You are viewing blog items for August 2013.
posted by: Simon Cressy | on: Friday, 30 August 2013, 20:01
Just when you thought that UKIP had had a quiet week up pops a UKIP official with yet another ridiculous statement.
Let me introduce you to Henry Reilly, Northern Ireland's UKIP candidate for the 2014 European Elections.
Reilly is also a councillor on Newry and Mourne District Council and was a close friend of Enoch Powell when he was the Ulster Unionist MP for South Down in Northern Ireland.
Henry Reilly has quite outspoken views on the current Syrian crisis calling for the public to support Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad.
That will be a vote winner......not.
Posted: 30 Aug 2013 | There are 5 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Graham Henry | on: Tuesday, 27 August 2013, 11:45
A UKIP candidate for next year’s Euro elections has enraged migrants’ groups by claiming the “native Welsh” will be outnumbered in two decades.
James Cole, who is second on the list of Ukip candidates in Wales, was accused of “blatant scapegoating” and “migrant bashing” after uploading a clip on to YouTube in which he also claims migrants are taking Welsh people’s jobs.
One group representing migrants urged Ukip leader Nigel Farage to condemn the remarks, accusing Mr Cole of having “little sense of what’s myth and what’s truth”.
Mr Farage has already come under pressure because of blundering MEP candidates – with Yorkshire and the Humber MEP Godfrey Bloom coming under fire for calling for an end to aid to “Bongo Bongo land” and, in separate comments, suggesting women were better off in the kitchen than men and worse at reversing a car.
But his party has been riding high in the polls, with two Welsh ones in recent months suggesting it could make an electoral breakthrough in national elections for the first time in the general election in 2015 and Assembly elections in 2016.
To elect two MEPs in Wales, it would need a dramatic increase in its vote from the 12.8% share it received in 2009 to elect its sole MEP, John Bufton.
Welcoming viewers to the “land of his forefathers” in the video, Mr Cole, from Swansea, tells viewers that his core values were “openness and honesty”, claiming Mr Farage was the only political leader to share them.
He added: “Unfortunately, the native Welsh will be a minority in their own country within the next 15 to 20 years. And why? It’s due to the immigration levels into this country.”
Nearly two-thirds of Wales’ population of three million stated their national identity as Welsh in the 2011 Census, with non-white (including mixed) ethnic groups making up only 4% of the population in 2011.
Official figures also show that Wales saw its first net outflow of international migrants since 1993 in the last census year – with those leaving outnumbering those coming in by around 1,500.
A spokesman for the Migrants Rights Network said: “Mr Cole is doing a huge disservice to the Welsh people who have been welcoming new members into their communities for centuries. Considering how only 7.2% of Swansea is foreign-born, he has little sense of what’s myth and what’s truth.
“The leader of Ukip Mr Farage should come out and condemn this blatant scapegoating of migrants.”
A spokeswoman for the group Displaced People In Action, which represents asylum seekers and refugees in Wales, said the asylum and immigration debate was “frequently misinformed and based on assumption rather than fact” and that migrants made an “enormous contribution” to Wales.
Chief officer for DPIA, Siân Summers-Rees, said: “DPIA think it is important that politicians, and anybody else discussing asylum and immigration, should be able to do so in a calm and sensitive way, using facts and figures, not using myths and scare stories.
“The Welsh public deserve to have the correct facts and figures on migration into Wales and as the census figures show, it is factually incorrect to state that the ‘native Welsh’ will be in the minority within the next two decades.”
Mr Cole said: “I do not have any of the stereotypes people put upon Ukip – whether it is about religion, race or sexuality.
“I have a nephew born from a Saudi father and another nephew who is gay. I do believe changes need to be made in the system of UK asylum. I believe that British people should be offered British job opportunities first – and that is not a racist point of view.
“I once had to wait for six months to go and work on a project in Australia – and I have no problem with that. They make sure 75% of work goes to Australians and I had to prove there was no one locally who could do a better job than me. I think that’s a great system, because it is giving local people employment and they only employ a foreign person when it is the better option.”
Posted: 27 Aug 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Leo Benedictus | on: Monday, 26 August 2013, 12:16
Even Nigel Farage admits they need to "get a grip on things". Because this is the month when politics goes on holiday, when politicians generally have no more to worry about than flying eggs and portly tummies, yet Ukip have been making crises for themselves on an almost hourly basis.
Crash! One of the party's leading figures, Godfrey Bloom, has to apologise for the racist overtones in his speech on foreign aid.
Clang!Ukip is revealed to be using a psychometric exam – dubbed "the fruitcake test" – to sift the nuttier nutters from among its candidates.
Bonk! The party's new chief executive, Will Gilpin, steps down just eight months into the job.
Ouch! Gilpin derides Ukip's shambolic practices behind the scenes, calling the party "a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs".
Smash! Feeling ignored, Bloom swings back in with a radio interview in which he says that employers should be able to sack women for becoming pregnant. (Women are also good in pantries but bad at parking, we hear.)
Splat! The party's assistant treasurer, Hugh Williams, is found to have written a book in which he explains, among other things,that people make too much fuss about the child abuse perpetrated by the Catholic church and that, when you look at it, the Nazis had a bad rap too.
Needless to say journalists, myself included, should be very grateful to Ukip at this difficult time. Next to David Cameron's long trudge towards recovery, or Ed Miliband's quest to be taken seriously, the party's political narrative looks more like Mr Bump trying to pick his way out of a darkened cellar. Which is to say, much more entertaining.
Interestingly, it seems to be more endearing too. Because enthusiastic amateurishness may not be what the public look for in a prime minister, but it is lovable when the stakes are low, such as in a European election – and currently Ukip are favourites to get the most votes of any party in next June's poll.
Over time, lovability may also be parlayed into credibility. The current mayor of London – and joint-favourite to be next Tory leader– could vouch for that.
Posted: 26 Aug 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Nigel Nelson | on: Sunday, 25 August 2013, 10:32
UKIP is heading for civil war as one of its top Euro MPs claims he has been banned from standing in elections next year.
Former deputy leader Mike Nattrass is threatening legal action, claiming Nigel Farage’s party has stitched him up.
“I’m fighting back with a legal injunction,” Nattrass, 67, told the Sunday People.
“The whole European selection process has been fixed and rules have been ignored. The fight has just started.”
The former property company boss has been West Midlands MEP for UKIP since 2004.
He blames UKIP chairman Steve Crowther for orchestrating a plot to bounce him as a candidate.
And he says he fell foul of the leadership after denouncing a right-wing Italian group with which UKIP was aligned in the European Parliament.
But three years ago he also wrote an email attacking leader Farage as a “control freak”.
It added: “I’m concerned the party brand will be tarnished, even holed below the water line, by his monopoly of power.”
A source said: “Nigel has a long memory for people who have crossed him.”
Last week UKIP was in chaos when chief executive Will Gilpin stepped down after just eight months. He launched a devastating attack on Farage, accusing him of running a party of “enthusiastic amateurs having a good time rather than the professional fighting team they could be”.
It is thought Farage wants to replace Gilpin with ex-Tory MP turned Ukipper Neil Hamilton.
Nattrass has emailed supporters saying: “There has been no reason given for my exclusion from the selection process.” He denies failing “a head-shrinking test”, saying: “I never took one and the shrinks who missed me were the lucky ones.”
Carl Humphries, the Chair of Worcester UKIP branch, is also backing Nattrass. He emailed: “I’m amazed and disappointed to find Mike’s name is not on the list of approved candidates.
UKIP said: “We don’t comment on unsuccessful candidates.”
Posted: 25 Aug 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Sarah Rainey | on: Saturday, 24 August 2013, 21:41
Godfrey Bloom, the outspoken Ukip MEP for Yorkshire and the Humber, reckons he’s the most misunderstood man in Britain. “It’s all vilification,” he says, thumping the table, his blue eyes bulging out of their sockets.
“Nobody looks at the context of what I say. Most of the people who are shocked by it are the metropolitan elite; people up here, in the old Boot and Shoe or the Barnes Wallis pub, ask me how I get in the newspaper for stating the blinding obvious.”
The “blinding obvious” this week came in the form of a comment piece for Politics.co.uk, in which Bloom, 63, made his case against enforced quotas for women in boardrooms. Having been involved in some controversy over gender equality in the past (in 2004, he was accused of encouraging employers to sack pregnant women), he thought he was setting the record straight. But it backfired. Bloom argued that women are more suited to finding “mustard in the pantry” than reversing cars, more interested in making beds and tidying bathrooms than business and said feminism was the domain of “shrill, bored middle-class women of a certain physical genre”.
It was the second time in a matter of weeks that Bloom, whose public profile among Ukip members is now second only to that of its leader, Nigel Farage, has generated inflammatory headlines. Earlier this month he earned the nickname “Mr Bongo Bongo” after a video emerged of him making an apparently racist speech about the UK’s foreign aid budget being spent abroad on Ray-Ban sunglasses and Ferraris. Bloom initially refused to apologise for his remarks, but said he would stop using the phrase after a ticking off from his party.
Forthright, stubborn, with trenchant views on everything from global warming (a fallacy) to fixed speed cameras (should be abolished), Bloom sees himself as a man of the people.
In “his world” (the rugby club, the cricket club, the pub), he claims, people still can’t see what the problem was. “We’ve had 4,000 emails in support of what I said,” he insists, shuffling through letters on his cluttered desk. He has a printout from a newspaper article, stating all the meanings of “bongo bongo”, on which he has written “Which is racist?” If he feels so strongly about it, why did he back down?
“I have not apologised,” he blusters, with another thump of the table. “And I will never apologise. What I did, and I was very careful, was to say that if I have caused any genuine offence, I regret that. It’s a derogatory phrase, yes, but I meant it to be derogatory — I didn’t mean it to be racist. The boss man said, 'Don’t use it again’, and I won’t, because I’m a disciplined individual and he’s the boss.”
But he will, to me, if only to show off the set of bongo drums that were sent to him by a supporter after the “carry on” and which he is going to get one of his interns to teach him how to play. Table-banging, eye-bulging and with an annoying tendency to shout “a---hole” into my dictaphone at the mention of anyone he dislikes aside, Bloom seems a strangely likeable chap. He is charming, polite and lives a peaceful existence in a cottage near Goole, in the East Riding of Yorkshire, which he shares with his wife Katie, a Jack Russell called Chippy, two pigs and six horses. Decked out in a royal blue shirt and cream chinos, he insists on pointing out all the local landmarks, showing me around the stables and giving me half a dozen free-range eggs to take home “as a bribe”.
He joined Ukip in the Nineties after a 35-year career as an investment manager and financial adviser in the City. Bloom also served three decades in the Territorial Army — his father was a Spitfire pilot during the Second World War. He was elected MEP in 2004 and in 2009 and sits on committees dealing with defence, the economy — and gender equality, which he describes as a “silly committee, full of silly people”.
Bloom is proud of the recent surge in support for Ukip, taking total numbers to over 30,000. He recognises that Ukip can attract extremists but insists they’re far from the group of “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists” that David Cameron has described. “I don’t consider myself to be a particularly impressive individual, but if you look at my CV compared with Cameron’s, mine is awesome,” he booms. He describes the Prime Minister as “pigeon-chested; the sort of chap I used to beat up” and says Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister — “the other guy”— is a “vacuous young man with no experience of anything”. Farage, on the other hand, is like a “sister”: “We have a love-hate relationship,” he laughs. They are good mates, indulging their shared love of military history with visits to battlefields, but Farage doesn’t dictate what Bloom should or shouldn’t do, including media interviews: “I’d like to see him try.”
Bloom’s history as a Ukip politician is somewhat chequered. In 2009, he was ejected from the Mansion House for heckling, making him the first person to be kicked out of the building in nearly 300 years. Two years ago he was expelled from the European Parliament for shouting a Nazi slogan, “Ein volk, ein reich, ein fuhrer”, at a German MEP. He congratulated the French for bombing the Rainbow Warrior, a Greenpeace ship, in 1985, and has twice been accused of being drunk in the Chamber, once culminating in him being carried out.
On the subject of recent headlines, however, Bloom feels his comments are vindicated. “One gender isn’t better than another — all I said was that we are different,” he explains. “I’m not saying that women are in any way inferior. If anything, they have a much more balanced approach than men. I said that generally speaking men are better at reversing than women; almost nobody could dispute that.”
On female quotas on company boards and in politics – “patronising and awful” – he gets really worked up, jabbing his finger at an imaginary woman in the corner. “Can women really not hack it without them? I have far more faith in women than some of these feminists do.” But his faith doesn’t stop him being an “alpha male”, a phrase he only learned last week — meaning he likes sport, a pint (or eight) and would never consider being present at the birth of a child because “it isn’t a natural thing”.
Bloom doesn’t understand how his views could be deemed sexist. He represents women’s views, he boasts, because he “knows more young women than most politicians do”, on account of his close association with the Cambridge University Women’s Rugby Club, which he has supported since 1992. He thinks Ukip has some “s--- hot” female members and has a number of ladies on his staff, including a Miss Gigi Ferrari, his French secretary, whom I’m assured is “just what you’d expect. My wife hates her; that’s how good-looking she is”.
At home, it is Mrs Bloom who is the “Commander-in-Chief”. Katie, the daughter of a Polish war hero, met Bloom at a hunt ball in the Sixties and turned down his advances because he was drunk. “I said something really naff like 'Hi babe, get lucky, I’m really rich’. Which I wasn’t. And then I met her again, about a year later, and I didn’t remember her, so I said something like 'Your prayers are answered’.” Katie deals with the horses and the house, while Bloom “likes to queen around in the kitchen” where he cooks roast dinner.
He’s writing his autobiography, A Guinea A Minute, which has taken him five years, and hopes to publish it soon.
For now, though, he’s looking forward to the next two years, when he expects Ukip’s rising popularity to be reflected in the ballot box.
“I think the interesting dynamic will be in June next year, in the European elections, when we are going to come top. And then if it’s only a year to go before the Westminster elections, where’s that going to go? This is the reason the Conservatives are so terrified of us, and the Labour Party are starting to wake up to the threat.”
In the meantime, will the irrepressible Mr Bongo Bongo keep his head down and try to stay out of the papers? He smiles. “No chance.”
Posted: 24 Aug 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Adam Manton | on: Thursday, 22 August 2013, 12:50
We don't tend to mention the exploits of the convicted violent racist Gary Field on the Purple Rain pages.
Unlike the BNP and EDL, UKIP aren't a violent organisation but there is an occasional exception.
Field from Margate was found guilty of assault and resisting arrest following an incident in 2012. Following his court appearance in January Field was handed 120 hours community service along with a £150 fine.
The one time EDL organiser for Thanet, Field found the EDL too moderate for his tastes and went off to form his own tin pot group "The East Kent English Patriots" who are now aligned to thuggish groups like the South East Alliance and The English Volunteer Force.
Currently wearing a tag for failing to abide by a community service order given to him after his assault conviction, Field is quite frankly a pain in the backside and the authorities are known to have a very low opinion of him after he posted the names and addresses of various Kent probation staff online.
In recent months Field has taken to championing UKIP, urging his friends and fellow bigots to vote for the xenophobic party, also claiming that he knows his local UKIP councillor.
However, Field hasn't restricted his support to just UKIP and has now linked up with The National Front in Margate, turning out to deliver leaflets for the veteran far right party.
We know UKIP have low standards, but I doubt even they would welcome the likes of Gary Field.
Posted: 22 Aug 2013 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: The Londoner | on: Wednesday, 21 August 2013, 14:10
A senior Ukip figure has written a history book in which he says Winston Churchill admired Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin, Poland “goaded” Nazi Germany into the 1939 invasion, and the recent child abuse scandal within the Catholic Church is “statistically negligible”.
Hugh Williams, the party’s assistant treasurer, claims his self-published 350-page work frees the study of history from the shackles of political correctness. The book — From Ur to Us, Everything you Need to Know about History — follows Ukip treasurer Stuart Wheeler’s claim last week that women should not be promoted to company boards because they are worse than men at card games, and party member Godfrey Bloom’s description of countries in receipt of foreign aid as “bongo bongo land”.
Father-of-five Mr Williams, 67, said today: “I’m proud of being politically incorrect.”
He writes that while Britain’s great wartime leader admired the German dictator and his Soviet counterpart, they did not reciprocate his feelings. The Nazi invasion of Poland in 1939 “is correctly presented as a German attack, but what is seldom mentioned is that the Poles had been goading Germany for some time, so the invasion was in part a response to the Polish aggression”.
Hitler subsequently “offered peace to the British government, but his offer was rejected”, claims Mr Williams, whose father and both grandfathers were Tory MPs, and who stood for Ukip in Plymouth and South Devon at the last election.
The book claims the reputation of Renaissance Italy’s murderous Borgia family has been “unfairly tarnished” by history, while the great Egyptian queen Cleopatra is referred to only in the context of her marriage to Mark Antony, and the suffragettes receive only two brief mentions.
Mr Williams says scandalous Pope Alexander VI Borgia, famed for his financial greed and many mistresses, was persecuted for his “virtuous” and fair political beliefs, and compares him to former Ukip MEP Marta Andreasen, who defected to the Tories in February amid concern that hatred was being stirred up against immigrants. He says the corrupt and secular pontiff, who led the Catholic Church for 11 years from 1492, was on a par with “whistleblowers, like Marta Andreasen, who tried to stop corruption in the EU”.
The Catholic Church child abuse scandal was “disproportionately recorded”, he claims, concluding that it coincided “with the sexual revolution and liberation of the Sixties and Seventies” and is “a liberal problem, not a Catholic one”.
Posted: 21 Aug 2013 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: . | on: Wednesday, 21 August 2013, 11:44
Nigel Farage must have less power over the UK Independence Party if it is to achieve its full electoral potential, says its departing chief executive.
He was a great orator but UKIP should not think "it's all about Nigel", Will Gilpin told the Daily Telegraph.
He said he left because he was blocked from professionalising the party.
UKIP, which campaigns for the UK's exit from the EU said Mr Gilpin had introduced new party structures and left "with a great deal of warmth".
But it did not comment further on his remarks about Mr Farage.
Mr Gilpin spoke to the Daily Telegraph following the announcement on Monday that he was leaving his post by mutual agreement.
The former RAF fighter pilot, who also worked in IT for the Home Office and Metropolitan Police, was hired in December 2012 to professionalise UKIP's behind-the-scenes set-up.
But the Telegraph reported that he had been blocked by Mr Farage and his circle from making changes to formalise UKIP rules that would have made them more accountable to members.
"The leap from being a small group of people who have fun and do what they want to being a professional political party was too much," Mr Gilpin said.
"The party has decided it likes things the way they are - so UKIP remains a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs having a good time, rather than the professional fighting team they could be."
He also told the newspaper: "The thing I am most shocked by is that Nigel does his own thing without the party knowing where he is or what he is doing... Nigel is a great orator and a useful man for the party but you have to use him in the scope of the wider organisation, rather than thinking 'it's all about Nigel'."
"Nigel would see the party as being about him. The party is structured like a flying wedge, pushing Nigel forward."
He said updating the party would inevitably mean reducing Mr Farage's influence: "Nigel has to have less power."
News that Mr Gilpin was leaving his post as chief executive "by mutual agreement" emerged on Monday - party sources said Mr Gilpin wanted to return to corporate IT, suggesting it was something he was "far better suited to".
The source said Mr Gilpin was not suited to working with a small organisation, which relies on volunteers and whose "DNA is individualistic".
The party did not respond directly to his comments about Mr Farage but said Mr Gilpin had left "with a great deal of warmth" adding: "He has worked hard to provide the structures that he was asked to provide and which proved very uncomfortable to some in the party. He has been very successful and we wish him all the best."
Mr Farage is known for being a confident media performer and an outspoken MEP - once telling the president of the European Council he had the "charisma of a damp rag".
His party, which has no MPs but 11 MEPs, including Mr Farage himself, performed well at local elections in England in May, gaining about 25% of votes in council seats it contested.
It added to pressure on David Cameron to strengthen his commitment to hold an in-out referendum on Europe, should the Conservatives win an outright victory at the 2015 general election and has since seen them perform well in national polls.
posted by: James Kirkup and Jon Laurence | on: Wednesday, 21 August 2013, 10:31
Will Gilpin, who left his job this week, said that Mr Farage’s reluctance to accept professional management means Ukip will remain “a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs” who never fulfil their political potential.
Mr Gilpin, a former RAF pilot hired to professionalise Ukip, told theTelegraph that Mr Farage and his inner circle resisted his efforts to improve the party’s management and organisation.
Mr Gilpin is a former RAF Tornado pilot who then spent a decade working on major projects for organisations including BP and the Home Office.
He joined Ukip last year, and said he found a chaotic and disorganised party built around Mr Farage’s personality and whims.
“The thing I am most shocked by is that Nigel does his own thing without the party knowing where he is or what he is doing,” he said.
“Nigel is a great orator and a useful man for the party, but you have to use him in the scope of the wider organisation, rather than thinking ‘It’s all about Nigel’.
“Nigel would see the party as being about him. The party is structured like a flying wedge, pushing Nigel forward.”
Focusing on the 2015 general election, Mr Gilpin drew up plans for a standardised plan for election campaigns across the country, a “lessons learned” culture to ensure constant improvements, and a training regime for staff and candidates. He also planned a new structure to address the “big hole” in Ukip’s policy agenda.
Updating the party’s organisation would inevitably reduce Mr Farage’s influence over Ukip, Mr Gilpin said. “Nigel has to have less power. There is no way around it.”
However, he said, he was blocked by Mr Farage and his circle, who resisted changes that would formalise party rules and make them more accountable to members.
“The leap from being a small group of people who have fun and do what they want to being a professional political party was too much,” Mr Gilpin said.
The refusal to change will limit Ukip’s ability to win Westminster seats in 2015, he said.
“The party has decided it likes things the way they are – so Ukip remains a bunch of enthusiastic amateurs having a good time, rather than the professional fighting team they could be,” he said.
“Individually, they have the skills to make that happen, but that means working together, and that is not really happening.”
In 2015, Mr Gilpin said, Mr Farage and his team will underperform.
“They might still win some seats – but not as many as they would if they organised and structured themselves to make the most of what they have,” he said.
Ukip sources have this week suggested that Mr Gilpin left because he was better suited to running IT systems than to a senior management role.
Mr Gilpin said he left the party because of Mr Farage’s refusal to implement his plans.
“I left by mutual agreement in response to my dissatisfaction at the fact I was not being allowed to do the job I was hired to do, which was to professionalise the party,” he said.
A Ukip spokesman said that Mr Gilpin “leaves with a great deal of warmth”.
He said: “He has worked very hard to provide the structures that he was asked to provide and which proved very uncomfortable to some in the party. He has been very successful and we wish him all the best.”
The party has not said who will replace Mr Gilpin. Rumours have suggested that Mr Farage is keen for the job to go to Neil Hamilton, the former Conservative MP who joined Ukip in 2002, but party sources insisted that was not the case.
posted by: Harry Cooper | on: Wednesday, 21 August 2013, 10:21
I read with interest comments made by Janice Atkinson about the work that Godfrey Bloom does on 'the EU's Women's Rights and Gender Equality committee'. Not only is the above quote factually incorrect but her blog post was also a pretty simplistic rendering of the European legislative process. Given that it was about an IEA event, perhaps it was simply due to lack of space, but I thought I'd respond just in case.
Before continuing, I would, as I usually do, emphasise that I am wholeheartedly eurosceptic. Since moving to Brussels to work in the European Parliament, my views have hardened against the EU and I would vote to leave if a referendum on the UK's membership took place tomorrow.
I am not, as some have asserted, a bleeding heart socialist treehugger. Far from it. I also find the debate about women on boards incredibly boring (no offence to my female friends and colleagues) and think it distracts from much more important discussions about parasitic banks. That said, I felt the need to clarify what exactly is happening in Brussels, given that so few politicians and journalists seem to know or care in the UK.
In November last year, Viviane Reding, one of the high priestesses of the European Commission, published a proposal to introduce a requirement for listed companies to have at least 40% women on their boards by 2018. Ms Atkinson implied it was the 'EU's Women's Rights and Gender Equality committee' that has introduced the proposal and that it would take place in November of this year. Not quite the reality of the situation.
Even before the proposal was published last year, Reding was shouted down by her colleagues in the European Commission, the EU's civil service which drafts ideas for laws and regulations, resulting in it being significantly watered down by the time of its publication.
Having been published, it then entered the European Parliament's Women's Rights and Gender Equality Committee (not 'the EU's' committee, as Ms Atkinson stated), where it was supported in March of this year. Godfrey Bloom is indeed a member of this committee, but does nothing on it apart from grumble and guffaw, so it was slightly odd to read her suggestion that he had been instrumental in battling against the lefties there.
However, even though a majority of the European Parliament (not all MEPs voted for it) has endorsed the proposal for quotas, the council, the body that represents member states, has yet to agree on a position. Given the irreconcilable divisions between the countries who are in favour of a quota and those against it, an agreement in the near future is unlikely.
Even if the council did finalise a position, it could then take many more months before the European Parliament agrees to it, something required before any proposal can become law. Add to this the fact that the European elections are taking place next May, the system is already beginning to shut down which means a lot of legislation simply won't get done.
Oh and let's give credit where credit is due. The introduction of quotas in the UK is far more likely to come from Vince Cable than from the EU.
I apologise if this makes no sense. On reading it back, I myself got confused. But such is the byzantine European legislative process. As I argued in a blog post a few months ago, it is designed to take place at a snail's pace, and also only after a huge amount of compromising has occurred. Whether or not the quota is introduced, I don't know. But rest assured it will be full of loopholes and exemptions, as is the case with most European legislation, and probably won't enter into force until the early 2020s.
Regarding Ms Atkinson's comment about Godfrey Bloom's work in the European Parliament, I would like to politely let Huffpost readers that Ukip MEPs don't do that much work here. They do not take part in the legislative process, which involves hundreds of hours of meetings, amendment drafting and consultation with affected industries. This is of course not what Ukip MEPs are elected to do, since participation in a system they want to destroy makes little sense. Ukip supporters, and probably most Brits in fact, don't seem to be that phased by amendment deadlines and committee voting lists. But they are an integral part of the system and ignoring them has huge repercussions.
Given that we are in the EU whether we like it or not, and we may well end up staying in it even after a referendum, surely it makes more sense to continue being constructive and engaged rather than angry and red-faced? As I mentioned above, I would vote to leave if asked tomorrow. Our departure would let Europe get on with whatever it wants to do, be it euthanise the Cypriot economy or crown Merkel Empress of the United States of Europe. However whilst we are in it, we need to stop behaving like pubescent teenagers and continue engaging, if only as part of a damage limitation exercise.
Forgive me if this final point sounds patronising. However having worked on European financial services legislation for the past two years, I can assure readers that Ukip does not do a great job of fighting for the UK's or UK industry's interests in the European Parliament.
posted by: . | on: Tuesday, 20 August 2013, 15:52
The Ukip MEP who was accused of racism after he referred to countries that received aid from Britain as "bongo bongo land" has said women are better in the kitchen and men who support feminism are "effete".
"Most women can find the mustard in the pantry quicker than a man and most men can reverse a car better than a woman," Godfrey Bloom said on Tuesday.
He added: "Men and women care about different things on a micro-scale. Leaving the lavatory seat up, wet towels on the bed and the top left off the toothpaste will drive a wife mad.
"A man simply cannot understand what the problem is. Most wives do not regard putting petrol in the car as any part of their responsibility. Men cannot see the point in making the bed if you are going to get back in it tonight."
Writing on Politics.co.uk, Bloom did admit there were some exceptions to this rule, but said those women who could park a car well was "not the norm".
Bloom also attacked modern feminism as being spawned by "rather shrill, bored, middle class women of a certain physical genre".
And he said they were supported by men who "seem to have no link with the usual social and sporting male preserves" who were "slightly effete politically correct chaps who get sand kicked in their face on the beach".
The MEP also was keen to defend his own "alpha male" credentials. "I would not be caught dead at a birth of a baby and I'm happy to punch the first man who tries to steal my beer," he said.
Earlier this month Bloom provoked a serious backlash following his characterisation of places that receive UK development aid as "bongo bongo land".
He defended the comment on a variety of grounds, including the claim the word was actually the name of a type of "white" animal. And, therefore, not racist
"If anybody would care to take a look at the Oxford dictionary this morning, they would find 'bongo' is a white antelope that lives in the forest," he said. "There is no connotation of racism about whatsoever. 'Bongo land' is the land of the antelope."
Posted: 20 Aug 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: . | on: Monday, 19 August 2013, 22:04
Mr Gilpin, a former RAF fighter pilot, was appointed in December last year and asked to professionalise the party's behind the scenes set-up.
Sources within the party said Mr Gilpin hoped to return to corporate IT, something one source said "he is far better suited to".
The source suggested Mr Gilpin was not well suited to working for a small organisation whose "DNA is individualistic" and which relies on numerous volunteers.
But the source added there was no bad blood between Mr Gilpin and the party, and he may well attend the party's conference in London next month as an ordinary party member.
A UKIP spokesman told the BBC: "We thank him for his time, effort and the hard work he has put in and wish him all the best for the future."
When Mr Gilpin was appointed, he told the BBC his job was to "deal with the inertia of a party that is used to doing things in a very relaxed, very unco-ordinated manner".
According to his LinkedIn page, he worked in IT on behalf of the Home Office and the Metropolitan Police in the past, after 10 years flying Tornado aircraft for the RAF.
It is not known how much Mr Gilpin was earning in his role, or when the process of finding a successor will begin.
BBC political correspondent Chris Mason said UKIP saw itself as a party of individuals, but that meant the job awaiting any new chief executive would be "something akin to herding cats".
Last week, UKIP's treasurer Stuart Wheeler made headlines after he said women were "nowhere near as good as men" at games like chess, bridge and poker.
Mr Wheeler said he had been explaining why companies should not be forced to appoint more women to their boards.
And the week before, party MEP Godfrey Bloom caused anger by saying British aid was being sent to "Bongo Bongo Land".
Posted: 19 Aug 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Brendan Carlin | on: Sunday, 18 August 2013, 14:11
Nigel Farage was at the centre of a row last night after appearing to suggest ‘violence’ could be justified to overthrow Brussels bureaucrats.
The Ukip leader warned that the EU was heading for ‘revolution’ and said violent protest could be the only way for southern European nations to save their democracies.
He also compared ‘emergency powers’ adopted by EU leaders during the euro crisis to Adolf Hitler’s suspension of democracy in 1930s Germany.
His remarks came in interviews with controversial US Right-wing radio host Alex Jones.
They were broadcast last year and little-noticed at the time but are still available online.
Speaking against the backdrop of massive public protests in Greece over being forced by Brussels to implement huge spending cuts, Mr Farage said the way southern European nations were ordered around was ‘a recipe for revolution’.
He added: ‘I see the suffering of people in the Mediterranean reaching a real crisis point and I think the danger that Southern Europe faces is there could be a spark and that spark could lead to something akin to violent revolution.
'The whip hand is now so firmly with the bureaucrats – they hold all the cards – that possibly violence is the only way out of this.’
Last night, Mr Farage stood by his remarks and denied they were inflammatory.
He said the ‘last thing’ he wanted was people resorting to violence but insisted: ‘As far as the Mediterranean is concerned, I think it will be a violent end.’
Pro-European Tory MP Robert Buckland condemned Mr Farage’s remarks as ‘completely unacceptable’.
Posted: 18 Aug 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: . | on: Sunday, 18 August 2013, 13:55
Nigel Farage's UK Independence Party was the biggest financial loser in the recent Aberdeen Donside by-election, failing to keep its deposit after spending almost £17 per vote - twice the level the SNP spent to win the seat.
Official candidate spending returns obtained by the Sunday Herald also show the SNP's spending was more than double that of Labour, suggesting the Nationalists were privately anxious about losing their heartland seat, but that Labour gave up the chase.
The SNP pumped almost £81,000 into getting Mark McDonald returned as an MSP in June, against just £36,000 spent by Labour on behalf of their candidate, councillor Willie Young.
Ukip was the third-biggest spender, blowing almost £19,000 on fifth place Otto Inglis. However, in terms of spending per vote, Ukip got by far the worst return for its money, with each of its 1128 votes costing it £16.77.
The SNP's 9814 votes worked out at £8.21 each, while Labour's 7789 cost £4.64 each. The SNP won by 2025 votes - a 70% fall in its majority despite turnout falling just 18%.
The Liberal Democrats spent £14,291 securing 1940 votes for candidate Christine Jardine, the equivalent of £7.37 per vote; while Conservative Ross Thomson polled 1791 after his party spent £9581, or £5.35 per vote.
The maximum spending allowed was £100,000.
Adam, who took the seat from Labour in 2003, had a 7175-vote majority in 2011, and the SNP were favourites to hold the constituency.
The by-election was called after the death of SNP MSP Brian Adam from cancer in April. McDonald, a North East SNP list MSP, resigned from Holyrood to fight the by-election.
Although the clear underdog, Labour initially talked up the potential of an upset for the SNP, an idea the Nationalists strongly dismissed.
However, the SNP were sufficiently concerned to spend more than 80% of the legal maximum, as a loss would have been seen as a major blow to their hopes in the independence referendum.
Of the £80,606 spent by the SNP, £65,312 went on more than 200,000 cards and leaflets for voters. By comparison, Labour spent £36,150 overall, of which only £14,411 went on election material.
Flushed with success from May's English local elections, where Ukip won around 25% of the vote where it stood and ended up with 150 councillors, Farage had hoped Aberdeen Donside could be a springboard for his anti-EU party north of the Border. However, his first appearance in Scotland, a press conference in an Edinburgh pub, descended into chaos after he was jeered by student protesters who called him a "racist scumbag".
Ukip candidate Inglis said the spending was worth it, because in politics, as in business, "you have to speculate to accumulate".
He told the Sunday Herald: "The real story of the by-election is that most parties did broadly how they did before, whereas Ukip came from nowhere to get over 1100 votes.
"Meanwhile, the SNP threw the kitchen sink at it and their vote slumped by more than 5000."
A Labour spokeswoman said: "That the SNP spent twice as much as Labour perhaps suggests that they thought they were going to lose and threw everything at their campaign to prevent that."
An SNP spokeswoman said: "The SNP ran the right campaign as our victory shows. Labour obviously struggled to raise funds."
Posted: 18 Aug 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Rowena Mason | on: Thursday, 15 August 2013, 20:31
The UK Independence party has been given a £25,000 donation by an electronic cigarette company, while opposing new Brussels rules that would regulate non-tobacco nicotine products as medicines.
Electoral Commission records show Ukip accepted the funding in May from Pillbox38, a Blackburn-based firm linked to Totally Wicked-E liquid electronic cigarettes.
The company is currently fighting regulation proposed by the European commission last year, which says that products containing a certain amount of nicotine must be authorised as medicines.
It argues that this amounts to an effective ban on e-cigarettes, and has launched a lobbying campaign to persuade Europe to relax its regulation.
This has involved sending all 754 MEPs an e-cigarette, with a briefing note calling for the inclusion of electronic cigarettes in the tobacco products directive to be reviewed.
Ukip has opposed the regulation since it was brought forward in December.
Janice Atkinson, a potential Ukip MEP candidate, spoke out against the EU "interfering again by trying to regulate e-cigarettes" in March.
In May, Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, told Better Retailing: "The amount of money spent trying to stop people smoking is massive and yet when the market provides an alternative to tobacco the EU tries to legislate against it. They have no real understanding of business or real people, only an overwhelming urge to interfere regardless of the consequences."
On Thursday, the party confirmed it is opposed to greater regulation on electronic cigarettes, saying this was "hardly surprising" given Ukip's long fight against the smoking ban.
A spokesman said the issue of electronic cigarettes had been on the party's agenda for a long time and was in no way related to the donation from Pillbox38. "If Pillbox38 likes the cut of our gib and agrees with what we've been arguing, then great," he said. "If they wish to donate, then thank you very much. It shows we're serious on the subject."
Keith Taylor, the Green party's MEP for south-east England, said the donation was an argument for state funding of parties to take "vested interests" out of politics.
"While Ukip MEPs tend to shy away from doing too much work in the European parliament they do seem to have made plenty of time to campaign against the regulation of e-cigarettes," he said.
"I sincerely hope that Ukip's stance on this vital discussion affecting public health wasn't influenced by the £25,000 they received from Pillbox38."
Fraser Cropper, a director of Pillbox 38, said his firm was "attempting to bring reason to the debate related to electronic cigarettes both within theEuropean Union and nationally".
He said Pillbox38 made the donation after becoming "aware through customer feedback that Ukip MEPs had been responding to our customers' letters in a positive manner and were willing to consider the detail of the tobacco product directive's proposals and the punitive effect it would have on the rights of smokers and vapers across Europe".
"These libertarian views correlated strongly with our company's principles and more importantly the rights that our customers will be denied if draconian and perverse regulation, as currently framed in the draft tobacco product directive, is allowed to become law," he said.
"When our donation was made, we made it clear that we expected no lobbying support. This understanding was reciprocated by Ukip; that acceptance of this donation did not obligate the party to pro-actively engage in this debate on our behalf. There is nothing nefarious here."
Meanwhile on Wednesday, Stuart Wheeler, the party's treasurer, caused controversy when he argued at an event that companies did not necessarily need an equal number of female directors on their boards because women were not as good as men at bridge, poker and chess.
According to politics.co.uk, he told a London debate: "I would just like to challenge the idea that it is necessarily right to have a lot of women or any particular number on a board.
"Business is very, very competitive and if you take the performance of women in another competitive area, which is sport where they have no strength advantage – chess, bridge, poker – women come absolutely nowhere."
Wheeler later defended his comments on the BBC's World at One programme, saying he did not mean to suggest that women were less intelligent than men.
"All I was saying was there are areas were women are not as good as men, I'm sure there are areas where men are not as good as women and therefore I don't think it's always essential to have a minimum number of either [on boards]," he said.
Posted: 15 Aug 2013 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Tim Ridgway | on: Thursday, 15 August 2013, 17:31
A UKIP councillor has been criticised after claiming eastern Europeans working in the UK “live in sheds” and send their wages home while claiming benefits.
Laurence Keeley, who sits on East Sussex County Council, made the comments in a letter to The Argus as he claimed the public had the wrong impression about the party.
It comes just a day after The Argus reported death threats had been made on a political blog towards Ukip members in Crawley.
Coun Keeley, who represents Hailsham and Herstmonceux on the local authority, said: “What a pity that some members of the public have the wrong impression about Ukip- it's all about space and not race.
“We as a nation should be helping the eastern European counties to become better places so the people don't want to leave.
“I can understand people wanting to leave a corrupt country, it must be a harsh decision to move away from ones family and friends.
“But we can't take everyone that has troubles at home.
“Why don't we all want to move to Romania, it should be a wonderful place to live.
“We should be looking into these issues, not taking in all nations' people.
“The fact is they often don't live our way, don't pay our rents or mortgages, six live in a shed, then send their wages home.
“Then the UK gives them medical treatment, free schools and benefits that they haven't paid into - our infrastructure is unable to cope with the overcrowding.”
In response, Liberal Democrat councillor David Tutt said: “It sounds like a typical Ukip view on the world.
“It's not a position that I hold however.
“We're part of the EU and there needs to be controls. However I think that is best done by working with the Europeans parliament and not through reactionary politics.”
Godfrey Daniel, a Labour member on the county council, said: “As a Welshman who has made a career in England I always distrust assumptions about people coming from different countries.
“Recently I was in hospital for quite a major operation and it was so gratifying to see so many people of different races working together to help me in my recovery.”
He added: “There are elections where people want to vote for somebody different as a protest.
“I think as time goes on they will begin to regret voting so many Ukip councillors onto the county council.
“They do not appear to be offering any different.”
posted by: Tom Moseley | on: Thursday, 15 August 2013, 12:34
Support for the Home Office's controversial 'go home' vans is on the rise, a new poll has found.
YouGov said more people backed the vans, while fewer thought they were racist.
The billboards were driven London in an uncompromising message aimed at illegal immigrants. It attracted fierce criticism, with even immigration hardliner Nigel Farage branding it "nasty".
But Farage's party supporters were most likely to be in favour, with 86% backing the stunt. Just under three quarters of Tory supporters were in favour, while 51% of Labour voters were against.
Lib Dem voters were the least likely to back the vans, with 57% against it.
YouGov said support was up by 8% since the end of July, and the number who think they are racist has dropped 6%.
A total of 55% of British adults now 'strongly' or 'tend to' support the vans, compared to 47% at the end of July. 35% oppose it and 11% don’t know.
Posted: 15 Aug 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: . | on: Thursday, 15 August 2013, 12:18
Former Welsh Office Minister Rod Richards has accused Ukip leader Nigel Farage of letting him down badly in the selection of candidates to fight next year’s European Parliament election.
Mr Richards, who had hoped to stand for the anti-EU party in Wales, said he was left shocked when told he had come eighth out of eight would-be candidates in an assessment exercise undertaken by Ukip officials.
The former Conservative MP for Clwyd North West, a reformed alcoholic who was also the first Tory group leader at the National Assembly, is one of the most colourful political figures in Wales.
A Welsh Office Minister under John Major, he was forced to resign after his affair with an animal welfare lobbyist was exposed by the News of the World. He stood down as Tory leader in Wales after being charged with assaulting a woman he met in a London pub. He was acquitted after a Crown Court trial.
Last month we revealed how Mr Richards had joined Ukip and speculated that he would seek nomination as a European candidate.
He told us: “I was very interested in standing as a candidate and contacted Nigel Farage last year. He encouraged me to stand and understood that because of my work as an independent political pundit for the BBC it had been difficult for me to join Ukip up until then.
“He told me that would be no problem and arranged for me to meet the chairman of Ukip, Steve Crowther. I met him in Bristol in February and he also encouraged me.
“A couple of weeks ago I took part in a hustings meeting at the Bear Hotel in Cowbridge, where all the candidates spoke. I was also interviewed by the party panel and did an isometric test.
“I’m not being immodest when I say I have a lot of public speaking experience, and have also been an MP and a Government Minister. I think I performed well on the day.
“I was shocked when I had a phone call from Steve Crowther last Friday and was told I had come eighth out of eight. He told me a lot of people in the party were against me because I had only recently joined – but both he and Nigel Farage had said earlier that wouldn’t be a problem.
“Raising the issue with him in the first place was designed to avoid something like this happening.”
Expressing his dismay at the party leader, Mr Richards added: “When I rang him last Friday he sent me a text saying ‘Will call in a bit’, but I haven’t heard from him since.
“After leaving the Conservative Party it took years for me to get used as an independent political pundit by the BBC and other broadcasters. That income is now lost to me again.”
Mr Farage said: “It’s perfectly true that I encouraged him to put his name forward for selection. The past is the past so far as I am concerned.
“But as a candidate myself I had absolutely nothing to do with the assessment process – I’ve been completely out of that.”
The Ukip leader confirmed he had promised to phone Mr Richards: “That’s true – I owe him a phone call, and will make it. It’s been a fairly busy period.”
Ukip national chairman Steve Crowther, who was in charge of the assessment process, said: “I like Rod and think he’s an extremely talented and experienced guy.
“The assessment process is immensely detailed and multi-faceted and has been devised to be as objective as possible.
“We had 140 would-be candidates and had to whittle them down to 70. Rod hasn’t been a member for very long and was at a slight disadvantage because he was not so au fait with our ways as others might be.
“On the day he performed very well but not everyone can win.”
Posted: 15 Aug 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Steven Swinford | on: Thursday, 15 August 2013, 12:04
Stuart Wheeler, the party's treasurer, said that women were "absolutely nowhere" when they compete with men in sports where they are not physically disadvantaged.
His comments were immediately condemned as "disingenuous" and sexist by other delegates at a debate on "gender quotas" in London last night.
It comes after Godfrey Bloom, a Ukip MEP, suggested that Britain should not be giving aid to countries in "bongo bongo" land.
Mr Wheeler said: “I would just like to challenge the idea that it is necessary to have a lot of women or a particular number on a board.
"Business is very, very competitive and you should take the performance of women in another competitive area, which is sport where [men] have no strength advantage.
“Chess, bridge, poker – women come absolutely nowhere. I think that just has to be borne in mind.”
However Clare Gerada, the chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners who also attended the debate, said: "My mother, at 83, is the biggest bridge champion and continues to be year on year. I think that is such a disingenuous, sexist comment."
Mr Wheeler, a spead betting guru who previously donated to the Conservatives, went on to deny that his comments were sexist. "Intellectually at least they are as good as men. I don't accept the comment is sexist - it is simply true if you look at the statistics," he said.
According to politics.co.uk, Mr Bloom went on to claim that companies are increasingly "prejudiced" against men.
He said: "If you worked in the public sector or a reasonably large company who can smell which way the wind is blowing, you are far more likely to be advanced by being a woman in your quest for promotion than disadvantaged."
A spokesman for Ukip said that the party is opposed to quotas and believes people should be promoted on merit alone. He declined to comment on Mr Wheeler's comments.
Posted: 15 Aug 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Guido Fawkes | on: Thursday, 15 August 2013, 11:57
So UKIP now have a Welsh website.
And they claim their name in Welsh is“Plaid Annibyniaeth y Du”.
Now if that was DU, not Du, it would be the abbreviation of the UK in Welsh (Y Deyrnas Unedig).
As it is, Du translates as the “Black Independence Party”
A pretty big rebranding….
posted by: Simona Sikimic | on: Thursday, 15 August 2013, 11:40
Never one to mince his words, UKIP’s economic spokesman, Godfrey Bloom is in the headlines again - this time for saying that employers were discriminating against men in favour of less-qualified women.
The MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire said that employers were “prejudiced” against men.
“You are far more likely to be advanced by being a woman in your quest for promotion than disadvantaged and I know that,” he told audiences gather for a debate on gender equality at the Institute of Economic Affairs.
“I would just like to challenge the idea that it is necessarily right to have a lot of women or any particular number on a board,” he said, politics.co.uk reported.
Bloom came under fire last week after footage emerged of him condemning the UK government for sending aid to “bongo, bongo land.” He has since apologised and said he will not use the term again and has been selected to stand on UKIP’s EU parliament election list.
UKIP have repeatedly dismissed past allegations of sexism in the ranksby pointing to the prevalence of female UKIP election candidates.
posted by: . | on: Tuesday, 13 August 2013, 20:04
A UKIP candidate has been kicked out of the party after he was convicted of attacking two former bus driver colleagues.
Raymond Tuttlebee, 64, of Berechurch Hall Road, Colchester, started the fracas weeks before the county council elections.
Tuttlebee had lost his job at First buses for assaulting Terrance Brooker, a court heard.
When he spotted Mr Brooker and colleague Paul Edwards outside the Compuccino cafe in Priory Walk, Colchester he launched into a foul-mouthed attack.
Tuttlebee pushed Mr Edwards several times before he spotted Mr Brooker and turned to spit in his face, the court heard.
He swore repeatedly during the confrontation on April 25 this year.
Mr Edwards, giving evidence at the trial at Colchester Magistrates’ Court, said: “It totally unnerved me.
“I wasn’t expecting it. It knocked me off balance."
Mr Brooker, who was spat on during the incident, told the court: “It is sickening.
“I just felt physically sick so I didn’t move for a few seconds.
“He appeared very, very angry, almost out of control.”
Tuttlebee denied two charges of assault, but was found guilty after a trial.
Tuttlebee, who represented himself, claimed he had tripped on the paving and fallen into Mr Edwards.
He said the spitting occurred as a reflex after he was poked in the stomach.
He claimed the effect was worsened by the fact he wears dentures, producing additional saliva.
He was found guilty of both assaults and was fined £1,180.
After the hearing, Ron Levy, chairman of the Colchester branch of UKIP, said Tuttlebee’s Ukip membership will be terminated.
Mr Levy said: “We are disappointed.”
Speaking exclusively to the Gazette after the hearing, Raymond Tuttlebee maintained his innocence but said for the good of his party, he was prepared step down.
“I will absolutely say I am innocent on these charges,” he said.
“This has been a total miscarriage of justice.
“I have always believed in this great British county’s justice system, but not anymore.”
He added: “I was contacted by the chairman of our UKIP branch and told a decision would be made by head office, so I’m shocked to find out my membership has been terminated.
“I have always believed in UKIP as a fair and understanding party.
“If they fell I need to step down, then I absolutely will.”
Posted: 13 Aug 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Simon Cressy | on: Tuesday, 13 August 2013, 11:41
UKIP have always claimed they do no tolerate members who have links to any far right organisation, such as the BNP or the EDL.
So they will be pleased that we are letting them know about Derby based UKIP activist Philip Mallard. Mallard obviously has a soft spot for the thugs of the EDL as can be seen from the photo.
No need to thank us Nigel, you owe us a pint !
Posted: 13 Aug 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Simon Cressy | on: Monday, 12 August 2013, 20:36
Hot off the press, here is the list of proposed UKIP candidates for the 2014 European elections.A couple of notable exceptions missing from the lists are Neil Hamilton, the disgraced Tory MP who defected to UKIP along with his wife Christine and has become a leading member of UKIP in the South West and James Delingpole, columnist and novelist who writes for The Times, The Daily Telegraph, and The Spectator.
Eastern – shortlist
East Midlands – shortlist
London – shortlist
North East – shortlist
North West – shortlist
South East – shortlist
South West – shortlist
West Midlands – shortlist
Yorks & N Lincs – shortlist
Scotland – shortlist
Wales – shortlist
Posted: 12 Aug 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Simon Cressy | on: Monday, 12 August 2013, 15:12
Just listened to a recording of the Stephen Nolan show on BBC Radio 5 Live taken from the weekend and I can't believe what I have just heard.
Nolan featured an interview with former newspaper publisher Eddie Shah who was cleared last month at The Old Bailey of raping a girl in the 1990s when she was aged between 12 and 15.
Shah claimed that Operation Yewtree, the ongoing police investigation into alleged sexual abuse of children had become a witchhunt and that some of the underage girls who engaged in consensual sex with pop stars in the 60s and 70s "have to take the blame" for what happened to them.
Shah's comments were bad enough and sickened me but it was the comments made by a UKIP MEP on the same programme that left me speechless.
Roger Helmer, MEP for the East Midlands when asked his opinion caused a storm when he claimed that 15 year old girls can consent to sex with pop stars. Helmer said "Suppose a 15-year-old girl is at a club with a pop star, and he says 'how about it, dear'? and she says 'yes please, I was hoping you'd ask'. In most people's book, that constitutes consent. Legally, she cannot consent, but in real terms, she can."
Helmer also claimed that if an underage child asked for sex then they were contributing to the problem.
This isn't the first time the former Tory MEP has caused controversy by making disgusting comments. On May 2011 Helmer wrote on his blog that there should be two categories of rape, "stranger rape" and "date rape" and that a woman who is date raped "surely shares a part of the responsibility".
You can listen to Helmer's comments on the Nolan Show here, I'd be interested to hear what your opinions are relating to this.
Posted: 12 Aug 2013 | There are 5 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Cathy Newman | on: Monday, 12 August 2013, 12:52
After expressing bemusement last week about how a party can expect to attract women when one of its MEPs declares their rightful place is cleaning behind the fridge, I think I can safely say that hell hath no fury like a Ukip woman scorned.
My piece for Telegraph Wonder Women prompted a torrent of tweets - many abusive, some more reasoned - and a series of blogs penned by party activists. So I've got to hand it to Ukip: not only does the party have a machine increasingly capable of returning fire, but the women manning the barricades do so with great verve and passion.
To recap, I'd argued that it was hard to see how Ukip could appeal to women voters when one of its MEPs, Godfrey Bloom - he of "bongo bongo land" fame - had argued that "a woman's place is cleaning behind the fridge".
Party supporters took issue with me on a number of points. And while I could have done without the abuse, I think it's only fair to respond to the more considered arguments in detail.
A number of activists on Twitter took me to task over the polling evidence I'd quoted to back up my argument. YouGov found earlier this year that Ukip has a far higher proportion of elderly voters than other parties, and they're far more likely to be lacking formal education. Just 13 per cent of UKIP voters have a university degree.
But in case I was misunderstood first time round, let me explain.
The figures I quoted weren't just about degree-level education, but schooling too. So 51 per cent of UKIP voters lack educational qualifications (defined by YouGov as GCSE level) of any sort, compared to 36 per cent for the Tories.
And yes I do think this matters. Because it's statistically proven that the more educational qualifications you have, the better your employment prospects. And if you've got a job you enjoy and find mentally stimulating, surely you're less likely to tolerate being asked to clean behind the fridge?
Ukip's head of press Alexandra Phillips (pictured above) wrote a thoughtful blog saying that "the day that Godfrey Bloom makes me clean behind his fridge is the day that I will be outraged". Quite so. But her next sentence leaves me scratching my head. "However his outlandish comments about women cleaning behind fridges frankly do not offend me personally." Why on earth not? Surely if women like Ms Phillips continue to turn a blind eye to Mr Bloom, and refuse to be offended, he and others will carry on making such offensive comments with impunity?
Other Ukip-pers suggest I'm wrong to get in a tizz about remarks made by Mr Bloom such a long while ago - almost a decade ago in fact. Fair point, but the problem is he's made a habit of repeating such comments. In April this year, he opined that businesses shouldn't employ women of childbearing age, for example.
That counts Ms Phillips and many others out. Yet will they still refuse to be offended?
The party's disability spokesman Star Etheridge has brandished me a "feminist man hater" - ouch: must tell my husband that one - before warning that "if you have to constantly ask for equality then you will never get it because you automatically feel inferior & such inferiority breeds resentment".
In reply, I would say to Ms Etheridge that she and other rightly outspoken Ukip women are unlikely to get equality while a man such as Mr Bloom continues in a high-profile role, given free rein to spout nonsense about child-bearing, fridge-cleaning women.
I find it hard to understand how the women of Ukip are happy with such a situation, but they are, of course, welcome to it.
Posted: 12 Aug 2013 | There are 3 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Press Association | on: Monday, 12 August 2013, 11:50
A UK Independence Party (Ukip) local council candidate is to be charged over claims that he used fake signatures on his election nomination form, prosecutors have said.
Hugh Mennie, who stood for election to Cambridgeshire County Council in May, is accused of causing or permitting a false statement to appear in a nomination paper.
Simon Ringrose, from the Crown Prosecution Service, said: "Following an investigation by Cambridgeshire Police, we have decided that Hugh Mennie, who ran as a Ukip candidate in a local council election in May 2013, should be charged with
making false statements in a nomination form.
"It is alleged that Hugh Mennie falsified details on a nomination paper in order to stand for election to Cambridgeshire County Council. The nomination paper requires a proposer, a seconder and eight other signatures from 'assenters' - people who live in the election catchment area. It is alleged that three of these assenter nomination signatures were forged.
"Having carefully considered all available evidence, I have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and that it is in the public interest to charge Hugh Mennie with one count of causing or permitting a false statement to appear in a nomination paper."
Mennie will appear at Cambridge Magistrates' Court on September 5.
Posted: 12 Aug 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Bob Haywood | on: Sunday, 11 August 2013, 17:39
Midland UKIP candidate Dean Perks has been given a dressing down by party chiefs for saying that thieves should have their hands cut off .
Mr Perks, who is seeking to become MP for Halesowen and Rowley Regis at the next general election, also believes that hard-line sharia law is the answer to crime.
His controversial remarks – exclusively reported in last week’s Sunday Mercury – led to calls for him to be dumped as parliamentary candidate for the Black Country seat.
But Mr Perks will NOT be forced to stand down by UKIP leader Nigel Farage, the Mercury has been told.
A senior party official said: “What he said is an indiscretion – not a hanging offence. He could have expressed himself more carefully and he has been reminded of that. We trust he will be more careful in what he says in future.”
As we revealed, Mr Perks told a UKIP meeting in Coventry: “In my opinion, sharia law works as a prevention – and prevention is better than cure.
“If you think you are going to get your hand chopped off for something, you won’t pinch it.”
Mr Perks was not the only UKIP member to find himself in the media spotlight last week.
MEP Godfrey Bloom caused outrage by saying that British foreign aid should not be sent to “bongo bongo land”.
Mr Perks, a self-employed builder from Dudley, has landed himself in hot water before.
Six months ago, he admitted referring to someone as ‘a retard’ – and later apologised.
He also praised Enoch Powell as ‘a visionary, adding: “He was well-liked among the Asian Community.”
As the Sunday Mercury exclusive was followed up by national newspapers and broadcasting organisations, Mr Perks sought to distance himself from his own words. On BBC Radio WM’s Good Morning with Adrian Goldberg on Monday, he said he was sorry if his comments had been misunderstood.
What he was really trying to say was that there should be tougher sentencing by the courts of criminals, including thieves.
Mr Perks was unavailable for comment before publication of the Sunday Mercury report last week, but he has since issued a statement in which he expressed his ‘deep disappointment that my comments have been twisted by political opponents and newspapers to imply I support sharia law in the UK’.
Political opponents say it is unclear how he thinks his comments were ‘twisted’ as the Mercury reported word-for-word what he said at the UKIP meeting, from video footage.
In his statement, Mr Perks continued: “I reject sharia law and I firmly believe that British law should cover everyone in this country with no exceptions.
“We in UKIP have come to expect our political opponents to play the man, not the ball, as they have realised that our common sense policies, and not theirs, resonate with the voters.
“Of course, if they want to continue ignoring the real issues while we push ahead with representing local people on issues that matter, that’s fine by us. But we will not permit distortions of the truth and I will be seeking clarification from the newspapers concerned.”
Mr Perks could play a key role in the outcome of the marginal Halesowen and Rowley Regis election. The seat is held by Tory MP James Morris with a majority of just 2,023
Posted: 11 Aug 2013 | There are 1 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Channel 4 News | on: Thursday, 8 August 2013, 20:08
This week the senior Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom was at the centre of a racism row after he was filmed telling people he didn't think £1 billion a month should go to "bongo bongo land".Much has been said about whether he was a racist or not - he says not - and about the merits, or demerits, of overseas aid, where it is spent and how it is spent. We've FactChecked what he said on aid spending, and found some of it was right, and some was wrong.
But we also wondered about who's bankrolling Ukip. After all, if they want to be taken seriously as a big political hitter, they'll need to get the FactCheck treatment.
Since 2001, Ukip has received the sum total of £7,075,092.56 in donations, according to accounts filed with the Electoral Commission. (The party was technically founded in 1993, but the Electoral Commission's data doesn't go back that far).
The donor who stands out is Paul Sykes, the Yorkshire businessman and property developer. He used to be a Tory member but later turned to Ukip. Either individually, through his company, the Paul Sykes Group Ltd or through his Highstone Group Ltd, he has given £1.46m to the party.
Stuart Wheeler, Eton-educated businessman and treasurer of the party, was known for making the largest single donation to the Conservatives when he gave £5m during the 2001 election campaign, but he turned to Ukip. He gave Ukip their largest single donation from an individual in 2010 of £150,000, and has given the party £514, 957 since 2001.
There are, however, a few people who are less well known.
The second largest individual donation since 2001 came from someone who has never been named as a Ukip supporter, and that's Julian Blackwell, owner of Blackwell's, the publishing group.
In October 2010, he made two donations of £125,000 and £50,000.
It's understood that he is very reluctant to speak publicly about his support for political parties, but he is known for being a staunch Eurosceptic.
Sir John Craven, 73, former chairman of mining group Lonmin, is another person who's opened up his chequebook for the party: in July 2007, he donated £7,500, and another £5,000 in December of the same year.
A former director of Reuters, along with a memberships for directors boards for a string of other companies including Deutsche Bank, he founded Phoenix Securities and is also known for his euroscepticism, having previously said that Britain's prospects outside the eurozone are "bright". His funding for Ukip has been less often referred to.
But scrolling on through Ukip's accounts, another Old Etonian emerges as a fan of Ukip, and that's James Donald Charteris, or Lord Neidpath, as he is known, a former close friend of the Queen Mother.
Since 2001, he has donated at least £54,000 on nine separate occasions. When he's not splurging cash on the party, he's sold Botticellis - earning him £10m - and been to parties on the luxury Caribbean retreat of Mustique with Princess Margaret. He also features in Andy Warhol's diaries, being a former member of the artist's New York set.
Speaking of artists, there's also Viscount Michael Cowdray - a British heir and film producer and member of the Pearson publishing family. And 12th richest British aristocrat, according to the latest Sunday Times rich list, and the 10th largest landowner in the UK.
He is no longer said to be involved in running the firm. He's been described as a "new age hippie" who built a Buddhist temple to celebrate the millenium, and produced Sympathy for the Devil, directed by Jean-Luc Godard in 1968. Contribution to Ukip? £35,000 between 2008 to March this year.
Another name which caught FactCheck's eye was Lady Yvonne Vinson, wife of Nigel Vinson, or Baron Vinson, the British businessman and inventor. A former deputy chairman of the Confederation of British Industry, he is a co-founder of the Centre for Policy Studies, and a regular attendee at the House of Lords. On 4 August last year, he threatened to defect to Ukip unless the Tories took a harder line against Europe. Lady Yvonne Colin, who was listed as a Vice President on last year's annual report for Age UK Northumberland, has donated two installments of £5,000 to the party, in February and July last year.
There are other named and noted Ukip donors - such as the former city insurance broker, Lord Pearson of Rannoch, who appeared on Channel 4 News to admit that he was wrong to claim that Muslims breed 10 times faster than other people.
But FactCheck is particularly interested in the ones who don't want to be so publicly known.
We asked Mr Blackwell about his support for Ukip, and whether he intended to change his position in the light of Mr Bloom's comments.
He made no comment.
Posted: 8 Aug 2013 | There are 2 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Simon Cressy | on: Thursday, 8 August 2013, 16:22
UKIP will be holding their national conference in September and they are claiming that it will biggest and brightest ever.
The xenophobic party will be celebrating their 20th anniversary by hosting their conference at The Methodist Hall in Westminster over the weekend of September 20-21st 2013.
Some of the biggest names within UKIP will be attending and speaking and it is expected to be standing room only.
A number of "like minded" groups will attend the conference and host stands with the hope of reaching out to the hundreds of UKIP members who will be at the conference.
The TBG is currently hitting the headlines for all the wrong reasons after it was revealed that Tory MP Jacob Rees-Mogg attended one of their dinners in May and has distanced himself from the group after it was accused of racism after they called for the newly appointed Labour peer Doreen Lawrence and millions of ethnic-minority Britons to “return to their natural homelands”.
The TBG attended the 2012 UKIP conference held in Birmingham and is known to have links to a number of UKIP officials such as Gerard Batten MEP and Christopher Gill, one time member of UKIP's National Executive Committee.
It is widely expected to be attending this years conference and we call on UKIP to distance themselves from the racist Traditional Britain Group and to ban them from attending any future UKIP events.
Posted: 8 Aug 2013 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Milton | on: Thursday, 8 August 2013, 02:42
Den Dover is a former Tory MEP who was forced to pay back hundreds of thousands of pounds in expenses. Mr Dover’s expulsion was personally ordered by David Cameron and his offences were originally reported by a jubilant UKIP.
Imagine Milton’s surprise when a ‘Densmore Dover’ appeared on the UKIP South East speaking list andtook part in the South East UKIP MEP hustings.
Nigel Farage was caught boasting about his large expenses bill, while UKIP MEP Tom Wise was jailed for expenses fraud.
Other notable disgraced Tories who are now running for UKIP include Neil Hamilton, who was reported to have been heavily implicated in the cash for questions scandal.
When UKIP urged Tories to ‘come home’ Milton didn’t think they meant it quite like this…
Posted: 8 Aug 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: James Lyons | on: Thursday, 8 August 2013, 02:24
The ranting UKIP politician who said Britain should not give aid to “Bongo-Bongo Land” was slammed again yesterday for putting his mouth in motion without his brain in gear.
In an astonishing and wide-ranging outburst, MEP Godfrey Bloom branded women as bad drivers who cannot reverse as well as men.
He also said women are genetically programmed to be less keen on work than men.
Shadow minister Rushanara Ali said: “Godfrey Bloom seems to be on a mission to offend as many people as possible.
“When he’s not talking about ‘Bongo-Bongo Land’ he’s spouting nonsense about the difference between men and women.
“He is exposing the true face of UKIP, and it’s not pretty.”
Mr Bloom’s rant included the claim that “modern feminism was spawned in the bra-burning 1970s by rather shrill, bored middle class women of a certain physical genre” who “represented few women”.
They were supported by “slightly effete politically correct chaps who get sand kicked in their face on the beach”, the MEP said.
He also listed what he thinks are the differences between the sexes. Mr Bloom said: “Most men can reverse a car better than a woman.
“Most wives do not regard putting petrol in the car as any part of their responsibility.
"Men cannot see the point in making a bed if you are going to get back in it tonight.”
He boasted he is “just about as Alpha” as a man can be, adding: “I am not a ‘new man’, would not be caught dead at the birth of a baby and [would be] happy to punch the first man who tries to steal my beer.”
In another section he said executives at FTSE100 companies are “socially dysfunctional” and should be “ashamed” of working long hours if they rarely see their wives and children.
He added: “I think a very significant number of women would think the same.
"Especially with an inbuilt, genetic predisposition to give family a higher priority.”
The remarks, made on German website ScienceFiles.org, came to light yesterday shortly after it emerged the MEP had made the Bongo-Bongo Land remark at a meeting in July after saying that overseas aid was being spent on Ferraris.
He was condemned by race campaigners but insisted he is not racist.
He also said yesterday: “If I’ve offended anybody in Bongo-Bongo Land I shall write to the ambassador at the court of St James and apologise to him personally.”
UKIP leader Nigel Farage has been urged to sack Mr Bloom but instead told the MEP to stop using the phrase.
Mr Farage last night said on Twitter: “Godfrey 100% right over foreign aid budget but pleased he’s apologised over the wrong language he used.”
Last night a UKIP spokesman defended Mr Bloom’s web rant, adding: “He has a fair point about attacking FTSE100 people for not giving a s*** about family.
"So I don’t think the bit about women being more disposed to look after children is contentious at all.”
Godfrey Bloom’s rant about women drivers is the latest in a long line of outrageous comments by the UK Independence Party’s MEP.
Bloom once declared that “no self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age”.
The remark came just weeks after he was appointed to the European Parliament’s Committee on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality in 2004.
Around the same time, he said: “I just don’t think [women] clean behind the fridge enough.”
And he said: “I am here to represent Yorkshire women who always have dinner on the table when you get home.”
Bloom later claimed that he made the comment “for fun” to illustrate a more serious point, that equal-rights legislation was in fact putting women out of work.
He once wrote he had visited brothels in Hong Kong – without taking advantage of the services on offer – and claimed that “terrified young women beaten into prostitution often from Eastern Europe ... is only a very small aspect of the flesh trade”.
“In short, most girls do it because they want to,” he added, in a Brussels political magazine.
posted by: Zoe Williams | on: Thursday, 8 August 2013, 01:57
"I just do it to upset the Guardian," joshed Godfrey Bloom on BBC Radio 4, "defending" (we'll come to that) his comment on aid, and bongo bongo land. "I love it." Gah, the fiendish intelligence of the man. He's like a superbreed. If we get upset, it only pleases him; if we don't get upset, who will tell him what is wrong with his remarks?
Not James Naughtie, that's for sure. Arguing on the Today programme, the Ukip MEP said of his remarks about bongo bongo land: "There is no such place, of course, is there? Like Ruritania. Or the third world. Where is the third world?" He could search Wikipedia for this, of course, rather than asking rhetorically on national radio, but it would involve reading 300 words and digesting a certain amount of complexity, so there's a chance he'd have a stroke.
He continued: "If I've offended anybody in bongo bongo land, I shall write to the ambassador at the court of St James." His point was that a reference to a made-up country could not offend any rational person. (There is an ancillary attempt to make himself sound posh by using the stiltedly correct form of "ambassador to the UK". His self-fashioning isn't really our problem, but spare a thought here for the people who sometimes have to meet him.)
This would have been a good time for a presenter on a current affairs programme to make the following points. "bongo bongo land" is not a made-up country in the sense that he just made it up. Otherwise, he could have just said "we give all this money to poo-poo land". Bongo bongo land is, as anybody knows, a derogatory reference to the former colonies of the UK. This is also to be found on Wikipedia. I suspect the MEP of purposefully avoiding the internet for fear of reading anything that interrupts his line of reasoning.
It is, therefore, racist: it conflates countries and races whose distinctions he believes needn't be respected because they are not important. The words themselves are intended to underline the savagery and otherness of these nations. Overall, it's an attempt to portray most of a continent (and if you refer to his original speech, Pakistan as well) as an undifferentiated mass of uncivilised people who have just enough sophistication to rip us off by spending our money on sunglasses, but otherwise are happy with their drums.
It's actually rather an extreme position. It isn't good enough to find it amusing, as Naughtie did. It is fine to find it amusing in a bar after a port and lemonade, if that's your thing. In public discourse, to broadcast these ideas and leave them unchallenged is effectively to endorse them. Ukip supporters are probably as annoyed as lefties are by the feeble, metropolitan "I don't need to disagree with you, I find you amusing!" stance; but annoying Ukip is not the same as arguing against them.
The problem is that some of our debating muscles have atrophied. For a long time it has not been acceptable to try to stratify humans by race and denigrate some races with words that really only make you look stupid. Nor has it been OK to say that women should clean behind fridges, that students you've invited to Brussels are thick but have nice tits (he has form, Godfrey Bloom) or that Germans are all Nazis.
I loved the political correctness era – I loved not having to explain why racism was irrational, and women weren't any more disposed towards domesticity than men were. It saved so much time. I wish I'd mended the roof while the sun shone, written a novel, cleaned behind my fridge. But the downside was that the arguments died, so that now, when a Ukip candidate claims that society can't afford disabled children so they should all be compulsorily aborted, or that Africans were bad because they "sold their brothers into a slavery that Britain was the first to abolish", I cast around for my ready reckoner anti-eugenics argument, my non-racist history of the slave trade, and they're just not there. I wasn't expecting to have to use them this century. I stashed them in my loft.
So I'm annoyed about that, and I sometimes find myself dispirited that so little progress has been made. Bloom could be straight out of the 1930s, the 1890s, he could be explaining the necessity of the Bloemfontein concentration camp. But progress is a systematic process of thought and debate. One angry guy can't drag it back, any more than he can halt climate change by calling it "nothing more than a hypothesis" (I wish he could!).
If there's one thing Bloom may be right about, it's the people in rugby clubs and pubs who he claims agree with him. I doubt their numbers are significant. But there will probably always be a rump that waves away terms like "human dignity" as so much leftwing blarney; who think foreigners are fundamentally different and are worth less, who think it's important to clean behind fridges, and furthermore, that women should be doing it; who think if they're ever caught out they can call it a joke, and that their joke will be hilarious.
Do you dignify this pantomime? Most Ukip representatives are just trolls, throwing out the most unpleasant thing they can think of, with the specific and sole purpose of upsetting the people they like the least. React, and it encourages them, some people say. But I no longer agree. Bigots roam more freely and noisily than they have for three decades. It's more important to be ready than to be cool.
posted by: Andy McSmith | on: Thursday, 8 August 2013, 00:09
After causing waves of offence and being gently rebuked by his party leadership, Ukip MEP Godfrey Bloom has belatedly apologised and promised not to use the term “bongo bongo land” again.
The controversial politician had been recorded using the phrase while explaining why he opposed sending aid money to the developing world, saying it would be spent on Ray-Ban sunglasses and fighter jets.
His apology was qualified, however, as he made it clear that he was backing down only because Ukip’s most senior figures had told him to.
“At a public speech in the West Midlands in early July, I used a term which I subsequently gather under certain circumstances could be interpreted as pejorative to individuals and possibly cause offence,” he said in a statement issued through the Ukip press office. “Although quite clearly no such personal usage was intended, I understand from Ukip party chairman Steve Crowther and leader Nigel Farage that I must not use the terminology in the future, nor will I, and sincerely regret any genuine offence which might have been caused or embarrassment to my colleagues.”
He went on to claim proudly that he had succeeded in drawing public attention to what he called the “immorality” of spending “£1bn per month” on overseas aid at a time of austerity.
“My aim, successful as it appears, was to demonstrate the immorality of sending £1bn per month abroad when we are desperately short of money here. Ring-fenced overseas aid at nearly 70 per cent of estimated GDP growth next year, some to buy arms. Mirage fighters in Argentina is just one example. My constituents come first and always will,” he said.
In fact, total spending on aid by the Department for International Development, the Foreign Office and UK Border Agency totalled £8.57bn in 2012, or just over £700m a month, though spending was projected to rise to £12bn in the current year.
The biggest recipients of British aid are Somalia, Nigeria and Pakistan. It was reported in February 2012 that £452m of British aid was going to Argentina. More recently, there have been reports that Argentina wants to buy Mirage fighters from Spain.
Mr Bloom had been filmed at a public meeting last month saying: “How we can possibly be giving a billion pounds a month when we’re in this sort of debt to bongo bongo land is completely beyond me, to buy Ray-Ban sunglasses, apartments in Paris, Ferraris and all the rest of it that goes with most of the foreign aid.”
He was notably unapologetic about these comments when questioned about them on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme this morning. “I’m standing up for ordinary people at the pub, the cricket club, the rugby club, the sort of people who remain completely unrepresented under the political system that we have,” he said. “My job is to upset The Guardian and the BBC. I love it. I love it.”
Asked how he would respond if the Ukip leadership told him to apologise, he replied: “I’d say right-o, sorry. If I have offended anybody in bongo bongo land, I will write to their ambassador at the court of St James.”
But his language alarmed Ukip’s most senior figures, who have been trying to project Ukip as a serious new political party rather than a fringe group full of what David Cameron once described as “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists”.
In a gentle rebuke, the party chairman issued a statement this morning saying: “We are asking Godfrey not to use this phrase again as it might be considered disparaging by members from other countries. However, foreign aid is an extremely important debate that needs wider discussion.”
Since the 63-year-old was first elected as a Ukip MEP for Yorkshire and Humberside in 2004, he has made many remarks that appear to many to come from a bygone era. Soon after being appointed to the European Parliament’s women’s rights committee, he told journalists: “No self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age.”
He explained that he wanted to focus on women’s issues because “I just don’t think they clean behind the fridge enough”. He added: “I am here to represent Yorkshire women who always have dinner on the table when you get home. I am going to promote men’s rights.” During the resulting outcry, he sought to make amends by inviting a group of female students to Brussels, but was overheard saying of one of them: “Isn’t she the most delicious bimbette? Absolutely thick, but good tits.”
He has argued that man-made global warming is a myth, and praised the 1985 sinking of Greenpeace’s Rainbow Warrior, in which a man died. In November 2010, he was ejected from the Europe Parliament after taunting a German MEP with the Nazi slogan “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Führer”.
Roll of dishonour?: How Ukip makes the headlines
Chris Pain (above)
The leader of Ukip on Lincolnshire county council, where they are now the main opposition party, is facing a police investigation over racist rants on his Facebook page. He has consistently denied their authorship, saying he was hacked. Ukip’s leadership regards the comments as serious, but is awaiting the outcome of the police inquiry.
Matthew Smith (above)
The Norfolk councillor aiming to be Ukip MP for Great Yarmouth was Ukip agent in the May elections. Police are investigating a claim that signatures on the nomination form for successful Ukip candidate, Jonathan Childs, were forged. Last month, they seized a computer at his Mr Smith’s home. He vigorously denies any electoral malpractice.
Eric Kitson (above)
Mr Kitson lasted just 12 days as a Ukip member of Worcestershire county council. He resigned when it emerged he had used Facebook to share offensive cartoons about Muslims.. Ukip chairman Steve Crowther described him as “an honest man who has made, by his own admission, some serious mistakes. Ukip lost the resulting by-election.
Dean Perks (above)
Ukip’s prospective parliamentary candidate in the marginal West Midlands seat of Halesowen and Rowley Regis told a rally that “sharia law works as a prevention – and prevention is better than cure”. He added: “If you think you are going to get your hand chopped off for pinching something, you won’t pinch it.” Nigel Farage defended him.
After her election to Lincolnshire county council, the 26-year-old hurriedly cleaned up her Facebook page which contained swear words, and entries such as ““I no (sic) this is probably a stupid question but is tuna a real fish likes ones that swim in water?”
Caven Vines (above)
Rotherham’s only Ukip councillor has denied that he ever supported the far right British National Party, but has admitted he was at a BNP meeting in a pub years ago, and once worked in a group called Council Watch alongside Marlene Guest, now a BNP organiser. The BNP has claimed Ukip’s decision to stand by Mr Vines is intended as a message to other BNP voters in Rotherham to encourage to them to switch support.
Brian Silvester (above)
The former deputy leader of Cheshire East council was fined £45,000 last October for “very serious” breaches of fire regulations at a house he rented to multiple tenants. Silvester was a Conservative councillor at the time. He joined Ukip in June.
He won a Norfolk county council seat in May, but resigned in June when it emerged he was banned by Poundstretcher for shoplifting.
Laurence Keeley (above)
The East Sussex county councillor, a former butcher, was jailed for 31 days in 2003 for taking pigs’ heads, cows’ lungs and spinal cords to a nearby wood to dispose of them by burning them.
The former Tory councillor left the Conservative Party in 2008 after admitting stealing from Tesco. He is now a Gloucestershire county councillor for Ukip.
posted by: . | on: Wednesday, 7 August 2013, 22:03
The former leader of Ukip's youth wing, Oliver Neville, has accused the party of hypocrisy after its MEP Godfrey Bloom appeared to get away lightly for his comments on "bongo bongo land".
Mr Neville was fired by the party leadership after expressing his own views on gay marriage in a radio interview, and believes it was because his opinion was at odds with the party's socially conservative agenda.
He told ITV News: "There is a very big difference between the type of punishments you get depending on who you are and who you know".
posted by: Benjamin Russell | on: Wednesday, 7 August 2013, 13:35
Godfrey Bloom, Ukip MEP for Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, was recorded questioning the UK's oversea aid payments, claiming the recipients spend the money on luxuries.
He told a meeting of supporters in the Midlands those who received aid spent the money on "Ray-Ban sunglasses, apartments in Paris, Ferraris and all the rest of it".
Asked what he would do if Ukip said "mind your language", Mr Bloom told BBC Radio 4's Today programme: "I'd say, 'Righto, sorry, sorry everybody'. If I've offended anybody in bongo bongo land I shall write to the ambassador at the Court of St James's and apologise to him personally.
"Look, my job is to upset The Guardian and The BBC - I love it, I love it."
Mr Bloom said charity begins at home and he believed he was standing up for "ordinary people" who are unrepresented in the current political system.
He said: "What I am suggesting is when a country has £1 trillion of debt and we're cutting our hospitals, our police force and we are destroying our defence services, that the money should stay at home and people who want to give money to worthwhile charities... what I would argue is that is for the individual citizen, it's not for the likes of David Cameron to pick our pockets and send money to charities of his choice.
"If I want to send money to charity, I will do it of my own accord thank you."
He added: "There are people in this country who can't get treatment for cancer. There are people who are waiting in a queue for dialysis machines. All I'm saying is, and I think you'll find most of your listeners will agree with me rather than The Guardian, that money should stay at home. Charity begins at home."
When questioned if he believed some people might be offended by his comments as UK aid money helps people who are dying, Mr Bloom said: "No I think I'm standing up for ordinary people at the pub, the cricket club, the rugby club, the sort of people who remain completely unrepresented under the political system that we have."
Mr Bloom, in response to suggestions people might not want to vote for a party that had a member who referred to "bongo bongo land", added: "We live in a free country, I'm a libertarian, please don't vote for me if you don't agree with me. I wouldn't expect you to.
"But if you're fed up with £1 billion a month going abroad with no audit trail when we're cutting our police and hospitals, vote for me."
In the footage of his July speech at the meeting in Wordsley, near Stourbridge, Mr Bloom said: "How we can possibly be giving a billion pounds a month when we're in this sort of debt to bongo bongo land is completely beyond me.
"To buy Ray-Ban sunglasses, apartments in Paris, Ferraris and all the rest of it that goes with most of the foreign aid. F18s for Pakistan. We need a new squadron of F18s. Who's got the squadrons? Pakistan, where we send the money."
A Ukip spokesman told The Guardian Mr Bloom's comments were being "discussed right at the very highest level of the party".
Later in the speech, Mr Bloom railed against the European Court of Human Rights for ruling that full life sentences could not be handed down.
He said: "You can torture people to death but you jolly well can't give them a full life sentence because that's against their human rights.
"We can't hang them because we're now a member of the European Union and it's embedded in the treaty of Rome.
"It's a personal thing, but I'd hang the bastards myself."
He added: "I do hope they would ask me to throw the rope over the beam because I'd be delighted to do so."
Mr Bloom told The Guardian his comments were not racist.
He said: "What's wrong with that? I'm not a wishy-washy Tory. I don't do political correctness. The fact that the Guardian is reporting this will probably double my vote in the north of England."
The MEP is no stranger to sparking controversy. Here are some of his previous statements -
• “Terrified young women beaten into prostitution often from Eastern Europe... is only a very small aspect of the flesh trade. In short, most girls do it because they want to. If they wanted a job as a Tesco check-out girl, they'd go do that instead."
• "No self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age. "
• "I just don't think [women] clean behind the fridge enough"
• "I am here to represent Yorkshire women who always have dinner on the table when you get home."
• "As far as I am concerned man-made global warming is nothing more than a hypothesis that hasn't got any basis in fact. Every day more scientists are modifying their initial views."
Posted: 7 Aug 2013 | There are 4 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: . | on: Wednesday, 7 August 2013, 12:40
posted by: Channel 4 News | on: Wednesday, 7 August 2013, 12:37
posted by: Rowena Mason | on: Tuesday, 6 August 2013, 21:47
A senior Ukip politician has been recorded telling activists that Britain should not be sending aid to "bongo bongo land".
Godfrey Bloom, a Ukip member of the European parliament, made the comments to a meeting of supporters in the West Midlands. He suggested foreigners used aid to "buy Ray-Ban sunglasses" and "apartments in Paris".
His remarks have emerged in the week Ukip is due to publish its list of approved candidates for next year's European elections, in which the party hopes to get the biggest share of the vote.
In a challenge to Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, several MPs called for the party to prevent Bloom from standing again, saying it was a good test of its resolve to eradicate "intolerance".
Bloom was filmed speaking at a meeting in Wordsley, near Stourbridge, in July. In the recording he says: "How we can possibly be giving a billion pounds a month when we're in this sort of debt to bongo bongo land is completely beyond me.
"To buy Ray-Ban sunglasses, apartments in Paris, Ferraris and all the rest of it that goes with most of the foreign aid. F18s for Pakistan. We need a new squadron of F18s. Who's got the squadrons? Pakistan, where we send the money."
Two months ago Farage ensured an Italian MEP was expelled from Ukip's European alliance for saying a black minister in Italy was part of a "government of bongo-bongo" who would want to impose "tribal traditions", and would be better suited as a housekeeper.
A Ukip spokesman said Bloom's remarks were being "discussed right at the very highest level of the party".
Bloom said that suggestions that his comments carried any racist implications were "absurd" and "laughable", adding that he has two Kashmiri staff and a Polish wife. He stood by his remarks, saying: "What's wrong with that? I'm not a wishy-washy Tory. I don't do political correctness … The fact that the Guardian is reporting this will probably double my vote in the north of England."
In another part of the recording, Bloom says, in reference to a ruling from the European court of human rights: "You can torture people to death but you jolly well can't give them a full life sentence because that's against their human rights.
"We can't hang them because we're now a member of the European Union and it's embedded in the treaty of Rome.
"It's a personal thing but I'd hang the bastards myself … Especially for some of these, especially for the guy who hacked the soldier to death. I do hope they would ask me to throw the rope over the beam because I'd be delighted to do so."
There have been reports that Ukip has been seeking a higher level of vetting for its prospective MEPs, after Farage admitted a "handful" of its local election candidates had caused the party embarrassment.
Bloom's remarks caused outrage among many MPs and campaigners. Rushanara Ali, a shadow development minister, said: "It's just offensive and the kind of thing that should have been consigned to the history books. It's completely at odds with the 21st century.
"If Nigel Farage is serious about getting rid of racism and intolerance in his party, he should take action against politicians who think it's acceptable to speak of people in developing countries in that way."
John Mann, Labour MP for Bassetlaw, said Ukip should "throw him out and stop him standing as an MEP". A spokesman for the Hope, Not Hate campaign said Bloom's remarks were reminiscent of the "Tory party of 1985", when Alan Clark provoked outrage by referring to Africa as "bongo bongo land" in an official meeting.
Bloom has previously caused controversy over some of his comments about women. The MEP was criticised for asking why businesses would ever hire "a lady of child-bearing age" and once said he wanted to get involved in women's rights issues because: "I just don't think they clean behind the fridge enough."
Posted: 6 Aug 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: . | on: Sunday, 4 August 2013, 20:52
Dean Perks, parliamentary candidate for Halesowen and Rowley Regis in the Black Country, believes that thieves should have a hand cut off.
He told supporters at a UKIP rally: "In my opinion, sharia law works as a prevention - and prevention is better than cure.
"If you think you are going to get your hand chopped off for pinching something, you won't pinch it."
Mr Perks, a self-employed builder from Dudley, is fighting Halesowen and Rowley Regis, where Tory MP James Morris has a slender majority of just over 2,000 votes.
His views have been greeted with alarm and dismay.
A veteran Labour MP has called for Mr Perks to be dumped as the parliamentary candidate.
Sharia law - practised in many strict Muslim countries and which Muslim extremists in the UK want introduced here - involves harsh punishments for murder, theft and adultery.
Mr Perks told a UKIP rally in Coventry: "I recently had a conversation with someone who asked what I thought of sharia law.
"I said: 'Well, in all honesty, I do agree with part - but by no means all - of sharia law. That's my view - my opinion. I ain't going to defend myself: I do agree with it.
"Sharia law, in my opinion, works as a prevention. And prevention is better than cure. If you think you're going to get your hands chopped off for pinching something, you won't pinch it."
In his speech, Mr Perks did not make it clear which sections of Sharia law he agrees and disagrees with.
Mr Perks has courted controversy before. Six months ago, he admitted referring to someone on Twitter as 'a retard'. He also praised Enoch Powell as 'a visionary', adding: "He was well-liked among the Asian community."
Mr Perks further told the meeting that he was not a racist, saying he has a godson who is a Muslim, and has many Asian and mixed-race friends.
Last night he could not be contacted for further comment.
John Spellar, Labour MP for Warley in the Black Country, said: "Once again, this shows the bizarre sort of candidate UKIP is attracting.
"People from all communities will be astonished and appalled that Mr Perks wants to bring such barbarity into Britain.
"The real question is: 'How did he ever get to be a candidate in the first place?'.
"I challenge [UKIP leader] Nigel Farage to throw him out immediately."
Khalid Mahmood, Labour MP for Birmingham Perry Barr and a Muslim, said: "Sharia law can only be applied in Muslim states.
"There is no way sharia law could be introduced in the UK and Muslims who live in countries where there isn't a predominance of Muslims, like here, follow the law of the land.
"Mr Perks seems to be very confused; you can't pick and chose with sharia law. You either believe in all of it, or none of it - and you have to be a Muslim. I suggest he consults the scriptures - the Koran - and converts to Islam.
"I think his comments are intended to attract votes from the Muslim community in Halesowen and Rowley Regis but are inappropriate and ill-thought-out."
James Morris, Conservative MP for Halesowen and Rowley Regis, said: "It is essential that everybody who lives in Britain - regardless of background, culture, religion or race - must be expected to abide by British laws.
"We have seen horrible consequences when some groups think that they don't have to live by the same rules as everybody else.
"Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs but we would not accept people being allowed to opt out of our legal system or for communities to adopt their own forms of justice."
One of the largest Muslim communities in the area covered by the Halesowen and Rowley Regis parliamentary constutuency has its roots in Yemen.
Ragih Muflihi, chief executive of the 2,000-strong Sandwell Yemeni Association, said: "These type of comments are unhelpful. They will just fuel the flames.
"Islam teaches us quite clearly that Muslims who are living in a non-Muslim country, like the UK, must obey the laws of that country, not sharia law.
"Sharia law is often misunderstood and a lot of modern-day Muslims in the UK and elsewhere don't even know what it is."
Posted: 4 Aug 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments
posted by: Adam Smith | on: Friday, 2 August 2013, 16:43
Nigel Farage has been urged to expel UKIP’s Halesowen andRowley Regis prospective parliamentary candidate Dean Perks after he revealed he is a big fan of thieves having their hands chopped off.
Mr Perks extolled the virtues of some aspects of Islamic Sharia Law during a speech to UKIP members in Coventry in which he was dispensing advice about the dangers of social media for candidates.
Mr Perks, who earlier this year caused outrage by branding someone “retarded” on Twitter, said: “Sharia law in my opinion it works as a prevention and prevention is better than cure. If you think you are going to get your hand chopped off for pinching something you won't pinch it.
“Now, it's quite straight forward, prevention is better than cure and that's the part of Sharia law I agree with. I aint going to defend myself for it, I do agree with it."
Mr Perks speech in May has been uploaded to YouTube and opponents have seized on his controversial comments.
Veteran Warley MP John Spellar said: “Once again this shows the bizarre sort of candidate that UKIP is attracting.
“People from all communities will be astonished and appalled that Mr Perks want to bring such barbarity into Britain.”
He added: “The real question is how did he ever get to be a candidate in the first place. I challenge Nigel Farage to throw him out immediately.”
However, when reminded of his comments about Sharia Law the budding MP explained he does not believe it will curtail his dream of representing Halesowen and Rowley Regis in the mother of all Parliaments.
He said: “I said well in all honesty I do agree with part but by no means all of Sharia law and that was the exact phrase that I used.
“Somebody kept that to use that against me and he actually said that my political career was finished before it had even started because of that phrase.
“Now I'm sorry but I was that sort of not ashamed of it that I actually retweeted it myself. Because that's my view, that's my opinion.”
Mr Perks has also been targeted by pressure group Hope Not Hate after praising Enoch Powell in a Twitter spat with Gornal Councillor Dave Branwood in February.
Posted: 2 Aug 2013 | There are 0 comments | make a comment/view comments