English Democrats' conference, which has been published today on our party website.
I would like to begin by saying what a pleasure it is for me to be here today and what a privilege it is to not only be here but to have this opportunity to deliver this short speech to you.
I have only been a member of this party for about six months now but I can tell you that in that time I've had a sense of enthusiasm for politics that I haven't had for a long time.
It was a pleasure to stand as an English Democrat candidate in the elections in May. At the outset of the campaign in May we didn't have any money at all but we managed to scrape some together - we paid for leaflets ourselves, went to donors and local supporters, and got some money together and put in the best campaign that we possibly could across Leeds and we got some good votes.
In my own ward of Morley South I managed to get 20% of the votethere which I feel was a respectable vote for our first ever attempt at winning this ward for the English Democrats.
Whilst I may be new to this party that's not to say that I'm new to politics. I've been involved in nationalist politics my entire adult life. I first got involved when I was fifteen years old and I've been involved at an active level ever since.
I've stood for election on many occasions over the years from parish council level right up to European Election level and my personal highlight I guess was probably getting elected back in 2006 when I was elected in Morley South to Leeds City Council and I held the seat until 2010 when unfortunately I lost it despite actually getting more votes when I tried to defend the seat that I did when I was elected in 2006, but this is what can happen in politics unfortunately.
So over the years my ideas and my ideology has evolved and changed and I am very grateful to Robin and the English Democrats for giving me an opportunity to join this party and make a difference for this party and I hope I have shown that it is possible for me to do that.
We all make mistakes in our lives and we all have ideas that we hold that we change over time but I believe and have come to the realisation that the English Democrats' approach to politics is the only hope that our people have - it's their best hope. A sensible, moderate rational approach to patriotic politics is not only the approach which is the most strategically viable, it is also the only morally acceptable one as well.
The English Democrats, by opposing the extremism that is espoused by other parties, give our people our best hope. I endorse this approach completely and I oppose all forms of extremism.
I believe that we have a fantastic opportunity to do great things with this party and I intend to do everything in my power to make sure that we do.
No political party exists in a vacuum and I'm sure that it won't have escaped your attention that there is another political party -a rival party of ours out there - which is currently undergoing a process of self-destruction, as has been mentioned previously. And I'm talking of course about the British National Party, of which I used to be a member.
This has led to a number of people voicing concerns in this party that we're set for a deluge of ex-BNP members who want to join the party and take over it and change it and make it into something that looks and sounds like the BNP. I've spent a lot of time and many years in that organisation - I've seen that party at its best and at its worst. I know how that organisation works - this is something you can trust me on, I know what I'm talking about here. I can tell you that I honestly don' t think that there is going to be a deluge of ex-BNP members wanting to join this party.
Many of the BNP's activists will fall out of politics altogether as a result of the current problems in that party. In fact there is plenty of evidence to show that that is already happening. Others will go off and join splinter groups that have split off from the British National Party and continue to do so, and the lowest calibre of all will stick with Nick Griffin in the BNP or whatever micro-organisation that replaces the BNP. Only a fraction of those people leaving the BNP will be interested in the English Democrats - only a fraction.
The good news for us is that it is only the best people in that party that will have any interest in us. The most intelligent, rational, enlightened decent people - that's the good news for us.
(Cheer in audience)
Yes obviously an ex-BNPer over there.
Obviously I can tell you that we do not want to take over this party and make this party a BNP mark 2. I spent alot of years in that organisation and the last thing I want to do is to end up with a party that looks and sounds like the BNP, albeit one that is draped in the cross of Saint George rather than the union flag. Absolutely not. And we've got to bear in mind that you don't need to take my word for it, some people have joined this party who used to be in the BNP and have either come directly from that organisation or they were in that organisation some years ago and eventually ended up with us. These people have made a real contribution to our party - some of them are now proud English Democrat councillors , others stood in the elections in May and delivered some of the best votes that our party has ever got in the local elections. Others are here today. So this isn't just a theoretical thing, the people who have joined this party who used to be in the British National Party have made a good contribution.
Now, we're talking about the BNP here. Nick Griffin despises the English Democrats. He is doing everything in his power at present to attack this party and he is doing it in two ways. One way is the frontal assault if you like and he is obsessed with trying to smear our chairman Robin Tilbrook and other senior members but he and his henchmen are also involved in far more devious ways to try and destabilise our party. One such way is trying to find people in this party who will listen to what their poison-mongers say on the internet forums and suchlike, and try to get them to turn against the idea of people joining from the BNP or turn against those of us who are proud members of this party who at some point in the past were members of the BNP. And I think that Robin slightly alluded to this earlier in his discussion of The Art of War. Now I'm not suggesting for one second that Nick Griffin sits there with his henchmen reading ancient translated documents like Sun Tzu perhaps one week, next week sitting there discussing Plato.
I'm not suggesting for a second that this type of thing happens but it is a danger, and we are seeing the effects of that to a very small extent. Now I'm sure the people in this room are far too intelligent and astute to fall for that type of thing but it must be taken into consideration that the BNP and Nick Griffin do hate this party and any rumours that are spread by his henchmen about those of us who are currently involved should be take with a pinch of salt at best.
So my speech today has been purely about the BNP really, I wouldn't have chosen to speak about this subject but I did for two reasons. One was that I was asked to by Robin, but the other reason was that there is a debate going on in the party about how people should be treated who want to join this party from the BNP and I feel that I do have a perspective that is worth sharing with you.
Personally I would rather have spoken about something else. I've moved on in my life and when I look at the BNP now I find it hard to believe that I was ever even a member to be quite honest but clearly the next few months are going to be interesting from this point of view.
So I hope that I have allayed some concerns and demonstrated that people who join this organisation, providing it's done correctly and through the correct channels in the correct way, that this can actually be of benefit to our party.
With the exception of Eddy Butler who is a good friend of mine, and the leading expert in the field of elections, and also a leading moderate I have to say, he has always been far more moderate than most of his peers in nationalism and would be far more at home in this party than in the BNP, so with the exception of Eddy Butler I can say quite honestly that I don't expect any national figures, nationally recognised figures from the BNP to want to join this party. I don't think there is going to be any sort of deluge of high profile people I think the vast majority of those who want to join the party will simply be local activists who came to the same conclusions that I did some time ago and thought I really am in the wrong party here and wasting my time and the English Democrats are a far far better more suitable party which represents my beliefs better. These are the type of people who are going to be wanting to join and these are the type of people who I am sure will make a contribution to this party.
These people who get involved will go about their business in their local areas distributing leaflets and campaigning for the English Democrats and they will do it with a fresh spring in their step and great enthusiasm and I know that they will do this because this is exactly how I feel. I feel like that when I am out campaigning in Barnsley as I was in support of our candidate earlier this week and will be tomorrow and I am sure I will be there on many other occasions between now and election day because it's just feels so good to be in a party like this with such potential which is clearly going somewhere and it feels good to be able to make a contribution to that.
To me the English Democrats represent everything that is good about England. Free Speech and robust debate - which we've seen to some degree today already - civility, candour, these are the things which make England great and these are the things that make this party great.
Now as much as I respect Robin as someone who is of obvious high calibre and dedication, it nevertheless pleases me when I hear about him getting a roasting at national council meetings over some issue of other because this shows that this is a truly democratic party - truly democratic - and that is what we need. The English people don't tolerate dictators and tyrants - our history has shown that time and time again. And it's a relief and a pleasure to be in a party that is truly democratic and not one that is held hostage to the whims of its leader. I'm not suggesting that you have any particular whims that you want to hold us hostage with Robin.
I'll conclude by saying that I really appreciate the welcome that people have given me in the English Democrats and I hope that will be extended to all the sensible good people who want to join this party and who do so through the proper channels and I would ask you to give them the chance that you gave me and I'm sure that they can make a real difference.
This party has such huge potential, such huge potential. Just take the issues of making Saint George's Day a bank holiday and the creation of an English Parliament, two of our cornerstone issues. These are things which there is huge support for our there in the population at large and this is just increasing with every passing year. And these are issues which we own - these are our issues. Other parties will come along and jump on the bandwagon and copy these issues but the English people are not stupid.
The English people realise that we're the people that put these items on the agenda and we are the party that needs to capitalise on them. I'm going to work tirelessly for this party. I want to build us up so that we have got a presence in every town and every village in this country because that's what we need to do.
When I look around at this conference today, and I see how the party does things, it is clear to me that we have got very very solid and sturdy foundations in this organisation. What we now need is to expand our organisation so that we can have a presence everywhere because once we have a presence everywhere in England we will be a force to be reckoned with. We will be unstoppable. And finally the English people, we, will have the government that we deserve.