Sunday 26 April 2009

Interview with Ray Finch

Ray Finch is the prospective MEP for the South East euroregion, county council candidate for Bedhampton & Leigh Park in Hampshire and PPC for Eastleigh. He is also the organiser for Hampshire and editor of the UKIP Havant News.

Somehow, he managed to find a spare 10 minutes to answer a few questions for Bloggers4UKIP!
  1. Give us a brief background - who is Ray Finch?
    I am a 45 year old married with an 18 year old son. I am an engineer with a major communications company. Born in Liverpool but left in the '80's during what we call the Great Scouse Diaspora. I have lived in Hampshire for over 25 years.
  2. You seem to be comfortable criticising the party if you disagree with something. Some people (myself included) would say this is a good thing, others would say it is disloyal. What's your view on party loyalty?
    I think it is a great thing. As long as it is internal. External criticism only gives fuel to our enemies. I will fight like anything for principles I believe in but I have no interest in undermining UKIP on personal ego trips. My internal criticism has made me a trifle unpopular with some people but so be it. I am not doing this to make friends. I am doing it because I believe in UKIP. Disloyalty lies not just in public criticism but in not speaking up when you see something is patently wrong.
  3. You say that if you are elected as an MEP you will spend the minimum amount of time in Brussels and Strasbourg. Your opponents will tell voters that there's no point voting for someone who won't be in the EU Parliament to represent them. We in UKIP know that a eurosceptic voice is lost in the EU Parliament but how will you convince voters that your time is better spent in your constituency?
    I will say they are lying. In my opinion MEPs can do absolutely nothing in Brussels as they are merely ciphers employed to offer a veneer of democracy to an anti-democratic regime. There is a place for Nigel to be there to make news by being interviewed using it as a backdrop and when Marta is elected she can cause trouble by getting on the financial committees because she knows where the bodies are buried but ordinary MEPs sitting there pressing voting buttons like so many Pavlov's dogs whilst getting fatter on free lunches is a waste of time, money and talent. I would be a constituency MEP using the position to support our branches and getting publicity for problems caused by the EU. In this way I would help spread the message and educate the people of the south east. That should be our job. Let the people know what is happening to their money and freedoms.

  4. One area of controversy this election campaign is asking people to lend UKIP their vote for the EU elections. Do you think this reinforces UKIP's reputation as a single issue party or do you think enough "borrowed" voters will be convinced to vote UKIP in other elections?
    This is a difficult one. I think, on balance, that it is a good thing as our biggest problem in really breaking through in Westminster is destroying the unthinking tribal loyalties that keep the other 2 parties in control long after they have ceased to truly represent the sectors of the electorate they historically came from. Once working class people identify with the likes of myself rather than the Labour Party of Georgia Gould and Harriet Harman and businessmen identify with Nigel Farage rather than the Conservative Party of David Cameron and George Osborne we will be making the breakthrough. The "Lend us your vote" campaign can help to facilitate that. The voters can get to know and trust us.

  5. UKIPs new billboards feature an image of Winston Churchill. Do you think Churchill would have defected to UKIP if he were still alive today?
    Winston would have come to UKIP, had a fight with Nigel over whether brandy was better than best bitter and defected back. Pre war Winston was best known for putting country before party so he was a UKIP man before his time really.

  6. What place do you think UKIP will achieve in the EU elections? (i.e.. first, second, third, etc.)
    I am expecting it to be close for second place in a three way race between UKIP, Labour and the LibDems. I think we will all be in the mid to high teens in terms of vote percentages. It may depend on how successful our billboard campaign is. The Tories will do more or less as well as last time and the Greens will lose ground. The problem for all of us lies in how well the BNP will do. They will not take significant votes from us but they will decimate Labour. My County Council ward is half retired middle class bungalows and half the most deprived area in the south of England. While knocking on doors I have found ex-Labour voters are turning significantly to the Nazis but few from other parties are doing so. The D'Hondt system used for computing seats make it difficult to actually predict the seat percentage but I do not believe we will get less MEPs than last time and there is a chance of up to 20-25.
Thank you Ray and the very best of luck in June.