A Step Into The Sunlight ….. At last, we have a date for the referendum we have all been longing for. The phoney war is over and the real battle can commence. Were it not for UKIP and the huge electoral effort we have made over the last 3 years, this referendum would not be happening.
We should not underestimate the scale of the task nor the difficulty of the challenge that lies ahead. The ’In’ campaign have all the advantages of big government and big business backing. The fact that there is only one ’In’ campaign group (Britain Stronger in Europe, or BSE) tells you everything about the soulless, elite, corporatist nature of the beast we are up against. Their campaign newspaper has been delivered to every door – a cunning mixture of half-truths, misrepresentations and downright lies. In contrast, the ‘Leave’ campaign has a multiplicity of groups of all party allegiances (and none); different people from all walks of life. The Leave campaign is truly a ’people’s army’; a diverse coalition that reflects the full political landscape of modern Britain. This is a sign of strength, not weakness.
Already there are encouraging signs that the great British public are with us. The hardest group to bring round will be the students, many of whom will have been indoctrinated in schools and colleges by years of pro-EU propaganda. But we must not give up on them. This campaign will introduce many of them to new ideas; information and arguments that they won’t have heard before, and which will challenge their pre-conceptions in ways they can’t have imagined. Some of them may even begin to realise the extent to which they’ve been deceived.
The history of the UK shows that progress is often thanks to a few brave people who are prepared to take a risk, to defy the conventional ‘wisdom’ of the day and strike out on a new path; to take a step into the sunlight. The Battle for Britain is also part of the Battle for Europe too. Millions on the continent will be watching us and cheering us on.
So let’s get to work and make June 23rd the UK’s Independence Day !
Life On Mars …… The 1970’s often come in for stick on TV. Any viewers not old enough to remember (probably about half the population nowadays), could be forgiven for imagining the 1970’s was all about hideous beige patterned wallpaper, ghastly food, and unprovoked attacks on the working classes and vulnerable minorities.
It was also the time of the 1975 Referendum, which finally confirmed the UK’s place in the so-called ‘Common Market’; the emergent EU. For some of us, the last few weeks have felt rather like 1975. A shallow, image obsessed PM comes back from Europe with a piece of paper proclaiming ‘a great deal for Britain’. The PM then uses the ’bully pulpit’ of big government, the civil service and corporate big business to gag ministers and force through a vote to stay in. The TV media (BBC especially) is heavily biased in favour of ‘Staying In‘. It’s not a fair contest !
But in 2016, things feel very different indeed. Significantly the roles have been reversed. In 1975, it was the anti-EU (Common Market) campaign that had the difficult task of trying to defend the status quo; the ‘awful reality’ of UK post-imperial decline, industrial unrest, 25% inflation, union militancy. Against what most people already knew about the state of Britain, the new, clean, shiny, technocratic fantasy of the Common Market with its burgeoning economies, seemed quite appealing, even if they knew little about it (and successive UK governments deliberately lied to conceal its true purpose).
Now it’s the Euro-enthusiasts who are in the difficult position of having to defend ‘the awful reality’. The truth of the EU and its many failings, is now out there, huge, hideous and plain for all to see. Those who threatened disaster if we didn’t join the euro, are the same talking heads who want us to stay in the EU. People can see that they were wrong then and are just as likely to be wrong now. All the ’Remainders’ can promise is more of the same ‘awful reality‘.
Whereas it is the ‘Leave’ campaign, who now have the positive message – the new, brighter future on offer to the British public. Only this time it’s not the fantasy of a ‘Common Market’ as in 1975, but the reality of an Independent UK; ‘Out of the EU – Into the World’; a UK with the self-confidence to make its own laws and agreements. We now have clear evidence that shows the NO campaign in 1975 were right all along about the EU and its superstate ambitions. History has proved beyond all doubt that the British public were sold a false agenda.
The other major difference is there are now senior political figures advocating ‘Leave’. In 1975, the ‘No’ campaign’s lead figures were mostly either past their prime or ‘marmite’ characters with some extreme views who were easy for the media to discredit. The fact that they were right about ‘Europe’, was largely ignored. Now we have substantial political figures (Michael Gove, Ian Duncan Smith, Michael Howard, Owen Patterson, Liam Fox, Boris Johnson, Pritti Patel and others) advocating ’Leave’. Nearly half the parliamentary Conservative party are supporting ‘Leave’, including 5 of our 8 MPs in Dorset (Conor Burns, Richard Drax, Christopher Chope, Robert Syms & Michael Tomlinson). If nothing else, the referendum could be the catalyst for long overdue democratic change within the Conservative party.
Also unlike 1975, there is now a major political party advocating EU exit. We shouldn’t underplay the extent to which UKIP and Nigel Farage have changed the debate in the UK. UKIP has opened the public’s eyes to what the EU is really all about. The opinions of the 4 million UKIP voters in May 15 reflect many millions of others who might not have voted UKIP in May for ’tactical’ reasons, but deep down, share its belief in an independent United Kingdom.
Unlike 1975, there is now substantial media support for UK exit, with the Express, Mail and Sun (maybe even the Telegraph?), supporting leaving the EU. Ideas are now being discussed and propagated by many ‘mainstream’ political commentators that would have been unthinkable just a few years ago. Unlike 1975, this will be a proper contest.
‘The most puzzling development in politics in the last decade is the apparent determination of Western leaders to recreate the Soviet Union in Western Europe ..’ (Mikhail Gorbachev, 2001)
Key Messages …… To get our message across to the British people, two things are key:
1. The Positive Message ….. How Much Better Off Britain will be leaving the EU – in every sense, not just materially. We must paint the picture for the public of what an Independent Britain will look like. All the work for this has already been done (2015 GE manifesto). The key points are that outside the EU, the UK will have: More Democracy; More Prosperity; More World Influence; More Control.
As the only party that is united on the subject, UKIP is well placed to answer the many questions that will arise during the campaign about how Britain will operate outside the EU. Some spokespersons from other parties may find themselves on rather unfamiliar ground when it comes to explaining how an independent Britain will work. That is why UKIP must be a key part of this campaign.
2. The Negative Message
A vote to stay in the EU is not a vote to keep things as they are. There is no status quo in the EU – it’s a continually developing project with the express aim of ‘ever closer union’ – a conveyor belt towards a United States of Europe.
If left unchallenged, the project will not stop until it has extinguished all national independence and destroyed Europe in the process.
A ‘Stay In’ vote will be a green light for Britain’s euro-enthusiasts to accelerate plans that are already in preparation to bring about full federal union. If the British people don’t want to end up at this destination with all it entails (Turkey’s borders become our borders; an EU judiciary, police force, army, foreign policy, currency, flag), they must vote to leave the conveyor belt now – its their last chance.
David Cameron’s bogus ‘re-negotiation’ isn’t worth the paper it’s written on. Without a new Union Treaty, the ‘concessions’ claimed by Cameron will be rapidly whittled away by the EU once a vote for Britain to ‘Stay In’ has been secured.
‘Just because it went on for a long time, it doesn’t mean that anything much happened ..…’ (French President, Francois Hollande, speaking about Cameron’s ‘re-negotiation)
Dismantling ‘Project Fear’ ….. The first few days of the ‘Staying In’ campaign have been marked by a complete absence of any positive message. ’Project Fear’ is what Cameron believes will scare the British public into voting to stay in the EU.
These shameful fear stories must be debunked. Attached with this newsletter is an A4 sheet (‘Project Fact’) which answers some of the ‘scare’ stories you are likely to hear. Please photocopy it and circulate to any people you know who aren’t sure, or haven’t yet made their minds up which way to vote on 23rd June.
Two London Boroughs have become the first parts of the UK to leave the EU. On 15th February, Councillors on the London Borough of Bromley voted by 23 votes to 7 to leave the EU, following the LB of Havering, who took a similar vote a few days earlier.
Survival Of The Fittest …. Currently we’re in a race to find out the best campaign group to lead the ’Leave’ campaign, which the Electoral Commission will designate on 14th April. That group will then have exclusive access to public funds and the media. All the other ’Leave’ campaign groups will be expected to ‘row in’ behind the designated lead group. There is no reason why this should not happen. When the enormity of the opportunity that is before us sinks in, it will concentrate minds wonderfully.
‘Vote Leave’ and ‘GO – Grassroots Out’ (which now includes ‘Leave.EU‘), are the two main contenders. Each organisation has things which the other one needs. ’Vote Leave’ is predominantly Westminster based, having many Conservative MP’s, peers, media supporters and access to some of the best think-tanks and research groups around (Taxpayers Alliance). However it has less in the way of footsoldiers or support from other parties. ‘Grassroots Out’ (GO) may lack the advantages of being in the Westminster establishment, but it does have diversity, is backed by UKIP and can harness the talents and energy of a wide variety of grassroots campaign groups from all across the political spectrum.
Stories of splits and arguments between the various groups have been much exaggerated by the media and are only to be expected in a competition between rival groups to secure the all important nomination from the Electoral Commission. All of the ‘Leave’ groups are producing good, consistent material which proclaims the same message and most importantly, uses the same data and figures. And don’t believe media stories of ‘splits’ in UKIP because Nigel is backing ‘GO’, Douglas Carswell and some others are backing ‘Vote Leave’, etc. This is ‘spreading our bets’; it ensures that whichever group gets the nomination, UKIP will already have the influence of senior figures at the heart of that campaign group.
David Cameron has ‘neutered’ Conservative party branches, so they are prevented from campaigning in support of ’Leave’. However more than 70% of their members support ‘Leave’ and will want to do something to help. UKIP’s local branches will be a vital element in getting the message out. We must be prepared to welcome any offers of help and work alongside members of other parties locally. It’s a golden opportunity to show everyone the sort of people we really are, and dispel some of the poisonous myths about UKIP that have been propagated by Cameron. We should be prepared to use the best material from every group and promote it alongside our own.
In Dorset, a cross-party campaign group has been formed to support ‘Leave’; ’Dorset Out’ (www.dorset out.co.uk), headed by David Darling. Literature, Meetings and Street Stalls are being arranged.
Those UK – EU Finances Explained ..…..
‘Imagine that you’re the UK and I’m the EU. OK, here’s the deal. If you want to be in my club, it’ll cost you £20 membership a day. Well, thank you very much. Welcome to the club. In return, here’s a £10 note, plus a little bit of loose change.’
‘Now listen very carefully. I will decide where, when and how you can spend your £10 note (plus that little bit of loose change). I will also require you to tell everybody you see, how grateful you are to me for giving you this money to spend ….’
‘What’s that ? You’d like your £20 back so you can spend it for yourself ? Can’t do it I’m afraid. That money’s gone already and before you ask, I don’t know where to; my auditors haven’t signed off the accounts for the last 21 years ….’
Local UKIP Branch News ……..
Lester Taylor has been adopted as UKIP’s Dorset candidate for the Police & Crime Commissioner elections on 5th May. North Dorset PC Steve Unwin is his election agent. For more details, contact Lester on firstname.lastname@example.org
6th Feb, Public Meeting, Canford Heath: A full to capacity church hall heard UKIP Deputy Chair Suzanne Evans and ’Dorset Out’ campaigner Steve Unwin, give compelling presentations on why Britain should leave the EU. Most of the members of the public who came, responded with enthusiasm and took literature and information. Donations raised over £250 for MDNP branch campaign funds.
13th Feb, Wimborne Market; Our stall attracted a positive response from the public and a good amount of literature was taken. ‘Outpost’ newspapers and William Dartmouth’s Trade booklets were very popular.
26th Feb, BBC ‘Question Time’, Poole 16 year-old Lexie Hill stuns the panel into silence and wows the national press, with her forensic demolition of the government’s immigration policy (Daily Mail, 27th Feb).
27th Feb, UKIP Spring Conference, Llandudno – a hardy band of Dorset Ukippers (including your branch chairman and secretary), made the 6 hour road trip to North Wales. With the main focus being on the referendum and the launch of ‘GO’, it was good to hear presentations from all four corners of the UK on the local assembly elections in Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland and London on May 5th. UKIP has some outstanding candidates and has a good chance of gaining elected members in all four (something other parties cannot boast), making us truly the party of a United Kingdom. Success here will also be a massive boost to the referendum campaign to follow.
5th March, Public Meeting, Oakdale – Another packed hall (100+), for a meeting organised by cross-party campaign ‘Dorset Out’. Local MP’s Conor Burns and Richard Drax laid bare the falsehoods behind ‘Project Fear’ and the many positive reasons why the UK would be better off leaving the EU. An international flavour was added by Eric Raoul-Duval from ’Debout La-France’ (similar to UKIP), who gave a penetrating account of the state of French politics and the rising tide of euro-scepticism in his country. Laure Ferrari (IDDE) explained how the EU is extinguishing democracy for the younger generation across the entire continent. Finally David Nevett and Terry Stewart introduced the two organisations which have been set up locally (’Dorset Out’, ’Poole Out‘) to bring together people from all walks of life to campaign for Britain to leave the EU.
‘We can be different, and be friends – in fact I quite like my friends to be different .…’ (Eric Raoul-Duval)
Area Team Leafletting: Now is the time to make maximum effort to get as much ‘Leave‘ literature out there as possible. Our branch area teams are already out there working and have distributed many ‘Better Off Out’ leaflets and ’Outpost’ newspapers to households in Corfe Mullen, Broadstone, Wimborne, Colehill, Upton and Canford Heath.
But we need more help ! It takes only 1 hour to deliver 100 leaflets. The literature will be non-party political, so if you have friends who are sympathetic to leaving the EU, whether they belong to another party or none at all, ask if they can help by leafleting their road. This is above and beyond any party politics. If you never do anything else, do it now. Don’t leave it to others; they might be leaving it to you !
If you can help in any way or know others who can, please contact branch secretary Diana Butler (01202-602427) Our Area Team Co-ordinators are awaiting your offers of help.
Stories You Won’t Hear on the BBC ……
‘Auditors have refused to give the EU budget a clean bill of health for the 21st year in a row. EU accountants said that some 4.4% of the EU’s £102bn expenditure (£4.5bn) in 2014 was ’irregular and possibly illegal’, including up to £530m from the UK …..’ (Daily Mail, 13th February)
‘British lawyer Sir Francis Jacobs QC, Advocate- General at the European Court of Justice from 1988 – 2006, has said that EU law will always take precedence over UK law as long as Britain stays in the EU. The only way to ensure UK law was paramount, was to leave the EU, he added ….’ (Daily Mail, 6th Feb)
‘The Director-General of the British Chamber of Commerce has been forced to resign after his comments supporting Britain leaving the EU. John Longworth told the group’s annual conference on 3rd March that ‘the country’s business prospects could be brighter outside the EU and that the UK would be better off leaving ….’ (Teletext News, 5th March)
‘A survey of 2000 ordinary investors in the UK stock market, carried out by The Share Centre, found that 63% are planning to vote to leave the EU, up from 44% last summer. 76% do not believe that David Cameron’s re-negotiations ‘materially change’ the UK’s relationship with the EU. Richard Stone, Chief Executive of The Share Centre said the change in views since 2015 revealed a dramatic shift in favour of leaving. He added: ‘Recent market and global volatility has made investors more likely to vote to leave …… suggesting many investors believe the UK would be better positioned to weather such storms outside of the EU ….‘ (Daily Mail, 20th Feb)
Tales From Europe ……..
GREECE ….. ’One fifth of the Greek population now live below the poverty line ….’ ‘The City of Athens budget has been slashed by 40% in the last 5 years …’ Youth unemployment in Greece is more than 50%; with some areas over 70% … the highest in Europe…..‘ ‘In 5 years, the Greek economy has shrunk by 25%. 80% of Greek shipbuilding has been lost and the country has the highest income inequality in Europe …‘ (Greece with Simon Reeve, BBC2)
FINLAND …. ‘Thousands of Iraqi refugees who arrived in Finland last year have decided to return home, with many complaining that the country is too cold. Finland will next week begin chartering flights to Baghdad, after 4100 changed their minds. Muhladdin Hussain who runs a travel agency that has been selling 15 – 20 tickets a day back to Iraq said: ‘Some say they don’t like the food here, it’s too cold or they don’t feel welcome ….’ (surely such things wouldn’t deter genuine refugees ? ed) ’ (Daily Mail, 13th Feb)
‘It’s quite simply stupid to open Europe’s doors wide and invite in everyone who wants to come to your country … ‘ (Dimitri Medvedev, Russian PM)
GERMANY …… ‘A busload of Syrians sent to Angela Merkel’s office in Berlin by a Bavarian mayor in protest at her migrant policy, has been returned after she refused to see them. Peter Dreier, Mayor of Landschut said it had been ‘an act of desperation’ to send them on a 350 mile journey he hoped would ‘send a signal, that Bavaria cannot cope with a mass influx‘. But the bus had to go back after Mrs Merkel’s staff refused to welcome it at the Chancellery …..’ (does this make Mrs Merkel a Nimby ? ed) – (Daily Mail, 16th Jan)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ EVENTS …. EVENTS .… EVENTS ….
Due to a lack of space, we’ve had to suspend temporarily, our ‘Events’ column. Normal service will be resumed in the next edition ! Events and Meetings for the referendum campaign will be coming thick and fast, so to keep in touch check our branch website (www.ukipmiddorset.org), or the monthly ‘Dorset Digest’ (available via e-mail). If you don’t have internet access, we can send you the ’Events’ page from the Dorset Digest if you send a book of 2nd class stamps to the address below.
Items for next Edition by 30th April to:
John Butler, 20 Nightjar Close, Poole BH17 7YN
e-mail: email@example.com All items in this newsletter are personal views only and do not necessarily represent the views of the UK Independence Party Mid-Dorset & North Poole