I agree with the main thrust of the Editorial on Friday 24th February, that we were given grossly unfair treatment/coverage by the MSM, but that this was entirely to be expected and should not have been assisted by unforced errors on UKIP’s part.
For example: The business about declaring the house to be Paul Nuttall’s ‘main’ residence? What on earth was that about?
Everybody in the country, as well as everybody in Stoke, knew and knows that Paul comes from the Liverpool area, is a national political figure, and was seeking to become Stoke’s MP at a by-election. Even if he had sold whatever other house/s he owns and bought another one in Stoke (I am guessing this one was rented rather than purchased outright?), he still would not plausibly have been able to claim himself to be a ‘local’ candidate. The house was apparently unfurnished for heaven’s sake. Did anyone on the campaign really think the address would remain secret? And if it was attacked by thugs – why did he not call 999 and require police protection at the house and on the street for the duration? They might not have provided it but that could have been a legitimate cause of complaint to be given wide, national and local, publicity : that the authorities were not facilitating one of the candidates getting his message across in the face of violence.
But there is no shame at all anyway in saying ‘I come from Liverpool, but if I am privileged to be elected by the people of Stoke I will be full time resident in Stoke from Friday 24th Feb. I will resign my seat in the EU Parliament and commute as necessary to Westminster, but I will live in Stoke.’ I cannot see that such a declaration would have lost a single vote! But claiming that the house was already his full time address just created, provided entirely predictably a side issue stick for Labour et al to beat UKIP/Paul with.
And though I hate to say it (you know how much I campaigned on here for Paul to become Leader) the house issue, which we might summarise as ‘exaggeration’ is analogous to the claim re the losing of friends (as opposed to just having been there) at Hillsborough.
Not only does the latter turn out to have been a very similar sort of exaggeration, but how on earth anyway would ‘losing friends at Hillsborough’ anyway be some sort of plus point which would merit more votes? How? An unforced error!
Then there was the withdrawing from a local Hustings at apparently very short notice and sending in a second to bat for him instead. That must have looked terrible locally unless there was some good reason such as illness. However, I have seen only that the reason given was ‘Important Party Meetings’ – well … was not their existence known about when his attendance at the Hustings was agreed on in the first place? This again counts as an unforced error which may well have lost votes.
We certainly also need to have maybe four or so sharp policy points to stand out from the crowd and which would have resonance with working class voters, e.g.
1) Full, total, clean BREXIT, with zero leaving payments to the EU and with full reclamation of our 200 mile EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone), both to boost the coastal communities and to signal that we are a sovereign nation again;
2) A complete ( or almost complete ) Moratorium on all and any new immigration for a period of five years whilst we attempt to alleviate the misery caused by the housing crisis, particularly in the south of the country;
3) A complete revamp of the criminal justice system, including increasing the powers of Magistrates’ Courts to 3 years imprisonment per offence, so that they can deal adequately with burglars, car thieves, unprovoked thuggery and so on, and do so within days of offences being committed;
4) I will let someone else provide the fourth point – tho’ check out my earlier postings on www.rhys4nec.co.uk for ideas … N.B.: that should not be ‘an English Parliament’ – no one wants that, and if we campaign for full Proportional Representation that would largely solve the issue of imbalance with Scotland.
Two smaller issues and points:
a) I offered last week to spend most of this week doing loudhailing in the streets of Stoke from a UKIP liveried 4×4. I was told this would be unwelcome, indeed forbidden, as being ‘old fashioned and counter productive’. Well, I agree it is old fashioned but I think that’s why people like it and why we get quite a few thumbs up in the streets when we do it in Sunderland and Bishop Auckland! Thumbs up are good for morale, btw, and even good humoured thumbs down can give you a laugh – most people are not that hostile to UKIP’s message, even if they are not supporters, or are doubtful.
b) The candidate should never ever again be seen in that hideous tweed suit with accompanying beard! Even the atrocious, foul mouthed, misogynist, Labour candidate was photographed wearing a standard business suit, with Mr. Corbyn ditto. Working class people, no less than others, want ‘their’ MP to look serious, to look the part. That dog races/dole queue/country gent going grouse shooting ‘look’ just doesn’t do it. Never again please!