Tag Archives: ukip

So where exactly were the UKIP peers during the Immigration Bill?

house of lordsNoticeable by their absence during the Lords debates on the Immigration Bill were the three Peers who are members of UKIP. A cross-party group of peers, including our Shirley Williams, Roger Roberts, Bob Maclennan, Jonathan Marks, Alex Carlile, Nigel Jones, David Chidgey and Mike Storey thought this was worth mentioning in a letter to the Standard.  This is what they said:

The report stage of the Immigration Bill concluded in the House of Lords on Monday April 7.

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Opinion: Ukip’s success masks its existential crisis

ukip-poster-manchesterMany of us are deeply worried about what the rise of Ukip means for the future of the United Kingdom. However, take heart, Ukip’s success only makes the way for a more liberal, centralist and moderate future for Britain. For the success of Ukip facilitates one of the great aims of our party: the destruction of the two party system.

Nothing is of greater annoyance than canvassing a resident who, whilst admitting she broadly agrees with our message and policies, could not possibly vote Lib Dem. Why? Because her mother always …

Posted in Op-eds | 40 Comments

LDVideo: Chris Davies MEP “UKIP are not there when it matters”

Chris Davies has been speaking in the European Parliament about the voting record of his UKIP colleagues and how they just don’t turn up for important votes. He also mentioned how one turned up to a vote on e-cigarettes not long after UKIP received a donation from an e-cigarette manufacturer. That, he said, was the price of a UKIP vote.

He called their voting record dire and said that they were well known for taking their money but did precious little to defend the interests they hold dear.

And he did it all in his own inimitable style.

Enjoy.

Posted in Europe / International | Also tagged , , and | 7 Comments

Lib Dems as ‘The Party of IN’ – Clegg’s pro-European strategy starts to pay off

nick clegg v nigel farageKudos to Nick Clegg and his team, including his director of strategy Ryan Coetzee. The gambit of issuing a personal challenge to Nigel Farage to debate Nick on Europe has been accepted not only by the Ukip leader, but also now by the media. As Caron Lindsay reported here this morning – #NickvNigel – We have a date and #NickvNigel: We have 2 dates – any more for the Tour? – the two leaders will face-off both on TV and on radio within the next …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged , , , , , , and | 53 Comments

South East UKIP Euro candidate says businesses should have right not to serve women and gay people

On the day that Nick Clegg has pointed out how, well, useless UKIP MEPs are, I had a look back 5 years to a post I wrote two days before the 2009 European election in which I pointed out why they are really bad news. I could have written it today. Nothing really has changed.

And over that 5 years, we’ve had a stream of UKIP councillors and parliamentary hopefuls say silly things. We’ve had the floods being related to equal marriage and Godfrey Bloom’s fridgegate. Not to mention one of their major donors describe women wearing

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Farage says Britain’s becoming “unrecognisable”. But the British public says our sense of belonging is increasing.

Ukip leader Nigel Farage was dog-whistling for all he was worth at his party’s spring conference this week:

“In scores of our cities and market towns, this country, in a short space of time, has, frankly, become unrecognisable. Whether it is the impact on local schools and hospitals, whether it is the fact that in many parts of England you don’t hear English spoken any more, this is not the kind of community we want to leave to our children and grandchildren.”

His words were eerily reminiscent of William Hague’s insidious “foreign land” speech in 2001. And his party’s slogan …

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Opinion: Nick, Nigel and the Hokey Cokey party

In common with many Lib Dem activists I have ambivalent feeling about Nick Clegg. I don’t feel that there is a strong case to either say that that no good had come from the coalition or from his leadership, or alternatively that it’s all been peachy. In my view it’s actually a case of what you think the balance has been between successes and disappointments, a debate where I sit roughly in the middle.

However Nick’s latest move – challenging Nigel Farage to a public debate on Europe – has my unbridled admiration, both morally and politically. Morally not only because …

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Nick Clegg challenges Nigel Farage to debate on EU membership

Nick Clegg LBC laughingOn his weekly Call Clegg phone in programme, Nick Clegg challenged Nigel Farage to a public, open debate on whether Britain should stay in the EU. He said it was time for the leaders of the two parties advocating out and in to discuss the issues. He was clear that membership of the EU protected 3 million British jobs, kept us safer and enabled us to protect the environment.

I’ll tell you what I’ll do. I will challenge Nigel Farage to a public, open debate about whether we should

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As football’s January transfer window closes why not play ‘Ukip Manager’?

Here’s a snippet from Ukip’s 2010 general election manifesto:

“Ukip would place a maximum of three foreign players in the starting line-up, as this would free up places for British players in the youth academies of these teams and spur the future development of home teams.”

As Paul Haydon points out here,

That would force managers to make some pretty tough decisions about who they would keep and who they would give the boot. Where would that leave your favourite team? Who would you keep and who would you send home? Toure or Silva? Negredo or Aguero? Oscar or Hazard?

Well, …

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Opinion: UKIP – let’s have a debate about low skills

strawberriesThere has been an inconsistency between two highly prominent policy areas that has been niggling away at the back of my mind for quite some time now.  UKIP needs to take note.

So, take two policy areas and also take into account the temperature (at least according to the Daily Mail, etc) of the voters.

The first area is education.  Schools that do not match up to the floor levels at Key Stage 2 and at GCSE are pounced upon by Ofsted.  They require improvement or are put into special measures.  All children must get 5 good GCSEs.  They must progress and they must aspire.  Think of the slogans that populate the UK and US education policy discourse: “no child must be left behind; “every child matters”; and social mobility is regarded and upheld as a kind of rebalancing panacea to address all social ills and help narrow the gap.

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Opinion: as Labour and the Conservatives play “Find the Lady” on immigration, what are we to do?

I must admit that the whole immigration debate bemuses me. As Labour and the Conservatives compete for the prize of being ‘not quite as tough on migrants as UKIP want to be’, some of my fellow Liberal Democrats respond by only talking of the benefits of migration, making the mistake of assuming that there is a rational debate to be had there.

The problem is that there isn’t – not now, at least. Instead, I suggest a different approach – holding the other three parties to account over their proposals. You see, I have concluded that most of the proposals will …

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Opinion: Farage: The Nostradamus of Politics

Fear is a powerful motivator. Take, for example, its use in two political campaigns, one from each side of the Atlantic: the Daisy Girl ad, used in the re-election campaign of US president Lyndon Johnson in 1964; and the Labour tax bombshell broadcast, from our own Conservatives in 1992.

One made American voters ask, “Do I really want Barry Goldwater – a man who joked about lobbing a nuclear bomb at the Kremlin – to have his finger hovering over the red button?” The other made British voters ask, “Do I really want Labour to …

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LibLink: Christine Jardine: Let’s be grateful for the EU

Former Special Adviser and current Scottish Euro candidate Christine Jardine writes in the Scotsman about what Europe means to her and how she first became aware of what it meant as a child:

For me, joining what was then the EEC was the beginning of a very different, more positive and much less life-threatening relationship with the Continent than the previous generations of my family had experienced.

In 1973 Europe was all about new money, counting everything in tens and hundreds and new equipment to learn with at school.

Yard sticks were out and metre sticks were in. No more inches. It was

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Opinion: Tories’ anti immigration rhetoric represents opportunity for Liberal Democrats

As the day when Britain opens its doors to indefatigable hoards of Eastern European immigrants arrives, yet more desperation can be witnessed from grassroots Tory activists running scared of UKIP. 90 local Conservative activists have pleaded with David Cameron to extend controls on immigrants arriving from Bulgaria or Romania until 2018. Quite laughably, the group claim that this would be fully within EU law. This comes on the same day in which the Government announced further restrictions on migrants’ access to the NHS – an initiative designed to combat ‘health tourism’ and accordingly, completely at odds with any …

Posted in News | Also tagged and | 75 Comments

Opinion: Time to expose UKIP

The recent expose of UKIP’s Victoria Ayling, who wants to send all immigrants “back home” offers a glimpse at the nasty side of this party which Nigel Farage would rather keep hidden.

Talk of ‘repatriating’ of immigrants sends a cold shudder up my spine as I remember the 1970s rhetoric of when that phrase applied exclusively to those from the Commonwealth.

As a European candidate in the East Midlands, the same region Ayling is from, I want voters to be informed the true face of UKIP.

For a party which many commentators speculate will reap the most votes in next May’s …

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Opinion: Ukip’s not-so-respectable European allies

Recently, Nigel Farage rejected the overtures and offer of alliance from the French Far Right party, Front Nationale, led by Marine Le Pen, stating “Whatever Marine Le Penn is trying to do with Le Front National, anti-Semitism, is still deeply embedded in that party, and for that principle political reason, we are not going to work with them now, or at any point in the future”. The alliance also included the Dutch Freedom Party, led by blonde bombshell, Geert Wilders – famous for his anti-Islam tirades.

This attempt by Farage to place Ukip in the ‘respectable’ wing of European politics …

Posted in Op-eds | Also tagged and | 19 Comments

Nick, you’re right on UKIP’s ideas but please ditch the “unpatriotic”

London loves Business reports Nick Clegg’s recent comments on UKIP.

I think the view represented by UKIP, large parts of the Conservative Party and Paul Sykes is a betrayal of the national interest and an unpatriotic approach because it would leave many people poorer, it would leave us weaker as a country and it would throw many people out of work, and I can’t possibly see why anyone thinks that that is something that in any way represents the long-term national interest.

On the substantive point, he’s absolutely right. Leaving the EU would isolate us, cost jobs, lose us access to …

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How UKIP managed to lose 45% of their MEPs

UKIP-MEPs-collage-2

Posted in News and Op-eds | Also tagged , and | 46 Comments

Ukip’s Godfrey Bloom brands Michael Crick a racist and hits him with party’s ‘no black faces’ conference brochure

This tweet from Mark Wallace was picked up Channel 4′s political editor Michael Crick…

… who decided to quiz shy and retiring Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom about the absence of black faces from his party’s conference brochure.

Here’s what happened next

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Opinion: Why no UKIP Peers?

House of Lords chamberBy surrendering the principle of proportionality we surrender part of ourselves

The Coalition Agreement stated that “Lords appointments will be made with the objective of creating a second chamber that is reflective of the share of the vote secured by the political parties in the last general election”. It is therefore difficult to justify why UKIP, having secured over 3% of the vote at the last General Election and only currently having 3 of the over 500 Peers aligned to a political Party, has not been given the opportunity to have ennobled a cohort of Peers of its choosing. The same is true for other minor parties.

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LibLink…Robin McGhee: Can UKIP handle the trials of local government?

This article appeared a few weeks ago, but we’ve held it back because its author was standing in the Liberal Youth elections. It is worth sharing, though, because it illustrates accurately the dilemma that UKIP now faces. How does it build a local government base when its councillors are inexperienced, anti politics types who don’t really know who their supporters are.

Robin McGhee is an organiser for the party in Norfolk. He describes the UKIP representatives at the count in Cromer:

Perhaps nine in ten were men, nearly all (very) elderly, and with the same expression of stubborn bafflement as a tortoise

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged , , and | 17 Comments

Opinion: UKIP vote against EU tackling tax evasion

UKIP frequently describe the EU as a large, expensive, bureaucratic nightmare, stating that we pay into the EU more than we get out. Yet at a time when the EU seeks to change that, by tackling tax evasion and avoidance, potentially saving member states in total 7 times the EU’s annual budget, UKIP vote en masse against it.

This week the EU Parliament voted to halve the €1 tn lost due to tax evasion and avoidance by 2020 by closing tax loopholes and tax havens. This is to be achieved by tightening some of the agreements between tax havens such as …

Posted in Europe / International and Op-eds | Also tagged and | 21 Comments

Opinion: Could Nigel Farage’s success lead to cross-party support for proportional electoral reform?

The pain has almost ceased, yet it is clear many in the Liberal Democrats feel it is an opportunity lost for a political generation. Mark Pack’s five point plan for the next Liberal Democrat manifesto was clear in its advocacy of wholesale local election reform- a change to the way we elect our MPs to Westminster is no longer on the table. Yet if the political landscape on the right has shifted to the extent many believe, the opportunity may come sooner than expected.

Nigel Farage has become many things to many people: a crusader reliant on a

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Opinion: Could there be a “Tory SDP?”

The right of the Conservative party, who have protested so destructively over gay marriage, might do well to remind themselves that their party itself is a marriage and marriages sometimes split up.

The damage that has been done to the Tories’ standing in the country over this issue can be seen in the latest Survation poll that has UKIP on 22% of the vote. This is only two per cent behind the Conservatives and if repeated at the next general election would result in a loss of around a hundred Tory seats.

UKIP would be unlikely to elect more than one …

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Opinion polls yadda yadda. OR “Does Nate Silver mean nothing to you? Did he write in vain?”

Two new polls last night: the daily YouGov tracker and the first post-local elections poll from Survation. The spread is interesting:

    Labour: 35% (Survation 39% (YouGov)
    Conservatives: 24% (S), 31% (YG)
    Lib Dems: 11% (S), 10% (YG)
    Ukip: 22% (S), 14% (YG)

As Anthony Wells points out, Survation asks whether people will vote Ukip (most other firms just ask about the main three parties and ‘Others’) so usually gets the highest Ukip poll numbers. This latest survey is in line with the bounce other firms have shown and which the perceived winner of an election often records.

Unsurprisingly, it’s Survation’s poll which has attracted most interest because it shows a gap if just 2% between the Tories and Ukip. Cue cries of ‘Tory meltdown!, ‘Cameron in crisis!’ and every other journalistic cliche.

At the risk of precipitating on the parade of those who love nothing better than to indulge in over-excited hyper-speculation, can I make the following point. Or rather can I ask the following question: Does Nate Silver mean nothing to you? Did he write in vain?

Posted in Op-eds and Polls | Also tagged , , and | 24 Comments

When Mr Farage came to Edinburgh – the ugly side of politics

It was misbehaviour all round when the UKIP leader came to Edinburgh on Thursday. He found himself on the receiving end of a noisy protest  organised by, among others, the Radical Independence Campaign. They shouted all sorts of abuse at him, leading to him taking refuge in a pub from which he was rescued by the Police. The Guardian has video of the incident.

He quickly lost any sympathy he might have gained by accusing the BBC’s David Miller of hatred and hanging up on a live radio interview.   This from a man who used the term “fascist scum” …

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Where Ukip won (or almost won) on 2nd May 2013

Wondering where Ukip won (or almost won – see below) in the local elections on Thursday, 2nd May? Then here’s a handy graphic and breakdown by constituency…

ukip vote may 2013

My thanks to Lib Dem Ben Mathis (@binny_uk) for crunching the Ukip numbers, as below. We’ll update the list with any more found…

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Ukip surge to 18% in latest ICM poll: Lib Dems at 11%

ICM: the pollster Lib Dems love and rely on the most. Maybe not tonight, though. Here’s The Guardian’s graph and report:

guardian ukip poll - may 2013

Ukip’s 18% is the best it has achieved with any pollster in any of the surveys logged at UK Polling Report. It is all the more remarkable for ICM, whose careful adjustments for voters who decline to reveal their political preference smooths out the wilder fluctuations of the electoral cycle.

The Tories are plumbing depths they have not experienced in more than a decade – barring

Posted in Polls | Also tagged and | 39 Comments

LibLink: Richard Marbrow – Ukip is essentially a ‘party of the south east’ despite gains

Writing for Public Service Europe, Lib Dem campaigner Richard Marbrow has an interesting piece on the distinctly geographical ‘success’ of Ukip.

Here’s an excerpt:

For those of us who ply our politics in the north or the west of the United Kingdom, the inability of the British press to understand the existence of parts of the country more than an hour from London is a source of never ending frustration. The game changer of UKIP gains in the county council elections is a phenomenon largely contained in the South and East of England. Their breakthrough did not even extend into the South

Posted in LibLink | Also tagged | 22 Comments

Adrian Sanders writes: Behind Blue Eyes

UKIP logoBoth UKIP and the Conservative Party fear the exposure of the truth of what lies behind the image UKIP have so successfully deployed.

It is a truth that on the one hand explains why UKIP would be opposed to what they perceive as big government – the European Union – but it also exposes the designs its ideological founders have for the UK economy and our welfare state, and that is where their problem lies.

It is a truth both parties would prefer hidden as it could encourage even more Conservative

Posted in Op-eds | 27 Comments



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