Wednesday, April 26, 2017
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politics

by Urban Echo reporter

His rise to power was momentous but his fall would be inconsequential because he himself is responsible for his doom. Those who are waiting in the wings to replace him include the front runner Tim Farron while the potential rivals like Vince Cable (Business Secretary), Norman Lamb (Care Minister) and Ed Davey (Energy Secretary) are less likely to win.

clegg620main_1650145aNick Clegg, the 48 year old descendant of Russia’s old Tsarist nobility, had a very good schooling before joining Cambridge University in 1986. After graduation he was awarded one year scholarship to study at the University of Minnesota. He was the first Liberal parliamentarian since 1931 elected as MEP in 1998 in the East Midlands. He left EU in 2002 on the pretext that the battle to persuade public of the benefits of Europe was fought at home, not in Brussels. He is an MP since 2005 in Sheffield Hallam, a seat now seriously endangered, and Deputy Prime Minister in the coalition since 2010.

Clegg criticised Tories before 2010 general elections; he was critical of the election system and called UK democracy ‘fractured’ because some votes counted more than others. He campaigned in favour of alternate vote (AV) as opposed to ‘first past the post’ and succeeded in brokering a referendum but his AV was defeated. Student finances were the flagship policy of his party before and during the 2010 general elections. He signed vote for students pledge to oppose increase in tuition fees prior to 2010 general election. Though coalition agreement allowed Lib Dems the right to abstain any vote relating to the increase in fees, yet he failed to exercise that right.

Liberal Democrat Spring Conference 2014In his leadership Liberal Democrats also failed to block the Conservatives’ controversial health reforms. He has all the while been talking tall about keeping the standards, yet Lib Dem’s fundraiser had sought to bypass donations laws. Ibrahim Taguri, the party’s former chief fundraiser, who was standing for MP in Brent Central and boasted that his campaign was the “third best-funded” in the country, accepted a cheque on behalf of the party for more than £75,000 from an undercover donor. He told the donor, a fake wealthy Indian, that he would be able to channel money via family members and backdate cheques to avoid appearing on public registers.

In spite of Clegg’s pre-2010 election attacks on the Tories yet he spent five years sharing power with them. Once again, in the climate of general elections, he has tried to show his original colours. Using Spring Conference 2015 speech he mocked ‘the red-faced bluster of right-wing Tories’ and compared David Cameron with ‘Nigel Farage in a white tie’. He declared that ‘cows moo, dogs bark. And Tories cut. It is in their DNA.’

The irritant between the two coalition partners is that Tories rule out any further tax rises. They would tackle deficit through cuts alone including taking out another £12 billion out of the welfare budget. Nick Clegg who had been feeling quite easy with the Tories while they put to practice all these measures during the last term, is now feeling uneasy because of the general elections’ expediency. In spite of the dire polls opinions that Lib Dems could lose more than half of their 57 seats won in the last elections, Clegg insists that his party was ‘here to stay.’

David-Cameron-Nick-Clegg-and-Ed-MilibandThis seems to be certain that Nick Clegg’s Spring Conference speech is going to be potentially his last to his Conference as Deputy Prime Minister and/or as a leader. Many Liberal Democrats are not happy with him. His own party members mistrust his audacity in proving the concept of coalition. The party is wracked by crises of confidence. Lord Oakeshott, a wealthy peer, has resigned from the party since last May. In an attempt to create Ed Miliband-led progressive government, Lord Oakeshott has donated £600,000 equally distributed among 30 Labour and 15 left of the centre Liberal Democrat candidates of the marginal seats. Now an independent, Lord Oakeshott says: “doing his bit to save our country from Tory government cringing to Ukip.

Mr Farron, a Lib Dem MP from Westmorland and Lonsdale has given his party a score of just ‘2 out of 10’ for how it handled its time in coalition. He says that Mr Clegg should have understood the damage the Party’s U-turn on tuition fees would inflict.

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Bradford – As the election fever gathers momentum at a time when prospective candidates aspire to dethrone their sitting parliamentary opponents, the Bradford West constituency is slowly simmering to boiling point as a toe to toe confrontation between maverick MP George Galloway and his [new] Labour opponent Naz Shah gathers pace.

Naz (also known as Naseem) Shah’s selection was met with raised eyebrows by the Bradford public as well as the Labour Party controlling the city as many whispered of foul play after the suspicious and sudden withdrawal of the selected candidate Amina Ali. Unconvinced by her reasons for the resignation, as many indicated that political pressure from the hierarchy influenced Ali’s decision, the Labour party had no choice but to conduct a second round of interviews. Naz Shah who only managed to receive 13 votes in the first round of the selection process, compared to Naveeda Ikram’s 78, was surprisingly given the nod by the selectors in London ahead of former Lord Mayor and seasoned politician, Ikram.

mir sb 001
Naz Shah’s marriage certificate in Urdu dated 1990

Urban Echo broke the story ‘Exclusive to Urban Echo: Naz Shah reveals all’ last month and in the process propelled Naz Shah onto the national platform as media heavyweights in the way of BBC, Ch4, Guardian, Times, Independent and online influencers Buzzfeed featured the story resulting in an on line viral reaction. The article was read over 50,000 times within 24 hours and shared via Facebook and Twitter 15,000 times. Naz Shah was suddenly trending across the country. But why such a dramatic reaction?

Shah’s penned story of a victim, an abused childhood and of her mother Zoora Shah, who was convicted for murder, struck a chord with its readers as she re-lived her harrowing story. But this was Naz Shah’s version of the story. She made reference to her abused mother who ultimately murdered the man that had been abusing her for so many years. She also made reference to her forced marriage in Pakistan at the age of fifteen.

Many observers are now questioning whether her story gives her the right credentials to stand for Parliament. Social media posts are predominantly for Shah but she also has her critics questioning the accuracy of her version of events in the story.

Translated version of marriage certificate
Translated version of marriage certificate

As it appears, Urban Echo has come into the possession of Shah’s ‘Nikkah’ (marriage) certificate dated May 31, 1990. The ceremony took place in Mirpur, Azad Kashmir when she married Syed Mazhar Shah. As Naz Shah was born on November 13, 1973, her marriage took place when she was sixteen and half years old – not fifteen years old as she claimed in the article.

Ron McKay, the Respect Party spokesperson told Urban Echo, “Naz Shah has claimed in all the media she has trailed her story across – Times, Telegraph, Mirror, Mail and Guardian, and of course Urban Echo – that she was fifteen when she married. This narrative plays into the racist line of Pakistani men grooming/sexually abusing under-age girls.

“Recently when I pointed out to a Guardian reporter the true date of the marriage, based on Supreme Court evidence that her mother had gone to Pakistan in May 1990 for the wedding, Naz Shah’s response was to add a further lie, that her mother’s visit was for the wedding celebration – some 18 months at least after the alleged wedding! Naseem Shah has deliberately and cynically bent the truth in order to manipulate people’s emotions in an attempt to win personal support for her candidature. She is unfit to represent Labour or, heaven forfend, the people of Bradford West,” he concludes.

The Labour party were unavailable for comment.

 

Bradford – The well-known and immensely respected senior Bradford Labour figure Adrian Longthorn has defected to George Galloway’s Respect party. He will contest the May council elections for the party in the Clayton and Fairweather Green ward.

George Galloway
George Galloway

“I’m hugely impressed and encouraged that Adrian has come over to us. He’s a man who has been close to the centre of Labour politics in Bradford for several decades and he will bring a wealth of experience and nous to Respect. I’m looking forward to working with him immensely,” said George Galloway.

Adrian has held many senior positions in the Labour party in Bradford. He was three times elected as a councillor in the city – Thornton, Wyke and Clayton and Fairweather Green wards – and has served, among other roles, as election agent for the late MP Marsha Singh and for the present council deputy leader Imran Hussain.

Adrian Longthorn
Adrian Longthorn

“Obviously it was a huge wrench leaving Labour after more than 30 years,” Longthorn said. “But I’ve been feeling for a long time now that Labour has actually left me. It’s unrecognisable to the party I joined, and not in a good way. It no longer represents the aspirations and hopes of working people. And in this city the party’s hold on power has strangled initiative and grassroots organisation. The party locally is both corrupt, manipulated and misused by one or two people, as well as being numbingly incompetent. Respect represents all that old Labour was and George Galloway is a huge political figure with not just a massive local following but national and international clout. I am sure he is going to be re-elected and I am pleased to be joining his team and once more working for the real needs of the people of Bradford.”

At Prime Minister’s Question Time, Bradford MP David Ward, questioned the Prime Minster about politicians behaviour at PMQs and whether this was damaging people’s perception of Parliament.

David Ward MP was selected out of the weekly ballot to pose a question to the Prime Minister, at the weekly Prime Minister Question Time (PMQs).

comp2_376779cMr Ward met with students from Bradford College on Tuesday 3rd March who told the Bradford East MP that they were less than impressed by the conduct of David Cameron and Ed Miliband shouting at each other in a room filled with adults behaving in a manner that would not be tolerated in any classroom or work environment.

Mr Ward asked the Prime Minister:

“Does the Prime Minister believe his own behaviour, and that of the Leader of the Opposition within Prime Ministers Questions, either enhances or damages the image of the Houses of Parliament and indeed Politicians in the eyes of members of the public”

Responding, the Prime Minister, Rt Hon David Cameron said:

“What I would say to the honourable gentleman is that it is inevitably a robust exchange there are always ways I’m sure which we can improve Prime Ministers Questions but I would say it does have an important

David Ward MP
David Ward MP

function which is it does make sure that we have accountable Government in our country where people can ask the Prime Minister anything they want.

Commenting, David Ward Said:

“Most people in the real world, outside of the Westminster bubble, think that Prime Ministers Questions is pathetic and is the manifestation of all the things which are wrong with politics at the moment.

“People in Bradford see politicians evading simple and often important questions, being loud, boisterous and frankly just looking like a bunch of out of control public school children. No wonder people get apathetic about voting when they see how this lot carry on.

“The behaviour of most politicians at Prime Ministers Questions is inexcusable and we need the system to change if real scrutiny of the Prime Minister and his Government is to take place and bring back some form of integrity to questioning the Prime Minister.”

 

By Urban Echo political reporter

Words and phrases projecting certain ideas sometimes baffle me. They baffle me because the sense they convey about certain things appears to be contrary to the facts.

When it is talked about Ed Miliband’s “low personal rating” it makes me suspicious of the determinants of that trait. A man who first enters the House of Commons just in 2005, stands firm to contest the party leadership election in 2010 and wins, no doubt with a narrow margin, and is leading the party to general elections on 7 May 2015 against all odds from within and without party, cannot be classed as having “low personal rating.” The determinants of this trait must have committed a grievous fault.

POLITICS-Labour-130405_395In 2010 general elections Labour had lost the office and its leader stepped down thus paving way for the new leadership. Ed Miliband came forward and took the responsibility boldly to take back the lost office. It is certainly not an easy task. At the same time it won’t be that easy to judge how he has been doing as leader of the opposition. There has been set standards by the scholars of political science to judge the performance of prime ministers but there has hardly been any about the leaders of the opposition. However, in the light of available historical data for judging the performance of the opposition leaders, I can say with full responsibility that since 2010 Ed Miliband has performed a lot better than what has been said by his critics and adversaries during all this time.

He climbed up the party leadership with the intention to leave the world a better place than he found it. To him, values are the most important. So it is not just the fight but the side from who you are engaged in fight that is of utmost importance for him. Thus, he always tried to do the right thing even if it had been difficult. That is what he did in case of Rupert Murdock, the banks and the gas and electricity firms. And if elected as Prime Minister, the same will be held true by him.

To him came the bolt from the blue when papers like The Telegraph and The Economist published Tony Blaire’s statement in bold headlines saying that “Ed Miliband will not win the general elections because he has veered too far to the left and has alienated British Businesses.” The former prime minister further said about the 7 May’s election, ” A traditional left wing party contests a traditional right wing party, with the traditional result.”

Though he refused to accept that he gave any such a statement, yet it is assumed as damaging when the general elections are very close. Ed Miliband later said that there had been a shift in economic thinking since the financial crisis of 2007-08 but Blair denies that Britain’s centre ground has shifted.

untitledEd Miliband is all out to address the Scottish issue of more power devolution. Thus he said:” We’ll put the home rule bill before the parliament in the first 100 days of the next Labour government. The bill will give Scotland the powers that were promised over jobs, welfare and tax.”

Yet the recent polls point to the size of the challenges currently faced by Labour party in Scotland, suggesting that the SNP will gain an unprecedented number of seats in May’s general elections, mainly at the expanse of Labour.

Although Labour has a narrow lead over the Conservatives in most opinion polls, some Labour politicians are worried that the lead will not survive when the Tories will launch more intensive attacks on Miliband’s credibility in the run up to the elections.

Whatever may be the case, it is said that 2015 elections would be the elections of marginal seats. These marginal seats are estimated from 100 to 195 in total. This has also been a historical fact that even during the election landslide, 70 per cent of the seats do not change hands. It is unlikely that the Tories win majority that requires 326 seats in the house of 650. Thus David Cameron’s chances for a second term are hung in the balance. The Lib Dems are currently polling at around 8% of the national vote, a third of what they achieved in 2010. This would leave them with 16 of their current 56 seats.

Despite ruthless propaganda against Ed Miliband, branding his poor personal rating, Labour seemed until recently to have a reasonable chance of winning power and ruling on their own. Over the past few months, however, the Labour poll average has slipped from 37 per cent to 32 per cent. Then comes the Scotland factor: although more recent figures indicate that while SNP is still on the course to double surge its vote, its lead over Labour appears to have diminished from 20 points to more sober 10 points. Thus Labour would be able to form new coalition government with SNP, with Ed Miliband as Prime Minister and Alex Salmond as Deputy Prime Minister. Nicola Sturgeon is looking forward to work with Labour. Ed Miliband has refused to reject this possibility while Ed Balls may have certain objections to this combination.

George Galloway has once more demanded that the police and the British government take action against the leader of the extremist Pakistan party the MQM, who is now holed-up in London.

Altaf Hussain
Altaf Hussain

The Bradford West MP has today written to the Home Secretary and to the Commissioner of the Metropolitan police over Altaf Hussain’s alleged involvement in an arson attack on a garment factory in Karachi. Two hundred and fifty-nine workers died in the fire in September 2012. A joint investigation team comprising Pakistan’s police and secret services submitted a report to court last Friday which alleged that the MQM leadership ordered the attack after the factory owner refused to pay extortion money.

George_Galloway_2007-02-24
George Galloway

“This man, Hussain, has been fingered in dozens of murders, as the alleged person who gave the orders. And now this horror,” Galloway said. “It’s inconceivable that this fire was ordered without his knowledge. Altaf Hussain’s house was raided last June on suspicion of money laundering but as far as I can see nothing further has happened. It’s now almost two years now since I called on the police to take action against him after he gave a series of filmed threats he made. He was given British citizenship for some unfathomable reason by the previous Labour government and to all intents and purposes he seems to be above the law. I am demanding answers as to why this despicable individual with blood on his hands is not facing justice.”

Time is running out for BBC and ITV to respond to a letter before action demanding that George Galloway and the Respect party are included in the televised leaders’ debates. The seven-day deadline expires on Friday.

images9QFYTM6R“The letter asks in detail a series of questions about the criteria for appearing in these debates,” Galloway said. “The broadcasters have already shifted ground on who can take part, including the likes of the Green party, but they have been unable to spell out the reasons for inclusion, and exclusion. We know from the last election the impact of these. Nick Clegg’s star went from nowhere to the stratosphere over night, although you’d have to dig hard and long to find a trace of glitter now. These appearances don’t just show the mettle of people and the strength, or not, of their policies, they bring in a flood of members to the parties. That, I suspect, is the real reason Respect is being excluded.”

George_Galloway_2007-02-24Galloway pointed out that parties which would not be putting up candidates in the whole country – “and indeed two of the seven taking part, the SNP and Plaid Cymru, want to split it up” – were included while Respect, which expects to field upwards of 25 candidates, was excluded.
“The deadline for a response is Friday and I’ll be looking at the replies carefully, if they come, but certainly briefing my lawyers about the next step,” the Bradford West MP said.

In the 2010 UK general elections, the Conservative Party won 306 seats in the House of Commons.

David-cameronThis number was insufficient to form a government alone. They needed someone to join them and the only choice was the Liberal Democrats. So a deal had to be struck and it took David Cameron five days to strike a deal with Nick Clegg who agreed to prop up the former in forming a coalition government. Both the parties had their election manifestos that in many points were contradictory to each other. In this deal, the coming time told us, that Nick Clegg was a casualty because he had either to exit from the coalition or keep hanging and allow the Tories to increase manifold tuition fees. He chose the latter and became the most unpopular and regarded as a person who cannot keep his promise.

Cameron’s own major target was to reduce the deficit in government finances by resorting to landslide spending cuts and that was the chief pretext that allowed him to strike at the welfare state. The economic experts have been saying time and again not to do landslide redundancies because that will harm people’s purchasing power and the ultimate blow would be at businesses, which in turn, would lose their capacity to employ. That is the vicious circle that increases poverty and reduces the chances of social mobility, a sign of unhealthy societies in which people lose self-esteem and resort to petty crimes.

DavidCameronThus ignoring all sane voices and attending to the calls of his former Etonian elite colleagues whom he had gathered around himself, he continued to kick out old employees from NHS, Education, Police and the UK Border Agency, and reduced their budget in huge amounts. Similar treatment was meted out to the housing policy. Cameron’s government ignored the risks and continued to slash public spending during a financial crisis. It was Gordon Brown, the former Prime Minister and a genius in financial matters who had brought the country out of that severe recession that overtook the world economies in the very outset of the 21st century. There was still uncertainty in the housing market and the level of economic activity when Cameron took over. It is very strange that while unemployment was still very high and the job vacancies were few, David Cameron started hitting the areas that suffered most in recession. He cut down several welfare benefits. Welfare benefits provide support when the jobs are scarce and household incomes are falling. Thus, Cameron’s spending cuts brought another half to one million people to the dole. That made it a lot more difficult for the unemployed to find jobs. At the same time he was reluctant to tax the better off, a policy that inevitably necessitated more cuts to benefits at the time when the jobless needed them the most.

untitled (9)The Tories have all the while been befooling people by treating debt and deficit as synonymous or analogous. The fact is contrary to that. They say that they have cut the deficit by a third, is nothing but a hoax. They are still borrowing more money, and they have not even halved the rate of borrowing that was going on during the incredible fallout from the biggest financial sector insolvency crisis in human history (2009-10). Despite Cameron’s repeated claims that the national debt is being paid down, and George Osborne’s wildly optimistic 2010 predictions that he was going to have completely eliminated budget deficit by 2014-15, the UK debt is still rising dramatically.

David Cameron’s five years in power has been a period where there have been upheavals in schools, the NHS, and the benefit system. His EU policy didn’t work well because he is trusted neither by the Euro sceptics nor by the Pro-Europeans. Those who want referendum to leave EU do not trust him because he wants different results. The Pro-Europeans don’t trust him because he can’t defend Britain’s interest in the EU.

There have been great challenges for the UK during the last five years, and these include economy, a place in Europe, England’s relations with Scotland and the decline of trust in the institutions.

David Cameron failed miserably to rise and encounter any of these challenges.

By Mohammed Nazir Tabassum

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Bradford MP, David Ward was today joined by Baroness Kath Pinnock to highlight Liberal Democrat achievements in Government in supporting Bradford families with the cost of childcare with the promise of much more if they are part of the next Government.

KathDavid Ward and Baroness Kath Pinnock of Cleckheaton visited the fantastic facilities at the Woodlands Nursery & Pre-School in Apperley Bridge, Bradford, to highlight the policies that the Liberal Democrats in Government have introduced to help Bradford families with the costs of childcare. They were also joined by Cllr Jeanette Sunderland, Bradford’s Lib Dem Group Leader and local Ward Councillor.

Woodlands Nursery was opened in May 2014 following the £350,000 renovation of the former Knoll Nursing home site which became notorious as a magnet for arsonists and thieves. The nursery created 30 new jobs and has capacity for 80 children up to the age of five, as well as a school holiday club for children aged between four and eight.

Whilst in Government the Liberal Democrats have:

•Increased free childcare to 15hours each week for all 3 and 4 year olds (up from 12.5hrs under Labour) and 40% of all 2 year olds. This has benefited 5,200 families in Bradford East and 19,500 families across Bradford.

•Lib Dems have protected the Schools budget meaning that Government funding to nurseries in Bradford has been protected.

Lib-Dem-logo•Introduced the Early Years Pupil Premium which provides £300 for extra early years support to 2,600 children in Bradford. This totals £760,000 each year to help promote the development of some our most disadvantaged children.

•From Autumn 2015 the Government will extend tax breaks on childcare to 20% – that’s a tax break on childcare costs up to £10,000 per year for each child. That’s a saving of up to £2,000 for every child for 3,400 working families in Bradford East & 17,970 working families in Bradford

•In 2013, the Government provided £1,766,000 to create over 900 new nursery places across Bradford. The total cost was £1.9m with the Council making up the difference.

For many parents, childcare had become so expensive that was cheaper for them to give up their job and look after the children instead. That’s why Liberal Democrats have put more money into childcare and early years education than ever before, saving parents thousands of pounds and making it easier for millions of families to get on.

However to ensure that every child in Bradford is given a fair start in life whilst helping hard working parents balance childcare with work and cutting the cost of living, the Liberal Democrats want to go much further. If we are part of the next Government we will:

•Aim to make 20hrs free childcare every week for all 2-4 year olds by 2020

•20hours free childcare for all working parents by 2020. (9months – 2 years)

•Start by giving 15hours free for all 2 year olds by cancelling Tory marriage allowance then priorities 15hrs free for working parents (9months – 2 year olds).

•Raise Early Years Pupil Premium from £300 to £1000.

•Protect Schools Budget in Real Terms

•Protect and if possible increase the Primary & Secondary Pupil Premium in Real Terms and consider the case for extending the Pupil Premium.

Commenting David Ward MP said:

David-Ward MP“Getting a good start in life is so important and that’s why as a Liberal Democrat, I’m very proud of our achievements in Government in providing more free childcare and more help with the costs of childcare than Labour ever did in their 13 years of Government.

“Whilst we have provided extra support to thousands of hard-working families in my constituency and across Bradford, we need to go further.

“That’s why a Government with the Liberal Democrats in it will extend tax breaks in childcare and seek to provide 20 hours free childcare to working parents in Bradford from the end of maternity to starting school. By re-electing me in May, I will help cut living costs by delivering even more childcare support to thousands of parents in Bradford”.

Baroness Kath Pinnock added:

“David and his team in Bradford have done a superb job in helping to deliver more childcare support to thousands of families across Bradford East.

“With facilities like Woodlands Nursery and extra funding from the Government, it’s great to see Liberal Democrat policies really making a difference to families in Bradford. If you re-elect David in May, we can expect even more support with childcare for Bradford’s hard working families.”

 

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NazirBy Mohammad Nazir Tabassum

As time keeps changing, so do the popularity of politicians and political parties. Change is an undeniable fact. That is why it is said that nothing is immutable in this world. Everything is subject to change. The important aspect of it is that one must re-orientate one’s future action plans according to the changed circumstances.

The UK Independence Party (UKIP) that stands for keeping UK away from the European Union, immigration related issues and non-intervention in Syria, gained its first elected MP with Douglas Carswell in the by-election of Clacton on October 9, 2014. The significance of this election is that Mr Carswell was a member of the Conservative Party elected twice to the House of Commons, first in 2005 and then in 2010. He intended to force a referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon that created EU and EC over the need to resolve an oversight of apportionment in the European Parliament by re-ratifying the Treaty. But, disillusioned thoroughly, he defected from the Conservative Party on 28 August 2014. He resigned his seat and stood again in the by-election and returned successfully as the first UKIP MP. Today there are a host of other backbencher Tories who are UKIP sympathisers and are pushing PM David Cameron to accept UKIP’s stances on issues relating to Europe, immigration and non-intervention in Syria.

Nigel Farage, the leader of UKip, commenting on Mr Carswell’s election said: “He had shaken up British politics.”

127256860_Farage_410438bPaul Sykes, a Yorkshire businessman, with a fortune of £650 million, the 26th wealthiest person in Britain, has been handed over the job of overseeing the election campaign of next May. He is also a former Conservative who split up with the party in 1991 following a disagreement over EU membership. He remained an admirer of Baroness Margaret Thatcher calling her “the best socialist I have ever seen.” Anybody can guess his concept of socialism with such a remark about the lady who took away almost everything that the British working class got after years of struggle for the rights.

Mr Sykes contributed more than £1 million to UKIP for campaigns during last spring which helped the party win 12 seats in the European Parliament. One can well imagine these Euro sceptics and their scepticism.

UKIP is causing a political embarrassment, not only to the Conservatives, but to Labour as well. Last week the Daily Telegraph published a 35-page document, leaked to the paper, setting out Labour’s approach to UKIP. This document depicted internal strategy in which party campaigners were urged to combat the electoral threat from UKIP by talking about the pressures immigration placed on services such as health and housing. Ed Miliband, the Labour Leader confirmed he had not seen the document before it was sent to MP’s and claimed he did not know where it had come from.

Contrary to all this, UKIP is facing its own peculiar odds at a time when the 2015 polls are less than five months away. UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage’s personal ratings have crashed to a record low in the first leader poll since UKIP was rocked by a sex scandal and dirty tricks row. Pollsters Ipsos MORI found that the net satisfaction with Farage’s performance as leader has dived 14 points since November to minus 20. It is the first sign that the voters are distancing themselves from the UKIP’s leadership because of the infighting and vicious wars in its top leadership. The public that scored Farage higher than the mainstream parties earlier are currently dissatisfied with him as much as they are with David Cameron, the Prime Minister.

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