UKIP sets the agenda, …and drives the government re-shuffle

Liz Truss becomes Environment Secretary.  She'll have a tough job challenging entrenched climate alarmism in the media and political establishments.

Liz Truss becomes Environment Secretary. She’ll have a tough job challenging entrenched climate alarmism in the media and political establishments.

Perhaps the most striking feature of David Cameron’s extensive reshuffle is that is largely a defensive response to UKIP.  We are setting the agenda.  We are making the weather.

The three main themes of the reshuffle were:

Presenting a more eurosceptic facade: Philip Hammond, described as “a vociferous eurosceptic”, becomes Foreign Secretary, spun as “The most openly sceptic Foreign Secretary in decades”.  Michael Fallon goes to Defence.  He too has a eurosceptic reputation – though it’s difficult to see how he’ll bring that to bear in the defence rôle.  Priti Patel becomes Secretary to the Treasury, and is a lady of robust opinions.  On the other hand the nomination of Lord “Who’s He?” Hill as EU Commissioner raised some eyebrows – and got Jean-Claude Juncker googling to find out who he was.  He is presented as “a deal-maker”, but apparently he makes his deals very quietly.  He is expected to lead the charge on Cameron’s renegotiation agenda.  It may end up rather like the Charge of the Light Brigade.  “C’est magnifique.  Mais ce n’est pas la guerre”.

Jeremy Wright’s appointment as Attorney General is billed as “paving the way for Britain to withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights”.  And about time too

Tip-toeing away from Cameron’s climate agenda:  Remember Dave hugging those huskies?  Remember “Vote Blue, Go Green”? (That was the slogan that finally confirmed my decision to leave the Tory Party – they’d lost it).  The realisation is finally dawning that we’ve had enough.  Our green policies on climate and energy are a threat to energy security – and could lead to blackouts next winter.  They are undermining competitiveness, driving industries and jobs and investment out of the UK (and the EU) altogether.  And forcing households and families into fuel poverty.  I’m sure that the government (like the European Commission) has been listening to energy-intensive industry leaders (like Jim Ratcliffe of INEOS) who are very clear about the consequences of current policies.  But I have little doubt that UKIP’s focus on secure and affordable energy, coupled with our opposition to wind farms and our support for protest groups, has played a significant rôle.

So now we see the fragrant Liz Truss, formerly a manager with Shell, appointed Secretary of State for Environment, and likely to bring a new element of hard-headed realism to the debate.  But she has a tough call.  The entrenched climate alarmism of the bien pensant commentariat, and of the media and their cheer-leaders at the institutionally-biased BBC, will be a tough nut to crack.  And behind the failing paradigm of Warmism, and the 2008 Climate Change Act, stand EU legislation and emissions targets.  The government will have to be very serious about its approach to Brussels if it’s to have any hope at all of sorting our energy problems.

A female-friendly approach: The government has been criticised for being “too male”, for having too few women in prominent positions: (To be fair, the same criticism has been levelled to UKIP, with some justification).  So Cameron promoted ten women, including several to the Cabinet.  Cameron seems well-informed on psephological issues (and so he should be, you will say).  He will be aware of UKIP’s traditional weaknesses with women voters, and he will see his emphasis on the fair sex as delivering a vital advantage against UKIP.  Perhaps he hasn’t yet noticed our Magnificent Seven women MEPs, but over the coming months leading up to the General Election they (and other prominent UKIP women) will be an increasingly dominant presence in the media, and will, I believe, lead a breakthrough for our Party with women voters.

In tactical terms, you could see Cameron’s move as a challenge to UKIP, as stealing some of our clear purple water.  But look at it strategically.  We’re driving the agenda.  If you want independence and democracy, if you want secure and affordable energy, if you want Britain to control its borders, do you vote for the people who adopted these ideas under the pressure of public opinion? Wouldn’t you rather choose the people who really believe in these policies, and exist in order to achieve them?



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21 Responses to UKIP sets the agenda, …and drives the government re-shuffle

  1. Linda Hudson says:

    rather be in U.K.I.P. safe hands!

  2. ian wragg says:

    Sadly Roger you know as well as I do that the Tories are in the main pro EU. Look at their voting records.
    Yes it’s good to see CMD is having to make a pretence that they are going Eurosceptic because theres an election round the corner only to be dropped like a hot potato after the votes are cast.
    UKIP needs to get the message across about the deficiencies of the EU (and there are many) as they make the point on mass immigration and jobs.
    I would like to see at least 20 UKIP MP’s after the next election but I fear it will be difficult unless you all up your game and come out fighting.

  3. Right wingery says:

    How exactly is a party plummeting in the polls influencing a government reshuffle? I must admit that the UKIP retrenchment appears to be coming far earlier than expected, but it was always going to come.

  4. Anne says:

    It needs ALL OF YOU to get the message across that many UKIP bums must be on those Green seats in that House of Commons after and through the General Election in 2015. It is up to UKIP to make sure there are UKIP candidates to challenge every would be LIBLABDEMCONS in Government. I doubt there will ever be another CHANCE to get this right, for I do believe that come another General Election after 2015 here in the UK-it will all be over for the UK and all will be in the EU-FOREVER. The EU will speak on ALL matters of Trade to the USA on behalf of ALL ITS MEMBER STATES. We are of course looking a World Government too, for the proposed TTIP is all part of that for as you know, other Countries are tying up, one to the other ( July Date For Australia-Japan Free Trade Deal? Reports suggest that the two countries are nearing an agreement.

    There will be no need of any National Governments or Parliaments either, for that was why Country’s have been devided into EU Regions. All good stuff eh!

    • catalanbrian says:

      I am afraid that you will be disappointed as it is unlikely that UKIP will collect any significant number of seats. They may get one, where Farage stands, but that is it. As for UKIp settiong the agenda – dream on.

  5. Thomas Fox says:

    Liz Truss may be considered to have a less important position but it is the main problem facing this administration in energy ,food ,a battle for democracy against the EU with its foolish carbon tax and inefficient CAP but worse still total dominance of UK people !

  6. Jane Davies says:

    Take the gloves off and come out fighting, Roger. Mr and Mrs Nice won’t cut it in the next election. We are planning to move back to the UK in a year or so and I do not want this bunch of idiots “running” the once great country I used to be proud of.

    • Thomas Fox says:

      Liz Truss should have enough experience in Industry to make sense of this EU fixation on climate alarmism but what for Lord Hill ,an historian by qualification he may be out of his depth in understanding the present muddle ?

  7. Mike Stallard says:

    Roger – you are a helpful and clued up person, so please allow me to ask you this awkward question which UKIP does not seem to be facing up to.

    We cannot easily leave the EU because the Article 50 small print will not allow us to do it without a feast of lawyers. The burning question must be this: how do we leave the coming train crash of the EU and remain trading with the European mainland?

    I do not hear UKIP answering or even asking this – tell me I am wrong!

    • DICK R says:

      Rubbish an act of parliament is enough, article 50 is nonsense ,we do not trade with Germany or any other country, we trade with German businesses likewise ,French ,Dutch , and Italian etc.

      • Jane Davies says:

        Not a people person then Dick.R? Why be polite when being rude will do!

      • bumper says:

        Of course politicians will tell us how difficult it is to leave the EU. There is no such difficulty when they continue getting us deeper and deeper involved. All treaties agreed can as easily be abrogated and we can come to some arrangement on trade, after all, they sell us more than we sell them.

      • Sean O'Hare says:

        No an act of parliament is not enough and Article 50 is not nonsense. Simply repealing ECA 1972 would leave this country up the creek without a paddle. However, Mike Stallard is wrong as there is no small print to trip us up. Article 50 negotiations are well understood, but like any negotiations will require a highly competent and committed negotiating team so as to come away with a good agreement providing access to single market. A team comprised of Foreign Office EUphiles would obviously be an unmitigated disaster. A detailed and flexible plan for Brexit, entitled FlexCit is already well developed and available for anyone to read at:

        I would dearly love UKIP to adopt this “off-the-shelf” solution to the problem of how the UK can safely withdraw from the EU. Unfortunately the bad feeling between Dr North and UKIP’s leadership make this an unlikely occurrence. A great shame!

    • Roger Helmer says:

      Mike — There is a legitimate debate as to whether we simply pass an Independence Act in parliament, repealing the 1972 European Communities Act, or go through the Article 50 process. But either way would work. Any major treaty change — or termination — will provide work for lawyers, I’m afraid. As for “keep trading”, there are three reasons: 1 WTO. 2 Self-interest (we’ll be the rump-EU’s largest external customer and net curtomer — bar none). 3 Article 50 itself (if we use it).

      • Mike Stallard says:

        Roger – thank you for your courteous and convincing reply. It does, of course, depend on parliament/the EU Commission going along with Brexit. Can you see that though?

        In my own (bitter) experience, Civil Servants and politicians are very good at deflating popular opinion with judicious delaying tactics.(It worked for the ancient Romans after Cannae too!)

  8. Richard111 says:

    Mike Stallard.

    The EU would lose more business and jobs than the UK if we took ourselves off.
    The UK still has good relations with the old commonwealth and the USA.
    There would be adjustments yes, but not insurmountable. We would then have full
    control of our borders and vastly reduce the pressure on OUR NHS. We would also
    deport terrorists without having to argue about ‘human rights’.
    Tell me, why does a murderer have more human rights than the victim AND his family?

  9. Ex-expat Colin says:

    What UKIP might do is stop the EU luvvie groups voting to change the goal posts at elections/committees of this,that and the other. You know, like the committees that all group reps were once on. A sort of democratic thing it was….once!

    So if your’e in an EU luvvie group now, you can vote for anything that keeps your rewards going and not have to worry about anybody else’s concerns. The anybody else’s being those voted in by the peoples of the countries… MEPS oddly enough.

    UKIP is being out manoeuvred on most things I think….Hopefully Patersons tory followers might think again about voting Tory. Will be interesting to hear what he says at the GWPF 2014 Annual lecture

  10. Mike Stallard says:

    Here are the words of article 50.:
    1. Any Member State may decide to withdraw from the Union in accordance with its own constitutional requirements.

    2. A Member State which decides to withdraw shall notify the European Council of its intention. In the light of the guidelines provided by the European Council, the Union shall negotiate and conclude an agreement with that State, setting out the arrangements for its withdrawal, taking account of the framework for its future relationship with the Union. That agreement shall be negotiated in accordance with Article 218(3) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union. It shall be concluded on behalf of the Union by the Council, acting by a qualified majority, after obtaining the consent of the European Parliament.

    3. The Treaties shall cease to apply to the State in question from the date of entry into force of the withdrawal agreement or, failing that, two years after the notification referred to in paragraph 2, unless the European Council, in agreement with the Member State concerned, unanimously decides to extend this period.

    4. For the purposes of paragraphs 2 and 3, the member of the European Council or of the Council representing the withdrawing Member State shall not participate in the discussions of the European Council or Council or in decisions concerning it.

    A qualified majority shall be defined in accordance with Article 238(3)(b) of the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union.

    5. If a State which has withdrawn from the Union asks to rejoin, its request shall be subject to the procedure referred to in Article 49.

    Article 2 shows that without the whole commission discussing withdrawal and then agreeing to let us go after a majority vote, we stay. As does Article 3. We cannot even negotiate our withdrawal – Article 4. Notice the majority bit – a lawyers’ delight!

  11. David says:

    Yes Roger, I will still be UKIPing even if Cameron starts to wear ladies gear. £10000 wage before you pay tax, now who thought of that first?

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