NEWS FROM THE CELTIC LEAGUE
The run up to the Westminster General Election set for Thursday 7th May, 2015 is well underway and as with elsewhere in the other Celtic Nations, campaigning is taking some bizarre twists and turns in Kernow some sadly tainted with outright nastiness.
With ‘localism’ so important, many have been amused to receive leaflets from the Conservative Party assuring that the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate is ‘not a career politician, believe in standing up for their community, campaigning for safer communities, supporting independent shops, fighting for local jobs, improving the lives of people and helping them to do the best for their families’ and then featuring the words ‘For a strong and effective MP who will be accountable to you, vote Name Surname on 7th May’.
A check reveals no candidates for the distant, out of touch and fast crumbling Westminster Parliament bearing the name ‘Name Surname’!
Many find it highly amusing that centrally controlled candidates are all having stock leaflets sent out from the central office professing not to be career politicians when they can’t even check their own leaflets let alone write them!
A far nastier incident occurred at cross party hustings at Cornwall College on the 16th April, 2015 during the ‘West Briton’ sponsored newspaper debate for the Camborne, Redruth and Hayle Constituency in Kernow chaired by very popular local comedian and show business personality Edward Rowe, better known as ‘Kernow King’.
During the debate a question was put relating to taxes and the Labour PPC Michael Foster was speaking about the mansion tax when he asked the audience “does any of you know someone with a million pound house?”
Mebyon Kernow candidate Cllr. Dr. Loveday Jenkin was seen to smile at the audience and point to Mr Foster at which point the audience laughed.
Labour candidate, Mr Foster, whose Port Navas house is said to be worth well in excess of a million pounds, turned to Cllr Jenkin and said “what did you say?” to which she responded, “Nothing, Michael. I only indicated that I knew you had a £1million house.”
“That’s right” he replied “I do have a £1million house” and continued to answer the question.
When he had finished speaking and as he went back to his seat it is alleged that he said to the Mebyon Kernow candidate, “if you pick on me again I WILL destroy you!”
It is then alleged that Mr Foster continued to use foul language although it is uncertain as to whom this was directed.
At the end of the debate Mr Foster approached Cllr Jenkin, waved his finger at her and allegedly said “Don’t you do that to me again”. Her response has been recorded as “All I did was indicate to the audience that you have a £1million house – which is the truth. I am quite happy if you want to fight but at the moment I would rather talk to those young people waiting to speak to me than to spend time talking to you.”
With the newspapers quickly picking up on this matter, Mr Foster has said, “I vehemently refute these horrid and false allegations”. He continued, “I come from the cut and thrust of media and business and I have turned to politics to do public service. If anyone wants a bland politician slavishly towing the Westminster line in Cornwall then that is not me. I make no apology for being passionate about the people of Camborne and Redruth. Loveday, by bringing in the Mail on Sunday and pulling this campaign into the gutter with these false allegations, has done the worst thing of bringing politics into disrepute.”
Cllr Jenkin said, “I have been involved in politics in Cornwall most of my life and have had many debates with people who have vehemently disagreed with my political views. I expect critical comments from opponents and normally I would pass these off as part of the rough and tumble of political debate but I have never felt so nastily threatened by an opponent as I did by Foster that day. In fact I repeated the remarks to several people as I was so astonished and disgusted by them”.
“This man is already known to have anger management issues and his attitude in this instance was arrogant and bullying”, she said, adding, “However, I am made of true Cornish grit and it would take an awful lot more than this incident to scare me off and, as I said to Kernow King, I reckon that if I challenged Foster to a spot of Cornish wrasslin’ I could beat him fair and square!”
The UKIP leader Nigel Farage recently visited the hotly contested constituency and had a well publicised haircut in a local barber shop in Redruth. As he left the town there were vigorous anti-UKIP protests. He went on to a photo shoot in front of St Michael’s Mount which he later posted on the internet asking his followers if they happened to know where he was!
Mr Foster may now have yet realised, but the tired politics and politicians of Westminster have already been brought into disrepute and more and more are turning away from that wearisome place and political parties in favour of a different style of politics.
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(This article prepared for Celtic News by T Harold Graham – Kernow Branch)
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