Putting the fun into campaigning – my speech to the UKIP North East Brexit Rally, held in Middlesbrough on Saturday 21st May, 2016.
This letter above appeared in the Northern Echo on April 30th, 2016.
On Saturday 2nd April I was invited into the Radio Stitch studios to have a chat with the lovely Dan Walton. I was happy to give my opinions on everything from the up coming EU referendum and what I think of Messrs Cameron and Corbyn, to my taste in music and handbags.
You can catch the interview here (divided into 3 parts):
I today attended a debate at Egglescliffe School on our membership of the EU. Chaired by the head of the sixth form, Mr Dave Gratton, I spoke for 10 minutes on why we should leave the EU. Drew Durning, a Lib Dem supporting the Remain campaign, was my opposite number.
I very much enjoyed the debate and was impressed by the questions that we were asked after our talks. I also took the opportunity to leave some “EU Myths Exposed” booklets, written by North East MEP Jonathan Arnott, for the students to read.
If any other schools in the area would like me to attend to put the case for why we should vote Leave on Jume 23rd, just give me a ring or drop me an email.
My anthem for the Brexit Campaign, “Britain’s Coming Home” has now had more than half a million hits, even though I uploaded it less than a week ago. It has also been featured on three TV shows – Daily Politics, The Last Leg and Channel 5’s The Saturday Show.
Daily Politics 24th Feb, 2016
The Last Leg 26th Feb, 2016
It’s been another amazing day for “Britain’s Coming Home”. With over 300,000 views on Youtube alone (many sites host their own copy of the video) it seems that the general view is that it’s so bad – it’s good!
The day included a live interview for me on LBC Radio which you can listen to here; but the highlight for me was this wonderful article written by David Baddiel, where he says that the video made him and Frank Skinner “laugh like drains”. Praise indeed.
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.
The first past the post electoral system has been clearly shown to not be fit for its purpose since the results from the 2015 General Election were announced. The travesty that is our electoral system, which allows the SNP to get 56 MPs for 1.5 million votes, yet gives UKIP just one MP for 4 million votes, must be revised and anyone, from any party which believes in democracy, should agree with that. The infographic from 38 Degrees, on the left, clearly illustrates what has happened.
However, this isn’t where the disparity ends. Had UKIP got 2 MPs elected, it would have received a share of the public funding allocated to parties by the Electoral Commission to help develop policies. However, because it only got one MP, it is not entitled to this.
UKIP was entitled to what is known as the “short money” for getting one MP, Douglas Carswell, elected to parliament. However, the strict use of this money is not to help fund the party, but to provide assistance to the elected MPs. This money would have been £650,000 a year, but the party decided that, as Mr Carswell does not need a staff of 15 in order to function as an MP, and because UKIP is different to the other money grabbing parties, it would turn this money down.
However, the reality of this situation means that UKIP has not received the funding, that by anybody’s standards, it should have received.
The cold hard facts of running a party and campaigning are that you need money to do this. That is just a fact of life. And we currently have a system that funds the SNP, which received less than half the votes of UKIP, but not UKIP. Do you think that’s fair and right?