Thursday, December 07, 2006

UKIP Working Groups

Righty-ho, all you libertarian people out there: want to see your beliefs and policies advanced? Want to roll back the state and have a say in the political agenda? Why not join a UKIP Policy Working Group?
Applicants are invited for UKIP’s range of Policy Working Groups, These groups will assist the Party to broaden and develop a full range of policies for future election manifestos. The Groups will work alongside commissioned experts in the field and committed Parliamentarians. Each Working Group in the full process will require:
  1. A Chairman—to be in charge of producing the paper to the required format and content, including organising and coordinating input from UKIP members and other non-UKIP contributors, and reporting to Senior UKIP officers

  2. A Paper Writer—in sole charge of writing the paper’s text, incorporating all ideas, written contributions and comments in a suitable written form

  3. Working Group members—expert and interested members to input verbal and written ideas and feedback on drafts as they arise.

There are all sorts of exciting subjects up for review.
The Policy Working Groups now needed are:
(Note: for an abridged process due to time constraints, and political/media considerations)
  • IMMIGRATION

  • WEST LOTHIAN QUESTION / HOW WE’RE GOVERNED

  • INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND AID

  • LAW AND ORDER

  • FISHING

  • TRANSPORT

  • HOUSING AND PLANNING (INCLUDING REGIONAL PLANNING)

(For the full policy process)
  • DEFENCE

  • AGRICULTURE

  • PENSIONS

  • EUROPE AND FOREIGN AFFAIRS

  • JOBS AND THE ECONOMY

  • RESTORING BRITISHNESS

  • ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT

  • ‘WORKFARE’ (WELFARE REFORM)

  • NHS REFORM

  • THE CONSTITUTION

Well, there's a few there that I might have some ideas about: welfare reform, NHS reform and I've been doing bits of research for energy and the environment. Surely some people from the Witanagemot Club could look at the West Lothian Question and How We're Governed for starters...
If interested in applying, please e mail to: deputyleader@ukip.org giving name, address and membership number or write to: David Campbell Bannerman, Deputy Leader & Head of Policy, UKIP, The Old Grain Store, Church Lane, Lyminster, West Sussex, BN17 7QJ with name, address and membership number, and marking envelope ‘POLICY GROUPS’. You will be sent a copy of Guidance Notes and Application Forms for the policy working groups.

OK, so you have to be a member to take part, but if you feel that no party represents your eminently sensible views... well... now's the time to change that. After all, how many commenters here have expressed the opinion that UKIP needs to broaden its policies?

Right, back to the ranting...

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

I have looked at the problem of the West Lothian Question and I have the answer: an English parliament. I came up with this answer ten years ago, I stand by it, UKIP, Labour, Conservatives and the Lib Dems have all been informed of my thoughts, repeatedly.

An English parliament can be achieved by independence, federalism or devolution.

In my opinion devolution is unstable and will lead to independence. Therefore my preference is federalism. I could go into details but suffice to say that a federal system will require us to rip up the 1707 Act of Union and start from basic principles.

UKIP policy has been all over the place in regard to this issue. I honestly don't think it has ever been near to the top of their agenda; they are beginning to look seriously at it, but are yet to come up with a serious solution.

I doubt that there are any people in UKIP that are even willing to challenge the concept of Westminster sovereignty, which is what must be done in order to solve the West Lothian Question. There are some that have the mental acuity to appreciate what must be done - Nigel Farrage for one understands the problem and the solution - but they dare not face it because they have what they see to be a bigger constitutional problem to face.

The Lib Dems are the most likely to challenge the concept of absolute sovereignty of Westminster (that sovereignty lies at the centre, rather than at the periphery and ceded to the centre) but they to are hesitant to bite the bullet because an English parliament is an anathema to their vision for Europe.

Labour will do nothing, because that's all they can do, and the Tories will again suggest a non-solution for reasons of pure party-politicking and electoral advantage (English Votes on English Matters has been their official policy for the last three General Elections and they still cannot explain how it will work).

Meanwhile as the prevarication and obfuscation goes on the bonds of union fray evermore. Eventually the problem will be addressed in crisis and out of urgency to save the union. By then it may be too late. As Tom Nairn said some years back:

Blair's project makes it likely that England will return on the street corner, rather than via a maternity room with appropriate care and facilities. Croaking tabloids saloon-bar resentment and back-bench populism are likely to attend the birth and to have their say. Democracy is constitutional or nothing.

I've spent years writing to politicians and parties (including UKIP) and seen nothing. Now I am quite prepared, and do, look to resentment and populism to achieve what I want. There's a risk that it may break-up the union - which is not what I ever wanted - but it's a price I am now willing to pay after years of being given the brush-off.

Sad, but there you go. UKIP have never listened to me or anyone else in the Campaign for an English Parliament. If they want to then they can pick up the phone.

Sabretache said...

There is just one simple and overwhelming reason why I (and I suspect an exponentially increasing number like me) cannot support or vote UKIP - those two little letters "UK"

Maybe UKIP should do a bit of research into the potential for genuine "UKIP" support in NI, Wales and Scotland. My guess is it would reveal some fairly stark writing on the wall pointing firmly in the direction of a change of both name and policy emphasis to take proper account of the remaining 85% of the population.

'Successor to UKIP' might then stand some chance of being taken seriously in ENGLAND - but I won't be holding my breath