Ukip Wales

May 082016
 

In my previous post I told you that I was going to vote for Independent Louise Hughes as my constituency AM, and that’s what I did. She didn’t win, nobody expected her to win, but she finished fifth in a seven-horse race, above the Lib Dem and Green candidates; the second of those – and bottom of the poll – being Alice Hooker-Stroud, the recently elected leader of the Wales region of the Green Party of Englandandwales. So well done Louise for beating a party leader. (Well, a regional leader anyway.)

Dwyfor-M

CLICK TO ENLARGE

In fact, the poor showing by the Greens was for me one of the highlights of the night. Clearly their electoral appeal has been greatly over-estimated by just about everyone, especially themselves. I don’t think a single Green constituency candidate reached 4% (can’t be bothered to check them all), while on the regional lists, where they might have been expected to do better, they polled just 3%, a drop of 0.5% on 2011.

Not even that grande dame of the local Greens, Pippa Bartolotti, could break through the 3% barrier. What is wrong with the voters of Newport West; they are offered as a candidate the woman who’s led the Greens to the giddy heights they now occupy and yet the fools refused to elect her! Never mind, posterity will I’m sure be gentle on her. For her amanuensis, ex-con Martyn Shrewsbury, is hard at work right now making up excuses for the woman he adores . . . but does she reciprocate? And if so, how? And do you really want to think about it!

The Greens are so adept at self-publicity that we tend to forget what a tiny and insignificant party they really are.

You’ll see from the Dwyfor Meirionnydd constituency figures above that as elsewhere the new ingredient in the mix was UKIP, whose candidate on my patch, Frank Wykes, got 10.6% of the vote. Wykes describes himself as a Cornishman, which is rather disappointing. And this picture (below) don’t do him no favours either. Looks like it’s been taken from inside the female changing room at the local swimming pool . . . possibly with the same phone used to send the unsettling image to the gendarmerie. Leg it, Frankie!

Frank Wykes

The figures suggest that in Dwyfor Meirionnydd it was the Tories who took the hit from UKIP. (So it’s not all bad news.) Though I note with some anger that candidate Neil Fairlamb labels himself ‘Welsh Conservative’. No you are not! – you are an English bloody Conservative who happens to be in Wales; there is nothing Welsh about you apart from your location. I represent that elite and transcendental band of true Welsh Tories, a man without a port of call, a political Flying Dutchman.

On the regional list I voted Liberal Democrat in the hope of seeing William Powell, a very decent and capable man, re-elected, but again, my hopes were dashed. The four elected on the regional list were Joyce Watson and Eluned Morgan for Labour, Simon Thomas for Plaid and – wait for it! – Mr and Mrs Neil Hamilton for UKIP. I mention them both because although Hamilton N. is, technically, the elected Assembly Member, his missus Christine will be doing the thinking and the talking for him.

What really did for William Powell though was not the calibre of the opposition – couldn’t be, could it! – but the re-election of Kirsty Williams in Brecon and Radnor coupled with the general decline in the Lib Dem vote elsewhere. Sad, but that’s how this Labour-biased electoral system operates.

Mid and West Wales

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Of course the one result everyone is talking about is Rhondda (make that ‘Rhonnda’ if you’re in UKIP) where Plaid leader Leanne Wood beat the popular and unassuming Labour candidate, Leighton Andrews. Yes, they were dancing in the streets of Treorchy on Friday morning when the result was announced. But then, they’re always dancing in the streets of Treorchy.

Though if you want an illustration of how far the Liberal Democrats have sunk then the Rhondda result provides it. Here the Green candidate got 1.1% of the vote – but still beat the Lib Dem candidate on 0.7%.

The Rhondda result was obviously a victory for a well-respected local candidate, unfortunately Plaid Cymru was unable to repeat this victory elsewhere in the south. Though two results deserve to be mentioned.

First, Neil McEvoy giving Labour a fright in Cardiff West, the first of many frights, I’m sure. Delighted though to see Neil elected on the South Wales Central regional list. I just hope that the Plaid establishment doesn’t ‘get to’ him. Plaid Cymru needs more Neil McEvoys and fewer sons of the manse and masters of cynghanedd, and fewer entryists using the party to promote socialist, environmentalist and other agendas.

And then there was the somewhat overlooked result in Blaenau Gwent. A result that in some ways was more praiseworthy than Rhondda and Cardiff West. There Nigel Copner – a name new to me – came within 650 votes of the winning Labour candidate. In the process local boy Professor Copner increased the Plaid share of the vote by a staggering 31.2%.

Overall, and given the problems being experienced by their rivals (dealt with below) Plaid’s very modest increase in both constituency (+1.3%) and list votes (+3.0%) must be viewed as a failure.

*

For the Conservatives it was also a case of little real change. They must be disappointed to have lost three seats and not to have repeated their 2015 successes in Gower and Vale of Clwyd, though in both constituencies they closed the gap on Labour incumbents who saw support fall away.

And they must be wondering what might have been if local leader Andrew R T Davies had contested the Vale of Glamorgan rather than sticking with the regional list. As it was the Tory candidate came within 777 votes of Labour minister Jane Hutt . . . but the seat might have been won if local farmer Davies had stood. There might yet be repercussions from his decision.

Yet the Tories had to contend with the rise of UKIP and the fact that the party on UK and Welsh levels is split over next month’s EU referendum; then there’s the crisis in the steel industry, the Panama papers, and the fact that many in Wales believe Cameron and Osborne are planning the reintroduction of workhouses.

Putting it all together the party’s showing wasn’t too bad at all. Down just 3.9% in the constituency share of the vote and 3.7% on the regional lists could even be seen as rather good in the circumstances.

*

For the first time UKIP now has Assembly Members, and an interesting bunch they are, who will provide hours of side-splitting entertainment, to the point where many of you will actually miss them when UKIP finally implodes.

Though it might not have come to pass without a favourable alignment in the heavens that saw the Assembly elections precede the EU referendum. Had it been the other way round there might be no UKIP AMs.

Hamiltons

But already the ‘scorpion’ impulse is asserting itself and just days after the elections Christine Neil Hamilton is challenging Nathan Gill for the leadership – yet Gill was anointed by Farage himself! The entertainment has started! Though the leadership challenge can’t take place until Hamilton has taken the Oath of Allegiance (to Mrs Windsor), this is delayed as it’s proving awkward for him to get to Cardiff from his English home.

Perhaps now that he’s back among us we should start using his first given name. To help you become familiar with it, I shall henceforth refer to the new AM for Mid and West Wales as Mostyn Hamilton.

*

The real winner last Thursday was quite obviously the Labour Party. With an aggregate vote of 33.1% Labour gained 49.3% of the seats in what is supposed to be a system of proportional representation. It is nothing of the sort. It is a system designed to give the impression of being a PR system while reinforcing the position of the largest party. A system chosen by Labour to benefit Labour.

Let us hope that with the long promised reorganisation of Westminster constituencies there comes a better PR model. Or if we must stick to the same model, then there must be an increase in the number of regional list seats. In the Scottish Parliament 56 of the 129 seats are regional seats, that’s 43.4%. Here in Wales of course it’s 20 out of 60, or 33.3%. Come to that, why does Scotland have more than twice the number of MSPs for a population well short of double ours?

If, as is predicted, Wales’ representation at Westminster is reduced to 29 or 30 constituencies then this would provide the perfect opportunity to reform the system for Assembly elections. But whatever happens in the future it is now clear that the current system for electing AMs is flawed and discredited. It must be reformed.

Hello, Hello, Hello

I can’t finish without mentioning the Police and Crime Commissioner elections that also took place last Thursday, the results of which have just been announced. Labour took Gwent and South Wales while Plaid Cymru took North and Dyfed Powys.

PCC Dyfed Powys

A very good result for Plaid Cymru, and with Arfon Jones becoming PCC for GogPlod it means that I got one out of three right last Thursday. But then, with my constituency choice being a no-hoper (sorry, Louise), my list choice a long shot, Arfon was always my best chance of getting one right.

I don’t know Dafydd Llywelyn the new Dyfed Powys PCC at all, but someone has been trying to tell me there was something irregular about his selection. The allegation being that he had not been a party member for the stipulated length of time before being selected as a candidate. Surely not!

I would hate to think that Plaid Cymru is slipping into the bad practices of other parties.

~ ~ ~ END ~ ~ ~

NEXT: Why are housing associations allowed to use public funding to build properties for sale to ‘investors’? And more . . .

Jun 152014
 

BOOK OF NATHAN

SYNOPSIS OF A LOST BOOK OF THE OLD TESTAMENT, RECENTLY DISCOVERED BY WANDERING BEDOUIN IN THE RUINS OF A COPTIC MONASTERY NEAR YSTRADGYNLAIS

 

FROM CHAPTER 1

And lo, it came to pass, when the daughter of the alderman waxed strong in the land, she who smote Argies and miners, those of a damp disposition and others who followed false prophets, that the patriarch Gill heard a voice in a dream saying, ‘Best go where you’re not known, lad’. Troubled by these words the patriarch asked, ‘But where shall I go, Lord?’ ‘Follow the setting sun into the land wherein dwell the Welshites’, spake the Lord, ‘for they are as thick as that which droppeth from a camel’s bum and will let anyone settle among them, no questions asked’.

So he and his wife (for unlike many of his Mormon creed, he had but one), forsook their dwelling in the city called Hull, in the land of Ing-er-lund, and prepared to journey into the wilderness. They took with them the fruit of their loins, prized among these was young Nathan, of whom we shall learn more anon. Though they gave away not their chattels and materialistic encumbrances, for of these and the shekels the Gillites were uncommon fond.

FROM CHAPTER 2

Arriving in the land of the Welshites they were stunned by both the beauty of the place and the gullibility of the people. Patriarch Gill saw there were many in need of the laying on of hands, so he became an homeopath, dispensing treatment to all who needed it . . . but especially women . . . and even more especially, those women who could be persuaded to disrobe. Yeah, verily, he was an horny old patriarch. Small wonder that he was condemned by the elders of the temple and thrown in a cell by the authorities.

Young Nathan, meanwhile, was growing into a man, of sorts. A faithful attendee at the temple (notwithstanding his father’s little difficulties) while being instructed in letters and figures by local wise men, and women, at the Coleg that is called Menai. But then, as he attained man’s estate, a voice spake unto him, ‘Go to Hull’, it said, ‘return to the land of your fathers and claim your patrimony’.

This perplexed young Nathan, for he knew not the voice. ‘Is that you, Lord?’ ‘Well, sort of . . . think of me as a rival network giving better service for your particular needs’. ‘What are you called?’ ‘I am known by many names, but you can call me the E O’. So Nathan forsook the land of the Welshites and travelled east to seek his fortune.

FROM CHAPTER 3

Upon arriving in Hull he laboured in the family business of offering succour to the halt and the lame, the wizened and the widows, for his parents had taught him there was lucre to be made from providing pallets for the aged. He soon betook himself a wife, and begat children, but this union ended badly, and in recriminations. (At this point the manuscript is damaged, but our experts are working to fill the lacunae.)

Nathan was next mentioned in ancient local texts when an abandoned holy place with which he was connected ‘caught on fire’, on the night that is called Guy Fawkes. ‘It was the act of wicked children’ spake the son of the patriarch, but others were less sure, and some suspicious souls even raised accusing fingers against Nathan himself.

FROM CHAPTER 4

Patriarch Gill, now bethought himself to send his son, and his daughters (for the patriarch had been married ere he knew Nathan’s mother) to a great land across the sea, wherein dwelt many of the Mormonites. There they were married to devout Mormonite spouses. After the wedding, and the celebrations, Nathan, together with his new wife, returned to Hull. His sisters also returned from these arranged marriages with their new husbands.

Soon after their arrival the E O conjured up a vision for Nathan. In this vision Nathan saw many strangers coming to his beloved Ing-er-lund, men of a strange race and a heathen faith (which made it acceptable to enslave them). These people, known as Polandites, could be employed tending to the wizened ones, and even greater wealth could be gained from also providing these Polandites with pallets (nothing too fancy, you understand).

FROM CHAPTER 5

And it came to pass that Nathan created the company known as Burgill. And it prospered. The Polandites tended to the crones and when their labours were over they returned to the straw pallets provided by Burgill. Nathan owned many tents, large and small, in the city of Hull, wherein the Polandites did dwell.

Though this harvesting of the Polandites was not without its problems. For the tax collectors came unto him saying, ‘Oi, we suspect that you are doing all your business in ready shekels, with little being entered on the parchment rolls kept by your scribe’. This vexed Nathan full sore, for he knew it to be true, but consoled himself with the knowledge that the tax collectors could prove nothing.

It was during this time of plenty – for Nathan, not the Polandites – that the E O came to him again, saying, ‘Listen, son, there’s another way you can do yourself a bit of good out of these Polandites’. ‘How so, E O?’ enquired Nathan. After a deep sigh, the E O spelled it out, ‘A lot of people are getting angry about all these Polandites and others coming to Ing-er-lund (blesséd be her name), so pretend to agree with them, tell them you’ll put a stop to it’. Nathan was delighted, ‘That’s brilliant . . . hypocritical, but brilliant’. ‘Of course’, continued the E O, ‘you’ll have to leave that shower you’re with now and join Ukip’.

FROM CHAPTER 6

And it came to pass that Nathan abandoned the sepulchre of the Toryites to become a follower of the prophet Nige. A loud and hearty fellow was Nige, much given to raucous laughter and wine, and very fond of the ladies (not unlike the patriarch Gill in the latter respect). Nathan was smitten with Nige and vowed to follow him all his days (or until one of them got banged up).

‘What is our message, O Nige, for the marketplace and the caravanserai, the highways and the alleyways, the taverns and the temples?’ ‘Simple, son, “Vote for us and we’ll stop the Polandites and all the rest coming over here taking your jobs”’. ‘But I have many Polandites in my service, Nige’. ‘Fear not, Nathan, for if anyone doth uncover thy little secret we can use it to prove thou art not racist, merely in favour of controlled immigration. Though as for the undeclared shekels you’ve trousered, you’re on your own there, my son’.

Whereupon the E O appeared unto Nathan and spake in this wise, ‘I knew you’d like the prophet Nige, think of him as my emissary on earth. And if it all goes pear-shaped for him, you can take over.’

FROM CHAPTER 7

And so it came to pass that after certain problems in his business dealings in the city of Hull Nathan returned, with his new family, to the land of the Welshites. There, he began to preach at the people saying, ‘Vote for me, lest the land of the Welshites become deluged with strangers’. ‘Too right!’ they responded, especially those who had, like Nathan, come from Ing-er-lund!

Nathan proved unelectable among those who knew him on the island where he dwelt, but in a different casting of ballots he gained many votes from those who knew naught of him. For the criers and the tellers of tales in the market place, those on whom the people relied for their news, failed to ask, ‘Who is this Nathan that comes among us asking that we heed him, and follow him?’

Nathan’s prize for victory in this ballot was being allowed to go to an far place that he claimed was the root of all evil – Eu-rope. There he was free to do more serious trousering of shekels, the ones that were called euros. And there was much wailing and gnashing of teeth among the Welshites, who cried, ‘If only we’d known then what we know now . .

                                                          * AMEN *

May 272014
 

Now that the dust has settled let’s see who’s still standing, who counts as walking wounded, and who might be deserving of a coup de grâce. Below you’ll find a table I’ve compiled giving a breakdown of the results. (Click to enlarge.) For comparison, the 2009 results can be found lower down. (Again, click to enlarge.) Further statistics and tables for 2014 can be found at the Pembrokeshire County Council website or at Welsh not British, where young Mr Evans has produced yet more easy-to-read graphics. (Though I got confused!)

Recent posts may also be of interest. First, my Wales Euro Election 2014: Runners and Riders and then my brief, pre-election biography of Nathan Gill, Ukip No 1 in Wales. Finally, bear in mind that the results were declared by local authority not by Westminster or Assembly constituencies. So while Anglesey council is the same as the constituency, this is rarely the case elsewhere, with some authorities containing more than one constituency and some constituencies straddling local government boundaries.

First, let’s get some of the minor parties out of the way. I cannot understand why NO2EU, Socialist Labour and the Socialist Party of Great Britain bothered standing. These three hard Left parties got a total of just 1.2% of the vote. I suppose it’s a platform, and a way of advertising themselves, but beyond that . . .

Moving over to the other extreme of the political spectrum we find the British National Party and its former members in Britain First. Their combined total was 1.9%. A great disappointment for the BNP, which got 5.4% of the vote at the previous Euro elections. I shall return anon to the BNP.

The performance of the Greens was patchy, ranging from 2.3% in Blaenau Gwent to 8.0% in Ceredigion. Nationally the party got 4.5% which was down on the 5.6% of five years ago. With all the environmentalist brainwashing going on in our schools I would have expected the Green vote to be rising. Then again, maybe many Greens ‘lent’ their vote to Plaid Cymru this time round to save Plaid’s skin. (Something else I shall return to.)

                                                *

Young Liberal badge

Click to Enlarge

One of the shocks of this election was of course the near-annihilation of the Liberal Democrats. Now you know my views on the Lib Dems, but I’m not a man to gloat, so (putting aside the party hat and champagne bottle) I will stick with the facts. Nationally, the Lib Dem vote dropped from 10.7% in 2009 to 3.9% last Thursday. The candles in the gloom were where you’d expect to find them: 12.9% in Powys and 11.4% in Ceredigion. But even these were poor figures considering that we are dealing here with areas containing (or until recently containing) Liberal Democrat AMs and MPs.

Elsewhere, the picture is one of unrelieved bleakness: votes of less than 3% in Anglesey, Blaenau Gwent, Bridgend, Caerphilly, Carmarthenshire, Denbighshire, Gwynedd, Merthyr Tydfil, Neath Port Talbot, Pembrokeshire, Rhondda Cynon Taff and Torfaen. The centre ground is obviously overcrowded, and being in coalition with the Tories has its price. This result is part of a decline also found outside Wales, and when we add in the findings of opinion polls, it could be that the Liberal Democrats are coming to the end of the line as a serious political party.

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Euro election 2009Given the result achieved by Ukip, and the added factor this time round of having been in government at Westminster for four years, the Conservatives will be quite satisfied – if not relieved – to have hung on to 17.4% of the vote, down from 21.2% in 2009. The Tories’ lowest vote was 6.2% in Blaenau Gwent, and they got votes below 10% in three other Valleys authorities; with the highest vote, unsurprisingly, being 33.2% in Monmouthshire. This year’s vote was just two percentage points down from 2004.

As for Labour, 28.1% looks excellent when compared with 20.3% in 2009. But 2009 was an election influenced by Gordon Brown being PM and leading an unpopular government heading for defeat in the general election of 2010. To put Labour’s result last Thursday into a longer term perspective, their 28.1% takes them closer to the 32.5% they achieved in 2004. Labour’s lowest vote was 10.3% in Ceredigion and the highest 46.5% in Blaenau Gwent. Which leaves us with just Ukip and Plaid Cymru to consider. Plaid first.

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Plaid scraped home to retain its MEP by just a few thousand votes and a share of 15.3%, compared with 18.5% in 2009 and 17.4% in 2004. The percentage share varied wildly, from 43.5% in Gwynedd to 6.3% in Monmouthshire. Only four local authorities (out of 22) gave Plaid a percentage share above 20%. I have made my views on Plaid Cymru / The Party of Wales known in many previous posts: they are a party that reached a ‘plateau’ of support under Dafydd Wigley from which they have been falling back steadily since he was deposed. And if, as we were being told prior to the voting, many Greens, Liberal Democrats and other ‘progressive elements’ were voting Plaid in order to stop Ukip getting a second seat, then the result is even worse.

Plaid’s support was concentrated along the west side of the country, as it has been throughout the party’s history, and even though 118,479 people in the south decided to stick two fingers up to the three main UK parties they chose to do it by voting Ukip rather than Plaid Cymru. Think about that – tens of thousands of working class Welsh people in the Valleys chose ex-public school ‘Frenchy’ Farage and his golf club bigots in preference to Plaid Cymru. Plaid Cymru has completely failed to break through in Denis Balsom’s ‘Welsh Wales’, among those who described themselves as ‘Welsh Only’ in the 2011 census; this failure, coupled with its heartland being colonised (without any protest from Plaid!) guarantees the eventual – and hopefully speedy – demise of this faux national party.

Yet there are those thankful for a ‘nationalist’ party as incompetent and unthreatening as Plaid Cymru. Given the fact that Plaid losing its MEP might have set in train events resulting in consequences unpalatable to such people, I can’t help wondering if, somewhere along the road to Abergwaun, Wales didn’t experience another deus ex machina moment to compare with what happened in Carmarthen back in September 1997.

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Now we come to the undoubted stars of the show, even if they didn’t quite manage to top the bill: Ladies and gentlemen – the United Kingdom Independence Party! Let me concede that this was a spectacular result for Ukip, so let’s consider where it might lead. But before that, let’s set the context by saying that Ukip’s share of the vote has risen from 10.5% in 2004 to 12.8% in 2009 to 27.6% in 2014. By any standards, quite spectacular; though it’s not immediately obvious where the votes came from.

By which I mean, between 2009 and 2014 the Ukip vote increased by 114,398, and in percentage share terms from 12.8 to 27.6. In other words, it more than doubled. Yet the Labour vote also increased from 138,852 to 206,332, or 20.3% to 28.1%. So little if any of Ukip’s vote came from Labour. We can also safely assume that few would make the switch from Plaid Cymru to Ukip. Which leaves the Tories, Liberal Democrats and the British National Party. Yet the Tory vote was down by less than 20,000 on 2009, so we must assume that many who had previously used the Lib Dems as their protest vote switched to Ukip this time. (While others went to Labour.) Another source of votes was obviously the BNP; something admitted by leader Nick Griffin, who says his lost supporters will be back when they realise Ukip can’t deliver on immigration. (And the BNP can!) Finally, while Ukip may have picked up the votes of the disenchanted and the gullible in the Valleys; in Powys, the north, and rural areas, we can safely say that Ukip had far more appeal to English residents than to Welsh.

If those are the sources of Ukip’s votes then these, I believe, are the factors that helped Ukip achieve its success. First, the desire among a large section of the electorate to use elections that don’t really matter to put the boot into established politics, and lazy and corrupt establishment politicians – so they voted for ‘Farage the outsider’. Second, genuine, but non-racist, concerns about immigration and how it affects the social life or character of communities. Third, a protest against something very few of them really understand called ‘Europe’ and its increasing control over their lives. Fourth, Lib Dem voters deserting to what they perceive to be another ‘protest’ party. Fifth, Ukip still has novelty value and has been promoted by large sections of the media, including the BBC, which made Farage almost a permanent member of the Question Time panel and other programmes. Which raises an intriguing question . . .

Many can see that the BBC has in the past few years has taken on the role of State broadcaster. Whether this was as a result of a decision taken within the BBC, or a role taken on at the behest of others, need not bother us here. This change has manifested itself in the plethora of programmes now prefixed by ‘Great British’ and the clear bias in reporting the Scottish referendum debate. So the question has to be, why is the BBC giving a free ride to this threat to the established order, portraying Farage as a good egg who enjoys a pint and a ciggie? I’m open to suggestions, but my belief is that we are witnessing here the ‘elastic theory’ in practice; by which I mean, Ukip is being used to legitimise certain issues that were previously taboo, or the preserve of extremists, and therby move political debate to the Right. From the confusion created by this shift will soon emerge – to steal Ukip’s clothes – a ‘repositioned’ Conservative Party. There may even be a place for the unquestionably popular Nigel Farage in the New Conservative Party. Either way, it will mean the end of Ukip as a major political force. Though of course, there were those who thought they could do something similar with Hitler in 1930s Germany.

                                                *

Looking ahead, I see that Mr Gill, our new Ukip MEP, is quoted as saying, “the Valleys are ours for the taking”, meaning that he expects to win Westminster and Assembly seats in this region. I have no way of knowing from which of his orifices these words emanated, but Mr Gill is an Englishman, living on Anglesey, who knows as much about the Valleys as I do about the Hindu Kush. Which is why I never talk of that region. Ergo he talks bollocks. For he knows as well as I do – or should – that Ukip is a protest vote for elections that people don’t take seriously. Which explains why the party has not a single MP, MSP or AM. Ukip has as much chance of winning Merthyr or Blaenau Gwent next year, or in 2016, as I have of winning the Kentucky Derby. And yet . . .

The threat of Ukip having some success in England at next year’s general election, and perhaps holding the balance of power, remains. (I have heard electoral pacts with the Conservatives mooted.) So put yourself in the position of someone in Scotland who has not yet decided how to vote in the independence referendum. Maybe you’re having a pint in an East End bar, or relaxing at home in Inverurie, when who pops up on the television but Nigel Farage. He says that you Scottish chaps (and he’ll use the word ‘chaps’) should be very grateful to be ruled by chaps like him; so you should forget all this independence nonsense because you’re ‘too wee and too poor’ (said in an appalling Scottish accent, an attempt at humour). Then he signs off with ‘Toodle-pip’. Do you think this intervention, and the possibility of a Tory-Ukip coalition after May 2015, might influence Scottish voters?Farage Salmond Tweet

We all know the answer, yet some Ukip people are urging Farage to get involved in the Scottish referendum debate, to put Alex Salmond in his place. (Telling us that Nathan Gill isn’t the only Ukipper struggling with political and other realities.) Which takes me back to the BBC. Why is the Great British Broadcasting Corporation giving an armchir ride to the man who could ‘lose’ Scotland? For no matter what some in Ukip may think I must believe that wiser counsels will tell Farage to stay out of the Scottish independence debate because, being so quintissentially English in a rather annoying way, he can only harm the Unionist cause. But will he listen? We shall see. Whatever the future holds the way Farage and Ukip have been handled thus far by both the political establishment and the mainstream media is perplexing. I can only assume that there is a longer game being played.

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In conclusion, let me just say a few things that might, hopefully, summarise what I feel about Ukip and the wider Welsh political scene. First, we should thank Ukip for exposing that the ‘socialist roots’ of the Valleys are, for many Valleys’ residents, as shallow as their own leader. When working class and unemployed Welsh people in some of the most deprived parts of Europe can vote for a party whose social policies come close to advocating sterilisation of the poor, then we know that the old certainties are gone, and it’s all up for grabs.

A Welsh academic, writing on Daily Wales, suggested that Ukip, by demanding that immigrants become fluent in English, had somehow released a genie that allowed language activists to demand that people moving into the Welsh-speaking areas of the west should learn Welsh. My comments can be found on the article. But he’s half right. The real lesson though is that by detoxifying the subject of immigration Ukip should have made it easier for us to discuss English immigration into Wales. Far greater in scale and effect than anything England is experiencing.

Finally, given the slow death of Plaid Cymru and other changes taking place in Welsh politics, I feel that the time is now right for nationalists to at least discuss setting aside their differences and uniting behind agreed Regional List candidates for the 2016 elections to the Notional Assembly. The advantages could be many. The elections would provide a platform to promote a more focused message than our people have heard for decades. It would also give the opportunity to challenge Ukip in the only route by which they can hope to achieve Assembly Members. And for Plaidistas reading this, it might provide the kick up the arse most of you know your party needs.

May 192014
 

I don’t want anyone to think I’m picking on Ukip, or indeed, Nathan Gill; but as the BBC and other media have been making clear, these European elections are most definitely about Ukip, and as Mr Gill is the lead candidate, and therefore almost certain to be representing us – we Welsh – in the European Parliament, I have every right to know more about the man, and to present my findings – and indeed my impressions – to a wider audience of potential voters. The best place to start is with what Nathan Gill has to say about himself. Here’s a link to what you see in the panel (click to enlarge).Nathan Gill And for your further delectation, here’s a link to a piece on Ukip I posted earlier this month.

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The first thing that struck me was that this is very badly written, in so many ways. While criticising syntax may be ‘picky’, criticising bad spelling and ludicrous capitalisations is not. For example (final paragraph) there is no ‘d’ in privilege. In the previous paragraph it should be ‘candidates’. How are we to interpret “our Great Nation” (and to which nation does it refer?). Why does he write “Domiciliary and Home Care for the Elderly” when no capitalisation is required? Amazing, that these people, so intolerant of other languages, are so careless with their own.

Over and above these childish mistakes there are other sections that cause amusement or alarm. Let’s start with the funny – well, sort of – bit at the start of the fifth paragraph, where he says, “I am not a career politician”, which is something Ukip candidates have been playing on in this campaign; in other words, ‘Trust us – we are not part of the corrupt system’. Now I don’t wish to go too far in this observation, but this ‘innocent outsider’ ploy was used by the Nazis: ‘Vote for us – we are not part of the corrupt Weimar system’. Yet he ends the preceding paragraph by saying that the aim is to “raise UKIP’s profile as a professional mainstream party”. If Nathan Gill and Ukip succeed in that ambition he will no longer be able to capitalise on his political virginity. In short, there is a glaring contradiction due to whoever wrote this garbage either forgetting what they’d just written or being unable to grasp that contradiction.

Less amusing is this section, immediately before the bit about professionalising Ukip: “I resigned my membership (of the Tories) and joined UKIP in February of 2005 deciding then and there, that this was a fight worth fighting. I was not being asked to stand in the trenches, or storm the beaches of Normandy for my country. This was to be a long and mainly thankless battle to inform the public, and raise UKIP’s profile . . .”. God Almighty! Stand in the trenches! Storm the beaches! What is it with the English Right that it can think of no other way to serve its country than by donning khaki and killing foreigners? We used to be told that this attitude was confined to the extreme Right, the National Front or the BNP, but Ukip now claims to represent mainstream English opinion. If so, God help us!

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How does Mr Gill earn his crust? Because he makes reference to “the family business” I made some enquiries and turned up a number of companies connected with Nathan Gill, four departed, one still clinging to life. The first of the four was Compactor Ltd of Bridlington, in Gill’s native East Riding of Yorkshire, Company No 06329258. Compactor seems to have lasted from July 2007 until March 11, 2011 and the Second Notification of Strike-Off Action in the London Gazette. Other directors were Mrs Elaine Gill (his mother, presumably) and Mr Brian Lynn Quilter. The company was listed as a manufacturer of telegraph and telephone apparatus and equipment.

Another that fell by the wayside was Humview Ltd, of Church Street, Llangefni, Company No 06166193. The other directors were Ms Jana Lyn Gill (wife?) and Mr Richard Bruce Worsey. Humview was Incorporated on March 16, 2007 and the Second Notification, etc was dated May 30, 2009. The third dead company was Picture Perfect (GB) Ltd, back in Bridlington, Company No 05781088. The only other name mentioned, as Company Secretary was, again, Ms Jana Lyn Gill. Picture Perfect first saw the light of day in April 2006 and breathed its last on November 19, 2010 via the London Gazette, departing this mortal coil with debts of just over £11,000.

Finally, we come to Burgill Ltd, Company Number 05076906, which was in the business of ‘letting of own property’ and ‘renting and operating of housing association real estate’. (Intriguing.) This company was also registered at Church Street, Llangefni, with Nathan Gill and his mother serving as directors, but may have operated in Hull. Alas, early in 2009, the company was forceGill Burgilld into compulsory liquidation owing £116,067. On the left you will find a screenshot of Burgill’s life support system just before it was switched off by the Official Receiver in Chester. (Yes, folks, Chester; after a millennium of that city’s parasitism and 15 years of devolution, it seems the Official Receiver for North Wales is still based in Chester.)

So there appears to be just one company with which Ukip’s local hetman is involved that still trades – Gill Enterprises Yorkshire Ltd, Company No 04188257 which, despite the name, has its registered office in Menai Bridge. It was Incorporated on March 27, 2001 and until March 2003 was known as The Pink Panther Resource Centre Ltd. Googling Pink Panther Resource Centre turned up a care home in Hull. Gill Enterprises could be the “family business” referred to in the bio, for his parents were both directors at one time. The only problem being that unless he was an adult student he would have left Coleg Menai around July 1991, ten years before the company was incorporated. Yet there seems to be no contender for the title of “family business” other than this company which currently has just two directors, Nathan Gill and his mother. The business seems to bob along, keeping its head above water, with net worth equalling current liabilities and a few grand in the bank.

All this digging got me wondering about Nathan Gill’s parents, were there other companies that might fit the “family business” label? Well, for a start, and in addition to Compactor and Burgill, Mrs Elaine Gill had also served as a director of Gillshill Ltd, which seems to have enjoyed a lifespan of just two years, from January 1992 until its Final Dissolution on St. David’s Day 1994. The only other director was her husband, Michael Ronald Gill. Though perhaps more interesting from a Welsh perspective is yet another company, Home Comforts (Gwynedd) Ltd, also registered in Menai Bridge, where the other director was again her husband, and she is listed as a ‘care home proprietor’. This company, number 02939007, was registered in August 1994 and dissolved in April 1996.

I don’t profess to know a lot about business and investment, and I can’t afford to pay for the documents that would throw more light on the Gill family’s business ventures (sob!); but it looks a chequered history to me, and I’d certainly like to know more about the disastrous Burgill Ltd. But after all that, I still don’t know what Nathan Gill actually does to support his wife and five children. Perhaps he should have been more specific in his bio rather than making a vague reference to the family business before taking us off to war while painting himself as the political innocent.

UPDATE MAY 29: Since writing this post I have learnt that Gill’s ‘job’ was personal assistant to the Ukip MEP (2009 – 2014), John Bufton. Why so reticent? Perhaps because it would have undermined his claim to not be “a career politician”. At least he’s got a real job now . . . but one he doesn’t want to do!

Additionally, Gill is a Mormon, it seems they have a ‘Meetinghouse’ in Gaerwen, and he may have come to Wales as a ‘missionary’. In my area it’s Jehovah’s Witnesses, a whole congregation, complete with patriarch, decamped from somewhere in northern England. Sometimes this village is under siege as they descend on us mob-handed . . . people diving under tables, turning televisions off, clapping hands over kids’ mouths . . . I know Wales is a third world country but do we really have to suffer white missionaries?

Seeing as Gill belongs to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (to give them their full name, often abbreviated to LDS) what is his attitude to gays and same-sex relationships? Come to that, what does he really think of that pork swordsman extraordinaire, legendary drinker and all round sybarite, his party leader, Nigel Farage? Does he really see him as ‘a bit of a lad’ or a sinner bound for hell?

When you think about it, there’s a few things here we should have been told before the election, but it’s pretty obvious why we weren’t.

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If the Ukip bandwagon isn’t halted soon then, some time after the general election of May 7 next year, the UK could have a Conservative-Ukip coalition government. I say this because many Conservatives are quietly supportive of Ukip, while Tory supporters in the media and elsewhere hope to use Ukip to pull the party to the Right. They believe that encouraging Farage and his cohorts to change the terms of debate on Europe, immigration, and other issues, prepares the ground for a ‘repositioned’ Conservative Party to reap the rewards. Which, again, reminds me of 1930s Germany; and the way in which big business, the army, and other establishment elements thought they could use and control Hitler before disposing of him. It didn’t work then, and England’s own ‘funny little man’ may prove equally difficult to ditch.

Nor should we ignore the fact that Ukip sees itself fighting on two fronts. The first is obviously ‘Europe’ and what it interprets as interference in Britain’s internal affairs, the second is the crusade to keep Britain English. Therefore Welsh identity of any kind, when seen through Ukip rifle sights on this second front, is a threat to the desired social and cultural cohesion. Which is why devolution – despite what Ukip may say publicly – would soon be phased out by a Tory-Ukip coalition government. (With the support of many in the Labour Party.)

For these and so many other reasons we must oppose this irredeemably English party for which Wales and Scotland are merely colourful appendages to be disempowered and eventually integrated. Despite the presence of three gullible Welsh candidates on the Ukip list the one topping that list, the one very likely to be elected, is Englishman Nathan Gil, which is how it must be, seeing as Ukip is appealling primarily to the English living in Wales. If Nathan Gill is elected he will sit in the European Parliament representing English interests . . . but in the name of Wales. This is why the fight against Ukip must not end with this week’s elections.