Tuesday, 20 April 2010


On Tuesday 23rd of March Jeff Bolter out UKIP Croydon South Candidate invited me to sit in on the Croydon Police Consultative Committee. On the way there I watched three lads attack a fourth outside East Croydon Station and the lot roll around on the tram lines whilst their girlfriends screamed. However there were no knives involved and the police arrived within minutes.

I won’t comment on the Committee itself since it is strictly non political, except to say that it was really brought home to me how Croydon is over stretched with a population of 350,000 and not only the same official resources from Central Government as smaller boroughs but a policy of directing resources into the inner city makes it suffer twice.

I was later, with input from ex copper Jeff Bolter, able to defend Croydon Police from the disappointment of Croydons population, one of whom wrote a letter to the press suggesting the only benefits of CCTV were that you could watch yourself being beaten up later. I pointed out that law breakers in Croydon were being arrested and CCTV had improved response times. But with the law courts unable to keep villains off the streets because the New Labour Government refuse to build any more prisons, re-offending tends to spiral out of control.



Thursday 11th March - Having enquired to Trinity School why no UKIP candidate had been invited to their General Election hustings or indeed during the 2009 Euro Elections I persuaded them to invite me to address their A level Politics class on March 11th. Finding out I had worked at the European parliament Brussels for four years they became very enthusiastic. So, in the end I spoke about UKIP for ten minutes and spent the rest of an hour answering every question they could throw at me about the structure and workings of the EU. How many votes I got I don’t know, but I think I helped a number of young people up their chances in their politics mocks and the real thing later – a much more enduring result and one I hope will lead them to invite UKIP back in future!

As an aside; Croydon Central Independent MP Andrew Pelling later asked for the Croydon Central count to be moved from Trinity School on the grounds (as I understood it) that a Conservative opponent is on the board of governors.


The Conservatives and the Liberal Democrats attacked the closure of the A&E and Maternity Wards at Croydons Mayday Hospital whilst Croydon North Labour MP Malcolm Wicks countered by claiming they were 100% safe. I got in there with fellow UKIP Candidates Jeff Bolter and Jonathan Serter, pointing out that the A&E ward and maternity are being downgraded not closed, accusing Labourite Malcolm Wicks MP of complacency and praising Andrew Pelling MP, (formerly Tory but deselected despite no charges ever being made and now Independent), for his call for a new hospital. Andrew decided to run for office once more shortly afterwards, splitting the Tory vote. Judging by the acclaim in the press, he would, in my view, have romped home as the Tory candidate. More fool the Tory Party.


Lunchtime on Monday 8th of March, I manage to get down to Croydon Parish Church for the Bernard Weatherill Memorial Lecture by Tony Benn. Bernard was a Croydonian and a former speaker of the House of Commons and a society has been formed in his name. Tony Benn gave a lecture on the State of the Nation and afterwards he took questions. I spotted local MP Andrew Pelling at the back testing the water by announcing himself as an Independent MP and asking a question on business in Croydon. Other candidates followed suit. I managed to get the microphone last in order that my words stuck in peoples minds, but declined to mention my Party since the Bernard Weatherill Society is meant to be non-political. I asked Tony about his views on the EU, and the Great Man gave a reply the gist of which was that he had always opposed it, that it was meant to be an economic community and now it had gotten out of hand, become political and undemocratic and needed to be reformed or stopped.

I thanked Tony and left through the departing crown with people wondering who I was, but well able to work it out since every other prospective candidate seemed to have announce themselves


New Labour put out a leaflet in Croydon South claiming they opposed the construction of an incinerator on the Croydon-Sutton border. I and Croydon South UKIP Candidate Jeff Bolter hastened to write in to the press to point out that they had in fact supported the EU Landfill Reduction Directive that encourages Councils to reduce bin collections (a bad thing) in order to encourage recycling (a good thing), but that this bill set impossible targets that no Council including Croydon can meet, and then fines them. The result is huge pressure to build incinerators.

This led to a wild counter attack by a Mr Pitt who called myself and my fellow candidates badly briefed and then trashed whatr I thought was a well researched reply as out of context and disingenuous etc, whilst claiming to be politically neutral himself and having no axe to grind, even if he did develop refuse and energy solutions for the third world. Croydon North Green Candidate Shasha Khan promptly rubbished Pitt rather expertly. Another victory, but one shared with Greens, whom I would like to thank.


My personal General Election Campaign really kicked off with the Croydon Area Gay Society Hustings on February 2nd 2010. The main topic was the EU equality bill. Asked whether I was pro a quota of gay and transvestite employees in schools and given that members of the audience had been calling for funding to be cut off to faith schools that refused to comply with the bill, I simply replied that “It is irresponsible to endanger the education of children over a political disagreement between adults”. I followed up with outlining the UKIP policy which is that head teachers and boards of governors should decide the ethos and who is employed in their particular school. That neatly parried (as I thought) I could concentrate upon answering Jane Avis, Labour Candidate for Croydon South who laying into myself for raising the issue of rampant crime in Croydon and then into Croydon North Tory Jason Haddon for no reason at all. A robust exchange followed but Jane blew it at the end by announcing that ‘Gordon Brown had saved the world economy’. Even her own supporters were not immune to the laughter at that one.

A few days later, Gordon Ross, the Green Candidate for Croydon South was accusing me of homophobia and Jason and myself of having had a go at Jane Avis and being against human rights, all on his blog. He refused to apologise. I regarded this as an opportunity not to be missed and promptly sent his material and my responses to the Croydon Advertiser pointing out I was out there supporting the rights of faith schools and family values. Not only do I think I won the exchange of letters in the press (and Many thanks to the Monster Raving Looney Candidate John Cartwright for defending myself and Jason Haddon), but the Pope visited the UK a few days later and new Labour shelved the EU Equality Bill this side of the election. I haven’t heard from Gordon Ross of the Greens since, but in contrast to him the members of CAGS were always supportive and behaved fairly to all concerned throughout.

As for the Human Rights issue I pointed out that in fact Tory Jason Haddon was quite clear that the Conservatives will replace the EU Human Rights Directive with a ‘mirror image’ UK Human Rights Bill. Only UKIP will go for outright abolition and we don’t want to be accused of complicity with Conservative half measures thankyou! But no one took me up on that one.


I have been surprised to receive a few complaints about my not keeping up with my blog. I suspect people miss my entertainment value more than wanting to decide whether to vote for me, since the main UKIP website has a full list of policies… But I took the decision, when I began planning the Croydon Campaign for UKIP, that local coverage in the Croydon Guardian and the Croydon Advertiser newspapers would be my priority. They reach thousands of people in Croydon together and for free, and many of those people aren’t on line. Then the time lapse until publication makes my material slightly out of date for my blog. Also I need to be out there on the streets of Croydon meeting people not sat behind a computer. However for those who could still use a summary, it follows.