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.
October 23, 2009
I was unfortunately very disappointed with last nights Question Time and especially the way David Dimbleby chaired the discussion. Everyone knows that the BNP is a racist and vile party. Nick Griffin’s views are equally well known especially those relating to race, immigration and Islam i.e BNP topics. Yet more than three quarters of the show was devoted to these issues with quotes of what Griffin has stated in the past being thrown at him from all sides. Griffin despite being hated by almost all in the audience must have been delighted to have had the chance to say that immigration had been and was still out of control and that Islam was incompatible with western democracy. His message wasn’t to the studio audience but to those living in run down council estates and other deprived areas where such messages are so well received. He had several more open goals and had he not been so nervous and overwhelmed he could have made more of this opportunity to put forward his ideology and get his message across.
The panel discussions should have focused more on current concerns of the population on matters such as the economy, housing, education etc which would have exposed the shallowness of the BNP ideology. The BNP does well when it is criticizing others, highlighting or exposing populist concerns and being entirely negative and blaming a particular group for all society’s ills. Yet it doesn’t do well or win when it has to put forward policies to tackle these concerns or explain them in any detail.
Griffin would have looked even more out of his depth on discussions on education or crime or managing the economy out of the recession. In the end the BBC got its ratings and we didn’t learn anymore than we already knew about the BNP and Nick Griffin, who could have made much more of the oppurtunity afforded to him by the BBC to get his message out but failed to do so.
July 15, 2009
Unemployment increased by 281,000 to hit 2.38 million in the three months to May and is the largest rise since records began in 1971. It seems highly likely that the total number of unemployed will get close to 3 million within the next 12 months with the new Conservative Government in 2010 will have to deal with the issue of getting people back in to work.
March 24, 2009
‘Given how big [UK fiscal] deficits are, I think it would be sensible to be cautious about going further in using discretionary measures to expand the size of those deficits.
The level of the fiscal position in the UK is not one that would say: ‘Well, why don’t we just engage in another significant round of fiscal expansion?’
Mervyn King giving evidence to the Treasury Select Committee has cast serious doubts on Gordon Brown’s preferred remedy for the UK economy. Brown might as well cancel the G20 summit and save the taxpayers millions earmarked for the policing of this event!
Hat tip: Coffee House, Ben Brogan
March 18, 2009
Unemployment has topped two million for the first time since 1997 and is confirmation of how severe the current economic slump is and how devastating its effect has been on working families. The consequences of unemployment are truly tragic with social breakdown, welfare dependency, family tensions all adversely increasing.
The number of jobless people is set to increase with the IMF predicting that the recession in the UK will last longer than any of the world’s other major economies. Already there are ten jobseekers for every vacancy advertised with this figure increasing to as many as 30 in some parts of the country.
The Labour Government promised to spend its way out of recession by undertaking huge public works programs but there seems to be little evidence of this actually happening as we see the unemployment figures rising rapidly on their march to the three million mark.
March 17, 2009
Does taking ‘full responsibility’ constitute an apology or is it simply a clever play with words to say that ‘it’s not my fault but being the magnanimous person I am, I am prepared to be held to account’?
Gordon Brown’s actual words are:
‘I take full responsibility for all my actions, but I think we’re dealing with a bigger problem that is global in nature, as well as national. Perhaps 10 years ago after the Asian crisis when other countries thought these problems would go away, we should have been tougher … keeping and forcing these issues on to the agenda like we did on debt relief and other issues of international policy.’
While looking at from past mistakes is obviously important, it is more important Gordon Brown puts in place the right policies now to get the country out of the current economic slump – something he seems unfortunately incapable of doing. I’ve no doubt he and will look at this period in ten years time and wish he’d done things differently and not burdened the country with mountainous debt.