The UKIP Spring Conference 4-5 March 2011 was held in the Yorkshire coastal town of Scarborough. The mood of the conference was very buoyant, as Jane Collins (Regional Chairman for Yorkshire and North Lancashire) the UKIP candidate in the Barnsley Central by-election had come second, a first for UKIP, the Tories third, and the Liberal Democrats sixth and lost their deposit. Although the constituency is a very loyal labour stronghold and there was a massive gulf in the number of votes between first and second place, UKIP had the publicity coup of coming second. For a party of only 17,000 or so members that is a major achievement. It is interesting though how little coverage in the mainstream newspaper media was given to this historic event.
Purity of the UKIP Message is Humbling
One of the astonishing things about a UKIP conference is the wide disparity of the type of people who attended. There were Lords, gentry, public servants, business leaders, entrepreneurs, unemployed, retired people, young people and people of various ethnicities. Yet they were all relaxed, open and unified in conviction and purpose to get the UK out of the EU and to save the country from the “Coalition of Children”, with its complete subjection to the EU, and their devastating policies on industry (including Fishing, Agriculture, Financial Services, Defence), public services (Police, Armed Forces, NHS), society and British culture.
I remarked to several delegates that we don’t even see this type of unity in the Churches. They agreed. Steve Crowther (Executive Chairman) said it was because UKIP has “purity of message”. I have to agree with him, but then why, when the gospel of Jesus Christ is the most pure of all messages, is there so much division amongst people who call themselves Christians? The answer lies in the simple fact that most Christians do not have the conviction and the purpose to follow God’s ‘manifesto’ as documented in the Bible. The purity of the Christian message has been lost through unbelief and disobedience to God’s word, to our great shame.
A Few Notes on UKIP’s Policies
Expecting the Conservative party to concede the granting of a referendum on the EU was declared to be a waste of time as David Cameron had reneged, just like Labour, on his “cast iron guarantee” prior to the June 2010 general election. (Guardian, 3 November 2009).
UKIP’s current policy position on the Voting Referendum was to advocate support for Alternative Voting (AV) as opposed to the existing First Past the Post (FPTP) method. It was said that FPTP encouraged the electorate to vote tactically, say, to get out Labour, as they don’t want to ‘waste’ their vote on minority parties who will not have a major influence on the result of the election. However, even with FPTP, in the last election UKIP voters stopped the Conservatives getting their overall majority, so their votes were hardly wasted. AV was considered to be on the road to full Proportional Representation, which would favour UKIP.
During the Q&A session, one of the Young Independence members asked a question about the wearing of the burqa in public. The panel’s response was that people can wear whatever they like, but in areas such as banks, teaching and places where identification was required it was not acceptable; just as when hoodies or motorcycle helmets are requested to be removed. It was also said that in British culture being able to see facial expression was an important part of communication.
God and Christianity are not Taboo at UKIP Conferences
It was interesting to note that Warwick Nicholson, UKIP Regional Chairman for Wales, declared himself as a Christian in his short speech, by saying that he was going to be a missionary, but felt he had to address wider issues by joining UKIP. Lord Monckton, also at the end of his address, said “... God bless the Queen, God Bless the Country, God Bless UKIP.” He also made very supportive comments in favour of Eunice and Owen Johns, regarding their court case and the recent ruling against them, which concluded that they were unfit to be foster parents because of their views that homosexuality is a sin.
UKIP Policy Review
UKIP are currently reviewing all of their policies and it is vital that the National Executive Committee expand on their previous statements on freedom of religion, freedom of speech and equality, to cover the important area of sexual orientation legislation, which has been used to persecute Christians at work, at home and when speaking in public. The UK government and the other three main political parties, supported by the EU’s Human Rights legislation, actively want to police and enforce their thoughts of morality on the British people. Soon there will be prisoners of conscience in the UK for openly opposing homosexuality and promoting marriage as between a man and a woman. It will be a test of UKIP’s core principles as to how its new policies deal with this hot potato.
The next UKIP conference will be in Eastbourne 8-10 September 2011. In the meantime, Nigel Farage’s rallying cry was “Fight, Fight and Fight Again” (used by Hugh Gaitskell, Labour politician in the 1960’s) and to be on-guard for a major onslaught of dirty tricks by the other parties and the media. Nigel as a leader and orator is unsurpassed in British politics and he received applause when a toast was proposed for him being the most honest politician in British politics. I met him briefly at the conference and he was friendly, charming and totally consistent in words and mannerism as captured in his autobiography ‘Fighting Bull’. He is not a Christian, and UKIP is not a Christian party, but as a political force their mission is for the good and freedom of the country and its citizens, which was what two world wars were fought over and won.
© 8 March 2011