The political establishment in this country has become so complacent. They take our votes for granted. In the last few months, UKIP has had dozens of public meetings up and down the North East of England. The meetings aren’t stage-managed and we take questions from members of the public wherever we go.
When was the last time you saw the failed old parties truly engaging with the general public? When was the last time you saw your MEP?
The Labour Party has presided over the North East for decades. We’ve seen plenty of neglect by local Labour-controlled Councils and after 13 years of Labour government, we were left with the highest unemployment in the country.
It’s bad for democracy for the North East to become a one-party state, and UKIP are finally offering a real alternative and a real challenge. The Labour Party are running scared – why else would they put out so many leaflets with such lies as ‘UKIP would privatise the NHS’ (remind me, which government introduced PFI and part-privatised our NHS?), ‘UKIP would put taxes up for the poorest people’ (under UKIP, people on minimum wage would pay ZERO in Income Tax/National Insurance) and ‘UKIP would scrap your right to paid holidays’ (just pure fantasy).
I’ve met so many former Labour voters on the campaign trail who are now coming across to UKIP, because they believe that the Labour Party has abandoned them. If people continue to vote Labour, they will remain complacent and nothing will change. Labour have taken the North East for granted because they assume people will vote Labour no matter what.
I think it’s time to send Labour a message: You can’t continue to ignore the needs of local people.