Posted in: Drug Free Zone, Election Campaign, English Democrats, Kent, Police Commissioner Elections, Political Correctness, Speed Cameras. Tagged: Candidate Dartford, Candidate Wilmington, Dartford Candidate, Dartford MP, Election, Kent, kent police, MP Dartford, PCC, PCCs, Police, Police & Crime Commissioner, politics, Steve Uncles, Vote, Wilmington Candidate.
The Ed Pertwee Interview with Steve Uncles – Kent Police Commissioner Candidate
Venue: Conrad Hotel, London, St. James
Interviewee: Steve Uncles
Organisation: English Democrats
Ethnicity: White, English
Interview medium: Face-to-face
Interviewee received research statement: Yes
Consent to record interview: Yes
Interviewee requested anonymity: No
Ed Pertwee (EP): Okay, just for the record, it is the- Friday 13th November, 2015, and this is an interview with Steve Uncles of the English Democrats. And just to confirm what we just agreed, Steve, we’re doing this on the record-
Steve Uncles (SU): Sure.
EP: -and I’m recording the interview. Okay. So, to kick us off, do you want to just tell me a little bit about the English Democrats, when you guys were set up, what you’re trying to achieve?
SU: Yeah. The English Democrats was set up in 2002, erm… it was, erm… and I joined after it had been set up. One of the driving factors behind the English Democrats was the party chairman Robin Tilbrook, who had previously set up the English National Party, probably for about five years before that, and he found that every time he mentioned English National Party, people said “are you anything to do with the BNP?”. So, it was partly decided that it needed to be reinvented as something which wasn’t- didn’t have the word national in it, and secondly there were also a number of other little English Nationalist parties and it was a sort of a compromise to reinvent everybody at that point. So it started off in 2002, and I tell you the main reason for being was actually devolution for Scotland and Wales through the Blair government, which came into effect in 1999, and the core policy of the English Democrats is to achieve an English parliament, so hence the word English and the word Democrats, the English Democrats want an English parliament. And that’s really the basis to the party.
EP: And how did you become involved in it?
SU: I became involved when I was- I’d met up with a guy that I went to primary school with, so we’re talking about 12 years ago, so I was 39 then. And he just announced to me that he’d got himself elected as an independent parish councillor, and it suddenly dawned on me that actually politics wasn’t something that was outside of the reach of everybody, in fact y’know, if you want to you can get involved in politics. And I was sitting on a bench with him outside the pub, and saying well, what I’d really like to do is get involved in something to do with England, because the Scots have got the Scottish National Party, the Welsh have got Plaid Cymru, the Irish have got various Irish nationalist parties, and nobody ever seems to be talking about England. So I- I was to a certain extent at a point where I even considered starting my own party, but I’m glad I didn’t because I found somebody else had already done it, so it was much easer to join something that had already started.
EP: So what is your role, or what has your role been?
SU: My role has been that I spent the first year simply as a member, and then they sent out a questionnaire asking whether I would like to stand as a parliamentary candidate – it wasn’t targeted at me, it just went out to everybody, and I ticked the box saying yes I would, and in order to get past that hurdle of some sort of due diligence, I had to go and meet the national council at the time, and went to a meeting, had a chat, explained my history, and not only was I then said well, y’know, we’d be happy for you to be a candidate, but also would you like to join the national council. So I then sort of got involved in the national council, which is the governing body of the party, virtually ever since, really.
EP: And you’ve stood a number of times for election, you’re currently standing as candidate for the police and crime commissioner, is that right?
SU: I am, yeah. So, stood in- I’ve actually stood in an election every year since I’ve been with the party, so whether it was the European elections, general election, and- or a county council or a council election, then always managed to stand somewhere. My best result in terms of volume of votes was 2009 in the European elections where I got over 50,000 votes, and my best result was to come second in a county council election, again it was in 2009. So, erm… I- that’s what we’ve been doing.
EP: And how has the party done more generally in various elections? I think you did have a mayoral-
SU: Yeah, again our best success was in 2009, where we had a candidate who was elected to become the executive mayor of Doncaster, so that meant he actually controlled Doncaster council. And we have had smaller successes in terms of we have had a few district councillors elected, and a few parish and town councillors elected.
EP: And as I explained at the beginning, my research really focusses on groups that are campaigning in various ways against radical Islam. Could you explain a little bit how that figures within your party’s policy agenda, and how it relates to some of the other issues that you campaign on?
SU: I would say – so I’m 51 now – and I would say that, erm, in terms of other cultures or religions that are different than our base – y’know – English, Christian culture, then I was fairly unknowledgeable about the various religions. I did have a certain- I did have a certain amount of teaching at school in religious studies, and at that point, y’know, obviously that was when I was sixteen, seventeen, at that point then I understood the link between Judaism and Christianity and Muslims, and erm… I understood that we all- effectively we all worship the same God, so why do people fight, y’know? And again when people were introduced as being sort of Asians, or- I don’t really think that twenty years ago I sort of paid much attention to whether they were Sikh, Hindus, or Muslims, and certainly my perception of the behaviour of Muslims twenty years ago was that they had come to this country and they were trying to integrate and they sort of – y’know – what they did on their religious day as far as I was concerned was really up to them. And they seemed to be as much- there didn’t seem to be any significant issue, they seemed to be just – y’know – different than Christians, just like Sikhs and Hindus are different than Christians, but – y’know – wasn’t really aware of their differences, and at that point you think well, good luck to ’em really.
EP: So what changed?
SU: What’s changed is that I think unlike Sikhs and Muslims and to a certain extent Chinese people- y’know I’m not a very religious person myself, I probably count myself as being a cultural Christian, you probably find that a “true Christian” in quotes would probably think that I am fairly agnostic, but I do recognise that our culture is based upon Christian principles, and also y’know pagan festivals and things, and so I understand that as part of our culture. You know, even the cross of St George flag, of course, has a relevance to Christianity. And I think- I think- I think over the- probably over the last ten years I’ve gradually become more and more aware that the Muslim faith appears to be a fairly aggressive faith in terms of them wishing to impose their presence on the rest of society. And again, this is a- so unlike what I’d say the other religions of immigrants appears to be, where they appear to respect the indigenous Christian culture, and then they sort of- they do their own thing but not- without making huge demands, then my concern is when we have things like the whole food chain being changed to accommodate halal meat.
Obviously the Jewish faith had a similar thing with kosher meat, but I don’t recall – that’s been going on for many centuries – and I don’t recall there would be a demand for kosher to be influenced so that let’s say all of the army meat is slaughtered in a inhumane manner, or in a kosher manner, or a halal manner. So that’s one aspect. The other aspect is things like female genital mutilation, where – y’know – young women are having their clitoris removed, which seems a absolutely barbaric practice, and I’m surprised that our feminist – y’know – campaigners are not up in arms about that, in terms of women’s rights.
I think it’s- Obviously, y’know, [laughing] I’m not a female myself, but I do have a daughter, and I do have a wife, and I do have a mother. And for a society or a culture to consider such a barbaric thing to do to a fellow human being, I just think is absolutely ama- crazy. And it’s not only the very thought of removing one of the most sensitive of a woman’s anatomy, but also the consequences of doing a bodged up job, and then our NHS having to pay for it.
That- that- that concerns me. Other things in terms of the culture of what they call “breast ironing”, where they put- they bandage up young women in certain Muslim cultures and they- they- they- put stones on them so that the breast tissue doesn’t develop, so that they then don’t- they then stay looking as a pre-pubescent woman, so that men won’t look at her and want to rape them.
I mean what sort of barbaric culture is that, where females are not allowed to look female in case men want to rape them? The whole culture of the situation in south Yorkshire, in Rotherham, where because the Muslim faith values women at half the value of a man and infidel women who don’t support Muslims as being even less value, then that’s giving them carte blanche to take advantage of underprivileged white women, and pass them around as prostitutes, as sex slaves, for their own gratification.
And the police in those communities not paying any attention for fear of being called racist. That’s a concern. Going back to halal meat, again, y’know, where is the RSPCA in this? Why have we developed a civilised culture where we- as an omnivore who likes eating meat, erm, I- when I see pictures of, or videos of how- erm… the difference between an animal being slaughtered using the stun method and having their throat cut, you think well if we’ve got the stun method then surely we should use a more humane method of killing our animals rather than a barbaric method which means the last few minutes of a life- of an animal’s life are absolute torture.
So, I think that’s- there’s some significant issues that do concern me. I think the other issue is the blatant- the blatant in-your-face opposition to our culture by dressing in a peculiar way. So, again, we’re at a quandary because we have a natural Englishness of being libertarians in terms of you should be able to do what you want. But, I find dressing in a burqa in central London as abhorrent as somebody dressing in a white sheet with a pointy hat on. Both are totally unacceptable, as is wearing a motorcycle helmet into a bank, or- or- so, it’s just not what we do. That’s not English. And I can’t think of why somebody would want to draw attention to themselves if they want to fit in.
Erm… Trying to think of anything else which I find of concern. Erm… That’s the list at the moment.
EP: So, from what you were saying there, you seem to basically say that either Muslims are behaving, or perhaps being allowed to behave, in a way that’s different to other ethnic or religious minorities. What do you attribute that to, what’s gone wrong, in your view?
SU: Well, my understanding, and again I have to confess I haven’t taken the trouble to read the Koran, but I believe that they are following the teachings of the Koran, and the Koran believes- indicates that it’s correct for a religion to be an aggressive religion which is sort of trying to convert people to their way of thinking through sort of conquer. And I suppose that when you look back at what happened, y’know, centuries ago with Richard the Lionheart and suchlike, and of course the same thing happened then in terms of- I believe that Spain was a Muslim country at one point.
And also it does appear that there is a strategy in the Koran to not cause trouble, if that makes sense, or try to conform as a minority when- to- to infiltrate a different country, and then as the numbers grow to become more and more loud, and more and more unreasonable, and more and more demanding. And we are a tolerant society, but we are at risk of- of- of welcoming an intolerant doctrine into our tolerant society.
And I think that we have to also consider that there are various- various- erm, takes on Muslim, for example, Turkey being a Muslim country but for many years being a fairly- a fairly relaxed Muslim country where I believe even that as a Muslim country had banned the burqa, because they realised the harm of going down that particular part of the Muslim doctrine. And what we seem to be doing is we seem to be embracing the interpretation of Islam which is in Saudi Arabia, and having been to Saudi Arabia three times myself, then as a tourist I found it fascinating seeing a completely different culture.
They have a culture there where of course alcohol is supposedly banned, although if you’re a Saudi Arabian prince and you know the right people then [laughing] you can get alcohol. And obviously it’s impossible to build a church in Saudi Arabia, and erm, when women go out if they’re Western women then they have to respect to Saudi Arabian interpretation of what it is to be- to not show their flesh, and you have to cover up when you go out. You have this ridiculous situation where you have Saudi Arabian women swimming in the sea in burqas, looks very strange.
But, when I’m visiting a different country, which may have a whole load of different cultural views and traditions, then as a tourist then I respect and I find it quite fascinating that it’s a different country- a different country with different culture, and I go away thinking, well, that’s interesting but I’m glad I don’t live there, I’m glad I live in England. It does seem bizarre that you have people who seem to have come to England to embrace what we have in England, and then they then want to bring the culture from their previous country and try to change England. I- I- find that quite bizarre.
EP: So what needs to change in your view?
SU: What needs to change? I think the first thing that needs to change is that we need to have one law system in England, and erm… there has to be respect for English law, without any exceptions. And we have to stop making exceptions for minorities, and we also have to start showing less tolerance and being – y’know – more assertive to actually preserve our English culture. So if somebody is wearing an article of clothing then they should be made to feel uncomfortable if it doesn’t actually fit into English culture. And, y’know, that is- that is traditionally the way, that’s what you call peer pressure.
It’s- we have certain rules of conformity and suchlike, if somebody wants to play in a football team or a cricket team then they have to wear a certain- y’know the rules of the game say that you have to wear certain clothing. And similarly, if you- although- although we should be as tolerant as possible, then walking around looking like Darth Vader in our streets, without your face showing is just not what we do in England. And if you want to fit in and integrate, then you shouldn’t do it.
EP: So are there specific – I’ll give you a moment to drink your coffee, cos you’ve been doing all the talking so far – but I was just wondering are there specific policies therefore that you advocate as a party to tackle this issue specifically, and can you say a bit about how they fit into your broader policy agenda?
SU: One of the things to- which we’re saying in Kent is that just like in France and in quite a few European countries, we will ban the wearing of the burqa in Kent. Now of course we don’t have the opportunity to put through primary legislation-
EP: I was going to say, do you- can you even do that?
SU: But- but there are enough rules already in terms of – y’know – a policeman has the right to see somebody’s face, to identify them, when he stops them. So instead of- if somebody wants to go around in Kent drawing attention to themselves by wearing a piece of clothing which quite frankly I believe to be inappropriate and ridiculous in England, then they will be stopped by the police, and they will be questioned, and they will be questioned partly from an identity point of view, and also partly just to make their life difficult.
Because that- that to me is- that is somebody trying to make a political statement walking up the street. There is no reason why they have to do that, it’s not even in their religion that they have to do it, they say it’s in their religion but it- it’s- the idea that women in England have to go round covering themselves up so that men aren’t tempted to rape them is just alien to our culture, and – y’know – if a man sees a woman as scantily dressed it gives them no right to ever consider that they can rape them in any way at all.
So, y’know, I think that is as far as I’m concerned absolutely one step too far, erm… and that is the red line as far as the English Democrats in Kent are concerned, that anybody wearing a burqa in a public place will be as from May 6th, if I’m elected, will be made to feel uncomfortable.
EP: Okay. So that would address the burqa issue. What about the other things that you mentioned?
SU: The halal issue, then we would first of all check as to whether people are- whether there are any halal slaughter houses in Kent, and we would then use animal cruelty legislation to make them cease using the halal method, and we would also consider any supermarkets that are stocking halal which is- halal meat which is slaughtered in a cruel way, then we would consider impounding the food and also the supermarket owners would be complicit to animal cruelty. So again we’ll make a big statement about halal as well.
Obviously if an animal is stunned and then killed through a halal method after that, then that makes no difference because the animal doesn’t suffer. But it’s the idea- it’s the lack of stunning which in my view is animal cruelty. The other aspect is where because of this obsession with having to kill animals live, so that the life drains out of them, erm… then, y’know we also see live exports of animals with the animals closely packed being transported across the Channel. And again we will explore the law to try to eliminate that unnecessary practice, because in today’s age of – y’know – refrigeration and mobile freezers then there is no need to transport live animals for any distance at all.
EP: And what sort of- when you put these ideas forward on the campaign trail, do you find the public is generally receptive, or how do you find talking about these issues in public?
SU: I think generally the members of the public are, er… y’know, want to preserve English culture. And basically what- what- what the English people are is English people are fair, fair-minded and open-minded, and they welcome people from a different part of the country, or a different colour- sorry, a different part of the world, or a different er- world – if they want to come to this country and integrate into the English way of life. Now I have to also concede that a culture constantly evolves, so obviously y’know if you go back to- to- our- y’know, well for example our language, our language has influence from French, Latin, German, and suchlike, and that’s all because of the influence of people coming to this country. So I’m not silly enough to not understand that a culture doesn’t stand still, and does evolve. But there- y’know- the addition to- the addition from Asia to our culture, or the Indian subcontract, is fairly significant in terms of cuisine because we all enjoy a good curry.
SU: But, y’know, wearing burqas, torturing animals, mutilating female genitalia are all things that I can’t actually see are adding any value to our society, and therefore they need to stop.
EP: And where would you rank this kind of opposition to radical Islam, to sharia, to halal, in terms of the kind of order of priorities for you as a party, cos I’m conscious that I’ve kind of steered you onto talking about one particular topic that’s only part of your policy agenda. But where does this kind of fit in, or how important is it as an issue?
SU: I- the way that we- we do actually now have a fairly substantial element to it in our manifesto, so if you check it out then you’ll see a logical point to it. So the campaign point is not actually to attack Islam, it’s to say protect our culture. So that’s the campaign strand. So we- as an Englishman then, and somebody who’s indigenous to the country, then I can’t see that there’s anything strange about wanting to protect the indigenous culture. And so that has been in our manifesto for the last twelve years. The part about specifically talking about concerns about radical Islam has occurred for- that’s- that’s probably entered the manifesto in the last eighteen months. In terms of ranking, then it’s- it’s- what are we trying to do as a small political party is that we have to- we have to judge as to when to talk about something which is- which the major parties aren’t talking about but the population as a whole do think is a concern.
SU: And because we’re not politically correct then we haven’t got any hesitation about raising an issue that is – y’know – where normally somebody could say you’re a bunch of racists. And that normally is the answer to anything that you say as a white, middle-class, middle-aged Englishman, that’s just because you’re racist. Well, you know, I’ve just come out of a building where probably twenty-five percent of my colleagues are from ethnic backgrounds and I work with them in a perfectly civilised manner. So that- that’s- but I think it’s really horses for courses in terms of- so- so then reason why we’ve got that issue on the leaflet is because we need to differentiate our position from the Conservatives, and Labour, and the Liberal, because they are highly unlikely to talk about that, and the reason that they don’t talk about it, and they don’t do anything about it, is because they are afraid for politically correct reasons of being classed as being racist. And that’s where you get the situation which has occurred in Rotherham where there’s people blatantly breaking the law and the police turning a blind eye, which is unacceptable.
My- my- still my primary thing as an English Democrat is to achieve an English parliament, to- either in a federal UK, or as English independence, because that is the only fair way for the people of England to be represented. And the reason we talk about other issues is partly so we don’t get labelled as being a one party issue, and partly that talking about an English parliament when you’re trying to get elected as a police commissioner isn’t really relevant. So you’ve got to use some aspects of the campaign, but obviously if I became elected as the police commissioner then I’d then have a platform where I could talk more with more kudos or- or- y’know about the English parliament issue and- and- the other issues we have.
EP: And throughout this interview you’ve talked a lot about England as a country, and I can tell it means a lot to you. Can you just say a bit about what it does mean to you, what does Englishness mean to you?
SU: Well, I think that again, the nature of being English is actually to not be nationalistic.
EP: [Laughing] Okay.
SU: For example, we- we- we are so assured of our own identity, and the fact that we invented many institutions, that unlike many countries, then the word England or English doesn’t actually feature in them. So our- the national football association is simply called the Football Association. Everybody else’s countries’ football associations have the name of the country in it, as does rugby, and – Cricket and Hockey.
And many of the other institutions, because we are such good organisers then- y’know, we’ve created many institutions and within- within England then we don’t tend to put the word in. There are some exceptions like the English National Opera and the English Ballet, and y’know, but you’ll see many of our institutions, where the cultural institutions don’t actually have the word England or English in them, erm… and erm… the- I think being English is tolerance, it’s fair play, it’s respect for others, it’s supporting the underdog, erm… but y’know in terms of being tolerant, then you have to draw a line to actually being tolerant to an ideology which is intolerant, and erm… there are, erm… the most concerning thing about the Muslim population in this country is that if I was a non-radical Muslim, I would see these people who are being radical as sort of spoiling the pitch for those people who consider themselves to be moderate Muslims, and I don’t hear enough from those moderate Muslims to actually complain that these radical Islamic people are spoiling it for them.
We don’t seem to have a problem with Sikh people, Hindu people, or y’know- can’t remember what the Chinese religion is, but it- it- doesn’t seem to be of the same in-yer-face, attention-grabbing nonsense that we seem to get from the Muslim community.
EP: Why is that, do you think, why do you think you don’t hear those moderate Muslim voices? What do you attribute that to?
SU: Well my- my- perception is because the Koran actually teaches what the radical Islam are- are- actually doing, then the- the moderate Islams, er… Muslims, Islamic people, keep quiet for fear of reprisal from the radical side if they said anything. But I suppose you’d need to ask them, really.
EP: And, in terms of- if you were to be successful as a party, and you were to achieve some of the things that you’ve talked about in the course of this interview, then what in an ideal world would you like England to look like in, say, twenty years from now?
EP: What’s the vision for the future?
SU: I think that basically you- erm… Parliament makes laws and there should be no exception for a religious group to those laws. One law for all. If you don’t like the law, and there is a country where you can practice your religion to its full extent, then you need to leave England and go to that other country.
Although I- Although I have not actually complained about the Sikh religion, then to a certain extent there are a couple of things there which- which probably were the thin end of the wedge and with hindsight they should be stopped, and shouldn’t have been allowed in the first place. The first thing is Sikh people wearing turbans instead of motorcycle helmets. The simple thing there is if you want to- nobody is forcing you to ride a motorcycle, if you want to wear your turban then drive a car. And, you know, the idea that there is one law for all, then, y’know, unfortunately either you buy a motorcycle helmet which is designed to go over your turban, or you just don’t ride a motorcycle. It’s as- We’re not forcing Sikh people to ride motorcycles, but if they want to ride a motorcycle then to comply with English law they have to wear a helmet which means they have to take their turban off.
Second aspect of the Sikh religion is that if I decide to take a four-inch knife into a court building in England then there’s normally a metal detector and I’d be frisked and that knife would be taken from me, quite rightly, why would you need to take a knife into a court building? But if you’re a Sikh and you call it a religious knife, then apparently you’re allowed to, well you are allowed to. And again that is an aspect of not having universal law. We must have a society where there is universal law, there are no exceptions for religions or minorities in any way, it is just one law for all, that’s fair.
Err… so in terms of the summary, in terms of what would change in terms of the Muslim aspect, then all cruel halal would have to be removed, erm… and if you want to have your meat slaughtered in a religious method you need to pay a premium for that. Erm… erm… we don’t want a situation where as a- even a lapsed Christian, then I don’t see why a Muslim prayer should be said over meat that I eat, because it’s just daft. If somebody wants to have- I’m not saying that suddenly it shouldn’t be able to have it at all, but it should be a premium they pay extra for it, it shouldn’t be that everybody else has to conform to it.
Erm… in terms of- in terms of the female genital mutilation, then, erm… y’know there has to be some serious examples made of cases for that to make some examples to stop people doing it. In terms of- y’know- if it’s discovered then that family is deported, because somebody has known it’s- the parents must have encouraged it- it- it- that has to stop.
Erm… what was the other aspect? Halal meat, FMG, and, erm… Yeah, I mean, y’know just like in France and y’know, quite a few Western countries now, if you want to wear a ridiculous outfit like the burqa, and dress like Darth Vader, then it’s just not socially acceptable to do in England. And, erm, people would be stopped and said, y’know, go and put some appropriate clothing on.
EP: Okay. And… so parties like Liberty GB, for instance, would describe themselves as part of the- what’s often the called the counterjihad movement, a kind of- y’know – alliance of groups campaigning around these- these anti-jihad, anti-sharia, anti-halal type issues. Would the English Democrats class themselves in that way, or not?
SU: No, I wouldn’t say we’d go that far, I’d say that we’ve got concerns over the- the issue of law, in terms of there should be one English law for everybody, and we’ve got concerns over culture. And I think I would leave it at that at the moment. Err… certainly that is the official party position, we haven’t sort of got to a point where we’ve- I think Liberty GB feel that that is part of their reason for being, whereas our main reason for being is to achieve equality and fairness for the people of England from a democratic point of view. But over the years the issue of Muslim fundamentalism has- has- has started to increase.
Obviously when you’ve got the Prime Minister standing up and saying Islam is a religion of peace, saying it several times politically, then at a certain point he just makes himself look like a complete idiot because, y’know it’s a bit like standing at the seashore and saying the tide isn’t coming in. Well it is. So, erm… this was an aspect that didn’t appear to be an issue ten years ago, but certainly is an issue now.
EP: Okay. And is there anything else that we haven’t covered in- through the questions I’ve asked, which you think I should consider in the course of my research, or anything else that could be potentially important.
SU: I think that another thing which is of tremendous concern is the- over the current, what people would describe as immigration crisis-
SU: -where we’ve seen a huge amount of men, erm… who are sometimes described as refugees, but they do predominantly tend to be men in their late teens to early twenties travelling by themselves, that that does have a huge concern over destabilisation of Western Europe, with that amount of people coming in without any sort of checks really. And a certain amount of those people could well be that they were fighting for- in various wars, which I do- I do- I do understand that our government has had some responsibility for creating, but that goes against – y’know – the English Democrats foreign policy is that we need to recognise that England is now a relatively small country without the- and we should stop trying to play a world policeman. And if we did that then we’d find ourselves a lot better off and we wouldn’t find ourselves going round poking sticks at people and causing trouble really. But I think that influx of people, when the media try to portray them as being helpless refugees and you see- you see men of fighting age coming across the borders who seem to be pretty well fed and fit and healthy with mobile phones and new trainers and things, then I think that’s of huge concern. And they typically seem to be of the Muslim faith.
EP: And, is there anybody else that you can think of, or that you know of, that it would be worth my while speaking to as part of this research?
SU: Erm… have you spoken to Tommy Robinson yet?
EP: I’ve approached the EDL and groups affiliated with them, they’re an obvious part of this landscape.
SU: I- I- haven’t- My- my- my- understanding of the people who are… well there’s also Pegida UK.
SU: Yeah? That’s- that’s my understanding of the players involved. So you’ve probably got… so obviously you’ve got the EDL, you’ve got Pegida, you’ve got Tommy Robinson now by himself if that makes sense, now he’s left the EDL. Erm… you’ve got Liberty GB, erm… and… you’ve got ourselves.
EP: And do you have links with any of those groups, or do you work together on any issues, or…
SU: The only people that we have a sort of an arms length relationship with is Liberty GB.
SU: And we do come into contact with people who have been on EDL marches, but obviously nobody is ever a member of the EDL because it’s a non-membership organisation.
SU: But, erm… that’s about it. I mean, y’know, I think that many, many people who probably vote Conservative are- and Labour have got equally- equal concerns about Islamic fundamentalism.
EP: Well I think we’ve got through all the questions that I had.
EP: Is there anything else you’d like to add, or anything you’d like to ask me?
SU: No, I think that’s- hopefully you’ve got what you wanted?
EP: I- yes, thank you, you’ve been very helpful.
EP: I’ll stop the recorder now.
7 February 2016
Kent Police Headquarters,
I wish to make an allegation of possible electoral fraud against the Conservative Party.
My allegation relates to the election of Mr Craig Mackinlay, as the Member of Parliament for South Thanet, in the recent General Election.
My allegation is based on comments made by Mr Michael Crick, a political correspondent for Channel 4 news, in a television interview on national television on 20th January 2016.
According to Mr Crick, the Conservative Party spent twice as much as the legal limit allowed under the law, in order to get Mr Mackinlay elected as the Member of Parliament for South Thanet.
During the television interview, Mr Crick produced bills from a hotel in Ramsgate for the months of April and May, 2015, where several members of the Conservative Party stayed during the General Election campaign.
Mr Crick alleged that these bills may be evidence that the Conservative Party spent twice as much as the legal limit under the law for the General Election, which resulted in Mr Mackinlay being elected as the Member of Parliament for South Thanet.
If the allegations made by Mr Crick on national television are true, it appears that a criminal offence in relation to, but not limited Sections 81, 82 and 84 of the Representation of the Peoples Act 1983, namely election expenses “spending limits”, may have been committed.
Any investigation into these allegations would be the responsibility of the police, not the Electoral Commission.
I am therefore requesting that Mr Crick be interviewed and required to produce the documentary evidence he exhibited on national television, in order to allow police to conduct a criminal investigation against whoever was responsible for the payment of expenses for the Conservative Party during the General Election.
It is my understanding that the allegations made by Mr Crick are of such a serious nature that, if substantiated, it could result in the South Thanet By Election being rerun.
Thank you for your attention to this matter and I look forward to your response, in accordance with the Kent Constabulary Policy on the receipt of correspondence.
2016 Kent Police Commissioner
Will the Electoral Commission act over Tory Thanet expenses?
Did the Tories spent twice as much in defeating Nigel Farage in Thanet South last year as they were legally allowed under the rules?
Traditionally, election expense returns are among the great works of fiction in British politics. These days there are not just restrictions on constituency spending but also legal limits to what the parties can spend on their national campaigns. And today the Electoral Commission officially announced how much each of the major parties claimed to have spent nationally last May, along with receipts of everything they spent over £250 on their national work. The Conservatives say they spent £15.6 million in all, well below the £19 million national limit; Labour £12.1 million; the Lib Dems £3.5 million, Ukip £2.9 million, and the SNP £1.5 million.
But there are also local expenses limits for each candidate in each constituency. The trouble is, if local agents have problems fitting their spending within the legal constituency limit, then is there a temptation is to pass it off as a national expense instead? Is that what the Conservatives did in Thanet South?
Helpfully, the Electoral Commission has also published receipts for the parties national spending as well – you can peruse them all on their website.
What stood out for me was a series of four bills claimed by the Conservatives for the Royal Harbour Hotel in Ramsgate last spring, in the constituency Nigel Farage was hoping to win, and which saw a fiercely-contested campaign. The hotel bills total £14,213.18 for the five weeks of the short campaign, from 30 March to 7 May.
Yet the legal expense limit in Thanet South for that period was £15,016.38, and according to the Conservatives’ local expense return for the constituency, submitted last June, they spent £14,837 on the campaign, just £179 short of the legal limit. If one included the hefty bills from the national figures for the Royal Ramsgate Hotel – and I suspect many experts would argue they should be – then the total to elect Craig Mackinlay as the MP comes to £29,050, almost twice the legal spending limit in that seat.
The hotel bills show that the Conservative had several rooms in the hotel throughout the campaign – on some night as many as five. The former Conservative press officer Henry McCrory was among those sent to work in Thanet South full-time.
A Conservative spokesman told Channel 4 News tonight: “All election expenses are properly and transparently declared to the Electoral Commission, published by them, and comply fully with Electoral Commission rules.” Apparently, the Conservatives argue that the staff they had staying at the Royal Harbour also worked in other constituencies as well. That seems improbable, since the nearest other serious marginal seat is about an hour’s drive away. In any case, the Electoral Commission rules make it clear that if an expense covers more than one seat then the cost should be apportioned between the local accounts for the various places. It would be interesting to know which other constituency campaigns the guests at the Royal Harbour Hotel went to help.
Nigel Farage’s former adviser Raheem Kassam, who helped run his Ukip campaign in Thanet South told me: “There’s something very suspicious about these expense claims. Even if they thought they were working on other constituencies with this money, they don’t appear to have followed the Electoral Commission rules in this.”
I don’t expect Ukip to make an official complaint, however. There’s a kind of gentlemen’s agreement among the political parties that they don’t complain about each other’s expense returns.
But election spending is a serious issue. There are spending limits for good reasons – to stop wealthy parties buying elections. And that could be more of a problem in the years ahead as Labour loses sources of funding, in part, it fears because of measures in the Trade Union bill going through Parliament.
This case is an important test for the Electoral Commission, which has long had a reputation for being pretty tame and toothless. But the information about the Royal Harbour is up on their website. If they’re not going to examine and if necessary police party expense returns, then what’s the point of having rules and limits? And what’s the point of the Electoral Commission?
I suspect they’ll do nothing.
Above article by Michael Crick – Channel 4
Steve Uncles from the English Democrats buries Mo Ansar on the Muslim Problem live on TV
Diane Abbott arrested in Kent ?
There have been reports that infamous racist Diane Abbott, London Labour MP, has been arrested by Kent Police for inciting racial hatred against White English people in Kent.
I do hope this is true, but if it is not, then under my English Democrats administration after 6 May 2016, then Diane Abbott will be arrested if she says similar to what she has being saying in Dover, Kent today.
Kent Police Commissioner Elections – Steve Uncles – Campaign Video
A chance to vote for Common sense for Policing in Kent, not politically correct non-sense !
Christmas 2015 in Kent
Celebrating a Traditional English Christmas in Kent
Steve & Louise Uncles