Now here’s a profile with a bit more information. (Thank God, the endless and fruitless scrolling for the last one nearly drove me insane).
Gethin James is Ceredigion’s UKIP candidate for the upcoming election. He has lived in the area his entire life and is a fluent Welsh speaker. He has worked in both transport and the manufacturing of medicine and has been a Ceredigion County Councillor since 2004, serving as an independent for the Aberporth ward.
He has only been a member of UKIP for around a year and when he joined the party it caused quite a rift in the council. Mr James was a member of the council cabinet but was famously sacked by the Plaid Cymru council leader, Ellen ap Gwynn after joining UKIP. This came shortly after the Plaid Cymru conference in which the Plaid leader, Leanne Wood said “a vote for UKIP is a vote against Wales”, describing its politics as having “no place in our country”. Mr James responded at the time by arguing that being anti-Europe did not make him “un-Welsh”.
Mr James spoke to the Daily Post following his nomination as the UKIP candidate for Ceredigion, he told them “I joined UKIP because I truly believe in their message: we have given our sovereignty away to un-elected EU commissioners, and that uncontrolled open border immigration has coincided with soaring youth unemployment and stagnant wages that have not kept pace with the cost of living.”
UKIP in Ceredigion have a difficult history to analyse, much like they do throughout the UK. In the last Westminster election they received just under 1000 votes, or 2.6%. Of course in 2010 UKIP had not yet seen their dramatic rise on a national scale and in last year’s European election they recorded nearly a quarter of the Ceredigion vote, coming a distant second to Plaid Cymru but beating the rest of the competition quite dramatically.
Again, UKIP are not likely to be in contention to win Ceredigion but how they fare will be very interesting. UKIP’s rise in Wales appears to have stalled and perhaps began to reverse but nevertheless they are in a much healthier electoral position now than they were 5 years ago. Even without being able to win the seat, the votes they take from other parties may be the difference between who does win and who doesn’t.
UKIP are a party who get an incredible amount of media coverage, especially since they had no MPs up until last year, therefore I am assuming that most of you will be quite familiar with their core message. If you are not aware of what they stand for, here’s a brief summary.
- Immediately leave the European Union
- Dramatically reduce immigration
- Abolish all climate change initiatives
- Reduce the Welsh budget and allow the Welsh government to make up the difference in increased taxes
- This last one isn’t one of their main objectives but it is more relevant to us here which is why I felt it was worth adding
You can find at the bottom of this article a link to the UKIP policies page in full.
I am quite proud of myself for being able to write an article about UKIP without just calling them homophobic, racist and sexist. Let it be known that I am not fond of UKIP, I know these profiles are meant to be impartial but I do draw the line at a party who’s leader blames immigration for making him late to a meeting. (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-30370570)