UKIP to be shut out of unions hustings

Just come back from a Southend Against The Cuts meeting. This was pretty well attended. This organisation brings together those who are broadly opposed to the austerity regime of the current Conservative and Liberal Democrat Government. It would be fair to say it has a fair mix of views, and a number of political parties are represented. Labour usually has the most representatives in attendance, but there are a smattering of Greens, Communists, and Socialist Workers Party activists as well. I do not know everyone’s allegiance, but I know most. It is a broad alliance of trade unionists (mostly) who want to change the Government’s direction, if not a change of Government.

Tonight a number of decisions were made.

There will be a hustings arranged for the week commencing April 20th. The exact date and venue has yet to be set, but a start time of 7.30pm is almost certain.

There will be one representative from each of the parties contesting the General Election in the two Southend constituencies; well, almost. There was a bit of a debate over whether UKIP should be invited to attend.

I thought UKIP should be invited. Unfortunately I was heavily out-voted and they will not be asked to attend. Whilst I respect the democratic decision (it was carried on a decisive show of hands) I am still convinced it was the wrong decision.

Those present felt that UKIP’s anti-union policies ruled them out. Having unfriendly policies should not exclude anyone from a public debate, not in my opinion anyway. I can understand a no platform policy for parties like the BNP, NF and English Democrats, but despite my view of UKIP’s policies I can see there is some daylight between what they stand for and fascism.

Hustings organisers are free to include or exclude who they want; I am not sure how this decision will encourage the undecided along. I am very supportive of trade unions, I belong to one myself. The debate was not acrimonious, not at all. However, I am keen to ensure that this is not seen as a decision endorsed by me. I repeat, I am still convinced it was a mistake. At our next meeting I will ask for this decision to be reconsidered.

There is going to be a May Day celebration on May 2nd (Saturday), with a stall of some sorts at the north end of Southend’s High Street. Southend Against The Cuts annual general meeting will be held after the General Election, and is likely to combined with a public meeting of some sorts (possibly examining what the election results means for trade unionists). There is also going to be some leafleting on Saturdays in the High Street, with an emphasis on the future of the National Health Service.

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9 Responses to UKIP to be shut out of unions hustings

  1. James Moyies says:

    Unless you get them to change their minds the hustings will have no credibility. The group were happy to have me along to a debate at the White Horse a few years ago; perhaps it was the fact that I got the loudest applause that has scared them off. or perhaps its now because UKIP are gaining votes from Labour.

    I would be happy to come to your next group meeting to present the case to include the UKIP view in your hustings.

  2. Pingback: Southend Against the Cuts are wrong to shut UKIP out of debate | A Mad Man With A Blog

  3. James: If you can genuinely claim to be opposed to the cuts then you are allowed to attend the meetings.

    You can join the Facebook group here – https://www.facebook.com/groups/153616524655932/

    You will also have to distance yourself from your party’s anti-union policies.

  4. ianpope789 says:

    Under the scrutiny that the forthcoming general election brings, UKIP have revealed themselves as being racist, sexist and homophobic. These statements, not the least the one by Farage that he was delayed on a motorway by immigrants, place UKIP outside the mainstream of British politics. It is therefore right that they are denied a platform with those parties whom accept the realities of modern Britain.

  5. Under the scrutiny that the forthcoming general election brings, UKIP have revealed themselves as being racist, sexist and homophobic.

    Yes but how many people know that and will remember that when poised pencil in hand on election day?

    They are now generally held to be a second division party (along with Lib Dems and Greens), so shouldn’t they have an opportunity to show themselves for what they really are? They will be on national debates so if they are excluded from local debates won’t that reflect more on who is excluding them than on the UKIPpers themselves?

    But of course to be consistent with their national leadership, the Conservative spokesman should refuse to attend unless all the second division parties are represented. Silver linings etc.

  6. Rob Brown says:

    Are you in UKIP or not James? I am truly confused on the matter.

  7. The left make many assumptions and assertions about UKIP’s policies, most of which are wrong. UKIP Councillors in other councils have actually worked with UNITE and UNISON in fighting front-line cuts to services which disadvantage both taxpayers and employees alike, proposing alternative “back-end” cuts which do not substantially affect services or employee staff numbers. On UKIP’s position regarding Trade Unions, our entire policy set has been under major revision and will be fully known by the end of February, so neither you nor I can say right now.

    However, a decision to exclude UKIP from a hustings, even if arrived at democratically, is itself undemocratic and would make the whole thing a sham. I have already received (and have accepted) invitations to 3 hustings, with a 4th in planning, so those events will have far more credibility anyway.

    UKIP Parliamentary Candidate for Southend West.

  8. jayman says:

    Lets have a summery of UKIP (manifesto pending) policy commitments.

    . Privatise the NHS AKA ‘free at the point of use’ (would a thorn by any other name hurt any less) finish what the Tory party started so to speak.
    . More Grammar schools. Because the evidence proves beyond any coherent counter argument that grammar schools put a block on social mobility (unless you’re socio-economically middle class with high aspirations)
    . Delivering the welfare state with a hatchet. Turn every working age ‘in work’ benefit claimant into a charity case. support anyone who finds themselves out of work or looking for work with complete contempt.
    . Enter the UK into voluntary, economic meltdown in 0.367 seconds after withdrawing membership of the EU (common market).
    . increase armed forces spending exponentially after scuttling/selling off warships, laying off service personnel and selling MOD land due to the aforementioned economic meltdown.
    . Making democracy ‘less’ democratic. Because Nigel Farage thinks its all a pointless waste of time.
    . something about immigration?
    .
    .

  9. Steve Dalley says:

    Interested to hear of General Election Hustings being organised for the week commencing 20th April. We have already arranged, and had positive responses from most Candidates, a Rochford & Southend East General Election Hustings for Weds 22nd April at Belle Vue Baptist Church. Please find more info/details here: https://www.facebook.com/events/724795844303107/

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