I am off to Scotland on Friday to address members of Ukip and the media ahead of the referendum ballot. I’ve been watching the debate with interest, and although I don't agree with Salmond I think the Yes campaign has been exciting and invigorating, taking their message to the streets. Of course, they have not been talking about the whole story and that is my main grievance with them.
By comparison, the No side has been dominated by the grey men of Westminster. And Better Together have folded at the news of one opinion poll putting the Yes campaign ahead, giving into Devo Max which was never part of their manifesto. The Yes campaign haven’t ever addressed the topic of real Independence and resorted to nationalistic slogans and violence whenever I have tried to have the debate. I remember how protesters hounded me out of central Edinburgh last year during my European election campaign.
For when Salmond addressed the media yesterday in his press conference on the anniversary of Scottish Devolution, saying that this referendum was about “who runs Scotland” he missed out the huge blue and yellow elephant in the room.
It is fact that EU law is supreme to UK law and thus would be supreme to Scottish law should they vote to separate from the rest of the UK. And the argument about the currency union misses out a huge legal issue of the euro. For Scotland would have to apply to be a new member of the EU (they will of course be accepted; the EU is an ever-expanding empire) and in doing so will lose the opt-out the UK has on joining the euro. Indeed, they will have to sign up to a commitment to join.
If Scotland genuinely wanted independence, outside of the EU and free to trade with the rest of the world and govern herself, I might have a different view on this vote. But as it is both Yes and No are ignoring the biggest constitutional issue in this debate and with the SNP wholeheartedly wedded to EU socialism they are selling a false dream of independence when really the majority of their laws will still be made in Brussels.
Is this really what the BBC thinks Lord Hill will be doing?
It seems that the BBC received a different press release on the make-up of the new European Commission to the one I and everyone else did. Their headline on the website and the bulletins was that Jean-Claude Juncker had given the UK a key economic job. Jonathan Hill, former leader of the House of Lords, will oversee financial services in the new 28-strong Commission which unlike previous terms has a new level of seniority with seven new “project Vice Presidents”.
It is a minor post, reporting to the Finnish and Latvian Commissioners and certainly not what the UK had been bidding for.
But it won't, as the BBC reports, be the UK “running financial services” since Lord Hill will swear an oath of allegiance to uphold the EU treaties, not to act in the best interests of a member state. It's a brilliant move by Juncker who had been snubbed twice by Cameron: first regarding his appointment and second over the UK nomination.
Juncker wanted a high-profile female candidate from the UK, and by his own admission he had to Google who Lord Hill was. It really comes to something when a former Prime Minister of Luxembourg is more well known than the UK Commissioner.
With financial services so vital to the UK economy, the man who will be leading the charge for reforms which could see the end of the dominance of the City of London and the huge tax raising industry is a Brit - and a Tory at that.
As the leader of the party which won the European Elections here in the UK, I did quite a few media interviews on the new appointments, including with ITV and various national newspapers. But the supposedly impartial national news broadcaster did not want to know about the views of the party with the largest number of UK MEPs; Ukip. They didn't even bring themselves to run comments on their website!
Ozone layer: Don't give into the politics of fear
I am sure there will be many people who will use the report that the ozone layer is thickening to say it proves that we must take action on man-made climate change. I personally think it proves nothing. It certainly doesn't prove that we must impose taxes which hit the poorest the hardest, stifle debate and try to legislate this country back to the Stone Age, saying the science is decided.
What started as global warming became climate change when it was clear that global temperatures were cooling. And those of us who say that changes are bigger than us as a species are attacked. We must always question, always debate and never stop our quest for scientific progress and understanding. The green lobby will hate that but they have a vested interest in the politics of fear on the environment.
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