It’s local election day today. If you have elections where you are, it’s your chance to vote UKIP.
Let’s show them we can light up Britain!
Queen Mary’s Grammar School, Walsall - Only UKIP Want More Schools Like This
The Coalition Government is still dead set against grammar schools.
Labour have been claiming that the Tories want to expand grammar school provision.
Did the Government reply, “Yes, indeed. Grammar schools are the most excellent part of our education system and we want to expand them”?
No, they did not. They “reassured” their socialist friends that the Tory Government too is opposed to grammar schools.
The education department also restated that new grammar schools could not be opened.
“It remains illegal for any new grammar or partially selective schools to open. Admission by ability cannot be extended outside the tiny number of existing selective schools.”
Polls generally show huge support for grammar schools. But only UKIP want to expand them beyond the current 164. (There are 3,300 Secondary Schools in England.)
As usual, it is the people – and UKIP – against the Establishment Lib-Lab-Con.
The annual conference took place over the last couple of days. My first as a member of UKIP. It really did feel like coming home.
If you’re a Tory, hesitating over whether to join the steady stream of Tory defectors, do it now. Come and join us.
Here is Nigel Farage’s keynote speech (in two parts):
Neil Hamilton, former Conservative MP and government minister, explaining why he is now a Kipper:
A great speech from Barry Madlener of the Dutch Freedom Party:
Nicolas Dupont-Aignan of the new French patriotic party, the DLR (Debout la République – Arise the Republic):
And Nigel’s closing speech:
The Tea Party. Now the Establishment are Really Listening
Mark Mardell, for the BBC, reckons that President Obama has come out fighting, after his defeat by the Republicans over the Federal deficit.
And it really was a defeat. In almost every respect, the eventual deal is similar to the Bill that the Republican leadership originally put forward in the House of Representatives. The language of the deal is pretty clear, that there will be no tax increases, and that there will be spending cuts – and big ones. Obviously there is always room for quibbling, especially about the timing of the cuts, but the deal looks to me like a big step forward.
The remarkable thing about all this, though, is not the President’s coming out fighting, nor the Republican win on points over the deficit deal.
The truly remarkable thing is that throughout the whole affair, the Tea Party movement have been setting the agenda. Despite having only perhaps 60 Representatives aligned with their cause, it was clear throughout that they had an effective veto on the deal; and all the machinations were ultimately about satisfying them.
They achieved this, not because of their actual numbers in Congress, but because they speak for huge swathes of America, and the establishment there knows it. For decades, huge numbers of Americans have despised “The Beltway” and “Capitol Hill”. It has been quite amazing to an outside observer like me the extent to which Americans have lost faith in their own governing institutions.
The Tea Party are tapping into that.
In so doing, they are giving heart to similar movements elsewhere in the West. In Britain, we have UKIP. The parallels are striking. UKIP is our Tea Party, and like the Tea Party, it speaks for a big section of the British people – maybe not a majority, but certainly a sizeable minority. And like the Tea Party, the establishment is afraid of it.
They are afraid because they have no answer to it.
The US deficit deal should give heart to all of us on this side of the Atlantic who believe in low taxes and small government. Change is in the air.
David Campbell Bannerman
David Campbell Bannerman, one of UKIP’s MEP’s, has defected back to the Tories. (He was originally a Tory and defected to UKIP in 2001, and then unsuccessfully stood to be leader of UKIP last year, coming third.)
This is a test of UKIP’s maturity as a party. Of course, the temptation is to attack Mr Campbell Bannerman, to call him a traitor, to call for his resignation as an MEP, and so on. We should be more magnanimous.
Mr Campbell Bannerman has decided to rejoin Conservative Party, the party that:
However, Mr Campbell Bannerman is entitled to his views. If he wants to support a pro-EU party, that is his decision.
He has in the past been very robust in his anti-EU views. He will find they are not welcome in today’s Tory Party. His will be a lonely path. Yes, he will find like-minded people languishing in the Tory Party, but they are ignored and despised by the Conservative leadership. Even John Redwood, a former cabinet minister and a man of immense experience, lies marooned on the backbenches and his views are of no importance to the government.
Mr Campbell Bannerman will be welcomed into the Conservative Party with a great fanfare of course. He will be used by David Cameron for publicity, and then ruthlessly abandoned as a “nutty right winger” once the cameras are gone. He deserves our sympathy for that.
It would be churlish not to thank Mr Campbell Bannerman for the work he has done for UKIP. As part of the UKIP team, he played a part in the party’s recent successes, like beating the Tories and the Liberal Democrats in the Barnsley Central by-election and doubling the vote in the district council elections.
Of course he will be missed, but no person is indispensible. Our good showing in the local elections was a significant step forward for UKIP. We should now be working hard on the ground to build on that with even more members, more activists and more visibility at a local level, until the next set of local elections come around. I am confident that when they do, we will make further progress.
I have been involved in politics for a very long time. One thing that I have learned is that the truth always comes out eventually. The EU is in retreat, with the Schengen Agreement effectively being abandoned and with the position of the Euro looking more desperate by the day. The Coalition government is putting up taxes but failing to cut spending, and the deficit will therefore not be sorted out. The Tories’ position is likely to become very difficult indeed.
UKIP should take heart. We are big enough and strong enough to take Mr Campbell Bannerman’s departure in our stride.
Timo Soini, Leader of the True Finns Party
Congratulations to the True Finns party, which has just made big gains in Finland’s general election.
The True Finns are partners of UKIP in the Europe of Freedom and Democracy Group in the European Parliament. Like UKIP, they believe in withdrawal from the EU and responsible nationalism.
In Finland’s general election, they quadrupled their share of the vote to 19%, and they will have 39 of the 200 seats in the new Finnish parliament.
A taste of things to come in Britain, perhaps?
Time for Change!
Nominations have just closed for the English local elections on 5th May.
The campaigning by the major parties has begun in its normal predictable way. The electorate will be hanging on their every word (yeah, right) as they struggle to find a tiny difference between them.
The referendum campaign on a move to Alternative Vote system for parliamentary elections is taking place as well.
Ultimately, in truth, most people in the country don’t really care about the outcome of the elections. There are all these huge issues and supposedly enormous disagreements about spending cuts, and even with all of this, the public are completely disengaged.
What a change from the 1980s! There were real political debates then, too – but most people did care. Even local election results were huge news. I remember one time – I can’t remember which year it was – the Tories losing swathes of local councils, but successfully spinning the night as a good one, because of their good performance in Wandsworth. Chalk one up to then leading Tory Kenneth Baker – the Tories’ answer to Lord Mandelson.
The point is, though, that those local election results were huge news for the national papers the next day. I suspect there will be less interest in the result this time!
Britain’s tired old politics is exemplified by David Cameron and Ed Miliband, shadow boxing on the issues of the day, when in truth their policies are almost identical and neither of them really grasps, or perhaps even really cares, what is needed to fix our country.
And lurking there with its shadow covering all political debate in Britain, is the fact that the EU sets most of our laws now. Without leaving the EU, there is simply no possibility for our elected government to start tackling the real issues.
The good news is that there is now a real chance to change Britain’s politics.
The Liberal Democrats got 23% of the vote at the general election. Their current poll ratings are below 10%.
Support for UKIP, on the other hand, which has been growing steadily for years, has risen sharply.
The YouGov poll, for example, doesn’t show UKIP separately. They are buried within “Others”. But that poll shows the Liberal Democrats sliding down steadily since the general election. In November last year their support line crosses the “Others” line on its way down. The “Others” line is climbing.
This is not just “business as usual”. Liberal Democrat support is now lower than at any time for several decades. UKIP are snapping at their heels in the polls.
In the Barnsley central by-election we saw UKIP handsomely beat the Tories to take second place. In that by-election the Liberal Democrats were humiliated, coming sixth behind the BNP and even an independent candidate, and losing their deposit.
These local elections are crucial. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for UKIP to make a breakthrough.
It’s time for change.
Here ends the party political broadcast ;).
Lynch and Whitaker’s piece suggests that Nigel Farage’s aim of topping the poll in the Euro-elections is far from absurd. As I wrote last time round, UKIP are in a good position both to peel off conservative voters disillusioned with the Government (as some always are when the party moves out of opposition) and make a pitch for anti-politics and protest voters (given the absorption of the Liberal Democrats into government and the collapse of the BNP). Their support won’t soar – but it will rise.
He also comments:
All this bolsters the view that a significant tranche of voters can move in elections both from the Conservatives to UKIP and vice-versa. This has implications for Tory strategy, and the debate between ultra-modernisers, who believe that the party should pitch for “centre ground” voters alone, and those who want “shift to the right” or else prefer “the politics of and”.
Interesting use of the word “strategy” there. Sounds more like tactics to me. It also sounds like there’s not much room amid Tory strategy/tactics for them actually to believe in anything.
“Nick, the Electorate May Hate You but You Absolutely Have My Full Support”
Nick Clegg is telling the Liberal Democrats to hold their nerve, with the local elections approaching in May.
Don’t be cowed by what people are saying about us. Stick to the course.
he said at their Spring Conference in Sheffield.
He added for good measure, that it would not have been right after the general election to
retreat into a corner of perfect purity in opposition but complete incompetence.
I suspect he meant “impotence”, but who knows. Perhaps incompetence is at the forefront of his thoughts.
Mr Clegg’s defensive remarks are not surprising. At the general election last year, the Liberal Democrats received 23 percent of the vote. The most recent opinion polls then had put them on 28 percent. In that same election, UKIP polled 3.1 percent.
The most recent YouGov poll now puts UKIP on 6 percent – double the share they achieved at the general election. The Liberal Democrats, meanwhile, are credited with just 9 percent support.
9 percent! Compared with a real result of 23 percent last time.
According to that opinion poll, UKIP support has doubled since that election. And Liberal Democrats have lost getting on for two thirds of their support.
At the Barnsley Central by-election last week, UKIP came second, handsomely beating even the Tories, while the Liberal Democrats trailed in sixth and lost their deposit.
And at Euro-elections, UKIP have consistently polled well, coming in a strong second after the Tories, and again very comfortably ahead of the Liberal Democrats.
At UKIP’s Spring Conference, Nigel Farage set the party the objective of supplanting the Liberal Democrats as Britain’s third party by the next general election. Looking at those opinion poll figures, the result in Barnsley Central, and the strong results that UKIP have delivered in Euro-elections, that objective looks solidly achievable.
Of course, Mr Clegg’s discomfiture is in no small part due to the fact that David Cameron has stolen all his clothes. From localism to “common sense” and “non-extreme” policies, the Tories have morphed into a distinctly yellowish shade of blue. Mr Cameron has calculated that this approach will gain him as many votes from the Liberal Democrats as it loses him to UKIP.
Mr Clegg has calculated that his approach, of going into coalition with the Tories, will get him a ministerial car and the meaningless title of Deputy Prime Minister.
Unfortunately for Mr Clegg, this leaves him and his party looking distinctly impotent – or incompetent, as the case may be.
They might have been impotent, or incompetent, or indeed both, in opposition. But in power, they are facing electoral meltdown in May.
Mr Farage is right. Because of the highly unusual political circumstances, UKIP really do have a historic opportunity to make a breakthough. In truth, to achieve their main objective, they don’t even need to win a general election. They just need to achieve enough seats to make the Tories dependant on them for power.
I suspect that in that scenario, the Tories would quickly rediscover their Eurosceptic credentials.
A Conservative Party Poster from 1909 – the Tories are Hardly the Same Party Today
In response to my last post, which flagged my decision to join UKIP, Andrew Richardson wrote this:
Adam, I am the Grumpy Optimist, who after the GE, found my enthusiasm for Tory blogging had dried up. Like you, I find that there is much in this Coalition that disappoints and the leaching of power, resources and our basic freedoms to Europe is sometimes almost too much to bear. And if we had a Tory majority – would it be much better? The truth is that it is hard to say. Yet notwithstanding, I remain a member or the party and however tempting doubt very much that I would ever even vote for UKIP. This is despite the fact that Nigel Farrage is my favourite politician, along with Dan Hannon.
And why is this? Well the Tories would never have won the last election because Brown and the rest of them and over 13 years used all their efforts and patronage to create a non-Tory majority in the country. Ramping up spending and public sector employment, increasing public sector pay and benefits, increasing the quango state, allowing welfare dependency and immigration to grow unchecked, taxing pensions etc. etc. have all had the desired effect of building a non-Tory majority in the UK. And short of an independent Scotland (very appealing but not really on the cards), all good Tories have to stand up and be counted. It is a fight to the death now against Labour – the death of the country we love and respect.
So don’t desert the Conservative party. If necessary hold membership of both.
I very much understand and sympathise with Andrew on this. I belonged to the Tory Party for 33 years before leaving in disgust earlier this year. It was a wrench to do so.
But after watching the Tory party for the last 10 years or more, I was forced to the conclusion that it no longer stands for what it used to stand for. Yes, they aren’t as bad as Brown. But they aren’t, in truth, all that different from Brown.
The Tories and Labour, and indeed the Liberal Democrats, all believe in increasing the power of the State. More especially, they believe in giving up the freedoms the British people have won over centuries of struggle, in favour of an alien and unwelcome European Federal State.
David Cameron is not what I would recognise as a Conservative. He is to the Tory Party what Tony Blair was to Labour. He believes that for the Conservatives to win, they must abandon what they have stood for. He is, in short, a Social Democrat who has hijacked a moribund Tory Party and remade it in his soggy image.
Andrew talks about Labour “ramping up spending” – so far this year under the Coalition, spending is up 7 percent on last year. Most of the Coalition’s plans to cut the deficit rely on tax increases rather than spending cuts – a reversal of the pledges they made before the election.
He talks about “increasing the quango state” – the Coalition have so far made little effort to cut the quangoes back, and have indeed created some new ones.
And what have they really done to tackle welfare dependency? Iain Duncan Smith’s reforms go in the right direction, but are timid in the extreme and fail to address the issue in any fundamental way.
And on Europe, David Cameron has repeatedly shown that he believes Britain should do as it is told by the EU. It is clear that Tory politicians have accepted the Federal Europe that has already been born, and given up any ideas of fighting for the rights of the Parliament to which they were elected.
Meanwhile, experienced, convinced and honourable Conservatives like John Redwood languish on the back-benches under Mr Cameron’s “Big Society” Tory Lite.
Yes, it is a fight to the death for the country we love. But the Tories are not even in the battle.
The result yesterday in Barnsley Central, with UKIP coming second and handsomely beating the Tories, was a glimmer of hope that maybe things can change – a glimmer of hope that I have not felt for more than a decade.
My decision to join UKIP was a difficult one, but once made, it felt like coming home after a long exile. We may not succeed in this struggle, but I do not intend to fail to do my part in it.
In fact, I’m up for it. Bring it on, Cameron.