Reader letter: Time to ‘beef up’ policies

I see that in the local elections, UKIP won both Wisbech seats and also the Leverington, Chatteris and Waldersey seats.

UKIP have cleverly used concern over mass migration from Eastern Europe as a lightening conductor for grievances about mass unemployment, workfare, low pay, housing, insecure jobs etc. Labour has always struggled in the ‘Tory Shires’. However, the very low votes for Labour in Fenland show that there is little enthusiasm for Ed Miliband’s policy of ‘austerity-lite’.

For every former Labour voter who voted UKIP, there were six former Tory voters. The latter are mainly working-class Tories who bought in to Thatcher’s ideas of buying your own council house etc.

UKIP will split the anti-Labour vote in the same way the SDP split the anti-Tory vote during the 1980s which allowed Mrs Thatcher to win the 1983 and 1987 general elections.

Labour must therefore beef up their policies. Promising to use the £24 billion a year, currently paid to private landlords, to build one million new council houses over four years would be a start.

John Smithee

Member, Unite the Union.