EU dross must be flattened
Sir, - How nice to see Mr. Huhne reappearing in your letters page once again falsely claiming to be MEP for Oxfordshire when he is merely one of ten MEPs elected to represent the whole of the EU-defined South East Region in which the LibDems came third in votes cast after the Tories and UKIP. As there is no such creature as an MEP for Oxfordshire, I presume that he tries to suggest a degree of localness by claiming the appropriate county whenever he churns out a letter to a local newspaper.
Mr. Huhne mentions Mr. Kilroy-Silk's TV career in a pejorative vein, omitting his previous position as a real member of Parliament elected by a real UK constituency to a real Parliament that in those days could legislate without having to check that it had prior approval from the EU.
He refers to EU environment laws, omitting any reference to those that have restricted most of our waste dumps, leading to a massive growth in fly tipping; or those causing our landscape to be destroyed by wind farms that generate the most expensive electricity ever known in the very few hours when they are able to operate; or the thousands of other EU laws and regulations that are rigorously enforced here but largely ignored in the rest of the EU.
In the last few days, the BBC has exposed the Greek Government's total failure to enforce EU health and safety laws that has led to at least 14 fatalities and many crippling injuries in the construction associated with the Olympic Games. There was no suggestion that the EU will apply any sanctions for this gross and tragic breach of its laws.
Mr. Huhne chose instead to witter on about product legislation in a vein that suggests that we as a nation are incapable of setting or maintaining standards that make our products and services marketable. Does he not recall the British Standards Institution whose standards were the most universally accepted for far longer than the EU has existed.
It is quite possible that, once we have regained our independence, we will extract from the mountain of dross represented by EU laws and regulations a few crumbs of value that should be kept. If there are none then the whole EU experience will have been a dead loss rather than just a very big one!
The aim of the whole UKIP team of MEPs is to flatten that mountain of dross before it flattens us. - Yours faithfully,
For many years he has championed women's rugby at Cambridge and Oxford (not the actions of a sexist bigot, surely?). During my time as captain at Cambridge, he helped us make the university see that we were as serious about our sport as the men. A misogynist? No. A man with a wicked sense of humour, and some strong and sensible political and social beliefs behind it? That I would agree with.
Dr Kerry Knight
More surprising support came for the principles behind Mr Bloom's criticism of the present compulsory maternity leave situation from the stable of The Guardian newspaper group as may be read in this article from yesterday's The Observer linked here and titled 'More help for pregnant staff'. The following is a quote:-
Bosses should be given more help on how to handle pregnant staff, according to the head of Britain's anti-sexism watchdog who believes that MEP Godfrey Bloom's controversial warnings against hiring women 'struck a chord' with employers.
"This appointment of Mandelson shows that the European Union is a gravy train for failed politicians," he added, getting the war of political words off to a premature start.
"Hartlepool is a fishing port which has been decimated by the European fisheries policy," said a UKIP spokesman. "The Liberal Democrats will find it hard to justify their pro-European stance there. We can attract Old Labour voters who may not take kindly to seeing their MP desert them for Brussels."
UKIP is expected to mount a lavish campaign, bankrolled by its campaign director, the millionaire businessman Paul Sykes.
This appointment of Mandelson shows that the European Union is a gravy train for failed politicians
A UKIP spokesman said it would be targeting the Lib Dem's backing for EU fishing quotas, which he claimed had "destroyed" Hartlepool's fishing industry.
Mr Kilroy-Silk, a former BBC chat show host who resigned following comments about Muslims in a newspaper column, said: "This appointment of Mandelson shows that the European Union is a gravy train for failed politicians.
"He has never been the natural person to represent the people of Hartlepool. Now the prime minister has found him something better to do he is off, without a thought for his constituency.
"If I was a constituent I would feel very used and angry and would want to take my revenge on Labour at the by-election."
The party did not field candidates in Leicester South and Birmingham Hodge Hill, as it was "keeping its powder dry" for the expected Hartlepool contest, a spokesman said.
Ukip's communications director, Mark Croucher, confirmed to Guardian Unlimited that it would stand a "high profile candidate", who could expect a "fantastic result".
UKIP is already making its presence felt at the London Assembly, which held its last Plenary session before the Summer recess on Wednesday 21st July. The main item of business was to finalise the Committees for the forthcoming term.
UKIP has now secured places on the following committees and functional bodies:
Damian Hockney has been appointed to:
Business Management & Appointments (BMAC); Budget; Standards;
Economic Development & Planning; Commission on London Governance;
Metropolitan Police Authority
Peter Hulme Cross has been appointed to:
Chairman of the Audit Panel; Environment; Transport;
Safer London; Elections Scrutiny Committee;
London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority
This is considerably in excess of the number of places UKIP is automatically entitled to under the Assembly's "proportionality" guidelines, giving us a huge opportunity to develop UKIP's media profile and to take an active part in "real" domestic politics. We have already achieved considerable national and London TV, radio and newspaper coverage (click here for more details). In the fortnight after the election, Damian received more coverage than any other Assembly Member. Even when he was abroad last week, he was interviewed by Time Out and appeared on CNN and on BBC Radio news. The Assembly Press Office is delighted that UKIP has given the Assembly a higher media profile since June 10th (even though our manifesto pledge is to scrap it!). In one BBC news interview broadcast in the UK and worldwide, Damian made clear that tube privatisation was enforced through compliance with EU rules and not by Ken Livingstone.
With two elected Assembly Members, UKIP has formed a separate Group. Damian is the officially designated UKIP Leader in the London Assembly. Each Assembly Member is entitled to two staff (typically a Researcher and a PA) and, as a Group, UKIP can also recruit additional staff, including a Press Officer. These are Greater London Authority posts which have to be publicly advertised, usually in the Guardian. If you are not a regular Guardian reader (!) but would like to be notified when these posts are advertised, please let us know. Michael Harvey is currently single-handedly manning our spacious sixth-floor office in City Hall - we are keen to fill the empty desks as soon as the bureacratic wheels grind into motion! And we need volunteers as well to help us with many other tasks.
We will be keeping in touch via e-mail updates. If you do not wish to receive these, please reply to this e-mail with "Unsubscribe" in the subject line.
You can keep up to date with developments on a daily basis at our website, http://www.ukiplondon.com
UKIP Group, City Hall, The Queen's Walk, London, SE1 2AA
Direct Line: 020 7983 4640
Kilroy-Silk, who has become the figurehead of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), lashed out at the European Union's just-agreed constitution and said he did not want to belong to a European federal superstate.
"My constituents do not want to see the creation of a federal state called Europe. They want to be governed by their own people in their own parliament," he said in his first speech to the European Parliament.
"Some 20 years ago Mrs. Thatcher went to Fontainenbleau and said 'I want our money back,' and she got some of it," he said, referring to Thatcher's infamous 1980s demand for an EU budget rebate at an EU summit in France.
"We want our country back, and believe you me, we are going to get it," he told the Strasbourg assembly.
"To provide associations with a good choice of high quality candidates who have been full vetted, the Party is building up a new approved candidates list. Former candidates must re-apply if they wish to be on the new list. If you wish your name to be added to this list, please write to Head Office , and you will be contacted shortly thereafter. You should mark your application ‘General Election Candidate Selection’.
Please note that no member may describe themselves as a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC) unless they are on the new list. Branches wishing to adopt a PPC should ensure that applicants are on the candidates list, and should also liaise closely with their regional organiser."
Regional Organiser's have no democratic accountability within the Party whatsoever, but their growing influence and control is probably the greatest cause for concern for all. UKIP is becoming not just a menace to the eurorealist cause but now it seems - democracy in general. This is particularly regrettable in view of the high-profile it continues to receive in the media thanks to Robert Kilroy-Silk. Witness this report from EU Business, published this morning on the subject of the opening of the new Strasbourg Parliamentary session and the extensive coverage provided to UKIP; it may be read from here.
Order the Book for a Fiver. Proceeds go to the fight against Regional Assemblies