The first of our campaign posts from UKIP candidates – today, Cliff Dixon in Hayes & Harlington
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……
Following the resignation of Labour MP Tristram Hunt in Stoke-on-Trent, UKIP announced that new party leader Paul Nuttall MEP will be our candidate in the subsequent byelection.
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 last Sunday’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’.
As 2016 draws to a close we can reflect on a year of incredible change and hope.
The BREXIT vote on 23rd June, arguably the biggest event of a generation, will be looked on in future years as a pivotal moment in both English and British history. The government has a duty to ensure that it is carried out swiftly and in a way that ensures prosperity for all members of our society, cementing our place as an outward looking, globally trading and free nation.
The Trump victory against the odds in the USA followed, showing a people tired of the political elites and looking to an alternative who promises to ‘Make America great again’. Time will tell whether this is the beginning of a renaissance or a false dawn, but with Republicans now in charge of the Senate, House of Representatives and the White House they will never have a better chance of turning the fortunes of a once great nation around. Irrespective of whether we agree or disagree with Trump, we can only wish our American cousins well and hope that his business experience brings a better future for all.
In London, we saw UKIP take two seats in the Greater London Assembly (GLA) with the election of Peter Whittle and David Kurten. Both are genuinely nice guys who have made an impact already – expect to see much more in 2017!
Looking back over a momentous year, here are my heroes and zeroes of 2016 in no particular order…..
UKIP Hillingdon Press release – Weds 24th Feb
For immediate release
With the date for the EU Referendum now set for 23rd June, the campaign on both the Leave and Remain sides can begin in earnest.
One of the most puzzling aspects of this referendum has been the complete U turn of Hayes & Harlington MP and Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell from an opponent of EU expansion to a proponent of remaining in the EU.
This is even more curious when he is the Parliamentary representative for the RMT Union who have always maintained a position of supporting an exit from the European Union.
Commenting on his change of position, UKIP Hilllingdon Chairman Cliff Dixon (Pictured) said, “I am amazed at the change of heart shown by John McDonnell regarding our membership of the EU, especially with his RMT links.
It would be interesting to hear the full reasons behind his new stance and why he thinks we would be better off remaining in an institution that is undemocratic to the core and has harmed the prospects of millions of working people across the continent.
To this end, I challenge John McDonnell to a debate on our membership of the EU at a time and venue of his choosing where either myself or a senior member of the Leave campaign will be happy to put the positive case for an independent, forward looking and free Britain. “
Press Release Ends
Something for John McDonnell to ponder on……