On September 30th, writing in The Times, UKIP leader Niger Farage announced that deals could be done with ‘Conservative Eurosceptics’ to give them a clear run in 2015, although this was to be a matter for the local associations themselves. I felt that this created uncertainty in the minds of the electorate and proposed to the Isle of Wight Branch Committee on October 9th that we take this question to the members. The motion was passed and we will be asking this question at our AGM: Should I, as PPC for the Isle of Wight, stand aside for sitting Conservative MP Andrew Turner?
This is the case I will be making for a ‘no’ vote:
Andrew Turner MP may well have backed the occasional Private Members Bill or amendment that conformed to some of UKIP principles, but the fact remains that he remains loyal to a party whose leader gave us a ‘cast-iron guarantee’ for a referendum, and then reneged on his promise. This is the same party leader who said in April 2013 that in the event of the UK voting to pull out of the EU in a referendum, he would not honour it.
Mr Turner is a member of a party that promises to repatriate powers from Brussels, but will not tell us which ones. He is a member of a party that is proposing reform of the UK’s membership of the EU via a new treaty, one that every Conservative knows that will not be agreed upon by the other 27 nations and so can never happen. In short our MP is a member of a party that has continually shown that it is not deserving of our trust ever again.
On the face of it, this ‘olive branch’ suggests that UKIP and the Conservatives are roughly in step with each other in most other areas. But this is untrue; we are not a party of disgruntled Conservatives. We disagree on Immigration, Foreign Aid, Energy, Education, the NHS, Taxation, Trade, Benefits, Housing, and the Economy. In fact, the only times that we appear to agree with the Conservatives is when they steal one of our policies.
The final reason I recommend a vote not to stand aside for Andrew Turner MP, is that the Island has not prospered since 2001. We still have some of the highest unemployment in England, in particular the Island’s youngsters have been let down very badly. Businesses are not being given sufficient support, the high street is dying. Tourism has declined, and the historical and cultural places of interest we enjoy have shamefully been allowed to crumble and decay. The schools’ results are some of the worst in the country. The ferry prices are for many people painfully high. And the pensioners of the Island, like all pensioners in the UK, are being financially crippled by continued assaults by Government.
Exiting the EU and halting immigration are only two of UKIP’s policies. Many of you will have seen me on the streets week in week out drumming up support for my petition calling for the abolition of Business Rates, and soon you will see me seeking support for changes in the planning law, changes to inheritance tax, changes to the way in which benefits are paid so that people are not paid to stay at home; you will see me campaigning for an Island Grammar School and proper apprentice schemes, and I hope that none of you ever tire of hearing me say ‘jobs, jobs, jobs for the Island’. We are the credible party, we have the full range of policies, and we are right for the Island.
I hope that our branch members will agree, and vote against standing aside for the Conservatives on the Isle of Wight.