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

Saturday, February 24, 2007 

Electoral Commission gunning for the UKIP?

The Daily Telegraph today, linked here, reports that it is unlikely the party's desired name change will be approved. This comes the day after it was reported that the party faces ruin after an apparently onerous and unprecedented ruling by the supposedly independent Labour founded watchdog for impermissible donations of hundreds of thousands of pounds to be forfeit to the Treasury.

One report circulating the internet yesterday alleged that Mr Bown was actually only off the electoral register because of a change of address. If that were true then surely Nigel Farage should start trumpeting the fact from the rooftops.

Simon Heffer expresses his faith in the Commission in his column in the same paper, linked here:

Discretion in applying the law always seems to be exercised to help the most dangerous and criminal elements in our society - rarely to those who have done no harm. Ukip is being ordered to hand over £363,000 because the donor, Alan Bown, had forgotten to go on the electoral register at the time. This sensible rule is designed to prevent foreigners buying influence in our politics. Mr Bown is English, lives in England, pays taxes in England, and, when he remembers to get on the roll, votes here, too.

I am sure the Electoral Commission is not in the pocket of the main political parties and has no agenda where an upstart, populist party like Ukip is concerned. Why, then, doesn't it simply reprimand Ukip for what was clearly an oversight, rather than act as if there has just been another Great Train Robbery? Such a confiscation would look anti-democratic, as it would close Ukip down to punish Mr Bown for being inert, not for an act of crookery. Is that what the commission really wants?

A more detailed report on the affair is in The Independent this morning, linked here.

If forfeiture is enforced it could be the breakthrough factor UKIP so desperately need as any remaining national sense of fairness and justice will surely be outraged given the blind eye turned by the Commission to recent outrages perpetrated by the three main taxpayer subsidized parties.

posted by Martin |8:53 AM
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