Dear Reader, I write this letter to you in sorrow and in anger.
If there were a municipality that epitomises the betrayal of the British working people by the Labour Party better than this town I would like to know.
Tucked in a strategically important pivot, in what is supposed to be the nascent northern powerhouse (remember that?), it has definitely seen better days – much, much better days.
The basis of the town’s prosperity – and it was prosperous, both the magnificent Town Hall and Railway Station are proud and rather wonderful testaments to the past endeavour of the town’s people – was industry and commerce.
The working people of the town are amazing but their political leaders and representatives have abandoned and deceived them. In this letter I will illustrate how the working people have been betrayed in terms of health, employment and education, while the architects of that betrayal earn incredible salaries often, it seems, as a reward for failure.
Just two Labour MPs have represented the town since 1945 and so, after more than 70 years of continuous Labour representation, what is the result?
With such a socialist pedigree, as you would expect, the Public sector now dominates local employment with the top three state enterprises employing over 25,000 people while the largest private sector business employs just 1,200. Post-industrial is an apt description for the area!
But with all these public sector jobs supporting the people you would reasonably expect that by other metrics the town would be a flourishing and successful community where people would want to settle.
And yet…at the time of the last General Election:
- the schools languished in the bottom third of the National league table;
- the town had been labelled as one of the unhealthiest in the UK with a large number of fast food outlets and betting shops;
- and 10,000 private sector jobs had been lost in the last ten years,
- while the number of voters within the constituency continued to shrink as the town depopulated.
Meanwhile, while a new local hospital has been built at a capital cost £64.6m, the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) scheme, used to fund the development, will end up costing the local NHS Foundation Trust a total of £773.2m, some 12x (twelve!) times the original capital cost. The last Labour Government betrayed the town’s people tying them into an 60-year-long PFI agreement and have saddled them, their children, grandchildren and even their great grandchildren with a financial liability that they must pay with their, as yet, unearned income. A Labour Party that privatised the hospital’s buildings but nationalised the debt …!
One of the largest employers is now the University and this brings in much needed employment and money into the town, but even here this expansion of the University seems to be largely supported on the iniquitous Student Loan Scheme which, I believe, will result in many thousands of our young people being locked into a lifetime of penury and debt.
The Government’s Inspectors have once again declared the Children’s Services of the Council “Inadequate”, the lowest rating it can give. Ofsted reported that:
“Services for vulnerable children are inadequate, due to serious widespread failures which result in some children not being protected or having their needs met.”
In the meantime, having been a “Labour town” for so long, many symptoms of a rotten borough have appeared and seem to remain unchecked by a largely sympathetic local newspaper that is owned by the left-leaning Trinity Mirror Group. For example, when the largely absent MP does deign to show up in town, you can be sure that there is a large prominent article with obligatory photograph but, when four Labour councillors were exposed for failing to pay their council tax, this expose was conveniently timed to be reported just after the local elections. One of these councillors was the Deputy Leader of the Council at the time of her expose and she had been a Former Mayor …
The rot goes to the very top.
Meanwhile the public sector elites enjoy a lavish lifestyle. For example, the CEO of the Metropolitan Borough earns about the same as the Prime Minister (£140k), the CEO of the local NHS Trust earns just shy of £190,000 while the Vice Chancellor of the University earns significantly in excess of £300,000 pa.
The workers of the town have been betrayed and are crying out for change and it’s time for UKIP, under Paul Nuttall’s leadership, to bring about that transformation. In my next letter I will try and flesh out how UKIP can be that agent for change for all the people of this town, and towns just like it, all across the United Kingdom.
I started this letter in sorrow and anger but I leave you in optimistic anticipation. We are going to deliver real change as UKIP begins to take even more political power as the People’s Revolution develops both here and across the Western World, and we in the UK, bring hope and real opportunity to all the working people of Britain.
More soon from the new frontline in British politics!
Rob Butler, Chairman Huddersfield UKIP, writing in a personal capacity