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The price of the ba??ot box in the South Shields By-election.

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Offline the leveller

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He who spends wins, the price of the ba??ot box in the South Shields By-election.

Sat, 27/07/2013 - 06:00


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By Chris Thornton-The financial figures have just been published on how much each candidate spent fighting their election campaign in the South Shields By-election on 2nd May 2013.

Like most things in this world money talks and politics are no different. It seems that the party who throws the most money around will end up buying the seat. Labour who spent the most where victorious as this table will show.

 



The seat became vacant when David Miliband decided he had earned enough money from the NE and resigned, leaving what has often been described as Labour?s safest seat.

Labour decided that a high profile name was not needed and chose Mrs Emma Lewell-Buck as their candidate. Recently I wrote an article stating that if Labour had chosen a sausage roll it would have still been elected.

That was surprisingly backed up by the Shields Gazette AKA (Labour Gazette) when summing up how much each candidate had spent.

It stated that ?Her campaign cost a whopping ?81,688. That?s an awful lot of money. Can it be justified? And was it really necessary?

South Shields is one of Labour?s safest seats. With the greatest respect to Mrs Lewell-Buck any candidate wearing a red rose could have won?.

What, the Labour Gazette daring to criticise its paymaster?

The Gazette receives around ?120k in Labour council advertising at the expense of local taxpayers in return for promoting their party on a daily basis.

Maybe she should change her name to Emma Mega-Bucks, but then again it is not her money. Legalisation requires candidates to make their expenses available for public scrutiny and also reveal where this money comes from.

Labour revealed this money came from the Labour Party Nationally, Labour NE, Unite and Unison Unions.
 This brings me to another issue.

An anxious resident on my ward came to me for advice recently. They informed me they had worked for the council for 25 years but were being forced to apply for their own jobs.

This person had gone to their Union for help for the first time in 25 years, only to be told there was nothing the Union could do. I explained to the resident that it is a Labour Council which dictated to by the very Union that they have been paying their subs to for the past 25 years.

I then signed them up for a Postal Vote and advised them to switch to Solidarity, a non political union. The sad fact is that many people pay for their Union subs and believe that these subs are spent on legal cost fighting for workers rights.

How many actually know that their subs are used to buy Labour seats whether they are a Labour supporter or not.
 The 2nd biggest spender was UKIP throwing nearly ?50,000 at a by-election that was already won with Labour?s block postal vote.

The Labour Gazette where happy to promote their campaign knowing this would push them into 2nd and damage Conservative morale.

It worked; Karen Allen looked a dejected figure at the end of the count. UKIP threw money around the town as if it had gone out of fashion and bought each vote for a staggering ?7.97.

The biggest loser of the night was definitely the Liberal Democrat?s. Poor old Hugh Annand looked close to tears after receiving only 352 votes costing almost ?18 each.

He paid the price for his party manifesto, written with the understanding that they would never get into power. Finding themselves in the coalition and turning their backs on everything they said they would do which will result in many more Hugh Annand?s. (Taxi for Lib Dems.)

Where does The British National Party stand?

Well Lady Dorothy Brooke and her dedicated team of volunteer activists fought a very frugal and sensibly campaign. We did not have paid staff or claim for fuel etc so our votes only cost 56p each which was the best value of all nine candidates.

We knew we could not win the seat as South Shields is almost a one party borough.

They have worked on the block postal vote on every ward for the past 10 years. Despite Cllr leader Mr Iain Malcolm caught in 2003 with his hands in the ballot box (Google MR MONKEY), the postal votes still go to his offices.

They remain there for the best part of a week before the count and the same council still supply the postal vote envelopes. You may make your own assumptions but our local branch have been campaigning in the name of fair play and democracy for these votes to go to a neutral venue.

The Labour Gazette constantly promoted the Labour party whilst printing a hate campaign personally at Lady Dorothy and our party.
 With all these issues considered I believe we did very well.

On behalf of the North East I would like to thank the brave Lady Dorothy and all those that gave up their time to help out in this campaign.

You should all be congratulated as it was still very important to stand a candidate to show our supporters and enemies alike that we are still here despite everything that they throw at us.


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