An outside broadcast with studio edit from the launch of the English Democrat election campaign in Cambridgeshire. Broadcast at 07:35 on Thursday April 15th 2010 in Paul Stainton’s Breakfast Show on BBC Radio Peterborough.
STAINTON: Yesterday the English Democrats launched their General Election manifesto in Peterborough. The Party made waves in the city last year when two city councillors joined them, after defecting from the Tories. One of those councillors, Stephen Goldspink, is now standing in the North West Cambridgeshire constituency, alongside Rob King, who’s standing in Peterborough. Our political reporter Steve Titman was at the launch event in Peterborough yesterday. (TAPE – OB and studio edit)
GOLDSPINK: (OB) A twenty billion pound bill each year for England’s taxpayers. English MPs can’t vote … (RINGTONE – “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder”) ..Yes. Well that’s a reminder to us all, isn’t it?
TITMAN:(STUDIO) It wasn’t the smoothest of starts to a manifesto launch. But at least we know a bit more about the English Democrat’s Parliamentary Candidate for North West Cambridgeshire Stephen Goldspink. I certainly wouldn’t have that down as his ringtone. Today’s launch wasn’t the biggest, it wasn’t the grandest, but I doubt the Norman Road Community Centre in Eastfield in Peterborough has seen many. The English Democrats themselves are a fairly new party, returning only fifteen thousand votes in 2005, and in effect finishing last. But they’ve quadrupled their number of candidates this year. What do they stand for? Well, English devolution. That means a parliament for England, where only MPs representing English constutuencies can vote on English matters, cutting out the rest, especially the Scottish, seemingly. Here’s Stephen Goldspink.
GOLDSPINK: (OB) Absolutely not anti-Scottish. I just think there has to be fairness across the whole of the United Kingdom. And it can’t be right when the Scottish don’t have to pay tuition fees, and my poor daughters are going to labour under tuition fees, and the Scottish have free prescriptions, and we don’t here, and they have in Wales.
TITMAN: (STUDIO) Another point they were interested in covering was immigration. During their launch they held up the national newspaper headline to make their point. Peterborough was featured in the Daily Mail over the weekend, who dubbed it Migrant City, following a letter from two ward councillors. Well, their candidate for Peterborough, Rob King, and their only other candidate in Cambridgeshire, had this to say.
KING: (OB) Peterborough, for about four or five years now, seems to have been the place for immigrants to come to, with promises of work. And something needs to be done to address this. Even if it’s talking to other EU countries, and saying: “There is no work in Peterborough. Please don’t come to Peterborough.”
TITMAN: Do you think there is no work for migrants in Peterborough then?
KING: They do a fantastic job in agriculture. And it’s been proved to a degree that English people don’t necessarily want those jobs. I don’t think Peterborough, or any other city in the country needs any more hand-wash car washes.
TITMAN: (STUDIO) Stephen Goldspink though, during the launch, had a specific point to make on his party’s views. I asked him about it, and I asked him why he needed to make it. (OB) You mentioned in your introduction earlier that you’re not a racist party. Why did you feel the need to clarify?
GOLDSPINK: Well because people do tend to confuse the English flag with bovver boys, football violence, and most notably the BNP. And we’re certainly not connected in any way. We have the same type of agenda as the Scottish Nationalists. And they’re not considered to be a racist party. They simply stand up for their country. And that’s our agenda.
TITMAN: (STUDIO) So that’s the English Democrats. Their party’s political broadcast will very fittingly be televised on St George’s Day. But I doubt all the flags are out in Peterborough will be in knowing support of the English Democrats themselves.
STAINTON: (MUSIC) Check my ‘phone’s off. Hold on. Yes. My phone is off. The English Democrats launching their campaign yesterday.