Monday, 11 May 2015

Stand Down Thanet Stand Up To UKIP

Thanet’s  self-appointed UKIP opposition, the Stand Uppers, have made the astonishing  claim that it was they who “inflicted a magnificent defeat on Farage”. Maybe I’ve missed something, but I thought it was 2,812 Tory voters who “inflicted a magnificent defeat on Farage” not the Stand Uppers. Indeed I would argue that the Stand Uppers were partly responsible for inflicting “a magnificent defeat on Labour”. Their vociferous, persistently negative, anti-Farage focused campaigning is said, by many, to have alienated lots of electors and actually served to increase right of centre voting in Thanet, rather than reducing it.  Add to this Will Scobie’s “I’m from here” election slogan with its anti-immigrant, anti-from anywhere but Thanet, undertones;  Labour’s lacklustre national electioneering; its farcical tablets of stone;  and the grotesque  record of  Labour controlled Thanet  Council, then it’s clear to see why Labour’s share of the South Thanet Parliamentary vote plummeted  from 31% in 2010 election to 24%  this time around. And it’s not hard to understand  why UKIP secured a massive majority at Thanet Council.  To be brutally frank the Stand Uppers achieved nothing other than  “magnificent self-defeat”.

With a record like this, I would have packed up my trestle table and quietly gone home. But no! Not the Stand Uppers! Believing their own baseless propaganda to the truth the erstwhile Farage slayers now want to Stand Up To UKIP Thanet Councillors and presumably “inflict a magnificent defeat” on a council administration democratically elected, less than a week ago, by over 40% of those who voted.  Honestly this childish nonsense makes me feel like puking. Watching UKIP councillors “like a hawk and when they put a foot out place – step on it” is utter bollox!  This is the job of the Council’s Monitoring Officer; the  District Auditor, the Scrutiny Committee, the Standards Board; the democratically elected Labour and Conservative opposition groups; the Department of Communities and Local Government and

If you aim to challenge a UKIP council you do it by developing roots in the community and campaigning on issues like poverty, low pay; benefits sanctions; the shortage of social housing; poor education and health provision; which affect tens-of-thousands of people in Thanet.  You should also be campaigning about the threat to Thanet’s environment posed by Labour’s Local Plan; the  Parkway station;  the Airport CPO;  the threat to equality and human rights posed, not just by UKIP, but by Labour and the Tories as well and of course the desperate need for regeneration; job creation; and  proportional representation the absence of which  got us into this mess in the first place.

Playing the role of Thanet Council’s  self-appointed moral guardian just because  it’s a UKIP council is hardly likely to achieve anything, especially bearing mind that a UKIP council will be determined to prove  that it is  better managed; better behaved;  more open and transparent than its Labour-controlled predecessor. A task which to be honest will not be too difficult to achieve.

Most people know, but the Labour Party and its hangers-on on the left have forgotten, there is no shortcut to gaining electoral support, other than long and patient campaigning and practical support in the community. So Stand Down Stand Up say I.



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