role isn't utilised by the majority of candidates).

What is the point in sending out messages on Twitter if you don't know what messages people are interested in or care about? Just as it would be marketing suicide for a marketing communications team to do no research on their target consumers, to just send out messages blind folded and hope for the best the same would be so in political marketing or campaigning.

CCDs should be using Twitter to collate and analyse the behaviours of Twitter users to influence and craft their overall campaign messages.

The beauty of Twitter is the ability to listen to the people that matter and those people only. For example, rather than watching the Tweets of everybody in the world, or the UK, or even a city, you can watch the tweets of people within the area that you are contesting a seat in.

This can be achieved through a number of methods. The first one, the most basic, is simply by typing in, through Twitter's search box, the area that you are standing in. For example, if I were standing in Cannock, I would search Cannock and I would see all the Tweets from people who have mentioned 'Cannock'.

Even though I know little about Cannock, the people of Cannock or their needs and what's important to them a basic search like this gives me a fantastic focus for my campaign. These tweets have shown me that Cannock Chase, is important to the people of Cannock as well as cycling there:

So now that I know Cannock Chase is popular, I then can go to Google News and see whether it's been mentioned in the local news. From this Google News search I can see that parts of Cannock Chase were being threatened with being sold off.

There we go. That's one of my messages. "Vote for John Jones for Cannock, because UKIP believes Cannock Chase should not be for sale"

This method of PR and marketing research for an election campaign is so easy it is painful that UKIP candidates are not making use of it. Not only this, it's free. What would have cost thousands of pounds not even 10 years ago and taken weeks if not months of research (questionnaires) is now free and instant.

If you would like any help or advice on using Twitter to help aid your campaign please do not hesitate to contact me. Use me whilst I'm free.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Leicester South was an unmitigated disaster

Now the dust has settled on the election, let's have a look at the unmitigated disaster that was the Leicester South by-election.

This by-election was held on the same day as the local elections and was contested by Abhijit Pandya who became a legend in his own postcode by calling Islam a degenerate religion and calling for muslims without a work ethic and who refuse to integrate to be deported.

The Leicester Mercury picked up on his comments and took the unusual step of advising readers against voting for him.  He responded by turning up to the Leicester Mercury's office on the Sunday morning of a bank holiday weekend with a camera and interviewed himself outside complaining that the editor and reporter weren't there to answer him!

One person involved in the election campaign described it as the worst campaign they'd ever been involved in, said that Pandya was hardly involved in the campaign and that people were coming in off the street to abuse staff in the UKIP "shop" in Leicester because of what he said.

This by-election cost the best part of £24k and Pandya picked up 994 votes.  This is an increase of just 274 votes over last year's general election where UKIP came last.  But there were 6 candidates last year and only 5 this year and one of them was from the Monster Raving Loony Party who, incidentally, got about 60% of UKIP's vote.  The seat was unwinnable anyway but the extent of our loss in Leicester South was down to Abhijit Pandya who, despite defending his comments at the time, has since removed them from his blog.  Twenty four grand and a disgruntled, diheartened campaign team too late.

So what now for Abhijit Pandaya?  He is, to the best of my knowledge, still UKIP's head of research and advisor on community cohesion.  This position is not tenable in light of his appalling lack of judgement.  How can he advise the party on policy and public opinion when his opinions are so repellent, people actually went out of their way to find the UKIP shop to abuse volunteers over them?

By all means let him stay on as a member - I'm sure he has redeeming features - but he should not be advising UKIP on policy.

Thursday, 19 May 2011

The ECU Currency, Predecessor to the Euro

Outside of politics (shock horror, some people have interests outside of politics) I'm a keen coin collector with my interests mainly on British coinage. All of this developed when I won a genuine Churchill coin from a quiz at a St George's Day party.

To my surprise, I learnt that the Euro was not the first modern day multi-state European currency. It's predecessor was the ECU, short for European Currency Unit.

The ECU currency was born in 1979, back before the European Union brand, the days of the old defunct European Economic Community branding. Perhaps people of Europe should have been paying (pardon the pun) more attention to the shady goings on of the great European project.

With the birth of the ECU was two more EU tentacles; the Exchange Rate Mechanism and the European Monetary System. You'd be forgiven for coming to the conclusion that this trident was a dress rehearsal for the full Euro project.

It is claimed, by the people that implemented the ECU that it was never intended to be used as currency but, like all things apparently unintended about the EU (they claim it was never intended to be a political union too) eventually it became increasingly accepted as cross-state currency being used in travellers cheques and bank deposits.

It is also claimed, that the ECU quasi-currency never had tangible legitimacy, that no coins were ever minted (pardon the pun). This of course is nonsense as the images in this post show.

The claim, that the ECU had nothing to do with its successor the EU and that the Euro was just a completely unrelated afterthought is further confounded by the fact that the value of the ECU to the Euro was, 1:1. One ECU was equal in value to one Euro. Of course, this was just a convenient coincidence (nonsense).

The final and killer blow to the 'ECU had nothing to do with the Euro' argument is that foreign courts across the world, including in America legally and officially accepted the Euro as the successor to the ECU.

For the Franco-phobics amongst us, we may be further repulsed to learn that the ECU is in fact the name of a coin used in ancient France. Unfortunately, I don't know what date this is as 5 years in the past for France could easily consitute as 'ancient' for such a country. But enough baguettophobia for now.

Symbolism is another interest of mine and if we look carefully at the coin we see the square dimensioned cross logo. Political anoraks amongst us may recognise that this is indeed the old symbol for what is now the European Union. Back in its creation many moons ago, it was the official symbol for a united Europe, but Turkey, one of the founding countries (Britain not one of them) took exception to this and so eventually it was changed to the current day 12 stars.

You'll also notice on the coin, the current and official symbol for the Euro currency. So much for ECU not being a dry run for the Euro.

I hope you've enjoyed this article, I thought we all deserve a break from political jiggery hackery.

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Turks, Turkey and the EU

As a Turkish born English citizen the issue of the EU and Turkey is one that interests me to a certain degree (though not to the extent that some people may think).

A question I often get is, how do I feel being in UKIP, a party stringently against Turkey joining the EU. The answer is simple, I'm perfectly happy with it. The reasoning is also simple. I do not want Turkey to join the EU. It will be detrimental to Turkey, it will be detrimental to Britain.

What does irritate me though is the belief some people have that Turkey is desperate to join the EU. It isn't. The attitude ranges from unintentionally misinformed to outright ignorant and enters the cesspit world of prejudice. Take for example Abhijit Pandya's piss poor article (so much for 'head of research' for UKIP and 'head of social cohesion' for UKIP). That however is another issue, for another day.

The fact is the people of Turkey do not want to join the EU. Turkey, also, does not need to join the EU. Whilst the EU 27's GDP rose by a measly 1.8% in 2010, Turkey's grew by 8.2% by the same period. Since 2003 Turkey's GDP rose by a massive 150%. Economically, Turkey does not need the EU. In fact, it would be economic suicide for Turkey to join the EU.

Polls in Turkey have shown that less than 36% of Turks would consider voting YES if a referendum on joining the EU was given. Just like in Britain, the people do not want the EU. Just like Britain, it is only the political elite who have tried to bulldoze through despite lack of support.

Turkey can not win with regards to the EU. If they express keen interest people accuse Turkey of wanting to exploit the EU (what there is to exploit is beyond me) and while they are currently cooling off any interest they are accused of shifting to the middle East.

The people of Turkey do not want to join the EU. The people of Europe do not want Turkey to join the EU. Both sides have their resolute reasons for this and both sides have their own prejudiced reasons for this. Just as we have nutters who think Turkey is an Islamist Islamic State full of terrorists, wife beaters and camel riders Turkey has nutters who believe that Europe is full of degenerate hedonistic moraless westerners. Thankfully, both sides of fringe nutters are a minority barely worth passing wind over.

Do I believe Turkey will join the EU? Yes. The EU elite want it to happen as soon as possible and Turkish political elite want it to happen. Whilst Erdogan is in power in Turkey, EU accession will not happen. Which is worrying, since we all know what happens to opponents of the great EU project.

The best thing we can do as Eurosceptics is stay clear of nonsense nutty fringe views that just muddy the waters. That is precisely what the political elite like Cameron want, to dismiss us all us fruitcakes and loons.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

Marta calls for Farage to resign

Marta Andreasen has published a letter on her website explaining why she is calling for Nigel Farage to step down as leader of UKIP.

It's a very well written letter and she makes some very good arguments but her answer to UKIP's problems is - in my opinion - wrong.

Marta says that UKIP is bankrupt.  Quite possibly it is at the moment.  Bankruptcy is insolvency and insolvency is when your liabilities exceed your income and assets.  The Labour Party is over £20m in debt and the Tories are about £10m in debt and running a budget deficit of over £7m per year (membership fees are worth £1m to the Tories).  So how does UKIP's debt and budget deficit stack up against the LibLabCon?  Or the Greens for the that matter?  They've spent some serious money on elections this last couple of years and one MP's salary won't pay the bills.  Perhaps Marta will tell us?

Marta also criticises the amount of money spent defending the latest legal action brought against the party by its loyal servant in Solihull.  Fair comment: they should have let her back in as a member and then created a new class of membership for MEPs costing £1k per month which would have not only tested the loyalty of the sainted one but it would have forced the other MEPs (Marta included) to hand over a bit more of their eurogeld.

Marta then goes on to criticise the amount of money spent on by-elections that we couldn't win.  What I want to know is how many members we recruited as a result of the party's professional by-election campaigns in Barnsley and Oldham.  Coming second in Barnsley and third in Oldham gave UKIP a credibility that has been lacking thus far in by-elections.  You have to speculate to accumulate.  I agree those by-elections were unwinnable but they were great results for UKIP although I agree that the reported £20k+ cost of contesting the Leicester South by-election with our community cohesion "expert" was a criminal waste, as was the money pumped into the Scottish and Welsh elections that we could never win with our current anti-devolution policy.

I suspect Marta's main problem is the lack of control around spending of EFD group funds which are controlled by Nigel who has a tendency to spend money on things that are good ideas rather than good sense.  But that doesn't make him a bad leader, it just makes him the wrong person to be controlling the purse strings.  Nigel was only recently re-elected leader with over half the vote of the membership, head and shoulders above the other three candidates.  The only person who comes close to filling Nigel's shoes is Paul Nuttall and he's made it clear he's not up for leading the party just yet.

By all means change the rules to reign in Nigel's spending but as a leader, he's doing a good job - he raises the party's profile, he is enthusiastic and inspiring and the media love him.  Without a motivated membership and the oxygen of publicity the party would be dead and Nigel brings both of those to UKIP.

Saturday, 14 May 2011

UKIP controls Ramsey Town Council

The biggest success of the English local elections last week (other than me being elected unopposed to Stirchley & Brookside Parish Council, naturally) was in Ramsey, Cambridgeshire.

UKIP now has 9 town councillors in Ramsey out of a possible 17 making Ramsey Town Council the first UKIP-controlled council in the UK.  UKIP also retained the Cambridgeshire County Council seat for Ramsey and the two out of three Huntingdonshire District Council seats for Ramsey.

Lisa Duffy has been elected as Mayor of Ramsey.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

EU Court of Justice rules criticising EU is illegal

The EU Court of Justice has ruled that it is illegal to criticise the EU in an unfair dismissal hearing.

EU Gendamerie getting ready to raid
UKIP supporting households
Bernard Connolly, a world renowned economist, was sacked by the EU Commission after publishing a book criticising the EU's monetary union policy.  The EU Constitution Lisbon Treaty makes insulting the EU or its officials illegal which is presumably the legal basis for the EU Court ruling that Connolly had broken the law by criticising the EU.

It may not seem that important, it being little more than an industrial tribunal hearing, but it has implications for us all because EU courts have primacy over our own thanks to successive traitor governments who have allowed the House of Lords to be replaced as the ultimate legal authority in England with a "Supreme Court" that is subservient to the EU courts.  This ruling sets a precedent that will allow criticism of the EU to be criminalised across the board, euroscepticism made illegal and anti-EU political parties banned.

Monday, 9 May 2011

No2EU takes over EU Day

It may have escaped your attention - what with it being largely irrelevant to pretty much everyone - that today is Europe Day.  Interestingly, the EU's Twitter accounts are calling it "EU Day" rather than "Europe Day".

Despite a change of regime last week that's installed a Labour council, Telford & Wrekin Council's offices haven't got the EU rag flying.  I expect they'll replace the English flag with the EU rag soon and they'll have a battle on their hands if they do but that's a different matter.  Hopefully councils and public bodies up and down the country will have ignored the day as well.

I would love to have ceremonially burnt an EU ringpiece of stars flag - something that is now illegal thanks to the EU Constitution/Lisbon Treaty - to mark the day but a) I don't have one and certainly have no intentions of buying one and b) I would rather just ignore the day like everyone else.

It's also illegal to insult an employee or official of the EU.  So by calling Herman van Rumpy-Pumpy a useless Belgian cock-smoker, Baroness Cathy Ashtray a communist non-entity and Emperor Barosso a corrupt philandering fascist I am breaking EU law.  And you know what?  I don't give a damn.  I don't recognise the authority of the EU and I certainly don't recognise the primacy of EU law.

Some enterprising individuals marked the day by setting up an OfficialNo2EU Twitter account and getting #no2eu trending as the top keyword all day on Twitter.  That's a much more productive way to celebrate the EU's "achievements".

Friday, 6 May 2011

Abhijit Pandya bombs in Leicester South

Some people defended Abhijit Pandya the other day when the UKIP candidate in the Leicester South by-election called for the deportation of immigrants who don't work.  It's "free speech", it's "libertarian" ...

His call for immigrants to integrate was very welcome and he should be getting three cheers rather than abuse from phoney patriots and ignorant fools who put political correctness before principle.

Very welcome.  So welcome he attracted a massive 2.9% of the vote.  Some people on the UKIP members' forum said he would attract more votes than he lost because of what he said.  Really?  He would have got less than 2.9%?

Pandya is not a suitable person to be advising UKIP on community cohesion and policy.

Scottish & Welsh results

The Scottish and Welsh counts have all finished and the SNP have romped home to a resounding victory in Scotland, forming the first SNP majority government.  UKIP got 2,508 votes or 0.1% of the vote - an increase of 0.1% on last time.  The UKIP guys in Scotland put in a sterling effort but the Scots know what they want and it's not this.

The Welsh Assembly hasn't materialised as well, the 4.6% of the vote just wasn't good enough for an AM on the regional list.  Like the Scots, the Welsh know what they want and they don't want this either.  They just voted for more power for the Welsh Assembly!

In England UKIP candidates have been faring slightly better.  UKIP is currently on 3 councillors but the loss/gain column on the BBC website keeps varying between 0 and -3 without the number of councillors changing.  UKIP candidates are coming in second and third in lots of seats where they aren't winning.

Well done to all the UKIP candidates that made the effort to put themselves forward and to the people who supported them.

Early results from yesterday's elections

It is looking likely that UKIP will have gained its first Welsh Assembly Member after securing 4.6% of the regional list vote (a 0.5% increase on the last election).  The 4.6% regional vote should be just enough to secure one AM.

The results in Scotland are looking pretty dire though, despite the huge amount of effort put into the campaign north of the border.  The SNP landslide shows that UKIP's regressive devolution policy is holding the party back.  The Scottish regional list votes are still being counted but as I type UKIP is still in 10th place, marginally behind the BNP and 700 votes short of the Scottish Christian Party.  A disappointing result in Scotland but entirely expected.

UKIP is yet to gain (or lose) a seat in England although many English councils are counting later today.  Northern Ireland is also yet to be counted but early indications are that UKIP's first foray into Northern Irish politics has been successful.

Thursday, 5 May 2011

Good look UKIPpers

The polling stations are all closed and the election is now all over bar the counting.

I would like to wish every UKIP candidate the very best of luck and make sure you tweet your results @bloggers4ukip!

I will be at my own count until the early hours of tomorrow morning so don't expect any write-ups too early in the morning.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

EU threatens fines for public bodies that don't fly their flag

The EU has decreed that any public body spending "EU money" must fly the EU ring of stars logo all of next week to "celebrate" EU day and threatened fines to any public body that doesn't comply.

They have even been told them they have to take pictures of the blue and yellow rag on their building and send them to the EU to prove they've been flying it to avoid the fines.

So what does the useless British government have to say about this?  The ConDem government that says it's going to get tough on EU power grabs?
Not only is it unacceptable to threaten to fine people for not flying a flag, this is unnecessary and pointless red tape. The European Union should be focusing on ensuring that taxpayers are receiving value for money, and clamping down on fraud and corruption in EU-funded projects
So they're going to tell the EU to bugger off, right?
It is understood ministers will not defy the edict because breaching the regulations could lead to taxpayers’ cash being wasted on paying Brussels fines.
That's a no then.  The EU only has the power to fine us because the British government allows it to.  If Pickles, Cameron or any other quisling MP had any balls they'd tell the EU to take a running jump but of course they won't because the Conservatives are a pro-EU party.  David Cameron has publicly stated on more than one occasion that he believes the EU and our membership of the EU is a good thing.

I guess now we know why the flag flying rules were changed a couple of years ago to put the EU logo on an equal footing with national flags.  It was described as a "tidying up exercise" to "simplify" the rules so that people could fly national flags whenever they wanted to.  Flying national flags was already allowed but to fly the EU rag needed planning permission and a number of councils and even the EU Commission in London were found to have flown the ring of stars logo without planning permission and forced to remove them while they applied.  Now the law has been changed to give the EU rag the same status as national flags, there is no excuse for not flying it from public buildings when the EU demands it with menaces.

I have written to the leader of my local council today to ask that they make a stand against the EU supreme soviet.  I know it will probably lead to the council being fined but I'd rather my council tax was spent on a legal challenge to the fine than see that hateful rag replace the Cross of St George on the council offices.

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Poles complain about "discriminatory" Dutch immigration plans

The EU's flagship open borders policy is under threat from the Dutch, of all people.

Faced with an unsustainable burden on their welfare system from EU immigrants looking to take advantage of the high standard of living the Dutch enjoy, the Dutch government have produced a policy paper outlining plans to curtail immigration from EU member states and to deport those that make disproportionate welfare claims or commit serious or repeated crimes.

Poland has complained to the EU Commission, calling the Dutch proposals "discriminatory".  There are 150k Poles in the Netherlands.

Monday, 2 May 2011

Only the EU could make a candle less environmentally friendly than a table lamp!

The American company, Scentsy, has just expanded into Europe and has already fallen foul of the EU's environmental laws.

Ingredients: Mercury, Phenol,
Scentsy make child-friendly candles that use the heat generated by a light bulb to melt a special wax of their own devising rather than a wick and flame.  It's a massive business in the US and they've just expanded into Europe with a distribution centre in Poland and a fledgling direct sales network in Germany and the UK.

But they can't sell their American "burners" in Europe because of EU environmental laws which ban the use of the incandescent bulbs that are required to melt the candle wax.  Instead, they have to use a heating element to reproduce the heat produced by the bulb and then add LED lights to reproduce the light produced by the bulb - two separate parts to do the work of one bulb using more resources to produce and more electricity to run (heating elements are, by their very nature, electrically inefficient).

Only the EU could make a candle less environmentally friendly than a table lamp!

Shameless plug: Mrs Sane is one of the UK's first Scentsy consultants