Archive for September, 2013

Royal Mail privatisation: The charade continues

The broadcast arm of the Guardian reported late last night that Labour’s shadow business secretary Chuka Umunna has confirmed the party will not promise to re-nationalise Royal Mail after it is privatised.

Well, duh!  But wait, the rationale for this statement of the bleeding obvious seems to be something other than the actual reason why Royal Mail cannot be re-nationalised, as Umunna’s comments make clear…

I have been very clear that we are not in a position to pledge to renationalise Royal Mail if we get into government in 2015.

I do not know how much Royal Mail shares will be trading at in May 2015, so I do not know how much it would cost to renationalise.

No credible future business secretary would therefore make such a pledge.

For the love of all things Holy…

No credible future business secretary would claim the reason for the inability of a UK government to re-nationalise the Royal Mail is financial rather than political as it would break the UK’s obligation under the EU’s Third Postal Directive.  But that is what the useless Umunna has done.  All eyes are being averted from the EU elephant in the room.

This tells us all we need to know about:

  1. The incompetence or lack of honesty of party political hacks like Umunna, who seek ‘power’ by way of election to Parliament in Westminster yet know nothing of how we are governed
  2. The incompetence or complicity of the BBC in ignoring the EU elephant in the room and pretending the Royal Mail privatisation could simply be reversed if Labour could afford to

Yet many people will take the Umunna and BBC drivel at face value, believing this is the Tories reviving the sale of family silver to their rich friends in the markets – just as intended by the BBC which has an agenda of seeing Labour win the next election.

It’s not just the Tories who deserve to be given a kicking for this EU Directive coming into force.  All main three parties are to blame for giving up almost all political control of this country over many years.  While the BBC has done its part for the establishment, helping to keep people distracted from the elephant in the room with biased reporting and omission of the truth.

A plague on all their houses.

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Global Governance has turned the EU into ‘Little Europe’

We do not have ‘global government’.  There is no such thing.

We do however have ‘global governance’.  This is all too real.

Most people in the UK and across Europe do not see or even realise the existence of global governance, because of its remote and distributed nature.  All that is seen is the face of governance that advertises and promotes itself – such as the EU and national governments in capital cities.  Increasingly, people are becoming familiar with the raft of diktats, regulations and laws that apparently spawn from the very visible EU and are implemented by national governments.

What is not understood is that most of what is handed down from the EU does not originate in Brussels and is not shaped in Brussels – it is handed down from global bodies that make up the system of global governance.  The EU is only a proxy, a delivery mechanism if you will.  While it governs a regional bloc of nation states, the EU takes its direction and instructions from global bodies, where the true power and influence truly rests.  The development of this network of bodies, on which most individual countries are able to represent themselves and their interests, has trumped the EU to become this country’s real supreme governor.

Global governance has neutered the power of the supposedly mighty EU to such a degree, a truer description of it today is ‘Little Europe’.

As a consequence, and in direct contradiction of the mantra so often uttered by the Europhiles, the influence of EU member states has been sharply reduced on the world stage. The 28 EU member states do not have their own voice on the global bodies.  The EU has one seat and speaks for all 28 at once, the EU negotiation position being a messy compromise of watered down competing EU member state interests.

This is in sharp contrast to countries such as Norway and Switzerland, which have their own seats on the global bodies and can advance their own national interests, undiluted and directly.   So as regulations and laws are formulated by these bodies in their power centres, such as Geneva, Montreal and Basle among others, Norway and Switzerland have as much influence in shaping the regulations as the EU representatives, and substantially more than every EU member state, including the United Kingdom.  All of which underlines the lie propagated by the Europhiles that countries like Norway have to implement what the EU tells it, without any say in what is handed down.

What does this mean for the UK?

In short, this country’s political class, which is trying to shackle this country to the EU middle man for political reasons, is waiving the opportunity to influence and direct input into the regulations and laws that are formulated at a level above the EU, and implemented by just about all of our trading partners.

Too much of what is decided does not suit British interests, but the UK’s capacity to shape these global regulations is hamstrung because instead of being at the top table and having influence, our politicians have given up our seat to the EU.  So the UK instead sits on the floor, knowing what it wants from the menu, but letting someone else order for us what it thinks we should have and throwing us what has been cooked up, cold and part eaten.

The EU model of government is past its ‘use by’ date.  The politicians are trying to tie us in to a system more than half a century old, that is now obsolete and detrimental to the interests and prospects of a nation such as the UK, with an economy and trading base that is among the biggest in the world.  It’s a big world out there and the UK can play a big part in how it works.  Instead, our blinkered politicians and their big business proxies want to keep us locked into Little Europe and its shrinking sphere of influence.

For political – and as this post shows, economic reasons – getting out of the European Union is an imperative.  But it is not an end in itself.  Freeing ourselves from the Brussels bureaucracy is only an enabler.  It merely provides this country with an opportunity to have real influence, a direct role in governance and a big part in shaping the rules of trade and the standards for products and services.

If we want the UK, our country, to be more successful, if we aspire to realise more of our potential, then we need to leave Little Europe and its passe vision and structures behind.  We need to rediscover our confidence and regain or independence.  Only then can we stake our place in the world and develop trade and partnership agreements on our own terms.

Leaving the EU is the starting point for determining our future and improving our prospects.  We have a choice, be part of Little Europe, or become Big Britain.

BBC entrenches in its climate change propagandist role

Anyone listening to the BBC Radio 4 Today programme this morning would be left in no doubt about the BBC’s re-doubled commitment to pushing the establishment’s climate change orthodoxy.

Roger Harrabin and Tom Feilden, supported online by Matt McGrath, set about their work in recent days to provide a wealth of material to be broadcast as a precursor to today’s release of the widely trailed Fifth Assessment Report of the International Panel on Climate Change in Stockholm.

The only word to describe the BBC’s reporting is propaganda.  It is the only description, given the amount of time they have devoted to the Climate Change on that one programme alone today, and their selection of a procession of interviewees who are all paid for members of the climate change alarmist community, reliant on maintaining the narrative and the funds continuing to flow from our pockets into theirs.

There has been no balance whatsover.  Only fleeting references to scepticism were made, without any explanation of the arguments underpinning their argument.  They were quickly dismissed with carefully selected words deployed to give the impression that scepticism is just the preserve of a tiny minority, while suggesting the evidence they have provided that discredits the alarmist position is trivial in nature – as if the sceptics were merely nit picking.

It goes without saying, there was not a single reference to the scandalous story earlier this week about how governments had objected the the ‘scientific’ report because it confirmed the observations of a statistical halt in temperature rises, and pushed for the language to be changed so government policy could be underpinned by the ‘consensus’.  The biased BBC were careful to omit that, careful to airbrush it from the record, lest it lead listeners to have doubt about what will be published later.

 

Every tool in the PR and communicators arsenal was employed today.  In segments of just a few minutes, and in reports from their correspondants, the BBC sought to:

  • Paint the sceptics’ arguments as unreasonable with the use of dismissive language and intonation
  • Present in detail the position and ‘lines to take’ of the alarmists and only present the counter viewpoint as a footnote, while purposely leaving out the salient details that contradict, through science and observation, the alarmist position
  • Deal with the impossible to hide errors and exaggerations by the alarmists by playing them down as trivial matters
  • Give the impression the sceptics have only gained ground in the last few years because of effective PR and use of techniques to sensationalise otherwise shallow and meaningless arguments
  • Deploys statistics as numbers are powerful – pushing the report’s ‘95%’ certainty that mankind is warming the planet and there is a need to reverse it
  • Give the impression of balance by playing Lord Lawson’s comments about the 15 years where warming has been statistically insignificant, but only playing his comment in the background of a segment and talking over the key takeaway line about 15 years with no warming
  • Give the impression there has only been a small slow down in warming and use language to suggest the slow down had already passed, even though it is ongoing
  • Appeal to authority time and again by repeatedly stating ‘overwhelming majority of scientists’ agree on climate change, until listeners are repeating it in their sleep

The result has been an utter distortion of events and facts, a partial, biased position that is not reporting, but advocacy for one argument over another.

What the BBC has been broadcasting today falls so far short of its Charter obligations, it makes a mockery of its claim to be an impartial and trusted broadcaster.  As we know there will be no sanction from this by the BBC Trust, it also makes a mockery of the checks and balances that supposedly exist to hold the BBC to account for its output.

The media’s powerful reputation for accuracy pt.94

Not a political story in any way, but courtesy of the Daily Mail, yet another example of just how fatuous Lord Justice Leveson’s infamous assertion really is…

Click to enlarge

Does the Mail employ editors any more?  Some of the comments under the article are worth reading for the amusement value.

Viva electronic pub gossip…

Farage, fudge and farce

It could only happen in UKIP.

Having dodged the disciplinary action bullet for his derogatory comments and loutish behaviour, Godfrey Bloom, has resigned as a UKIP MEP, will now sit in the European Parliament as an Independent and almost certainly will not feature on the party’s candidate list in Yorkshire and the Humber.  However he did not resign his membership of UKIP, despite saying that the ‘New UKIP’ is not really right for him any more.

This left Nigel Farage in a position where he had to either eject his friend, drinking partner and Brussels landlord from UKIP, or adopt a farcical fudge position of having a UKIP party member, who it not a UKIP MEP, sitting in the European Parliament, taking his group funding allocation that would have been collected by the party and doing completely his own thing.

Farage has opted for the fudge and farce so as to not sour his and Bloom’s bromance any further.

To show how lightly Farage takes this whole issue, he even told BBC Radio 4 that the vast majority of party members would not want to see Bloom ‘drummed out of the brownies’.

As a political entity, Farage has unwittingly summed up the level at which the party operates.  There is no way the three main parties would have settled on this fudge.  It underlines the lack of professionalism in UKIP and the appalling leadership Farage exhibits, undermining a seemingly strong action at the weekend only to flit back to weak arsed ineptitude by Tuesday.

Perhaps it shouldn’t come as a surprise.  If Farage can forgive Bloom’s being banned from hotels for urinating in a plant pot in a hotel foyer while blind drunk, and invoking European Parliamentary immunity when police tried to arrest him for having sex with a prostitute on the bonnet of a car in the street in full public view, then using an insulting word in front of the media, hitting a journalist in the street with a brochure, and threatening to hit another unless he was ‘polite’ to him, is clearly no big deal.

Of independence, protections and democracy

Where’s the benefit in striving to have a new boss, when he’s actually the old boss, and mostly just as bad if not much worse than the new old boss he would be replacing?

Put differently, what is the point of British people seeking independence from the EU, when putting British politicians back in charge to govern us from Westminster results in outcomes that are every bit as bad, if not worse, than what is forced on us by the crowd in Brussels?

Today’s earlier blog post about the squeeze on legal aid forcing some law firms to close down or restructure, focused on the consequences of long term abuse of a system designed to provide protections under the law for this country’s citizens and visitors.  The passing reference to cuts to the legal aid budget having ramifications for the ability of less well off people to have access to justice, really didn’t do justice to the magnitude of the changes being made by the coalition.

So this follow up seeks to put things into greater context.

What the cuts to the legal aid budget will result in was made clear in 2011.  As part of the cost saving plan, the UK informed the EU that it would not opt-in to the proposal for a Directive on the right of access to a lawyer in criminal proceedings and on the right to communicate upon arrest.  The reason was clear.  Clause 12 of what was then the Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, contained provisions that restrict access to legal advice for criminal suspects, with cost saving one of the reasons given for it.

Ostensibly the provision was to pave the way for means testing of defendants to determine if they should get legal aid, as a step change on the route to removing the automatic right of those arrested and in police custody to have access to a lawyer at the police station.  A director of legal aid would decide which detainees should get legal aid in the ‘interest of justice’ without any right to appeal – leaving the way open for the state to persecute individuals who, if of limited means, would be denied access to counsel.

Note the ‘interest of justice’ element of the clause.  It suggests this is not merely a financial consideration, but the state giving itself the ability to determine whether it’s in justice’s interest to have a defendant assisted by a lawyer if he can’t afford one.  It’s a wide open swinging door to abuse and miscarriage of justice.

By any measure, using the cost savings yardstick, it would be wrong to equate the entitlement to legal counsel upon arrest with the kind of abuses of legal aid that have seen millionaires defended at public cost.  But that was the excuse being used to push through a pernicious and worrying bill.

Now fast forward to two weeks ago in Brussels.  There we find the European Parliament plenary adopting a proposal from the European Commission to make a new law, to guarantee the rights of all citizens to be advised by a lawyer when facing criminal proceedings.  This is what the UK opted out of.

So what we see are protections being afforded to EU citizens that are not available to UK citizens.  Being in a signatory EU member state, ironically, would ensure the interests of defendants are protected far more than here in the UK.

This goes back to a long standing question.  Why bother pushing for independence when that still leaves us at the mercy of politicians and civil servants who are every bit as bad, if not worse, than those we seek to escape from in Brussels?  Out of the frying pan and into the fire.  It’s all well and good arguing for independence, but it is ultimately meaningless unless the UK becomes democratic.  Truly democratic.

That does not mean merely voting every 4-5 years then having no influence or control over the people we send to Parliament.  It means the people holding the power, and politicians not being able to impose on us restrictions and laws, like the eroding right to legal counsel paid for by the taxpayer, without our consent.

This is brings us to the intersection of independence and democracy, where there is a crossroads between the campaign to leave the EU and the embryonic campaign to realise the Six Demands of the Harrogate Agenda.

This post is just food for thought, and a reminder of the complexity that faces us as we seek to define the future of this country and our people.  Things aren’t always as black and white as they seem.  Getting out of the EU isn’t the end in itself, only the means to enable us to formulate the end for ourselves in the future.

(With more time I would probably do a better job of connecting the dots, with far better writing than the jumble above which was banged out in a few minutes of downtime. So this post may be revised slightly over the next day or so, to complete thoughts, add emphasis or generally improve it.)

The other side of the Legal Aid cuts coin

Make no mistake, the cuts to the legal aid budget will have ramifications for the ability of less well off people to have access to justice.  The media, in particular the BBC, will continue to tease out individual cases as part of its activism to make the case against cutting legal aid.

But the fact remains that legal aid has been abused by many people who easily have sufficient means to fund legal counsel, and by a number of solicitors and barristers, some of whom have become extremely wealthy over the years as a result.  Legal aid has also been used by convicted criminals to make unwarranted, nuisance challenges to punishments and restrictions justly handed down to them.

So it is of no surprise to hear yet more bleating from vested interests about how they are being adversely affected by the cuts after years of living happy on the hog, milking the legal aid fund to maintain very comfortable lifestyles indeed at our expense.

The most prominent example of this has surfaced in the Telegraph today, as Michael Mansfield QC’s firm, Tooks Chambers, has announced it is to cease taking client instruction from next month and close at the end of the year – as a direct result of the legal aid funding reductions.

Since the miner’s strike, joint head of chambers Mansfield has made a lucrative living taking on human rights cases and challenges to the establishment.  So much so that in legal circles he earned the nickname Mr Moneybags, with earnings apparently exceeding £700,000 per year.

A good example of how Mansfield earned this title, at the expense of taxpayers, is retailed in a Daily Mail piece from 2007.  It recalls how even as far back as 1998, Mansfield represented a client in a criminal appeal before the House of Lords.  In return for 43 hours work he submitted a legal aid bill of £22,300, or more than £500 per hour. Apparently after the Lord Chancellor criticised the fee, Mansfield very generously knocked £10,000 off the bill and only took £12,300 from the public purse.

There is no doubt that Mansfield has, during his career, taken on deserving cases in need of justice.  But the issue is the manner of his treatment of the public purse.  The Telegraph piece sets out what steps Mansfield and other Tooks’ barristers are being forced to take in order to start a new chambers and keep working after Tooks has gone:

Mr Mansfield said he plans to form his own, low-cost chambers “within the near future”.

Fifteen barristers from Tooks are expected to join the new set, to be called Mansfield Chambers,     which will keep overheads low by employing fewer clerks, sharing desks in cheaper offices and using     free computer software.

Only now, with limits put in place on the previously never ending reservoir of public money wrested from us through taxation, are some of these well-heeled legal eagles starting to be mindful of the costs they incur that they have long relied upon us to fund.

Where was this focus on costs previously?  The only conclusion that can be drawn here is that many solicitors and barristers are now reaping what they have long sown.

Had they charged reasonable fees and sought to be responsible in their use of other people’s money, perhaps the legal aid cutbacks would not have needed to be so drastic – and most importantly, more innocent people in need of help to fund worthy cases would not be squeezed out and left at the mercy of better resourced parties.

Perhaps this is something the BBC and other agenda based media would do well to consider when attacking the government.

Source of climate change alarmism confirmed once again

Back in the wider world, regular readers will have noticed this blog rarely ventures onto the climate change topic these days.  The reason for this is simple, it is not about science.

While a number of other blogs continue to expend energy on arguing with climate activists and scientists who push the alarmist narrative, pulling apart findings and assertions and countering with studies and findings from scientists who reject the alarmist creed, this blog long ago explained that such debate is a waste of time.  Climate change long ago ceased to be a scientific issue, it has for a number of years been a political issue.

Several days ago this argument was bolstered by a couple of stories in the Telegraph concerning the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) which is due to be published on Friday.  Scientists are struggling to explain why global warming has slowed to a statistically meaningless level for the last 15 years, despite rising greenhouse gas emissions.

If climate change was a scientific issue the discussion about how to handle this fact, which contradicts all of the claims and projections made by climate alarmists reliant on computer models, would be exclusively between scientists.  But as the Telegraph explained, other parties are actively influencing the report:

In a leaked June draft of the report’s summary from policymakers, the IPCC said the rate of warming in 1998-2012 was about half the average rate since 1951.

Several governments who fund the body have since complained about how the issue is tackled in the report.

Germany called for the reference to the slowdown to be deleted, saying a time span of 10-15 years was misleading in the context of climate change, which is measured over decades and centuries.

The US also urged the authors to include the “leading hypothesis” that the reduction in warming is linked to more heat being transferred to the deep ocean.

Belgium objected to using 1998 as a starting year for any statistics. That year was exceptionally warm, so any graph showing global temperatures starting with 1998 looks flat, because most years since have been cooler.

While Hungary worried the report would provide ammunition for sceptics.

This isn’t science, this is politics.

As such, rather than waste time countering scientific claims and trying to get one over the Michael Manns of this world, the focus should be on challenging the core of the alarmist cause – the governments and politicians who are clearly directing matter for their own ends.

In a follow up story on Saturday, the Telegraph reported that:

Jonathan Lynn, a spokesman for the IPCC, declined to comment on the content of the report because it is still to be finalised but insisted it would provide “a comprehensive picture of all the science relevant to climate change”.

More accurately, what it will provide is a picture of the ‘science’ relevant to climate change that has been shaped to fit the desired narrative of politicians, who then use the report as an excuse for more political actions to ‘fight’ climate change – which translate into more taxes, less conventional power generation, higher energy prices and more restrictions on supply.  That is what needs to be challenged.  Arguing statistics and method with scientists won’t make one iota of difference.

Farage on Brexit: ‘The only mechanism by which we can withdraw is Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty’

It is noteworthy that when it comes to discussion about how the UK should go about leaving the EU in a legal and structured manner that , the only place where the mechanism was properly considered and investigated was by Richard North on the EU Referendum blog with support in the Telegraph and Daily Mail from Christopher Booker.  The conclusion was that the UK must invoke Article 50 of the Treaty of Lisbon.

After many discussions with Richard and reviewing the information about the process, it became clear Richard was right and the legal exit process was clear and defined, even if it is only the start of a long and complex process.  It is the only provision that guarantees and requires the EU to discuss with a member state withdrawal from the union and negotiate what relationship that member state will have with the EU after exit – thus ensuring the UK can protect its economic and commercial interests, particularly with regard to trade.  Hence this blog began to advocate the Article 50 route in addition to a number of other blogs that had weighed in with support and additional analysis to advance the case.

So it has been frustrating thereafter to see a number of vocal Eurosceptics arguing that Article 50 is a ‘trap’ and arguing behind the scenes – only occasionally breaking cover on forums – that the mechanism for exit should be a simple repeal of the European Communities Act (ECA).  Overnight, via this scorched earth approach, the UK would be independent in so much as all treaties that bind us into adhering to EU law would fall.

However, it would also mean the UK would have no trade agreement with the EU – or any country or bloc with whom trade agreements have been made by the EU on the UK’s behalf – and no customs arrangements enabling our goods to enter the customs union.  ‘Ha, it doesn’t matter.  They sell more to us than we do to them, so a trade agreement would be in place within 24 hours,’ runs the argument of the scorched earthers, pretending the complexities of international trade and product standards with a bloc representing 27 other countries can be sorted out in a day.  In fact, Lord Digby Jones, the former Labour trade minister in the House of Lords, made this very argument at the UKIP conference the other day, demonstrating a capacity for delusion and level of ignorance that is truly breathtaking and disturbing in equal measure.

North’s hard work and detailed argument was however of interest to many Eurosceptics and UKIP members.  Ploughing a lonely furrow for a long time, EU Referendum (with minor assistance from Autonomous Mind) continued to explain the merits and protections of the Article 50 route to raise awareness among those who wanted to answer that longstanding question about Brexit – how it could be done. It was therefore extremely gratifying to see at Farage’s Q&A session at the UKIP conference that the first two questions raised by UKIP members concerned the ‘how‘ and focused on Article 50.

It was a measure of North’s success in bringing the mechanism issue to the forefront of the Brexit agenda, when even UKIP’s leadership was refusing to define the approach it endorsed and was planning for.  In answer to the question, Nigel Farage finally came off the fence and told the UKIP audience (as you can see in the first five minutes of the video below):


“The only mechanism by which we can withdraw is Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty.”

Farage did explain he is not comfortable with it because the Lisbon Treaty was not put to the British people, and applied a caveat that if the EU messed the UK around he would make a Unilateral Declaration of Independence, but he accepts it as the only appropriate and legal mechanism for starting Brexit.  This is a huge step forward.

We now have clarity about the mechanism and the approach UKIP accepts must be taken, contradicting the scorched earth approach pushed by UKIP MEP Gerard Batten and UKIP’s economic adviser and former leadership hopeful, Tim Congdon.  An important part of the battle has been won.  The persistence of one blogger, supported by some other blogs and a continuously growing number of Eurosceptics convinced by arguments for Article 50, has brought us to this point.  Richard deserves recognition and huge thanks for this.

The next step is for UKIP to start work on understanding what issues need to be negotiated and establishing the position the UK needs to take to get what it wants out of the negotiation.  It needs to engage people who understand what needs to be negotiated to ensure the UK is not adversely affected by withdrawal and formulate the approach to follow.  This has two benefits

  1. UKIP can genuinely declare to voters that it has a plan for leaving that does not harm UK interests
  2. UKIP can assure the business community that after exit, companies will not lose access to their European markets or ability to hire skilled employees from Europe

Only a high level explanation needs to be given, to give people confidence that there is a detailed plan behind the summary that covers the areas that concern people.  Polls have shown consistently that the greatest fear people have of Brexit are negative economic impacts.  The Europhiles have played on this remorselessly with spin, conjecture and outright lies to spread fear, uncertainty and doubt.  But if UKIP steps up, this FUD can be countered and more people will be reassured to vote to leave the EU should a referendum take place.

The comments made in a few moments from a stage in London might just now trigger a fightback by the Eurosceptic side, one that is backed with truth and evidence that destroys the arguments of the Europhiles.  This could be a seminal moment in the Brexit campaign.  It is now up to UKIP to use its platform to push this up the agenda for the benefit of the whole Eurosceptic side.-

Perhaps, just maybe, hope has been restored.  We have to wait and see if this Damascene conversion by Farage becomes more than words.=/

Ah, the blessed relief of vindication

The problem with the media is that something is never news until the media says it is.  Just a small case in point this weekend, from the Daily Mail:

However, on 10th September, this blog ran a post that made clear Syria was not out of the woods yet because the aim of the US was not just to deal with al-Assad’s chemical weapons, but to remove him from power – regime change:

The great Mail has awoken.  Thank God they are there to break the news and share their insightful analysis.  My electronic version of pub gossip has been vindicated by the highly paid and well connected.  It’s such a relief, I can tell you…

UKIP on the defensive as Bloom reverts to type… again

Having spent some hours mulling over the Godfrey Bloom idiocy today, and whether I should intrude of private grief, it seems there are grounds for comment.

The reaction to and defence of Bloom’s previous ‘Bongo Bongo Land’ comments demonstrated there is a very vocal section of UKIP support that has extremely poor judgement when it comes to character, and no concept of what is considered decent or dignified.  Looking at comments elsewhere today, it is clear the penny has dropped for some people about the kind of person Bloom is.

It wasn’t just his smartarse attempt to use a word, which while one definition of it is a slovenly (untidy or lazy) woman, the other, more frequent and prominent definition in the Oxford English and Cambridge dictionaries is ‘a woman who has many sexual partners’ and ‘a woman who has sexual relationships with a lot of men without any emotional involvement’ respectively – underlining that the common use of the word is in a disparaging manner.  It was his bahaviour afterwards in the street, where he bellowed and accused Michael Crick of being racist for asking why a UKIP publication did not contain a single picture with any person who was not white, before hitting Crick with it and throwing it on to the street.

Either way, Bloom’s behaviour indoors and out, was not dignified, respectful or responsible – and it demonstrated a propensity to lose his temper as a result of a worrying lack of self control.  Joking or not, for a professional politician it was no way to describe the women in the room and no way to behave to a journalist with a huge platform at his disposal.  But then, what can one expect from a man whose view of women is that of domestic slaves in the home, and sexual commodities on the street to be purchased for his sexual gratification, who hates the media for focusing his boorish stupidity.

Sadly though, far too many people still seem determined to defend and excuse anything Bloom, does because in their eyes he is just a fun loving, stout gentleman who doesn’t take things too seriously, standing up to challenge political correctness and take on the establishment.  They are filled with contempt and take delight when someone exhibits that contempt in order to antagonise and irritate the people they dislike.  But Bloom isn’t a ‘lad’, he is simply an attention seeking, sad excuse of a man, who delights in trying to be as insulting as possible within parameters that enable him to plead that he hasn’t crossed the line of what is acceptable.

Only now, after the Blessed Nigel has had his headline speech thunder stolen, canned and buried so deep it may as well be next to material that has a half life, is Godfrey Bloom considered to have gone beyond the pale.  The suspicion is that if this had been on any other day, Farage would have again excused the immaturity of his pet manchild and Bloom would be keeping the party whip.  Farage has just paid the personal price for his appalling judgement and for not dealing with the Bloom problem previously.

It was only ever going to be a matter of time until Bloom shot his mouth off again.  But it suggests a particularly incredible depth of stupidity to do so in front of various journalists, who according to Janice Atkinson speaking on Radio 5 Live earlier, had knowingly said to keep the cameras on Bloom because – to paraphrase – he always fucks things up.  Common sense would dictate that Bloom would be on his best behaviour and portray himself as a serious politician.  But no.

So UKIP were left looking desperate and disingenuous trying to defend Bloom’s comments by playing semantics, Annabelle Fuller racing into the breach to provide feminine cover.  Then a short while later la Atkinson was left looking like an idiot on BBC radio as she robustly defended Bloom, then when told Farage had thrown him to the wolves, contradicted herself and tied herself up in knots.

It seems Farage’s professionalisation of the party isn’t quite going to plan and the reason is him showing the same kind of cronyism he attacks when it happens in other parties.

Farage’s BBC face fuzz

If anyone believes the BBC had nothing more than an unfortunate and accidental pixelation error, they must believe in the tooth fairy, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster and a fat man in a red suit with flying reindeer, who can get down chimneys to leave presents every December…

Coming just a matter of hours after the media engaged in a bout of character assassination by trying to smear Farage with slurs that he is some kind of Nazi sympathising racist, the odds on this being a coincidence are astronomical.

Richard, who is better placed than many to comment on Farage’s character, has commented on EU Referendum about the media’s fetish for playing personality politics and the assault on the UKIP leader.

This blog holds no brief for Farage, but that is partly based on politics, partly on lack of competence, and the remainder is based on frustration at his ignorance of too many core issues and his refusal to articulate a cohesive and thought through plan for removing the UK from the EU.

His treatment at the hands of the media is just because he leads a party the media luvvies detest.  It is a disgrace.

Mainstream journalists have “a powerful reputation for accuracy” and bloggers are “no more than electronic versions of pub gossip”

Time and again that deluded tool of special interests, Lord Justice Leveson, will eat those words in return for his rank ignorance and opinionated myopia.

There is nothing that destroys the trust people have in a movement, or its credibility, or indeed undermines its objectives, as comprehensively, as being shown to be wilfully spreading inaccurate or knowingly false information.  But that is exactly what the Daily Express stands accused of today.

As Richard explains on EU Referendum, leading Eurosceptic journalist Christopher Booker, was approached by a newspaper who asked him to write a ‘robust’ commentary on the ‘plan’ by the EU Commission to ban the Union Flag from British meat packs.  Booker, along with Richard who often provides much needed forensic research expertise, soon discovered there is actually no such plan and went back to the newspaper concerned to tell them there was no story – foregoing what likely amounts to a four figure fee in the process.

This was after the Daily Express had contacted the European Commission about this ‘story’ only to be told it was not true.  Rather than dropping the piece, having been unable to deliver the narrative it wanted, the Express had commissioned John Ingham to write an article about this non existent plan the Express published despite the editorial team knowing it to be false.

An absence of fact checking is bad enough for the financed and resourced legacy media, but publishing a story for which they have been told there is no evidence and no basis in fact, is reprehensible.  This lack of integrity, this unprincipled behaviour, is damaging to the Eurosceptic cause.  If the Express knowingly published this story having been told it is false, how many other times have they done the same thing?  How much more false material is there waiting to harm the case for withdrawing from the EU?

As if this isn’t bad enough, it seems this false story has elicited outraged commentary from people whose very job necessitates them to sort fact from fiction using vast resources available to them.

Yes, that’s right.  UKIP’s seemingly infinite capacity for failing to do detail and instead shooting from the lip, has seen Paul Nuttall MEP, the party’s Deputy Leader, quoted on the UKIP party website as saying:

The EU is has launched this horrible offensive against national identity and scrapping appearances of the national flag is a way of doing that.

Consumers look for simple symbols like that when they buy meat to know they are buying British. We already have food supply chains that are far too long and British shoppers have lost faith in supermarket stock since the horse meat scandal.

Now I wouldn’t be surprised if shoppers instead are faced with the ring of stars logo instead. Well the general public are losing faith rapidly in the EU and will be seriously offended by these latest moves.

Really it makes more sense to be offended by something real rather than imagined, but hey ho.  With UKIP offering official comment that condemns plans that don’t exist, perhaps the faith the general public will lose will be in what the party has to say on EU matters.  On reflection, despite my regular complaints that UKIP is failing in its role by not using its platform to counter Europhile FUD, it is probably a blessing that its spokesman and MEPs stay silent on such EU related matters.  They should stick to filling vacant parish council seats until they can get their act together.

By knowingly publishing a false story the Daily Express is making fools of its readers and treating them with appalling contempt.  Rather than bolster the Eurosceptic cause they may well have done the opposite. So much for the mainstream media’s ‘powerful reputation for accuracy’.  It was a blogger who flagged up the media’s error and demonstrated integrity by setting the record straight.  Electronic pub gossip, or reliable and accurate guardian of the truth, m’lud?

The only way to defeat the Europhiles and their campaign of FUD is with the truth, with facts and with evidence.  The Express is therefore not an ally of our cause, but a ticking time bomb that could blow it apart.  The paper’s editors and journalists need to shape up or sod off.  We don’t need or want what they’re bringing to the table.

Reversing the CO2 madness on energy – it can be done

It can be done, oh yes.

On Friday, Sean Carney writing on the Emerging Europe blog in the Wall Street Journal, explained that:

Support for the European Union’s climate and energy policy eroded further Friday as the Czech Republic became the latest member to denounce subsidies for clean but costly renewable energy and pledged to double down on its use of fossil fuels.

It followed Poland’s declaration that it would use its abundant domestic coal supplies for power generation rather than invest in costly renewable energy facilities. Spain abolished subsidies for photovoltaic power generation in July and the U.K.’s power markets regulator last month froze solar power subsidies for the rest of the year.

If renewables gave value for money and provided a reliable source of energy, this would not be happening.  But the reality is these subsidy sinkholes are good for nothing but making landowners and renewables companies a huge amount of money, robbed from taxpayers and ever rising costs passed on to energy customers.  But as Carney’s piece explains, there are other consequences to this ludicrous largesse:

The Czech Republic has seen a surge in renewable power production over the last four years due to rich cash payouts for investors in the sector. Since then public outrage over fast-rising power prices has forced politicians to put the brakes on subsidies. The payouts have been a drag on the economy, creating uncertainty on energy markets and preventing utilities from investing.

So Germany continues to build more coal fired power stations, the Czech Republic and Poland are reverting back to coal and economic reality bites in Spain.  Yet the UK has in Ed Davey a minister for Energy and Climate Change who bitterly opposed the UK’s freeze in power subsidies and is demanding we go further down the road to the renewables abyss by ramping up the amount of underperforming wind turbines for the sake of ideology.

Ed Davey is doing this irrespective of the possible harm to our energy security, the ever rising cost to taxpayers and consumers, and the fact our European neighbours are calling time on a shocking financial waste that has delivered nothing close to what was promised in return.  The EU is hamstrung, member states are rushing back for reliable and affordable energy sources, evidence that reversing the CO2 madness on energy can be done.

Yet despite this the British are being dragged into penury by a delusional idiot who is happy to squander other people’s money to satisfy his vanity and desperation to be seen as virtuous.  And while Davey picks our pockets to push his policy agenda and describes realist opponents in the Conservative Party as its stone age wing, without any sense of irony his Lib Dem socialist mate Vince Cable has the nerve to describe the Tories as the nasty party.  Satire is truly dead.

UK’s New Deal for Somalia

Perhaps the UK will be proud of its role in the New Deal for Somalia which is being discussed today in a bilateral meeting with the Somali President, Hassan Sheikh Mohamud, as part of a wider conference that is taking place.

Only the UK is not in the room.  Matters such as these are exclusively handled ‘on our behalf’  by the EU.

Therefore, the meeting is between Mohamud and the President of the European Council, Herman van Rompuy.  This is the reality of our EU membership.  The politics being done is being done for us.  We are bound by treaties to honour any agreements or promises that are made because they would have been made in our name.

A consequence of EU membership is not being allowed to discussing our own interests and make deals with other nation states.  Our interests are diluted and compromised until they fit in with the ‘common position’ adopted on behalf of all 28 member states.  This is one of the reasons why we must leave the EU.

This is all about politics, not economics.  It is about having a seat at the table and doing what is in the UK’s best interests.  Without independence the UK will not have genuine influence on the world stage.  The interests of the British people are not, cannot and will not be put first until we can speak with our own voice.

Will no one rid me of this turbulent Minister?

There seems to be no limit to Ed Davey’s capacity to press ahead ever more aggressively with the discredited, grossly expensive, unreliable and unpopular proliferation of wind turbines.  In the Telegraph we find coverage of a speech by Davey and some of his pre-speech comments.

They confirm him to be dangerously detached from reality, in possession of a disturbing quasi-religious obsession with wind power and impervious to all evidence that demonstrates his beloved wind turbines are far from value for money and simply do not serve the needs of the population.  His response to evidence of the shortcomings and inefficiency of wind power is tunnel-visioned inflexibility, and a propensity to lash out at those who highlight them.  It is like witnessing a recalcitrant child running amok in a man’s body.

Davey’s sole reaction is to revert to ad hominem attacks, which he has done with an assault on Owen Paterson, who commissioned a report on the impact of wind farms on the countryside.  Given Davey’s dogged devotion to advocating and encouraging the proliferation of yet more of these wasteful, subsidy-hungry machines, irony doesn’t come close to defining Davey’s whinge that Paterson’s report would be ‘partial’.  The rationale for this, the Telegraph explains, is that Davey doesn’t believe the report would ‘fit with Lib Dem ideology on wind farms’.

Never mind whether the report is accurate, or exposes yet more shortcomings and negatives of wind turbines, the Lib Dems have a worldview – and regardless how flawed or wrongheaded it is we have to suffer the consequences.  Consider these comments attributed to Davey:

Take the battles I fight over wind power.

Owen Paterson would cull wind turbines faster than he can cull badgers.

But we have prevented the stone age wing of the Conservative Party from destroying our leading renewables industry.

So it’s not about reliable ‘clean’ energy or climate change – the alarmist predictions about which are already being shown up as greatly exaggerated computer model hype.  It’s not about providing the energy people need in an affordable way.  It’s about partisan party politics and propping up an industry at vast public expense.  An industry that creates great wealth for landowners and renewables companies and ensures they get their lavish pay offs from our tax pounds and energy bill payments, regardless of how poorly the turbines perform or how little energy they actually produce.

The ‘stone age’ wing of the Conservative Party that objects to such outrageous waste and excessive cost, has been held off by the ‘recidivist thievery’ wing of the Liberal Democrats that views our money as their personal slush fund.

Those people who thought Chris Huhne was bad and breathed a sigh of relief when he resigned ahead of the courtroom exposure of his lies and contempt for the public, hadn’t bargained on the Lib Dems coughing up something even worse from their reservoir of objectionable and dangerously delusional ideologues.  But that’s exactly what they’ve done with Ed Davey.

Davey is dangerous and he has to go.  But neither David Cameron nor Nick Clegg will act to remove him, as they share his belief system.  So the rest of us will continue to pay the price, in more ways than one.

The EU in/out debate and the reality… spread the word

EU membership is about politics, not economics.  But the debate is being grossly distorted by the Europhiled to scare people into maintaining the status quo while distracting people and businesses from understanding the facts.  If we are to help the UK escape from this political prison while protecting its economic interests, understanding how this false debate has been framed, is essential:

In recent days, Tony Blair, the Lord Mayor of London, big business represented by the CBI and numerous others have all been repeating the same plaintively concerted cry. But what is almost wholly absent from all this one-sidedly lacklustre debate is any reference to the fact that, if Britain were to leave the EU, we could still enjoy full access to that single market by joining the European Free Trade Area (EFTA), allowing us to continue trading with the EU just as we do now.

It is not surprising that the cheerleaders for continued membership so consistently fail to explain this to us, because it completely removes from them almost the only argument they offer for why we must stay in, as part of Mr Barroso’s drive for political union.

If they do occasionally mention it, this is only so that they can scornfully dismiss it by claiming that, although EFTA members such as Norway have full access to the single market, they must obey all its rules without playing any part in shaping them.

But this merely betrays an astonishing ignorance of how the system works. Not only do Norway and other EFTA members play a very active part in consulting on single market laws before they are finalised. Ever more rules these days in fact originate in global bodies above the EU, such as the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) or the Aarhus Convention on environmental issues, on which Norway is represented in its own right as an independent country, exercising more influence than Britain, which is represented only by the EU.

This is the kind of hard, factual evidence which should be right at the centre of any proper, grown-up debate on Britain’s future relations with the EU. Yet it is ruthlessly swept under the carpet because, to the scaremongers who want to pretend that, outside the EU, Britain would have no influence, it is the very last thing they want the British people to know about.

The media won’t tell the truth.  The Conservative Party’s proxy organisations won’t tell the truth.  So the only way more people will understand this is spreading the word through the grassroots.  Please do your bit to spread the word.

UKIP: Fighting the battles of yesterday

Our model should be the Liberal Democrats. Not in policy terms but on how they focused on areas where they are strong, focusing on district councillors and parish and city councils. They trebled the number of seats in Westminster that way. We need a volunteer army. We need people to stand up and put their heads above the parapet.

So said Nigel Farage at the UKIP rally in Telford.

What sounds like a step change in progress is, in reality, Farage seeking to fight the battles of yesterday.  When UKIP was formed it was for a clear purpose, to secure withdrawal from the EU.  Using the party political model was the right approach for the time because the only way to force withdrawal was via taking Westminster by storm, securing a parliamentary majority and voting to repeal the European Communities Act. The focus, however ambitious, was on going after the politicians by defeating them in elections and taking power.

It was the wisdom of its time.  There was no Lisbon Treaty back then, therefore no other route to an orderly exit.  There was also no suggestion of a referendum either.  But that is not true today.   Now we have Article 50 and a defined route to an orderly exit from the EU that didn’t exist before.  We also have talk of a referendum.  Yet in Telford, Farage spoke of the need for a volunteer army,  for people to stand up and put their heads above the parapet.  To what end?

It’s a puzzler because UKIP has no clear policy message for this army to carry to the public.  Farage won’t let a defined policy be articulated for two reasons:

1) because it allows him to remain all things to all members by not coming off the fence to explicitly chart the course the party will take, therefore avoiding a split with the half of the party that wants a different approach to be taken, and
2) because Farage fears having his policy pulled apart by political opponents, resulting in a loss of confidence among potential UKIP voters when the detail-free policies collapse under scrutiny.

As a result, there is nothing for UKIP to teach its members and activists in the proposed training, therefore they will get chewed up on doorsteps and in hustings as soon as detail is sought and the responses are on-the-fly, off-the-cuff answers that may easily contradict what other UKIP candidates assert elsewhere.

Setting these considerations aside, what can this volunteer army realistically achieve?  Most of them will be supporting the party because they oppose EU membership, but having arrived they will be encountering a party whose leader is now dramatically reducing any discussion of EU matters.  Ironically, of those things which Farage does deign to talk about many have come about or become an issue precisely because they come under EU competence and have been imposed on the UK.  But even Farage is refusing or failing to connect those dots to help voters understand just how relevant and how much impact the EU has on their day to day lives.

This volunteer army would be part of a force in a party that was created in a time when seizing political control was the only way to realise its aim of exiting the EU.  But today the world is rather different.  There isn’t the need to directly tackle the political class on its own terms in its own domain to move the UK towards the exit door.   The battle that needs to be fought is to win the hearts, minds and confidence of the general public to get them on side to vote in a referendum for an independent Britain.  How does UKIP having its army and getting Farage and others into Parliament achieve that aim?  Norway has already shown the way, winning its referendum to remain independent without having a UKIP type party leading the campaign.

But when it comes to winning the hearts, minds and confidence of voters, many vocal UKIP supporters argue that it is sufficient just to say ‘UKIP wants the UK to leave the EU’ to get them onside, and that giving voters detail will put them off.  But unless voters have confidence that the solely political aim of leaving (to achieve self determination) can be achieved without damaging the country’s economic and commercial interests, they aren’t going to get onside.  They will stick with the status quo out of fear.  This partly explains why UKIP is stubbonly rooted on around 12% in the polls, unable to increase its support because it is mute on the EU issue and is leaving the field to the Europhile voices who are happily sowing misinformation and outright lies without challenge.

Then there is the issue of business involvement in the campaign.  Even though it isn’t the place of business to decide how this country should be governed, there’s benefit to the business community also having confidence that an orderly exit can preserve what they want to hold on to and there’s nothing to fear from a Brexit.  Leaving the EU is about politics and democracy, it is not an economic matter and must not be allowed to be positioned as such by the Europhiles, using economic concerns to corrupt the debate and scare people into accepting the wishes of the political class.

We do need UKIP as a membership organisation to be onside with a Brexit campaign, articulating the right arguments to win people over to the merits of independence.   But UKIP has gone awol just as the Europhiles have started spreading false arguments, which unchallenged are therefore presumed by voters to be accurate and true.

UKIP is working back to front, adopting an approach they should have used years ago just after it has become obsolete.  The party is dancing to Farage’s tune, but he is way off key.   So what is UKIP good for if it’s so far behind the times and won’t show leadership in the independence campaign because it wants to win the protest votes of fed up people to realise Farage’s ambitions?

The sad fact is, in fighting the battles of yesterday UKIP is not helping us win the bigger battle that is coming tomorrow.  The party needs to change and that isn’t going to happen under the Blessed Nigel.

Regime change by any other name

It would not be a surprise if John Kerry was being burned in effigy on the White House lawn, at the State Department and in some secure outdoor location controlled by the National Security Agency (NSA).

His ‘rhetorical’ comment about Syria handing over chemical weapons exposed the tiny fissure in the US position that could be exploited by the Russians, to remove the American pretext for military attacks on the al-Assad regime.  Unsurprisingly the Syrians today appear to be very receptive to the idea of giving up weapons to prevent a US/French attack.  If the Syrians comply then the threat of Tomahawk Cruise missiles raining down on Syrian military targets would appear to have been removed.

Or does it?  While Kerry’s loose lips were holding back US ships, and the Russians were handing al-Assad a way out  of being attacked, the US National Security Advisor, Susan Rice, was delivering a speech to the New America Foundation, which underlined that the proposed deal on chemical weapons may not be enough to keep Washington at bay.  For while Rice was taking up US action but denying the US was seeking to effect regime change in Syria:

So, in short, this would not be an open-ended “intervention” in the Syrian civil war.  These strikes would not aim to topple Assad or, by themselves, to effect regime change.  Doing so would require a much larger and sustained military campaign, putting American forces in the center of this civil conflict.  And, as President Obama has made clear, it is neither wise nor necessary to do so.

… she went on to say, in a more round about way, that the US is indeed seeking regime change in Syria:

Our overarching goal is to end the underlying conflict through a negotiated, political transition in which Assad leaves power.   The best way to achieve this is to keep the country and its institutions intact, but all parties have to be willing to negotiate.  So ours is a multifaceted strategy that puts pressure on the regime by isolating them and denying them resources; builds up the civilian and military opposition; and secures diplomatic agreement with other key countries on the principles for transition while assisting those who need immediate relief.

This is a clear signal that while al-Assad holds the keys to the Presidential Palace in Damascus, the US will not be satisfied.  The effort to ‘deny resources’ and ‘isolate’ al-Assad’s regime is still a pretext for some form or other for further American intervention.  The threat of action, direct or indirect remains.  Rice herself was perfectly happy to explain right at the outset what her speech was all about and intended to further – the likely next excuse in the US playbook:

Today, I want to take this opportunity to explain why Syria’s use of chemical weapons is a serious threat to our national security, , and why it is in our national interest to undertake limited military action to deter future use.

We can be fairly certain there are US boots on the ground in Syria or just over the border in Turkey, working with Syrian rebel groups to help train fighters.  The US is not an impartial party.  It is on the side of the opposition to al-Assad, which means anything they do to weaken the regime will give defacto assistance to, and enhance the position of, Al Qaeda and its affiliates in the region.

Rice’s speech underlines the fact that no one should lose sight of.  Chemical weapons were just the convenient excuse available for an American intervention that would weaken one side (al-Assad) and by consequence strengthen the other (Sunni rebels and Al Qaeda).  The upshot is this isn’t going to go away.  The Americans have an agenda that necessitates the removal of al-Assad and, one way or another, they are determined that he will be removed.   Saving civilian lives is just the wrapper the American action comes in.

This is why yesterday, as various outlets described the Russian initiative as ‘checkmate’ we were only describing it as putting the US in ‘check’.  There are many moves yet in this game.  The plunger on the timer has been pressed and the clock is now ticking on the American side of the board.  What they do next, we can be certain, will not be the end of this matter.

This should be of concern to every person who wants the UK to leave the EU

On 5th September, UKIP held what it described as its biggest ever rally as 900 people gathered to listen to Nigel Farage and others speak.

The event received a write up in the Shropshire Star, which covered the key points made by the speakers.  Those people who have looked or will look at the report in the expectation of seeing some red meat on the subject of withdrawal from the EU and plans for how such an exit can be delivered, can be forgiven for feeling some disappointment.  The report shows the EU barely warranted a mention, and when it did it wasn’t Farage talking about it.

Being a curious sort, this prompted me to have a discussion about it with a highly placed source in the party.  They confirmed that EU matters were only mentioned in passing, but more revealingly explained that after the event Farage was delighted that the focus on the biggest political issue affecting the UK – membership of the EU and its consequences – was minimal.  It wasn’t an accident, it was by design.

While David Cameron talked the talk in imploring his Conservative members to stop ‘banging on about Europe’, Farage is walking the walk by doing just that.

Previous insights provided to me by well placed UKIP sources, one of whom has just landed on the party’s MEP candidate list for next year’s elections, asserted that Farage is more interested in building a rival to the Conservatives in the hope of splitting that party and capturing a segment of it, than pushing for an exit from the EU.  The new focus on emulating the targeted campaign approach used by the Liberal Democrats, in order to win a few seats rather than putting resources into all constituencies, confirms their assessments.

But what should cause even more concern for withdrawal realists – who understand leaving the EU while preserving the UK’s commercial interests requires a structured approach where Article 50 is invoked and agreement is reached on the relationship the UK will have with the EU after departure, before the European Communities Act (ECA) is repealed – is my source’s confirmation that Farage sees such a negotation as time consuming and an opportunity for EU meddling.  Farage, who has carefully straddled the fence in public by not siding for or against the Article 50 route despite a clear split in his party on the matter, in private advocated the scorched earth approach of leaving first and trying to negotiate something after, which would leave UK commercial interests at serious risk of damage.

This represents a serious threat to an ‘out’ campaign in any future referendum on EU membership.  The withdrawalists would come under incessant attack from the business community which would only look kindly on withdrawal if they could be assured their interests would be protected after the UK leaves the EU.  The Farage approach does not and cannot give that assurance.  In the meantime, Farage will not let UKIP announce its policy and approach for fear it will alienate a substantial number of UKIP members and will see the party exposed to (justified) attack from the Europhiles who will seize on such naive stupidity with alacrity.

What this demonstrates is that, once again, a political party created to achieve a particular end has compromised itself to service internal party maintenance and management.  As Norway showed during its referendum campaign on EU membership, a non party political campaign is the only way of ensuring the objectives are not watered down or jettisoned in favour of a party’s interests.

By way of a closing thought, if you think it is ridiculous that an anti EU party such as UKIP could be pulled off to focus on other things at the whim of its leader in this way, then consider for yourself the evidence that Farage is reversing from EU matters as part of his dream of being a British MP and leading a party in Parliament.  In the Evening Standard we see Tony Blair getting substantial space to set out yet another FUD-laden argument against withdrawing from the EU.  You would think the UKIP leader and by definition the supposed leader of the Eurosceptic movement would be all over this, exposing the misrepresentation, falsehoods and errors in Blair’s and numerous others that have been published in recent weeks and months.

You would think Farage would be demanding a right of reply to set the record straight – or at the very least shotuing loudly that he is being denied a platform.  There is still no counter to this prolonged Europhile line of attack in the media, and certainly nothing rebutting it on the UKIP website.  But Farage did somehow find time to be quoted at length in the Daily Express on High Speed Rail 2… he didn’t even mention the EU origins of the project in order to create a high speed rail network across the union.  I’ll leave it to Farage’s vocal band of supporters to explain how this focus does anything to develop public support for withdrawal from the EU or move us foward on the journey to successfully leaving the union at a time the Europhiles are working the public and winning them over to supporting continued membership.

The implications of this are clear.  The Eurosceptic movement is not being helped by UKIP because Farage’s agenda means he has other fish to fry.  The campaign is weaker as a result.  UKIP should be a standard bearer, it should be the flag ship of the ‘out’ campaign.  But under Farage it has relegated itself to the position of day-tripping passenger on a support vessel.  Do UKIP’s members realise what’s happening, or do they even care?


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