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.
In this week’s Gazette the present MP for Stockton North, Alex Cunningham, says that I need to be “serious about politics”. He says that he is looking forward to debating the issues with me. However actions speak louder than words.
On 14 November 2014 Mr Cunningham asked on his online profile about UKIP’s policy on privatising the NHS. I answered him and said: “It is actually a Labour peer, Lord Winston, who suggested charging to see your GP and Labour who think that it is a good idea to privatise the NHS via PFIs – Private Finance Initiatives. The clue is in the name. The NHS is now repaying £300 billion over 25 years for a £50 billion loan. Only UKIP says no more PFIs.”
I also pointed out that we would save £2 billion a year by getting rid of health tourism, insisting that all visitors to the UK have NHS approved travel insurance.
If he wants to be serious about politics then maybe Mr Cunningham should not have deleted the answers that I gave to him – which he has. This is not an isolated instance. I also asked many more questions of him. All have been deleted without debate.
Recently he knocked on the door of a local resident, and told them that UKIP would privatise the NHS! Is he serious?
David Cameron, tell me what’s wrong?
Your MPs don’t really want you
In their eyes
You’re still in love with the EU
Oh that 1.7 billion
There is no way you won’t pay it
I can see that you think that we won’t notice
David Cameron, tell me the truth
Cos you can’t keep on deceiving
They will really keep on leaving
You were always sure of yourself
Now I see you’ve lost your direction
Saying, yes Angela, will lose you the election
Alex Cunningham, you and I know
How elections come and they go but this time you’re leaving
You’ll lose your safe Labour seat
To the UKIP girl
You will have no time for grieving
Alex Cunningham you’re gonna cry
Because Stockton North is turning purple around you
Over thirty years neglect will come to an end
And we’ll celebrate the purple
Thirty years will come to an end
And we’ll celebrate the purple
So the walls came tumbling down
Your campaign’s a blown out candle
All is gone and it seems too hard to handle
Alex Cunningham tell me the truth
There is no way you can deny it
With yet another smear to try to keep me quiet
If you enjoyed the song, or even if you didn’t, I’d love it if you could make a donation to my chosen local charity, Butterwick Hospice. Text UKIP99 plus the amount you want to donate to 70070. Eg, to donate £2, text UKIP99 £2 to 70070.
The Unite union said that protestors were concerned about foreign workers being used to undercut the wages of local workers.
Unite supports the Labour party. Ed Miliband has said a clear “no” to a referendum on our membership of the EU.
Unite also supports our membership of the EU. It is hypocritical of them to complain about the effect of foreign workers on wage rates, because nothing can be done about this problem while we remain inside the European Union.
UKIP supports controlled immigration on a points based system such as that used in Australia, not an open door policy which has led to wage deflation for manual workers. If Unite was really concerned about their workers on Teesside, they’d be campaigning for the same policy.
This letter was printed in the Northern Echo on 26th February.
My husband Andy was helping me leaflet today. Here is a funny story he told me…
A Labour councillor was out delivering Labour leaflets. He didn’t know me.
“Hello” I said, “You are a councillor aren’t you?”
“Yes” he said.
“What’s your policy on immigration?” I asked (sniggering under my breath).
“You’re not allowed to mention immigration are you?” I helpfully added.
“You have to switch the subject to the NHS” I added.
“Oh yes, the NHS, we ……” he started, but was interrupted by me..
“Hang on, I want to hear your immigration policy first” I said.
“UKIP will privatise the NHS” he added.
“That’s not a great immigration policy”.
“You just can’t say anything can you?” I added helpfully.
“You don’t have an immigration policy, you have an open door policy”.
“Is all you say errrrrr?” I said.
“I was telling you about the NHS,” he said.
“No you weren’t, you were lying about UKIP” I said. “Would you like one of our UKIP leaflets?”, I added brandishing one in front of him, “It says UKIP will NOT privatise the NHS, unlike Labour who already have”.
Just as he went to get hold of it I said “Well you’re not having one”.
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?