Stoke-on-Trent and UKIP/Politics: The love/ hate relationship

I went home yesterday, to Stoke-on-Trent. As I walked through the City Center, a cold bitter breeze pierced through each cheek.

The grey of the clouds reflected off the grey of the street’s making the already glum day even more so. As I approached the center of town I noticed two older people, teeth missing, ‘ragged’ clothing, the woman looked as though she had been sucking on a wasp whilst the man had put his face onto a compressor. Around their necks sported two purple wooden boards with yellow paint spelling out phrases such as ‘bring our industry back’ and ‘getting YOU out of the EU’. As they wobbled about the town they attracted much attention, some ‘pre-free-market’ voters congratulating them whilst other’s expressed their disgust. One man felt it necessary to preach the ‘real fact’s’ of UKIP. You’ve heard it before. We can all agree that where there’s UKIP, there is controversy. Much to my disappointment, Labour and Lib Dem’s couldn’t be seen sporting similar signs. I’d really love to see a student walking around Hanley sporting a ‘Lib Dems, the REAL OPPOSISTION PARTY’ sign. I’m actually shocked, Stoke Central is seen as one of Labour’s many ‘safe seats’ that is being threatened by UKIP. I would have thought they’d want to campaign, and campaign hard, to show to not only the amazing people of Stoke but the entire country that they are still the party of the people and that they fully understand the needs of the voters they represent.

Which brings me to my first point, If UKIP get elected into Stoke Central the Labour party may actually rid Jeremy Corbyn and elect a man who may actually appeal to the real people of this country. People like my mother, father, grandmother, grandfather, friends and their families who actually keep this country afloat. Corbyn, to me, seems to represent pacifists, or as my Dad phrases it ‘the treehuggers’. I don’t feel he really cares for the working class as he claims, I feel he’s a career politician. The people of Stoke are not stupid as the country may like to think, if they feel someone is spouting rubbish and taking them for a ride they’ll do something about it. People don’t vote for people like Trump or UKIP because they think they’re ‘good candidates’ they vote them for change. When I say change it is important to understand that the change they want is from the major parties, like mentioned above. If parties start losing support they will have to change, after all it is we, the general public, who pay their wages, put them into power, allow them to represent us. They serve us, not the other way around. The analogy I like to use is the service industry, you wouldn’t order a meal from McDonald’s and expect the employee to turn around to you and say ‘that’s £20, the door’s there. Good bye’ and not give you what you’ve paid for. You’ve paid for the food, you expect the food. We pay the MP’s to represent us as a society, we expect them to represent us as a society. The EU Referendum is an example of this failure of service. MP’s should have held meetings with constituents and explained to them the benefits of both stay and leave rather than campaign in favor of their personal preference. Once they had done this MP’s should have asked constituents on the 23rd June 2016 if they wanted to stay or leave and a vote should have gone to parliament. Not the country voting and then having a parliamentary vote five or six month’s later. It is reckless and irresponsible of the then Prime Minister David Cameron and the House of, both, Common’s and the Lord’s.

This is where the issue with Paul Nuttall come’s into fruition. As I pondered past their office, that used to be a pie shop (which you can so clearly tell), I noticed the absence of one individual. Paul himself, no doubt he was in his real home, in Bootle. I have said on many occasions, UKIP see Stoke as a tactical seat which means that they won’t actually represent the constituency if they are voted in. In fact, I don’t feel confident that they are a party who wants to represent the people, Paul Nuttall and Nigel Farage appear to me as demagogues. Masking their agenda through fear mongering and false promises of rebuilding the economy. Maybe I’ve not seen it yet but much like Trump during his campaign, UKIP claim they will deliver ‘XYZ’ but fail to explain how they are going to do it. Except leaving the EU. However, as we saw during the campaign, they never explained why we should leave and what the real benefits of leaving the EU would be, bar the obvious ‘control on borders’. It is also important to note that Nuttall is ex-conservative, a party that’s as welcome in Stoke-on-Trent as the plague. Through smoke and mirrors he’s managed to fool people into thinking he’s got their best interest’s at heart. His motives are poisonous, if elected in Stoke he would rarely be there, never listen and only express his opinions in the house.

On the other hand, having a controversial figure is good for a city like Stoke. As an old friend of mine, Emeka Forbes-Hastings-Brown, explained during a radio interview, having this sort of attention should give the city the opportunity it need’s to increase it’s economy to a level higher than those pre-war when the mining and pottery industry was booming. When I visited I saw a handful of news teams interviewing various people in the town, unfortunately I wasn’t approached much to my friends delight. Stoke, in my opinion, is the place to invest now. The area is ‘cheap’, the people are hard working, it has access to major cities like Manchester, Liverpool and Birmingham (It takes 40–60 Minutes to travel to either of those places via car). The city is surrounded by beautiful scenery, the peak district is on the door step, the city has the perfect amount of green spaces as well as land for development. With Paul Nuttall, the city has the potential to exploit it’s assets and attract investors to the area, manufacturers would be ‘daft’ to not move their. I feel a car manufacturer would benefit massively from being based in Stoke.

However, this is the only benefit he would have on this great city, I feel his agenda conflicts with the views and needs of the population. I feel it is important that I reiterate that MP’s work for us, our taxes pays their wages. It may not always be easy for them to make decisions based on the views of the constituents but they must listen, advise and represent them not themselves.