Tuesday, 14 May 2013

It's not the EU we should be banging on about. It's flogging the country to foreigners

On 13th April 2012 the Daily Mail published an article [extracted from Britain For Sale: British Companies In Foreign Hands by Alex Brummer, published by Random House Business Books ]. It pointed out that we’ve lost our taste for ownership of our own economy and public services — from once-great manufacturers such as ICI to most of the companies that deliver our electricity, water and gas. The Government is even happy to consider letting a Russian firm, the one behind the Chernobyl accident, run some of Britain’s next generation of nuclear power stations. In fact, to date, we’ve sold off more than half our assets to foreign owners. Boots, Cadbury, our steel industry and much much more. In the face of political indifference, foreign companies acquired £30billion worth of British enterprises in 2009. In 2010, that rose to a value of £54.5 bn. Less than half of our Premier & Championship football clubs are British owned. 52% of all office properties in London's main financial district and 60% of all new homes in central London are owned by foreigners. There have been disastrous consequences for UK employment & skill base. No other country is quite so stupid. India has bought UK enterprises such as Jaguar Rover but it won’t allow British firms to take full control of Indian companies. Most other countries, including the USA have restrictions on who may own key assests. YET ALL UKIP & THE TORY RIGHT CAN DO IS BANG ON ABOUT THE EU. Do we still have any brain cells?

Sunday, 5 May 2013

Too much hype & little substance

What justifies the extravagant hype all over the media about UKIP causing a 'Sea change' in British politics and all the rest of the exposure of Nigel Farage on TV and Conservative panic? So UKIP have a bigger share of the popular vote but under our crazy electoral system that is nothing new. It is 'seats' that matter. Plenty of Tory & Labour Governments have been elected on a minority popular vote. So let's look at some facts:
  • 9836 candidates competed for 2360 seats on 35 English Councils on 2nd May 2013
  • Liberal Democrats fielded 1756 candidates; UKIP fielded 1734
  • Liberal Democrats won 371 seats; UKIP 147
  • Liberal Democrats are represented on every Council except Staffordshire; UKIP have no representation on 12 of the 35 Councils
  • More than half (80 in fact) of UKIP's seats are in just six councils: Cambridgeshire 12; Lincolnshire 16; Norfolk 15; Hampshire 10; West Sussex 10; Kent 17. Note that these Councils are in just two geographic clusters in the South.
  • In Cambridgeshire (14) and Hampshire (17) Liberal Democrats have more seats than UKIP
So there is very little to justify the fuss. Just a protest group in localised pockets with no responsibility.