Unions have dismissed the Government’s fast-tracking of a compensation scheme for energy intensive industries in last week’s Budget, claiming the move will be a mere “blip” on company balance sheets of Teesside’s heavy industries (Gazette, 20th March).
The UK’s energy intensive manufacturing and chemical industries have been crippled in recent years by exorbitant energy bills caused by so-called green energy subsidies and the Carbon Trading scheme, imposed on companies by the Climate Change Act 2008. It is already too late to save some of our industry now – it has already moved to China and India where the EU Climate Change rules do not apply.
Ironically this move leads to an increase in global carbon emissions as the environmental standards in these countries are so much lower than those in the UK. China is still building cheap coal fired power stations at the rate of one per week! These moves result in both a loss of jobs in the UK and a loss of exports from the UK.
Roy Rickhuss, of the Stand up for Steel campaign, states that this is not a party political issue. However, I would say that it is. Only UKIP will repeal the Climate Change Act 2008 which costs the economy £18bn a year. UKIP will also abolish green taxes and charges in order to reduce fuel bills.
A team of Ukippers attended a meeting at the Sheraton Pub in Hardwick, this evening. The Sheraton is the last remaining pub in Hardwick, and the regular pub goers are concerned that their community pub is to be sold to be turned into a nursery. Members of the community have launched a “Save the Sheraton” campaign on Facebook and you can view it here.
We in UKIP are no strangers to Save the Pub Campaigns, and you can view Nigel’s opinions on our local pubs here:
Unfortunately I couldn’t be present as I am in Blackpool for the UKIP North West Spring Conference. However, to show support, the meeting was attended by the UKIP regional organiser Gordon Parkin, John Leathley, UKIP PPC for Sedgefield and Ted Strike, UKIP PPC for Stockton South.
John and Gordon spoke to me after the event. John said that Alex Cunningham, the current Stockton North Labour MP, attended and gave speech where he outlined his intention to contact a brewery which owned a viable pub for advice on what could be done to save the Sheraton. However, Mr Cunningham was shouted down by irate members of the audience who apparently felt that he was all talk and no substance.
Gordon Parkin spoke to those assembled and was well received with a great round of applause. Mr. Cunningham accused Gordon of saying that planners were receiving back-handers, but Gordon said no such thing. Other UKIP members present stood up and talked about writing letters individually to the planning committee to do their best to make sure that local views were taken into account. It is UKIP policy to always work in the best interests of local people.
Of course, Mr Cunningham has form with his insults. He agreed with his leader, Gordon Brown, that he was right to refer to Gillian Duffy as “that bigoted woman” when she questioned him on immigration. He only apologised to Mrs Duffy when he was forced to do so by his party leadership. And regular readers will recall the dreadful letter he sent me, full of nasty insinuations, which I received soon after I was selected by UKIP members to be the PPC for Stockton North.
Since writing the above, a UKIP councillor in Portsmouth, Julie Swan, has advised me of an update to the NPPF (National Policy Planning Framework) which now contains several national policies which are protective of pubs, most notably a requirement that planning authorities should guard against the loss of valued community facilities like pubs.
Two recent decisions by Planning Inspectors demonstrate the power and value of the NPPF for pub campaigners. Read more here.
It was my pleasure to attend the UKIP North East Conference in Hartlepool on Saturday 7th February. The event was well attended and included a speech from UKIP’s leader, Nigel Farage, in which he stated that he expects Hartlepool to be one of UKIP’s first seats in Westminster. The feeling is though, that UKIP will generally do very well in the North of England, coming at least second in many seats; it now is the main opposition party to Labour in this region, which reinforces the “two horse race” message on my second leaflet for Stockton North.
It is clear that we have a real chance of also winning Stockton North and it’s certainly true to say – Vote Tory, get Labour – Vote UKIP, get UKIP. From the support I’ve been seeing on the streets when I’ve been out and about I am confident I have an excellent chance of taking the seat from Alex Cunningham.
Policies discussed at the conference included, of course, the NHS, where Louise Bours and other speakers reiterated the UKIP commitment to keep the NHS free at the point of need and delivery, alongside the commitment to give an extra £3 billion to the NHS and keep it separate from the current TTIP (Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) negotiations. We will save £2 billion on health tourism by insisting that visitors to the UK have an NHS approved insurance policy – in the same way as we have to buy travel insurance when we go abroad. UKIP is also committed to making hospital car parking free in England. It was pointed out time and time again that it was Labour that started the privatisation of the NHS through expensive PFI (Private Finance Initiative) agreements, through which Labour signed deals to borrow £50 billion to build new hospitals that will cost the country £300 billion to repay. UKIP has promised no new PFIs.
Locally, Phillip Broughton, the UKIP parliamentary candidate for Hartlepool, emphasised our commitment to keeping Hartlepool and North Tees hospitals open. We will reopen closed departments and reinvest in these hospitals, as opposed to supporting a PFI funded hospital in Wynyard.
I was honoured to chair the afternoon session and introduced, amongst others, Melanie Hurst, our prospective candidate for Wansbeck, who gave some persuasive arguments as to why women should vote UKIP. I also introduced Paul Nuttall, our deputy leader. Paul, who will be standing as MP for Bootle in the General Election, gave a powerful speech about “Taking on Labour in their Heartland” and criticised the Labour elite for becoming detached from ordinary people. He said most of them would fail the working man’s club test. I mean, could you see Ed Miliband enjoying a pint in the Billingham Synthonia Club?
The subject of Halal and Kosher meat is headline news once again as UKIP has announced a new policy – to support the BVA and RSPCA in calling for a ban on non-stun slaughter.
I am the UKIP PPC for Stockton North and proud to be Jewish. I am a secular Jew and do not follow the Kosher laws.
In the Jewish religion, the present day Jewish leaders have declared that administering an electric shock to an animal prior to shehitah (Kosher slaughtering) is prohibited, because it incapacitates the animal and renders it a trefah (an animal unfit to eat). And hence the current dilemma.
The rules regarding Kosher meat were adopted during a time when the wrong preparation of food could easily cause illness or death and were, I believe, designed to provide protection.
It could also be possible that the Kosher rules were not to do with safety and were purely developed around religious interpretation. Either way, I don’t think it makes any difference to my arguments below as to whether the rules were for safety, religion or a mix of the two.
My belief is that it is right that an animal should be slaughtered in the most humane way possible. So what does this mean for Kosher laws?
An animal that is stunned by electric shock is rendered temporarily unconscious, or asleep. The animal is not dead, it is not injured and it continues to live totally unharmed at this point. The animal’s heart is still beating and if it were now left alone it would quickly wake up and continue its life unharmed. Surely, one could therefore argue that the animal is not trefah? Electrical stunning did not exist at the time the Kosher laws were established, but the whole spirit of the Kosher laws were designed to prevent the animal from suffering. Would it be so wrong to update the laws to include electrical stunning before slaugher, or it is forbidden for me even to raise this as an issue to be debated?
In conclusion, we are in the 21st century now and have moved a long way forward from whence our ancestors started. They developed rules within the knowledge they had at the time to best help their society move forward. So what I would like to see now is that we continue to move forward and make small but meaningful changes that ensure we continue to develop and integrate with modern British society. Is it such a big change for an animal to be sleeping when slaughtered instead of awake?
Nine months ago, the voters of Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire voted for a UKIP MEP to represent them in the European Parliament. It was the political parties themselves that then decided the individuals who would represent them if the party was successful in the elections.
It is completely undemocratic when the voters voted for UKIP, to find themselves just nine months later with a Conservative MEP.
Because UKIP won the election and not Amjad Bashir, he should do the honourable thing and resign.
Sign my petition here: https://www.change.org/p/amjad-bashir-resign-as-an-mep
I attended a meeting of the UKIP Friends of Israel on 2nd December in London. The main speaker was Douglas Carswell and the meeting was run by Rabbi Shneur Odze, an MEP candidate for the North West region in the European Elections.
Douglas Carswell drew some interesting analogies between Israel and the UK. Both Israel and the UK are democratic countries which should be allowed to rule themselves without external interference, and it should be remembered that Israel is the one free and open democracy in the Middle East, which does not discriminate against women or on the grounds of sexual orientation.
Other speakers included Steven Woolfe, an MEP for the North West region and the UKIP Migration Spokesman and Nathan Gill, MEP for Wales.
My own view on Israel is that at the present time it was premature for Ed Miliband to propose a motion that recognises Palestine as being a state. Recognition of Palestine at this time is detrimental to negotiations for a peaceful solution. The “government” of Gaza, Hamas, is a terrorist organisation. Mr Miliband imposed a one line whip on this vote, which means that those members of his party who turned up to the vote had to vote in favour of the motion. It is interesting to note that key senior Labour figures including Rachel Reeves and Luciana Berger decided to stay away, unlike Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham who voted in favour of the motion.
I’ve heard the saying that a week is a long time in politics, but I think I have only just truly appreciated what it means, after the astonishing week I have just had.
It started well enough on the Sunday, when I abseiled off the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough for Butterwick Hospice. Fast forward to Thursday, when I received a rather upsetting letter from Alex Cunningham MP, the Labour MP for Stockton North who I will be unseating on May 7th next year. Judging by the letter I received, he is already rattled, but I have to say, Mr Cunningham, accusing a Jewish girl of supporting antisemitism is perhaps not your smartest move to date. My response is here. You can see Mr Cunningham’s response in this article in the Northern Echo. You will see he has not apologised to me, but stands by the objectionable letter he sent.
On Thursday evening, I went to Middlesbrough Town Hall to attend the live screening of Question Time. I had applied for tickets to be in the audience on the BBC website, as had some other UKIP supporters from our local branch. I believe the BBC website had not been working properly so they were actually short of people to attend. However, this did not stop the Stockton South Labour Candidate, Louise Baldock, complaining to the Northern Echo about BBC bias. I am still puzzled at how she can complain about not being in the audience when she didn’t apply to be in the audience. It’s a bit like complaining that you never win the lottery when you don’t buy a ticket. Louise let her feelings be known on Twitter, so I joined in the debate. (Click the image to see it full size).
Unfortunately I did not get to ask either of the questions I had prepared for Question Time. But for your interest, here is what I would have asked:
- Is it sensible that British energy intensive industries and jobs are being driven to countries with lower environmental standards because of high energy prices caused by Green Directives?
- Given the EU accounts cannot be signed off for the 19th year running, is there any reason why we should give any more money to this corrupt institution?
I tried to follow Louise on Twitter but discovered that I had been “blocked”. This I could understand if I ever behaved in the vile, intimidatory manner of certain Labour supporters. However, I prefer to discuss the issues and the policies as that is what people are actually interested in. So I wonder why, Louise, did you feel you needed to block me? You are welcome to follow my account.
Finally on Saturday I attended the UKIP North West conference in Southport and listened to some top class speeches. Louise Bours, our health spokesman, spoke passionately about how the NHS will remain free at the point of need and how there will not be a two tier system where those who can afford to pay get better treatment. Nevertheless, we will insist that all visitors to the UK have NHS approved travel insurance before they are allowed to enter the country – just as we buy travel insurance when we go on holiday abroad. This measure alone will save us £2 billion a year and stop health tourism.
Blair Smillie, a UKIP MP candidate and the great grandson of Robert Smillie, one of the founders of the Labour Party, spoke about the country’s energy policy. Blair is campaigning for the possible re-introduction of British Coal mining, using newer clean technologies to drastically reduce emissions from power stations. The Labour Party abandoned the miners in favour of continuing their love affair with Brussels and their green taxes. You can read here about why Blair decided to stand for UKIP.
Jonathan Arnott, our UKIP North East MEP, spoke about how the EU accounts could not be signed off for the 19th year running. He said: “The auditors’ report shows that last year’s massive increase in errors and fraud in the EU budget was no one-off but part of a systemic failure. We’ve got multinationals claiming small business relief, farms claiming buildings as grazing land and officials pocketing five times the going rate for their jobs. The EU’s budget is now riddled with an error rate of almost 5%. That’s three times as much money as the UK is being expected to hand over to the EU on December 1st (£1.7 billion). Any small business acting in such a manner would be closed down, but apologists for the EU look the other way when confronted with the evidence of mismanagement and fraud.”
I am looking forward to next week 🙂
I had some fun at Billingham Carnival today. Had a go on a Tombola (I lost), bought some lovely Turkish desserts to remind me of our holiday and got some candy floss for my son.
Afterwards, I popped into The Smiths Arms to introduce myself, chat to the customers about UKIP and answer any questions they might have. I was very warmly received and one gentleman was even interested in standing to be a councillor for us, which was really encouraging.
Everyone who expressed a voting intention said that they would vote UKIP, siting uncontrolled immigration as a major issue as it has contributed to wage deflation.
Nigel Farage has a regular phone in slot on Nick Ferrari’s LBC radio show, which started today. The show is on from 9:00 to 9:30 am, every other Friday, and he answers questions from listeners. You can catch up on today’s show here: http://www.lbc.co.uk/watch-nigel-farage-live-on-lbc-96464
Next time, (26th September), Nigel will be speaking live from the UKIP Conference in Doncaster.