UKIP – WHAT NEXT ? …… UKIP goes on ! 17.4 million British voters agree with UKIP on leaving the EU. So first and foremost, we must ensure that Mrs May’s new administration does what it’s promised. Second, we must ensure that the EU is not allowed to impose restrictions on our independence. If the terms of ‘Brexit’ are unsatisfactory, UKIP must be there to say ‘Britain needs a better deal’.
Third, if Britain is finally disentangled from the EU, we cannot hand our country back to the same old parties that have misgoverned for so long. Britain has major long term economic, financial and social problems, which none of the ‘Westminster Three’ seem to have any idea how to solve. All appear to think that ever bigger government, more state borrowing and more punitive legislation is the answer. As Britain’s national debt heads inexorably towards the £2 trillion mark or 80% of GDP (in effect, a mortgage imposed on all future generations), the cost of big government becomes more and more unsustainable.
UKIP‘s prescription is about giving people and communities the tools to be self-reliant, and getting the over-mighty, over-intrusive ‘big state’ off their backs, so they can begin to take control of their lives, pay down their debts and have it in their hands to fulfil their potential.
‘AU REVOIR’ NIGEL …. Nigel was always likely to step down as leader after the referendum. We cannot expect the same people always to carry on indefinitely. At some point there has to be a changing of the guard and the referendum result is a natural political watershed. Nigel will continue to be an MEP, and his mission now is to tour other EU countries helping to raise support for similar pro-independence parties. He’s already made his mark in the USA.
Let us pay tribute to this extraordinarily brave man, who through personal conviction and self-sacrifice, has single handedly changed the political agenda of our country and forced issues to be discussed which the Westminster political class would rather have swept under the carpet and ignored. Nigel Farage – we salute you.
One of the best tributes to Nigel was the Daily Mail’s Peter Oborne column (30th July) – ‘The Truth Is This Man Changed History’. Mr Oborne suggests that a peerage or statue to Nigel would be in order, but knowing his lack of ostentation, perhaps renaming his local pub (or naming a special brew from his favourite Kent brewery) would be more fitting !
A SERIES OF UNFORTUNATE EVENTS …. It’s been an extraordinary summer. First, the swift implosion of the Cameron/Osborne regime, after the ‘Leave’ vote on 23/6. Then in scenes reminiscent of a Whitehall farce, the leading Tory ’leavers’ (Johnson, Gove, Fox) manage to simultaneously stab one another in the back. Finally the Tory leadership contest that never was, as Andrea Leadsom’s feeble challenge disintegrated in the first puff of wind. Which leaves its members still waiting for a meaningful say in the direction of their party and Britain with a new PM, who we are being asked to believe was a ’Remainer’ who is now a ’Leaver’. As for the truth of this, only time will tell.
So it is now down to the ‘Cut and Shut’ Conservative party at Westminster as to whether Britain leaves the EU in the near future and if so, on what terms. As with all ‘cut and shut’ vehicles, their roadworthiness might not stand up to much testing, especially when the going gets rough, as it surely will. Already there are signs that David Davis, Boris Johnson and Liam Fox are at loggerheads over how to proceed.
Then we have had the ongoing, slow motion car crash that is the Labour party, with the extraordinarily bitter infighting over Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership. When the party’s leader has to fight a court action against his own MP’s just to get his name onto the ballot paper, you know it isn’t going to end well. Even if Citizen Corbyn remains leader of the Islington Popular Front (not to be confused with the Popular Front of Islington), the parliamentary Labour party will remain largely ‘Blairite’. Neither group has any real understanding of the issues faced by Britain’s working people. In a recent YouGov poll, 29% of Labour’s 2015 GE voters (that’s 2.7 million people), would rather vote for Teresa May than Jeremy Corbyn. Cancelling this year’s Labour party conference might not be such a bad idea.
There is a big opportunity for UKIP to overtake Labour as the main party of opposition. Sadly at a time when we should all be united and focused, UKIP too has managed to create its own unnecessary drama, with the inability of the hot favourite Steven Woolfe to get his name onto the leadership ballot by the due deadline. Only Steven will know why this happened. He owes it to the many UKIP members who had invested a great deal of hope in him as the future of our party, to give an explanation of what happened, if only to quell the rumour mill on social media. He is too important a figure to be allowed to drift. It is to be hoped that whoever is elected as the new leader on 16th September, will be able to find a key role for Steven as part of their team.
BREXIT – TIME FOR ACTION …… So far we’ve had a good deal of hot air from Teresa May’s new government about how ‘Brexit means Brexit’. The appointment of David Davis as the Minister for Brexit is reassuring, though there is as yet little sign of the cross party input that will surely be needed to carry the day at Westminster. Nor is there any sign yet of a clear timetable. The date for triggering Article 50 of the Lisbon Treaty continues to slip, now expected to be ‘sometime early next year’ (or maybe not). Some of us have waited over 40 years for this, so we might be prepared to be patient if we knew that top level work is going on behind the scenes at Westminster to get Britain’s negotiating position straight and assemble a crack team of officials to drive it through. But is it ?
The leave mechanism is the key issue. Article 50 says: ‘Any member state may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements’, but it then sets out a lengthy, complex and costly procedure for doing so in accordance with Article 218 (3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. The withdrawing state is not allowed to participate in the discussions or decisions of the European Council (Heads of Government) of the Council (Government Ministers) on the terms of withdrawal. The whole process may take up to two years. The terms of the ‘leaving’ deal then have to be agreed unanimously by the other 27 EU member states, and then voted on by the European Parliament. It could ultimately fall at either hurdle. What then ?
With Article 50, Britain‘s position will that of a petitioner seeking ‘terms‘ to leave the EU; terms which they may or may not decide to grant us. This position is wholly contrary to the UK’s status as a sovereign nation under the UN Charter, and it is most unlikely to give us the genuine freedom that we need. Although Article 50 has been uncharted territory until now, the EU may well use it to impose the worst possible terms on Britain and deter any other countries who might be thinking of asserting their own independence. Time is not on our side either; while the EU fiddles over Article 50, uncontrolled, unsustainable migration into the UK from the EU continues at record levels. Two years from now, Britain could be sunk beneath the waves.
There is another way. UKIP should continue to campaign for the immediate repeal of the 1972 European Communities Act, preferably before any EU negotiations begin. It is this Act which grants EU law (and all subsequent EU Treaties) precedence over UK law. From the moment the Act is repealed in the Commons, the UK will no longer be part of the EU and the supremacy of our national law will be restored. That is the position that was confirmed in a legal opinion given to UKIP by one of Britain’s foremost constitutional lawyers, Martin Howe QC. It would then be up to the EU to seek terms over their future relationship with us, not the other way around.
We should also seek to ensure that whatever issues Mrs May’s government discuss with the EU, they are strictly limited to the minimum needed to maintain a good working relationship between the two countries. The key yardstick should be: ’Are these matters which Britain is able to deal with satisfactorily on its own, or in bilateral agreements with other European countries ?’ The answer in most cases will be ‘Yes’. When looked at in this way there really are very few things where we need the EU to ‘agree terms‘. We simply stop handing over our £55 million a day to the EU, recall our MEP’s and officials from Brussels and Strasbourg, begin to scrap the avalanche of unwanted EU directives, and get on with running our own country once again.
The areas where discussions with the EU will be unavoidable are on the future movement of goods, services and people; in short, trade and immigration. The EU has cunningly sought to join these two issues together by its insistence on the ‘free movement of people’ as a precondition for continuing access to its ‘Single Market‘. No other trading arrangement in the world (eg. NAFTA, SEAFTA) has such a proviso.
It’s vital that the UK government does not accept this, and that the two issues are treated separately in any negotiations. ‘Free movement’ should simply mean the right of goods and services to move freely across national borders. The UK is in a strong position to insist on this, as it is the No.1 customer for most European countries and is about the only consistently growing economy in the current EU. Free trade is as much in Europe’s interests as Britain’s, and German and French manufacturers will no doubt be pressing their national governments for an early deal.
As for people, ‘free movement’ should definitely not mean an automatic right for 580 million EU citizens to have permanent residency in the UK. It should simply mean that visa-free travel to the UK for EU passport holders will be accepted, but only once the EU has shown the ability to establish control over its external borders. There may be a need to temporarily restrict EU nationals entering the UK, to prevent a late surge of economic migrants sinking the ship before we finally leave. In the meantime, the rights of EU nationals who are currently living here legally should be guaranteed, as should the rights of British nationals settled in EU countries. Both groups generally are assets to their respective ’host’ countries, so there is no reason why this should not be agreed. For those wishing to work in the UK, work visas could be issued on the basis of essential skills that are required and where there is a domestic shortfall in the labour supply. The right to live permanently in the UK should be subject to a criteria based application to the national authority.
If the EU insists (against the interests of its own member states) on the UK accepting ‘free (ie.uncontrolled) movement of people’ as a condition for continuing trade, Mrs May should not be afraid to walk away from talks and revoke the 1972 European Communities Act in the House of Commons. In that event, Britain’s trade with EU countries would continue under World Trade Organisation rules (6 of the top 10 trading countries with the EU trade with them in this way). The small tariff we would have to pay on EU goods would be a price well worth paying to re-establish full control over our national frontiers.
USEFUL IDIOTS ..… One myth that’s in danger of becoming ‘received wisdom’ after 23/6, is that the Leave vote was somehow;‘the triumph of the ignorant over the more educated’.
There does seem to be a correlation between the strongest ‘Remain’ support and areas with prestigious universities and the highest proportion of students. My old hometown of Cambridge must have had a complete braindrain, electing a LibDem MP in 2010, and voting heavily for ’Remain’. Rather than a sign of superior intelligence, all it proves is the effectiveness of EU propaganda in schools and colleges, and the pernicious influence of ’Monnet’ professors in UK universities.
Intelligence is about far more than university degrees and it can have many forms. Rather than wasting their lives doing non-courses at university, ’Leave’ activists are more likely to have attended the University of Real Life and Hard Knocks and thereby gained much invaluable practical experience and know-how. They are also likely to have been on this earth for slightly longer than most of the ‘Remains‘ and have therefore probably had rather more experience of life in general.
We shouldn’t forget that for much of the 20th century many if not most, British academics (and many of their students), seriously considered that the future was Soviet and were instinctively sympathetic towards Communism. These are the sort of people that Lenin once witheringly described as ‘useful idiots’.
In fact the most notable feature of the ‘Remain’ campaign was its complete lack of intellectual substance, being based almost entirely on unfounded fear and smear stories; whereas the ‘Leave’ campaign always put forward positive, evidence-based arguments underpinned by sound, consistent principles.
Local UKIP Branch News ……..
With all the referendum excitement, it’s easy to forget that local branches have also had some significant local election activity here in Dorset.
Well done to North Dorset’s Lester Taylor, for his excellent third place in the Police and Crime Commissioner elections in May. Lester came third, with 21,086 votes (16.72%) on first preference votes, well ahead of Labour (who being the only candidate of the left would also have attracted many LibDem and Green votes). The Conservatives failed to win the seat and Dorset’s PCC remains Independent (Martyn Underhill), so a good result all round.
Also on 5th May, Weymouth and Portland Council had a number of ward by-elections, with UKIP contesting seats in three and coming third in them all. In Weymouth East, David Knight gained 133 votes (12.5%), ahead of Labour; in Wyke Regis, Sybil Drake gained 301 votes (15%), finishing ahead of the Conservative, Green, LibDem and Independent candidates in a ward won by Labour. Being anti-EU, the Independent candidate here undoubtedly took significant votes from UKIP. In Melcombe Regis, John Morse gained 349 votes (26%) in a very close three way finish, ahead of the Greens and not too far behind the winning Labour candidate. Well done to Francis’s South Dorset branch for their efforts.
On 1st September, there were several local by-elections. In Kinson North (Bournemouth BC) the Conservative councillor had resigned. UKIP candidate Duane Farr came third with 313 votes (20%) in a seat retained by the Conservatives. Turnout was low; just 20%
On the same day, in Ferndown, Peter Lucas stood for UKIP in a County Council by-election and came second with 30.34%. In West Parley (Christchurch Borough), UKIP Ferndown Town Councillor Lawrence Wilson aso came second with 33.76%.
Big changes are afoot both in the parliamentary constituencies and in our local Council structure. On 12th September, the Electoral Commission will reveal the proposed parliamentary boundary changes, followed by a 12 week public consultation. Meanwhile local Councils in Dorset have begun a public consultation (until 25th October) on proposals to replace Dorset County Council by merging all existing local Councils into two ‘super-councils’. For more details on what this means and how to make your views known, look at www.reshapingyourcouncils.uk and read Lester Taylor’s excellent critique in this months UKIP ’Dorset Digest’.
Stories You Won’t Hear on the BBC ……
‘A meeting between Scottish UKIP MEP David Coburn and European Parliament President Martin Schultz has confirmed that Scotland will have to leave the EU with the rest of the UK. It came after the SNP First Minister had meetings with senior EU figures to try to get a separate Scottish deal from Brexit …. (Daily Express, 21st July)
‘Most Scots still want to stay in the UK …… In a blow to Scotland’s First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, 53% of those surveyed by YouGov said they want to remain a part of the UK, compared with 47% who want to become independent. These figures show little difference since before the EU referendum, when the figures were 54% and 46% .. (Daily Mail, 30th July)
‘The International Monetary Fund has admitted its officials made mistakes because their pro-EU bias affected their analyses, just weeks after they issued dire warnings about Brexit. In a scathing report about the IMF’s handling of the Eurozone crisis, its own watchdog (Independent Evaluation Office), criticised a ’culture of complacency’ and said that the organisation is prone to ’superficial and mechanistic analysis’. It failed to predict problems with the euro because of its ‘group thinking approach’. It publicly emphasised the advantages above the concerns, despite worries from individual staff members … this was largely due to the IMF’s readiness to take reassurances of Eurozone authorities at face value’ … (Daily Mail, 30th July)
‘The bill for HS2 has reached £1.4bn before any track has even been laid. Accounts are expected to show that expenditure rose by a third last year, fuelling fear that it will bust its £56bn budget. The outlay includes the national headquarters in Birmingham, where rent alone is £2.8m a year’ (Daily Mail, 12th July)
‘Bosses at HS2 spent £185m on consultancy fees and lawyers last year …… some 47 senior staff were paid in excess of £150,000, more than the PM’s salary. Among them was chief executive Simon Kirby, who was paid £750,000 making him Britain’s highest paid civil servant …. (Daily Mail, 23rd July)
‘More than 1200 women were sexually assaulted in Germany on New Years Eve, a police probe into the attacks has found. Authorities believe 2000 men, mostly migrants, were involved ….. Only 120 suspects have been identified and just 4 have been convicted’ (Daily Mail, 12th July)
‘Europe’s stricken banking sector needs a £128bn ‘bailout’ to stave off collapse, the chief economist for the bloc’s biggest lender has warned. David Folkaerts Landau of Deutsche Bank said the industry could be heading for disaster unless urgent action were taken: ‘Europe is extremely sick and must start dealing with its problems extremely quickly, or else there may be an accident. I am no doomsday prophet, I am a realist …‘ (Daily Mail, 12th July)
Nobel Prize winning author Joseph Steiglitz, a former chief economist at the World Bank has said that the euro is at the root of many of Europe’s problems. In a new book he says the currency was flawed at birth and it is now threatening to tear Europe apart. Adopting the single currency in 1992 was a ‘fatal decision’ and that ‘an amicable divorce would be far preferable to the current approach of muddling through’ (Daily Mail, 9th July)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ EVENTS …. EVENTS .… EVENTS ….
LOCAL SOCIAL EVENTS: First Thursday every month (1st September, 6th October, 3rd November, 1st December), 7.30pm: Dorset Branches Social at the Charlton Inn, Charlton Marshall. All supporters and friends welcome. Contact John Baxter 01202-897884
Third Thursday every month 7.30 pm, UKIP Bournemouth West Social at The Crown, Broadhurst Avenue, Northbourne, Bournemouth BH10 6JW. Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org (07855 349387)
Saturday 3rd September, 5th November 11.00 am, Chat, Coffee or Snack at Corfe Coffee, 137 Wareham Road, Corfe Mullen, BH21 3HH. Contact Dave Evans, 01202-602856
Friday 16th, Saturday 17th September; UKIP National Party Conference in Bournemouth. One-day passes £25, two-day passes £45. Chairman’s Reception (Thursday evening) £30, Gala Dinner (Friday evening) £50. Training day, Thursday 15th, £15. Booking at https://www.ticketsource.co.uk/ukip, general enquiries to UKIP 01625-831290
If you’re unable to attend the conference, don’t forget to look for any TV coverage of the conference on BBC Parliament Channel (Freeview 131). Tell your friends !
Dates for your diary: Mid-Dorset/North Poole Public Meeting with Gerard Batten MEP: ‘How To Leave the EU’ (date/venue tbc). UKIP’s Spring Conference is provisionally arranged for the Pavilion Theatre, Weymouth, on Sat. 4th March 2017.
Don’t forget to check the monthly Dorset Digest
as well as checking our branch website www.ukipmiddorset.org
Items for next Edition by 30th December to:
John Butler, 20 Nightjar Close, Poole BH17 7YN
e-mail: email@example.com All items in this newsletter are personal views only and do not necessarily represent the views of the UK Independence Party Mid-Dorset & North Poole