Farage getting a cool reception in Bucks says the Economist.
It is interesting to note that Farage is not getting the welcome that he had expected on the streets of Bucks.
And it seems that Nigel's old friends - Mr Greg Lance-Watkins and Mr John West were less than impressed after reading that Farage had described himself as 'Mr Clean'.
From The Economist:
THE shoppers in Buckingham’s modest street market look bemused as a prospective parliamentary candidate, John Stevens, tells them: “You can bring down the speaker of the House of Commons!” Some tell him they will vote for the incumbent, John Bercow, although he did not come out of the parliamentary-expenses scandal with much credit. Most are happy to take the leaflets Mr Stevens proffers. Respect for politicians is not much in evidence in this prosperous market town. “They’re all crooks, but Mr Bercow’s a local man,” says Phillip Dillow. Yet his son, Edward, chips in: “I won’t vote for nobody who steals. If I did that on benefits I’d be in jail by now.”
Mr Bercow, a Conservative, was first elected for the constituency in 1997. He became speaker of the House of Commons last year, when the previous incumbent, Michael Martin, was forced out in the row over parliamentary expenses. In theory his job should be safe: in 2005 he held his seat with 57% of the vote. And neither Labour nor the Liberal Democrats is putting up a candidate. The speaker is, by tradition, elected unopposed.
Instead Mr Bercow faces a fierce, personal and as yet unpredictable fight. Three independent candidates are standing, as are an activist in the British National Party and Nigel Farage, who in the autumn stood down as leader of the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) to concentrate on the tussle in Buckingham. (Junius says: NOT true. Farage stood down after Stuart Wheeler made it quite clear that he would not fund UKIP if Farage remained as leader) Perhaps predictably in this comfortable and overwhelmingly white constituency, all are on the right of the political spectrum.
One reason for the plethora of challengers is that Mr Bercow lacks support within his own party. Only a handful of Conservative MPs voted for him as speaker: one constituent says he was chosen by Labour as a “practical joke”. The feeling that he is a Labour sympathiser has been strengthened by the fact that his wife is standing as a Labour candidate in the local elections in London. The Conservatives’ leader, David Cameron, has threatened to deselect any local activist who openly supports anyone but Mr Bercow. Even so, some well-placed Tory officials and party members are effusive, even if only in private, about Patrick Phillips, a former high sheriff of the county and rival candidate.
Mr Bercow’s role in the expenses scandal has also hurt him. He “flipped” his second-home designation, avoiding capital-gains tax (which he later paid) and had to repay around £1,000 of expenses after a parliamentary investigation. Campaign literature for Mr Stevens, a former Tory MEP who says he was encouraged to stand by George Walden, Mr Bercow’s predecessor in the seat, makes much of the speaker’s complicated expenses. Its other theme is the third cause for unrest in Buckingham: the traditional disenfranchisement of voters in the speaker’s constituency.
Mr Bercow also faces a serious challenge from UKIP’s Mr Farage. A vote for him, Mr Farage says, is a vote for a clean man untainted by Westminster politics:
“There are no big parties to vote for and the speaker who is seeking re-election is the symbol of the current political class.”
But Mr Farage has faced expenses scandals inside his own party, and a recent outburst in the European Parliament has cooled the reception he gets on many of the politer doorsteps in Buckingham.
According to Mr Phillips, Mr Farage recently invited himself round to tea to ask him to stand down, rather than let Mr Bercow win against a split vote. Mr Phillips refused, saying that however angry his Conservative friends might be with Mr Bercow, they “did not want UKIP to establish a beach-head in Buckingham”. He sees the anti-Bercow vote being sliced up between a number of candidates, one of whom could oust the speaker, albeit on a minority of the vote.
Vernon Bogdanor, a professor of government at Oxford University, reckons that Mr Bercow is vulnerable. “The authority of the political class was undermined by the expenses scandal, and the authority of the role of speaker shattered,” he says. He thinks it unfair that voters in the speaker’s constituency are disenfranchised, and proposes that the speaker, once elected, be shunted to a “notional constituency”, triggering a by-election in his original one.
Mr Bercow’s friends, meanwhile, dismiss the disenfranchisement argument, saying that many constituents like the kudos of having the speaker as their MP. They point to their man’s record as speaker in cleaning up Parliament, and comfort themselves that the “anti-Bercow vote is badly split”. If they are wrong, and Buckingham’s constituents oust an incumbent speaker for the first time, it will send a pretty clear message to Westminster that business as usual is over.
End of article.
And now for the comments as published in the online version:
Greg_L-W wrote: A vote for him, Mr Farage says, is a vote for a clean man untainted by Westminster politics.
But Mr Farage has faced expenses scandals inside his own party.
Farage is indeed untainted by Westminster politics! To let such a man loose with Westminster's expenses system after his EU training would be like putting a wolf in a pen full of lambs!
Farage's dissembling goes far beyond Political acceptability!
Farage has NEVER published his accounts just some obfuscating outlines.
Farage has NEVER accounted for the £2M he boasted of making.
Farage has NEVER published what happened to over 85% of the income of Ashford which he claimed was THE MOST profitable thing EUkip have ever done.
There is every reason to believe that Farage has been as dishonest about money as he was with 3 stories so far about Liga! £1/4M in Isle of Man deposited in ONE cheque +? Farage took no meaningful action against Tom Wise.
There is not a Westminster politician who does not look squeaky clean in comparison.
As for his Racist, anti Jewish and pro EU membership links just look at the facts!
John West wrote: Farage a clean man? Don't make me laugh!
He surrounds himself with sycophants who only tell him what he wants to hear.
He refuses to reveal publish his own full EU expenses or allowances, whilst condemning MP's for their greed.
He refuses to answer concerns about financial misappropriation and widespread corruption within his own Party.
He employs his wife despite promising not to do so when first elected as an MEP.
He boldly condemns the BNP but surrounds himself with extremists in UKIP's EFD Group.
He refuses to publish the full accounts for UKIP’s former Ashford call centre.
And nor will he answer concerns over the hundreds of thousands of pounds taken from UKIP's South East regional account, laughingly described by him as 'other expenses'.
And yet Farage still has the nerve to condemn Bercow for being corrupt!
Farage does everything within his power to ensure that his own profits from being an MEP remain hidden. And this is despite his having promised to do the exact opposite when first elected as an MEP.
In May 2009, 'The Guardian' reported that Farage had said in a speech to the Foreign Press Association that as an MEP he had received and spent nearly £2 million of taxpayers' money in expenses and allowances - and that is on top of his £64,000 a year salary.
And he refused to say where the money went!
John West wrote: And I forgot to mention I used to be in UKIP. These concerns were raised by me and yet were ignored by Farage and UKIP's NEC.
The recent expulsion of Nikki Sinclaire MEP is also another reason not to support UKIP. She was thrown out by Farage because she was not prepared to sit with fascists in UKIP's EFD group.
UKIP is corrupt and is certainly not worth a single vote under their current leaders.
Richard E. wrote: "Mr Bercow also faces a serious challenge from UKIP’s Mr Farage. A vote for him, Mr Farage says, is a vote for a clean man untainted by Westminster politics:"
By whatever standard you care to use, this must be one of the most monumentally duplicitous statements ever!
For to describe Nigel Farage as "a clean man" is akin to saying Hitler was a pacifist! LFor let there be no doubt about it, Nigel Farage has more financial skeletons in his cupboard than almost any MP at Westminster; and despite being asked to do so by a string of UKIP Treasurers, and other senior officials, he refuses to explain his financial chicanery - to anyone.
And on a personal level the man is a debauched drunkard, womaniser and serial adulterer.
Attributes that are hardly attributable to a 'Mr Clean'
asbr01 wrote: Parts of this story illustrate well some of the faults in the UK's democracy.
The main parties refuse to offer candidates, even though there will be people who would like to vote for these parties. These people are disenfranchised.
Some of the candidates get together in private to discuss whether some should stand down to avoid splitting the opposition to the Speaker. That decreases the choice available to the electors.
The Speaker puts forward no policy except that he wants to go on being the Speaker. That is not a serious electoral platform at all. No one should vote for a person who does not put forward policies that address the nation's problems.
All this is justified by specious arguments that pay no attention at all to what should be the purpose of an election in a democracy, namely to allow the electors a fair say in who is governing them. The expenses scandal, bad though it is, is not the worst part of UK democracy. The lack of a fair electoral system is. We need a wholescale reform to make sure that the electoral system produces a parliament which reflects the votes of all the people.
To view the original: LINK & LINK