Thursday next week could prove an interesting day for British politics with by-elections in Stoke-on-Trent and Copeland in Cumbria. Labour have held onto both these seats since before WWII, but according to latest news WWIII is erupting in Stoke…
UKIP leader Paul Nuttall, a working class grass roots scouser, is contesting the seat hoping to upset the Labour monopoly – and according to the latest polls he has a good chance of succeeding. In the referendum, 70% of the Stoke electorate voted to leave the EU. The incumbent MP Tristram Hunt is baling out of the Corbynistas to take up a post at the V&A in London. Presumably he doesn’t reckon much of Labour’s chances at the next election and like many others is quitting now whilst a lucrative job is in the offing. Who could blame him?
So Labour’s militant left is responding in the way it knows best. There have been violent demonstrations at UKIP meetings, the house that Nuttall is using in the constituency has had it’s address published on the internet – prompting hate mail and two break ins. In one case a female UKIP worker was terrorised when she was alone in the building. Death threats have been made against Nuttall and only today it has been reported that Farage and Nuttall were egged in the street on their way to a meeting. Typical Momentum tactics that we’ve seen before.
And just to prove that Labour really doesn’t have a clue, their candidate Gareth Snell is a rampant Europhile who has described Brexit as a “massive pile of shit” in a rant on Twitter. This is a clear vote winner in a heavily Eurosceptic constituency. In fact Labour are so out of touch that they’ve told their own leader to stay away because they think he’s “not an asset on the doorstep”. You couldn’t make it up…
In Copeland it’s a bit more laid back – but not a lot. The biggest employer in the region is the Sellafield nuclear plant. Corbyn’s Labour opposes the expansion of nuclear power. Another vote winner there then? And ironically the by election has been called because the sitting Labour MP Jamie Reed is leaving to take up the post of Head of Development & Community Relations at none other than Sellafield. Reed is a vociferous Corbyn critic and clearly realised his chances of deselection are pretty damned high.
I doubt we’ve seen the last of Labour MPs getting out while the going is good. With Corbyn in charge, they know the party is unelectable so why hang around waiting for the chop either from their own party or the electorate?
Nuttall should win Stoke easily whereas Copeland looks a little closer with the Tories hoping to take the seat. Whatever happens, it looks dismal for Labour. So are we watching the first death throws of a once major party? With the shift of UKIP to targeting traditionally Labour strongholds in the north of England, things ain’t exactly looking rosy…
…and they’ve only themselves to blame!
So Farage steps down as the UKIP leader and Diane James is installed as the new face of UK Independence from Europe. An era has – supposedly – come to an end.
Nigel Farage has been named by no less than the Sunday Times as the most significant British politician of the 21st century so far. I agree with them. The man has dedicated his political life to one single aim : securing a referendum to remove the UK from the Fourth Reich and winning that referendum. He’s done his job and, in my opinion, should be rewarded for his singular dedication to his country by being awarded a knighthood or – even better – a peerage. This will, of course, never happen because he’s ruffled too many establishment figures.
So Nigel takes a step back and is replaced by a capable woman who openly claims not to be either Nigel-like or even Nigel-light. Diane James needs to take UKIP by the scruff of the neck and shape it into a credible force to ensure there is no back tracking on the Brexit decision. It’s a huge task as UKIP is fractious and has to be pulled together. She made a good start by telling disgraced former Tory MP Neill Hamilton that his speech to conference was cancelled.
I remember attending a UKIP branch meeting where Hamilton was discussed. The man was universally despised by the meeting as an opportunist clown. He failed to make it onto the ballot paper shortly afterwards when he was going after an MEP job in the South West. Nobody likes him except his mate Farage. Without Farage he’s toast. Like I said, not a bad start.
Earlier today I heard a rumour that Aaron Banks, UKIP’s major backer, was considering switching his allegiance to a new party set up by the majority of Labour MPs who are pissed off with Corbyn. That might be so, but it was then suggested that Farage would head it up. I just can’t see a load of Labour MPs agreeing to follow Farage and, even less, can I see Farage agreeing to stab UKIP in the back. He’s put his life into the party and there’s no way he’s going to betray that commitment.
Labour may well split on the 14th. A new party may emerge. Some might defect to UKIP. It’ll be interesting and edifying to watch Labour sink slowly into oblivion. Can Diane James capitalise on that split and help, in Farage’s words, to “reshape the face of British politics”?
I hope so. She was clearly the best candidate for UKIP. I voted for her – despite my mysogonistic tendencies towards yet another woman heading a political party. I never was one for being fashionable…
I’m indebted to Guido Fawkes for the pointing out how Labour’s Oldham candidate milks the allowances system. As he says, nice work if you can get it.
The Oldham by-election on December 3rd will be interesting to say the least. Corbyn cancelled his visit yesterday because of the mess he is making over Syria. This must be a great relief to Jim McMahon because the Labour leader is seen as ‘toxic’ and interestingly appears in only the bottom corner of a single election leaflet for Labour in the constituency.
It looks like a straight fight between Labour and UKIP. Syria and the migration crisis will loom large in the minds of the voters and could well make it rather too close to call despite Labour’s 14,000 majority at the general election.
The failure of Corbyn to parachute a hard left candidate into the fight is an indicator of how much respect the Labour leader commands amongst the constituency parties – the same parties he has been infiltrating with his leftie supporters. Oldham at least stood up to him and selected a candidate who is well known locally – he’s the head of the council – and who supported Liz Kendall in the recent election.
If this one goes tits up for Corbyn and his cabinet and MPs openly defy him, are we on course for another SDP?
I wouldn’t bet against it…
…it’s Nigel Farage!
I was disappointed that Farage didn’t win a seat at Westminster and baffled by the resignation that’s not a resignation. Fair enough, he is surrounded by some dubious people ( especially Neil Hamilton ) but I expected him to either keep his word or not to have made such an ill judged pronouncement in the first place.
The latest line is that he resigned but the NEC at UKIP unanimously rejected his resignation. This is rather surprising as the UKIP Treasury Spokesman, Patrick O’Flynn, came out and accused Farage of being ‘snarling, thin lipped and aggressive’ after, presumably, being one of the people who unanimously supported him.
Still, what’s even more entertaining is the way the BBC’s Nigel Smith reported the personality cunt at the heart of UKIP as you can see from the above clip. Oops…
Not the first time that the BBC has slipped up on this tongue twister either. James McNaughty slipped in the same Mcnaughty word when he introduced Health Secretary, Jeremy Hunt, on Radio 4.
It really just confirms my dark suspicion that the BBC political commentators are one big cult. Or should that be cunt?…
But he still gets my vote as he seems to be the only party leader in this whole farce that prepared to answer a direct question with a direct answer…