Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Article by Nigel Farage

As you probably know, I look on the EU as the USSR budged a bit west. Here is an article by UKIP leader Nigel Farage which may convince a few of you who still think the EU is a jolly good idea, that it really isn't.

'When the Nice Treaty was passed in 2001, UKIP noted that Article 191 would lead to EU funding for political parties. More importantly, we said that once the state funds parties, it begins to have power to approve their existence or not. When I pointed out that this could lead to parties like UKIP disappearing, I was told, 'It couldn't happen here'.

IN Portugal, UKIP has a good relationship with a Eurosceptic party called PND, led by Manuel Montiero, a former MP and MEP for the Portuguese Conservative Party. It is fiercely opposed to the EU Constitution and, like us, wants to regain control of fishing waters from the EU.

The PND has already achieved some success with an MP in the regional parliament of Madeira and, in the absence of a referendum in Portugal, expects to win MEP seats in 20090. But in a couple of months' time it might not exist.

A new law comes into force in Portugal in March 2008 that states that political parties must have 5,000 registered members or they will be declared illegal. The names and addresses of the members must be given to the Portuguese authorities.

Of the 14 political parties that exist in Portugal alone, only four will be allowed to exist after March 2008.

This situation is truly incredible. It allows existing parties to stay in place forever and to prevent new parties and new ideas from ever being born.

We are in a political union with Portugal as EU members. I have seen the new mood of intolerance towards opposition to the EU in Brussels and Strasbourg. Could it ever happen here?'

I can, alas, see it happening here. It's one of the reasons I am so massively against the state funding of political parties, because it just hinders entrance to the market, as it were, which isn't on in a democracy.

However, democracy appears to be a dirty word these days in the eyes of our leaders.


Anonymous said...

Massively against the state funding of parties? Really?

By the way, congrats to all at the UKIP press office for a truly comical last few days.

wonkotsane said...

I covered this story a while ago. What struck me then was the fact that this will basically stop any new parties from coming into existence unless they can come up with 5,000 members on day one. It's never going to happen is it?

Mark Wadsworth said...

At risk of double-posting:
Portugal pop 10m, UK pop 60m
5000 x 6 = 30000
UKIP has 16000 members.

R.I.T. said...

I bloody hope UKIP have won by 20090. Do you think we will have a referendum by then?

Anonymous said...

Nigel, I hate to blow a massive hole in your argument but Portugal isn't over here. It's over there. It's a different country in a different place.