I asked Nick McQueen, the new Ukip candidate for Tower Hamlets mayor to write a short piece to introduce himself and to outline some of his views and how he would improve the borough. I also asked him for his views on the important second preference vote that Labour’s John Biggs is probably relying on.
Below is Nick’s piece and below that, I’m copying the short manifesto Ukip has drawn up for Tower Hamlets.
The three things that stand out for me in terms of headline grabbers are the decriminalisation of heroin in Tower Hamlets (to get rid of the dealers, but which could also have the effect of attracting every junkie in London to the borough); new “Moses” clubs in every school to help children of different faiths mix more; and the abolition of the council funded “mother tongue” classes for Bengali families (something I and many others including David Goodhart have called for).
I think this should prompt a good discussion….Here’s Nick’s piece:
Why I am Standing
I am an East Ender born and bred. My life experiences set me apart from the political class. They are trained to argue for policies that they do not believe in but in the East End we call that lying. Instead I will be honest, transparent and accountable.
Children in the borough are suffering. Some of them are being fed soup at the end of the month.
Others are being segregated due to the current mayor’s policies, and the funding for their clubs has been taken away. There is overcrowding in the borough – I grew up in the East End but I have never known it this bad. I want to fight for the multi-cultural, multi-religious society of London’s East End.
The East End is not a colour, we all become as one. A community is assessed NOT on how well the rich live, but on how well we look after the less fortunate.
My Views of the Current Mayor Lutfur Rahman
Mr Rahman uses policies of segregation rather than integration – for example his “mother tongue” lessons. The mayor of Newham (Sir Robin Wales) has recently accused him of bringing a form of apartheid to Tower Hamlets. He rarely speaks in the council meetings. He does not have the interests of the whole community at heart. Have you ever seen him at Canary Wharf standing up for the City, one of our country’s most important industries and a major source of the tax revenue that funds our public services?
Would I like Rahman out at Any Cost?
Yes of course I want him out. But the answer is not to elect a different socialist administration under Labour. Their candidate John Biggs will keep his role on the London Assembly – we don’t need a part-time mayor. He ran the council for a number of years and the Labour Party created Rahman. Would you give a lighter back to a previous arsonist?
The Tory candidate (Chris Wilford) has been parachuted in. He has no real background in the East End and is currently talking about potholes. We need something very different for Tower Hamlets – UKIP can be that difference.
How Can UKIP Make the Borough Better?
We will breathe new life into the borough with our policies. UKIP does not have a whip in local government, which gives our councillors freedom to fight for the specific things that matter to their electors.
We are very different to the other parties. See my views on the decriminalisation of drugs to solve the heroin problem in the borough. I will use council resources to generate more money.
See my vision for an East End Wonderland every year in Victoria Park.
I will introduce free breakfast clubs for primary school kids and after-school “Moses” clubs to bring together children from all backgrounds (Moses is a prophet to the Jews, Christians and Muslims).
I want grammar schools for the academically-gifted children and trade schools for those of a practical disposition so that they can learn the real skills they need to earn good money in the trades.
I will support small businesses in the borough by easing the bureaucracy and making the council more responsive. I have been in business for most of my life so I know what it is like. And I will always stand up for Canary Wharf and oppose EU interference. The City gave me my start in life – I started a business providing the plants for their offices.
I will support genuine civic groups as long as they are for the whole community, to promote integration rather than separation.
The conduct of the council meetings is a disgrace. UKIP will restore order and dignity to the proceedings.
I will bring in forensic accountants to go over the books and look for asset stripping and misappropriation, and I will prosecute those responsible. Those accountants will also find me millions of pounds of savings and I will be ruthless in cutting out waste.
I will support the arts in the borough and will find a permanent site for Old Flo.
Do I Have Bengali Support and Candidates?
I know a lot of Bangladeshis – some of them are my next-door neighbours. They have promised me their vote because like the rest of the community they are fed up with the current system. Why should they be any different? Their kids are also being targeted by the heroin pushers. So yes, I have Bengali support. But no, we do not yet have any Bengali candidates. If anyone from that community is interested in standing for UKIP please contact me.
We only formed the UKIP branch in December, so we are starting from behind. We do not have the local structure and activist base that the other parties have. We have set ourselves the goal of finding twenty candidates – one for each ward – so that everyone in Tower Hamlets who wants to vote for UKIP can do so. That would be a massive achievement.
Second Preference Votes
We are in this to win. I want people’s first preference votes only. If you want UKIP and the change that we will bring then you should vote only for me and my councillor candidates. If you absolutely must vote for your old party – Tory or Labour – then please lend me your second preference votes (and please give our councillors one of your votes on that ballot). We are not instructing our supporters to give their second preference votes to anyone.
I am getting the support of working class people, Conservatives, Labour, and also from people who have never voted before. Our challenge is to get enough of the people who have given up on politics to register to vote. Our first flyer simply has UKIP on it and the contact details for the voter registration department at the council.
The following is from the Tower Hamlets Ukip website:
- Zero tolerance on heroin to protect our youth.
- Free breakfast clubs and school dinners for primary school children.
- East End Wonderland at Victoria park to raise funds for open spaces.
- “Moses clubs” in all schools to bring the different races and religions together, with special activity programmes during the holidays.
- Quickly create new primary schools by using existing college buildings.
- Grammar schools for the academically gifted and trade and technical schools for those of a more practical disposition.
- I want community integration rather than segregation.
- My office will be fully transparent and accountable.
- I will bring in forensic accountants to look for asset stripping and misappropriated funds, and I will prosecute those responsible.
- I will promote culture and art in the borough and find a permanent site for Old Flo.
- I will support businesses, for example with a late license for Brick Lane.
- I will always stand up for Canary Wharf and oppose EU interference in our vital financial services industry.
- I will replace the mayoral dictatorship with a fully democratic system.
- I will cut open the belly of this beast for everyone to look inside.
Budget savings to implement my plans
My accountants will find millions of pounds in savings by cutting unnecessary spending. But the following “quick wins” can be implemented straight away.
- Abolish unnecessary expenditure on faith buildings.
- Abolish “mother tongue” lessons.
- Abolish the mayoral car and highly-paid advisors.
- Stop the translation of information into foreign languages, removing the need for council-funded translators.
- Scrap the East End Life propaganda newspaper.
Personal message from Nicholas
I’m aware of the ups and downs of life and how difficult it is to cope with the austerity measures that we are all experiencing, be it on an individual basis or from a family or business perspective. Let me explain to you my political position. In some ways I go further than Labour when it comes to delivering social protection. In other ways my policies are more conservative than those promised by the Conservatives.
I truly believe that the basic human needs – heating, eating and housing – must be affordable to the community, especially where children are concerned. For example, children cannot learn if they are underfed and this is unfortunately happening in our borough. Hence my commitment regarding the school breakfast clubs. A community is assessed not on how well the rich live but on how well we look after the less fortunate among us.
I’ve been in business for most of my life and I understand how much we need good businesses to create jobs and pay taxes, which is why I support the growth and expansion of the business and financial districts in the borough, and I will help them above and beyond expectations.
The middle section of my politics is libertarian – the philosophy that places the highest value on personal freedom and limited government. More liberty helps us all to achieve more, to be happier and healthier, and it will make the community a better place to live in. I will integrate libertarianism with modern-day politics to confront the problems that we face today.
The national leadership of UKIP does not dictate our policy in local government but leaves us free to do what we need to in the local setting. UKIP is the fastest growing party in the UK because it is for everyone, especially the working man and woman. We believe that if you work then you should be better off. When we run the borough you will benefit. When we run the country it will be strong once again.
I was born and bred in the East End. I am old school, but my life experiences set me apart from the schoolboys that have been running the borough. My promises set out above will breathe new life into the borough, making it a better place to live and work. Our history, and our multicultural diverse community is what makes Tower Hamlets one of the most dynamic places in the world and one of the most interesting places to live and work.
Thank you for reading this, and I hope you will support my campaign for the greater good of our local community.
Love East End. Vote UKIP. Vote Nicholas McQueen for Mayor.