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The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
The Bruges Group spearheaded the intellectual battle to win a vote to leave the European Union and, above all, against the emergence of a centralised EU state.
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Brexit betrayal: Tories could lose Peterborough and other local authorities to UKIP

They had one job….Amidst the fury in the Conservative Party at Theresa May's overt betrayal of the Brexit vote, Wayne Fitzgerald, deputy leader of Peterborough council, told the Telegraph of a large number of constituents 'who will not vote for any Labour politician, Conservative politician, anybody other than an anti-EU party'. This is an area that voted 61% for Brexit, and it is also the parliamentary seat of disgraced ex-Labour MP Fiona Onasanya, now sitting as an independent and casting votes against Brexit in the House of Commons, when by rights she should still be in prison.

Fearing carnage in the local elections on 2nd May, some Tory figures such as Dan Hannan are urging members to stay and for voters to prevent the hard-left Labour of Jeremy Corbyn wresting power. But these appeals are falling on deaf ears. The Leave majority in the general public is more interested in securing Brexit than the future of the tarnished Conservative Party. They may admire stalwarts such as Mark Francois and Bill Cash for making a principled stand against May's Brexit-in-name-only, but they know that this is a marginalised group in parliament.

Last week Boris Johnson, the leading Tory campaigner for Leave, sided with the treacherous Dominic Grieve against his Beaconsfield constituency party, whose members voted to deselect him on the very day that we were supposed to be leaving the EU. For Grieve, Brexit is an act of stupidity, rejecting the majority both in the country and his constituency for liberty from the Brussels regime. He has plotted with EU commissioners behind Theresa May's back, yet Boris supported him over hard-working local volunteers.

Party loyalties are collapsing. In the last general election the Conservative and Labour vote combined was 83%, but in current opinion polls this total is twenty points lower. The local elections around England and Wales are a major opportunity for UKIP, which scored 9% in the latest ComRes poll. The party is fielding a full slate of candidates in Peterborough, including Darrell Goodliffe, political editor of the Politicalite news website. I asked Darrell about the prospects.

NM – Darrell, what are you hearing on the doorsteps?

DG – I am hearing a lot of anger directed towards the Conservatives. Just the other day while leafleting one gentleman popped his head out of the door to say that if my leaflet was from the Conservatives then it would be tossed straight in the bin. However, people are also tired and in the words of one woman 'overwhelmed' by the situation and this is leading to people switching off from politics entirely. When this mood crystallises I think it will be reflected in both a mass protest vote and a mass stayaway from the polls.

NM – A YouGov poll last week had UKIP on 7% and Nigel Farage's Brexit Party on 5%, with a significant decline in support for the two major parties. The Brexit Party is getting lots of publicity, and will probably do well if the EU elections happen. But it is not participating in the local elections. So is this the best chance UKIP will get?

DG – The last poll I saw for Euro elections had UKIP on 18%, so no, I don't think the local elections are UKIP's best chance. If Nigel is planning in the long term to stand the Brexit Party in contests for seats in Westminster then he has made a massive tactical blunder ignoring the local elections, I am firmly of the opinion that the bedrock for building a Parliamentary challenge is a solid base of councillors. The Brexit Party has the advantage of being the new kid on the block, but UKIP is the tried-and-tested brand name when it comes to appealing to Eurosceptic voters, and I think that will win out. 

NM – Gerard Batten is a popular leader in the UKIP ranks, but his forthright views on Islam have made it easier for the mainstream media and political opponents to vilify the party as 'far right'. Farage has been using the charge of extremism to distance his Brexit Party from UKIP. Do you get challenged on this aspect of party policy?

DG – I have had only one conversation about Islam and Tommy Robinson; that was with a lovely gentleman who I ended up spending about half an hour with. He felt Tommy wasn't for him but understood the concerns about Islam. Like many people, he believed Tommy is a member of UKIP, which he isn't. I have a great belief in the rationality and common sense of the average voter: most are willing to have sensible conversations about things and not get into howling, screeching and name-calling when you approach them on a one-to-one level. That engagement is something I love about this level of politics - the real engagement with people outside of the political bubble.

NM – Peterborough has a large Muslim population, with two imposing mosques visible from the passing mainline railway. What would you say to a Muslim voter who is keen on Brexit but deterred by what he has heard of UKIP? He or she might vote Labour regardless of that party's Brexit obfuscations.

DG – I would say, firstly, don't believe everything in the mainstream media. Then I would say that I and I believe UKIP as well have no problem with you as a person. Yes, we critique Islam which is not a race and never has been, but a body of ideas which like any other body of ideas in a democratic society should be subject to scrutiny and critique. The freedom to do so is the very lifeblood of our democratic society. I am a baptised and confirmed Christian and see my faith roundly mocked and totally deconstructed on a regular basis, so I can understand how criticism of Islam would make a Muslim feel uncomfortable. But that must be allowed to happen freely for our democracy to function. No faith or body of ideas has the right to insist in a free and secular society it is beyond reproach. I would then urge them to look at the bigger picture not just with regards to Brexit but with regards to the potentially cataclysmic financial position of the city council, which is teetering on the edge of bankruptcy, and urge them to cast their vote accordingly.

NM - Do you find any clear demographic patterns in support for UKIP? Do you fare best on council estates and less well on leafy avenues?

DG – I am finding no bias one way or another to be honest. West Ward is a solid Conservative ward, but not only have voters in this ward been let down over Brexit, but the mismanagement of Peterborough City Council's finances is a scandal. Voters back the Conservatives for sound financial management, not casino capitalist loans to companies whose prospects look limited to say the least. Solar energy as an industry has been circling the drain since the government grants that supported it were axed, yet the brain trust at PCC thought a £23 million loan to Empower Community Management LLP, which fits solar panels to the roofs of houses, was a brilliant idea. The repayment is 18 months overdue and now the talk is of refinancing; all the while taxes are on the rise and community assets are being let go in a mad fire sale. Bankruptcy is the only way this can end.

NM – Finally, would a strong UKIP showing in the council elections have any impact on Westminster's Brexit bungling?

DG - I think it will focus some minds and make the threat of UKIP real again. Many, like my opponent Wayne Fitzgerald, had totally written us off, but the local elections will show we are back and once again a credible electoral force.

NM – Thank you, Darrell.

The battle lines are drawn on the west side of this cathedral city. Although these are elections for local authorities, Brexit looms large. The Tories are set to reap the whirlwind of their incredible failure to implement a clear instruction from the electorate. 

NO DELAY, NO CAPITULATION, NO DEAL. Bruges Group 0...
The BBC and Brexit: BBC bias by omission
 

Comments 8

Guest - Adam Kingston on Tuesday, 09 April 2019 12:52

One can only hope.

One can only hope.
Guest - Ian Summerell (website) on Wednesday, 10 April 2019 15:08

I'm sorry but you only have your party leaders to blame. They have been place men/women for the EU and foreign powers, they are clearly not working for the good of the UK.

The Bill of rights 1689 clearly states that no foreign power should rule over us. "And I do declare That noe Forreigne Prince Person Prelate, State or Potentate hath or ought to have any Jurisdiction Power Superiority Preeminence or Authoritie Ecclesiastical or Spirituall within this Realme Soe helpe me God."

But the scumbag MP's changed the rules and brought in the oaths act so these words are not longer said.

your group is trying to fight this evil but I do not think there is enough of you to bring about brexit that we 'the people' voted for.

I'm sorry but you only have your party leaders to blame. They have been place men/women for the EU and foreign powers, they are clearly not working for the good of the UK. The Bill of rights 1689 clearly states that no foreign power should rule over us. "And I do declare That noe Forreigne Prince Person Prelate, State or Potentate hath or ought to have any Jurisdiction Power Superiority Preeminence or Authoritie Ecclesiastical or Spirituall within this Realme Soe helpe me God." But the scumbag MP's changed the rules and brought in the oaths act so these words are not longer said. your group is trying to fight this evil but I do not think there is enough of you to bring about brexit that we 'the people' voted for.
Guest - Steven of the family Allan on Friday, 19 April 2019 11:38

Rare to meet a constitutionalist who remembers the law theses days - nice work!

Rare to meet a constitutionalist who remembers the law theses days - nice work!
Guest - Adam Hiley on Thursday, 11 April 2019 22:13

isn't Peterborough trying to remove their Convicted Criminal Labour MP all 3 Parties need getting rid the Conservative must get rid of May she cannot be allowed to stay until October nor can We tolerate staying in the EU until then facts4eu.org.uk

isn't Peterborough trying to remove their Convicted Criminal Labour MP all 3 Parties need getting rid the Conservative must get rid of May she cannot be allowed to stay until October nor can We tolerate staying in the EU until then facts4eu.org.uk
Guest - Joanna French on Sunday, 14 April 2019 09:30

Democracy must be upheld

Democracy must be upheld
Guest - Steven of the family Allan on Friday, 19 April 2019 11:20

The narrative of this article is false.

Peterborough is always swinging from Conservative to Labour, back and forth, both with the Council and Member of Parliament. The article was also written before the launch of the Brexit Party - which now looks poised to sweep the field in European Elections and bring the EU Political system to a grinding halt.

The reality of course is what happens behind the political scenes. Nobody cares, nobody investigates and we are not even talking politics but a cabinet of un-elected people making decisions for Peterborough which are just given a blind nod by our Councillors. There are hints in the article -" ... the mismanagement of Peterborough City Council's finances is a scandal" - and the Council's " ... £23 million loan to Empower Community Management LLP" for 18 months in 2014. The Council has now agreed to extend the repayment date on a month to month basis for up to six months. And all this whilst Peterborough City Council's own borrowings have gone through the roof with interest payments alone amounting to one million pounds EACH month.

The Council has recently been quoted as saying "The Council remains confident the loan will be returned in full and insists taxpayers will not lose out as it can take over the profitable solar panel schemes should the money not be repaid." Really? If Empower Community Management LLP was so profitably it would have already paid the loan wouldn't it? And who would actually run this on behalf of the Council - SERCO? Seriously! Anyone know what LLP means - LOL (about the same).

By contrast, an individual resident behind with their Council Tax by a few hundred pound the Council outsource to Rossendales Limited who threaten people with prison, fines, whilst adding extortionate fees to the accounts of vulnerable who can't afford to pay the Council Tax in the first place.

And what of this Council Tax which is being increased again? It's not only to pay the fat cat salaries of a few Council employees earning over £100,000.00 a year and more each, but to replace the money you sent to central government in your Taxes and and National Insurance contributions which is being 'withheld' from the Council and spent elsewhere. Unaccountably so.

Our current former Labour MP - carefully scrutinised and selected for you to vote for - is a dishonest crook (that got caught) and the last one, a Conservative MP - had his hands in the till, got caught , and didn't think it should be paid back.

And let's not mention the small issue of our democracy being overturned by the elite, because us poor little peasants are not clever enough to understand complex issues.

I'm drawn today by Sir David Attenborough's video of an Orangutan trying to stop an bulldozer from demolishing it's home. What a lesson that is for humanity. A monkey standing up for what we all know to be right - whilst the rest of humanity just sit back and enjoy watching their TV.

For me, this local election, the European election and the election of a new MP - assuming the Peterborough are going to reject the current one (which isn't certain) - will be about taking back control of our lives. That starts with the Council, the EU and then our Parliament. These people are corrupt, self serving, power crazed leeches.

My advice to anyone wanting to vote, and "If voting made a difference they wouldn't let you do it" - Mark Twain, is to ask any politician who knocks for your vote what it is they are going to do you as a person to help Peterborough. Forget the partly line, the spin, the manifesto - these are all diversions put in place to avoid any accountability.

In short - be a monkey, not a sheep!

The narrative of this article is false. Peterborough is always swinging from Conservative to Labour, back and forth, both with the Council and Member of Parliament. The article was also written before the launch of the Brexit Party - which now looks poised to sweep the field in European Elections and bring the EU Political system to a grinding halt. The reality of course is what happens behind the political scenes. Nobody cares, nobody investigates and we are not even talking politics but a cabinet of un-elected people making decisions for Peterborough which are just given a blind nod by our Councillors. There are hints in the article -" ... the mismanagement of Peterborough City Council's finances is a scandal" - and the Council's " ... £23 million loan to Empower Community Management LLP" for 18 months in 2014. The Council has now agreed to extend the repayment date on a month to month basis for up to six months. And all this whilst Peterborough City Council's own borrowings have gone through the roof with interest payments alone amounting to one million pounds EACH month. The Council has recently been quoted as saying "The Council remains confident the loan will be returned in full and insists taxpayers will not lose out as it can take over the profitable solar panel schemes should the money not be repaid." Really? If Empower Community Management LLP was so profitably it would have already paid the loan wouldn't it? And who would actually run this on behalf of the Council - SERCO? Seriously! Anyone know what LLP means - LOL (about the same). By contrast, an individual resident behind with their Council Tax by a few hundred pound the Council outsource to Rossendales Limited who threaten people with prison, fines, whilst adding extortionate fees to the accounts of vulnerable who can't afford to pay the Council Tax in the first place. And what of this Council Tax which is being increased again? It's not only to pay the fat cat salaries of a few Council employees earning over £100,000.00 a year and more each, but to replace the money you sent to central government in your Taxes and and National Insurance contributions which is being 'withheld' from the Council and spent elsewhere. Unaccountably so. Our current former Labour MP - carefully scrutinised and selected for you to vote for - is a dishonest crook (that got caught) and the last one, a Conservative MP - had his hands in the till, got caught , and didn't think it should be paid back. And let's not mention the small issue of our democracy being overturned by the elite, because us poor little peasants are not clever enough to understand complex issues. I'm drawn today by Sir David Attenborough's video of an Orangutan trying to stop an bulldozer from demolishing it's home. What a lesson that is for humanity. A monkey standing up for what we all know to be right - whilst the rest of humanity just sit back and enjoy watching their TV. For me, this local election, the European election and the election of a new MP - assuming the Peterborough are going to reject the current one (which isn't certain) - will be about taking back control of our lives. That starts with the Council, the EU and then our Parliament. These people are corrupt, self serving, power crazed leeches. My advice to anyone wanting to vote, and "If voting made a difference they wouldn't let you do it" - Mark Twain, is to ask any politician who knocks for your vote what it is [b]they[/b] are going to do you as a person to help Peterborough. Forget the partly line, the spin, the manifesto - these are all diversions put in place to avoid any accountability. In short - be a monkey, not a sheep!
Guest - Darrell Goodliffe on Tuesday, 23 April 2019 13:01

Hi,

Thanks for your comment. In regards to your first point I think it is important to note that the Brexit Party is not contesting this set of local elections and it pertains to this set only so I don't think it is fair of you to accuse it of a false narrative due to the existence of a Party which isn't standing any candidates in the local elections in Peterborough, at least not this year.

I would share alot of your concerns re the City Council and how it is run. Your right to point to the issue of increasing borrowing and debt and taxes as well as the salaries of Council employees. Room certainly exists to cut fat from the Budget and personally, I would like to start by looking at the issue of the Cabinet's allowances and abolishing them along with the Cabinet system of governance which would save us over £200,000 per year straight off the bat.

Of course, you are right about Fiona Onasanya though the allegations your making against Stewart Jackson would need more substantiation I feel.

I agree, you should judge each candidate on their individual merits and what they bring to the table for Peterborough.

Hope that helps. Any further questions please reply back.

Hi, Thanks for your comment. In regards to your first point I think it is important to note that the Brexit Party is not contesting this set of local elections and it pertains to this set only so I don't think it is fair of you to accuse it of a false narrative due to the existence of a Party which isn't standing any candidates in the local elections in Peterborough, at least not this year. I would share alot of your concerns re the City Council and how it is run. Your right to point to the issue of increasing borrowing and debt and taxes as well as the salaries of Council employees. Room certainly exists to cut fat from the Budget and personally, I would like to start by looking at the issue of the Cabinet's allowances and abolishing them along with the Cabinet system of governance which would save us over £200,000 per year straight off the bat. Of course, you are right about Fiona Onasanya though the allegations your making against Stewart Jackson would need more substantiation I feel. I agree, you should judge each candidate on their individual merits and what they bring to the table for Peterborough. Hope that helps. Any further questions please reply back.
Guest - Steven Allan on Tuesday, 23 April 2019 13:57

Thanks for the reply Darrell Goodliffe.

I didn't mention the Brexit Party in my reply - the article seems to relate to UKIP - I am not sure if UKIP have any local candidates for the local elections in Peterborough. I do think it highly likely that the Conservatives in PCC will lose overall control of the Council and that could make an interesting change to the 'Cabinet', or possibly not, since I believe the majority party selects (not elects) the Cabinet members - real democracy - not. So win or lose, no change in direction.

With regard to Stuart Jackson (you mentioned him) there was an incident - there have been so many over the years relating to various MP Expenses scandals - however these article seems to identify the issue at the time. I am not sure how it was resolved.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/may/09/tory-mp-stewart-jackson-expenses

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5310312/MPs-expenses-Stewart-Jackson-admits-claim-for-pool-work-was-excessive.html

And thank you, I had no idea that by removing the 'Cabinet' this would save £200K per year!

It does seem to me that a lot (most) of these power seeing politicians are in it for the money and not service.

Thanks for the reply Darrell Goodliffe. I didn't mention the Brexit Party in my reply - the article seems to relate to UKIP - I am not sure if UKIP have any local candidates for the local elections in Peterborough. I do think it highly likely that the Conservatives in PCC will lose overall control of the Council and that could make an interesting change to the 'Cabinet', or possibly not, since I believe the majority party selects (not elects) the Cabinet members - real democracy - not. So win or lose, no change in direction. With regard to Stuart Jackson (you mentioned him) there was an incident - there have been so many over the years relating to various MP Expenses scandals - however these article seems to identify the issue at the time. I am not sure how it was resolved. https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2013/may/09/tory-mp-stewart-jackson-expenses https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/newstopics/mps-expenses/5310312/MPs-expenses-Stewart-Jackson-admits-claim-for-pool-work-was-excessive.html And thank you, I had no idea that by removing the 'Cabinet' this would save £200K per year! It does seem to me that a lot (most) of these power seeing politicians are in it for the money and not service.
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