Friday, October 31, 2014

Ex Labour Prime Minister Tony Blair says curbing immigration would be a disaster for the UK; maybe he doesn’t fully understanding current events, the Labour Party is in seriously deep trouble internally and also externally with voters, the days of ignoring voters concerns will see them in the wilderness for decades

Dear All

Ukip’s star is on the rise, the reason for that is people are sick to death of the mainstream parties failing to listen to their concerns and act on them. This isn’t something new that has just suddenly happened; it has been going on for decades as the political class has become the political elite and the political elite that don’t listen.

Working class people and their views have been effectively frozen out of political decision making as parties treat them as people who are to be ‘managed’ but not to be represented. In Scotland, the Labour vote has collapsed to 23% in a new opinion poll, parties rise and parties fall, it seems like the Scottish Labour Party is in line for a fall due to many factors, the chief one being they have ignored the people who they are supposed to represent!

People will put up with that for so long before they write a party off, in Scotland as the Labour vote collapses, others such as the SNP have benefited not because they are any different; it is just that in this stage of the cycle, people aren’t aware that Nationalists don’t represent them either.

The current SNP con trick is to say that they are ‘standing up for Scotland’.

To try and ‘fix’ the Labour Party’s problems, MP Jim Murphy has declared that he wants to be the Scottish Labour leader and ultimately the First Minster of Scotland in 2016. It would be a huge mistake to think that on the back of Jim Murphy having a good referendum campaign with his 100 day tour that people will just flock back to Labour.

They won’t!

Scotland has changed, just as the rest of the UK has changed and is still changing. Jim Murphy’s task if elected is not to try and paper over Labour’s faults and failures because that will be a disaster. Scottish Labour needs new talent, new policies, new vision, new direction and a cull. The cull won’t just be about getting rid of people who aren’t up to representing people; Murphy will have to get rid of some the professional class who don’t want to work at the sharp end of politics, which is tackling injustice. If he tries a ‘dog and pony’ show approach, all singing, all dancing, no delivery, he will be given short shrift at the ballot box. His first experience of real political pain might possibly be in 2015 at the Westminster election, if that goes bad for Labour, then in 2016, things will be even worse.

Scotland is politically poor in terms of representation, and it isn’t a secret. 

On the 20th of October 2014, the SNP Government’s 5 pence on a plastic bag tax was brought into force, prior to that happy event, the SNP screamed about the injustices people of Scotland had to put up with.

Was the big historic injustice of working class people that there wasn’t 5 pence on a plastic bag?

Holyrood is full of dross right across the political divide because no one was standing up and saying, ‘why is this shite being debated in this Parliament’?

A Parliament which you will remember that cost £440 million pounds of taxpayer’s money to build, and is served by 129 MSPs and staff.

Can you as a punter name most of them, probably not because most of them are sheep, most of them have achieved nothing, and most of them are just there to collect the money!

In today’s politics, either side of the border, it isn’t about who is popular, it is more who do you hate the least, who has the better election bribe, doesn’t sound too good does it. As the political market becomes unstable, new parties enter the market such as the Greens and Ukip. Ukip however is the party that has real traction, the Claction by-election seen by some as a one off delivered an Ukip MP, the first in history. Rochester and Strood may deliver a second, Mark Reckless like Douglas Carswell was a former Conservative MP before he defected. Bad enough for the Conservatives to lose Douglas Carswell but to have two defeats will certainly worry David Cameron and his team at Central Office. In Rochester, the Conservative candidate doesn’t look like a good bet by any means quite the opposite in my opinion.

Immigration has become an issue which until recently was simply ignored by the main parties, prior to this, anyone speaking out could find themselves labelled as racist. Several attempts have been made by people in different parties to brand Ukip as a racist party but it hasn’t worked. The party has many people from all different types of backgrounds and minorities in its ranks as members and candidates. Some senior Labour figures have been engaged in trying to make Ukip appear unelectable, including rising star Chuka Umunna. His take is to launch strongly-worded attacks on the 'absolutely vile' views of 'racists' in Ukip.

As I understand it Ukip has a strong policy against racists and will not accept people from organisations deemed inappropriate, Labour as Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader has accepted former BNP councillors into it’s ranks, playing the race card such as Chuka Umunna doesn’t work in politics, a clear example was seen in Scotland during the Euro 2014 election where Alex Salmond played the race card on behalf of Tasmina Ahmed-Shiekh. That idea was a disaster; I voted Ukip and wrote articles in support of them getting a seat. It was won by David Coburn, Scotland’s first Ukip MEP; he was the only candidate under the current voting system that had a chance of blocking Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh getting elected to public office.

Tasmina Ahmed-Shiekh doesn’t deserve to be an MEP. Prior to the Nicola Sturgeon campaign of 2011, she told me that she had done no activism for 5 years. She does some work on Sturgeon’s campaign and suddenly she is MEP material?

I think not!
As the Ukip bandwagon rolls and gathers momentum, it will be increasingly attacked from all sides such as Chuka Umunna of Labour and Alex Salmond of the SNP but it makes no difference, Ukip on the other hand could improve their standing by having better crafted policies put in a more professional and polished manner. One of the new people to start to speak out against Ukip is Tony Blair, he has decided to enter the fight by saying curbing immigration to Britain would be a 'disaster'. Like a lot of what Blair says you have to separate fact from fiction. In itself immigration is useful, all parties and that includes Ukip see the need for immigration to help boost a country’s economy done fairly and properly. No country in the world operates an open door policy on immigration and for reasons of national security cannot afford to do so.

Tony Blair says Labour cannot get into a race for voters by apeing Ukip policies. Blair and the Labour Party were responsible for the disastrous social engineering experiment which saw a huge rise in immigration that damaged the social cohesion in Britain. It was done by the use of a lie that the influx was needed on economic grounds; later the Labour Party was to admit that was a lie. Just as Labour is losing the working class vote in Scotland to the Nationalists, down south they are losing the working class vote to Ukip.

Ukip’s slogan of ‘enough’s enough has real traction with the people down south as Clacton aptly shows, other factors in Clacton were Douglas Carswell’s hard work as a local MP, you have to take this into account as well.

Tony Blair said Labour must be 'really careful' of saying things that suggested Nigel Farage's party are justified in their policies. If they weren’t would the current UK Conservative Government be tackling the immigration problem to drive down the figures? Tony Blair is a man out of his time, does he expect the Labour Party to do likewise, sooner or later, Ed Miliband will have to face a choice, side with the majority view of the British people or forfeit any chance of forming a government in 2015. Miliband isn’t seen as Prime Minister material; he will further reduce his chances if Labour doesn’t appeal to the wishes and desires of the people.  

Blair’s intervention comes as Ed Miliband faces the prospect of Labour being defeated by Ukip in the election of a new police and crime commissioner in South Yorkshire. The contest was sparked by the resignation of Labour’s previous police commissioner Shaun Wright; he stood down in the wake of the Rotherham child sex abuse scandal, where an estimated 1,400 children were abused over 16 years by Pakistani criminal gangs. A defeat for Labour would be seen as a major blow for Ed Miliband whose Doncaster constituency lies in the South Yorkshire police force area.

As politics is politics, Ukip has exploited the child abuse scandal to attack Labour. Last week, the party launched a poster featuring a young woman with the slogan:

‘There are 1,400 reasons why you should not trust Labour again’.

Apparently some people in the Labour Party didn’t want to upset social cohesion by speaking out.

The people who put Labour in this position are Labour, the professional political elite who don’t take seriously the public who they are supposed to represent; now things have changed, there is a genuine alternative and that alternative is Ukip which is taking voters from Labour and also the Conservatives. The sense of panic in the political elite class is seen by how the government is trying to woo voters with an EU referendum in 2017.

Ukip’s policy is that they want Britain out of the European Union, I am a fan of the European Union, the idea on the surface is great, the application is less so. The recent bill to the UK for £1.7 billion pounds payable by 1st December is a bombshell which few ordinary people will understand given Britain is gripped by austerity, the bill is for Britain ‘doing well’.

Do the working class people using food banks consider that Britain is doing well, no job, no hope, no future and no one to stand up and put their rights centre stage!

That was until Ukip entered the political market.

Across Europe, other people are concerned about how the European Union project doesn’t address their domestic problems and encroaches on sovereignty issues. The EU in order to go forward needs to return to a former time along the lines of the Common Market, were trade was the glue that binds.  A policy which I would like to see adopted is my idea for a EU internal immigration policy which sets a criteria for people wishing to move to another EU country, free movement of Labour has been abused, that abuse has resulted in crisis and that crisis has effected social cohesion.
The Labour Party under Ed Miliband can simply put its head in the sand and hope it all goes away, but the reality for Miliband is that ‘trouble’ exists for him on both sides of the border between Scotland and England, and it doesn’t look like he has answers to the question of Ukip or the SNP eating into his vote.

His professional political elite who have their own agenda are finding that the public don’t want them any more. Recently a friend of mine put it this way, he never left Labour; Labour left him. His family were rock solid Labour supporters but Labour has more or less lost his entire family as voters. He repeatedly tried to get Labour representation on a number of issues concerning his family only to find the elected Labour representatives failed to help or at best provided risible advice and effort.

Why elect someone who will not represent you?

One of the guys, my friend sought help from is a Glasgow Councillor, who also works for Labour MP Willie Bain and MSP Paul Martin, three taxpayer funded salaries, but my friend didn’t get the value of three taxpayer funded salaries. And if elected people don’t want to work, there is no one to hold them to account, that doesn’t just apply in the Labour Party, it goes right across the board.

If Labour MP Jim Murphy is elected as leader, he has a huge task to win back voters in Scotland just as Ed Miliband has a huge task to win by voters in England. The disenfranchised have found one thing, their voice; it is now being effectively channelled by Ukip.

The tide of public opinion has turned and who wants to be on the wrong side of destiny. Especially when the mainstream parties have been found out as serving only the professional political elite at the expense of the many who are genuinely suffering!

Yours sincerely

George Laird
The Campaign for Human Rights at Glasgow University

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