Wednesday, 1 May 2013

Failing to disprove my obsession with UKIP

A number of people have suggested that I have an obsession with UKIP this election, they are people that have only focused on a part of my on-line comments during the campaign, nevertheless  I thought I would totally prove them right by making them the topic of my final pre-election day blog.

The truth is, the only thing I have been obsessed with during this campaign is working damned hard, that is why I have outworked every other candidate standing against me  Whilst I have had support from some volunteers and from fellow Councillors, I can offer a guarantee that I have put in more personal effort than any other candidate in Whittlesey North, by some considerable margin - and the message I have been getting out has almost entirely been about my record and my vision for the future. It has been reassuring to drive past the Labour Candidate's house every night and see his car still parked outside his house, while I have been out working and earning people's votes.

But, online, busting the UKIP myth has been important.  I want to address that issue from both a  local and National perspective.  Locally, I am sure the UKIP candidate is a nice bloke, however, it is pretty clear he is a paper candidate.  He is standing just so UKIP have their name on the ballot paper, but he has done no work that I have seen during the campaign (and I have eyes and ears everywhere) has delivered no leaflets (most people have had 3 from me) and, like most paper candidates, has no expectation or desire to win.  If that is the sort of candidate that floats your boat, fine - but I suspect most people prefer someone that is willing to work to gain your support.

It is true that Nationally many people are predicting something of a UKIP bounce this year, and any candidate worth his salt will always try and deal with the impact of something like that in his own personal election, but with UKIP it goes deeper than that.  UKIP have built their reputation on two issues, an anti-Europe message and an aggressive anti-immigration one. I am going to say something tough here that many UKIPpers won't like, but given the history of the National Front and the BNP in Britain, it is obvious that a party that sells itself almost entirely on those policies is going to attract more than its fair share of extremists.  Does that mean that every UKIP candidate or member is a racist?  No, of course it doesn't. But given the poor job that UKIP have done in vetting their candidates (surely knowing they would attract these people?) how confident can anyone be about the credentials of the candidate you have drawn in the UKIP electoral raffle?

I am quite clear in Whittlesey North that our candidate is a decent bloke and I know his background is as an ex-Labour activist, but it bothers me that elsewhere some closet racists might stop perfectly good candidates of any political colour being elected and, indeed, may actually get elected themselves. THAT is what bothers me about UKIP.

So, my message is, don't vote UKIP in Whittlesey North because the candidate has shown he doesn't want the job and don't vote UKIP elsewhere because you are encouraging a party that should know better, to continue with a naive, head in the sand candidate selection policy.

In fact, in Whittlesey North, I would go further and urge you to vote for me, a candidate with a combination of both a positive record and a vision for the future.


  1. UKIP is none of the above candidates which is your problem. The current party of protest. If the County Conservatives had policies to fight on such as a Council Tax freeze (something which the County Conservatives are at odds with the national party) or a cut in Council Tax then your party could attack UKIP. Instead you have a countywide lacklustre campaign which is missing key policies.

    UKIP and the stay at home Conservatives may well condemn this county to a No Overall Control council. This is not about Immigration or Europe. This is about protest. What we have are candidates from all the major parties who want to increase Council Tax. The only party that doesn't is UKIP.

    Until the Conservatives actually get down and dirty and find out what is motivating voters instead of playing cricket and being the chattering class then Conservatives will lose and lose again.

  2. I have knocked on a lot of doors during this campaign and I have spoken to a lot of people, guess how many it es Council Tax has been raised with me? Not once. Most people are aware that Cambridgeshire is a low tax Council and our Council Tax survey showed that the majority of residents would accept a small Council Tax rise as long as it was used to fund their priorities - which is what we have done.