Tuesday, October 12, 2004

UKIP get in a tizzy

Blogging Labour MEP Richard Corbett, who is also one of the contributors to UKIP Watch, has got the UK Independence Party in a bit of a huff with his pamphlet 25 Things You Didn't Know When You Voted for UKIP (and why you'll never vote for them again) (.pdf).

It's a little bit clumsy and heavy-handed in places, but hey - so are the UKIP, so what do I care? The UKIP, however, haven't taken it particularly graciously, and have demanded all 10,000 copies be pulped, the poor dears. According to the UKIP, "There is a reference in the pamphlet to [UKIP MEP for South East England and alleged benefit fraudster] Mr [Ashley] Mote which we believe breaches the terms of the court order and we are demanding that all copies of this document be pulped, and that the cost to the public purse be borne by its author Richard Corbett."

My only concern is that this is coming from an elected representative of another political party. The supporters of UKIP may simply dismiss it as Labour propaganda.

When are pro-Europeans going to find their own Paul Sykes to help fund this sort of material? And when is the government finally going to start putting the case for the EU to the British people rather than engaging in petty squabbles?

People vote for UKIP out of a dislike for the EU, not their detailed policies - if they are convinced of the benefits of the EU, they'll stop voting for them, and this kind of thing will no longer be necessary.

It's well worth a look in any case - a nicely-researched little document confirming what we all know anyway - the UK Independence Party is a one-note bunch of extremist hypocritical racists. It's highly unlikely that it will end up pulped, as from a quick skim through there's nothing there that could jeopardise a court case (and I doubt Mr Corbett would be stupid enough to allow them a get-out anyway), but catch it while it's still online. (And if it does get taken down, let me know - I'll host a copy of it myself...)

3 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

ukipwatch is not an unbiased website, but is wholly owned by Jo Wood, one of the unelected Labour Party candidates in the South East Region. No doubt it was established in a fit of sour grapes after the surprise performance of UKIP.

Corbett accuses UKIP members of breaking rules etc, but is not averse to signing on and claiming alowances on days when the EU Parliament doesn't meet.

Corbett will not have checked the legal position since the order banning reference to Ashley Mote's legal problems was only made on 5th October, after the document went to print. The order was made under the Contempt of Court Act by Sessions J sitting in Chichester Crown Court. There is no justification in publishing old material and claiming that you didn't know the rules.

You say that you can't see anything wrong with the piece on Ashley Mote, but read it in context with the section heading and the implication is that Mr Mote is guilty even though the matter has been adjourned for legal argument and even though Ashley Mote denies the charges. Surely it is this poor quality rush to judgement, based on the continental guilty until proven innocent, that shows why the UK is not compatible with the EU. The fact that you would gladly host a publication were it to be declared unlawful says a lot about you and your principles. I'm glad we're on different sides of the EU argument.

10/15/2004 06:06:00 pm  
Blogger Toby said...

The previous anonymous comment makes a series of somewhat odd points.

"Corbett accuses UKIP members of breaking rules etc, but is not averse to signing on and claiming alowances on days when the EU Parliament doesn't meet."

Someone's been taking the Sun's, er, 'selective journalism' a little too credulously. (More information here - http://www.40k.org.uk/blog/2004/05/brussels-snouts )

"Corbett will not have checked the legal position since the order banning reference to Ashley Mote's legal problems was only made on 5th October, after the document went to print. The order was made under the Contempt of Court Act by Sessions J sitting in Chichester Crown Court. There is no justification in publishing old material and claiming that you didn't know the rules."

The document was published by Britain in Europe at the end of September. It was circulated at all the conferences and announced in BiE's news bulletin on 1 October. It has not been republished (or reprinted) since. The court is not retroactive, so no rules have been broken.

10/16/2004 02:11:00 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Toby,

Correct, the order is not retrospective,but Corbett held a press briefing in Brussels, after the order was made, the details of which are being promulgated in the UK and indeed on this site. Also, from the time the order was made all comments that remain published on the net are continung and, if hosted by UK servers or accessible in the UK, the rules apply. Gesetz als gesetz. Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Corbett does indeed claim that MEPs return to the building the day after the session to sign up. It seems odd since the book is accessible before they leave the building and it would only take a few minutes to queue and sign rather than to dash off to appartments or hotels at the end of a difficult day in the EU HQ (?). 'Siso' is common and Corbett knows the rules the same as everyone else.

NB I rarely read the Sun, I occasionally buy it for the pictures ;-)))

10/16/2004 11:06:00 pm  

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