European Elections 2014

Vote now, Vote Labour

vote labour

As this post goes up, the polls are opening.

Yes, it’s time to go and vote. You. Yes, you. Get down to your polling station and put your cross in the box next to a name.

For the next fifteen hours you have the choice of who represents you, in Europe and in your local government. And frankly, you’d be a fool of Russell Brand proportions not to.

Obviously I would advise you vote Labour, particularly if you live in Southend — the best local candidates, with the best policy platform in the town. But whoever you are inclined to vote for, remember that it only matters a damn if you don’t actually vote. The results are decided by those who vote, and there has been enough news coverage of a certain party that all progressive, fair-minded people should fear what could come about if they don’t cast their vote.

So go. Vote. Vote now, and vote Labour.

UKIP would cripple Southend Airport

london southend airport

Whenever I have conversations in which I am defending Britain’s membership of the EU, I am always put in mind of the “What have the Romans done ever done for us?” scene from Life of Brian.

“All right, but apart from access to the world’s largest common market, mechanisms to prevent governments breaching citizen’s rights, environmental protections to defend against the effects of climate change, and the longest period of uninterrupted peace in European history, what has the European Union ever done for us?

It is, granted, a lot easier to be against the EU than for it, and it is an organisation that still needs considerable reform to make it fit for the 21st century — and I’d start with the European Parliament, the very body in which UKIP have set up their money-grubbing shop. But I maintain that a) the advantages of being in the club still outweigh the disadvantages, and b) such reform is better pursued from inside.

But in looking at what the EU does do for us, it is perhaps worth looking locally. What has the EU done for Southend?

Read on…

Watch the wheels fall off the Farage bandwagon

nigel farage on the take

I imagine many will have already seen this video, of UKIP leader Nigel Farage being interviewed by LBC radio’s James O’Brien, but in my opinion everyone should watch it before heading to the ballot box. I’ve seen more interviews with Farage than I ever care to again, but this is the first time that an interviewer has put to him the questions which I shout at the screen each and every time.

Farage fails to account on numerous fronts: the various unsavoury members of his party seeking election to public office; the xenophobia and ofttimes subtle (and sometimes decidedly unsubtle) racism he and his party spread; and the lingering suspicion around his use of expenses and EU funds. Don’t forget, this is a man who takes some £78,000 of your money for a job that he can’t even be bothered to turn up to (more than) half the time.

Watch the interview in its entirety (minus the two minutes of adverts on the front), and see Farage finally be confronted and scrutinised as any politician should. And note just how much it seems to worry his spin-doctor…

UKIP – Taking the money, not doing the job

nigel farage on the take

Imagine I had a job (which I do), and that job required me to work five days a week (which it does). Imagine, then, that I only attended two days a week of that work. Or two. Or even one day. Imagine I did not show up for the majority or working days without a single good reason. You would expect me to be fired, surely?

I don’t, of course. I am, rain or shine, at my desk 45 hours a week, Monday through Friday. I also earn below the average wage, and pay my own train fares.

I am pointing this out not as some sort of “poor me” sob story — I enjoy my job, and consider myself very lucky to do so. No, I am saying this because I want to make a contrast with another job. This job is paid three times the average wage, alongside a plethora of expenses to cover travel and living costs.

This job is, of course, Member of the European Parliament, of whom, UKIP have nine. It is therefore striking that UKIP MEP’s record of turning up for work is so — frankly — abysmal.

Read on…

The unravelling myths and misinformation of Nigel Farage

nigel farage

Say what you like about Nick Robinson, but he’s rather good at nailing down a slippery character. From the horse’s mouth:

Nick Robinson: So why isn’t [your wife] taking a British person’s job?

Nigel Farage: Because nobody else could do that job.

NR: No British person could work for you as your secretary?

NF: Not unless they married me.

NR: You don’t think anybody’s capable of doing that job?

NF: What, marrying me?

NR: No, of doing the job as your secretary.

NF: I don’t know anyone who would work those hours, no.

Do as I say, not as I do; isn’t that the very definition of hypocrisy?