Today’s letters address the aftermath of the Sleaford by-election. The first is by our contributor and NEC Candidate Rhys Burriss:
I confess to puzzlement at the Libs’ increase in percentage of vote: is it just that now they are the only Party campaigning unequivocally for Remain?
And the bottom line is that diehard Remainers represent 11% of the Linconshire electorate? I suppose if so that is not bad news for UKIP.
And the diehard Lab vote (with its Leadership message of ‘ We love mass immigration, Us, – the more the merrier ‘) is at a similar number ~10%?
Again, not bad news for UKIP, esp if that were to be the case in a Northern, Lab – held Rotten Borough?
We will have to see what happens in the next by-election in a Labour safe seat/RB, but it must be in that territory that we have a chance of winning.
I just don’t see us having opportunities in the Tory Rotten Boroughs……
What I take from the holding up of the Tory vote in Lincs (not to mention other indicators like the massive increase in Tory Party membership since the vile pair of public schoolboys departed high office) is that frankly the many millions who never reconciled to the chumocracy Camborne-Liberal takeover of their Party (and who thus loaned UKIP their vote for the Duration of the Occupation) are now happy enough to return to the more meritocratic seeming, and more Brexit friendly, Tory Party of Mrs May.
She has many defects (not least her record as Home Sec.) but somehow she has managed to get a makeover in the public prints and does come across as more understanding of the problems of those at the bottom of the pile than Camborne ever could.
She does, after all, come from a modest background socially (the Vicarage) and deserves credit for that. This is what people will, not unreasonably, think (and vote accordingly).
I wonder whether there is much in UKIP’s current policy ‘offer’ which is going to appeal to trad Tories more than that which Mrs May is offering?
I certainly think that our current policy on immigration (which I understand to be ‘yes we need it, but not quite as much as we have currently’) is not only the wrong policy objectively speaking, but also little differentiated from that of the Tories.
A policy of ‘ Moratorium for five years on all new immigration from whatever source, whilst we attempt to alleviate the housing crisis ‘ is in my view both needed as a policy and more likely to appeal to the majority in the country which share the concern that the overcrowdedness just has to be addressed, and at minimum not continually worsened by the current open door policy. Of course we need other policies as well. I have set my suggestions out elsewhere on this site: http://www.rhys4nec.co.uk/index.php/policy-beliefs
The bottom line is that I think we have every possibility of appealing to former/trad Labour voters whom the current Labour leadership openly despise. That is where UKIP’s leaders need to be directing their attention. I see no reason why we should not aspire to replace Labour as the political voice of the Have Nots /Have Very Littles.
Stating we are aspiring to no more than ‘double figures’ of MPs at the next General Election is unnecessarily modest, even self~defeating. The SNP managed to wholly replace Labour in Scotland in one election: why should UKIP not aspire to do likewise in England and Wales?
Respectfully, Rhys Burriss
The second letter is from our reader Les Arnott:
We in UKIP need to have a far better grasp of what makes Labour voters tick.
My grandfather was a Labour activist before WW2: he fought for trade union rights for agricultural workers; he was scrupulously fair; honest; pragmatic; sacked from two jobs for his support for farm labourers – and a local preacher to boot. He believed in ‘a fair day’s work for a fair day’s pay’ – and to him this was a two way process. Labour to a fault; hated Tories; he could never have been realistically called a socialist. He was patriotic too. His type once formed a majority amongst Labour voters – in many ways, perhaps still does.
In his day, the Fabian Society luvvies were only one element of the Labour movement – not the ‘liberal’ control freaks of today who totally dominate the party structure.
These form that sinister element who have attempted to change traditional morality and replace it with the ever vile political correctness which is profoundly despised by so many traditional Labour voters.
We only have to look at Frank Field MP to remind ourselves that there was once a time when Labour MPs consisted of a body of people, many of whom were actually electable.
Labour politics became part of the DNA of local communities which were solidly anti-tory and who would vote Labour as a family, generational thing. Thought was seldom part of voting.
These groups accepted the ‘liberal mindset’ – even if they entirely disagreed with it – a small price to pay to keep the Tories at bay. Now, that price has become too great.
Consider Thurcoft in S. Yorks. It is one of a number of former mining communities sending UKIP councillors to represent them on Rotherham Council. So many are starting to recognise that the Scargills, Blairs, Kinnocks, and especially the Corbyn’s of this world, are not representing the British working class in any way at all. (Ask Jonathan Arnott MEP to tell you about his father-in-law if you happen to run into him.)
Labour voters now see that these politicos have other agendas than what is best for them. They are beginning to spot the overweening hubris which has been the stock-in-trade of Labour politicians for a number of decades.
As a youngster, I could already see this sad process developing way back in the 60s. The penny has been slow to drop with many Labour voters, but latterly, huge numbers of working people are finally seeing what so many established Ukippers have known for a long time, ‘The working man or woman cannot be represented by Islington, dinner party liberal leftists’.
One extremely vital point to remember is how many of these voters are, by nature, non-Tory centre right. This grouping may even form a majority. They must be our principal target. Many northern Tories would obviously be able to accept that particular pitch from UKIP. Dyed-in-the-wool Lib Dems would hate both it and us. Win/win.
Offer these people honest policies which are equitable and UKIP can take enormous numbers of Labour votes.
Stop the immigration which is stealing so many of their jobs; punish the criminals who wreck their communities; reward honesty and decency; stop the lowlifes who milk the system; sort out the NHS on which they depend; ensure that their kids have the chance of a future etc, etc. These kinds of policies, explained so that all can understand, will attract many people higher up the social ladder too.
What happened in the Headland and Harbour Ward in Hartlepool can happen in many hundreds of others. Win Labour wards and you can start to take Labour constituencies! After all, Labour could not do much more to help us achieve victories than they are doing at present.
Respectfully, Les Arnott