Tag Archives: chairman

Newport UKIP in turmoil as chairman tries to rid party of ‘EDL sympathisers’ – South Wales Argus

Mike Chaffin, chair of UKIP's Newport branch (left), and Donald Grewar, the party's Newport East Parliamentary candidate (right).

Mike Chaffin, chair of UKIP’s Newport branch (left), and Donald Grewar, the party’s Newport East Parliamentary candidate (right).

Following on from Beastrabban\’s two reposts earlier today, it seems he’s not the only one with something to say about the activities of UKIP – here’s the South Wales Argus:

Newport’s branch of UKIP appeared in turmoil at the weekend as their chairman appealed for help to “rid this branch of EDL sympathisers”.

Mike Chaffin [branch chairman] posted on the branch’s Facebook page: “Not in my name, not in my party and not in my town!”

He pointed readers to comments made by the [party’s] Newport East parliamentary candidate Donald Grewar on the EDL Facebook page and BNP website.

Mr Grewar responded to an EDL post warning of ‘no surrender to militant Islam or political correctness’ with the comment: “Thus sais it all… the mood of the nation… well done EDL” [sic].

And he said in response to an article on the BNP website about gay marriage: “Well said Richtofen…. sadly this will all come to fruition in the very near future. We need to resist and stand our ground.”

Mr Chaffin asked party members: “Do you consider someone who both praises the English Defence League and posts on the British National Party’s own website to be a suitable candidate?”

He revealed he had been asked to stand down as Chairman and allow two others to take over the branch.

The rest of the article is on the South Wales Argus website.

If his claims are true, Mr Chaffin is to be congratulated for trying to rid his party of extremist sympathisers – but it will also prove Hope Not Hate correct in its assertion that UKIP is run by “amateurs”.

How are extremists allowed into UKIP in the first place?

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Here we go again – another Kipper brought back to Earth with a bump

UKIP's latest loss: Phil Bottomley stood down as Walsall branch chairman after claiming Britain is going through a form of ‘ethnic cleansing’ because of immigration.

UKIP’s latest loss: Phil Bottomley stood down as Walsall branch chairman after claiming Britain is going through a form of ‘ethnic cleansing’ because of immigration [Image: Express and Star].

Is there an ‘apology generator’ app that Nigel Farage can get for his phone or tablet? He’d certainly get enough use out of it.

The latest UKIP member to be unseated by his own foul comments is Phil Bottomley, formerly chairman of the party’s Walsall branch, who faced calls for his dismissal from the party over comments about the Labour Party on his personal blog.

He had written: “Labour’s deliberate plan of uncontrolled immigration policy was a classic case of ethnocide… Put simply it is the cleansing or diminishing of an indigenous population by methods other than mass extermination. It is a fact that by 2070 the immigrant population will be ahead of the indigenous peoples of England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.”

Whenever they write, “It’s a fact” without showing where they found it, you know it isn’t a fact at all.

Labour Cllr Sean Coughlan, leader of Walsall Council, said the comments were “abhorrent”.

He said: “I am calling on Mr Farage to disown his comments and choose a new branch chairman.”

Let’s see what Nigel has to say about all this. If he can’t find a new and original way of saying it (and he must be running out by now) then perhaps it’s time to invest in that app.

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UKIP’s Thanet South chairman regrets National Front past – BBC News

Martyn Heale

Martyn Heale

UKIP’s party chairman in Thanet, Kent – the constituency where leader Nigel Farage hopes to become an MP – has said he “deeply regretted” his past membership of the National Front, according to the BBC.

Yet another UKIP member – and in a high position, at that – has admitted an extremist past. Many will see this as further proof that the right-wing party attracts – shall we say – undesirables, and many more will say they expect him to hold the same views as he had in the NF (the “a leopard can’t change its spots” argument).

Evidence is mounting that shows UKIP isn’t the ‘People’s Army’ that Nigel Farage says it is.

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Who is the fool who chose Grant Shapps to question BBC trustworthiness?

Shapps v BBC: Take a look at the name on his tag and ask yourself who you think is more trustworthy.

Shapps v BBC: Take a look at the name on his tag and ask yourself who you think is more trustworthy.

Sometimes you have to wonder if the Conservatives are just having a laugh. Admittedly, the jokes would be sick, but it seems the only logical explanation for some of their decisions.

Take the latest attack on the BBC. A Conservative spokesman has said the Corporation should face a cut in its licence fee or be forced to share it with other broadcasters unless it rebuilds public trust after receiving bad publicity over payouts to top executives and the way it handled the Jimmy Savile scandal.

Unfortunately, the spokesman himself is Tory Chairman Grant Shapps, a man who has his own issues in the same area and who is known to have used at least two false identities for shady reasons.

As ‘Michael Green’, in the run-up to the 2005 election and afterwards, he “charged clients £183 an hour for advice on how to make money from the web as well as offering tips on how to beat the recession blues, including splashing out on a jet-ski or learning to play the guitar,” according to the Daily Mail. Apparently he said his use of the name was to keep his business interests separate from his future political work, but he ended his involvement with that business in 2009, four years after he entered Parliament.

‘Sebastian Fox’ was another alias he used on Howtocorp, the web publishing company he created in 2000.

The two aliases were enough for people to make a connection with ‘Chuck Champion’ of a website called Howtopickupwomennow – but the evidence suggests it is unlikely that this is yet another pseudonym. Besides, the two we already had were enough to make the point that the BBC has no need to accept lectures about trust from Grant Shapps.

Of the BBC (and on the BBC News website) Mr Shapps/Green/Fox said: “They have ended up working in this culture which is buried in the last century, which is ‘we are the BBC, we do what we like, we don’t have to be too accountable’.

“But they are raising £3.6bn through the licence fee, which is a tax, and, quite rightly, the public wants to have sight of how the money is spent. Things like the pay-offs have really caused concern, as have, obviously, things like Savile and [Stuart] Hall [currently in prison for sex offences against young girls) and the culture that goes around that. I think it is one of too much secrecy,” said the man who hid his own business affairs behind false names for the first four years of his Parliamentary career.

Shapps said the BBC should open its books to inspection by the National Audit Office, and open itself up to Freedom of Information requests. He added that there was a “question of credibility” for the BBC over whether it applied “fairness” to its reporting of politics.

How interesting that last point is.

Regarding the bulk of the Shapps complaints, the BBC was quick to point out that the NAO already has full access to the BBC, except for its editorial decisions, and that in 2012 the Corporation responded to more than 1,600 FoI requests and volunteered information on hundreds more subjects.

Then we come to that interesting last point. The BBC spokesman said: “Mr Shapps is right that transparency is key to the future of the BBC. So is its freedom from political pressure.” (Italics mine)

It seems bizarre that the chairman of the Conservative Party should be complaining about the fairness of BBC political reporting. He can only be doing this to imply that the BBC is biased against the Conservatives – but we know that this has already been investigated and the opposite was found to be true.

As reported by this blog in August: “The BBC has a broadly right-wing bias. The study showed that the government of the day generally gets more airtime than anyone else (natural considering it is making policy and actually carrying out the business of government) but in reporting of immigration, the EU and religion, in 2007 Gordon Brown’s appearances on the BBC outnumbered David Cameron’s by less than two to one, while in 2012, Cameron’s outnumbered Ed Miliband’s by around four to one. The same ratios occurred for other prominent members of each party. When reporting of all topics is taken into account, Conservative politicians were featured more than 50 per cent more often than those from Labour in both 2007 AND 2012.”

So now the real motive behind the Shapps attack becomes clear. He wants to coerce the BBC into an even more slavish adherence to the Conservative Party line than it has already, with the threat of losing its monopoly of the licence fee hanging over it.

And he wants to get the public on-side by pushing the discredited claim that the BBC is a den of Lefties.

You’ll have noticed, Dear Reader, that Shapps has not referred directly to any individual news stories. Are we to take it that he opposes the BBC’s failure to report the anti-Tory demonstration outside the Conservative Party conference on September 29? More than three times as many people turned up for that (50,000) as there were delegates in the conference, if I recall correctly.

The Shapps intervention has already received the lack of respect it deserves on the social media. “I see Grant Shapps now loudly slagging off the BBC so we’re all diverted from Hunt’n’Gove systematically destroying the NHS and Education,” Tweeted one member of the Great British public. See recent Vox Political articles for the facts behind those words.

And cartoonist Martin Rowson put the whole affair in context: “Does everyone know that unbelievably fatuous poltroon @grantshapps is Cousin of Mick Jones of The Clash? Weird, huh? Though not as weird as this meretricious delusional oaf thinking anyone ever takes anything he’s ever said ever more seriously than a pool of puppy sick.”

Cabinet reshuffle: Does Cameron think he’s the Joker?

Today’s blog entry will be relatively short. I had an operation on my leg yesterday (September 4) and it seems to be affecting my ability to think.

… And if you think that’s bizarre and illogical, let’s have a look at the decisions made by David Cameron in yesterday’s Cabinet reshuffle!

Firstly, the really shocking news: George Osborne is remaining as Chancellor of the Exchequer. Not really news, I know, but at the outset it makes a mockery of a process that is supposed to be about improving the government of the UK. Osborne’s policies are a disaster; he has sent British industry nosediving while increasing borrowing by £9.3 billion in the last four months. He was booed when he got up to give out medals at the Paralympics and he was booed at Prime Minister’s Questions today. But he remains in the Number Two government job.

Also remaining in post are Home Secretary Theresa May and Foreign Secretary William Hague; Education Secretary Michael Gove surprisingly keeps his brief, despite having proved by his activities that he is not up to the intellectual challenge (see previous Vox articles).

And Iain Duncan Smith will remain at Work and Pensions – oh yes he will! – despite having been offered Justice by David Cameron. This shows the weakness of the Prime Minister. As LabourList’s Mark Ferguson put it: “Cameron tried to move IDS. IDS said no. Cameron said ‘ah…um…ok’. Weak, weak, weak.”

Fellow Tweeter Carl Maxim added: “Iain Duncan Smith was offered a job at Justice but refused to take it. Therefore his benefits should be cut.”

And a fellow called ‘Woodo’ tweeted: “Gove and Duncan-Smith to stay in roles to ‘get the job done’. ‘The job’ being making educating poor kids harder and killing off the disabled.”

Biggest winner in the reshuffle has to be former Culture moron – I mean secretary – Jeremy Hunt, who has been moved up to take the Health brief. This has been seen as a reward for his work on the phone hacking controversy that led to the departure of former News of the World editor Andy Coulson from the Downing Street press office, and to the Leveson Inquiry into the behaviour of the media.

This seems a nonsensical move. Leveson has ordered not only Cameron, but Cameron’s friends Coulson, Rebekah Brooks (who now faces criminal charges for her part in phone hacking), and Hunt himself to give evidence in hearings that were highly embarrassing for those under scrutiny.

Hunt’s own close connections with Rupert Murdoch, whose News Corporation owns the papers that were mainly responsible for the crimes, is well-documented, and led to this tweet from James Lyons: “BREAKING – Rupert Murdoch to buy the NHS.”

This may not be far from the truth. Hunt co-authored a book dealing with the NHS at length, with Daniel Hannon MEP who called the NHS a 60 year mistake. The book states: “Our ambition should be to break down the barriers between private and public provision, in effect denationalising the provision of health care in Britain“.

He reportedly tried to remove the NHS tribute from the Olympic Games opening ceremony and his record in government is as dodgy: he voted to halve the time allowed for an abortion from 24 weeks to 12. His support of homeopathy has also attracted ridicule from some quarters.

Hunt’s arrival at Health follows the ejection of Andrew Lansley, the man who worked for eight long years on his Health and Social Care Bill, that effectively privatised health care in England. This work constituted the biggest lie this government ever sold to the public – that the Conservatives would safeguard the well-loved 64-year-old national institution. His reward? Demotion to become Leader of the House of Commons.

Former employment minister Chris Grayling, a man who believes bed and breakfast owners should be allowed to ban gay couples, has been promoted to the Justice brief. In response, one tweeter asked if Cameron will be building more prisons.

This means the oldest Cabinet member, Kenneth Clarke, has been ejected from Justice. David Cameron reportedly tried to sack him outright, along with departing Conservative co-chair Baroness Warsi, but ended up compounding his weakness by creating new roles for them instead. Clarke will be a minister without portfolio (although it is believed he’ll be sticking his oar into Osborne’s business at the Treasury), and Warsi will be minister for faith and communities.

Nick Parry tweeted: “Now ‘Baroness’ Warsi really knows what it’s like to be Northern and working-class – she’s been made redundant by the Tories.”

And Rory Macqueen asked: “Who has replaced Warsi in the <issue off-the-shelf statement about “Labour’s union baron paymasters”> role? It looks really challenging.”

That would be tireless self-promoter and foot-in-mouth artist Grant Shapps.

Scraping the bottom of the barrel… The new Transport secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, is afraid of flying.

And the former minister for the disabled, Maria ‘Killer’ Miller, is the new Equalities minister. She’ll be victimising women, gays and ethnic minorities as well, from now on. If you think that’s harsh, bear in mind that she voted for a (heavily defeated) proposal to stop abortion providers like Marie Stopes counselling women, and is on record as being in favour of defining homophobia, racial hatred and prejudice as ‘freedom of speech’.

Beyond that, we’re into comedy territory. For example, Mid Wales Labour member Ryan Myles said: “Apparently David Cameron was planning on moving Eric Pickles but couldn’t afford the crane.”

All in all, it’s been a wholesale replacement of anybody with talent, by idiots. The tweeter who identifies himself with Yes Minister lead character Rt Hon Jim Hacker MP summed it up perfectly: “Expected a night of the long knives, may just be a morning of insignificant pricks!