Kinder, gentler politics?

Shortly after the Stoke byelection I received the following email from Momentum, Labour’s left wing grassroots movementA year and a half ago I was a teacher. My life was rowdy kids and bundles of paperwork. I got involved in Jeremy’s campaign because I believe in a creating a fairer society. 

Since then I’ve come to realise that if we’re going to win, we all have a part to play. We need to build a grassroots movement of millions that are willing to fight for the world we all believe in.

Winning won’t be easy. We saw that in Copeland last week.

But during these last few weeks in Stoke, I have seen everything we need to win across the country.

That’s why I’m asking you to join Momentum today

If we’re going to win the country back, we’ll need to repeat the energy, passion and tactics that worked in Stoke, hundreds of times across the country. 

——————————————————————————————————————————————————-

Energy, passion and tactics that worked?

Let’s look at some of them –

Bullying and intimidation – where UKIP have a chance of upsetting the Labour applecart, you will find their cohorts from the ironically named ‘Hope Not Hate’. Mobilised en masse, they attacked a number of female members of Young Independence, tearing their rosettes off and screaming abuse.

Continue reading

Advertisements

UKIP Leadership election – Why I am backing Peter Whittle

 

UKIP battle busThe BREXIT vote of 23rd June was a momentous occasion for UKIP and a seismic shock for politics in our country.

With the mainstream media and the establishment predicting a victory for the remain campaign and doing their best to ensure it, the people of the UK showed belief in our ability to not just survive but thrive as an independent, outward looking and globally trading nation.

But with the achievement of UKIP’s founding goal , those same commentators quickly turned their sights on the party and questioned whether we had a future with this core plank of our policy apparently removed. What next for UKIP?

Nigel Farage, the driving force that caused the referendum, stepped down as leader of the party – after 20 years of fighting against the EU elites and ridicule from many quarters he stated that he wanted to get his life back. Having seen how hard he had worked to the detriment of both his health and family, only the hardest heart would begrudge him the chance to rebuild some sort of personal normality.

A leadership election swiftly followed but many of the biggest names within the party did not stand and the victor, Diane James MEP, felt that she could not do the job after just 18 days in charge – to her credit, she acknowledged this early rather than persevering with a position that could have quickly become untenable and damaged the party further.

This has led to a second election where some of the ‘big beasts’ have joined the fray and an interesting contest has ensued.

Peter Whittle – 

I first encountered Peter Whittle at the Party Conference in London in 2013. His speech as a representative of the New Culture Forum, a think tank he heads up, not only hit a chord with me but also with those in the hall who gave him a standing ovation at the end of it.

That speech can be viewed here –

 

I contacted Peter shortly afterwards and asked him if he could come and do a public meeting in Hillingdon – he was only too happy to do so. Indeed, since then he has spoken at three meetings in our area in Hayes End, Uxbridge and West Drayton. His willingness to engage, even on a cold night in the middle of Winter when we had a relatively poor attendance at one of the events, speaks volumes. That particular event garnered two new members who have gone on to be amongst our best activists because of his inspirational oratory.

His interest in the grassroots soon became apparent to us in Hillingdon. When we were looking to do a fundraiser and asked party luminaries for donations to the raffle, Peter very kindly posted us signed copies of the six books he has written on cultural issues which helped to generate the cash for our general election campaign.

The New Culture Forum

brexit-revolt-bannerPeter has a background in the media and when he returned from the US he set up a think tank in London based around cultural issues.

He has invited both myself and other rank and file ‘footsoldiers’  to a number of the events where a range of speakers have been present. Amongst the highlights have been a talk from Rafe Heydal-Mankou on the erosion of London culture in the face of the globalisation of our City, Douglas Murray on the threat to our country from Radical Islamism and the launch of the the ‘BREXIT Revolt’ book shortly after the EU Referendum which was attended by a number of those involved in the campaign including Nigel Farage and Arron Banks. It has struck me at these events that Peter values the input of the ordinary member and that invitations have not been restricted to the ‘great and the good’ – he has invited those who have worked with him on campaigns, irrespective of background.

The GLA Elections

Many have said that London is a world apart and not ‘UKIP Territory’. As our Mayoral candidate and head of the party list in 2016, Peter tore that particular myth up and together with David Kurten got our first seats on the London Assembly for over ten years.

Working with active branches in London, Peter was not afraid to meet people on the street in areas where the media would have you believe that we would not be welcome. One particular event in Uxbridge sticks with me where we were accused of being ‘homophobes and racists’ – after Peter and David spoke with the three individuals in question, they engaged and left with UKIP manifestoes in hand, quite shocked by the difference between MSM rhetoric and the reality. His calm demeanour and willingness to engage certainly made a mark.

In the face of a hostile media he also garnered good reviews as the party spokesman during the campaign – even the likes of The Guardian found it hard to say a bad word!

After election, Peter also came back to the area and spoke with residents on a demonstration in Harmondsworth against the Third Runway – this was commented on by campaigners who were not used to seeing politicians when they did not need votes to put them in to position and has helped us immensely where some would have questioned our commitment to the cause.

uxbridge-stall-may-16-pw-and-dk

Since assuming his position as the leader of the UKIP GLA group, Peter has made a fine start in holding London Mayor Sadiq Khan to account. His team have been in constant touch with our branch to find out what people in our area need and to this end have questioned the Mayor over PHV drivers in Harlington, the Third Runway (Forcing Khan in to endorsing Gatwick) and his reluctance to confront Islamist extremists from Hezbollah on the streets of London. When EU flags were raised over City Hall after the election of the Labour Mayor, Peter and David pushed a motion asking for them to be removed and replaced with the Cross of St George – to the shame of the other members of the Assembly, the Tories abstained and Labour opposed.

Peter has also grilled Metropolitan Police Commissioner Sir Bernard Hogan-Howe on the lack of convictions for FGM, a crime that is now unfortunately prevalent in our part of London.

Whilst UKIP need to be ready to fight for a proper BREXIT it is to Peter’s credit that he not only acknowledges that but with his partner on the GLA is ready to look beyond a successful outcome and build a fighting force that confronts the establishment parties on domestic issues that affect us all. In interviews with the BBC he has also confirmed that UKIP needs to build and fight Labour in the North where the next major breakthroughs will be made as we push on to replace Labour as the main opposition in Westminster.

Why Peter Whittle?

I mentioned before that we now have a proper leadership election. I have worked with Paul Nuttall before and am a big fan. especially on his stance over an English Parliament – he would make a fine leader of our party.

I know very little of John Rees-Evans but have heard good things from those who have worked with him in Wales.

However, having worked with Peter over the last few years I would like to think that we have developed from colleagues to friends. He speaks my language when it comes to putting the pride back in to our country, working to establish a community based around a shared vision for our future. A future where working class people like Peter, a grammar school boy from Shooters Hill, can fulfil their potential.

A leader who acknowledges the work of the grassroots and is there to help us build the party from the ground up as he has done for our branch since our first meeting.

We can have a ‘safe pair of hands’ or we can reach for something more, achieve UKIP’s potential and change our country for the better in a post BREXIT world.

I believe that Peter Whittle is the man who can lead our party and our country to a better future – that is why I am endorsing him for leadership of UKIP and would urge you to do the same.

Peter Whittle and CD

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Protest against Powerday

During a Council Planning Meeting on 17th December, Powerday once again submitted an application to develop the site of the Old Coal Yard on Tavistock Road in to a waste recycling centre despite it being close to a major area of housing.

A demonstration was arranged earlier today (30th December) by West Drayton ward councillor Jan Sweeting (Lab) where all members of the local community were asked to attend and show our opposition to the scheme. UKIP Hillingdon agree with this stance and were happy to turn up and lend our support to the protest

Powerday demo 3

If the application is successful, we will see Powerday lorries bringing 450,000 tonnes of industrial waste per year in to the heart of our community and further congestion on both Yiewsley and West Drayton High Streets as well as Swan Road.

The deadline for comments to the Council on the application is 27th January – You can make your voice heard by going to the following link on the Council website http://w10.hillingdon.gov.uk/OcellaWeb/planningDetails?reference=18736/APP/2015/4457&from=planningSearch

Alternatively, there are a number of petition forms in local shops on West Drayton High Street.

Powerday have been turned down before when they proposed their development of this site – Working together as a community we can make sure they are turned down again

Residents turn out in force to protect the Green Belt

As previously reported on this site, the Green Belt at Hayes Park (Home Farm) has been put up for sale on the Rightmove website, with such phrases as ‘Prime development land’ being used in the advertisement.

CD Green beltAfter an initial public meeting organised by John McDonnell MP that was very well attended and interest from the local Gazette newspaper, residents organised a photo shoot with the newspaper where all were urged to attend and show the strength of feeling against the move.

A number of public spirited locals have distributed window signs and spread the word about the event across the Charville ward and the result was seen this afternoon where a large crowd attended and were backed up by riders from the local stables who use the area to exercise their horses.

DSC_0436

Local residents form up just before the Gazette photoshoot

DSC_0437The view from Hayes End Road

DSC_0438Children with their ponies arrive to join the protest

DSC_0439

One of the home made banners that was on display

DSC_0440

A view across the park

DSC_0441

One of the banners made by the children

DSC_0442

The crowd starts to disperse after pictures were taken

Any attempts to build on the site will be met with strong protest, as today has shown.

The area surrounding already suffers from flooding during wet spells, which will get worse should the fields be concreted over. Added to the loss of wildlife, increased traffic and degradation of air quality that losing our ‘green lung’ would bring, there are far better places for developers in the area to be looking at in Hayes which has a number of brown field sites available.

If you would like to get involved in the fight to save our Green Belt, regular updates are  posted on a local residents Facebook site http://www.facebook.com/friendsofhayesend

A committee is also being formed to organise resistance, if you would like to be involved then you can contact the office of the Hayes MP via email mcdonnellj@parliament.uk

Four years ago, working together as a community, we managed to stop a proposed development on the site. Working together , we can stop it again

Save Hayes Park Green Belt

Hayes ParkTomorrow (Saturday 22nd August) sees the first of the protests against the sell off of the Green belt at Hayes Park.

The meeting point is at Mead House Lane (Off of Hayes End Road) at 1.30pm, with The Gazette in attendance.

Banners and posters will be provided as the local community unites to send out a message that we want to keep our open spaces in Hayes

Why not pop down and show your support?

Labour – Putting party politics ahead of local people

Blackland Drive 1In a recent post, I highlighted issues in the Charville ward in Hayes that had been brought to my attention by local residents. These had been relayed to the local councillors to look in to, which elicited the following response from Labour’s John Oswell

Cliff,

I did’nt realise that you lived in Charville ward and that you are a representative there, just who do you represent?, if you look carefully I think you might just find that the ward has three elected Councillors and guess what, you are not one of them.
Can I suggest that you leave Charville matters to elected ward Councillors who actually are all very active on ward issues and that is without any help from you, I might add,
Cllr. John Oswell. 

Continue reading

Election 2015 – UKIP make spectacular gains

After months of exhaustive campaigning, May 7th saw the culmination of all our members hard work at the count for the General Election

Howling Laud Hope at the count

Cliff at the Hillingdon count with Howling Laud Hope of The OMRLP

UKIP in Hillingdon

For the first time, the branch fielded candidates in all three constituencies in the borough. With two safe Conservative and one safe Labour seat to contest, the objective was to grow vote share and consolidate the position we gained in last year’s local elections as the third party in Hillingdon on the limited resources available to us.

The night seemed to confirm that we had indeed succeeded as comparison between now and 2010 shows (Below) –

Hayes & Harlington

CD leaflet image jpeg

2015 candidate – Cliff Dixon

3rd place – 5,388 votes (12%)

2010 candidate – No UKIP candidate

Ruislip, Northwood & Pinner

Harefield Pub meeting Feb 15 Gerard2015 candidate – Gerard Barry

3rd place – 5,598 votes (10.9%)

2010 candidate – Jason Pontey – 4th place – 1351 votes (2.7%)

 

Uxbridge & South Ruislip

Jack Duffin profile high res2015 candidate – Jack Duffin

3rd place – 6,346 votes (14.2%)

2010 Candidate – Mark Wadsworth – 5th place – 1234 votes (2.7%)

 

So, as can be seen, the growth in support has been spectacular and we retained all of our deposits on the night. With a small band of volunteers and limited finances, double digit percentages were recorded in the face of vastly superior firepower from the old establishment parties and this augurs well for future campaigns with our membership growing at a rapid rate.

In terms of UKIP across London, all of our constituencies in Hillingdon ranked in the top 20 results on the night

UKIP Nationally

UKIP battle bus Chafford 2

Mirroring what we saw in Hillingdon, the national picture saw a massive surge in support for UKIP. The first past the post electoral system was the only negative, with UKIP returning just one MP (Douglas Carswell in Clacton).

However, our vote share rose by 9.5% over 2010 to 12.6% and the number of votes cast for us (3,881,129) was only exceeded by The Conservatives and Labour. We also saw a massive 120 second place finishes across the country which again bodes well for future campaigns.

To put this in to perspective, Plaid Cymru only received 181,694 votes (0.6%) yet now have 3 MP’s at Westminster – Indeed, the SNP and Liberal Democrats number of votes combined was less than that of UKIP and they returned 56 and 8 MP’s respectively!

These results have seen a clamour on social media over the last 24 hours from all quarters demanding electoral change – Once again, as on the EU and uncontrolled immigration, UKIP is driving the political agenda.

Campaign highlights

CD Thurrock March 2015

From a personal perspective, there were a number of fond memories I will take from this campaign.

Speaking in front of hundreds of people at an anti third runway rally in Westminster whilst sharing a stage with high ranking members of other political parties, trade unionists and environmental campaigners will stay with me for a long time. Likewise, I made many friends in Thurrock during my regular forays to the constituency to support Tim Aker MEP in a seat he came agonisingly close to winning (The branch made spectacular gains in the local elections there held on the same day, with 7 seats falling to UKIP)

The St George’s Day public meeting in West Drayton with Peter Whittle was extremely enjoyable, whilst the radio debate I did with the Lib-Dem candidate on Hayes FM two days before the election was fun.

cliffpearl

However, the highlight to me was the Stop Heathrow Expansion demonstration and the re-opening of The Great Barn in Harmondsworth. It was my privilege to meet a World War 2 veteran by the name of Tommy and help him to and from a tree planting at the end of the event to mark where the boundary of a new northern runway would be.

Tommy lives in the Villages and is suffering with his health, but made the journey to attend in spite of that because he wants to live out his life in the house that he shares with his wife. Inspirational people like Tommy make me realise that we must win the fight against the runway, both for the last of his generation of heroes and the new generations that will follow them.

 

The Road ahead

With so much support now building in Hillingdon, we move on to the Mayoral and Greater London Assembly (GLA) elections next year.

A similar result would see us gain two seats on the assembly via the fairer PR voting system, but with momentum behind us and a growing membership there is no reason why we could not see more. The political landscape is changing and it is UKIP driving that change.

Stick with us for the journey ahead and let’s make Hillingdon and England a better place together

Gerard Barry & Jack Duffin