UKIP Uncovered
What motivates the leaders of the United Kingdom Independence Party?

Monday, August 18, 2003 

The Teignbridge Constituency General Election Campaign 2001

In the 1997 General Election, Teignbridge, a constituency lying in what is generally acknowledged to be one of the most beautiful parts of the country, and of particular importance to this writer as it filled my daily morning view throughout most of my formative years, was the scene of what seems to have been a particulary unsavoury event in what now increasingly appears to have been UKIP's steady shift, knowingly or otherwise, to becoming a force for promoting the integration of Britain within the European Union.

In 1997 this traditionally safe Conservative seat was held by its sitting MP Patrick Nicholls by the narrowest of margins only 281 seats. It would appear from published material on the history of this MP that he could hardly have been considered insufficiently anti-European for UKIP's tastes, even when compared to some of their own more outspoken members, having at one time been forced to resign as the Vice Chairman of the Conservative Party in December 1994 after comments he made attacking Germans as “warmongers” and the French as "collaborators”.

This fact was highlighted in a report in the Daily Telegraph on 17th February 2001 stating that the Tories are bitter that the UKIP is running candidates in the general election against eurosceptics and continues:-

Patrick Nicholls, the only Tory calling for British withdrawal from the EU, is being challenged by UKIP's Viscount Exmouth the article then refers to the wafer-thin majority of 281 in Teignbridge.

It would appear, from the earlier part of the paper's report, that UKIP's two MEPs were not relishing having adopted this position having been cold-shouldered on the plane to Strasbourg when 'none of the Tory MEPs would talk to them, and eye contact was studiously avoided at the Members' Bar'. (Is Nigel Farage in as complete and absolute control of the party as he likes to imply, this snippet makes us wonder? Or did the two MEPs realise they had monumentally gaffed and that by then, they lacked the courage to pull back?)

The full results of both the 1997 and 2001 general elections can be found by following this link to the BBC News Vote 2001 Results Service.

As all now well know the result was a complete disaster for all opposed to the further integration of their country into the European Union, and one that was not unhappily unique to Devon. The victor in Teignbridge was a candidate from the most Euro-federalist party within the United Kingdom, the Liberal Democrats, and it is their MP, a Mr Richard Younger-Ross from Surrey, who ousted the locally born Mr Nicholls and now connives in last week's looting of the local seas by French fishermen, while their West Country counterparts are compelled to toss their own catches into once British waters from whence they were caught (see our weekend postings on Ironies for details).

It would have appeared that Patrick Nicholls would have been an ideal candidate as a UKIP MP. Staunchly patriotic, on record as having never been prepared to give up the pound BBC On The Record - Broadcast: 11.03.01:-

PATRICK NICHOLLS MP: "As far as the single currency is concerned I shall say what I said last time which is that I personally wouldn't vote to go into a single currency in any circumstances whatsoever."

The question that must now be urgently answered is whether those who contrived the UKIP policy, that resulted in this defeat of the one MP openly proposing British withdrawal from Europe, were motivated by the money or by the desire to deliberately sabotage and weaken the anti-EU forces within the UK. Both alternatives are equally despicable of course, but how loyal members of UKIP are now to best act can surely be only be determined by the truth coming out? Is there any other reason for this insanity. If any in UKIP can put forward a case we will happily publish it here on the blog, and thereafter rip it apart.

Readers wishing to be reminded of the cash for candidates matter can go via this link goes to one of our early posts on Nigel Farage's extortion attempt from the Conservative Party as reported in the Daily Telegraph of 30th January 2001

Had the incidents such as that in Teignbridge and other constituencies during the last general election been unique then, conceivably, money could be seen as perhaps the main motivating force, and indeed it could have been argued that the money could then have been more effectively used in the anti-EU cause. That did not happen however and our candidates continued to run against known and respected Eurosceptic Tories even when there could have been no doubt regarding their non-federalist credentials, for example: John Redwood, Richard Bacon and Paul Goodman. (The latter two also quoted on the BBC Live report linked above).

The squandering of resources in the recent Welsh Assembly elections particularly, but also the attempt to cover the country in the local council elections had to dilute the effectiveness of the party's campaign, and argues that the accumulation of money is not the cause of the problem, albeit leaving open the question of whether the joy of spending it might not play a role.

Even more significantly for myself, and speaking entirely personally, the events of my own disqualification as an MEP candidate, prepared to devote a year of my time at my own expense to furthering the anti-EU cause by campaigning for UKIP in the NE or SW of the country, with my concurrent donation of cash and almost a thousand copies of my novel, seemed only to fill the party with horror and the kind of panic counter-measures that have now been revealed in these pages. My own case weakens the argument that money has been a determining factor in UKIP actions, as will become clear when the facts of my disqualification are fully revealed. What is left? Only deliberate sabotage of the anti-EU cause seems to remain to meet all the facts now becoming known.

A regular correspondent has recently taken to labelling the UK Independence Party EUKIP. I have yet to inquire what that might exactly represent, but I have one suggestion: European/United Kingdom Integration Party, it certainly seems to better describe all their recent disastrous (for their members) policies.

posted by Martin |1:10 PM
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