UKIP leader Nigel Farage delivered a damning verdict on the EU, wind turbines and his political rivals in a passionate public meeting.
Mr Farage spoke to a ‘standing room only’ crowd at Wyberton Sports and Social Club last night as part of his ‘Common Sense Tour’ to time in with the upcoming local elections.
The outspoken party leader also took questions on the night, which followed a tour of Boston earlier in the day.
Predictably Mr Farage gave an impassioned call for Britain to pull out of the European Union, arguing for a return to a free trade agreement without a political union.
He said: “We want an amicable divorce from political union in Europe.”
He turned his attentions to the impact of immigration on this part of Lincolnshire, saying that he feels our young people are being unfairly labelled as ‘lazy and useless’ people who will not do the work taken by migrants.
He argued: “Yes we have got some wrong ‘uns - every country has. What I have seen, time and again, is that young people don’t want to be on benefit or Jobseekers Allowance. They want to get a job and play a part in the economy.
“They are discriminated against by employers who would rather take cheap Eastern European labour and shame on them.”
He described Boston’s fishermen as the ‘sacrificial lambs of the European project from day one’ and said they were a good example of why the country needed to pull out of the EU, with laws impacting on the way they are able to operate.
He feels immigration has changed the ‘social fabric’ of towns like Boston in a way that makes them unrecognisable from the town people knew when grewing up.
He wants to introduce a work permit Australian-style system for immigration and make access to the UK’s benefit system tougher for new arrivals.
He said: “Nobody should be able to claim any form of social benefits until they have been here for at least five years, paid taxes and contributed to society.”
Mr Farage also said his party was against the building of wind turbines, such as those which have been installed at sites across south Lincolnshire such as Bicker.
The passionate performer - who sported an eye catching pair of yellow trousers - said that he is not convinced by the global warming argument, adding: “What I am certain of is that the measures we are taking to tackle a problemn that may or may not exist verge on the lunatic.
“I am talking about the building, on shore and off shore, of ugly, disgusting, expensive, useless, wind turbines.”
He said the nation should not ignore the ‘gift horse’ of shale gas and said the government should start the process of ‘fracking’ to exploit that resource.
During questioning he also said he felt A&E waiting times in Lincolnshire are too long, that the Government should not cut defence spending while maintaining its foreign aid bill and revealed the terms on which he would form a coalition after the next General Election.
Boston resident Rita Sipos also spoke about her frustrations at Boston Borough Council and Mayflower Housing Association at struggling to get the type of social housing she needs.
The 65-year-old is unable to walk far unaided due to health issues and feels upset about the way in which house places are handed out in the borough.
Mr Farage described her story as “one of the most powerful testimonies I have ever heard at a public meeting”, adding: “We need a complete change of the political weather so that local authorities view people like you as a priority.”
He criticised the main three political parties for ‘merging into one democratic muddle’.
He said: “They’re all led by exactly the same people. They all go to the same schools, they all go to the same Oxbridge colleges...they have never had a real job and never done a day’s work in their lives.
“They’re dull, they’re boring, they marry each other’s sisters.
“We are led by a group of people who are career politicians and have never done anything else.”
He said they were running scared of UKIP in the aftermath of the Eastleigh byelection, where his party came second, and are now talking tough on immigration to try to counteract their popularity.
He added: “They are trying to get UKIP off their backs and are pandering to the way 80 per cent of the country now feel.
“Most of us are saying that it is time for a bit of common sense. Enough is enough, stop this open door policy.”
Do you agree with Mr Farage? Can UKIP win Boston’s Lincolnshire County Council seats? Post your thoughts blow and find out who is standing where with our guide.