Today saw the TUC bring their conference to Brighton where senior Trade Union officials and their members meet to discuss policy matters and campaigns ahead.
With the Trade Unions split on whether to oppose or support a Third Runway at Heathrow, my friends at Stop Heathrow Expansion (SHE) decided to run a coach full of campaigners from Harmondsworth to the seaside to put their side of the story and convince the Unions that opposition is the best course of action.
Leaving the Village at 9.30am, we arrived in a wet and windswept Brighton just before 11 and formed up outside the conference
We were joined shortly for a briefing on the latest developments by Hayes & Harlington MP John McDonnell, who posed with the team from SHE for photos afterwards (Below)
With the wind whipping up, the two of us holding the long banner were struggling to hang on to it – after John McDonnell commented on the weather, I joked that we were about to get some impromptu kite surfing in at this rate. His response was to quip, ‘ what’s that, the UKIP air force?’ – he obviously hasn’t heard the news! Whilst it was strange to be joking with a man who I have locked horns with politically for many years (Some of it quite unpleasant), it shows the strength of feeling against the runway that such diametrically opposed characters can come together and work alongside people of all backgrounds and political views on a subject that transcends politics and affects so many.
With the resignation of both Douglas Carswell and Mark Reckless, many in the media are now saying that UKIP has achieved its goal and it is no longer relevant on the political landscape.
Indeed, the aforementioned Mr Carswell has been gloating on his Twitter feed about a council byelection in his area where the Tories have taken a seat from UKIP , claiming that many Kippers think ‘job done’.
So, what is the reality? With the triggering of Article 50 and the initial founding reason for UKIP (Leaving the EU) looking like a reality, what have UKIP got left to offer?
Our national debt recently exceeded the £1.5 trillion mark – We spend more money in interest payments on the debt annually than we do on defence. Locally, our Conservative Council constantly tell you about their outstanding financial record in much the same way as their national party do at Westminster. ‘Council tax frozen’ is one of their favourite cries, neglecting to mention that Hillingdon levies one of the highest council tax bills in London already.
Their ‘financial prudence’ claims are further tested by the write off of £2.5 million of your money in 2011 in a failed Icelandic Bank, with millions still owing from Landsbanki and Heritable.
You will hear a lot of scare stories about how our country will struggle if we leave the EU from those in the ‘Yes’ campaign.
Here is what it could really be like……..
The year is 2020 and Britain is adjusting to life and thriving outside of the declining European Union.
Free from the need to negotiate trade deals via unelected EU commissioners, a series of agreements with the emerging nations of the world have boosted exports and revitalised our industries. Unwilling to lose their largest European market, the remaining EU states have swiftly confirmed free trade agreements with the UK and the job losses predicted by the ‘Yes’ campaign fail to materialise.
Re-engaging with our traditional world partners, most notably the Commonwealth, has invigorated our shipping industries and cities such as Liverpool and Glasgow once again hum to the sound of machinery as exports grow and vessels come and go, offloading such produce as New Zealand lamb and transporting out machinery exports, pharmaceuticals and high tech equipment.
With much of the EU red tape removed from our small and medium industries they once again start to drive economic growth. Repeal of EU diktat on renewable energy and the large combustion plant directive means that energy once again becomes cheaper, driving down costs for businesses and making them more competitive on the world stage.
Forwarded to me by our UKIP PPC for Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, Gerard Barry – Everyman’s guide to current economic policy?
Mary is the proprietor of a bar in Dublin . She realises that virtually all of her customers are unemployed alcoholics and, as such, can no longer afford to patronise her bar. To solve this problem, she comes up with new marketing plan that allows her customers to drink now, but pay later. She keeps track of the drinks consumed on a ledger (thereby granting the customers loans). Word gets around about Mary’s “drink now, pay later” marketing strategy and, as a result, increasing numbers of customers flood into Mary’s bar. Soon she has the largest sales volume for any bar in Dublin. By providing her customers’ freedom from immediate payment demands, Mary gets no resistance when, at regular intervals, she substantially increases her prices for wine and beer, the most consumed beverages. Consequently, Mary’s gross sales volume increases massively.
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….
I’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.