Paul Sykes should be careful of what he wishes for

To see Paul Sykes is going to put substantial financial resources into funding UKIP’s election advertising is not a surprise, but is nonetheless a pleasant boost for UKIP.

The party has seen its polling fall back and stagnate since its high in May; it is in the throws of yet another internal punch up about a friend of Nigel being parachuted in to the MEP candidate list – this time in Scotland; and it has been all but silent in the face of a concerted campaign of fear, uncertainty and doubt being sown by the EUphiles – who are desperate to talk about economics and avoid addressing the fundamental point about ‘Who should run Britain?’.

There is no doubt Sykes has his heart in the right place.  He wants an independent Britain and his interview on BBC Radio 4 this morning, and follow up story on BBC Online, shows he recognises the need to negotiate a settlement with the EU if Britain announces its intention to leave the bloc – a clear rejection of Tim Congdon’s scorched earth policy of abrogating all treaties with no agreements in place regarding trade, standards and movement of people and capital.  So far so good.

But for Sykes’ money to make a difference and boost the wider EUsceptic campaign, we have to hope he insists his money is used wisely and focuses on the core issue of sovereignty.   That is where the battle for an independent Britain will be won or lost.  Fighting a battle on economic interest or immigration would be doomed to failure.

Sykes’ comments on immigration do seem to mirror UKIP’s focus on Bulgarians and Romanians becoming eligible to migrate to the UK.  While that does play to a certain consituency in UK politics, those who did or were considering lending their vote to the BNP, it does not play well with the majority of eligible voters who find the current UKIP approach of scaremongering without a solution distasteful.

Too few people understand many of the immigration problems this country experiences are not so much to do with EU policy as UK government policy.  Where migrants are unable to support themselves in this country, they can be removed back to their own country.  Italy and France have both done this.  The UK government however has not acted where it has the legal ability to do so.

Further, too few people stop and ask what effect on immigration would we really experience if we left the EU.  UKIP present withdrawal as the answer to immigration.  In reality it would change little.  Two thirds of the migration to these shores comes from non-EU countries.  Too many people refused asylum are actually removed, rather they are given exceptional leave to remain.   So if UKIP maintain a focus on leaving the EU as the answer to the negative effects of migration, it is selling people a pup.  If Sykes backs this UKIP policy initative with his money, he may as well give it away, because UKIP have not ‘got it’ on immigration and its complexities yet.

If Paul Sykes wants to get maximum punch for his pound, he needs to ensure the awareness campaign he bankrolls focuses attention on who runs this country, and helping people understand how so many of the issues that frustrate them are linked to or originate from EU governance.  Any campaign needs to stick to the politics and the core issue, ‘Who should run Britain?’.  It will have a more significant impact with those who will vote and it denies the EUphiles the victory of pulling UKIP onto a false fight on economics that will only lead to a confused public sticking with the status quo.

All credit to Sykes for putting his own personal money into the fight.  He is a top man for doing so.  But please, let’s hope it will be spent on awareness of the right issues, upon which a successful ‘out’ campaign can be waged.  Otherwise it will just be an expensive folly.  And let us also hope he sees that an early referendum, thanks in large part to UKIP’s refusal to speak to the issues loudly and consistently, puts the EUsceptic side at a disadvantage.

Perhaps Sykes should spend some money on private polling to get a real idea of where people are based on the arguments being made and the status quo factor.  Too few will be on our side until the sovereignty issue is put front and centre and dominates all other arguments and distractions.

11 Responses to “Paul Sykes should be careful of what he wishes for”


  1. 1 lostleonardo 18/11/2013 at 11:55 am

    100 percent agreement on the sovereignty issue. Who rules? It is really the essential question in politics.

    Democracy – demos and kratus – means (or can be translated to mean) ‘people power’. If the People are not sovereign then there is no democracy.

    The logic is ineluctable IMHO.

    It is about time we started demonstrating that we understand what democracy really means.

  2. 2 Clarence 18/11/2013 at 11:59 am

    A decade ago, Paul Sykes sent every MP and British MEP a copy of The Great Deception, so we know that he has great taste and trusts the counsel of Booker and North.

    But he now needs to read what they have written about the inadvisability of an early in-out referendum, eg:

    http://eureferendum.com/blogview.aspx?blogno=84490

  3. 3 David Jones 18/11/2013 at 11:59 am

    UKIP are the future did you really expect him to fund the Tories when they have not promised to have a vote for another 4 years and even then will support a vote to stay in

    Please sign and share, blog, tweet, facebook the Daily Express petition to stop EU immigration. Over 110,000 have signed.

    Sign here- https://petitions.express.co.uk/Say-NO-to-new-EU-migrants

  4. 4 Pogle's Woodsman 18/11/2013 at 12:20 pm

    Considering Sykes in isolation I think you’re correct – but with Tebbit in the Bruges Groups coming up hard on the parallel flank backing ‘The Norway Option’, presumably bringing the BG with him, we could still be looking at a two-pronged – albeit unallied – coordinated front.

  5. 5 Autonomous Mind 18/11/2013 at 12:25 pm

    Sorry David, do you have comprehension issues, or just like building strawmen? I didn’t say anything about funding the Tories.

    I won’t be signing your linked petition. The Express and UKIP both have problems understanding (or refuse to understand) the immigration issue. They will take people down a cul-de-sac because EU migration is only a fraction of the problem we have. And they are not offering any solution to the problem we really have.

    Sure, demonise the EU about problems it is responsible for. But demonising the EU for matters that are actually largely global in origin and where the UK government fails to use the powers at its disposal for the benefit of UK citizens, is a surefire way to undermine the credibility of EUsceptics.

  6. 6 Bellevue 18/11/2013 at 4:50 pm

    AM, is there any way that you can send this posting directly to Paul Sykes? And refer him to EuReferendum blog as well?
    Or do you really believe that these people know all the facts, but just ignore them?
    This is a serious question…..

  7. 7 Freedom Lover 19/11/2013 at 1:03 am

    There’s a bit more to it than just “sovereignty”. Many people won’t have much of an idea what that means. But the real gut & emotional issues are Britain as our beloved homeland & its future as a united country – for that matter, that’s also a genuine antidote to non-English separatism.

    What good is our own sovereignty if there is nothing more on offer once sovereignty is achieved? Its the future that matters. So it needs to be spelt out in common-man terms. Will our future be a free one? Will our country be the best – or one of the best – for our children & our children’s children to grow up in? Will we, if we think things are not quite right, be fully free to decide the changes – or will someone else do it for us, & perhaps against our wishes? Will we be able to seek our choice of happiness – or someone else’s, perhaps a foreigner’s, but not ours; etc etc?

    In any anti-EU campaign this should be the emphasis. Just like Chile’s anti-fascist, anti-Pinochet, democrats who were in the same weak spot as ourselves when Pinochet (after 15 years of dictatorship) called a referendum in 1988 seeking support for him to have another 8-year Presidential term. See Wikipedia’s write-up about the film “No” which reveals all – see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/No_(2012_film), & also http://www.eureferendum.com/forum/yaf_postsm22285_EU-Referendum–political-suicide-for-the–outers.aspx#post22285

    It was the potential of a happy future for all Chilenos, if they could be free of the Pinochet dictatorship, which won the day. Our aim – Mr Sykes’, UKIP’s, & Eurosceptics’ all – should be the same.

  8. 8 JabbaTheCat 20/11/2013 at 12:01 am

    “It was the potential of a happy future for all Chilenos, if they could be free of the Pinochet dictatorship, which won the day.”

    Pinochet was such a brutal and oppressive dictator that he called a national referendum asking the Chilean people if he should continue as President, I mean, couldn’t get more bad ass oppress the peons than that?

  9. 9 Freedom Lover 20/11/2013 at 12:34 am

    JabbaTheCat, it was international pressure that forced Pinochet to call the vote in 1988. He was leading handsomely at first, not too surprisingly as even mild opposition was hardly tolerated at all. So, as my Wikipedia link in Comment 7 demonstrates, the “No” campaign (despite some internal disagreement) used ‘happy future’ themes, rather than getting into a sterile & unwinnable debate over economic issues. See the 2012 movie “No” if you have a chance. Its IMDB trailer is at:
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt2059255/?ref_=fn_al_tt_1

  10. 10 Adam West 20/11/2013 at 9:22 am

    Autonomous Mind wrote: “But for Sykes’ money to make a difference and boost the wider EUsceptic campaign, we have to hope he insists his money is used wisely and focuses on the core issue of sovereignty. That is where the battle for an independent Britain will be won or lost. ”

    Maybe local democracy matters more than UKIP realise. UKIP talk a great deal about europe and the EU. What they don’t get across half as well is that they are a little bit more for local democracy than the 3 main parties.

    Who should run the country? If you asked the public I can’t imagine Westminster getting much more support than Brussels but it is often presented as a binary choice between only Westminster or Brussels. Why would changing the faces in Westminster matter to us? It is an awkward circle to try and square – can the country be ‘run’ from Westminster. Our politicians have certainly tried to but consistently fail.

    Westminster muscled in on local government duties to fill the void left by handing over national government duties to Brussels. If a party wants to convince the public that they want to take back national sovereignty perhaps they should also be fleshing out plans for local and personal sovereignty too.

  11. 11 JabbaTheCat 20/11/2013 at 2:03 pm

    “…it was international pressure that forced Pinochet to call the vote in 1988.”

    That is revisionist nonsense. The ‘Plebiscito nacional de Chile de 1988’ has its origins directly in the 1980 Chilean Constitution…


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