.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Will Farage's admissions derail UKIP?

This morning's Observer reports that the leader of the UK Independence party, which wants to lead Britain out of the EU, has taken £2m of taxpayers' money in expenses and allowances as a member of the European Parliament, on top of his £64,000 a year salary.

Nigel Farage claims that he has not "pocketed" the money. Instead he says he has used this "very large sum of European taxpayers' money" to help promote Ukip's message that the UK should get out of the EU. The paper says that the admission threatens to flatten a bounce in the polls for UKIP that has seen the party climb to around 17% over the last fortnight as angry voters flock to smaller parties regarded as untainted by the Westminster expenses scandal.

The revelation will be deeply embarrassing for Farage and his party in the light of their attempt to get votes by calling on voters to punish "greedy Labour, Conservative and Lib Dem MPs" at the European elections on 4 June. This is especially the case when one considers the fate of the 12 UKIP MEPs elected five years ago.

Ashley Mote, was expelled from the party - and later jailed - for benefit fraud. Another, Tom Wise, is now facing prosecution for alleged false accounting and money laundering relating to his EU expenses. He denies the charges. Television presenter Robert Kilroy-Silk, who won the East Midlands for Ukip, later left to form another eurosceptic outfit, Veritas.

The report continues: Last night, as Ukip circulated new party literature saying Westminster MPs had "ripped off taxpayers", Farage, who employs his wife to help run his office and pays her from his allowances, faced a backlash as opponents accused him of hypocrisy. MacShane suggested that Ukip's attempt to pose as more honourable on expenses than other parties had been exposed as shameless and hollow.

"Far from being the party of the little man in Europe, Nigel Farage's astounding £2m raid on the taxpayer shows he is up there with any other politician, happy to line his pockets with gold," he said.

Maybe the recent fall in UKIP poll ratings is down to the fact that voters are already starting to see through their hypocrisy on this issue.
Hopefully voters will think twice about supporting a party that's probably the worst of the lot when it comes to ripping off taxpayers.

Puts even Den Dover (elected as a Tory) in the shade, with his £700,000 extracted from taxpayers.

UKIP are shallow opportunists.
Good morning Peter,

The problem with this expense row is that all parties have skeletons in the closet and as soon as one throws a stone, someone finds a LibDem or Tory or Labour MP who has done something even worse than the last revelation.

I was supposed to be on The Politics Show Wales this a.m. talking about expenses row impact and US opinions but BBC Washington is shut down for Memorial Day weekend.

What needs to be done is transparency brought to the fore and a living wage paid MPs so none of this expense balderdash is allowed or continues from any party.

That's what the US did in '91 and now the 'only' headlines you see relate to lobbyist excesses/influence peddling and they mostly end up in jail!

All the best,

Denis Campbell
UK Progressive.co.uk
Ermm, worth noting that all MEPs get the same allowances. To pay staff. The "Frage" money goes to staff. The Den Dover problem was that the money was claimed and then paid to his family company. Rather different.

The staff allowance is £240,000 a year....over a decade that's north of £2 million. That's all it is.
I think the issue here Tim is that (a) UKIP claim to be different. They are not; and (b) the irony and essential dishonesty of a party being opposed to Europe and yet taking millions of pounds of European money to campaign against the institution they are a member of.
Presumably it would have been better if, instead of giving the money to their party they had just pocketed it like the others including LibDems?
Now that is a misconception and a misrepresentation that you cannot justify or substantiate. Lib Dem MEPs work hard for their constituents and used money they received to pay staff to support that role, not for political campaigning. Plus there was no hypocrisy involved. The Lib Dems are committed to Europe.
The thing is, UKIP MEPs rarely turn up, and if they do it's only to make complete asses of themselves. Farage himself only turns up 54% of the time, apparently, and the overall average is 60%.


Of course, they say that this is because they are following a policy of absentionism. They don't think to take this to its logical conclusion, though - they continue to draw allowances!
The fact that you have to censor comments critical of the \LibDems shows both how dishionest it is to attack UKIP & how unsure of your own members you are.
If you are upset that I have not posted one or two of your comments then please re-read the comments policy. I am not going to publish comments that contain possibly libellous remarks about the Liberal Democrats or anybody else for that matter. If you want to throw unsubstantiated dirt then start your own blog and take responsibility for what is published on it.
Post a Comment

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?