The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) held a lively meeting in Horsham’s Drill Hall on Tuesday evening (April 22), which was open to the public.
Horsham chairman Neil Whitear highlighted the fact that UKIP is non-racist and non-sectarian, is dedicated to freedom and democracy and the right to be governed by our own Parliament.
He introduced the three prospective parliamentary candidates (PPC) by saying that none of them has been selected because of their background, because they are loyal party researchers, or because they will toe the party line. They are independent minded professionals with substantial experience of the real world, who will unnerve the career driven political classes.
Roger Arthur UKIP PPC for Horsham gave a rousing speech, giving the reasons behind his shock resignation as Tory Horsham District Council deputy leader in April last year, including the need to restore democracy and respect for our institutions.
He cited the urgent need to arrest and reverse our slide into subjugation under the European Union, which is in long-term economic decline and costs us around £165bn a year, whilst our parliament becomes increasingly redundant and our borders remain open to 27 countries, many with high unemployment.
He said that voters were sickened by the spin and deception issued by the political classes, highlighting that Parliament itself has fallen to such new depths that an MP elected in 2010, was apparently four times more likely to gain a criminal conviction than the average member of the public.
Diane James, prospective UKIP MEP candidate for the South East Region, gave a powerful speech on the impact of EU membership on young people highlighting that continued membership would deny further generations their two key aspirations namely a job and a home.
Urging the audience to act as ambassadors for the UKIP message of EU exit she highlighted the need for young people to ‘wake up and smell the coffee’ since without the UK regaining its sovereign right to decide laws, access to the employment market and restrict right of entry and abode here, that young people would continue to see their job opportunities taken by EU migrants in turn impacting on their ability to buy a home.
Citing a wealth of independent and authoritative information she criticised the EU Jobs portal which advertises in excess of one million UK jobs to European nationals at a time when this country has approximately one million young people unemployed, when the small and medium enterprise (SME) market is constrained by over 3,500 pieces of red tape strangling their ability to develop and take on staff, and the impact of the EU Climate Change Directive.
That directive has undermined the UK heavy industry manufacturing base and with it, the opportunities for apprenticeship schemes to develop future generations of skilled engineers, technicians and other vocational roles.
She accused the three Westminster parties of squandering the futures of young people by not facing up to the threat that EU membership represents for this country.
Citing the ‘one size fits all’ that appears to be the EU mantra for the future, she highlighted that undoubtedly the UK would be more successful outside of the proposed ‘United States of Europe’, a terrifying prospect that EU officials consistently outline as the goal for Europe and which entails ever increasing political, fiscal and government convergence - all to the detriment of the UK.
Harry Aldridge, UKIP PPC for Guildford, recapped on how far the party has come - in just 20 years from a small group of people round a table to today where we are poised to win the European elections, where we are shaping the national debate on a range of issues, and where we secured the first televised debates on our EU membership.
He spoke of UKIP’s domestic policies - investing fracking tax revenues in a sovereign wealth fund so that future generations benefit, along with our commitment to abolish inheritance tax.
He also outlined UKIP’s fair immigration policy, i.e. to treat anybody who wants to come to this country the same & how we were ahead of the curve with lifting minimum wage earners out of income tax.
Each of the three speakers took questions immediately after speaking, from undecided members of the public and some from people who clearly did not share the values outlined by the speakers. It proved to be a lively session.
Neil Whitear closed the meeting by outlining his ambition to bring back local control of housing policy, to minimise inappropriate speculative development and to bring back transparency by replacing the ‘whipped cabinet’ system with something more accountable and transparent.