Edward Sumner: To be, or not to be…trusted? Does anyone still trust politicians?

This month’s blog from YBF activist, Edward Sumner

Trust is already badly damaged in British Politics, if not non-existent. EU Migration is yet another example of a breach of trust, David Cameron has mislead the public again and again when he says he will control it, like he did in 2010, like he’ll do over and over again in the run up to the election. In the Conservative Party manifesto, David Cameron stated that he would cut net immigration into the UK to ‘tens of thousands. Government figures shown that net migration isn’t going down, it is continuing to grow rapidly with no clear way of bringing it under control.

His current proposals don’t seem to add up, according to EU law there is a requirement for non-discrimination, so how does David Cameron plan to get around treating UK nationals and non-UK nationals differently? For this new system to work whilst we remain members of the EU, there would have to be radical change to the fundamentals of our in work benefit system, something which would take years. This will not happen, the Conservatives have had over 4 years to control immigration, but it just hasn’t worked. Some tinkering may be possible, but nothing substantial, but he will present this as a victory, even though for the British public it will be a loss, as it will be their public services put under more pressure.

Then for him to say ‘We should distrust those who sell the snake oil of simple solutions,’ a few months back is hypocritical from the man who thinks simple benefit changes will solve all immigration problems. It quite simply won’t solve the problem, he knows himself that these things he promises breach EU law and won’t control immigration. He gives simple solutions every year on immigration but they all fail, immigration has risen year upon year, so talk about simple solutions is laughable and just not achievable.

Where have the sound Conservatives in the Conservative Party gone? If they’re still there then why are they being left to rot on the backbenches, when the real threat of UKIP came about I was half expecting Cameron to take the EU on with immigration and then maybe even start to govern like a Conservative, unfortunately he has been too weak and too timid, whether that was due to the coalition we’ll never know. What I do know is UKIP will have my vote in this general election. I know what I’m getting when I vote UKIP, I’m getting sound economic policies with the right view on social issues. After these last 5 years, besides a long term economic plan what are you getting when you vote Conservative? No one seems to know, until people do know I can’t see another Conservative majority.

Soundbytes: Tuesday 24th February


On this day:

1920 Nancy Astor becomes the first woman to speak in the House of Commons.

Daily Reaganite:

I’m grateful to the American Conservative Union, Young Americans for Freedom, National Review, Human Events, for organizing this wonderful evening. When you work in the White House, you don’t get to see your old friends as much as you’d like. And I always see the CPAC speech as my opportunity to “dance with the one that brung ya.”

MPs’ second jobs: how the Telegraph crunched the numbers

Ever wondered how newspapers do their data analysis?

Before breaking the MPs’ second jobs story the Telegraph analysed more than 2,600 transactions entered by 650 MPs into the official Register of Members’ Financial Interest between January 1, 2014, and January 6, 2015.

Don’t forget, all Telegraph stories are thoroughly researched. Here’s what you have to remember when looking at how research was done:

  • Two Telegraph reporters worked to sort and analyse the information, each using two different computer programmes.
  • Each function was performed at least three times by each reporter and the results cross-referenced for consistency.
  • Spot checks against the Register were used to ensure that individual entries remained true throughout the entire process.

The resulting dataset discloses, more accurately than ever before, how and when almost half Britain’s elected politicians topped up their MP’s salary, and, in some cases, exceeded it many times over.

Details of all remunerated directorships, employment, offices or professions were copied manually into a spreadsheet verbatim and coded carefully according to the nature of each.

Each entry was broken down by the MP’s first and last name, the job he or she performed, who paid them, how long the job took, how much they were paid, when a payment was formally registered, and the party to which he or she belongs.

Information on when the work in question was actually performed was also included where available.

Some MPs declined to say how many hours a job took, instead measuring their efforts in days. In the absence of evidence to the contrary a basic eight-hour working day had to be assumed.

A handful failed to include any such information – in which case a zero entry seemed more appropriate than a figure made up to approximate the length of time taken.

Some MPs chose to enter payment as gross, others as net. In each case only the figure given was used.

Some MPs gave travel time alongside the duration of a job or task. Others, including those making trips to far flung corners of the world, did not.

This left no option but to include only the number of hours entered in the Register, even though the true tally was likely to be far higher.

Detailed notes were also kept and any rogue entries from 2013 were excluded from the dataset, as were entries dated 2015.

Sponsorships (details of which are held separately by the Electoral Commission), income from land or property, overseas visits, gifts in kind, benefits and hospitality in the UK and abroad were not considered.

Shareholdings were also ignored, unless the MP revealed themselves to be a shareholder in a company – often one they own – from which they also received cash payments.

Many MPs chose to give income from completing opinion polls and surveys to charity, local or other non-profit organisations, or to constituency or national party political groups.

This too was entered into the dataset, and, where no reference to a donation was mentioned by the MP in question, it was assumed no such gift was made.

The data was then double and triple-checked and cleaned to create a master copy, before being entered into a database for more detailed scrutiny.

Where necessary duplicates, polls and surveys were removed, as were royalty payments (which require no additional hours worked), to produce a list of individuals with second jobs.


Soundbytes: Monday 23rd February


On this day: 

Samuel Pepys was born 1633. Best known for chronicling life in Restoration England

Daily Reaganite: 

“Peace is not absence of conflict, it is the ability to handle conflict by peaceful means.”

Soundbytes: Friday 20th February


On this day: 

On this day 70 years ago, U.S. Armed Forces began the battle of . Their bravery will never be forgotten.

Daily Reaganite: 

“I believe the best social program is a job.”

Soundbytes: Thursday 19th February


On this day: 

On this day 6 years ago POTUS signed his failed $787 billion “stimulus” into law. Retweet if you agree: Washington spending isn’t the answer. Via SpeakerBoehner

Daily Thatcherite: 

“Look at a day when you are supremely satisfied at the end. It’s not a day when you lounge around doing nothing; it’s a day you’ve had everything to do and you’ve done it.”


Soundbytes: Wednesday 18th February


On this day: 

On this day in 1885, Mark Twain publishes the “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” in the United States (UK in 1884).

Daily Reaganite: 

“The problem is not that people are taxed too little, the problem is that the government spends too much.”

Reporting Back: Young Independence

In the first Young Independence reporting back, Joe Jenkins, UKIP Students Chairman reports back on the success of Young Independence in 2014 and a roaring start to 2015.


As we enter 2015 we thought a good place to start would be to look back at the achievements of Young Independence over the last twelve months. We started the year with a fresh new look, refiguring the council and streamlining Young Independence to bring us better in line with the growing professionalism of the wider party, matching our rising prominence in youth politics. Continue reading

Soundbytes: Tuesday 17th February


On this day: 

On this day in 1904, Giacomo Puccini’s opera Madame Butterfly premieres at the La Scala theatre in Milan, Italy

Daily Thatcherite: 

“I’ve got a woman’s ability to stick to a job and get on with it when everyone else walks off and leaves it.”

Conservative Future: Reporting back

As the election gets closer, the Young Britons’ Foundation will be inviting the heads of the youth wings to report back on the previous month activity.

Our first instalment, “Conservative Future: Reporting back” is courtesy of the Conservative Future Chairman, Alexandra Paterson.Tomorrow we will be publishing Young Independence’s first “Reporting back”.


The first month in Conservative Future has been fast paced and productive as the Conservative Party launched its Long Campaign and the countdown to May 7th began. This is an election where CF members will have a key role in the general election campaign and have demonstrated their tireless enthusiasm for the Party. Continue reading