STAYING ON THE PITCH ……. No-one saw that one coming. When the news broke on 19th April, we were in the thick of the County Elections and thought ’Oh No, not again’. It was always possible a snap election could be called for early April but after that the coast seemed clear. Theresa May has said on many occasions that there wouldn’t be a General Election until 2020, which just goes to prove how much you can rely on her word.
These are not normal times and this is not a normal General Election. It has been called because of the continuing refusal of the Liberal Democrats, the SNP, many Labour MP’s and some Conservatives at Westminster, to respect the will of the British people to leave the EU. With typical irresponsibility, the LibDems and some of Labour have cosied up to Britain’s bitterest enemies, the SNP (who want to destroy the UK regardless of whether we’re in the EU), in a ‘Coalition of Chaos’; a last ditch attempt to annul the referendum result. Another General Election is probably the only way the enemies of ‘Brexit’ can finally be swept into a corner and consigned to history’s dustbin. If it takes the Conservative Party at Westminster to do it, then so be it.
At the same time UKIP must guard against Mrs May using what is likely to be an increased majority, as a mandate to bend ‘Brexit’ out of shape, or even run it into the sand altogether. We don‘t know what the final agreement will be, so its vital that UKIP ‘stays on the pitch’. However it would clearly be futile to split the ’Leave’ vote in some areas, so nationally UKIP will be fighting a tightly targeted campaign by concentrating our main effort on those seats with ’Remain’ MP’s.
Branch Chairman’s Statement ….. ‘The primary task of any new government after June 8th will be to ensure that the EU referendum result is implemented and that Britain’s independence is restored through an amicable and beneficial withdrawal from the EU. That is why our branch has decided to put country before party and on this occasion, not to stand a UKIP candidate for Mid-Dorset and North Poole. We hope that the current MP, Michael Tomlinson, will continue to honour his support for Britain’s withdrawal from the EU. He faces a strong local challenge from the LibDems, who whatever weaselly word formulae they produce, remain determined to deny the outcome of the EU referendum and reverse it if possible. We want to ensure that House of Commons returns the maximum number of MPs who are committed to a full withdrawal from the EU.’
‘We do not support the Conservative party or their election manifesto. Many of you will not vote Conservative, but others may do so tactically on this occasion to ensure that the referendum verdict is upheld. Both points of view should be respected. Remember that we’re all Ukippers and have come a long way together. The Conservatives may be cock-a-hoop just now, but they will fall out once the EU negotiations begin in earnest. Keep calm, keep the ship steady and UKIP’s time will come again – maybe sooner than we think !’ Meanwhile, switch off the TV politics, help UKIP candidates in other areas, and see you at our Garden Party on 24th June !’
County Council Elections ….. With ‘Fake UKIP’ (the Conservatives) riding high in the polls and Real UKIP’s obituary being declared on an almost daily basis by the media, it was always going to be a near impossible task to hold on to our incredible gains from 2013. And so it proved.
Nonetheless we fielded UKIP candidates in all the six Mid-Dorset seats on May 4th. Getting them on the ballot paper was not easy within the very short timescale for submission of nominations, so well done to our agents and helpers. We produced candidate leaflets for Colehill W & Wimborne, Wareham, Colehill E & Stapehill (thanks to Christchurch UKIP) and Lytchett Minster & Upton. Our teams of helpers and candidates delivered over 8000 pieces of election literature. We ran a UKIP stall at Wimborne Market on 22nd April and had an encouraging response from the public. They know that we’re still around and what we stand for. Most importantly, the other parties also know that too.
Lytchett Minster & Upton: Mike Fry 237 (10.1%) 3rd
Wareham: Keith Simpson 185 (5.4%) 4th
NW Purbeck: Jo Evans 123 (4.4%) 4th
Colehill W, Wimborne: Nick Wellstead 147 (4.1%) 4th
Corfe Mullen: David Mattocks 106 (3.5%) 4th
Colehill E & Stapehill: Paul Graham 217 (7.7%) 3rd
Mid-Dorset & North Poole is a key marginal battleground in the General Election, so inevitably our vote was ‘squeezed’ by the huge resources being put in by the Conservative and Liberal Democrat party machines. Nobody worked harder to buck the national trend than Mike Fry in Upton, but he found many sympathetic voters on the doorstep voting Conservative rather than UKIP, simply to get rid of the Liberal Democrats and ensure that we really do leave the EU.
We can be certain that the above scores do not reflect the true extent of support that is out there for UKIP and that if Theresa May’s government fails to deliver ‘Brexit’, they will once again be voting for UKIP in their droves. Well done to our brave candidates for keeping the UKIP flag flying, in what were very difficult circumstances.
Elsewhere in Dorset there was some encouragement for UKIP, with Lawrence Wilson and Peter Lucas coming 2nd in Ferndown with 795 and 697 votes (16.3%), and Robin Grey 2nd in West Moors with 776 votes (14%). Given the national context, these were remarkably good results. Overall in Dorset, UKIP polled 6,344 votes; an average of 335 per candidate (down from 1046 in 2013).
10 Good Reasons …You’re probably fed up reading in the Daily Mail about how ’UKIP’s job is done’, ’UKIP’s no longer needed’ etc. So we have produced a 10-point flyer outlining the reasons why UKIP is still needed. A copy is enclosed with this newsletter; copy it to any friends, sympathisers or anyone who thinks that we’ve gone away. View it on www.ukipmiddorset.org (Hang on, I’ve just thought of 10 more !)
Outside The Box ….. After their PR disaster with the ‘Brexit’ debates, it must have seemed a great idea to invite TV cameras in for a 3-part series promoting the House of Lords (‘Meet The Lords’). By opening the lid on an ermine lined nest of cronyism, ancient privilege, taxpayer funded perks beyond imagination (‘the most expensive day-care centre in Britain‘), it only reinforced the case for fundamental reform. Whilst they may talk about it, maybe even trim around the edges a bit, the LibLabCon won’t undertake the sweeping reforms that are needed to make the Lords fit for purpose. The current arrangements suit them well; as a repository for all the murky party political patronage that swills around the corridors of Westminster like a stinky tide. So it’s up to UKIP; the only party that isn’t afraid to think ‘outside the box‘, that isn’t afraid to challenge lazy ’consensual’ thinking, to come up with some radical solutions.
Some ideas to explore: let’s cut the cost of government by reducing their numbers, by half at least. If the US Senate can get by with 200 members, why do we need over 800 Lords ? An elected Upper House would only lead to more politicians towing the party whip; part of the problem, not the solution. Why not reserve some seats for members of the public, to be drawn at random every two years ? Some seats could be reserved for members of the professions; experts in every field of business and human activity, appointed by a politically independent Royal Commission. Some could be reserved for religious leaders of every faith, not only to emphasise our country’s Judaeo-Christian foundations, but also reflect the diversity of belief in modern Britain.
We shouldn’t stop there. Our voting system is broken and urgently needs repair. Paul Nuttall has already pledged to tackle abuse of postal voting, by limiting it to those who can prove a need. Some of our most vulnerable ethnic minorities and elderly persons are being defrauded of their democratic rights by unscrupulous party machines. The only tried and tested method to ensure that a voter is the same person who has put that cross on the ballot paper, is for that voter to present themselves at the polling station.
Nor can it be right that a party with 1.5m votes (SNP) gets 56 MP’s, whereas a party with 3.9m votes (UKIP) gets just 1. Some form of proportionality is needed. Do we really need 650 (soon to be 600) MP’s ? Arguably the social media and the internet have reduced the need for so many constituency based MPs. Why not elect half the Commons on a constituency basis, with the other half elected by proportional representation ? Electors would get two votes on polling day; one for a constituency candidate (which may reflect their personal loyalty) and the other a ’party’ vote (which may reflect what they really think).
Britain’s Relations With Russia are the worst they have ever been, according to Russia’s UK ambassador, Alexander Yakovlenko. In an unprecedented intervention, he attacked No.10 for ‘raising tensions in Europe, by deploying 800 troops to Nato’s eastern border‘. He said that there was ‘no longer any bilateral relationship of substance’ between Russia and the UK and that UK actions recently had been ‘provocative’ and ‘outright ridiculous’. ’Russia doesn’t pose a threat to Estonia or any other Nato member state. That’s why all the talk of territorial defence sounds provocative’. This follows the absurd anti-Russia posturing by Boris Johnson at the recent G7 summit, and Donald Trump’s abrupt U-turn in Syria, just at a point when Assad‘s government forces (backed by Russia) seemed on the brink of restoring some stability and order to the country. We can add the ongoing negativity put out by the England FA and the BBC, sniping against the 2018 World Cup being held in Russia. Expect much more of this to come.
Critics of Putin’s Russia point to the annexation of the Crimea from Ukraine and his support for separatist movements in Eastern Ukraine as evidence of aggressive intent. But it should be remembered that Crimea was always predominantly Russian speaking and was only put into the Ukrainian SSR in 1954 by a typical piece of Soviet gerrymandering. The pro-Russian separatist movements in the east only grew in response to the February 2014 coup d’etat in Kiev against the legitimate government of Ukraine; a coup engineered by pro-EU and US forces. Russia still considers the lands of the former USSR (except the Baltic States), as its legitimate sphere of interest. From the fall of the Berlin Wall until just recently, this was tacitly recognised by the West. To Russia, the Kiev coup was a provocation and a breach of trust.
Then there was the strange death in London of Alexander Litvinenko, defector from Russia’s FSB (state security). Our media continue to point the finger at Putin without any evidence, treating allegations as proven fact. But would the FSB be so stupid as to use an extremely rare poison that is easily traceable to a small number of sources ? If they wanted to silence Litvinenko, why kill him with a poison that took 3 weeks to kill, ample time to tell his story to The Times ?
There is a wider geo-political game going on. The ‘ Evil Russian Bear’ scare stories keep Eastern European countries nervous and more likely to stay on board the EU at a time when it could easily fall apart. In the long term, it’s no secret that the EU wants to see ‘a Europe extending from the Atlantic to the Urals‘ (where have we heard that one before ?). Putin’s brand of authoritarian nationalism stands in their way. Antagonising Russia does not serve our national interest as we seek new international relationships free from the EU. Nor does it serve the US’s interests either. There are many crises in the world where Russian co-operation could prove invaluable, from the fight against Islamic State in Syria, to the impasse over North Korea‘s nuclear weapons.
Rotten Boroughs ……
‘Super-Council’ proposals remain in limbo after they were voted against by East Dorset, Purbeck & Christchurch Councils. Christchurch will be holding a local referendum on this; others may follow. The Secretary of State who will make the final decision will not want to handle this hot potato before 8th June.
Borough of Poole Council had to find £2.7m savings by February, to balance their budget. Staff have been asked to accept a wage freeze (but what about Councillors expenses?). Yet they seem able to afford £250,000 to re-paint the ‘Sea Music’ sculpture on Poole Quay. Does it really need doing and why is it costing so much ?
There’s now no ‘P’ in Poole, as half of Poole’s 30 public toilets have been closed. In some cases (Baiter Park), there’s nothing else nearby, so where are people supposed to go ? B.o.P claim it costs £10,000 pa to maintain each toilet. Where do they get these figures from ? UKIP Councillors elsewhere have helped clean their public toilets to ensure they are kept open !
Business Rates went up on 1st April, but B.o.P added a twist of the knife to our small businesses by voting to raise parking charges. Local shops are suffering and the town centre is dying. There are now 52 empty shops in Poole town centre (14%) and parts of Falkland Square are like a ghost town. In Broadstone, parking is now £1 an hour (up 250%), with no half-hour. Congestion at the ‘toast rack’ (free half-hour) is now severe and dangerous to pedestrians. It will need more than Mary Portas to save Broadstone’s local shops.
Road Works – The 4 months closure of Gravel Hill last year was bad enough, now 16 weeks of lane closures on A35 Upton by-pass, to strengthen two small bridges at a cost of £15mn. Why so long and why so costly ? What was wrong with the old metal barriers ? The bridges seem to be untouched; all we have are two short concrete walls on either side, fatal in any crash. Yet the 20 foot drop on either side of the Gravel Hill (A349) upgrade is guarded by nothing more than a short stretch of timber post and rail. With the massive new housing on greenfield land at Upton (Wyatt Homes) our Councils seem determined to urbanise a once attractive rural stretch of A35 leading out of Poole.
To show what Poole supporters can do when they put their shoulders to the wheel, Poole Town FC finished 5th in National League South, having risen from 10th to 6th tier football in just 7 seasons (two divisions away from Football League). All without a ‘sugar daddy’; little or no support from B.o.P, and a rented school playing field for a ground. The club also had to fund £180,000 of ground improvements by the end of March to avoid demotion. Not only was the money raised, all the work was done on time and within budget. It’s all been done by the traditional values of hard work, a talented group of local lads sticking together, the Directors running a tight ship and the old fashioned virtue of making every penny count.
Stories You Won’t Hear on the BBC ……
No Laughing Matter ….. Nowadays it seems the more comedians this country has, the less there is to laugh about. Lefty comic Marcus Brigstocke inadvertently offers a clue as to why. ‘Comedians have told how anti-Brexit jokes are killing their careers as audiences outside of London are walking out in offence. A number of comedians have described scripting their ‘take’ on Britain leaving the EU for left-wing audiences in London, only to face unamused audiences when they take their acts to the rest of the country‘. Brigstocke has been touring the country with a set that includes 20 minutes of ‘material’ on Brexit; it’s the first tour he has seen members of the audience walking out ‘every night’ in anger: ’People have been angry, people have walked out of shows and people have booed. A lot of the people that I think of as my audience will not be back – they won’t come again, they’re that angry’ he told BBC Radio 4. ’For the first time ever on tour, I have seen people walking out every night …. that’s unsettling’ (Tip: how about you stop insulting them then, Marcus ? ed) (Telegraph Online, 6th April)
D-I-V-O-R-C-E ….. ‘The UK should negate demands for a hefty ’divorce bill’ from the EU, by handing them a 1 trillion euro counter claim. Civitas think-tank’s report calls for the UK to launch a significant array of counter-claims against the EU during negotiations, including compensation claims for ‘fraudulent and extravagant’ EU use of British funds, as well as increased military expenditure caused by EU recklessness. It calls for a £22bn compensation claim for being associated with the EU’s ‘chronic disfunction and maladministration’ as well as £48bn in financial damage to the UK caused by failing European banks’ (Daily Mail, 29th March)
‘NHS Trusts spend about £9bn pa on goods and services. Roughly a third goes on everyday costs (transport, stationery), a third on medical consumables (dressings, syringes, gloves) and a third on high cost medical devices (artificial joints, pacemakers). The waste is enormous, as Lord Cater of Coles identified in a report carried out for the Dept of Health last year. ‘Most trusts don’t know what they buy, how much they buy, or what they should be paying for goods and services’ Lord Coles concluded. If all the ‘unwarranted variations’ were eradicated, around £5bn of the £55.6bn spent annually by acute hospitals, could be saved in the next 3 years’ (Mail Health, 4th April)
‘150 GP’s are leaving the NHS every month, despite a government ‘pledge’ to hire an extra 5000 by 2020. NHS Digital figures show 34,050 full time GP’s in December 2016, down from 34,495 in September. The drop comes amid widespread demoralisation over increasing workloads and bureaucracy. Many doctors leave for private practice overseas and some quit the profession altogether ..…’ ((Daily Mail, 30th March)
‘NHS Trusts netted £120,662,650 in car parking charges in the year to March 16; up from £114,873,867 the year before. More than half the 89 NHS Trusts that supplied figures, made over £1 million from parking charges in the past year .. (Daily Express, 28th Dec)
‘Half of all burglaries are not being investigated by two of Britain’s biggest police forces, under a policy of ‘screening out’ crime reports. Greater Manchester Police said 57% of domestic burglary reports were not looked into further last year, while the Metropolitan Police shelved 49.6% of cases after just a preliminary review …. (Daily Mail, 30th March)
Former Sex Pistol John Lydon (Johnny Rotten) wasn’t the only patriotic rocker celebrating ‘Brexit’ Day (29th March). Roger Daltrey (The Who) says: ‘We’re getting out and when the dust settles, I think it will be seen that it’s the right thing for this country to have done. The majority of the country felt their voices weren’t being heard’. They join former Yes and Strawbs composer and pianist Rick Wakeman, who also voted to leave the EU; ’Absolutely; I don’t think you can have federal laws to cover the whole of Europe’
‘Migrants could account for 40% of new households up to 2039, a Minister has warned. The impact of mass immigration on the number of households in the UK was revealed in the House of Lords by Integration Minister Lord Bourne. Based on the government’s highest estimate for the number of new arrivals over the next 22 years there will be 243,000 new households each year, 45% of which will be net migration to the UK. Lord Green of Deddington, Chairman of Migration Watch, told peers ’the difference between high and zero migration is 110,000 households being formed every year. That is 300 per day. That would mean building a new home every 5 minutes …. ’ (Daily Mail, 6th Feb)
‘Germany has taken the first steps towards a ‘burka ban’, after Angela Merkel said they did not fit in with the country’s way of life. Lawmakers have approved a draft law that will make it illegal for public sector workers such as judges, civil servants and soldiers to wear them in public …. The ban was proposed by her Christian Democrat party, which argued that wearing face covering veils in public buildings compromised public servants neutrality ….’ (Telegraph, 29th April).
‘Potholes will get worse because the rise in heavier lorries causes more damage to road surfaces, Councils have warned. Dept of Transport figures show the total weight of heavy goods vehicles on UK roads rose by 5% over the past year. Road damage rises steeply as vehicles increase in weight; the heaviest 44-ton truck is 160,000 times more damaging to roads than the smallest vehicles. Overloaded lorries are estimated to be the biggest cause of wear and tear on roads. The Local Government Association warns that the bill for repairing Britain’s roads could rise £14bn in two years; 3x more than Councils entire spending on highways and transport last year (£4.4bn)’. (Daily Mail, 18th Feb)
UK households owe a record average debt of £12,887 (not incl. mortgages). The total amount of unsecured private debt in the UK is now a record £349 bn (Office of National Statistics, 9th Jan)
A Senior Detective has accused ‘politically correct’ Scotland Yard chiefs of hounding him out of his job after he made pro-Brexit comments on Facebook (Daily Mail, 28th January). DCI Mick Neville, head of the Met’s Central Forensic Images team, lost his post after a colleague complained about his ‘edgy’ political views. On Facebook, the day after the ‘Leave’ vote, he wrote:
’What a wonderful day for Britain. I have a handful of honourable friends who supported ‘Remain’, but in the main the supporters of such were an unpleasant and odd bunch; the greedy internationalists, corporatist businesses and bankers, some communists, the trendy metropolitan elite, the stupid (who thought you might need a visa to go on holiday to Majorca) and the frightened, who were afraid of being called ’racist’.
‘Hilary Clinton’s vision is of a borderless world where working people have no power, no jobs, no safety ..….. No-one has worse judgement; corruption and devastation follow wherever she goes’ (Donald Trump, July 2016)
Don’t forget to check the monthly Dorset Digest
(obtainable via e-mail) for up to date bulletins
of ‘What’s On’ locally, as well as checking our branch website www.ukipmiddorset.org
Items for next Edition by 31st August to:
John Butler, 20 Nightjar Close, Poole BH17 7YN
e-mail: email@example.com All items in this newsletter are personal views only and do not necessarily represent the views of the UK Independence Party Mid-Dorset & North Poole