Talking about the 99.7%

In light of the recent highlighting of a small number of UKIP misdemeanours in the national media over the last week, the following article went up on The Huffington Post from our North East MEP, Jonathan Arnott, earlier today. It lays out far better than I can what UKIP is really about….

Jonathan Arnott MEPI’m one of the 99.7%.

In the media, we hear a lot about the 0.3% – those candidates for Ukip who’ve said or done stupid things, things which neither Ukip nor anyone else in the country would. They’ve had the oxygen of publicity for far too long. I want to talk about the 99.7%, about what we believe.

We’re the champions of democracy, the people who believe that if your MP is involved in a scandal you should, if you have enough support, be able to force a vote to remove them. We’re the people who put that into practice: when Douglas Carswell MP and Mark Reckless MP joined Ukip, both of them immediately put themselves before the voters in their constituencies and asked them to re-elect them. They did. But before Ukip came along, politicians who defected never bothered to consult the people that matter: you. We’re the people who want the public to be able to force politicians to listen through calling a referendum on key issues, to drag democracy kicking and screaming into the 21st Century.

 

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Standing in next year’s general election

The following post is taken from the website of UKIP Hillingdon and announces my candidacy for the Hayes & Harlington seat at next year’s general election

Introducing your Parliamentary candidate for the 2015 General election

3rd runway consultation CDCliff Dixon is the Chairman of  UKIP Hillingdon branch and the ward representative for Charville

Cliff is a lifelong resident of the borough, born in Hillingdon, and has lived in both Hayes and Uxbridge.

Now in his mid-forties and married with two adult stepchildren, he joined the branch in 2011, being elected chairman the following year.

A communications professional with over 20 years experience, he is a familiar site in Hayes after stints running The Phone Shop in Hayes End Drive and Starline on the Uxbridge Road, as well as occasionally propping up the bar at The Wishing Well in Hayes End and indulging in some ear-splitting karaoke!

 

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Time for a sensible debate on immigration

With the end of transitional controls on Romania and Bulgaria on 1st January and the subsequent unrestricted opening of our borders to their citizens under EU regulations, the subject of mass, uncontrolled immigration has emerged as one of the main topics that people in this country are concerned about.

3 Pinocchios

UKIP has been raising the subject for some time now, with our stance being purely about control of numbers to stop the massive strains being put on inadequate infrastructure in this country. This has led to numerous ‘smears’ from the old establishment political parties, from Cameron’s ‘closet racists’ to Clegg’s ‘unpatriotic isolationists’.

More recently, we have been subject to a casual smear in the Guardian by local Labour MP, John McDonnell.

Why John McDonnell is missing the point

On 20th January in The Guardian’s ‘comment is free’ section, Mr McDonnell accused UKIP of ‘bigotry against migrants’ (See link below)

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jan/20/2015-election-debate-peoples-parliament

For an MP in a working class area to use this kind of terminology is worrying, as it is predominantly the working class who are affected by the huge numbers currently arriving in England.

Social Housing

Homes in HayesWe have over 9000 people on the affordable housing waiting list in Hillingdon, some of whom no doubt he will be trying to assist to gain a place to live. With this in mind, how can loading yet more people in to the area when we are short of housing already be a sensible move? This is not bigotry, it is pure common sense – If your bath was full, you would not leave the taps running!

It also fuels the ‘housing bubble’ , with lack of supply pushing house prices up and having a huge knock on effect in private rental prices. This is further distorted where the council have to get involved to house a certain number of ‘Category A on need’ clients to hit targets and no longer have the stock to do so – Private landlords then charge premium rates knowing they have the upper hand in negotiations, with the council having to use your tax money in the shape of housing benefits to enable those category A clients to pay their rent.

With net migration running at nearly 200,000 per year, (With over 500,000 actually coming to the UK in 2013 according to the Office for National Statistics), we simply don’t have the housing available to be sustainable.

Labour recently put a leaflet through my door stating that they would get at least 200,000 houses built per year – In government between 1997 and 2010, they built an average of 24,299 per year (Source – Department for Communities and Local Government). Even if they do manage to build 200,00 a year, it won’t dent the lists (Presuming the prices are reasonable) – It also begs the question as to where the money will come from?

This situation has also seen the rise of the ‘beds in sheds’ phenomenon, with many immigrants having no alternative but to live in substandard and sometimes dangerous conditions. Most would have been better off in their own countries, but open door migration policies have allowed gangmasters to exploit them with promises of a better life in England. A friend of mine and local resident presented you with a dossier on this in your constituency 18 months ago as reported by The Gazette, yet the situation shows no sign of resolution.

The only sensible step is to stem the flood of people coming in whilst the current shortages are addressed.

Jobs for unskilled and semi-skilled workers

David Cameron 2We have over 20% of our 18-25 year olds out of work, yet we have more unskilled workers coming in to this country to compete with them in the jobs that often give youngsters their first foot up the ladder.

David Cameron’s answer has been to defend this by stating that our youngsters are ‘lacking in aspiration’ and ‘not up to the job’  – That is real bigotry, Mr McDonnell, not a principled objection to more oversupply in the unskilled jobs market.

Indeed, you are the Parliamentary representative for the Rail and Maritime Trade Union (RMT) who recently ran a series of protests about what they refer to as ‘social dumping’ – The undercutting of British workers by cheap overseas labour (Link below)

http://union-news.co.uk/2012/08/rmt-in-dockside-protests-against-social-dumping-exploitation-of-foreign-workers/

It would appear that Comrade Crow agrees with us about the exploitation of foreign workers and the effects on his members – Does that make him a bigot?

Schools

Our branch recently assisted you with the protest about the building of a school on green belt land at Lake Farm Country Park. (Below, with my colleague Ilyas – Did you ask him about bigotry on the day, John?)

Lake Farm protest Nov 13 CD and Ilyas with banner

Whitehall school 1Whilst I am in full agreement that the school should be built on a brownfield site, the underlying reason why there are new schools needed at all is because of the massive surge in immigration and the subsequent rise in birth rate that drives the demand. In 2010, council leader Ray Puddifoot admitted this in the Gazette and said ‘it falls to us’ to provide the new schools.

The Office for National Statistics has released figures in the last week that show 26% of births in the UK are now to foreign born mothers. Moreover, birth rates amongst certain migrant groups are significantly higher than those of British born women from all backgrounds.

In 2011, the average for British born mothers was 1.84 children – The average for those from Afghanistan was 4.25 whilst to Somali born mothers it was 4.19. The Somali figure is particularly relevant in Hillingdon because we have a significant Somali community here, especially in your constituency.

Polish mothers had the highest overall numbers of children born to any ethnic group, with 20,495 being born in 2011 – Again, very relevant in Hillingdon because of the large numbers of Poles living here.

Because of this, it is no surprise that new schools are having to be built at great expense to the taxpayer, when we were closing schools such as Townmead in the nineties because of lack of demand

It is also a concern that many will not have English as a first language, thus disadvantaging them in the classroom and requiring additional support in terms of specialist teachers. This has a knock on effect with all children’s education in these schools and will potentially hold them back when they enter the world of work – Perhaps to be confronted by another wave of unskilled migrant workers, perpetuating the cycle?

 

Time to debate the issues

Uxbridge street stall Oct 2013 with MS MG and Ilyas

There are many other reasons why uncontrolled immigration is harming both our communities and the economy – Destruction of green belt for housing, increased crime through lack of border checks and strain on the NHS to name just a few.

 

Properly controlled, immigration can be beneficial to our country as has been seen in the past, but the last 10-15 years is completely unsustainable based on numbers as I have pointed out in this piece.

 

I would be happy to debate with John McDonnell on this if he so chooses – Indeed, his Guardian piece claims that he would welcome more debate outside of the ‘sterile’ atmosphere of the House of Commons.

 

UKIP will be running a series of free public meetings across Hillingdon in the near future featuring a number of issues affecting our borough – Immigration will be one of the issues discussed no doubt, along with the EU, economy, law and order, HS2 and The Third Runway at Heathrow amongst others.

Rather than asking people to travel to Westminster for a ‘People’s Parliament’, UKIP are made up of ordinary people from all sections of our community who wish to discuss and debate the real issues with real local residents where they live.

Nigel Farage in Beaconsfield Jan 2014

A recent meeting in neighbouring South Bucks saw over 400 people turn out to see party leader Nigel Farage MEP in Beaconsfield (Above), where a show of hands saw less than a quarter of the audience as UKIP members and a lively Q&A was had.

We hope to see you soon for a grown up debate in similar fashion.

Hypocrisy,smears and U-Turns – The smell of establishment fear

The following post is the opinion of the author, and does not necessarily represent the views of the UK Independence party (UKIP)

First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they attack you…..Then you win – Mahatma Gandhi

CD at Lee Rigby memorial walk

This has to be one of my all time favourite quotes from an iconic historical figure – Over the last 15 years it could pretty much sum up the rise of UKIP and also the realisation amongst the English people that those who claim to represent us at Westminster live in their own little world and only come out to talk to us at election time to keep their place on the gravy train.

Over the course of the last few months, the UKIP ‘surge’ has shown no signs of dying down despite the lack of major elections to fuel the anti-government ‘protest vote’ that the old establishment parties would have you believe is behind the healthy position of the party in the polls. The reality is that the UKIP stance on such concerns as mass uncontrolled immigration, rising energy prices, the EU, education and law & order fit in with the concerns of the public, a public who have been ignored as an inconvenience by those in power who believe that they know better.

The Gandhi scenario has been played out in England since Blair and ‘New Labour’ came to power in the late nineties – The people were ignored in the first rushes of ‘Cool Brittania’, with UKIP under the radar before our first MEP’s were elected on an anti-EU ticket in 1999.

Then came the ‘ridicule’ era – Any member of the public was branded as out of touch and a ‘Little Englander’ if they opposed the EU and the opening of our borders to all comers, with UKIP branded ‘gadflies, loonies and closet racists’ by the old Lib-Lab-Con triumvirate for expressing views that were in line with a large section of our society.

When the ridicule didn’t work, the public paid the price for their scepticism about the benefits of mass uncontrolled immigration by being attacked as ‘racists’ and ‘xenophobes’ by the government and compliant media – Who can forget the moment during the 2010 general election when Rochdale resident Gillian Duffy expressed her concerns to then PM Gordon Brown about mass immigration to be branded a ‘bigoted woman’ in an unguarded moment over a still live microphone?

With UKIP raising the immigration issue, the establishment turned their attacks on the only major political party campaigning on the real problems of lack of infrastructure, housing shortages and overloading of the NHS – But as the smears mount, so does party popularity as many realise that our critics are playing the man and not the ball.

Cranking up the rhetoric

Nigel outside the pubParty leader Nigel Farage (left) has led from the front, and as such has had to deal with some fierce attacks as he has been singled out for special attention.

The BBC Question Time of 7th November saw a particularly spiteful attack from government minister Anna Soubry, assisted by Labour’s Emily Thornberry.

Despite Ms Soubry showing her lack of knowledge of her own government brief (a defence minister who doesn’t know that Navy support ships are currently being built in Korea whilst shipyards in Portsmouth are being closed down), she attacked UKIP as being a party to ‘scaremonger’ and ‘turn to the stranger and blame them’ during the economic downturn.  This attack was even more ridiculous when you consider that just weeks previously, her party in government had put ad vans on the streets of London telling illegal immigrants to ‘go home or face arrest’ and sent text messages to people asking them if they should be in the country! ‘Operation Vaken’, as this was christened, cost the taxpayer thousands and resulted in just 11 people turning themselves in according to a report in The Metro newspaper on 1st November.

Ms Soubry faced a barrage of criticism from the public after this appearance, and further showed the lack of coherent answers to the questions posed when making a childish comment about Mr Farage’s sexual preferences  on The Marr Show last week in an attempt to be funny.

The week following the Question Time episode , the inappropriately named ‘Hope not Hate’ organisation attacked UKIP Thurrock for laying wreaths to the fallen on Remembrance Sunday with a party logo on them. Whilst my personal opinion is that no political logo’s are appropriate from any party on this day, The Royal British Legion supplied them and were happy to do so. Interestingly enough, the other parties have been placing wreaths with their logo’s on supplied from the same source for years and HNH have said nothing – Considering the support from politicians in certain of the old 3 parties for organisations that have killed both English civilians and British servicemen on home soil, their silence in the preceding years is deafening.

Most recently, we have seen UKIP member and former Conservative party candidate Victoria Ayling subjected to sustained attack from The Mail. Their front page on 7th December read ‘Send them all back home’ and was backed up with an edited video where Ms Ayling had said she would do so but ‘can’t really say that, can I?’ Unfortunately for The Mail and whichever terrified Tory spin doctor put them up to this story, there were a few inaccuracies –

1 – The video was edited to take out the part where Ms Ayling was discussing ‘illegal immigrants’ – It is actually government policy as could be seen from the aforementioned vans for illegal immigrants to be removed, so she was stating that those who break the law should be sent back to their country of origin – Not unreasonable?

2 – The video was recorded in 2008 – Ms Ayling was a member of the Conservatives at the time, and subsequently stood as a candidate for MP in the 2010 general election. If this was such a big story, why was it not broken when she was with her previous party?

3 – She was referred to as a ‘Farage Filly’ and key ally of the UKIP party leader based on having a photo taken at conference – Many of the UKIP council candidates in 2013 had their photo’s taken with Mr Farage as part of the campaigning, that doesn’t make them a ‘key ally’. If a Labour council candidate is pictured shaking hands with Ed Miliband, does that make them a ‘key ally’ of the Labour leader?

Breathtaking hypocrisy

Whilst these concerted attacks have been carried out, the hypocrisy from the establishment parties and their allied organisations has been astounding.

Cameron outside parliament

With the opening of UK borders to all Romanian and Bulgarian citizens on 1st January, Prime Minister David Cameron has tried to rush through legislation at the eleventh hour to restrict benefits to citizens of these countries for 3 months after entry. He knows full well that this will be challenged by the EU as a breach of the rules – Indeed, the UK is currently being taken to court by the EU for not giving equal benefits to European migrants in relation to our own citizens. He also knows that we can’t control our own borders whilst we are a member of the European Union, but is trying to show a tough side to head off the threat at the ballot box posed by UKIP – Remember his triumphant return from Brussels at the end of 2012 where he claimed to have stopped an increase in the money paid by our taxpayers in to EU coffers? If you check the figures, a year down the line and we pay more than ever, just via a slightly different route.

It is also interesting to note that Bulgaria was sponsored as a full member state of the EU by none other than Conservative MEP’s led by Geoffrey Van Orden (Or Uncle Bulgaria, as UKIP MEP’s refer to him) – So you could say that the situation we find ourselves in with open borders to Bulgaria were actually triggered by the people who claim to be trying to defuse the situation! Of course, they have been aware of the relaxation of border controls since coming in to power in 2010 – So why such a late response? It couldn’t have anything to do with trying to head off UKIP at the polls, surely?

Then we have the reaction of other leading party figures to newspaper revelations of disharmony in communities caused by mass, uncontrolled immigration.

Former Labour Home secretary and Sheffield MP David Blunkett has predicted riots in his constituency unless Roma migrants integrate in to local society, with fellow Sheffield MP and Lib-Dem deputy PM Nick Clegg chiming in and saying that the Roma ‘need to play by the rules’ and have ‘a lack of respect’. Labour grandee Jack Straw has also chipped in to state that Labour ‘made mistakes’ on immigration when he was a member of the government.

Could you imagine the storms of protest from the establishment if Nigel Farage had said something similar? Yet two former Labour cabinet ministers, who oversaw the mass immigration that has led to the issues they talk of, now make comments that go far further than UKIP’s principled stand against open borders which is based around numbers and infrastructure pressure, not nationality.

The Betrayal of an English Generation

Whitehall school 1Then we had the spectacle of David Cameron at the end of last year talking down our youngsters in an attempt to justify the EU migration that he is now so drastically backpedalling on.

During an Apprentice event on 29th October, reported on by The Daily Express, he spoke of factories being half full of Poles, Latvians and Lithuanians because ‘our kids are not up to it’.  He followed on in this vein on 13th November, when he was reported by The Telegraph as having stated that young working class people have ‘low aspirations’. This kind of outrageous pigeon holing of English youth would be classed as racist if levelled against any other ethnic grouping in our country – Yet Cameron has had the nerve to refer to UKIP members in the past as ‘closet racists’.

For a Prime Minister to talk down a whole generation of our youth who have been betrayed and denied a proper education by both his government and the previous Labour one is an abomination – To use that betrayal then as an excuse for recruitment of low skilled factory workers from abroad whilst those same youngsters are subjected to zero hours contracts or unemployment is a dereliction of duty on an epic scale.

Smear by association

With a definite lack of policy issues to attack UKIP on, the establishment parties have now turned to ‘smear by association’.

Following on from the 7th December headline, Vicky Ayling was further attacked by the Mail who then claimed that she had a background with the ‘far right’ National Front. This line of attack was based on her attending some meetings when she was at university and studying law as part of a thesis she was writing – A thesis that meant she attended various meetings across the political spectrum.

Yet the Mail printed nothing about these accusations when she was a Conservative candidate, and also failed to notice the following story from the local press in Rossendale and Darwen

http://www.thisislancashire.co.uk/news/4318940.Darwen_Tories_in_BNP__blunder_/

Yes, Nick Holt was a former BNP member and candidate who was apparently asked to stand by the Conservatives for Darwen Town Council in 2009 – Not someone who attended a meeting as a student for research, a full blown BNP member who had stood for them before in elections.

Trevor MaxfieldBut it is not just the Tories who have recruited from the ranks of the BNP. Meet Trevor Maxfield (Pictured) – He is the executive member for leisure and culture on Darwen council and is a sitting Labour councillor. Yet he was previously an organiser and member of the BNP, and also joined the white supremacist ‘England First’ party before joining Labour.

When questioned about his appointment by the local press, his fellow Labour councillor Dave Smith said ‘To be fair to Trevor, he’s quite a good bloke – I think his BNP stuff is in the past”

Tory council leader Mike Lee was also quoted as saying he had ‘never heard him say anything that would equate to a BNP comment’

http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/darwen/8200722.Former_BNP_activist_made_Blackburn_with_Darwen_s_culture_boss/

So there you have it – Attend a meeting as a student thirty years ago if you are in UKIP and it is a press headline, but be an active member of the BNP and then join the establishment and your sins are absolved and you have seen the error of your ways.

Funnily enough, it would be impossible for either Mr Holt or Mr Maxfield to join UKIP as former BNP members are barred from the party – Not something that the establishment like you to know as it doesn’t fit their narrative.

When Mandrake is more ‘half-baked’

The Telegraph runs a popular political gossip column called Mandrake – In late November, I received a call from a UKIP colleague to tell me that there was a story about me in that day’s edition entitled, “How Nigel Farage’s UKIP chairman marched with the English Defence League’. This came as a bit of a surprise, as I had not been contacted by the press for comment before they ran the story – The Guardian had been on to this months before, and after talking with me didn’t bother to run what they called a ‘non-story’.

Author Tim Walker stated, “UKIP’s Chairman in Uxbridge, West London, is Cliff Dixon, who admitted taking part in a march held by the far right English Defence League in East London. Dixon posed for photographs on the march in 2011 with Kevin Carroll, the co-founder of the EDL”

The photograph that Mr Walker alludes to was taken outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, not in East London. Nor was there a march – It was a remembrance ceremony that was attended by many high profile politicians, members of the Royal Family and the families of the dead.

Finally, I was there in my role at the time of London Vice Chairman of the English Democrats political party prior to joining UKIP – I was stood with a group of activists from the March for England movement, whose flag I was photographed next to. Mr Carroll moved in front of the flag with a wreath and can be seen in one of the pictures. Also stood just to one side of us were activists from Muslims for Peace, who were there to oppose Islamist extremists led by Anjem Choudary who were mocking the victims families, as reported on by…..The Daily Telegraph (Link below)

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/september-11-attacks/8755915/911-anniversary-Prince-of-Wales-joins-ceremony-outside-US-Embassy.html

So Mr Walker – Are you suggesting that this EDL march I was photographed on was also attended by Prince Charles and David Cameron?

Yet more attempts at ‘smear by association’ – In this case, ignoring the far bigger story of Islamists being allowed to disrupt a remembrance ceremony in the heart of London with a Police escort as can be seen in pictures I took that day. (Below)

September 2011 uploads 014September 2011 uploads 017September 2011 uploads 018

Again, it also begs the question as to why the press give coverage to, and completely misrepresent, a story about a minor UKIP official but have ignored the presence of Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn at the annual Al Quds parade in London which is supported by The Iranian Government and features homophobia, anti-Semitism and calls for death to the West?

Here is a video of his speech to the crowd in 2012 – You can just see the banner behind him which carries the image of Malcolm X

What you don’t see in the video are the battle flags of proscribed organisations such as Hamas and Hisbollah, nor the placards carried by children urging violence which are now an annual feature (see pictures below)

Al Quds Day marchers 17-08-12Al Quds 2011 anti Israeli posters

How does this square with the calls for peace from the Labour MP, and why are the press and Police so shy of reporting real sectarian and racial hatred on the streets of our Capital city? Indeed, I have put official complaints in about breaches of the public order act committed on these marches for the last 3 years to The Metropolitan Police, and have written to my local MP and Mr Corbyn’s party leader, Ed Miliband, about it. My only reply has been an email from the Police saying they are sorry I have been a victim of crime!

If all else fails – Fabricate some evidence

I mentioned earlier the inappropriately named ‘Hope Not Hate’ organisation, a group that claims to fight racism and extremism.

They have recently set up a special section on their website entitled ‘Purple Rain’ to ‘put UKIP under the microscope’.

It begs the question – Why? UKIP have proscribed membership to extremist groups, and have members from all differing backgrounds, races and religions in the party. Indeed, UKIP policies are based on a meritocracy where everybody is given equal chances in life and immigration is judged on a points system irrespective of where you are from – If they are really out to clamp down on discrimination, then the Lib-Lab-Con with their migration policies that discriminate against those from outside of the EU would be a good place to start, surely?

A dig around on their site may give some clues when you look at organisations that back and partially fund Hope Not Hate – Trade Union leaders such as Dave Prentis of Unison, Paul Kenny of The GMB and Christine Blower of the NUT all proclaim their support. With Labour enjoying the input and funding of the Trade Unions, and UKIP making such inroads in to their core voter base that has been taken for granted for years, in my opinion it wouldn’t take Hercule Poirot to make some sort of connection between Hope Not Hate’s new found interest in UKIP and their paymasters from the ranks of the TUC and the political establishment.

Not content with making vague accusations against the party, HNH activists have now stooped to trying to ‘set up’  youth wing Young Independence’ members on Facebook, as explained below by the excellent ‘Nope Not Hope’ website

HnH’s Morphett photoshops details on latest ‘expose’: not spin, an outright lie

Matthew Collins HNH

On the other hand, one of Hope Not Hate’s main activists and reporters is a gentleman by the name of Matthew Collins (pictured above). Collins is a former member of the BNP and National Front who has boasted of how many members of the Asian community he used to rough up. But again, of course, joining the establishment (In this case the ‘anti-fascist left’) absolves you of all crimes and allows you to take the moral high ground, even if you are still a thug – Just of a different cloth.

The smell of fear

With the EU elections and a large swathe of council elections due this year, followed by a general election in 2015, the continuing popularity of UKIP is unnerving the old tired parties in England and their overlords in Brussels.

This is just the start of a concerted ‘dirty tricks’ campaign as career politicians and bureaucrats try to cling desperately to their positions of power and privilege, consumed by a fear of change and real choice for the electorate.

I fully expect further ‘revelations’ and ‘scandals’ as the count down to May continues – The party must stand firm and trust in the people to see through the lies and continue to back us. The alternative of more EU control and the continuing dynasty of Lib-Lab-Con politics is too awful to contemplate.

We are now at stage 3 of the Gandhi quote I started this piece with – Come election time, I pray that stage 4 prevails for all of the people of England.

trust-us-liblabcon

Gender Equality – The reality

I recently spent a couple of days on business in the wonderful ‘Granite City’ of Aberdeen on Scotland’s north east coast.

 

Aberdeen AirportDue to the distances involved travelling from my home in Hillingdon, I took the newly instigated Virgin Little Red flight from Heathrow – It featured male cabin crew and a female pilot who put us skilfully down on the tarmac despite awful cross winds and the bane of all nervous flyers such as myself, turbulence.

 

During the approach, my mind flicked back to an event I was invited to in August by the IEA (Institute of Economic Affairs) regarding equality in the workplace. This meeting was triggered by proposed EU legislation (Since partially passed) demanding a 40% quota of women in non-executive positions in the boardroom of publicly listed companies by 2020.

 

Amongst the speakers were entrepreneur Jo Fairley (Who founded the Green & Blacks chocolate brand), Dr Clare Gerada (Chairman of the Royal College of GP’s) and the IEA’s own Professor Ruth Lea. Also in attendance and giving his own view on the legislation was Godfrey Bloom MEP, who sits on the EU’s Women’s equality committee.

 

The consensus at the end of the event was that people should be in their position and/or promoted on the basis of ability rather than gender – A position I agree with, especially after the skilful landing in adverse conditions I experienced by Captain McDonald!

 

Herein lies the rub – In the world of aviation, what percentage of pilots are male vs female? I would wager that the men outweigh the women by a significant amount.

Now look at what could happen if a gender quota system were introduced. Being a nervous  flyer, I am told that my captain for the flight is a woman. Is she there because a certain amount of pilots have to be of a certain gender, or because she is the best pilot available for the job? More to the point, if she IS the best person to fly the plane, is it in the back of her mind (Thus undermining her confidence) that she only got the job because of the quota? Will her male counterparts respect her for her ability, or will they have that little doubt in the back of their mind that she got the job because she is a woman?

Aberdeen Airport jet

Now apply that to the legislation in the boardroom – The same applies to the ladies here, who will be undermined by the quota and it could also hit the companies shares rating as investors may look at a bad decision and attribute it to a sub-standard board member.

 

Allow ability to shine through opportunity

 

Janice AtkinsonMy UKIP colleague, Janice Atkinson (left), recently wrote about the same event and has pointed out that the only way gender imbalances will be rectified is through education – How can women prosper in certain areas of industry when our system puts so many more young men forward for degree courses in physics and maths than young women?

Likewise, there are huge gender imbalances the other way in areas such as primary school teaching and nursing where the educational system almost pigeonholes these positions for the girls – My experience of this in the schools system with my step children has not been great, with headstrong young men lacking male role models alongside respected women teachers as I had the benefit of whilst growing up.

 

 

 

Gender quotas in Politics

 

Nowhere can the absurdity of gender quotas be seen to greater effect than in the world of our political elites. The Labour party are quite open about promoting a certain amount of people to ‘balance’ their front benches on both gender and racial lines, whilst the Tories are pushing for a 25% representation of women on the boards of FTSE100 companies by 2015 in line with proposals from The Davies Report – Despite a large increase in the numbers of women on boards anyway by dint of their ability. (Source – Conservative party website)

 

In UKIP, we adopt a completely opposite attitude – Our MEP candidates, after carrying out an assessment and screening process, were put up to our members for selection. The result? – A balanced list where our candidates, both male and female, have earned their position by their ability and the votes of their peers, as it should be.

DianeJames

Surprise, surprise – We have lead candidates in both the West Midlands (Jill Seymour) and Yorkshire and N Lincs (Jane Collins) who are women, with an impressive array of talent across the country such as Margot Parker, Diane James, Dr Julia Reid, Louise Bours and Janice Atkinson herself all well up the candidate lists and with realistic chances of the public electing them to the post of MEP. All are there on merit and are recognised by their colleagues for what they are – Dedicated campaigners who will put our country first in the Brussels bearpit without flinching.

 

Could you say the same about a candidate who may or may not be there as part of a ‘quota’? I think that conclusively proves the point.

 

 

Details of the gender quota vote can be seen here  http://www.euractiv.com/socialeurope/meps-back-commission-gender-equa-news-531099

 

 

Young Independence step up

It has been my pleasure to meet a number of UKIP’s young and upcoming members over the last two years.

 

Youth issues  and our education policy are areas that UKIP doesn’t get much media attention for, despite being very common sense and forward thinking. With the announcement of his candidacy for president of the NUS (National Union of Students), local UKIP member and activist Jack Duffin is putting these policies in the spotlight to those who stand to see their futures improved for the better, as reported by the Trending Central website (Whose article I reproduce below)

 

Original link – http://www.trendingcentral.com/im-running-nus-president/

 

Jack Duffin in YiewsleyI was driven into politics at a young age when Tony Blair destroyed the three things I hold dearest: “education, education, education”. At first school politics, then into party politics. In 1997 education was fundamentally changed in the UK, when the pledge was made that 50 percent of all 18 year olds must go to university. Overnight this made all other routes into the world of work appear second rate. Quality apprenticeships diminished, vocational training plummeted, and those who were not academic were labelled a failure.

Tuition fees soon followed, as sending 2.5m people a year to university is not a realistic or practical target. Does the jobs market require this many university graduates? Are there the right qualifications at university to fill the demands of the country? Is academia the be all and end all? The answer to all three is resoundingly, “no”. We have hundreds of thousands of university students left with no realistic job prospects after university. Many end up either taking jobs that don’t relate to their degree, or unskilled work they could have done without a degree and the debt that goes with it.

Why are those who went to private school, who never had their potential curtailed in a comprehensive, so well positioned to talk about our education? The top 5 schools now send more kids to Oxbridge than the bottom 2000 put together. Those lucky enough to be born with a silver spoon can afford to buy top quality education and take the jobs. World class education should be available to the brightest students, not just the richest.

Unfortunately society now talks of social mobility as a relic of the past. There were more working class kids at Oxbridge in the 1960’s than there are now. Kids from working class backgrounds who were academically successful used to be able to get the world class education they deserved, that allowed them to get into the top jobs in this country.

David Cameron, in his speech to Conservative Party Conference last week portrayed many young people as failures of society. It is not their fault that they have been left with a failed academic education that leaves many 16 year olds leaving school with either no qualifications, or ones that have no relevance to a job. I am sure he thinks its great that kids have 5 GCSEs and that 98 percent passed this year. But the truth is there are nearly no transferable skills taught to these children. You also have to wonder why the percentage has risen: are people getting smarter, or are the exams getting easier?

We need to make sure that young people who are not academic can access quality vocational education, that will allow them to have the skills and experience to go into the world of work at 16 and 18. This in turn will create good apprenticeships. Firms won’t want to take on young people unless they have the skills base that an apprenticeship can build on. So rather than thrusting the non-academics onto the scrap heap, lets embrace them and allow them to be employable and important people in society.

When discussing running for president of the National Union of Students (NUS) with a leading UKIP official, the advice I was given was, “don’t get your neck broken”. The trouble with NUS is that it is now widely viewed as a left wing bed of socialism rather than promoting the needs of students. Party politics and ideology should be left at the door. It needs to be about achieving the best for students and young people across the country.

I don’t expect to be elected as the president, but a serious achievement would be to get individuals in student politics and the three old parties speaking common sense when it comes to the education of millions of kids in this country. For too long it has just been acceptable for them to rattle off the rhetoric about trying hard but never delivering.

This is the first of my monthly pieces on why I am running for NUS president. I will outline individual parts of my manifesto in future months as I look to provide a voice for the voiceless students, not just at universities, but those in primary schools, secondary schools, sixth forms and colleges. You can also look forward to my daily blogs from NUS Conference later this month! Exciting, I know…

Jack Duffin potholes

Jack Duffin is the Secretary of Young Independence, London and is running for president of the National Union of Students

Lake Farm – Hillingdon Council try further underhand tactics

Lake Farm signHillingdon Council are trying to sneak through development of the school on Lake Farm green belt land as previously reported.
 
They have called a planning meeting at the last minute for this coming Tuesday (5th March) for 7pm at the Civic Centre and are hoping nobody notices. Time for us all to turn up and object – There are already plans to develop 2 local schools for additional places and even Boris Johnson has written to the Conservative led council and asked if this is really necessary.
 
If we do genuinely need another school on top of the existing developments planned, then surely there are enough brown field sites in Hayes that can be developed without removing one of the last vestiges of green in the area?
 
Make your voice heard and don’t let Hillingdon Council sacrifice our environment for short term gain!