Middle-aged couples in large homes should be encouraged to sell up and downsize to smaller properties to “benefit” society, Lord Newby, a Liberal Democrat minister has said. He has suggested that more than half of people aged over 55 years old have spare rooms and believes the Government should take action to help them move. He told peers: “One of the key challenges for us is that research shows that almost half of all over-55 households have spare space in the house. If we can facilitate downsizing where people genuinely want to do it, society as the whole will benefit.” What next? Will the Police and the Courts be asked to help up us out? And who is it who needs our homes? Is it the many millions who without question are allowed to move to our country because of an open door immigration policy?
Friday the 5th of December - 7pm-8.30pm - 'Meet Nigel', an opportunity to chat with Nigel over a cocktail and some canapés. Tickets priced at £25. Please note in order to give everyone a chance to meet Nigel numbers will be limited.
Saturday the 6th of December - 12 noon - 6pm - 'UKIP Wales Conference', an opportunity to hear from Nathan Gill MEP, Nigel Farage MEP, Diane James MEP, David Coburn MEP and many of our outstanding Welsh General Election candidates. Tickets priced at £10.
Following UKIP’s historic election victory Ed Miliband could be heard saying “it’s not prejudiced to talk about immigration”. The problem is that we just don’t believe him, and why would we? Only 24 hours earlier Labour were condemning UKIP for seeking to discuss immigration. So which one is it Ed? Is discussing immigration okay, or not?
The truth is: Labour has no intent of doing anything to slow down the pace and reduce the quantity of immigration. Ed Milliband now says it is okay to talk about it. But that is all we will get from them: talk.
Only a year ago Labour party grandee, the Lord Mandelson, admitted that the Blair and Brown governments deliberately engineered mass immigration and sent out “search parties” to find foreign workers. Between 1997 and 2010 net migration under Labour totalled more than 2.2million, more than twice the population of Birmingham. In fact former Labour adviser Andrew Neather has openly stated that Labour deliberately encouraged immigration in order to change the make-up of Britain and to “rub the Right’s nose in diversity”. He also said there was “a driving political purpose: that mass immigration was the way that the Government was going to make the UK truly multicultural”.
So if you are waning, if you are contemplating a return to the Labour fold we would say this: don’t be fooled! The Conservatives, Labour and the Liberal Democrats are all happy to see millions more people come to these shores while millions of our people are out of work and our public services are in crisis. Only UKIP want to take back control of our borders. Only UKIP will opt for quality over quantity. Only UKIP will protect communities and only UKIP will reduce immigration to a number that we can manage.
At this week's Doncaster conference Nathan Gill MEP will be delivering a speech in which he aims to highlight the devastation that 15 years of Labour rule in Wales has left behind. A video will be posted here next week for anyone not able to attend conference.
The 18th of September 2014 will go down in history as the day that the Scottish people rejected 'independence'. But with only a narrow margin of victory to celebrate, the LIBLABCON can surely not think the issue will go away for long.
Alex Salmond is a shrewd operator. Since the SNP captured power in the Scottish Parliament they have been busy doing their best to assure victory in yesterday’s vote. Reducing the voting age was central to their plans, because for years Scottish schoolchildren have been subjected to a nationalist orientated curriculum which has included termly screenings of Braveheart in many schools. The SNP have used their control over public bodies to give the YES campaign the best possible chance of victory and they will now surely claim a mandate for greater devolution.
UKIP have always been clear: we believe in the union and we actively campaigned against its orchestrated destruction at the hands of New Labour. But, we had to accept that when the people were asked, they voted for devolution. Our regret is that instead of using the opportunity to address fundamental constitutional issues, the labour party bodged a solution. We now have a situation where English MP's are denied a say on how the Welsh education system is run, but their Welsh counterparts can determine everything from teachers pay to the national curriculum. We say: enough is enough.
We must grasp this nettle and design a system that works for all, but which is democratic at its heart. We must address the fundamental constitutional questions of our time, starting with our membership of the European Union. We must reform the House of Lords once and for all, and we must ensure the House of Commons is truly representative of the UK's population. And we must guarantee that those who are governed from Westminster have a voice in it, from the Falklands to Bermuda.
The saddest thing though, is that the bitterness that has been created by this referendum could have been avoided had the political classes been honest with the people. As part of the European Union’s mission to achieve ever closer union, it has always been intended that the United Kingdom’s governance would be broken up. Our European masters have a vision which will see the end of national governments. This plan is supported by all the pro-EU parties who are happy to see our country relegated to nothing more than a bit part player in a United States of Europe. Under their plans, the Commission will act as a Cabinet, the Commission President will take on a role similar to that of Prime Minister and the President of the Council will become Head of State.
All the parties know this, and all have actively worked towards it. Devolution, city regions, the appointment of an EU foreign policy chief and the building of a European army are all part of this plan. This is not scaremongering. In fact, you only need to read the treaties of the European Union to know that this is what they are working towards. The only party that can stop this is UKIP. Only when we have secured enough seats in the House of Commons to hold the balance of power, will we achieve our referendum. Support us now to make this a reality, or in twenty years time do not be surprised if the EU flag flies over Buckingham Palace and nationhood as we know it is a thing of the past.
Nathan Gill and Nigel Farage on the Daily Politics
The world’s economic community was left stunned by the announcements made at the Conservative Party conference this week. One economist was heard saying “the Conservatives have discovered magic; they have figured out how to deliver tax cuts, still have bigger and better public services and lower borrowing - it's amazing!”
The revelation that the laws of economics no longer apply in the UK came as quite a shock to economists watching the conference, many of whom were heard saying “if the Conservatives now have these magic powers, what else could they do?”
Nathan Gill, MEP for Wales, has spoken on the BBC about how UKIP are capitalising on the fact that the Conservative and Labour parties are no longer trusted to deliver the change that people want.
The message from the people is loud and clear: we are tired of the LIBLABCON, it's time for change!
Today the National Union of Students closely resembles the communist Politburo in the latter throws of the Soviet Union. Outdated and without a clear purpose in an increasingly consumer-led university sector, it is struggling to find its voice.
Recently it has again shown just how out-of-touch it is with the modern world by refusing to condemn ISIS. In recent years the NUS has condemned everything from David Lammy to UKIP, but won’t condemn Palestinian terrorism or the Islamic State. The organisation that once fought for democratic freedoms now actively campaigns against individuals and organisations which don’t share its views, stifling open debate and freedom of speech with almost fascist-like vigour. And considering that it once stood firm behind the principle that access to higher education should be for those with the academic ability, regardless of socioeconomic background, they now support a ‘dumbed down’ university system with a ‘prizes for all mentality’. In terms of campaigning: the organisation is now completely irrelevant. It makes a lot of noise, but little impact. If it is not campaigning for ‘freedom for Palestine’ it is engaged in Christian bashing. Meanwhile the needs of ordinary students get ignored because they are completely incapable of making a difference where it matters to their members. The introduction of tuition fees was a watershed moment because it showed just how irrelevant the NUS is. Tuition fees represented the biggest change to higher education in a generation, but the NUS didn’t achieve so much as a 1 penny reduction in the top rate of fees. Why? Because the vast majority of the small but vocal minority who run the NUS are budding labour or lib dem parliamentary candidates, more concerned with feathering their own nest than the needs of students.
The vast majority of university students have nothing to do with the NUS, and barely anything to do with their own students’ unions. The traditional SU model is in decline, bars are closing due to better services being offered by the competition, shops because they can no longer compete on price, and universities are increasingly questioning their ability to run advice and support services. Yet this doesn’t stop the gravy train from rolling on. Last year a new Chief Executive of the NUS was appointed on a salary of £100,000 per year, more than a consultant surgeon or judge. And throughout the nationwide network of students’ unions the picture is the same. The incestuous pool of so called chief executives, who are no more than glorified paper shufflers, move from union to union, increasing their pay with every move. Some earn as much as £80,000 per year, that’s the same as a commanding officer of a frontline unit of 1000 troops in Afghanistan, for a job that requires no specialist training or skills.
In universities with tens of thousands of students, a union would be lucky to get hundreds voting in an election. Meanwhile they cling onto their funding, arguing they are the student voice. But how can they claim to be the voice of students when most don’t participate, and the only reason most students are members is because their university opts them in courtesy of the fine print buried on the enrolment form? So is it time to ask that as student representation committees take the place of student unions in academic discussions, and as protests consist of rarely anything more than a few anarchists causing a lot of noise, is it time to save the taxpayers the expense of funding this organisation? We can spend the millions saved on something useful, such as providing free childcare for those who want a university education but can’t afford the nursery fees or providing additional tuition for children with learning difficulties whilst at university.
For information: if the NUS try to claim that they are not taxpayer funded, ask them where their money comes from. The vast majority comes from students’ unions who in turn are funded by universities, who are funded by the taxpayer. The remainder comes from income generated in union bars and shops, only made possible because universities gift students’ unions prestigious premises for nominal or no rent!
6th December - 12 noon - Margam Park Orangery - Wales Autumn Conference
It is well known to anyone living in Wales that as a nation we have an ‘alcohol problem’. We consume far more than is healthy and spend far more than is sensible, on what is ultimately a drug. The question is why, and the second question is how do we cut back on what is undoubtedly a pleasure for many of us without outright prohibition.
Why do we consume so much?
If you speak to ‘the man in the street’ you will get many different answers to this question. Some say “I like it”, some say there is “nothing better to do” and some won’t be able to give an answer. But most worrying are the young people, and increasingly older people, who reply along the lines of “I drink to get drunk”. Increasingly this is what we are hearing.
A 19th century tavern
Fundamentally the problem stems from something built-in to our culture that will be difficult to change. For centuries drinking alcohol was deemed to be the only safe way to consume liquids by people living in cities and towns without a fresh and clean water source. The alcohol killed germs, so in turn it became acceptable to drink alcohol from morning until night.
Another issue is that our leisure and entertainment industries have grown out of this culture. Have a look at what it is like to be a teenager in Canada (I know because I lived there for a short period). I lived in the suburbs of Ontario with my family who are Canadian citizens. Coming from Wales and growing up in the Welsh valleys I was already drinking alcohol regularly by age 11. My cousins in Canada found this to be ‘insane’ whereas my friends at home thought nothing of it, because we were all in the same boat. I couldn’t get over the fact that in Canada we could take the subway (which was safe, clean and cheap) to ‘downtown’ where we had a choice of dozens of different activities, none of which involved alcohol. Twice a week my cousin would take me to Borders Books and Music. Remember them? They existed for a brief period in the UK too. We didn’t buy any books; we went there because that is where teenagers ‘hung out’. We would sit on beanbags, drink soft drinks or coffee, read books and magazines and chat. The first time I did this I thought I was on different planet. By the second time I started to feel envious of what my cousins over the side of the ocean had.
Once a week we would go to watch NBA basketball. I remember that it cost $10 per game because we would sit in the ‘Sprite’ zone. This was an area which was sponsored and perfect for kids like us on tight budgets. We would also go to see an NHL ice hockey game once per week and we would sit in the same zone and pay exactly the same for this. I couldn’t believe that you could watch top-level sport every week for this small amount of money. By contrast, a year earlier, I attended my first premiership football game and spent as much on one ticket as it cost me to watch an ice hockey, a baseball and a basketball game in Toronto!
Something is just wrong about the way we do these things in the UK.
Students attending a 'marathon' drinking event in Wales
How do we change?
I am sure that many £millions have been spent by government over decades to try and answer this question. But, I don’t think the answer is that complicated. If you remove a source of ‘pleasure’ such as alcohol you anger those who enjoy it responsibly. As a libertarian I would not advocate this approach. If you ban alcohol you will also drive people towards other more dangerous drugs. But, we have to do something – we cannot do nothing!
We need to have a managed approach to leisure and entertainment facilities so people don’t feel that they only have one option. We cannot simply accept the fact that football clubs can charge what they want, especially when they play in stadiums funded by the taxpayer (which many are). We cannot take the view that busses on certain bus routes can simply stop running when it is not financially viable for the operator.
The point is: we need a debate and we need to not be afraid of challenging cultural norms and asking serious questions about the way in which leisure services are planned and delivered. We may have to open our minds to the prospect of further subsidy for activities that are wholesome and safe, but which are not financially viable. In short, we need to do something which is not a poster campaign which only lines the pockets of the advertising agencies.
Let’s start a debate.
A YOUGOV poll carried out for ITV Wales and Cardiff University has shown that 17% of the people in Wales are planning to vote UKIP at the General Election.
In response to the poll Nathan Gill M.E.P. said:
“The people of Wales understand that far from getting better, living standards are getting worse. The combination of an out-of-touch and out-dated European Union, a blundering LIBLAB coalition in Westminster and a lacklustre labour government in Cardiff is leading more people to question the way in which we are governed and the people who run our lives.
Only UKIP are prepared to face the economic reality that decades of European rule has left behind. This is why we are seeing more and more people turn to UKIP.”
(based on figures in the latest ITV/YouGov poll)
A Survation poll carried out for the Mail on Sunday puts support for UKIP in Wales on 28.5%
The party was a full 15 points ahead of the Conservatives in Wales, so may we well placed to challenge Labour Parliamentarians in so-called ‘safe seats’, who up until now have had no serious opposition. 12.4% for Plaid Cymru would appear to illustrate that support for Welsh independence is almost nonexistent. Meanwhile, the Lib Dems on 3.3% look certain for electoral wipe-out. If this trend continues into and beyond the General Election, a scenario could emerge in which UKIP form the Official Opposition in the Welsh Assembly.
The annual UKIP conference witnessed the defection of a second EU-sceptic Tory MP. The Conservative Party trotted out the usual “UKIP is a one man band”, “flash in the pan”, “this is a short-term problem” - but we know different! It is no secret that many UKIP members are former members of the Conservative Party (although many have been members of Labour or members of no political party at all). In fact I too am a former member of the Conservatives. I was immensely proud to be so. I believed (wrongly as it transpired) that the Conservative Party were the party of aspiration, hope, fiscal & social responsibility and most importantly of all: British values. How wrong I was.
I like many 'hung in' for many years refusing to believe that the party were not acting in the best interests of the nation. But, like many of you, I watched Nigel Farage deliver a speech and realised that only UKIP, led by him, could help this country get back its national pride and ambition. Over the two years that I have been a member I have met numerous others who went through the same agonising decision: to leave or not to leave. I know, and they know, it is a hard decision to make. But it is a necessary one. Why? Because the Conservative Party is no longer a conservative party! Sure there are members and some MP's who are conservatives, but the people making decisions are no less social democrat that Nick Clegg.
Britain needs a party that will stand-up for the values that have underpinned our society for centuries. We need a party that believes in success and doesn't want to punish the successful. We need a party that believes that wherever you are from you deserve the same changes. We need a party that believes in the freedom of the individual, and if elected would roll back the state out of our front doors. We need a party that would never leave Britain defenceless to attack. We need a party that doesn't believe in spilling British blood because of some 'old colonial' view that we should be the world's policemen.
We need UKIP. So we say to the disillusioned members of the Conservative Party in Wales who want a government who will truly deliver the changes Britain needs: join us today!
There is something rotten in the state of Europe when an unelected, unaccountable EU body can glibly inform millions of us that we no longer have the right to question its most dangerous and unpopular policies.
This is exactly what has just happened, as the European Commission has announced that it will not allow a European Citizens’ Initiative (ECI) to challenge the secret trade talks it is holding with the US government, supposedly on our behalf.
A British Hero
The world, or at least most of it, is looking on with despair and anger at the killing of a British hero: Alan Henning. He was a man who represented the best in us. He sacrificed his time with his family, and his livelihood, to make a difference. We should unite in opposing the ideology that sits behind the brutal regime that took his life. But we should resist the temptation to let our anger cloud our judgement.
We must hope that this despicable act will not go unpunished. But unlike those who despise our way of life, we must resist the temptation to do what we have always done in this region, i.e. bomb. Why? Because it never works.
Every time we act in the Middle East we get it wrong. We act out of a sense of decency and because we have an understanding of right and wrong. The problem is that we don’t understand the region, the religion or the people. We look at the problems in the region as being one-dimensional, but the region is more complex than we can comprehend.
When we created Israel we did so for the right reasons. Burdened by the guilt of standing by while the Germans persecuted the Jews throughout the 30's and 40's we acted to secure them a home. There was nothing wrong with what we were trying to do; the problem was that in doing the right thing by the Jewish people, we did the wrong thing by the Palestinian people.
When we removed Saddam Hussein we did so because he was a brutal repressive dictator. But what have we left in its place? When the United Nations was founded it was accepted by all that war did not work. It was accepted that we must work together as an international community to oppose repression and brutality. But it did not take long for us to start to bypass the organisation set up to keep peace. We must take stock and get back on a sensible footing. War never works and military action must only be taken in the defence of our people or if authorised by the UN Security Council (as the UN Charter makes clear). Let us be clear that as a nation we cannot advocate democracy and the rule of law while shunning it ourselves.
We must broker a global solution to this problem of Islamic fundamentalism. We must work together with our Chinese and Russian partners to oppose this brutal ideology, only then can it be defeated. We must not be afraid to ask tough questions and must not run from the debate. Let's build a better world, but let us start by building a better Britain.
At a debate between UKIP, Plaid Cymru and the Conservatives on Tuesday, Barry Clark (Chairman of Llanelli Branch) busted apart the myths being peddled about our education system by the political establishment in Wales. The so called 'main parties' want us to believe that everything that goes wrong in Wales is because the English taxpayer hasn't given us enough money; Barry on the other hand had some cold hard facts for the establishment to digest.
Education is a devolved matter. This means that despite what Labour and Plaid want you to believe, it is a Labour government in Cardiff and not a Tory government in London that is to blame for the poor state of schools in Wales - it is the Welsh Assembly that determines how money is to be spent and all of the parties represented in the Assembly have contributed to problems we have today.
And whilst it is true that the amount of money that comes into the Assembly is set by the Treasury in London, under the Barnett formula, Wales, last year received £9,709, and England got £8,529. In other words the Welsh Assembly has more money to spend (per head) than the government in England. The difference is actually a massive £1180 per year (Source: Guardian 2014). However, when you look at how much of this money actually reaches front-line public services it gets scary. In 2011 schools in Wales received on average £604 per year less per pupil than schools in England (Source: BBC). As for recent data, we don't have it, why? Because the Welsh Assembly scrapped the annual review of figures (Source: Times Education Supplement) presumably to hide these cold hard facts from the public.
So where is the money going? Well perhaps it is the £423,000 that the Welsh Government spent subsidising meals in its own canteen (Source: South Wales Evening Post) or the £100,000 they spend on plants (Source: Daily Mail). Wherever it is going, it is certainly not going on schools where it is much needed.
And as Barry told the audience: all the parties represented in the Assembly are part of the problem. Only UKIP will bring the gravy train to a stop! Taxpayer’s money is hard-earned and we should never forget that. The millions of people who go to work every morning deserve better.
Some more hard facts on the reality of education in Wales from the international PISA study: