IPPR: UKIP is the party of the English – Guest post by Stuart Parr from Bloggers4UKIP

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Posted on : 08-07-2013 | By : EnglandExists | In : Uncategorized

IPPR: UKIP is the party of the English

Left wing think tank, IPPR, has produced a follow-up to the one released in January 2012 which documented the rise in English identity and warned that ignoring the disadvantages that England faces as a result of asymmetric devolution would threaten the union.

 

This time, though, they have included questions on the EU and the correlation between euroscepticism and the English identity and made a surprising (for them) discovery: the party that most people believe will stand up for England’s interests is UKIP.

 

 

The latest report finds that the rise in English identity at the expense of British has held up against the onslaught of state-sponsored British nationalism during the Olympics and the royal wedding.  English remains the dominant national identity in England.

The correlation between euroscepticism and national identity is very interesting – over half of people who identify as English more than British are in favour of leaving the EU but only a third of those who identify as more British than English are similarly minded.

There is also a direct link between euroscepticism and dissatisfaction with England’s treatment in the British union post-devolution.  A massive 91% of people who think we should leave the EU think that MPs elected in Scotland shouldn’t be allowed to vote on English matters and 71% think that the British government can’t be trusted to look after England’s interests.  21% of English people think that UKIP is the party that can be most trusted to stand up for England’s interests – the first time none of the above hasn’t topped the poll.

Only 1 in 5 English people support the current form of government and 78% of English people (eurosceptic or not) think that Scotland should pay for services out of their own taxes.

More UKIP supporters identify themselves as English more than British than any other party – 55% of those polled.  They are also the most dissatisfied with the status quo with 49% supporting English independence.  Surprisingly, only 90% of UKIP supporters want to leave the EU.

Given the choice of local government, Westminster and the EU, 31% of English people think the EU has the most influence over the way England is run.  This is by far the highest percentage anywhere in the EU – Brittany, Upper Austria and Galicia are joint second with only 9%.  England , as opposed to the UK, is without doubt the most eurosceptic country in the EU.

It’s time for UKIP to accept that the majority – in fact, almost all – of the party’s support is in England.  Almost every elected representative the party has was elected in England.  The Scots aren’t eurosceptic -only a third of all Scots are in favour of leaving the EU and some of those are pro-independence so would never vote UKIP.  We are the party most trusted by the English to represent English interests.

You don’t have to be a genius to realise that UKIP’s future is in England and leading the call for fairness and equality for the English.  The first step should be to finally draw a line under the ridiculous anti-devolution policy that has been losing us votes for years and start promoting an English Parliament.

English patriotism is one of the overlooked reasons for UKIP’s rise – Spectator

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Posted on : 08-05-2013 | By : EnglandExists | In : Uncategorized

English patriotism is one of the overlooked reasons for UKIP’s rise

 3 May 2013 16:59
UKIP

What can account for UKIP’s remarkable surge in support in these elections? The conventional wisdom is that UKIP is now the ‘go to’ party for protest voters. Angry over Europe and immigration? Vote UKIP. Fear for your job and the future of the economy? Vote UKIP. Feel the main parties are ‘all the same’, run by metropolitan elites who don’t know how ordinary people live? Vote UKIP.

There is doubtless something in all of the above, but there is perhaps another explanation – overlooked until now – for UKIP’s rise: the growing tide of English patriotism.

Earlier in the year, figures from the 2011 census showed there had been a dramatic strengthening of English national identity in the last decade.  Fully 70 per cent of the English population identified themselves as either solely English or English in combination with some other national identity.

Now new data from a survey conducted by IPPR with Cardiff and Edinburgh universities shows that English identity is not just getting stronger, it is becoming politicised.

And UKIP seems to be the main beneficiary of this important trend that is beginning to make its presence felt in English political life.

The reason is that it is exactly those voters who feel more strongly English who also believe that England is getting a raw deal from its membership of both the European Union and the current political settlement in the United Kingdom. Englishness is also more closely associated with concerns about immigration and globalisation. The inter-relation between these issues provides a significant opportunity for UKIP to further deepen its electoral appeal in England.

In the past UKIP has been reluctant to play the English card, for fear it might muddy their position on Europe and weaken the union. Yet their support is heavily concentrated in England, and it is England where anti-EU sentiment is strongest. And the widely held view that England has being neglected by an out of touch and remote political elite also works very effectively with their populist critique of mainstream politics.

All of this means that the Conservatives are being pushed off the ‘green and pleasant’ turf that they have always regarded as naturally theirs.

UKIP now tops the list of the parties that voters believe ‘best stands up for the interests of England’ with 21 per cent compared with Labour’s 19 per cent and the Conservatives 17 per cent. Moreover UKIP’s level of support on this question has more than doubled in just two years.

Even more strikingly, people who voted Conservative at 2010 general election  are almost evenly split on the party who they believe best stands up for England. 38 per cent say the Conservatives, 34 per cent say UKIP – and the number of Tories opting for UKIP has almost doubled from 18 per cent in 2011.

As they have on other issues, UKIP seems to be stealing a march on the Tories on increasingly fertile political territory. Tory high command will be worried enough about today’s result – but if UKIP was to more explicitly champion the cause of English nationalism it could, it seems, erode Conservative support still further.

Guy Lodge is Associate Director at IPPR. The findings from the Future of EnglandSurvey will be published in full by IPPR later this summer.

Tags: UK politicsUKIP

UKIP is becoming the patriotic party of England – IPPR press release

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Posted on : 04-05-2013 | By : EnglandExists | In : Uncategorized

UKIP is becoming the patriotic party of England

devolution and localismUK politics

Published date:  03 May 2013

Rise of UKIP challenges all UK parties to take rising Englishness more seriously

Immediate release

Following UKIP’s surge in the local elections, new survey data indicates that one possible explanation of their success – until now largely overlooked – is their emergence as the party with the strongest appeal to English patriots.

The data, taken from the Future of England Survey (FoES) run by the think tank IPPR, Edinburgh University and Cardiff University, charts the strengthening of English identity, but also its politicisation.

The 2011 Census found that 70 per cent of the English population identified themselves as either solely English or English in combination with some other national identity. Just 29 per cent of respondents identified themselves as feeling any sense of British national identity.

Without explicitly promoting themselves as an English party, UKIP appears to have become the key political beneficiary of this trend because the more English someone feels, the more likely they are to believe that England is getting a bad deal from its membership of both the European Union and the United Kingdom.

UKIP’s supporters express the strongest sense of English identity (55 per cent describe themselves as either ‘English not British’ or ‘More English than British’). And UKIP supporters are the most dissatisfied with the constitutional status quo in the United Kingdom (49 per cent agree that England should become an independent country compared to 36 per cent of Tories, 35 per cent of Lib Dems and 29 per cent of Labour supporters) while over 90 per cent want to withdraw from the EU.

When people were asked: ‘which party best stands up for English interests’, UKIP tops the list.

  • UKIP – 21 per cent
  • Labour – 19 per cent
  • Conservative – 17 per cent
  • Liberal Democrats – 6 per cent
  • None of the parties stand up for England – 16 per cent

(Note – These responses are taken from a separate YouGov poll conducted 14-15 April 2013. Please refer to Table 1 in notes to editors for responses from November 2011, November 2012 and April 2013)

Even more striking is the fact that UKIP’s support as the party that best stands up for England has more than doubled since 2011 – up from 9 per cent, and overtaking Lab (21 per cent ) and Con (20 per cent ) and none of the parties (23 per cent).

UKIP’s rise in this context will be of particular concern to the Conservatives. Conservative voters at the last general election (2010) are split on the party who they believe best stands up for England. While 38 per cent say the Conservatives, almost as many (34 per cent) say UKIP – and this figure has almost doubled from 18 per cent in 2011, suggesting a potential for Conservative support to drift over to UKIP.

Nick Pearce, IPPR Director, said:

“There is an undercurrent of English national sentiment that has been growing in recent years and this appears to be propelling UKIP forward. Tories traditionally feel more confident that they are the patriotic party; but there are signs that complacency on their part is handing a gift to UKIP which is fast emerging – in the eyes of the English electorate – as the party which best stands up for English interests.

“If the Tories have been complacent about their natural position as England’s patriotic party, Labour has been consumed by fear. Fear that giving England more recognition in the union will inhibit its political interests by limiting the role of its Celtic fringe; fear that recognition of Englishness will simply lend credibility to the views of Little Englanders in respect of Europe and immigration. But fear breeds inertia, and inertia weakens Labour’s capacity to contest the politics of England.”

Richard Wyn-Jones, Professor of Politics at Cardiff University and co-author of the report said:

 “To understand the rise of UKIP as simply a manifestation of anti-European sentiment or even some kind of anti-political spasm is to the ignore the very significant, and much broader transformation in attitudes currently underway in England. It is a transformation that is bringing England and Englishness to the fore as a political community and political identity. It is a transformation that the current political class seem scarcely to have noticed let alone formed a coherent response too. UKIP is surfing a wave of existential angst about England’s place in world.”

Notes to Editors

1.The Future of England Survey (FoES) 2012 is a joint initiative between IPPR and the Wales Governance Centre (Cardiff University) and the Institute of Governance (Edinburgh University). The FoES is the most comprehensive examination of how public attitudes within England are changing in respect of issues around national identity, nationhood and governance. All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGovTotal sample size was 3600 English adults/3401 White adults/651 BME adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 23rd – 28th November 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all adults (aged 18+).

2.IPPR will publish a major report based on the full findings of FoES 2012 later this summer.

3.For more on IPPR’s project considering questions of Englishness, see: http://ippr.org/research-project/44/7115/english-questions

4.Selected tables below

Table 1: Standing up for England

Question :  “Which, if any, of the following parties do you think best stands up for the interests of England?”

 

 

June 2011

%

Nov 2012

%

April 2013

%

Labour

21

19

19

Conservative

20

16

17

Liberal-Democrat

4

3

6

Establishment

45

38

42

UKIP

9

18

21

No Party

23

22

16

BNP

4

3

2

Greens

2

2

2

English Democrats

2

2

1

Non-Establishment

40

47

42

Don’t know

15

15

15

N

1507

3600

1609

 

 Table 2 Englishness and Britishness on the Moreno Scale

Question: “Which, if any, of the following best describes the way you think of yourself?”

 

  Con Lab LD UKIP Total
English not British

17

13

7

27

15

More English than British

26

18

18

28

20

Equally English and British

40

40

40

32

39

More British than English

8

13

16

6

10

British not English

6

6

10

3

7

Other

3

7

7

4

6

Don’t know

1

3

3

1

3

N

931

1197

262

312

3600

 

NB – The ‘Moreno question’ is well suited to charting the strength of identity in the UK – a multinational state – where many people have overlapping, or nested, national identities. It asks respondents to locate themselves on a spectrum extending from an exclusively English to an exclusively British identity, with intervening levels of overlap

Contact

Tim Finch, 0207, 470 6110/ 07595 920899, t.finch@ippr.org

Is Uncles away with the Leprechauns? The man who begged to Sinn Féin for money strikes again.

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Posted on : 07-04-2013 | By : EnglandExists | In : Uncategorized

Exclusive – Steve Uncles has been caught lying again. (Not really an Exclusive in that case).

I am really starting to believe that Mr Uncles must believe in Leprechauns, Unicorns and Mordor. The same could be said of his followers, who re-post his nonsense and re-tweeters of his lies on twitter.

The Leader/Chairman and Defacto leader of the English Democrats Party/BNP lite have been peddling their lies and ignorance again this week, all aimed at UKIP.

Bit of Background on the scenario: Uncles and Tillbrook wanted to join UKIP stating the EDP would be folded for cushy MEP spots, they were told no so have spat their dummy ever since with lies and basically libel on their blogs. That’s the long and short of it.

They do try and deny this, but their stories change every time. On minute its Pearson next its Nigel ……………blah blah blah, you have probably read the rubbish somewhere.

Now to the lies:edp Uncles lying on his blog

Complete and Utter Bollocks.

Here is a statement from UKIP Doncaster Branch:

UKIP Doncaster Press Release

UKIP Doncaster Press Release

UKIP will not oppose Mayor Peter Davies
It is Davies or Labour says Chairman

Doncaster, April 5, 2013: UKIP have been making great strides forward in the polls and the recent Eastleigh bye-election showed that in today’s political world, the party is a national a contender.
Over the last several months the local UKIP party has seen a steep climb in new members and the party is preparing to fight the 2014 council elections. Given the rise in UKIP support nationally, the fact that the party is not standing a candidate for the forthcoming mayoral election may be surprising. The party has no allusions that it would necessarily win but would still usually fight the election.

The local party has polled its members and there is no wish to stand against Mayor Peter Davies. In this particular case, it was felt that any vote not for the Mayor Peter Davies would be a vote for the Labour Party.

Members have therefore decided to put aside national politics in favour of doing what is best for the town in this current situation. Whilst not agreeing with all Mayor Davies has done, we believe he has been a critical check & balance against a Labour dominated council; the handing of the mayoralty to Labour would be an unhealthy situation for the Doncaster.

UKIP will therefore not be fielding a candidate in the mayoral election. We do however give notice that we shall fight the 2014 council elections vigorously, giving the people of Doncaster a vote for real change.

We wish the Mayor well in May.

Guy Aston
Branch Chairman

So there is the truth behind the matter.

Another lie from the Political donkey from Dartford:
edp Uncles claiming cliff is standing in south sheilds
Cliff is the Hillingdon Branch Chair and has no interest in standing in South Shields.
In UKIP the local branches normally choose the candidates by members ballot.
Unlike the English Dims, Uncles and Robin normally choose them.

Uncles and Robins unhealthy obsession with UKIP after being blackballed actually cause them to invent an entity called UKIP BLACK OPS………………….Yes this really happened.

http://www.bloggers4ukip.org.uk/2012/01/we-are-ukip-black-ops.html

Robins obsessive rants are become borderline lunacy.
This stems from the blackballing by UKIP and the loss of his case against my fellow Civic English Nationalist, Stuart Parr.

His latest blog post should be embarrassing to any sane Civic English Nationalist left in the English Dims and have heard about the policies UKIP have been honing in favour of fairness for England.

Here it is:edp tillbrook blog confused

Lets break this down:
“7:54pm (Farage) answers a question about an English parliament by saying “Westminster has always got the devolution question wrong, any sense of the English wanting its own identity has been sneered at by the main three parties.” “

http://www.malverngazette.co.uk/news/10331170.Live__UKIP_leader_Nigel_Farage_in_Worcester/

Robin they put up excerpts from the speech the English parliament speech lasted 10 mins in a 2 hour talk…………………..DUH!!!!

In fact UKIP’s real policy position on Englishness is stated in their policy document “Restoring Britishness” in which they claim that English nationalism is “increasingly resentful” and “arguably the most serious threat to Britishness.”!
Here is a link to that UKIP policy >>>http://www.castles99.ukprint.com/UKIP/Britishness.pdf

MMmmm FFS …..Come on Robin you are supposed to be highly educated and a solicitor, dont tell me you did not research this before posting this drivel.
That is from the 2010 election manifesto, it has changed since then and a real policy is being discussed not just soundbytes stolen from the CEP like the English Dims policy on an English Parliament,
http://www.bloggers4ukip.org.uk/2013/02/new-ukip-policy-on-devolution.html

And here is a good discussion on the ‘lunacy’ of their policy on an English Parliament (by a member of UKIP!) >>> http://toque.co.uk/node/1929

 

Once again Gareth is not a UKIP member and likes the new concept to a degree.

Robin needs to get a grip and stop listening to these people that are telling him these made up lies.

Uncles needs to get a grip of something other than himself while posting on his farcical blog in the early hours.

And he needs to stop going to Gregs fifteen times a day for snacks.
edp dartford bunker

Progress on giving England a voice.

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Posted on : 18-02-2013 | By : EnglandExists | In : Uncategorized

Saturday, 16 February 2013

New UKIP policy on devolution: an unintended confederation

During the UKIP conference in Birmingham I was slipped a piece of paper with details of UKIP’s new devolution policy and some notes confirming that the NEC had approved it and it had the blessing of UKIP Wales who have been a pain in the ass over devolution for some time, considering it the work of Satan (or worse, the French).

When I first joined UKIP there was no policy on devolution other than a “Britishness” policy that said that much like the Tories in the late 90s, UKIP opposes devolution and wants a return to a unitary state but would tolerate Grand Committees of British MPs.  Over the years I, along with others, have managed to talk some sense into the leadership (and membership) which culminated in a policy proposal written by Deputy Leader, Paul Nuttall, for an English Parliament and converting the House of Lords into a federal British Parliament.
Paul’s policy was well received in England but less so in Wales where a tiny group of Big Britishers vocally argue against devolution based on an irrational and inaccurate belief that devolution is a plot by the EU to destroy the UK.  It was Paul’s policy that resulted in so many members of the English Democrats (the good ones, not the nutters and racists) abandoning that sinking ship and joining UKIP.

A new policy proposal was written and was given the seal of approval by UKIP Wales who think it’s a rehash of the half-backed Grand Committee idea where British MPs elected in England, Scotland, Wales and NI would come together for a few days a month and make British laws for their own countries under a gentleman’s agreement that they won’t interfere in each others’ affairs.  The policy is somewhat further reaching than that and I suspect that nobody who’s seen it so far truly understands the (positive) unintended consequences.

The new policy turns the Grand Committee idea on its head and instead of creating English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish Grand Committees to make British laws for their respective countries, the national governments of the member states of the UK would be directly elected and the English, Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs would appoint representatives to the British government.  The British government would be “indirectly elected” (ie. appointed) like the hated regional assemblies were.  Clearly this creates something of a democratic deficit which is where the unintended consequences come into play.

It’s difficult to see how you could give an indirectly elected British government parliamentary sovereignty rather than a directly elected national government.  The only option is to make the national governments sovereign which would create a confederation.  A confederation is a union of sovereign states and by virtue of that sovereignty, they would have the legal and constitutional power to secede from the union in their own right rather than relying on the Montevideo Convention (effectively restated by the EEC’s Badinter Arbitration Committee so it doesn’t matter that the UK didn’t sign up to it) which is the usual way a state gets its independence.

The alternative is that you have an appointed and therefore less accountable body with the ability to over-rule or even abolish the national governments that appointed them.  If you wouldn’t give, for example, the Parliamentary Standards Committee the lawful right to unilaterally sack MPs, appoint its own government and prevent elections then you shouldn’t entertain the idea of giving an appointed federal government parliamentary sovereignty.

Now, I’m more than happy with the idea of a confederation and it’s something I’ve advocated for some time as the form of government that will prolong the union the longest as it is a consensual union rather than a prescriptive one which should be palatable to both unionists and separatists alike.  On paper it makes the union weaker although in practical terms it makes it stronger because it puts it on a footing that should be acceptable to separatists.

I was asked for an opinion on how to deal with the gap in accountability that would arise from abolishing the House of Lords when Paul Nuttall was writing his policy proposal.  The answer I came up with was a constitutional court along the lines of the German Bundesverfassungsgericht which would have the authority to choose what legislation it wants to rule on and its ruling would be binding.  The same gap in accountability would also be present under a confederation and I maintain that a constitutional court is still the answer.

This policy is a bold move – literally reinventing the union in a way that no political party has ever proposed.  Even the English Democrats who claim to be the English version of the SNP (they’re not but everyone needs an aspiration, no matter how fanciful) haven’t gone as far as this.  A confederation is the best of both worlds for both unionists and separatists.  The member states of a British Confederation would be sovereign nations able to leave the confederation at any time but they would still be in a British union, albeit voluntarily rather than because the law says they have to be.  I, for one, am looking forward to UKIP announcing this policy formally and campaigning for this radical new form of government that finally brings equality and fairness to all the member states of the UK.

Election breakdown

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Posted on : 04-05-2012 | By : EnglandExists | In : Uncategorized

Today 181 councils had their elections.
Not surprisingly Labour has gained the most councillors and gained control of 32 councils.
Conservative lost 12 councils and 406 councillors.
Lib Dems lost 1 council and 335 councillors.

Now the biggest winners from the rest were Ukip with 9 councillors, many second and third places.
English Democrats lost their councillors and got less votes than previous years.
Although Steve Morris gained as did his wife Val, well done to them.

The political guru Eddy Butler came last with 97 votes:

Loughton Fairmead – results
Election Candidate Party Votes %
David Wixley Loughton Residents Association 428 54% Elected
Stephen William Barnes Labour 155 20% Not elected
Iqbal Singh Kalkat Conservative 114 14% Not elected
Edward Mark Butler The English Democrats 97 12% Not elected

Robin Tilbrook came second but the results were abysmal in all honesty for getting less than butler and only 1% more ( allegedly it was his brethren from the local masons voting for him):

High Ongar, Willingale and the Rodings – results

Election      Candidate                   Party                      Votes %
Councillor Maggie McEwen Conservative 345 70% Elected
Robin Charles William Tilbrook The English Democrats 63 13% Not elected
Lewis Alfred Montlake Labour 51 10% Not elected
Jeremy Nicholas Barnecutt Green Party 31 6% Not elected

Here is the full run down. More blogs to come.

Party Councils Councillors
Total +/- Total +/-
Labour 75 +32 2158 +823
Conservative 42 -12 999 -406
Liberal Democrat 6 -1 425 -335
Scottish National Party 2 +2 424 +57
Plaid Cymru 0 -1 158 -41
Green 0 0 40 +11
Residents Association 0 0 21 +5
UK Independence Party 0 0 9 0
Independent Community and Health Concern 0 0 5 +3
Respect 0 0 5 +5
Liberal 0 0 4 -6
Scottish Socialist Party 0 0 1 0
Independent 5 -2 0 0
British National Party 0 0 0 -6
English Democrats 0 0 0 -2
Socialist 0 0 0 0
Others 0 0 596 -143
No Overall Control 51 -18

What about an England Act?

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Posted on : 01-05-2012 | By : EnglandExists | In : Uncategorized

Just read this on the Brussels Broadcasting Cronies site and think it is a shame this government will offer the few powers to self govern yet ignore the majority stake holders in this defunct UK.

Use common sense and vote these people out, go on give them a shock and vote for the party for the People.

Vote UKIP on Thursday.

Scotland Bill becomes Scotland Act (2012) after Royal Assent

Scottish Parliament building
The Scottish government backed the Scotland Bill but said it had been “bypassed by events”

Royal Assent has been given to the Scotland Bill, making it the Scotland Act 2012.

The fresh piece of legislation will allow MSPs to set income tax rates in Scotland and enable Holyrood to borrow more money.

The coalition government at Westminster said it represented the biggest transfer of fiscal power to Scotland in more than 300 years.

But the Scottish government believed the bill was a missed opportunity.

As well as bringing in a new Scottish rate of income tax and borrowing powers worth £5bn, the Scotland Act (2012) will hand powers over air guns, drink-driving and speeding limits to Holyrood.

It will also devolve stamp duty, land tax and landfill tax, and give the Scottish Parliament a role in appointments in broadcasting and the Crown Estate.

In addition, there will be new procedures for Scottish criminal cases that go to the UK Supreme Court.

The bill officially became law after receiving Royal Assent, but Holyrood will not be able to use the new powers until 2016.

The SNP administration at Holyrood, which intends to hold a referendum on Scottish independence in the autumn of 2014, backed the Scotland Bill, but said it had been “bypassed by events”.

‘Pay attention’

However, Scottish Secretary Michael Moore told BBC Scotland’s Good Morning Scotland programme: “I’m confident when we get on to debating independence that in Scotland we are going to judge we are far better to continue to be part of the most successful partnership of nations in history, rather than going our own separate way.

“But in the meantime, I am confident that we can do that and we will do that. It is important that we pay attention to the detail of what will soon be the Scotland Act and get on with the change.”

However, the Scottish government’s minister for strategy, Bruce Crawford, said the legislation could have gone further.

He told the BBC: “The bill does give us some useful additional powers on air weapons, on drink driving, with speeding, although on taxation powers and income tax, on stamp duty, on landfill taxes, it’s more limited. It’s not quite as big a deal as I heard Michael Moore making out.”

UKIP is giving Englishness the voice it craves

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Posted on : 30-04-2012 | By : EnglandExists | In : Uncategorized

Times
Published at 12:01AM, April 30 2012

As Europe becomes a divisive issue again, protest votes are flowing away from the Lib Dems

Two years ago in the 2010 election one in three of those who voted supported parties other than Labour or the Conservatives, the largest protest against the two-party system since the 19th century. The main beneficiaries were the Liberal Democrats, who took nearly a quarter of the vote. But a party of government cannot also be a party of protest. Nor can a party of the Left easily find a home in a coalition with the Right. As Tony Blair put it, if you have opposed a Labour Government for 13 years from the left, and now find yourself governing with the Conservatives, you have a problem.

It is hardly surprising, therefore, that the Lib Dems have plummeted in the polls. Last year the party lost about 700 local council seats. It stands to lose many hundreds more — perhaps more than half of those it holds — in Thursday’s local elections. For the party faces a crisis not just of support, but of identity, one that it cannot hope to resolve if it remains tied to the Tory chariot wheel until the end of the Parliament in May 2015.

The Lib Dem collapse leaves a space for an alternative party of protest. Who will fill it? In 2010 the BNP secured nearly 2 per cent of the vote, by far the highest gained by a far right party in Britain. In the 1930s, in far worse economic circumstances, Oswald Mosley’s British Union of Fascists was too weak to put up candidates in general elections; unlike the BNP, it never won a local council seat.

But the BNP is tainted, its voters reluctant to admit their allegiance. UKIP, which won 3per cent of the vote, a million votes, in 2010, is not.

Its voters were not just protesters, but made a clear choice to support a party whose identity was stamped with the Union Jack and a big no to Europe.

In 21 seats the UKIP vote added to that of the Conservatives was higher than the Labour or Liberal Democrat vote. So, ironically, the intervention of an anti-European party might well have handed the balance of power to Britain’s most pro-European party, the Liberal Democrats.

As Liberal Democrat fortunes have declined, so UKIP’s have risen, putting the two neck and neck in recent polls. One YouGov poll last week had UKIP as Britain’s third party.

Until now, UKIP’s progress has been hampered by voters’ reluctance to consider Europe as important as the economy or the public services. But this may be about to change. The rumbling eurozone crisis, which has already had an impact on the British economy, may reach another critical phase as France and Greece go to the polls and Spain struggles with its debt. At the same time unpopular decisions have caused public pressure to mount for Britain to withdraw from the European Court of Human Rights. Pressure for a referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU cannot lag far behind.

Euroscepticism is becoming an increasingly important component of Englishness. Indeed, in his recent book English Nationalism and Euroscepticism Ben Wellings suggests that Englishness is actually coming to be defined by hostility to the European project, rather than by hostility to devolution.

The European project emphasises the transcending of national sovereignty. In Scotland, the SNP welcomes this, as it sees the EU as an enabler of independence. In England, by contrast, it is seen as a threat to national independence. Yet no big party represents England. The Conservatives, the most obvious candidates, role, are disqualified since, as a Unionist party, they seek to represent the whole of the United Kingdom. As a result there is a disconnection in England between Parliament and the people on Europe.

Into this breach steps UKIP, which favours an English parliament and is the nearest thing we have to an English nationalist party. In the 2009 euro elections, it came second, winning 12 of the 58 English seats at Strasbourg, more than Labour or the Liberal Democrats. The Conservatives were in opposition that year and claimed to be eurosceptic, promising a referendum on the Lisbon treaty. With the Conservatives in government, UKIP must believe that it has a strong chance of winning the 2014 euro elections.

Since 1951, when the two main parties secured 97 per cent of the vote between them, their support has been declining, but at a glacially slow rate. However, the introduction of proportional representation for devolved bodies, the London Assembly and the European Parliament and the direct election of mayors have encouraged the habit of voting for parties other than the big two, speeding up the transition towards a multi-party system.

The crisis in the eurozone will accelerate the process still further. It could, indeed, lead to a crisis of confidence in the British Establishment, many of whom favoured Britain’s joining the EU, even if they opposed the euro. If Greece, or another member state leaves the euro — still more, if the eurozone breaks up — the psychological effects on English politics will be profound, comparable perhaps with the collapse of the gold standard in the 1930s or the winter of discontent in 1978-79. Those crises realigned the established parties. The eurozone crisis threatens to undermine them.

For more than 40 years, Europe has been a deeply divisive political issue, raising as it does profound issues of national identity. In 1970, it split Labour; in the 1990s, it almost destroyed John Major’s Conservative Government. It could prove equally divisive in the future, realigning both the political parties and also the nations comprising the UK.

Vernon Bogdanor is Research Professor at the Institute of Contemporary History, King’s College London

Shock poll puts Ukip ahead of Lib Dems

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Posted on : 17-04-2012 | By : EnglandExists | In : British Politics

 

Shock poll puts Ukip ahead of Lib Dems

Just a day after a poll found the Liberal Democrats would be all but wiped out if a general election were held now, a YouGov survey for the Sun put the party on eight per cent – one point behind Ukip.

The result comes as it emerged Liberal Democrat councillors in North Tyneside have wiped all mention of their party from election leaflets in a bid to cling onto their seats.

It will also boost expectations for Ukip’s success in the upcoming local elections.

Supporters of the party complained that many London mayoral events – including those of the BBC and the Evening Standard – failed to include the Ukip candidate but made room for Green contender Jenny Jones, despite the party outpolling the Greens on projected seats on the London Assembly.

George Galloway’s shock victory in Bradford West also showed how easy it is for fringe groups to outmanoeuvre mainstream parties on their far left or right flank during mid-term votes.

In its wake, pollsters will be expecting a strong performance from Ukip at the start of next month, when local elections are held.

The YouGov survey put Labour on 43% and the Tories on 32%.

A separate Populus poll for the Times put Labour up four per cent on last month and nine points ahead of the Tories.

The result comes as George Osborne’s Budget continues to unravel, with rows over the 50p tax rate decision and taxes on pasties, grannies and philanthropy dominating the headlines.

 

Farage Backs An English Parliament in a federal arena.

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Posted on : 09-02-2012 | By : EnglandExists | In : England, English Campaign, English Politics, Free England Alliance

I urge all English Nationalists who want an EP to join Ukip as they have more chance than any other party in England of realising our dreams of self determination for the people of England.
Federal Policy is a winner.