Originally posted on thanetwatch:


Laura Sandys, Conservative MP for South Thanet, has taken the extraordinary step of attacking UKIP via the left wing Hope Not Hate organisation.

In a letter sent to residents on the Hope Not Hate letterhead, Sandys says: “Unfortunately we have UKIP’s Nigel Farage here who plays on divisions rather builds communities… I would implore you to reject UKIP’s politics of fears and instead choose hope….”

Sandys is standing down as MP after this election. The Tory who is running for the seat is Craig Mackinlay, who was actually one of the founders of UKIP.

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Are Migrants Under Cutting Our Price and Driving wages down in Construction?

For small businesses doing repairs and renovations, installing new kitchens and bathrooms, building extensions there are many problems that make working life difficult BUT migrants are not one of them.

I can confidently tell you that in Thanet and across Kent we are not losing work because immigrant  plumbers are undercutting us. It is easy to make an Al Murray type joke about Polish plumbers but I network with plumbers across the UK and consistently the many problems we face are the same and immigrants rarely figure in the conversation. We lose work because of many reasons but when it come to money here are possibly the top two reasons

1. OTHER BRITISH workers often offer a cheaper quote

2. The customer can’t afford us.

Both of these factors are really important when you think about voting in the national election.

1. Other British workers can undercut us because of a number of reasons both legal and not legal. We believe a substantial amount of work (for private householders) is done by people who are often not insured, not qualified, and may not be declaring tax.

The VAT system is unfair. It is far better for the customer if the plumber or other worker supplies all of the goods (it gives the customer better protection under the law) BUT many of our competitors do not do this to avoid being VAT registered. Ultimately on average a customer would have to pay a VAT registered company 10% more to do the same job charges at exactly the same rate of profit.

The lack of a level playing field is a big complaint among our peers. Knowledgeable & qualified tradesmen generally work to the highest standards, comply with British Standards and Building Regulations. Then the unqualified don’t bother, if fact, they don’t even know the rules, such as the Water Regulations. And I could go on about red tape and paperwork…

2. Customers can’t afford us. It is not that a new bathroom is too expensive, we’re not making a bank-robbery load of money on it. It is not that heating engineers charge too much to install a new boiler. It is the fact that many many people are struggling with the basic cost of living, even if they are a household with two incomes on a good wage.

For customers to have spare cash to pay construction workers to do essential repairs or luxurious improvements we need a boost to the economy, better job security, prospects, wages… etc.

I think the Tory politics of Austerity has exacerbated our problems over the past five years.  They have a terrible economic track record. I’m not sure labour will do much better but I don’t think they will do worse.

I really wanted to point out that UKIP are not the solution because they have not identified the problem. They blame everything on foreigners. In our area of work here in Kent this is not true. I also talk to plumbers all over the country and they say the same thing in online forums and groups.

Would It Help if there were less Migrants Here?

I read something interesting at the weekend. Remember our small businesses do well whe the economy is doing well and people have money in their pocket to spend.

Migrants add to Britain more than they take.

By how much?


Twenty five billion pounds.

That’s how much we’d be worse off if they hadn’t been coming.

Finally, I must just add a comment about how it is said that migrants come here and drive down the wages. Firstly, labour introduced the Minimum wage, employers are breaking the law if they pay less. Labour propose to increase the minimum wage considerably…

What would UKIP do? They want to abolish the minimum wage and reduce employees employment rights. Great for unscrupulous employers, really bad for most of us.

tactical voting in South Thanet to Stop Farage and UKIP

Labour could win & Farage could come 3rd in Thanet South. A Green supporter told me she was considering tactical voting in South Thanet because stopping Farage was more important than voting for her preferred party. The problem is WHO do you vote for Labour or Conservative in South Thanet, a 3-way marginal?

How Accurate are any of the Opinion Polls in South Thanet?

Based on samples of 1000 there is a 95% chance they are accurate to within plus or minus 3% if EVERYONE answers the questions & weighting assumptions are correctly applied so that the sample matches the general population (ie the Thanet electorate). HERE is an explanation.

There have been 8 polls in S Thanet since Nov 2013, in which 10-24% of people have refused to answer the key question – WHO are you most likely to vote for? – This is a big enough part of the samples to really effect the accuracy of the predictions as these people DO intend to vote. The data sheets are available online for anyone to see but it is not possible to rework them in a meaningful way.

ComRes – March 2015 – poll for South Thanet

Reported Tories are at 31, UKIP at 30 and Labour 29% this was shorthand for saying (with 3% error margin) the parties will probably get a local vote that is somewhere between:

  • Conservative 28 to 34%
  • UKIP 27 to 33%
  • Labour 26 to 32%

Clearly the parties are level and the final result could result in anyone of them as a winner. With 1% point between each, this could translate to about 500 votes between first and second place. About 10% of those who intend to vote did not specify who for. You could say the 10% of guarded and don’t knows will decide the MP for South Thanet. The poll also put those unlikely to vote at about 13%. Last time 34% didn’t vote in South Thanet.

Craig Mackinley’s Conservative party leaflets based on this poll claim it is a 2 horse race (see photo) Tories lead at 31%, UKIP are second at 30% and Labour are 3rd and can’t win. Thousands of misleading leaflets have been distributed across Thanet that did not state the true figures, which are that all parties are neck and neck according to this poll with less than 1,500 votes to fight over and it would be impossible to say with real confidence which party was really going to be third from this survey.

The Survation Poll 23 March 2015 Farage a leads at 39%, Tories 30%, 26% Labour

Unique in the polls Survation have produced this and a poll in February that put UKIP in a clear lead.  You have to question how they can come to such figures, out of line with national average and all the other polls that put the three parties within a few percent of each other (with no clear victory, remember 3% margin of error that grows bigger due to many respondents refusing to answer). This poll had almost a quarter not responding to the question – who will you vote for.

1. All of the polls that I have looked at show Ukip draw a significant proportion of their support from older people, from men, and from people who did not vote at the previous general election. The weighting used in the Survation Poll may favour these groups in comparison to the 2 other polls.

2. Cuts out about 24% of respondents (more than double that of ComRes), all of those who say they are undecided or refuse to answer. This dramatically boosts the differences between the three parties. This part of the methodology makes the Survation results weak to meaningless.  It is interesting that they find a high number of people support UKIP, it could be 25% or 30% of the electorate one really can’t deduce much more than that from this poll.

Survation have 11% unlikely to vote in the next election.

Lord Ashcroft’s South Thanet Poll based on field work 22-28 April 2015

Produced the only poll to give the Conservatives a clear lead over Labour (1 out of 8). With 6% refusing to answer, 7% don’t know who they will vote for and 6-9% will not vote. It is correct to take the “Won’t Vote” people out of the picture but again 13% of voters are deducted from the equation, which may falsely exaggerate the difference between the parties.

Ashcroft makes a small adjustment to reallocate some don’t knows, this boosts the Tory % and leaves the Labour % unchanged (table 4). Ashcroft weights on the basis of past voting at the previous election when there was a massive swing nationwide and in Thanet towards the Conservatives. At the 2010 election 48% voted Tory & 31% voted Labour, 5% UKIP, in South Thanet with a 66% turnout. The 2005 election in South Thanet was extremely close with a labour victory (matching the result across the country. Using these election results unreasonable skews the results towards the Conservatives.

In fact, South Thanet has matched the country in previous elections so there is every reason to believe it will be close this time too and we will probably come down to a very close result between the two main parties.

So who do you vote for to defeat UKIP in South Thanet & stop Farage becoming our MP?

I’m not advocating tactical voting. I will be voting Labour because our local candidate is by far the best and I would never consider voting for the current Tory candidate, not even to stop Farage. There are a huge number of people who want to stop Farage above all. My advice is vote for either Conservative or Labour in South Thanet, which ever you think is best.

It is impossible to say which party will get the most votes  but it is highly probably that both Labour and Conservatives could gain more votes than Farage.

Farage could come third.

It seems the MP for South Thanet may be decided by those who really prefer some of the smaller parties but lend their vote to either the ex-UKIP Tory candidate or the excellent Labour candidate.

Many Greens that I have spoken too are going to vote Green. One person told me she is considering Tory, a fair few are going to vote labour. This is my anecdotal and unscientific experience but it is supported by the in depth questions in the polls. Previous Liberal voters are following a similar pattern. Why are they preferring the labour candidate? It is not just about how Labour & Conservatives are doing nationally but also because our Labour candidate, Will Scobie, is an impressive experienced knowledgeable politician whereas the Conservative man is totally different.

The Tory campaign has been that they are the only party that can stop Farage so a vote for Labour divides the anti-UKIP vote. This is incredible when the Tory candidate was a founding member and leader of UKIP for many years. And I have already shown how they misrepresented polls.

Many people who will vote labour would not consider voting for our local Tory candidate.

You can meet Will Scobie any day this week – Today he is in Sandwich.

A method for Greens and Labour supporters to work together vote effectively is here:

PHOTO HERE SHOWS local Tory Misleading Leaflet…..

two horse race

Do UKIP support LGBT equality?

The other parties are keen to demonstrate their commitment to and support for equality for our diverse community, Stonewall present the party commitments here, nothing from UKIP!

There is one party of the main seven, that stands alone in glorious isolation wanting to take us back in time.

Let’s judge UKIP by their actions:

Thanks to Thanet Stand-up to UKIP for this information, items in bold italics are directly copied from their website:

In May 2014, 21 of the UK’s 73 newly elected MEPs signed a commitment to advance LGBT rights over the next five years that was presented by LGBT Campaign group ILGA-Europe. The pledge attracted support from over 185 MEPs but none were from UKIP.

Their voting record in the European Parliament in general is shocking. They were elected as MEPs to represent the interests of British  citizens but fail to do this job. And they have failed to support legislation to protect the equal rights of LGBT citizens.

• Proposal for equal property rights for all dual nationality couples, regardless of sexuality: Ukip voted against

• New EU-Russia Agreement including promotion of LGBT rights: Ukip voted against

• Report on Human rights including sexual orientation and gender identity: Ukip voted against

• Resolution calling for protection LGBT rights in Lithuania and Russia: Ukip abstained

• New asylum rules including gender identity as a ground for persecution: Ukip abstained

Have UKIP MEPs done anything positive and constructive for British citizens since they were elected?

You can find more disturbing things about UKIP including what its leading party members say via the Stand up to UKIP website, &  facebook.

Do Not Believe What Nigel Farage Tells You About ‘Health Tourists’ And HIV Services In The UK. #UKIP


health tourism and HIV myth lies by ukip

Originally posted on Exposing UKIP:


Farage was on TV again last night quoting from a letter he claims to have in his possession from a 30 year old HIV patient who who states NHS treatment is slipping because of ‘health tourism’.

So, a friend of ours wrote to a local HIV/AIDS charity and asked for some information. (Their funding was cut to zero a year or two back. )

This was his reply.

“Here is a link to the info from BHIVA (copy attached) about the changes to
public health commissioning and the requirement for LA’s to retender
services such as sexual health and HIV care. These changes have resulted in
much confusion and consequently disruption to service delivery as new
providers take over contracts for services. Some tendering situations have
resulted in real problems with HIV care being left behind as providers
cherry pick the services they wish to take on or commissioners…

View original 318 more words

What do the Opinion polls in South Thanet Really mean? Tory v Labour

At the bottom a table with figures for opinion polls conducted in the South Thanet constituency.

The Conservatives have been trying to capture the anti-Farage vote from those who may have voted Green, Liberal or labour by misrepresenting the results of the polls. There are 7 polls shown below and an 8th was published yesterday.

If you look at the reports produced by the polling organisations instead of the headlines generated by politicians the polsters say they are highly confident that these polls represent the views of the S Thanet electorate to within a 3% margin. There is always a small chance the polls are completely wrong.

This means any party could get the given percentage of votes plus or minus 3%. So it is not accurate to say that Tories are in the lead over labour in S Thanet, there is no poll in this table that gives the Tories a clear lead. This table shows the Tories and Labour to be neck and neck with a result that could go either way.

The Craig Mackinley (Tory candidate and ex-UKIP member) campaign seems heavily reliant on trying to win anti-Farage support by misrepresenting the polls.

The Nov 2013 report suggested that when Farage loses support those voters are more likely to vote labour so the best strategy for the Tory campaign here is not to undermine the Farage support but to try to win voters from those who might vote for any other party. Meanwhile that same research told UKIP that Labour are the biggest threat here.

So, if either of them are to get in, Tories & UKIP have a united vested interest in trying to undermine support for Labour’s Will Scobie.

There are a couple of polls that give Farage a massive 9% or 10% lead, so of course those repulsed by the thought of him as our MP might consider voting for whoever can beat him. And the truth in the polls is that either Tories or Labour could beat him, Farage could come third.

BTW, there are certain methodological reasons to discredit the massive lead presented in these polls, that were funded by UKIP.

Then there is the most recent poll, not in the table blow. It is the only poll to give the Tories a clear lead over labour in South Thanet. The commentary suggests exactly what I fear, The Tory campaign is working and people who want to vote Labour think they need to vote Tory to keep Farage out. Oh what a terrible path…

Conservative 34%, Labour 26%, Liberal Democrat 3%, UKIP 32%, Green 4%. This is result based on weighted base of 665 people (Table 7 or the report).

My own conclusion. I don’t want Farage as an MP. Labour won 2 out of the last 3 general elections in this area. Over the past 5 years demographic change has bought many labour voters into the area (we call them DFLs, I’m one of them). I would rather have a labour MP than an ex-UKIP tory MP.

And finally the labour candidate is excellent.

25 years old & has been actively involved in local politics since his teenage years. Been a Thanet District Councillor and Kent County Councillor and Mayor of Margate. Varied jobs including as an assistant at the European Parliament. A degree & Masters degree from a world class university.

We couldn’t ask for an MP with a better background to represent Thanet.

MY conclusion – tactical voting against FARAGE

If you want to stop Farage you have to beat him at the real poll on 7th May, a vote for one of the minor parties will be wasted in this case. People should vote for the best Man for the job, who they really think is best between Craig and Will because there is a real possibility any of them could win but also a strong possibility that UKIP will come third.

(By the way, my own education, a BSc & MA in studying and conducting this kind of research),_2010%E2%80%9315#South_Thanet

Polling organisation/client Sample size Con Lab UKIP LD Others Lead
April 2015 Survation/Alan Bown [14] 1,000 30% 26% 39% 2% 2% 9% over Con
13-18 March 2015 ComRes/Chartwell Political 1,003 31% 29% 30% 5% 5% 1% over UKIP
18–20 Feb 2015 Survation/Alan Bown [15] 1,011 27% 28% 38% 2% 5% 10% over Lab
23–24 Nov 2014 Ashcroft 1,003 33% 27% 32% 4% 4% 1% over UKIP
11–16 July 2014 Ashcroft 1,000 29% 29% 33% 4% 5% 4% over Con & Lab
21–27 April 2014 Ashcroft 1,000 32% 31% 27% 7% 3% 1% over Lab
22–24 Nov 2013 Survation 515 28% 35% 30% 5% 2% 5% over UKIP
6 May 2010 General Election Results 45,933 48.0% 31.4% 5.5% 15.1% 16.6% over Lab

Should Thanet District Council buy Manston Airport with a Compulsory Purchase Order

OMG! I can’t believe what I read. Farage confirms that if UKip ran the council they would risk everything, risk bankruptcy at any cost to the local people who rely on vital services and to the cost of Council Tax payers.

He say the UKIP councillors will go for a CPO to buy the airport from the current owner and run it!

For the past 15 years Manston Airport has made staggering losses year after year when in the private sector so why would we want our council to buy it and run it? That sound madness to me.

Thanet Council have been asked to consider CPO if all the costs were guaranteed to be covered by a private buyer for the airport, so that Manston Airport continues to be privately owned. But so far no private company has actually come up with the cash, a promise to pay is not the same as proving you definitely have the money.

“UKIP believes that the future of the airport should be in the hands of the local people, and the local council. It is a critical part of our local and national infrastructure, and we’re going to give it the chance, and the respect, it deserves.”

Is Farage saying TDC should run the airport?
Read more:

What the other candidates say is also in the article and my last blog carried all the facts you need to know about Manston Airport.

I would urge everyone NOT to vote for a local authority candidate who supports a CPO of Manston Airport without a checked and verified private sector buyer in place before hand. 

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