This year marks the centenary of The Great War (or World War 1 as it became known); the supposed ‘war to end all wars’. The war that destroyed the old order in Europe, with all its moral certainties. The war that ushered in a new, relativistic world, full of wonders and horrors.
As the last of that generation has passed from this world, the centenary has sparked an intense debate between politicians, historians and ‘celebrities’, about what the war meant and what its legacy has been. This has rapidly descended into puerile bickering (eg. Michael Gove vs. Baldrick) about whether ‘Blackadder Goes Forth’ is suitable teaching material for our schools.
Its consequences are with us still, since it was World War 1 that gave birth to ideas of a pan-European state. Following the Battle of Verdun in 1916, and shocked by the immense slaughter, some French thinkers and industrialists thought that future wars could be made impossible by merging the industrial capacities of France and Germany to take the resources of war out of the hands of individual nations and transfer economic powers to a customs union.
Working under the League of Nations at the end of the war, Jean Monnet and others developed these ideas further, seeing that the economic programme could be used as a tool for European political integration (along the lines pursued by pan-German integrationists in the 1860s), by first emasculating, then consuming the nation state in a new pan-national entity with governmental powers.
Monnet, and his disciples among later generations, have pursued this ideologically driven project ever since, through a constant process of conspiracy, deception and intrigue, to the point where it has morphed into a hideous anti-democracy and an engine of mass recession.
Their first attempt in the 1920s failed; their second attempt in the late 1940s failed also. However, their third attempt in the 1950s proved more successful, giving birth to the Treaty of Rome and eventual Economic and Monetary Union with all the baleful consequences we see today.
As the various pretexts for pan-Europeanism (trade, free markets etc) begin to lose all credibility, we can now begin to see the founding ideology of the EU for what it really is; a gigantic ‘peace’ movement based on mistaken conclusions drawn from a conflict nearly 100 years ago.
As the economic rationale for their project begins to collapse all around them, the EU’s leaders have become ever more shrill in their rhetoric, attempting to terrify Europe’s citizens with dire warnings of future wars should their project not be allowed to succeed.
At the heart of the EU’s ideology is the mistaken belief that nation states are the cause of wars. Remove nation states, goes the argument, and you remove the causes of war. It isn’t hard to see how such crude dogma addled the critical faculties of many 1960s baby-boomers (the ‘Imagine-istas’).
They couldn’t be more wrong.
Far from causing war, the 20thC has shown beyond doubt that nations with parliamentary democracy are the building blocks of a civilised world, where respect and understanding between peoples can be advanced; a tried and tested internationalism that actually works, unlike the bogus ‘one-worldism’ propagated by left-wing ‘liberals’.
The parliamentary nation is an essential bulwark against tyranny and autocratic rule and the best guarantor of individual liberty, peace and prosperity.
The 20thC was, if anything, an age of failed Utopian ideologies. Euro-Unionism can now be seen as another in a long and dismal line. In the future it will be more important than ever to have a national home with firm foundations, solid walls and a strong roof, to best shelter its inhabitants from globalism’s ferocious economic and political winds.
Our brave ancestors who answered the call in 1914 could not know of this, but they would have understood what their duty then was all about; to defend their family, their country, their freedom. These values are as relevant today, as they have ever been.
Survation Constituency Polls Towards the end of 2013, a remarkable series of opinion polls appeared. The polling agency Survation, was appointed by UKIP donor Alan Bown, to test the state of opinion in ‘key marginal’ seats that are the Tories are hoping to capture at the next General Election.
In Great Grimsby (10th on the Tories target list) Labour polled 40% (33% in 2010), UKIP 22% (6%), Conservatives 20% (31%) and LibDems 13% (22%). In Dudley North (9th on the Tories target list), Labour polled 45% (39%), Conservatives 25% (37%), UKIP 23% (9%) and LibDems 2% (11%).
In Conservative-held seats, the picture is no rosier for Cameron:
In South Thanet, Labour polled 35% (31% in 2010), UKIP 30% (6%), Conservatives 28% (48%) and LibDems 5% (15%). In Great Yarmouth, Labour polled 37% (33%), UKIP 30% (5%), Conservatives 26% (45%), and LibDems 4% (14%). In Folkestone & Hythe, the Conservatives polled 35% (49% in 2010), UKIP 28% (5%), Labour 21% (11%) and LibDems 10% (30%). In Bognor & Litttlehampton, the Conservatives polled 37% (51%), UKIP 27% (7%), Labour 21% (14%) and the LibDems 11% (24%).
The survey found over 40% of those voting UKIP wouldn’t vote for any other party, and 68% would vote UKIP regardless of whether it ‘helped’ Miliband to become PM.
The survey also found if UKIP were not in the equation, almost as many UKIP voters would vote Labour as Conservative. Around 70% of UKIP’s vote was not coming from ex-Conservative voters, nailing the lie that a UKIP vote ‘lets in’ Labour.
A significant proportion of UKIP’s vote (20% – far higher than for any of the Westminster parties), was coming from voters who hadn’t voted before, or given up voting altogether. Even if UKIP weren’t in the contest, the survey found the Conservatives would still fail to take any of their key target seats.
The results have sent shockwaves through Westminster.
They show Tory hopes of forming a government in 2015 are just pie in the sky; that Labour is struggling to increase its vote in seats it must win to have any chance of an outright majority and, beyond a few localised pockets of tribalism, the LibDems are in total freefall across most of Britain. They show UKIP is emerging as the real opposition in all parts of the country, with a good chance of winning seats at the next General Election.
POTS & KETTLES (2)
UKIP members continue to suffer aggressive ‘scrutiny’ from the media. But lift the stones on the Westminster parties and see what comes slithering out:
‘A Tory MP who was caught at a Nazi themed party had organised the event himself, a report revealed yesterday. Aiden Burley, MP for Cannock Chase … had set up the stag do and even bought an SS uniform for a friend to wear, according to a long delayed report written for the Tories by peer and lawyer, Lord Gold…’ (Daily Mail, 22nd Jan)
Amazingly, Mr Burley remains an MP.
All isn’t well in La-La land either, rocked by the allegations against Lord Rennard and MP Mike Hancock:
‘Many women within the LibDems have had to deal with inappropriate behaviour, sexist and racist jokes, and unwanted attention from MP’s, a female academic has disclosed. Dr Elizabeth Evans, lecturer in politics at the University of Bristol and author of Gender and the Liberal Democrats, said she uncovered allegations of sexual harassment long before claims against Lord Rennard became public last year. Some women made formal complaints but the party had shown a worrying failure to take them seriously. She had interviewed about 200 women involved with the LibDems – MPs, election candidates, Peers, local councillors and party workers in 2009-10 for her PhD thesis’ (Daily Telegraph, 27th Jan)
News From Your Local UKIP Branches
Bournemouth West have selected Martin Houlden as their PPC for the next General Election. Martin, 40, is the managing director of a local digital design and technology company and produced our first Dorset UKIP newspaper. Martin has also designed the new Bournemouth UKIP website (www.ukipbournemouth.com)
Purbeck District Council has by-elections this May for 8 seats for one year only, pending all-Council elections in May 2015. The seats are:
Wareham, Lytchett Matravers & Morden, Winfrith, West Purbeck, Bere Regis, Swanage West, Langton & Worth Matravers and Creech Barrow (Arne, Church Knowle, Kimmeridge).
Any UKIP member who is on the electoral register for Purbeck Council can stand. Please let the Secretary know before the end of February.
Since January 2013, Poole UKIP membership has increased from 55 to 100, and Mid-Dorset & North Poole UKIP membership increased from 64 to 102.
UKIP Poole Campaign Office is now open at 185 Bournemouth Rd, Parkstone, on a prime corner site on the A35. It will function as the campaign office for David Young, PPC and as an information point for all things UKIP locally. Contact David Young (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you can help.
AGM – Nominations – Attached to this newsletter is formal notice of our AGM on Saturday 22nd February. Nominations are invited for all Committee posts (12 in all), including Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary. We are particularly interested in anyone who has experience of fundraising.
Can you deliver leaflets for UKIP? Your local roads would only take 1-2 hrs of your time (1hr = 100 leaflets) We have excellent candidates who need your support. We are looking to win seats in 2014-15.
Stories The BBC Won’t Tell You About
‘Nationally, UKIP membership has increased from 19,000 to 33,000 in the past year (almost as many as the British army, ed). Conservative party membership now stands at 134,000 (down from 311,000 in 2001), Labour at 187,000 (down from 272,000) and LibDems 42,000 (as many as that ? ed.) – down from 73,000.’ (Telegraph Online, 2nd Jan)
‘As a real risk of power cuts in 2014/15 and 2015/16 looms, energy industry ‘watchdog’ Ofgem, has formed emergency plans to pay factories and businesses to switch off their consumption between 4 and 8 pm, to save enough energy for peak time domestic demand. The scheme could the public cost up to £30m in compensation payments to businesses’ (probably by adding extra charges to domestic energy bills – ed) (Daily Mail, Dec. 20th)
‘NHS Spending on management consultants has risen three fold in a year; in the past 6 months, £40m has been paid out by various health service organisations compared to £15m the year before. This includes £17.6m paid out by 211 new GP led organisations (Clinical Commissioning Groups) who decide how to spend NHS budgets … Last April ministers scrapped hundreds of Primary Care Trusts and Strategic Health Authorities, replacing them with CCG’s in the hope of cutting management and bureaucracy. Figures also show that the NHS spent £1.4bn in redundancy payments during the shake up. Last month it emerged that 3,200 NHS bureaucrats had been given pay-offs, only to walk back into new jobs within the Health Service.’ (Daily Mail, 4th Jan)
‘Britain’s bill for EU membership has more than tripled over the last decade, from £2.9bn in 2002 to £9.5bn in 2012. Britain’s net ‘contribution’ went up by £1.7bn or 22% in 2012; a new record. The UK taxpayer paid out £16.6bn to the EU and got back just £6.9bn, of which £3.1bn was Britain’s annual rebate (negotiated by Margaret Thatcher). If the rebate were scrapped (as most EU countries want), Britain would have be paying out £19.7bn to get back £3.8bn, or in other words, receive £1 for every £5 spent.’ (Telegraph Online, 31st July)
‘Official figures show that Argentina received more than £2m in aid from the UK during 2012, and it is understood this aid is continuing… Britain also contributes £7m to a £50m EU aid programme to Argentina, which is now considered a relatively wealthy country as a member of the G20 group of leading economies.’ (Daily Mail 4th January)
‘UKIP boss Nigel Farage rocked Westminster last night after being voted the second most popular party leader (22%) in a poll by ComRes. It is the first time Mr Farage has been included in a such a poll. UKIP was voted the most favoured of all the parties, with 27% of voters saying they liked them best.’ (The Sun 19th Jan)
‘A report extolling the economic benefits of mass immigration by Dustmann and Frattini, two researchers from University College London (UCL) was widely applauded by the BBC on its publication last year. Now, in a study for the think tank Civitas, the report has now been comprehensively discredited by Mervyn Stone, Emeritus Professor of Statistics at UCL and statistician Nigel Williams. They conclude:
‘the study was obviously driven to make the case it claims to have made… If any honest statistician had made the same assumption-based calculations, the last word he/she would have used to describe their estimates is ‘precise’ – unless exhaustion has affected their judgement’ Civitas Director, David Green added: ‘The study’s methodology was flawed and its findings were highly questionable. The authors made schoolboy errors in their handling of statistics which fell short of professional standards recognised by statisticians’ (Daily Mail, 2nd Jan)
The myth that uncontrolled EU immigration has economic benefits for Britain has also been demolished by Patrick O‘Flynn. Writing in the Daily Express (14th Dec), he analyses just how much a minimum wage migrant worker costs the UK:
‘Any marginal tax contribution is far outweighed by the extra cost demands placed on health, education, transport and other essential public services. If one includes the fact that much of the money earned (and some state benefits too) is ‘exported’ to family and relatives abroad and therefore not spent in the UK, the economic benefit of importing unlimited numbers of such workers becomes even more illusory’.
‘Police Officer numbers have fallen by more than 10 officers a day since the Coalition came to power. There were 128,350 officers at the end of September 2013, a fall of nearly 3,500 in 12 months… The number of officers has fallen by 16,000 over the past 4 years.’ (Daily Telegraph, 30th January)
‘Councils made a profit last year of £317m from parking tickets and fines, an increase of 56% since 2010. Councils in England ‘earn’ £866,000 a day, mainly from drivers who want to park in town centres to use local shops.’ (Daily Mail, 10th January)
‘Support for EU membership has declined dramatically in a number of EU countries, according to a survey by Russia Today. Compared to 2008, support for the EU has fallen from 59% to 27% in Spain; 70% to 47% in Ireland; and 32% to 19% in Greece.’ (RT, 10th Jan)
‘In France, 20 local currencies are now in circulation as an alternative to the Euro, with more in the pipeline. They are mainly used to trade local products and services, keeping the money spent within the local community.'(RT 10th Jan)
‘Remote stopping devices could be fitted to all cars, under plans being secretly developed by the EU, allowing police to disable vehicles at the flick of a switch.
Confidential documents from a committee of senior police officers, who meet in secret, set out the plan as part of a series of wider law enforcement and surveillance measures. The devices, which could be mandatory fitting on all cars in the EU by the end of the decade, would be activated by a police officer working from a remote control room. The suspect vehicle’s fuel supply could then be cut and the ignition switched off, bringing it to a halt.
The technology, scheduled for a 6-year development timetable, was outlined as part of the ‘key objectives’ for the European Network of Law Enforcement Technologies (ENLETS), an offshoot of an EU working party aimed as increasing police co-ordination across the EU. Remote stopping and other surveillance plans have been signed by the EU’s Standing Committee on Operational Co-Operation (COSI), meaning that the scheme has the support of senior British Home Office Civil Servants and police officers.’ (Daily Telegraph, 30th Jan)
When people ask me ‘What Is It That Really Drives UKIP?’, I like to refer them to a piece by James Delingpole in his online Telegraph blog (5th August):
What all these disparate issues are about is what they’re really always about: the bitter, ongoing struggle between those on the one hand who cleave ardently to the statist religion of ‘equality‘, ‘diversity’, and ’sustainability’ is which society’s best interests are decided by an ’enlightened’ elite of bureaucrats, technocrats, petty officials, social workers, Local Agenda 21 groupuscules, UN and EU apparatchiks, Guardian editorial writers, grandstanding politicians and the BBC. And on the other, those of us who have sufficient faith in human nature to take the view that barring the odd safety net here, the occasional piece of protective legislation there, the best route to creating a more fruitful, enjoyable, richer, more varied and yes, fairer world, is for us all pretty much to be left to live our lives the way we want, unencumbered by confiscatory taxes, nanny-ish government edicts and petty regulation which seeks to micromanage every last detail of our daily existence, from how many different coloured bags we must put our rubbish in, to how far we’re permitted to be rude to our enemies on Twitter.
I know which side I’m on. But don’t kid yourself that you can sit on the sidelines, or that there’s a ‘reasonable middle ground‘. Ultimately, its about liberty v tyranny, freedom of speech v state control, free market growth v anti-growth collectivism, personal responsibility v state dependency, optimism v pessimism.
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)