An open letter to Al Murray
I like a laugh considerably more than the next man, but there are times when even I get po-faced and snotty. I watched your party political broadcast and fell off my bar-stool chortling but… for a moment, stop sounding off to your adoring public and think about what the man behind the pint puller really wants to achieve.
I know your antecedents are titled and that you went to a posh school, but its hard to tell where your political leanings actually are.
If you are blue to the core and want to ensure a right of centre victory in Thanet South then your candidacy makes sense. There will be a few of my fellow constituents stupid enough to believe that the pub landlord is for real and his policies serious… this is an area of very high unemployment and significant immigration… there are one or two massive old hotels filled with ex-asylum seekers and eastern European migrants. Racism is real and walking the streets of Cliftonville and Margate.
One of the big new employers, Planet Earth, employs temporary migrant workers for eight weeks at a time because it is cheaper than giving real jobs to settled locals old or new… so we have a high turnover of temporary residents.
When the ‘kiss-m-quick’ culture of this famed seaside resort dwindled away all the small B&Bs and guesthouses started to become temporary accommodation for DSS clients. Tory London boroughs sent their unwanted claimants to Margate. They also sent many of their ‘place of safety’ children to local children’s homes as it was cheaper than keeping them in London. Probably as a consequence of the latter policy rumour has it that Thanet has a high concentration of convicted paedophiles, and doubtless unknown ones too.
High unemployment, high immigration, high crime rate, huge numbers of ‘voids’… is it any wonder UKIP decided this was where to helicopter in their beer drinking, grinning ex-city trader boss as a candidate?
Thanet has also been one of those places that vote with the trends. The number of tory and labour councillors is close to even with a handful of liberals, independents and greens recently joined by UKIP’ers too.
I have no doubt that you will attract votes from the ignorant who believe you are as prejudiced as them, as well as from people who enjoy the joke and think all politics is buffoonery. What you will not do is split the UKIP vote.
The Greens have a weak candidate so even those to the left and who care about the planet will not know who to vote for and may well throw their vote away in your direction.
So Al, what do you want to achieve… you already get sell-out performances so I doubt you are self-publicising although this is what the Daily Mirror and others thinks.
I doubt that you believe that you will get elected.
So why are you standing?
As far as I can see the most likely thing you will do is split that left vote and reduce the likelihood of a labour victory and increase the chance of the Tory candidate or UKIP win.
With the polls so close nationwide it looks as if no party will have an overall majority. If UKIP have a significant number of seats they may well keep the Tories in power so the richest 1% can go on getting richer and the poorest 40% will continue to get poorer… with the added disaster of a referendum on withdrawing from the UK from the EEC. The Pub Landlord would be delighted, but will you? Even if ‘common sense’ doesn’t lead Al to withdraw, surely the Pub Landlord will want out when he realises that this far southeast he is in danger of getting a French accent!