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"It does seem slightly slanderous, although i guess 'closet' racism cant really be proved or disproved, maybe Cameron has been careful and deliberate to say that."

I'm no legal expert, but isn't it the case in libel cases that the burden of proof is on the defendant?

Ergo, unless David Cameron can prove that the folks of UKIP are 'closet racists mostly', I'd say he's on pretty uncertain ground legally.

While UKIP certainly has a few racist members it is absurd to tar them all with the same brush. In the recent party wide elections to their NEC a guy called Delroy Young was elected after coming second in a ballot of over 40 candidates. Only Nigel Farage received more votes.

Can we get it clear...Libel is written and slander is spoken...right? Therefore UKIP would take action on grounds of slander not libel. As pedantic as the comment on the platform today about Number 10 Downing St...cant help it.

"On many things we are close to the LDs such as on civil liberties and some aspects of the Orange Book"

The Orange Bookers are in a minority though

"So I'm quite happy to give it back - I wouldn't be member of the party if I thought we had more than a passing amount in common with UKIP"

UKIP support the return of grammar schools, lower taxes and controlled immigration. Their 2005 manifesto is not what one could consider extreme. I would suggest UKIP's problem is an image problem more than anything.

"one for you Daniel - Slander"

As I mentioned above, I'm no legal expert so if I used the wrong term, I do apologise most humbly.

I've now had a quick look at my dictionary and libel is defined as 'false statement damaging to person's reputation', which still seems like the right description to me, but I'm sure some of the legal hair-splitters on here could correct me if I'm wrong?

Ok both James Maskell and Wiktionary have dispelled my confusion now! Slander it is.

"I'm not sure if an organisation can sue for slander but if anyone knows of a successful case being brought I'd be interested."

I know McDonalds pursued a libel lawsuit against two Greenpeace activists (the famous 'McLibel' case) and was successful (in legal, if not PR terms).

I know slander is harder to prove, but thats because it has to be recorded, which unfortunately for Cameron, it has.

"A party of golf club bores and small-minded egotists" - in many people's minds, that sums up the Tories. Ranting away at people who have deserted your Party at the polls because they don't like what you stand for is not a clever way to build a general election-winning coalition. This is a point which the modernisers have never understood. It is unprecedented under FPTP to win a General Election by alienating large sections of your core vote and chasing a volatile few per cent of the floating vote. That is certianly not what Blair did in 1997 or 2001 and in his case, FPTP was working for him, not against him.

'Asked about his comments as he entered a meeting in Leeds, Mr Cameron said: "I don't think I'm saying anything that hasn't been said before.

"Ukip have some issues - not least that their own founding member Dr (Alan) Sked left the party because he thought they had been infiltrated by the far right."

"I was making a general point that they are the `stop the world I want to get off' party. I don't think they've got anything to say to a modern country."'

From the ITV website.

It continues "modern country and I was being asked particularly about something they're doing at the moment but, no, I think [it was] a very sensible thing to say"

You can't libel a political party

In that case cant the members do a class action...or is that just in the US?

"You can't libel a political party"

Why is it not possible for a political party to be libelled?

I'd rather vote for "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists" than this self-styled "liberal".

Just listen to the the Radio 4 headlines. Cameron's created a simple soundbite that's going to be repeated every hour on the hour, for days.

"Just listen to the the Radio 4 headlines. Cameron's created a simple soundbite that's going to be repeated every hour on the hour, for days."

You say that as if it's a good thing.

One cannot libel a large group of people. The individuals have to be indentifiable as individuals.

Political parties (like govt. bodies) cannot sue for libel.

Libel, therefore, simply doesn't arise.

Libel?

I thought everyone had agreed it was slander?!

"You say that as if it's a good thing."

It is, infact the labelling of Racist being fixed on UKIP will benifit our party inthe long term, a certain large proportion of people simply won't touch the party if the message goes through, but what it will do is place the actual racists/eu-haters into that category.

"The individuals have to be indentifiable as individuals."

Not at all. One may bring a corporate libel action. If UKIP needed the fuel of publicity on the approach to local elections, DC has given them a gift.

Whether or not one may or may not bring a lawsuit, the mere threat of one constitutes £1000s worth of free publicity!

It's not defamatory. Is neither libel nor slander.

"It is, infact the labelling of Racist being fixed on UKIP will benifit our party inthe long term, a certain large proportion of people simply won't touch the party if the message goes through"

Why would anyone but a paid up member of the chattering classes think UKIP were racist just because we say so (they all think anyone who doesn't agree with them is racist in any case!)

"So I'm quite happy to give it back - I wouldn't be member of the party if I thought we had more than a passing amount in common with UKIP - a party of golf club bores and small minded egotists with an inchoate rage at the modern world."

Personally I wouldn't be a member of the party if I thought it had more than a passing amount in common with the Lib Dems, a bunch of people who don't believe in the war on terror, British sovereignty, a firm line on crime, discipline in schools.

I would rather have a thousand years of UKIP than 10 days of the Lib Dems.

"One cannot libel a large group of people. The individuals have to be indentifiable as individuals."

May I refer you to the McLibel case, also known as McDonald's Restaurants versus Morris & Steel?

"Political parties (like govt. bodies) cannot sue for libel."

Why is the case? And could somebody please provide a reference to back this up (not that I don't believe you)?

"It is, infact the labelling of Racist being fixed on UKIP will benifit our party inthe long term, a certain large proportion of people simply won't touch the party if the message goes through, but what it will do is place the actual racists/eu-haters into that category."

Or it might backfire. The term "racist" is so misused nowadays (applied against those opposed to mass immigration for example) that people may vote for a party unfairly labelled "racist" as two fingers up to those who keep throwing the word around. Obviously this doesn't apply to the BNP because they genuinely are racist. Or racialist if you prefer the old-fashioned term.

Off topic but I thought Dave was meant to be meeting Tony to discuss party funding today? I hope the the Tories are not going to support more bleeding of the long suffering taxpayer.

Has anybody recognised the subtle admission in the way Nigel Farage has defended the reputation of his party?

David Cameron says they're "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists".

Whilst Farage's response is simply, "We're not racists."

I wonder what David thinks of Ken Livingstone with his anti Jewish and anti American soundbites as he seeks to garner the Moslem block vote.
Is David copying him as well as Blair?

We aren't getting sued.

UKIP itself cannot sue us in slander because it is (presumably) an unincorporated association (London Motor Cab Proprietors Association and British Motor Cab Co Ltd v Twentieth Century Press (1912) Ltd (1917) 34 TLR 68).

UKIP members themselves cannot sue in slander because individuals cannot be defamed by mere reference to the class to which they belong.

Ok a quick Google search has confirmed that political parties cannot sue for libel.

This seems absurd - one could make all sorts of erroneous claims, like 'the Monster Raving Loony Party is riddled with corruption', which have the potential to do untold damage to a party's reputation.

Is this healthy in a democracy?

PS Channel 4 News has reported that UKIP will refer the issue to their lawyers if an apology is not forthcoming from David Cameron, whose spokesman is a former UKIP candidate.

McLibel involved the libelling of a corporate body, not a group of individuals.

andy

are you a lawyer?

Now is the time for all good Tories to join UKIP. You know it makes sense.

Has anybody recognised the subtle admission in the way Nigel Farage has defended the reputation of his party?

The guy's got a sense of humour, that's all. He did clarify that insults go with the territory, but an accusation of racism is serious.

I guess Farage'd rather be a loony than a closet Europhile.

Perhaps the comments were a precursor to the state-funding stitch-up he is concocting with Blair to keep out new parties from Parliament by creating two classes of British voter; those whose vote earns state funding and those whose vote does not.

Now is the time for all good Tories to join UKIP. You know it makes sense.

Posted by: Douglas Denny | April 04, 2006 at 18:51

Now when I spoke of serious organisational issues in UKIP, Douglas Denny was the first name that sprang to mind.

Check out this post from him.

Douglas, don't go and blow all the sympathy UKIP has amassed today.

"This seems absurd - one could make all sorts of erroneous claims, like 'the Monster Raving Loony Party is riddled with corruption', which have the potential to do untold damage to a party's reputation"

Some libertarians might argue that nobody has a "right" to a good reputation and therefore there should be no laws against slander or libel. Incidently, I'm not one of them.

Anyway, I expect Farage responded to the "racist" comment because it is a serious accusation. Fruitcake and loony and easily be dismissed as insults.

"andy

are you a lawyer?"

Yes. Although I don't practice in field of defamation, my dissertation touched on this point.

"Perhaps the comments were a precursor to the state-funding stitch-up he is concocting with Blair to keep out new parties from Parliament by creating two classes of British voter; those whose vote earns state funding and those whose vote does not."

That's an interesting point - the cynic in me did wonder if this issue had been cooked up as a diversion from the fact that it was prompted by UKIP requesting the names of our foreign lenders under the Freedom of Information Act, but I guess it's just as plausible that it's a smokescreen to divert attention from the Blair-Cameron talks this evening.

I genuinely don't know if you can make a FOIA request in respect of information held by political parties. I was under the impression it was only government entities.

What a lot of hot air on this thread and still no clear explanation of what the word 'Racist' actually means . They the argument is going it is rapidly becoming respectable !!

The Conservative party will only gain power by attracting votes from the sensible majority not the looney minority who vote UKIP.
UKIP are an all white party who I suspect would lose many members if they started to attract members from the black and asian communities. They are as said above BNP-lite. Anyone in the Conservative party who shares there views should frankly go where there heart is and leave the Conservative Party to try and create a decent Britain based on values where gays, immigrants, members of the ethnic minorites are viewed as an asset to this country not a threat.

"The Conservative party will only gain power by attracting votes from the sensible majority not the looney minority who vote UKIP."

Jack, as I pointed out to you before when you described UKIP voters as right-wing bigots who would vote BNP if they could, I voted UKIP during the 2004 European election (an action I would never repeat, I hasten to add) and do not appreciate being slurred by either that description or being referred to as 'looney' (sic). As with your previous personal slur against me, I expect an apology is out of the question, but please try to desist in future.

"UKIP are an all white party who I suspect would lose many members if they started to attract members from the black and asian communities."

As pointed out above, a black man was elected to the UKIP Party Board recently, so this ridiculous assertion is completely false.

"Anyone in the Conservative party who shares there views should frankly go where there heart is and leave the Conservative Party to try and create a decent Britain based on values where gays, immigrants, members of the ethnic minorites are viewed as an asset to this country not a threat."

Jack, have you got any evidence to back this assertion up, or is it yet another of your ill-thought slurs that fly in the face of the facts?

Only thing is that Cameron is right. All the top people in UKIP today migrated from Delderfield's New Britain - an avowedly racist organisation.

The key to understanding UKIP is Mike Nattrass MEP, once Chairman and Deputy Leader - although Knapman the leader is just a figure head disguising the holder of the real power within.

After a break-in at the previous office in London, Nattrass moved the whole of the party's admin machinery to one floor of his business in Birmingham, Nattrass Giles.

From there he can rig selection of MEP's etc at will and he controls everything that moves, which is why the SE of UKIP broke away with Kilroy Silk - as Nattrass had edged out Silk.

Nattrass actually stood for Parl for New Britain in 1997, only changing to UKIP when he and a cabal moved in and used the naivety of the original UKIP idealists to push them all out by blocking out a selection meeting.

Cameron is right about the core of UKIP. Many of the members though are still idealists. The real racists tend to prefer BNP.

If cameron had pulled out of the EPP as promised, he would be less vulnerable on this flank. UKIP possibly influenced the result of 27 seats at the last General Election (Booker in Telelgraph). Conservatives cannot afford any more slippage to the UKIP wing. Cameron's ignoring his right wing is a high risk strategy.

OK
So as a former Tory candidate and now a UK Independence Party staffer I would say that much of this debate is ridiculous. Those who cling to insults "BNP Lite" and so on are so out of touch as to be drowning in their own bile.

UKIP today is a liberal party in the proper sense of the word, the first party to subscribe to the No2ID campaign, moving towards a serious flat tax policy, interested in serious localism, committed on national defence, concerned, rightly in my view, about mass immigration particularly from the accession EU countries. Pro free trade, pro selection at school, against vacuous higher education, opposed to politically inspired targets in the health care system, opposed to the destruction of the green belt in order to build 1.5 million new homes in the South East, proposing a serious and imaginative approach the West Lothian question. Utterly opposed to discrimination, whether it be positive or negative. Anglospheric in attitude and and with a sense of the absurd. Oh yes we belive that the UK would be better served by leaving the EU and becoming self governing once more.

Do tell, what is so looney about all that?

Those of you who would prefer that we didn't exist, I can assure you that we are not going away

"It's not racist..." Not a UKIP campaign as I recall.

However, I think the real key is Cameron's use of the word "fringe" in his rather ugly rant.

What's the bet state funding collusion excludes "fringe" parties and Cameron wants to make sure that UKIP is framed in this way?

I don't support UKIP, but a do fear proposals aimed at protecting the big 3's positions at the expense of democracy.


I agree one hundred per cent with David Cameron's remarks. Anyone who has campaigned for the Party surely knows that UKIP is composed of political nutters of the same degree as the sort of LibDem who knits his own sandals...

I suspect the remarks made by some about a small minority of Conservative Association colleagues and their attitude to UKIP in 2004 may unfortunately be true. If so, having nearly half-killed myself in that campaign (as opposed to nearly completely killing myself last year!!) I have no respect whatsoever for such people and certainly would not allow them to dictate our policy.

I fail to see why some contributors to this thread give the appearance of defending UKIP over the Conservative Party. Why should we not denounce them as what they are? Whatever next - begging for forgiveness on behalf of the BNP?

"I fail to see why some contributors to this thread give the appearance of defending UKIP over the Conservative Party."

Maybe that's because most Tories are fair-minded rather than instinctively partisan.

By the way, if only we all put as much effort into thrashing Labour this May as we do into defending the "fruitcakes", don't you all think that would be more productive?

"Go Mr Cameron! Fruitcakes, loonies, racists? Sounds about right to me. There is no "being fair to UKIP." These people take Conservative votes, trash our policies and accuse us of abandoning our core values. Of course they need to be shown up for what they are, a bunch of lying, hysterical political lightweights with big mouths and no policies. This is absolutely the kind of publicity we need, not to mention putting a little fight back into politics. We need to show that the Conservative Party, not UKIP is the true voice of the right".

After that bombastic outburst, quoted above, some might think that if you substituted Conservative Party for UKIP and vice-versa......
you would be nearer the truth. I wonder, do you?
Oh dear, Mr Cameron, having a little tantrum are we? Now, now! Get on with your meeting with Mr Blair and work out how much extra you are going to take of us in tax to pay for your pathetic Party

Maybe that's because most Tories are fair-minded rather than instinctively partisan.

Fair mindedness I can obviously appreciate, John. I just like to see that we're all facing front for the upcoming battle in May!

"These people...accuse us of abandoning our core values."

And they'd be absolutely right to do so.

I cannot see, why someone would want to defend UKIP against our own leader.. Please enlighten us.

Frankly, I can come to two conclusions, there are more closet racists in the Tory party than the leadership is letting on, or an extremly extremist view that the party who dislikes the EU must be defended at all costs.

Cameron's comments might not be politically great... but he is entitled to say things that arn't politically correct. We need to expose the xenophobic element in UKIP... It does exist.

"I cannot see, why someone would want to defend UKIP against our own leader.. Please enlighten us."

Fair-mindedness???

"Cameron's comments might not be politically great... but he is entitled to say things that arn't politically correct."

Call everything that walks a racist is very politically correct.

too many secrets with our little boy wonder.wont tell about party donors, and wont tell if he is/was a drug user, and he is leader of a party that has always had rather a large number of racists. ukip see through him and so do far too many conservatives.

"too many secrets with our little boy wonder.wont tell about party donors, and wont tell if he is/was a drug user, and he is leader of a party that has always had rather a large number of racists. ukip see through him and so do far too many conservatives."

Sees through him? How? Do UKIP believe Cameron's taking drugs and loaded with millions from private donations for his own sake?

The loans are for the party on the whole and protecting donators who do NOT want to be names (and shamed). Transparency would be good, but we don't have trade unions to back us up, and we don't have state funding either.

Absurd thinking...

Ofcourse he knows there are racists in the Tory party, the sooner we get of the extreme rightwing the better.

What is it about politicians, the PC Brigade and others that they have to resort to that all encompassing word 'racist' when they haven't got an answer to something, this word is getting well past its sell by date.

Cameron is smug, self obsessed and totally useless, how he can have the cheek to criticise anyone else is baffling, in fact UKIP seem more in line with the electorate than Boy King ever will. I am coming to loathe him the same as I do Blair and New Labour.

I've always voted Tory, but not while this cretin is leading it. And I had such high hopes of getting rid of this poxy government.

"Ofcourse he knows there are racists in the Tory party, the sooner we get of the extreme rightwing the better."

The problem is that many of those characterised as "extreme" may be perfectly nice people but due to their age they have views that are considered by most people to be out of date. At least they don't run off and vote BNP like many ex-Labour supporters seem to have done.

Let me add that there is a difference between those who are aggressively racist and those who happen to have outdated views on race common to much of their generation. The former should be removed. The latter, as long as they don't attempt to enforce a racist agenda on the party, should be allowed to stay on. Better they give money to and campaign for us than some other party. I am not attempting to apologise for racism amongst some elderly elements of the Conservative Party, merely explain that there is little to gain by expelling essentially harmless elements.

Well...today has truly sucked...Cameron comes out with this comment and Margate FC get a draw, leading to the Manager and the Assistant Manager being sacked straight after the final whistle...

I fail to see why some contributors to this thread give the appearance of defending UKIP over the Conservative Party. Why should we not denounce them as what they are?

The way to do that is not to say "you're racists" but to to say "I understand your concerns." For an historical example, I'd refer you to Thatcher's comments about swamping in, IIRC, 1978 and see what it did to National Front support.

Well, Cameron's recent performance there's a reasonably good chance that I'll be voting UKIP. If Cameron threatens to do what he's claiming he wants to do then I see little point in trading a Labour government for a Conservative one. I wrote to my (Conservative) MP a few weeks back in order to seek assurances prior to my rejoining the party that Cameron's Conservatives would oppose ID cards. He assured me that they would. In fact they did no such thing and merely abstained.

After Cameron's outburst today I went over to the UKIP web site and I have to say that I agree with pretty much all of their policies.

What particularly irks me is that although my wifes' views are basically Conservative she has repeatedly told me that she views the Conservative party as inherently racist (she's Asian) and would never vote for it. It really winds me up when people assume that if you're a Conservative you're also a racist. It's an easy smear to make which there's really no way of disproving. Maybe Cameron thinks that there's room for only one 'nasty party' in British politics and if he disses UKIP then it will no longer be the Conservatives.

Cameron seems to think that he can drag the Conservative party as far to the politically correct eco-loony blinkered left as likes and dyed-in-the-wool Conservatives will have nowhere else to go. Well mate you're wrong!

re cameron,.........stop the conservative party, I want to get off. ukip reflect the general feeling of far more people than the current conservative party ever will,....that muppet cameron is just old "new labour "wine in " new conservative" bottles. we have waited all these years for this ........clown,...god help us. more power to ukip , the tory party stinks.

What has Cameron DONE to upset you? The party has few policies at the moment, ofcourse the extreme right-wing are extremists (as I always had thought) and leaving the party.

Pro-Environment? What's so bad?
Lower business taxes? Is that now a crime?
Acceptance that migration is good for the nation?
Belief that the NHS system is benificial to the people?
Leaving the EPP? - It's going to happen just not straight away.
Saying that the Tory party isn't going to force people to go to Grammer schools?
Equality for men and women? Is that a bad thing now?

Honestly, lots of complaining over nothing, they will be back before the next general election ofcourse...

Jaz, there are a number of reasons why I personally have issue with Cameron. Its not complaining over nothing. In fact its over fundamental principles and key policies.

"Jaz, there are a number of reasons why I personally have issue with Cameron. Its not complaining over nothing. In fact its over fundamental principles and key policies."

The fundamental principals still apply, just not at the fore front of the policy. I'm now convinced of this. Cameron and his frontbench have been talking about stability before taxation. But this week Osbourne announced that business tax cuts will be first up on the list (and rightly so). This is a clever PR campaign that even the party members are falling for, the understanding that the tories = massiving spending cuts is going away rapidly. My guess is that the economic agenda is practically the same as Howards with some tweaks here and there.

Convinving people that tax cuts is a good idea as opposition is harder work than in government. We know they are good in principal but people don't trust us with the public services and this issue continually sets us back perhaps millions of votes.

My guess is that the economic agenda is practically the same as Howards

You mean that it offers deferred tax increases rather than tax cuts?

Convinving people that tax cuts is a good idea as opposition is harder work than in government.

I think you'll find that never making the case for lower taxes makes it even harder work...

Jaz, Im one of Camerons Arch critics here and I will elaborate on the previous post here eventually. In short though, its because for one Im notoriously hard to please and secondly, his principles and the new policy announcements arent right.

"Saying that the Tory party isn't going to force people to go to Grammer schools?"

Surely better than forcing them to go to comprehensives? Ideally there should be no compulsion either way, it should be up to schools and parents.

If the Tories had a policy of giving schools complete independence including allowing them to become grammar schools then this would be the best situation in my opinion.

Seems like rather a lot people here view UKIP more as political relatives than rivals. If that's the case, it's no wonder Labour have been in power for so long.

"Seems like rather a lot people here view UKIP more as political relatives than rivals. If that's the case, it's no wonder Labour have been in power for so long."

What is it about UKIP policies that are so objectionable? OK, I accept their anti-EU policy puts them outside of the political consensus but the rest of their policies are farily moderate.

Regardless, I expect this spat will be forgotten in a year. But will it be forgotten by the local elections...

So, Jack Stone claims that "UKIP are an all white party".

Perhaps he, or anyone else who believe that UKIP is fundamentally racist can explain how this can be the case when Mr Delroy Young is a member of UKIP's NEC (a position he obtained through a ballot of the whole party membership where he finished 2nd out of over 40 candidates).

Now that the BNP have started to penetrate local Conservative associations - as promised by Nick Griffin last year - I wonder if DC isn't soon going to end up with egg on his face. Few of the grassroots seem to be bothered about the new recruits' attitudes - perhaps they're just too fed up of their Blairite leader to care.

A list of UKIP policies (excluding EU withdrawal):

Wholesale deregulation, particularly for small businesses
Cut council taxes by a half for all householders, not just pensioners.
Scrap the 10% income tax bracket, removing another 2.5 million people from tax altogether.
Rescue pension funds by reinstating the tax credit.
Raise the threshold for inheritance tax to £500,000.
Remove the government from day to day management of NHS facilities.
Return to the ‘matron’ system with a single manager responsible for all care and accommodation.
More freedom for consultants to select treatment based on clinical need rather than performance targets and fear of litigation.
Scrap Strategic Health Authorities and return hospital control to local boards.
GP surgeries to re-open in the evenings and at weekends when working people can visit. Leave family doctors free to use their professional judgement rather than dispensing tick-box medicine.
Give more autonomy to our state schools, to allow teachers freedom over how to teach and what they want to cover outside the curriculum. Leave schools to organise their own intermediate testing: Standardised Attainment Tests (SATS) must go.
Leave the decision to exclude unruly pupils to the headteacher without allowing governors, parents or bureaucrats to compromise this authority. Provide sufficient specialised facilities for excluded pupils.
Encourage schools to specialise in technical or academic disciplines and allow limited selection of pupils.
Scrap the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority to stop interference by government and bureaucrats in setting standards for GCSE and A level examinations.
Insist on school sports, encourage school trips and provide the necessary facilities.
Undertake a review of all undergraduate university courses and withdraw funding from those that are of insufficient standard. Fully fund those courses that remain.
Review the standards for grading all courses and ensure that students who do not pass the university’s annual examinations are not permitted to continue.
Cancel top-up fees, give maintenance grants as necessary, and scrap the student loan scheme.
Charge the same full fees to students from EU countries as are now paid by non-EU students.
Review sentencing and require credible minimum and maximum prison terms.
Strengthen the powers of lay magistrates and reopen local magistrates courts.
Relieve our police of unnecessary paperwork.
Make Chief Constables and other senior officers directly accountable to local government and remove
Home Office placements from police authorities. Support the presumption of innocence for homeowners defending their homes from intruders.
Build new prisons as required.
Adopt a ‘points’ system for evaluating applications for work permits based on an identified need for specific skills and other tests of suitability. Applicants from EU countries to be treated in the same way as those from any other country. Stricter control of residence rights granted because of family connections.
Reinstate embarkation controls to check those entering and leaving Britain. It is essential to keep proper records of those crossing our borders – the government has admitted it has little idea who is in the country.
‘Britishness’ tests to encourage those settling here to acquire knowledge of our language and culture and to assimilate fully into our society.
Set our own criteria for determining those deemed to be refugees. No refugee status to be considered for asylum seekers who arrived via some other ‘safe’ country.
More rigour in deporting those who are refused the right to stay. Only one in five are currently removed.
All those entering Britain with the intention of staying to be subject to health checks for certain communicable diseases.
Replace CAP with environmental care payments.
Protect farmers from the excessive buying powers of big business by allowing the expansion of farmers’ co-operatives.
Reward farmers who use ‘green’ and ‘organic’ methods and those who farm in difficult terrain like hill farmers and coastal marsh farmers.
Relax planning to assist diversification into recreational and other non-agricultural enterprise. Local authorities obliged to facilitate local farmers’ markets.
Financial support for approved young farmers to assist with start-ups.
Re-establish British control over our coastal waters with sufficient rebuilding of our fisheries protection fleet to enforce this.
Fishing licences to stipulate acceptable practices such as mesh sizes of nets.
Fishing prohibited in temporary ‘fallow’ zones to allow stocks to recover.
British armed forces to be deployed only when this is clearly in the national interest. Our forces are not world policemen or international social workers.
Reverse the planned cuts in all branches of the armed forces, including the EU-driven breakup of our traditional regiments, and increase spending to improve our own independent military capability.
Support our independence and our defence industries by buying British-made equipment where possible.
Preserve our standing within NATO and disengage from any commitment to a common European force. Our forces are not a vehicle for political ambitions or for furthering European integration.
Put an immediate stop to the erection of wind turbines.
Build more nuclear power plants using standard fission technology and promote research into generation using nuclear fusion.
If, during a period of 6 months, 5% of the national electorate signs a petition demanding a referendum on any matter of policy, then the government is obliged to hold such a referendum and be bound by its result.
Greater autonomy for local authorities to serve their communities rather than obeying government orders, particularly on planning matters.
Business rates and transfer duties on houses to be paid into local council budgets rather than to government.
Slash politically-correct appointments.
Encourage Council efforts to recycle waste.
Scrap all English regional assemblies and dismantle other regional quangos.

What is so "BNP-Lite" about them? For the record, I have not voted UKIP and nor do I intend to. I accept they have an image problem. But that doesn't change the fact that their policies are sound and far from loony.

A lot of people, on the left and right, are or can be called "racist". Labor is quite happy to rake in the votes of voters who are anti-white "racist". If the Tories try and drive away voters who are anti-Muslim "racist", that simply gives Labour another electoral edge. Not a smart thing for a minority party to drive away potential voters. I think the better thing to do would be to highlight the "racism" of Labour's Muslim voters.

Oh dear. Boy blunder has made a huge error. He has drawn media attention to his biggest rivals just before key local elections. He has also handed UKIP a coup on a plate, lets hope for a nice juicy libel award.

And as for having closet racists in the party, does he not know what we know about his MPs and MEPs?

This clown will never be PM.

It is rather upsetting to see that some of Cameron's supporters over this matter, seem to be of the Portillo mould. They want anyone who doesn't agree with their point of view to leave the party.

Sorry but a party that gets 15% of the vote is never going to be in Government. All wings of the party need each other. Cameron should be trying to woo the voters of other parties, not insult them.

As to the Racist jibe, he has simply joined the ranks of the mindless left, who use insults in place of debate. This is bad for Conservatism and for the party. As Julian Warr points out, we have lost out by the image of racism in our own party.

Finally, the UKIP are known primarily for their policies on the EU, policies which have nothing to do with race. Having read the policies listed above, its a good thing that more people don't know more about them.

Agree with Serf. I voted for Cameron in the leadership election, so take my %share of the blame.

Can we have a Conservative next time?

It ill behoves a 'supposed prime minister in waiting' to make inane and inappropiate remarks about another party which, even though like all parties may have their fair share of 'political characters', has at least provided some sort of voice on an issue that the Tories have failed to face up to for the last 20 years, and alongside the other main parties have unequivocally handed over the sovereignty of our country to a bunch of unelected apparatchiks for the concept of influence and a seat at the table. Who is the second largest net payer to this corrupt institution, whose accounts have not been signed off for the last ten years or so? He who pays the piper calls the tune springs to mind! Do you wonder why there is such a political disconnect with the electorate ? Westminister does not really control our destiny. It would be sensible if the party hierarchy actually got down down to 1) providing a consistent opposition 2) developing creditable policies, rather than seemingly have thrown in the towel and adopt diluted new labour policies by the back door.The jury is certainly out on this 'political makeover', the Tories have to return to encouraging and 'persuading'(something that has been lacking in politics driven by the political tribe's pre-occupation with focus groups) people to take responsibility for their lives and that there is both an alternative and fair way to provide a good education and healthcare system. The policies that have been made on the hoof by our current leader have frankly been a capitulation to what is wrong with our country. In other words, not accepting the reality that both our education and healthcare systems fail despite the massive injection of capital and that these monoliths need to be reformed.All in all, I do feel that DC should be allowed to 'find his feet', but a reversion to the political mean strategy won't win us the next election. We have to set out a radical and liberterian agenda to get government out of people's live and off their backs. Just a suggestion with regards political parties funding would be to cap total election expenditure to a maximum of £10m - this would this spiralling expenditure and stop the need for state political funding which would be a disaster as it does not prevent corruption, Europe as usual provides a great example yet again!(France,Germany)

Can we have a Conservative next time?

Chad
a) you don't have a vote!
b) we've got one, he just happens to get under the skin of the more 'robust' conservative members because he doesn't think the answer is to continually offer the same solutions that have failed us since 1992.

we've got one, he just happens to get under the skin of the more 'robust' conservative members because he doesn't think the answer is to continually offer the same solutions that have failed us since 1992.

Many of the more "robust" Conservative members are actually not advocating re-running the 2001 and 2005 election campaigns, feeling that they were narrow in their focus and showed the party to be out of touch with the electorate's main concerns. However, we don't see that Cameron addressing a different set of fringe concerns actually makes the party any more relevant.

Daniel

How many errors can one person make in the course of one discussion?

Not only were you wrong about the libel/slander difference, but also re: whether political parties can sue/be sued for libel/slander. I suggest you get your facts straight before you start engaging in similar discussions in the future.

I love the view that we shouldnt be upsetting UKIP because it may cost us seats!! Its similar to the argument about not opposing residents association candidates in local government seats - if they are Tories in disguise, then why do they not stand as Tories? Tories should fight every single seat with an official Conservative candidate.

If members of UKIP are really disaffected Tories, then they have 2 options. Either they join the only mainstream party that has a sensible view on europe, or they stay part of a party made up mostly of closet racists.

"How many errors can one person make in the course of one discussion?"

2 - 1 of which was not knowing the distinction between two terms which effectively mean the same thing and 1 of which was not realising that in this so-called democracy, it is fair game to spread damaging falsehoods amongst the public about political parties.

"Not only were you wrong about the libel/slander difference, but also re: whether political parties can sue/be sued for libel/slander. I suggest you get your facts straight before you start engaging in similar discussions in the future."

I openly admitted I'm no legal expert, so I do apologise if I fell foul of legal hair-splitting over two terms which effectively mean the same thing.

As for the point about political parties being unable to sue for libel/slander, I acknowledged my mistake, which I attribute to my naive belief in democracy.

It's interesting to see though, that there is still a lot of talk about UKIP referring the matter to their lawyers, so my general concern about potential legal repercussions still stands.

But thanks for your concern Scott, I do hope you won't mind if I disregard it completely.

There are probably more disaffected Labour supporters in UKIP than Tories. That is why it appeals right across the spectrum, unlike the Conservative Party which will always have a problem. Can you imagine disaffected Labour voters ever voting Tory?

Lay off DV-A, Scott. Not many people would know there is a difference between libel and slander and would assume they were the same thing. Its pedantic.

On the contrary, James - I thought everyone appreciated the difference. It appears that I am incorrect based on this thread, but it's always good to be informed before expressing opinions on legal matters, and even better if corrections are made politely and in turn accepted in good grace.

DV-A, the distinction is certainly not 'hair-splitting' although I take your point about UKIP sabre-rattling about lawyers. It will generate a few favourable headlines for them as the original comment seems a step too far when examined in the cold light of the media day.

There appears to be an outbreak of grumpiness on the blog today, which is only slightly more irritating than the regular outbreak of italics.

James Hellyer made a good point at 22:52 saying that our approach should be saying 'we understand your concerns'. I can't see much of their manifesto that a Conservative wouldn't nod at when reading it.

Liberate schools? Lower tax? Buy British? Scrap the Assemblies? How on earth did we lose these voters? By all means attack a rival party, but how can we dismiss these ideas as 'lunacy', cosy up to the LibDems and still emerge with principles to sell on the doorstep?


If members of UKIP are really disaffected Tories, then they have 2 options. Either they join the only mainstream party that has a sensible view on europe, or they stay part of a party made up mostly of closet racists.

They are far more likely to join "the only mainstream party that has a sensible view on europe", if the leader of that party refrains from insulting them.

That is the whole point of this discussion.

May I draw the attention of Scott, Gareth and anybody else tempted to pour scorn on my concern about potential legal repercussions to this?

"Chairman David Campbell Bannerman said, "We have consulted lawyers and we are advised there is a very serious case of slander against David Cameron and Alan Sked"."


You can libel an organisation, but, political parties are excepted from that general principle, on grounds of public policy.

However, individual members of a party can can be libelled, either explicitly or by implication.

But my objection to what Cameron said is that it is foolish to insult people who vote UKIP at Euro level, and Conservative at Parliamentary and local level. Without any difficulty at all, I can think of droves of Conseservatives who "lent" their votes to UKIP in June 2004.

As a former Conservative, and current UKIP member who was considering returning to the Conservative fold since David Cameron's election as leader, I can only express my disgust at his words.

I would hope that Mr Cameron has the common sense to apologise to me, and the thousands of grass roots members, for his stupidity and ignorance.

Perhaps somebody should take him quietly to one side and explain to him, in words of one syllable if necessary, the difference between disliking an out-of-control organisation run by unelected, unknown individuals, and racism.

As for returning to the Conservatives - not a snowball's chance in hell !

DVA,

Draw away but it's guff for the media.

I believe there are loony fruitcakes in British Politics- they're called the Liberal Democrats- or Fib Dems as they are known. There are those of us at General elections who are trying to woo UK (and former Referendum Party) supporters back to the Conservatives. Using Punch and Judy Politics against ex Conservatives is not the way

I heard some good comments on Radio 4 PM today before realising one was my own comment of : Rick | April 04, 2006 at 13:40 minus the analogy with Rowan Williams

One cannot libel a large grou

One cannot libel a large group of people. The individuals have to be indentifiable as individuals.

Political parties (like govt. bodies) cannot sue for libel.

Libel, therefore, simply doesn't arise.

Posted by: Gareth | April 04, 2006 at 18:41
p of people. The individuals have to be indentifiable as individuals.

Political parties (like govt. bodies) cannot sue for libel.

Libel, therefore, simply doesn't arise.

Posted by: Gareth | April 04, 2006 at 18:41

What pray was the McLibel Case about ?

Just to refresh your memory Gareth........


The McLibel case is the colloquial term for McDonald's Restaurants v Morris & Steel, an English court action for libel filed by McDonald's Corporation against unemployed environmental activists Helen Steel and David Morris (often referred to as "The McLibel Two") over a pamphlet critical of the company. The original case lasted seven years, making it the longest-running court action in English history.

Thanks for your support Rick, but there's as much chance of getting Compton to admit he's wrong as there is of getting Tony Blair to declare "You know what guys? You're right - I can't stand Gordon" publicly.

Mr Vince-Archer,

I really don't know what has spawned this sudden visceral hatred. Is it so terrible for someone to disagree with you?

And I can hardly admit to being wrong when I'm not. I'm merely quoting Chapter 1, page 1 of any text book on English libel law.

Your McLibel analogy is just wrong. That was an incorporated association suing. The board of directors or, for exmaple, their counter staff, could not sue as individuals.

In fact I made this precise point 3 days ago:

"McLibel involved the libelling of a corporate body, not a group of individuals"

Following you having erroneously posted:

"unless David Cameron can prove that the folks of UKIP are 'closet racists mostly', I'd say he's on pretty uncertain ground legally."

Now, who is it who seems reluctant to admit he's wrong?

Quote: We've got one, he just happens to get under the skin of the more 'robust' conservative members because he doesn't think the answer is to continually offer the same solutions that have failed us since 1992.End quote.
So what you are saying is that the Wet & Europhile Approach hasn't worked, so we are offering the same in Cameron????

"I really don't know what has spawned this sudden visceral hatred."

I don't hate you, visceral or otherwise. If you have mistakenly gained that impression, I apologise for any inadvertent action on my part that may have contributed to this error.

"Is it so terrible for someone to disagree with you?"

Not at all - what I have trouble with is people pooh-poohing my comments, for which I then apologise where I am mistaken, who then don't have the courtesy to acknowledge when it is shown that there is some merit in the comments I made.

"And I can hardly admit to being wrong when I'm not."

May I refer you to "One cannot libel a large group of people. The individuals have to be indentifiable as individuals."? When I subsequently disproved this claim by referring to the McLibel case, you then declined to acknowledge your mistake and indulged in semantic wriggling instead.

"Your McLibel analogy is just wrong. That was an incorporated association suing. The board of directors or, for exmaple, their counter staff, could not sue as individuals."

This 'group of individuals' point is a straw man argument that does not relate to my point about potential legal action on behalf of UKIP.

"In fact I made this precise point 3 days ago:

"McLibel involved the libelling of a corporate body, not a group of individuals"

Following you having erroneously posted:

"unless David Cameron can prove that the folks of UKIP are 'closet racists mostly', I'd say he's on pretty uncertain ground legally."

Now, who is it who seems reluctant to admit he's wrong?"

As pointed out above, your point is a straw man addressing an argument with only a tenuous link to the general point I was making.

With regards admitting I'm wrong, if you scroll through this thread, you will see I have held my hands up to my mistakes where applicable, but considering the fact that UKIP have not withdrawn their threat of legal action, I will not accept that my general concern regarding potential legal repercussions is misplaced.

Shall we draw a line under this here and move on, rather than letting a personal squabble take over this thread?

Agreed.

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