May 26, 2014
UKIP winning the Euro election will have come as no surprise to anyone who has been out canvassing these past few weeks. The mood of the electorate was very apparent and an anti-establishment/Westminster vote was always going be registered.
What was surprising was the decimation of the Liberal Democrat vote, and is ‘just reward’ for a string of broken manifesto promises and for taking a pro EU line that was bordering on the ridiculous. I suspect that there is more woe to come for the Liberals at next year’s general election.
The opening up of our borders to immigration from new member states in the EU was always going to lead to a backlash from voters especially at a time when the economy has more room to recover. While unemployment is significantly down and important economic indicators are all pointing in the right direction it will nevertheless take time for the full effects of this recovery to filter through especially to those areas which were hurt the most during the recession under Labour.
While the principle of freedom of movement of persons between EU members is a sound one, it only works effectively when this movement is between people in states with similar living standards and similar incomes. Where there is a divergence in these factors between nations, then the movement of persons primarily in one direction with an obligation to also provide benefits to those arriving will inevitably create difficulties and tensions within communities. Those arriving and settling in specific areas of the country also leads to pressure on the education and health services and can lead to additional problems, and when a political party incessantly highlights these concerns then it is inevitable that its message will resonate with voters which is what UKIP has effectively done.
As things stand the hands of any government are tied in dealing with this problem. Either there is an effective re-negotiation with other EU states in this and in other areas where there is a plethora of diktats and legislation emanating from Brussels or we simply pull out of the EU -anything else is simply tinkering at the edges. The Conservative Party is the only party committed to re-negotiation and to holding an in/out referendum and unless it gains a majority at the next general election we’ll be having more or less the same debate and discussion at the next Euro election.
June 4, 2009
I cast my vote in the Euro elections first thing this morning with the polling station unusually quiet due to the fact that there are no local elections in my area this time.
I hope the turnout throughout the country is good and more Conservative Councillors and MEP’s are elected than ever before.
May 21, 2009
As well as Douglas Hogg, two more Tory MP’s will be stepping down at the next general election. Anthony Steen and Sir Peter Viggers having been exposed in the Telegraph for questionable expenses have rightly decided not to seek re-election. Any attempts by MP’s to cling on to their seats who have been exposed making outrageous claims for expenses only serve to damage the Conservative Party’s attempt to gain power at the next election. All such MP’s will be vulnerable to anti sleaze campaign by their opponents and seats that the party should be holding on to would undoubtedly be at risk.
The Labour Party or its MP’s have yet to take similar action though two of its MP’s have been suspended and my local MP Shahid Malik has resigned from his post as Justice Minister pending a full investigation into his expenses claims. The public mood is one of disgust and if any party or associations drag their feet and leave in place those MP’s who to voters look to have abused the system, then they should not be surprised if ‘independent’ candidates stand on anti-sleaze tickets against them and turn the election campaign into an ‘expenses’ campaign only.
David Cameron thankfully has grasped the public mood and is one step ahead of the Prime Minister in his response. It is incredible that there are MP’s still peddling the ‘I didn’t break any law/rule’ defence instead of showing any remorse and contrition. Yesterday I met a person who said that those MP’s making outrageous claims were thieves. I wouldn’t use the same language or express the same sentiments and each case has to be looked at on its own but this does show how angry people are feeling and how badly let down they feel by their representatives.
This scandal will no doubt rumble on and there will be many more MP’s who will stand down before the next election.
February 16, 2009
I am looking forward to viewing the BBC Panorama programme this evening in which details of a new Government counter terrorism strategy will be revealed.
The alleged aim of this new strategy will be to challenge Muslims who teach that Islam is incompatible with Western democracy and as Home Office Minister Vernon Coaker has already said to discontinue ‘to fund groups where we have evidence of them encouraging discrimination, undermining democracy and being ambiguous towards terrorism.’
All very well and well intentioned but if the Government hasn’t worked out 8 years after 9/11 and 18 months after 7/7 as well as numerous other atrocities who it should be funding and relying on for advice and assistance and who it should be avoiding, we have to ask and wonder what it has worked out?
I’ve often felt that there isn’t a cohesive Government strategy to deal with radicalisation of Muslims in the UK, and there are too many gimmicks and headline grabbing policies and proposals such as the 90 day detention and this last week to believe that anything the Government will do will prove effective. The relationships the Labour Government has built with the Muslim community is too narrow and focused primarily on maintaining the Muslim vote especially after the Iraq war rather than dealing with the concerns of Muslims and what it expects from them as fully signed up members of British Society. The embarrassing political sluttiness that Jack Straw and his cronies displayed at the last election in trying to get the Muslims to vote for Labour in Blackburn at all costs which I saw at the last general election was simply pathetic and those Muslims who danced to this tune were an embarrassment to their community.
I really do hope that an incoming Conservative Government gets to grips with the increased radicalisation in certain sections of the Muslim community and comes up with policies that are effective and sustained in the long term and not geared as this Government seems to be towards securing votes instead of dealing with the problem.
January 14, 2009
Today’s announcement by the Government of the £20bn loan guarantee to small and medium-sized firms to help them deal with the recession is a watered down rip of Tory Policy announced by David Cameron a few weeks ago. This follows fast on the heels of the Tory policy to subsidise employers to take on people who have been out of work being adopted by the Government a few days ago.
Admittedly the Conservatives are calling for loan guarantees of £50bn but its very odd that the the Government accuses the Conservatives of being the ‘do nothing party’ (repeated again at PMQ’s by Brown today) when facing the most serious economic downturn this country has seen for decades yet is prepared to steal adopt policies put forward by the Conservatives.
If Gordon Brown and his team are unable to come up with ideas and policies of their own and are simply going to adopt everything the Conservatives propose – obviously after criticising them first, why don’t they just ask the Tories to take over and do everything to deal with the recession?