PRESS-RELEASEV2

Call for tougher animal cruelty sentences backed

Local MEP Jonathan Arnott is again backing a call for tougher sentences for animal cruelty.

The Centre for Crime Prevention is recommending that the maximum sentence is increased from six months – the lowest in Europe – to five years.

Figures have revealed that more than 92% of offenders convicted of animal cruelty over ten years ending in 2015 in England and Wales avoided prison.

“I have long advocated tougher sentences and I was particularly sickened by the case of the two Redcar thugs who walked free from court last year after subjecting a bulldog to a horrific attack,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP.

“If only that were an isolated instance. Yet despite daily examples of unspeakable cruelty, I genuinely can’t remember the last time anyone actually served more than 2 months in prison before early release – even for the most heinous of offences against animals.

“It is all very well for the government to mutter that it is reviewing the matter and any changes to legislation should always be carefully considered before implementation.

“But this problem has been apparent for years. It’s not a complex matter to add animal cruelty offences to the list for which ‘unduly lenient’ sentences can be reviewed, or to toughen up on making sure that bans on keeping animals are properly enforced.

“Nor is it a complex matter to increase the maximum sentence for animal cruelty so that culprits can be dealt with in a proper manner and more in keeping with their heartless crimes.

“The public are righty outraged at our government’s rudderless leadership and the leniency shown to such offenders. Those who deliberately harm animals should face sentences which actually deliver justice,” said Mr Arnott.

PRESS-RELEASEV2

HS2 is not, and never will be, value for money and it should be scrapped

North East residents will suffer not benefit from HS2, said local MEP Jonathan Arnott today.

“The project is currently estimated at £55.7billion and of course this will prove to be a hideous under-estimate by the time it is completed.

“The government should end this folly in its tracks right now and stop wasting these mega-bucks which frankly this country cannot afford and which will cost every taxpayer in the land dearly, including those in my constituency,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP.

“The only beneficiaries are the companies involved in its development and businesses in London. It is a myth that it will encourage businesses to set up in the Midlands and the North, it will largely encourage growth in the capital, as happened in Paris with the TGV.

“It is nonsense for Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to say it will help re-balance the economy. I am particularly concerned about the urgent need for investment in the North East and some of the cash being lavished on this white elephant project could be spent there.

“It is also a disaster for the environment and is blighting the lives of those whose homes and livelihoods are near the proposed route.

“HS2 is not, and never will be, value for money and it should be scrapped and instead resources directed to other transport projects, which unlike this scheme, are actually needed. Existing rail lines should be upgraded and where practical old disused lines should be re-opened.

“Also the A1 should be upgraded to motorway throughout the North East, it is just not good enough that parts of it are just single carriageway,” said Mr Arnott.

columns

No, Muslims aren’t about to ‘take over’ the UK and enforce Sharia Law

I’ve put forward strong proposals to deal with terrorism and extremism in my booklet ‘Britain Beyond Brexit’; there is a serious issue that we need to deal with as a country, but that issue isn’t a ‘Muslim takeover’ of Britain.

I’m writing this article in response to the kind of comment that I’m seeing over and over again from UKIP members. It’s just not true, and I’m writing to challenge it from a reasoned and evidence-based perspective.

One member wrote an article for UKIPDaily suggesting that “Few UK voters realise the UK’s current legal system and democracy could easily be replaced by Sharia Law as soon as 2040”.

Former UKIP NEC member Anish Patel tweeted yesterday “Eventually, when there is enough of them. They will start up their own political party. And then they will democratically vote for full sharia law and there will be absolutely nothing at all that we can do about it.”

Just half an hour before I started writing this article, Anne-Marie Waters retweeted “All other policies are moot if we’re subject to 2nd class status in Islamic UK.”

All of this would indeed be terrifying, if the evidence weren’t completely against it.

The argument is that ‘the Gatestone Institute projects that in 2021, Muslims will make up 10% of the UK population. That’s 2.2 times the percentage in the 2011 census. And if you keep multiplying by 2.2, you’ll hit 50% in around 2040. Then Muslims will immediately institute Sharia Law in the UK.’

The Gatestone Institute doesn’t provide evidence for that assertion, so the secondary claim is that from 2001 to 2011 the Muslim percentage grew from 2.7% to 4.4%, an increase of 1.6 times, so then they keep multiplying by 1.6 instead.

The problem is that population doesn’t work like that. It doesn’t increase exponentially but settles down over time – the higher the Muslim population gets, the less the impact of immigration on the overall percentage for example.

From 1961 to 1971 the Muslim population increased 5-fold; from 1971 to 1981 2.4-fold; from 1981 to 1991 1.6-fold; from 1991 to 2001 1.6-fold and from 2001 to 2011 1.6-fold. Those numbers would have continued to decline dramatically were it not for the increase in immigration under Blair, and (because the Muslim population is now higher) the immigration effect will lessen even if immigration itself were to remain high.

There is no mathematical argument whatsoever for assuming such exponential growth could continue – it would require immigration levels from Muslim countries to be 10 to 20 times higher than they are now.

Yet the human brain ‘likes’ such projections. It’s the reason why so many people fall for pyramid-selling schemes for example.

The Muslim birth rate may well be higher than that of the general population at present, which does (slowly – and we-re talking a century or two, not a decade or two) impact upon the Muslim population. But hang on a second: that’s normally the case in countries with lower life expectancies than the UK. It’s not a religious reason for having more kids, it’s something likely to decrease in the second, third, and fourth generations of those coming to the UK.

Pew Research (who are the people the anti-Muslims in UKIP like to quote) have actually done the analysis based on actual birth rates (Muslim women in Europe have on average 2.2 children at present), immigration rates and conversion rates, and they conclude that by 2050 the UK population is likely to be 11.3% Muslim. See The Future of World Religions: Population Growth Projections, 2010-2050, Pew Research.

Then, and somewhat bizarrely, nobody really seems to consider the documented likelihood that any Muslims at all are becoming integrated into the UK.

The ICM poll – the most comprehensive ever conducted – shows that of British Muslims, 49% of those born in the UK (compared with 32% of those born outside the UK) either ‘never’ attend mosque or do so ‘only on special occasions’. And that figure by any measure, is rising over time: it’s just 18% for those aged 65+ and 46% for those aged 18-24 for example.

Do we really, honestly, think that they’re plotting a Muslim takeover of Britain if they don’t even turn up to their local mosque? Seriously? Because EVEN IF – and it’s already a statistical nonsense – the UK became ‘majority Muslim’ do we really think the rising percentage of ‘in name only’ Muslims would support the introduction of Sharia?

Well we can check that against the polling data too. Instead of asking what Muslims in other countries think (which is where the higher figures such as the claimed 75% come from), we’d be well advised to ask what Muslims actually in the UK think.

(And before anyone suggests that Muslims ‘lie’ to opinion polls because they’re engaging in ‘taqiyya’ – which unbelievably is actually a serious suggestion in some quarters, a) Many Muslims are admitting in the same poll to various views which are somewhat illiberal – and b) They would hardly lie about not attending mosque if their aim were to promote Islam: they’d pretend they were more devout than they are not less.)

It shows that 6% of 18-24 year old Muslims ‘strongly support’ Sharia law in ‘areas’ of Britain and a further 18% ‘tend to support’ it. At most, that’s 24% rather than 75% – which is a whole lot less alarming. In actual fact, it’s probably a lot less because:

a) The reference is to ‘areas’ rather than across Britain
b) ‘Tend to support’ is lukewarm support, which would be unlikely to be an attitude of someone keen on a democratic takeover to force that point of view across society
c) Polling of Muslims is almost always in ‘high output areas’ which pretty much by definition polls the least integrated into British society, thus skewing the data

That 24% is, in fact, lower than that for older age groups: it’s 30% (note rounding error) for those aged 65+, of which 14% (compared with 6%) ‘strongly support it. This would imply to me that younger Muslims are perhaps less likely to support the introduction of Sharia.

The same poll finds that support is far lower amongst those born in the UK (5% strongly support, 14% tend to support) than those born overseas (8% support, 19% tend to support). It seems likely therefore that these figures will decline further, as each generation goes by.

So even if there were a Muslim majority in the UK by 2100, which is itself incredibly unlikely for the above reasons, there are strong reasons to suppose that only a very small percentage of them would support Sharia law.

PRESS-RELEASEV2

Plans to spend taxpayers’ cash on lavish EU party ‘laughable’

Plans to lavish almost £50,000 on an end-of-year party for EU officials has been described as “laughable” by local MEP Jonathan Arnott.

The proposed eight hour party for up to 1,400 Council of the European Union civil servants will involve 700 bottles of fine wine and a top-class dinner with 26 different dishes to cater for every taste.

Details of the annual ‘do’, planned for between late October and December, emerged after the council published a call for tender to catering companies.

“This is so outrageous as to be laughable,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP.

“This £48,600 bill will be met from the council budget which is funded by Britain and the other member states

“They should be endeavouring to make savings not spending taxpayers money like Monopoly notes.”

Mr Arnott, a member of EP’s Budgetary Control Committee, continued, “People in this country think that our Westminster politicians and civil servants are out of touch. The situation in the EU is a million times worse and here again is another example of utter profligacy which highlights why Brexit is undoubtedly the correct route for Britain.”

PRESS-RELEASEV2

Students need assistance not millstones

Maintenance grants for the poorest students should be re-introduced and tuition fees removed for British students taking approved degrees, said local MEP Jonathan Arnott today.

The ideas of the UKIP Euro-MP about education coincide with newly released esearch showing that three out of four university graduates are never likely to pay off their student loans.

The Institute for Fiscal Studies says that ‘the combination of high fees and large maintenance loans contributes to English graduates having the highest student debts in the developed world’.

It estimates that 77.4% of students will have some debt written off after 30 years.

Mr Arnott, a former maths teacher, said, “That is clearly a very worrying situation and one that frankly cannot be allowed to continue. Part of this problem arises from the ridiculous obsession with achieving a 50% target for school leavers going to university.

“This should be replaced with a target driven by the needs of industry – saving £0.5 billion per year by the end of the Parliament.

“Subject to academic performance we would phase in over two years the removal of tuition fees for British students taking approved degrees in Science, Medicine, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics on the condition that they live, work and pay tax in the UK for five years after the completion of their degrees.

“We will also restore maintenance grants to the poorest students and in general, vocational learning will take place on the job and not through the university system.

“Students from EU and non-EU countries will be treated equally and pay the same fees, raising £0.7 billion per year. Student loans will be available only to British students, to reflect the difficulties involved in recovering the debt from those who intend to live abroad,” said Mr Arnott.

He also pointed out that calls by Education Secretary Justine Greening for firms to back government moves for technical education mirrors his suggestion for vocational and technical schools.

“Vocational education must never be seen as a second-class option. This would have a strong industry link and we would introduce an option for students to take an Apprenticeship Qualification instead of four non-core GCSEs which can be continued in post-16 education. Students will be able to take up apprenticeships in jobs with certified professionals qualified to grade the progress of the student,” he explained.

BBBTWITTER

Britain Beyond Brexit

Today I’m launching my new booklet ‘Britain Beyond Brexit’. I believe that we need to be bold, radical and innovative when we talk about what this country can do post-Brexit. I’ve never steered clear of controversy when it’s needed – but we need to be controversial in the right way.

If you distil politics down to its very core, to what we all got involved with politics for in the first place, it’s not about infighting or backstabbing. It’s not even about power or elected office, but if you don’t seek those things it becomes hard to change anything. It is, in its purest form, about making people’s lives better.

This is not a UKIP publication. Indeed, it doesn’t mention UKIP at any point within it. I don’t want to cause anyone any embarrassment by doing so. It’s just my vision of the direction we should be going, and a contribution to the conversation about the future of the Party.

At the General Election, I watched various groups of people completely abandon the Party because they didn’t really think that we were speaking to them. Are we talking enough to the commuter, the pensioner, the young person, the parent of a primary school child, to Theresa May’s ‘Just About Managing’, to the victim of crime, the unemployed, the animal lover, the small business, the person concerned about poverty across the world, those worried about the national debt saddling the next generation, the family looking to save for their child’s university education, the one who cares for our environment (even if they reject the obsession with CO2)? I want us to be talking to these people, even where they’re not already typical UKIP voters. If we’re not selling anything that they want to buy, is there any wonder they don’t vote for us?

What I’ve written here contains plenty of controversial, novel and different ideas alongside traditional UKIP policy.

I would love to start turning defence into attack. For far too long we’ve allowed others to have a go at us.

Take EU regional development funding for example. We’ve always been pushed into saying that we’d continue to fund similar projects in the UK, because we’re on the defensive trying to prove that nobody will lose out when we leave the EU. Fair enough, but when we say things like that we’re not totally believed. The referendum has been won; now is the time to put that to better use. One hugely controversial idea: Scrap every penny of EU funding going to our deprived areas, and give a targeted VAT cut in those areas instead (Terms & Conditions apply to ensure feasibility: see booklet for details).

Goods will then be cheaper in those areas, businesses will flock to invest, jobs will be created. Forget letting the government make a mess of trying to help: let’s let business do it for us, and far more effectively. You’d never hear the Corbyns of this world saying so, but sometimes the State isn’t actually very good: the areas that are deprived today were deprived 40 years ago. Time, perhaps, for something radical and innovative instead?

I’ve always fundamentally believed that the government should be less involved in citizens’ daily lives. It doesn’t make me a card-carrying Libertarian, not by any stretch of the imagination. I’m more pragmatist than philosophical: on every issue I ask two questions: “Does the government need to do this?” and “What will work to make the most difference to people’s lives?”

You won’t like 100% of this, I’m sure. But at the very least it’s saying something. And if we say nothing, the Party will drift either to bland mediocrity or to the far right. Neither appeals to me at all; neither would be the imaginative UKIP I joined and for so long was proud to represent.

 

 

PRESS-RELEASEV2

Calls for police investigation following tribunal ruling

In the wake of former Middlesbrough council employee Karen Whitmore winning her claim for unfair dismissal, local MEP Jonathan Arnott has expressed hopes that police will now investigate her allegations.

After she made claims during an employment tribunal of serious criminal activity involving council officers and councillors Mr Arnott wrote to Cleveland Police asking whether they were investigating her allegations.

“I received a reply three weeks ago confirming that they were ‘aware of the circumstances and as with any incident, if criminality is identified, then we will conduct a full investigation’.

“These are serious allegations made by Mrs Whitmore and it is important for all concerned that the matter is publicly aired as they involve people in public office,” said Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP for the North East.

“I have been concerned that it should not just be kicked into the long grass and I trust that now the tribunal findings have been released the police will look at the matter in depth and conduct a full investigation.”

Mrs Whitmore was a senior employee of Middlesbrough Council and their assistant director of organisation and governance. At the employment tribunal allegations were made of a cover-up over the council’s sales of Acklam Hall, the TAD Centre and the Craft Centre on Gilkes Street, which were denied.

The Muslim faith and public opinion: the polling evidence

In this article I don’t propose to look at the Quran, upon which I am no expert although I have read sizeable chunks of it. I merely intend to look at the polling evidence on this subject. Does this evidence support or oppose the claims that ‘Muslims’ pose a threat to the UK?

There are two substantial pieces of work on this subject which I’ll consider in this article: an ICM poll for Channel 4 published in April 2016, and a ComRes poll for Radio 4 Today published in February 2015.

There are a few factors to bear in mind before looking at the data:

1. Polling of Muslims is incredibly difficult in the United Kingdom, and therefore potentially biased.

Roughly 5% of the population identify as Muslim. A standard opinion poll sample is about 1,000 people. If a polling company were to contact people at random, therefore, it would have to contact 20,000 people in order to find 1,000 Muslims. In practice, it would be far more because not everybody is happy to take part in opinion polls.

Finding a random sample of 1,000 Muslims is very difficult, and therefore a simple workaround is to only poll in those areas where at least 20% of the population are Muslims. This skews the results of a poll: it’s possible, for example, that those who hold extremist views might prefer to segregate, and therefore be more likely to live in communities where there are more other Muslims. Nevertheless, the polling challenges are what they are. In the case of ComRes, the sample also included some people who had previously identified as Muslim in previous surveys and were happy to be re-interviewed.

2. Without a control group, it’s harder to draw conclusions

If a survey were to find that “15% of British Muslims believe” then it would be meaningless unless we’re able to put it into context. Perhaps 20% of the general population might hold those beliefs, or maybe it’s only 2%. For the results to mean anything, it’s important to ask the same questions to a representative sample of the general population. That way it’s possible to make informed comparisons. If the samples find “15% of British Muslims believe X, but only 2% of the whole population believe X” then we’d be able to tell the difference.

The ICM / Channel 4 study had such a control group, and is therefore much more useful for the purpose of understanding what Muslims believe compared with the general population. The phrasing of a question can subtly affect responses.

3. Have the questions been answered honestly by the respondents?

A brief ‘sanity check’ is worthwhile. Given that some of the far-right claim Muslims generally engage in ‘taqiyya’ (a doctrine which enables Muslims whose life is under threat to be dishonest about their true beliefs in order to save their lives) we should take this claim seriously and look for evidence of this either way in the data. Is there any evidence that people are ‘telling an opinion poll company what they want to hear’?

4. A small difference between Muslim opinion and the control group opinion could just be random statistical noise.

Imagine that you toss a coin 1,000 times. You won’t necessarily get exactly 500 heads and 500 tails, even if the coin is completely fair. You might get 508 heads and 492 tails, for example. Broadly speaking you’re likely to be somewhere in the 470-530 region 95% of the time.

If you repeated the coin experiment twenty times, then on average you’d find that one of those twenty times you’d get a result that’s outside these parameters.

What does that mean for polling? Well, if you’ve chosen people at random, you’re likely to be within 3% of the true answer (as long as your sample isn’t biased – see point 1) the vast majority of the time. But if your control sample says “65% of Muslims believe Y” and “67% of the whole population believe Y”, how can we be sure there’s actually a difference? It could be that there’s no difference at all. Small differences may be no difference at all.

So, moving on to the surveys of opinion:

COMRES / RADIO 4 TODAY

This survey was of precisely 1,000 British Muslims.

http://www.comresglobal.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/BBC-Today-Programme_British-Muslims-Poll_FINAL-Tables_Feb2015.pdf

Without an adequate control group, this poll must be treated with a certain pinch of salt. 95% of respondents feel a loyalty to Britain (although when the question is asked the other way around, 6% feel a disloyalty to Britain). Often samples don’t add up to exactly 100% due to rounding off errors. They’ll sum to 99% or 101%. In this case though, it’s two separate questions.

‘Feel loyalty to Britain’ is 95% to 4% (1% don’t know)

‘Feel disloyalty to Britain’ is 6% to 92% (2% don’t know)

Presumably a small number of people are conflicted, and feel both a loyalty and a disloyalty to Britain at the same time.

Is this statistic worrying? To take the ‘worse’ of the two, 6% of British Muslims feel disloyal to the country in which they live. Again, the true figure is likely to be lower due to the way the sample was obtained. But how many non-Muslims feel the same way? If we don’t know, the statistic is meaningless.

Likewise, 20% said that ‘Western liberal society can never be compatible with Islam’ and 72% disagreed. It’s a poor question: it’s possible to object to ‘liberal’ but not to ‘Western’. Some Christians might answer an equivalent question in the same way: those who are anti-abortion, anti-gay marriage, anti-pornography, etc., might say that the society is not compatible with their version of Christianity.

93% agreed that ‘Muslims in Britain should always obey British laws’ (6% disagreed).

In this article I’m going to skip over some of the irrelevant questions to this piece. How accepted Muslims feel they are in British society, or how relevant they see the Muslim Council of Britain, are of interest – but they’re not specifically relevant to this article, which is already far too long.

78% of Muslims consider publishing pictures of the prophet Mohammed to be personally offensive; this is specifically banned under Islam. The statistic is unconcerning (for example, if churchgoing Christians were asked how they feel about depictions of Jesus which contradict the Bible, they would express offence too – see for example the outrage over Jerry Springer: The Opera) in and of itself. 68% believe, however, that acts of violence against those who publish such pictures can never be justified.

The concerning figure is that 11% said that ‘organisations which publish images of the Prophet Mohammed deserve to be attacked’, and that 27% have ‘some sympathy behind the motives’ for the attacks on Charlie Hebdo.

There is a huge difference, of course, between saying that someone ‘deserves’ something to happen and actually doing it.

In a different context, roughly half of the British people support the death penalty. Some of those who oppose the death penalty might believe that murderers deserve the death penalty, yet still oppose it for other reasons (like the risk of wrongful convictions).

The phrase ‘Those who murder innocent children deserve to die’ would likely elicit a very high level of agreement in an opinion poll, but the number who would actually be prepared to kill them would be far lower.

Here’s where the opinion becomes less clear: many Muslims would consider that such actions ought to be criminal. They would believe a legal consequence to such actions is deserved, but that is very different from taking the law into your own hands.

With regard to integration, just 13% say they ‘prefer’ to socialise with Muslims rather than non-Muslims.

82% considered themselves to be ‘practising’ Muslims (the usual caveat here: the true figure could be lower due to the way that the data was collected).

Just 8% said that they ‘know people’ who feel ‘strongly sympathetic’ towards those fighting for ISIS or Al-Qaeda.

94% said that if they knew someone in the Muslim community were planning an act of violence, they would report them to the police. Indeed, many terror plots have been foiled for precisely this reason.

The most worrying statement is this: ‘Muslim clerics who preach that violence against the West can be justified are out of touch with mainstream Muslim opinion’ was only shared by 49% (and opposed by 45%).

The phrase ‘mainstream Muslim opinion’ is a difficult one to assess. Does it mean ‘in the UK’? If it is taken in that way, it’s more concerning. Does it include both Sunni and Shia? Does it consider Salafism, for example, to be ‘mainstream Muslim opinion’? A Deobandi Sunni Muslim might well answer in the affirmative to that question if they considered Salafist philosophy to be within the mainstream, yet they (and everyone they know) oppose it.

Nevertheless, on that particular question I do have a concern over the result.

CHANNEL 4 / ICM

The sample size for the Muslim poll was 1081, and the control group was 1008.

https://www.icmunlimited.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/Mulims-full-suite-data-plus-topline.pdf

This is a substantial piece of work. It is a 615-page document, which I have read in full, but for length I’ll be selective.

1. It shows that 86% of British Muslims identify as British. Higher than the 83% for the population as a whole (this is where we see the value of having the control group).  This is also higher than their identification with their own country of birth (79% – which may be the UK in some cases anyway) or with their parents’ country of birth (73%).

The way this question was asked is likely to elicit a lower response than the ComRes ‘loyalty to Britain’ question, because it provided other options such as ‘loyalty to your local area’ and ‘loyalty to your parents’ country of birth’. It was possible to select more than one answer, but easier to choose the other options than to admit ‘disloyalty’ to a country.

Nevertheless, Muslims in Britain saw themselves as more British than the control group. However, the difference is only 3%. Therefore, statistically, there is insufficient evidence to draw an inference that there is any difference between the two – it could be mere random variation.

2. It’s worth noting that on various questions, the control group were in fact more outspoken than the Muslim group. The general population were more likely to say that anti-Muslim prejudice has increased (61% in control group, 40% in Muslim group), and less likely to feel that they can impact on decisions affecting their local area (43% in Muslim group compared with 35% in the control group).

3. Attitudes towards homosexuality show a marked difference between the Muslim group and the control group. Indeed, this is the biggest difference in opinion.

28% of the control group considered it acceptable for a ‘homosexual person’ to be a teacher in a school, compared with 75% of the general population.

It appears that there is a softening over time of attitudes within the Muslim community on such issues.

7% of the control group strongly disagreed that homosexuality should be legal, so such views are not unheard-of in the wider population.

However, within the Muslim community the figures were much higher. 47% of those not born in Britain strongly disagreed that homosexuality should be legal. 27% of those born in Britain shared that view.

So, we see a very clear decline and move towards integration with those born in this country.

4. The ‘integration’ question: just 1% said they wanted to be subject to Sharia Law and government. 49% wanted to integrate in all aspects of life, 29% wanted to integrate on ‘most things’ whilst retaining a separate identity and 17% wanted to only partially integrate.

There is, however, greater support (23%) for Sharia law in ‘some areas’. This declines amongst those born in Britain compared with those not born in Britain (19% to 27%).

5. 7% of British Muslims support the establishment of ‘a caliphate’. As it’s possible to support the principle yet oppose ISIS, and regardless there’s no suggestion of seeking to create a caliphate HERE, it would seem that the numbers who hold to that particular worldview are likely to be an order of magnitude lower than 7% of British Muslims. It is worth noting that 2% of the control group also held to this view.

6. 11% of the general population, but only 6% of Muslims, ‘sympathised’ with the organisation of radical groups.

Again here, ‘radical groups’ are undefined. There exists a level of concern over this response, but it is a low level of concern.

It’s worth noting that on a more defined question – whether committing minor crime as part of a protest is acceptable – both the Muslim group and the control group showed exactly 18% agreeing that it is.

1% of British Muslims (compared with less than 1% of the whole population) said that they ‘completely sympathise’ with making threats of terrorist actions as part of political protest, and a further 5% ‘sympathise to some extent’ (compared with 2% of the whole population).

7. 4% of British Muslims said that they would ‘sympathise’ with terrorist actions (compared with 1% of the population as a whole). Less than 1% said they would ‘completely sympathise’ (identical to the control group).

Any figure greater than zero is by definition troubling. However, it is important to put this into some kind of context. During the Troubles in Northern Ireland, 26% would ‘sympathise’ with Republican terrorism and 27% with loyalist terrorism. That’s of the whole population rather than of just a small subset of the population, too.

8. Throughout the poll, the figures for those born in Britain are generally more integrated than those not born in Britain. This suggests that as each generation goes by, integration is likely to increase rather than decrease.

9. Muslims are less likely (44% to 60%) than the control group to support violence to protect their family, but more likely (24% to 7%) to support violence organised by groups to protect their own religion. However, it is worth noting that 83% of the Muslim group are practising Muslims whereas a much smaller percentage of the control group are regular worshippers, and that control group by definition includes those who are non-religious.

Muslims are also slightly more likely (22% to 17%) to support violence against the police to fight injustice, and against governments 920% to 16%) to fight injustice.

10. Muslims generally (64% to 17%) support the right of Muslim girls to wear a niqab to school; the control group (37% to 47%) generally oppose.

11. 31% of Muslims (9% of the control group) believe it is acceptable for a Muslim man in the UK to have more than one wife.

12. Likewise, 39% of Muslims (5% of the control group) believe that wives should obey their husbands. Once again, there is a generational difference: the figure for those Muslims aged 65+, for example, is 56%.

13. Muslims generally feel more positively about Catholics and Protestants (69.7 to 64.8 and 69.7 to 68.2) – results are for a mean score out of 100 – than the control group. The ‘thermometer’ methodology makes it harder to assess which differences are statistically significant and which are not.

14. They feel less warmly towards those who are not religious (60.7 to 69.1) than the control group.

15. They feel less warmly towards the Jewish community (57.1 to 63.7) than the control group.

16. Muslims are less likely (26% compared with 46% in the control group) to consider that anti-Semitism is a problem in the UK.

17. Muslims are more likely (35% compared with 9% in the control group) to consider that Jews have too much power in the UK, (31% to 7%) that Jews have too much power over the government, and (39% to 10%) that Jews have too much power over the media.

These differences are also reflected in a string of other questions.

18. 2% of the Muslim group (less than 1% of the control group) ‘completely sympathise’ with stoning those who commit adultery. A further 3% ‘sympathise to some extent’ (2% in the control group).

19. Overwhelmingly British Muslims think that they’d be treated the same as everyone else in the UK (doctors: 91% say that, 3% think they’re treated better and 3% that they’re treated worse. Schools: 88% say that, 3% think they’re treated better and 3% that they’re treated worse, etc.) – a good sign for future integration. Even with legal system and police, the figures are still overwhelming though slightly lower as would also reflect the general population.

CONCLUSIONS

a) There is no concern that polls are not being answered accurately. I mention this only for the sake of completeness as it should be self-evident, but if there were any attempt to mislead or subvert, the clear dividing lines on homosexuality (amongst others) would not be there.

b) The samples may be unrepresentative of all Muslims, but if it they are skewed, it’s more likely to be in the direction of finding Muslims in the UK to be less integrated than they are.

c) The Muslim community in the UK is gradually becoming more integrated over time.

d) Those who support terrorist actions are a tiny minority of all Muslims.

e) The Muslim community seems to contain proportionally far more people who oppose homosexuality and subscribe to views which are anti-Semitic than the general population.

f) The overwhelming majority of British Muslims consider themselves to be British, and would report anyone they knew to be planning a terrorist attack.

g) It is often pointed out that even a small percentage of the Muslim community still equates to a large number of people. Such calculations still lead to overestimates (in addition to the sampling issues mentioned, there is a huge difference between sympathising with motives and actually seeking to carry out a terrorist attack).

h) The need to work with the Muslim community as a whole is clearly indicated, and cannot be done with an ‘us versus them’ mindset.

i) Suggestions from those who hold to anti-Islam beliefs that we as a nation are ‘at war’ with Islam, or that our way of life is under significant threat, are simply nonsense.

Resignation as UKIP General Secretary and Constitutional Affairs spokesman

I have been a member of UKIP since 2001. I have never been a member of any other political party, and there is no other major Party in the UK which even comes close to representing my views. I have remained with UKIP through the good times and the bad, when the Party was polling less than 1% in 2007.

What I say today I do not say lightly. Out of loyalty to Paul Nuttall, who is a personal friend who has done an incredibly tough job in the most difficult of circumstances, and out of loyalty to the many hard-working UKIP candidates up and down the country, I remained silent during a General Election campaign with which I profoundly disagreed. I can no longer remain silent now. Paul has been badly let down by many people, including some of his most senior advisers.

I am saddened by his resignation but understand and respect his reasons for it. I would like to take this opportunity to thank him for his service to the Party and wish him the very best in his future, whatever that might hold for him.

I fundamentally believe in what UKIP should be. A radical Party of low taxation, of direct democracy, of putting victims before criminals, of standing up and speaking up for the people who have been forgotten, abandoned, betrayed by the establishment. But this Party has lost its way in recent times. I did not stand at this General Election. There were many factors in that decision, but in the end there was one fundamental inescapable conclusion. I simply could not in all conscience support and propagate the policies that were being articulated.

The UKIP Manifesto was shown to the NEC at the very last minute, who had barely an hour to consider it and were therefore bounced into voting to approve a document that simply wasn’t good enough. They were presented with a bland fait accompli. This was not the fault of Paul Nuttall, the Party Leader, who was forced into the ITV election debate without ever having seen it. And often the policy spokesmen’s views were ignored. The UKIP Manifesto failed to be radical on economic issues. It watered down No Tax on Minimum Wage, it failed to truly show the advantages of Brexit and what we can achieve. We could have talked about replacing VAT with a fairer system. We have failed to be innovative and talk properly tough on crime. We have offered very, very little to hard-working families. We have said nothing of any substance for parents of primary school children, when education is the number one issue for them. We’ve watered down UKIP’s flagship Direct Democracy policy allowing the public to call referendums on key issues. If UKIP is not the radical, reasonable, reasoned alternative to the establishment then it is nothing. Huge pressure was put on Paul Nuttall to move the Party in a different direction.

The Party has taken a hardline position on terrorism. Do not mistake my words: the UK should be tough, incredibly tough, on terrorists. But as a Party we have fundamentally failed to make the distinction between the vast majority of peace-loving Muslims, honest and good people, including those I am proud to call my friends, and the unutterable evil of the perversions of ISIS. Tough and robust policies to tackle extremism are absolutely right. The victimisation or demonisation of Muslims and Islam is not.

I do not personally support a complete burkha ban (it’s different in situations where there’s a security risk, just like I don’t like football hooligans wearing balaclavas outside a stadium to avoid being filmed by police). The policy of genital inspections of schoolgirls was crass and ill-conceived at best. FGM is an issue which is fundamentally about child sexual abuse, but UKIP’s clumsy blundering approach detracted from an important issue of child protection. Despite FGM being a cultural practice, UKIP allowed it to be seen and misrepresented as relating to Muslims specifically. Instead of talking about vital issues, of keeping our children safe, UKIP found itself defending accusations of bigotry. When I was General Secretary before, the Party was ruthless in kicking out those who expressed vile racist views. Whatever the media said, we did not tolerate it and those people rightly were shown the exit door. The role of General Secretary does not come with executive power, and I have been powerless to do anything about the most extreme of comments.

I don’t agree with hardline anti-Islam messages. Yet in the wake of the London and Manchester attacks, it was a ‘perfect storm’ for those who espoused such views. If it was ever going to win votes at the ballot box, it was on Thursday. It failed. It did not work and it can not work. I’ve expressed my views in private to the Party leadership and others over many months, to no avail. I must now say something in public. I will try to avoid naming individuals, but promote positive alternatives and policies for the Party.

The people pushing such an agenda need to reflect on the Party’s future. They need to stop making it difficult – impossible, even – for many people to vote UKIP. They need to understand that Theresa May has imperilled Brexit and that their actions are utterly corrosive not just to the Party’s cause but also to the cause of regaining our freedom from the European Union.
UKIP is now in a last-chance saloon, but it is needed more than ever. This election result is the last wake-up call that they will ever get.

It would be improper for the General Secretary of the Party to be as blunt as I need to be, or even to say what I have said in this statement. My position is therefore untenable and I must therefore resign as General Secretary and Constitutional Affairs spokesman. I have agreed with the Party that this will not take effect until after the emergency NEC meeting on Monday.

PRESS-RELEASEV2

The EU’s House of European History is a wildly extravagant vanity project

The EU’s House of European History, which is to open its doors on Saturday (May 6) has been criticised by MEP Jonathan Arnott.

“This wildly extravagant vanity project – which has cost at least £44 million of taxpayers’ cash after costs spiralled out of control – is devoted to explaining the history of European integration.

“In one way, I suppose the House of European History is a great metaphor for the EU itself: the public never asked for it, it’s cost far more than we were originally told, the money is being spent on self-serving propaganda, and British citizens are expected to pay for it even though it’s based in Brussels and does nothing for the UK,”  said Mr Arnott, UKIP Euro-MP for the North East.

The museum in Brussels’ Leopold Park will take visitors along a timeline of major historical events across the continent starting in the 19th century, through to the two world wars (which Brussels has previously misleadingly described as ‘European civil wars’) and a discussion of their relationship to the founding of the EU.

“The exhibition ends with a discussion of the EU’s future – well the writing is on the wall for it. It has no long term future as it has always been a flawed project which is institutionally incapable of reform.” said Mr Arnott.