Hutchings swings her hustings handbag

 

 

Conservative candidate Maria Hutching’s came out of her corner fighting on Sunday to confront Lib Dem front runner Mike Thornton over claims that he is campaigning to protect local countryside from development.

Polls are suggesting the election is a two horse race between Thornton and Hutchings and the two rivals were joined by four other candidates on stage at Wyvern College.

The hustings – organised by St Thomas’s Church – are unusual in that they form part of a community church service. Even more unusual this year is that one of the more prominent members of the congregation, Danny Stupple, is actually standing as an Independent candidate ensuring the support of a somewhat partisan home crowd.

Thornton, Hutchings and Stupple were joined by John O’Farrell the Labour candidate, Diane James for Ukip and Gavin Marsh who represented the TUSC candidate Daz Proctor

The 200 strong audiences who were invited to text in their questions to the chair and the most requested would then be posed to the candidates. This resulted in a flurry of notes being passed around the audience by furiously texting activists anxious to supply their candidate with a favourable question or to promote a question hostile to a rival.

Predictably perhaps, almost the first question was:

“Are the Eastleigh Borough Council plans for building on green field sites flawed?”

The council’s local housing plan which would involve 5,000 new homes being constructed on greenbelt land is certainly a contentious issue and conservatives have been frustrated with Lib Dem literature claiming that Mike Thornton had campaigned to save green space when he had actually voted in favour of the local plan as a councillor.

This was the cue for Mrs Hutchings to rise to her feet, point accusingly at Thornton and angrily demand that he admit that he had voted for the local plan and the construction of houses on the greenbelt.

Thornton was momentarly stunned by the dramatic gesture and for a split second resembled a man who had just been struck in the face by 25lb frozen halibut, before recovering sufficiently to splutter:

“Of course I voted for it.

“Why would I not admit to what is a matter of public record?”

“ It was a very difficult decision but there are 4, 700 houses going into brownfield sites.

“This is a plan is not fantastic for everybody – certainly I’d rather have more green spaces”

It’s perhaps worth mentioning that the two candidates have previously clashed over the local housing plan.

Last July Hutchings spoke from the public gallery during a Council debate as one of a number of speakers making representations to the council.

Mike Thornton ,in his role as a councillor, told the packed Council chamber that he respected the views of all the speakers with the exception of  Maria Hutchings whom he had found to be untruthful – which at the time had left her fuming.

Listen Here

On Sunday she was able to return the slight by accusing him of being untruthful over the housing issue.

By this point Labour candidate, John O’Farrell, was beginning to look uncomfortable.

After all he had come down from London to contest a sleepy shire constituency on a platform of raising living standards only to discover he had apparently stumbled into the middle of a tribal blood feud.

Clearly frustrated he made he made a brief valiant, appeal

“This is a local authority issue and we’re talking about standing for Parliament now “

“I’m surprised ho w much of the literature from the conservatives and Liberals has been about local authority issues. I’m not standing for the council I’m standing for Westminster”

Following the fiery exchange the sound of phone keypads being repeatedly pressed reached a crescendo and resulted in a hand grenade of a question being lobbed firmly at Hutchings.

Are Eastleigh schools adequate to prepare pupils for University?

Maria Hutchings had been widely reported in the press as saying that she wanted a private education for one of her children to help them train for a medical career.

The Liberal Democrats seized the opportunity to point out that Mike Thornton’s daughter had attended the local state school – Wyvern – and was now studying to become a Doctor.

In the event Hutching took the question head on and clarified her position on local schooling.

“I think schools in Eastleigh are absolutely excellent .My husband went to state school. I went to state school my eldest daughter went to state school, my second child went to state school – and Harriet in January – we put her name down for Wyvern or Wildern.  I think that proves what I think about Eastleigh education.”

 

James (L) and Thornton

The Ukip candidate seemed to cut rather a stern and forbidding figure onstage – a marked contrast to her chatty and convivial demeanour on the doorstep and in interviews.

She looked and sounded every inch like a Conservative candidate – even the Daily Echo seems to have become confused and named her as ‘Maria James’ in one story.

“My name Diane James not Dianna” she began –  presumably to eliminate any possible confusion with the late Princess of Wales.

She answered all questions briefly and precisely and unequivocally.

Gay marriage – she would not have voted for it and never will. We need to call an end to immigration and leave the EU. The other parties are lying to you.

After the Hustings two people both described her to me as ‘Scary’ but  the ’Iron Lady’ tag never seemed to hurt Maggie Thatcher so maybe Ukip are right when they say they have a candidate who will appeal to Conservative voters.

Both Danny Stupple and Maria Hutchings told the audience they were opposed to gay marriage on faith grounds while John O’Farrell pointed out legislation would not be binding on Ministers. They could not be compelled to perform same-sex ceremonies if they did not want to.

Mike Thornton talked about his faith as a Christian and a separation between spiritual and secular marriage in an evasive answer to the gay marriage question in a style reminiscent of Chris Huhne’s response to a question on abortion at the same hustings in 2010.

It was left to Gavin Marsh of TUSC to make the case for Gay Marriage.

It takes a brave man to face a Church congregation and tell them you think they are wrong:

“ I certainly am in favour of this being enacted I think it is a very progressive, common sense and an egalitarian issue and I think it’s a mark of a forward looking democratic society.”

 

Gavin Marsh

Gavin Marsh-TUSC

Danny Stupple is well known around Fair Oak a former governor of Wyvern Schoo,l a local businessman and a prominent figure in the local Christian community.

He seemed to have more self confidence than the rest of the candidates put together.

A practised public speaker he used his time to promote his ‘family values’ message to the audience in particular his belief that ‘real marriage’ is heterosexual.

Stupple advanced the main argument advanced by all independent candidates – which is that politicians vote with the party whip even if it does not reflect the will of their electorate.  Only an independent candidate is free to speak his mind.

 

After the hustings finished it was difficult to find a member of the audience to talk to who didn’t support Danny Stupple but Eastleigh News still gave it a go.

First was Kelvin (full name supplied) a young married with a young family to support.

“I quite liked Diane (Ukip). Normally I support the Conservative party really but after listening to everyone today some of the answers that Dianne gave impressed me.

“I was surpised by the Lib Dem, I thought he would be a bit more enthusiastic and positive”

Kelvin said his top concerns were “Housing and family”

“I’ve got a young family and I would like to be able to buy my own property. At the moment we currently rent which is ok for now but house prices at the moment mean it’s not realistic to buy our own home. It’s not  feasible .My main concern is what is going happen in the future in terms of housing and house prices “

“I don’t know what the answer is. I don’t understand how house prices can keep rising, maybe the breakdown of family life and immigration has something to do with that”

“ I would like to see more houses built and maybe more affordable housing at the same time but I would like to think consideration would be put into place in terms of transport and flooding I’ve noticed problems with flooding in Hedge End. It feels like the place floods a lot.”

Richard (full name supplied) was one of many people I spoke to who would be voting for Danny Stupple:

“I have known for Danny for the best part of 10 to 12 years now. He is a good honest man. I believe in the same things he believes in.

“I used to vote Liberal but you don’t get what you’re voting for. Like Danny said, they are controlled by the party machine but an independent candidate can stand by what they say.”

“My main issue is education provision particularly for children with special needs but also the whole family ethos.”

Another Stupple supporter – who did not wish to be named – told me Mike Thornton would be her next best choice.

“I liked the Liberal Democrat and what he stood for and also for being a local person. I believe we have problems with education and poverty. There is real hardship in Eastleigh.”

“We (the Church) support food banks in Eastleigh. We had over 200 people through the doors over Christmas. Last week there we had 67 people. They don’t believe you can change things with a single vote”

One young couple – both Stupple supporters – told me they had also been impressed with ‘the Daz guy'(TUSC).

“What he was saying is true. We didn’t cause the economic crisis why should we pay for it?”

Finally Julie (Full name supplied) gave me her run down on the Candidates.

“Maria Hutchings was probably the best candidate – she definitely was the better of the two women. She is local, she obviously campaigns a lot and she spoke well – she stumbled over a couple of things -but she was the only one who bothered to stand up to speak.”

“The Ukip candidate looked too serious –  a bit like a headmistress – and she never smiled.”

“Out of the men I liked the trade union candidate best. He seemed the most passionate in what he was saying. The Lib Dem seems a nice man but he was a bit vague and woolly. The Labour man looked like he knows he hasn’t got a hope round here well – no one is going to vote Labour round here not Horton Heath – unlike Danny – he has a lot of support here.”

Danny Stupple

 

Quotes:

Danny Stupple – Independent

“Something has happened to our society. I know, deeply know the realities of local life, I really do. In its mechanisms. In the way it works. I think there is something much more radical. I don’t think we have a choice. I don’t think people realise what is about to happen in the world. Whatever the parties promise they are being dictated to by a machine. Because freedom arises from you. It comes from the grass roots back to Westminster everyone i s answering from Westminster. That is my great frustration. We have got no choice. In my opinion we have to spend less, the world is about to change.”

 

Gavin Marsh for Daz Procter – TUSC

“Eastleigh is a constituency of many contrasts. There are parts of the constituency which have been shielded from the worst parts of the recession but there are also parts of the Eastleigh constituency particularly the town centre, which are among the top 20 % percent of wards for deprivation. But where is the voice for those people who are losing their jobs, facing a squeeze on living standards  bring priced out of education or seeing their public services failing? What we have is a cartel in Parliament of the major political parties who have tried to sell an illusion that the economic crisis that we face is our responsibility when it was in fact caused by financial mismanagement”

Diane James – Ukip

“Eastleigh has a huge opportunity to actually make politicians wake up. They can stop burying their heads in the sand they can stop adopting an ostrich approach and wake up and smell the coffee. Unless we pull out of the EU a large majority of the issues we face every day of the week in every aspect of what we do will not go away.”

John O’Farrell – Labour

“I grew up in the Thames Valley but I hope people will vote on the basis of what they stand for what their philosophies are whether they are from a certain political party. People feel that their living standards are been squeezed, they are feeling that they are paying a lot of money in tax they are paying a lot of money on rail fares. It feels like a contract has been broken.- if you work hard you will get on. A lot of people round here voted Liberal Democrat to keep the Conservatives out – what happened was that they voted Liberal Democrat and they put the Tories in. Now I am your trail offer MP. You can try me for two years and if you don’t like me you can get rid of me.”

Maria Hutchings – Conservative

“ I am so embedded in the community. I’ve knocked on doors for months and years. Why vote conservative? The overarching issue that concerns people is the economy and it is the Conservatives that have frozen council tax, kept mortgage rates down, freezing cost of fuel. We were left an awful legacy by the Labour government and we are getting this country back on its feet.”

Mike Thornton – Liberal Democrat

“I am absolutely determined to stay in touch with all of you. I try that desperately as a councillor I’m constantly walking and talking to people and sometimes get abuse down the Anglers where I have the occasional pint.  We get castigated on the housing issue but I’m just determined to provide houses for my daughter for when she returns here from university. I’m also determined that the green spaces are maintained between the communities so Fair Oak doesn’t become West End  and West End does no become Hedge End. We need to that with a proper long term plan I stand by our local plan even if it makes me unpopular because we need to do it right.”

  47 comments for “Hutchings swings her hustings handbag

  1. Keith House
    February 20, 2013 at 10:46 pm

    Fascinating report. Interesting that the Conservative candidate sat through nine hours of Council committee meetings in the last week or so without saying a word. Hardly making a case for local people.

    • Graham Hunter
      February 21, 2013 at 8:29 am

      Did NOT see The Lib Dem Candidate at the HEWEB LAC.
      Nor was he at the Hamble, Hound and Bursledon LAC last week.

      Says a lot!!!

    • David Knowles
      February 21, 2013 at 9:15 pm

      she was probably sent to sleep listening to you Mr Mouse and your Fib Dem yes men and women.

  2. February 20, 2013 at 11:21 pm

    But would she have been allowed to say anything at the HEWEB meeting Keith…?

    Speakers needed to have notified themselves beforehand, which I agree Maria could have done just as George Hollingberry did, that’s a fair criticism, she could and probably should have spoken. Missed opportunity. Political own-goal for the Tories there, I agree with you.

    However, as points arose during the meeting nobody was able to put their hand up and ask to speak, There was no right of reply. Nobody was able to say “hang on a mo, what about…?”. I did see Colin Mercer try at one point, but that was ignored by the chair. Colin is still unhappy, so I understand, about the lack of any right of reply during the meeting. All he could do was make a statement and that was his one and only chance of a contribution…

    So if Maria had wanted to react to one or more points during the members debate or even in reaction to one of the speakers for/against the proposal, she, like everybody else, was completely prohibited from doing so…

    Those standing procedures need to be reviewed, to make them fairer, more two-way, more democratic.

    Any chance that you might take that forward, via the appropriate channels at EBC, please Keith…?

  3. February 21, 2013 at 12:02 am

    The people were there to speak for themselves and they did. Perhaps Mrs. Hutchings thought it would be a good idea to listen, you should try it sometime.

  4. John Milne
    February 21, 2013 at 12:38 am

    Having been present at the hustings held by St Thomas’ at Wyvern College Fair Oak, I would like to thank the organisers for putting on the event and allowing local people to directly question the candidates who wish to represent us in parliament.

    I must declare that I am biased in that I am a Maria Hutchings supporter and thought she performed magnificently. Many of the other candidates also performed well with the notable exception of Mike Thornton of the Liberal Democrats.

    I do not know Mike Thornton personally and he may well be a lovely man however as someone to represent us in Parliament I believe that he is simply not up to the job. On the few occasions his party have allowed him to speak he has done so poorly and invariably failed to answer the question.His campaign is inconsistent at best and desperate at worst as he even appears to be campaigning against what he spoke in favour of and voted for in the council chamber on the issue of greenfield development. Whilst I actively disliked Chris Huhne and his negative tactics I must concede that at least he was professional and competent as an MP.

    Mike Thornton’s performance on Sunday merely strengthens my beliefs about the reasons for his selection. The short answer is that the Lib Dems know they’re going to lose and so have put up a candidate who is expendable.

    It explains why they rushed to hold the by-electionso that it can be finished well before the county council elections start. Why none of the Lib Dem county council candidates were selected and even why his election literature reads like an attack on Hampshire County Council and not like a man standing for office atWestminster.

    The Lib Dems simply want to make this election go away and pass the humiliating loss on to the shoulders of a quiet, grey man who appears to fall asleep during council meetings. Mike Thornton is just the fall guy; or as Lee Harvey Oswald once described himself “a patsy”.

    So I urge the people of Eastleigh when making their decision in the polling booth as to who would best represent them in Parliament to please take into account the quality of the person against whose name you place your mark.

    • February 21, 2013 at 1:33 am

      One point you did miss out on John, was that the real reason this by-election was called so early was to ensure the votes were in BEFORE Mr.Huhne, was sentenced. I was told that by one of Mr. Mouse’s own councillors who had been at the FibDem emergency meeting. The hope being that people will not have the whole FibDem scandal of their former MP being driven away to start his sentnce at Wormwood Scrubs, on the front page of the papers on the day they go to vote for his replacment. They call it, “Damage Limitation”, I am given to belive.

  5. Pete Stewart
    February 21, 2013 at 9:59 am

    THURSDAY 21ST FEB

    I’m biased in favour of British jobs and UKIP.

    I heard the latest polls put UKIP in 2nd place and rising. This supports our canvassing results (60% to 90% positive response)!

    The Conservatives cannot win in Eastleigh. Even their own leaflets admit this by begging people not to vote UKIP.

    However so many people WILL vote UKIP that the Conservatives cannot possibly win. This means if you vote Conservative, you will be helping to let in the LibDems! Paradoxical but true! It means this is a 2 horse race between the LibDems and UKIP so if you want to stop the LibDems, you must vote UKIP!

    REMEMBER…ON JAN 1ST DAVID CAMERON WILL WILLINGLY OPEN OUR BORDERS TO UNLIMITED IMMIGRATION FROM BULGARIA AND RUMANIA. IF YOU ARE ANGERED BEYOND WORDS THEN YOU SHOULD VOTE UKIP.

    FOOTNOTE: THE HIDDEN COST OF CHEAP FOREIGN LABOUR

    Youth unemployment rose by 11,000 last quarter. In recession, demand for cheap EU labour increases! The more cheap EU labour Britain employs, the more British jobs we destroy. The more jobs we destroy, the the deeper the recession. The deeper the recession, the greater the demand for cheap EU labour. THIS IS WHY DAVID CAMERON WANTS TO OPEN OUR BORDERS TO BULGARIA AND RUMANIA ON 1ST JANUARY! CONSERVATIVE MPs ARE AFRAID TO STOP HIM. THAT’S WHY I SAY VOTE UKIP.

  6. rigel
    February 21, 2013 at 6:59 pm

    I am sick of xenophobic ranting from UKIP supporters they are dimwitted if they think our problems are all caused by europe , if the UKIP lady wins she will just argue against the EU in parliament and will do nothing to represent Eastleigh , I met the real nature of UKIP walking round canvassing – a wide boy from essex , are you wiv us mate ? We need to get rid of the lying scumbag lib dems and as painful as it might be for some we have to vote for the tory – i had to kill some day old chicks yesterday, it was not easy , if they lay they stay , if they crow they go – difficult but necessary

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      February 21, 2013 at 8:30 pm

      I hear you Rigel. In fact I have heard a few voices supporting the idea that – in order to break the local Lib-Dem hegemony opposition supporters should get behind Maria Hutchings and vote tactically.
      So last time we were told to vote Lib Dem to keep out the Tory now we are being urged to vote Tory to keep out the Lib Dem.
      My head hurts…

      • rigel
        February 21, 2013 at 10:26 pm

        , the tory candidate is quite liberal and the fib dems are conservative

        They got into bed together and have woken up in each others pyjamas

        • mm
          Eastleigh Xpress
          February 22, 2013 at 8:17 am

          Except on the issue of gay rights. Here she is most illiberal

          • rigel
            February 23, 2013 at 8:23 am

            if liberal means accepting /protecting the minority view then she is, it is now the christian anti gay marriage position that is minority – she supports christian rights against the neo-liberal agenda

  7. Stuart
    February 21, 2013 at 9:15 pm

    Anybody reading this opposed the government’s workfare schemes, and thinking of voting for O’Farrell needs to ask John via twitter – @mrjohnofarrell – whether as MP he would stand in supporting John McDonnell’s EDM ending of the newly introduced regulations – see here:
    http://brightonbenefitscampaign.wordpress.com/

  8. renard
    February 22, 2013 at 12:46 am

    All I know is that for the past few years the Lib Dems have constantly bombarded my letter box with pamphlets (incidentally, who pays for them all?) saying how they are ‘protecting the countryside’ and ‘protecting our green fields’ and ‘stopping infill between our villages’.
    In reality, I see Thornton and other Lib Dems voting to do just the opposite!
    Their recent decisions mean massive destruction of green fields at Boorley Green and woodland destroyed at Pylands Wood, Bursledon, both for housing estates which could better be built elsewhere in the borough.
    Also, remember, they want to build extensively on prime agricultural land at Woodhouse Lane, Botley, effectively linking Hedge End / Botley / Boorley Green / Fair Oak. How’s that for ‘stopping infill between the villages’?
    They howled in protest when the landowner (Hants County Council) repeated for the umpteenth time that the land was not for sale.
    Beats me how anyone can vote for the representative of such a hypocritical party which clearly does not have the interests of our borough at heart.

  9. Alan Harris
    February 22, 2013 at 11:19 pm

    Anybody voting for the FibDem’s should be ashamed to represent such a degenerate party – with no moral values

  10. Nic Liddle
    February 23, 2013 at 3:27 pm

    Open Letter to the Electorate of Eastleigh

    I was born in Eastleigh, which explains why I have been thinking about the town’s decision on their next MP. I’m not a member or active supporter of any political party, I’m semi-retired with a little time to think about these things. If I were there now I would vote Liberal Democrat for a whole range of reasons. I have often voted Lib Dem in my life because I see them as a party of sensible, practical people with sensible policies, largely free of extreme views and extreme personalities.

    I think it’s possible one day to have a Lib Dem government, and the way to get there is by the party gaining government experience which leads to credibility which leads to more experience in a virtuous circle. The current coalition is the first step on that road, and I think it’s a huge credit to the Lib Dems that they have got some policies through, swallowed some difficult pills, and made that coalition work. I do believe they are a significant moderating influence on the Conservatives. Of course there have been some policy reverses and failures, and that’s the harsh reality of governing rather than opposing. Has any single party, let alone a coalition, been able (or even willing) to implement all of their manifesto when elected? I think not, and what’s most important is that a party in government sticks to its principles and heads in the right direction whilst adjusting to and accommodating economic and social realities.

    You may feel let down by the last MP you had – it is certainly frustrating how many elected people can be effective in their job and yet have serious personal flaws that call their ability and integrity into question. I would simply suggest you don’t let a failed individual affect your judgement of the party or their successor.

    If I were in Eastleigh now I would vote Liberal Democrat.

    • February 24, 2013 at 2:40 pm

      They have shown how weak they are in a coalition both Cameron and Clegg bargaining over Policies .They would be weak in Government and in total Opposition .We need a Fresh start .

      • rigel
        February 27, 2013 at 1:40 pm

        agreed simmo we need a fresh start – but its not the far right – ie UKIP , remember Hitler never had the popular vote in germany but he blasted the social democrats into submission by filling the room with thugs in very similar economic circumstances to now . To get a real alternative we must break lib dem hegemony we must divide and conquer –

        putting a conservative in as MP will make keith house and his squadron of liebots crap their pants.
        We must destroy the death star by voting conservative , to carry the analogy too far perhaps it is not nice to put a neutron torpedo in the fusion core exhaust – lots of people who were not that evil got dead but the rebels had to destroy the death star and now that is all that is remembered

  11. February 23, 2013 at 4:03 pm

    As Mr. Liddle seems not to be in Eastleigh, he can be forgiven for his views. He clearly doesn’t know about the insane amount of borrowing at the local council. As for becoming the party of government, he seems to forget that in 2010 general election, voters turned away from the LibDems who lost seats and ended up with fewer MPs.

  12. Al Smith
    February 23, 2013 at 6:38 pm

    I’m not a racist but as a taxpayer I support everything Maria Hutchings says.

  13. Pete Stewart
    February 24, 2013 at 7:09 pm

    Rigel….xenophobic rantings? Certainly not from UKIP. UKIP strongly prohibits any form of racial hatred.

    The word “xenophobic” means “having a marked dislike of foreigners”. UKIP welcomes foreigners.

    What UKIP does NOT welcome is David Cameron and his rather rich chums, opening our borders to a mass immigration of artificially cheap EU labour, which is destroying British working class jobs. This will become very obvious on Jan 1st 2014 when David Cameron will open our borders to Bulgaria and Rumania.

    Could I ask you to state for the record, here on Eastleigh News, whether you agree with UKIP’s policy in this respect or disagree?

    • David Knowles
      February 26, 2013 at 11:35 am

      Get real Peter,It is the EU that is making us open our borders not David Cameron.

  14. rigel
    February 26, 2013 at 8:35 am

    Peter I do agree with restricting immigration from new eu member states , last week i met Teresa, a carer at my Grandads , she is fiercely opposed to additional immigration , not because they will undercut her low paid job, but because they will undercut her well paid job. She has had her hands in sh1t for 25 years since coming over from India and she is angry at the recent waves of immigration because they do not do a good job , they sign the forms but do not really clean the toilet or talk to the old people.

    But what will voting UKIP achieve , unless Diane James is going to stand at Dover with a taser she will do nothing , she will only fail to represent Eastleigh on all the other issues you and I feel passionately about. It is ironic that those most against open door immigration are the immigrants most recently in – but they are not represented by your canvassers who are all white xenephobes , your canvassers appeal to white van man by denouncing the polish tradesmen but it is the poles who will benefit the most by turning away the Romanian tradesman.

    I like the polish and the pakistanis and the Indians and the afro caribeans and the jews and the irish and the huguenots and the flemish, they have all improved our country – interestingly Fleming park and all the land around it was donated by lord Fleming – When the flemish first came to this country they were so hated by the natives that many were dragged from there homes at night by an angry mob and killed in the streets.

    UKIP is xenophobic and immigration is a marginal issue , UKIP panders to the ill-informed just as the lib dems do – the best candidate is the tory because she doesnt promise the earth and she has the intelligence and charisma to get a better deal from downing street whilst forcing appropriate oversight on our local council –

  15. David Knowles
    February 26, 2013 at 11:42 am

    People voting UKip will allow an openly pro european Fib Dem to win this seat on thursday.They do it all over the country.

  16. Pete Stewart
    February 26, 2013 at 4:46 pm

    DAVID. I’m not sure you grasp the dynamics here. It is NOT UKIP which is splitting the Tory vote. UKIP exists BECAUSE the Tory vote is split.

    Conservatives are increasingly coming across to UKIP, because they are mighty angry at finding themselves in an anti-conservative party.

    If UKIP did not exist, another party would spring up in its place to cater for all those true conservatives who otherwise would have nothing to vote for.

    Compare UKIP’s performance in 1994 with its performance nowadays. UKIP is the fastest growing party in the UK and its all down to the rotten ruling Tory elite whose interests lie in lining their own pockets and the pockets of their ever fattening globalist chums.

    Please feel free to pop in to the UKIP HQ on the corner of Market & Leigh.

    • David Knowles
      February 26, 2013 at 10:01 pm

      I will repeat myself again Pete,Votes for Ukip will bring us a Fib Dem pro European mp..

      • Pete Stewart
        February 27, 2013 at 10:06 am

        Sorry David,

        Your assertion is understandable but illogical.

        1) The Conservative party is split, between those who support UKIP and those who don’t.

        2) Since the Conservatives cannot win here (because too pro-UKIP conservatives are voting UKIP) voting Conservative splits the UKIP vote and bring us a LibDem pro EU MP.

        3) Since the Conservatives cannot beat the LIbDems, it follows that UKIP is the only party which can, but only if enough true Conservatives have the guts to vote according to their conscience and for their country, rather than to prop up a pro-EU party which long ago ceased to be conservative.

        4) To win, UKIP needs only another few thousand votes. I call on all true conservatives to accept the truth of this and bring on the true conservative revolt by voting UKIP!

        • Graham
          February 27, 2013 at 10:29 am

          What and vote for a Party that has ONLY ONE Manifesto Item.. out of Europe?
          Even a senior Ex UKIP Lady MEP I met yesterday told me the ONLY way forward is to renegotiate our membership of the EU, then have a vote.
          She also STRONGLY Warned a vote for UKIP IS a vote for the Lib Dem’s.

          Also I ask what will UKIP do with all those who have right of abode here in the UK now?

          • Pete Stewart
            February 27, 2013 at 12:35 pm

            Graham.

            1) Getting out of the EU may not be the only priority, but it’s pretty damned important (like getting out of a sinking ship)!

            2) UKIP has always had a range of common sense policies ever since Dr Alan Sked in 1994.

            3) It ain’t manifestos which count but delivering on your promises. Even a cast iron commitment may be worthless!

            4) If an ex-UKIP MEP tells you the only way to leave the EU is to “renegotiate”, then they have misled you. Sounds like more Cameron speak. In reality all it needs to leave the EU is for Parliament to repeal the ECA 1972 and certain other legislation and BINGO! We are out of the EU.

            5) THE CONSERVATIVES CANNOT WIN IN EASTLEIGH BECAUSE TOO MANY OF THEM HAVE VOTED (OR WILL VOTE) UKIP! Therefore it is folly to vote Conservative if your primary goal is to keep out the LIbDems. You would be far better off voting UKIP which is on course for at LEAST 14,000 votes and rising. To win, we would only need another few thousand votes. You can help make it happen. Surely you would rather have a UKIP MP than a LIbDem?

          • Graham
            February 27, 2013 at 1:33 pm

            UKIP vote is a totally wasted vote, they have zero chance of success and they know it. the ONLY vote worth giving is a Tory Vote.

        • David Knowles
          February 27, 2013 at 11:06 am

          You live in a Ukip dream world Peter.If the Conservatives cannot win here it’s because The Fib Dems are a disease here in Eastleigh.They have brainwashed most people with their colourful literature stuffed through their letterboxes all year telling the residents that the council does a wonderful job.I’ve got to be honest.If Maria doesn’t win,I would like the Ukip candidate to.Better her than the Fib Dems or the Labour party!

          • Pete Stewart
            February 27, 2013 at 12:48 pm

            David, You would be surprised what comes out of dreams. In 1994 when I joined UKIP, I had a dream for UKIP as did the other members.

            Now it’s 19 years on and UKIP has continued down that road, never stopping, always moving forwards, getting ever nearer to that day when we will win our first seat in Westminster.

            When these results come in, the whole of British politics will wake with a start! The three old pro-EU parties haven’t got a clue what is about to hit them.

            If UKIP does not win, it will be because too few Conservatives had the courage of their convictions.

            Most Conservatives know their party is rotten at the top. Sure, grass roots Tories are great people. But they have a dangerously misplaced loyalty to their party, when their real loyalty should be to their country.

            Anyone who aids and abets David Cameron and his pro-EU chums, is aiding and abetting a potentially DEVASTATING mass immigration of cheap labour from Bulgaria and Rumania next year.

            Britain has been in “recession” since 2008. Imagine the consequences of allowing unlimited immigration of cheap EU labour next year! The recessionary impact could prove extremely unpleasant for us all.

            The purpose of this by-election is to send a warning shot across a few people’s bows. I assure you it cannot happen by electing yet another Conservative MP.

  17. Pete Stewart
    February 26, 2013 at 5:20 pm

    RIGEL. You ask, what would voting UKIP achieve.

    You remind me of the American manufacturer who, when presented with Edison’s latest invention asked, “But what use is it?”, to which Edison replied, “Sir, of what use is a new born baby!” They were discussing the electric light bulb!

    I understand why you might be fooled into voting Conservative. I was for 20 years! Eventually I figured out (by looking at the evidence rather than my own beliefs) that by voting Conservative I was aiding and abetting the destruction of British conservatism in equal measure with the destruction of British jobs. I cared enough about that to quit the Conservative Party and join UKIP.

    UKIP is not xenophobic at all and I’m still waiting for you to offer the slightest logical proof that it is.

  18. Pete Stewart
    February 26, 2013 at 5:47 pm

    RIGEL.

    P.S. You say UKIP canvassers are “all white xenophobes”. But is your assertion based on (a) FACT or (b) what you BELIEVE? There is an important difference, as illustrated by the following two statements:

    a) I personally have only seen white UKIP canvassers (FACT)
    b) UKIP canvassers are all white xenophobes (BELIEF).

    The fact that UKIP is employing non-white canvassers in this by-election proves that your assertion is false.

    More seriously for you as a philosopher, because your assertion (that UKIP canvassers are all white xenophobes) is provably false, it follows that all your subsequent assertions based on that falsehood are also probably false.

    I repeat, if you wish to learn the FACTS about UKIP (rather than what you BELIEVE) then just pop in to the campaign HQ on the corner of Leigh Rd and Market St. The same invitation is extended to all Eastleigh News readers.

  19. rigel
    February 26, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    The light bulb had been in existence for 50 years before edison ‘invented’ it , he just made a good one, that quote is a bit iffy

    Xenophobia – from your leaflet
    ‘preserving local housing and benefits for british people first’ – ?

    does that mean my grandad who is a US citizen does not get the nurse over anymore ?

    The biggest problem we face is an economic one the too big to fail banks are running the country – and you have no policies to attack that – crazy

    how can you be against High speed rail !

    The conservative candidate is the best – I know that Cameron and Osbourne et al are scumbags and she is going to pass that message on for me. We have to punish the lib dems here , we have to have oversight of our local council because they are a debt fueled property company that does not build council houses.

    Great to meet you tonight Peter , big problem with UKIP for me is that half your supporters are thugs and I am not keen to see them given the green light.

  20. Pete Stewart
    February 27, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Hi Rigel,

    I think there was a competition in the late 1800s to see who could make a light bulb burn the longest. I believe Edison won and that’s why he gets most of the credit for the filament bulb. The quote was artistics lic

    UKIP’s policy of putting British people first helps PREVENT xenophobia, not create it.

    I am sure you granddad deserves good care. It sounds like he has played a part in benefiting the UK economy.

    High speed rail! Hmm! Having worked for British Rail in the late 1970s and seen the impact of privatization (imposed by EU Directives 91/440 and 90/531) I would tend to think we’d be better off investing that £35 billion (or however much it ultimately turns out to be) in the current rail infrastructure. I personally believe the railways should be renationalized and operated not to maximize profit, but to maximize safety and efficiency.

    Good to meet you too. What a hustings! And what insanity for that woman to stand up and say we are all immigrants. I myself AM an immigrant, but I wager most people in that hall were born in Britain. Of course her angle was to twist the meaning of the word “immigrant” and try and pull the wool over the eyes of everyone in the room by making out there was no problem with immigration. But there is! A MASSIVE problem because it is creating mass unemployment for our young people and who can work out the cost of that?

    • mm
      Eastleigh Xpress
      February 27, 2013 at 3:28 pm

      What MASSIVE problems is immigration causing in Eastleigh Pete?
      I hear Dianne talking about pressure on wages, jobs, schools but here wages are above the national average, unemployment is below the national average and Quilley was under-subscribed last year.
      Ukip are playing this card in the wrong area surely?

      • Pete STewart
        February 28, 2013 at 1:31 pm

        Mass immigration of cheap EU labour must inevitably knock on, even to Eastleigh.

  21. pianoman
    February 27, 2013 at 5:32 pm

    They have a one-size-fits-all single policy script. Good morning this is Diane speaking how can I help you have a nice day.

  22. rigel
    February 27, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    blaming a lack of jobs on eastern europeans is like blaming snow on snowmen , we may pay 50 million to europe every day but we get some of it back , we pay 120million in debt interest a day and that is why there is no jobs.

    Eastleigh Borough Council has borrowed up to it’s limit and is gambling on it’s property developments , well screw them , because they are the planning authority and they set business rates it is moral hazard , they are far too cosy in their empire, and they are gambling with our future, vote conservative to
    break their monopoly,, once they get 5 Houses they get a hotel !

  23. Pete Stewart
    February 28, 2013 at 2:00 pm

    Rigel – The problem is ARTIFICIALLY cheap foreign labour. British workers cannot compete and no points for guessing who employers prefer.

    RESULT: Mass destruction of British jobs and the enormous cost of benefits, lost morale, increased recession etc.

    The only winners are fat cat globalists and their Tory and Labour government cohorts who have stitched us up. The Ford factory is the living example of this but if you like, I’ll tell you the story of G an Eastleigh resident.

    Until last year G was earning more than £20,000 as a driver. His company took on cheap EU labour and he was dismissed. He is now on £10k doing whatever he can find. I could fill pages with similar accounts.

    You will be hearing more about G in coming months.

  24. Rick Stone
    February 28, 2013 at 3:22 pm

    FACT: All UKIP canvassers are old. They will all die out soon and so will UKIP. The younger generation are very pro-EU and quite rightly so. I quite welcome the death of old-fashioned conservatism. I voted for Mike Thornton today.

  25. mm
    Eastleigh Xpress
    February 28, 2013 at 9:01 pm

    You say that, but while I was at the Ukip office for a press call yesterday a couple of students – 17 and not yet old enough to vote – came in and signed up

    Though I must admit the ukip meetings I’ve attended is largely packed out with silvery heads but the votes they are picking up in recent by-elections are coming from a younger middle-aged generation of -for example – self employed tradesmen who fear competition from polish plumbers, chippys etc

  26. Pete Stewart
    February 28, 2013 at 9:35 pm

    Mike is a nice guy and Christian and I respect his declared liking for the EU (unlike David Cameron who pretends he is opposed to the EU but behind the scenes is busy driving us into ever closer political union).

    I believe Mike’s support for the EU, like most LibDems, is based on an idealized romantic vision of a Europe in harmony, rather than a Europe cursed by corruption and disharmony (which is the fact).

  27. Pete Stewart
    March 1, 2013 at 6:21 am

    History was written here – on this page! Re-read it and see if I was right.

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