Friday, 21 September 2012

Conference 2012 Live Blogging

Party Chairman, Jeremy Titford has taken the stage. Why is Cameron building a new railway (HS2] when existing routes are so under used?

Titford likens politicians' refusal to leave the EU with Pompeii - rocks fell on their heads, they stayed put.

Jeremy Titford introduces Michael Heaver, UKIP's social media guru. "Social media is like the would've biggest pub but without the booze". Says social media is great for democracy, let's ordinary people have their say.

Heaver says the top video on YouTube for "Barosso" is Nigel Farage laying into him with 99,000 views. The second one is an EU produced video with just 55 views.

Former radio DJ Mike Read is up next. "What a fantastic turnout for the UK's third party". He's proud to be a member of UKIP because the part stands for something, has a great leader in Nigel Farage. "If the EU is the answer, what the hell was the question"? UKIP is the party of the people for the people, we believe in ourselves. Chariots of Fire plays while Olympic competitors are shown on screen as a reminder of what we can do as a country.

Godfrey Bloom MEP takes the stage to talk about Police and Crime Commissioner elections. The Home Office is, he says, institutionally politically correct. "Prison does work", says crime prevention is the reason the police exists. As Police Commissioner crime stats won't be fudged, training will be reviewed, partnerships will be reviewed, police will be encouraged to use discretion, "motorists are not public enemy number one".

Bloom says everyone will receive full protection of his police force regardless of their colour or religion, you won't get to the top.of the queue. Any police officer arresting someone for protecting their home from burglars will be on disciplinary procedures.

Godfrey introduces Michael Spearman, his running man and former police officer of many years' experience.

Former Conservative Future star, Alexandra Swann, takes to the stage and explains how the Tories see their younger members as a liability and disregard their views unlike UKIP. David Cameron pretends to be a Conservative but he believes in high taxes. National debt now stands at £40I per household. It's not all about the Tories, she says Labour have abandoned the working class and their leader makes Van Rompuy look charismatic. The Lib Dems betrayed students and lie about policies. UKIP is the only party with a credible economic policy. UKIP believes in real localism and personal freedom. UKIP believes in more than freedom.from the EU, they believe in freedom of the individual.

Swann says everyone wants to get out of the EU, we need to show people we have the policies to fix the country.

Sanya-Jeet Thanks takes the stage next, highlights the growing youth wing of the party. "Mr Osbourne you are wrong" - says a Commonwealth free trade agreement is good for the economy. The Commonwealth is 15%of the global economy and a quarter of its population. EU membership stops us trading effectively with the rest of the world. The EU needs us more than we need them, we will continue to trade with them and be able to trade with the rest of the world. India is expected to be the world's largest economy by 2050. We are missing out on so much potential from the Commonwealth. We have more cultural ties with the Commonwealth than the EU. "The best way to heal old wounds is to forge new bonds".

First speaker after break is Lord Hesketh. Thinks a lot of Nigel Farage, the only leader of a political party not party of the political establishment. Disparaging comments of the EU Court of Human Rights which is as dangerous as the Luftwaffe. "Our enemy is the establishment". Three EU countries have unelected governments, predicts a continent wide revolution. Lord Hesketh says in defence we have to make use of what we've got - scrap Trident, buy more submarines and arm them with nuclear warheads. The French high speed rail network has only one profit-making route, it's a waste of taxpayers money.

Lord Hesketh introduces Nigel Farage to a standing ovation who then goes on to introduce three new councillors defecting to UKIP and Lord Stevens who became the third UKIP per this week.

Lord Stevens lists broken promises from the LibLabCon parties on the EU. Lord Stevens suggests defecting Tories being described as fruitcakes and loonies might want to rejoin once we're out of the EU which is meet with some uneasy murmurs. EU commissioners and staff can lose their pensions for disloyalty to the EU. Trade with the EU is 6% of the UK's GDP, the EU is only 12% of world GDP.  The Lisbon Treaty says any country leaving the EU can negotiate a free trade agreement so they won't stop trading with us. "UKIP is not, as we know, a one policy party".

Nigel Farage returns to the stage to recap on recent success and future potential. We'll fight the next election with a full manifesto. We've been lucky with our enemies - Cameron's cast iron guarantee, Clegg on tuition fees, Miliband who doesn't want to say anything. We're not a one trick pony but we won't ignore the EU issue. Barosso has used the "F" word for the first time (Federation), as has Van Rompuy. EU foreign ministers are drafting a new treaty to "transfer our national democracy". Barosso has described Farage as an "extreme populist" and says UKIP and parties like it are irrelevant to the EU. We will make him east those words.

Farage says we will have to have a referendum on this new draft treaty, not even the Tories and Labour would vote for it. He says the LibLabCon are uniting behind a position of being on the periphery of a political EU which is a bad thing. He backs the idea of a Commonwealth free trade agreement. We have 22% youth unemployment, it is irresponsible to open or borders to the whole of eastern Europe. It's time for a referendum on membership of the EU.

We are a full political party but if an opportunity arises to get independence then we'd be silly not to consider it. Talk of a deal with the tories hadn't come from us, it's come from members of the Conservatives. Before we consider a deal with the Tories we'll want a promise of a referendum not as a cast iron guarantee but in blood.

Professor Tim Congdon is the first speaker after lunch. He intends to make his analysis of the cost of EU membership an annual publication. He says the cost is about 10%of GDP. The cost of membership is about £5k per household. The cost of free trade for Norway and Switzerland is about £750. These are net costs, remember.

As a result of EU Common Fisheries Policy £500m of fish is thrown away every year. Deep down the question is are we going to be governed by ourselves or are we going to be governed by foreigners from Brussels? We are facing the biggest challenge faced by the independence movement in the 20 years it's existed.

Paul Nuttall tells us he and Godfrey Bloom met the Welsh Government's EU Minister in Brussels who they engaged in conversation, finding he didn't know what an EU Directive actually was.

Tim Aker says that he thought 1984 was a warning not an instruction book. Touches on Barosso's federation speech, calls him a Plonker to much amusement. In a nutshell the EU is unreformable. The USA has a free trade agreement with the EU but no MEPs so why not us? We can leave and reclaim our empty World Trade Organisation seat that the EU has replaced. Common theme with all speakers is a Commonwealth free trade area.

Paul Nuttall returns to the podium and again mentions a Commonwealth free trade area. He introduces True Finns leader, Timo Soini.

Soini says he's a bit of an Anglophile and he's glad to be at another UKIP conference. Across the EU eurosceptics are criticised by europhiles who "stumble over truth". It seems Soini is a bit of a Thatcher fan too. Great parody of Barosso which gets a laugh - "where there is hope let us sow despair". Only two years ago Finnish politicians were telling them the euro is a success but they wouldn't hold a referendum. How many problems have the europhiles fixed? None. He calls them conceited pillocks which gets laughter and applause. He says they don't know what to do or to be more precise they don't know what Barosso and Van Rompuy will let them do. Monetary union isn't about money, it's about power.

"When I bring you greetings from the Eurozone I have only one thing to say - keep the pound". The cost of bailing out Eurozone countries is about €7,400 for each Finnish citizen. Wants to keep ties between UKIP and True Finns.

Paul Nuttall introduces Roger Bootle from Capital Investments who won an award for the best paper on withdrawal from the euro. When did things go wrong for the euro? "Right from the beginning". Bootle suggests the failure of the euro was expected and intentional because what it's happening now would never get past voters. "The Eurozone is an economic disaster" - it's weak and the reason is because of a lack of competitiveness and too much debt. The Germans have been living off the deficits of the southern states, it's like the relationship between China and the west. If the euro survives Europe will be mired in depression for decades, "thank goodness we're out of it".

Paul Nuttall announces that he will be on Any Questions tonight and with that conference closes for the day.