Labour

Colour Blind Politics: A new Way Of Voting

by Down and out in Dover and district, with Len Oldfeep Sunday, April 26 2015

 

 

If you are still undecided on which way to vote in the upcoming elections Queen legend Brian May says vote colour-blind.

The guitarist wants the public to vote for the candidate who they believe will best represent them in parliament and not just be a puppet for  the ‘party whip’.  Forget about party politics it’s the individuals principles that counts.

The idea is to try and get a more diverse group of MPs in the House of Commons to fight for what the public wants rather than what is best for one all-powerful party.

Which prospective Dover candidate speaks to you and who is just talking pure bunkum? Below I have profiled each member and ask who would you vote for if you voted colour blind?

 

Charlie Elphicke: The Tory boy has enjoyed an impressive run as Dover’s MP and been at the heart of many positive changes in the town including the new hospital build and seeing off the privatisation of the port.

Nickname: Charlie ‘Sell our port off to the French or whoever’ Elphicke.

For: Voting out of the EU if no reforms, lorry parks,  a solution to operation stack and reform on the European bill of human rights; Mr Elphicke tabled his own bill, the British Bill of Rights,  in the House of Commons.

Against: Gay marriage due to his religious beliefs but pro civil partnerships and fracking in beautiful villages such as Eythorne, Tilmanstone and Guston.

Controversy: Was criticised for trying to buy a piece of land adjacent to his home in St.Margarets Bay for £1,000 from the council to extend and benefit his own property. Mr Elphicke denied this claiming the plan was always to restore it to a picnic area for the community.

Typical quote: “Back in 2010, things looked bleak. Our port was about to be sold off to the French or whoever.”

 

Jolyon Trimingham: A relative newcomer, not a lot is known about this green yet. However he has made his mark at the local hustings and other events with his quick wit and heckles. Lives in Whitstable and works in Dover Eastern Docks. At 27 he graduated from Oxford University with a degree in politics, philosophy and economics which might instil some confidence in voters. Admits he has no hope of winning.

For: Staying in the EU, a tram line connecting the docks to Dover priory station via the town centre, creating jobs with a social housing programme of renovating the many but beautiful dilapidated buildings in Dover and an above –ground grassed over tunnel from Aycliffe to the port to mask freight traffic.

Against: More austerity and Fracking, takes part in direct action campaigns against nuclear power.

Controversy: None at time of writing but if Mr Trimingham ever got caught mixing his plastics with paper come recycling day the Greens might blush.

Typical quote: Asked what he would do about Dover’s traffic woes: “Why should I think of a solution now? No one else has given one for the last 20 years.”

 

Clair Hawkins: Local gal Clair, born in Dover and brought up in Deal, is a real life Leslie Knope; fiercely proud of where she’s from and probably believes it’s the best place on earth. Her mum and dad even head up her campaign team. All this enthusiasm can only mean good things for Dovorians.

Nickname: ‘Hawkeye’.

For: Staying in the EU but reforms needed, promoting  the living  wage while increasing the minimum wage to £8 an hour, freezing gas and electricity bills until 2017 and a joined up approach to regeneration of the whole of Dover not just the DITZ.

Against: Tax avoidance by big business, zero hour contracts and out of touch politicians who don’t live in the real world.

Controversy: Former councillor Keith Sansum and others were critical that Miss Hawkins was chosen as Labours candidate from a woman only short-list.

Typical quote: “In all my work I have been committed to reducing inequality, raising aspiration and fulfilling potential.”

 

David Little: A UKIP member since 2013 Mr Little has charmed his way into the affections of many Dovorians with his friendly, approachable style. He has come out on top at some of the recent hustings events and UKIP is making gains in the area all the time. He is deft at swatting away any UKIP controversy that comes his way and claims to be a ‘libertarian’.

Nickname: Has Been Referred to as ‘Bill Gates look-a-like’ but I feel he’s more lembit Opik’s right-wing twin.

For: Building affordable social housing on brown field sites for local people, a network of lorry parks on the M20 and M2 and getting out of the EU.

Against: Has been critical of the DITZ ‘vanity project’ and how much we spend on foreign aid.

Controversy: Offending almost everyone by posting a map of Britain on twitter describing Africa as ‘bongo bongo land’ and employing a Bulgarian gentleman to deliver his election leaflets.

Typical quote: On Clair Hawkins being a one nation socialist: “What the f**k is that?”

 

Sarah Smith: Has been working and living in the area for twenty five years. Last year she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer but vowed to continue her campaign. Not afraid to speak out against popular opinion the Lib Dem promotes a long-term collaborative strategy for Dover.

For: Staying in the EU but reforms needed, securing the £44 million HGV levy that will help to pay for better roads and put an end to Dover’s traffic misery, Miles Thompson’s idea of a tunnel linking the A20 with the Docks, re-connecting the town with its seafront, mental health equality and a better education for every local child.

Against:  More cuts to vital local services.

Controversy: Has been openly critical about the DTIZ St James development plans arguing a more sensitive design is needed.  

Typical quote: “We have put up with an awful lot of grief with not a lot of investment from the government in Dover and it’s not good enough.”

To learn more about Brian Mays common decency campaign visit:  www.commondecency.org.uk

 

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Categories: Conservatives | democracy | Driving | election | Government | Labour | Liberal Democrats | UKIP | Next Dover MP

Labour's woes in Kent after the elections

by Paul on Politics, by political editor Paul Francis Tuesday, May 17 2011

Labour has a considerable distance to go before it can claim to be a political force in Kent.

Not my opinion but those of an increasing number of Labour figures who, in the cold light of day, have come to realise that gaining one council from the Conservatives on May 5 was hardly the breakthrough Ed Miliband tried to present it as.

Among those to offer his insights as to what went wrong is a former Labour councillor in Medway and now an MP, Bill Esterson. His analysis? That voters in Medway "accept the Tory argument and rejected ours." That's a devastating indictment but I suspect he's right. The Conservatives ought to have been troubled in councils like Medway but emerged relatively unscathed and in some - Dartford - actually increased their numbers.

Why Labour was rejected in Medway>>>

Bill's analysis is that while there was no lack of enthusiasm among candidates, Medway had no real support from the wider party and only a handful of volunteers. Part of this is that Labour lost all its MPs in Kent in 2010, leaving it without a natural organisational base and the lines of communication to the national party that make it easier to get big hitters down during election campaigns.

And his warning that the next general election could be tough is a salutary one. "Unless we put resources into Medway and dozens of  seats like it, we won't make enough progress at the next general election." In other words, we'll have another four years in opposition.

He's partly right about the organisation and need to build up an army of activists. But there's another equally important task: if Labour is to make any headway against the Conseratives, not just in Kent, it needs to present a coherent, meaningful alternative to the government's.

Taking an anti-cuts stance is fine as far as it goes but I don't sense that Labour has fully understood that is not enough. The party has endless policy reviews under way and while every party who is turned out of office is right to re-examine its policies, voters won't take much of an interest until Labour puts a bit of flesh on the bones.

As Bill Esterson rightly says, voters appear to have accepted the government's argument over the key objective of sorting out the economy. That may not last, of course, especially as I expect there to be much more pain to come from the spending squeeze before thigs improve. That might undermine the Conservative support among the all-impoertant "squeezed middle" that represents the heartland of Kent's parliamentary constituencies.

But relying on people to get even more disillusioned with the coalition does not strike me as presenting voters with a compelling political alternative.

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Categories: Labour

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