Euro elections in the South-West - tell us what YOU think

Yeovil Express: Euro elections in the South-West - tell us what YOU think Euro elections in the South-West - tell us what YOU think

SOMERSET is gearing up to go to the polls to pick six MEPs to represent us and the rest of the South-West in the European Parliament.

Anyone over 18 who is registered will be able to cast their vote in the election on Thursday, May 22.

We want to know what you think about the European Union, whether the UK should be in or out; will you be voting in the election; is it the first time you've been old enough to vote; have you voted in lots of elections before; will you be bothering to vote?

What will persuade you to vote for a particular party?

What are the main issues as far as you're concerned?

Let us know what you think - either here or by e-mailing phil.hill@countygazette.co.uk or on Tweitter @GazettePHill - the politicians certainly have plenty to say, so why don't you join the debate?

Here are the candidates in the election - the parties are listed in alphabetical order.

*AN INDEPENDENCE FROM EUROPE: David Smith, Helen Webster, Mike Camp, Andrew Edwards, Phil Dunn, John Taverner.

*BRITISH NATIONAL PARTY: Adrian Romilly, Cliff Jones, Arnold Brindle, Wayne Peter Tomlinson, Andrew Webster, Giuseppe De Santis.

*CONSERVATIVE PARTY: Ashley Peter Fox, Julie McCulloch Girling, James Cracknell, Georgina Susan Butler, Sophie Swire, Melissa Maynard.

*ENGLISH DEMOCRATS: Alan England, Mike Blundell, Clive Lavelle, Barbara Wright, Steve Wright, Ray Carr.

*GREEN PARTY: Molly Scott Cato, Emily Rachel McIvor, Ricky Knight, Audaye Khalid Elesedy, Judy Maciejowska, Mark Chivers.

*LABOUR PARTY: Clare Miranda Moody, Glyn Ford, Ann Margaret Reeder, Hadleigh Vaughan Roberts, Jude Robinson, Junab Ali.

*LIBERAL DEMOCRATS: Graham Robert Watson, Kay Barnard, Brian George Felton Mathew, Andrew Paul Wigley, Jay Oliver Risbridger, Lyana Patricia Armstrong-Emery.

*UK INDEPENDENCE PARTY: William Dartmouth, Julia Reid, Gawain Howard Wilkinson Towler, Tony McIntyre, Robert Lee Smith, Keith Montgomery.

Comments (22)

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9:29pm Thu 8 May 14

FreeSpeech? says...

Vote UKIP.
Vote UKIP. FreeSpeech?
  • Score: -4

1:49pm Fri 9 May 14

SocialistParty_SomersetBranch says...

UKIP - a pro-cuts party for the 1%

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has his eyes on the prize. On 22 May, he hopes to see his party romp home to victory in the European elections and finish up with a healthy smattering of brand new councillors. Should he be successful, this will be the first time a party other than Labour or Conservative has won a countrywide election since World War One.

But does a vote cast Ukip's way bring with it a better chance of improved lives for the 'British workers' whose side they claim to be on?

As Farage plans to exploit the gaping vacuum that exists in British politics in May, Claire Laker-Mansfield looks behind the bluster at what Ukip really stands for.

Ukip is attempting to win over working class voters in what are traditionally Labour areas. It was clearly a very conscious decision to launch Ukip's millionaire-bankroll
ed billboards and election campaign in Yorkshire. One billboard features a gigantic pointing finger beside the words: "26 million people in Europe are looking for work. And whose jobs are they after?"

The campaign is designed to cynically exploit the understandable anxieties of many workers - concern about the lack of jobs, cut-to-the-bone public services, anger at corrupt politicians and the super-rich elite, and betrayal by Labour.

Farage has said he is going after Labour voters and non-voters, claiming one in five Ukip votes come from those who wouldn't otherwise bother. Ukip beermats attempt to appeal to disillusioned voters in pubs across the north of England. And with hours and hours of TV and media coverage, Ukip is widely presented as the best stick to beat the Con-Dems and Labour.

But while Ukip's politics place it to the right of the Conservative party, when asked, its voters often stand to the left of the three main capitalist parties. The majority of Ukip's supporters are in favour of higher public spending; almost 80% express support for nationalising the energy companies; 57% want a ban on zero-hour contracts and 73% would like to see the railways back under public ownership.

Posing left

When asked what issues motivated people to vote Ukip, the European Union came fifth. More prominent concerns include healthcare, the economy and immigration. It is with these voters in mind that Ukip is combining its inflammatory and xenophobic rhetoric on immigration with posing to the left on some economic issues.

Farage has made recent headlines calling for 'curbs' on zero-hour contracts - although he was keen to caution he had no truck with 'militant trade unionism' which might actually improve the lot of these workers. Meanwhile Ukip's enormously regressive and utterly out of touch flat-rate tax policy has been quietly dropped for the time-being.

During the Wythenshawe byelection in February, Ukip even went as far as producing leaflets with the headline 'Vote Ukip, protect your benefits'. Ukip's semi-left posturing is beyond cynical, but they are allowed to get away with it by a Labour party which is fully signed up to the agenda of austerity.

How can Labour attack Ukip for not seriously wanting to defend benefits when its leaders have pledged to be 'tougher than the Tories on welfare'?

The truth is that Ukip will not be any defence against cuts for working people. Its leaders and key donors are rabidly right-wing free market fundamentalists, who would implement even more brutal cut-backs and anti-working class policies than the Tories if they could.

£77 billion cuts

Ukip may have been forced to disown its 2010 general election manifesto (which Farage now refers to as 'drivel'), but it gives you a taste of the carnage that it would unleash if given half a chance.

Not content with the slash and burn approach of the Tories, it pledged to go even further, reducing public spending to 1997's levels and slashing two million public sector jobs. Ukip may want to win voters struggling under the cruelty of benefit cuts in Wythenshawe now, but in 2010, it pledged to abolish incapacity benefit completely.

What's more, only months ago Farage was decrying the Tories' failure to 'deal with the deficit' and claiming only Ukip would be bold enough to 'properly' cut the NHS and pensions, pledging an additional £77 billion of cuts. Now, when he's asked about policies on welfare, education and public spending, Farage refuses to talk about domestic policies until after 22 May.

However, in the few places Ukip has councillors they have often voted for cuts - even while in opposition. In Suffolk one Ukip councillor even went to the lengths of using the voting card of his absent colleague to 'vote twice' for a Conservative cuts budget (now the subject of an investigation).

Farage's popular image is itself a carefully constructed lie: A straight-talking 'everyman', complete with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other, he apparently relishes the chance to stick it to the political and social elites. Commenting on Ukip's mission, Farage recently claimed: "My priority is a new political party and movement in this country that wants to stand up for the interests of ordinary people".

Ordinarily posh

But 'ordinary' would be an inappropriate adjective to apply to Nigel. This privately educated (Dulwich College) millionaire is a former stockbroker, and is himself very much a member of the privileged elite. He was a Tory throughout Margaret Thatcher's war on the working class, only leaving in protest at the John Major government's signing of the Treaty on European Union at Maastricht.

While Farage is keen to decry 'Eurocrats' he neglects to mention that he has been stuffing his pockets with over £60,000 worth of expenses. Unabashed by Leveson and revelations about phone hacking, Nigel Farage recently accepted an invitation to a fancy dinner with Rupert Murdoch.

Perhaps that partly explains the mountains of favourable coverage Ukip has been receiving in the Sun!

The Ukip National Executive also includes disgraced ex-Tory MP Neil Hamilton, of 'cash for questions' fame. So any profession by Ukip to represent a clean break from corrupt politicians is laughable.

Moreover, despite the party's deputy leader Paul Nuttall harking back to the days when "Labour MPs came from the mills and the mines", his party has no interest in giving the working class any say in the policies of his party. It is one thing to claim working class support, but quite another to allow organised workers to have 'ownership' of a political organisation.

The reason Labour once had MPs from the mills and the mines, was that it had the democratic participation of millions of working class people through the trade unions. The only political organisation today that allows trade unions and workers a genuine say, and direct democratic control, is the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

What Ukip really stands for is the politics of despair. Millions of those who vote for Ukip will do so out of a desire to 'stick two fingers up' to the main parties in protest. This instinct is more than justified. But Ukip has no solutions. Far from genuinely threatening the establishment, Ukip is playing an important role in protecting them.

Instead of encouraging workers to organise to fight the austerity which enriches the 1% at the expense of the 99%, Ukip aims to foster division between ordinary workers and sow the seeds of hatred. Rather than pledging to vote against cuts, Ukip duplicitously 'talks the talk' on the doorstep while voting for cuts carnage in the town halls.

With further revelations of outright racism among Ukip's council candidates, any claim to simply be 'saying what ordinary people really think' is shown to be false. The best way to protest in May is to vote for an organisation that supports a united struggle of workers of all backgrounds against cuts - an organisation that won't betray us in the town hall and won't abandon us in the workplaces and on the streets.

If you want to register your discontent on 22 May vote TUSC against cuts, and fight to build a party of and for working people.
While TUSC is standing in the local elections, for the European elections the Socialist Party is supporting No2EU - Yes To Workers' Rights, which is led by the RMT union.

As Bob Crow, No2EU and TUSC co-founder said:

"Ukip is neither in favour of workers' rights, public services or welfare. If people are looking for an alternative, Ukip isn't it."

www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk
UKIP - a pro-cuts party for the 1% Ukip leader Nigel Farage has his eyes on the prize. On 22 May, he hopes to see his party romp home to victory in the European elections and finish up with a healthy smattering of brand new councillors. Should he be successful, this will be the first time a party other than Labour or Conservative has won a countrywide election since World War One. But does a vote cast Ukip's way bring with it a better chance of improved lives for the 'British workers' whose side they claim to be on? As Farage plans to exploit the gaping vacuum that exists in British politics in May, Claire Laker-Mansfield looks behind the bluster at what Ukip really stands for. Ukip is attempting to win over working class voters in what are traditionally Labour areas. It was clearly a very conscious decision to launch Ukip's millionaire-bankroll ed billboards and election campaign in Yorkshire. One billboard features a gigantic pointing finger beside the words: "26 million people in Europe are looking for work. And whose jobs are they after?" The campaign is designed to cynically exploit the understandable anxieties of many workers - concern about the lack of jobs, cut-to-the-bone public services, anger at corrupt politicians and the super-rich elite, and betrayal by Labour. Farage has said he is going after Labour voters and non-voters, claiming one in five Ukip votes come from those who wouldn't otherwise bother. Ukip beermats attempt to appeal to disillusioned voters in pubs across the north of England. And with hours and hours of TV and media coverage, Ukip is widely presented as the best stick to beat the Con-Dems and Labour. But while Ukip's politics place it to the right of the Conservative party, when asked, its voters often stand to the left of the three main capitalist parties. The majority of Ukip's supporters are in favour of higher public spending; almost 80% express support for nationalising the energy companies; 57% want a ban on zero-hour contracts and 73% would like to see the railways back under public ownership. Posing left When asked what issues motivated people to vote Ukip, the European Union came fifth. More prominent concerns include healthcare, the economy and immigration. It is with these voters in mind that Ukip is combining its inflammatory and xenophobic rhetoric on immigration with posing to the left on some economic issues. Farage has made recent headlines calling for 'curbs' on zero-hour contracts - although he was keen to caution he had no truck with 'militant trade unionism' which might actually improve the lot of these workers. Meanwhile Ukip's enormously regressive and utterly out of touch flat-rate tax policy has been quietly dropped for the time-being. During the Wythenshawe byelection in February, Ukip even went as far as producing leaflets with the headline 'Vote Ukip, protect your benefits'. Ukip's semi-left posturing is beyond cynical, but they are allowed to get away with it by a Labour party which is fully signed up to the agenda of austerity. How can Labour attack Ukip for not seriously wanting to defend benefits when its leaders have pledged to be 'tougher than the Tories on welfare'? The truth is that Ukip will not be any defence against cuts for working people. Its leaders and key donors are rabidly right-wing free market fundamentalists, who would implement even more brutal cut-backs and anti-working class policies than the Tories if they could. £77 billion cuts Ukip may have been forced to disown its 2010 general election manifesto (which Farage now refers to as 'drivel'), but it gives you a taste of the carnage that it would unleash if given half a chance. Not content with the slash and burn approach of the Tories, it pledged to go even further, reducing public spending to 1997's levels and slashing two million public sector jobs. Ukip may want to win voters struggling under the cruelty of benefit cuts in Wythenshawe now, but in 2010, it pledged to abolish incapacity benefit completely. What's more, only months ago Farage was decrying the Tories' failure to 'deal with the deficit' and claiming only Ukip would be bold enough to 'properly' cut the NHS and pensions, pledging an additional £77 billion of cuts. Now, when he's asked about policies on welfare, education and public spending, Farage refuses to talk about domestic policies until after 22 May. However, in the few places Ukip has councillors they have often voted for cuts - even while in opposition. In Suffolk one Ukip councillor even went to the lengths of using the voting card of his absent colleague to 'vote twice' for a Conservative cuts budget (now the subject of an investigation). Farage's popular image is itself a carefully constructed lie: A straight-talking 'everyman', complete with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other, he apparently relishes the chance to stick it to the political and social elites. Commenting on Ukip's mission, Farage recently claimed: "My priority is a new political party and movement in this country that wants to stand up for the interests of ordinary people". Ordinarily posh But 'ordinary' would be an inappropriate adjective to apply to Nigel. This privately educated (Dulwich College) millionaire is a former stockbroker, and is himself very much a member of the privileged elite. He was a Tory throughout Margaret Thatcher's war on the working class, only leaving in protest at the John Major government's signing of the Treaty on European Union at Maastricht. While Farage is keen to decry 'Eurocrats' he neglects to mention that he has been stuffing his pockets with over £60,000 worth of expenses. Unabashed by Leveson and revelations about phone hacking, Nigel Farage recently accepted an invitation to a fancy dinner with Rupert Murdoch. Perhaps that partly explains the mountains of favourable coverage Ukip has been receiving in the Sun! The Ukip National Executive also includes disgraced ex-Tory MP Neil Hamilton, of 'cash for questions' fame. So any profession by Ukip to represent a clean break from corrupt politicians is laughable. Moreover, despite the party's deputy leader Paul Nuttall harking back to the days when "Labour MPs came from the mills and the mines", his party has no interest in giving the working class any say in the policies of his party. It is one thing to claim working class support, but quite another to allow organised workers to have 'ownership' of a political organisation. The reason Labour once had MPs from the mills and the mines, was that it had the democratic participation of millions of working class people through the trade unions. The only political organisation today that allows trade unions and workers a genuine say, and direct democratic control, is the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC). What Ukip really stands for is the politics of despair. Millions of those who vote for Ukip will do so out of a desire to 'stick two fingers up' to the main parties in protest. This instinct is more than justified. But Ukip has no solutions. Far from genuinely threatening the establishment, Ukip is playing an important role in protecting them. Instead of encouraging workers to organise to fight the austerity which enriches the 1% at the expense of the 99%, Ukip aims to foster division between ordinary workers and sow the seeds of hatred. Rather than pledging to vote against cuts, Ukip duplicitously 'talks the talk' on the doorstep while voting for cuts carnage in the town halls. With further revelations of outright racism among Ukip's council candidates, any claim to simply be 'saying what ordinary people really think' is shown to be false. The best way to protest in May is to vote for an organisation that supports a united struggle of workers of all backgrounds against cuts - an organisation that won't betray us in the town hall and won't abandon us in the workplaces and on the streets. If you want to register your discontent on 22 May vote TUSC against cuts, and fight to build a party of and for working people. While TUSC is standing in the local elections, for the European elections the Socialist Party is supporting No2EU - Yes To Workers' Rights, which is led by the RMT union. As Bob Crow, No2EU and TUSC co-founder said: "Ukip is neither in favour of workers' rights, public services or welfare. If people are looking for an alternative, Ukip isn't it." www.socialistparty.o rg.uk SocialistParty_SomersetBranch
  • Score: 1

4:42pm Sun 11 May 14

The Lodger says...

SocialistParty_Somer
setBranch
wrote:
UKIP - a pro-cuts party for the 1%

Ukip leader Nigel Farage has his eyes on the prize. On 22 May, he hopes to see his party romp home to victory in the European elections and finish up with a healthy smattering of brand new councillors. Should he be successful, this will be the first time a party other than Labour or Conservative has won a countrywide election since World War One.

But does a vote cast Ukip's way bring with it a better chance of improved lives for the 'British workers' whose side they claim to be on?

As Farage plans to exploit the gaping vacuum that exists in British politics in May, Claire Laker-Mansfield looks behind the bluster at what Ukip really stands for.

Ukip is attempting to win over working class voters in what are traditionally Labour areas. It was clearly a very conscious decision to launch Ukip's millionaire-bankroll

ed billboards and election campaign in Yorkshire. One billboard features a gigantic pointing finger beside the words: "26 million people in Europe are looking for work. And whose jobs are they after?"

The campaign is designed to cynically exploit the understandable anxieties of many workers - concern about the lack of jobs, cut-to-the-bone public services, anger at corrupt politicians and the super-rich elite, and betrayal by Labour.

Farage has said he is going after Labour voters and non-voters, claiming one in five Ukip votes come from those who wouldn't otherwise bother. Ukip beermats attempt to appeal to disillusioned voters in pubs across the north of England. And with hours and hours of TV and media coverage, Ukip is widely presented as the best stick to beat the Con-Dems and Labour.

But while Ukip's politics place it to the right of the Conservative party, when asked, its voters often stand to the left of the three main capitalist parties. The majority of Ukip's supporters are in favour of higher public spending; almost 80% express support for nationalising the energy companies; 57% want a ban on zero-hour contracts and 73% would like to see the railways back under public ownership.

Posing left

When asked what issues motivated people to vote Ukip, the European Union came fifth. More prominent concerns include healthcare, the economy and immigration. It is with these voters in mind that Ukip is combining its inflammatory and xenophobic rhetoric on immigration with posing to the left on some economic issues.

Farage has made recent headlines calling for 'curbs' on zero-hour contracts - although he was keen to caution he had no truck with 'militant trade unionism' which might actually improve the lot of these workers. Meanwhile Ukip's enormously regressive and utterly out of touch flat-rate tax policy has been quietly dropped for the time-being.

During the Wythenshawe byelection in February, Ukip even went as far as producing leaflets with the headline 'Vote Ukip, protect your benefits'. Ukip's semi-left posturing is beyond cynical, but they are allowed to get away with it by a Labour party which is fully signed up to the agenda of austerity.

How can Labour attack Ukip for not seriously wanting to defend benefits when its leaders have pledged to be 'tougher than the Tories on welfare'?

The truth is that Ukip will not be any defence against cuts for working people. Its leaders and key donors are rabidly right-wing free market fundamentalists, who would implement even more brutal cut-backs and anti-working class policies than the Tories if they could.

£77 billion cuts

Ukip may have been forced to disown its 2010 general election manifesto (which Farage now refers to as 'drivel'), but it gives you a taste of the carnage that it would unleash if given half a chance.

Not content with the slash and burn approach of the Tories, it pledged to go even further, reducing public spending to 1997's levels and slashing two million public sector jobs. Ukip may want to win voters struggling under the cruelty of benefit cuts in Wythenshawe now, but in 2010, it pledged to abolish incapacity benefit completely.

What's more, only months ago Farage was decrying the Tories' failure to 'deal with the deficit' and claiming only Ukip would be bold enough to 'properly' cut the NHS and pensions, pledging an additional £77 billion of cuts. Now, when he's asked about policies on welfare, education and public spending, Farage refuses to talk about domestic policies until after 22 May.

However, in the few places Ukip has councillors they have often voted for cuts - even while in opposition. In Suffolk one Ukip councillor even went to the lengths of using the voting card of his absent colleague to 'vote twice' for a Conservative cuts budget (now the subject of an investigation).

Farage's popular image is itself a carefully constructed lie: A straight-talking 'everyman', complete with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other, he apparently relishes the chance to stick it to the political and social elites. Commenting on Ukip's mission, Farage recently claimed: "My priority is a new political party and movement in this country that wants to stand up for the interests of ordinary people".

Ordinarily posh

But 'ordinary' would be an inappropriate adjective to apply to Nigel. This privately educated (Dulwich College) millionaire is a former stockbroker, and is himself very much a member of the privileged elite. He was a Tory throughout Margaret Thatcher's war on the working class, only leaving in protest at the John Major government's signing of the Treaty on European Union at Maastricht.

While Farage is keen to decry 'Eurocrats' he neglects to mention that he has been stuffing his pockets with over £60,000 worth of expenses. Unabashed by Leveson and revelations about phone hacking, Nigel Farage recently accepted an invitation to a fancy dinner with Rupert Murdoch.

Perhaps that partly explains the mountains of favourable coverage Ukip has been receiving in the Sun!

The Ukip National Executive also includes disgraced ex-Tory MP Neil Hamilton, of 'cash for questions' fame. So any profession by Ukip to represent a clean break from corrupt politicians is laughable.

Moreover, despite the party's deputy leader Paul Nuttall harking back to the days when "Labour MPs came from the mills and the mines", his party has no interest in giving the working class any say in the policies of his party. It is one thing to claim working class support, but quite another to allow organised workers to have 'ownership' of a political organisation.

The reason Labour once had MPs from the mills and the mines, was that it had the democratic participation of millions of working class people through the trade unions. The only political organisation today that allows trade unions and workers a genuine say, and direct democratic control, is the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC).

What Ukip really stands for is the politics of despair. Millions of those who vote for Ukip will do so out of a desire to 'stick two fingers up' to the main parties in protest. This instinct is more than justified. But Ukip has no solutions. Far from genuinely threatening the establishment, Ukip is playing an important role in protecting them.

Instead of encouraging workers to organise to fight the austerity which enriches the 1% at the expense of the 99%, Ukip aims to foster division between ordinary workers and sow the seeds of hatred. Rather than pledging to vote against cuts, Ukip duplicitously 'talks the talk' on the doorstep while voting for cuts carnage in the town halls.

With further revelations of outright racism among Ukip's council candidates, any claim to simply be 'saying what ordinary people really think' is shown to be false. The best way to protest in May is to vote for an organisation that supports a united struggle of workers of all backgrounds against cuts - an organisation that won't betray us in the town hall and won't abandon us in the workplaces and on the streets.

If you want to register your discontent on 22 May vote TUSC against cuts, and fight to build a party of and for working people.
While TUSC is standing in the local elections, for the European elections the Socialist Party is supporting No2EU - Yes To Workers' Rights, which is led by the RMT union.

As Bob Crow, No2EU and TUSC co-founder said:

"Ukip is neither in favour of workers' rights, public services or welfare. If people are looking for an alternative, Ukip isn't it."

www.socialistparty.o

rg.uk
Yawn.
[quote][p][bold]SocialistParty_Somer setBranch[/bold] wrote: UKIP - a pro-cuts party for the 1% Ukip leader Nigel Farage has his eyes on the prize. On 22 May, he hopes to see his party romp home to victory in the European elections and finish up with a healthy smattering of brand new councillors. Should he be successful, this will be the first time a party other than Labour or Conservative has won a countrywide election since World War One. But does a vote cast Ukip's way bring with it a better chance of improved lives for the 'British workers' whose side they claim to be on? As Farage plans to exploit the gaping vacuum that exists in British politics in May, Claire Laker-Mansfield looks behind the bluster at what Ukip really stands for. Ukip is attempting to win over working class voters in what are traditionally Labour areas. It was clearly a very conscious decision to launch Ukip's millionaire-bankroll ed billboards and election campaign in Yorkshire. One billboard features a gigantic pointing finger beside the words: "26 million people in Europe are looking for work. And whose jobs are they after?" The campaign is designed to cynically exploit the understandable anxieties of many workers - concern about the lack of jobs, cut-to-the-bone public services, anger at corrupt politicians and the super-rich elite, and betrayal by Labour. Farage has said he is going after Labour voters and non-voters, claiming one in five Ukip votes come from those who wouldn't otherwise bother. Ukip beermats attempt to appeal to disillusioned voters in pubs across the north of England. And with hours and hours of TV and media coverage, Ukip is widely presented as the best stick to beat the Con-Dems and Labour. But while Ukip's politics place it to the right of the Conservative party, when asked, its voters often stand to the left of the three main capitalist parties. The majority of Ukip's supporters are in favour of higher public spending; almost 80% express support for nationalising the energy companies; 57% want a ban on zero-hour contracts and 73% would like to see the railways back under public ownership. Posing left When asked what issues motivated people to vote Ukip, the European Union came fifth. More prominent concerns include healthcare, the economy and immigration. It is with these voters in mind that Ukip is combining its inflammatory and xenophobic rhetoric on immigration with posing to the left on some economic issues. Farage has made recent headlines calling for 'curbs' on zero-hour contracts - although he was keen to caution he had no truck with 'militant trade unionism' which might actually improve the lot of these workers. Meanwhile Ukip's enormously regressive and utterly out of touch flat-rate tax policy has been quietly dropped for the time-being. During the Wythenshawe byelection in February, Ukip even went as far as producing leaflets with the headline 'Vote Ukip, protect your benefits'. Ukip's semi-left posturing is beyond cynical, but they are allowed to get away with it by a Labour party which is fully signed up to the agenda of austerity. How can Labour attack Ukip for not seriously wanting to defend benefits when its leaders have pledged to be 'tougher than the Tories on welfare'? The truth is that Ukip will not be any defence against cuts for working people. Its leaders and key donors are rabidly right-wing free market fundamentalists, who would implement even more brutal cut-backs and anti-working class policies than the Tories if they could. £77 billion cuts Ukip may have been forced to disown its 2010 general election manifesto (which Farage now refers to as 'drivel'), but it gives you a taste of the carnage that it would unleash if given half a chance. Not content with the slash and burn approach of the Tories, it pledged to go even further, reducing public spending to 1997's levels and slashing two million public sector jobs. Ukip may want to win voters struggling under the cruelty of benefit cuts in Wythenshawe now, but in 2010, it pledged to abolish incapacity benefit completely. What's more, only months ago Farage was decrying the Tories' failure to 'deal with the deficit' and claiming only Ukip would be bold enough to 'properly' cut the NHS and pensions, pledging an additional £77 billion of cuts. Now, when he's asked about policies on welfare, education and public spending, Farage refuses to talk about domestic policies until after 22 May. However, in the few places Ukip has councillors they have often voted for cuts - even while in opposition. In Suffolk one Ukip councillor even went to the lengths of using the voting card of his absent colleague to 'vote twice' for a Conservative cuts budget (now the subject of an investigation). Farage's popular image is itself a carefully constructed lie: A straight-talking 'everyman', complete with a beer in one hand and a cigarette in the other, he apparently relishes the chance to stick it to the political and social elites. Commenting on Ukip's mission, Farage recently claimed: "My priority is a new political party and movement in this country that wants to stand up for the interests of ordinary people". Ordinarily posh But 'ordinary' would be an inappropriate adjective to apply to Nigel. This privately educated (Dulwich College) millionaire is a former stockbroker, and is himself very much a member of the privileged elite. He was a Tory throughout Margaret Thatcher's war on the working class, only leaving in protest at the John Major government's signing of the Treaty on European Union at Maastricht. While Farage is keen to decry 'Eurocrats' he neglects to mention that he has been stuffing his pockets with over £60,000 worth of expenses. Unabashed by Leveson and revelations about phone hacking, Nigel Farage recently accepted an invitation to a fancy dinner with Rupert Murdoch. Perhaps that partly explains the mountains of favourable coverage Ukip has been receiving in the Sun! The Ukip National Executive also includes disgraced ex-Tory MP Neil Hamilton, of 'cash for questions' fame. So any profession by Ukip to represent a clean break from corrupt politicians is laughable. Moreover, despite the party's deputy leader Paul Nuttall harking back to the days when "Labour MPs came from the mills and the mines", his party has no interest in giving the working class any say in the policies of his party. It is one thing to claim working class support, but quite another to allow organised workers to have 'ownership' of a political organisation. The reason Labour once had MPs from the mills and the mines, was that it had the democratic participation of millions of working class people through the trade unions. The only political organisation today that allows trade unions and workers a genuine say, and direct democratic control, is the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC). What Ukip really stands for is the politics of despair. Millions of those who vote for Ukip will do so out of a desire to 'stick two fingers up' to the main parties in protest. This instinct is more than justified. But Ukip has no solutions. Far from genuinely threatening the establishment, Ukip is playing an important role in protecting them. Instead of encouraging workers to organise to fight the austerity which enriches the 1% at the expense of the 99%, Ukip aims to foster division between ordinary workers and sow the seeds of hatred. Rather than pledging to vote against cuts, Ukip duplicitously 'talks the talk' on the doorstep while voting for cuts carnage in the town halls. With further revelations of outright racism among Ukip's council candidates, any claim to simply be 'saying what ordinary people really think' is shown to be false. The best way to protest in May is to vote for an organisation that supports a united struggle of workers of all backgrounds against cuts - an organisation that won't betray us in the town hall and won't abandon us in the workplaces and on the streets. If you want to register your discontent on 22 May vote TUSC against cuts, and fight to build a party of and for working people. While TUSC is standing in the local elections, for the European elections the Socialist Party is supporting No2EU - Yes To Workers' Rights, which is led by the RMT union. As Bob Crow, No2EU and TUSC co-founder said: "Ukip is neither in favour of workers' rights, public services or welfare. If people are looking for an alternative, Ukip isn't it." www.socialistparty.o rg.uk[/p][/quote]Yawn. The Lodger
  • Score: -10

9:03am Mon 12 May 14

awayswing says...

When you consider what people did for us in the past to get the vote,everybody should vote.It is a right and a duty.Not being bothered is not good enough,particularly if you then have the cheek to criticise those in government whether in Brussels or Westminster.
When you consider what people did for us in the past to get the vote,everybody should vote.It is a right and a duty.Not being bothered is not good enough,particularly if you then have the cheek to criticise those in government whether in Brussels or Westminster. awayswing
  • Score: 12

9:08am Mon 12 May 14

jellyonaplate says...

UKIP
UKIP jellyonaplate
  • Score: -1

9:14am Mon 12 May 14

feeby12007 says...

UKIP
UKIP feeby12007
  • Score: -1

10:43am Mon 12 May 14

tompayne says...

awayswing wrote:
When you consider what people did for us in the past to get the vote,everybody should vote.It is a right and a duty.Not being bothered is not good enough,particularly if you then have the cheek to criticise those in government whether in Brussels or Westminster.
Its not that I'm "not bothered" - why should I have to vote, when none of the candidates represent my views?
[quote][p][bold]awayswing[/bold] wrote: When you consider what people did for us in the past to get the vote,everybody should vote.It is a right and a duty.Not being bothered is not good enough,particularly if you then have the cheek to criticise those in government whether in Brussels or Westminster.[/p][/quote]Its not that I'm "not bothered" - why should I have to vote, when none of the candidates represent my views? tompayne
  • Score: 3

11:38am Tue 13 May 14

MartinB58 says...

Any party (that stands a chance of winning) that can assure me that they will do all they can to prevent Great Britain losing it's sovereignty to a "United States of Europe" can have my vote.
Any party (that stands a chance of winning) that can assure me that they will do all they can to prevent Great Britain losing it's sovereignty to a "United States of Europe" can have my vote. MartinB58
  • Score: 7

2:22pm Tue 13 May 14

duckface08 says...

This is the best chance we have for a referendum, we have been promised one before but never happened due to some obscure reason so why will it be any different in 2017???. If voters turn out in large numbers we can send the politicians notice of what we want of Europe--same as a referendum.
This is the best chance we have for a referendum, we have been promised one before but never happened due to some obscure reason so why will it be any different in 2017???. If voters turn out in large numbers we can send the politicians notice of what we want of Europe--same as a referendum. duckface08
  • Score: 2

8:38pm Tue 13 May 14

Jamesey says...

A vote for UKIP is a vote for a backward looking party that would set this country back 50 years.

Anyone who knows anything about business or economics can see that UKIP policies would be a disaster for UK jobs and the economy.

Don't listen to the Daily Mail and those moth-eaten pensioners in the High Street. Use your intelligence and look beyond the rhetoric, sound-bites and sensationalist headlines. Do not vote for UKIP!
A vote for UKIP is a vote for a backward looking party that would set this country back 50 years. Anyone who knows anything about business or economics can see that UKIP policies would be a disaster for UK jobs and the economy. Don't listen to the Daily Mail and those moth-eaten pensioners in the High Street. Use your intelligence and look beyond the rhetoric, sound-bites and sensationalist headlines. Do not vote for UKIP! Jamesey
  • Score: 4

9:23am Wed 14 May 14

feeby12007 says...

Vote UKIP !
Vote UKIP ! feeby12007
  • Score: 0

10:58am Wed 14 May 14

Mi_Coc says...

I may well vote ukip not because I agree with all their policies but to send a msg to the 3 main parties that they are no longer acceptable in there current form.
I may well vote ukip not because I agree with all their policies but to send a msg to the 3 main parties that they are no longer acceptable in there current form. Mi_Coc
  • Score: 2

10:59am Wed 14 May 14

Mi_Coc says...

Jamesey wrote:
A vote for UKIP is a vote for a backward looking party that would set this country back 50 years.

Anyone who knows anything about business or economics can see that UKIP policies would be a disaster for UK jobs and the economy.

Don't listen to the Daily Mail and those moth-eaten pensioners in the High Street. Use your intelligence and look beyond the rhetoric, sound-bites and sensationalist headlines. Do not vote for UKIP!
Agreed but the 3 main parties cannot continue in the manor in which they are.
[quote][p][bold]Jamesey[/bold] wrote: A vote for UKIP is a vote for a backward looking party that would set this country back 50 years. Anyone who knows anything about business or economics can see that UKIP policies would be a disaster for UK jobs and the economy. Don't listen to the Daily Mail and those moth-eaten pensioners in the High Street. Use your intelligence and look beyond the rhetoric, sound-bites and sensationalist headlines. Do not vote for UKIP![/p][/quote]Agreed but the 3 main parties cannot continue in the manor in which they are. Mi_Coc
  • Score: 7

11:21am Wed 14 May 14

Slow down! says...

I can't see the Socialist party in the above list?

Couldn't they be bothered to stand? seems strange as they always have a lot to say!
I can't see the Socialist party in the above list? Couldn't they be bothered to stand? seems strange as they always have a lot to say! Slow down!
  • Score: -1

11:57am Wed 14 May 14

SocialistParty_SomersetBranch says...

On 22 May millions of working class people have the opportunity to vote in the local government elections. At the same time workers are voting or have voted for strike action to resist the attacks on their pay, pensions and working conditions.

This year, in almost one in seven local election seats, these teachers, firefighters, health and local government workers, civil servants, transport workers and others can choose a real anti-cuts pro-working class voice.

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing 560 candidates. In local government councillors can use their position to build the resistance to austerity. But only a handful have voted no to cuts. The Tories and Lib Dems, but also Labour, Green and Ukip councillors, choose to vote through attacks on working class people.

TUSC candidates have all pledged to vote against cuts. They back the working people taking strike action. In fact, in many cases, they are the strikers.

Workers cannot expect any support from Labour when they struggle. A day before a planned strike by RMT members on London Underground in defence of hundreds of jobs, Ed Miliband said: "The Tube strike is wrong and it shouldn't be going ahead." In June 2011, before the massive public sector strike, he repeated his denunciation of the action six times.

www.tusc.org.uk
On 22 May millions of working class people have the opportunity to vote in the local government elections. At the same time workers are voting or have voted for strike action to resist the attacks on their pay, pensions and working conditions. This year, in almost one in seven local election seats, these teachers, firefighters, health and local government workers, civil servants, transport workers and others can choose a real anti-cuts pro-working class voice. The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition (TUSC) is standing 560 candidates. In local government councillors can use their position to build the resistance to austerity. But only a handful have voted no to cuts. The Tories and Lib Dems, but also Labour, Green and Ukip councillors, choose to vote through attacks on working class people. TUSC candidates have all pledged to vote against cuts. They back the working people taking strike action. In fact, in many cases, they are the strikers. Workers cannot expect any support from Labour when they struggle. A day before a planned strike by RMT members on London Underground in defence of hundreds of jobs, Ed Miliband said: "The Tube strike is wrong and it shouldn't be going ahead." In June 2011, before the massive public sector strike, he repeated his denunciation of the action six times. www.tusc.org.uk SocialistParty_SomersetBranch
  • Score: 13

12:18pm Wed 14 May 14

SocialistParty_SomersetBranch says...

More local news coverage for TUSC, but BBC downplays council elections

TUSC's campaign for the council elections taking place on 22 May picked up more coverage this week in local news media.

The Salford Star spoke of TUSC "mounting the biggest left challenge to Labour dominance, fielding candidates in nine of the 20 wards up for grabs". It also made the significant point that the Liberal Democrats, "once seen as the main opposition party in Salford", were fielding just two candidates this time.

A May Day election activity in Plymouth, where TUSC is standing candidates in all 19 of the city's wards, made the headlines in the Plymouth Herald with a good photo spread. Plymouth is another city where the Lib Dems decline is on display, with the party contesting just four seats.

There was some decent coverage for TUSC in the Eastern region with the Peterborough Telegraph speaking of a "colourful battle", mentioning the TUSC challenge in six seats and highlighting the "well-known health care campaigner Mary Cooke representing the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition".

The Watford Observer headlined its piece on the local elections "Ukip and the Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts party beef up their presence", referring to TUSC standing in half of the 12 wards in the borough.

In Yorkshire the Sheffield Telegraph wrote about Labour coming under pressure from Ukip, which is contesting all bar two of the wards in the city. But it continued by saying that: "Labour's support could also be hit by a new left-wing party, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, which is fighting 21 wards, focusing on opposition to the Con-Dem austerity agenda".

The Doncaster Free Press added: "the Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts (TUSC), is currently supporting striking Care UK workers who are fighting against 35% pay cuts, have eleven candidates".

TUSC's support for the Care UK workers was the main subject of a story in the Thornton and District Gazette, quoting TUSC candidate Jason Fawley, whose wife works for Care UK, and the Doncaster TUSC election agent and health worker, Steve Williams.

All this is in contrast to the election coverage of the BBC nationally, not just its complete refusal to mention TUSC and the biggest left-of-Labour election challenge for 60 years, but its political decision to concentrate on the European elections.

The BBC website carries items on the English Democrats, for example, contesting the Euros but only standing in 31 local council seats. Who decided that the Euro polls are more important?

Local councillors can vote to evict or not to evict people who cannot pay the bedroom tax; to shut down or keep open a local library or Sure Start centre - or, as in Doncaster, to hand over a wage-slashing contract to Care UK or to withdraw it.

Councils still have enormous powers to affect the daily lives of working class people. Councillors have the power to begin to tackle the housing crisis today, and not wait for a Labour government, by introducing rent caps now and using their borrowing powers to finance a council house building programme.

Electing MEPs, however: "can have a big impact on a party's mood and their leader's prospects ahead of the 2015 general election", the BBC tells us.

This infantilising approach to politics of the BBC's highly-paid leadership has one unintended positive side effect - it adds to the growing questioning of its authority, along with the other elite institutions in society and the tame 'mainstream' parties.

www.socialistparty.o
rg.uk

www.tusc.org.uk
More local news coverage for TUSC, but BBC downplays council elections TUSC's campaign for the council elections taking place on 22 May picked up more coverage this week in local news media. The Salford Star spoke of TUSC "mounting the biggest left challenge to Labour dominance, fielding candidates in nine of the 20 wards up for grabs". It also made the significant point that the Liberal Democrats, "once seen as the main opposition party in Salford", were fielding just two candidates this time. A May Day election activity in Plymouth, where TUSC is standing candidates in all 19 of the city's wards, made the headlines in the Plymouth Herald with a good photo spread. Plymouth is another city where the Lib Dems decline is on display, with the party contesting just four seats. There was some decent coverage for TUSC in the Eastern region with the Peterborough Telegraph speaking of a "colourful battle", mentioning the TUSC challenge in six seats and highlighting the "well-known health care campaigner Mary Cooke representing the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition". The Watford Observer headlined its piece on the local elections "Ukip and the Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts party beef up their presence", referring to TUSC standing in half of the 12 wards in the borough. In Yorkshire the Sheffield Telegraph wrote about Labour coming under pressure from Ukip, which is contesting all bar two of the wards in the city. But it continued by saying that: "Labour's support could also be hit by a new left-wing party, the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition, which is fighting 21 wards, focusing on opposition to the Con-Dem austerity agenda". The Doncaster Free Press added: "the Trade Unionists and Socialists Against Cuts (TUSC), is currently supporting striking Care UK workers who are fighting against 35% pay cuts, have eleven candidates". TUSC's support for the Care UK workers was the main subject of a story in the Thornton and District Gazette, quoting TUSC candidate Jason Fawley, whose wife works for Care UK, and the Doncaster TUSC election agent and health worker, Steve Williams. All this is in contrast to the election coverage of the BBC nationally, not just its complete refusal to mention TUSC and the biggest left-of-Labour election challenge for 60 years, but its political decision to concentrate on the European elections. The BBC website carries items on the English Democrats, for example, contesting the Euros but only standing in 31 local council seats. Who decided that the Euro polls are more important? Local councillors can vote to evict or not to evict people who cannot pay the bedroom tax; to shut down or keep open a local library or Sure Start centre - or, as in Doncaster, to hand over a wage-slashing contract to Care UK or to withdraw it. Councils still have enormous powers to affect the daily lives of working class people. Councillors have the power to begin to tackle the housing crisis today, and not wait for a Labour government, by introducing rent caps now and using their borrowing powers to finance a council house building programme. Electing MEPs, however: "can have a big impact on a party's mood and their leader's prospects ahead of the 2015 general election", the BBC tells us. This infantilising approach to politics of the BBC's highly-paid leadership has one unintended positive side effect - it adds to the growing questioning of its authority, along with the other elite institutions in society and the tame 'mainstream' parties. www.socialistparty.o rg.uk www.tusc.org.uk SocialistParty_SomersetBranch
  • Score: -4

12:27pm Wed 14 May 14

SocialistParty_SomersetBranch says...

“On dismantling the NHS,
giving bosses greater
freedom to sack staff,
destroying the welfare
state, in fact all the rightwing
crazy issues, there
are Tories in Westminster
who politically prefer
Farage to Cameron.”
Kevin Maguire, Daily Mirror
columnist
“On dismantling the NHS, giving bosses greater freedom to sack staff, destroying the welfare state, in fact all the rightwing crazy issues, there are Tories in Westminster who politically prefer Farage to Cameron.” Kevin Maguire, Daily Mirror columnist SocialistParty_SomersetBranch
  • Score: -2

12:34pm Wed 14 May 14

FreeSpeech? says...

You've started the wind bag off now Slow Down, and look how much positive feedback he gets within minutes of posting. Must be an awful lot of Socialists out there and no candidate to vote for.
You've started the wind bag off now Slow Down, and look how much positive feedback he gets within minutes of posting. Must be an awful lot of Socialists out there and no candidate to vote for. FreeSpeech?
  • Score: -4

12:42pm Wed 14 May 14

SocialistParty_SomersetBranch says...

“UKIP is neither in favour of workers’ rights, public
services or welfare. If people are looking for an
alternative, UKIP isn’t it.”

The late RMT general secretary, Bob Crow.

www.tusc.org.uk
“UKIP is neither in favour of workers’ rights, public services or welfare. If people are looking for an alternative, UKIP isn’t it.” The late RMT general secretary, Bob Crow. www.tusc.org.uk SocialistParty_SomersetBranch
  • Score: 0

12:56pm Wed 14 May 14

Mi_Coc says...

Socialism doesn't work look at the chinese!

Why should those who work hard not get the benefits of the effort!

Socialist arent on my list of candidates not sure why they are trying to pedal there rubbish care bear fantasy's on here.
Socialism doesn't work look at the chinese! Why should those who work hard not get the benefits of the effort! Socialist arent on my list of candidates not sure why they are trying to pedal there rubbish care bear fantasy's on here. Mi_Coc
  • Score: 2

2:50pm Wed 14 May 14

Slow down! says...

SocialistParty_Somer
setBranch
wrote:
“UKIP is neither in favour of workers’ rights, public services or welfare. If people are looking for an alternative, UKIP isn’t it.” The late RMT general secretary, Bob Crow. www.tusc.org.uk
But there isn't anyone else!
At least they have given it a go.

Why aren't the Socialist Party standing up for peoples rights?
[quote][p][bold]SocialistParty_Somer setBranch[/bold] wrote: “UKIP is neither in favour of workers’ rights, public services or welfare. If people are looking for an alternative, UKIP isn’t it.” The late RMT general secretary, Bob Crow. www.tusc.org.uk[/p][/quote]But there isn't anyone else! At least they have given it a go. Why aren't the Socialist Party standing up for peoples rights? Slow down!
  • Score: 2

9:38pm Wed 14 May 14

r000006 says...

Mi_Coc wrote:
I may well vote ukip not because I agree with all their policies but to send a msg to the 3 main parties that they are no longer acceptable in there current form.
https://pbs.twimg.co
m/media/BnSfKh_IgAAd
EuQ.jpg
[quote][p][bold]Mi_Coc[/bold] wrote: I may well vote ukip not because I agree with all their policies but to send a msg to the 3 main parties that they are no longer acceptable in there current form.[/p][/quote]https://pbs.twimg.co m/media/BnSfKh_IgAAd EuQ.jpg r000006
  • Score: 0

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