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Friday News Review – 15th May 2015

Today, we focus on UKIP, SNP and Labour.

UKIP’s “Civil War”

Many of the papers are trying to conflate the present high-level disagreements in the party. The Telegraph claims “Nigel Farage clings to Ukip leadership as former allies call for his resignation

Nigel Farage was clinging to his position as Ukip leader on Thursday – insisting he was not facing a “coup” – as a civil war broke out among the party. Several of Mr Farage’s former allies publically questioned his leadership, with eight calling for his resignation.

The party has now split into two factions, with some of the most senior figures now backing Douglas Carswell – Ukip’s only MP and the man seen as the obvious replacement for Mr Farage. The row centres on Mr Farage’s decision to return as Ukip leader earlier this week just three days after tendering his resignation following defeat in his attempt to become an MP.

David Campbell Bannerman, one-time senior kipper and before that a Tory defector, now back as a Tory MEP has an opinion column in the same paper: Nigel Farage should focus on winning the EU referendum, not leading Ukip

The Guardian says Nigel Farage’s leadership under scrutiny as Ukip descends into civil war

Nigel Farage is facing a fight to keep his position as Ukip leader ahead of the EU referendum as several senior party figures called for him to resign and two of his key advisers left their roles. The party was gripped by rancorous infighting on Thursday just days after Farage reversed his decision to resign as leader in the aftermath of a humiliating election defeat in his target seat of South Thanet.

Two of the people closest to Farage, Raheem Kassam, the leader’s chief of staff, and Matthew Richardson, the party secretary, who have been blamed by senior party figures for taking the party in a “poisonous” hard-right direction in the runup to the general election, said they would stand down.

The Independent, however, tries to put a positive spin on the party’s achievements this election with “The map that shows how Ukip took British politics by storm” Here’s a view of the interactive map:

UKIP vote share

Ukip increased its vote share by more than any other other party in 469 constituencies across the UK. The party may have failed to win its target constituencies, but it spread a formidable increase in vote across England and Wales. This map shows the scale of Ukip’s gains – as well as the contrast with Scotland, where the SNP cleaned up.

The Express predictably sticks up for UKIP and Nigel Farage with “New Ukip leader would be a ‘massive, massive mistake’ so close to EU vote

Mr Farage had promised to resign the leadership if he lost the South Thanet constituency at the general election and followed through on his pledge within minutes of defeat being confirmed. But he backed out of the decision at the urging of the party executive committee three days later. The events prompted economic spokesman Patrick O’Flynn to accuse him of turning Ukip into a “personality cult” and becoming a “snarling, thin-skinned, aggressive” man.

On Question Time, Mr Farage said: “I was disappointed that a member of our team said this, but look, general elections you’re under a huge amount of pressure and particularly it’s like a boiler room, a pressure cooker. I’m sure the others would agree, and we maintained discipline as a party extraordinarily well during this general election compared with the past. The election’s over, people are letting off steam, and we’ve seen one or two people fighting personal wars against each other.”

Breitbart seems to be a winner from the events after Raheem Kassam resigned from his UKIP job with “Farage Chief Of Staff Raheem Kassam rejoins Breitbart after 4m vote win

Former Chief of Staff to Nigel Farage is rejoining Breitbart as Editor in Chief of Breitbart London, following UKIP’s massive gains at the UK General Election. Raheem Kassam, who resigned from the UK Independence Party this afternoon, will announce live on Sky News this evening he is returning to the fold to bring his expertise of UK and international politics to the growing team.

SNP

The Guardian reports that SNP prepared to defy Cameron on a second independence referendum:

The Scottish National party would be prepared to push ahead with a second independence referendum without David Cameron’s permission if the prime minister refuses any future demand to hold one, a senior party source in Westminster has indicated.

The party would be prepared to try to bypass the prime minister and hold an indicative ballot of the Scottish people if it believes it has a political mandate for a referendum but Westminster refuses to allow one.

The Independent reports that David Cameron set to confront Nicola Sturgeon over Scotland’s demands for more powers

David Cameron and Nicola Sturgeon are set to clash over how much extra power should be devolved to Scotland following the SNP’s stunning success in the election.

When they hold talks in Edinburgh, both leaders will claim a mandate from voters for their approach, but the gulf between them will be laid bare. The Prime Minister will stick to proposals backed by all parties last November for the Scottish Parliament to be given control of income‑tax rates and bands, receive a proportion of VAT revenue and £2.5bn of welfare spending, and handed extra borrowing powers.

The Mail’s sources say SNP plots unofficial second referendum: Plan to hold vote even without PM’s approval as Cameron and Sturgeon meet for talks today.

The SNP is prepared to push ahead with an unofficial second independence referendum if David Cameron refuses to grant one. A senior party source in Westminster said Scots, who rejected independence last September, would choose to leave the UK if a vote was held tomorrow, adding: ‘You only have to win once.’ If Westminster refused to allow another referendum, Holyrood could simply hold one unilaterally and declare secession if it returns a ‘yes’ vote, the source suggested.

And the Mirror reports on a campaign “Northerners back bid to unite with future independent Scotland as #takeuswithyouscotland sets Twitter ablaze

Tens of thousands of people are backing a campaign to make the North of England part of Scotland. The hashtag #TakeUsWithYouScotland has been used more than 24,000 times on Twitter. And a petition backing the move to take northern cities under the control of the Scots has more than 16,000 signatures. ‘New Scotland’ would see Newcastle, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, and every other northern community ruled from Edinburgh instead of London.

Energy

The Guardian attacks Australia’s energy policy with a special report on their new coal frontier.

As it’s a video presentation, we will just present one image from it:

Guardian anti-coal propaganda

It’s blatant scare-mongering. Take a blood-pressure pill first.

Labour

The Telegraph reports on Yvette Cooper: Labour didn’t spend too much before the crash

Yvette Cooper has denied that Labour spent too much in the run-up to the financial crisis, as she launched her campaign to be the party’s leader. The shadow home secretary sided with defeated leader Ed Miliband by refusing to accept that the last Labour administration should have reined in public expenditure.

Liz Kendall, a Blairite who was first to enter the Labour leadership race, on Wednesday admitted that spending levels were too high in the Blair and Brown years. “I think that we were spending too much before the crash,” she told BBC Newsnight.

But asked on Thursday whether she agreed with Ms Kendall’s comments, Ms Cooper responded: “No.”

James Kirkup on the same paper wades in by asking “Is Labour actually only picking a temporary leader?

As the list of runners for the Labour leadership grows, here’s an interesting suggestion. Perhaps the person who gets the job won’t actually fight the next general election? Perhaps that person is a stop-gap, someone who can restore party morale and land a few blows on the Conservatives before handing over to the real prime ministerial candidate in around 2018?

The suggestion comes from Mark Glover who modestly calls himself a former Labour councillor. Which he is. But he also runs a public affairs firm that was once linked to Andy Burnham’s 2010 leadership campaign. He’s also married to a member of Labour’s National Executive Committee.

Immigration

The IN-OUT battle starts here, with The Independent attempting to present evidence by asking Are our foreign workers holding down UK wages?

Right-wing newspapers have changed their tune. Before the general election, they were rubbishing the Labour Party’s claim of a “cost of living crisis” and hailing the Conservatives’ “jobs miracle”. But this week these same newspapers were complaining that immigrants have artificially inflated the UK’s jobs market in recent years, while simultaneously suppressing average wages.

Leaving aside the media volte face, is the critique true? Are foreigners holding down wages? The newspapers cited remarks by the Governor of the Bank of England, Mark Carney (himself a migrant worker), as justification.

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2 Comments on Friday News Review – 15th May 2015

  1. Even though UKIP lost the election they did sufficiently well, 4 million voters, that the government and the EU is frightened of their popularity hence the continued scare and smear campaign from the media particularly the pro EU BBC.
    All parties, and UKIP is no exception,have a certain amount of in fighting, look at the Tories they have their Euro-sceptics but that is hardly mentioned. The media is UKIP,UKIP,UKIP, well carry on it makes them stronger and more resilient and the public will ask themselves WHY, why is this happening what have UKIP got that makes every one so scared. We have the Nigel factor a man who is a brilliant orator, a man so good that Cameron, on orders from Crosby, wouldn’t share a platform with him, a man that the Tories every time he stands will throw an inordinate amount of time,money and man power to stop him. The Tories may have won at a tremendous cost but they are still petrified

    • Agreed.
      The Tories are petrified and try at all cost to keep the ‘fruit cake swivel-eyed racist loons’-meme alive, because then people will automatically not listen to what we say.
      Lots of patient work is needed here to combat this.

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