THE RISING TIDE …. Thursday, October 9th 2014 will go down in the proud pages of British history as a day when our political landscape changed for good. The rising tide of UKIP, which the Westminster class and their allies in the political media have tried to ignore, vilify and ridicule for so long, finally came ashore surface with spectacular effect. Douglas Carswell not only held his seat in Clacton for UKIP, he did so with an increased majority, showing that it was not only a personal vote for Douglas, but a tremendous endorsement of UKIP too.
Thinking of our first MP in Parliament, we are also reminded of all those brave pioneers for UKIP who are no longer with us; people who took on the cause when all seemed hopeless and struggled through many years of personal sacrifice to build the party to where it is today. Malcolm Wood will no doubt be raising a glass of red ‘up there’ to Douglas’s fine achievement; from an empty hall in Hanging Langford (1994) to our first MP.
The result in Heywood & Middleton was perhaps even more significant, where UKIP’s John Bickley came within 600 votes of toppling Labour in what had been one of their ’safest’ seats. Labour would have lost the seat to UKIP had the small residue of Conservative voters not split the anti-Labour vote. Across much of Northern England and the industrial Midlands, UKIP is now the main challenger to Labour. We can turn Cameron’s absurd dictum on its head and say: ‘If you vote Conservative in the North and Midlands, you will get Labour; vote UKIP and you will get UKIP !’
Now the Peoples Army marches on Rochester and Strood, where our second MP to join UKIP, Mark Reckless faces an even stiffer task to gain re-election. But we are fortified with the knowledge that anything is now possible, and that many of the old certainties of British politics are crumbling before our very eyes.
NEAR DEATH EXPERIENCE … I went to bed on the night of Thursday 18th September feeling extremely uneasy. As someone who was born in Scotland of English parents (with a smattering of Welsh ancestors); who did his early schooling in Edinburgh but lived most of his life in England, until now I’d never had any cause to think of myself as anything other than British. This identity had always seemed solid, safe and endurable. And yet by the following morning, Great Britain could be no more; the United Kingdom torn apart. I could be in effect, a stateless person.
As I reflected on this, I began to sense just a tiny bit of the terrifying uncertainty that many people down the ages must have felt when their country, their identity, all that they know and cherish, is swept away from them suddenly by acts of war, politics or folly, and they are forced to start all over again, to find a new home, a new identity, in a strange land.
Fortunately as we now know, enough of the Scottish people saw sense in time to reject the siren calls of the SNP, but only just: the margin of 45/55% was far too close for comfort. It was, as Max Hastings wrote, ‘Britain’s Near Death Experience’. This situation must not happen again. However if UK politics does not change, it almost certainly will.
The SNP will draw great comfort from the high level of support it got from young voters. They will also reflect on the feeble negativity of the ‘Better Together’ campaign run by the Westminster 3, which turned what should have been an overwhelming ‘No’ vote into a very close run thing. Significantly, Cameron claimed that whilst a ‘Yes’ vote would be ‘forever‘ (there is no such thing), the ‘No’ vote had only settled matters ‘for a generation’ (which could be as little as 20 years). The SNP can be excused for thinking that the dissolution of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland is still very much on the agenda at Westminster and one more push, one more shove, will get them what they want.
Somehow Scotland’s ‘problem’ has been turned into England’s problem too, as Cameron’s Coalition tries to fulfil some of the panicky, last minute pledges given in a desperate attempt to buy referendum votes (without any agreement from Parliament). Half-baked English devolution ‘solutions’ to the ‘West Lothian’ question, which can only fuel the sense of fragmentation and national breakup. The EU driven notion of English regional government is likely to rear its ugly head again, in a slightly different guise. Then there is the huge amount of extra UK taxpayers cash that Cameron has pledged to shovel north of the border, as part of his ‘devo-max’ promise, again given in a panic to appease the ScotNatz.
Clearly the issue of balance and devolution between the UK’s constituent nations needs to be addressed. But now is not the time. Until the UK regains sovereign control of its affairs by leaving the EU, such arguments are the political equivalent of four bald men squabbling over the ownership of a hairbrush. If we do not hang together, we shall certainly be hanged separately.
If the tide of national disintegration in the UK is to be reversed, rather than dancing to the secessionists tune, a concerted, vigorous and above all sustained political campaign is required at all levels in Westminster to re-ignite the virtues and values of Britishness, which must both embrace and override all other multi-cultural formulations. Don’t hold your breath though; the evidence from the referendum campaign suggests that the Westminster gang won’t talk want to about such things because unlike UKIP, they don’t really understand any of it. It looks like it’s up to us then ……
EVER DECREASING CIRCLES …… The three Westminster parties increasingly resemble water going down the plughole; moving in ever decreasing circles until there’s nothing left. Douglas Carswell’s excellent book ‘The End of Politics’ describes the situation very clearly. Suddenly there is a huge gap in the political market for a new party to exploit, and that party is UKIP.
After the 2013 County Elections, the BBC’s Political Correspondent, Nick Robinson memorably commented: ‘UKIP reaches the parts of the electorate the other party’s can’t reach …‘ So who are these people ? They are what G. K Chesterton once called the ’small battalions’ of British life; the type of people that make up the bulk of ‘middle Britain’ and still comprise most of the enterprising, wealth generating capacity of the UK. They are independent Britons from all walks of life; from aspirational Labour to council house Conservatives, from independent traders and small business people to charity workers and volunteers, from the state educated, upwardly mobile, to white van men; this is the constituency that delivered three massive election victories to the Conservatives in the 1980’s. In spite of the huge social convulsions engineered by New Labour, it is still there, it has and continues to be, completely ignored and it is ready to hear from someone new.
But UKIP’s appeal rests on far more than protest votes. It has one huge area of political opportunity, which none of the other parties can touch. Starting from the bedrock of its principled opposition to the EU, UKIP has come to articulate a great truth, one which lies at the root of most of our country’s problems: the excessive scale and cost of the state. Whether it be from Brussels, Westminster or your local Town or County Hall, it is all part and parcel of the same state apparatus and the root problem is the same at whatever level you are involved with. Our country is over governed, over regulated and is way, way, over budget. The size of the bureaucratic state is unsustainable, unaffordable and it‘s increasing all the time. It’s crippling individual freedom and wealth creation. This scale of this problem is now so huge that none of the Westminster parties have the courage or the vision to address it. They are now so insulated by, and sustained by the Westminster party political cocoon, they cannot see beyond it. They have themselves, become part of the problem.
You wouldn’t know it from the BBC, but the UK National Debt has risen by more under 5 years of Cameron/Clegg, than it did under 13 years of Blair/Brown. Since 2000, Britain’s national debt has trebled. By 2015/16, it is projected to reach £1.6 trillion, such a huge number its hard to grasp. Put another way, Britain public finances are losing £1,700 every second. In the time you’ve read that, we owe another £10,000. You couldn’t set fire to your money this quickly. And that’s not counting the ruinous £2.5 trillion long term debt from Gordon Brown’s PFI schemes, where the private sector built all those shiny new schools and community centres for the taxpayer on a 25 year mortgage; which our grandchildren will be paying for.
For all the Coalition’s dishonest blather about ‘reducing the deficit’ (this is not reducing the debt), the UK public finances are still heading in the wrong direction at considerable speed, towards the edge of the fiscal cliff. Whereas under Labour, it was heading towards the precipice at 100 mph, after 5 years of the Coalition it is heading towards it at 95 mph; no great improvement.
Germany’s elder statesman, Helmut Schmidt, says Europe is sleepwalking into a new conflict, with parallels to the First World War. Former German Chancellor Schmidt now 95, said the crisis in Ukraine was increasingly comparable to the period leading up to the 1914 – 18 Great War.
Mr Schmidt said: ‘I think very little of talking up the threat of World War III, and especially of demands for more money to arm NATO. The danger that the situation gets ever more tense, as it did in August 1914, is growing day by day’.
Mr Schmidt, who lead West Germany from 1974 – 82 said: ‘EU Commissioners understand very little. The latest example is the attempt to annex Ukraine and also to try and draw in Georgia …. this is megalomania – we have no business being there ………’.
ASHCROFT POLL ..… The latest Ashcroft Poll (30th Sept) makes grim reading for the LibDems, but is hugely encouraging for UKIP. In a poll of 20 LibDem parliamentary seats, our little yellow friends are on target to lose at least 12 of them to Conservative or Labour, with at least 4 others being too close to call. Based on these results, the LibDems could lose more than half their 57 parliamentary seats at the next election.
Based on the question of voting intention, UKIP is running 2nd in 10 of these seats, and seems to be polling best in those areas where the LibDems are doing worst and the Conservatives doing best. This dispels the notion amongst some Conservative voters that a vote for UKIP will ’let the LibDems back in’. What seems to be happening is that the sizeable anti-establishment vote that used to attach to the LibDems, has transferred to UKIP, who are now seen as ’the alternative party’.
In Mid-Dorset & North Poole, based on the standard question of current voting intention, the poll put the Conservatives on 43%, UKIP 22%, LibDems 19%, and Labour 11%. To have such a strong base of support at the start of a campaign, is a huge boost to Richard Turner’s campaign and indicates that with hard work and from now until next May, UKIP can win this seat.
GO TO BED WITH ED; WAKE UP WITH NIGE … A study by the Labour affiliated Fabian Society, rejects claims that UKIP could help Labour regain power because ‘most of the party’s supporters are former Conservative voters’. In contrast, it finds that UKIP’s ‘rising tide’ already poses a very serious threat to Labour hopes in 22 key marginal seats, while the Tories are only under threat in 11. In total, there are 59 Labour held seats where the surge in UKIP support has the potential to ‘seriously impair Labour prospects’. The report notes: ‘UKIP’s powerful and effective narrative … resonates strongly with Labour’s traditional working class vote’.
Marcus Roberts, the Fabian’s Deputy General Secretary says; ’Labour has few reasons to cheer about the UKIP insurgency and plenty to worry about ….. Labour can’t agree on whether the problem even exists or how big it is, so agreeing on a solution has proved impossible…’
Local UKIP Branch News ……..
The New Website for the UKIP Mid-Dorset & North Poole branch is now online, thanks to the efforts of David Mattocks. Log onto www.ukipmiddorset.org for UKIP related features, campaign news, local events, Twitter and Facebook and links to Blogs, YouTube and national websites. All contributions and feedback gratefully received !
Candidates are gradually coming forward to stand for UKIP in the May 2015 Council Elections in our area, but we urgently need more if we are to complete a ‘full slate’ of candidates in all of the 30 seats available. There are still places available for Broadstone and Merley & Bearwood (Borough of Poole Council); Wimborne Minster and Colehill (East Dorset District Council); and Wareham, Wareham St Martin, Lytchett Matravers & Morden, Lytchett Minster & Upton and Bere Regis (Purbeck District Council).
If you’re on the electoral register for any of these Councils you can stand for any of the wards in their area. Contact the Secretary, Diana Butler (01202-602427) if you’re interested. We’ve prepared a very useful information pack about standing in Council elections and what the Councillors role entails; available to members on request.
We held a successful Candidates Training afternoon at St Paul’s Church Hall on 4th October, with 26 confirmed or potential UKIP candidates attending. We were privileged to be joined by a guest speaker, Paul Morris, Head of Borough of Poole Electoral Services, who gave us an invaluable overview of the timetable and processes involved in the May 2015 elections. The number of new elector registrations suggest that voter numbers and turnout could be high, and that over 30% of the electorate could be postal voters. The rising popularity of postal voting certainly favours the ’large machines’ of the Westminster parties and will test the resources of UKIP to the limit, but it is a challenge that we must rise to. On the other hand, signs that more people are re-engaging with politics is hugely encouraging for UKIP, as we seem to be attracting more support from previous non-voters than any other party.
Our Parliamentary candidate for Mid-Dorset & North Poole, Richard Turner has hit the streets of the constituency, buoyed no doubt by the superb national conference in Doncaster and the findings of the latest Ashcroft Poll. Richard has been busy canvassing on doorsteps in Corfe Mullen and Lytchett Matravers, accompanied by some of our local election candidates in those areas. The public’s responses so far have been very encouraging. Please contact Richard (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you can help with canvassing or leafleting in your area; it may only take an hour or two each week, but can make a huge difference.
Richard will be meeting the public over the next few weeks, including a UKIP stall at Wimborne Market, a UKIP stall in Poole High Street (with our neighbouring Poole branch), and a UKIP stall in Wimborne Town Square. If you would like to help with any of these activities, please contact the Branch Secretary (Diana 01202-602427) for dates, times and locations. It is also hoped to produce a series of short campaign films for Richard on various topical issues for the branch website.
A UKIP Cats Calendar for 2015 is being produced by Diana. The purr-fect Christmas present ! To order yours, contact Diana on 01202-602427
You Really Couldn’t Make It Up ……..
‘Borrowing £400 from Wonga at its standard rate for seven years, would leave you owing more than the UK national debt‘, (QI, 20th Sept),
‘Children aged four were served just one chicken nugget each as part of the governments new free school meals policy … the pupils at the unnamed school in Birmingham were rationed according to their age, a city council member found ..’ (Daily Mail, 20th Sept).
‘Britain is handing out £600,000 every week in child benefits to European immigrants whose children live abroad. The most recent figures show that 20,400 families received payments for a total of 34,268 children, costing taxpayers £31 m a year …. Children living abroad receive the same amount of money as those in the UK, even if they have never set a foot here, despite the cost of living being much lower in many countries …’ (Daily Mail, 4th October)
‘If South Yorkshire Police can mount a raid on Sir Cliff Richard’s home in pursuit of evidence linked to a single allegation of child sex abuse 30 years ago, why were they incapable of pursuing multiple allegations against multiple men who raped 1400 children in Rotherham over 16 years ? …. ‘ (Daily Telegraph, 29th August)
‘MP’s locally in Dorset have claimed more than £1mn between them in allowances last year. The latest figures show that Britain’s members of parliament are claiming more in total than at the height of the expenses scandal in 2009 …’ Daily Echo, 16th Sept)
‘Owning a car should be outlawed to force people onto public transport, senior Labour MP Alan Whitehead (Southampton Test) has suggested. Motorists who want to drive should instead be forced to join communal car clubs, where the cars are shared by drivers and only used when needed … ‘ (Daily Mail, 13th Sept)
‘Enforcement officers working on behalf of the BBC are being offered bonuses of up to £1000 a month to pursue people who fail or refuse to pay the TV Licence fee …. Private firm Capita, which runs the BBC’s licensing service has launched a major recruitment drive to hire extra enforcement officers …. Potential employees were told they could double their basic salary with commissions for collecting evidence …. The BBC is responsible for more than 1 in 10 criminal prosecutions, leading to complaints that these cases are clogging up the criminal courts ….’ (Daily Mail, 13th Sept)
‘Britain should stop complaining about European migrants and spend more money to build them more housing and infrastructure, according to Laszlo Andor, EU Commissioner for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion. He claimed that the UK is taking advantage of EU migrants who ‘provide valuable economic and financial benefits’…. (Daily Mail. Sept 13th)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ EVENTS ……. EVENTS ……. EVENTS ……..
First Thursday each month (6th Nov, 4th Dec), 7.30pm: Dorset Branches Pub Social at the Charlton Inn, Charlton Marshall. All supporters and friends welcome. Tel. John Baxter 01202 897884
Second Thursday each month (13th Nov, 11th Dec), 8pm: Poole Branches Pub Social at Twin Sails Wharf, West Quay Road. UKIP Supporters and friends welcome. Tel John Butler, 01202-602427:
Wednesday 15th October, 7.00 pm onwards; South Dorset UKIP Social Evening, at The Centenary Club, 21 Jubilee Close, Weymouth, DT4 7BG. Supporters and friends welcome. Contact: Francis Drake, email@example.com
Friday 17th October 7pm : Pub Skittles & Supper with Mid-Dorset/N.Poole UKIP at Coach & Horses PH, Poole Rd. Wimborne. Tickets £8 includes buffet supper. Numbers limited, payment to Diana Butler, 20 Nightjar Close Creekmoor BH17 7YN.
Saturday 1st November – 11.00 onwards, Chat Coffee or Snack at Corfe Coffee, 137 Wareham Road, Corfe Mullen. Supporters and friends welcome. Contact: Dave Evans 01202-602856
Saturday 8th November – Bonfire Night Celebrations with UKIP Dorset North, at Greenacres, Angel Lane, Longham. £7.50 includes food and drink. Contact John Baxter, firstname.lastname@example.org or ring 01202-897884
Saturday 13th December Christmas Lunch : 12noon UKIP Mid-Dorset & North Poole at the Royal British Legion, Broadstone 2 courses £10. Please book by 5th December; contact John Butler, 01202-602427
Robin Grey (UKIP PC Christchurch) is speaking at The Oak Inn, Burton, BH23 7NW (Tuesday 28th Oct); Druitt Hall, High St. Christchurch BH23 1AB (Wed. 12th November), and St Marks Hall, Hinton Wood Ave. Ch’church, BH23 5AA (Friday 28th November) – all starting promptly at 7.30pm. Contact Robin Grey: email@example.com
David Young (UKIP PC Poole) is speaking at 2.30pm on Sat 8th Nov at St. James’ Hall, Thames Street, Poole – with special guest UKIP MEP Ray Finch. Details from David Darling 07850 130630 (www.ukippoole.co.uk)
Friday 28th November 7.30pm, Allendale Centre (Quarterjack Suite) Wimborne. Guest speakers Ray Finch MEP and Richard Turner (PC Mid-Dorset & North Poole). Contact: John Butler (01202-602427)
Watch Radio and TV DJ Mike Read’s hilarious campaign song from the Conference Gala Dinner on: www.youtube.com/watch?v=HO0ibNzB3ZU&feature=youtu.be
Not Like Other Men … ‘LBC Radio is offering lunch with Nigel Farage at an auction in aid of youth charity Make Some Noise….. (However) a dining companion of Nigel’s warns potential bidders: ‘Our last lunch lasted nearly three hours. We opened with a couple of Bloody Mary’s, followed by a bottle of white, then two bottles of red and finished off with some port. While I dozed off, Nige then sauntered off to do a live interview with the BBC ….. ‘ (Ephraim Hardcastle, Daily Mail 10th October)
Quote of the Conference: ‘‘Britain is more than a star on somebody else’s flag ……’ (Mark Reckless, MP)
Items for next Edition by 31st December to:
John Butler, 20 Nightjar Close, Poole BH17 7YN
e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org 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