Fainting in Coyles
An occasional letter from the Heart of Euroville

Tuesday, June 15, 2004  

Independant provides shocking revalations about the new UKIP members
or "10 things the UKIP don't want you to know about them"

1) UKIP's 12 new MEPs are all white, male, and aged between 50 and 65. They include the man who, in his time as a Labour MP, before he became a television celebrity and controversial newspaper columnist (now retired), was touted as a future prime minister. Robert Kilroy-Silk's colleagues include a former Tory whip, a retired undertaker and an ex-teacher.

Hold on a moment. Two of them have serious political experience - unlike the Lib Dem and most Tory MEPs - disgraceful. And what has the Indy got aginst former teachers - sinister bastards them former teachers. Worse, far worse one of them is an undertaker. Don't trust those undertaker folk - they deal with dead people.
Oh and they are all experienced middle aged men. Damn, they will be embarrased by that revaltion. Shhh...

2. In the last European parliament, the three UKIP MEPs sat with the EDD group (Europe of Democracies and Diversities). The group is Eurosceptic but not in favour of withdrawal. The question is: where will UKIP sit in the next parliament? They may stay with the EDD or they could form a new grouping with MEPs totally opposed to membership. UKIP may even opt to join the far-right, as represented by Jean-Marie Le Pen.

Well the first bit is true they are curently part of the EDD, which is lead by a socialist Dane Jens-Peter Bonde. A man the Indy would love if he just got over gis euroscepticism. But to suggest that they will join Le Pen and the FN - preposterous.

If that is there first two horror stories what else is hiding in UKIP's cupboards? I am almost too frightened to read on.

3. UKIP's three MEPs in the last European Parliament had modest records. Graham Booth ranked 433rd in attendance out of 625, Nigel Farage was 554th, and Jeffrey Titford was 543rd. Each claims his parliamentary salary of £65,000 a year, and allowances can double that figure. For all that, they managed one parliamentary question during their five-year term.

OK so their work rate is not massive. But they never pretended that they were interested in Committee work, in fact they make a habit of boasting about their lack of interest in Parliamentary Committees. And would the Independant expect them to get elected and refuse their salaries? No of course not.

4. Richard North, ex-UKIP research officer, said of Mr Farage: "I am not ... prepared to pour him into a taxi when he was so blind drunk he could no longer stand, or cover for him when he failed to turn up for morning appointments because he had been out on the tiles all night.''

Richard was expressing the age old complaint with anybody forced to work as the bayman of an elected politician. Though not ideal, there are worse crimes.

5. Two senior UKIP figures, Mike Nattrass and Mr Titford, are past members of the New Britain Party, founded as a pro-Rhodesia and anti- "coloured immigration" party. Mr Nattrass, elected as an MEP yesterday, stood for New Britain in the 1994 Dudley by-election. Asked recently about it, he said: "It isn't what you're thinking. It's not racist. It's more interested in celebrating the Queen's birthday and things like that."

The New Britain Party was run by a chap called Denis Delderfield, who published the City of London News or some such paper. I remember him campaigning against the BNP candidate in Tower Hamlets, that time they won a council seat in a by-election. Though he had some sympathy for their position on housing scams on the Isle of Dogs he was not (dunno if he is dead) a fascist. Funnily enough I once went as an observer to one of their conferences. At the time there was no anti EEC party and I thought I would take a look. They were the normal bunch of old and bold, it seemed to me. Nationalist Tories in the main. Yes I suspect that many had unsavory views on mass immigration, but at the time here was little you could do if you wanted to organise against the then EEC.

6. George Eustice, a senior adviser to the Tory leader Michael Howard, who has described UKIP as "extremists" stood for the party in 1999, wearing a "Leave the European Union" slogan across his chest. He has said: "Although there are quite a lot of well-meaning people in UKIP, they are quite seriously deluded."

Well he would say that with his current job, wouldn't he? That being said many of those who have been elected have less trident views than Eustice on some areas of EU policy.

7. Max Clifford, a supporter of the Blair administration, has taken a leading role in UKIP's media strategy, in relation to its celebrity backers and donors. When it was revealed a retired bookie had given the party £500,000, callers were referred to the veteran publicist.

Clifford is a political mercenary. But if I were UKIP I would think that it was money well spent. They were outspent 2-1 by the Tories in these elections. Job well done I would have thought. Oh yes and it is hardly news that Clifford is taking UKIP's shilling. It has been widely reported - and derided ever since he took the job.

8. Alan Sked, the LSE lecturer who helped found the party, has said: "UKIP's MEPs are a standing joke at Strasbourg, where ... the three often vote in different ways on the same issue." He condemns UKIP for taking up its seats, saying the money would have been better spent on the National Health Service.

That will be three former UKIP people called in to denounce them by the Indy. It is true that there have been moments of voting confusion amongst them. Though this is often down to a lack of staff and confused voting lists. That should chage now that they have 12 members. However the final point is fatuous. the money wouldn't go there even if they wanted it too.

9. More than 200 members left in 2000 in protest at the election of Mr Titford as leader. He beat Rodney Atkinson, brother of comedian Rowan. The three MEPs split into two camps.

This is a serious problem that they will have to address. Period.

10. UKIP announced in February that it had smashed an "infiltration" attempt by the British National Party. It expelled a member in Yorkshire, who, it said, was also a senior BNP official, and an activist in Bath accused of passing information to the BNP. But Richard Corbett, a Labour MEP, said: "In Yorkshire, where both the BNP and UKIP put up candidates, they appear to have come to an arrangement not to stand against one another."

Again Corbett would say that, but there are some serious allegations to answer in the light of the UKIP/BNP scandal. Funnily enough the guy in Bath who was ousted was the same person who alerted the party to the Yorkshire BNP member. As always the messanger was shot.

So it seems that there are maybe three serious points in this attempt to put the people of Britain of their porridge. 3 or 4/10 could do better.

posted by Eliab | 6:03 pm
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