Spring Conference in Torquay

With Miss Devon in Torquay

With Miss Devon in Torquay

It’s a long way to the British Riviera, but hundreds of UKIP stalwarts were there at the Riviera Centre on February 28th for our Spring Conference.  It was a pleasure to meet UKIP Councillor Julien Parrott in his (non-party) rôle as Chairman of the Torbay Council, welcoming delegates to the city.  Also a pleasure to meet Miss Devon, Leanne Ward, who is about to run a Marathon for local charities, and was accepting donations from Conference delegates.   The Conference was an excellent and inspirational event, and without the little embarrassments that marked our main conference last year.  It’s clear that the whole Party is focussed on the May elections, both European and local, and expectations in the Party and in the media are high.  The mood is buoyant.  Now we have to deliver, and I’m sure we will.

My 10:45 speech on Energy issues was well received (Find it here).  I did the political stuff, and I was grateful to Dr. Lawrence Haar, a man with twenty years’ energy industry experience in evaluation and risk management, who followed up with a more technical presentation.

I was also delighted by an extra, unscheduled speech from Dr. Peter Courtney, who for many years has been European Managing Director for Financial Services for Accenture, the well-known accounting and consultancy firm.  The main thrust of his remarks was that countries not in the EU, like China, Japan and the USA, seem to have no difficulty selling into the EU market, and nor will an independent Britain.  British companies, he says, will be no worse off, and probably better off, outside the EU.  During his time with Accenture in Europe, he found competitors from outside the EU trading successfully in the EU.

This is of course no more than we in UKIP have been saying for years, but it’s important and reassuring to have prominent business leaders confirming the message.

Love Britain: Vote UKIP.  I was immediately struck by the Conference slogan, really to-the-point, and even more succinct than my famous “Love Europe; Hate the EU”.  But it didn’t take the media too long to dig out the fact that a rather similar slogan had once been used by the BNP.  OK guys.  But hang on a minute.  No political party has proprietary rights to the words “Britain”, “Love” and “Vote”, and there are only so many ways of putting them together.

But there’s a more important and substantive point here.  The BNP is a thoroughly odious and racist party.  But in the past they were rather clever at putting together innocent-sounding literature stressing their pro-British credentials and down-playing the racist angle, and as a consequence a great many decent, patriotic British people voted for them.  Now UKIP has given those voters a respectable alternative which is emphatically supportive of our country, but without the offensive racist baggage of the BNP.  As a result, the BNP is now little more than a rump pressure group, where irreconcilable fascist agitators gnaw the bones of their ancient resentments.  That’s an achievement that I think we in UKIP can be proud of.

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8 Responses to Spring Conference in Torquay

  1. Mike Stallard says:

    Just because people are very very wrong politically, does not mean that they cannot enjoy fantastic art.
    The ghastly Nazis were clothed by Hugo Boss. The swastika and Hitler’s moustache were brilliant publicity gimmicks combining the idea of race with the Teutonic Knights. The posters were truly inspiring. The film of the Nuremburg Rally was described by a Guards Officer I know as “sparkling”.

    Soviet propaganda was simply fantastic. During the Communist famines, the poster for collective farms was especially succinct and convincing.

    I have a calendar for the ghastly regime in North Korea. It is entirely done in cadmium red and cadmium yellow – brilliant!

    I am neither a Communist nor a Nazi, actually. I just wish my own lot – the Catholics – the Conservatives with and without the capital C/c – were a fraction as good. At least the UKIP slogan was!

  2. Right wingery says:

    Do you agree that all British muslims should sign a declaration that commits them to not blow people up in terrorist outrages, as your mate Gerald Batten thinks?

    • catalanbrian says:

      No need for this. British Muslims are no different to the rest of the population. The law as it is requires all of us to not blow people up in terrorist outrages.

    • Ex-expat Colin says:

      Blair should have signed up along with the Bush boy and a good few others. Our police and special services should also sign up to learning the lessons that they said they had to learn – over and over again,
      No wonder the likes of Choudary and the one eyed Hooky can take the p*** out of us, over and over and over again.

  3. Ex-expat Colin says:

    The thing about energy in UK is that it is to do with the enemy within that prevents us moving on safely – so to speak. Result being fast dwindling and no usable indigenous reserves available. And then along comes Mr Putin with what appears to be an almighty energy scare. And thats just when we are fiddling with windmills, gas tankers and wood chippings. (+ diesels sets)

    It really is a scare and hopefully we might get a distinct swerve in current UK energy policy. Likely not I think until of course the guns begin to appear, a few more F15/16s close to our back gardens. Too late then. OK then Visas it is, and bank assets.

    Putin has amassed a pretty big energy reserve over the years which explains those satellite state spats from time to time (Georgia/Turkmenistan). I think thats called Energy Imperialism.

    Regan and Thatcher have been here before, only not with Mr P. It was the Middle East in the mid 80s no less and down went the barrel price to $50 overnight and out went many big 2, 3, 4 and 5 year plans in the following months.

    So if we wanted to influence Mr P in any major way we might have been able to do it under our own steam (gas etc) – if we had any of significance, like now!!

    I was in the M. East then and saw it happen and the many finger nail scrapes along the airport runways. Much of the weighty management structures showed that house of cards effect PDQ.

  4. ian wragg says:

    I see Egborough power station, 2000 MW coal fired (£38 per MW) is due to close very soon removing about another 3 or 4% of our installed capacity. When oh when Roger are the idiots in charge going to be locked away before any more damage is done???

    • catalanbrian says:

      Presumably you mean the idiots who own it (some hedge fund I believe) or perhaps the Thatcherite lunatics in the Conservative party who thought that privatisation of the power industry was a good idea.

  5. manicbeancounter says:

    Thanks for posting up your conference speech. It gave a lot of useful information in very few words. I thought I was the only one looking at the profits of energy companies. You compare the ROCE of the energy companies with other businesses. Last December I looked at the return on sales. OFGEM have summary profit statements for the big six energy companies for five business segments, for the period 2009-2012. My conclusion,was that returns on sales have not increased. The wholesale price of electricity or gas did not increase markedly either in 2010 to 2012. What accounted for the increase was the huge lump of other costs. This is both the subsidies (ROCs & FITs) and the extra National Grid costs (transmission, STOR, etc)
    http://manicbeancounter.com/2013/12/18/labours-hypocrisy-on-rising-energy-bills/

    The other conclusion I have come up with recently is that those most opposed to the Climate Change Act 2008 should not be the skeptics. It should be that who believe in the climate catastrophe, but are concerned about the future generations in this country. In the next 50 years global greenhouse gas emissions are likely to double or more, as emerging economies with over half the world’s population catch up in emissions per capita to the rich countries. For them to restrain emissions growth would be to restrain rapid economic growth. Britain now stands virtually alone in aggressive emission reductions strategies. So if Britain is successful in reducing emissions by 80%, future generations will bear 99% of the catastrophe than if we had done nothing.

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