FIFTY SHADES OF TREASON ……. The remains of the Remains (the ‘Remainiacs‘) show no sign of even recognising, let alone respecting the British people’s verdict of 23rd June; quite the opposite. Egged on by their allies in the BBC, C4 and The Guardian, they have stepped up their efforts to frustrate and then reverse, Britain’s vote to leave the EU. The so-called ‘People’s Challenge’, comprising mainly rich expats, arts council luvvies, establishment elitists, hacks and hangers-on, have raised funds for a High Court challenge to enable Parliament to block any attempt by the government to instigate Article 50.
It might not succeed, but that’s not the point: it will drag out the EU exit process even further until a General Election or another referendum can be called. The longer the government delays ‘Brexit’, the more uncertainty grows, thereby undermining business confidence and the pound, and allowing the BBC to blame it all (quite wrongly) on leaving the EU.
Meanwhile at Westminster, the Remainiacs have begun to seize control of the key parliamentary committees to scrutinise ’Brexit’. Already Commons Committees have launched 18 potentially overlapping inquiries into the effects of leaving the EU, with a further 13 currently underway in the Lords. The scope for these bodies to gum up the workings of ‘Brexit’ is huge. The Chairmanship of the crucial ‘Exiting the EU Committee’ has been given to the sinister euro-Stalinist, Hilary Benn; hardly a good omen. As the creepy German Socialist MEP Jo Leiden remarked to Nigel Farage in 2008 after the EU Constitution had been rejected by the people of France and Holland: ‘You may have your little victory today …. but we have fifty different ways to win…’
The longer these people persist in their reactionary lunacy, the greater the likelihood that their actions will split Britain into two irreconcilably hostile tribes. As we enter the last few days of a momentous political year, Britain is a more bitterly divided country than ever and its politics remains poised on a knife edge. Nothing is yet decided or settled. If in the New Year, Theresa May begins to put into action some of the fine words we’ve heard from her this autumn, she can expect to be assailed by the fanatical enemies of ‘Brexit’ on all sides; from Labour, LibDem, SNP and a good number of Conservative MPs in the Commons; from the House of Lords (many of whom draw money from the EU), the BBC, and wealthy establishment elites of all kinds. All of them ’democracy deniers’ determined to annul the nation’s verdict of 23rd June.
The political stakes are now extremely high. The possibility of a General Election cannot be ruled out, or an internal party coup against Mrs May similar to that which removed Margaret Thatcher from power in 1990. If the Remainiacs think that UKIP has gone away, it will only embolden them still further.
That is why the silent majority who spoke so loudly on 23rd June must be prepared if needed, to rise again; to face down the democracy deniers and ensure the will of the people is respected. We cannot afford to leave it to those at Westminster. UKIP’s leadership must get its act together and do so now. As Mrs Thatcher said to George Bush Snr on the invasion of Kuwait: ‘This is not the time to go wobbly ……’
MORE UNFORTUNATE EVENTS …. Reports of UKIP’s demise have been much exaggerated, but there is no denying the events of the last two months have been awful. To the glee of our enemies in the media, two of the party’s leading figures (Diane James, Steven Woolfe) managed to self-destruct in spectacular fashion. Sadly, some individuals character hasn’t quite been equal to their charisma. With the unwitting help of some in UKIP who should know better, our troubles have been exaggerated and amplified by the media at every opportunity. The Party Chairman’s excellent report on the Woolfe/Hookem fracas has left no stone unturned and leaves nothing more to be said on the subject.
Individuals may come and go, but UKIP will go on because its cause is true. UKIP is more than any individual or group of individuals. Unlike the top-down structures of the other parties, UKIP is a grassroots organisation. It’s also a movement, whose strength and motivation doesn’t depend entirely on one or two people at the top. Its branches are strong and professional enough to weather the occasional mishaps and misfortunes of a few leading figures.
We move on, with four good leadership candidates (Suzanne Evans, Paul Nuttall, John Rees-Evans and Peter Whittle). The newly elected leader should be in place by the end of the month.
Local election results remain patchy, but we should remember that in the last two months UKIP has won a Council seat in Hartlepool with a huge swing (49%) away from Labour; taken control of Thanet Council (Kent) by winning two by-election seats, and coming a close second in Swanley (Kent); one of the Tories safest seats. Hardly the signs of a party in crisis.
ROCK ON .…. There is no doubt that the most patriotic, pro-British ‘Remain’ voters (yes, there are a few), are on Gibraltar. On 23rd June, in an 83% turnout, nearly 96% voted to remain in the EU.
Of course Gibraltar has a unique set of issues, principally the border and its relations with Spain. The nightmare scenario for The Rock’s inhabitants is a recurrence of the border closure from 1969 – 1985, initiated by Franco’s regime. When you are only 30,000 people living in a tiny territory only 3 miles long and 1 mile wide, the sense of claustrophobia and isolation must have been acute. Imagine if the residents of Portland were unable to get to Weymouth or beyond for that length of time. The EU’s ‘open borders’ policy has sometimes given tiny Gibraltar a useful ally against seemingly never ending official Spanish intransigence and enmity.
There are solid economic reasons too why Gibraltar wants to retain a (relatively) open border with Spain. Gibraltar’s low regulation, low tax, free enterprise model of government works well, but it depends on resources from Spain, both material and human. The contrast with post-industrial La Linea and Algeciras on the Spanish side of the border is stark; where unemployment is 25% and youth unemployment nearly 50%. Each morning in a scene reminiscent of Maoist China, long lines of Spanish workers (12,000 a day) queue on foot or on bicycle at the border for entry in Gibraltar, to work in its burgeoning economy. Income from a pack of 400 smuggled cigarettes brought back across the border into Spain can feed a family of four for 3 days. If you want the clearest picture of why the free enterprise model of the Anglosphere is a growing success and the sclerotic, socialistic model of the Eurozone is doomed to failure, here they are, right next to one another.
The paramount (and surprising) impression one gets of Gibraltar is just how economically buoyant it seems to be. Construction is everywhere. Nearly 10% of Gibraltar is built on re-claimed land (and this % is increasing). Huge new flats developments are going up everywhere. There is an impressive new marina with shops, restaurants and bars at Ocean Village, a new Casino, a new deep water cruise ship terminal, an offshore luxury floating hotel, a spanking new airport terminal and hospital; the place is buzzing with prosperity. Don’t believe the detractors who tell you this is all being built on smuggled cigarettes and dodgy financial dealing; Gibraltar’s financial service sector has recently been given a clean bill of health by financial services authorities from both Britain and the EU. The formation of a business consortium to further links with Morocco, the improvement of ferry services to Tangier, are signs of increasing self-confidence; that Gibraltar is looking beyond its relationship with its big brother neighbour.
Gibraltar isn’t all, or even mainly British ex-pats. The Gibraltarans are a distinctive national entity, and a truly multi-cultural one too, comprising descendants of many different peoples (Spanish, Italians, Maltese, Jews, Moroccans); who have all found a refuge on The Rock from more turbulent times in neighbouring countries. Gibraltar’s Muslim population is thriving, well assimilated and a tribute to the growing ties of friendship with Morocco, visible just 14 miles away across the Straits.
The desire to retain the British connection remains extremely strong. 2013 was the 300th anniversary of the Treaty of Utrecht which ended the War of the Spanish Succession (1700-1713) and awarded Gibraltar to Britain ‘for ever, without any exception or impediment whatsoever’. Although the Foreign Office still regards it as a post-colonial embarrassment that should be given away to Spain, its people have a fervent desire to stay British. When Blair attempted to broker sovereignty ‘sharing’ (ie. transferring) with Spain in 2002, 98% of Gibraltar’s population rejected it in a referendum. Mom Levy, former Gibraltar First Minister said; ‘people say that we’re more British than the British. That’s not true; it’s just that we are more “Mediterranean” about it’.
So what is Gibraltar’s future outside the EU ? Politically, there is no reason why Gibraltar’s link with Britain could not be strengthened by allowing a Gibraltar MP to sit in the UK Parliament. France’s overseas territories have long been represented in this way. But what of the border with Spain ?
One might expect more delays and inconvenience to Gibraltar once it becomes in effect, Britain’s border with the EU. However EU edicts on the free movement of goods and peoples across national borders have had little effect so far on the intransigent Spanish, who continue to police their side of the frontier like a relic of the Cold War, and it is hard to imagine that things would be that much more difficult if Britain lay outside the EU.
The Gibraltar/Spain border should simply be packaged along with ’other issues to resolve with Spain’, in bilateral talks between the two national governments. Britain’s negotiating position is in fact, extremely strong. Spanish claims are compromised by their continued occupation of Ceuta and Melilla, two enclaves on the Moroccan coast. Locally, Spain needs access to Gibraltar’s booming economy, and Spanish imposed border delays always damage their side more than Gibraltar. Restoring UK border controls with EU countries will not mean closing borders entirely. As part of a wider free trade deal between the UK and EU countries, Spain would soon realise its best interests lie in keeping the border with Gibraltar open. Spanish holders of an EU passport could continue to be allowed entry into Gibraltar to work (but not assume rights of residency). If Gibraltar were to be designated as a free trade port, it would strengthen its economic links by sea with Morocco and reduce its dependence on Spain.
Referendum Footnotes ……..
On 23rd September, a rally in London organised by the ‘Remainiacs’ succeeded in gathering nearly 4,000 people. According to BBC News, one would think this the greatest mass protest since the People’s Charter of 1848. To put it into context, on the day after, the League 2 game between Carlisle United and Accrington Stanley attracted a gate of 5,128 for a game of effectively, fourth division football. In Edinburgh and Cardiff, similar ‘Remain’ rallies struggled to raise three figures. But when you’re backed by the EU and the BBC, who needs popular support ?
‘The only income group that showed a majority in favour of ’Remain’ on 23rd June were those earning over £60,000 a year’ (Daily Mail, 30th Sept)
‘Ah yes, but it was very close’. Oh no it wasn’t. 73% of voting areas in England and Wales voted for ’Leave’. If it were a General Election, ’Leave’ would have won 423 of the 650 parliamentary constituencies; a far greater majority than Margaret Thatcher or Tony Blair achieved at the height of their power.
Local UKIP Branch News ……..
Broadstone by-election, 13th October The LibDems regained a seat lost to the Conservatives in May 2015. The campaign was a heavily engineered effort by the LibDems, determined to re-launch their local candidate‘s political career. The election was called at the shortest possible notice allowing the bare minimum of campaigning time; to catch other parties on the hop and to maximise postal voting. The low turnout (37%) and the fact that nearly 40% of the votes were postal ballots, tells its own story. Well done to Alan Gerring for keeping the UKIP flag flying, coming third with 121 votes, well ahead of Labour and the Greens.
2017 UKIP Spring Conference at The Pavilion Theatre Weymouth (Sat 4th March) Plans are well advanced thanks to the hard work of South Dorset Chairman Cllr Francis Drake and UKIP SW Region. Speakers already confirmed include MEP’s Roger Helmer, Nathan Gill, Ray Finch, William Dartmouth, Paul Nuttall, and several more besides. Francis intends it to be a shop window for Weymouth to promote the resort and local businesses. Make sure you put this date in your 2017 diaries !
Parliamentary constituencies in our area are set for a big shake up, as part of the government plan to reduce the number of MPs from 650 to 600. Find out how your constituency will be affected and what you can do about it by logging onto the Boundary Commission website www.bce2018. Unfortunately the proposals for our area are drastic and make little sense. Our Mid-Dorset/North Poole constituency disappears, replaced by a strange amalgam of Poole, Bournemouth and East Dorset wards (to be called Broadstone, Ferndown & Kinson). Branch Chairman John Butler has sent in counter proposals to the Boundary Commission, which involves fewer changes; retains the MDNP constituency but in a slightly different form, and has a more logical arrangement of the Poole, Bournemouth and Christchurch constituencies, while staying within the parameters set by the Boundary Commission. Contact email@example.com if you want to know more.
UKIP West Dorset hosted a ‘Brexit’ stall at the Dorchester County Show on 3rd September, and received a very positive response, generating 170 contacts from people offering support and help.
Bournemouth Univ media studies students have contacted UKIP via the MDNP branch website for a film about ‘Brexit’; Christchurch PPC Robin Grey, has agreed to do an interview for them.
Ray Finch MEP has again had a stand at the Bournemouth Fishing Expo in the BIC (29th October), helped by members of UKIP B’mth West.
Sadly due to ill health, UKIP’s Dorset County Councillor, Ian Smith has had to stand down. A by-election will be held for his seat (Ferndown) on 1st December. Lawrence Wilson is the UKIP candidate; please contact him (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you can help with leafleting or canvassing.
Thanks in part to the sterling efforts of UKIP’s Shaftesbury Cllr Lester Taylor, Dorset County Council are meeting on 10th November to decide whether, in the face of public protest, to reverse the original resolution of the Con/LibDem groups on DCC to cancel next May’s County Council elections.
Our branch’s annual pub skittles evening and buffet at the Coach & Horses, Wimborne was enjoyed by all. Going into the final round, the Chairman’s XI had a seemingly unassailable lead, but ‘it ain’t over till the fat lady sings’ and a late surge by the Dave Butt All-Stars Xl saw them retain the title for the third year !
Congratulations to our branch members Valerie Foice and Anita Llewellyn on their Gold Awards presented at the Bournemouth Conference. Only 3 such awards were given for the entire SW region
Stories You Won’t Hear on the BBC ……
World Trade Organisation Director General, Robert Azevedo has insisted the UK would suffer ‘no vacuum or disruption’ on breaking away from the EU. He added: ‘The UK is a member (of WTO) today and it will continue to be a member tomorrow. There will be no discontinuity in membership …… Trade will not stop, it will continue and its members will negotiate the legal base on which that’s going to happen’. Trade Secretary Liam Fox has been told that the machinery of the WTO will be available ‘to make the transition as smooth as possible’ … (Daily Express 27th Oct)
Leading entrepeneur Sir James Dyson has called for the UK to start leaving the EU immediately. Sir James said that Brexit will ‘liberate’ the British economy and warned that it would be suicidal for the EU to impose tarrfis in revenge. ‘We should be absolutely out’ he said. ‘If Europe wants free trade with us then that’s great, if they don’t, we won’t. There are very exciting markets outside Europe; the Far East is expanding at a phenomenal rate’ (Daily Mail, 15th Sept)
‘Britain‘s economic ‘Brexit’ bounce was made official yesterday as the Bank of England was forced to admit that it had been ‘too negative’ about the financial impact of the vote to leave the EU. ‘A number of indicators of near-term economic activity have been somewhat stronger than expected‘, the Bank said in minutes of the Monetary Policy Committee’ …… (Daily Express, 16th Sept)
‘The EU’s planned expansion to the east suffered a setback when in a national referendum, voters in Holland rejected the proposed EU-Ukraine Accession Deal by 62% – 34%‘ (The Times, 6th April) .
‘Britain‘s GDP rose by 0.5% in the three months following the ‘Leave’ vote‘ (Office of National Statistics, 27th October)
‘Car giant Nissan (employing 7000 people producing 2000 cars a day in the UK) has announced plans to produce the next generation Qashqai and the new X-Trail vehicles at its Sunderland factory (Daily Express, 28th Oct)
Vladimir Putin has said it is ‘stupid and unrealistic’ to believe that Russia wants to attack other countries. Speaking at the Valdai International Discussion Club in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, he told journalists: ‘Russia values its independence and identity. We don’t want world domination, expansion or confrontation. We have seen some countries pushing globalisation, but only to serve themselves …. to paint themselves as defenders of civilisation and bend allies to their will …. ‘ (Daily Express, 28th Oct)
‘The Electoral Commission has fined the Labour Party £20,000 for failing to declare the money spent on the doomed ‘Edstone’ during last years General Election. The 8ft high slab inscribed with waffly and meaningless pledges, was unveiled by the leader Ed Miliband during the campaign, to widespread ridicule. It is believed that the stone, since described as Labour’s ’policy cenotaph’ was later quietly broken up’ …….. (Hickey, Daily Express, 26th Oct)
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ EVENTS …. EVENTS .… EVENTS ….
Thurs 17th November, 7.30 pm, Public Meeting ‘How To Leave the EU – The Facts’, Guest speakers Gerard Batten MEP, and Steve Unwin (Leave.EU).
Q’s and A’s, literature table. The Hamworthy Club, Magna Rd, Canford Magna, BH21 3AP
LOCAL SOCIAL EVENTS: First Thursday every month (1st Dec, 5th Jan, 2nd Feb) 7.30pm: Dorset Branches Social at the Charlton Inn, Charlton Marshall. All supporters and friends welcome. Contact John Baxter 01202-897884
Sat 7th January, 11.00 am, Chat, Coffee or Snack at Corfe Coffee, 137 Wareham Road, Corfe Mullen, BH21 3HH. Contact Dave Evans, 01202-602856
Sat 11th February, UKIP Mid-Dorset & North Poole AGM 2pm, followed at 3pm by guest speaker (tbc). St Paul’s Church Hall, Culliford Crescent, Canford Heath
Don’t forget to check the monthly Dorset Digest
as well as checking our branch website www.ukipmiddorset.org
Items for next Edition by 30th December 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