However, as a result of this meeting, UKIP got it's Fruitcake! Read here...
Why I'm Breaking A Habit of a Lifetime to Vote for a Vibrant, Outward Looking, Global Trading, Welcoming Britain!
Finally got off my butt and decided how to vote in next year's Euro Elections. The catalyst was yesterday's announcement in the Sunday Times by the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) that it would oppose any UK withdrawal from the EU and I have decided to break a habit of a Conservative Party lifetime and vote UKIP at next year's Euro elections.
Best part of this decision so far: It seems to have got my daughter, who is taking a Government and Politics A-Level, to ask a really intelligent question about it (if only on Twitter)! Awesome stuff...helping to restore my faith in the next generation of sleep-until-Noon, head in an iPhone, continually texting, "Whatever Ya!" sloppy thinkers! Here's yesterday's Twitter thread.
a) As a top 15 global economy the UK can negotiate its own win-win bi-lateral trade agreements with other states or trading blocs like the EU (I say top 15 and not top 5 or 10 as we increasingly seem to be slipping in global economic rankings, not least because of some of the regulations coming out from the EU);
b) We have our own respected world currency which allows us to create an economic environment that makes use of our four biggest natural resources: i) the drive and intelligence of the people who live in Britain (whether born here or who emigrate here); ii) Our time zone which gives us a natural advantage in dealing with all parts of the world; iii) London, quite simply the most cosmopolitan, business orientated city in the world; and iv) the rule of English common law and the international advantage it gives the UK as it relates to company formation and commercial contracts;
c) That any coherent policy supporting the rights of nation states to govern their own affairs that is opposed by a) Big Unions; b) Big Corporations; c) Big Finance Institutions; and d) the major Lobbying and Advertising Groups that try to massage our thinking must be a good thing for SME's, sole traders and the general population at large!
I'm lacing up me boots....Watch this space!
"Don't Be A Follower, Be a Thinker!"...www.ThinkSURE.com
How UKIP are Clowning their Way To Changing the Face of British Politics
Updated Post Friday 3 May 2013 1026hrs:
Royston County Council Election Result 2013 - Con hold
Les Baker (Lab) 732
Karen Harmel (Green) 232
Fiona Hill (Con) 1,508
Mark Hughes (UKIP) 1,210
John Winder (Lib Dem) 157
Mark Hughes emailed the following :
"Herts was always going to be a tough nut to crack, I do however sense a 'I told you so!' moment with Nick Robinson [Chief Political Correspondent BBC] and many others this morning, repeating my observation of a few months ago that this is more than protest vote and is in fact a big 70-year change in UK politics!
"Clearly UKIP are now here to stay and this is now a good time leading up to the Euro Elections, next year. The next shock for the Conservatives is when an opinion poll shows UKIP ahead. Also, we keep coming second in Parliamentary seats, but are the challenger, North, South, East and West something the Conservatives have not done in 40 years.
"Winning the next General Election is impossible for the Conservatives. When they eventually accept that they might have to reach out to disaffected supporters it will be too late. The danger for them is the longer they leave it the more the UKIP franchise becomes deep routed. I believe that is already too late. I am UKIP and so is a third of Royston, this will not change anytime soon."
Posted Monday 1 May 2013: Back in January, I posted a piece on the interesting discussion about UKIP that has gripped the group that I dine with regularly twice a year - see below. I noted that one of the group had recently shocked us all by joining UKIP - the political party that is shaking up the political establishment and changing the face of politics here in the United Kingdom. I revealed that person as Mark Hughes, a man who manages a £100 million investment fund from his company offices in Royston in Hertfordshire - and by my calculation employs at least 8 people locally to boot.
I return to this topic since tomorrow is local election day here in England and Mark is standing as the UKIP County Council candidate in Royston and has found himself being backed by UKIP as taking the number one target seat in Hertfordshire. Nightly, he sends me updates from his street canvassing for comment (I have some form in this space) and I must say I have been impressed by both his commitment and the intelligence that he has applied to the task at hand. Mark's use of highly targeted eMarketing techniques on Facebook (which let's face it is still in its infancy in this regard) to target young people was an eye opener, even for this like-to-think-he's-seen-it-all 'Digital Strategist'. It looks like Mark and his team are 'political pioneers' in using this social media site in this way for local elections.
It is also interesting, that Mark has not forgotten old media and booked the now familiar local newspaper wrap-around during this last week of the campaign (see photo above). What is disturbing if you are the local incumbent Conservative candidate is that you didn't think of booking this for your own campaign! You have effectively been ambushed by a smart, credible opponent. Let's face it, if you get the basic allowance of £9,588 each year that you are on the council (plus petrol, meal expenses and other allowances for 'special duties') you might have thought that such a politician would save some of that money to shore up their electoral base each time they come up for election every four years! (Think these expenses are outrageous - so do I! See here)
Then again, the bewildered local Conservative candidate is in the same Party as pro-Euro Ken Clarke so maybe it's not surprising. This is also the same Party that I have voted for all my life. Within the Party I have been a Young Conservative Chairman (here), Constituency Chairman, a Local Conservative Councillor (here) and also Parliamentary (here) and Mayoral (here) candidates. And one thing I know for sure in all my years as a Conservative voter and activist, is that Ken Clarke is a complete Clown. Always has been and always will be. The extent of Ken Clarke being in touch with the average entrepreneur is a pair of dirty Hush Puppies!
In his most recent outburst last Sunday he branded members and voters of UKIP 'Clowns' and stated that the Party had no 'positive policies'. Since I had that same day mailed in my vote in the County Council elections I tweeted the following:
In short, Clarke's contribution would be idiotic from any politician, especially a Cabinet Minister. Simply by asking Google: "What Does UKIP Stand For?" brings up this. A short policy document bullet-pointing a range of policies that seem very sensible, positive alternatives to New Labour and the Liberals and more and more as an alternative to the Conservative Party. Does anyone know if Ken Clarke actually knows what Google is, or does? Does he have an Internet connection? Can he see a screen through all that cigar smoke? Does he actually know if he has a Facebook page?
As I grow older, I increasingly recognise the value of the Chinese Proverb "The enemy of my enemy is my friend". Ken Clarke is the enemy of both an independent, free market British economy and of decent political debate even at a 'knock about level'. In fact, he is the enemy of all long standing supporters of the Conservative Party who should now show this particular Clown the door by not selecting him as a Conservative candidate at the next election. He's not A-List he's the Circus List. In this election, his stupid comments have made him UKIP's friend!
But then, by any reasonable yardstick this Conservative Party looks doomed to face defeat again at the next general election not least because it is now so out of touch with its own supporters who are increasingly seeing that UKIP offers a clear alternative if not a winning one.
In the end, just voting for what you believe in rather than what commentators say makes "tactical sense", may just make tactical sense!
If nothing else, before you vote Conservative tomorrow compare the utterings of Ken Clarke with Nigel Farage's response in this BBC Radio 4 Interview. It is an interesting comparison. Also, follow the Royston result over the next few days for I will be laughing like a Clown if Mark Hughes is elected and ends up holding a casting vote on which political party should rule Hertfordshire. I bet the Leader of the Conservative Group won't be thanking Ken Clarke in this eventuality!