Sunday, February 25, 2007

Is Someone Out to Get UKIP?

Devil's Kitchen compares and contrasts two stories from EU Referendum and Daniel Foggo from The Times. They concern the financial activities of UKIP MEP Tom Wise. If you read the Devil's piece you'd think he was accusing Richard North of plagiarism (see his final paras), but it seems to me that North & Foggo have co-operated with each other in researching the story.

Whatever the truth of it is, the whole saga hardly paints UKIP in a very positive light. It's interesting that this is being raised again now, in the week in which UKIP's very existence has been threatened by the Electoral Commission. Anyone would think there is someone out there who is out to get them.

17 comments:

Londontory said...

As much as I dislike UKIP and their Conservative vote-splitting tendencies, I would be appalled if the main parties were conspiring to snuff them out.

Hardly democratic, is it?

Tony said...

It is the usual story. When wrongdoing becomes apparent more attention is focussed on the wrongdoer to see what else may have taken place. Farage condemns the conspiracy theorists in his own party then becomes one himself.

I do not think for a moment that any parties are conspiring to destroy UKIP. They do not need to when UKIP officers and politicans are doing the job perfectly well enough themselves.

Devil's Kitchen said...

1) The employing researchers on Brussels money is rubbbish. The Independence and Democracy Group (the anti-EU parties of which, incidentally, the Tories are not a member) in the EuroParl get money to carry on their activities. There accounts are very strictly audited, as you might imagine.

2) Tom Wise was cleared, when this issue came up a couple of years ago, both by UKIP's internal enquiry and by the EuroParl enquiry.

However, a further statement will be made in the next 24 hours or so.

DK

mens sana said...

What is interesting about this is that the problem which may put them out of business is a clear case of a minor administrative cock-up. I sincerely hope the electoral commission comes off its high horse and lets them off with a warning. If they were closed down because of it it would smack of antidemocratic action by the establishment.

I believe the Tom Wise story is far more damaging to them in the long run as it blows their whole raison d'etre out of the water. I sincerely hope anyone who reads the story will think twice before putting a cross in the UKIP box

javelin said...

It looks like many people in influential positions (electoral commision, charity commission, Met Police, Head of BBC News) are swinging against the Labour Party and behind the Tories.

What is interesting is that people have decided that Cameron is now electable - rather than the powers making them electable. Whilst this favoured the NL for many years - it does tell me that in a democratic society the people still hold power...

...unless you believe the conspiracy theorists and believe that Michael Howard (et.al) were never given a clear run because they had less "establishment" blood in them than Tony Blair.

javelin said...

Before anybody says the electoral commision, charity commission, Met Police, Head of BBC News have only just started investigating "wrongs" as a reaction to things that have only just happened - that is complete rubbish (apart from the Met.). NL have been taking the p*ss on most of these issues since before they came to power. The establishment is only moving now because they no longer fear the NL wrath.

Anonymous said...

Though there probably is an element of the pack thing - once the press as a collective group gets onto a particular story.... I'll bet every hack is being asked by his editor to dig up any past, spiked stories on UKIP funding.

Has anyone written a serious study of the pack mentality of the press?

garypowell said...

At the risk of sounding certifiably paranoid.

Of course there is someone trying to destroy The UKIP.

That's the grubby business you are in.

It may have escaped you that the BBC has been trying to destroy the Conservative Party for the last 20 odd years.

Socialists want to destroy all opposition ASAP.

This is no rules rugby you are involved with, not a game of Old Boy cricket. Dont be fooled so much by the sweet smiles and the "I agree with you but" stuff.

They would all stab you in the back as soon as they had a reason to do so. Sometimes they won't even have a reason.

Maybe your school playground was not the violent bully laydened dog eat dog world that my dumping ground for thick kids was.

However it does not mean that grammer and public school children are any less ambitious, ruthless, dishonest or even potentialy violent.

Trixy said...

Tony,

Your comment sounds as though you think the initial stories in the Sunday Telegraph were true.

You do know that £118,000 didn't go missing, don't you?

As for the Brussels funding researchers malarky - not quite sure why UKIP employing people to posts allocated to the group in the European parliament is such a big deal. I mean, that's what the posts are there for and all the other groups do it.

Anonymous said...

Yes....The Establishment

Anonymous said...

None of the big parties (given past history)can afford to chuck any stones in UKIP's direction.
That they will be a major force in terms of the outcome of the next GE is not in doubt.
The big boys should be careful-the British like the underdog and a fair deal.
Caution must be the watchword for stevie and his mates.

UKIP@HOME said...

Back in 2005 the United Kingdom Independence Party received £170,000 of EU tax payers money from a European Union fund meant for political parties to provide impartial information on the European Union.

In a blatant misuse of public money they squandered it for their own political ends and launched a 'Let the people decide' campaign to raise 2 million signatures on a referendum petetion for Britain's withdrawal from the EU.

Apart from a couple of newspaper adverts and a website the campaign has been quietly dropped. UKIP members even complained that the petition forms were so badly designed that it was impossible to write your name and address on them.

This was a blatant waste of EU funds and should be investigated by OLAF.

Anonymous said...

Employing researchers?

The allegation is that Wise stole money allotted to a researcher and spent it to pay off his own credit cards.

jim hamilton said...

UKIP@home has as usual got his facts wrong. The money was legally given to the Independence and Democracy Group to promote their viewpoint. The Group had argued that it was unfair that all the other groups in the Parliament were getting money to promote their views. The money was then used to sponsor a leafletting campaign by the Group ,no connection to UKIP was made on the leaflet or other advertising since it was not UKIP's money.

UKIP@HOME said...

Delusional Jim Hamilton said: "no connection to UKIP was made on the leaflet or other advertising since it was not UKIP's money."

Please go and visit this website - I wonder what party is advertised? Could it be UKIP?

http://www.letthepeopledecide.co.uk/home.htm

Times story from 2005:

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/uk/article564831.ece

The UKIP, which has accused the EU of spending public funds to promote European integration,will use the money to begin a campaign for a referendum on withdrawal.

It will start on Monday with a series of advertisements in national newspapers, including The Times, and a website. It is thought to be the first time that EU money has been used to push for withdrawal from the union.

The UKIP, which has ten MEPs, received the money from a fund for providing “information” to the public, which is given to all political groups.

Stephen Hughes, a Labour MEP, said: “This is a disgraceful abuse of parliamentary funds. It’s wrong that money meant for promoting the work of the institution is being used to undermine it — they are using the money to undermine everything we work for. We should have a review of the rules.”

Gary Titley, the Labour leader in the European Parliament, told the European Voice newspaper: “This fund was originally intended for the dissemination of information, rather than for political campaigning. I would seriously question whether this is an appropriate use of Parliamentary money.”

The UKIP accused its Labour counterparts of hypocrisy.

Nigel Farage, the parliamentary leader of UKIP, said: “It is a perfectly valid use of the money — we are delighted with the irony of the situation. I did not hear complaints from Mr Titley when his own group spent their information budget interfering in the referendums in Ireland, Denmark, France, Holland and Malta. All we are doing is a little to redress the balance.”

There were cries of foul recently when the European Parliament voted to spend its entire information budget promoting the European constitution, and nothing to promote arguments against it.

The European Commission, the EU executive, also spends millions of pounds a year promoting European integration through support for several federalist think-tanks, information campaigns in schools and universities, seminars and conferences, and a vast network of university professorships.

The UKIP decided to campaign for a referendum after the government dropped plans for a poll on the European constitution after the French and Dutch no votes. The Government has also dropped plans for a referendum on British membership of the euro. Eurosceptics believe they can overwhelmingly win any referendum on European issues.

Polling for the UKIP suggests that a majority in Britain would like a vote on membership of the EU. The campaign is named “Let the People Decide”, the same used by the billionaire Sir James Goldsmith, founder of the Referendum Party, to campaign for a vote on the euro.

Mr Farage, who hopes to collect two million signatures on a petition, said: “We’re looking to raise the whole question of why, for over 30 years, we have never had a say on the EU.”

John B said...

The notion that the electoral commission is pursuing a Tory agenda is laughable and I can't see what Labour has to gain from this. Do I suspect the Commission is flexing its muscles against an easy target. Alternatively they have heard so much from defecting UKIP officials that they feel they are on to something, but are not quite sure what.

Anonymous said...

yes, but are you suggesting there may be a link with the 'Blair' EU referendum story, or are 'dark actors' at work ?