MP Candidate Question Time: An interview with Keith Crawford

Exeposé Features online (23 March 2015)

The second panellist to be interviewed by Exeposé’s Hannah Butler, News Editor and Emily Marsay, after Friday nights Debating Society and Politics Society Question Time event was Keith Crawford, UKIP candidate for Exeter.

When asked what he had most passionately disagreed with in the debate, Crawford said: “that I was actually having a go at a young Polish couple with a child, who had jumped the queue with regards to obtaining accommodation.” He stressed: “I was not – I was just blaming the system.”

“For someone who’s in a party that believes in country first, and the inhabitants of the country, I was just making a point,” he continued “but I was told I was really horrible to them. That was not true, and that’s not the message I wanted to portray to the audience.”

Exeposé asked whether students had liked what he had to say at the debate. “No,” he answered. “Students never like what I have to say.”

Admitting: “I went off-track this evening with various answers,” he said: “I can taste a left-wing audience,” adding: “I’ve come across it before. I suspect there may have been two UKIP-ers in the audience.”

Yet Crawford explained that he had been “watching as [students] were clapping,” noting: “Labour got more claps than anybody, but the Conservatives were a very close second, and if you analyse that, and politics in Exeter, that’s how it is.”

Stating that he knew “full well that most would disagree with everything I stand for,” he continued: “but we fight on.”

Crawford claimed that while in northern parts of the UK “there will be a lot of people switching to UKIP, which they’re already doing,” in the south it is “more difficult, [as] people are more liberal in their outlooks, and they love spending other people’s money.”

Exeposé asked which policies showed students had not been forgotten by UKIP. “None, really,” he replied. “We encourage everybody to vote.”

“Bad education is one of the answers to why people are uninterested in politics,” he claimed, adding that others “perceive that politicians are all alike, and do not really represent the people.”

Arguing that politicians will only represent the people when they “start putting country first,” he continued: “one of the candidates tonight actually said you need to talk to Isis, and have a dialogue.”

“It’s rubbish,” he argued. “It’s their way or the highway. It’s their way, or they’ll cut your throat, cut your head off, or burn you in a cage. There’s no debate with them. You either let them take over, or you defeat them in situ.”

Asked about growing student numbers, Crawford claimed there were already “too many” at Exeter. He explained UKIP’s pledge to abandon targets of having 50 per cent of school leavers enter into higher education, saying: “we’re going to do away with that 50 per cent.”

“There is a controversy in Exeter with regard to accommodation,” he continued. “At the top of Sidwell Street there’s now student accommodation. It didn’t go down very well, but the Labour authorities in Exeter squashed all the criticism, went ahead and gave it over […] and yet there’s a huge waiting list, and people are crying out for houses.”

“You can only cater for so many [students],” he added, “no matter what the economics of it are, and once again I go back to looking after your own, i.e., the people of Exeter and their accommodation.”

Crawford suggested fewer students should go into higher education, noting: “we believe in students actually having a different sort of an education,” working “not only with their brain but working with their hands as well, on trades.”

>>View original Exeposé Features interview>> 

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