The more things change, the more they stay the same

May’s local elections saw the Conservative Council in Hillingdon returned to office with an increased majority, making a mockery of the Labour campaign centred around the hashtag #MarginalHillingdon.

In 2014, UKIP had stood in all 22 wards in the Borough, falling agonisingly close to picking up seats in Harefield and Yiewsley whilst affecting the outcome in many other marginals and establishing themselves as the third force in the locality. With no candidates standing this time, it reverted to a straight fight between the ‘big two’, with the Greens and LibDems not even making a dent despite aggressive campaigns in some target areas.

In my ‘home’ ward of Charville where I have stood before, the Conservatives took two seats from Labour in an unexpected clean sweep and their new team here have already made an impact in terms of getting things done on a local level – a welcome change from the invisible Labour Councillors during the last term of office. (It helps that all three are Charville residents)

However, whilst individual councillors on both sides of the floor are making an effort it would appear that there is no change at the top in terms of the running of both the ruling and opposition groups with Hillingdon residents the poorer for it.

The start of the year saw a familiar occurrence when an election is in the offing, notably the ‘special ward edition’ print runs of the Hillingdon People council magazine (Or ‘Pravda’ as many of us refer to it). This was also bolstered by banners appearing on lampposts proclaiming what a great job the Council is doing for residents with slogans such as ‘Council Tax frozen for 10 years’, neglecting to mention that in January 2016 the Council tax benefit for the low paid and disabled was cut.

With such propaganda being paid for out of your pockets, I once again submitted a Freedom of Information Request to find out how much had been splurged as my former colleague Jack Duffin had done previously in 2014.

The results are below and quite damning –

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EU Withdrawal Bill receives government assent

The Royal Assent was given to the European Union (Withdrawal) Act earlier this week, meaning that it is confirmed that we are leaving The EU in March next year.

But are we?

The last few weeks have been dominated by manoeuvring, backroom deals and uncertainty.

Theresa May apparently gave ‘assurances’ to remain supporting Tory MP’s that she would give them a ‘soft’ BREXIT, MP’s who have since been critical of the vote that stops them having a say on the final deal.

Some media outlets have been reporting that a compromise has been made where Speaker Bercow can decide whether the Government needs to go back to The House in the event of a deal that doesn’t match what he wants – why so much influence would be vested in this pompous Popinjay, a remain supporter as seen by his vehicle stickers, is beyond me.

Labour are all over the place, an opposition that fears taking a stand either way for fear of upsetting their remain supporting intelligentsia in the South and their leave supporting core base in the North, not to mention their major donor the Unite Union who are solidly behind remain. The ‘principled’ Jeremy Corbyn, an outspoken critic of the EU when a backbencher, has been a passive remainer since before the Referendum in an attempt to put party unity before country.

One day they are saying we must leave the Single Market and Customs Union, the next they are not ruling out a further referendum.

This morning we saw Tory minister Greg Clark on Sky’s Sophy Ridge show state that a ‘transition period’ could extend beyond 2021 if the ‘evidence’ changes – a transition period that is merely a way of delaying BREXIT until the remain element can carry on their new version of project fear and either keep us in the EU by stealth (BRINO) or reverse the referendum result completely.

This whole farce is further evidence that the establishment in this country do not respect the voice of the British people who voted to leave in 2016, but it is hardly surprising. In his book, ‘The Road to Freedom’ which was published before the Referendum was even a possibility, UKIP leader Gerard Batten MEP predicted just such a response from the ruling class if we went down the road of triggering Article 50 after a successful campaign to get ourselves out of the EU.

Whilst we are officially leaving the EU, the ‘transition period’ is just what the powers that be want to try and get a second bite of the cherry – after all, the Irish were made to vote again after a referendum went against The Lisbon Treaty and the French and Dutch were ignored after votes against the EU constitution (They just changed the name and whacked it through without a vote).

Any attempt to bring ‘the deal’ back to The House will only weaken our hand in negotiations – after all, if Barnier and the Brussels negotiating team know that offering a bad deal will bring the UK back to the table and delay BREXIT then they have no incentive to offer us anything like what we are looking for.

It’s not over yet

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You can purchase a copy of Gerard Batten’s book ‘The Road to Freedom’ here for a full overview

Survey of British attitudes to migration at odds with the political bubble

A report has indicated that most Britons believe immigration has been a negative, British values are not being protected and life was better when they were growing up than it is now.

But rather than being based on a poll from papers such as The Daily Mail/Daily Express or thinktanks such as MigrationWatch, this report was delivered by Demos, a left leaning organisation headed up by a former aide to Nick Clegg and much favoured by former Prime Minister, Tony Blair.

Amongst the key findings, 71% thought that communities where migrants had settled were more divided (Rising to 78% polled in areas that had experienced recent mass migration), 44% thought immigration had been negative versus 43% who thought it had been beneficial and 55% said that the Government is not doing enough to protect British values.

When asked whether those British values should be given priority over Multiculturalism, 47% said yes versus 36% for no – Tellingly, a whopping 63% said that life was better when they were growing up compared to just 21% who prefer today.

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Data Protection trumps citizen security

Digital Minister Margot James announced a change to government procedure last week regarding the sharing of information between the NHS and The Home Office as part of the debate on The Data Protection Bill. Under a Memorandum of Understanding, this information had been shared since 2005.

Previously, The Home Office had used NHS records to track down illegal immigrants in some cases but will now only use them if the subject has committed a serious crime.

 

MP’s, including Conservative Sarah Wollaston who tabled the amendments, said they were concerned about ‘patient confidentiality’.

So, there you have it – MP’s are more concerned about the privacy of illegal immigrants than they are about their unauthorised use of our overstretched NHS which, according to official figures, already suffers an estimated £2bn burden through ‘Health Tourism’ . This ‘privacy’ will also hinder The Home Office still further in their attempts to deport the unknown number of illegals residing here within the UK.

Furthermore, this whole ‘Data Protection Bill’ debate is a farce – the new GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) legislation is being enforced under EU directive on 25th May and the UK must comply irrespective of what is discussed from the Green Benches.

It would appear that the delays in our leaving the European Union are not only contributing to further red tape that costs UK businesses millions in compliance but also hindering Government attempts to protect our sovereign borders and remove lawbreakers.

It is high time that we rejected this legislation and implemented BREXIT immediately, with or without a deal.

You also have to wonder about the priorities of MP’s such as Ms Wollaston.

This article is syndicated by MBGA News

Local elections in Hillingdon – my view

The people of Hillingdon go to the ballot box in less than two weeks time to vote for their local councillors who will make up the Hillingdon council chamber for the next four years.

Four years ago I was heavily involved as the Chairman of UKIP Hillingdon and a council candidate in the Charville ward in Hayes End – we ended up as the third largest party in the Borough but with no councillors to show for it, in part due to a faulty strategy imposed on us from above to bolster the EU elections that were held on the same day and in part due to a complete mismatch of firepower on the doorstep in terms of activists and cash. Despite this, we came very close to winning in a couple of wards and affected results in others.

Fast forward to 2018 and there are no UKIP candidates standing, leaving around 18% of the total vote up for grabs. (I toyed with standing as an independent but current circumstances would have made that extremely difficult so decided against it.)  The Liberal Democrats are fielding fewer candidates (13) after their disastrous showing last time out, whilst the Greens have surprisingly managed to stand 38 candidates, up from the 22 they stood in 2014.

Labour and the Conservatives are, as usual, standing a full slate of 65 candidates across the 22 wards in the borough, with Labour claiming that they have a good chance of taking control of the council and promoting the idea through the hashtag #MarginalHillingdon.

So,as somebody who is politically homeless at present and with no UKIP candidates to vote for, I can cast my beady eye over the proceedings and with an independent outlook give my predictions for what may happen, cutting through the spin from the respective parties and candidates. Here is my take –

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