UKIP’S Wearside policy launch was left high and dry when a promised fleet of fishing boats was cancelled – due to low tide.
The UK Independence Party had promised a fleet of fishing vessels decked out in party colours at Sunderland Fish Quay, to highlight its opposition to the EU Common Fisheries policy.
However, organisers were left red-faced after discovering the Wear was too low for the boats to take to the water.
Aileen Casey, parliamentary candidate for Washington and Sunderland West, said the party had checked earlier in the week that the photocall was at a suitable time.
UKIP say the Common Fisheries Policy was allowing foreign fishermen to cash in on the UK’s waters.
“This is our fish – why should we give it away only to have to buy it back,” Ms Casey said.
“We want to take this message as far and wide as possible – we want every inch of England that has seaside, that has anything to do with fishing, to get involved.
“We all need to shout as loud as possible to get out waters back.”
Fishermen Norman Shaw said he had witnessed the impact of EU policy on the industry.
“Twenty years ago, the trawlers on this pier would be three or four deep,” he said. “Now there are only about eight boats working off this pier.”
The photocall was also accompanied by an impromptu rock performance by flatmates Cal Johnson and Tony Shaw, both, 22, who live opposite the Fish Quay.
Tony said the pair had hoped to drown out the party’s message.
“I don’t like the things they are about,” he said.
Source – Sunderland Echo, 17 Apr 2015
North Tyneside constituency, currently held by Labour’s Mary Glindon
• John Christopher Appleby, Liberal Democrat;
• Bob Batten, National Front;
• Martin William Collins, Green Party;
• Mary Theresa Glindon, Labour Party;
• Scott Alan Hartley, UK Independence Party (UKIP);
• Martin Terence McGann, Conservative Party;
• Tim Wall, Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition.
Tynemouth constituency, currently held by Labour’s Alan Campbell
• Alan Campbell, Labour Party;
• Julia Anne Erskine, Green Party;
• Glenn Anthony Hall, Conservative Party;
• Gary Matthew Legg, UK Independence Party (UKIP);
• John Paton-Day, Liberal Democrat.
A UK Independence Party politician is hoping for a winning double in South Tyneside at May’s local and general elections.
Former borough councillor Steve Harrison has already announced his intention to stand as a Parliamentary candidate for Jarrow.
He is also seeking election as a councillor in the borough’s Monkton ward, including the Lukes Lane Estate, where he used to live.
Mr Harrison formerly represented the Hedworth and Fellgate ward in Jarrow, originally as an independent and later for Ukip.
Mr Harrison said:
“I don’t feel the current MP is responsive enough to the town’s public on local issues.
“His concentration seems to be all about Westminster, and he doesn’t challenge the Labour council enough over decisions it makes.
“If I’m elected, I would spend three days in the town and in the ward dealing with issues on the ground.
“I would also open an office in the town centre which would be manned six days a week, from 9am to 5pm, where people can go and have their problems dealt with.
“There are a lot of issues in Monkton that need to be addressed.
“The bus service in Lukes Lane is non-existent. People have been left high and dry.
“The roads and footpaths are a big issue.
“There’s a view that all the spending goes to South Shields.
“A lack of parking spaces, fly-tipping and rubbish generally are also issues that need to be addressed urgently.
“I have lived on Lukes Lane twice. I grew up there and lived there when I got married. I still have family and friends there, and I know the area well.”
Mr Harrison said he had no concerns over any potential conflict of interest in standing as both prospective MP and councillor.
“I have checked out the rules, and there is not problem with standing for both. It’s not unique. It’s a chance to bring Westminster into local politics.”
> Also a chance to claim two incomes, two sets of expenses, etc.
Jarrow MP Stephen Hepburn was unavailable for comment about Mr Harrison’s criticisms.
The other candidates standing in the Jarrow Parliamentary constituency election on Thursday, May 7, are Stan Collins (Lib Dem), Norman Hall (Trade Union Socialist Coalition), Nick Mason (Conservative) and David Herbert (Green).
Source – Shields Gazette, 25 Mar 2015
UKIP has been accused of attempting to “sabotage” a charity event intended to get young people interested in politics.
Northumberland youth charity Leading Link blamed the UK Independence Party for its decision to reschedule a Question Time-style event.
And the charity said police were even drafted in to cover a replacement event on Thursday night, in case of disruption.
The question-and-answer event has been held by the Bedlington-based charity for the last four years, and sees a debate between local schoolchildren, members of the public and guests.
It was due held at County Hall in Morpeth on Thursday, and young people had invited representatives from the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties to attend.
UKIP were not invited, which the party claimed was “undemocratic”.
Leading Link said it was contacted by a string of regional and national UKIP representative demanding to know why the party had not been invited, with one claiming the charity was contravening various acts.
Charity bosses say they explained that attendees had been selected by the young people and made it clear the event was not linked to May’s general election.
But then, the charity says, several tickets were acquired online in the names of local UKIP figures.
And the organisers took the decision to postpone the event until after the general election.
In place of the cancelled event, a replacement just for the young people was organised with just the current Wansbeck MP, Labour’s Ian Lavery.
And the charity said it had arranged for Northumbria Police to attend, in case of any disturbance.
Charity assistant manager Jonny Hall said:
“The reason why we were holding it was to give these young people a real experience of debating and making a positive change.
“Because we now feel that the spirit would be completely lost and it became a politically-motivated campaign, we have since cancelled it and moved to this closed session instead.
“The whole thing has been completely blown out of proportion. The fact a school debate is having to be cancelled speaks volumes.”
Mr Lavery hit out at UKIP for “jeopardising” the chances of young people getting engaged in politics.
He added: “Lyn (Horton, charity manager) said she has never known anything like this. It is sad we have not had the original event.”
The media officer for UKIP’s Wansbeck branch, said it was “blatantly untrue” to claim the event was not political given the attendance of the other parties.
“Why invite three politicians? And how do you educate the young people if you do not invite all political views?” he said. “It is totally undemocratic.”
“I think they have cancelled because they knew we would get it advertised to the public in Wansbeck. We had kicked up a bit of a fuss.”
Asked if anyone from UKIP would be attending the event, he added: “Nobody knows where it is.”
Northumbria Police confirmed that officers were attending. A spokesperson said:
“Members of the Neighbourhood Policing Teams regularly attend community events to continue to build on the strong links already in place.”
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 05 Mar 2015
General election apathy reigns supreme in South Tyneside.
That was the conclusion to be drawn from talking to a cross-section of would-be voters approachedin King Street, South Shields.
There are now just over two months to go before the nation decides on its next government.
The odds are on another coalition pact, with neither the Conservatives or the Labour Party predicted to win an overall majority.
But on the streets of the borough, we found little appetite for any of the parties jostling for our votes in the coming weeks.
Retired panel-beater Russell Dodds, 74, of Biddick Hall, South Shields, said:
“I am a bit mystified by the whole political scene.
“Nobody seems to have answers on anything, from the Middle East to pensions and even the Metro system, which is always breaking down.
“I’m sad to say there is a blandness about politicians these days.
“You have to look for the difference between the parties. No one really stands out.
“Look at Nigel Farage. He’s always pictured looking happy with a pint of beer in his hand, but does that really make him qualified to run the country?”
Ex-shipyard worker Norman Ogden, 72, of Hebburn, said:
“It’s hard not to be cynical about politics when you hear about MPs fiddling their expenses and former ministers being filmed trying to bolster their incomes.
“At the same time, hospitals are struggling because there are not enough nurses.”
South Shields shopper and retired foundry supervisor Leslie Milburn, 75, said:
“There used to be an old saying that it’s six and two threes. Now, it’s six and three twos.
“There is more choice as far as the number of parties, but there is less choice because everyone is the same.
“I’ll vote, but only because if I don’t vote, it will be my own fault if we get the worst option in.”
South Shields shop worker Stephanie Doxford, 23, voted for the first time in 2010, and she intends to do so again on Thursday, May 7.
“I’ll definitely be voting, although part of me thinks they are all as bad as each other.
“I voted Conservative in 2010, and I’m inclined to do so again, but I’ll hear what the other parties say in the run-up to the election.
“Ed Miliband doesn’t come across well to me. It all seems about badmouthing the other parties. I don’t really know what his party stands for.
“I think the election will be close, but my instinct tells me it won’t be a coalition this time, that the Conservatives might get an overall majority.”
Retired Merchant Navy bosun Denis Atkinson, 67, of Jarrow, said:
“I’d be inclined to stick with the Conservatives. I think David Cameron is doing a pretty good job, particularly with the economy.
“Why change things when we’re heading in the right direction?
“I know this is a Labour heartland, and I was Labour years ago, but I think the tide is turning away from them, even here in the North East.”
The most of apathetic of those we spoke to was unemployed George Pattison, 45, of Jarrow. He said:
“I won’t be voting. I never vote. I don’t believe in politicians. I get on with my own life and make my own decisions. I want nothing to do with them.”
> That’s not apathy though, is it ? It’s someone actively making a decision and carrying it through.
Aource – Shields Gazette, 28 Feb 2015
THE UK Independence Party’s (UKIP) general election campaign has got off to a bumpy start in South Tyneside amid claim and counter-claim.
The party has issued a statement saying former councillor Steve Harrison has been removed from his position as chairman of the South Tyneside branch, because of a “failure to comply with internal party rules”.
That has been rejected by Mr Harrison, who says he stood down to concentrate on his campaign as UKIP’s Parliamentary candidate for the Jarrow Constituency at May’s general election.
The party was on a crest of a political wave back in May 2013 when its candidate in the South Shields Parliamentary by-election, Richard Elvin, polled almost 25 per cent of the vote in finishing second to Labour’s Emma Lewell-Buck.
A month later, the party enjoyed a political coup when three borough councillors joined its ranks.
However, Coun George Elsom, for Cleadon Park, left the party within three months, admitting his decision to join the UKIP ranks a “mistake” and returning to the council chamber as an independent.
At last year’s May local elections, Mr Harrison, another defector, lost his seat in Fellgate and Hedworth, leaving his fellow ward member Coun Linda Hemmer as UKIP’s sole representative on the council.
The party’s fortunes changed again in October last year when Coun Norman Dennis snatched victory in the Westoe by-election, but the general election campaign has got off to a less than smooth start.
The party has confirmed that Coun Dennis has been selected as its Parliamentary candidate for South Shields, just months after his by-election triumph.
The regional UKIP spokesman said:
“Steve Harrison was indeed removed as branch chairman of South Tyneside late in 2014 following a failure to comply with internal party rules.
“Mr Harrison had the right of appeal against this decision, but declined to exercise that right.
“The party’s membership locally continues to grow, and Coun Norman Dennis is an excellent candidate in an area where UKIP has high hopes, after gaining close to 25 per cent of the vote nearly two years ago in a Parliamentary by-election”.
Mr Harrison said:
“All branch committees have received a recommendation from the party chairman that any chairman or vice-chairman who has been adopted as a Prospective Parliamentary Candidate, should consider their position until after the general election in order to concentrate on their campaigns.
“After giving this careful thought, I realised the wisdom of this advice and have decided to announce at our branch meeting on Tuesday that I will be standing down as chairman of the South Tyneside branch, so that I can direct all my efforts into my Westminster campaign.”
Source – Shields Gazette, 23 Jan 2015
> UKIP candidates behaving badly…again.
Police had to be called to a public meeting when a UKIP candidate standing in tomorrow’s local elections was thrown out.
A torrent of swearing and shouting led to Stephen Brand being asked to leave the Park Hotel in Tynemouth following his outburst at North Tyneside Question Time run by the People’s Assembly on Monday night.
He is standing in North Tyneside’s Chirton ward for the UK Independence Party against independent candidate Amanda Normand, Labour’s Margaret Reynolds and the Conservative candidate Heather Sarin.
Two officers from Northumbria Police were called to the sea-front hotel at around 7.50pm to calm scenes in the hotel’s ballroom after Mr Brand interrupted a speaker during a discussion on education.
Despite being told by audience members to be quiet and sit down and wait his turn to speak, he continued to shout and became aggressive when event organisers approached him to usher him out of the room.
At one point he shouted that if anyone laid a hand on him “it would be assault”.
A spokesperson for Northumbria Police said: “We were called to the Park Hotel in Tynemouth following reports of a man shouting during a meeting.
“Officers attended and at the request of the manager, officers asked him to leave, which he did.”
He received no police caution or warning for his behaviour and willingly left the scene.
However his outburst just days before the election was not welcomed by fellow UKIP candidate Gary Legg, who is standing in the Monkseaton South ward.
The former member of the RAF had been invited as part of a panel of six representatives from political parties for the question-and-answer session and he is now working with the party to clarify how events unfolded on Monday night.
Joan Hewitt, who co-organised the event on behalf of the People’s Assembly, said: “Normally I wouldn’t condone the highlighting of an unpleasant incident but I think this shows that this particular UKIP candidate was not agreeing with the nature of the event, which was participatory.”
Also speaking on the panel was North Tyneside’s current Labour deputy mayor Bruce Pickard, Alan Furness, who is standing as a Conservative candidate in Valley, Martin Collins for the Green Party in Wallsend, Tim Wall standing for the Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition in Benton and David Taws, the independent candidate for Collingwood.
A spokesman for UKIP said the party was conducting an inquiry into the incident, however Mr Brand will still stand on Thursday.
He said: “There is a suggestion of provocation. We would apologise however.
“It will be referred to the national executive committee who will look at everything and the committee may determine what the appropriate action is that should be taken.
“It’s very difficult before an election to do anything else. Ballot papers have gone out and they have got his name on it.”
Source – Newcastle Journal, 21 May 2014
The moment of truth has almost arrived for those standing in next week’s local elections across South Tyneside.
The 18 seats up for grabs in the borough will be contested by 59 candidates on Thursday.
At present, Labour dominates South Tyneside Council in what has long been been one of its traditional heartlands.
That could be about to change, though, as the UK Independence Party (UKIP) looks to gain a foothold in the region for the first time.
Just last month, UKIP leader Nigel Farage predicted a “mini-earthquake” after claiming Labour had turned its back on the North East.
Shop manager Richard Duffy, 45, says he is thinking about casting a protest vote for UKIP.
He said: “Since arriving on the scene, I think UKIP has forced the main parties to take a good, hard look at themselves.
“None of them has done anything about the level of immigration. This is an important issue and people have been feeling uneasy about it for years.”
> Some people might… the sort of people who’d like to vote for the BNP but don’t have the nerve. The sort of people who start sentences with : “I,m not racist, but…”
Ex-factory worker Valerie Storey, 63, of Boldon Colliery, has already put a cross next to a UKIP candidate on her postal vote.
She said: “Everyone I know seems like they want to vote for UKIP. People just see Labour and the Conservatives as part of the establishment, while UKIP is on the outside.
> Yeah, a party of the common man – no millionaires, desperate swivel-eyed ex-members of the Tories or political opportunists and business-orientated vested interests in UKIP.
“I think it is worth voting for a different party to see if they can make things better. If they do, great, but if not, at least I can say I have tried.”
Others, such as retired driving instructor Bill Grieves, 72, of Westoe, South Shields, simply lack enthusiasm for the upcoming elections.
Mr Grieves says he has voted Conservative in the past, but that is unlikely to be the case next week.
He said: “I have always felt I should vote, but on this occasion, I do not know who to vote for.
“I cannot trust any of the parties in terms of what they say or do.
“They do not seem to care about the common man in the street.”
“I used to have faith in politics, but not now. I think the damage has been done, for me and probably others too.”
Former secretary Denise Coulter, 54, of Whiteleas, South Shields, agrees with that sentiment.
She said: “You do not see many people from poorer backgrounds going into politics these days. It seems only to be for the privileged few.
“They do not know what it is like to live on the dole, or have very little money or even nothing at all. I find it very frustrating.”
Alice McLechlan, 85, of Brockley Whins, South Shields, is a retired factory worker. She says she will vote next week, but it will be with a heavy heart.
She added: “I normally choose a Labour candidate, but in these elections, I’ll go for an independent.
“Labour would need to do quite a lot to make me change my mind.”
One person who still has faith in Labour is unemployed Joan Merryfield, 62, of Brockley Avenue, South Shields.
She said: “I have always gone for Labour because it gets things done, but you can understand why people are not too bothered any more. They are just fed up with politics.”
Source – shields Gazette, 17 May 2014
So, it’s happened. That moment we’ve all been waiting for has arrived: an ever-growing number of people are turning their backs on the business-as-usual politics offered by the mainstream parties and are pledging their support for an explicitly anti-establishment alternative. The bad news, of course, is that this alternative is the rabidly nationalist populism offered by UKIP, who currently look set to take more votes than any other party at the upcoming European elections. This has generated a huge amount of attention among the mainstream media and most of the left, but there seems to have been very little serious discussion of it among libertarians, especially when compared to the amount of energy that goes into countering much more marginal nationalist projects like the March for England.
To some extent, this reluctance to seriously engage with the rise of UKIP is entirely understandable, in that it reflects a…
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