Climate Change

With the Cop26 Conference imminent it is important UKIP gets its policy straight and that I, as a leadership candidate, let you all know where I stand as I haven’t addressed this issue comprehensively before.

It seems to me there are at least six strands to this complicated subject as follows:

1. The Science,

2. Security,

3. Risks, costs, fear and democracy,

4. Usage levels,

5. Protection vs. Prevention

6. Government failures to date.

1. The Science.

Although I have a physics degree and understand the principles of the greenhouse gas effect, I would not claim to be an expert in the subject and could not, for example, assess the calibration of the various effects involved. Now that we have some actual results coming through for things like sea temperatures, they seem to be about halfway between the zero baseline and the original (ice-)hockey stick projections. That still leaves us with a serious problem to address.

We are faced with two sets of scientists apparently saying opposite things. Or are they? Perhaps they are both right and both wrong to a degree and the truth lies somewhere in the middle? UKIP’s traditional view is sometimes misunderstood as a denier position, but it is actually more subtle than that. Our argument has not been that climate change is not happening but that its causes are not significantly man-made, and that a panic reaction has already been and will become even more counter-productive. As a centre politician I don’t see a conflict between supporting a move towards green energy provided we do not shoot ourselves in the foot in the process. As I say, the truth probably lies somewhere in the middle.

2. Security.

At this very moment we are facing a massive increase in wholesale gas prices. This almost certainly is to do with international politics rather than climate change, with the allegation being that the Russians are closing off the gas pipelines for their own economic advantage. We could see a similar position develop over nuclear fuel as the Chinese buy up most of the mines in Africa and elsewhere.

UKIP is all about independence, and green energy potentially gives us that independence if we can just get round the intermittent nature of wind and solar. Hydrogen is on the way and tidal lagoon generation can give us that independence, and maybe some other technologies as well.

Although very little progress has been made in developing tidal lagoon generation yet (why?), with the Swansea Bay project being refused for reasons that are unclear, mainly political it would seem, and the MeyGen project in the Pentland Firth now in financial difficulties apparently, the potential in the seas around our island is both untapped and virtually unlimited. How can the cost be significant? Tidal lagoon is basically the same as hydroelectric. Just a wall with some turbines in it, and hydroelectric has been economic for decades. Perhaps Big Business deliberately wants the expensive option?

There are many locations in our seas, such as the Severn estuary, which must be sufficiently shallow in many places and have a sufficient tidal fall to make tidal lagoons economic. We could build great big circular lagoons in the middle of the estuary and stick dozens of turbines in them. And what about all those long thin Scottish sea lochs, absolutely begging to be brought into use. Or we could be encouraging individuals to buy up old shipping containers, stick a couple of small turbines in the side, one in each direction, and plonk them in the sea. You could have thousands of such mini-lagoons all hooked up to the grid, or a local hydrogen plant, all producing green energy pretty much round the clock (except when the tide turns). Indeed if you split them in half you could phase out the turning tide as well. Not very scenic at low tide I admit, but much better than wind turbines.

3. Risks, Costs, Fear and Democracy.

There is no point in taking up an extremist position that is simply counter to the popular view just for the sake of it, even if the science is dubious. There are no votes out there. However, much of the fear relates to costs as it does to extinction, so we have an opportunity here to emphasize a balanced approach that is both responsible and practical at the same time. Fear in society is pernicious and subversive and can cause people to take up confrontational and totalitarian attitudes as they seek refuge in the simple clarity of extreme positions. The alarmist demands fall very much into that category. We have already seen the effects of fear with Islamophobia and now we are seeing it with climate change. Fear must be taken seriously in itself. As libertarians we must fight against this danger and address the fears as much as the science. Whatever populists may say about politicians doing what the people demand, they still expect us to get the technicalities right. At an election they will judge us by results anyway, and that is as it should be. It is no good delivering a disaster and then saying it was what the people demanded at the last election! We are expected to exercise good judgement.

Which brings us to Hinckley Point C. This is supposed to have a 60 year operation span starting in 2026. And they have agreed a fixed price at £92.50 pMwH, albeit subject to upwards inflation adjustments, when it is impossible to predict costs and prices six years ahead let alone sixty?!  I bet the investors are rubbing their hands, as I should not be at all surprised if operating profits turn out to be high. Those costs they have been bandying about will have been padded out to the heavens to cover the long-term risks involved, unless that is they intend to re-insure them in the City in which case the City will be rubbing its hands. Either way the customer and taxpayer are going to get screwed. We must substitute a cap and collar profit contract if this happens. That will protect both investors and consumers at the same time. Why didn’t they think of that at the outset?

Nor have we heard much about small nuclear, which benefits hugely from much lower transmission losses. Again the hand of Big Business appears to be involved, and their poodles, the Tories, will do whatever they want.

A similar approach should be taken to wind and solar farmers. How much profit after receipt of subsidy are they actually making? I don’t know but we need reassurance that profiteering is not taking place. Again, cap and collar is the way forward. This means that if profits exceed an agreed maximum, say 5%, then prices must be reduced, but likewise if losses occur prices or subsidy can be increased. Wind farms have an operational life of only 35 years. Let us aim not to have to replace them when the time comes.

The 2050 net zero target must be seen as an aspiration not a commitment. I would never sanction the closure of existing power generation if adequate and economic replacement generation were not already in place. We cannot guarantee to achieve that, but we can try, and actually I am quite optimistic about it. Hydrogen is on its way and various technologies and economies of scale are developing fast. We must also guarantee that energy prices do not increase by more than say 1% above inflation each year, if that. Recovering our trade deficit from the EU could be instrumental in financing that.

4. Limiting electricity usage.

Extinction Rebellion are current campaigning to insulate all our houses at enormous cost. But what does it matter how much electricity we use provided it is all green? It just adds to the confrontational nature of the whole thing and the idea we must all be poor in the future. Then we have the exhortation to switch to electric cars when the grid itself is still hybrid. These cars are no more pure green than a hybrid car. Green and fossil energy is mixed up before it goes into the grid, so you can’t get out anything other than hybrid. And what about all those electricity supply companies promising to supply only green energy. They should be prosecuted for misrepresentation. Likewise smart energy meters – pointless. These are all examples of totalitarian government.

5. Protection vs. Prevention.

With increasingly alarming weather events on our television screens each evening, the question arises as to what we are doing about any damage already with us, whether or not it is man-made? We hear no plans from the government about this. And what about that infrastructure tzar? Haven’t heard from him in ages. Is he asleep? Clearly adequate funds must be allocated to sea defences, river defences and other matters.

6. Government failures.

We got off to a ‘good’ start with the disastrous 2008 Climate Change Act, which artificially increased energy prices to the extent that many firms could no longer compete and went out of business, throwing thousands of workers onto the dole in the process. Coming on top of the banking crisis and the ever increasing trade deficit with the EU, the poor suffered a triple whammy leading to the riots of 2011. That should have been a wake-up call.

We appear to have the general lack of planning and concern for finding the most efficient solutions and the best protection as I have described above.

CONCLUSION.

In conclusion our policy must be to proceed with conversion to green energy in a careful and economic way so as to address all of the challenges I have outlined above, not least the imperative for national energy independence. Even if we don’t make it by 2050 that is not disaster when you consider the UK’s contribution to greenhouse gases is only 1% of the global total. Let’s just make sure we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot in a panic along the way.

In the meantime there is no reason why we should not exploit our own fossil reserves to promote independence over conversion until there is no conflict between the two and to keep costs within reason. In other words a balanced approach taking into account all four factors: independence, cost, conversion and protection.

My UKIP Leadership and NEC candidacy manifestos.

1. UKIP Leadership Statement

Our Party has just been through a very difficult two years. We are down, but certainly not out. I believe we have a unique and vital role to play in British politics as the only significant libertarian party available; a libertarian rose within a thicket of totalitarian thorns. The phoenix can and will rise from the ashes.

I have no intention of resurrecting any of the internal disputes we have experienced and will not tolerate personal remarks, but as a member of the ill-fated constitutional review team and as a professional management consultant, we were able to identify a number of ways in which I believe our constitution could be made more robust, reliable and accountable to the membership. I accept that the NEC should have the final say on such matters subject to approval by the membership and intend to work with them rather than around them, being by nature a reconciler rather than a polarizer, putting forward a series of proposals for changes to the constitution. The NEC can then call the necessary EGMs to make the changes if they agree. Likewise I hope the NEC will allow me the final say on policy, assuming I do not contravene the constitution.

I intend to ask Ben Walker to continue as Party Chairman both because I think he has done an excellent job in holding the party together and because I value an element of continuity given that 10 NEC seats are also up for election. We can consider separately whether that position has too much power and whether for example the NEC should elect its own separate chairman from amongst its members. I am keen to encourage past members to return but suspect they will want to see some constitutional change.

I intend to place UKIP at the centre of the political spectrum between Labour and the Tories as a radical, social libertarian party. Constructive change instead of the revolutionary, destructive, classist change offered by totalitarian socialism, and in place of Conservative complacency and totalitarianism now they are fully under the thumb of Big Business. Our message to the voters is simple. If you want change, change the way you vote. You have to play your part if it is to happen. Don’t worry, we will look after you. The ‘solidarity’ toted by Labour is meaningless. It is self-serving and unpatriotic. Don’t fall for it.

We already have a good and developing manifesto and I thank all those who have contributed. Even so in my opinion it requires more focus so the voters can see immediately what is both unique and valuable in our offering. So here are four headline policies I want to emphasize. You can find much more on my website at jepoynton.com. You can also find a CV for me on the UKIP party website under London.

1. A quota system for total immigration set at at least 50,000 fewer than the number who emigrate voluntarily each year. This country has suffered immense damage over the years from open borders – to our economy, our environment (25% of all animal species and 50% of all bird species may become extinct here due to habitat loss), the homeless, our public services and, yes, to cultural displacement. It is not enough to acquiesce in a reduction in immigration; we have actually to reverse the process if we are to survive. It is also a fallacy to say we need these immigrants for our economy. We don’t. They are consumers as well as workers and most on balance take out more than they put in. By restricting immigration we can force Big Business to train British citizens, update redundant skills and provide all the jobs we need. If there are still job vacancies we can simply reduce demand in the economy to match and vice versa.

2. Rip up Boris’s catastrophic trade deal with the EU and revert to trading on WTO terms as we have always advocated. Nobody appears to have noticed, least of all our dozy officials in Whitehall, that we now have a massive 6% GDP deficit on trade with the EU (in balance 20 years ago) whilst at the same time our trade with the rest of the world has moved firmly into a 1% surplus. There is only one way this divergence could have happened. Those bastards in Brussels have been deliberately and progressively but surreptitiously stealing our trade by blocking our exports. We need that £120bn a year for all sorts of things from dealing with climate change and funding our pensions to social care, the NHS and tax cuts, but Boris has now locked us into this deficit. Whose side is he on FFS? We must also wrap up the residual issues of fishing, Northern Ireland and human rights. Brexit is most certainly NOT done. We must honour our prime constitutional objective.

3. Stand up for free speech and reform the police and the management of our public services generally. Free speech is about listening to both sides of an argument. This is impossible if one side is being supressed in the name of woke totalitarianism. I would never condone gratuitously offensive behaviour and unconditionally condemn racist banter at football grounds, but ultimately it is a matter for moral persuasion not the law. To Islamaphobes I say your concerns must be taken seriously but the problem is not Islam but the failure of our pathetic, guilt-sodden establishment to bring to justice all criminals regardless of their religion or ethnicity. I also support a federal approach to multiculturalism, thereby preserving our own indigenous culture and identity as well as those of others, but that will only work with cultural demographic stability. Nobody wants to be stuffed into the socialist blender, including the incoming communities.

4. Welfare, housing and regional policy reform. Housing must be built up North where the brownfield sites are thereby relieving density in the South, with regional policy using local tax discounts to persuade the jobs and people to follow. We must also end breeding for benefits. It is crazy to be paying people to have babies in these circumstances anyway but it will also assist in reducing cultural displacement, the rate of change in diversity.

2. NEC Manifesto statement

Our Party has just been through a very difficult two years. We are down, but certainly not out. I believe we have a unique and vital role to play in British politics as the only significant libertarian party available; a libertarian rose within a thicket of totalitarian thorns. The phoenix can and will rise from the ashes.

The role of the NEC is vital in this, ensuring both the leader and the executive comply with the constitution. We must make sure all key decisions are made by and through the NEC and not behind anybody’s backs, and we must propose by EGM to the membership changes to the constitution if and when we feel these are needed. I hope we can improve the accountability of NEC members to the membership, perhaps by allocating an NEC member to each region so all members and branches know who their own representative is on the NEC.

We shall have an almost all-new NEC as a result of these elections, so let’s hope that is sufficient to draw a line in the sand over past personality issues, if possible leading to an amnesty to ex-members who have now ‘done their time’.

My consultation response to Priti Patel’s Immigration Plan

Response to Government Immigration Plan – April 2021

Foreword

This plan only addresses a small part of the Immigration Problem, namely illegal immigration and asylum. It brushes aside the far greater problem of absolute immigration and the fact that this country is now the most densely populated in Europe. Our country is NOT enriched by legal immigration and we are NOT a better country for it. Your assertions on this point are purely subjective and political, whereas in practice all immigration contributes to the following measurable and severe problems:

  • Wage compression, together with widening income and regional gaps
  • Structural unemployment (it is cheaper for employers to recruit established skills from abroad than train up native workers)
  • The housing crisis
  • The housing crisis (worth mentioning twice for emphasis)
  • Degradation of our environment (and not just the destruction of pretty green spaces – scrub land also supports important ecosystems as well as reducing population density to improve air quality and enable rain water to drain through to the water table – just to mention a couple of points in passing)
  • Increased pressures on public services leading to higher taxation and lower growth,
  • Economic mismanagement of demand,
  • Cultural displacement leading to social unrest and tensions including racism.
  • Less space to live, work and play in undermining our quality of life.

NO IMMIGRATION IS GOOD FOR THIS COUNTRY

It is often lazily suggested that educated, self-sufficient immigrants in employment are net contributors to our economy, but a moment’s thought, plus a reference to the GDP per capita growth rates, reveals that is not true. Even a highly trained, professional worker will be taking out as much as they are contributing, for the simple reason they are paid for their work. They are consumers as well as workers. Even if they are not claiming benefits they are still benefiting from the NHS, schools, law and order, infrastructure provision as so on. Only if they are higher-rate taxpayers might they just about break even.

The GDP per capita growth rate has declined steadily (ignoring the banking crisis) over the past twenty years. In 1999 it was 2.8%; in 2019 0.8%. Most of this of course is a result of the high and increasing trade deficit we have with the EU, but even so you would have thought the onset of mass immigration should have provided some sort of uptick? It doesn’t. There is not a single sign of it anywhere in the numbers. The idea that immigration is an economic benefit to this country is PURE MYTH. The only immigrants who could be described as a benefit to this country are those who have skills we cannot produce here. Academic research teams and lawyers from foreign jurisdictions would be an example, but their numbers are tiny.

Your points-based system for legal immigration.

I have to laugh whenever this is rehashed as an innovation, because my understanding is that we have had a points-based system ever since Tony Blair introduced one in 2005. It has NEVER worked and it is not going to start working now. It is not even designed to limit immigration; only to limit the numbers claiming benefits. That is all very well for vast sparsely-populated continents like Australia and Canada, but it is TOTALLY UNSUITED to a seething shoal of sardines on a tiny island like the UK. Experience over the past fifteen years shows it is also highly susceptible to corrupting political influences, with the limits being lifted whenever big business shouts.

Part of the problem lies in the fact that open borders undermine the management of our economy. Wage compression prevents inflation from taking off, which prevents the Bank of England from increasing interest rates, which allows the economy to overheat to the point where job vacancies exceed non-structural unemployment. And a Government desperate to boast about how many jobs it has created just adds to the mess. If the Bank were to be given a target to keep job vacancies in line with non-structural unemployment then control over excessive demand could be reinstated and excessive job vacancies with screams from big business for more immigration would not arise, though the brakes would be refitted to the train once our borders are under control again.

Big business will not train up native residents in favour of skilled immigrants unless it is FORCED to do so. The interests of big business and that of the nation do not automatically coincide. Furthermore it is theft of the highest order to attract here expensively trained immigrants from their home countries who need them far more than we do. In fact it is IMMORAL.

I therefore STRONGLY RECOMMEND you switch to a quota and auction system. Every applicant for a work and residence visa would require a British sponsor to pay for the quota tariff as well as for health, benefits and debt insurance. This would create an open competitive market for the skills we need. The tariff would be quoted for each future month perhaps up to six months ahead and vary day by day according to the balance of supply and demand within that month. I suggest that the monthly quota be set at no more than 20,000, resulting in NET VOLUNTARY EMIGRATION of around 50,000 a year, thereby reducing population density and increasing quality of life in this country by providing more space for all.

The quota system will also be necessary to mop up any over-flows from your illegal immigration systems, which I suspect will remain a flood. However big business will not be amused if they are thereby left with even fewer places. An alternative way of dealing with refugees is needed.

Right to Citizenship and Nationality Law

You make no mention of how long an immigrant would have to work successfully here before they have a right to citizenship, and this together with past incompetence makes for legacy cases such as with the Windrush generation. It is inhuman to disrupt lives and families who are already well established here. It is therefore important that everyone knows exactly where they stand right from the start, and your sections on this subject HORRIFY me with the amount of arbitrary discretion you are building in. That will simply result in confusion and chaos.

May I therefore suggest a few simple and binding rules that everyone can understand right from the start:

  • Work and Residency visas should be valid for up to four years. After that if they still have a sponsor (not necessarily the same one), have been self-sufficient and not picked up a criminal record, they can purchase a further four years at a 25% discount, 50% after eight years and 75% after twelve. If they can complete 16 years in good order they will be entitled to citizenship. This will also mop up many legacy cases.
  • Those who can show British ancestry should be entitled to a proportionate reduction in sixteenths in both cost and duration.
  • Entitlement at birth should be determined by having at least two out of the following three characteristics:
  •              birth in this country
  •              a British biological or adoptive mother
  •              a British biological or adoptive father.

Return of Illegals and Asylum seekers.

You are living in cloud-cuckoo land if you think the French and other continental countries are going willingly to accept back refugees just because we happen geographically to be further away from the sources of instability. Not unreasonably they want an equal acceptance of refugees across Europe. Even now they are refusing to cooperate with us on this. They are certainly not going to start doing so any time soon.

You make a brief mention of off-shoring without putting forward any concrete proposals. This of course is the only practical option remaining if we can purchase a large tract of land somewhere outside Europe as British Sovereign territory where we can set up a civilised open permanent colony for refugees and illegals. In fact they are likely to self-segregate there with the genuine refugees remaining and the economic migrants moving on voluntarily. This will not be cheap if it is both to be attractive to the host country and provide a normal way of life with jobs, security and public services for the residents. However we currently have a massive overseas aid budget doing nothing particularly useful other than assuage some peoples’ guilt complexes which can be used to set it up, and in the longer term the colony should become self-sufficient with its own successful economy using the host country’s currency to facilitate trade with it.

With a large enough tract of land, or indeed several, we could then offer refugee services to other European countries for an appropriate fee thereby spreading the cost.

Visitors, Students and Seasonal workers.

You do not address this issue at all. I don’t have a problem with any number of students and school pupils coming to this country provided they leave at the end of their courses, as well as business people and others travelling frequently. However there appears to be a huge but unquantified problem with overstayers which must be addressed.

Frequent visitors and students could be issued with smart card visas, rather like Oyster cards, to facilitate their movements across our borders. Three months per annum or the duration of their courses would be uploaded free of charge, and then additional days up to nine months in each year could be purchased online at the current monthly quota rate. You appear to have removed the requirement to leave at the end of their courses and are now giving all students a right to remain for two years after graduating. This must be rescinded both as they are needed back in their home countries and because business must be forced to train up native workers. However a compromise is provided if some extra time can be  purchased on the card at the current quota rate where employers are not immediately offering to sponsor and purchase a full resident and work visa within the quota.

Either way it is important that we have full bio-details of everyone who comes here. It is then a simple matter of placing names and photos of overstayers on a website if they fail to check out in time and offering say a £100 reward for information leading to their arrest.

Border police should come under general national police management, albeit as a separate force, so that all police across the country have a responsibility to cooperate with each other over the policing of our borders.

Conclusion.

Your plan only scratches the surface of the immigration catastrophe we are now reeling under in this country and therefore I do urge you to consider seriously the possible solutions I have outlined above. Patel is fiddling while Rome burns.

Policy Papers

Over the past couple of months a number of Whats App groups have been commenced within the party including one for policy development. This is a huge improvement on the previous arrangement where members could fill in a form on the members website and it would be sent to persons unknown. They just disappeared into the ether. Now we have a system where policy ideas can be seen by everyone and commented on as you go along.

I have now submitted the following papers which you can download and comment on here:

  1. Trade and the economy
  2. Border controls
  3. A Sovereign Wealth Fund
  4. A National Credit card
  5. Constitutional and Electoral reform
  6. Education
  7. Environment
  8. Fishing
  9. Social Care
  10. Welfare Reform

Libertarian or Democratic libertarian?

One of the joys of our new Whats App sites is that you can have a jolly good debate over important issues and, as long as it doesn’t get personal, which all good debaters avoid, make substantial progress in developing them.

Inevitably in the aftermath of Brexit the debate has turned to the position of the party on the political spectrum. Before it really didn’t matter too much as we were all united behind the common objective of getting Britain out of the European Union. We have members from all walks of life and background, but once the tide goes out you can see what’s below!

Our constitution, clause 2.5, says we are a democratic libertarian party. Small ‘d’ and small ‘l’. It does not say, as some have claimed, that we are a Libertarian party, with a capital ‘L’. I don’t know how much thought went into the original wording? Perhaps not very much and they were just looking for something vaguely neutral. However it says what it says, so what does it mean and do we want to change it? I discovered a general reluctance to change the constitution, but I don’t think many realise quite what a Mad Dictator’s Charter we have been lumbered with. However I am not going to go into that here as I have covered it in a previous post.

My immediate reaction is that the words ‘democratic’ and ‘libertarian’ qualify each other. Traditional libertarian theory pretty much means no taxes and no government, at least in its American incarnation, where all taxation is regarded as theft and only those paying into the pot should be entitled to a vote. This was the position espoused by John Stuart Mill writing in the 1860s and based on the theories of classical economics. Since then of course John Maynard Keynes has produced his General Theory in which he introduced the concept of involuntary unemployment and observed that economic equilibrium can occur at less than full employment. Keynes’ view is now mainstream. More recently we have become familiar with the notion of dysfunctional markets where the imbalance of supply and demand is so great that the price mechanism no longer works, such as in housing or steel, and government intervention is required.

Mills’ theories are not redundant however, particularly in the realm of social justice, and Keynes himself was careful to stress that the classical laws of economics remain valid in normal conditions. As with Einstein’s general theory in physics, the classical laws only break down in extreme circumstances such as for matter approaching the speed of light or the interaction between subatomic particles. In fact I think Keynes was being a tad pompous in comparing himself with Einstein because by the time he was writing he was analysing a different ‘nature’ whereas Einstein was explaining more deeply the original nature. That is because during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries the introduction of a full franchise and the advent of trades unions meant that a resistance to the downward movement of wages had developed which was not there before.

The principle tenet of JS Mill’s philosophy that I adhere to is that of the ‘Tyranny of the Majority’. If the majority decides everything then nothing is left to the discretion of the individual or to minority rights. Classic examples were Labour’s disbandment of catholic adoption agencies and their insistence on single-stream comprehensive schools and persecution of independent schools. In neither case is there any overriding national interest involved; no need for uniformity across the land. The Socialist view is totalitarian ideology in which Big Sister knows best.

A free society might be defined as one in which the domain of morality is greater than the scope of the law. A bit like concentric circles it is the size of the gap in between them. A free society requires respect for the law, and that will only occur if everyone is equal under it. The law is there to protect us from harm or loss by third parties, and to enable us to deal with confidence with second parties. It is not there to protect us from ourselves nor to coerce us into patterns of behaviour which are simply of convenience to the state. A free society requires a strong sense of moral responsibility and history shows that it not only requires one, it also breeds one. By comparison in the EU, where most laws are based on Napoleonic law, you can only do what the law permits you to do. Here it is the other way around. That is now threatened by incoming alien cultures to replace the threat posed by the EU.

All libertarians reject the tyranny of socialism, but how far to the right do you have to go to escape it? This depends on whether the majority of voters are socialist or libertarian, and I am quite sure the majority in this country are libertarian. Indeed I maintain that the word ‘democratic’ in ‘democratic libertarian’ places us firmly at the centre of the political spectrum pretty much by definition. That is where the votes are, and there is no point in taking an extremist position where there aren’t any. Activists in all parties like the simple clarity of extremist positions, but activists are not typical of the general population.

So we need a simple yardstick to say what government should be about and what it should leave to the discretion of the individual. I suggest that yardstick should be the concept of ‘national interest’ as assessed objectively by its very nature. For example there is clearly a national, or common interest in defence and equality under the law. That means we must raise sufficient taxes to pay for these things as a common good. It also introduces the concept of a transfer of wealth from rich to poor as our tax systems are progressive. The money could not be raised otherwise.

Other areas of policy are more debatable, but I argue that there is no national interest in allowing an unemployable underclass to develop. Not only do you have to be educated but you also have to be fit and healthy to pursue and hold down a job, and you have to be free of such structural unemployment factors such as the poverty trap and skill and regional imbalances. So education, health, welfare and regional policy also qualify, and so on. Those who argue that all taxes are theft should try earning a living on a desert island. They only reason they can do so is because they are part of a society that provides them with the economic opportunities and framework of law in which to do so, so some recompense is surely only just. I also pointed out that I do not myself now pay tax! Every year I use savings to make additional pension contributions so as to keep my taxable income to within the personal allowance. I would be pretty pissed off if I lost my right to vote as a result!

At the start of our discussions I tried to quantify such a centre position by saying we should limit central government expenditure to 35% of GDP. After all we have just been through a general election where Labour wanted to increase it to over 40% yet at the same time we are struggling to balance the books with a pre-Covid deficit of around £40bn, or 2% GDP, when the OECD says central government is currently spending 33.5% GDP and many public services are clearly struggling. This drew some sharp intakes of breath in certain quarters. OK the constitution in Clause 2.5 does go on to say that we will “seek to diminish the role of the State and lower the burden of taxation on individuals and businesses”. I can go along with that provided we remember that the majority of people in this country clearly want decent public services and a reliable welfare state. That means focusing on efficiency and possibly also on alternative sources of finance. There are plenty of opportunities to do so as my policy contributions demonstrate.

Addressing Islam

UKIP’s constitution under Clause 2.4 says clearly that we uphold the principles of Equality under the Law and oppose all forms of discrimination. It follows from this that it would be wrong to mention Islam specifically in any manifesto, at least as far as proposed changes to the law are concerned, because if the law identifies any person or group then automatically that person or group is no longer equal under the law. A number of members who have left us have found that difficult to reconcile.

The issues we face are those of criminality and cultural displacement, not Islam as such. I see no reason to enquire into the nature of Islam. I have never read the Koran as it is not my religion. I am a libertarian believing in freedom of conscience and worship. A problem only arises if the law is broken. The law is binary. Either you are Guilty or you are Not Guilty. There is nothing in between. Motivation is irrelevant as far as the verdict is concerned. It may be taken into account in the sentencing, but that is another matter. The fact that some individuals do not respect the law and want to substitute their own need not concern us at the level of an individual crime. It does concern us however if such individuals attain political power and influence in large numbers. It also concerns us if the indigenous population start to feel pushed aside and ignored either physically or politically. That is what I call cultural displacement. Nobody minds a bit of diversity and I support those who say it enriches our own civilisation, but when the numbers become as large as they are now it ceases to be diversity and becomes displacement.

Those who protest at this are often accused of Islamophobia. It seems to be an exclusively Islamic problem. We don’t have the same problem with Judaism of Sikhism for example as they make an effort to fit in and adopt our values, and we have benefited greatly from their contributions.

Phobia simply means fear. Machiavelli noted that if you hurt a man he will hate you for it, and all the others will fear you for it. He was of course advocating fear as an instrument of policy, whereas we want exactly the opposite. But his understanding of human nature was spot on. Of course if someone comes along and tries to kill us or rape our daughters we are going to hate them for it. And everyone else will fear them for it. What else did they expect! Fear is irrational and will not draw nice distinctions between good moslems and bad. Aggression is always and only a sign of insecurity. Insecure people will lash out indiscriminately, and that will then create fear on the other side, and before you know it a viscous circle has flared up and you have a civil war on your hands.

If you want to reduce an effect then you must reduce the cause, and the principle causes of racism and Islamophobia in this country today are perceived inequality under the law and cultural displacement. To paraphrase Tony Blair’s famous dictum about crime, we must not only be tough on racism, we must also be tough on the causes of racism.

Canvassing around Southall now during two general elections, a majority black and Asian community with a large number of different ethnic groups and the largest Sikh community outside India, I was struck by how almost all of them said it was natural for each to self-segregate. I don’t have a problem with this, provided always that no group becomes disproportionately dependent on the state. I certainly don’t agree with those who want to whiz everyone up into some sort of homogeneous, mono-cultural mulligatawny soup. On that basis we should object to the Welsh speaking Welsh! We all want to preserve and celebrate our own cultures, and that is the glory of multiculturalism. Long may it survive. It only becomes a problem if one group becomes over-assertive and insists on shoving their own identity up the noses of others. Gay Pride marches routed through Muslim neighbourhoods provide an entertaining example! Muslim ethnic cleansing and grooming gangs a much more serious one.

However the result is the formation of something akin to geological tectonic plates. When one plate expands and starts to overlap another you get earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, in this case in the form of conflict and racism. I understand the dilemma that local authorities find themselves in when faced with the need to accommodate increasing and changing numbers like this, but their attempts to mix everyone up simply does not work. The result is the ethnic cleansing gangs that we have seen in Luton and elsewhere which intimidate all others out of the areas they themselves want to live in, and the police, under orders from the local authority, simply stand by and do nothing.

The only real answer is to control the ethnic balance and numbers with strict control over immigration and by ending breeding for benefits. I address those policies elsewhere. In addition we must review the lines of accountability of the police so that enforcement of national laws are not overlooked. The appointment of a national Chief of Police to provide a clear line of accountability and responsibility between local constabularies and Parliament would be a start. It would also help ensure the police get the resources they need, and that the performance of each constabulary is reviewed in comparison with its peers. And it would enable a secondary line for public complaint to a national review team for instances where local constabularies fail to follow up on local complaints or, even worse, start to persecute those who complain, as has been witnessed now on several occasions.

 

 

Reviewing UKIP’s constitution

Back in February I was invited to join an internal working group reviewing the party’s constitution. This seemed particularly apt in view of the series of disastrous decisions over the past year which has seen both membership and finances damaged, but I soon found that some others saw it as no more than a routine maintenance exercise.

No matter, I ploughed on and contributed my findings and ideas. There did not however appear to be any urgency from the NEC so things drifted until our new leader, Freddy Vachha, was elected in June. Freddy soon decided he needed to be directly involved with this and the team was reshuffled without me!

However still nothing has happened, so for the sake of posterity I post my report and it’s appendices here:

Report

Appendix 1. Proposed new constitution showing changes

Appendix 2. Review of documents

Appendix 3. Proposed new Memorandum and Articles of Association (incomplete)