Posts tagged ‘Conservative Party’

Kipped out

And so the quinquennial farce that are the European Parliamentary Elections draw towards an end as those who can be bothered to cast a ballot get the opportunity to do so at various times over the next 4 days with the results starting to be announced after the polls finally close on Sunday evening.

Farce, you cry? Well yes. What else do you call voting for a parliament with few powers? The real power lies with the European Commission and the members of that august body (no sniggering at the back) are appointed by national governments without any voter consultation.

Given that, is it any surprise that the European electorate aren’t expected to bother? Barely 43% bothered in 2009 – ranging from as high as 91% in Belgium and Luxembourg to just shy of 20% in Slovakia (the UK managed just over 1 in 3) – and I doubt it would surprise anyone if it is lower this time around.

As any UK resident will be aware, the main media story of the campaign in this country has been UKIP and the likelihood of them topping the poll – thus leading to them taking more seats on the European gravy train than either Labour or the Conservatives.

To call the campaign acrimonious would be an understatement. With it being impossible (since they have no effective power) to formulate an election strategy based on what the pan-European electoral grouping each national party is affiliated to might achieve should it become the biggest (pretty much nothing), the UK parties have fallen back on national issues. Therefore the election will (in the UK at least) be seen more as a protest against the ‘Establishment’ rather than as a serious attempt to produce a ‘Government’ (in the loosest sense of the word).

I suspect only those who have been concentrating will be able to recall anything memorable that iDave, Millipede Jr or Nick have said during this campaign but, thanks to the media attention focused on the party, can probably mention several things said by UKIP leader Nigel Farage and various candidates (whether for the European or the local elections) – especially the ones that cast the party in a bad light.

The charge of racism has been levelled at them since they made immigration (or the right to live and work anywhere within the EU) the focus of their EU election strategy and various comments have shown that there are certainly some candidates who have distasteful views regarding skin colour or, more generally, anyone perceived to be ‘foreign’.

I very much doubt that those sentiments are confined to just UKIP supporters or candidates but the repeated accusations and exposures of candidates opinions has, it would seem, demonstrably failed to make any negative impact on UKIP’s polling figures. We shall find out the truth of the matter on Sunday. What has been rather more amusing is watching the development of a bunker mentality amongst the more vocal of their supporters on social media and a run on tinfoil as their belief that this is all a conspiracy grows.

In the end though it matters not if UKIP top the European Parliament ballot in Great Britain. Until they manage to get some MPs they are going to remain an even more useless protest vote than the Lib Dems.

If you wish to vote UKIP (or, indeed, anyone else) then go ahead. Just don’t think it will change anything.

Gruniad accounting #fail

Given that the Gruniad’s parent company has demonstrated in previous years how to make themselves as tax efficient s possible, it might be expected by now that some of their skill in reading a balance sheet might have passed down to the reporters of said organ.

It seems though that such knowledge transfer isn’t taking place if today’s attempt to do a hatchet job on Lycamobile is anything to go by.

So, what has Lycamobile done to deserve the hairdryer treatment?

A mobile phone company that has paid no corporation tax for three years has become the Conservatives’ most generous corporate donor after giving more than £300,000 over the last nine months, new figures show.

The latest available figures show the company did not pay any tax between 2008 and 2010, despite generating a turnover of between £47m and £88m.

Now those with half a brain cell will already be screaming that turnover isn’t profit and you’d be correct – but the Gruniad article is written to fulfil an agenda and nowhere in the piece is the actual profit/loss mentioned.

So what are the relevant figures* (2011 numbers were not available)?

Year Turnover (£m) Profit (£m)
2009 47.90 -10.91
2010 88.04 -6.86

And now we know why Lycamobile paid no corporation tax in 2010 and 2011.

*I’d link to my source but a) it is my employer and b) it is behind an expensive paywall so you’ll have to take my word for it or go googling.

Local Elections 2012

In my ward there are 6 candidates standing: Conservative, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat and 2 Independents.

Only three of these (Green, Lab, Ind) live in the ward. The sitting councillor (Ind) isn’t one of them.

Leaflets were received from only two candidates (Lab, LD). The LD one didn’t even give their candidate’s name.

The Labour candidate is a perennial one.

So, if I follow my usual rules of not voting for anyone who

  1. doesn’t live in the ward, and/or
  2. doesn’t bother to try and solicit my vote

then I’m left either voting Labour or spoiling my ballot paper.

Anyone got any good insults?