here is another series of informed comment from Barbara Booker a well informed UKIP observer and one time member of UKIP, who wasnot, so I understand, prepared to renew her membership of UKIP due to its low calliber of leadership, lack of vision a strategy and an exit and survival strategy - also its unprofessionalism and ncorrupt self serving nature of many of its elected officials and their appointed staff.
I see that Junius has drawn attention to the fact that despite UKIP members voting overwhelmingly against their MEPs joining a pan-European political party, Godfrey Bloom not only continues to serve as President of the European Alliance for Freedom but has set up its UK office at The Loft, Vicarage Cottage, Wressle, Selby, YO8 6ET.
The absurdity of Nigel Farage trying to make capital out of the referendum motion (Blind panic in Downing Street - UK Independence Party) - "We know from many polls that a vast majority of people want this referendum" - while one of the MEPs he leads is permitted to disregard the expressed wishes of a vast majority of party members, will not be lost on UKIP. If Godfrey Bloom wants to continue his association with the EAF he can comply with the UKIP poll result by resigning his MEPship. Why hasn't the so-called whip been withdrawn from him for not doing so?
It's not only the insult of being ignored that should concern members who voted against joining a PEP. The EAF is clearly trying to associate itself with UKIP via its website European Alliance for Freedom, with the UKIP logo featuring prominently opposite the EAF logo on a leaflet displayed on the home page. Below this, the link to the EAF's Foundation leads to an extraordinary piece of 'research' posted in the Documents section.
'Roll Call Votes January - July 2010', is introduced as a report "analyzing how UKIP MEPs voted during the period of January 2010 until July 2010 in comparison to the members of the European Alliance for Freedom", and purports to show that EAF members "perceive most of the issues of the European Union in the same way as members of UKIP do". By a ludicrous piece of figure fiddling EAF researchers claim that on a high percentage of occasions "there were always MEPs from EAF who voted in Favour/against or Abstained in exactly the same way UKIP members did".
This is meaningless, since the EAF did not then exist and its future members voted independently of each other, spreading their votes across all three available options. With future EAFs often voting For, Against and/or Abstain on the same occasion, one or more of them could hardly avoid voting the same way as UKIP!
For instance, 14 roll-call votes from January 2010 were analysed. No UKIP MEP voted in favour of any of them, whereas between 1 and 7 future EAFs voted in favour on 12 occasions. UKIP voted against on 8 occasions, with varying numbers of EAFs also voting against on 5 of those. In 13 of the 14 votes UKIP members all voted the same way, with only 1 breaking ranks to abstain on 1 occasion. By contrast, future EAF members all voted the same way on only 3 of the 14 occasions (in each case opposite to UKIP), with their votes split between For and Against on 5 occasions and between 1 and 4 abstaining on 9 occasions. Yet the EAF claims these figures represent 86% votes in common between UKIP and EAF in January!
There are two aspects of this which should concern UKIP members. First, why was the analysis produced at all if not falsely to persuade UKIP that EAF MEPs are fellow travellers who think and vote the same way as UKIP? They are not. As can clearly be seen from the tables, they don't even think and vote the same way as each other! Even now, with the EAF established, they still vote against each other and against UKIP, as can be seen from the latest roll-call votes to appear on the EP website http://www.europarl.europa.eu/sides/...EN&language=EN, those of 13 October.
Secondly, if this ridiculous analysis is an example of the quality of research produced by the EAF's Foundation, it will become a laughing stock amongst those who stumble across it. Remember how Stuart Agnew assured members that joining a PEP would give them a Think Tank (Foundation) that would enable them to "match the likes of Open Europe and the Tories in producing high quality research and policy proposals . . . a Think Tank will help UKIP to punch above its weight and mix it with the Old Parties at an entirely new level".
Not on this showing it wouldn't have! How very fortunate that UKIP members didn't allow themselves to be conned.
They should remain vigilant, however