A few days ago, in the wake of the the Labour party’s announcement of their plan to recruit more policemen, I wrote to the Daily Telegraph to point out the incompetence of Labour’s financial planning. My letter wasn’t chosen for publication, so here it is:
Diane Abbott’s confusion during her LBC radio interview on Labour’s policing proposals is understandable and excusable. We all make mistakes, especially when put on the spot. But both she and Jeremy Corbyn eventually settled on and defended a figure of £300 million as the cost to employ 10,000 police officers. The Labour Party leadership clearly thinks a policeman can be employed for a cost of £30,000 p.a. It appears that the Labour Party’s costings only account for salaries. The Shadow Home Secretary said as much in her interview: “we’re looking at both what average police wages are generally, but also specifically police wages in London.” This is spectacularly inept and is not excusable. It is not misspeaking. It is incompetence.
I don’t have the detailed knowledge accurately to estimate the cost of a policeman, but anyone with any experience in business finance or project management, in whatever field, will recognise that direct wage costs are just part of the costs of a business. Policemen do not come cheap: I think that an additional 10,000 policeman would cost a figure much closer to £1,000 million.
Police numbers have been reduced significantly in recent years; I understand by about 20,000 across the country. Prestonians will recognise this phenomenon; we see few policemen on the streets and police stations are closing all over Lancashire. This has happened under Conservative and Conservative/Liberal Democrat governments. UKIP will reverse this decline; our pledge to increase police numbers by 20,000 across the country will be funded from money currently misspent on misguided foreign aid programmes.
This morning I recorded an interview with Mike Stevens of BBC Radio Lancashire. I spoke about my passion for Preston and my belief in a prosperous future for Preston and Britain. There should be a short feature on the Preston candidates on air tomorrow morning at about 8.15.
Tomorrow, Radio Lancashire will be on the Flag Market all day, speaking to Prestonians about what’s important to them in the general election. Pop down to speak to them and let them know. In the evening, from about four o’clock, there will interaction among the candidates on air (live, I think). I’m looking forward to it. Tune in to Radio Lancashire through the day tomorrow.
If elected as your MP I will:
- Put Britain first, Preston second, and UKIP third.
- Keep my main home in Preston. I quite like London, but have no wish to live there. I am a Prestonian.
- Have my constituency office in an easily accessible part of the town centre, not an out-of-the way place on an industrial estate.
- Spend my weekends and other free time in Preston (occasional family holidays and outings excepted).
As a Proud Prestonian I am delighted and excited to have been chosen to be UKIP’s candidate for Preston in the forthcoming general election. Preston has lacked adequate representation in parliament for many years, and I will change that.
Under Mark Hendrick and Jeremy Corbyn, Labour locally and nationally is committed to undermining the historic decision made last year by a majority of Prestonians and a majority in the country. They seek to remain in the EU Internal Market and Customs Union, preventing Britain from forging its own trade deals and keeping Britain subject to EU regulations and the European Court of Justice. They undermine the UK in our negotiations with our friends and neighbours in the EU. Preston and Britain deserve better. Of the major parties only UKIP is unequivocally committed to independence for the United Kingdom. Voting for me will put pressure on the government to fulfil its promise to respect the wishes of the British people, democratically expressed in the historic referendum of 23 June 2016.
But UKIP policy, and mine, is not just about Brexit. I look forward to communicating those policies to Prestonians over the next month. As your MP my priorities will be supporting families and small businesses, improving education, developing environmental protection and energy policy, strengthening local decision making for example in planning matters, supporting our armed services and the defence industry, and restoring sanity to the UK foreign aid programme. In many of these areas, not least defence and education, Preston in particular has been very badly served by Labour, coalition and Conservative governments for generations. Preston needs a new voice to stand up for its interests and the country’s. That voice is mine.
As your representative in parliament, I promise to put Britain first, Preston second, and UKIP third. Believe in Britain, and vote Platt for Preston.
Here is the text of my letter to postal voters in Ashton:
You will shortly receive your postal voting papers for the forthcoming local elections. I am the UKIP candidate for Ashton, in the City Council by-election. Please vote for me. My friend and colleague Jim Bradley is standing for Preston South West in the County Council elections. Please vote for him, too.
I joined UKIP shortly after the Brexit referendum. I had volunteered for Vote Leave, and was impressed by the enthusiasm of the young UKIP members who led the successful Vote Leave campaign in Preston. On referendum day itself I spent the day delivering leaflets and speaking to voters on the street, mostly in Ashton, Larches and Lea. I also spoke to non-voters, intelligent and well-informed people for the most part but disengaged from politics, thinking that voting wouldn’t change anything. I learned that the legacy parties were out of touch with ordinary people, and I wanted to do my bit. So I looked more closely at UKIP, and was impressed with what I saw. And although I had no plans to stand for election, when the Ashton by-election came up unexpectedly, as a long-term Ashton resident, I decided to take the opportunity to do so.
It was only after I joined that I discovered just how impressive was the UKIP manifesto for local elections. It was full of common-sense policies for local people. Of course, it’s not surprising that a party that stands for self-determination at the national level also stands for the interests of local communities in local elections. UKIP stands for bottom-up democracy, and that’s the platform on which I am standing for Ashton: prioritising services for local people, moving government and decision making closer to the people, and more; too much more for this short letter. If you would like to know more about UKIP in Ashton, please visit our blog, ukipashtononribble.wordpress.com. If you would like a printed copy of our local election manifesto, please contact me either via the blog or at my address.
Please vote UKIP in the local elections: Simon Platt for Ashton, James Bradley for Preston South West.
On 4 May there will be elections to Lancashire County Council. UKIP is fielding candidates across Preston, as well as elsewhere in the county. Ashton is in Preston South West division; the UKIP candidate for the County Council in Preston South West is Jim Bradley.
In Ashton there will also be a by-election for Preston City Council, because one of our former councillors has stepped down. (Most other City Council wards will not have elections this year.) The UKIP candidate for Ashton is Simon Platt.
Remember to vote for Jim and Simon on 4 May!