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. 

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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.

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Desperate Labour playing the ‘English’ card in Stoke

Last weekend saw a massive mobilization of UKIP supporters for the Stoke Central by-election, with over 200 members turning up on Saturday and another 70 on Sunday to support our party leader and candidate, Paul Nuttall.

I spent two days on the doorsteps with Freddy, Jim and Patricia as a four man canvassing team, talking with local residents and receiving a tremendous reception – I was even greeted with a big sloppy kiss on one occasion, albeit from a very friendly fox terrier!

The Labour campaign team had been around one street before us and what I found left me absolutely incredulous.

Playing the ‘English Card’

Left in the road was a Labour leaflet carrying the image of their candidate, Gareth Snell.

To my immense surprise, the Cross of St George was prominent at the top of the leaflet – did anybody run this past Lady Nugee, Emily Thornberry MP, who openly sneered at the sight of an English flag during a previous election campaign in Essex?

Indeed, I find the whole idea of Labour putting the flag of our country on their leaflets quite ridiculous in view of their disdain for our national identity as shown in their policy.

Let me explain……

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Why the Labour lies show UKIP can win in Stoke

Following the resignation of Labour MP Tristram Hunt in Stoke-on-Trent, UKIP announced yesterday (21st January) that new party leader, Paul Nuttall MEP, will be our candidate in the subsequent byelection.

paul-nuttall-stoke

The seat is historically a Labour stronghold but their majority was down to 5000 at the 2015 General Election and, significantly, it registered one of the highest Leave votes at last year’s referendum.

The poor turnout at the General Election (Just 49%) shows how disillusioned local voters are with the party that has represented them in the past.

If Labour lose this seat (Plus the other byelection in Copeland, another former stronghold with an even slimmer majority) then Labour could be consigned to a spot in a museum similar to the one that Mr Hunt has left his constituency to take up a post with.

With this in mind, it was no surprise to see Labour Shadow Chancellor and my old sparring partner, John McDonnell, go on the offensive during this morning’s Marr Show on the BBC. However, both his body language and his line of attack show why the Labour High Command are terrified of the UKIP challenge in the seat and must be contemplating the possibility of an embarrassing defeat.

Spin, smear and downright lies

Once again, McDonnell trotted out the standard lie about UKIP wanting to privatise the NHS – this has never been a part of any UKIP manifesto.

Paul Nuttall spoke a number of years ago about making the procurement arm of the NHS more competitive – common sense when we see some trusts paying £25 for a lightbulb and issuing costly prescriptions for painkillers that you can buy for as little as 30p at the pharmacy. Yet in Labour’s eyes, this is ‘privatisation’.

So, let us look at the reality.

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BREXIT means Exit

The following is a guest post by UKIP London MEP and  BREXIT spokesman, Gerard Batten

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The 17.4 million people who voted to leave the European Union on 23rd June 2016 expected that to happen without delay.  But six months later Prime Minister Theresa May has done nothing to make it happen.  What is more she does not intend to do anything for another three months, and even then she will not commit to what Brexit actually means.

 

We have no reason to trust Theresa May.  She was a Remainer in the Referendum campaign, and had Remain won she would be telling us it was the right decision and in our best interests.  Having been on the losing side, she now finds herself in charge of implementing the winning sides decision.  But instead of outlining her EU exit strategy, she merely mouths the slogan ‘Brexit means Brexit’ without explaining what it means.

If Mrs May were serious she could have taken immediate action and triggered Article 50 the day after she was appointed Prime Minister, merely by writing a note to the European Council to that effect. Instead she did nothing, except to give the Remain camp the time to re-group and counter attack, which they duly did by taking their delaying tactics to the High Court.

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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.

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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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rumours of the demise of UKIP are greatly exaggerated

The following article is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily represent the official view of the party

Uxbridge street stall Oct 2013 with MS MG and Ilyas
It is often said that a week is a long time in politics – with the events of the last seven days it has certainly seemed that way!

Following on from the surprise resignation of leader Diane James MEP after just 18 days in the role, we have now seen media headlines surrounding an altercation between two of our MEP’s in the EU Parliament in Strasbourg.

The Party is currently investigating what actually happened and as such it would be wrong for me to speculate before that investigation is concluded. I feel sure that we all wish Steven Woolfe MEP, a personal friend and a thoroughly decent man, a speedy recovery.

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Dispelling the myths around BREXIT

CD in Yiewsley with GBDuring our ongoing discussions with people on street stalls surrounding the EU Referendum a number of questions keep coming up.
Below, Gerard Batten MEP dispels the myths created by the Remain campaign about the dangers of leaving the EU
1) Would leaving the EU endanger jobs and trade, and could the EU put up trade barriers against the UK?

When we leave the EU it cannot put up arbitrary trade barriers against the UK as that would against World Trade Organisation (WTO) rules, which all EU countries agree to and which govern world trade. And even if they could why would they want to? We have a massive trade deficit with the EU – they sell us far more than we sell them.
Britain currently exports goods and services to the EU to the value of £228.9 billion, whereas their exports to us amount to £290.6 billion: therefore we have a trade deficit with the EU of £61.7 billion. Germany, Spain, France and Italy etc.will still want to sell us their cars, wine and holidays etc. Trade will continue as normal. [i]
And remember, Britain is the fifth largest economy in the world and we are a world trading nation: and while we have a trade deficit with the EU we have a trade surplus with the rest of the world.   Our trading success lies in four hundred years of experience; English being the international language of business and science; and the trust that foreign companies put in the English legal system and contract law.

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