Today one of Nigel’s supporters, a friend of ours, has called to seek our financial support for UKIP in May’s European elections.
I would be far more inclined to donate to UKIP were it prepared to seek a restraining order against the Chancellor of the Exchequer to prevent him paying any more money to the EU unless and until the union published its accounts, something it has not done for the last upteen years.
It is something I have tried to encourage Bernard Jenkin our Eurosceptic Conservative to do, earlier this year, and through him I tried to petition Parliament to do the same, but somehow it just did not happen.
A year or so ago I contacted Nigel, his number two and a local UKIP organiser to suggest that they should take the Chancellor to court to stop this unaccounted use of public money which Nigel seemed so quick to denounce every time he got anywhere near a microphone.
From: Peter Inson
To: Nigel Farage
Subject: Can you hear me?
Last year I sent a brief letter via UKIP’s web site to which I received no acknowledgement. I then emailed Nigel Farage as follows, but have still not heard anything and, I now realise, almost a year has passed.
To Nigel Farage, MEP 26.11.11
Some weeks ago I sent a letter to you via the UKIP website.
In it I suggested that your opposition to the EU might effectively be carried forward by seeking a court order restraining the Chancellor from paying further contributions to the EU until and unless the EU accounts for their use of these funds.
This, of course, would not be a political manoeuvre, but simply a piece of good housekeeping or book-keeping such as any business organisation is required undertake. If achieved it would at least stop a significant part of our financial haemorrhaging.
An acknowledgement this time would be appreciated.
When I was a headmaster, I took legal advice and was told that government ministers could be restrained by the courts should they act beyond their powers, act unreasonably or waste public resources. My concern is that the large daily sum which the UK contributes to the EU may constitute a waste of public resources and that without proper accounting for the money we have no way of judging whether this is the case. My suggestion was that UKIP should match its rhetoric with action in the courts and seek to restrain the Chancellor from a potential waste of public resources.
In writing to you all, my hope is simply to know that, whether or not this idea of mine is of use or value, someone at UKIP is listening.
From them I received three completely different responses.
From: TIMOTHY CONGDON
To: Peter Inson
Sent: Tuesday, 16 October 2012, 10:15
Subject: Re: Can you hear me?
Dear Mr. Inson,
However much I sympathize with your sentiment, the UK has signed international treaties which oblige it – while it remains a member of the EU – to ‘send the money to Brussels’. Attached may be of interest.
(Peter – Yes, a nice phrase – ‘a direct debit controlled by Brussels’ – I must remember it! rgds, Tim )
From: FARAGE Nigel
To: Peter Inson
Subject: RE: Can you hear me?
Dear Mr Inson
Thank you for your persistence! UKIP’s various addresses are frequently overwhelmed with correspondence, because interest in the Party always outruns its establishment; but we do manage to service this account continuously and don’t usually miss much.
The path of legal action, however, has been explored very often, and a number of important, and expensive, court-cases undertaken, on the grounds that HMG’s relations with the EU are improper in various ways. I’m not sure whether action has been taken, specifically as result of the EU’s accounts having failed their annual audit for nearly twenty years, although this point has been raised several times in Parliament, but we feel sure that the courts would dismiss an action on the subject, just as they have dismissed all the others.
What we have discovered, in fact, is that the judiciary has been selected, over the years, to ensure that it will not allow the status of the UK, vis-à-vis the EU, to be challenged legally. This discovery – that the legal route had been pre-emptively blocked – was, indeed, the impetus for the formation of UKIP. In our view, the electoral route is the only way forward, and we are dedicating our resources to that, rather than to the “fixed game”, which the authorities are playing in the courts.
Andrew S. Reed
Office of Nigel Farage, Brussels
16 Oct 2012
Dear Mr Inson
Thank you for this. It’s an intriguing idea. I shall consult our Party Secretary, a senior lawyer, to see what he thinks. My initial impression is that one would need to weigh the cost of such a legal action against the likelihood of success.
Stephen Crowther, Chairman, UK Independence Party
Eastacombe House, Heanton, Barnstaple, N. Devon EX31 4DG
Phone 01271 813844 Mobile 07775 787579
This is not simply an attempt at a political quick-fix. Our Chancellor himself claims to be keen that government expenditure be kept in check and provide value for money. It is an established principle that the spending of public money should be transparent and accounted for. How much more so with regard to the vast sums spent on our behalf by an undemocratic organisation and without any reference to the people from whom sovereignty is said to have been stolen?
When UKIP begins to take seriously this important claim about the expense of EU membership perhaps they will find more people taking them seriously.