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Ukip: A Disciplined Election Machine?

Ukip: A Disciplined Election Machine? | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it
Nigel Farage has promised to "professionalise" his party, lashing out at the “Walter Mittys” causing embarrassment to UKIP.

The party is set to hold day-long assessment centres to find the best candidates to put forward for next year's general election, following a fresh wave of embarrassing blunders.

By Charlotte Meredith Posted: 28/01/2014http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/01/28/ukip-nigel-farage-_n_4678172.html?utm_hp_ref=ukip#slide=3359606

The Ukip leader has already vowed to rid the party of those with "extremist, barmy or nasty" views and now he has admitted, again, that in the past his party has "got it wrong" with people who turned out to be "disappointments".

All 1,818 candidates running for the eurosceptic party are being vetted, Farage said, while insisting that "of all the candidates we fielded, only about half a dozen have caused us any embarrassment".

Again emphasising his efforts to streamline his party, the Ukip leader today told The Times newspaper that it's "very natural that a newish party will attract all sorts of people."

Ukip, he said, had not always been successful in screening out the "Walter Mittys seeking a role in politics which, in the end, they will let down not just us but themselves with".

He is referring to the inept protagonist in James Thurber's short story "The Secret Life of Walter Mitty", recently brought to life by Ben Stiller in film that has received less than positive reviews.

Mr Farage said he wanted the party to become more professional and admitted that in its early days Ukip had a "struggle with talent."

Ukip faced more embarrassment this month when a local councillor, David Silvester, said the recent floods had been God's punishment for new gay marriage laws.

The Ukip leader dealt with the media blow by reading out the weather for the Sunday Politics.

Farage, himself last week got into a spot of bother after he insisted it was just "a fact" that women who made the "lifestyle choice" to have children would be paid less.

It also emerged yesterday that one of Ukip's former members, MEP Godfrey Bloom, mocked a disabled student during an Oxford Union debate last week, asking whether he was Richard III, the medieval king who suffered a spine deformity.

Bloom had previously derided Britain's aid to 'Bongo Bongo' land, called a roomful of female supporters 'sluts' at the party conference, and then hit Channel 4's Michael Crick on the head with a rolled up brochure.

Bloom had previously derided Britain's aid to 'Bongo Bongo' land, called a roomful of female supporters 'sluts' at the party conference, and then hit Channel 4's Michael Crick on the head with a rolled up brochure.

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European Union Faces Crucial Test In Upcoming Parliament Elections

European Union Faces Crucial Test In Upcoming Parliament Elections | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it

01/21/2014; http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/01/21/european-parliament-elections-2014_n_4557228.html?utm_hp_ref=world

 

Back in what now feels like another era, the European Union was a vessel of aspiration whose aims were largely supported by political leaders across the continent.Here was a super-nation constructed out of a collective yearning for shared security, prosperity and modernity.

In the contemporary conversation, talk of the European Union engenders suspicion and even contempt. The union sometimes seems to have devolved into a totem of discontents -- over the continued inflow of migrants from poorer countries, the expanding powers of bureaucrats in Brussels, and the very notion of tying one's national fortunes to the perceived dysfunction of broader Europe.

Against this backdrop, Europeans will head to the polls in May to determine who claims the seats in the European parliament, the legislature that convenes in Strasbourg and Brussels. Given abundant signs of Euroscepticism from London to Berlin, this once-every-five years electoral exercise appears to be shaping up as no less than a referendum on the merits of continuing on with the European Union itself.

The WorldPost has deployed its correspondents across Europe (via international editions of The Huffington Post) to produce a country-by-country report examining what is at stake in the European elections, and what issues are foremost in the political debate.

Distrust about the treaties and conventions that hold together modern Europe appear at an all-time high. Bruising battles over the terms of financial bailouts for Greece and Spain, the rules that ought to apply to banking going forward, the merits of economic austerity policies championed by Brussels, and disagreements over immigration have sown ill feelings and discord, while fueling a drive to reclaim national identities.

At a time in which much of Europe still confronts relatively weak economic prospects -- with unemployment stuck at depression levels in Spain and joblessness among young people a scourge nearly everywhere -- the conversation centers more on hanging on and digging out than forging a closer union.

In recent years, record numbers of eligible European voters have opted to skip the polls for parliament, in what analysts construe as an expression of ambivalence for the European Union -- if not outright rejection.

In the telling of some experts, the elections that will determine who occupies the European parliament tend to be more of a pageant than an exercise in real power. The consequential decision-making generally emanates from the European Council, which is comprised of heads of state and governing ministers from member nations.

That said, this year's European elections are shaping up as a significant gauge of the political mood across the continent. In France, Great Britain and elsewhere, the elections will be used as a platform by parties seeking to drum up support for pulling away from Europe's orbit while returning to parochial concerns.

Here is a central venue for the showdown between growing populist sentiments versus the historic campaign for enhanced European integration. The results are likely to shape national-level politics, which in turn will influence the future of Europe.

GREAT BRITAIN: A Test Of Euroscepticism

In Britain, all eyes will be on how the United Kingdom Independence Party (Ukip) performs. The anti-immigration insurgent party that advocates Britain's withdrawal from the EU has had an extraordinary year. Led by Nigel Farage, it has seen its support rise from about 4 percent in 2012 to about 11 percent in 2013 -- despite having no members of the British parliament. At the last European elections in 2009, Ukip came second behind David Cameron's Conservative Party. This time it intends to win.

Rhetoric aside, the party's goal is not getting more of its people into the seats of the legislature in Strasbourg. Its real objective is using the European elections as a springboard for domestic electoral gain and securing its first Westminster parliament members. It hopes to use the elections as a lever to ramp up pressure for a referendum on Britain's membership in the European Union.

Ukip's deputy leader, Paul Nuttall, told HuffPost UK: "I am confident if we do well in May 2014 and top the poll it will give us huge momentum for the general election."

Even if Ukip falls short of first place in 2014, its impact will be far reaching. The party's effect on the political debate in Britain has been as much psychological as it has been numerical.

The biggest loser of any rise in support for Ukip is the Conservative Party. Even a small split in the center-right vote in the 2015 general election could be enough to deny the Tories a second term in power by allowing Ed Miliband's Labour Party through the middle.

Cameron, who took power as a modernizing liberal Tory, has tried to stem the tide by talking up his Eurosceptic credentials and tacking sharply to the right on immigration. The prime minister has promised an in/out referendum on Britain's membership of the EU by 2017 and a crackdown on supposed "benefit tourism" from Eastern Europe.

Despite the rightward tilt, Tory MPs remain nervous. One backbencher, resigned to an "embarrassing" third place in the European elections, told HuffPost UK that up to 100 Tory MPs representing marginal seats would be "panicky" in the event of a Ukip victory.

The Labour Party, while pro-EU, is deeply sensitive to looking 'weak' on immigration and has shifted to the right on the issue. Much of today's debate about Eastern European immigration stems from Labour's disastrous attempt to predict the number of Eastern Europeans who would move to the U.K. when Poland joined the EU in 2004. The government said 13,000 a year would travel to Britain seeking work. But this proved to be a wild underestimation -- in 2010, net migration was 252,000.

A strong showing for Ukip in 2014 will increase pressure on Miliband to commit to giving Britons the chance to vote the country out of the EU before 2017 -- -- a stance that could have impact if he manages to become prime minister.

But as Tom Mludzinski, from the market research company Ipsos MORI, notes, a Ukip victory is far from certain. "Much will depend on the mood of voters at the time," he said. "And with the economy improving and public optimism increasing, the frustration of voters and unpopularity of the government that Ukip has so effectively harnessed may not be such a big factor."

-- Ned Simons reporting from London

GERMANY: Immigration Backlash

German voters may be forgiven for feeling somewhat election-fatigued, giving little thought as yet to the upcoming European elections: Less than four months have transpired since they elected their national parliament, the Bundestag.

More deeply, anti-European Union sentiments have been intensifying as growing numbers of Germans decry "overregulation" from Brussels while complaining that domestic policy-making has been inappropriately constrained. Others hold a contrary view that nonetheless sows a similar form of apathy: The European parliament is for all intents an impotent body given that the European Council wields the real power. The media amplifies this impression by reporting at length on top officials and leaders while largely ignoring members of parliament.

All of that said, some European issues are being discussed with vigor in Germany, especially the reliably contentious question of continued migration from poorer EU countries to wealthier ones. This issue seems likely to dominate the campaign.

The Christian Social Union (CSU) -- the little sister party of Chancellor Angela Merkel's larger Christian Democratic Union (CDU) -- will seek support by staking out a hard line against further immigration from other European countries. Citizens of EU member states have full access to the German labor market and don't require residency, work permits or visas. Now, people from Romania and Bulgaria are set to gain such rights. These two countries were admitted into the EU in 2007, but the right to freedom of movement for workers was restricted until the beginning of 2014. With the gates now open, the CSU is warning of an overwhelming influx of immigrants from the two countries, playing on fears that Germany's generous social welfare policies will be a magnet.

The party aims to impede the access of Romanians and Bulgarians into the German welfare system. According to a CSU document, it proposes a "general suspension of coverage for social security benefits during the first three months of residence in Germany."

The party is also calling for greater scrutiny of entrants. "If, for example, forged documents or benefit fraud should be discovered, a possibility must exist that the person in question not only be deported, but also barred from re-entry," the document declares -- a position encapsulated in a party slogan, "Wer betrügt, der fliegt," or "He who scams, flies."

This slogan has proven controversial, provoking broader discussion of appropriate immigration policies.

"The CSU should not poison our domestic policy," said politician Volker Beck of the Green Party. Bernd Riexinger, leader of the left, compared the CSU's plans to those of the extremist right-wing National Democratic Party of Germany (NPD). He wrote on Twitter: "The Slogan, 'He who scams, flies' could also come from the NPD. This is nasty propaganda," adding that it effectively encourages violence against immigrants.

The CSU is a part of the three party ruling coalition, alongside the CDU and Social Democrats, that forms the new national government. Nevertheless, it appears unlikely that the CSU's plans will succeed, as Merkel does not favor stricter rules.

-- Jan David Sutthoff reporting from Munich

FRANCE: An Opportunity For Sovereigntist Parties

Across the ideological spectrum, establishment political parties in France are deeply concerned about the European elections, confronting what they view as the potential for another round of record low turnout combined with swelling support for populism.

In his New Year's address for 2014, French President François Hollande sought to spur the French public to engage by taking a strong stand in favor of Europe as a salve for what ails France.

"It is not by dismantling Europe that we will make the France of tomorrow," he said in a televised address. "It is by strengthening it so that it will protect us more."

Political analysts heard the speech as a warning cry that says much about the anticipated defeat of the Socialist Party, weighed down by the unpopularity of the government and the French disenchantment with the European Union.

The causes of French distrust for Brussels are complex and numerous. Topping the list are immigration, unemployment, the prospect of bringing Bulgaria and Romania into the union, and fiscal austerity measures imposed by the European Commission.

Regardless, the Socialists still aim to improve on their disastrous showing in the last European elections. The party had captured less than 19 percent of the ballot, wiped out by a union of right and center candidates and beaten at the last minute by the environmentalists.

"In the European elections, we will do better than last time," said Socialist Parliamentarian Jean-Christophe Cambadélis. "You can say that won't be difficult, but it is still necessary in order to have a majority in the European parliament that is a majority of the left."

After finishing first in 2009, the right-leaning Union for Popular Movement (UMP) is likely to face competition from centrists of the Democratic Movement and the Union of Democrats and Independents (UDI), running separately in 2013. The Green Party will have a hard time repeating its feat of five years ago, as it has been undermined by divisions and deprived of the leadership of parliament member Daniel Cohn-Bendit.

But for all of these players, the real threat lies in the rise of anti-liberal and sovereignist parties. On the left, Jean-Luc Mélenchon's Front de Gauche hopes to gain votes by condemning an overly-liberal Europe. On the far right, Marine Le Pen dreams of making the National Front "the first party of France" by winning an election that has traditionally been very favorable to her political faction.

Non-participation by voters, which may exceed 65 percent in May, is likely to increase the impact of the most anti-European parties on the elections. The elections will also be partially eclipsed in France by the municipal elections, which will be held only two months before the European ones.

In response, the Socialist Party has sought to somewhat refresh its candidates, poaching former trade unionist Edouard Martin to lead the battle in eastern France. And Hollande himself is expected to get involved in the fray. Presenting himself as "the beneficiary of all the generations that fought for Europe," the president announced that he would undertake "initiatives next spring with Germany to give more strength to our union." But will it be enough?

-- Geoffroy Clavel reporting from Paris

SPAIN: The Politics Of Depression

The European elections are approaching just as Spain seems to have left behind both the financial crisis and the need for rescue by the eurozone. Yet the social crisis that has defined recent times seems starker than ever. The unemployment rate remains at an alarming 25.9 percent, with almost six million people officially jobless. Hundred of thousands of people, many of them young, are abandoning the country in search of better futures in other European countries or in Latin America.

Since November 2011, when the center-right Popular Party took power, Spain has seen no elections. The ruling party now hopes the European elections will affirm public support for its tenure, which has been marked by strict measures of austerity and budget-cutting in the name of shrinking the deficit.

According to Rafael Hernando, one of the party's representatives, the last two years have been "hard," but unpopular measures such as tax increases have been confirmed as "absolutely necessary" in order to "reduce the deficit." The government has seen its approval ratings fall as economic fortunes have fallen still further, but nonetheless expresses confidence that voters will ratify its chosen course.

The Socialist Party -- known as the PSOE -- aims to use the elections to reclaim support it surrendered in 2011, when it was swept from power in national polls.

"Things are starting to change," said the head of the PSOE, Alfredo Pérez Rubalcaba, whose leadership is questioned within his own party. "I am convinced that this new year will confirm this change of tendency, and that the European elections are going to demonstrate that we socialists have returned," he declared in a letter to his political affiliates.

Matters that are decided in Brussels -- such as the budget of the European Union, the reforms of the financial sector and the control of migration flows -- do not form part of the electoral debate, which is largely centered on national matters. Moreover, the two major parties have generally pursued similar policies in the European parliament.

Yet this perception that the two major parties are essentially the same when it comes to the European parliament has created an opening for minority parties. The most recent survey suggests that the People's Party will win and that it will take almost 9 points away from the Socialists. The United Left -- which stakes out terrain to the left of the Socialists -- and the Union, Progress and Democracy Party have also been capturing greater support with more radical and populist appeals.

-- Daniel Basteiro reporting from Madrid

ITALY: 'They Are All Corrupt'

Italians appear united in their disgust with years of stultifying economic malaise against the ceaseless theater of political dysfunction. Even as economists express tempered confidence that 2014 could be the year when fortunes improve, the European elections are shaping up as a likely platform for public dismay.

The economic and financial crisis of recent years has changed the lives, routines and perspectives of millions of Italians who are without work, and who are becoming increasingly poor. This has altered views about politics and institutions, with distrust growing exponentially. "They are all corrupt" is a phrase often heard on the streets. Years of public sector malfeasance, frenzied spending and the paralysis of national and local governments has profoundly changed the relationship between elected officials and their electorates. A recent survey by the sociologist Ilvo Diamanti showed that only 10 percent of Italians have faith in political parties.

Within this conversation, the European Union is generally cast as a villain, one blamed for austerity-minded economic policies that have weakened Italy's growth prospects along with its social balance. The looming European elections present a gauge of the national mood in which Euroscepticism may be reinforced.

Matteo Renzi, the young new secretary of the center-left Democratic Party, seeks to reignite the enthusiasm and interest of Italian voters by revamping the old system. The European elections offer a crucial test. Although Renzi aims to downplay the importance of this vote, he knows that the results will have significance beyond just the numbers. A big victory for the Democratic Party could affirm his leadership position not only within the Italian left, but also at the head of the government at the end of current Prime Minister Enrico Letta's mandate.

On the other hand, his defeat could coincide with the success of a model that is antithetical to traditional political parties: the Five Star Movement. Born on the Internet and led by the ex-comedian Beppe Grillo, the Five Star Movement had huge success in the last Italian elections, bringing ordinary citizens selected via the Internet into parliament with the rallying cry, "Send Them Packing!"

Now Grillo's movement, determined to export its revolution to Brussels, is taking on European distrust as well as the euro. Grillo has criticized the single currency multiple times, calling for a referendum to allow Italians to choose whether or not they want to stop using it. Success for the Five Star Movement in the upcoming elections could indicate a move toward major changes, as well as a strong feeling of unease toward European institutions.

-- Andrea Punzo reporting from Rome

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L’UKIP dispute aux « tories » l’héritage de Margaret Thatcher

L’UKIP dispute aux « tories » l’héritage de Margaret Thatcher | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it
Partisans d’une sortie du Royaume-Uni de l’Union européenne, les militants de ce mouvement florissant revendiquent la fidélité aux valeurs de la « Dame de fer ».

LE MONDE | 20.11.2013 à 14h33

Par Marion Van Renterghem


Margaret Thatcher est là, bien sûr. Nous sommes dans le luxueux duplex londonien d'un vieux conservateur britannique, à Mayfair. Le portrait de la Dame de fer trône sur le mur, telle qu'en elle-même, figée dans sa boule de cheveux laqués. « Les yeux de Caligula et la bouche de Marilyn Monroe », disait d'elle le président François Mitterrand. Pour un tory qui se respecte, l'ancienne première ministre est plus que cela. Un idéal. Un totem.Margaret Thatcher est là, bien sûr. Nous sommes dans le luxueux duplex londonien d'un vieux conservateur britannique, à Mayfair. Le portrait de la Dame de fer trône sur le mur, telle qu'en elle-même, figée dans sa boule de cheveux laqués. « Les yeux de Caligula et la bouche de Marilyn Monroe », disait d'elle le président François Mitterrand. Pour un tory qui se respecte, l'ancienne première ministre est plus que cela. Un idéal. Un totem.


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EU vote bill clears first Lords step

EU vote bill clears first Lords step | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it

10 January 2014

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-25672977


A bill that would allow a referendum on the UK's membership of the EU in 2017 has cleared its first Lords hurdle.

But Tory former Lords leader Lord Strathclyde warned peers that delaying its passage in subsequent stages would be "comprehensively damaging" for the upper chamber's reputation.

The private member's bill would enact PM David Cameron's pledge to hold an in/out referendum in 2017.

Labour warns of a possible "devastating economic effect" if it becomes law.

Conservative backbencher James Wharton stewarded the legislation successfully through its Commons stages, despite Labour and Lib Dem efforts to delay its passage, but it is likely to face a tougher time in the House of Lords.

Peers approved the bill at second reading, the parliamentary stage at which MPs or peers consider the general principles of the legislation, without a vote, after a debate lasting nearly seven hours.

The bill now proceeds to more detailed scrutiny, when Labour, Lib Dem and pro-EU Conservatives are expected to join forces to try to amend the bill.

If amended, the legislation would need to clear the Commons again by the end of February or it will again face the risk of running out of parliamentary time.

 

'Whispers'

If this bill fails, the government could take the unusual step of re-introducing an identical bill and using the Parliament Act - a piece of legislation which enables the Commons to over-rule the Lords - to force it on to the statute book.

But despite David Cameron's backing for the bill - part of efforts to prove he is serious about holding a referendum - he may opt not to take such a step.

Even if the bill successfully becomes law it does not guarantee a referendum in 2017 since no Parliament can bind its successor.

Speaking in Friday's debate, Lord Strathclyde said: "We do have the power to block the bill but I believe we do not have the authority to do so.

"Nobody outside this House would understand why the Lords were deliberately denying the people their say on this issue.

"I hear it whispered that a small number of peers plan to stop the bill, to use our much valued free and open procedures to disrupt progress, and therefore delay the bill, and therefore use time to stop it from becoming law.

"I can think of little else that would be so comprehensively damaging to the well-earned reputation of the Lords for fair-minded scrutiny."

'Coward's way out'

Lord Dobbs, the Conservative peer who is spearheading the bill's passage through the Lords, earlier told Radio 4's Today programme that Europe had become a "pestilence in our political system" and "we need to get rid of this burden".

 

"Nobody below the age of 60 has ever had a chance to have a say on this issue," he said.

"We need to decide one way or another whether we are going to stick with Europe or leave."

Opening debate in the upper chamber, he added: "This bill is needed and it is very much wanted."

But Labour frontbencher Lord Liddle argued: "We all know this is not really a private member's bill - it is a Conservative bill, it is a party bill, full of Conservative Party purpose.

"That purpose is to try and create a semblance of unity in a party that is deeply divided on the question of the European Union and at the same time to convince voters tempted by UKIP not to follow down that path."

He added: "If the business world was to think seriously that this Bill had the slightest chance of passage and that the Conservatives were likely winners of the next general election, the uncertainty generated over our continuing membership of the EU for the next four years could have a devastating economic effect."

Labour peer and former European Commissioner Lord Mandelson accused the Conservatives of "grandstanding" to UKIP while Lib Dem peer Lord Oakeshott said a referendum was "the coward's way out".

"They are an abdication of responsibility by leaders and parties who haven't the courage to take a decision," he said.

Ex-Labour leader Lord Kinnock argued that this bill only "exists because the prime minister, through a series of lame gestures and rejected assurances, has tried to assuage the militant Europhobes in his party and has failed".

"His efforts have been as fruitless as appeasement always deserves to be," he said.

But UKIP leader Nigel Farage said the two Labour former commissioners were not impartial participants in the debate, claiming they were contractually obliged not to criticise the EU.

"What justification is there in giving those in receipt of conditional EU pensions any credence at all on the subject?" he said.

"They should both declare the conflict of interest and step far away from the debate if they want the general public to have any faith at all in UK politics."

He also accused peers for "throwing spurious amendments at [the bill] to make it run out of parliamentary time".

Both the prime minister's deputy Nick Clegg and Labour leader Ed Miliband have warned of the uncertainty and damage to business they say would be caused by committing to a referendum in 2017.


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Européennes: le PS bas-rhinois digère mal la tête de liste confiée à Edouard Martin

Européennes: le PS bas-rhinois digère mal la tête de liste confiée à Edouard Martin | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it
Européennes: le PS bas-rhinois digère mal la tête de liste confiée à Edouard Martin

Publié le 18.12.2013, 19h10, AFP

http://www.leparisien.fr/strasbourg-67000/europeennes-le-ps-bas-rhinois-digere-mal-la-tete-de-liste-confiee-a-edouard-martin-18-12-2013-3423125.php

 

Des membres du PS du Bas-Rhin ont fustigé mercredi leur direction nationale, lui reprochant la manière dont la tête de liste du Grand Est pour les européennes a été confiée à Edouard Martin, au détriment de l'eurodéputée alsacienne Catherine Trautmann.
"Je ne peux que me réjouir de la décision d'Edouard Martin de rejoindre la campagne des socialistes", a souligné le premier secrétaire fédéral du PS dans le Bas-Rhin, Mathieu Cahn.

 

Mais "comme de nombreux militants, je reste estomaqué par le dédain et le mépris dont fait preuve la direction nationale de notre parti", a-t-il ajouté.
M. Cahn a regretté que le premier secrétaire du PS, Harlem Désir, n'ait pas eu "un mot pour Catherine Trautmann qui devait conduire cette liste, qui préside aujourd'hui la délégation socialiste française et qui, bien plus que lui, travaille quotidiennement à la construction de cette Europe pour laquelle nous militons".
Il a rappelé dans un communiqué que les militants de la région Est avaient "à plus de 89%" souhaité que l'élue strasbourgeoise conduise la liste socialiste, et a dit espéré que M. Désir "assumera toutes les conséquences" de sa décision.
Le député PS de la deuxième circonscription du Bas-Rhin, Philippe Bies, a été encore plus virulent à l'encontre du Premier secrétaire. Tout en disant "se réjouir de la décision d'Edouard Martin", il a fustigé sur sa page Facebook "le vide sidéral actuel au sein de la direction nationale du PS" (des propos qu'il a confirmés à l'AFP).
"En mai prochain, nous nous battrons avec Edouard Martin, avec Catherine Trautmann pour changer d'Europe. Et tout de suite après je suggère qu'on change le premier secrétaire et son entourage dont l'impéritie joue contre la gauche et donc contre la France", a-t-il ajouté, s'attirant les commentaires positifs de militants.
Mme Trautmann, interrogée par l'AFP, a de son côté loué la "vraie appétence" d'Edouard Martin, "qui va apprendre rapidement" et "qui sera parfaitement à l'aise dans la commission industrie ou dans la commission des Affaires sociales" du Parlement européen.
"Quand je vois certains députés dont on a vanté les responsabilités politiques et qui s'ennuient à mourir au Parlement européen, je peux vous dire, cela ne sera pas le cas d'Edouard Martin", a-t-elle poursuivi.
Il n'en reste pas moins que pour Catherine Trautmann, "les partis sont indécrottables" dans leur attitude vis-à-vis du Parlement européen, perçu comme "moins important, plus accessoire". Les partis "continuent en France à avoir cette vision des choses: l'élaboration des listes le montre partout", a-t-elle regretté.

 

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Nick Griffin offers strident support to Golden Dawn on visit to Greece

Nick Griffin offers strident support to Golden Dawn on visit to Greece | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it
Bankrupt BNP leader uses Athens press conference to describe Greece's crackdown on neo-Nazi party as 'totally illegal'

 

Matthew Taylor, The Guardian,Friday 10 January 2014http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jan/10/nick-griffin-support-golden-dawn-greece?INTCMP=ILCNETTXT3487

 

Nick Griffin, the leader of the far-right British National party, appeared in Athens on Friday to pledge his support for Greece's neo-fascist organisation Golden Dawn.

Griffin, who was declared bankrupt last week, attended the Golden Dawn press conference to challenge the Greek government's crackdown on the extremist group in the European court of human rights.

Critics said the decision to share a platform with Golden Dawn indicated he was turning his back on any hope electoral success in the UK.

"This is further evidence that Nick Griffin and the BNP have abandoned their earlier attempt to appear as a more moderate and electorally appealing political party," said Matthew Goodwin, an expert in far-right politics from Nottingham University. "Instead, both Griffin and his party have indulged in open admiration of a neo-Nazi party that has been linked to murder and violent attacks against migrants."

Griffin was declared bankrupt last week following a dispute with a firm of solicitors over outstanding debts worth £120,000. It was the latest in a series of blows to the far-right organisation that has seen plummeting support at the ballot box and the departure of scores of key organisers.

Golden Dawn's leader, Nikos Michaloliakos, has been in pre-trial custody since the September murder of the leftwing rapper Pavlos Fyssas by a self-confessed party member. The killing prompted a government crackdown that unmasked the group as a violent paramilitary organisation.

Thirteen Golden Dawn MPs are either in detention, face charges, or have had their parliamentary immunity lifted as prosecutors build a case that its leadership was involved in attacks.

Michaloliakos has vehemently denied the charges and argued he is a political prisoner.

Griffin, who will defend his seat at the European parliament later this year, has previously expressed his "full solidarity with Greek patriots being persecuted by the system as a consequence of their fast growing support among ordinary Greeks".

At Friday's conference he said the current "pseudo-legal war" against Golden Dawn by the Greek government was "totally illegal" adding: "Long live freedom, victory to Golden Dawn … our time will come."

Goodwin said he was becoming "detached from political reality".

"Rather than rebuilding his movement for the European and local elections, he has chosen to build links with neo-Nazis, launch a cooking programme for his dwindling number of supporters and generally appearing as a rather odd character. Increasingly, he is becoming a comical rather than threatening figure in British politics".

A spokesman for the BNP said it was still committed to elections in the UK, adding that what had happened to Golden Dawn "was absolutely outrageous".

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Bankruptcy of Nick Griffin deals further blow to British National party

Bankruptcy of Nick Griffin deals further blow to British National party | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it
Party dogged by financial claims and dearth of councillors could be absent from UK after European elections, say experts

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jan/03/bankruptcy-nick-griffin-blow-bnp

 

Rowena Mason and Matthew Taylo, The Guardian,Friday 3 January 2014

The bankruptcy of the BNP leader, Nick Griffin, has dealt a further blow to the far-right organisation, which has been rocked by the departure of scores of key activists and a dramatic slump in its popularity at the ballot box.

Griffin's name was published by the Insolvency Service after he was declared bankrupt at Welshpool and Newtown county court on Thursday. This followed a dispute between Griffin and a firm of solicitors over outstanding debts of £120,000.

The judgment marks a new low for Griffin and the BNP, which a few years ago boasted 57 councillors, two MEPs and a London assembly member.

Now the party, which has been dogged by allegations of financial mismanagement, has just a smattering of local councillors, and experts say that by May the UK could be "BNP-free" for the first time in a decade if Griffin fails to retain his seat in the European parliamentary elections.

"The important point is that, while Griffin is now personally bankrupt, the party he leads is undoubtedly politically bankrupt," said Matthew Goodwin, an expert on far-right politics at Nottingham University. "The BNP is finished in elections, and at the European elections this May Griffin is almost certain to lose his seat in the north-west, which will mean for the first time since 2001 Britain will be effectively BNP-free."

The bankruptcy ruling does not prevent Griffin from standing as an MEP, and on Twitter on Friday he confirmed he would be defending the seat he won in 2009. "Party funds are not affected in any way. Our campaign in May will be our most professional yet and I will be lead candidate in the north-west," he said.

The BNP spokesman Simon Darby said the judgment followed a dispute between Griffin and his former solicitors, Gilbert Davies and Partners, who represented him in a legal battle with the Equality and Human Rights Commission in 2010 – a case that ended with a court ruling that the BNP's constitution was racially discriminatory.

The firm, in Griffin's home town of Welshpool, had claimed the BNP leader owed it £77,000 plus costs. At an earlier hearing, Griffin had been ordered to pay nearly £120,000 in outstanding moneys and costs to the firm.

Darby said that Griffin had no assets as the family's smallholding near Welshpool was in his wife's name.

Gilbert Davies refused to answer questions about the case.

On its website, the BNP rejected "ill-informed speculation" and "gossip" about whether the bankruptcy might prevent Griffin from standing for election as an MEP. It said the Enterprise Act 2002 meant bankruptcy no longer prevented a person standing as a candidate or holding office as an MP or an MEP.

Griffin also hit out at journalists wanting to talk to him about the case: "To all the NUJ pressitutes wanting interviews on this politically irrelevant nothing, if you'd called when I helped stop Cameron's Syrian war, I'd take you seriously."

But some analysts said the ruling was "another nail in the coffin" for the BNP.

Goodwin said: "The context to this is the implosion of the BNP more generally. The number of BNP members has collapsed by up to 90% according to some estimates, which leaves the party in a very fragile position, especially as most of its key activists have either left politics altogether or joined rival far-right groups."

As recently as 2009, when it won two seats at the European parliament and had a London assembly member, the BNP appeared to be on the brink of breaking through into mainstream British politics. However, since then it has been beset by vicious internal feuds and an implosion of support that saw it lose all but three of its councillors last year.

In October last year Andrew Brons, the party's second MEP announced he was quitting the BNP with an angry statement claiming that the vast majority of the party's membership, activists and former officials had already left. He blamed Griffin, for "having destroyed the party of which he is still nominally head".

On Friday Darby refused to say how many councillors the BNP had. A spokesman for the Local Government Association said its records showed the party had just two councillors, excluding town or parish councils.

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95 Tory MPs call for EU law veto - Telegraph

95 Tory MPs call for EU law veto  - Telegraph | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it
Exclusive: In a major intervention, backbenchers have written to the Prime Minister urging him to change the law to block new EU legislation

By Tim Ross, Political Correspondent

9:00PM GMT 11 Jan 2014

Parliament must be given the power to veto every aspect of EU law, 95 Conservative MPs demand in a letter to David Cameron.

In a major intervention, the backbenchers have written to the Prime Minister urging him to change the law to give the Commons authority to block new EU legislation and repeal existing measures that threaten Britain’s “national interests”.

Such powers would enable the Government to reverse the spread of human rights law, relieve businesses of red tape from Brussels and regain control over immigration, they say. They believe the veto is possible with a new Act of Parliament.

At least six more Tory MPs back the letter, but are unable formally to put their names to its demands – some because they are in government jobs.

David Cameron has promised to renegotiate the terms of Britain’s relationship with Brussels and put the arrangement before voters in a referendum by 2017, which would give the public the option to leave the European Union.

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Alliot-Marie, le tour de France d'une candidate virtuelle

Alliot-Marie, le tour de France d'une candidate virtuelle | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it

http://www.liberation.fr/politiques/2014/01/07/alliot-marie-le-tour-de-france-d-une-candidate-virtuelle_971121

Alain AUFFRAY 7 janvier 2014

Selon les diverses stratégies des courants UMP, le nom de l'ancienne ministre circule du Sud-Ouest au Nord en passant par l'Ile-de-France.

 

La commission nationale d’investiture de l’UMP (CNI) s’attaque ce mardi soir à la sélection de ses candidats aux prochaines élections européennes. Entre copéistes, fillonistes, sarkozystes et jeunes non-alignés, une rude partie de poker s’engage pour quelques rares places éligibles. Avec un joker inattendu : Michèle Alliot-Marie en candidate virtuelle qu’on agite un peu partout. Elle se verrait bien tête de liste dans l’eurorégion Sud-ouest, son fief historique. Mais le puissant maire de Bordeaux, Alain Juppé, ne veut pas en entendre parler. Comme Jean-Pierre Raffarin et François Fillon, il milite pour que la place soit offerte au sortant Alain Lamassoure, l’une des rares voix fortes de la France au Parlement européen. Avec trois ex-Premiers ministres contre elle, MAM ferait sans doute mieux d’aller chercher refuge ailleurs.

Pourquoi n’irait-elle pas dans le Nord-Ouest, s’interrogent certains fillonistes, notamment Bernard Accoyer, arguant du fait qu’aucun sortant n’est candidat à la tête de liste dans cette région. Mais s’ils la poussent vers le Nord, ce n’est pas par affection pour l’ancienne ministre : c’est pour mettre hors-jeu Jérôme Lavrilleux, directeur de cabinet de Jean-François Copé, candidat déclaré à la tête de liste. De nombreux parlementaires UMP voient en lui l’artisan du «putsch» de novembre 2012. Pas question qu’il en soit récompensé par une promotion éclair au Parlement européen. Certains fillonistes font par ailleurs valoir que, dans cette région, l’UMP aurait objectivement de bonnes raisons de présenter face à Marine Le Pen la plus capée de toutes les responsables de la droite française.

Enracinement à Neuilly

Pour d’autres cadres de sensibilité gaulliste, l’ancienne députée des Pyrénées-Atlantique pourrait utilement être parachutée en Ile-de-France. Elle ferait, selon eux, une bien meilleure candidate que Michel Barnier. Comment l’UMP pourrait-elle faire campagne pour une autre Europe avec comme tête d’affiche un éminent représentant de la commission sortante ?

A lire aussi«Fronde anti-Barnier à l’UMP»

Ce projet de parachutage aurait au moins le mérite de la cohérence géographique. Réélue conseillère municipale de Saint-Jean-de-Luz en 2008, MAM vit en fait depuis longtemps à Neuilly. C’est d’ailleurs au nom de cet enracinement tardivement assumé, qu’elle a envisagé de se présenter aux prochaines municipales dans l’ancien fief de Nicolas Sarkozy, pour y venger l’honneur de l’UMP, ridiculisée en 2008 par le centriste Jean-Christophe Fromantin. Mais un sondage calamiteux l’en aurait dissuadé…

A la direction de l’UMP, le casse-tête des investitures aux européennes menace de tourner à la foire d’empoigne. C’est pourquoi il est assez probable que la CNI décide prudemment, ce soir, de ne pas décider.

Alain AUFFRAY
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Le Grec Tsipras candidat de la Gauche Européenne à la présidence de la Commission Européenne

C'est Alexis Tsipras qui sera le candidat de la gauche européenne l'année prochaine pour la... euronews, la chaîne d'informations la plus regardée en Europe....
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Free movement within Europe needs to be less free - FT.com

Free movement within Europe needs to be less free - FT.com | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it

By David Cameron,November 26, 2013, Financial Times

 

"On January 1, the people of Romania and Bulgaria will have the same right to work in the UK as other EU citizens. I know many people are deeply concerned about the impact that could have on our country.I share those concerns.

 

Ever since the fall of the Berlin Wall, Britain has championed the case for bringing nations which languished behind the Iron Curtain into Nato and the EU. That is important to their prosperity and security – and ours. Britain has also been one of the strongest supporters of a single market. It is in our interests that it should grow, and for our citizens to have the opportunity to work in other European countries.

 

But things have gone wrong. Since 2004, we have witnessed the biggest migration in Europe outside wartime. In Britain’s case, 1m people from central and eastern Europe are now living here. So what lessons can be learned? There is the lesson on transitional controls. In 2004, the Labour government made the decision that the UK should opt out completely of transitional controls on the new EU member states. They had the right to impose a seven-year ban before new citizens could come and work here, but – almost alone in Europe – Labour refused it. That was a monumental mistake.

There is the lesson on income disparity. It was hardly surprising that with income per head in the joining countries around half of the EU average, so many people chose to come here. Yet when Romania and Bulgaria joined the EU, Labour had not learned the lesson. That was the moment to address difficult questions about when to allow new entrants full access to each other’s labour markets – but the Labour government ducked these questions. That is why this government extended transitional controls on Bulgaria and Romania from five to the maximum seven years.

The other major lesson was that failures in immigration policy were closely linked to welfare and education. If it does not pay to work, or if British people lack skills, that creates a huge space in our labour market for people from overseas to fill. You cannot blame people for wanting to come here and work hard; but the real answer lies in training our own people to fill these jobs. That is what this government is doing: providing record numbers of apprenticeships, demanding rigour in schools and building a welfare system that encourages work.

But of course people are most concerned with the action we are taking now. We are changing the rules so that no one can come to this country and expect to get out of work benefits immediately; we will not pay them for the first three months. If after three months an EU national needs benefits – we will no longer pay these indefinitely. They will only be able to claim for a maximum of six months unless they can prove they have a genuine prospect of employment.

We are also toughening up the test which migrants who want to claim benefits must undergo. This will include a new minimum earnings threshold. If they don’t pass that test, we will cut off access to benefits such as income support. Newly arrived EU jobseekers will not be able to claim housing benefit.

If people are not here to work – if they are begging or sleeping rough – they will be removed. They will then be barred from re-entry for 12 months, unless they can prove they have a proper reason to be here, such as a job. We are also clamping down on those who employ people below the minimum wage. They will pay the price with a fine of up to £20,000 for every underpaid employee – more than four times the fine today.

Britain is not acting alone in taking these steps. Other countries such as the Netherlands already impose a three-month residence requirement before you can access benefits such as job seekers’ allowance. All this is what we can legally do within the limits of the treaties Labour signed up to. But finally, let me set out how my party is planning to prevent these problems arising in the future.

The EU of today is very different from the EU of 30 years ago. We need to face the fact that free movement has become a trigger for vast population movements caused by huge disparities in income. That is extracting talent out of countries that need to retain their best people and placing pressure on communities. It is time for a new settlement which recognises that free movement is a central principle of the EU, but it cannot be a completely unqualified one. We are not the only country to see free movement as a qualified right: interior ministers from Austria, Germany and the Netherlands have also said this to the European Commission.

So Britain, as part of our plan to reform the EU, will now work with others to return the concept of free movement to a more sensible basis.

And we need to do the same with welfare. For example, free movement should not be about exporting child benefit – I want to work with our European partners to address this.

Bringing new countries in to give them peace and prosperity remains one of the EU’s greatest strengths. It will be many years, perhaps a decade, before another country joins. It cannot be done on the same basis as it was in the past. We must put in place new arrangements that will slow full access to each other’s labour markets until we can be sure it will not cause vast migrations.

There are various ways we could achieve this. One would be to require a new country to reach a certain income or economic output per head before full free movement was allowed. Individual member states could be freed to impose a cap if their inflow from the EU reached a certain number in a single year.

The EU needs to change if it is to regain the trust of its peoples. I look forward to working with other countries who also want reform – and to putting the choice about our future in Europe in a referendum. If I am prime minister after the next election, the British people will have their say.

The writer is UK prime minister

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L’UKIP dispute aux « tories » l’héritage de Margaret Thatcher

L’UKIP dispute aux « tories » l’héritage de Margaret Thatcher | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it
Partisans d’une sortie du Royaume-Uni de l’Union européenne, les militants de ce mouvement florissant revendiquent la fidélité aux valeurs de la « Dame de fer ».

 

Par Marion Van Renterghem

Margaret Thatcher est là, bien sûr. Nous sommes dans le luxueux duplex londonien d'un vieux conservateur britannique, à Mayfair. Le portrait de la Dame de fer trône sur le mur, telle qu'en elle-même, figée dans sa boule de cheveux laqués. « Les yeux de Caligula et la bouche de Marilyn Monroe », disait d'elle le président François Mitterrand. Pour un tory qui se respecte, l'ancienne première ministre est plus que cela. Un idéal. Un totem.

 

Stuart Wheeler, dans son salon de Mayfair, déguste son thé au lait et ses shortbreads en jetant un œil attendri au portrait de « Maggie ». A 78 ans, le riche homme d'affaires fait partie de ces conservateurs pur jus, nostalgiques d'une femme de tête au service de ses valeurs : libéralisme économique, conservatisme politique, traditionalisme social. Enquiquineuse à souhait avec ses pairs du Conseil européen, sans pitié pour les laissés-pour-compte d'un Etat réduit au minimum, réputée pour ses coups de sac à main distribués à ceux qui lui tenaient tête. A côté de « Maggie », figure tutélaire des tories durs à cuire, David Cameron passe pour un mou, un édulcoré, un pragmatique sans principes, tenu en laisse par sa coalition avec les centristes lib-dem. « Moderne et compassionnel », comme il s'est autoproclamé.

Stuart Wheeler a franchi le pas. Par fidélité aux « valeurs thatchériennes », dit-il, il a quitté le Parti conservateur pour rejoindre l'UKIP, petit parti pour l'indépendance du Royaume-Uni (United Kingdom Independence Party).

« CAMERON NOUS A RACONTÉ DES SALADES »

C'était en 2009, quatre ans après l'arrivée de M. Cameron à la tête des tories et un an avant son élection au 10 Downing Street : M. Wheeler annonce alors son intention de voter UKIP aux élections européennes. « Cameron nous a raconté des salades, raconte-t-il. Il a fait semblant d'être eurosceptique avant d'être élu et nous a promis un référendum sur la sortie de l'Europe qu'on attend toujours. » L'homme d'affaires est exclu du Parti conservateur. Une perte : il avait fait don au parti de 5 millions de livres sterling (6 millions d'euros).

Nigel Farage l'invite à dîner. Le chef du UKIP s'y connaît en séduction. A la fois député européen et europhobe, il se délecte de sa contradiction, tribun truculent, bon client des plateaux de télévision, inventif en formules, pourfendeur des élites, populiste frondeur et rieur. « Un homme formidable », dit Stuart Wheeler, qui est maintenant le trésorier et le principal donateur du UKIP : de 400 000 à 500 000 livres depuis quatre ans. « Je ne suis pas aussi riche que quand j'ai donné 5 millions aux tories », note-t-il, modeste.

Les tabloïds adorent M. Farage, il les utilise. Depuis Bruxelles, dont les Anglais se fichent comme du fog, c'est à eux qu'il s'adresse. Et à travers eux, à tous les nostalgiques des « valeurs thatchériennes ». Le chef y ajoute sa propre rhétorique populiste, protestataire, anti-élite, antisystème. « L'UKIP est d'autant plus redoutable pour les tories qu'il est le premier parti non toxique à la droite des conservateurs », analyse Peter Kellner, président de l'institut de sondages YouGov. Il n'a aucun antécédent fasciste, pas de tentation révisionniste ni d'idéologie raciste, prône le libéralisme économique et se distingue des partis d'extrême droite comme le British National Party ou le Front national français, impopulaires au Royaume-Uni, avec qui il prend soin de maintenir ses distances. L'UKIP, le parti orthodoxe de la droite populiste, cultive deux thèmes de prédilection : l'immigration des Européens de l'Est et la sortie de l'Union européenne (UE).

AUCUN REPRÉSENTANT À LA CHAMBRE DES COMMUNES

Succès populaire garanti. Plus que l'Europe, l'immigration est le thème qui marche. Les deux sont liés. Le 1er janvier 2014, les Roumains et les Bulgares pourront venir travailler librement dans l'UE. Après les Polonais, accusés de casser les règles du marché de l'emploi par des salaires dérisoires, la menace des Roumains et des Bulgares donne un argument de plus au UKIP : le Royaume-Uni doit d'autant plus vite quitter l'horrible UE étatiste, intrusive, onéreuse. CQFD.

L'UKIP est devenu la crainte non dite de David Cameron. Il a acquis une puissance politique insoupçonnable, sans en avoir l'air : fondé en 1993, ce petit parti ne compte que 32 000 membres et aucun représentant à la Chambre des communes mais gagne du terrain aux élections locales. Il s'impose au Parlement européen, où ses treize députés font de lui le deuxième parti britannique, derrière les tories.

Chez les conservateurs les plus à droite, les stratégies divergent. « Je n'attends pas que l'UKIP soit au pouvoir : je veux qu'il fasse pression sur Cameron pour que les tories redeviennent tories », dit Stuart Wheeler. « Non, l'UKIP est une nuisance pour nous ! Je suis déçu par les concessions de Cameron aux lib-dem mais c'est notre leader et il doit gagner en 2015 ! », s'indigne au contraire David Ruffley, à l'image des autres députés tories.

LE SCRUTIN EUROPÉEN DE MAI 2014, UN TEST CRITIQUE À LONDRES

Dans les deux cas, le succès remporté par le petit parti souverainiste et europhobe oblige David Cameron à adopter une part de sa rhétorique radicale. S'il a proposé en janvier un référendum sur la sortie de l'UE, c'est à cause du UKIP. S'il a durci son discours sur l'immigration, c'est encore à cause du UKIP. De 10 % à 12 % des électeurs UKIP viennent du Parti conservateur.

Les élections européennes de mai 2014, qui promettent d'être un vaste défouloir populiste, seront un test critique à Londres. L'UKIP y est crédité de 20 % à 30 % des voix. « Si elles avaient lieu aujourd'hui, l'UKIP serait le premier parti anglais au Parlement », affirme M. Kellner.

David Cameron sera alors en état de panique vis-à-vis du Labour d'Ed Miliband, et otage de la droite de son parti pour le scrutin d'après : les élections générales britanniques de mai 2015. Il suffit au UKIP, crédité aujourd'hui de 12 %, d'obtenir 10 % pour faire perdre Cameron au profit de Miliband. Nigel Farage jubile : l'UKIP est déjà faiseur de roi.

 

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European Election Candidate Selection

European Election Candidate Selection | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it
We are accepting applications for potential candidates to stand in the upcoming European elections in 2014.

 

We are accepting applications for potential candidates to stand in the upcoming European elections in 2014.


If you would like to stand in these elections you are required to submit a CV (Curriculum Vitae) in writing to PO Box 5057, Nuneaton, CV11 9FP or by email to dispatch@bnp.org.uk by no later than Sunday 30th June 2013.

An example template for a CV has been provided here;
http://media.newjobs.com/cms/uken/seeker/cv-templates/cv-template-monste...

Your CV should be up-to-date and should have a recent passport photograph attached. You must also be a paid up member of the British National Party.

Upon receipt of your CV you will be sent an application form and a contract. Information for the deadline for submission of these documents will be given in the covering letter.

The Euro election uses a list system of candidates which varies in each region, with the number one on the list being the person to take the position of MEP, should they be successful in being elected.

Candidates will be expected to work in the regions they are selected for in order to promote themselves and the British National Party and to help raise funds for the election.

Successful applicants will be invited to an interview which will take place in their region.

Kindest Regards

Alwyn Deacon

National Elections Officer

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Nigel Farage disowns Ukip's entire 2010 election manifesto

Nigel Farage disowns Ukip's entire 2010 election manifesto | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it
Ukip leader says all policies are under review and he will not commit to new ones until after European elections

Rowena Mason, political correspondent, The Guardian,Friday 24 January 2014http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jan/23/nigel-farage-ukip-2010-election-manifesto NigelFarage has disowned his party's entire 2010 election manifesto after he was asked whether the UK Independence party still wanted to introduce a dress code for taxi drivers, regularly deploy armed forces on the street and repaint trains in traditional colours.

The Ukip leader said all the party's policies were under review and he would not commit to new ones until after the European elections in May.

Speaking on BBC2's Daily Politics, Farage argued he was not in charge of the party in 2010 as he was just a candidate – despite having previously led the group between 2006 and 2009. "I don't defend the 2010 manifesto. I didn't put it together," he said.

Farage addressed the issue again during a lecture at the London School of Economics, emphasising the party "got it wrong" when it came to publishing policies at the last election.

He also gave his predictions for the European elections, saying David Cameron and Nick Clegg could face leadership challenges if they do very badly.

In a frank admission about his own political career, Farage also said it would be "curtains" for his time as Ukip leader if the party comes third in the contest, although he is hopeful of coming first.

Asked about possible alliances in Europe, the MEP hinted he could be willing to team up with the populist Italian group of Beppe Grillo.

However, he insisted that he would not go anywhere near "ghastly" far-right parties that he believes are threatening the eurosceptic cause across the continent.

His attempt to distance Ukip from its manifesto of four years ago may put Farage under more scrutiny about what the party stands for in the run-up to the May elections.

In a series of 2010 documents, Ukip proposed detailed plans such as capping the number of foreign players in football teams, bringing back "proper dress" to the theatre, scrapping paid maternity leave, allowing corporal punishment in schools and holding referendums on new places of worship such as mosques.

Other ideas included making the Circle line tube on London underground circular again, investigating discrimination against white people at the BBC, and teaching schoolchildren more about the role of Arabs and African states in slavery.

Earlier, Farage floundered on live television as he was asked about the party's proposal to scrap Trident, saying he was not sure where the interviewer had got this suggestion from. When told it was on the Ukip website, he said: "When it comes to websites, I'm not the expert."

Challenged over a compulsory dress code for taxi drivers, he said: "Do we? News to me … look, under the last leadership and in the 2010 election we managed to present a manifesto that was 486 pages long. So you can quote me all sorts of bits of it that I will not know. That's why I've said none of it stands today and we will launch it all after the European elections."

Asking about a policy to repaint trains in traditional colours, Farage said: "I've never read that. I've no idea what you're talking about."

However, he said it was not "obvious nonsense" that he could cut £90bn of taxes and increase spending by £30bn, even though that would be ambitious.

Asked for a concrete example of a policy that would be in the 2015 manifesto, the Ukip leader said he would bring back grammar schools as well as leaving the EU.

Farage was also attacked on the programme for his comments about women in the City being "worth less" to employers after they have had children. Louise Cooper, a financial analyst, said he should be ashamed of setting back the cause of young women who might want to pursue jobs in the City, including his own daughters.

The Ukip leader defended his comments, saying the gap in pay between men and women was just "the way the world works" because of biology. He said motherhood was a lifestyle choice.

Cooper said Farage was "talking out of his bottom" for saying there was no discrimination against women in the world of finance.

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Nigel Farage: Ukip Will Get Rid Of Me If We Fail In The European Elections

Nigel Farage: Ukip Will Get Rid Of Me If We Fail In The European Elections | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it
Nigel Farage has admitted if Ukip fails to perform well in the upcoming European elections then he would be ousted as leader of the party.

Ned Simons, 23/01/2014

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/2014/01/23/nigel-farage-ukip-leader-european-elections_n_4654232.html?utm_hp_ref=ukip

 

Nigel Farage has admitted if Ukip fails to perform well in the upcoming European elections then he would be ousted as leader of the party.

He also predicted that their parties could oust both David Cameron and Nick Clegg this summer if they led them to bad defeats in the polls.

In a characteristically colourful speech to the London School of Economics on Thursday evening, Farage said he had staked everything on this May's ballot, which Ukip are widely tipped to win.

"My future as leader of Ukip is pretty dependent on the results of these elections in the sense that I have now, for nearly three years, been very optimistically and bullishly talking up Ukip's prospects, saying that there was a chance we would win the European elections," he said. "Which was greeted with laughter as most things I say usually are."

He added: "Some see me as a bit of a gambler and they are right, in the sense I have taken the assets of the party and placed them on red. So red needs to come up.

"And if Ukip was to do poorly and Ukip was to trail back into third place then I think that would be curtains for me as leader," he said.

The party came second in the last European parliamentary elections in 2009. Farage is hoping to capitalise on anti-EU, anti-immigrant and anti-establishment sentiment to propel the party into the top spot this year.

But as Tom Mludzinski, from the market research company Ipsos MORI, notes a Ukip victory is far from certain. "Much will depend on the mood of voters at the time," he said. "And with the economy improving and public optimism increasing, the frustration of voters and unpopularity of the government that Ukip has so effectively harnessed may not be such a big factor."

Farage also boldly claimed that both Cameron and Clegg could face leadership challenges this year if the Conservatives and Lib Dems do badly in the polls.

"I've spoken to Tory MPs in the North of England who know unless something big changes they are gonners," he said.

"I would suggest that these elections matter to Cameron because they will highlight the strategy laid out with his speech last January [where he pledged an in/out referendum] isn't working."

Farage added: "But it really matters to Cameron because if those people think their leader does not look like a potential winner then the prospect of 46 signatures being gathered on the backbenches over the course of the summer months are perhaps rather higher than most commentators are currently giving credit for."

For a leadership challenge to be launched against the prime minister 46 Tory MPs have to send a letter calling for a vote of no confidence in him to the chairman of the party's backbench 1922 committee.

Farage said: "If you really think you've got no chance of winning your seat then you're looking that a change of leader perhaps is necessary."

Clegg was seen to have exerted total control over his party at the last conference in September and despite the Lib Dem's dismal poll ratings his position is seen as pretty secure. However Farage said this would change the deputy prime minister led his colleagues to a disastrous result in May.

"Let's say the Lib Dems poll 8% of the vote. That will probably return then one MEP. They are currently on ten. They really are on a knife edge here," Farage said.

"There is a distinct possibility that the Lib Dems will get wiped out. And I think if that happens the Lib Dems will be looking for a new leader before the party conference season comes along."

However Farage did praise Clegg for making it clear that the Lib Dems were pro-EU. "Full credit to Clegg, he intends to fight the election on an open clear manifesto, and I do at least respect that."

Farage told the audience at the LSE that while he thought the elections were not as crucial for Ed Miliband, one effect of a Ukip victory would be to force Labour to commit to an in/out referendum were they to win the general election in 2015

The Ukip leader also predicted that Cameron, if he survived as party leader and managed to win a majority in 2015, would be able to scrap his pledge to hold a referendum on Britain's EU membership.

He said: "If he was to win a majority it would be quite difficult for him to weasel out of it this time. I think the Conservative Party in the House of Commons is now in such a rebellious state that he would not be able to backtrack.

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Grande-Bretagne: la Chambre des Lords va débattre du référendum sur l'Europe

Grande-Bretagne: la Chambre des Lords va débattre du référendum sur l'Europe | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it

http://www.latribune.fr/actualites/economie/union-europeenne/20140110trib000808815/grande-bretagne-la-chambre-des-lords-va-debattre-du-referendum-sur-l-europe.html

 

La Tribune 10/01/2014

Un référendum sur l'adhésion de la Grande-Bretagne aura lieu en 2017,en cas de victoire des Conservateurs aux prochaines élections, avait promis le Premier ministre David Cameron.Ce projet de loi sera débattu dans les prochains jours à la Chambre des Lords, rapporte aujourd'hui la BBC.

Le projet de loi sur la sortie de la Grande-Bretagne porté par le député James Wharton avait été adopté à la Chambre des communes, où les Conservateurs sont majoritaires, en novembre dernier. Selon la BBC (en anglais), le débat devrait être plus compliqué à la Chambre des Lords, car "peu de sujets divisent davantage les Conservateurs que l'Europe".

En janvier 2013, David Cameron avait fait sensation en faisant peser dans la balance de sa réélection en 2015 le poids d'une éventuelle sortie de l'UE. "Si nous quittons l'Union européenne, expliquait-il à l'annonce de ce projet, ce sera un aller simple, sans retour."

Risque de mort par suffocation

Mais cette promesse aura du mal à être convertie en loi, estime le journaliste de la BBC Ben Wright. Malgré l'appui de David Cameron, elle risquerait "une mort par suffocation" à la Chambre des Lords, où Travaillistes, Libéraux-démocrates et Conservateurs pro-Europe pourraient s'entendre pour amender le projet de loi.

D'autant que ce projet doit ensuite retourner à la chambre des Communes à la fin du mois de février, laissant peu de temps à ses défenseurs. James Wharton, conscient des difficultés, a toutefois affiché sa confiance :

Pour une chambre non élue (certains Lords sont par exemple nommés par la reine, ndlr), nier au peuple britannique son droit de s'exprimer sur une loi qui a été adoptée par la Chambre des Communes, qui, elle, est élu, mettrait les Lords dans une position très difficile.

Opinion fluctuante

De leur côté, le vice Premier ministre Nick Clegg (LibDem) et le leader travailliste Ed Miliband ont tous deux mis en garde contre les risques que ce référendum ferait planer sur les affaires du pays.

En cas d'adoption, quel serait le résultat du référendum ? L'opinion n'est pas figée sur la question, selon les sondages. Si, en novembre 2012, 51% des citoyens britanniques s'étaient prononcés pour une sortie de l'UE, ils n'étaient plus que 34% à le vouloir deux mois plus tard (40% souhaitant y rester), selon une étude "Yougov".

En février 2013, un troisième sondage publié par le Financial Times donnait 50% de Britanniques favorables à une sortie de l'Union, pour 33% des sondés souhatant y rester.

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Ukip will target Labour seats in North, says Farage - Telegraph

Ukip will target Labour seats in North, says Farage - Telegraph | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it
Tories dying in the North, leaving Ukip the clear opposition to Labour, says Ukip leader Nigel Farage

Benedict Brogan

10:05PM GMT 10 Jan 2014

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/politics/ukip/10565202/Ukip-will-target-Labour-seats-in-North-says-Farage.html



 INTERVIEW: Nigel Farage spells out a serious message for Tories

The Conservative party is dying in the North because it has failed to connect with ordinary people, leaving Ukip the clear opposition to Labour, Nigel Farage has said.

Ahead of a campaign to persuade voters to “vote Ukip, get rid of Labour”, the party’s leader accused David Cameron of following public opinion rather than leading it.

In an interview with The Telegraph, Mr Farage claimed that a string of successes in by-elections in the North and the Midlands showed that Ukip was now the biggest threat to Labour in its electoral heartlands. He revealed that the party would target several dozen Labour seats at the general election where he claimed his party stood a better chance of defeating Labour than the Tories.

He said Ukip was preparing a plan for targeted campaigning based on that used by Paddy Ashdown and the Liberal Democrats to gain seats in the 1990s. Mr Farage predicted that if Ukip did well in the European elections on May 22 there would be panic among Conservative MPs that could prompt a leadership crisis for Mr Cameron.

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BNP and anti-fascists scuffle in London

BNP and anti-fascists scuffle in London | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it
Small anti-Islam protests in cities and towns across country, but attendees outnumbered by police and anti-fascist demonstrators

 

Conal Urquhart and agencies, Saturday 1 June 2013

http://www.theguardian.com/uk/2013/jun/01/bnp-anti-fascists-london

 

Far-right groups and their opponents scuffled in London on Saturday as protesters attacking Islam gathered in cities and towns all over Britain.

Small groups of English Defence League supporters met in cities and towns including Sheffield, Cambridge and Colchester, and 150 members of the British National party met at Westminster. In London and elsewhere, the protesters were outnumbered by police and anti-fascist demonstrators.

The protests were triggered by the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich last week by two men who claimed to be acting in the name of Islam.

Police said 31 people were arrested after members of Unite against Fascism refused to move to let the BNP march to the Cenotaph in Whitehall.

One BNP supporter who was injured in a scuffle said: "I've put my best suit on today and come out for a peaceful demonstration and this is what's happened. And to think they call us thugs!"

Police had earlier rejected a plan by the BNP – which claims to be anti-extremist but which opponents say is racist and anti-Islam – to march from the site of the killing in south-east London to a nearby Islamic centre.

Police, politicians and activists have reported a rise in anti-Muslim incidents since Rigby's death on 22 May.

On Friday, Rigby's family released a plea for peace, saying "Lee would not want people to use his name as an excuse to carry out attacks against others."

The two prime suspects in the killing were recently discharged from hospitals after being shot by police on the day of the killing. Michael Adebowale, 22, has been charged with murder, while 28-year-old Michael Adebolajo is being questioned.

Several others have been arrested and questioned in connection with the attack. Most have been released on bail.

On Saturday afternoon BNP leader Nick Griffin said: "I believe that by being here today we have at least taken a step to taking the debate to where it needs to be. Not about whether the terrible murder of Lee Rigby was isolated, something which will never happen again. We're pointing out that it will happen again and again and again until the west disengages with Islam and they leave our country."

In Edinburgh, the Scottish Defence League protested outside the Scottish parliament, while Unite Against Fascism organised a counter-protest. Police kept the two groups apart but the protesters dispersed without incident.

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Some Ukip candidates could be BNP members, says leader Nigel Farage

Some Ukip candidates could be BNP members, says leader Nigel Farage | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it
Unsavoury candidates could be on ballot paper for May local elections because of lack of time and means to vet them all
David Batty, The Guardian,Thursday 25 April 2013http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/apr/25/some-ukip-candidates-possible-bnp-members

Some of Ukip's candidates in next month's local elections could be BNP members or have criminal records, party leader Nigel Farage has said.

Farage said candidates that he would "rather not have had" could be standing in the elections because Ukip lacked the means to fully vet them.

His comments came after it emerged that a candidate had been thrown out of the party when it was discovered that she used to be a BNP member. Susan Bowen, a retired sheep farmer from Boscastle in north Cornwall, had been selected to stand in the Tintagel ward on 2 May.

She was once a BNP activist and spoke at a far-right meeting in 2010, footage from which is on YouTube. Farage told the BBC's World at One programme that the party had to rely on candidates being honest about any criminal convictions and other issues.

He said there may be "one or two" council candidates that Ukip would not be happy with, but said it was not possible for the party to vet all 1,700 in time.

"When it comes to the general election and the European elections, we have put in place a very rigorous testing procedure – testing people's knowledge, their ability with media – you know, full credit checks, police checks and all the rest of it," said Farage.

"I'll be honest with you, we don't have the party apparatus in a very short space of time to fully vet 1,700 people.

"We have made people sign declaration forms, expressing the fact that they've never been part of political parties that we consider to be wholly undesirable.

"By that I mean the BNP. And, you know, we ask people if there is a problem with a criminal record or whatever else it may be, please tell us.

"I have no doubt that among those 1,700 one or two people will have slipped through the net that we'd rather not have had."

Political analysts have predicted that Ukip is set to make the "most serious fourth party incursion in English politics" since the second world war – with the Tories as the main victims.

John Curtice, professor of politics at Strathclyde University, said on Wednesday that around 16% of Tory supporters at the last election say they would now vote Ukip. This compares with 8% for the Liberal Democrats and 4% for Labour.

A Ukip spokesman said: "We've got the honesty to admit we're not perfect. We don't have absolutely 20:20 vision on all our candidates. We ask people questions.

"We like to take people's words on it. However, sometimes we get burnt. But when we do get burnt we act."

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Nick Griffin declared bankrupt but will still stand for BNP in MEP elections

Nick Griffin declared bankrupt but will still stand for BNP in MEP elections | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it

BNP leader appears on Insolvency Service list after being declared bankrupt at Welshpool and Newtown county court"

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/jan/03/nick-griffin-declared-bankrupt-bnp-leader

Rowena Mason, political correspondent, Friday 3 January 2014

Nick Griffin, the leader of the British National party, has been declared bankrupt but confirmed he will stand again to be an MEP in this year's European parliament elections.

The far-right politician was named on a list published by the Insolvency Service after being declared bankrupt at Welshpool and Newtown county court on Thursday.

On Twitter, Griffin said: "Being bankrupt does not prevent me being or standing as an MEP. It does free me from financial worries. A good day!

"Party funds are not affected in any way. Our campaign in May will be our most professional yet and I will be lead candidate in the north-west.

"I am now turning the experience to the benefit of hard-up constituents by producing a booklet on dealing with debt. No surrender."

The party also posted a lengthy explanation on its website, saying Griffin was declared bankrupt after a petition by his former solicitors, Gilbert Davies.

The statement said Griffin applied for an IVA (individual voluntary arrangement) offering to pay 42p in the pound over five years to all his creditors but this was rejected by the firm. It said the BNP leader has no significant assets and the bankruptcy order will mean only a small fraction of his debts are recovered.

In an earlier hearing, Griffin had been ordered to pay nearly £120,000 in outstanding moneys and costs to Gilbert Davies & Partners of Severn Street, Welshpool.

The BNP rejected "ill-informed speculation" and "gossip" about whether the bankruptcy might prevent Griffin from holding office as an MEP. It said the Enterprise Act 2002 means bankruptcy no longer prevents a person standing as a candidate or holding office as an MP or an MEP.

Griffin also hit out at journalists wanting to talk to him about the case. "To all the NUJ pressitutes wanting interviews on this politically irrelevant nothing, if you'd called when I helped stop Cameron's Syrian War, I'd take you seriously.

"As it is, I'm busy this a.m. campaign planning, so take copy off our website and call me after lunch," he added on Twitter.

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Royaume-Uni : David Cameron bousculé par les eurosceptiques

Royaume-Uni : David Cameron bousculé par les eurosceptiques | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it
Une lettre de 95 députés traduit la frustration des eurosceptiques, alors que M. Cameron s'est engagé à renégocier les relations avec Bruxelles et à organiser d'ici à 2017 un référendum sur une sortie éventuelle du Royaume-Uni de l'UE.

Le Monde.fr avec AFP | 12.01.2014

Près d'une centaine de députés conservateurs britanniques demandent à David Cameron que la chambre des Communes du Parlement du Royaume-Uni puisse mettre son veto à toute législation européenne existante et future, rapporte le Sunday Telegraph. « Nous vous appelons à [...] faire de l'idée d'un veto national sur les lois actuelles et futures de l'Union européenne, une réalité », écrivent 95 députés au premier ministre britannique, de nouveau pressé par son aile droite de durcir sa position vis-à-vis de l'UE.

Ce veto, qui nécessiterait l'adoption d'une loi par les parlementaires britanniques, « permettrait au Parlement [de Westminster] de ne pas appliquer la législation européenne quand il en est de notre intérêt national », ajoutent-ils.

Actuellement, le Parlement britannique n'a pas de droit de veto automatique sur les lois européennes, et le premier ministre ne peut utiliser de veto que sur des sujets très sensibles, comme la défense et le budget de l'UE. Peu de temps après son élection en 2010, M. Cameron avait cependant mis en place « un verrou législatif » rendant obligatoire le recours à un référendum à chaque future velléité d'abandon de prérogatives au profit de Bruxelles.

Downing Street a réagi dimanche à la lettre des députés en assurant que le premier ministre allait « étudier de près cette idée. Mais nous avons besoin de savoir ce que cela signifierait sur le plan pratique ». « Cependant, a poursuivi un porte-parole de M. Cameron, si des Parlements nationaux rejetaient régulièrement et unilatéralement des lois européennes, le marché unique ne fonctionnerait pas. »

EUROSCEPTIQUES FRUSTRÉS, UKIP EN HAUSSE

La lettre des députés traduit la frustration des eurosceptiques dans le camp du premier ministre sur le dossier européen, alors même que M. Cameron s'est engagé, sous la pression précisément de cette aile, de renégocier les relations entre Londres et Bruxelles et d'organiser d'ici à 2017 un référendum sur une sortie éventuelle du Royaume-Uni de l'UE. Pour que ce référendum soit organisé, il faudra cependant que les conservateurs gagnent les élections générales prévues en 2015. M. Cameron avait aussi fait cette promesse dans un contexte de montée en puissance du parti populiste et antieuropéen UKIP à l'approche des élections européennes de 2014.

Par ailleurs, le ministre du travail britannique, le conservateur Iain Duncan Smith, a formulé le souhait, dans le Sunday Times, que les immigrés issus de l'Union européenne et installés au Royaume-Uni attendent deux ans, et non plus trois mois, avant de pouvoir être éligibles aux prestations sociales. Le Royaume-Uni devrait leur demander de « démontrer qu'ils s'engagent vis-à-vis de ce pays [...], travaillent et contribuent » à l'économie, a-t-il estimé dans une interview au journal.

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Pierre Laurent réélu à la tête du Parti de la gauche européenne

Pierre Laurent réélu à la tête du Parti de la gauche européenne | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it
Réuni en congrès ce week-end, le PGE a par ailleurs désigné le Grec Alexis Tsipras comme candidat à la présidence de la Commission européenne.

 

Pierre Laurent, numéro 1 du PCF, a été réélu à la tête de la présidence collégiale du Parti de gauche européenne (PGE), qui a désigné le Grec Alexis Tsipras candidat à la succession de Manuel barroso, a annoncé lundi le PCF. L’élection a eu lieu lors du 4e Congrès du PGE le week-end dernier à Madrid.

 

Outre le secrétaire national Pierre Laurent, la présidence collégiale est composée d’Alexis Tsipras (Syriza), Marisa Mattias (Bloco, Portugal), Maïté Mola (PCE-IU, Espagne), Margarita Mileva (Gauche bulgare) et du trésorier Diether Dehm (Die Linke, Allemagne).

Le congrès du PGE a en outre décidé de présenter la candidature d’Alexis Tsipras à l’élection de la présidence de la Commission européenne qui sera organisée à la suite des élections de mai. «Alexis Tsipras portera la voix de la résistance et de l’espoir» de la gauche, s’est félicité le PCF dans un communiqué.

Pour le PCF, ce congrès, qui a réuni quelque 300 délégués, «fera date dans l’histoire du Parti de la gauche européenne (PGE) et pour une Europe solidaire».

A lire aussi Le reportage de notre envoyé spécial à Madrid

Il a été décidé, a ajouté le PCF, «de faire du PGE dans les années qui viennent un acteur majeur du combat politique en Europe contre les politiques d’austérité, les régressions démocratiques et pour construire un front social et politique européen offrant aux forces sociales, politiques, de la culture, de la création et citoyennes du continent une alternative de gauche en Europe».

Dans un communiqué distinct, le PCF, par la voix de Gilles Garnier, responsable de la commission Europe au parti, a jugé «incompréhensible et incohérent» le fait que le Parti de gauche, coprésidé par Jean-Luc Mélenchon, ait suspendu sa participation au PGE.

Appelant à «l’unité du Front de gauche derrière Alexis Tsipras», il a fait valoir qu’en «France, le Front de gauche doit impulser cette dynamique en entrant le plus vite possible en campagne pour mettre la gauche antiaustérité en tête aux élections européennes de mai 2014». «Le PCF fera tout, pour sa part, pour que ne soit pas entravé l’engagement uni du Front de gauche dans les élections européennes», a conclu Gilles Garnier.

AFP

 

http://www.liberation.fr/politiques/2013/12/16/pierre-laurent-reelu-a-la-tete-du-parti-de-la-gauche-europeenne_966884

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La même information dans Libération, avec une couverture tournée vers le national..

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La difficile union PS-PRG aux européennes

La difficile union PS-PRG aux européennes | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it
Le Parti radical de gauche devait décider, ce mardi lequel de ses responsables prendra la tête de liste dans le Sud-Ouest. Mais le PRG laisse entendre qu'il pourrait ne trancher qu'en janvier 2014.
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Au Royaume-Uni, UKIP espère provoquer un séisme aux européennes de 2014

Au Royaume-Uni, UKIP espère provoquer un séisme aux européennes de 2014 | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it
Le parti anti-européen, réuni en congrès à Londres, attire les électeurs déçus par David Cameron.


Eric Albert, 21/09/2013


"Nous sommes en train de changer le visage de la politique britannique. Nous allons arriver premiers aux élections européennes et provoquer un tremblement de terre." Il y a un an, ces déclarations de Nigel Farage, le chef de file du Parti pour l'indépendance du Royaume-Uni (United Kingdom Independence Party, UKIP), auraient fait rire. Mais vendredi 20 septembre, au premier jour de son congrès annuel qui se tenait à Londres, il a pu les tenir sous les applaudissements enthousiastes de la salle.


Le UKIP, qui réclame le retrait du Royaume-Uni de l'Union européenne (UE), est devenu un trouble-fête dans le jeu politique britannique. Voir cette formation terminer en tête en mai 2014 est désormais une hypothèse très sérieuse. D'ordinaire, elle connaît un pic de popularité lors des élections européennes (16 % des voix en 2004 et en 2009), avant de retomber dans l'indifférence générale. Mais depuis un an, cela change : ce petit parti, créé il y a vingt ans pour protester contre le traité de Maastricht, a obtenu en mai 23 % lors d'élections locales. Dans le même temps, les trois partis traditionnels sont rejetés, renvoyés dos à dos par l'électorat. Enfin, la promesse du premier ministre David Cameron de tenir un référendum sur l'UE a fourni de l'oxygène au UKIP. Tous les éléments sont réunis pour une percée en 2014.


Dans ce contexte, l'atmosphère à la salle des fêtes de Central Hall, à proximité de Westminster, où se tenait le congrès, était joyeuse. "On s'est installés juste en face du Parlement, pour leur montrer qu'on les prenait d'assaut", plaisante un participant. "On est maintenant acceptés comme un parti politique majeur", ajoute Richard Elvin, candidat qui a récolté 24 % des voix lors d'une législative partielle en mai.

UN PARTI ANTI-EUROPÉEN ET CONTRE L'IMMIGRATION

Même s'il a évolué avec ce succès récent, le profil type du militant UKIP demeure un homme blanc, plutôt âgé et ancien sympathisant conservateur. Pour lui, ce parti est le seul qui ose défendre les valeurs traditionnelles, en s'opposant très durement à l'immigration, à Bruxelles et au mariage homosexuel. Christopher Heath, 45 ans, en est un exemple typique. Ancien membre des tories, il a rejoint le UKIP par lassitude face à ce qu'il considère comme la dérive centriste de son ancien parti : "Quelqu'un comme Cameron est un social-démocrate. Nous sommes les seuls qui défendent les valeurs conservatrices."

Plus que l'Europe, c'est surtout l'immigration qui revient comme un refrain. "Nous sommes une petite île, il n'y a pas de place ici", assure Patricia Vaid, membre du parti depuis sept ans. "Les frontières sont grandes ouvertes, et ça ne peut pas durer", ajoute David Lott, qui habite pourtant en France.

Le message anti-immigration est l'une des principales explications du succès du UKIP depuis un an. Tous les sondages l'indiquent : après quinze années d'immigration record au Royaume-Uni, le sujet est l'un de ceux qui inquiètent le plus les Britanniques. Le parti anti-européen, qui appelle à diviser par dix le nombre d'immigrants entrant dans le pays, séduit ainsi les classes populaires, élargissant sa base militante.

Mais ce sujet est aussi l'une des principales faiblesses du UKIP, qui est régulièrement accusé de racisme. Si M. Farage rejette de façon véhémente cette charge, son passé vient de le rattraper. Channel 4 a retrouvé une lettre d'un des professeurs de son collège, il y a plus de trente ans, le traitant à l'époque de "raciste" et de "fasciste". Il aurait même participé à un défilé dans un village du Sussex, une nuit, en entonnant des chants des jeunesses hitlériennes.

NIGEL FARAGE ET SES PROPOS RACISTES

M. Farage dément les chants nazis, mais reconnaît aimer la provocation : "De 1968 à ces dernières années, il n'était pas possible de débattre intelligemment de l'immigration." Mais d'anciens élèves se rappellent de lui proférant des commentaires racistes… "Il est possible que je les aie provoqués", admet-il.

Dans les couloirs du congrès, le sujet est ultra-sensible. Les militants sont d'ailleurs souvent pris d'un besoin pressant de mentionner leurs amis étrangers. "Mon meilleur ami est allemand", souligne l'un. "Je suis mariée à un Indien", ajoute une autre. "Nous avons beaucoup de membres issus des minorités ethniques", affirme un troisième, en dépit de l'évidence du contraire dans la foule du congrès.

L'autre faiblesse du UKIP est son organisation. Entièrement concentré autour de son leader charismatique, le parti manque d'une structure organisée. Contrairement aux congrès des grands partis, placés sous haute protection policière, celui de vendredi était pratiquement ouvert au tout-venant, et pendant le discours de Nigel Farage, les sièges aux balcons de la salle étaient à moitié vides. Autant de signes qui rappellent que l'arrivée tonitruante des trublions anti-européens demeure un phénomène très récent. Mais avec lequel il faut désormais compter.

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Au Royaume-Uni, les eurosceptiques sont devenus europhobes

Au Royaume-Uni, les eurosceptiques sont devenus europhobes | UK European election campaign -UKIP | Scoop.it
Les conservateurs, qui plaidaient pour une révision des conditions de la participation du Royaume-Uni à l'UE, veulent désormais sortir du marché commun.

Par Eric Albert 5/11/2013

 

Le 8 novembre, les députés britanniques doivent débattre – une nouvelle fois – de l'Europe. La loi pour mettre en place un référendum sur une sortie de l'Union européenne (UE) repasse devant la Chambre des communes. Même s'il ne s'agit que d'une étape dans un long processus parlementaire, ce sera pour nombre d'entre eux l'occasion de manier la rhétorique europhobe. Encore, pourrait-on dire.

 

Ce serait pourtant commettre une grave erreur que de traiter le débat qui anime le Royaume-Uni comme un simple soubresaut. Vu du « continent », il est parfois difficile de se rendre compte de l'extrême radicalisation des antieuropéens outre-Manche. « Les lecteurs du Monde se diront peut-être qu'ils ont l'habitude d'entendre du bruit venant de Grande-Bretagne, avertit Liam Fox, un ténor conservateur. Mais ils doivent comprendre : nous avons franchi le Rubicon. Nous sommes vraiment prêts à sortir de l'Union européenne. »

Ses paroles ne sont pas à prendre à la légère. M. Fox ne fait pas partie de cette poignée de députés conservateurs qui considèrent que l'Union européenne fomente une sorte de complot contre le Royaume-Uni. Ancien ministre de la défense, très influent au sein des tories, il a toujours été eurosceptique, mais n'avait jamais osé appeler à sortir de l'UE jusqu'à l'an dernier. En juillet 2012, il s'était finalement lancé : « La vie hors de l'Union européenne n'est pas terrorisante. » A l'époque, son discours était jugé radic...

L’accès à la totalité de l’article est protégé

 

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