Outside the marginals

a commentary on the politics that followed the UK 2010 & 2015 elections

Archive for the tag “UKIP”

UKIP: Naive or something less savoury?

UKIP have been on the TV quite a bit recently specifically:

To be honest telling which one was fiction and which one was factual was difficult! Read more…

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Understanding the coalitions that are our parties

There is a fairly wide-spread view that the country has “had enough of coalitions” and does not want to see another bout of post-election coalition negotiation.

Yet most parties are themselves coalitions where the negotiation is done out of sight – usually by party elites and pay-masters. Not exactly transparent and rather lacking in accountability.

Most parties see it as a disaster if the veil is lifted and we “the voters” are allowed to see what is going on inside. Read more…

Logically Reckless over Immigration

I don’t support UKIP or its attitude to foreigners (expressed or implicit), but (logically) I can’t see how Mark Reckless “misspoke” last night.

Twice last night Mark Reckless was asked whether a Polish plumber who lives in Rochester would be able to stay in the country if Britain decided to leave the EU.

First he said the Polish plumber might be allowed to stay for a fixed period then he said UKIP would look sympathetically at the cases of people who’d been here for a long time.
BBC News Website 19 November 2014 : UKIP: Should Polish plumbers be deported? (Nick Robinson’s blog)

How is that view at variance with UKIP’s desire to leave the EU and reduce immigration “because the country is full up”? Read more…

Here we go again.

Cameron tells us that the red light on the dashboard is flashing warning that we are about to go into another global recession.

writing in the [Guardian], Mr Cameron said “red warning lights are once again flashing on the dashboard of the global economy” – six years on from the crash that “brought the world to its knees”.
BBC News Website 17 November 2014 : Global economy warning lights are flashing, says PM

So who is to blame? The voters of Rochester deserve to know before Thursday. Read more…

Being the 3rd or 4th Party

It is difficult when the country won’t divide into two warring tribes. But, on the other hand, if you look at politics in the United States of America, perhaps not.

Without just two warring tribes and the associated bi-polar politics we (the UK) need to seriously consider multi-party politics and its implications. The fact that we have not really done so is part of the reason for the politics of the last five years generating so much heat and venom yet so little light and progress.

For the first and second parties in a multi-party system, the basic strategy is fairly easy and unchanged. You “campaign to win”.

If successful you either:

  • with a following wind from the electoral system create a majority government (happy days), or,
  • you form a minority government or a coalition – either of which is difficult – but is probably better than losing.

If you lose, you are spared the responsibility of governing and you are free to be chief critic – as long as you do not lose so badly that you cease to be the second party.

If you are not the first or second party, the situation is more difficult. Read more…

UKIP like outsiders

Andy Parsons expressed surprise (BBC2 Mock the Week, 1 October 2014) about Mark Reckless defecting to UKIP because:

They don’t like outsiders coming in and taking their jobs

I am sure that Douglas Carswell’s predecessor as UKIP candidate for Clacton must agree with that sentiment.

Read more…

What Carswell tell us about politics

Tory Douglas Carswell has defected to UKIP and quit as MP for Clacton, saying he will contest the subsequent by-election for Nigel Farage’s party.
BBC News Website 28 August 2014 : Tory MP Douglas Carswell defects to UKIP and forces by-election

This raises some interesting questions about Mr Carswell, UKIP and politics in general. Read more…

Values Outfoxed by practicalities

In choosing a week to bury excruciating news, the Liberal Democrats have excelled at an ugly art. Westminster slumbers in recess, voters are on holiday or reeling from the latest horrors of Isis – and Nick Clegg tersely announces Lord Rennard has been reinstated as a party member, all disciplinary action miraculously evaporated.
The Guardian 21 August 2014 : Lord Rennard’s return to the Lib Dem fold caps a sorry saga of mistakes

It’s a typical bind that a party like the Lib Dems would get caught up in. In holding them up for criticism and ridicule, a part of me feels sorry for the injured little critters.

Read more…

What to do when the system fails you?

John Curtice writing today (16 July 2014) on Democratic Audit says:

Labour needs to watch the Greens because the Greens are potential alternative form of protest for Lib Democrat voters as are to some degree UKIP.
Democratic Audit 16 July 2014 : Five minutes with John Curtice: “The problem facing the Conservatives is that so far this is a voteless recovery”

I think all parties need to watch both the Greens and UKIP but not just as parties of protest but as serious potential challengers. First Past The Post (FPTP) electoral systems like ours tends to concentrate power into the hands of the least unpopular parties – usually giving the least unpopular an absolute majority on a minority vote. So the big two / three may think that the next election is a private battle between the three of them (at least in England). They could be wrong. Read more…

Economic Pessimism helps UKIP

John Curtice writing today (16 July 2014) on Democratic Audit says:

The fascinating thing about UKIP supporters is that some of its obvious position,; such as its anti-European, anti-immigration stance, are issues on which it is frankly impossible for the Conservatives to match the UKIP offer. But the other characteristic of UKIP supporters which is really important in my view is that they are economic pessimists. Actually in many opinion polls these days you will find that UKIP supporters are more pessimistic about what’s going to happen to the economy in general or their own personal finances in particular over the course of the next 12 months.
Democratic Audit 16 July 2014 : Five minutes with John Curtice: “The problem facing the Conservatives is that so far this is a voteless recovery”

Which is confirmed and boosted by the UKIP refrain that we no longer govern ourselves but are ruled by faceless bureaucrats in Brussels. In trying to counter UKIP, the Conservatives have not contradicted this refrain – thereby seeming to confirm it. Read more…

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