Wednesday, February 05, 2014

If You Are Thinking of Voting UKIP, Read This First

Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader. Photograph: Paul Faith/PA

The UK is fortunate to have UKIP as the flagship of our right wing extremists now that the BNP has folded. Faced with the choice between clowns and Nazis, it is arguably better to have clowns.

Here we take a look at some of their policies and people. 

Cost of EU to UK

UKIP claims that the EU costs us in direct payments £53million per day gross, £28m/d net (Nov 2011)[1]

The net figure is obtained by subtracting from our overall payments the amount the EU gives back to us in rebates, regional development payments and so on.

They add to the direct payments a sum of £65 billion per annum by including estimated costs from trade barriers, regulation, waste, fraud, administration and impacts on our fishing industry[2]. A simplified breakdown of this paper is available.[3]

Government figures for direct payments in 2011-12 are £19bn/yr gross, £7bn/yr net

To put it in context, the gross payment amounts to
14% of national debt interest,
                        9% of state pensions
                        7% of NHS, or
1% of total Government spend

Therefore, contrary to UKIP’s oft-repeated claim, leaving the EU is not going to solve all our financial problems at a stroke.

Even if we assumed that UKIP’s extensive estimate of the indirect costs of EU membership were to be correct, leaving the EU would not be likely to leave us any better off, since official figures conclude that participation in the EU market brings £30-90 bn/year into the UK[4].

UKIP’s performance when elected

In the European Parliament

Votewatch found that UKIP has the worst attendance, voting and work record for any party in EU[5].

Nigel Farage missed 447 votes in 3 yrs, half of the total he was supposed to make. He has 740th position for voting out of a total of 753 MEPs. His deputy, Paul Nuttall is the only UK MEP to do worse than him.

The party is bottom in the league table of all MEPs in terms of delivering reports, opinions, declarations, motions and amendments.

Despite this inactivity, the UKIP MEP squad has taken £11.5 million in salaries, staffing and office costs. That is over and above their expenses.

OpenEurope is a think tank calling for reform of European institutions. It has published an important league table of MEP performance here:

MEPs were ranked on
  • transparency
  • openness
  • democracy
  • fighting waste and
  • misuse of EU funds.

From the data for some of the UK parties - Green, Con, Lab, LibDem and UKIP – we have calculated the average position for each.

The lower the score, the better the political group has performed.

The results are:
Greens – 51 (best performance)
LibDem - 116
Conservatives 152
Labour 205
UKIP 343 (worst performance)

This survey is vitally important for the electorate. People are understandably angry with the three Westminster parties, and at the moment, due to deficient information, UKIP is the one of the main beneficiaries of the disaffection. This research shows that to vote UKIP in protest at MP expenses scandals is to jump from the Westminster frying pan into the Brussels fire.

[15/10/14] Godfrey Bloom has left UKIP as they are too politically correct.

4 Fraudsters, 1 forger, 1 kidnapper, 1 MEP uncomfortably cosy with police 

UKIP was embarrassed by the jailing of two of its former MEPs.

In 2007, Ashley Mote, who represented South-east England, was jailed on 21 counts of benefit fraud, totalling £65,000.

In 2009, Tom Wise, former MEP for East of England, was jailed for two years after falsely claiming thousands in expenses.

2014, Peter Lagoda UKIP Councillor in Peterborough, defrauded the benefits system of £25,000 over 2 years. He is due to be sentenced on 28 March 2014.

2015 Janice Atkinson receipt fraud 

Hugh Mennie, a UKIP electoral candidate forged three out of eight signatures on his nomination form[6]. He was found guilty, fined, and banned from politics for 5 years.

Mujeeb Bhutto, UKIP’s Commonwealth spokesman left the party (reportedly to rejoin the Tories) when Nigel Farrage discovered that he had form as leader of a kidnap for ransom gang in Pakistan[7].

Gerard Batten, UKIP MEP, influenced police to harass his ex-Press officer who made allegations about his expenses and his racist leanings.


Defections and Resignations

UKIP has benefited from several defections to their ranks by people elected under another party banner, mainly Conservatives, but they also have an interesting record of 8 major defections from their ranks.

Marta Andreasen, was an accountant for the EU Commission who blew the whistle on unsafe practices. She was elected a UKIP MEP, but joined the Conservatives during the Eastleigh by-election campaign, citing that Nigel Farage showed “Stalinist”, “Bullying” and “anti-women” tendencies. She said the party was, in effect, a pressure group. "Ukip says it has policies on things other than Europe, but none of them have been properly costed. It is very easy to use immigration as a threat to the population of this country, because people are losing their jobs and the welfare state is being reduced. I agree that there should be proper controls on immigration, but Ukip's position on this – warning that millions of Bulgarians and Romanians would come to this country – was one of the things that contributed to my leaving the party. We were coming too close to the BNP. We were on the margins of the racists."

In 2010 MEP Nikki Sinclaire lost the UKIP whip because she had refused to join the EFD (Europe of Freedom and Democracy, the European Parliamentary group with whom UKIP sits) on the grounds that it had "extreme views".

She was due to be charged with money laundering and misconduct in public office on September 17th 2014 at Birmingham Magistrate's Court. No record has been found of the result of this hearing.

In June 2010 MEP Mike Nattrass also left the EFD, because "I don't share the same principles of some of the Group. On balance, the majority of the Group want to stay in the EU and I've always believed that we should leave." In 2013 Mike proceeded to  resign from the party on the grounds that Farrage was a “totalitarian” who made Machiavelli “Look like an amateur”[8].

In March 2011 MEP Trevor Colman left the EFD, allegedly due to an "unresolved dispute over financial and staffing issues."

In May 2011, UKIP MEP David Campbell Bannerman defected to the Conservatives.

Conservative Dr Bob Spink MP resigned from the Conservative Party and reportedly joined UKIP on 21 April 2008. He stayed with them for seven months, then declared himself an independent. There is confusion about his actual status.[9] He lost his seat in 2010.

In 2004 UKIP won two seats to the London Assembly. Both subsequently defected to Veritas, the party created by Robert Kilroy-Silk.

Cllr Eric Kitson resigned after publishing offensive material about Muslims[10].

Cllr Chris Paine was removed as UKIP group leader after a “serious issue” arose between him and another UKIP councillor[11].

Tim Congdon has stood down as UKIP economic speaker after being found guilty of making money from having wind turbines on his estates.

Foot-in-mouth Syndrome

 Stephen Wilders, chairman of UKIP's Dartford branch, described ADHD as “psychobabble” designed to keep lefties in jobs[12].

Godfrey Bloom said women who failed to clean behind the fridge were “Sluts”, and hit a would-be interviewer with his manifesto.

David Silvester: said that floods are not due to global warming, but are God’s visitation on David Cameron for allowing same sex marriage[13].

Questionable Policies

Their policy of doubling the prison population would cost £3.2 billion per year.

In fact this is academic, because Nigel Farage has abolished all their policies (apart from leaving the EU, presumably) because they are so flaky.

More information on UKIP is collected by Mark Pack here:

Richard Lawson
16 June 2013 (updated Wednesday, 05 February 2014)

[1] UKIP manifesto for local elections 2013, no longer to be found on their website



DocRichard said...

18 UKIP Councillors withdraw unilaterally from UKIP

DocRichard said...

Former Bury UKIP chairman jailed for grooming and child porn offences

DocRichard said... Ex-UKIP councillor Stephen Searle guilty of murdering wife