So, I know that I have gone on about how dull the “expenses” thing is, and it is, but I feel that there is one part that is being ignored.
With the European and local elections coming up this week many of the writers in the press have been going on about the rise of the smaller parties and a swing away from the 3 main parties. They are most worried about the BNP and UKIP. Rubbishing the claims of the BNP is fun but it is also too easy.
We did get a campaign leaflet from them a week or 2 ago and it was hilarious. Pictures of some people, who tuned out to be actors, some not from round here, and next to them some text. The text was not attributed to them but it was next to their picture. And then half way down the back of the leaflet were the names of some wars that Britain has won. What on earth does that have to do with anything?
In one of their leaflets they did attribute a quote to some one. That some one was former Scots Guards NCO Stuart Walker, who found his picture on a BNP leaflet and a suitable quote attached to his picture. When he phoned the BNP office to complain he was told to “fuck off”. That will win over the voters.
The current campaign for donations on the BNP website describes this election as “The Battle of Britain” and has a picture of a Spitfire in its graphics. The BNP do know that not all of the people flying planes for us during that battle were English, don’t they? I mean I don’t won’t to rain on their parade or anything (well I do) but there were quite a lot of Polish men flying planes for us. In fact 133 men flew for the Allied forces and were responsible for 8% of all the German planes shot down (according to Wikipedia). Some of them were even Black. Ah, ill-informed racism. What fun.
UKIP, on the other hand, are a little bit harder to get at. Yes they all seem to be white, middle aged, middle class men but that’s not really a very good criticism. How about…..umm….. Fraud?
Ok, let’s start with fraud. In 2004 a few UKIP members were actually taken seriously enough to get themselves elected to the European Parliament (sorry about that, think that might have been the South West’s fault.) but the good times didn’t last long. Ashley Mote, for instance, was expelled from the party for benefit fraud, he was later jailed and Tom Wise is now facing prosecution for alleged false accounting and money laundering relating to his EU expenses. It’s that word again kiddies so let’s move on to that then shall we? UKIP Leader Nigel Farage (is that a made up name?) said in a debate with former Europe minister Denis MacShane that he, Mr Farage, (made up name) had claimed and received in the region of £2million since 1999 in expenses. I’m sorry, is that the pot calling the kettle black? £2 million? Ok it’s over 10 years but that is still £200,000 per year on top of his salary. He did, of course, justify this by saying whilst MEPs were "very expensive", he was entirely happy that the money had been used for the best of causes." I.e. his. When pointed out to him that his expanses dwarfed that of any UK MP, you know the ones he has been complaining about he dismissed this be saying that his behaviour “endemic throughout the European Parliament.” Well that’s ok then. Isn’t that the sort of answer that would have turned his chinless face red with anger if a London MP had said that?
He also employs his wife in his office and pays her from his expenses. Another thing that our MPs have been criticised for. You know it’s getting bad when the BNP can land punches on you.
So as we can see The Telegraph has only given one certain part of the story but claims innocence over criticism that it’s reporting has made people think about voting for a minority party. Vote Green if you want to make a protest, hell, vote Green because it is a good thing to do but please get out there and vote on June the 4th.