On Thursday 21st of January people in Newington, Ramsgate, will go the polls to choose someone to represent them on Thanet District Council. The election has been caused by the resignation of the UKIP councillor Vince Munday. Newington is a high unemployment, high poverty area. Below a woman, who’s lived in Newington all her life, gives her view about the coming election.
When you say you live on the estate, some people give you a look.
That’s because they think we’re all single mothers on drugs and benefits, hopeless people.
It’s right that it’s a very poor area.
Half the people haven’t got jobs. Lots and lots of people are on the sick. Lots of the don’t go to school and there are gangs who cause trouble.
There’s a lot of brains around here that’s all messed up.
But families around here still stick up for each other, and are kind to each other, I’ll say that for them.
Mostly things are bad because people haven’t got any hope, anything to look forward to.
But it didn’t use to be like that.
When my gran and grandad lived here, back in the ’50s and ’60s there was work.
That’s why they built these council houses, because in those days the country NEEDED working people.
But they took the jobs away, didn’t they?
In the ’80s they just closed everything down.
Mrs Thatcher, she closed the mines, factories. She just wanted the country to live off the banks and the get rich quick city types. Loadsamoney people.
She wasn’t interested in working people or working class jobs, so she got rid of them all.
So people around here they were left like marooned here.
Stuck on an island on Island Thanet.
And so when the Labour Party or UKIP or the Tories or anyone comes around here looking for votes, that’s what I’m going to ask them…
What are you going to do to bring the jobs back?
Don’t talk to me about immigrants, because it wasn’t immigrants who landed us in this mess.
You can blame the immigrants for everything, but it’s not true.
It wasn’t immigrants who took the heart out of this place.
It wasn’t them who took our jobs away, back in the 1980s and 1990s. It wasn’t them who didn’t give a toss about people like us.
It was Mrs Thatcher and her sort who decided you could close the mines down because they didn’t turn a profit.
But then years later, they decided banks had to be kept going no matter how much they they lost
No, they shouldn’t cut our benefits – because that’s just going to make things worse.
But that’s still not the real answer, is it?
We want jobs, that’s the answer.
Jobs that are worth doing and jobs that are worth having.
Not part time, not zero hours.
And that’s what I’m going to say to anyone who comes to my door looking for votes.
Where’s the jobs?