Saturday, March 20, 2010

UKIP news review

Given it was the UKIP Spring Conference yesterday it is no surprise that there are a number of articles in today's press. They range from brief, explanatory to frankly unhinged.

So I shall start with unhinged. And thus I take you the Telegraph's coverage. This a genre piece by Tanya Gold, who had obviously arrived with an article written in all but detail. Thus UKIP are a party of "little Englander"s, so you must have missed John Bufton's speech, one of the four Welsh MEPs elected last year? The, "ragtag army of bearded men and ancient ladies," is odd. Those attending the conference were indeed largely late middle aged white men, with a leavening of women and those from various minorities. But have you ever been to any other political party event, the mix is almost exactly the same. What you do not get at a UKIP conference is the army of young men and women paid to be there by corporate lobbyists. Nobody wants to buy UKIP, because we are not for sale.

"Most are festooned with UKIP balloons and sashes and rosettes. " I didn't see a single sash, and nobody was wearing balloons, rosettes I grant you. But in plitics that is, I believe quite normal.

Does it really take four parking attendants to put a ticket on Aggers’ car?”
What? I follow Farage’s gaze and look ut the window. Four parking attendants are ticketing a car. “That is what we are against,” says Farage, “Four parking attendants ticketing Aggers’ car.” And who is Aggers? “One of our MEPs.”

This I grant you did happen and was followed by the 4 parking attendents beating a retreat as a whole bunch of people went outside to photograph the overkill.

She feigns surpise that UKIP are fielding a significant number of ethnic minority candidates, which is odd. Why should people who live in Britain not care about it and its democracy? Lord Pearson's rejoinder that
“I haven’t totted up how many ethnic minority candidates we have,” says Lord
Pearson, “I’m not really interested.”
Sounds honest too, because frankly UKIP don't care, it is utterly unimportant. If we have candidates from Cornwall, or born in Jamaica, or Ulan Bator or wherever it is because they want to be involved, have been selected and are proud to represent us. Any thought that UKIP would specifically promote, any given sector of society cannot have met anybody from the party, any leaders who suggested such a thing would be lynched. We are happy about anybody joining us who is prepared to stand up for out country. Who they are and where they come from is an irrelevance.

And the other point of accuracy in the piece,
And, magically, Caroline, Lady Pearson, arrives. She is indeed beautiful – tall, blonde, slender... “I said you were more beautiful than Samantha Cameron,” Lord Pearson tells her. “Don’t say that,” his wife replies, “It’s so embarrassing.” “But you are,” says Lord Pearson.
Elsewhere the Times reports fairly though briefly, though longer online,
But for the first time, the party has developed policies across the range of Westminster responsibilities, proposing a law and order crackdown, with new rights for homeowners to defend their property, longer prison sentences, a ‘three strikes and you’re out’ rule for persistent offenders and repeal of the Human Rights Act.

UKIP has also committed to banning the burka and promoting a pro-British policy of ‘uniculturalism’ instead of ‘multiculturalism and political correctness’. Saving imperial weights and measures and a sceptical stance on global warming are also promised.

Once outside the EU, the party aims to build closer links to the Commonwealth and promote democracy around the world, including Tibet, Taiwan and Burma.

The party would allow private companies to bid to provide NHS services and the deputy leader, David Campbell Bannerman, promised to ‘bring back real matrons, not pretend ones’ with greater powers to keep hospitals free of super bugs.
The FT has an interesting interview with Lord Pearson,

I venture that Ukip is unlikely to play a big role in the national poll because it is still too much of a cranky single-issue party – an irritant on the edge of politics rather than a central player.

Pearson disagrees. “We have policies on lots of things,” he says. It is certainly true that Ukip is seeking to broaden its base by adopting a range of populist policies but this seems less of a coherent programme for government than a list of dog-whistle issues designed to lure away wavering Tories. A good example is Ukip’s education policy, which Pearson describes as follows: “Vouchers, grammar schools and abolish teacher training.”

The party has also taken up climate change. Pearson observes that a Mori poll in February showed that for the first time more British people did not believe in man-made climate change than believed in it. Ukip recruited Lord Monckton, a former adviser to Mrs Thatcher, to investigate and then published his paper, claiming that the science was flawed, and that the state should stop spending resources on cutting carbon emissions.
It is a fair minded interview and worth a read.

The Express gives a short report of Lord Pearson's speech.

BBC Online

"I don't want to be rude, but..."

It's not the UK Independence Party motto, but it could be.

"This is going to be the most boring, pointless, futile general election ever held in this country."
Moving on to Lord Pearson,

He's understated, but still passionate.

His twenty minute address was a mixture of conviction: "The plain fact is the only way we can address the problems of the economy and immigration is by leaving the EU" and campaigning advice: "Don't let people tell you on the doorstep a hung parliament is bad. A hung parliament is infinitely preferable to the rest of them," he said to cheers.
In a seperate piece the Beeb focus on a key detail of the speech,

The UK Independence Party will not stand against hardline Eurosceptic rivals in other parties at the general election, its leader has said.

Lord Pearson said he would ask "seven or eight" UKIP candidates to stand aside in seats where their rivals also wanted UK withdrawal from the EU.

Tory candidates are most likely to benefit but UKIP said its move would apply to Eurosceptic Labour hopefuls.

The plan would show the public that UKIP was "different", he argued.
The point is of course is that as a arty UKIP puts the country before tribal party loyalty. If there are MPs who are committed to leaving the EU, then it would be counter productive to work against them. But they cannot be fairweather friends like Shaun Bailey, Tory poster boy candidate, who recently told me 'sotto voce' that he though that Britain would be better off out of the EU. Good for you Shaunn, but don't tell me, tell the people of Hammersmith, or better still, tell David Cameron.

The Telegraph also cover the substance of the speech - online only - which is significantly more fair minded than the so called news report.

Cameron's refusal to hold EU referendum spells 'certain disaster', Ukip leader says
David Cameron's refusal to offer a referendum on Europe would spell ''absolutely certain disaster'' for Britain in the event of the a Tory election win, the UK Independence Party leader said yesterday.
A Reuters report surfaces in theArab News. Likewise the Conference is carried in the Irish Times.

Non Conference related news includes two peieces in the Express. David Campbell Bannerman is quoted talking about an appalling dereliction of duty by local authorities in Peterborough,

Local UKIP Euro MP David Campbell Bannerman attacked “the ­cowardice of the authorities”. He said: “It is their duty to protect the people of this country. They must do it.”

Migrants are drawn to the city by the prospect of work picking vegetables on Fenland farms. The council said last night: “We are aware of ­people sleeping in these gardens. We will be working to help them access the services available to them.”
Good to see that the Concil have their priorities right. Yes ensure that the people who are trampling on the proprties of others have full access to services. How about serving the local community first by applying the law?

Godfrey Bloom lays into Euro lunacy,

UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom said: “This disgraceful cascade of taxpayers money is typified by the ‘Generosity Project’. The EU’s twisted idea is to spend our money – hundreds of thousands of pounds of our money – to make us feel good about them spending our money.

“I certainly don’t feel generous to them and I can’t think of a man, woman or child in this country that does.”

Matthew Elliott, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “It is ridiculous that British taxpayers’ hard-earned money is being wasted in this way.

“People are sick to death of seeing their money poured down the Brussels drain.”

But EU education and culture spokesman Dennis Abbott said the projects had created “millions of jobs in small businesses across Europe”.
I would love Dennis to point out to those millions of jobs. Indeed maybe we should put in a question asking the Commission to show exactly how many jobs have been created by these make-work schemes, and how much each of the non-jobs has cost the taxpayer?

Elsewhere William Hill are suggesting the UKIP are increasingly likely to win a seat,

With UKIP holding their Spring Conference, William Hill are offering 2/1 for them to win a seat at the next General Election.

"UKIP traditionally do well at the Euro Election and now we've had plenty of support for them to win one or more seats at the General Election", said Hill's spokesman Graham Sharpe.

Hill's bet - Will UKIP Win a Seat at the next General Election: 2/1 Yes, 4/11 No.
And the Kent News is reporting on another good result in a local election for UKIP, beating Labour and Lib Dems into 2nd place.


Mark Wadsworth said...

Good stuff, all in all.

Independent Brit said...

Excellent summary - thanks

Helen said...

Shaun Bailey did once say in public that he might be prepared in certain circumstances to argue for withdrawal from the EU. If it did not stop trying to take power away from the British parliament. I think he saw himself as being seriously courageous.