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Monday, 30 September 2013

Taxation is murder, taxation destroys lives, taxation blights lives.

Many old people die from cold because they can't afford fuel bills because of taxes on those bills. They die because the tax man has taken money from them to pay for other peoples priorities.

Many sick people die after being refused medical treatment by the NHS because NICE or their local health authority has decided a treatment is not 'cost effective', and they cannot afford private treatment for themselves. They die because the tax man has taken money from them to pay for other peoples priorities.

Many householders lives are ruined because they cannot afford house insurance because of levies/taxes put them out of reach. They suffer because the tax man demands money from them to pay for other peoples priorities.

Many youngsters whole lives are blighted because they are obliged to attend failing state schools, even though we are taxed more than enough to pay for the high quality education available in private schools. Lives are blighted because we are taxed to pay for other peoples priorities.

Given a free choice, I'd probably pay some money towards the armed forces, border control, police service, courts, fire service, medical service, I'd not pay for diversity coordinators nor climate change inspired green vanity projects.

Others may have other priorities - let them choose to pay for what they care about, and where the money is needed. I suspect key services would end up with plenty of support - loony services would not.

Those who support taxation - coercion, threat of force to take someone's own property from them - so they can use it to support their own priorities, prejudices, foibles are both selfish and arrogant - and bring misery and death to millions of innocent people.

First published at

Saturday, 28 September 2013

Cameron rules out pact with UKIP that wasn't even on offer!

A deluded David Cameron has told the BBC that he wouldn't enter into the pact with UKIP that UKIP doesn't want but his members keep asking for.

Cameron thinks that his Cast Iron Guarantee™ of an in-in-in for another 2 years of negotiations before we're allowed to get out referendum on "Europe" (he means the EU but he doesn't know the difference) if they win the next election is enough to win over enough voters to give him a win in 2015.

He also thinks their completely inadequate controls on immigration - to limit the number of our friends from the Commonwealth and the rest of the world who can come to live and work here whilst allowing unlimited immigration from every country in the EU - is enough to meet the demands of a public that is growing increasingly angry at the insanity of flooding the country with immigrants that we don't need and can't afford.

The man is on another planet.  Hopefully the other inhabitants of Planet Cameron aren't allowed to vote here because the thought of another 5 years with the deranged Tories and Limp Dems in charge is equally is frightening as 5 years of Labour.

We don't need Cameron to dismiss the idea of an electoral pact between UKIP and the Tories because it's not on the cards.  It's Conservative Party candidates and members that keep talking about a pact because they're desperate to save their own skins, UKIP members haven't asked for a pact and the vast majority wouldn't entertain the idea of joining forces with the toxic Tories.

Nigel Farage told the Tories in May last year that there was no chance we would be joining forces with the Tories and in May this year I pointed out (following more talk of a pact from the desperate Tories) that we are not here to make the Tories electable.

Friday, 27 September 2013

Romanian ambassador attacks UKIP

The Romanian ambassador to the UK has accused UKIP of stirring up racial hatred against Romanians by opposing the impending mass immigration of Romanians and Bulgarians at the end of this year and warning of the dangers of Romanian organised crime gangs.

Ion Jinga says that UKIP's campaign in Eastleigh caused two Romanians in Brighton to be assaulted and that Romanian doctors are being interrogated by patients about their ethnic origin.  All of which is frankly ridiculous.

People will, sadly, always be at risk of abuse or violence on the basis of the race, religion, ethnicity, sexuality or some other defining characteristic and if someone has such a propensity to violence that they would attack someone for "having an Eastern European accent" then an election campaign in a town 70 miles away is that includes a pledge to control mass immigration is unlikely to be the cause of them assaulting a Romanian.

It would be ridiculous to suggest that all Romanians are criminals because clearly they're not but there is a serious problem with organised crime gangs in Romania and with Romanian organised crime gangs throughout Europe and the police statistics suggest that a large number of the Romanians that have moved to the UK thus far are criminals.  There are 80,000 Romanians in the UK and there have been 27,500 arrests of Romanians in London alone in the last 5 years.

But regardless of whether the inevitable mass influx of Romanians and Bulgarians at the end of this year brings more serious organised crime gangs with it or not, there aren't enough jobs and houses to go around the people already living here so the idea of allowing unlimited numbers of people from the poorest countries in the EU to move here is criminally stupid.

Thursday, 26 September 2013

Life On Mars

Has "Red Ed" Miliband shot UKIP's fox? Following the shock of his 1970s style proposals of wage controls and nationalisation comes the realisation that the "LibLabCon" metaphor is basically dead, upon which UKIP has staked much of it's appeal. The ramifications of this sudden dramatic move to the left are far more serious for UKIP than the Bloom farce that played itself out at our own conference. It is really pretty difficult now to argue that all the other parties are the same, with identikit Metropolitan policies and personnel, as we have done for the past few years. The Tory refrain that "a vote For UKIP is a vote for Labour" will clearly have far more power than it did, and no doubt some of our voters will, however reluctantly, trudge back to the Tory fold. Moreover, this socialist populism will play well with many hitherto alienated Labour voters who are sick of suffering austerity, making it harder to attract them.

This was truly Labour's Life On Mars moment. However, what has so far attracted very little comment is that it would not have been possible but for the fact that the Tory party got their first, and retreated to their very own Life On Mars world with the rise of the Cameroons: the party long ago rejected blue in tooth and claw Thatcherism in favour of their patrician tradition of weak, reactive managerialism. Just as the pusillanimity of the Tory Party in the 1970s was as much to blame for the truly atrocious state of the country as the ever increasing militancy within the Labour movement, the cowardice and myopia of Cameron and Osborne are major factors in the rise from the dead of socialism now. Ever since the financial crisis has begun, they have shied away from mounting the necessary if unpopular defence of free market capitalism. That would have been the courageous and principled thing to do, but of course courage and principle have always been negotiable qualities in the Tory party.

It is plainly very depressing for Britain to be once again given a choice between the wild ideals of the unreconstructed Left and a tepid Toryism which has so little to offer. It is doubly so for those who are old enough the remember the 1970s and to where the country ended up as a consequence. However the difficulty is that a very large fraction of the electorate have no recollection of that time, which is why Miliband's ideas may prove surprisingly seductive, particularly to the young people who are completely priced out of the housing market and see nothing but a future of toil until their old age.

UKIP has no alternative but to stick to it's guns and offer a courageous, radical alternative, even though in the short term the going may be harder than it was. In time we will proved right, but how sad it is that another 1970s style calamity may well have to happen first.

Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Vision for an Independent UK - needed now.

The work on this new covenant between the British people and its government must start now to have any hope of being ready in time.

If there were to be a referendum on our EU membership tomorrow it would almost certainly be lost - as the british people would not vote for a complete unknown. A vision of a modern independent UK is needed - people need something to actively vote for.

The UK has been a member of the EU for over 40 years, it has leached into our institutions, traditions, law and lives. It would be foolish to think that it could be removed, that we could leave, and everything would carry on as if we had never been members.

There are many questions and issues that need to be addressed - many are likely to be contentious and divisive - even among the most ardent anti-EU campaigners.

If no such vision exists then the UK and its people is laying itself open to be hijacked, and our EU exit could lead us into something far worse.

It would be possible to spend many lifetimes discussing (arguing) over every minute detail of UK after EU - and as the EU is a moving target, the discussions may not even keep pace - the EU could create new questions issues faster than old and existing ones are addressed.

To prevent this work delaying a UK exit from the EU, I think it is vital that a mechanism is put in place to allow the people to be directly and rapidly consulted on issues arrising and to make their choice. This mechanism would be the only pre-requisit of leaving - as it could be used to settle every other matter.

The recent (happening as I type!) departure of Geoffrey Bloom as a UKIP MEP shows how important it is that UK's exit from the EU cannot be intrinsicly tied to a set of absolute polices that will always alianate one section of the public or another.

Once the UK is independent then new, better, democratic systems need to be put in place, and from there on it will be the people who decide.

The work on this new covenant between the British people and its government must start now to have any hope of being ready in time.

First published at

I have had enough of Channel 4, Cathy Newman and Michael Crick trying to incite violence against #UKIP supporters.

I wrote to sussex police today:-
I am concerned that Chanel 4 News, in the persons of reporters/journalists Michael Crick and Cathy Newman are behaving in a way that is likely to provoke racial violence.

On several occasions they have used their airtime on chanel 4 to create the false impression that the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) are a racist organisation.

As someone who has been a candidate for UKIP in parliamentry and local elections, I beleive their behavour puts me and others like me at risk of attack from misguided 'anti-racists'.

These false accusations by these reporters on channel 4 cannot be allowed continue.

I await a response.

First published at

Monday, 23 September 2013

The Tories Are Moving To "Spotify" Their Party - And It Could Be The Death Of UKIP

On Friday, a very ominous media development took place that could profoundly affect UKIP's destiny.

No, I am not talking about Godfrey Bloom, but rather that the High Tory grandee Charles Moore used his column in the Daily Telegraph to advocate reorganising Tory party organisation on social media lines.

When a mainstream, middle aged High Tory like Moore writes in such terms, you know that
Douglas Carswell's ideas are finally gaining traction. This followed Tory Party chairman Grant Shapps' move to finally publicise membership figures and in particularly those of individual associations, in order to incentivise them to experiment in new ways to attract members.

This is potentially disastrous news for UKIP. Yes, the Tory party has many deep seated structural and cultural weaknesses which will make this a difficult road to travel: it has an arrogant, snobbish leadership and a culture of centralised cliquish control. It is not trusted by great swathes of the electorate and has manage to seriously alienate vast numbers of it's natural supporters. However, it still retains vastly greater financial resources and more, if deeply demoralised, members than UKIP does.

Indeed, the Tory party has absolutely no choice but to go down this road. Now with a considerably smaller number of members than the Labour party,  the distribution of it's vote means it has nonetheless considerably more marginal seats to defend. Furthermore, the ruling out of a pact with UKIP by Nigel Farage means it will face highly committed and enthusiastic UKIP activists across the country. Many of these will be ex-Tory activists who know their territory and who are thirsting for revenge on their former party. Without a rapid increase in membership, the party's re-election efforts look doomed.

Of course our voting demographic includes a great number of people who would never dream of voting for, let alone joining, any kind of Tory party, but Labour won't be far behind either. It would not surprise me at all if major social media initiatives were announced at both the Labour or Tory conferences.

Like it or not, these cultural changes are inevitable, and a small party like UKIP with limited financial and personnel resources simply can not afford to lose "first mover" advantage in radically reorienting the structure and culture of the party on social media lines.

Nothing is as dangerous as success, as the saying goes. It is far too easy to be complacent given our recent increases in membership to sit back and regard all as fine and dandy. Instead of congratulating ourselves on having 30,000+ members, we should be asking ourselves why we don't have the 4,000,000+ that some voluntary organisations like the National Trust have. Once upon time those sorts of membership figures were common for political parties, there is no reason why they can't be again given the right cultural changes.

But will UKIP be among them?

It has often been the fate of new political parties in Britain to have a brief "shooting star" moment; to burn so very brightly in the sky before just as quickly dimming and going out. Few now remember the old SDP, even though it had stratospheric poll ratings during some periods in the 1980s. Likewise the Green's had their moments in the sun, but are in decline now. Somehow the hoary old ugly sisters, Tory and Labour, manage to adapt and survive when they look ready for the chop.

Be in no doubt, there is nothing to stop UKIP from sharing the fate of so many upstart movements that have gone before it. Despite the huge opportunities we have at our disposal, with weakened and dangerously exposed political rivals, we are a very long way away from sealing the deal. And that deal can only be sealed using the tools of social media already so predominant in virtually all other areas of modern society.

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Bloom Blows It

How deflating.

After a great conference first day we were listening to the closing speeches when a clearly distressed Steve Crowther told us that Godfrey Bloom had put his foot in it again and in Nigel Farage's phrase "destroyed"  UKIP's conference. Of course after our successes on May 2nd his year there was much more media coverage than usual so this was a big chance blown to restart momentum after the usual summer hiatus.

Reaction in UKIP to Bloom's suspension in UKIP is apparently divided. "Free speech should triumph! No surrender to Political Correctness!" is the cry.

This reaction is understandable from those who fear that UKIP, now within sight of breaking the grotesque hold of the LibLabCon over our political discourse, will become corrupted in pursuit of power. I imagine it is waking nightmare for all of us who love our party and country that one day we may see it decay into playing the political class game of lies and evasions, spin and image that so revolts us and caused most of us to join UKIP in the first place.

However, I think on this occasion this reaction is wrong.

UKIP prides itself on telling the hard truths that our effete, cosseted, metrosexual political class continually shy away from. Fine. However, telling that truth almost always hurts the feelings of some of those who listen. Knowing this to be the case, we still do so because we consider it to be the lesser evil. That does not, though, makes us necessarily insensitive: indeed, there is still the onus on the truth teller to be as sensitive as possible in phrasing their remarks as to not cause gratuitous pain or in ways that could be misinterpreted to be grossly offensive or inflammatory.

None of us will always get the balance right and sometimes we will either shy away from battle or overstep the mark. However, Bloom's behaviour has consistently exhibited a casual insensitivity that at the very least bordered on prejudice.

Whatever the outcome of the National Executive Committee's deliberations, we simply can not afford this pattern of behaviour in the future.

Friday, 20 September 2013

One win and 2 second places yesterday

UKIP had three great results in three hard-fought by-elections yesterday.

Star Etheridge came a strong second in the Coseley by-election for a seat on Labour-dominated Dudley MBC.  This by-election was a two horse race between UKIP and Labour with UKIP putting in an extraordinary amount of effort which was sadly not enough to overcome the tribal Labour vote.  The vote splitter Tories were a distant third with the BNP worryingly in a strong fourth place, followed by the Green Party in fifth and the National Front in sixth and last place where they belong.

Mike Bull saw off a strong challenge by the Tories to win the Seasalter by-election for Canterbury City Council.  The Tories came second followed by Labour in third, Lib Dems in fourth (get used to it guys, it's not going to get any better) and the loony Greens fifth and last.

Ruth Duffin came a very good second in the Four Marks & Mestead by-election for East Hampshire District Council behind the Conservative candidate. The Labour candidate came third whilst the Green candidate once again came fourth and last.

Coseley East (Dudley MBC)
Clem BaughLabour105355.54%
Star EtheridgeUKIP47825.21%
Julian RyderConservative19010.02%
Ken GriffithsBNP1206.33%
Becky BlatchfordGreen331.74%
Kevin Andrew InmanNational Front160.84%
Turnout: 19.42%

Seasalter (Canterbury City Council)
Mike BullUKIP644%
Annette SteinConservative522%
Rachel Natalie GoodwinLabour307%
Keith John Michael HookerLib Dem147%
Russell John Charles PageGreen54%
Turnout: 26.1%

Four Marks & Mestead (East Hants DC)
Ingrid ThomasConservative749%
Ruth DuffinUKIP348%
Janice TreacherLabour119%
Marjorie PooleyGreen73%
Turnout: 25.86%

Statistical Analysis: What Will Be The UKIP Effect At The 2015 General Election?

As the General Election approaches, we will start to be inundated with endless polls and predictions at an ever greater rate of frenzy.

So what will be "The UKIP Effect" in 2015?

Even today, almost all coverage repeats that tired old canard that a high UKIP vote damages the Tories. Lord Ashcroft was at it again recently, followed by the dependable UKIP-trashing article in the increasingly risible Daily Torygraph. This time it was the ever more erratic Peter Oborne's turn to parrot 'A vote for UKIP is a vote for Labour'.

We in UKIP of course know that the truth has been far more complicated than that for some considerable time, with a rising proportion of voters from other parties switching to us. Also, very significantly, many people who have not voted at all for a considerable time are now voting UKIP.

The best model so far come up with is the one by Survation which shows that the composition of UKIP votes changes with the size of UKIP's vote. At low levels, UKIP's vote is indeed heavily Tory dominated, but becomes steadily less so with time. Survation calculate that the optimum UKIP vote for the Labour Party is a UKIP vote is around 16% - a figure which is bang in the middle of the unprompted (c.12%) and prompted (c. 18%) totals for UKIP.

Modelling the Data

To see how UKIP may do in the next general election, I have used Survation's analysis and applied it to the 2010 General Election data*, where UKIP got 3.09% of the vote. I have then weighted that data to take into account some likely changes in voter behaviour.

UKIP's Effect On The 2010 General Election

It is often claimed by the 'Vote UKIP - get Labour' crowd that UKIP robbed the Tories of a majority at the last election on the crude assumption that the UKIP vote was greater in many seats than the shortfall in Tory votes.

Using the more sophisticated Survation model on the 2010 election data, this is shown to be false, with UKIP denying the Tories in just 8 seats, leaving them still way short of a majority on 314 seats in total. However,  the Survation model does not take into account those who vote UKIP but otherwise would not have voted at all. Taking this into account would reduce the total number of seats affected still further.

Liberal Democrat to Labour Swing

What we are most interested in of course is the effect of UKIP on the 2015 General Election. A simple model would just be to just using the Survation linear regressions to re-calculate the votes cast in every constituency for given degrees of swing to UKIP. However clearly circumstances have changed since then. The final Tory / Labour or Tory / Lib Dem swing is impossible to predict, so I don't attempt to model it here.

However, one fairly certain difference is that a substantial quantity of voters who voted Liberal Democrat in 2010 have permanently switched to Labour in disgust over the Lib Dem's coalition with the Tories or their broken pledge over tuition fees. To model this effect, I have reallocated votes in every constituency based on a national aggregate swing of 8% from Lib Dem to Labour.

The Effect of Incumbency: The Lib Dem "Cockroach" Effect

Another major factor that must be taken into account is the effect of an MP's incumbency. An individual MP regardless of party can build up a significant personal following. Traditionally incumbency has been a weak factor in UK politics but all that changed with the advent of Liberal Democrat "pavement politics". Whereas Labour and Tory MPs have low incumbency votes of around 2% and 1% respectively, the Liberal Democrats have a whopping 5-15%, making them much harder to dislodge.

One Liberal Democrat spokesman described his party as currently 'hanging on like cockroaches'. How very apt. Nonetheless, it is likely that the Lib Dem "cockroach effect" was a more significant factor  than UKIP on David Cameron's failure to gain a majority on 2010. In order to model this effect, I have simply added an incumbency weighting to each party where they have a sitting MP.

UKIP Effect On Party Vote Share

After taking into account the 8% Liberal to Labour swing, Labour starts off with a small advantage over the Conservative Party in terms of total votes cast. Because at low UKIP voting percentages  the Tories are disproportionately affected more than Labour, the Tory vote falls more than the Labour one until, as suggested by Survation, UKIP's total vote reaches 16%. Thereafter, Labour's vote falls more rapidly than the Tories until at around 28% Labour lose more votes to UKIP than the Tories do. Moreover, at around this level UKIP severely threatens to overtake both parties in terms of the total size of the vote.

UKIP Effect On Seats Won

As shown in the graph above, UKIP have a much more powerful effect on the number of seats won by the Conservative and Labour parties than in the proportion of votes cast: at moderate UKIP voting strengths, the gaps between the Tory and Labour parties opens appreciably.  This modelling seems to tally with Lord Ashcroft's recent conclusions after his extensive polling in Tory marginals, which shows that UKIP has a strong negative effect on Tory chances at current polling levels of support.

UKIP fail to gain any seats at all until their vote reaches the mid twenties, and thereafter the number of UKIP seats rises very substantially. This shows the huge effect the constituency model has on favouring parties that concentrate their support effectively.

Even though the percentages of votes recorded by UKIP's approach those of the Conservative or Labour parties, UKIP only wins 2 seats at 25% of the total vote! 

This model is very naive in the sense that it completely ignores any developing "hotspots" in UKIP support, but nonetheless it shows just how far the party has to go in building up based on local strength to create the clusters of support necessary to gain seats.

Note also that the extreme incumbency effect means that the Lib Dems, despite having a maximum of 15% of the total vote, retain nearly 30 seats until UKIP support gets to very high values. No wonder Nick Clegg was looking smug at the Lib Dems' conference this week.  However much we may wish it, a Liberal Democrat meltdown is very unlikely to happen.

UKIP Effect On Marginal Seats And The Choking Of The Political Class

What is perhaps most interesting is the UKIP effect on 'marginal' seats. What constitutes a 'marginal' or 'safe' seat has no firm definition. (The great Tory diarist, Alan Clark, told a joke in his diaries about a Tory MP boasting about having a safe seat. "You mean it's unopposed?" came the reply. That probably sums up what many a neurotic MP feels about fighting to retain their seat at elections. )

For the purpose of this modelling, a "marginal" seat is regarded as any seat where the gap between an incumbent MP and his nearest rival is less than 10% of the total vote. 10% swings at elections are rare, so a MP would normally be considered safe above that figure.

As shown in the graph above, a major problem for the Tory Party is that, as it's support is more thinly spread across the country, it has many more marginal seats to defend. We can see by comparing the above graph with the one modelling seat distribution that, on UKIP votes up to 15%, the Tories have more marginals to defend than Labour, even though Labour has appreciably more seats. That is a very serious matter now that Tory membership is substantially below the Labour party's, significantly affecting the ability of the party to mount an effective ground campaign in swing constituencies.

We can therefore see that the Tory Party really now has no choice but to radically reform itself, almost certainly along the lines that Douglas Carswell has previously suggested. As I have previously argued, this is a major threat to UKIP that we absolutely have to counter.

The differential between Tory and Labour marginals decreases as the UKIP vote rises, largely because many Tory marginals become Labour-held marginals. The effect goes into the reverse above 16% as UKIP starts to take more votes from the Labour Party than the Tories for each extra percent gained. This means that Labour marginals start to become Tory again.

However, above 20%, the number of Tory marginals increases dramatically as UKIP start to directly threaten Tory seats rather than just to hand them to Labour. Similarly Labour marginals start to rocket after 25% after UKIP starts to directly threaten them. This is very significant for the culture of our politics, because the collapse of the safe seat significantly weakens the incentive for Political Class careerists to enter politics, as it makes their career progression a great deal more risky. 

UKIP Effect On Lost Deposits

The major effect UKIP has on Lost Deposits is undeniably on it's own. The number of lost deposits recorded against UKIP falls dramatically between 5 and 10%, which is not surprising given that the limit of a lost deposit is 5% of the vote and  this model assumes a very even distribution of  UKIP support around the country.

The growth of the UKIP vote does not substantially effect the lost deposits recorded by other parties apart from the Liberal Democrats, who suffer the major humiliation of being effectively wiped out in substantial numbers of constituencies at high UKIP voting strengths.

UKIP Effect On The Destruction Of National Parties

The commentator Fraser Nelson remarked in 2012 that we were no living in 'Tricolour Britain', where parties had a limited national presence: the Tories concentrated in the South, Labour in Northern England, Wales and Scotland, and the Liberal Democrats mostly in the South West. His thesis was that no one party could be truly regarded as 'national'. That has certainly been true of the Tory Party for some time, which has become all but extinct in Scotland and Wales and is essentially now an English Party.

The rise of UKIP is exacerbating these trends. The models above show that, amazingly, UKIP becomes the second party in the North at around 23% of the national vote. In the South (excluding London), UKIP overtakes Labour on just 20% of the national vote.

Conclusions: Is your glass half empty......or half full?

How you interpret these results depends very much if you are pessimist, or an optimist.

A pessimist would say, with some justification, that however well UKIP poll now, there is bound to be some migration back to the LibLabCon parties come general election time. Therefore the best UKIP could possibly hope for is a vote in perhaps the low teens. In other words, a vote that could well result in the very worst possible outcome from a 'Kipper point of view: a Liberal Democrat - Labour coalition which would almost certainly result in no European referendum as well as daft socialist and Metro-Lib policies being implemented. Probably worst of all some kind of new constitutional tinkering that would ensure that the ghastly Lib Dem's stayed in power in perpetuity. A future of left-wing hegemony would seem to be assured.

An optimist would say that it is perfectly possible for UKIP to poll at much higher polling levels, particularly if the party has momentum after the European elections next year. Moreover, the floundering Ed Miliband and Labour's travails means that the Tories may well make up some ground against Labour, while still losing other votes to UKIP. Campaigning on the white hot  issue of immigration is likely to swing many Labour - leaning working class voters to our cause.

If UKIP score 20% or above, then British politics really will be shaken to it's foundations: the vast growth in marginal seats will throttle the career path of the political class and at the very least will mean politicians will have to start listening to the people rather than residing in a Metropolitan Liberal echo chamber. Secondly, the inability of any wing of the LibLabCon to claim a truly national mandate will surely lead to a much greater clamour for localism and devolution of powers away from Westminster. Moreover, it is entirely possible if UKIP can create some regional hotspots, East Anglia being the most likely area, that we will finally get seats in Parliament.

Is it too outlandish to think that UKIP could hold the balance of power? Probably, but we may as well shoot for the stars.


*Appendix: Notes on Modelling

Please note that the modelling undertaken here is entirely the private work of the author. It is not endorsed in any way by UKIP, Survation or any other organisation.

For the budding data scientists and number crunchers amongst you, here are a few notes on the modelling approach taken.

Calculating Swings from Survation's Linear Regressions

Survation very helpfully supply three simple linear regression lines for each of the LibLabCon parties which makes modelling easy.

The proportion of voters (in %) switching to UKIP from each of the LibLabCon wings are modelled as follows:

Conservative:   78 - (1.44 x X)
Labour:             1.2 x
Lib Dems:         22 + (0.32 x X)

Where X = the total UKIP vote.

The Survation model is not without it's weaknesses: firstly, it seems to take no account of voters who have previously not voted at all who now vote UKIP. Including these people would tend to flatten modelled changes between the LibLabCon parties as for a given UKIP total vote there would be less proportional swing from one branch of the LibLabCon to another.

Secondly, Survation's linear regression model is not really applicable after  a UKIP total vote of 25-30% is reached, because the negative slope of the regression line for Tory switchers to UKIP means that after around 30% the model goes into reverse, with the total number of Tory voters starting to rise with further increases in the UKIP vote! However, Survation can obviously be forgiven that as 25-30% is beyond the upper limits of any currently attained or projected UKIP aggregate vote.

Note: when modelling swing, you should not simply use the linear regressions on the total aggregate vote for each party, work out the proportion switching to UKIP, then divide that total to get the number of switchers in each constituency. Instead, you must work out the number of voters switching from each party based on the proportions of Conservative, Labour and Lib Dem voters in each constituency compared to the national average votes for those parties.

Modelling Lib to Lab Swing

As noted above, an 8% swing can not be calculated by simply mean taking 8% off the Lib Dem total in any given constituency and adding it to the Labour total. Rather, the swing must be proportional to the number of Liberal Democrat voters in any given constituency against the national average of such voters.

Modelling Incumbency

Incumbency is extremely difficult to model well because it will vary wildly depending on many factors. The approach adopted here is crude but does given some indication of how much better Liberal Democrats candidates in particular will perform than modelling based on average swings would suggest.

I have added incumbency weightings for all Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties. These weightings are 1, 2 and 10% for the Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat parties respectively. In order not to distort aggregate vote totals, I have then subtracted the proportional amounts from parties where they are challengers to a seat. For instance, the Lib Dems held 57  out of 650 seats in the 2010 General Election. I have therefore added 10% to the calculated votes of Lib Dem incumbent candidates. I have then subtracted (57 / (650 - 57) ) x 10 = 0.961% from all other Lib Dem candidates to even up the aggregate vote.

Lost Deposits

Note that the lost deposit totals also include seats where parties did not stand, which give a baseline figure of around 19 "lost deposit" seats for the LibLabCon parties who do not as a rule stand in Ulster.

The Destruction Of National Parties

"Northern" vote share is comprised of those constituencies in the North West, North East or Yorkshire and Humber.

"Southern" vote share is comprised on constituencies in the South East, South West and Eastern (East Anglian) regions. London is excluded.

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Tory MYP calls on Cameron to "damn well skin" the UKIP fox

A Conservative student blogger and Member of the UK Youth Parliament by the name of Tom Pike has written on the obscure Conservative Companion website that UKIP "wish simply to bully [the Tories] into a pact" and that the Tories shouldn't just shoot the UKIP fox, but "damn well skin it".

Although it would be amusing in a sadistic kind of way to take apart his article line by line as I have done with others, it would also be time consuming and at 11:45pm on a school night I'm not going to satisfy my inner sadist.  Instead I will leave you with the comment that I left on the article which he has thus far declined to approve despite in moderation for nearly 2 days.
Your youthfulness comes across in your writing which, whilst articulate, is just a string of stereotypical nonsense and fanciful musings. UKIP doesn’t want to bully the Tories into a pact – we want to beat you, we want to beat Labour and we want to form a government.

Throughout your article you refer to the fact that UKIP’s policies are simply better and more popular than Tory policies but rather than come to the obvious conclusion that the Tories should stop trying to change the way people think and adopt some policies that people actually want, you think that the Tories should instead go on the attack and tell voters that UKIP policies are full of holes.

We’ve had decades of alternating Tory and Labour governments and they’ve done nothing for us. Cameron’s “promise” of an EU referendum on 2 years of negotiations he’ll conduct on our membership if he wins the next election (he won’t) which would then result in another 2 years of negotiations after invoking Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty when we vote to leave is worth as much as his cast iron guarantee of a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty which we never had. Cameron is a dishonest europhile who has surrounded himself with other dishonest europhiles and nobody trusts them. That is why you will lose the next election – not because Ed Milibland or Labour are better (they’re no better or worse than the Cameron and the Tories) but because nobody trusts the Tories.

I would leave UKIP rather than form a coalition with the Tories and so would a great many UKIPpers. The Lib Dems happily destroyed themselves for a term in government because that is the limit of their ambition – to hang on someone else’s coat tails. Of course, it helps that David Cameron is more of a convictionless Lib Dem than a Tory but the two are really chalk and cheese on so many issues as far as the membership of those parties are concerned. It was never going to work but all the LibLabCon are interested in is the accumulation of power and wealth.

UKIP may not have all the answers but we’ll happily admit it when we don’t. We don’t have access to the government computer systems the LibLabCon have to model their economic and policy changes but we have real experts advising on policy – people who’ve had real jobs and made their own success. We don’t have decades (or centuries) of being in government to give the illusion of competence but we have real people saying real things about real problems. That is why we will give all three of the old parties the biggest kicking they’ve ever had next year in the EU elections and in 2015 in the general election. If you lose it’ll be your own fault and it’s time the Tories grew up and took responsibility for their own actions.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Dudley MBC by-election this Thursday

UKIP is fighting hard to win a by-election in Coseley on Thursday for a seat on Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council.

People have been travelling from all over the country to help UKIP's disability spokeswoman, Star Etheridge, fight her campaign.  She has had supporters from as far as Scotland and Cornwall coming to the West Midlands to deliver leaflets.

Star was well received when she spoke at a public meeting last night in the Apple Tree pub in Coseley along with UKIP press officer, Gawain Towler.  A couple of ladies who had just gone in for a drink ended up joining in the question and answer section and said they would be voting for UKIP in future.

EU Membership worth £92bn a year to the UK, equivalent to £3300 per household.

In a tweet exchange this figure was quoted to me by an EU bod (personal tweet account...).

He gave me this link to support that claim:-

I kicked the tyres... and they fell off...

Just the quick headline nonsense noted here.

In the Summary it says:-
EU countries currently trade twice as much with each other as
they would do in the absence of the Single Market. As a result, the Single
Market may be responsible for income gains in the UK between 2% and 6%,
that is between £1100 and £3300 a year per British household.
In section 2  it says:-
EU countries trade nowadays twice as much with each other as they would do in the absence of the Single Market. Given that, according to the OECD, a 10 percentage point increase in trade exposure is associated with a 4 per cent rise in income per capita, increased trade with Europe since the early 80s (around +15 percentage points) may be responsible for around 6% higher income per capita in the UK. This represents £3,300 a year per British household.
Problem is...

If the single market (established in the '80s) doubles the trade we do with the EU (an increase of 100%) - how come it has only increased by 15%?

This alone makes the document worthless nonsense(!). This is a document that  people are quoting and citing this to support our continued membership! Is there any reason to think any other data they are using is any better? No... not really...

I also can't help noticing that this £1100-£3300 per houshold - of course it doesn't go to households, it goes to Fat Euro Cats, but even if it did - would just about cover the increase in our fuel bills caused by the EU's very own Green Tax!

So even on their own best figures, the gross benefit of EU membership is entirely wiped out by their own green energy tax - every other cost of EU membership is a direct cost and drain on the wealth we in the UK create.

First published at:

Friday, 13 September 2013

Trouble at t'mill

It's been a disappointing couple of days for UKIP with Mike Nattrass MEP resigning from UKIP in protest at failing the selection process for the EU elections in 2014 and Cllr Chris Pain forming a new group on Lincolnshire County Council with two other UKIP councillors.

↑ Trouble ↑
Mike's motives are pretty transparent and unavoidable really without overruling the decision of the independent panel of head hunters and recruitment consultants as to who made the shortlist.  Chris Pain's decision is undoubtedly in response to him being suspended from the party despite the police dropping a racism case against him without charge.

No reason was given for Mike failing the MEP selection process but the decision was made by independent consultants and Mike's claims of cronyism and rule breaking just don't stand up to scrutiny. Nigel Farage had no part in the selection process because he's a candidate and had to go through the same selection process as everyone else.

The reason for the suspension of Chris Pain has also not been made public but is likely to be in response to an email that was distributed a week or so ago trying to stir up rebellion amongst the membership over the selection process that he was also unsuccessful in.

Whether the decisions were right or not is a moot point - nobody knows enough about what's happened to know whether they were or not - but both cases could undoubtedly have been handled better.  In both cases the membership are getting one side of the story from the aggrieved party and their supporters (who are also only getting one side of the story) because there is virtual silence from the party. This will have all blown over in a couple of weeks but someone needs to do some damage limitation now before it gets out of hand.

Bruges Group poll shows 29% want to remain in the EU

A poll for the eurosceptic thinktank, the Bruges Group, has found that 71% of voters in the UK want us to be members of EFTA while just 29% want us to remain in the EU.

The European Free Trade Agreement is what people were deceived into thinking they were voting for in the only referendum we've ever had on membership of what is now the EU.  It is the relationship that Norway and Switzerland have with the EU and has helped them to become the two most prosperous nations in Europe, able to respond to the economic crises that have have blighted the rest of Europe without being hamstrung by stupid EU rules.

The Director of the Bruges Group, Robert Oulds, said:
This poll shows that there is a viable alternative to EU membership. The option of re-joining EFTA and becoming like Norway and Switzerland is very popular with the British public.
Europhiles call EFTA "fax democracy", saying that Norway and Switzerland don't get a say in the regulations that affect them and receive new regulations from the EU by fax.  This simply isn't true as Civitas pointed out recently. Norway and Switzerland, along with Iceland and Liechtenstein who are also members of EFTA, are involved in the policy making process right at the start and are involved in the regulation amendment process. They don't get a vote on the final regulation when it comes to the EU Parliament but by that time it's a fait acompli anyway, either because it's an EU regulation bringing into force a directive from an international organisation like the OECD or UN or because it's a regulation to enforce EU policy which EFTA has been part of formulating.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Mike Nattrass resigns from UKIP

West Midlands MEP, Mike Nattrass, has resigned from UKIP after failing to get reselected for next year's EU elections.

In an email to party chairman, Steve Crowther, he describes UKIP as totalitarian and compares Nigel Farage to Robert Mugabe.  He also repeats his previous claim that party rules have been broken despite the things he says are against the rules being part of the changes to the party constitution that were approved by the membership some time ago.

It's a shame Mike has chosen to resign from the party for failing the MEP selection process rather than going into the selection process for a Westminster seat which he was almost certain to have been successful in but he's been in self destruct mode since he found out he was unsuccessful.

Royal Mail to be privatised on orders of the EU

The British government have confirmed today that Royal Mail is to be privatised within the next few weeks.

The privatisation is required under the EU Postal Service Directive that effectively bans state-owned postal services.  It was this directive that opened up the postal service to competition, depriving the Royal Mail of the profitable business mail and leaving it with a virtual monopoly on the largely unprofitable residential mail which it is required to deliver by law.

Michael Fallon MP, Minister for Business and Enterprise, has reassured us that the universal postal service isn't at risk:
It is the law - it's an Act of Parliament that was passed two years ago and only Parliament could ever change that.
It was the law that the Royal Mail was publicly owned and Parliament has passed a law allowing it to be privatised in accordance with an EU directive.  It was also the law that the Royal Mail had a monopoly on postal services and Parliament has passed a law allowing companies to come in and cherry pick the profitable parts of  the postal service to compete against them. Parliament is quite happy to legislate against the interests of the Royal Mail on the instructions of the EU, why should an Act of Parliament reassure us?

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Barroso predicts a UKIP win in 2014

Emperor Barroso predicted a UKIP win in next year's EU elections whilst telling Conservative MEP Martin Callanan that he would never be President of the EU because the Tories are appearing too eurosceptic.

His prediction - and a surreal defence of EU environmentalist policy in the face of pretty conclusive evidence that they're trying to fix something that isn't a problem - was a response to a fantastic speech by Nigel Farage in which he comprehensively wiped the floor with Barroso.

Sunday, 8 September 2013

Sked launches another vote-splitter party

One of the founders of UKIP, Alan Sked, has started up another vote splitter eurosceptic party.

Sked's started a pro-immigration party?
Is it April 1st already?
Sked claims that UKIP is racist so he's started a "centre left" pro-immigration eurosceptic party, presumably in the mistaken belief that UKIP only attracts right wing voters and that there is a gap for a left wing eurosceptic party.

Like Nikki Sinclaire's vote-splitter single issue party, all it can ever achieve is more votes for the europhile LibLabCon parties and keep us in the EU for even longer.  Or it would if it wasn't going to be another member of the one percent club of parties that struggle to break the 1% barrier in elections.

Like Labour's useless youth employment scheme of the same name, New Deal can be written off as just another pointless project dreamt up by a failed egotist.

Thursday, 5 September 2013

Observations on Universal Credit - and why Citizens Income with Flat Tax is better.

An extra 32 hours for £50? Really?

Universal Credit is an attempt to replace a number of benefits with one single benefit - simplifying the system so saving time and money.

As with all big state IT projects, the implementation is a shambles

But if it pays of in the long run, that will be forgotten, I just saw the figures in that story and thought I'd do a little analysis...

Graph showing how universal credit would fall as earnings increased

Which looks to me to say:-

The unemployed 20 year old gets £500 a month.

If he works 48 hours a month (12/week) at minimum wage (£6.25 an hour) he earns £300 a month (more than his rent!).

But with UC he will have a total of £700 a month so his 48hrs work have made him £200 better off - thats an extra £4.17 for each hour worked.

If he works 80 hours a month (20/week) at minimum wage he earns £500 a month (almost double his rent!).

But with UC he will have a total of £750 a month so his *extra* 32 hours have rewarded him an extra £50 a month... or a measly £1.56 an hour(!).

Or :-

HoursPayslip RatePayslip TotalUCMonthly TotalReward Per Hour WorkedReward per Extra Hour Worked

An extra 32 hours for £50? Really?

How about this instead?

With a real 'citizens income' the figures would look something like this:-

HoursPayslip RateTotalTax (30%)Take homeCIMonthly TotalReward Per Hour WorkedReward per Extra Hour Worked

So a fixed citizens income and a flat rate tax means workers keep 70% of every single £ they earn.

To simplify even further why not just tax the employer the 30% of their total wage bill - make the wage £3.67 and not tax the employees at all? I'd like to see people try to dodge their taxes with that in place!!

First Published at

Universal Credit: The Public Sector IT Merry-Go-Round

This morning we have been regaled with stories about the predictable fiasco of the government's Universal Credit system being described as being dogged by weak management, ineffective control and poor governance" by the National Audit Office.

The whole thing is, of course, drearily predictable: we have got used to disaster after disaster with government IT projects. But once again we must ask - why do government IT projects seem so prone to disaster?

There are a number of reasons. Firstly, massive IT projects, public or private, almost always take much longer to implement than when first estimated. However, there is an added pressure in the public sector to shoe-horn project  outcomes into  the demands of the electoral cycle and, quite correctly, they are subjected to a great deal more public scrutiny.

But the major reason for the litany of public IT disasters is a culture of the project merry-go-round.

Imagine you are a senior manager at a corporation, and you convince the governing board to finance a huge project that will greatly increase your power and prestige within the organisation. Naturally, you want this situation to continue as long as possible - ideally forever.

However, in the private sector, failure to complete the project and positively effect the bottom line will, sooner or later, lead to you getting fired. Not so in the public sector, where failure is rarely punished as quickly or severely. The bizarre result is that there is a personal disincentive to actually deliver the project. Instead, from a personal point of view it is best for managers to keep the band-wagon rolling for as long as possible. As a result, IT projects run into trouble, and rather than being pruned our abandoned, are simply restarted again and again.

As an IT consultant who has worked for several public sector organisations, I have seen projects restarted from scratch not once, not twice but astonishingly more than half and dozen times, with just a jazzy new name to rebrand the project and make it look  like something entirely new. Estimated completion times have overrun by almost orders of magnitude in the process. Never have the managers concerned been sacked. Of course it would be going too far to suggest that managers set out with such cynical intentions, but just like the rest of us they will tend to make decisions that secure their own positions and justify them on other grounds.

For that reason, do not believe those siren voices who say that Universal Credit should be 'reviewed' or 're-evaluated'. You can bet your bottom dollar that under that umbrella a new turn on the merry go round will begin, the project will be rebooted, and the total cost and implementation time will rise again. Meanwhile, nothing will be delivered, but many management empires will be built, the civil service employees at the Department of Social Security will be able to justify their continued existence, and no doubt many consultants will be very well re-numerated.

Either finish it, or kill it stone dead.