So-called independents, no longer independent, and marching rightwards

I managed to catch up with yesterday’s Sunday Politics East. Aside from the pleasure of seeing my friend and Parliamentary Candidate for Great Yarmouth, Lara Norris, I watched an article about Castle Point. This featured Rebecca Harris MP and her impending battle to keep her seat, a target for UKIP.

There seems to be a pattern developing in south Essex, so-called independents aligning themselves with UKIP. In Castle Point the Canvey Island Independent Party, via Dave Blackwell (their leader), are backing UKIP in next year’s General Election.

Dave Blackwell formed CIIP after Labour bruised his ego by not selecting him as their Parliamentary candidate in the run-up to the 2005 General Election. Cllr Blackwell has now finished his journey from erstwhile socialist to the fringes of the far-right. His endorsement of UKIP follows on from this May’s local elections in Castle Point which saw CIIP and UKIP avoid each other in the borough’s fourteen contests.

It is no secret that if the electoral arithmetic had been right then the Independent Group in Southend-on-Sea would have aligned itself with UKIP in a two-party administration. As they say in the USA, the math did not work, and we got a three party Joint Administration which did not include UKIP.

Over in Basildon a rather curious thing has happened. Kerry Smith, UKIP’s Parliamentary Candidate for South Basildon and East Thurrock has been de-selected – apparently a portend of an imminent defection. Whilst that defection has not yet been announced, you cannot help at wonder why UKIP central is so keen to have defectors as candidates in preference to their own loyal foot soldiers.

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2 Responses to So-called independents, no longer independent, and marching rightwards

  1. you cannot help at wonder why UKIP central is so keen to have defectors as candidates in preference to their own loyal foot soldiers.

    Because secretly they support the concept of outsiders coming in and stealing the jobs of locals?

    Andy Parsons, Mock the Week)

  2. I can understand that UKIP want to be represented in the highest levels of our democracy, and so taking defectors is the way to do this in the short term. However, it looks like their local branches have little or no say when it comes to dumping the locally selected candidate. I would hope that if a similar thing happened to Labour (Labour getting a defector) then the defector would have to go through a properly democratic selection process.

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