A week is a long time in politics…

By Mandy Boylett,
UKIP Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Stockton North

I’ve heard the saying that a week is a long time in politics, but I think I have only just truly appreciated what it means, after the astonishing week I have just had.

It started well enough on the Sunday, when I abseiled off the Transporter Bridge in Middlesbrough for Butterwick Hospice. Fast forward to Thursday, when I received a rather upsetting letter from Alex Cunningham MP, the Labour MP for Stockton North who I will be unseating on May 7th next year. Judging by the letter I received, he is already rattled, but I have to say, Mr Cunningham, accusing a Jewish girl of supporting anti-semitism is perhaps not your smartest move to date.

On Thursday evening, I went to Middlesbrough Town Hall to attend the live screening of Question Time. I had applied for tickets to be in the audience on the BBC website, as had some other UKIP supporters from our local branch. I believe the BBC website had not been working properly so they were actually short of people to attend.  However, this did not stop the Stockton South Labour Candidate, Louise Baldock, complaining to the Northern Echo about BBC bias. I am still puzzled at how she can complain about not being in the audience when she didn’t apply to be in the audience. It’s a bit like complaining that you never win the lottery when you don’t buy a ticket. Louise let her feelings be known on Twitter, so I joined in the debate.

Unfortunately I did not get to ask either of the questions I had prepared for Question Time. But for your interest, here is what I would have asked:

  1. Is it sensible that British energy intensive industries and jobs are being driven to countries with lower environmental standards because of high energy prices caused by Green Directives?
  2. Given the EU accounts cannot be signed off for the 19th year running, is there any reason why we should give any more money to this corrupt institution?

I tried to follow Louise on Twitter but discovered that I had been “blocked”. This I could understand if I ever behaved in the vile, intimidatory manner of certain Labour supporters. However, I prefer to discuss the issues and the policies as that is what people are actually interested in. So I wonder why, Louise, did you feel you needed to block me? You are welcome to follow my account.

Finally on Saturday I attended the UKIP North West conference in Southport and listened to some top class speeches. Louise Bours, our health spokesman, spoke passionately about how the NHS will remain free at the point of need and how there will not be a two tier system where those who can afford to pay get better treatment. Nevertheless, we will insist that all visitors to the UK have NHS approved travel insurance before they are allowed to enter the country – just as we buy travel insurance when we go on holiday abroad. This measure alone will save us £2 billion a year and stop health tourism.

Blair Smillie, a UKIP MP candidate and the great grandson of Robert Smillie, one of the founders of the Labour Party, spoke about the country’s energy policy. Blair is campaigning for the possible re-introduction of British Coal mining, using newer clean technologies to drastically reduce emissions from power stations. The Labour Party abandoned the miners in favour of continuing their love affair with Brussels and their green taxes.

Jonathan Arnott, our UKIP North East MEP, spoke about how the EU accounts could not be signed off for the 19th year running. He said: “The auditors’ report shows that last year’s massive increase in errors and fraud in the EU budget was no one-off but part of a systemic failure. We’ve got multinationals claiming small business relief, farms claiming buildings as grazing land and officials pocketing five times the going rate for their jobs. The EU’s budget is now riddled with an error rate of almost 5%. That’s three times as much money as the UK is being expected to hand over to the EU on December 1st (£1.7 billion). Any small business acting in such a manner would be closed down, but apologists for the EU look the other way when confronted with the evidence of mismanagement and fraud.”