Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Casting a protest vote: An Independence From Europe

The rather engagingly named An Independence From Europe was set up by Mike Nattrass, a sitting MEP for the West Midlands region when he was deselected by UKIP. The name was chosen deliberately so that his party would feature at the top of every ballot paper in all nine of the English regions. Well, that was the plan until the 4 Freedoms Party was hurriedly created, but they are only running in London, where they have taken the top spot on the ballot.

Normally I would not bother with a party that is only running in one of the three British countries, but a friend of mine is involved with AIFE, so on that basis alone I am giving them some free publicity.

AIFE is a split from UKIP, and Nattrass was a UKIP MEP from his election in 2004 until just last year when he was deselected. That deselection came in spite of his popularity in the West Midlands, and had everything to do with a clash of egos between Nigel Farage and Mike Nattrass. In a nutshell, Farage wanted his MEP's to make greater financial contributions to the party, and at the same time he banned the MEP cohort from employing their wives in Brussels. Once it emerged that he was breaking his own rules by employing his wife, all hell broke loose, with Mike Nattrass leading the objections.

Farage then made sure that Nattrass was not selected again to stand under the UKIP banner, so Nattrass set up this sulk party to take votes off UKIP and generally cause as much trouble as possible for his erstwhile comrades in purple. As well as taking the top spot on eight English ballots, AIFE also uses purple as it's party colour, just like UKIP. 

Nattrass has the top spot on his party's list for the West Midlands, and anybody else who wanted that spot in other areas had to stump up the £5,000 for the electoral deposit, and agree to pay for any election materials used in that region. As you can see, AIFE is a party of wealthy big swinging dicks who have a beef with Nigel Farage and want their revenge.

Will they get it? It is quite possible that Nattrass will keep his seat, but I suspect that is about it. The rest just hate Farage and want to try and reduce his tally of seats.

Why should you vote for AIFE? The only reason is that you agree with the line that Farage is more of a hindrance than a help to the anti-EU cause. Frankly, I reckon that Farage is the only man who can hold those monstrous egos together for long enough to fight an election, but if you disagree and think that he should go, then cast a vote for AIFE.

As with so many things, this one comes down to who do you hate the most?

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