Tag Archives: ukip

We can learn from UKIP!

UKIP is dead in the water. Their voters have swung to a Tory party committed to Brexit with no final consultation and the opening new grammar schools, both signature policies of UKIP: their task is done.

Meanwhile, we Lib Dems are bigger than we’ve ever been; and yet in spite of a 2% swing to us, we are not making the gains we deserve. Both Labour and the Tories have sticky voters who aren’t coming over to us: if Corbyn was as much of a dead weight as people say, I would expect a bigger swing from Labour; and Tory voters seem optimistic the consequences of Brexit can be weathered in a safe pair of government hands.

We need to learn from UKIP. To be victims of our own success would be a great pleasure. As most people see it, we are victims of our own stupidity; the one totem policy people associated with us got dropped. The ins-and-outs of policy do not matter to the man on the street. The strides we made in government, of which we are rightly proud, simply aren’t important.

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 50 Comments

Encouraging poll news for the Liberal Democrats

The first Scottish opinion polls since the General Election was announced have been published and there’s mixed news for the Liberal Democrats.

Panelbase has us on just 5% (but that’s still up since January) and Survation has us up 1 from the 2015 election at 9%. If we go up at the rate that we have done in every election other than 2015, we could be on for a fair few gains up here. Edinburgh West and North East Fife, both gained from the SNP at Holyrood last year are the top targets but seats like Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross and Charles Kennedy’s old seat of Ross, Skye and Lochaber are definitely in play. Winning back those highland heartlands from the SNP would be a marvellous thing and it is eminently doable.

On a UK level, we’ve gone up 4 points to 12% in a YouGov poll.

And there has been another important development:

UKIP are on the way down, and they certainly don’t seem to have learned any lessons about candidate approval, if one of their Glasgow council candidates is anything to go by. It’s quite something when being in favour of the guillotine and flogging are the mildest of your bizarre views. From the Herald:

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Yeovil UKIP candidates blame NHS crisis on women doctors

If you listen to most experts, the reason for the crisis in the NHS comes from under-resourcing and an aging population. But, no, UKIP council candidates in Chard in Yeovil have come up with another explanation. It’s all the fault of women doctors and their career breaks and part-time doctors.  Buzzfeed has the story:

The leaflet was produced by local UKIP councillors in Somerset who suggest alleged positive discrimination in the GP hiring process could ultimately lead to local surgeries closing altogether.

“How many female Doctors are there in your surgery working 2 or 3 days a week?” it asks, warning the issue could result in thousands of patients being left without access to medical care when GPs retire.

They have a quote from Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate for Yeovil, Daisy Benson:

UKIP might wish we were living in the 1950s, but it’s 2017!

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From UKIP to Social Democrat in the LibDems

This piece is long overdue, as I joined the Liberals Democrats back in October 2016. Since then, I have been elected Secretary of Runnymede & Spelthorne Liberal Democrats. I am also deeply involved with the newly formed (or regenerated) Royal Holloway LibDem Society.

So how does one defect from UKIP to the LibDems? I shall be frank.

I started involvement with UKIP in 2010, at the age of thirteen. This was when the party was an anti-EU pressure group. It felt outrageous and fantastically rebellious to participate in an idea that could undermine the entire establishment. When I saw the three main parties, I saw spin, snobbery and fakery. I did dream that one day something big would take down the political elite, who to me had a contempt for ordinary people and democracy.  Today, I still believe this contempt exists strongly, but now we have a situation where they are forced to listen a little bit more.

My involvement in UKIP allowed me to channel my indignation. Also, being the only young person in the room, on many occasions, allowed me to develop a range of political and communication skills that may have taken much longer to attain in another party.

However, I came to realise that the party was seriously limited: organisationally and intellectually.  There is no plan, for anything. It’s all improvisation. And if there is  someone with a plan, he/she will probably leave or get kicked out, because the party’s vested interested in keeping the party like a pressure group is too strong. It felt like what Party HQ really needed was a textbook explanation of the roles and functions of a political party on every wall, before anything serious could begin.

Posted in Op-eds | 53 Comments

Why we need UKIP in the fight for Electoral Reform

 

Pursuit of electoral reform was once a defining policy of the Lib Dems, and it remains one of the key reasons why I am a member of the party. But the disastrous AV referendum in 2011 seems to have kicked the issue into the long grass. I have the same hangups about that referendum as many other Lib Dems do. Labour’s support was non-existent; the Murdoch press spread lies; and the vote was used as a way of punishing Nick Clegg. In short – the establishment pulled rank.

One popular observation about electoral reform is that no party in Government would ever support changing a voting system which had just given them power. I don’t think that this argument is as tautological as many claim it is, but it’s certainly a major concern.

However, none of this hides the fact that voting reform has never gained much support from the general public, unlike other anti-establishment causes. Electoral Reformers are in the uncomfortable position of being hated by the establishment but treated with disinterest by the wider electorate too. It is so often seen as peripheral issue, which only middle-class policy wonks from the liberal elite can be bothered to care about (a problem which the Lib Dems are oh so familiar with).

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged | 44 Comments

No wiggle room for UKIP-backed Zac Goldsmith

We don’t often run UKIP press releases on here, but in this case it is justified to prove a point. Apparently Zac Goldsmith doesn’t much like being described as UKIP-backed.

Just a reminder of the UKIP statement just after Goldsmith resigned.

UKIP Chairman Paul Oakden said “On Tuesday 25th October Zac Goldsmith MP announced that he was resigning

Posted in News | Also tagged | 5 Comments

Tim Farron reacts to UKIP’s endorsement of Zac Goldsmith

Following UKIP’s endorsement of Zac Goldsmith in the Richmond Park by-election, Tim Farron commented:

Zac Goldsmith claimed Brexit has nothing to do with this by-election. The very public endorsement he has picked up from the party of Nigel Farage nails that lie.

Zac Goldsmith was already the Conservative Party candidate. Now he is also the UKIP candidate. His campaign is the Nigel and Zac show.

Posted in News | Also tagged , and | 33 Comments
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarFiona 20th Aug - 7:52pm
    As far as I can tell, the Herald is going through a phase of publishing SNP press releases as if they are actual news, complete...
  • User AvatarPeter Watson 20th Aug - 7:16pm
    @Michael BG "one of the biggest failures of the Liberal Democrats was to accept Conservative policies they should have opposed" I sort of agree. I...
  • User Avatarjayne Mansfield 20th Aug - 5:58pm
    @ Bernard Aris, Of course many people , not only Liberals, are concerned with the moral content of what world leaders say and do. I...
  • User AvatarPeter Martin 20th Aug - 5:34pm
    I'm not sure we need any concessions. I'm still thinking about this and I'd welcome any comments from anyone else who might have given this...
  • User Avatarfrankie 20th Aug - 5:26pm
    Bernard, More Uriah Heep than Oliver.
  • User AvatarPeter Hirst 20th Aug - 5:03pm
    an impressive performance, admittedly before a home crowd. Learnt that the treasury insists on high interest rates. Are tuition fees and other loans to make...