Sir Roger Gale has once more taken the opportunity to take a cheap and frankly unintelligent pop at Ukip in his latest newspaper article for the people of Thanet (No Real Appetite For Hard-right Populism, Gale’s View, Home Bay Gazette, February 26). Sir Roger seems quite determined to have us believe that he actually cares who votes for him. The truth is far more primal than he would have us believe.
To try to suggest that there is somehow a superior quality of voter who is more valuable to him or the Conservative Party as a whole is vanity and misleading. He will not actually know the innermost secrets of most of those who do continue to support him, despite the woeful lack of achievement by the Conservative Party in this area of Kent. Nor has he ever known. He and the Conservative party were very happy to have Ms Duncan, who confessed her irrational fear of some people, serve as one of his team for some time before she joined Ukip. Sir Roger says: “Populists tend to say whatever they think will please the audience of the moment.” Well said, sir. That is exactly what you have just done with your article. There is not really much of any substance to his article that would persuade me that he has any idea what the people of Thanet do think or want from their two future MPs.
He continues: “The electorate may have become disillusioned by what is dubbed by the media an out-of-touch Westminster class.” And then he dismisses our sense of disillusionment by simply saying what he thinks we don’t want. In my view, this has been the problem for the aptly described out-of-touch Westminster class. They are always telling us what we don’t want without ever asking us what we do want. They are always telling us what our problems are and how they are going to fix them without actually asking us what our problems are. He knows as well as anybody who takes a close look at the EU, that although “Britain needs fair and firm controls over immigration and asylum claims and benefits” we are not going to get those things as long as we remain tied to EU legislation.
Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, last week unilaterally overruled 20-odd other EU member states who had decided to help the Greek economy, and insisted on her own way. She got her way as always and the Greeks are going to have to pay for it. She has already told the British government that free movement of people and the payment of benefits, even to Turkey who have not yet joined the EU, is not up for discussion. There will be no renegotiation of serious problems that exist within the EU, and there will be no referendum unless Ukip is able to force the next government to hold one. There is no mention of EU plans to remove any local decision making by abolishing Thanet District Council and Kent County Council and replacing them with a single unit controlled by Brussels. Perhaps he doesn’t think we want to know that?
He’s almost finished when he tells us what we will not vote for. It’s almost as if he can’t help it. Surely omniscience is reserved for deities? He does eventually allow us to ask ourselves one question as to whether or not we would like to belong to the ‘people’s army’. The people’s anny is formed by ordinary people who care about our country and the future of our families and communities. The people’s army would like you to tell us how the out-of-touch Westminster class have let you down and caused your disillusionment. The people’s army would like to ask you for your vote, not tell you that we deserve it just because everybody else is bad for you. As Sir Roger asks, would you like to be part of the people’s army?
The Rev Stuart Piper, St James Avenue, Ramsgate
Herne Bay Gazette, March 5th 2015