Monday, April 28, 2014

Ukip leads Euro poll on a whacking 31% ahead of Labour and the Tories trailing second and third, the Lib Dems and Greens have been marginalised, Nigel Farage and Ukip have has a few PR disasters, but the momentum is still with them at present

Dear All

In politics, you can expect to be a 'target' if you are seen as a threat or if people just hate you.

Ukip's star is on the rise, they have surged into the lead in the European election contest; political parties haven't made much of the European elections with most starting their campaigns very late.

In Scotland, it is all about Scottish referendum, the only election leaflet I have had is the one for Ukip so far, others will no doubt pop up.

Ukip's is a little booklet with the dual use of being a small election poster.

Their central theme is immigration with a rather catchy slogan of:

"Enough's enough!"

Ukip has identified that we have lost control of own borders, I recognise many good things about the EU, but the lack of reform is disappointing. That is why I proposed the internal EU immigration policy, the purpose is to have a framework to adjust the problems created by politicians in the UK who mismanaged immigration. Labour's social engineering experience dressed up as economic development has one a tremendous amount of damage. Something which they have admitted, immigration is a good thing, uncontrolled immigration creates social unrest. Speaking out tends to see people branded as 'racists' by the left mostly.

On the back of their leaflet, they say:

"In the EU we can't control our borders"

"Unlimited cheap Labour costs British jobs".

"Cheap Labour pushes down British wages".

"Schools, health and welfare are under pressure".

With an internal EU immigration policy, all of the above could be fixed in one fell swoop.

Although things are on the up, Ukip has had it share of blunders and bad PR such as Nigel Farages' expenses, the "racist" posters, coupled with criticism on misleading campaign literature, and as always the old standby in politics dubious comments from activists and candidates.

However, despite that bruising things seem to be move still upward.

Nigel Farage's party recorded 31% support in YouGov research for the Sunday Times.

This puts Ukip ahead of Labour by three points, and the Tories languishing in third on 19%.

It is surprising how the Euro election his year have been treated as a forgotten event by the main parties.

The good news of the polling mirrors the results of a ComRes poll for the Sunday Mirror and Independent on Sunday last month.

Ukip on 30%

Labour on 28%

Conservatives on 21%

Also Farage is lucky that he has former Tory donor Paul Sykes who is helping bankroll Ukip's attempt by funding one poster campaign.

He is worth £650 million.

Skyes told the press that there would be "at least another two waves" of adverts before the European elections.

He added:

"I'm not giving up. That will warn the Conservatives what is going to happen. We will get more democracy in Britain if it skints me."
So, whether you are rich or poor, the Ukip brand is certainly making a mark down south, whether that translates north of the border remains to be seen, for the most part,  Ukip's candidates having been getting much exposure in the press, except when it is bad.

Nothing like bad news to sell a newspaper!

The Liberal Democrats are seeing their election chances go straight down the crapper as they sit on a miserable 9%.

Equally stagnate are the Greens on 8%.

One of them less than able to put his foot in his mouth is William Henwood, who is standing in a council election.

He had a go at actor and comedian Lenny Henry, who he said should go live in a "black country".

Lenny Henry was making the point that ethnic minorities were under-represented on British television which is a valid point to express, you could add, not just in front of the camera but also behind it.

The two most discriminated groups in Britain are black people and white working class.

On Twitter, Henwood said in response to Henry's remark:

"He should emigrate to a black country. He does not have to live with whites."

Rather than apologising, Henwood decided to add:

"I think if black people come to this country and don't like mixing with white people why are they here? If he (Henry) wants a lot of blacks around go and live in a black country."

Henry was asking for special treatment rather than equal treatment, a point that appears to have flown right over Henwood's head.

Interestingly, the Tories jumped in, in the form of Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt, he told Pienaar's Politics on BBC Radio 5 Live the comments on Lenny Henry were racist.

He said:

"I do think those comments about Lenny Henry were absolutely disgusting and I do think it's for Nigel Farage to make absolutely clear that it's not Ukip's official view, but also to explain why so many people with those kinds of view seem to be attracted to becoming candidates for Ukip."

I think that Hunt knows that isn't Ukip's official view, a poor attempt at spin by Hunt.
But this is the threat that Ukip represents, if the Tories thought they were corralling the vote by using this tactic; that will won't work.

Ukip deputy chairman Neil Hamilton, a former Tory MP, said the comments on Lenny Henry were a "complete distraction" from the European election campaign, adding Mr Henwood's case would be investigated.

Standard practice when bad news pops up.

Hamilton told Pienaar's Politics:

"This is a council candidate whom you would have never have heard but for all the social media archaeologists that are employed by Labour, the Liberal party and the Tories to try and track down any unknown Ukip member or activist who may have said something unpleasant on social media".

I found myself in the same position being researched recently as an SNP member who previously worked for SNP Minister Derek MacKay was digging into my background on linkedin.

Anyway, Hamilton added on the 'digger's:

"Every party has got them. We have strict rules on racism. We don't allow it. We're the only party that doesn't allow ex-BNP or National Front members to be candidates and we have strict rules on social media. I know because I helped to devise them. This man's case will be investigated."

Whether Ukip make a breakthrough in Scotland is hard to say, their vote hasn't been established as a major player, Scotland is different from England because of the Nationalist aspect of politics and then there is the similarity that all the key players are pro EU. That being said the Ukip leaflet appears to be the only one making a direct appeal to working class people, the EU hasn't reached a tipping point yet, but Ukip is expected to do very well, much better than their current position which certainly will create a new dynamic.

One thing that Jeremy Hunt is right on, Lenny Henry is as British as you and I are.

Something that William Henwood needs to address if he wishes to be considered a serious politician rather than just a party hack with delusions of grandeur.

Although I haven't made my mind up who I will vote for on 22nd May, one party I won't be voting for is the Scottish National Party, no matter what their offer is.

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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