Wednesday, April 07, 2010

UKIP News review

National news
The fight in Buckingham gets a big piece in the Telegraph,

UKIP, which opened an election “shop” in Buckingham town centre last October, certainly presents the most organised opposition. Almost every bus going through the town has a UKIP election poster on it, and the shop, which sells brightly-coloured UKIP mugs, sweatshirts, pens, necklaces, towels and even “keep the pound” dressing gowns, is by far the most visible symbol of the fight to come.

The gaudy campaign headquaters is also helping to attract some of the significant minority of the 75,000 registered voters who would normally vote Labour.

Ben Jones, manager of the proudly working-class Three Cups pub, has noticed a definite swing towards UKIP among his regulars.

“There isn’t a Labour candidate so people are discussing which way to go. At first there was quite a lot of talk about the BNP, but I think since the UKIP shop set up, and people find out more about them, they are moving in that direction. But I do think that ultimately the fringe candidates will split the vote and Bercow will get in again.”
We can gloss over the reference to dressing gowns...

The Express flags up the possible impact of UKIP in its editorial,

There are two wild cards in this election. The first is Nick Clegg’s Liberal Democrats, who have belatedly grasped the importance of restraining public spending and supporting working people yet still adhere to lamentable policies on issues such as Europe and immigration. The second is the performance of the smaller parties, most notably the broadening appeal of UKIP under the energetic leadership of Lord Pearson.
With UKIP polling between 4% and 7% across the country our impact in marginals could be the difference in this election.
In CiF Mehdi Hasan throws up his hands in horror,

And on a local level, as well as at a national level, unpredictability abounds. Ukip's Nigel Farage is defying convention to challenge Speaker John Bercow in Buckingham. To borrow a phrase from Henry Kissinger, I hope they both lose.
For that matter so does Max Hastings,

On May 6, each of us will nominally choose a mere constituency MP. Some people will vote Lib Dem, Scottish or Welsh Nationalist, even - heaven help us - for UKIP or the BNP.
What pray is Max's problem with UKIP, that they may overturn his cosy consensus?

Our candidate in St Albans is feeling bullish,
"We are fighting our campaign on the policies of straight talking and common sense, things that have been sadly missing from our politicians over the last decade.
Business Matters give a basic rundown of UKIP's business policies.

Leave the EU
Take tax off the minimum wage by raising the tax threshold to £11,500
A 31% flat tax rate
Phase out employers’ NI contributions over five years
Axe government quangos
Release businesses from 120,000 EU laws
Replace VAT with a ‘Local Sales Tax’ to help councils and local businesses
Create one million new skilled jobs with public and private investment in a five-point public works
programme to provide defence equipment, nuclear power stations, flood and coastal protection, transport infrastructure including high-speed rail lines, and new prisons
Abolish costly EU schemes such as carbon capping, emissions trading, and landfill taxes
Amend the UK Takeover Code to prevent foreign interests from gaining control of strategic British companies

Seems a fair summary

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