Category Archives: British Politics

Godfrey Bloom leaves UKIP

It is rare to find a politician with integrity, never mind one that knows what is going on. There are still a few around, but in an age where many politicians sole priority is to enhance their own careers,  they have become an endangered species.

When I heard the news that Godfrey Bloom had left UKIP I was very sad.  Godfrey had his whip withdrawn  in September last year after being subject to a media witch hunt for calling women “sluts”. A remark that was taken entirely out of context in order to serve the political correctness agenda.  Later that day Bloom swatted the insufferable journalist Michael Crick over the head with a UKIP conference brochure after Crick decided to discriminate people based on the colour of their skin. What happened that day, make no mistake, was a hatchet job.

A founder member and significant donor, Godfrey has been betrayed by a party that has drifted from its libertarian values. in favour of soaking up the disaffected vote through whatever means necessary. He spoke of how he was silenced quite a while back when expressing a desire to discuss “other issues”, and no doubt saw the party direction when being told “you can’t sell that on the doorstep”.

UKIP is now enjoying its most successful period in its 20 year history. And the points they make are resonating with a growing number of people around the country. They are connecting in a way that nobody else is currently able to.

However, slightly ironic is it not that UKIP are leaving those who supported the party for its original values are also being left increasingly disaffected. September’s party conference confirmed that the party was no longer a home for libertarianism. UKIP’s surprising growth in the Labour-dominated North has seen them pander to the Left in order to further woo their voters.

Whilst the free movement of people is a core libertarian principle, there is a very valid argument that in our current situation, it is one that is unsustainable. Until the welfare state is reduced – a key ingredient to the return of economic prosperity – a sensible immigration policy should be rightfully enforced.

But certain other policies left me unconvinced. The flat tax idea has now been scrapped, for a proposed system that is admittedly better than we have yet far from ideal. It was the idea to introduce a “luxury tax” which left me ultimately flummoxed.  Floated by new economic spokesman Patrick O’Flynn, the concept was that an increased VAT rate of 25% would be levied on good of significant value. As baseless and shallow as Labour’s “mansion tax”, this was a direct swipe at the rich in effort to lure the Left. Thankfully, party leader Nigel Farage squashed the idea just two days later.

The NHS paraded was paraded as the golden goose, never mind its inefficiency and extortionate wastage.  The solution to an economic problem is not to throw more money at it, yet in an era so entrenched in Keynesian economics, you could forgive someone for being incline to believe so. There is an overwhelming case for some business nous to be instilled in our health system if the end result is a greatly improved service.

Returning to Bloom, despite being stripped of any official role in UKIP he did remain a party member and activist until this week. That was until he was banned from speaking at a UKIP event in Weardale by unelected party chairman Steve Crowther. From there Bloom considered his position to be untenable and announced his resignation from the party. It is no secret that UKIP have displayed ruthlessness, and on many occasions they have been proved right, but this was not a case where the solution was to purge.

So is all  hope lost for the libertarian in UKIP? Perhaps not. The election of Douglas Carswell as their first MP last week was significant. Carswell endorses libertarianism and is a strong advocate of the free market. Crucially, even whilst in the Conservatives he never wavered from his beliefs in order to tow a party line, I am certain he will continue to preach them for UKIP. He is an asset to the party and once of the most forward-thinking men in British politics. UKIP must let him flourish.

Sadly, we only got to see Bloom in bloom briefly. Although during his 10-year stint in the European Parliament he did more than most to fight the British corner – alas there is only so much you can do in a ‘parliament’ that has no law-making ability.

Many view him as outspoken, a liability, a bigot, or perhaps far worse. From the footage I have seen that has not been contorted by the media that could not be further from the truth. Few understand the graveness of our economic situation and even fewer can articulate it so succinctly. How rare and welcome it is to see a person in public office expose fraudulence of fractional-reserve banking, and the idiocy of countries to take their currencies off of the gold standard.

UKIP have lost not only a libertarian lion but one of their most popular, and most informed voices. They have enjoyed many successful days in the past few years, this is most definitely not one of them.

I will leave you with some of Godfrey’s best speeches.


Swallow your pride and stand aside: How the Conservatives can take the fight to Labour

The Conservatives prospect of securing an overall majority in next year’s General Election are becoming increasingly remote. Despite a conference bounce current polling would suggest that they would still be nowhere near forming a government, with assistance or without.

But after a staggering result in last Thursday’s Heywood and Middleton by-election – where UKIP came within 600 votes of winning the seat.The Tory brand has for decades been rather toxic in the North, but never more so than now. In the last three by-elections conducted in the northern England the Conservative vote has been pitiful – with scores of just 14.5%, 12.3% and 11.5%.

They remain only relevant there since they are now a burden. UKIP is the only challenger in the North, and the 3,500 Conservative votes in Heywood and Middleton effectively cost their candidate John Bickley the victory. Yet as gloomy as the news is they have a chance to do something radical and unprecedented. In areas where they have no prospects but UKIP do, they could simply, not stand.

Granted, for the most successful political party ever in the United Kingdom, not contesting constituencies and effectively aiding an insurgent party, would require an immense swallowing of pride. Indeed, Breitbart’s Raheem Kassam made a very salient point the other day. They won’t do it because they still believe that UKIP voters belong to them.

But from a strategic point of view, standing aside and giving Nigel Farage’s party the best chance to succeed in the Labour-UKIP marginals is the logical thing to do. The overwhelming view is that the majority of UKIP voters are ex-Tories. Hence, for the hypothetical scenario to work, Conservative voters would opt for UKIP in areas where their party doesn’t stand. The Conservatives could promote the viewpoint that voting for UKIP in effort to oust Labour is the best course of action. You would imagine that many Conservative voters have even themselves considered changing their alliance.

If UKIP could steal a smattering of seats from Labour it would seriously harm their chances of forming a government. If the gamble paid off the sacrifice would be a collection of UKIP MPs but in an era where self-serving politicians are rife, a swathe of purple in the House of Commons would be an affordable price to pay if it meant remaining in government.

Of course, there is potential, albeit a much smaller one in Labour staying away from constituencies that are likely to be Conservative-UKIP marginals to keep the Conservatives out. Much less of the UKIP vote comes from Labour, but as the North is proving, its proportion is growing.

Both Labour and the Conservatives have the opportunity to use UKIP as an agency to thwart the others chances, yet currently the chances of them utilising are still slim. In the past they have united to try and stop UKIP from making progress, however that card won’t be on the table next year. The battle is between each other.

Of course there is always the possibility that the voters will switch from Conservative to Labour or vice-versa in order to stop UKIP, or maybe not even vote at all. Although working on the perception that a Labour voter would do their most to keep a Conservative out and that a Conservative voter would do whatever they can to keep Labour out, a vote for UKIP would be the only realistic way to achieve that goal.

Let us envisage the ramifications if either the Conservatives or Labour do adopt the tactics I have proposed. If it goes to plan UKIP could end up with a considerable representation in Westminster that may see them hold the balance of power in what is likely to be a hung parliament.

The prospect of UKIP being in the kingmakers in 2015 is an uneasy one for many. And admittedly, it is unlikely that either Labour or the Conservatives will take this route. The thought of the Establishment helping a party they have tried so desperately to keep out into a position of major influence is perhaps far-fetched.

The radical strategist however may perceive his enemy’s enemy to be his friend. They say a lot can happen in a week in politics, the next seven months may feel like a lifetime.

UKIP win Clacton; almost pull off Heywood and Middleton heist

“It’s a protest vote,” they said. “UKIP will never win a seat in Westminster,” they crowed. “They’re all ex-Tories,” they tried to convince. “A vote for UKIP is a vote for Labour,” they claimed, with increasing doubt.

Douglas Carswell stormed to victory in the Clacton by-election, John Bickley came within a mere 617 votes of poaching Heywood and Middleton, a Labour heartland. On a quite remarkable night, both Labour and the Conservatives were left punch drunk, floundering for answers, lying, and resorting to desperate amounts of spin.

The knowledge of polling and Carswell’s personal following made it rather clear early on that Clacton was going to be more of a coronation than a contest. The size of the victory however was unprecedented. A near 12.500 majority on a 51% turnout, Carswell took just shy of 60% of the vote – a 7% increase from when he stood on a Conservative ticket in the 2010 General Election.

But the real story of the evening came up North. Heywood and Middleton has always been a Labour seat, created in 1983 it was originally held by James Callaghan – no, not that one. In just 1997 they carried a majority of over 17,500. Admittedly since then the gap has reduced, but when the seat was retained the seat in 2010 Labour were still around 6,000 to the good. Squeaking to victory by just over 600 votes was not cause for celebration.

Opinion polling suggested Labour were on course to increase their share of the vote by around 10%, mainly aided by the collapse of the Liberal Democrats. That didn’t happen. A puny rise of just 1% was quite frankly abysmal for an opposition party in one of their strongholds. To almost be beaten by a party that has so often been dismissed as a threat to the Right is astounding. UKIP took almost 39% of the vote – for an hour or so it stood as their highest share in a by-election – an increase of over 36% from 2010. In fact, a recount was called for on realization of just how tight it was.

One could argue that if UKIP spent more time up in Heywood and Middleton than they did down in Clacton they may have pinched it. Indeed, if the by-election took place after Clacton, momentum and belief that UKIP are a viable alternative may well have carried them through. Labour were evidently well aware of the threat posed, despite their pitiful efforts to dismiss it. In an apparent urgency to set the by-election date as early as possible and halt the UKIP charge, they didn’t even wait until after Jim Dobbin’s funeral.

Douglas Carswell and Nigel Farage enjoy a McFlurry in Clacton
Douglas Carswell and Nigel Farage enjoy a McFlurry in Clacton

The UKIP problem is just an addition to Labour’s growing malaise. Ed Miliband has shown himself to be clumsy at best, incompetent at worst. His approval ratings are woefully poor – lurking at around 20% – and his recent conference speech is already infamous for failing to mention both immigration and the deficit. Poll ratings hovering at around 35% do not suggest they are a party on the brink of government. A combination of weak policies and lame efforts to attack the rich – the poorly thought out ‘mansion tax’ being the latest example – have failed to inspire voters. Neither has a strategy reliant on another party splitting the vote of their opponents allowing them through the back door, possibly hand-in-hand with Nick Clegg.

Even that may not be that simple though. Labour are under threat in areas which previously would have been unimaginable.

The implications of the Scottish Referendum has seen a surge in support for the Scottish National Party who are certain to seriously challenge in the Labour heartlands. Unless further devolution for Scotland is achieved as promised by the No campaign, Labour risk losing a chunk of their 41 Scottish MPs.

However it is the UKIP surge in the North which is most intriguing – Nigel Farage is even teasing the prospect of Labour MPs defecting. Old Labour voters have been left disaffected by Miliband’s leadership, and are flocking to UKIP. Heywood and Middleton is the latest indicator, the European elections provide further proof for UKIP’s growing influence. Open-door immigration has directly impacted the working class, an unlimited supply of labour has suppressed wages and put the squeeze on those who have for so long been staunch Labour voters. The mass immigration promoted under Tony Blair’s government, has served to alienate traditional Labour voter.This Labour is no longer a champion of the working class, UKIP may not have all the answers, but for those who have suffered as a result of immigration, they feel UKIP is their only option.

It is now very much a case of the Conservatives splitting the UKIP vote in the North – the 3,500 Tory votes in Heywood and Middleton effectively cost UKIP the seat. With UKIP the only realistic challenger to Labour in those northern regions, could we see a further exodus from the Conservatives in an effort to defeat Labour? A Conservative vote there is now a wasted one.

No doubt the line parroted will be that strange things happen in by-elections and they don’t necessarily reflect how voters act in a general election – the idea being that a by-election is regarded as a free shot whereas in a general election voters choose who they want to govern the country. To an extent I agree, for the by-election is the agency which has seen the likes of George Galloway elected into Westminster.

But if UKIP ever were a protest vote, they are no longer. Consistently gaining in the polls over the past couple of years, and victory in May’s European Elections was the culmination of what has been an astonishing period. UKIP now has a core vote, a growing number of people are putting a cross in their box not because they are disenfranchised, but because they agree with the party’s policies. The idea that the UKIP vote will drastically collapse sometime over the next seven months is dead in the water. For the main parties to believe it is an act of either sheer ignorance, or staggering naivety.

The Establishment are still not listening, either that or they are not understanding. Listening to MPs trying to explain and counter the continued UKIP success is like listening to robots. Labour choose to ignore the threat they face and take salvation in the fact that UKIP is still more of a Tory problem than a Labour one. The Conservatives are still plugging the line that a vote for UKIP is a vote for Labour – quite frankly, UKIP voters care anymore. The prospect of Ed Miliband in Downing Street rather than David Cameron is now a minor detail.

A by-election in Rochester and Strood is next on the UKIP radar. Defecting Tory MP Mark Reckless will attempt to hold the seat he won in 2010 under the UKIP banner. Recent polling suggests he holds a 9% lead over his former party and the election of Carswell is likely to see that boosted, UKIP could well have a second MP in around a month’s time.

British politics has never been so exciting, or if you prefer, in such a vast state of flux. Whether or not you believe UKIP to be the long-term future is largely irrelevant. Anything that aids the destruction of Labour and Conservatives can only be welcomed, they have had their grubby little hands on this country for long enough.

A masterstroke or just a bit Reckless?

Nigel Farage and UKIP produced another promised earthquake on Saturday with the defection of Conservative MP Mark Reckless – culminating in him standing down and triggering a by-election in his Rochester and Strood constituency.

Reckless becomes the second Tory MP to defect to UKIP in the past month following Clacton’s Douglas Carswell in late August. Carswell also stood down and called a by-election which will be held next Thursday where he is widely expected to become UKIP’s first elected MP.

MP defections aren’t all that unusual – many have “crossed the floor” over the years – but these two are extremely significant. Both Carswell and Reckless have seeked the permission of their electorate to represent them under different colours in the form of a by-election – something that hasn’t happened for decades. Not to mention that UKIP currently have no representation in the House of Commons.

Unlike Clacton, the stakes are much higher for both the Conservatives and UKIP in Rochester and Strood. Carswell has built up a firm following over the past 10 years and Clacton has been labeled one of the most receptive constituencies for UKIP in the country. Reckless will not be afforded this luxury. He was only elected as an MP in 2010 and the seat has a near 10,000 Conservative majority. Moreover, Rochester and Strood didn’t originally feature in UKIP’s top 250 target seats.

Many Conservative activists in the area feel betrayed by Reckless, who had previously told them that he would not be defecting. The reception Reckless has received on return to his constituency hasn’t been as welcoming as Carswell’s according to the media anyway. Yet his decision to call a by-election instead of just sitting under a UKIP banner is a noble act. He could very well lose, although I imagine that he has research telling him he has a strong chance of re-election.

A loss in Clacton for the Conservatives could be brushed aside as something of a one-off. Indeed, Carswell is seen by even his former party as something of a one-off, albeit somebody who has commanded a great respect. But if Reckless carries Rochester and Strood, the Tories UKIP headache will develop into a severe migraine. Potential other Tory defectors – Farage assures us there are some – may think they’d be better off on a UKIP ticket next May.

And you wouldn’t blame them. Staunch Eurosceptics in the Conservative Party are surely only still there because of the 2017 referendum promise. It’s clear that David Cameron has no intention of pulling the UK out of the European Union. If he is still in office in 2017, he will claim some bogus renegotiation before begging everyone to vote to stay, in a campaign that will be based on fear.

For UKIP, a win in Rochester and Strood is the only option. A failure and momentum is halted, other potential defectors will become doubtful over whether they could hold their seat standing as UKIP. However, if they win it will be something of a game-changer and their biggest success to date. The likelihood of more defections will increase and belief that UKIP may win enough seats in Westminster to hold the balance of power next year will strengthen. The prospect of one or two UKIP MPs could genuinely develop into 10 to 20 – particularly if Cameron maintains his weak stance over the EU.

Early betting has Reckless around a 1/2 favourite to win back his seat but much will remain a mystery until some opinion polls are released. Expect the Tories to plough millions into this by-election as they did in Newark back in June. They will believe that winning here is very possible, as much as it is a necessity. Staving off the UKIP assault here would be a major boost.

Yet something tells me the UKIP juggernaut will roll on and that Reckless will win. For those whose priority is Europe, they are the only option. Cameron has kicked the issue into the long grass for far too long, and the only thing that would keep a genuine Eurosceptic with the Tories is the fear of letting Ed Miliband in to 10 Downing Street.

But Labour are also threatened, many Old Labour voters are flocking to UKIP in their droves despite the notion that they are a right-wing party. UKIP’s recent conference aimed to appeal to those Old Labour people, and if they could win the by-election coming up in Heywood and Middleton, UKIP will be as much a Labour problem as they are a Tory one.

The Establishment as they are so often labelled these days are extremely worried. Farage has teased further defections, with another potentially coming on Wednesday, when Cameron will give his conference speech to the Conservatives. No one knows when they will happen, who they will be, and the impact it might have. We are in very exciting times.

Where is the real independence?

On Thursday Scotland will go to the polls to “determine their future”. In a historic referendum that will decide whether to stay as part of the United Kingdom, or to split and become an “independent” country.

I put the term independent in quotation marks because any promise of independence that has been made by the Yes campaign is phony. Instead of the Scots offering up their sovereignty to Westminster, they have been given the chance to pledge allegiance to Brussels instead – and become a province of the ever-growing European empire.

The European Union claims to be the world’s second largest democracy, after India. Unfortunately for the citizens within this Union, there is no democracy. The only elections that take place are European Parliament elections, which is where the Members of European Parliament (MEPs) sit. This “Parliament” if it can even be called that, is not your average parliament. There are is no law making body it is simply an amendment chamber. The European Commission is the law-making body, they propose legislation and send it down to the European Parliament for approval. If MEPs vote yes to a piece of proposed legislation it will be passed, if they vote no the Commission will redress it and keep bringing it back until it is.

A conservative estimate is that the EU accounts for at least 50% of a country’s laws. The true figure is likely far higher but we’ll stick with committed Europhile Nick Clegg’s figure for the sake of argument. 50% is still 50% too much. If this Commission were elected by the people of Europe then there would be at least a thin veneer of democracy – but they are not. They are appointed without the requirement for them ever to have been elected for anything in their lives. Baroness Cathy Ashton is a prime example. Shoehorned in to the House of Lords to rush through the Lisbon Treaty, she was then appointed to the Commission to become head of foreign policy. She was for a period a few years back the highest paid female politician in the world. And I would argue she isn’t doing a very good job either, as we head stupidly into a clumsy, and I fear inevitable conflict with Russia. I digress.scotland-europe-1

The fact is, the European Commission that accounts for a high percentage of a country’s laws has not been elected by anybody. One could argue that the European Union is less democratic than North Korea. At least they get to vote on who is in charge, despite there only being one name on the ballot, and that Kim Il-Sung who remains President until this day, has been dead for over 20 years.

There are those who will tell you that the European Union is not perfect and that it needs reform. Indeed it does, it is completely illegitimate as a political body, and should have never been allowed to mutate from being a free trade area. Reform however is impossible. To quote Peter Hitchens: “To complain that a European Union is a federalist is like complaining that a bicycle has handlebars, that’s what they are”. The lone stance of David Cameron to try and stop Jean-Claude Juncker becoming President of the European Union was completely pointless – I would argue fake. If it wasn’t Juncker, it would have been somebody else. The intention has been made perfectly clear that further integration and further destruction of national sovereignty is the aim of the game and for anyone to believe otherwise is an act of extreme gullibility.

Why has this generation so easily given up its right to govern itself? Possibly because it is the first to not have to defend its own freedom. The European Union was allegedly formed to bind nations together, so that we would never go to war again. The complete opposite has happened, we have not become stronger. The failure of the Eurozone has caused misery across and has if anything created a further divide between Northern and Southern Europe.

I’ve not even mentioned the economic crisis that has crippled Southern Europe as a result of total ineptness. For those interested in how the European Union is totally clueless over financial matters and how the Eurozone has failed and left countries trapped in an economic prison, I suggest checking out some of former MEP Godfrey Bloom’s speeches on YouTube. Bloom is one of the few politicians who has had the guts to explain why the banking system has failed, revealing its total incompetency as well as the complete illegitimacy of the European Union. Unfortunately Bloom was hounded out by his own party UKIP around 12 months ago after a political correctness attack by the mainstream media.

So there is your choice Scotland, or rather your lack of it. You can either leave and submit yourself to this faux-democracy or remain in a current Union that you have a right to be equally uneasy with. Westminster is grovelling to make you stay, offering deals and promises preferential treatment that it will fail to deliver due to its rejection by the rest of the British public. Whatever you choose, the grubby fist of Brussels will remain clenched around your balls. It doesn’t really matter, the promise that you can have sovereignty and govern your own affairs is not an option. Until a country elects a government that doesn’t hate its own people and offer them a chance to get out, very little can change. One can only hope that if a country such as the UK or France finally does get a referendum and votes to leave, that the rest of Europe will also follow suit. Until that happens, nothing will change.

Scotland deserves far better, as does everyone else.