Friday, 15 March 2013

We've Rumbled You, Amy Rutland!

When Diane James, the UKIP candidate in the Eastleigh by-election, was invited to speak on BBC's Question Time last week, disgruntled Labour activists decided to plant some one in the audience to give her a hard time.
        Question Time audiences are supposed to be drawn from local residents who are representative of the voters and they are supposed to ask a question that each panellist can answer. The programme came from Dover, but the woman planted by Labour was not from Dover. She was in fact Amy Rutland, the South-East policy co-ordinator for the Labour party, and she had no question to ask.
       Instead of posing a question, she addressed herself directly to Diane James and started to scold her in shrill and emotional manner. "You're disgusting," she called out, "You prey on vulnerable people!" Then she added, "Your policies...they're prey on vulnerable people." She went on to accuse Diane of "scaremongering" by claiming that EU migrants in their millions can now claim UK state benefits. Rutland said that the population of Romania was only 7 million (it's 21.5 million), concluding, "I think, I think you're disgusting. You are preying on vulnerable people..."
       Throughout this harangue, David Dimbleby did nothing. He did not even ask Miss Rutland to identify herself, as he is supposed to do, which suggests that he was in on it. Nor did he insist that she ask any coherent question. He just handed her over to Diane James who replied in a calm and dignified way, pointing out that the facts used by UKIP in the campaign were from an official  survey carried out by the Bulgarian and Romanian governments. Melanie Phillips gave Rutland an icy look and said that it was regrettable that rudeness and personal attack had replaced coherent argument in the political sphere.
       Rutland was exposed by her own messages on Twitter, where she boasted to her friends that she was going to appear on Question Time and "rip into that disgusting UKIP woman"... She also boasted that she was spending the afternoon before the show with Stephen Twigg, the Labour MP who appeared on the Question Time panel. So it was a put-up job. Rutland was there just to be abusive. If you watch Twigg on the video, he is very chummy with Diane James, smiling and leaning towards her with fake friendliness.
       Diane was in a strong position as three out of the five panellists had already said they were pro-independence for the UK and against EU policies on complete freedom of movement. One of these was Bob Crow of the transport workers' union, who has always been anti-EU. He pointed out that unlimited immigration lowers wages for the unskilled and is a form of union-breaking.

      On Tuesday 12th March, the BBC One Show at 7pm posed the question of whether new EU migrants can really claim a full range of benefits as soon as they arrive. I was expecting a routine denial but the conclusion was... yes they can. They can claim £26,000 which is more than many people here ever earn, and they can send their children to school here and immediately get NHS treatment, all costing thousands more.
       The total population of the EU is one BILLION people and under the mad regulations issued by Brussels all of them can come to the UK and claim £26,000 p.a.
      So UKIP's facts are confirmed by the BBC.


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