UKIP’s policy on devolution was written by David Campbell-Bannerman after consulting with me.
UKIP’s then Leader, Roger Knapman (whom Nigel Farage has since expelled), said to me that he could see that the English Democrats had got an issue which had traction (the devolutionary unfairness to England). He said that he thought either, as he put it, he could “do something about the issue” or “do something about us” and he said that he was going to try and do something about the issue first!
The outcome was that David Campbell-Bannerman was deputised to write UKIP’s manifesto on devolution. David's instructions were to tinker as little as possible with the UK structure, whilst giving a nod in the direction of devolution to the Nations of the UK. His solution is their current policy, which is that each country will only elect MPs to Westminster, but on certain days of the month those Westminster MPs will go into separate huddles and be the “Parliaments” of England, Scotland and Wales respectively. Obviously this policy has a particular difficulty in Northern Ireland, but is also completely unacceptable to most politically minded Scots.
In Wales, however, I think support for the Welsh Assembly and for separate Welsh representation is rather less well developed than in Scotland. It is in this context that it is interesting to see the BBC article below and if you click the link you can also hear the radio interview with the Leader of UKIP Wales indicating that he is not happy with their current policy and wants to go back to their previous policy - which was to abolish the Welsh Assembly!
Personally I would not regard this as practical politics but it is certainly interesting to see that a leading figure in UKIP in Wales is willing to contemplate a UKIP split after the next EU election.
It also tells you a lot about the direction of travel in UKIP on the “nationality question”.
At one time we were told that UKIP might adopt a full blown and proper English Parliament as a policy, rather than their current half-hearted “Grand” Committees. This article clearly puts paid to that story - which always seemed a little unlikely given the significant numbers of Unionist Scots in prominent positions and/or as funders of UKIP!
Here is the full text of the BBC story and if you follow the link below to the BBC web page you will be able to hear the recording of the radio interview with Mr Bufton.
UKIP MEP John Bufton's Welsh anti-devolution party ideaWales' UKIP MEP has floated the idea of an anti-devolution party after disagreeing with his leader Nigel Farage over the Welsh assembly.
John Bufton, who is standing down as an MEP next year, said Mr Farage was "relaxed" about devolution but he was "totally opposed" to it.
Mr Bufton said many in Wales objected to the assembly and perhaps there should be a party to represent them.
He told BBC Radio Wales the UK needed fewer politicians, not more of them.
Mr Bufton, a former Powys county councillor, pledged his loyalty to UKIP until he stepped down as an MEP but refused to say whether he would support the party in the long term.
“There are a lot of people out there in Wales who are still very much opposed to the Welsh assembly and there needs to be, perhaps, a party to represent them” John Bufton MEP UKIP, Wales Speaking on Sunday Supplement on BBC Radio Wales, he said UKIP's current policy was to abolish assembly members and allow MPs to come "back to Wales then one week a month to do the work of the assembly".
"I'm one of the old guard I've always been opposed to the assembly and still am," Mr Bufton said.
"What Nigel Farage, our leader, has come out and said in an interview in the last few days is that he's relaxed about devolution, policing and new fiscal powers. Well, I'm totally opposed to that.
"I personally believe that we don't need to be doing this. We need to be different from the other parties. We're basically going to be the same as those so there'll be no difference at all."
'It's madness' He added: "There are a lot of people out there in Wales who are still very much opposed to the Welsh assembly and there needs to be, perhaps, a party to represent them.
"It's up to the members and the leadership to decide which way we go with this, but if they take Nigel's lead on this then there will be a vacuum, there will be a vacancy and my view is if we have this vacancy there is room for another party.
"It's still very early to say which way things are happening in Wales and what I decide to do, but people who know me well have known that I've campaigned against the assembly from day one and I believe we still have to have an opposition.
"It's madness to turn around and throw the towel in and say: 'Yes, let them get on with it.'"
Mr Bufton fears the Welsh assembly will ultimately lead to Wales' independence and the break-up of the UK.
He is also opposed to an English parliament.
"We've had a debate in the party for some time regarding an English parliament, again this is Plaid Cymru's policy, and I am again opposed to that," he said.
"I believe the taxpayer is paying far too much money for politicians. We need a lot less and not a lot more and if we have and English parliament as well that's another tier of politicians."
Mr Bufton said he intended to complete his term as a UKIP MEP, adding that "what happens in the future is another matter".
Mr Farage said in the interview with Wales Online: "I am relaxed about devolution. I am relaxed about a federal future for the UK."
Click here for the link >>> http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-23217046