My KCC Election Manifesto & Video

Sunday, 1 March 2015

Stand Up to UKIP: Keep Your Gob Shut & Vote Labour

I went to the Stand Up to UKIP demonstration in Margate yesterday and considering the foul weather  I was surprised by the number of people of who turned up. The Police reckoned it was 200-250 but I would say more like 400, which makes it one the biggest demonstration Thanet has seen in a long while  And so it should be because the UKIP National Conference was taking place in Margate’s Winter Garden on the same day.
The atmosphere was lively and positive and like all good demonstrations there was a chance to meet long lost friends and acquaintances, exchange news and catch up. I took lots of photographs and video which is becoming a bit of a hobby of mine and was impressed by the colourful banners, the  line of marchers stretching all the way along the seafront and the  noise of the drummers and the chanting. Sometimes there’s nothing like a good demonstration to lift your spirits. People motivated and passionate about a common cause coming together at the same place and the same time  generates an emotional energy which you don’t find in many other human activities. If you haven’t experienced this before I strongly suggest that you go to a demo.
Things turned a bit sour outside the Winter Gardens where a group of right-wing Britain First supporters goaded the marches and caused a minor scuffle, but apart from that the march went well. Yet I must confess to having felt a bit let down by the rally at the end of the march. Maybe I am becoming more cynical as get older. Maybe I’m a miserable killjoy. But I just felt that the rally had no cutting edge, no rallying call, no focus.
True,  I agreed with all the speakers about how nasty  UKIPs
bigoted little England vision is. I was impressed with the passion and conviction with which  many of the speakers expressed their fears about how UKIPs anti-immigration crusade threatens to divide society and open the doors to very dark political developments in this country. I also agreed entirely with one of the  speakers who suggested that the rise of UKIP was largely the  product of the Government’s austerity programme. But there was still something missing. That was the failure to confront the fact that one of the supporters of Stand Up to UKIP, the Labour Party is, in its own way, just as anti-immigrant and just as austerity minded as the Tories and UKIP.
Three  days before the Margate march and  rally took place Labour’s Yvette Cooper was doing the rounds of newsrooms slagging off the Coalition Government for allowing net immigration to reach  298,000; the highest level in 10 years.  She promised anyone who cared to listen that Labour would become the toughest, arse kicking, anti-immigrant party on the block. Borders would be tightened and more strictly enforced; our EU neighbours would be encouraged to do likewise; UK entry requirements would be reviewed and made much more demanding. Not a word did she utter about the well documented evidence that immigration brings major economic  benefits to the UK. Nor did she talk about how immigration has added massively to the cultural wealth of our country. Not even a passing acknowledgement of  the fact that on  balance it’s  more beneficial to have immigration than not. Nothing whatsoever was said by her to suggest  that immigration had any merits whatsoever.
But  what made me most angry is Labour’s lack of action about the EU’s decision to withdraw funding from the Italian Navy which had been used to patrol the Lybian coastline and rescue immigrants in danger. Using this money the Italian Navy rescued an estimated 150,000 immigrants last year and in so do doing probably saved tens of thousands of lives. Now that the funding has gone far fewer ships are patrolling and the reduced patrols are being restricted to just 30 miles off the Italian coast. The United Nations High Commission for Refugees has slammed the EU for its actions. So has Amnesty international. They claim that  thousands of men women and children will drown because of this decision. These  are some of the most vulnerable people on our planet who have been forced out of their homes because of war, famine and poverty; who have been abused, raped and  tortured;  lost loved ones; and have been forced to make long and dangerous journeys across Asia and Africa  to find safety in the west. Many people have described  the withdrawal of funding as the most inhumane act to have ever been carried out by the EU. Others, myself included, see this decision  as nothing less than the murder of innocent people by state decree.  But apart from a few solitary soundbites over the past 4 months,  Labour has more or less ignored this appalling human tragedy and totally failed to galvanise public opinion against this morally reprehensible act whihc is supported by our Government. Incredibly an Early Day Motion to Parliament criticising the Government  for its support for the EU action submitted on 12 February has attracted the signatures of 13 Labour MPs. That’s just 5% of Labour’s  258 MPs. I wonder why?
And therein lies my unhappiness with the Stand Up To UKIP rally yesterday. Surely if you are attacking UKIP for its appalling policies on immigration, then you must also  attack other parties, including  Labour,  who’s policies on immigration are hardly any  better. Agreed UKIP is the main villain, but this should not absolve the Labour Party, who out of fear of losing Parliamentary seats  to UKIP has  become  stridently anti-immigrant,  from any criticism.  And that probably explains why forces within Thanet Stand Up to UKIP tried to prevent me speaking at the rally yesterday and why Labour Parliamentary hopeful Will Scobie shamefully failed to say anything of the remotest significance about immigration at a rally who’s entire purpose was to defend immigrants from the politics of scapegoating and persecution.    
If you are going to Stand Up to UKIP  you must be consistent and also stand up to those  parties who from lack of principles and naked electoral expediency, imitate UKIP. Which means no more keeping your gob shut and voting Labour.



8 comments:

  1. I am appalled at every TDC Councillor who attended the rally. Why you might ask and the answer is simple, TDC reputation is in tatters and being bigots(hate speech toward a group of people) towards UKIP and there Councillors will not improve this problem.

    Will this protest help the UKIP cause in Thanet and the answer is most likely yes as people do not like being told what to do and who to vote for. Also the fact that people stayed out of Margate yesterday due to the rally and now seeing you, Scobie and TDC leader Iris at the rally will cause them not to vote for them.

    The rally came across as a Vote Will Scobie March by the way.

    Do people have the right to vote UKIP, yes.
    Do people have the right to attend an anti-UKIP protest march, yes.
    Should Councillor's protest against another political party, no.

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    Replies
    1. well put.

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    2. You are obviously a political innocent. EVERY political party conference has protestors outside it - that's how politics works!

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    3. Did you miss this?
      Do people have the right to vote UKIP, yes.
      Do people have the right to attend an anti-UKIP protest march, yes.
      Should Councillor's protest against another political party, no.

      I think the original post is 100% corrrect, especially when TDC needs its image improving and does not help been dragged into the mud by causing friction between UKIP & anti-UKIP.

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  2. Who is to decide if UKIP is racist? You? Did Farage say he was racist? I found the demonstrators very self righteous & judgemental. I could vomit.

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  3. Well said Ian. I agree wholeheartedly. I think it counter productive to always be anti and never portraying positive messages to vote for an alternative. In Thanet the best alternative is the left leaning Green Party. I did not attend the demo as I do not want to add to the publicity UKIP get! the Ms-rent-a-gob organiser can only ever shout negativity. Sad really. David Wheatley

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  4. The "affected outrage" of the demonstrators was nauseating.

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  5. I'll bet that every last person in that self-righteous rent-a-mob thought "Je suis Charlie" without even a hint of irony as they clamoured to shut down UKIP's democratic right to meet and discuss.

    You either believe in free speech or you don't. Clearly the Greens, the SWP tag-alongs and the rest of the 1789-wannabe rabble don't.

    Jolly good thing there's an election coming up. It's very kind of the anti-free-speech brigade to show their true colours beforehand.

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