Monday, February 10, 2014
From goat poo to UKIP
Yesterday morning I was working in my goat paddock and once I had dealt with the goat poo, I headed home to find the first ever non-election UKIP leaflet in my ward stuffed through my door. It was a national leaflet, not a local one. I was struck however about how negative the leaflet was. It was a call to join UKIP and the reasons for signing up said nothing at all about what UKIP are for. Indeed, a screaming headline shouts "UKIP'S FIGHTING FOR YOU AGAINST..." which was then followed by one negative for each of the 3 main parties and one for the Greens. On the back of the leaflet, the headline claimed, "THAT'S WHY THIS YEAR WE'RE ALL GOING UKIP." Whilst negative campaigning is a part of all parties' campaigning, it is reasonable to expect some explanation from any party what is is FOR. Founding a political party on the basis of being purely against whatever happens to irritate you strikes me as being an easy way to get a short term gain but provides no long term basis for the survival of a party. Alas, this leaflet had nothing whatsoever to say about UKIP policy.
Our contact work with voters in Gateshead suggests that UKIP are doing better in wards which are very strongly Labour and where turnouts tend to be lower. In other words, where political engagement with the people is poor, UKIP could fill the vacuum. Indeed, in one ward in particular, represented by a key member of the Labour group, UKIP could run Labour quite close if turnout is low in the local elections in May. The Euro-elections on the same day could add another complicating factor to that ward. In our held wards, and those wards in which we are regularly campaigning, UKIP vote is only just registering though they are level pegging with the Conservatives for a distant 3rd place.
Anyway, that's the politics done for this morning. I need to get back outside and this time deal with all the hen poo in our 4 henhouses. At least we're not being flooded out here in Gateshead. Presumably that means there's been no gay weddings on our patch recently.