Welcome to Think Tank: Europe, Economics & UKIP – Annabelle (Sixth Form)

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With the room flooded with green and blue blazers, the first of the yearly meetings of Cheadle Hulme School’s Politics Society, Think Tank did not disappoint. In the wake of past talks from visitors such as Old Waconian (former pupil) Nick Robinson, John Whittaker, the ex-UKIP party member, did not fail to impress.

With the rise in UKIP’s negative media coverage, most recently the Godfrey Bloom outburst, the Think Tank audience expected an amusing session.  At first this was most certainly not the case, as the former UKIP MEP displayed sound reasoning behind his party’s and his own reasons for EU rebellion.

One of John Whittaker’s  main political arguments included, “How can Europe impose the same legislation on fishing restrictions to a set of completely different countries? What is best for Finland may not be best for the UK.”  As a professor of Economics, his knowledge on the detrimental effects of the European Union on the economy were backed up with undeniably clear and thorough research.  Despite this, as the session begun its question and answer section, it became increasingly apparent that his views on how to solve our countries problems closely matched the same narrow principles that UKIP are so well known for over Europe; indeed, many of the questions posed to Mr Whittaker ended in the response “it’s the EU that’s caused it.”

When asked about the recent comments from UKIP’s founder Alan Sked (“UKIP today has lost its way, it is now filled with a bunch of morons and fascists.”) Mr Whittaker was in complete disagreement, arguing that Alan Sked’s ideas were unelectable and that Nigel Farage has transformed the party to such an extent that they are beginning to see UKIP do much better in local elections.

The talk sparked a lively and passionate debate, which continued long after the Friday lunchtime session and set the bar extremely high for the rest of the year.

Annabelle Ranson, Class of 2014