Thursday, 26 May 2011
David Campbell Bannerman MEP resigned from UKIP this week and joined the Tories in the ECR Group in the European Parliament.
His resignation letter, which I have reproduced below, is well worth a read.
As is pointed out in this letter, of the 13 UKIP MEPs elected in 2009, 3 have now left the EFD Group (UKIP's European Parliamentary grouping) and one of those has had the UKIP whip removed. Clearly, despite a couple of decent shows in parliamentary by-elections of late, things are far from rosy in UKIP.
I was also amused by the claim that Farage uses his position to undermine his fellow UKIP MEPs and uses party money to fund vexatious court cases against his internal opponents.
I do not know enough about UKIP to be in a position to suppor these claims, but I can think of another leader of a political party who certainly does this.
The details of a vexatious court case that was launched and then dropped by this individual can be read here, and I would highly recommend that this report be read by anyone who is interested in understanding and opposing the abuse of power by the leader of a political party.
I took the text of this letter from the Junius blog, which is a veritable treasure trove of information on the inner workings of UKIP.
The email follows:
From: David Campbell Bannerman MEP
To: Members of UKIP
Date: 24th May 2011
Subject: A fuller explanation of my reasons for leaving UKIP
It is with regret and sadness that I today resigned the UKIP whip as an MEP and as a member of UKIP. I will be returning to the Conservatives,
accepting the Conservative Whip as an MEP for the Eastern Region in the ECR Group.
I assure all of you who have backed me through the last 7 years in UKIP, as Party Chairman, Deputy Leader and Head of Policy, that I have in no
way changed my views on leaving the European Union. I will personally remain just as committed and passionate to the noble aim of withdrawing
from the political EU superstate as I have been with UKIP.
Nor have I sought or expected any special treatment from the Conservative Party. The Prime Minister in his capacity as Party Leader
and Co-Chairmen have only confirmed that I will merely be treated in exactly the same way as any other Conservative MEP. They also accept that I have not changed my views.
May I say here sincerely that I do have great regard for Nigel Farage, and fully acknowledge his talents. I think he is one of the finest orators in British politics and has used that oratory with great passion and effect to promote the Eurosceptic cause at home and to enlighten and
inspire similar causes within fellow nations in Europe.
Nigel has shown genuine courage in the bearpit of the European Parliament, and has spoken brilliantly and forcefully on a whole number
of vital issues. Nor do I doubt his dedication to the cause, and the remarkable energy he has put into it. In my resignation, I have not called for Nigel to resign as Leader, as others have, as I believe he has a clear mandate. However, this resignation may cause many in the party to reflect on the negative direction and confused objectives of the party under Nigel's style of leadership.
For I regret that following the washout in the recent domestic elections across the UK, I have lost all faith in UKIP's ability to win the
argument on Europe, which I now believe can only be credibly achieved through a Conservative Party that has demonstrated to me that it is genuinely and deeply Eurosceptic at all levels - such as the work of Conservative MEPs to defend British interests under the new Leadership of Eurosceptic MEP Group Leader Martin Callanan - and which shares much of our mission.
*2. More detail on my reasons for leaving*
This decision has been taken after a great deal of soul searching. I would like to set out the reasons here for my resignation from UKIP, in I hope and fair and balanced manner:
1. The lack of a proper plan and objective: I joined UKIP because I believed it had real opportunity to establish itself as a serious,
credible, alternate political party which could help achieve, through political pressure, influence or elected MPs working in coalition, its
goal. I believed that the EU issue was not one single issue but had become so vital in the control over our lives that it dominated all others, and that normal domestic politics could not resume until our relationship with the EU was fundamentally addressed and changed. I was
prepared to make real personal and political sacrifices to that end, because I am someone who always puts my country first.
But for UKIP to achieve its aim as a political party merely obtaining more MEPs at European Elections would not be enough. UKIP would have to
win directly elected MPs in Westminster. It could only have done this through creating and promoting a host of domestic policies, by winning local council seats and building up support in non-EU elections. This is because it is only Westminster MPs who will get the UK out of the EU, not British MEPs.
Even if UKIP, for the sake of argument, could win all 73 British MEPs in the European Parliament, it would still not change the UK's relationship with the EU. That must come through a substantial, credible political party which is strong in domestic elections.
So, I regret to say that the token UKIP 'Plan' which was shown to MEPs and the party before disappearing from view is merely planning for
failure. Comprehensive failure.
Its stated core aim - to 'win' the European elections in 2014 by having 20 elected UKIP MEPs - shows a complete dearth of ambition. There is no mention of how UKIP intends to achieve elected Westminster MPs. It does not explain how the party will win more local council candidates. It is just about doing well in Euro elections - and that simply isn't good enough.
If the Green Party can get an MP elected, then UKIP could have done likewise. But where was the Green-style strategy of building a cluster of local council seats in target areas to establish the party's credibility with local voters (they obtained 13 seats over 10 years) of putting forward one of their best candidates in their leader Caroline Lucas. and then targeting the seat with activists during the election period? There was none of that in UKIP because there is no proper
discussion of strategy in the party and no credible plan to win any seats.
Even the few electoral successes pointed out in the May elections, such as the Ramsey Town Council, Newry, Tunbridge Wells and Buckingham
successes, were achieved despite rather than because of the party. They were down to exceptional individual achievement and commitment, not due to a political party that knew the importance of winning local and domestic elections and was prepared to back them. There was no serious
support, training or funding for local elections, as promised. As ever, candidates were left to hang out to dry, The party's results show the lack of planning or proper strategy -- including the loss of some very hard working Staffordshire councillors. The more scarce one's resources, the more vital such a plan is.
It is this hole in strategy and strategic thinking that has made me despair of UKIP ever achieving its aim. The party should know what it is
attempting to achieve. It must put in place the right mechanisms such as the right focus, policies, funding and support - to achieve the goals it has set. No company chairman, no military general, no campaign group, and certainly no serious political party can get away with such a woeful and reckless lack of strategy. It lets everyone down, it betrays the hard working activists who pound the pavements and stuff envelopes. It is like a general sending troops over the top with no ammunition, no equipment, no training and no direction.
Worse, if UKIP merely exists to damage the main Eurosceptic centre in the UK, the Conservative Party, and to prevent it succeeding in reaching
Government, with such muddled and incoherent thinking, then it does not serve our shared cause but detracts and damages that wider cause.
2. The lack of belief in domestic policies. As well as a plan, a political party seeking to win domestic election needs attractive domestic policies. This is because the voters do not put the EU as a top issue. They put domestic issues such as jobs, the economy, health, education, crime, immigration and defence as their top issues. If UKIP can't link the EU to those issues, it will never be relevant to domestic elections. If it is not relevant to domestic elections, then UKIP will never achieve its stated goal.
This goes to the central dilemma of UKIP: is UKIP a proper political party or it is really a pressure group? Too many UKIP members and some
MEPs want just to talk exclusively about the EU. However, they could do that just as effectively in one of 60 plus Eurosceptic groups. A serious
political party must act and behave differently.
As Head of Policy, I spent 4 years of hard work creating 18 policy groups to produce a comprehensive set of domestic policies that UKIP
could campaign on. I am told the General Election manifesto of 2010, which I wrote collating the contributions of many talented and professional people, was the best the party ever produced. Moreover, the mini manifesto proved to be the most popular campaigning document for our activists and members. Candidates around the UK reported that those policies chimed well with voters and helped to achieve an uplift of 50% in UKIP's 2010 general election performance.
Despite such proven progress, Nigel as Leader has chosen arbitrarily to jettison all these domestic policy papers. He ordered them off the national website and, as the Chief Executive reported to the NEC, the party acted to "wipe the slate clean'' of all such policies. Nigel chose to do this just before the most important domestic elections that UKIP were to face between now and the next European and Westminster Elections. In my view, this has been an act of sheer political
vandalism. As a result of this one action, I believe that UKIP might as well be a Eurosceptic pressure and campaign group, and forget about
being a political party. Policies are not just for manifesto launches, they have to be campaigned on day in, day out.
This extraordinary decision, which has come from Nigel personally, albeit influenced by others, could almost give some credibility to the
craziest conspiracy theory bloggists -- that Nigel is a plant who is really out to destroy UKIP's chances from within. I do have good reason to suspect that UKIP has indeed been deeply infiltrated by those who wish harm to its cause. However, this decision really comes down to his
lack of belief and appreciation of the role of policy, something I felt it my duty to communicate during the Leadership battle.
Examples of this attitude include the time in Lord Pearson's political committee, where Nigel angrily slapped down the draft manifesto and shouted around the meeting "what the hell is this ?!" He has never shown any enthusiasm for policies and has always exhibited contempt rather than gratitude towards the hard working policy committee members who worked so hard to produce those policies. I think this is fatal for a
Indeed, UKIP party leaders seem to be serial non-readers of manifestos.
Lord Pearson was taken to task by the media in the 2010 Election for allegedly not reading the manifesto, whilst Nigel turned up at the Spring manifesto launch for the election that year claiming he hadn't read it either. If UKIP Party Leaders are unable to read and articulate a mere 18 pages of summarized policy manifestos, and pathetically criticize them for being too long, then what hope have they got of ever coping with the demands of Government? I know - I worked for a Cabinet Minister who had to read hundreds of policy pages a day.
No politician can reasonably know the minutiae of every policy, but they don't have to. Nigel and other senior spokespeople are well enough skilled and capable enough to handle policy issues across the field and to promote the wider message. Yet he seems to fear the detail and would rather have only vague campaign messages. This is all just in case of being tripped up on some minor detail or being forced to read too much in the course of their duties. But UKIP's relevance and credibility in elections has been blown as a result of abandoning the policy detail.
*3. Attacks on MEPs. The Party has now taken against its own MEPs in the most unhealthy and hostile way. The Party's own National Executive
Committee (NEC) has seemingly used every opportunity to attack, belittle, and undermine its own MEPs.
Whilst some MEPs to date have indeed not lived up to their agreed commitments, and this needs addressing, this is no reason for the NEC and others to declare war on the MEPs as a whole. Most UKIP MEPs I know have worked hard for the party in different ways, and not just as paymasters -- that certainly includes Nigel. I myself have made great
personal, political and financial sacrifices in order to serve the cause, and do not regret that for a moment.
I accept the party is sailing close to the edge financially, and I have made additional financial contributions to help. But the point is that
the overt linkage between financial contributions to a political party and selection to a public elected office, I regard as potentially very
dangerous indeed. Yet my urgent calls for legal advice on whether this might be seen to be 'Cash for Euroseats' in the manner of 'Cash for
Peerages' -- i.e. the apparent connection between the party allowing candidates to obtain public office and the size of their donations to the party -- seems to have gone unheard.
The new NEC rules suggest that any future UKIP MEPs beyond 2014 will either be very rich or just be sycophantic placemen/women of the Leader. I even understand that the latest plan is to have at least 4 MEPs who do nothing as MEPs but are there only so they can pay all their salary to the party. Moreover, the proposed new constitutional changes are designed to put all the power in the hands of the Leader with the NEC acting as a rubber stamp on who is likely to become MEPs or stay as MEPs. This dictatorial change will take the selection of MEPs right away from party members and will divide the party still further.
The valuable work of Eurosceptic MEPs in highlighting through the media and parliament how the EU damages British interests; in voting against
even more damaging EU laws and intervention, and in taking the lead for the cause in their constituencies, seems now to count for nothing in
UKIP. UKIP MEPs will only be there in future to keep the party solvent or to pay lip service to the Leader. They will not be there to represent
a sizeable proportion of the British people. Under these criteria, I think UKIP does not deserve a single MEP in 2014, let alone to become the largest UK Party in the European Parliament. This is because Eurosceptic voters will be ill served by MEPs whose only function will be as party paymasters.
In addition to NEC attacks, Nigel as Party Leader and Co-President of the EFD Group has seemed to take an ever more aggressive approach to his own MEPs. He has sought to drive many UKIP MEPs out of the Group and even out of the party. They may not have behaved as saints, and some may have put themselves beyond the pale, but I cannot understand the logic of this relentless denigration of UKIP MEPs, especially publicly on the media.
Of the 13 UKIP MEPs elected in 2009, 3 have now left the EFD Group and one of those has had the UKIP whip removed. Of the other 10, Marta Andreasen has launched an extraordinary attack on Nigel's leadership (please note that I had no knowledge of this attack and our actions are
not connected ). In addition, Nigel has openly called for the deselection of Gerard Batten, the London MEP. He is now trying to blame the highly dedicated John Bufton for the recent Welsh Assembly failure. This is in spite of the fact that John's win was the undoubted great success of UKIP's 2009 Euro elections night. For my part, I have been banished from the party's inner circle for having the temerity to stand in the Leadership election even though I made it clear that I valued
Nigel and wanted to have Nigel as the face of the party and Leader in Europe. Other effective MEPs have incurred his wrath for not doing things the UKIP way and may be deselected too.
As a consequence of this illogical stance regarding UKIP's own MEPs, the EFD Group has been put in severe danger of collapse. Trying the fill the numbers gap by courting the allegedly less savoury end of European Parliament MEPs is surely not the answer.
4. The way the Party operates. Whilst no political party operates in a smooth, flawless and joined up way, I do think that UKIP lets its members and the cause down badly by the shambolic and secretive manner in which it conducts its business.
This is not a criticism of individuals. The party has moved in the right direction with the hiring of a number of professional and skilled managers and advisors, who have much to offer and have already made a difference. But it is more about the culture of what I call 'Aggressive Amateurism'. This culture regards professional management with a mixture of distrust and contempt. It aggressively resists and attacks those who wish to do things in a better and more organised way.
For example, UKIP has put its very own existence in peril through an arrogant disregard for legal processes and proper administrative processes. The Supreme Court only narrowly spared UKIP financial ruin because it could not handle its own paperwork properly and because of unwise gung ho public celebrations after an earlier, favourable
judgement. The party's conduct, the failures in the processes of NEC decision making, and with Nigel's taste for pursuing personal vendettas
on the party's credit account, has led to a legal bill running at £140,000 a year. This is an incredible sum which is well out of proportion to a party with a comparatively small membership base. It is a figure which should make all UKIP members demand to know why the party is squandering such massive resources on so many 'avoidable accidents'.
When it came to the debate over whether or not to back Alternative Vote (AV), the process of decision making was a joke. One of the most
important strategic decisions in UKIP's history and there was no proper analysis. There was no consultation with experts in the field. There was
no strategic sit down with all the advisers involved. Instead, there was just a half baked, rushed and loaded item on the NEC agenda. Indeed,
UKIP's own constitutional policy group, which had spent 3 years studying the options, was not even consulted. I understand that Nigel was the only person in the Political Strategy Committee to back AV. The decision to back AV only received the support of the NEC through an appeal to loyalty and not on the arguments. It was also against the overwhelming resistance of the membership.
Had the AV Referendum succeeded, UKIP could well have been destroyed in its aim of winning domestic elections. There may have been more preference votes for the party but a deeper analysis shows it would have made it far less likely for UKIP to win a House of Commons seat - which is surely the party's main goal. Whatever the rights and wrongs of the decision, it is the lack of a professional decision making process which is the problem I am highlighting.
Nor was the NEC willing to fund the minimum amount of research needed to make an effective case for an alternative, Alternate Vote Plus (AV+) Campaign. They seemed to have no collective understanding of how important the right voting systems are to a small political party and what a difference a better, more balanced system could make. AV+, in contrast, would give every voter 2 votes and could have transformed UKIP's potential by making it possible for the party to win some 20 MPs and work in a future coalition government. All this potential has now been lost.
In conclusion, I have sadly given up on UKIP ever becoming the serious, credible, fully-fledged political party that it could have become, and
which I have devoted many years to helping achieve. The party did have genuine potential as the new protest party and fourth largest party, if
it had embraced and sold its policies and messages with real effect.
But following the disappointing performance in the recent domestic elections, I have concluded that the wider cause is best realized in the longer term through a serious, credible, fully-fledged political party in the form of the Conservative Party, which I see as working hard for Britain, and which has the domestic presence able to deliver radical change, and not within the UKIP pressure group.
I will continue to make the case for EU withdrawal to the best of my ability, but will be doing so in a different place. I have made very many fine friends in UKIP. I genuinely hope we can all remain on good and friendly terms while serving our shared cause.
David Campbell Bannerman MEP
Wednesday, 25 May 2011
Pictured: Morley Town Hall
I felt the following letter, which is printed in this week's Morley Observer and Advertiser, was worth reproducing here.
It will still be here for all to see when Terence seeks re-elected to Leeds City Council, should he do so at any point, so it will be interesting to see if the MBIs do as Mr McArdle has suggested to them in this letter.
I suspect the sarcasm in this letter will go over most people's heads. Some of the MBIs will probably need it explaining to them how this is not a letter of support. In any case, it certainly amused me.
The publication of this letter is perfectly timed, of course, coming as it does the week after the MBIs made Judith Elliott Mayor of Morley for the 2011-2012 year. At the conclusion of this year of office she will be up for re-election and trying to defend her seat on Leeds City Council.
This means that she has been guaranteed a year's free publicity above and beyond that which she would already have received due to being an incumbent Morley South councillor.
The MBIs are, of course, entitled to elect whoever they want as Mayor, having won a majority of the seats on the town council in May, so why shouldn't they elect Elliott?
I would argue that whilst they may think they are very clever for having given a boost to their narrow party-political objectives by cynically electing - yet again - a member of their party who will be seeking election or re-election to Leeds City Council at the conclusion of their mayoral term of office, in doing so they diminish the standing of the position of Mayor, the Town Council, and Morley as a whole.
The mayor of a town, as elected by a town council, should be regarded as being above party politics while they hold this post.
Town mayors are part of our cultural and democratic heritage. The role suggests a degree of prestige and tradition that should supersede party affiliations.
My disdain has nothing to do with the mayor's membership of a political party. Every single councillor on the town council was elected as a candidate of one political party or another.
The town mayor should be a unifying figure who carries out his or her ceremonial functions during the year in a completely non-political fashion.
Even with the best will in the world, it is unrealistic to expect this of a councillor who is due for re-election to Leeds City Council at the end of their mayoral term. And I do not credit the Morley Borough Independents with possession of the best will in the world. Far from it.
Yet again they have abused the office of Mayor for their own ends.
Some will say that it is just sour grapes to point such things out, of course, to which I respond that it is our duty as the patriotic opposition in Morley to continue to bring to light the disgraceful abuses of office carried out by the Morley Borough Independents Party, and we will continue to do so wherever this is required.
Here is the letter:
Winners and losers
Congratulations to Labour’s Neil Dawson who, on the back of Ed Balls’ election as MP for Morley in 2010, has managed to wrestle the Morley South seat from the Morley Borough Independents.
Commiserations too to Terry Grayshon, who can’t be happy after losing the seat he kept for seven years.
A number of reasons have been attributed to this seachange and they may all have contributed to Mr Grayshon’s downfall.
However, if you’ve been reading the Observer and Advertiser of late, you wouldn’t even have known there was an election as it appeared to be a political-free zone and that did appear to deprive the sitting tenant of free publicity which may (or may not) have been to his advantage.
Conversely, Labour did conduct a healthy and vigorous campaign in Morley South and of the three local seats this was the most vulnerable despite Mr Grayshon’s seven-year tenure.
Mr Grayshon must find losing difficult to come to terms with as he has put in a lot of hard work with good outcomes and lots of self-promotion during his tenure. I know just how he feels but, readers, that’s democracy.
No matter how hard you work, it is the candidate – and not necessarily the best candidate – who gets the most votes who wins and in this instance, it’s Neil Dawson.
I suspect Mr Grayshon is also not best pleased because having worked so hard there may be other elected members who do not work as hard but keep getting elected.
One way the MBIs could assist Mr Grayshon would be to make him Mayor of Morley the year before he gets the MBI re-nomination.
This would generate lots of generous publicity for him and it has proved to have worked successfully on two previous occasions for the MBIs.
Wednesday, 18 May 2011
The following letter is printed in today's Morley Observer and Advertiser.
Thanks for your votes
On behalf of myself and my fellow English Democrat candidates Joanna Beverley, Tom Redmond, Bernie Allen and Ian Gibson, I would like to thank everyone who voted for the English Democrats in the recent elections to Leeds City Council and Morley Town Council.
I was extremely encouraged by the number of votes we received in what were the first set of elections in which we campaigned under the banner of the English Democrats.
Nationwide, these local elections were the best ones ever for the English Democrats, who fielded a record number of candidates and won their first council seats at this level. We are all very proud to have played a small part in this campaign.
English Democrat Candidates
Tuesday, 17 May 2011
Brum Brum! The results of May 5th will not have been particularly pleasing to Shirley Varley and Terry Grayshon.
Reproduced below are the full results of the elections to Morley Town Council held on 5th May 2011. My observations are underneath.
Terry Grayshon Morley Borough Independents 415 ELECTED
Neil Dawson The Labour Party Candidate 408 ELECTED
Louise Bentley The Labour Party Candidate 360 ELECTED
Gareth Edward Beevers Morley Borough Independents 306
Martin Edgerton The Labour Party Candidate 263
Stephen Lloyd Jones Morley Borough Independents 243
Nigel Bywater Working For You In Morley 172
Joe Tetley Morley Borough Independents 1016 ELECTED
Janet Eleanor Harrison Morley Borough Independents 991 ELECTED
Wenda Patricia Whitehead Morley Borough Independents 953 ELECTED
Joyce Hilary Sanders Morley Borough Independents 951 ELECTED
Keir James Dawson The Labour Party Candidate 453
Jayne Hill The Labour Party Candidate 438
Judith Mary Elliott Morley Borough Independents 551 ELECTED
Catherine Lucia Crosby Morley Borough Independents 479 ELECTED
David Dewhirst The Labour Party Candidate 449 ELECTED
June Dawe Morley Borough Independents 442 ELECTED
Mary Hicks Morley Borough Independents 419
Joe Medley The Labour Party Candidate 416
Nathan William Medley The Labour Party Candidate 362
Joanna Beverley English Democrats – “Putting England First!” 361
Michael Gomersall Independent – Working For Morley 263
Hazel Patricia Bradley Morley Borough Independents 1009 ELECTED
Paul Cook Morley Borough Independents 810 ELECTED
Thomas Adrian Leadley 781 ELECTED
Dinah Rose Jones Morley Borough Independents 761 ELECTED
Nigel Adrian Bell Morley Borough Independents 739 ELECTED
Mark James Sewards The Labour Party Candidate 553
Anne Kennedy The Labour Party Candidate 548
James Edward Bright Morley Borough Independents 576 ELECTED
Andrew Dalton Morley Borough Independents 574 ELECTED
Simon William Kimberley Morley Borough Independents 442 ELECTED
Don Place The Labour Party Candidate 374
Ian Gibson English Democrats – “Putting England First!” 216
Helen Evans Morley Borough Independents 708 ELECTED
Barry Frank Ambrose The Labour Party Candidate 701 ELECTED
Liz Medley The Labour Party Candidate 665 ELECTED
Josie Jackson Morley Borough Independents 636 ELECTED
joanne Foster Morley Borough Independents 634 ELECTED
Shirley Varley Morley Borough Independents 611
Wyn Kidger Morley Borough Independents 606
Chris Beverley English Democrats – “Putting England First!” 562
Bernie Allen English Democrats – “Putting England First!” 433
Tom Redmond English Democrats – “Putting England First!” 392
Martin Oddy Independent 235
Some of the above results were to be expected. Some are just downright bizarre.
Central ward was the only ward that elected more Labour councillors than MBIs, although Terry Grayshon did manage to top the poll - finishing just 7 votes ahead of second place Neil Dawson.
In Churwell the Labour Party were miles behind the MBIs, with both their candidates getting less than half the number of votes that the 4th placed MBI did.
Clearly there remains a big difference between the town council wards that fall witin Morley North, namely Churwell and Scatcherd, where an MBI stranglehold persists, and the rest of the town council wards (which fall within Morley South), where the results are alot more interesting.
In Elmfield ward Joanna Beverley was just 81 votes behind June Dawe, which was a good result but sadly not quite good enought to ensure her re-election to the council.
I found the Teale result interesting insofar as a brand new candidate topped the poll ahead of the two sitting town councillors who were seeking re-election.
Nothing jumped out at me about the Scatcherd result, apart from the fact that normally one would have expected a city councillor among a group of town council candidates from the same party to get the most votes for that party. In fact, he came third.
A more extreme example of this happened in the Topcliffe ward, where Shirley Varley, the MBI that beat me in 2010 in the Morley South ward, was one of the MBIs to lose their seats.
I believe this does not bode particularly well for Shirley Varley, and I doubt that the result will have filled her with confidence with regard to her prospects of holding onto her seat when it comes up for election in 2014. That's if she is even the candidate. Perhaps she will have been dropped by then and they will let Terence have a try at getting back on the City Council.
Bizarrly, the poll was topped by Helen Evans. I was 72 votes off getting elected.
All in all I believe our votes in the Morley Town Council elections were respectable enough and although we did not manage to get anyone elected this time, the results of both the town and city council elections served to put the English Democrats on the map in Morley and to lay the foundations for future organisational and electoral advances.
Monday, 16 May 2011
I am posting this up for those of you who did not see it on Friday.
Robin Tilbrook was granted a right of reply in response to a pathetic and desperate attempt by the BNP to smear the English Democrats on a previous interview given on the Daily Politics.
It is telling that they felt the need to bring up the English Democrats in this interview. The interviewer did not mention us and the subject of the discussion was the huge drop in the number of BNP candidates in these elections, as compared to the number fielded in previous years.
It appears that Nick Griffin and his gaggle of remaining henchmen are becoming ever more desperate to try and stop the progress being made by the English Democrats.
Griffin himself posted a lengthy and deranged attack on our party on the BNP website a few days before election day.
It has been compared to his notorious Attempted Murder document, which was published in 1986 at a time when the clique he led along with Patrick Harrington were engaged in the sort of factional madness that a new generation of nationalists is experiencing anew.
Attempted Murder accused people like Andrew Brons, Martin Wingfield and various others of being state operatives, Searchlight plants etc.
Does any of this sound familiar?
I thought that Robin came across very well in this interview and I look forward to seeing many more such media appearances by him in the future.
An interesting take on this interview can also be read here.
Sunday, 15 May 2011
Now the dust has settled following the recent local elections I will share with you some of my thoughts on the campaign and its outcome.
It was clear to me right from the start of the campaign that Labour were going all out to win this one. After the campaign they fought in the general election last year, Morley South was obviously the one Morley ward that they felt they felt was worth going for.
As polling day approached I predicted that the MBIs would lose and either we English Democrats or the Labour Party would be victorious. Whilst the first part of my prophesy seems to have been produced by the emotional part of my brain, my more rational side appears to have been in play with regard to the latter.
Morley Borough Independents
I was genuinely surprised at the poor quality of the Morley Borough Independent campaign. They do not seem to have upped their game in the slightest way since last year. Such arrogance may not always be fatal, but happily on this occasion it was.
Despite not putting in an impressive campaign, the Morley Borough Independents did find the time to distribute leaflets produced by the anti-English hate organisation Searchlight on the Tuesday and Wednesday before polling day.
These leaflets were a desperate last-gasp attempt to smear me and I am sure that Terence and co. thought they were very clever putting these out just before election day.
Perhaps if he and his wretched little bunch had spent these vital last couple of days campaigning in a positive manner rather than distributing extremist left-wing propaganda they might just have retained the Morley South seat. Whilst it gives me no pleasure to see Labour win, it certainly gave me a great deal of personal pleasure to witness Terry Grayshon lose.
No less amusing to me was the rejection of Gareth Beevers by the voters of Morley. Not only was this individual witnessed delivering the aforementioned leaflet, but a certain someone identifying himself as Gareth Beevers also rang the English Democrats at the outset of the campaign regarding my candidature.
This caller, a political pygmy with delusions of grandeur that led him to believe himself to be a person of such importance and political nous that it was quite appropriate for him to call a leading figures in a proper political parties to offer advice on candidate selection procedures, was given short shrift, and hung up when he had received his unequivocal response.
There were three genuine independent candidates among the many people competing for election to Morley Town Council. I would have loved to have seen all three elected, but without exception they all finished bottom of the poll, despite all putting in real campaigns. This shows just how difficult it is to make a mark politically as a genuinely independent candidate, but I hope that these candidates will not be put off by these results and will continue to campaign on local issues in our town.
It wasn’t just election propaganda when I said during the campaign what a pleasure it was to be fighting an election under the banner of the English Democrats. Our message was very well received on the doorsteps and, with just one solitary exception, all our long-term supports in the Morley South ward who we canvassed during the campaign were happy to support us under the banner of the English Democrats.
We did all we could to win in Morley South, but it is clear in retrospect that it was just too big an ask to emerge just weeks before the election under the banner of a new and lesser-known political party and go on to win. We only released the news that we were standing as English Democrats on the day that nominations closed, which helped us to keep our various opponents in the dark as to our plans for as long as possible. Yet due to the last-minute nature of our joining the English Democrats, it could not have been announced much earlier than this even if we had wanted it to be.
We started the campaign without any funds whatsoever and it was a huge achievement that we fought the campaign that we did. We may not have won this time but I believe the future is bright for the English Democrats here in Morley and across our nation as a whole.
In Morley I expect the Morley Borough Independents and Labour to be at each other’s throats at town and city council level from now on. The Morley Borough Independents will be doing everything they can to isolate and undermine the new Morley South councillor Neil Dawson. They will want to quarantine him for four years in the hope that they can win the seat back in 2015.
For their part, the Labour Party will hope to keep their momentum going in Morley in the hope that they can take out Judith Elliott in the next round of local elections in May 2012. Neil Dawson will be aided in this task by the five new Labour councillors on Morley Town Council and the office of MP Ed Balls.
The MBIs on the town council will certainly miss their main mouthpiece Robert Finnigan, who did not seek re-election to the town council.
Whilst clearly none of us want to see the Labour Party winning, I believe that the situation that we now have in Morley should prove to be more conducive to producing English Democrats victories in the coming years than a situation in which one party, be it Labour or the Morley Borough Independents, were to enjoy relative hegemony.
I will continue to campaign as a proud member of the English Democrats in order to give patriotic people in Morley a voice.
The campaign we have just fought, despite not ending in the victory for which we had hoped, has given me a sense of enthusiasm and optimism that I have not felt for some time and I look forward to playing a part in the continued electoral progress of the English Democrats.
In order to continue our work in Morley we need to raise funds to pay for our publicity material. If you can help with a donation, however small, please click on the ‘donate’ button at the top right of this page. Your support is very much appreciated.
Tuesday, 10 May 2011
Here is another recent Steadfast Trust bulletin that I felt deserved a wider circulation:
The reason for the establishment of the Steadfast Trust was to address the growing neglect that English children were facing as a result of the prioritisation given to children from other ethnic backgrounds. Examples of this can be seen in articles
here, here, and here.
A specific factor for this has been the massive number of BME (Black Minority Ethnic) groups who with considerable funding have ensured that the concerns of minority ethnic groups take priority, to the point where ethnic quotas for job recruiting result in English people being rejected from work opportunities and English children getting less resources spent and their grades plummeting, this is perversely known as ‘positive discrimination’ and directly disenfranchises the English community of England.
To give you an understanding of the size of the BME voluntary and community organisations, or BME Third Sector Organisations (BME TSO’s) we have some figures published in the 2010 Black Manifesto (an indirectly state-funded group)...
- 15,000-17,000 BME TSO’s
- approx 100,000 employed staff
- approx 150,000-170,000 volunteers
- over 50% funding from government bodies
The English community effectively have NO community groups, although with the help of the Steadfast Trust, there are signs that this is beginning to change…
(See here and here.)
Finally a freedom of information requested detailed how there are around 15,500 charities ‘for people of a particular ethnic or racial origin’, however many operate abroad.
There are about 6,860 charities identified that operate within the nations of England and Wales but only one for the ethnic English and that’s the Steadfast Trust.
It’s important that the charity gets funding to survive and it is for this reason that we are asking you to join the Steadfast Trust for just £2 per month or make a one-off donation as part of the Steadfast Trust Fundraiser Week that has been running.
Please help the only English charity, because it’s here for your community, and your community needs your support.
Friday, 6 May 2011
Chris Beverley - English Democrats 1245 (20 percent)Labour 2129 (elected)
Morley Borough Independents 2076
Lib Dem 180
Ardsley & Robin Hood
Lib Dem 360
Joanna Beverley - English Democrats 880 (15 percent)
Labour 2847 (elected)
Lib Dem 199
Morley Borough Independents 3642 (elected)
Tom Redmond - English Democrats 573 (8.3 percent)
Thursday, 5 May 2011
Now that polls have closed I would like to thank everyone who has gone out and voted for their local English Democrat candidates today.
The counts for both Leeds City Council and Morley Town Council will be held tomorrow (Friday), commencing at 9.30am and 1.00pm respectively.
I will publish the results on my Twitter page as soon as we have them tomorrow.
Thank you to every last person who voted for our candidates today and thank you to everyone who has helped with our campaign, whether this be by leafleting, canvassing, or donating money.
Whatever the result, it has been a real pleasure and a privileged to have campaigned as an English Democrat candidate in this election and I hope that the faith that the English Democrats have put in me will be repaid with some respectable votes tomorrow.
Wednesday, 4 May 2011
Election day is (almost) here and voters in Morley will have the chance to vote for English Democrat candidates for the first time ever.
The Morley Borough Independents and the Labour Party have been working hand in hand to distribute a lie-filled smear leaflet against me over the last couple of days.
As I remain an optimist, I will interpret this as a sign of last minute desperation on their part.
Clearly there is everything to play for in this election and every single vote is going to count.
The following candidate summaries were sent to the local press this week. The Morley Observer and Advertiser didn't actually print any candidate descriptions in the end, and simply listed the candidates.
In brackets are the Leeds City Council wards followed by the Morley Town Council wards we are standing for.
Chris Beverley (Morley South and Topcliffe)
Chris was brought up in Morley and attended Morley High School. He went on to study at Leeds University where he gained a first class honour degree and he now works as a European Parliament researcher. He is married with two young children.
He is not a slick ‘career- politician’ and does not aspire to be one!
Chris entered politics in order to stand up for local people and to help make a difference.
He has always stood up for the things that he believes are important, and has never allowed himself to be silenced by politically correct career-politicians who reject any kind of patriotic sentiment.
Chris has worked hard to promote English culture, for example through the celebration of Saint George’s Day, and he thinks it is wonderful to see so many people in Morley take part in our annual Saint George’s Day celebrations, which seem to get bigger and better every year.
Morley needs honest politicians who will speak out on behalf of local people and defend their interests, rather than putting their efforts into creating photo opportunities and lining their own pockets at the taxpayers’ expense, which we see far too much of in our local politics.
Voters have told us over the past weeks that the English Democrats - a sensible and democratic political party - are just the party that Morley needs. With your help we can win tomorrow and give our town new hope for the future!
Joanna Beverley (Ardsley & Robin Hood and Elmfield)
Joanna is married to Chris and lives in this ward. She is a very active member of her local Community Association and has worked on many projects on behalf of local residents. She has campaigned against inappropriate developments in this ward and has organised litter-picks to try and clean the area up.
She has been a Morley Town Councillor since 2007 during which time she has not missed a single meeting and maintained a 100% attendance record; a record she would aspire to replicate were she to be elected to Leeds City Council tomorrow.
As a mother of two young children, Joanna cares a great deal for the future of our country, as all parents do. She is standing as an English Democrat candidate in these elections because she believes that they are the only party that cares about sorting out the problems faced by our country that have been inflicted on us by successive Tory and Labour governments over the past 50 years.
Joanna said: “The English Democrats are a respectable and democratic political party that care about our country and are willing to speak up about the issues that just about everyone agrees with but which none of the other parties care about.
“Prescription charges are one such example. I think it is completely wrong that people in England must pay prescription charges whilst people in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland do not. Only the English Democrats want to address such unfairness.”
Tom Redmond (Morley North & Topcliffe)
Tom is 52 years old and works as a diesel engineer, working for the same company for over 30 years. He is a family man with two grown up children and young grandchildren.
He lives in Morley and is a dedicated community campaigner. He has worked on various local projects and has worked with our local policing team to encourage safer driving through residential areas.
He is an active committee member of his local tenants and residents group, chairman of Bridge Street Allotment Association, and is a keen gardener and poultry-keeper.
He was also a children’s football coach for Churwell Lions for several years.
Tom said: “If elected I will campaign for St George’s Day to be made a Bank Holiday and for an end to the political correctness that too often stifles free speech and our English traditions. I will also campaign for an end to the unfair treatment of England over prescription charges and university tuition fees only for our students.
“I have stood for election to Leeds City Council on a number of occasions, becoming the main opposition to the Morley Borough Independents Party in the Morley North ward over the past few years.
I believe that the English Democrats, a mainstream yet patriotic political party that speaks out on the issues that we all care about, are the party best placed to represent all the people of this ward. I hope I can rely on your vote tomorrow. ”
Thank you all for your support!
Tuesday, 3 May 2011
Bernie Allen is one of our three candidates in the Topcliffe ward of Morley Town Council.
Bernie served in the British Army for 25 years and saw action in a number of conflicts.
He runs Churwell New Ventures, a voluntary organisation that provides a drop in centre for local vulnerable and elderly residents, which is held in Lewisham Park.
He is a true credit to our town and I am very proud to be standing as a candidate alongside him in the Topcliffe ward.
Voters in the Topcliffe ward can use a maximum of five votes in the elections to Morley Town Council. The best way to elect myself, Bernie and Tom Redmond is to use just three of those five votes and make them count by voting for us.
Full profiles of our three Leeds City Council candidates will be published on this blog tomorrow.