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

Sunday, December 11, 2005 

Daniel Hannan MEP prepares for life beyond the EPP!

Read a report on 'The Congress of Brussels' by Eurosoc linked here.

That blog, like mine has little belief in Cameron's determination to leave the EPP, much more likely he will heed the siren voices such as those of Portillo in today's Sunday Timeslinked here , from which this is a quote:

"...But the new Europe is just as intolerant of British antipathy towards the European ideal.

Perhaps David Cameron should ponder that. He intends to withdraw the Conservative members of the European parliament from the transnational right-of-centre group of parties to which they are affiliated. Admittedly the group contains European federalists whose views are different from Cameron’s. But who cares about the European parliament and is withdrawal worth the fuss? It will send a clear message but not a useful one for a leader who wishes to signal how much his party is changing. Cameron’s unique selling point is optimism. That sits uncomfortably with being unnecessarily negative about Europe.

It would boost his credibility to be feted in European capitals, especially as the Tories (now lukewarm about Iraq) may not receive a hearty welcome in Washington. It will not help that when William Hague, Cameron’s shadow foreign secretary, was Tory leader he based his election campaign on hostility to Europe.

Blair has not achieved his ambitions, but he usually gets the tone right. Since the European constitution was defeated in referendums in France and Holland, European federalism is not an imminent danger. A certain amount of enthusiasm for the European dream comes cheap and is necessary for anyone wishing to play on the European stage. It is precisely because the EU has been unsuccessful that a little idealism can do no harm."

Or indeed the political pressure of the new German Chancellor as quoted in a Telegraph article linked here, from which comes this startling passage:

Several Conservative MEPs told The Daily Telegraph they would disobey an instruction from Mr Cameron that the party's 27 MEPs should leave the centre-Right, but federalist, European People's Party bloc in the Euro-parliament.

Angela Merkel, the new German chancellor, and arguably the most powerful centre-Right politician in Europe, has warned the new Tory leader that unless he rethinks the decision to leave the EPP-ED bloc in Brussels and Strasbourg, her ruling Christian Democratic party, as well as sister parties in Denmark and Holland, will not work with him. Her intervention is highly embarrassing for Mr Cameron, because it could leave him without an important ally and raise questions about his experience in foreign affairs.

As well as reviving the largely dormant arguments over Europe within the Conservative Party, it would also call into question his commitment to more consensual politics.

A well-placed source said: "Mrs Merkel said she was looking forward to close co-operation within the framework of the EPP-ED. The political message was clear: you cannot leave the family and expect bilateral relations with members of that family."

posted by Martin |1:58 PM

Saturday, December 10, 2005 

EU Budget

By far the most important matter facing the country this weekend is the dispute over the future EU Budget.

How depressing therefore to enter that phrase into the Google UK News search engine and find the only mention in today's media is this from The Guardian and a report from yesterday from Reuters. The weakness of Blair's negotiating strategy against the French agricultural subsidies is contained in this direct quote from Blair "No. I can't agree a deal that doesn't allow the possibility of fundamental review."

In trying to update myself on the UKIP situation in order to put forward some hopefully constructive thoughts on the way ahead for the more general euro-sceptic movement I was depressed to find that the old jobs for the boys tendency within the party has continued recently with the appointment of new party member (but according to the UKIP Watch blog - apparently old Knapman mate) David Campbell Bannerman, as party chairman. This combined with the resignation or apparent departure from the NEC of Tony Scholefield, one of the few original thinkers among that group will make the radical change of direction that clearly needs to be made by the party even more difficult to achieve.

The outcome of the budget debate and whether or not the crisis will continue all the way to the EU Parliament will be crucial in determining the best way forward for the party within the EU.

Whether or how the Conservative MEPs are ever withdrawn from the EPP as promised by Vapid Cameron will similarly be a significant factor. I will follow that situation on Teetering Tories

posted by Martin |8:57 AM

Thursday, December 08, 2005 

Britain's EU Rebate sacrifice ends the need for the UK?

Maggie Thatcher was hospitalised overnight having been reported as feeling faint. Hardly surprising in view of Blair's pretty well unconditional offer to abandon part of her hard won rebate - an offer that unsurprisingly was immediately targeted as insufficient on the Continent particularly by France.

I had believed and argued from this blog, that it was imperative the UK hold together in the fight for our sovereignty against the EU. The abandonment of the rebate and the take over of the main opposition party by a man with apparently little belief in anything seems to condemn the UK to certain future irrelevance.

Consequently a total rethink of the role and strategy of the UK Independence Party is now required. I will be exploring alternatives and various different ideas on these pages over the next few days.

posted by Martin |8:17 AM

Tuesday, December 06, 2005 

UKIP resumes its relevance! Now for a New Leader.

Vapid Cameron's election to lead the Tories, who are now clearly in terminal decline (see recent posts on Teetering Tories linked here) puts the pressure and the opportunity back on the UK Independence Party.

Roger Knapman's term of office as leader of the party will shortly expire.

A golden opportunity now exists in British politics for an effective replacement.

A huge section of the electorate, particularly in England, now have no natural home in the apparently progressive and Scots led three main parties.

The English are at the same time disenfranchised in their own parliament as the English Democrats are so ably and successfully making clear!

Postings to this blog, which have recently faltered, could again become more frequent - should readership, which has surprisingly remained at a high and steady level, continue to indicate increasing interest in a party that should by rights, by now have been finished!

posted by Martin |8:01 PM
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