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UKIP unveils Matthew Brown as parliamentary candidate for S W Wilts

(October 29, 2014)

VISION For Warminster doesn't contest parliamentary elections  but we do try to take note of what the party politicians are doing from our vantagepoint on the Elysian parish pump.

With the 2015 election speeding towards us the political parties are gearing up for  the contest to win the S W Wiltshire constituency.

Last time out, and the first time the new SWW constituency was contested, Conservative Andrew Murrison romped home taking more than 50 per cent of the votes.

This time things may not be so easy as the fast rising UKIP is expected to prove more of a challenge and will likely eat into some of that vote.

On Monday evening UKIP members (often referred to a kippers) unveiled their new candidate in Warminster's assembly hall. He is 50-year-old businessman Matthew Brown, who lives in north Dorset. 

Steve Dancey attended the meeting out of curiosity.

He said: "I've heard Nigel Farage talk about half-colonels living on the edge of Salisbury Plain being their stereotypical supporter.

"There was indeed at least one member of this species in the audience but most of the folk were what many would call working class people worried about one thing - uncontrolled immigration.

"The fact that working class people's prospects have been badly damaged by waves of immigration depressing wage rates and upping housing costs is one of the key parts of UKIP's message.

"It can be put across in way that many would consider racist but Mr Brown delivered his message with blunt finesse but without any racist overtones - although I felt that some in the audience would have preferred something a little more red in tooth and claw!

"Having delivered a short speech coherently and without any lapses the candidate was there to answer questions.

"Many of these were on migration and its associated concerns. Again Mr Brown showed a certain amount of polish in his responses which were nuanced and interesting.

"I seldom go to a meeting without asking a question so, anxious to move the debate on, I asked about the BBC licence fee and was pleased to hear that he thought it could no longer be justified in its current form.

"One thing he said which stayed with me after the meeting was how sad it was that so many people entering parliament have been career politicians and have never done real jobs. This isn't true of kippers of course as they are such a new party.

"However Mr Brown won't be able to use this line of attack on Dr Murrison as he was previously employed in the services as a military doctor.

"Judging my his performance in Warminster this week I would say that UKIP have selected a convincing and credible candidate who will be able to improve significantly on the 5.5 per cent share achieved by UKIP in 2010.

"Whether or not it will be enough of an advance to unseat Dr M is unlikely, but we live in interesting times.

"Conservatives have been trying to scare the electorate with the quip 'vote Nigel, wake up with Ed' but that won't wash in this part of the world as Labour never wins here.

"Even in the 1945 Labour landslide election when the Labour Party had  avery popular local candidate (George Ward) they still lost out by 900 votes in the old Westbury constituency."

We'll be sneaking into Labour, Lib-Dem and green Party meetings if and when they present their candidates in town.

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