There’s been a lot said by both the Leave and Remain camps in the campaign leading up to our historic referendum on the UK’s membership of the EU on June 23rd.
I’ve been asked many times what I believe to be the main problem with our membership of the EU. Is it the discriminatory nature of the EU’s immigration policy (open borders within the EU, discriminating against skilled people who live outside the EU)? Is it the decimation of our fishing industry – after all, the EU have taken all our f-i—-sh? Is it the mountain of regulations which can hinder small businesses in particular, as they do not always have the infrastructure or money to cope with them?
My answer is none of the above. It’s our loss of democracy. All the other things we dislike about the EU are as a result of that. We may not like the policies of whoever the current government is, but at least we can show our displeasure at the ballot box. We can get rid of them. However, whilst we remain members of the EU, we have European Commissioners writing laws behind closed doors. They are unseen, unelected and unaccountable. Indeed, currently more than two thirds of our current laws are made by these unelected bureaucrats. This is wrong on so many levels.
This isn’t a party political issue. It isn’t about whether you vote Labour, Conservative, UKIP, Lib Dem, Green or anything else. It is a fundamental issue about democracy. It’s not about Right and Left. It’s about Right and Wrong.
Democracy is precious, far too precious to lose,
For us, of us, by us is what we need to choose.
Watch out for Brexit Song 2: Coming Soon.
This letter above appeared in the Northern Echo on April 30th, 2016.
Politics can be so dry sometimes, can’t it? Politicians shouting and belittling each other, alienating many people. Yet we have a fundamental issue facing the UK. On June 23rd, we will have a referendum to determine whether we will stay in or leave the EU. I strongly believe that leaving the EU is the best course of action for the UK. I feel that David Cameron having to “renegotiate” the return of powers from Brussels to Westminster is humiliating for this proud, supposedly democratic nation. In the end, he asked for nothing and got less – a failure by anyone’s standards.
The purpose of my video, above, is to capture everyone’s imagination with some of the reasons I believe we should leave the EU – a “musical parody” of a party political broadcast. I’m hoping that what I miss out on vocally I make up for with humour.
I do hope you enjoy it. And remember, the EU has taken all our fish.
PS The blonde in the video is me in a wig, in case you were wondering.
What is the definition of a fascist? A simple enough question, you might think. There are various definitions on the internet, and academics are always arguing about the nuances, but the one I am going to use here is from The Free Dictionary: a fascist is (someone who believes in the) violent suppression of the opposition.
UKIP supporters are frequently described as being “fascist” by the hard left, but have you ever heard of Ukippers behaving in a violent manner towards those who disagree with us? No! Yet here are some examples of the many incidences of the hard left behaving in a “fascist” manner towards UKIP:
- UKIP shops being vandalised, daubed with graffiti and windows smashed, such as that which occurred in the UKIP shops in Chorley, Kidderminster, Herne Bay, Basingstoke and Blyth.
- Vandalism of homes belonging to Ukippers, including hate attacks on the home of Trevor Shonk, a UKIP Kent county councillor who is now the Mayor of Ramsgate. It would appear that the cowardly attack on Trevor’s home was an attempt to intimidate UKIP activists.
- A “demonstration” by the hard left when Nigel Farage was attempting to open a new shop for Jane Collins MEP in Rotherham. Nigel had to abandon his planned public appearance because of protests outside his party’s office. He had been due to cut a ribbon at the office but on police advice he was forced to remain inside for his own safety.
- Nigel Farage was also forced to abandon a press conference at the Canon’s Gait pub on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh when he was visiting Scotland, due to ugly protests from SNP supporters.
- Nigel Farage and his family, including his children, were forced out of a pub at the Queen’s Head in Kent by anti-UKIP demonstrators, who even jumped on the bonnet of his car as he escaped.
- Douglas Carswell, our MP, was jostled and taunted by “anti-austerity” (aka hard left) protesters whilst he was waiting for a bus near the Houses of Parliament. Had the police not been on hand, he could have suffered serious injury or worse from the “lynch mob” he found himself surrounded by. Ironically, as Douglas tried to leave, he was confronted by one of the protesters, who repeatedly told him “don’t come this way, fascist”.
- Most recently, UKIP has been banned from representation at the annual Gay Pride Parade in London. Reading between the lines, it appears that the organisers were originally happy for UKIP LGBT members to attend. However, whilst the organisers maintained that Pride in London aims to be “an inclusive event”, their “paramount concern” was “the position (they) would be putting (their) volunteer stewards in.” In a nutshell, some of the hard left were expected to cause trouble were UKIP supporters allowed to attend and the organisers therefore felt they had no option but to capitulate to the bullies.
So I return once more to my original question, in today’s Britain, who are the fascists? It’s certainly not the UKIP supporters.
Previously, the CBI advocated the UK joining the flawed Exchange Rate Mechanism (ERM). The ERM was a system introduced by the EEC to reduce exchange rate variability and achieve monetary stability in Europe, in preparation for the introduction of the Euro. However, it didn’t work out well for the UK. The UK was forced to exit the programme within two years after the pound came under major pressure from currency speculators.
Norman Tebbit was the first to call the ERM the “Eternal Recession Mechanism”, when the UK fell into recession in 1990. The UK spent over £6 billion trying to keep the currency within the exchange rates demanded by the system, with interest rates hitting 15% before the UK was forced to crash out.
The CBI, unperturbed by its lack of judgement on the ERM, then recommended that the UK join the Euro. I think it’s evident to all what a disaster that would have been for the UK!
And now, we have the president of the CBI, Sir Mike Rake, arbitrarily declaring “Business must be crystal clear that membership is in our national interest.” Forgive me, Sir Mike, if I find you and your organisation unconvincing in your attempts to extol the virtues of the UK being in the EU.
Of course, there are many business leaders who are happy to go on the record saying that they think leaving the EU could be beneficial to British businesses. The boss of JCB says that EU exit could lift the burden of bureaucracy on UK businesses, and of course he is right, especially for smaller businesses which do not have the infrastructure to cope with the endless rules and regulations imposed upon them by EU regulations and directives (over 3600 new rules since 2010). Over 90% of our small businesses do not export to EU markets – yet 100% of them have to comply with all the EU rules.
Marc Bolland, the boss of Marks & Spencer, has said that business should reserve judgement on EU membership depending on what Cameron can renegotiate. However, I agree with Nigel Farage that Cameron will not be able to negotiate anything more than “cosmetic” changes to our EU membership.
The UK is the world’s 5th largest economy by GDP. We can thrive outside the EU, but remaining friends with and trading with the EU. We should retake our empty seat at the World Trade Organisation and negotiate our own free trade deals with countries in the rest of the world, which we cannot currently do as members of the EU bloc. And to the naysayers I would remind them that Switzerland, a country outside of the EU, does 4.5 times as much trade per capita with the EU than we do.
And finally, you can draw your own conclusions from the infographic, above left, showing EU financial contributions to the CBI.
Click the above image to see the full size article that appeared in the Gazette on April 25th. You can also view this article online here.
In this week’s Gazette the present MP for Stockton North, Alex Cunningham, says that I need to be “serious about politics”. He says that he is looking forward to debating the issues with me. However actions speak louder than words.
On 14 November 2014 Mr Cunningham asked on his online profile about UKIP’s policy on privatising the NHS. I answered him and said: “It is actually a Labour peer, Lord Winston, who suggested charging to see your GP and Labour who think that it is a good idea to privatise the NHS via PFIs – Private Finance Initiatives. The clue is in the name. The NHS is now repaying £300 billion over 25 years for a £50 billion loan. Only UKIP says no more PFIs.”
I also pointed out that we would save £2 billion a year by getting rid of health tourism, insisting that all visitors to the UK have NHS approved travel insurance.
If he wants to be serious about politics then maybe Mr Cunningham should not have deleted the answers that I gave to him – which he has. This is not an isolated instance. I also asked many more questions of him. All have been deleted without debate.
Recently he knocked on the door of a local resident, and told them that UKIP would privatise the NHS! Is he serious?
The Unite union said that protestors were concerned about foreign workers being used to undercut the wages of local workers.
Unite supports the Labour party. Ed Miliband has said a clear “no” to a referendum on our membership of the EU.
Unite also supports our membership of the EU. It is hypocritical of them to complain about the effect of foreign workers on wage rates, because nothing can be done about this problem while we remain inside the European Union.
UKIP supports controlled immigration on a points based system such as that used in Australia, not an open door policy which has led to wage deflation for manual workers. If Unite was really concerned about their workers on Teesside, they’d be campaigning for the same policy.
This letter was printed in the Northern Echo on 26th February.