The English Democrats have joined the general election race in the Berwick constituency by putting up a candidate for the May 7 vote.
Neil Humphrey has been selected as the party’s representative for the Berwick seat, giving voters six choices on the ballot paper next month.
►Scott Dickinson (Labour)
►Nigel Coghill-Marshall (UKIP)
►Julie Pörksen (Liberal Democrats)
►Rachael Roberts (Green Party)
►Anne-Marie Trevelyan (Conservative)
The English Democrats are campaigning for the creation of an English Parliament and executive within the United Kingdom with the same powers as the Scottish Parliament and executive.
The party’s main policies include restricting immigration to a points system. They would like to make St George’s Day a national holiday. The English Democrats also believe England should leave the EU via a referendum.
Mr Humphrey was a member of the Labour Party for 30 years before moving to UKIP, and then joined the English Democrats.
He says he would campaign for the A1 to be upgraded to a dual carriageway all the way up to the Scottish border. It follows the government’s financial pledge at the end of last year to dual the A1 only as far as Ellingham.
He believes pedestrian access, lorry turning and icy conditions have not been taken into account.
Mr Humphrey says the Berwick electorate should be concerned about concessions made to the SNP if they end up holding the balance of power after the election.
He said: “I think the constituency should be concerned about sleazy, back-room ‘horsetrading’ for a SNP backed coalition.
“I want a commitment that there can be no border move without a referendum on an area by area basis.”
Mr Humphrey says he understand the pressure on the NHS and wants things to change.
He said: “My wife is a retired ambulance woman. For some time I have been against super-hospitals, which move A&E further away and the running down of services.”
Mr Humphrey would also like to reintroduce so-called “Men’s Sheds” and open this up to younger ages.
He said: “Tools experience and career knowledge can be shared. We will fight to keep open libraries and protect budgets nationally from cuts.
“Working in control systems automation, there are very few senior engineers younger than myself. In 10-15 years time, we’ll all be retiring. All that infrastructure we rely on … we will have to import foreign immigrants. I believe we should be transferring those skills to the younger generation.
“I would like to see those who can program their mobile phones, or wire a car stereo, to be shown how in demand their skills could be in automation. That includes younger adolescences tempted by crime.”
Mr Humphrey’s also said he would like to see more professionals encouraged to enter politics and become members of parliament.
Source – Berwick Advertiser, 07 Apr 2015
UKIP has found an unlikely ally in left-wing musician Billy Bragg after a move to host its largest ever rally at the SageGateshead.
The venue’s management was attacked on social media for itsdecision to provide the venue for the party’s spring meeting on St George’s Day in April.
After critics on the social networking site Twitter said the organisation had a “moral obligation” not to allow UKIP leader Nigel Farage to assemble his party on Tyneside, Bragg waded into the online spat to support the Sage.
Responding to online questioning, Mr Bragg – who regularly plays at the venue and was part of its recent poster campaign – wrote: “I don’t have a problem with it.
“We shouldn’t be complacent about UKIP, but denying them the right to hold meetings is not the way forward. Don’t UKIP have the right of assembly?”
> He may have a point – UKIP is home to so many fruitcakes that giving them the opportunity of making prats of themselves in public might be a good thing.
The meeting on the evening of April 23 will be the largest public meeting ever to be held by the party and its “early bird” free tickets have already been snapped up.
The Eurosceptic party has previously held a North East conference in Tynemouth but Nigel Farage will be speaking in person at this event.
> If anywhere in Tyne & Wear was going to host a UKIP conference, you’d have bet on it being Tynemouth 😉
After by-election successes across the country, Mr Farage has said he hopes to make considerable gains in May’s local and European elections.
Messages left for the Sage online from the public prompted the organisation’s general director Anthony Sargent to clarify his stance on hosting political events.
The music and concert venue has previously been booked to hold the meetings of the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrats and Mr Sargent said: “Picking and choosing between political views would be an indefensible position and that really would be letting the local community down.
“We need to give these people a platform, then trust the democratic process to separate the wheat from the chaff. We have no opinion on UKIP nor do we on the Conservatives, Labour or Liberal Democrats.”
Quoting political philosopher John Stuart Mill, he added: “There’s a very basic freedom of speech right in the UK which is prized by the British whether or not you agree with a set of opinions. It’s a foundational right living in Britain that you have the right to express yourself.”
One critic of the planned conference, Alan Verth, wrote on Twitter that Sage needed to consider its “moral obligations to community” while a user of the site calling himself Trevstanley called it a“disgusting” move and would not be visiting the Sage again.
Mr Verth wrote: “I’m not happy with my home town hosting this as it goes against everything I stand for.”
Newcastle-based singer Gem Andrews, who released her debut last year, also took to Twitter to ask people to campaign against UKIP meeting on Tyneside.
UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage has disowned proposals from one of his MEPs for Muslims to be asked to sign a charter rejecting violence.
Gerard Batten, who sits on the party’s National Executive Committee, said he stood by the “charter of Muslim understanding” which he co-authored in 2006 and which states that parts of the Koran which promote “violent physical jihad” should be regarded as “inapplicable, invalid and non-Islamic”.
His comments sparked criticism from Muslim groups and UKIP’s political opponents.
The Conservative leader in the European Parliament, Syed Kamall, who is himself a Muslim, left a letter on Mr Batten’s empty seat at the Parliament chamber in Strasbourg, sarcastically offering him a guarantee that he had no intention to commit acts of violence.
Mr Farage said: “This was a private publication from Gerard Batten in 2006 and its contents are not and never have been UKIP policy.”
> Fruitcakes, the whole lot of them…
Source – Newcastle Journal 06 Feb 2014