David Coburn claims in an interview with the Big Issue that he was against the EU from 1st January 1973 onward, for a rather odd reason:
“I was politicised young, while I was a pupil at Glasgow High School. I collected old coins, bought and sold silver shillings to dealers, I was busy and happy. Then we joined the European Union, decimalisation was introduced, and overnight my coin business was destroyed. That set me not only against the government, but also the EU.”
David Coburn was born in 1958. If his birthday is between March and August, he would probably have started primary school in August 1963, and gone on to high school (secondary school) in August 1970, when he was 12. (If his birthday is between September and February, he would probably have started at high school in August 1969.)
But the day that the UK and Ireland decimalised our currencies was 15th February 1971, when David Coburn could not have been older than 13. The transition period for the pre-decimal currency ended on 31st August 1971.
We’ll overlook David Coburn’s confusion of the EU (established 1993) with the European Economic Community. He’s also confused the year the UK decimalised the currency (announced in 1966, when he was 8: finally completed in 1971, when he was 13) when the year the UK joined the EEC (1973, when he was 15).
Instead let’s consider his claims to have been running an antique coin business when a schoolboy.
In less than four months, we’ll go to the polls to vote Yes or No to the question:
“Should Scotland be an independent country?”
And today, the campaign period for the referendum officially begins.
But as I pointed out a few weeks ago (and Simon Jenkins pointed out yesterday) the SNP are not offering independence: they want major decisions for Scotland’s governance to be made at Westminster/in London. (It’s all in the White Paper: haven’t you read it?)
This morning, the newly-elected Londoner who’s the Scottish UKIP MEP, announced that he was kicking off what he calls the UKIP Scotland Naw campaign with a big idea.
He intends to demand that all Scottish Armed Forces members serving outside Scotland must get a postal vote.
Have you heard of form UC1?
You’re not alone if you haven’t – the Electoral Commission makes no mention of it on its About My Vote website except as an “additional form”. UC1 is a form that EU citizens from outside the UK / the Republic of Ireland, have to fill in if they want to be able to vote in EU elections in the UK. It’s brand new – it seems to have been decided that this additional bureaucratic stumbling block was necessary sometime last year.
EU citizens who register to vote in the UK can’t vote in parliamentary elections, but they can vote for local councils and in EU elections if they’ve opted to vote in the UK rather than in their home country. It’s unlawful to register in two locations and vote twice, but it’s unlawful for anyone to do that, and UK citizens don’t have to fill in a separate form saying “I haven’t registered twice and I won’t vote twice” in order to be allowed to vote.
Tomorrow I’ll be ticking the box for the Scottish Green party, and hoping they get a large enough share of the vote that Scotland finally gets our own Green MEP.
Why I plan to vote Green:
Well, I read their manifesto. They’re the only party I agree with on Scottish independence. They’re the only party taking an economically sound view on austerity. I can’t find anything I disagree with or think unsound or hypocritical in their manifesto: the Scottish Greens have proved themselves to be a party that will aim to do what they have committed to do.
I’ve met Maggie Chapman – at a hustings in Edinburgh last week, at a demo she spoke at. She seems a solid and sensible person, a good speaker, she researches well: she’s certainly working hard to be elected, I think she would work hard and responsibly if elected to the European Parliament. If not, well, we get to keep her as a councillor in Leith – at least until she becomes an MSP.
Edinburgh is a lovely place to live. (Second on the quality-of-living index for the whole of the UK.) Edinburgh is one of a few cities around the world that are genuinely beautiful.
David Coburn is the list-topper candidate for UKIP in Scotland in the EuroElections on Thursday – Nigel Farage feels “bullish” that Coburn will become one of UKIP’s MEPs after the elections on 22nd May. And, Coburn says, he lives in Edinburgh.
David Coburn was born in Glasgow, and moved to London over twenty years ago: he was working in Kensington in 1993, where he ran the Lexicon School of English, which was dissolved in 1993 by the Companies Registrar after failing to file accounts.
He’s lived in Kensington, W11 at least since 14th August 2006 (from Companies House – he’s been the director of several companies) and he was still living there on 24th April 2014, the deadline for UKIP submitting their note of candidates to the Electoral Commission.
On 22nd May, Scotland goes to the polls: the results could change politics in Scotland forever.
Scotland has six MEPs. Two SNP, two Labour, a Tory and a LibDem. UKIP are hopeful – Farage is even having a rally in Edinburgh on Friday 9th May – that the drop in support for the Tories could give UKIP an elected seat in Scotland for the first time.
Brian Monteith writes in ConHome, of a worrying poll that puts UKIP support at 19%:
What it reminds us is that the Scottish electorate is just like the British electorate – despite wild claims to the contrary by the Scottish nationalists.
For the reality must surely be that UKIP is doing well despite any significant presence on the ground, it is pitching to the public through Nigel Farage and a nationwide campaign and it is having a very similar effect in Scotland to that seen in England.
The same poll that gives UKIP 18 per cent also gives Labour 25 per cent and the SNP 29 per cent – and it would be safe to assume that were the SNP not a factor then UKIP could take a significant slice of the SNP vote share, possibly in the region of a further 10 percent – giving it a very respectable 28 per cent. It should be remembered that a recent poll put Scottish support for leaving the EU at 37 per cent – higher than many polls put support for Scotland leaving the UK, and higher than the YouGov poll put support for the SNP itself.
The six who were elected in 2009 with a turnout of 28.5% are:
The ECR group was formed by David Cameron in 2009 of right-wing Euro-sceptic MEPs: the UK Conservative MEPs are the largest single bloc, and the second-largest are the Polish Law and Justice party.
The Scottish Greens got 7.3% and did not get a seat.