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Saturday, March 09, 2013

Buchanan Street - Free Speech Under Threat

Sent to the Scottish press & broadcasters.

UKIP Glasgow would like to thank the Glasgow Feminist Collective for their street theatre demonstration of the threat free speech is under.
On Saturday we had a stall, one of several in Buchanan Street on different issues. Early in the day we were approached by a young Unite member who remonstrated with us, on no particular policy issues.
Then in the afternoon a roving demo of the Glasgow Feminist Collective marched up to us en masse and started shouting at us and passers-by about the vital feminist issue of promoting unlimited immigration. The young Uniter was well to the rear pulling strings.
Since the issue we were campaigning on, on that bitterly cold day, was that, in the name of fighting catastrophic global warming, the LabNatConDemGreen cartel have quite deliberately and unnecessarily pushed up our electricity prices to be among the world's highest, putting 900,000 Scots households into fuel poverty, killed 25,000 pensioners annually (& aiming for more), are xclosing down 10% of electricity generating capacity bt April and, by making our industry uncompetitive, produced the recession, their response seemed inappropriate and making blackouts highly probable.

I have no antagonism to the excitable young lady who attacked me grabbing my leaflets on the subject. Hopefully, with time for a change of mood, she will recognise that she was being used.
Nonetheless the general impression given was that this group is, in the manner of historic fascists, opposed to peaceful free speech.
In the interests of better relations we offer to engage in a public debate on either why they believe promoting massive subsidy of windmills and the consequences or the promotion of unlimited immigration, are massive feminist issues on which they are right and we wrong.
Since the entire LabNatConDemGreen cartel, including every single MSP, have previously refused to peacefully and publicly debate the Catastrophic Warming story they could thereby prove themselves more reasonable and temperate than the professionals.

PS Looking at their Facebook page it seems the Glasgow Feminists have just split with the Socialist Worlers Party. Splitters.

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Friday, March 08, 2013

Royal Society Members Sell Their Virtue

Lord Lawson sent this to Sir Paul Nurse, head of the Royal Society

Sir Paul Nurse


The Royal Society
Dear Sir Paul,
My attention has been drawn to a speech you gave last month at Melbourne University, in which you chose to criticise me by name in terms which bear no relation to the truth. In the interests of accuracy, I have obtained a full transcript. I recognise that, as a distinguished geneticist, you are not a climate scientist, and may therefore feel ill at ease discussing the complex issue of climate policy. But that is no excuse for wanton misrepresentation both of the issues involved and of my own position.
So far as the latter is concerned, you claim that I “would choose two points and say ‘look, no warming’s taking place’, knowing that all the other points that you chose in the 20 years around it would not support his case”. That is a lie. I have always made clear that there was a modest degree of recorded global warming during the 20th century (see, for example, my book An Appeal to Reason, which you have clearly not taken the trouble to read). However, so far from choosing any arbitrary ‘two points’, I was drawing attention to the fact that this warming trend appears to have ceased, since – contrary to the predictions of what you describe as “consensus scientific opinion” – there has been no further recorded global warming at all for at least the past 15 years, as even the IPCC Chairman, Dr Pachauri, has now conceded. Whatever the precise reason for this, it cannot simply be dismissed or denied.

and so on. He wrote this several weeks ago. Clearly a former Chancellor and member of the House of Lords does not lightly call anybody a liar, at the very least circuimlocutions would be normal.

  I past days this is the sort of thing that would have had people challenging duels. I am certain that Lord Lawson will have at least run this past his solicitor.

  Nor is this calling any ordinary mortal a liar. Science as a profession cannot exist without the "scientist" being above reproach as to their honesty, at least when discussing scientific matters. To call a scientist a liar is like saying a hudge auctions off verdicts or a footballer has no legs. If true they simply cannot carry out their professional duties.

  Nor is Sir Paul an ordinary scientist - he is the head of what was once the most respected scientific instition in the world & a Nobel winner..

   Which is why Sir Paul, for the sake of his reputation and any lingering self respect was forced to sue Lord Lawson.

   Er no

    Which is why the Royal Society, to avoid being seen as a corrupt lying propaganda organisation with its collective tongue wedged up the government's arse, was forced to ask the undisputed liar to step down from any position in the RS.

  Er no.

    Which is why the Royal Society are no longer, in any way, even one of the world's least reputable scientific organisations but simply a corrupt, lying, propaganda arm of the government, and its members simply whores. Not whores like the ladies of the night or rent-boys who honestly hire themselves out for pleasure - they are professionals behaving honestly. The members of the Royal Society and every other "scientist" who lies in the same way are in no way scientists, they are simply a much lower sort of whore.

   On the other hand, since the RS gets £50 million a year to  lie for the state, it is also more lucrative than being being a rent boy.

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Thursday, March 07, 2013

BBC Lie To Police and Lord Patten's Words

Dear Hillhead Police,
                                I was recently cautioned on an allegation that I had put up posters claiming that the BBC and staff members thereof were corrupt, liars, thieves, child rapists, fascist propagandists etc. No suggestion was made that this was anything less than factual. The BBC's objection was, I was told, because the lampposts in question were BBC property.

   It is clear from this FoI (their ref RF120130191) that this claim by the BBC was wholly and completely dishonest.

"No street lamps or lighting fixtures in the areas adjacent to the BBC Pacific Quay building are the property of the BBC. I take your reference to ‘street furniture’ to mean benches and the like. No such furniture in the area adjacent to the Pacific Quay building is the property of the BBC.

I hope this response answers your questions....

Ian Small"

    While some people may find it surprising that the BBC as an organisation and all those involved in making the complaint have proven to be completely corrupt I would remind you that making false statements to induce the police to caution or charge people is, at best, the criminal offence of wasting police time and at worst an attempt to pervert the course of justice.

     Please let me know when these corrupt frauds have been charged.

   I also confirm not yet having heard about what must be the imminent arrest of the BBC's Head of Radio, Helen Boaden and others for perjury (and in theory all those superior for her for conspiracy to get her to commit perjury) in relation to her lies to the court over the 28 gate fraud (namely that she claimed the 28 who supported the BBC in slanting, lying and censoring dissent in breach of their charter were 28 of the world's leading scientists holding a diversity of views when in fact they were all paid global warming or other activists, 93% non-scientists). Please let me know how this criminal investigation is going.


   In the same line I was at the Royal Philosophical Society of Glasgow lecture by BBC boss Lord Patten (along with 2 BBC minders) chairman of the BBC, former EU Commissioner and serial collector of all the quangos and gongs the establishment has to offer. Unfortunately I did not get a chance to ask a question.

    His lecture was not about the BBC, indeed we were asked not to ask anything about Savile "because it is sub judice" (I had intended to ask about 28 gate). Instead it was about the state of the world, particularly the rise of China and India, about which he has a large stock of anecdotes and a great degree of ignorance.

  Among his pearls were

-  that we have seen "brilliant reporting the BBC has been doing in Syria" (in promoting our al Quaeda allies in their massacring).

- that world "GDP grew between 2000-2007 more than at any time for 40 years" (it actually grew more than it ever has and is still growing fast, the "world recession" the BBC so often blame our troubles on being a lie)   - of the EU that "I'm not allowed to speak on Europe" clearly meaning that a condition of his pension and all other EU pensioners is that they not speak negatively about the EU because he was able to speak positively about their attempts at ever closer union saying "its very difficult to persuade people to give up their nationality".  

    Anybody who sees the inherent corruption in having the boss of the state broadcaster paid by a foreign organisation specifically on condition that they only propagandise in the organisation's favour is not alone. Indeed the appointment of somebody so paid is clearly a breach of the BBC's Charter duty of balance.      

 And that China's rise is bound to end for 4 reasons:  

1; because of corruption. In fact comparing public projects here and in China - they build roads at 4% of what we do (Russia is 28%) means either that corruption is not a serious problem there or that we have 25/3.5 times more here than in either China or Russia, or a combination thereof  

2; The high level of investment in China which is "unsustainable" because it impoverishes to people. The truth is that though investment spending has risen so has GDP and the Chinese are much better off than they used to be, unlike Britain.  

3; Environmental reasons. This parasite was also once the environment minister. An asserting without supporting evidence as is common with ecofascists.  

4; In the long term if the party encourages free enterprise it undermines its own dictatorial authority so at some stage it will stop. In fact the Chinese government have already given up communism and as the Singapore experience shows a government can remain popular for generations if it is clearly committed to the nation's good. 

 His words actually say much more about the British scene, where all the BBC approved parties have clearly given up support for free enterprise, despite knowing it produces wealth, because they want to enhance their own dictatorial authority. And who is better placed in the British establishment to understand the attraction of this policy than Patten?

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Wednesday, March 06, 2013

2 Weeks Till The Lights Go Out?

U.K. stores of natural gas, pushed to record lows by a dearth of tanker imports, will be exhausted in about two weeks unless temperatures rise, reducing demand for the heating fuel.

The CHART OF THE DAY shows inventories at Rough, the U.K.’s largest gas-storage facility, are at the lowest level on record for the time of year. There were 6,490 gigawatt-hours of gas in storage yesterday, which will be depleted in 15 days if the average rate of withdrawal over the past two weeks continues, according to National Grid Plc (NG/) data.

U.K. gas prices, a benchmark for Europe’s 800 billion-euro ($1 trillion) market, are susceptible to sudden moves after imports of liquefied natural gas slumped by 53 percent in the five months through February from a year earlier, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Gas for same-day delivery jumped 64 percent to a seven-year high of 115 pence a therm yesterday as unplanned maintenance cut supplies from Norway.

“We’ll probably run out of storage in just over two weeks if stocks continue to be drawn down at this rate,” Craig Lowrey, a consultant at The Utilities Exchange Ltd., said yesterday by telephone from Ipswich, England. “With very little LNG coming to the U.K. there are fewer alternative sources of gas and that increases the risks if we do get to that point.”

   They are probably slightly overstating since the low point in gas reserves is always about early March so we should get past this dip and into summer unles the weather is particularly bad. On the other hand we have had a year by year decline in reserves so even if we get through the next few weeks running out several weeks earlier (ie last week) next winter becomes a probability.

   This does not appear to be "newsworthy" according to our state controlled media. Though the BBC is busy supportively reporting that Parliament is discussing increasing bills by upping the bio-fuels subsidy.

   Britain has better shale gas resources per square mile than anywhere else in the world The only thing stopping us having had use of it for several years is doing so being banned by our political class.

    Meanwhile windmills are providing only 0.1% of our power this week, gas powered "back-up" generators keeping the lights on.

   People are dying from the cold. Far more will if/when the lights go out.Say what you will about Pol Pot, but say it about Cameron, Miliband and Clegg too. 

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Tuesday, March 05, 2013

Was I Wrong Or Tactically Unwise To Call C4 Fascists - And Have They Proven My Point?

  C4 have a "factcheck" section - in this instance they "factchecked" UKIP's manifesto and claimed to find it was full of lies. I posted this with the expectation that it would be simply censored, as the BBC do, so was somewhat suprised that it appeared:

To take one example C4 “factcheck” bases their claims on the alleged “fact” that “it would also be naive to think that there would be no economic cost” of quotting the EU.
That is not a statement that any remptely honest organisation could claim as an unambiguous “fact”.

The evidence is that, excluding the money we hand over, membership of the EU’s regulatory system destrpys 5.5% of GDP ((£90 bn). This has even been publicly acjnowledged by the EU’s “rnterprise” commissioner so C4 cannot honestly say that the net effect of membership is economically the opposite.

Clerarly were C4 in any slightest way honest, or anything other than a fascist propaganda organisation they will have published similarly slanted libels against the officially approved parties. Loohing at, for example, the LibDems they didn’t do a prior “factcheck” but did do this post event leaning over backwards to pretend the LDs had only minimally broken their promises and laud whay they had allegedly 2achieved in government”..
Factchecking C4 it is proven that they are corrupt, lying parasitic propagandists in…

and drew a reply

“The evidence is that, excluding the money we hand over, membership of the EU’s regulatory system destrpys 5.5% of GDP ((£90 bn)”
What evidence is that, then? You haven’t provided any.

By the way, love how you call C4 News a “fascist organisation” just because they have an opposing viewpoint to yours which they can support with pesky facts.

Still, UKIP would know all about fascists, given that their MEPs sit with them in the EU Parliament ( ) and they expel their own members for having differing viewpoints to their Leader ( )

to which I replied
 Neil Craig

“Günter Verheugen, EU Commissioner for Enterprise and Industry, announced in 2006 that EU regulations were costing the European economy some €600bn a year (this was almost twice as high as previous estimates). €600bn is about 5.5% of total EU GDP”
This information, without which it is impossible for the public to make an informed estimate of the value or otherwise of membership, and which is in direct contradicition to C4′s “factchecked” claims, has obviously been censored for over 6 years by our media or you would not be ignorant of it.
And if that is not proof that C4, the BBC & most papers are corrupt lying fascist propagandist parasites I would be interested to know what you would need?

pworrall (C4's watchman)

The claim about Mr Verheugen was made in this Financial Times article (
You’re right to say that it wasn’t picked up by Channel 4, the BBC or most newspapers. There may be a good reason for this. See this report by Open Europe: (

Quote: “This figure has been widely misunderstood, for three reasons: a) the estimate captures the administrative burden only (i.e. not policy costs or knock-on effects b) it describes the cost of EU regulations and domestic regulations combined (so not only EU regulation) and c)crucially, Verheugen probably never mentioned the figure in the first place. What Verheugen actually said in the interview about reducing regulation, was that “I’ve said that in my view it must be possible to get a 25 percent reduction, and that means a productivity gain of €150bn.” The Financial Times’ journalist appears to have taken this to mean that

€150bn represented 25 percent of the total cost of regulation. However, Verheugen’s office has subsequently confirmed that the €150 billion figure referred to the extra benefits that would be generated (as opposed to saved) through various dynamic effects by a 25 percent cut in the administrative burden of EU and domestic regulations combined.”
Since you have ignored my request not to post insulting, rather than critical, comments (“corrupt, lying fascist propagandist parasites”), I am no longer accepting comments from you and have blocked you.

This reply censored

pworrall had C4, the BBC & co actually reported the case, even if giving significant space to the OpenEurope rebuttal and counter rebuttals on all sides, my assessment would have been clearly falsified.
By censoring me you merely verify it.   And this to a further attack on me after I had been barred   don't need those sort of "favours".
Note that though I am censored for saying C4 are -------, despite being able to say, from the historic definition of ------- why it is true, there is no objection to Martin coming on here and accusing supporters of UKIP of being both idiots and liars, without even attempting to support such insults with facts.

Which says as much as necessary about whether C4's censorship is either ------- & aimed against a particular party, or "impartial, balanced & truthful" reportage as they and their government masters pretend to.    We also had this email exchange

Neil – I’m not censoring you because of your opinions. If you look at other comments across the blog, you’ll see that we always print comments no matter how violently people disagree with what we write. But I draw the line at personal abuse. You must be able to appreciate how unpleasant it is to be called a corrupt fascist parasite etc etc.
I’m not sure why pointing out that there has never been a definitive cost/benefit analysis of EU membership is an example of fascism, or what you mean by “corrupt”. Do you think the EU is sending me brown envelopes stuffed with euros to defend its existence?
This may be the internet, but you have to understand that words like this are not meaningless – they are insulting. And I am a real person, not a computer.
If you had stopped short of using language like that I would have been happy to let you continue posting.
Patrick (C4News FactCheck)

see. So “the facts” as you see them are the views of Tim Congdon, a UKIP leadership candidate, as opposed to non-party political sources I have quoted: NIESR, Professor Iain Begg, the Institute of Directors – and these are somehow “government approved” (Why so?)
You say: “The initial factcheck did not say that there was no proven cost benefit ratio, but the contrary, that there must be net costs of leaving.”
But what I wrote was: “There was no expert concensus as to a net gain or loss.”
The initial FactCheck, which I link back to from the piece on the Ukip manifesto, is here:
This is the verdict: “A cloud of uncertainty hangs over the whole question of whether Britain loses or gains economically by its continued membership of the EU. Some of the world’s top economists disagree about the numbers, and it’s impossible to say what the ultimate political costs of pulling out could be.”
And you think that personally calling me a fascist in a string of emails is the same as the party you support being insulted on television.
What all this has to do with climate change, I really can’t imagine, but if anyone has compared you to a child rapist for doubting climate change, I sympathise with you. Hyperbole like that is an unfortunate example of the childishness to which internet forum debate can sink.
It is entirely inappropriate to throw around insults like that, given the seriousness of child abuse, just as it is wrong to use very serious words like fascist against people who don’t agree with you.
Perhaps it’s best that we leave this conversation here, Neil. I don’t think I’m ever going to convince you that we’re not stooges of the government or whatever it is you imagine we are, although I would have thought that the existence of a million-odd FactChecks in which we criticise the government would suggest that this fails the common sense test.
I'm not sure what you mean by "definitive". Tim Congdon's assessment, which you have "not censored but not reported" seems pretty definitve. Or do you mean "government approved" by "definitive which is rather my point. Moreover the initial "factcheck" did not say that there was no proven cost benefit ratio, but the contrary, that there must be net costs of leaving, which even you now seem to accept as untrue.
I do indeed appreciate that gratuitous rudeness is unpleasant. As a supporter of UKIP I have been described on national TV as a loony & closet racist and as somebody who doubts we are experiencing catastrophic global warming as being the moral equivalent of a child rapist. Without, of course, being given the opportunity to reply you have (or the opposrtunity to censor you uset). Do let me know when C$ is willing either to either censor either Cameron or those who gratuitously insult scientific sceptics as you insist those who criticse you should be. Even let me know when you are prepared to allow those insulted to rebut.
The difference is, of course, that when challenged I am able and willing to prove every word I say whereas the state broadcasting propagandists, being unable to do so, simply censor. If you knew the meaning of fascism you would not object to my saying that people who do that are fascists.
Or are there any circumstances whatsoever under which C4 would be willing to allow a free debate on any important subject? We both know that C4 have already made it clear the answer is no. Or are there any circumstances under which C4 "factchecking" would be done with reference to the facts rather than pushing the state propaganda line? Again this "factcheck" gives the answer.
If I am in any way whatsoever wrong C4 will be pleased to accept my challenge to broadcast a formal debate (with both sides equally represented, something I should not have to explain) on the cost/benefits of the EU or alleged CAGW.
No. Thought not. Case proven.

Neil Craig

"I sympathise with you. Hyperbole like that is an unfortunate example of the childishness to which internet forum debate can sink."

Not an internet forum - I have had worse than that from "Greens" on them. That was the BBC state broadcaster Thought for the Day.
Obviously were it true or even arguably true the BBC would have provided their evidence.

Obviously were it a lie and our state broadcasters in any slightest way honest, rather than wholly corrupt fascists they would have retracted it.

Obviously, the standard of state broadcasting being what it is, as you will have guessed, they did neither.
The initial factcheck did, as I said and you confirmed, start from the wholly false assertion that there would be net economic costs of leaving rather than a £150 bn benefit.
I have given you 2 bits of evidence, from violently separated sources, for the EU being massively expensive. Both news items you, as a state broadcaster, have decided to censor/not report for unexplained reasons. Tim Congdon is an economist of great repute. If supporting UKIP makes him unfit to comment on his own specialty then there must be, if you are being impartial, a large majority of the population not allowed to appear on C4 news. I have not noticed this.
I await your confirmation of any circumstances whatsoever under which C4 would be willing to demonstrate its alleged occasional non-Fascist leanings by ever allowing broadcast of the free debate I suggested on this or any similar important subject.
Neil Craig   I got this support, which surprisingly has not been deleted

Author: Alex Williams


TBH, I reckon you couldn't fact check your way out of a paper bag. You've just blocked someone, for being insulting and offensive, because he included words in his post that you didn't like. He wasn't swearing, nor was he particularly being aggressive.
If you don't like people thinking your views may be of a certain political persuasion, perhaps you shouldn't be reporting on political things?   Author: pworrall
There's a simple policy, Alex: criticism and disagreement yes, insults no.


Clearly you have a problem, and that problem manifests itself as trying to shoot the messenger when he brings you bad news.
It's not C4 News' fault that one of UKIP's useful idiots presents 'facts' that are nothing of the sort, and is rude when airing his conspiracy theories and accusing ITN of being complicit.
Mr Worrall has done Neil Craig a favour, because Craig doesn't have to come back here and apologise for posting misinformation about the cost of EU regulation that even the eurosceptic Open Forum says is rubbish.

to which my reply as and remains censored

The point seems to be that my use of the word "fascist" is impermissable. But it is a perfectly proper description of a specific political ideal, which includes that thjose in power should control the media to promote approved views and denigrate minority ones. This was because the fascisti believed society was stronger with everybody held in line, hence the use of the fasces, a bundle of batons tied together, as their symbol.

This is precisely what C4's slanted and indeed false "factcheck" was doing.

When setting this up I also noted that Martin had been allowed to criticise UKIP for being associated with what he, in my opinion falsely, described as Fascists, without any threat that such a claim was impermissable. Nothing to do with factual accuracy or I wouldn't have been censored. Nothing to do with balance either or we would both have been.

I willingly admit that this is not the unrestrained unquestioning fascism of the BBC, who censor without any compunction, but a watered down version which shows some questioning of its role.

But nonetheless Channel 4 is displaying an ideaological commitment to both dishonest reporting and censorship in the state cause, which is, by definition, fascism.

If C4 can lie and then censor my disagreement then what other term is more factual? The other part of my title question was is it wiser to tone down one's dissent to permissable levels so that it may be permitted, even though it inherently puts you at a disadvantage, and to that I do not have a certain answer.

  Note, However, that Patrick doesn't even make an attempt to pretend that Channel 4 is ever going to allow real debate on anything, which again seems to prove my point.

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Monday, March 04, 2013

UKIP In Scotland - Brian Monteith Article & More

  I recommend Brian Monteith's article on UKIP in Scotland in the Scotsman today.

There is also the evidence through polling in Scotland that Ukip is challenging, and occasionally beating, the Liberal Democrats in vote share. As in England with by-election performances, this should not be laughed off as some here today, gone tomorrow apparition.
Last Thursday, just as the Eastleigh by-election was reverberating across British politics, a small council by-election went unnoticed in Coatbridge. Sure, Labour romped home with 2,145 votes and the SNP had 452 – but the Ukip candidate Billy Mitchell defeated the well known Liberal Democrat John Love with 34 votes to 19, coming fourth behind the Tory, Ashley Baird on 71. Replicate that running order across Scotland in 2016 and Ukip can be optimistic it will get a handful of Holyrood list seats

    This result is in line with polls which show us ahead of the Pseudos, far ahead of the greens, but still behind the Tories. He doesn't mention the result, a couple of weeks previously, in Rutherglen where UKIP came within 17 votes of the Tories, though the Pseudo-Liberals, long entrenched there, did well. In neither place did the Greens even stand. Continuing

There is also another known unknown yet to be decided – how will the broadcasters treat Ukip in the next general election and the following Holyrood election – will Nigel Farage or some such Ukip personality be given an equal platform? Surely if they stand enough candidates and have the polling evidence of popularity (and elected members in the European Parliament) they cannot be denied a place?

      This has gone largely unreported by our media but, after Eastleigh, it would indeed be not only censorship but obvious censorship for UKIP not to get the entry to debates that the Pseudos did last time. I think we can be confident that Farage would do better in debate than any of the official three.

      Of course, in the UK we still see the BBC largely interviewing the Labour, Conservative, LibDem & Greens more often than UKIP (also more supportively) despite the greens (1/2%) being minnows compared to UKIP (15%).

    In Scotland it is even worse with the Green leader being an almost permanent fixture on BBC Scotland and the UKIP leader NEVER allowed to speak. During the last Scottish election STV told Lord Monckton that they had sent a camera crew to UKIP's launch, and aired a few seconds of film and that whatever happened they simply would not allow us to speak again. The BBC censorship was, of course, even more total.

     That is far heavier censorship than you will get in Russia, Not an ethical problem for our state broadcasters but they have the hopefully insoluble one of doing it without being so obvious as to be counterproductive.

     In that regard - a friend recently attended a BBC Trust focus group on their news coverage and reports that a clear majority of those present, despite being led by corporation "facilitators", were of the opinion that  BBC news is dumbed down propaganda, obviously slanted.

     Scotland on Sunday also had this piece about the reaction of the officially approved parties in Scotland.

A veteran Scottish Labour staffer admits: “We all do the focus groups and a striking thing is how perception of UKIP and the issues it focuses on are not necessarily seen as extreme or particularly right wing by people across the board.
“Mainstream political parties can’t ­ignore that. Voters aren’t all party members and that means they’ll happily float around and sometimes people form views on different issues that can seem bizarre, side by side. When we talk about immigration in focus groups, people have strong views. They’re our voters, and SNP voters and they think we should have been ­better on these issues down the years.”

A Lib Dem source agrees: “Life would be easier if they didn’t, but a lot of people can be all signed up to the social justice that we talk about and still agree with UKIP on immigration. That’s voters for you.”....

The source accepts UKIP could pick off disaffected Tories in Scotland. “It’s been tough for us trying to modernise. The whole thing with us just now is we have modernisers and traditionalists pulling against each other.
“We can’t win without them united and it doesn’t help if our traditionalists start seeing UKIP as a legitimate alternative. We need to be careful that we don’t leave traditionalists behind when UKIP are sniffing about them.”....

  I think the idea of the Scottish Tories winning anything is risible but, because Scotland has a PR electoral system both parties can survive here with decent representation. The normal "you can't vote for who you really want or the other side will get in" argument, beloved by the big parties because it raises high barriers to entry to anybody else, doesn't apply under a PR system.
Scott-Hayward echoes Farage’s insistence that UKIP is now a major political force: “Eastleigh does mean we are no longer seen as a fringe party. Results like this show that it’s acceptable to vote UKIP, that we can challenge for seats. That’s not just a protest vote, it’s a vote coming from across the spectrum. We have two or three new members joining in Scotland every day, just now. That’s another thousand in a year.”

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Sunday, March 03, 2013

Constitutional Amendments 17 - Binding Referendum On Any Issue

UKIP's 2010 manifesto offered

· Introduce ‘Direct Democracy’ whereby 5% of the national or local electorate can demand a binding referendum on any issue. At national level, people will have to sign up for the referendum within six months, at local level, within three months

 This is pretty much what happens in Switzerland and california among other places.

   It appears to be an overwhelmingly popular issue, indeed I see nobody anywhere, from any party, broadcaster or paper willing to say why they disagree with it. It is also one of the issues which disprove the assertion that UKIP is in any meaningful way simply a "right wing" party.

   In the traditional way of politics the only thing to do with an issue where you are clearly in the wrong is to ignore it - something that works fairly well when the state control the media, but by definition cannot where they don't.

    Clearly if our opponents don't want to discuss it we should.

     However as somebody who puts liberty even ahead of democracy I would like to suggest a slight refinement. Democracy is desirable partly because, usually, people as a whole, value their freedom. However there are circumstances where it is possible to get a majority to say that it is all the fault of some minority (Jews, bankers, socialists, Serbs, Moslems, Christians, the rich, single mothers, youngsters) and to vote for government to have more power in a way that will affect that group particularly.

     For that reason I would suggest that any referendum for some change which will increase state power and which will affect a minority in a strongly disproportionate way, should require not merely a majority of votes cast but a majority of the electorate.

    In an age where government seizes ever more powers but governing parties represent an ever smaller proportion of voters (Tony Blair was elected by barely over 20% of the registered electors and the Pseudo-Liberals won Eastleigh with 17% of the registered vote) it is hardly "democracy" when a democratically elected government legislate. The vast majority of people in Britain clearly have no interest in most parties but if you want government not to take an interest in you, you have to vote for somebody.

 It does not matter if you take an interest in politics, politics will take an interest in you. -Pericles.

     This is a minor refinement which would slightly restrain the ability of politics to take an interest in ordinary people's doings without forcing them to be politically active for purely defensive purposes. Once that is done there is less incentive for them to continue that interest by seeking to do down some minority they are not part of, thuis making everybody more liberal minded

    I would be prepared to lower that to 45% bearing in mind that electoral registers are always out of date and probably 10% wrong.

    The 1979 Scottish Devolution referendum had a 40% rule of this sort and though 51.6% voted for it failed on that basis. Probably correctly because it was to use a first past the post system which would have produced a Scottish Parliament even more incompetent, inbred and corrupt than the current lot. In any case if such a popular referendum system had been in place a better devolution proposal would have quickly been offered and voted through.

    Such a restriction on the popular opinion of the moment would apply producing the smoking ban (which affects smokers) but not its removal; to increasing supertax, but not to increasing income tax generally (since that affects the majority), to any proposal to make burning of witches lawful (since it disproportionately affects witches) but not to increasing the electricity levy to support "renewables" (since everybody uses electricity).

   This is a much more moderate version of a suggestion by Heinlein - "If a bill is so poor that it cannot command 2/3rds of your consents is it not likely to make a poor law? And if a law is disliked by as many as 1/3rd is it not likely that you would be better off without it?" - since in fact it still requires a 50%+1 majority to repeal restrictive legislation imposed by Parliament, it merely makes it more difficult for popular initiatives to roll back liberty.

  "What I fear most are affirmative actions of sober and well-intentioned men, granting to government power to do something that appears to need doing."  Heinlein again from the same speech.

   Most constitutions leave it up to a named person, often the Speaker, to determine whether a Bill fits a particular classification (eg whether it is a finance Bill) and they could easily rule on whether a proposal enhances state power over a minority as well.

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