The Tories Still Opposing Grammar Schools


English: Queen Mary's girls grammar school

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.

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UKIP Annual Conference in Eastbourne

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:

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Obama – Beaten by the Tea Party

A Tea Party protest in Hartford, Connecticut, ...
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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.

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David Campbell Bannerman

Daniel Campbell-Bannerman, British politician
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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:

  • took Britain into the EU in the first place
  • passed the Single European Act that created the single European State
  • passed the Maastricht Treaty that created the Euro and
  • caused an economic disaster by tying the value of the pound to the European Exchange Rate Mechanism.

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.

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Congratulations to the Finns

Chairman of the True Finns party Timo Soini at...
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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?

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Look Out Cameron, the Kippers are Coming!

UKIP party logo
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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 ;).

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