I enjoyed attending the UKIP conference in Skegness yesterday, much as I enjoy watching BBCTV's Question Time, with the important difference that at the UKIP conference you could actually discuss the issues with the speakers both at sessions and in the intervals between sessions.
Coincidentally, today is the anniversary in 1797, of a peaceful transfer of power, for the first time in the US modern times, from George Washington the first president of the United States to John Adams. George Washington was overheard to say to his successor:
'Ay! I am fairly out and you are fairly in! See which of us will be the happiest!'"
There were convincing arguments made at the Skegness UKIP conference for: Britain being better off out of the European Union(by former Treasury advisor Professor Tim Congdon, supported by IMF data) ; lower taxes; business, particularly small business and sole traders; grammar schools; law and order; a points system for immigration such as that used in Canada, Australia and the USA; retention of the United Kingdom and 'common sense'. All of these are perfectly tenable points of view, possibly mainstream in the public if not at Westminster or Holyrood. Nigel Farage devoted most of his address to the conference to an impressive plea for UK government intervention in the case of a businessman extradited to prison in America without the US authorities submitting any evidence to a British court - a clear violation of habeus corpus.
I left Skegness glad to have witnessed, and taken part in a corner of, the UK democratic process on a weekend when Russians are going to polls in an election that many voters seem justified in fearing will be fixed.