UKIP candidate, John Bickley has launched his campaign for the Wythenshawe and Sale East by-election calling for the UK to pull out of the European Union, the return of grammar schools, the scrapping of the bedroom tax and a clampdown on immigration.
Mr Bickley said he wants to see Britain once more becoming a “great manufacturing and trading nation” by quitting the EU and wants a points based immigration policy.
And the former St Paul’s High School, who lived in Melling Road before moving out of the town to make his fortune as an entrepeneur, said he also wants to give youngsters a better start in life by bringing back grammar schools.
He told the Reporter: “When I lived in Wythenshawe everyone expected to get a job and it wasn’t expected that you wouldn’t be working. There was no such thing as knife crime and drugs.
“The other thing I remember was the grammar school. Poundwick Grammar School was right in the middle of the council estate. I didn’t make it there because I didn’t pass my 11 plus, but there were thousands of kids who would be able to go to that school over the years, which was one of the best in the North West, and they would have gone on to get great jobs.I think it’s a crying shame that was pulled by Labour. That was a exit route for a lot of people who had a aspiration to do better in life.
“UKIP certainly wants to get rid of the Bedroom Tax. I’ve picked up from Wythenshawe residents that it’s making them very anxious, but we also don’t think its fair the way social housing has been allocated. We think people born locally should be given priority. Labour opened the floodgates to immigration – not the fault of the immigrants, some of them were desperate for work – we gave them an opportunity to come here when our own people were still out of work.
“Our first priority has got to be to our own citizens. My mum and dad always said to me charity begins at home. Australia has a points based system and if you can bring something of value into the country come in. We are not against immigrants, we are against unfettered immigration.”
Mr Bickley believes the route to prosperity in Britain means pulling out of the European Union which he believes is preventing British companies from competing effectively.
“We have got to turn the UK back into a manufacturing and trading nation and we can’t do that unless parliament regains total sovereignty over making decisions about how this country is run,” he said.
“Politician don’t really want to tell people that parliament doesn’t run the country any more it is run by Brussells. Rules and regulations make it very difficult for British companies to compete. It’s tough enough to compete in the world without putting these barriers in the way.”
His family first lived in Dunkery Road and went to St Peter’s Primary. They then moved to Melling Road opposite St Paul’s Secondary School where Mr Bickley was educated.
His father was a staunch Labour man and trade unionist. His mother was a devout Catholic who had plans for him to become a priest.
He left school at 16 with few qualifications and got a job at Ciba Geigy on Roundthorn Industrial Estate as a trainee lab technician where worked for five years before moving on to EMI.
He got married and moved to Cheshire and then moved to London for 10 year years where he worked for Paramount Pictures. He came back to the North West in 1992 to work for a games company. Since 2001 has been involved in technical start up companies and for the last 10 years has been working with Manchester University,