Anyone who’s watched the news in the last week or so, read a paper or even been online must know that the UK Independence Party, more commonly known as UKIP, have secured their first seat in Parliament. Oh dear.
Ex-Conservative MP Douglas Carswell defected from the party and joined UKIP back in August, forcing a by-election in the Essex constituency of Clacton where he’s the representative. It’s also where I’m from.
Having been born up the road in Colchester and then spending the first seven years of my life living in Florida, I moved back to England, and since then, the somewhat quaint coastal seaside town of Frinton-on-Sea is where I’ve called home. Frinton is the second largest settlement covered by the Clacton parliamentary constituency, which as a whole represents little over 67,000 people.
In the run up to the by-election, I was expecting UKIP to win but hoping they wouldn’t. I was hoping the people of Clacton and Frinton, and everywhere in between, would have voted based on party and not politician. This would have meant the Conservative party would retain their seat, but merely with a different representative. This proved not to be the case.
I actually managed to speak to someone however who voted UKIP based on Carswell and not so much political stance. Thorpe-le-Soken resident Tom Osborn, 21, said: “Personally myself I voted for Carswell not because he was a UKIP MP, but because his campaign showed his care for local businesses. We need more of that in our area and he understands about how we don’t need more houses built in Clacton or Jaywick because there are no jobs for people to buy them. So working into unemployment he has his head set on straight on what tasks need to be tackled first.”
Generally, I’m far from political, but the fact there was a chance UKIP was going to be my constituency’s political party back home bothered me. So I had to vote.
UKIP wiped the floor with all other parties, including the various independent candidates who stood. A shockingly high number of people voted UKIP last Thursday, with 21,113 people putting a cross next to Douglas Carswell in that little box. That’s 59.7% of votes cast for them.
Anyone who’s familiar with UKIP know why it’s not a good idea for them to get in anywhere, let alone Clacton.
For starters, leader Nigel Farage has been quoted as saying that wind energy is “loopy” and “would not satisfactorily provide for Britain’s energy needs”. Well, off the coast of his party’s first parliamentary constituency is dotted with wind turbines which serve the residents of Essex as a whole just fine, providing energy for 120,000 households across the county.
But their most well-known policy pertains to immigration. Of course, the clue is in the name. ‘United Kingdom Independence Party’, meaning they don’t believe the UK should be in the EU and should be independent of Europe. They also want to restrict the number of immigrants coming over here.
Not even a few days ago did Nigel Farage say he wants to bar those with HIV from coming into Britain, in the latest slurry of bad PR vox pops from the party.
This party holds some very outrageous, outdated views that don’t fit in anywhere. With members such as Godfrey Bloom calling women “sluts;” this is the last kind of attitude we want in Parliament.
Here’s to hoping they don’t retain their seat when the general election rolls around. But for the next 8 or 9 months, we just have to unfortunately put up with UKIP.