Tuesday, November 14, 2006

UKIP Will Stand Against Better Off Out Tories

This evening I interviewed UKIP leader Nigel Farage for an hour on 18DoughtyStreet. To be honest I was rather more impressed him than I expected to be. He was quite open about the problems his party faces and the challenges it must meet. I'm still not convinced he has the answers, but he is certainly determined to make it more professional. I was astonished to learn it has a mere 16,000 members (down from a high of 27,000). UKIP's strategy seems to be based around attracting disaffected right wing Conservatives and...er, that's it. With Europe not high on the political agenda at the moment there's little else they can do.

Nigel made the astonishing claim that he expects UKIP to be the biggest party after the 2008 European Elections. He says they have doubled their vote in the last two elections and if they repeated that in 2008 they'd be on 32%. Yes, and my name's Shirley Temple. I took him to task for accepting £170,000 of taxpayers' money to pay for UKIP propaganda. He couldn't see anything wrong in doing this, saying that all the other parties did too. He didn't seem to understand that UKIP's USP is that they're not like the three main parties and not accepting this handout would help differentiate them.

But the top line from the interview was that contrary to popular belief UKIP will put candidates up against Tory candidates whatever their views on Europe. I had thought he had said they wouldn't do that to candidates who had signed up to the cross-party Better Off Out campaign. Nigel said that only applied to sitting MPs as candidates would say anything to get elected and then rat on their promises. Well, at least we now know.

If you want to watch the interview click HERE and it's about a quarter of the way through and lasts an hour.

46 comments:

Vedrity said...

What can I do to watch it? I clicked on Windows Media player and waited while it buffered, yawn, yawn, yawn, and when it said Ready, I clicked the Play button and it went back to buffering. I really want to watch this.

I'm so sick of all these Real Players and Windows Media Players - just, someone, please tell me how to access Doughty St.

I want to see the programme.

Seb the Dog said...

You had him bang to rights regarding the £170,000 - Farage became quite flustered - this is a link to an article in The Times last year:-

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,2-1773291,00.html

UKIP said they would be collecting 2 million signatures but the campaign fizzled out and was quitely dropped by UKIP - hoping nobody would make a fuss. A waste of £170,000.

It is interesting you mentioned the Ashford Call centre - this should have been disbanded after the 2004 euro elections once it served its purpose - instead it has become a drain sucking up 85% of every £1 donated in 'expenses' by unsuspecting members of the public. Farage failed to answer the question about the Ashford call centre.

Anonymous said...

Well Shirley, if that happens I am the queen of Sheba.

I think UKIP is likely to beocme a busted flush. We will however see what happens.

Anonymous said...

"my name's Shirley Temple."

Are there no secrets left in politicsland any more?

Anonymous said...

The first u-turn of UKIP leader Nigel Farage - they won't stand against Better Off Out (BOO) supporters and now they will!

I believe the statement he would not stand against those candidates who had signed up to the BOO was nothing more than mealy mouthed platitudes uttered during the recent leadership elections to gain the support and votes of ex-tory UKIP members.

He says one thing to cling to the greasy pole of power but then shafts those members that backed him.

UKIP are just like any other bunch of politicians!

Neil Reddin said...

"Nigel said that only applied to sitting MPs as candidates would say anything to get elected and then rat on their promises."

Don't judge others as you would judge yourself, Nigel.

BTW, just what good have UKIP done in the Euro Parliament since they were elected there, having promised to fight the good fight against the rising tide of federalism?

michael mcgough said...

Aren't the euro elections in 2009 not 2008?

Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed your interview Iain- its the first one I've watched- but you let him talk so much different from the Humphreys and Paxmans who would have leapt in to criticise every couple of minutes.

He sounds like someone who can get them organised but like you I thought his predictions were outlandish especailly as the Tories recover he and his party are going to be natural casualties.

Anonymous said...

UKIP should be easy to campaign against, particularly where the PPC is anti-European, lives in a county that still has the 11+ education system, supports limited immigration and tighter border controls and believes that our pensioners deserve a better deal. I look forward to fighting them in Kent.

Chad said...

Come on Iain, how many prospective Tory MEP's gave 'eurosceptic' speeches during their selection process only to go native once selected?

BOO is a cross-party eurorealist campaign, and will not be hijacked by those Tories who jump on the bandwagon at the last moment in the hope of winning a seat.

Such a free run should only be offered (and imho only for the next election) to those who risk their careers by standing up for EU withdrawal, and this means elected officials.

Simon Richards said...

Iain, I appreciate that, having proclaimed, that nobody should discuss the EU, you are a little out of touch with EU-related matters, but your spin on this non-story really takes the biscuit. There is absolutely no change in Nigel Farage's stated policy. There never was any question of UKIP standing down against BETTER OFF OUT Conservative candidates at the General Election - other than sitting BETTER OFF OUT Conservative MPs. Nigel and UKIP have been entirely consistent on this. The headline you have used for this "story" is unworthy of you.

bt said...

"...candidates will say anything to get elected then rat on their promises."

Obviously too honest to be a real politico.
As for the money - why cut your own throat when the other parties have their snouts deep in the trough and seem determined to make effective electioning so expensive that smaller parties and independents won't be able to compete?

Those two EU speeches of his that were circulating on the web a few months back... refreshing.
Sort of a Mrs T. with a sense of humour.
Should be worth a few votes, I'd think.

Anonymous said...

I expect Labour to keep them afloat.In a close race one way of stealing votes is as good as another.I'm not going to watch the idiot but your statement that they'd field candidates even against anti-euro Conservatives shows the real calibre(!) of this wake.(Plus) Why hasn't Osborne's statement that 'we'll never join the Euro' given in his conference speech wasn't more widely reported?

david kendrick said...

UKIP---a great USP, but unfortunately, the party is a shambles. I'm a member, and will continue to be a member, because I think they are right on the one great issue dividing the country.

UKIP should stand in no more than 10 constituencies thoughout the UK, and really work hard to see if 1 MP is achieveable.

UKIP shouldn't 'knock' any of the other parties; they all contain euro-sceptics. We should make them feel that it is sensible to 'lend' us their votes from time-to-time.

Anonymous said...

"Aren't the euro elections in 2009 not 2008?"

yes

Anonymous said...

A vote for UKIP is a vote for Labour - and here's UKIP telling you so!

Chad, your UKIP blog already called for UKIP to get Labour and LibDems elected.

The goal of UKIP is to get Euro-loving politicians into Parliament.

Anybody doubts this, here's Chad's UKIP blog which Farage supports on UKIP's support for Federalist parties

"We should be working now, in every possible seat where our votes could result in a defeat for a Conservative candidate.

This will help Labour and the LibDems this one time....If we do this, then for one more Labour term...chance of a Tory split"

http://www.ukiphome.com/comments.asp?sid=735

So - once voters in marginal seats are made aware that UKIP knows it is working for a Labour victory, I think the bleeding of its support will accelerate. No Tory waverer will work for a Labour victory through UKIP when they could have a strong Tory Eurosceptic actually in Parliament.

And no comment on the 170 grand or the Ashford call center money, Chad?

Chad said...

Sounds good to me anonymoose. That applies to all non-Boo's.

I look forward to helping split the non-Boo Tory vote.

Of course, if all Tory MP's joined BOO, then such a situation would not occur would it?

Cllr Keith Standring said...

A major benefit of BETTER OFF OUT is that it brings clarity to the debate, which is sadly more than I can say about Iain's version of UKIP's position. By asking people to sign up to the principle and the case that Britain would indeed be more prosperous and more free outside the European Union, we give them the opportunity to make their views clear on a cross-party initiative. That David Cameron has decided to ban those who do so from his front bench is misguided of him, but we should not let that blur the debate itself - that is what our opponents would like us to do. In pledging not to oppose BETTER OFF OUT-committed MPs, UKIP has been very constructive and the whole anti-EU campaign has taken a big step forward. The unambiguous clarity BETTER OFF OUT has brought allowed that to happen. Before the ten MPs committed their support to BETTER OFF OUT, there was no way for anyone to be clear about sitting MPs' views of the EU.

Whilst I am a member of the Conservative Party, I can see entirely why UKIP are not willing to extend their offer to MPs who profess to be "eurosceptic" but are not willing to commit to BETTER OFF OUT. As Nigel Farage has said, "The BETTER OFF OUT campaign has redefined euroscepticism in Britain. Anybody not signed up to BETTER OFF OUT should not call themselves eurosceptics". As UKIP's aim is to get Britain out of the EU, it is hard to see how they could justify dropping opposition to MPs who simply want to renegotiate and stay inside. What is the difference between saying that and William Hague's impractical "In Europe not run by Europe"?

BETTER OFF OUT of course understands that there are MPs who sympathise but don't feel comfortable in committing yet, and our job is to reassure them and coax them into a full commitment, not to accept them half on board; to do that would be to blur the lines whose clarity has been so crucial to our success thus far. We also appreciate that there are frontbenchers who agree but are kept from public agreement by Cameron's ban. The best thing to do is to marshall support in their party and in their constituencies sufficiently that they do feel able to join us. Dilute the campaign and we will not gain more supporters, nor will we make any headway against the EU. Rather we will lose our current purpose, lose our publicly committed supporters and also lose any attraction. We are not in this for a quick partial fix, we are in it to succeed through a principled, pragmatic and open-minded approach. The success we have had to date is a testament to that, and is a sign that we should not turn aside now. BETTER OFF OUT is clearly an objective whose time has come.

Anonymous said...

Nigel is right. Candidates do have a tendency to say things to get support, and then rat on their promises - such as one David Cameron, with his short-lived EPP promise in the Leadership.... Only sitting candidates have a track record which can be checked and confirmed.

Anonymous said...

Well said Janice.

People living in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. And it ain't clever to let emperors wander aropund without their clothes on.

Dr.Doom said...

One of UKIP's key election strategic points is that the EU is corrupt.

The books don't balance and remain un audited.

This is now proven to be false and is an unfair judgement upon many agancies that deliver first class services.

Doom.

Mark said...

Doom, I truly hope that was a joke. The accounts have received negative reports for 12 years running- if the EU was a public company it would have been shut down and its Directors investigated.

To put it another way, the EU's accounts are so full of holes that if it was a nation applying to join the EU it would not be allowed in. Now there's hypocrisy for you!

Anonymous said...

Dear Shirley..........

Somchai said...

I with Verity at 1.19AM. I want watch 'it' - not load of buffering and stills as it try catch up - doesn't. You the first in line, Iain, and good you for it. Don't get overtaken (smothered?) by someone who can raise tech-game. Get more tech-brains in to resolve problem and bet you treble audience. Mind you, might be go bit international but you will just to suffering that breadth of faming & interest.

Also, when I get to see Croydonian interview properly? No, I not Croydonian - I, however, bit disappointed. Is that my good English?

Trixy said...

Nigel Farage has only ever stated that he does not want UKIP candidates to stand against SITTING MPs who have signed Better Off Out. Applying the question to PPCs is an invention of Mr Dale's mind.

There has been no policy U-Turn.

wrinkled weasel said...

Shirley he cannot be serious?

machiavelli said...

"Better off out Tories"? Why should it make any difference whether they're rich and openly gay?

Phloob said...

Gracchi 9.18am

Respec' man but - yes but no. Humphries/Paxman? Minutes? No. Milliseconds.

Wasn't Humphreys the one who interrupted Ken Clarke 33 times in eight minutes but failed to interrupt Gerry Adams once in eight minutes, even to the extent of stifling himself twice into high pitched squeaks as Adams produced a couple of his even-more-dishonest-than-usual utterances?

Never mind - they are all on the skids now and Adams et al are 'increasing their security' again, even as we blog.

Humphreys? Paxman? Beebsqirts.

Anonymous said...

I am right behind this 'Better-off out!' campaign, but tell me, has anyone at all yet found the desert island where we can dump all these rich people?

Neil Craig said...

I think you are wrong to complain about UKIP accepting the money - they did not write the rules & you are asking them to accept a poorer position than those who did & do take the money.

I also think you are wrong to suggest they have some sort of duty to the Tory party not to harm them through the vagaries of the FTPT electoral system. The Tories did write the electoral rules & cannot complain when they hurt them.

Monsignor said...

The money of the devil is as good as that of a saint. If the church & The Church can use this argument time out of mind, so can sinners.

UKIP Mmeber said...

Perhaps some fellow UKIP members would like to clarify this.

I recall attending a hustings meeting during the recent UKIP leadership elections.

I thought I recalled that Nigel Farage said we would not stand against BETTER OFF OUT candidates.

I am sure I then heard Mike Natrass MEP say that what Nigel was saying is that when we have enough candidates to stand in all 646 seats we will, but until then there is no point standing against signed up BOO candidates as we weaken our cause. So in other words, we should focus our few candidates on seats where the MPs have not signed BOO.

Talking to other members the impression Nigel gave was that UKIP would not stand against anyone MP or prospective parliamentary candidate who had signed up to BOO.

I wonder - thinking about it - if Nigel got other people to do the dirty work and we assumed the comments have been attributed to Nigel?

If any other member attended any of the husting could they say what they recalled Nigel saying.

Iain Dale said...

Simon Richards at 9.57, bit touchy aren't we? As I said in the story my understanding (and that of several UKIP supporters it seems) was that UKIP would not stand against anyone who had signed up to BOO. I am glad it is cleared up. And as for your final comment, I can't see what is wrong with the headline as it is correct, as Nigel confirmed. There are only 9 MPs to which it will not apply to. It will apply to the other 650 odd candidates.

Feel free to come onto 18DS and explain why you seem to agree that UKIP is right to help Europhile LibDem and Labour MPs be re-elected.

I think it's called cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Jens Winton said...

I think Nigel gave a good show, and thanks are in order to 18 Doughty Street as well as Iain Dale for having him on. Nigel hasn't passed his first 100 days as leader yet but has had an impact on this country's political agenda that is out of proportion to our size. It's way too early to be calling us a busted flush, call us that only if we wind up the party. The challenge people like me have to is to take the broad UKIP message and make it relevant to people on the ground from different walks of life: Its the unconverted we need to bring on board, and I suggest they are not as politically engaged as many of the posters here...

Devil's Kitchen said...

ukip mmeber,

I suspect that it will come down to buget as much as anything, to be honest. If there is enough money to field candidates in all seats, then all well and good. If not, the fact that the candidates are BOO members will be a good excuse not to do so.

Whilst I thought that it was a fair interview, I have addressed the inconsistencies in Iain's write-up over at The Kitchen (usual impassioned but strong language warning).

On the matter of the £170k, is Iain also suggesting that the UKIPers should also not accept their MEP salaries either? That's taxpayers' money too. And, personally, as a taxpayer, I would rather that my money go to anti-EU propaganda than pro-EU lies as would, I am sure, others who voted for the UKIP MEPs.

As for the candidates -- well, as I pointed out at my place -- Iain is a free-trader and thus presumably thinks that the EU is a bad thing (feel free to correct me if I am worng, Iain, and I shall publish an apology) and yet he is willing to stand as a candidate for a Party whose Chairman explicitly stated that Tory policy was to remain in the EU.

Once a fervent EUsceptic, sitting MP William Hague has now changed his spots in order to gain a Shadow Ministry position under a Tory leader who declared that there was no place on his front bench for Eurosceptics.

I think that the phrase we are looking for here -- in terms of Nigel's assertion that, essentially, one can trust the word of neither politicians nor potential ones -- is quod erat demonstrandum...

DK

Charred Knobble said...

What's that? UKIP accepting £170,000 of state funding? Will the Robert Kilroy-Silk of the blogosphere be flouncing out of UKIP in a huff now?

Ho ho ho!

newmania said...

I can see the logic of attacking the Conservative Party in a negative and irresponsible way . I am not there yet myself but I feel a growing frustration with the direction the Conservative Party is going and I wouldn’t even say I was right wing in Conservative Terms.
You Iain , were very aggressive with JT the other day when you used the phrase “pissing in the wind “ for the chances of UKIP enacting a Euro sceptic agenda .
As you well know it isn`t just about Europe
It is about tax
It is about immigration
It is about the lower middle and working classes and their betrayal
It is about rolling back the state
It is about beginning to undo the devastated supply side of the economy
It is about restoring to the English their democratic rights
Regional Authorities out ( well ok I think they are on that one)
It is about restoring some currency to the dialogue between the country and its rulers
Phasing out Council Housing
It is about freedom
Most of all tax tax tax

Some of this Cameron is gesturing towards but he is also gesturing in the other direction so we aren’t to know . The Conservative party have to understand that if they go to far those that they shun betray and ignore will not creep off to the land of nod . They will actively campaign against the Conservative party of the reasonable grounds that the Conservative Party is now indistinguishable from the Liberal Party.
( Who I detest ). I believe that I could personally considerably damage the Conservatives in a small way and am certainly prepared to do so .

You cannot go on about loyalty if you are consorting with traitors . I don`t think we are there yet but all Conservatives must be prepared to make their threats good if needs be .

(Better off out? Perhaps this is the way to go ) or is it just a way or dissipating opposition which is not JUST about Europe

The jabberwock said...

Alternatively, their targeting of eurosceptic Conservatives lends credence to the accusation that UKIP has been been infiltrated by Britain's intelligence agencies in order to split the eurosceptic vote and ensure that the Conservative Party is kept out of office until full European integration had been achieved and the EU's takeover of Britain is total and irreversible. Whether by accident or design, it seems to be working pretty well from what I can see.

As a Christian I cannot stand Monty Python's 'Life of Brian', but the self-defeating behaviour of eurosceptic groups in this country remind me of their all-too-accurate portrayal of the pathetic rivalry between the Judean People's Front (=PLO) and the People's Front of Judea (=PFLP).

We waste so much time and emotional energy fighting each other that we let the real enemy get on with the job of dismantling what is left of this country unhindered. The words booze-up, organize and brewery come to mind.

It makes me want to throw my lot in with the BNP.

Simon Richards said...

Apologies if I appeared touchy, Iain - perhaps still recovering from the Federation of Conservative Students' bash the night before. Anyway, I'm glad you're now clear about Nigel Farage's position on not opposing BETTER OFF OUT Conservative MPs. You are of course, free to use any headline you wish, but I'd suggest that "UKIP confirms it will only stand down against Tory MPs - not candidates" would have been more accurate, even though this really isn't a news story. As I'm not a member of the UK Independence Party, I can't comment on their election strategy, but I do know that the BETTER OFF OUT Tory MPs appreciate their decision not to oppose them. Naturally, if other anti-EU Tory MPs sign up for BETTER OFF OUT, they too may benefit from Nigel Farage's policy on this.

Devil's Kitchen said...

Jabberwock,

The Tories are not Eurosceptic thus a vote for them is not a vote against the EU. There's no split vote here.

As Iain said last night, the Tories are the "most Eurosceptic of the three main parties" but that's like saying that having your head chopped off with an axe is not as bad as having your head chopped off with a sword. Tory policy is to remain in the EU; given that it is the Commission that initiates law, that gives them precisely as much power to wield as Labour have (and NuLabour's attitude is precisely the same as the Tories').

A vote for the Tories is a vote for the EU. It's as simple as that.

DK

Greg L-W. said...

Hi,

I note the foul mouthed Fuller has waded in - little wonder she is better known for her Tory pussy but it was sweet to see her trying to defend Farage's UTurn on BOO.

Then again it was Nigel who said politicians will say anything to get elected - as did he. Nigel and Vapid Cameron both excercised this political perogative and lied to get elected, but after all they are both the least attractive aspects of Tory Boy yob.


At least, unlike Nigel, Vapid Cameron did not collude in smear campaigns and rigging the leadership election just the one outright lie to pretend to EUroSceptic credentials - unlike the complete corruption of almost every democratic principle Farage indulged in to steal the leadership.

It must be conceded that as a performing monkey he is excellent but as with most performing monkeys they can not be trusted. 100s of 1,000s of Pounds unaccounted at Ashford.
85% of Ashfords income raised in UKIP's name never reaching UKIP.
55% of the income of Farage's region some £211,000 just spiritted away under the dubious and implausible nomenclature of 'Other Expenses'!!
Credit Card Payments laundered through a private account!
Cover-ups of fraud and lies by MEPs colluded in.

Farage just lacks the integrity and is without leadership ability as shown by the callibre of those around him - he is however a good performing monkey and the UKIP Organ has the right tunes and many honest patriotic supporters even many Tories who will LEND their votes for EU Elections but they are rudderless and going nowhere without an Organ Grinder.

Sadly the higher up the tree this particular monkey climbs the more one sees his arse!

UKIP is our Country's lifeboat and in many ways the conscience of the corrupted Tories but with the band of FreeBooters they have at the helm it will not be long before they founder on the rocks and are driven to the bottom by the media!

Sadly.

Regards,
Greg L-W.

Anonymous said...

The Tories are still trying to have it both ways.
I would hazard that at least half this country's problems are down to the EU and by extension those who either ardently support it or acquiesce in its insidious effects. More generally I have absolutely no faith in David Cameron and his acolytes.

I am sure many Tory supporters and even Tory MPs feel the same way about the EU and perhaps also regret the Cameroon leadership. That however is insufficent reason to vote Conservative and inadequate reason not to vote UKIP.

Anonymous said...

You need to put some quotes around 'Better Off Out'. At first glance, I thought that UKIP were only going to stand against rich, openly-homosexualist Tories.
:)

Anonymous said...

Another odd thing was how people donating to the recent Bromley by election found their donations ending up being paid onto a UKIP MEPs credit card!

Anonymous said...

I too was impressed by Nigel Farage. He certainly comes over better than Kilroy. He answered my two questions I had emailed and posted on the 18doughtystreet.com blog. However, I was disappointed to hear that Iain had previously given Nigel Farage a sneak preview of one of the questions and asked him if he minded answering it. I admit I was trolling with the question, nevertheless it is the thin edge of the wedge of censorship to ask whether a question could be asked first. As for Iain being a Paxman or Humphrey, different class, different style. I suspect that Iain deliberately gives the interviewee enough rope so that they can hang themselves. This is not a criticism, rather it is an observation of his style of interviewing. Unlike Johnathan Woss, who invites guests on just to hear himself talk.

C Blimp said...

I am more in favour with the UKIP policies than the so-called Tory ones. At the last General Election I voted Tory, but regret it, as it was a safe Tory seat and the UKIP candidate came across as far more genuine and in-tune with my views. I feel bad for this as this chap was clearly putting in a great deal of effort and believed in what he was saying, and far preferable to a certain "silver tongued" Tory MP who I ended up voting for. I wish Nigel the best of luck with his plans for UKIP. I honestly don't see the big fuss about "a for vote UKIP is like voting Labour", at the moment a vote for Cameron's Conservatives is as bad as a vote for Labour anyway, they've caved in on immigration, surrendered to the gay rights lobby, gone quiet on the EU issues, and bought into so many Labour policies they are barely any different.