Friday, October 17, 2014

The duty for Americans

I was dining out with friends, last night and one asked me 'what will you blog about, this week?'  My response was that I wasn't too sure because there is a lot going on in the world, right now - stalling or flat-lining economies, ISIS running rampant, allied to this NATO in jeopardy because of Turkey's acts of realpolitik vis a vis the Kurds, Ebola and the rise of UKIP in the UK - all strong contenders but I am opting to return to the upcoming mid term elections in America.

On November 4, the American electorate will go to the polls to elect all 435 members of the House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 members of the Senate.  There are also certain mayoral and gubernatorial races at the same time.

Back in January, I posted here  about the need for Republicans to come together and elect Republicans to office.  To say that this still stands is an understatement.  Possibly more than ever before, America, and I would suggest the world, need  an overwhelmingly Republican Congress to be elected.

Why so?  Well in the last six years America has lost its way.   Or rather America has drifted from the path that made it the 'shining city upon a hill' and has lurched heavily to the Left.  It isn't just about broken promises - though there are enough of them.  It isn't about the corrupt activities of un-elected officials - as concerning as these are, they can be turned around (incidentally, have the Democrats and their union backers ever stopped for one minute and thought 'what happens when the Republicans get back into power and turn the IRS spotlight on us?.  Come to that, have the Democrats and their union backers ever stopped for one minute and thought?)

It is about what America has become.

America under Obama has lost its pre-eminence among nations.  Previously nations would rattle the American cage but would know that the wrath of a great nation would be visited upon them.  Now?

Consider.  Hillary Clinton spoke of pressing the 'reset' button on America's relationship with Vladimir Putin's Russia.  Given what happened in Crimea and continues to occur in the rest of Ukraine, that 'reset' doesn't seem to be working out too well, for those folks!

Consider.  President Obama spoke of approaching Iran with the open hand of friendship rather than the closed fist of aggression.  Does anyone believe that the situation with Iran is anything other than that they are 6 years closer towards the gaining of a nuclear weapons capability?

Consider.  President Obama also talked of a relationship re-alignment - his so called 'pivot to Asia'.   The thrust was to re-position America's foreign policy to be more centred on Asia and less on Europe.  We can see how that has panned-out in Ukraine but look to Asia also.  China is flexing its military muscles and bullying its neighbors  over island territories in the South China Sea  and the US does nothing about it.

Consider.  Obama withdrew troops from Iraq on an accelerated scale and against the advice of military commanders on the ground.  The result is the horrors being visited upon the people of Syria and Iraq by ISIS.

Consider.  Obama and Kerry (and Clinton before Kerry) support the terrorist Hamas organisation over the democratically elected (the only real democracy in the Middle East) government of Israel. Support Hamas who believe it is acceptable to rain down rockets on civilians and then to complain to the liberal world when Israel defends itself.

Consider also (last one, I promise) that Obama and his cohorts conspired to open the southern border of the USA and allow in hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants.  Don't concern yourself with how many of those are terrorists or hardened criminals but just think about this.  How can America call itself a country when it can't even protect its borders?  Mind you, what kind of a 'country' is it that allows its veterans to be treated so shabbily?

I could go on and on.  The simple truth is that America no longer counts for much, in the eyes of much of the world.  Its military is being reduced in numbers and global presence and dissident voices at the top, removed.  Its economy is a basket case with a wildly over-spending government, reliant on the Chinese continuing to buy its debauched currency and Treasury bills.  Its healthcare system in ruins because of  socialist dogma and its welfare system groaning under the weight of so many claimants (it is said that something like 50 million Americans are now receiving food stamps - 50 Million!!)

Today, a decorated US Marine languishes in a Mexican jail.  He took a wrong turn on a border road and found himself in Mexico.  He told this to the Mexican authorities who promptly arrested and incarcerated him.  That was more than 6 months ago.  Close your eyes and think back to the Bush years or the Reagan ones, heavens, maybe even to the Carter days.  Do you seriously believe that any one of those former Presidents would have left Sergeant Andrew Tahmooresi to rot in a Mexican jail for so long, on the basis of a navigation error?  OK, open your eyes.  Truth is that you are in Obamalala land and that country no longer has the 'stroke' to threaten or cajole Mexico.

Is it because the Obama administration allows deserters like Bowe Bergdahl to be swapped for 5 senior Taliban terrorist leaders?  Is it because the same administration allows the traitorous Bradley Manning to undergo a sex-change operation, while serving time for his/her crimes?   Draw your own conclusions.  You can bet though that nations of the world, including the (maybe soon to be former?) allies of the USA know which way the wind is currently blowing.  As do the terrorists.

So back to the main item, today.  The mid terms.

What is needed in November is the election of significant numbers of Republicans by a very large number of voters.  Getting lots of Republicans elected is not enough in itself.  These Republicans need to be elected by very significant numbers of voters.  This is so that a very clear message is sent to Obama that the game has changed.  That 'we the people' as Americans like to say, have had enough.  Also to send a message to the outgoing Democrats - don't you dare try to pass an Amnesty Bill during the time remaining until the new Congress starts in January 2015.  Same for you, Mr President, don't you dare try to pass Executive Orders to circumvent Congress.

Finally, a word for those Republicans  in name only - the so called RINOs.  When you get elected on a tide of anger at the antics of the Democrats and at how they have so swiftly brought a great nation to its knees, consider (sorry, had to do it again) that you now have a chance to be a true Republican and to stand-up for real Republican values.  Think of these elections as like going into the confessional and coming out on November 5th as a redeemed soul.  If you don't, then the tide of true Republicanism might just sweep you away, real soon.

Oh and yes I am a Brit and some might say I shouldn't 'interfere' in American politics.  The real America (not Obama's failing fantasy land) is far too important to the world to be allowed to go under without a fight and it is time for all patriots that believe that the American way is best, to stand-up and be counted.

Get all of the Republican vote out, on November 4th !

Friday, October 10, 2014

Ebola problem - Political Correctness

A question for you.   Are the peoples of Europe and the USA, indeed much of the world, to be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness?

I ask because it seems to me that the only reason that Liberia and Sierra Leone have not been isolated - no international flights to or from these countries -  is because it might somehow be seen to be racist.

Consider.  What happens with patients that are diagnosed with Ebola virus?  They are held in isolation and treated with appropriate caution for such a contagious disease.  If diagnosed they are not allowed to wander freely, infecting others.  Why would a country be treated differently from its people?  Let's be open and honest about this - both Liberia and Sierra Leone have a clear problem in containing this disease - their people are distrustful of government and being told to stay home, if you are sick does nothing to put bread on the table so people won't 'do as they are told'!

The idea of monitoring people on arrival at airports is  useless fatuous nonsense and will provide useful but ultimately useless photo-ops at airports, for TV networks.

Think about it.  You arrive at London Heathrow, Paris CDG, Chicago O'Hare or Dubai. Your plane lands 10 minutes after a flight from Freetown, Sierra Leone.  This plane is carrying someone who has unknowingly contracted Ebola virus.  This someone, let's be sexist and say it's a him, had a cold already and has been coughing during the flight and continues upon arrival and some of these coughs contain minor but nevertheless infected, moisture droplets and some of these are ingested by the people off of your flight, including yourself.  This someone then takes a connecting flight and so he doesn't pass through check 'systems' in your destination country.  You and your fellow passengers  do pass through these checks and are allowed in because, while infected, you are not yet showing the so called signs that the authorities can check for.

That is the scenario at so called 'hub' airports and while the risk is greater there it is the same at any port of entry.

At this point, I ask American residents to consider what has happened at their southern border.  This has been allowed to be a border in name only by the Obama administration for many months - how many of those that have been allowed to illegally enter the USA, have infectious diseases?

So, the clear answer - but that doesn't mean it will be followed - is to isolate those countries with a high incidence of Ebola.  No international flights into or out of Sierra Leone or Liberia.  The US Navy and Royal Navy, the Australian, Chinese and French Navy to impose a quarantine on the seas, to keep these countries isolated.  Of course measures would need to be taken to ensure that the necessary deliveries of food and medicines and other essentials of life, are provided to the people of these countries but that should be handled by appropriately attired military or voluntary personnel.

Such a quarantine to remain in place until these countries are 'clean' for a period of 2-3 times the incubation period of the disease, so 2 months or so.

Ebola has the potential to be a modern day Black Death or Great Plague but instead of being spread by infected rats, as these great epidemics were, this will be spread by political correctness.  A 20th century disease that doesn't take the necessary steps because to do so just might offend someone.  Well I have news for the politicians and media - I am offended that my loved ones and fellow humans will be put at risk because of political correctness.  I am offended that people will die, needlessly, because politicians lack the courage to act in the best interests of the people that elect them.

This isn't about Left or Right, Labour or Conservative, Republican or Democrat - this is potentially about survival.  This is Walking Dead for real, territory!

One final point, why on earth are we bringing infected people back to their home countries for treatment?  Why arrange flights to the US or London or Madrid and bring the risk, however small, to your home country?  In what warped mind can this risk to the majority of the citizens ever be considered acceptable?  I absolutely know and understand that these people have families and it would be awful to just 'abandon' people but that is what must be done - treat them in situ.  I know that is harsh but consider this.  How hard is it for the families of hostages to hear a spokesperson from their government say 'we don't negotiate with terrorists' knowing that this is effectively a death sentence for the hostage?

Hard times and issues require what might now seem to be harsh solutions but those that survive will bless those in power that allowed them to do so!

Monday, September 15, 2014

After the vote.

We are a couple of days away from the result of the referendum on Scottish Independence.   The opinion polls suggest a close result likely to favour the No campaign.

In recent weeks there has been talk of David Cameron, the UK Prime Minister, being called upon to resign if Scotland votes yes.  The people that make these calls offer no logical reason for why he should do that, other than he has ‘lost’ Scotland.  That is complete poppycock!  As a Unionist, and Englishman, I fully understand the limited participation of Cameron  in the debate.  When he has spoken it is with an obvious and deep-seated passion for our United Kingdom.  Let’s be clear though, the Conservatives are not well liked in Scotland.  Indeed, in some parts they are loathed.  A Scottish friend, who sits in the No camp, said that the less Cameron speaks on the referendum, the better, as his Etonian pronunciation just pushes the ‘don’t knows’ into the Yes camp.  I see his point and it is a sad reflection of the current debate that he may be right.  There’s a part of me though that thinks that as the campaign draws to a close, some people of Scotland are seeing (hearing?) past the voice and listening to the message.  This is a message of our shared history  and a strong desire to have the United Kingdom  continue to lead the world in so many fields.

I think though, that whatever the outcome, Alex Salmond, First Minister of Scotland and Nicola Sturgeon his deputy, must stand down on Friday morning.  They have led a very divisive campaign.  Oftentimes, they have either wittingly or unwittingly unleashed the thuggish element which inhabits the nationalist fringes (North and South of the border) . 

They have  given a glimpse of what life would be like in  Scottish Nationalist Scotland – Independent or not.  A State controlled media, for example.  One that pushes-out the party line according to wee Eck.  Salmond became furious with Nick Robinson, of the BBC, because Robinson has dared to question some of the more outrageous statements made by Salmond and Co.   Bad boy  Nick – go sit on the naughty step!      It was perhaps telling that Salmond’s outburst against the BBC came just after his independence campaign was solidly endorsed by North Korea’s Supreme Leader – a fully paid-up member of the ‘It’s my country to do with as I want and don’t dare question me’ club.   In Pyongyang one can’t say that the emperor has no clothes but is still possible, just, in Edinburgh. 

Salmond and Sturgeon have taken Scotland down a very divisive road and pitted neighbor against neighbor.  Does anyone believe these two have the ability to bring the country together, from Friday?  These are little people with little minds.  I’ll admit Salmond has a way with words but throughout this campaign they have not managed to craft an answer to the fundamental questions that have been posed.  Ask a question Salmond or Sturgeon don’t like  and back they come with a non-answer or an accusation that ‘you are in the pay of the distant Westminster elite’.  Ask about the Scottish NHS and the accusations that it would not be safe with a No vote and you get all the rubbish about privatization and nothing about the fact that Health is a devolved responsibility and so currently and will continue to sit with Holyrood and not London!  Oh, and by the way, the NHS was established, ever before devolution by those ‘Westminster elite types!’

So come Friday whatever the outcome,  Salmond and Sturgeon could do one last decent act for Scotland, by tendering their own resignations.   They have said nothing, in their years in power, to indicate that they have the spirit to heal the divisions that their hubris has brought about.  

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Scotland's choice

I have written extensively on the subject of Scottish independence.

For the masochists and 'anoraks'  among you read here , here, here,here on currency, and again here on currency , here on Shetlands and Oil here on Scotland and debt , also here on debt, and again, here.  There have been other posts as well which, if you are so minded you can seek out.

Why so many posts?  Something like 18 by my count.

Well, as an Englishman, of Irish parents, with a son and a grandson born in Scotland, Scotland is personally important to me.  It is an integral part of a great nation - the United Kingdom.  A country that I love.  A country that has a Scottish part, a Welsh part, and Irish part and an English part.  I will be very saddened if the people of Scotland  were to take the irrevocable step of voting for 'independence' from the rest of the UK.

Why 'independence' and not independence?  Well frankly, it is a funny kind of independence that is currently proposed.  An independence that cedes economic policy power to the rest of the UK and, given the ever creeping federalising of the European Union, other powers to Brussels.  Exactly what will Scotland be independent of?  It seems to me that what is really happening is that Alex Salmond and the Scottish Nationalists resent, maybe even hate, the English and this is why they want independence.

Anyway, on Thursday 18 September 2014, a referendum will be held and Scotland's choice will be made.  At the moment it looks like a narrow majority in favour of the  No vote will be the answer.

In some ways that bothers me most.  Non-Scottish politicians have been falling over themselves to offer to grant more powers to the devolved parliament for Scotland.  This is wrong!  Scotland has more than enough power already.  It has had minor tax raising power since devolution was granted and has chosen not to use it.

Have a care !  You politicians may offer Scotland more power but what then of the English?  In the House of Commons, today, we have MPs elected for constituencies in Scotland and in Wales that can vote on matters that solely affect England's constituencies and yet MPs representing English constituencies cannot vote on devolved issues relating to Scotland or Wales.  Mind you, neither can those Scottish and Welsh MPs!

The argument runs that the Westminster parliament is not representative of Scottish opinion because the UK has had the temerity to elect Conservative governments.  Well, bear in mind that Labour relies on the support of 55 Scottish based MPs as part of its power base and this is an overwhelming boost to Labour's electoral chances - absent these seats, Labour would struggle to be the major party in Westminster, as England typically leans toward the Conservative Party.

Since this will be my last blog post before the referendum, I also wanted to mention the tactics of the Yes campaign.  These seem to fall into the following categories.  If faced with a question that is uncomfortable and for which you have no answer, accuse the questioner of 'scare-mongering'.  When your lack of a policy, e.g. on post-independence currency, is challenged, insist that the Westminster parties - all three of the major parties - are bluffing.  When the governor of the Bank of England and numerous other economists chip in with the same questions, repeat the 'they're bluffing ' response.

Then there is the really  nasty side to the debate.  This is exemplified by Jim Sillars, the former leader of the SNP.  He has basically threatened vengeance upon all of those companies that have the temerity to stand-up and be counted and voice their opinion that  a Yes vote is the wrong vote.  There is even talk of nationalising the likes of BP.  Is it any wonder that companies like Standard Life and Royal Bank of Scotland are saying that if there a Yes vote, they will re-domicile their headquarters outside of Scotland.  Obviously the currency uncertainty will play a part but they surely also have a fiduciary duty, in the light of Sillars' comments, to protect their shareholder's interests by avoiding nationalisation.

To the Scots reading this, I say vote No on Thursday and stay in the family of nations that is the greatest on earth.

To the other nationalities that are reading this, get in touch with your Scottish friends and implore them to vote No.

To the politicians I say, stop pandering.  Scotland already has more than enough power.  devolve no more.

Remember VOTE NO!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Be afraid !

Reports from Tripoli, Libya state that eleven commercial airplanes have been stolen.  At any time, knowing of such a theft in what is effectively a failed state,  would be worrying, however, coming so close to the 9/11 anniversary, this must be considered very concerning.

Of course the principal targets would likely be Western - so mainly US, UK or French interests but Egypt and Israel can't sleep easy, knowing of this theft, either.  Neither can Baghdad, Tehran or Jeddah be off their guard.  It is not known which of the multiple terror organisations or militias have taken these planes so the targets are unknown.  Given the random nature of the mindless violence that terrorists visit upon people, maybe knowing which group stole what plane might not even make any difference! 

There remains the possibility that these planes were stolen for the reasons usually given for thievery - I saw it there and thought I could steal it and sell it to feed my drug habit, or something like that - but I just don't see this as a crime of opportunity!  11 trained pilots and probably co-pilots and navigators just happen to be passing Tripoli airport during a battle between two factions and decide ' Hey, while all this is going on, why don't we steal those planes and then fence them, later on?  Yes, of course they are fueled and ready, let's go!

This issue is very worrying on two counts. 

The act itself leaves many of us and our loved ones, vulnerable to the actions of madmen who seem to think human life of little or no value.  People who would fly a plane into a building and not be worried about the ensuing death.

Equally concerning though, is the lack of any noise or activity from the media.  I know that the American MSM try to avoid all Libya stories because, whisper it very quietly, that is kind of, like, Benghazi territory and no one can speak of that, lest it tarnish the reputation of the sainted Obama and blessed Hillary!  But hey!  There are eleven commercial passenger planes missing and there is every likelihood that these are now in the hands of terrorists.  That should really concern us all and all of the posturing that is coming and to come from the NATO summit, will mean nothing if these planes are flown against civilian targets.

We face a more than usual uncertain future until this risk is eliminated.

Saturday, August 30, 2014

Scotland's debt - a question for OAPs

In the independence referendum debate, the SNP have found themselves repeatedly on the back foot particularly regarding post-independence currency.

Nicola Sturgeon, the Deputy leader has repeatedly stated that there is no need for a Plan B, see here for a February 2014 outing on the subject.

Alex Salmond, the leader of the SNP and First Minister of Scotland has belatedly decided he has 3 Plan Bs.  He too was castigated by Alistair Darling in the first televised debate and so came up with not one, not two but three currency plans.  Say what you like about Salmond, he gives you value for money - three plans for teh price of one!  What a man!

Retain Sterling as part of a currency union (something which all three rUK parties have categorically refused to countenance), retain Sterling as some sort of Sterlingization position - where Scotland's monetary policy is then decided in Westminster and not Edinburgh and according to the needs of the rUK economy and not Scotland's or, join the Euro.

My view is that if Scotland votes for independence, then part of the price they will have to pay, to join the European Union, will be to adopt the Euro.

That aside though, John Swinney the Scottish Finance Secretary has weighed-in to the debate and added the full depth of his intellectual prowess.  He has said (and try to hear this without the necessary petulant voice which neatly captures his point) - If Scotland cannot be part of a currency union with rUK, then Scotland will take on none of the UK debt or liabilities. So there, nah, nah, nah!

Consider this though.  Most all governments operate using the debt markets to one degree or another.  Current national debt for the UK is in excess of £1.3 Trillion or 80% of GDP and climbing (this is why George Osborne gets a 'Could do much better' on his end of term report!). For the US the debt mountain is more than $17.8 Trillion for Federal debt or 105% of GDP and a further ~$5 Trillion for debt owed by the individual states.  Germany's debt is around 80% of GDP and that is probably understated when the European Central Bank commitments are properly considered.  Norway is a country much mentioned by Scottish Nationalists.  They too need to go to the debt markets.  Their debt to GDP ratio is in the acceptable 30% range but still the Norwegian government has to borrow.

So, John Swinney's first genius act as the economics guru for Scotland is to send a message to the world of finance that Scotland doesn't pay its debts!  It welshes on them!  It runs away from its obligations! 

So here is question # 1 for Scotland - who do you think will lend you money?  International banks and finance organizations have a thing about debt defaulters - they don't like them.  In fact to go further, they shun them.  Argentina defaulted on its debts and this had two consequences - a great depression which lead to riots and social unrest and hardship and, it could no longer borrow money.  Oh and yes, Argentina has oil as well!

And here is question # 2 - this time for Scotland's pensioners and would be pensioners.  You have paid in to a system, all of your working life but that system was predicated on you getting a pension at a set time in the future.  If an independent Scotland repudiates its debts, who will pay the pensions of Scotland's OAPs?  Certainly not the rUK.  

Think about it, the 'divorce' has become messy and one partner has decided, in a moment of pig-headedness, that they are not paying anything for the mortgage on the house or maintenance for the children - they're offsky!  A little way down the road, this partner realises that they actually need to get a new mortgage and they need a share of the house sale proceeds, to pay their new debts and a house deposit.  They find that they can't get a new mortgage because they have a default against their name and numerous county court debt judgements against themselves, relating to the jointly held debts that they walked away from and even their lawyer tells them they have no chance of getting any help from the former partner, because they can cite abandonment and abdication of fiscal responsibility and so the individual is, if you will excuse the expression, buggered! 

That is the position in which Scotland will find itself, post-independence if they adopt Swinney's policy.

Of course, that all pre-supposes that after a Yes vote, the rUK will allow Scotland to just walk away from its share of debt.  Why should they?  Why should Scotland which has enjoyed and continues to enjoy the fruits of the debt - schools, hospitals, roads, etc., - be allowed to wipe the slate clean.  Need I remind Salmond, Swinney, Sturgeon and the voters of Scotland, that this is a referendum on independence.  All legislation to enact the consequences of a Yes vote must be passed by Westminster.  Can you really see English and Welsh and Northern Irish MPs voting to allow Scotland to walk away 'Scot free' (no pun intended) from its obligations?  Can you?  Why would they agree to burden their rUK constituents with debt for Aberdeen Royal Infirmary or Mrs MacGregor's pension? 

Come to think of it, I don't know why I am so bothered about Swinney's comments unless its just this arrogance that thinks all of the power in this debate, lies in Holyrood.

I hope Scotland votes No on September 18.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Carswell and UKIP

I am not sure that the defection, from the Conservative Party to UKIP, is really such a surprise.  Carswell is refreshingly independent and has pursued issues in such a manner.  He has long been an opponent of the continually encroaching nature of the European Union and its repeated erosion of the long held rights of Britons.

What should be worrying for the Conservatives is that Carswell is at the forefront of exploring the new 'e-led' ways of engaging with voters and so his defection represents a real loss.

Equally, it shouldn't be any surprise that Carswell has resigned his seat and so forces a by-election.  This is the action of a man of principle and sets an honourable example for others to follow.

There are rumours that up to eight other Conservative MPs are considering defecting to UKIP.  Some of these will be based on principles, as was Carswell's and some will be based on fear and political calculation - they expect a high threat from UKIP in the next election.

This defection is a problem for Cameron and the Conservatives.

Labour too, are not immune though its adherents are perhaps more in tune with the leftist/statist policies and direction of the EU.  Labour too, has often displayed a country last approach to issues as clearly evidenced by their obsession with the failed multi-culturalist policy.

For Cameron and the Conservatives, this defection is the fruit of a failed policy.  Cameron has offered a referendum on the UK's continued membership of the European Union but there is a very strong sense that his heart really isn't in it and that he will present whatever terms he manages to renegotiate as a significant victory and so justifying the UK remaining in the EU.  "Today, fresh from all-night discussions with our EU partners, I can announce that the UK has retained the right to have round dustbins and on that victory, I will be recommending that the UK stays in the EU" or something like that!

The election of Jean Claude Juncker showed how ineffectual Cameron has been in Europe and how he was out-maneuvered by Angela Merkel and I have no doubt, by his own advisers.  Betrayal would not be too strong a word for how the UK was treated and yet Cameron still thinks he can treat with such people.  Either he is a fool or he takes the British people for fools.  Carswell can see this and so can the rapidly growing band of UKIP supporters.

The EU is a paper tiger.  They led Ukraine to believe that they would support them and now that push has come to shove, they have deserted them in the face of Russian aggression and real-politik.  Cameron and the UK government should abandon EU organisations and withhold funds from the EU beast, forthwith.  Let the EU take us to whatever kind of court that they want.  How many tanks does the European Court have?  Tell them to go to the socialist hell towards which they are daily pulling the UK.

Cameron should make it clear that the negotiations have already started and that we will use bully boy tactics to get what we want.  If there are counter-measures taken, then we will retaliate.  The UK has always prospered in the past, when it has stood by basic principles.  We can be taught nothing from the newly found  'democracies' of Europe - and I include Germany and France and Italy as being new! - about doing the right thing and following our long-held traditions.

All we need and want from the EU is a trade agreement.  We don't want directives on how long we work - the sovereign government of the UK can decide on that.  We don't want orders on what shape is acceptable for a banana or a cucumber or how much of the fish in Britain's waters, we can catch - the sovereign government of the UK can decide on these things.  We certainly don't want to rely on a European Army or Foreign Service to represent our interests - we know that they won't!

The EU has no legitimacy and the UK should have no part of it.  That is the message that will stop the defections and will restore the Conservatives to power.  Oh and by the way, those defections aren't just in Westminster!

October 11, 2014 Update

Douglas Carswell has duly and deservedly won the Clacton by-election.  There is much talk of this being a big problem for the Conservatives  and David Cameron.  No doubt that this is a blow but it can hardly be said that it was unexpected.

Perhaps the biggest issue from the voting on October 9, was what happened in the by-election for the till then always solid Labour seat of Heywood and Middleton.  Here, Labour retained the seat though their winning majority was slashed by 90% and they scraped in with a 617 majority.  This shows four things to me.

  • Labour are as much endangered by UKIP as are the Conservatives, indeed since Labour are seen as the pro-immigration party, perhaps more so in traditional working class areas..  
  • For Labour to escape the UKIP threat, they need to commit to offering a referendum on European Union membership.  I can't see this happening though, until there is a Labour MP that defects to UKIP.
  • The Conservative message of 'Vote UKIP, get Labour'   doesn't work in natural Labour areas.  There, the argument can be made (as was at Heywood) 'Vote Conservative, get Labour'  - The Conservatives polled 3,400 votes and so could have delivered a major blow to Labour had just 20% of these switched to UKIP. 
  • The Conservatives need to enter into a pact with UKIP - either formally or informally - and agree that pro-referendum candidates will not face UKIP opposition.  Also, where UKIP is strong, Clacton, Thurrock, Eastleigh, Heywood, for examples the Conservatives will not oppose them.  I know that this goes right against the grain but the reality is, that to do otherwise puts Labour into No. 10 and gives them 5 more years to continue to wreck the UK and the UK economy.

Congratulations to Douglas Carswell and commiserations to John Bickley (UKIP Heywood).  I think that Mark Reckless, the later defector from the Conservatives, will have a tougher time in Rochester and Strood but with how UK politics is today, and generally the people's disillusionment with the out of touch elites, anything is possible.