I'm writing this article on May 25th, one year to the day from the announcement of the election result, when I was elected as UKIP's first ever North East Member of the European Parliament. Given the criticism from many people about UKIP's work in the European Parliament, I thought I'd write about what I actually do.
When we see terrible acts of violence on the news attached to 'Islamist' groups, we have to consider how it is that normal people can get sucked into groups whose raison d'être is violence. Therefore it is relevant to look at the growth of Islamic extremist groups when we talk about Islamic extremism, rather than looking at the origins of particular ideologies.
In my view, the EU would be a better place, if the plethora of its policies were not defined as an outcome of the everlasting conflicts between a humanitarian but unrealistic France and a productive but austere Germany, but if they were rather set by a pragmatist Britain. This outcome might as well be the best choice possible for Europe's -and Britain's- future.
It's simple: "The only way of living in a free society is to feel that you have the right to say and do stuff." Said Salman Rushdie. Go figure. Let truth and falsehood grapple. How do we know what is right if we don't know wrong and the case that is made for wrong. Ideas may be distasteful and deeply disagreeable, but we cannot airbrush and disappear that and those people that we disagree with.
As a church we can't teach how bad sin is, to love your neighbour as yourself, to live in Jesus' example; then attach 10 asterisks at the bottom of the page with our 'terms and conditions'. I'm sick of feeling part of a faith that, in part, will charitably give with one hand and damage with the other. Its literal hypocrisy, and its nothing like the religion that I believe in...
It is not an issue of women who go out wearing negligées, it is an issue of misogyny and men who have no idea how to treat women... If you want to dress up as a sexy nurse, or a sexy doughnut, or a sexy caterpillar, or just a regular unsexy caterpillar, I don't see a problem. Go forth and enjoy your night.
Are we asking for radical change to the constitution of the UK? No - we're asking for a truer democracy, one where everyone gets and feels involved in the creation of their community. By returning the power to change things to those that need it most, this could well be seen as a great change so the question becomes 'Are we asking for radical change?' Yes - we're asking for a truer democracy.