Wednesday, 24 March 2010

UKIP, "the only true democratic and patriotic party" in East Devon?

The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) describes itself as "the Real Opposition" to the current Labour government. From small beginnings in 1994, it claims to have firmly established itself nationally as the UK's fourth party. UKIP is committed to withdrawing Britain from the European Union (EU). It currently has 13 members of the European Parliament (MEPs) who in the words of its website, "use their positions exclusively to expose the true nature of the EU and to campaign for British withdrawal." Its range of policies include "a firm line on immigration."

Michael John Amor is the UKIP candidate for East Devon. Born in Plymouth in 1967
he joined the British Army in 1983, leaving after 24 years. During that time he served in Northern Ireland, Berlin, Germany, Canada, Belize, Bosnia and Cyprus.

Having left the Army he set up a small internet mail order company based in Exeter.
He has been married since 1987 to Helen, with two daughters, Sarah, 16, and Alice, 14. His leisure pursuits include scuba diving, running and gardening.

"Hopefully your readers will see UKIP are the only true democratic and patriotic party," he told me.

1. Why is UKIP's HQ in Devon? Was this a symbolic choice, and would you expect to gain more West Country votes because of this choice?

UKIP HQ was originally in London, then Birmingham and eventually better facilities made Devon the natural choice. The SW is the strongest in terms of UKIP support and the SW centre was a natural development.

2. On the UKIP website you say that "Under relentless pressure from minority groups, the notion of the family unit, marriage and values have been eroded in the interest of fairness to all." Which minority groups in particular are you referring to?

Without naming any specific groups, we can identify a range of groups mainly from the “left” which are intent on “liberalising or modernising” social values which historically are in favour of marriage, family values, independence, self-reliance, hard work, loyalty to a set of values, patriotism etc, etc., and also political groups such as the Fabian Society.

3. You wrote on 27 Jan 2010 that "No one should be admitted (to the UK) unless they are fluent in English." How would you define fluency?

A simple literacy test would define fluency.

4. A well-known Budleigh Salterton Town Councillor was quoted in March 2009 as saying: "This country will grind to a halt unless the UK takes back control of rules regarding its own people and stops blindly implementing all directives that come from the EU." Do you see Budleigh Salterton as a key area of potential support for UKIP?

Not particularly, but the opinions indicated are widespread across Devon, the SW and the nation as the results in the EUOP election in June last year showed, when UKIP came second nationally beating the Government into 3rd place.

Some of East Devon's breathtaking scenery: a view of Budleigh Salterton looking east

5. One of your rivals describes the East Devon constituency as having "breathtaking scenery" and mentions that "the area is home to a large number of retired pensioners" helping "to make East Devon a comfortable, quiet resort area." How do you see East Devon? How would you build on its strengths and combat its weaknesses, if any?

Obviously, retired people have a great deal of experience and the time to read, enquire and ponder over the changes seen to our social and political order, and are free to express those views. East Devon has much to offer in that regard.

6. "Mr Farage has made his party a safe repository for a certain kind of protest vote" said The Independent of UKIP's best-known MEP in June 2009. Is it fair to say that UKIP is composed mainly of the middle-aged or elderly disaffected ?

The age profile of UKIP used to be dominated by “mature” people when it started, but now has a fully representative cross section of ages and an extremely active Young UKIP Group. The appeal of the UKIP position and policy has nothing to do with age but is with the desire to be governed by those we elect and can dismiss. Once a person realises that we no longer do that, whatever his/her age, then the obvious reaction is to support UKIP.

7. On the UKIP East Devon website I read 'Climate Change fact or fiction?' and the following: "Our planet has been in existence for 4 billion years and the climate has been changing with the world in everyone of these years. There is nothing new about climate change, it has happened, is happening and will continue to happen, regardless of our actions or inactions." Does this mean that UKIP rejects concepts such as the carbon footprint?

The climate change issue is really about whether or not the changes that do occur represent potential danger to mankind, and further whether or not those changes are influenced by man’s behaviour – burning fossil fuels, exhaling too much CO2 etc, etc.

UKIP’s policy shows that we do not accept the assertion, for which there is no evidence, that mankind is directly responsible for climate changes which will be dangerous etc. We are deeply sceptical of the political efforts by the EU, UN and other pressure groups to scare people into accepting that CO2 is a harmful influence and that it MUST be reduced per se. We accept fully that finite resources such as coal, oil, gas etc should be used sparingly and at the highest efficiencies and that new energy resources should be developed to maintain our industrial base.

The European Parliament
Photo by TPCOM

8. The Times on 26 February 2010 described UKIP leader Nigel Farage as "embarrassing", "rude" and "hilarious," following his verbal attack on the President of the EU. Do you think that Mr Farage will have gained or lost votes for UKIP by his behaviour?

It depends on the individual's view on the role and behaviour of the EU and its claim to be a democratically representative body. UKIP believes strongly that the entire structure and design of the EU is a deception and a charade aimed at delivering a federal superstate and that the people must be made aware of this, rather than going with the flow and thereby relinquishing their freedom and democratic rights. Nigel Farage uses the words necessary to make these points/issues clear in what is an extremely hostile environment. If you look back in the recent history of our own parliament far worse has been said!

Picture: Former House of Commons Speaker Michael Martin
9. Who do you blame for the sad saga of MPs' expenses?

The MPs themselves and Speaker Martin in particular.

10. What skills and personal qualities do you think an MP should have and do you believe you have them?

Honesty, integrity, patriotism, dedication and respect for the democratic rights of the people as enshrined in our Constitution. I would not be standing if I did not think I had these qualities.

For further information about Mike Amor and UKIP click on

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