The political establishment in this country has become complacent. They take our votes for granted. In the last few months, UKIP has held hundreds – possibly thousands – of public meetings up and down the country. The meetings aren’t stage-managed and we take questions from members of the public wherever we go. We speak to people from all walks of life. One thing is clear: UKIP supporters are people grounded firmly in the real world.
The other parties seem to have a production line of career politicians. Study politics at university, do an internship, get a job as an MP’s researcher, stand for an unwinnable seat and fail, then eventually you’re rewarded with a safe seat. The problem is, these people have never done a day’s real work in their lives. Even though I’m the General Secretary of UKIP I’ve always made sure to keep up a little bit of teaching on a part-time basis because I think it’s important not to become trapped in a ‘political bubble’, oblivious to the real world around you.
When was the last time you saw the failed old parties truly engaging with the general public? When was the last time you saw your MEP?
In my area, the North East, the Labour Party been in control for decades. We’ve seen plenty of neglect by local Labour-controlled Councils and after 13 years of Labour government, we were left with the highest unemployment in the country.
It’s bad for democracy for the North East to become a one-party state, and UKIP are finally offering a real alternative and a real challenge. The Labour Party are running scared – why else would they put out so many leaflets with such lies as ‘UKIP would privatise the NHS’ (remind me, which government introduced PFI and part-privatised our NHS?), ‘UKIP would put taxes up for the poorest people’ (under UKIP, people on minimum wage would pay ZERO in Income Tax/National Insurance) and ‘UKIP would scrap your right to paid holidays’ (just pure fantasy).
It’s the same across the North of England. I’ve met so many former Labour voters on the campaign trail who are now coming across to UKIP, because they believe that the Labour Party has abandoned them. If people continue to vote Labour, they will remain complacent and nothing will change. Labour have taken the North for granted because they assume people will continue to vote Labour no matter what. But as the Parliamentary by-elections in Rotherham and South Shields show, that may not be a safe assumption.
I think it’s time to send the political establishment a message: If you abandon the needs of the people, it will hurt you at the ballot box.
Reason 7: Jobs, jobs, jobs
Reason 5 tomorrow…