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No Passports Required – Wednesday 19th January #ThirdWednesday

A great No Passport Required #ThirdWednesday drinks in December, we look forward to the next drinks in 2022.

Come and meet-up with likeminded freedom lovers, at our No Passports Required drinks at The George, Croydon on Wednesday 19th January, from 7pm. 

We will hold these in association with Dick Delingpole’s #ThirdWednesday Libertarian drinks club. 

Come and meet us at The George. 17–21 George Street, Croydon. CR0 1LA on Wednesday 19th January, from 7pm.

A Shadow Cabinet best left in the shadows.

When Sir Keir Starmer first announced his shadow cabinet back in April 2020, we reviewed the members and could only find the unelected Lord Falconer, who seemed to believe in enacting the democratic vote of 2016 to leave the EU.  Following the loss of the Hartlepool by-election in May this year we reviewed the reshuffle and found Labour still couldn’t find any MPs for the shadow cabinet who like 52% of voters, supported us leaving the EU.

Sir Keir has again shuffled the shadow cabinet and we have reviewed it to see if any of the new intake are more reflective of the British electorate?

Shadow Minister of State at the Cabinet Office – Baroness Chapman of Darlington

Jennifer Chapman came into her role in June this year.  Previously an MP, she campaigned to remain in the European Union in the 2016 EU membership referendum.  Not wanting to honour the referendum result in 2019 she said “We got here through a democratic vote and the only way to proceed is through another democratic vote”.

Shadow Secretary of State for Northern Ireland – Peter Kyle MP

Kyle campaigned for remain during the EU membership referendum, 2016. In June 2018, he said “Brexit is a big deal but it’s not a done deal”. Kyle put forward an amendment to Theresa May’s Brexit Withdrawal Agreement, aimed at not honouring the original referendum, and to pass the Withdrawal Agreement Bill on the condition that the deal on offer would go back to the British people through a confirmatory vote.

Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care – Wes Streeting MP

Streeting campaigned against Brexit in the run up to the 2016 EU membership referendum.  Not honouring the original referendum he tweeted that the NEC had “made the right call and confirmed that a public vote will be in our manifesto for the European elections”.  He described those who believed we could walk away from the EU without a deal as “Brextremists”.

Shadow Secretary of State for the Home Department – Yvette Cooper MP

Ms Cooper said the Leave campaign was “being led by the hard right of the Tory party” who had “never been friends to public services or low-paid workers.  During the Brexit process, Cooper consistently fought against honouring the referendum result if it meant a no-deal Brexit.  Cooper tabled a private members’ bill, again with the intended effect of preventing a “no-deal” Brexit.  In the complete opposite of what we have seen in reality with rising wages she said “working people will be hardest hit by Brexit”.

We can see none of the new Shadow Cabinet members are supporters of Brexit.  But Labour also have people attending the Shadow Cabinet, let’s see how they fair?

Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury – Pat McFadden MP

Pat McFadden was opposed to a no deal Brexit and supports a close trading relationship with the European Union.  Not honouring the original vote, McFadden was in favour of a second referendum to give the people a final say on leaving the European Union (note to Pat, we had already had that say).

Opposition Chief Whip in the House of Lords – Lord Kennedy of Southwark

Roy Kennedy, Baron Kennedy of Southwark took up the role in June.  Baron Southwark appears to have a problem with constrained labour markets giving working people a pay rise.

Once again not one MP, not one Lord, in favour like 52% of voters, of Brexit.  Worse than that many members of the Shadow Cabinet wanted to ignore the referendum and have the people of Britain vote again, and no doubt again, and again, and again, until we voted the way they wanted.  The Labour Party is not yet proving it can be trusted with democracy.

Podcast Episode 62 – Sandy Wallace: Tyranny in Disguise, Johnson’s Troubles & Mayoral News

We are joined by Sandy Wallace, a Scottish Libertarian Party councillor from Aberdeenshire, as we discuss the new Covid restrictions, Boris Johnson’s recent troubles and the latest developments in the fight to be Croydon’s first elected Mayor. We then chat with Sandy about being a Libertarian in Scotland and the state of politics north of the border.

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Missing: Croydon’s Bus Shelters

By: Zachary Stiling

Croydon residents will have noticed the disappearance of bus shelters across the borough. The old ones were cheap-looking and nasty, but never so awful as their so-called ‘Smart City’ replacements.

Since early 2020, Croydon Council has been working with VALO Smart City towards the ‘Replacement of existing Croydon bus shelters… with new bus shelters and advertising panels, providing an opportunity to embed ‘Smart City’ technology and to upgrade the existing paper advertising with digital advertising screens.’ The programme concerns all 158 shelters which are the council’s responsibility, but not those operated by Transport for London.

“VALO Smart City is a New York-based company which conceals its purpose behind unintelligible jargon”

VALO Smart City is a New York-based company which conceals its purpose behind unintelligible jargon. According to its website, ‘VALO’s Smart City platform makes cities more efficient by collecting real-time data for city services and infrastructure, such as transportation, utilities, security, and pollution. VALO is a smart city integrator that aims to better people’s lives around the world through the Internet of Things technology.’ Croydon Council tells us the shelters will monitor air quality, noise, footfall and traffic flow.

The scheme is spearheaded by Opama Khan, whose changeable but permanently nonsensical job title is currently ‘Head of Digital Services, Access & Reach’; she is ‘Leading delivery of an ambitious strategy to enhance the borough of Croydon through digital innovation and technology.’ Nobody voted for her, but she wields power over Croydon and won’t be underpaid (the council’s outgoing Chief Digital Officer, Neil Williams, was on over £100,000 a year).

“What are we to make of this, apart from that it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money when the old shelters worked perfectly well, and that a council which has just received a £120 million bailout after bankruptcy ought to be more careful?”

What are we to make of this, apart from that it’s a waste of taxpayers’ money when the old shelters worked perfectly well, and that a council which has just received a £120 million bailout after bankruptcy ought to be more careful? Suffice it to say, the council hasn’t revealed the cost but it claims it will generate £6.75 million in advertising revenue over 10 years. One fails to see how it should generate more than the old bus stops which also displayed advertising, but £6.75 million doesn’t seem much considering the council spent £5.4 million on a 2017 revamp of East Croydon bus station, which amounted to smothering the shelters in crass primary colours best appreciated by small children.

It’s pure hypocrisy for a council which subscribes to climate alarmism to outsource its bus shelters to an American company. Like all tech products, they are surely to be made in undeveloped countries, with raw materials, constituent parts and the finished shelters having to be transported thousands of miles before they arrive in Croydon. There may even be a bit of child labour somewhere along the line. And because they are to be online constantly, they are going to require a constant supply of power.

“They may not look misplaced on central Croydon’s streets, besieged as they are by glass-and-steel Babels, but they have no place in the suburbs”

The aesthetic of the shelters may be described as ‘industrial neo-modern’. At night, they will be tackily lit by LEDs. They may not look misplaced on central Croydon’s streets, besieged as they are by glass-and-steel Babels, but they have no place in the suburbs. Croydon’s suburbs were built in accordance with the Arts & Crafts philosophy intended to combine the beauty and healthy qualities of the countryside with the convenience of the town. To introduce the ugliness of stark utilitarianism to such a landscape would be to the detriment of all residents. Far better would be to supply semi-rural and suburban areas with traditional wooden shelters which could be made by local craftspeople for minimal cost.

Most of all, the great evil of the Smart City which affects us all is the spread of Big Brother. One may wonder how a bus shelter monitors footfall and traffic flow. That’s easy – it has cameras which, with its internet connection, might be viewed at any time from some central H.Q. With our government demonstrating increasingly authoritarian tendencies, surveillance bus shelters are not our friend.

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No Passports Required – Wednesday 15th December #ThirdWednesday

Thanks to all who attended our No Passport Required #ThirdWednesday drinks in November, and great to see some new people there.

Next up are our December Drinks.

Come and meet-up with likeminded freedom lovers, at our No Passports Required drinks at The George, Croydon on Wednesday 15th December, from 7pm. 

We will hold these in association with Dick Delingpole’s #ThirdWednesday Libertarian drinks club. 

Come and meet us at The George. 17–21 George Street, Croydon. CR0 1LA on Wednesday 15th December, from 7pm.

Net Zero – We came together to fight a referendum do we need a new one? – Part 5

As a group that came together to fight a referendum on membership of the EU, we thought we would ask you, what your views are on Net Zero, a possible Referendum, and more generally the environment.

Part 5 in our series of your views. More responses can be found from Part 1.

Thanks to Zack Stiling, and Roald Ribe for their responses.

“it would be arrogant and foolish to suppose that we could arrest a natural and inevitable greenhouse period simply by coercing the public to adopt a lifestyle which blends medieval feudalism with an enforced dependence on smart technology”

Zachary Stiling was the Heritage Party candidate in Kenley in the 2021 by-election, and was on the party’s GLA list the same year. Zachary has been interviewed by us and on our Pubcast.

Is global warming a threat?

No. Glacial and interglacial periods occur naturally across thousands of years and, since we made it through the ice age with little more than basic hand tools, fire and animal skins, we should be quite well equipped to cope with a projected rise of 1.5 degrees centigrade thanks to several millennia of scientific and technological progress. Even if global warming was a threat, it would be arrogant and foolish to suppose that we could arrest a natural and inevitable greenhouse period simply by coercing the public to adopt a lifestyle which blends medieval feudalism with an enforced dependence on smart technology. Presumably, some ‘net zero’ enthusiasts such as Barack Obama and Bill Gates are secretly of the same mind, or they would not both have bought coastal properties within the past year.

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?

No. Few members of the public have a detailed knowledge of climate and there is a danger that the government could increase its fear-mongering to manipulate voters, as the Remain side tried to do with the E.U. referendum. In the event of the government winning such a referendum, it would have a moral imperative of sorts to accelerate its Net Zero authoritarianism.

What action should we be taking on the environment?

The most important environmental action we should be taking is the protection and restoration of our countryside. Other than the fact that the countryside is an invaluable public asset, access to which is a lifeline for many people living in crowded urban areas, the destruction of it leads to phenomena which are immediately attributed to climate change. Before we get carried away with climate, a more immediate cause for loss of biodiversity is habitat destruction; a more immediate cause for flooding is the paving over of green land with impervious materials, which causes excessive surface run-off. We should also make an effort to reduce waste – so much plastic is unnecessary. As far as the climate goes, we should be making use of human ingenuity to adapt, not resorting to fear and authoritarianism in an attempt to control the uncontrollable.

“rational individuals should work for more individual freedom, which is the only action that will unleash the creativity and the economic environment needed to enable all to have enough surplus in their life to care about the environment they live in”

Roald Ribe is the Deputy Chair Political of The Capitalist Party (Liberalistene) (Wikipedia) of Norway. You can read our interview with Roald, and read below for an international perspective.

Is global warming a threat?

Within the current range of claims made, it is my understanding that no existential threat exists. If the sun were to expand, as it will at some point, that warming would be a threat.

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?

I am against letting any dictator, proletariat, group or majority control and run the lives of each individual. A referendum will not help much given the sense of doom and panic transferred into the population by bias and propaganda.

What action should we be taking on the environment?

The state or collective “we” should not do anything related to hypotheses about the planet’s climate. The “we” of rational individuals should work for more individual freedom, which is the only action that will unleash the creativity and the economic environment needed to enable all to have enough surplus in their life to care about the environment they live in.

This is the fifth set of your responses, further responses can be found from Part 1

Zachary Stiling of the Heritage Party – Hustings Q&A

In May this year a council by-election was held in Kenley.  We spoke at the time to the Heritage Party candidate Zachary Stiling, and had him on our pubcast.

His responses to the prepared questions are below, and give a good insight into the candidate, and the party, ahead of next years London wide local elections.

“In 2016, the council gave £4 million to Boxpark despite local business owners’ fears it would damage their trade. Local, independent businesses play a much more important role in a community than national and transnational corporations”

What do you see as the most important priorities for the people of Kenley? And how will you help deliver on these priorities?

If I may take a minute to introduce myself and the Heritage Party, the party was founded in May 2020 by London Assembly Member David Kurten. We are a socially conservative party founded to champion civil liberties and traditional family values. On a national level, we oppose lockdowns, vaccine passports and ‘woke’ cancel culture, and promote freedom of speech, free markets and individual responsibility. I am entering politics after five years as a freelance journalist and historian, and have lived in Croydon all my life. I am a conservationist at heart, having been actively involved with the preservation of historic vehicles for several years, and I am equally passionate about preserving historic architecture and the countryside. I have developed an affection for the rich history of the borough, which I believe is to be celebrated, and am committed to seeing it prosper in the future.

I believe that the rapid construction of high-density, low-quality housing is one of the greatest threats Kenley currently faces, along with the council’s cavalier disregard for the Green Belt. Housing developments are typically constructed at the expense of green spaces, historic buildings or community venues. I will address this matter in full shortly, but suffice it to say that I am wholeheartedly committed to protecting Kenley’s countryside, historic buildings and community facilities, and I will object to all developments that do not meet the very highest standards.

Often in winter, Kenley suffers from severe flooding, a problem which, incidentally, is likely to increase with more housing, as more hard-standing will prevent water infiltrating the soil and lead to surface run-off into the valleys. Croydon Council was unable to fulfil its planned flood-prevention measures as a result of its bankruptcy in November. Now that the council has been bailed out by the government with £120 million, I will make flood prevention and infrastructure improvements in Kenley a priority.

I am also conscious that many workers in Kenley, especially small-business owners and those working in hospitality, will have suffered severe financial damage because of the lockdown. In 2016, the council gave £4 million to Boxpark despite local business owners’ fears it would damage their trade. Local, independent businesses play a much more important role in a community than national and transnational corporations, and I will see that they are prioritised for grants and loans.

“I am wholly committed to the protection of the countryside and the need for new houses to meet high standards of construction and beauty. I will not approve any development planned for a greenfield site, nor any developments that are ugly and which will have a negative impact on quality of life”

Many people in Kenley are concerned about a rise in housing developments in Kenley – How do you respond to these concerns and if elected, what would you do?

Kenley residents are quite right to be sceptical about housing developments and I share their concerns. Repeatedly over recent years, the council and developers have done great harm to communities with unsympathetic, sometimes barely habitable, housing developments, while the objections of local residents have been ignored. In Kenley’s case, new developments are almost always detrimental to the local character of the area and create longstanding damage.

In January 2020, the council approved plans for a block of nine flats on Welcomes Road, a road occupied only by one- and two-storey interwar properties, ignoring residents’ objections. Then, in May, the council’s in-house developer, Brick by Brick, unveiled plans to build a block of flats on Reedham Park Avenue which contravened the regulations outlined in the council’s own Local Plan. I am fully aware that Croydon is under a lot of pressure to supply affordable housing, but the rapid construction of cramped flats is little more than cheap tokenism, and it is especially wrong in an area like Kenley, which people enjoy for its green spaces, natural beauty and high standards of suburban architecture. In many cases, Croydon’s new housing developments are not affordable for first-time buyers anyway, and are inadequately provisioned.

I spoke today to a disabled lady in social housing who complained that her house has had a serious leak for some time, but the council showed no interest in helping her repair it because it wasn’t what they considered to be an ‘emergency’. The council lazily cited coronavirus as an excuse for not responding to her complaints and, on the occasion when someone was sent to investigate, he informed the resident that the leak was ‘not his department’. One would like to think of this as an isolated problem, but the scandal of the Regina Road flats in South Norwood tells us that it is not. This is the inevitable legacy of trying to cram as many people as possible into the tightest possible space for the cheapest possible price, and it will persist into the future unless there is immediate change to the council’s attitude to housing. Not only that, but it won’t be a problem that exclusively affects social housing tenants; Croydon Council has built very little social housing of late, preferring instead to sell land to developers for private accommodation. The principle of cramming in as many people as possible at the lowest price still applies, but, instead of being awarded to the needy, the houses are being sold for a premium.

Equally worrying is the council’s attitude towards the Green Belt, which it sees as an obstacle to yet more development. Having already sacrificed 27 acres of Green Belt land for a hideous new school building in South Croydon, the council again revealed plans to eliminate sections of Green Belt in Sanderstead, Selsdon and New Addington for 6000 houses. Thankfully, Kenley has not yet been earmarked for anything so destructive, and I will defend its open spaces tooth and nail to see that Kenley residents may always have access to nature, which is so vital for our wellbeing. I am always receptive to the views and criticisms of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, who understand the importance of the Green Belt better than many councillors.

I am wholly committed to the protection of the countryside and the need for new houses to meet high standards of construction and beauty. I will not approve any development planned for a greenfield site, nor any developments that are ugly and which will have a negative impact on quality of life for Kenley residents. With Croydon’s town centre already suffering from a severe affliction of high-rises, the only new housing schemes I will support will be ‘gentle density’ ones. Brick by Brick has been an unaccountable, loss-making failure, and I will campaign for it to be scrapped. On a national level, the Heritage Party will invest in towns in the North and in the Midlands which are neglected by Westminster, thereby relieving the pressure on London for housing.

“With 16 council workers still on over £100,000 per year (compared to 10 in Sutton, nine in Merton and nine in Bromley), this is where the first cuts should be made so that civic improvements can be prioritised”

Croydon Council have stated that they face a £64.2 million gap in funding this year and that this inevitably means cuts to services; what do you consider are vital services in this community and how will you ensure that these services are retained?

The nature of Kenley, with many houses built on spacious plots with large gardens, makes the council’s garden waste collection a valuable service. Although garden waste collection already comes with a cost of £68.29 per year, and is therefore not likely to be scrapped, it ties in in an important way with fly-tipping because a lot of people decide to fly-tip because they find it preferable to paying for waste disposal. I am confident that, if the council’s finances were managed well, the cost of the service could be reduced or even assimilated into the cost of council tax.

Kenley has the good fortune of being a quiet area with a semi-rural feel in places. Sadly, the downside of this is that it is attractive to fly-tippers, who feel they can get away with dumping their waste without being seen. To this end, the council’s fly-tip reaction teams, who work with council enforcement officers to catch, fine and prosecute offenders, are a valuable part of the council’s operations. It is just a pity that in the past the council has pursued fly-tippers with more enthusiasm than honesty – several people, including a family member of mine, have been issued with fixed-penalty notices from the council, for which there is no option of appeal, because they attempted to dispose of waste at council recycling sites which were overflowing from where waste collections had been neglected.

I am interested in targeting real fly-tippers only, and I believe no fixed-penalty notices should be issued unless there is proof of an offence having been committed. I will make sure the fly-tip reaction teams operate justly and efficiently. I also believe they should have more of a presence in public so as to deter people from fly-tipping in the first place but also to catch people who drop litter, who so often evade justice. Littering is a vile habit for which there is no excuse, and a blight on many communities. Dropping litter carries a fixed-penalty fine of £150. I will strive to see that this is enforced to the fullest extent, albeit only with proof of the offence being committed.

Obviously, when fines are generated, enforcement teams will pay for themselves to some extent, but I do not believe it is prudent to rely on fines as a source of income, and that mentality is what encourages councils to set targets for revenue from fines, to be met by hook or by crook.

When a council is struggling to meet the needs of its citizens, it ought to look to itself to make cuts before it strips the public of services. With 16 council workers still on over £100,000 per year (compared to 10 in Sutton, nine in Merton and nine in Bromley), this is where the first cuts should be made so that civic improvements can be prioritised. Croydon Council could save thousands of pounds each year by not overpaying its senior staff.

“residents are aware of Kenley’s magnificent heritage. At present, Croydon Council does not seem to be very proud of the borough’s history but it is an aspect I would like to promote”

The Kenley Community Plan was successful in a bid for GLA funding to deliver projects that connect and improve Kenley. What new and existing projects do you think will connect and improve Kenley?

Dare I say that there is not much to improve? Residents of Kenley are generally very proud of their neighbourhood and the council’s attempts to interfere with it, especially where housing developers are concerned, are often very unwelcome.

However, it is clear that because Kenley is a bit out on a limb compared to other areas of Croydon, residents are too dependent on cars and would appreciate better public transport links. A lot of residents have complained of heavy traffic in the area, cars driving too fast, and lack of provision for parking, while also finding that public transport is overcrowded. I believe Croydon Council needs to work with Transport for London to discuss the provision of a more regular bus service in Kenley. There is no convenient public transport between the southern part of Kenley and central Croydon. A regular bus service from the town centre to Kenley Common would be advantageous for residents and would make Kenley a destination for walkers, who could combine a visit to Kenley Common with Coulsdon Common and Riddlesdown, and spend money in local pubs and cafés.

I would like to consult with residents about improvements to Kenley’s road layout. Speed bumps are never a clever means of slowing traffic down as they shorten the life of a car’s suspension and contribute to air pollution as they force drivers to move through the gears and rev their engines. Chicanes are a far more sensible approach and could be employed in redeveloping Kenley’s roads for the better. All this, of course, is in addition to the improvements needed to mitigate the effects of flooding, which I will resume at the nearest possible instance.

As stated already, residents are aware of Kenley’s magnificent heritage. At present, Croydon Council does not seem to be very proud of the borough’s history but it is an aspect I would like to promote. Besides being of general interest to residents, I believe promotion of Croydon’s historic buildings and institutions would encourage visitors and benefit local trade. I have been drawn to Kenley Aerodrome on a number of occasions when it has hosted events and always felt I have had a good day out. The Aerodrome’s events would, I am sure, attract many more people to Kenley if decent public transport made it more accessible.

“Young people generally should be encouraged in their hobbies, not demonised; overbearing regulations are the death of creativity in the young”

Local Youth and Children’s work providers Play Place ask ‘within the youth sector we are increasingly concerned about the lack of positive diversionary activities, poorer transport links and an amplified sense of deprivation for small communities in the south of the borough.  How might we best respond to this?’

This is a subject I feel very strongly about, as I have been trying to raise awareness locally of the problem of young people riding motorcycles around my local woodland. Let me say, so that there is no doubt, that I do not condone this activity for an instant. Riding motorcycles in a space shared by dog-walkers and young children is clearly dangerous and irresponsible and has the potential to go horribly wrong. But let us try to understand our fellow man. The young people riding these motorcycles are not wilfully trying to harm anyone, they are simply trying to indulge a hobby for which there are absolutely no proper provisions. And I will say that, as a hobby, I absolutely do condone off-road motorcycling. Through riding off-road, motorcyclists are able to learn a lot about controlling their machines, all of which serves to make them much safer riders on the road than someone who buys a motorcycle merely for ease of commuting. Plus, as enthusiasts, they are learning about engineering and mechanics and developing practical skills which are not encouraged in schools, and that helps to cultivate an ethos of individual responsibility.

Much has been said lately about the Valley Park car meets, where young car owners display their modified vehicles. Undoubtedly, there is an antisocial aspect to this when drivers rev their engines incessantly and engage in dangerous driving, but this is not justification for trying to ban the car meets entirely. With proper measures in place to ensure safe driving and peaceful behaviour, they could be a great addition to Croydon’s culture, generate visitors and improve local spending. This has been the case in the past with the Chelsea Cruise, the monthly parade of classic, custom and American cars that has been taking place on the last Saturday of the month since 1975. For a time in the early 1980s, the Greater London Council embraced the cruise because it was a popular public event and drew thousands of spectators to the King’s Road. Sadly, that has been in decline as the green agenda that has been prevailing in London for several years has been hostile to motorists irrespective of whatever historical, cultural or aesthetic contribution they may make, and the expansion of the Congestion Charge zone may sound the death knell for the Chelsea Cruise.

Sad though that would be, it is obvious that there is sufficient enthusiasm here in Croydon that we could have our own safe, well-attended Croydon Cruise. The scale of it means that it would necessarily require some policing but so long as people drive safely and do not make a public nuisance, it is something the council ought to encourage. Young people generally should be encouraged in their hobbies, not demonised; overbearing regulations are the death of creativity in the young. As it stands, the council’s current failure to provide adequate facilities for young people and the punishment of them when they try to entertain themselves has all the hallmarks of a joyless, lazy bureaucracy.

Few people today know that Croydon once hosted a motorsports venue. All that remains of the Waddon Lido is the sad ghost of a diving stage. Many south London musicians, from Jacqui McShee of Pentangle to the Damned, started their careers on Croydon’s once thriving live music scene. McShee sang at the Olive Tree folk club and the Damned famously played at the Greyhound – both are now long gone and the current scene in Croydon is unlikely to give rise to any more great musicians. The innumerable houses springing up over the borough are apparently built with the expectation that the people living within them won’t have any hobbies to pursue.

I don’t believe Kenley is the right place for heavy development, but Croydon town centre is in dire need of facilities for the young and I will use my position in the council to encourage the development of sports facilities, hospitality venues and music venues. Sports facilities may necessarily require large amounts of space and I believe the best area for development is brownfield land close to Croydon Airport. With adequate development and improved transport links to the town centre, young people in Kenley would not be deprived of amenities anymore.

More information on the Heritage Party, including its manifesto and how to get involved, can be found at https://heritageparty.org/ or email Zachary at zstiling@protonmail.com

John Poynton – UKIP candidate, Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election

The Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election will be held on 2nd December, following the sad death of James Brokenshire.

Brought up not far from Bexley in our native Croydon, John Poynton is the UKIP candidate for the by-election.

We spoke with John about the campaign. John thank-you for your time.

“The past couple of years have been difficult because of certain infighting between egos, but we have now settled behind the elected leadership of Neil Hamilton”

UKIP has gone through a few years of change, can you tell about where the party is now, and introduce yourself to our readers?

The past couple of years have been difficult because of certain infighting between egos, but we have now settled behind the elected leadership of Neil Hamilton after a contested leadership election in which I stood. Neil is of course far better known than I am! We get on well together as also I do with Ben Walker, our vigorous Chairman.

Libertarians tend to be right of centre for the simple reason they tend to be better off and better educated and thus better able to look after themselves. The poor and disadvantaged on the other hand put far greater emphasis on mutual support, community and solidarity. This is understandable, but I would not want UKIP to be seen a right wing. The majority lie in the centre and, as both the dinosaur parties know, you only win elections if you command the centre ground. That is why I call myself a social libertarian, with a view to maintaining a fair balance between he interests of both rich and poor, reducing taxes as much for the poor as for the rich, and maintaining a reliable welfare state and efficient first class essential services for all. The focus must be on efficiency and alternative funding, whilst maintaining traditional libertarian opposition to totalitarianism, the tyranny of the majority and compulsory altruism (eg. overseas aid).

I see UKIP as the only significant libertarian party on the British political spectrum, though I dare say a number of smaller parties would object to that!

You’ve stood for election a number of times, do you have any interesting memories from the campaigns, and what key message would you like to get across in this by-election?

I stood as the candidate in Ealing Southall in 2015 and 2017 and got 4.1% in 2015, far higher than anticipated though regrettably not enough to save my deposit. In fact, canvassing on my own, I only covered three of the seven wards, so I am sure I would have saved it had I covered them all.

Southall is a fascinating constituency. Although a safe Labour seat, it has a wide variety of communities, including the largest Sikh community outside India. Islamophobia was a big issue with the Sikhs and others all equally concerned about it except the white champagne socialists, but the Labour apparatchiks chose to interpret it as racism and resorted to an extraordinary campaign of lies, prejudice and slander about us behind my back. This became apparent from the uniform way in which a number of people would quietly hand me back my leaflet unread (I just thanked them for it and pointed out they hadn’t read it yet!). Occasionally someone would shout ‘No racism here’ after I offered them a leaflet (Glad to hear it, madam), and one man, of Nigerian origin I think, started talking about gas chambers as I approached him! He was not aggressive about it but would not accept any alternative narrative. I think his wife, standing beside him, was quite embarrassed about it.

The local Ealing rag also airbrushed me out of a photo of the count. There was Virendra Sharma, the sitting MP, who I must say was himself a gentleman throughout, giving his speech with a group of candidates on his right shoulder and a completely empty stage to his left. It looked so blatant!

By contrast as many if not more voters would read my leaflet ostensibly in front of me, as though to say no one was going to tell them what they could or could not read. There is certainly spirit in Southall and it was a pleasure to canvass there, with plenty of opportunity for street and doorstep conversations. I never once encountered personal aggression. UKIP’s constitution commits us to upholding the principle of equality under the law and opposes all forms of discrimination, but people seemed to accept it quite readily on the street when I told them.

It is always difficult to raise people’s sights above the local perspective, but that is what Brexit was all about and is what UKIP continues to be about

Looking at Old Bexley and Sidcup, what do you see as the big issues and opportunities for the area?

My purpose in standing in Old Bexley and Sidcup is not so much to win (unlikely!) but to get our re-launch underway and inform people about our new policies and priorities. Everyone says that local issues are the key, and I am sure that is right. At hustings in the past I have had to remind people that their MP does not run their local council! It is always difficult to raise people’s sights above the local perspective, but that is what Brexit was all about and is what UKIP continues to be about. Of course as an MP I will take issues raised by my constituents seriously and represent their interests to the best of my ability, but I am not is a position just yet to anticipate what they might be. The important thing will be to be available and approachable.

If elected what would you want to focus on in office?

Top priorities are to reduce and eliminate our trade deficit with the EU, establish a Proper Brexit, and to get immigration under control.

John can be found on Twitter, Facebook, has a website, and a leaflet available:

Net Zero – We came together to fight a referendum do we need a new one? – Part 4

As a group that came together to fight a referendum on membership of the EU, we thought we would ask you, what your views are on Net Zero, a possible Referendum, and more generally the environment.

Part 4 in our series of your views. More responses can be found from Part 1.

Thanks to Crispin Williams, Helen Spiby-Vann, and Mike Swadling for their responses.

“I can remember back in the 1960s when the doom-mongers were heralding the start of another ice age!  … so I am by nature and experience a sceptic”

Brexiteer Crispin Williams. Crispin has previously written for us on House of Lords Reform.

Is global warming a threat?

It is Boris Johnson’s (and others’) threat!

I can remember back in the 1960s when the doom-mongers were heralding the start of another ice age!  I have also lived through the panics of Aids and the Millennium Bug, both of which were supposed to ruin life as we know it but fizzled out as a major threat, so I am by nature and experience a sceptic.  However, I am inclined to believe the graphs that show global temperatures have soared since 1980.  Therefore, my proper answer to the question is yes, it is a threat.

1980?  Hmm.  The temperature rise seems to mirror the rise of industrialisation in China and India.  Anyone who has travelled to these and similar countries will have witnessed the high levels of smog and pollution, far worse than we used to have in Britain when we were renowned for our ‘pea-soupers’.  In short, we British are not the cause of the problem.

But should we be taking the lead in addressing it?  In practical terms, it is a waste of time us ruining our economy to shave off a fraction of the 1% of carbon emissions that we generate.  It is well documented that China can – and will – increase their output by this amount in a few weeks, if not days.  So it is patently nuts for us to be spending billions of our taxpayers’ money on reducing our miniscule contribution to the problem.

Should we have a referendum on net zero targets?

No.  That’s not how we do things in this country.  Switzerland can have one as it is part of their democratic processes but there is virtually no precedent here.  Referenda should be reserved for constitutional matters only.  Anyway, the subject is too emotive and the general public would not be given the full range of facts to make an informed decision.

What action should we be taking on the environment?

Buy lots of sun block, nice shades and swimmies and sod the next generation… 

Yes, that was a joke.  That said, what we could and should do is pressure the worst polluting countries into reducing their emissions.  How?  Well, as a suggestion, we could put a ban (or very high tariffs) on imports from them until they address the problem.  Of course, this would increase the cost of goods we buy but I suspect the total would be a mere fraction of what we are intending to spend on net zero.  And it would stimulate our manufacturing base.

Finally, if we are intent on reducing our emissions, this would best be done through market forces rather than government diktats, artificial target dates and huge subsidies.  Once electric cars are cheaper than petrol ones and heat pumps are cheaper than gas boilers, then we will naturally move towards lower emitting technologies.

“Kenya successfully banned plastic packaging in 2017, Rwanda in 2008. We don’t need plastic packaging. We have paper, cardboard, tin, glass, compostable and natural fibres”

Helen Spiby-Vann of the Christian Peoples Alliance party. You can also read our interview with Helen.

‘I’m not going to replace the polyfoam with paper food trays until the government makes me.’ Said the chip-shop man nonchalantly. Not so long ago I got into an uncivilised wrangle over a chip tray. My teenager left the shop in horror at my indiscretion. 

However unreasonable and hopeless it may seem, small changes will make a huge difference.

Is global warming a threat?

I believe global warming is a threat. However, as a Christian, my divine calling is unconditional advocacy for compassionate stewardship of the earth’s creatures and plants. Plus to foster equitable sharing of the earth’s resources.

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?

I think this would be a good idea as it will create awareness about the implications across the board. Open discussion and critique from a range of opposing positions will stir hearts into action. Assuming it is approved, it will strengthen the resolve and mandate of this movement. Unfortunately, there is so much ‘greenwashing’ at large, a person can be forgiven for thinking they are helping the planet by buying more plastic Petunias.

What action should we be taking on the environment?

Lifestyles:
More cherished, forbearing and Godly. Less materialism, disposable and excess.

Plastic packaging:
‘I was shocked, when I came to the UK, there’s plastic wrappers on everything in the supermarket.’ (Confessions of my Kenyan friend in London).

Kenya successfully banned plastic packaging in 2017, Rwanda in 2008.

We don’t need plastic packaging. We have paper, cardboard, tin, glass, compostable and natural fibres that are part of circular economies. Supermarkets are selling more and more items in plastic packaging. This is not acceptable. We can solve the plastic packaging problem simply by not producing it in the first place.

Moreover, we should be extending this to manufacturing by promoting ‘Cradle to Cradle’ type standards: healthy, socially just and authentically sustainable. Producing no waste and using natural energy flows that do not pollute.

Energy:
We have been building wind turbines and paying for them to be switched off. There must be a better way to manage our sustainable energy assets so we can phase out fossil fuels.

“we have a situation where the political/media classes all agree they need to lower our standard of living, which I firmly believe people don’t want (note they don’t seem to want to lower theirs)”

Mike Swadling one of the Croydon Constitutionalists.

Is global warming a threat?

Humans are exceptional.  200 years ago Global life expectancy was under 30, today life expectancy in the poorest counties is over 50, the global average is over 70.  When I was at school people starved in many countries, today hunger has almost disappeared except where war or governments stop food supplies.  Since the turn of the century the expanding economies of China and India mean China has a middle class the size of the population of Europe, with India only a few years behind. 

Despite expanding populations and doomsday predictions the number of people dying from extreme weather events continues to collapse.  Climate has changed for millennia before mankind, during our existence and will for many more to come without our interference.  For over 30 years ‘experts’ on hefty grants have told us of impending doom from global warming, rising seas levels, agricultural failures, and a scorched planet.  None of this has happened, and the planet is greening every year. 

Is global warming a threat? Maybe, but human ingenuity will not just rise to any challenge, we will excel and overcome it. 

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?

All of the major parties are in lockstep on Net Zero.  For all of the challenges of a referendum, we have a situation where the political/media classes all agree they need to lower our standard of living, which I firmly believe people don’t want (note they don’t seem to want to lower theirs).  Unless or until a party currently outside parliament makes a breakthrough, the people have no real choice.  For all of the challenges off a Referendum on Net Zero, today we have the people pitted against parliament, and like Brexit, I can only see that a referendum will allow us to set parliament back on a path of striving to improve rather than diminish our lives. 

What action should we be taking on the environment?

We should protect the environment we live in. In our borough, every small patch of land is being built on.  New blocks of flats out of character of the area they are built in keep popping up.  Council and government policies have made where we live a less pleasant environment, we need to change this. 

Globally we should protect at risk species of animal and plant.  I believe this is best achieved by balancing the environment concerns and economic concerns of the local populations.  Chickens are not at risk of extinction because they are good source of food and economically useful.  Horses are often well looked after because they work and are raced, so are economically useful.  Dogs are not at risk of extinction because they work and provide companionship.  There is no threat of extinction of lawn grass or corn.  Whether through tourism, food, work or altruism, animals and plants that are economically viable thrive. 

We can best protect the environment by making bio diversity an economic benefit.  To achieve this we should focus on raising the standard of living of the poorest across the globe to the point that they have the capacity to choose to invest in, and protect their local environments.

This is the forth set of your responses, further responses can be found from Part 1 and in Part 5.

David Kurten – Heritage Party leader and candidate, Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election

The Old Bexley and Sidcup by-election will be held on 2nd December, following the sad death of James Brokenshire. 

David Kurten is a former London Assembly Member and is now leader of the Heritage Party.    We’ve spoken with David on our Podcast, he’s spoken at our events on Free Speech and Brexit, and we’ve interviewed him previously when he was running for Mayor of London.

We caught-up with David about the upcoming campaign. David thank-you for your time.

“We are founded on traditional principles that are things that almost everyone considered to be simple common sense 30 or 40 years ago: pride in our nation, traditional family values, free speech and liberty…”

David you’re well known to us and regular followers, but for those less familiar can you introduce the Heritage party and yourself to our readers.

I got actively involved in politics in 2012, because I was concerned about the direction the EU was going in, as well as the rise of political correctness which has become increasingly suffocating over the last decade. More recently, I founded the Heritage Party and launched it last September.

The Heritage Party is a socially conservative party, which is what I believe the country needs right now. We are founded on traditional principles that are things that almost everyone considered to be simple common sense 30 or 40 years ago: pride in our nation, traditional family values, free speech and liberty, low immigration balanced with self-sufficiency in skills, equality before the law and financial responsibility in government.

You can read our full manifesto at heritageparty.org/manifesto

“I am glad I had the opportunity to question Sadiq Khan on his statements and policies and draw attention to how ridiculous they were”

You were a member of the GLA for 5 years, what was it like working in City Hall?

Working in City Hall was like a mixture of walking through a swamp and going into a bear pit every day. Almost all the other Assembly Members were fully signed up to the agenda of ‘woke’ ideology and climate alarmism. I am glad I had the opportunity to question Sadiq Khan on his statements and policies and draw attention to how ridiculous they were. However, towards the end, I was increasingly silenced and censored particularly when I asked about grooming gangs, gender ideology and the safety of experimental mRNA injections, which the other parties and mainstream media call ‘vaccines’.

“they are threatening vaccine passports and bringing in ’no jab no jab’ policies for care home workers and NHS staff, which is going to further damage healthcare”

You lived in constituency for 5 years, what are the big issues and opportunities you see in the area?

Old Bexley and Sidcup is a constituency that largely voted for Brexit. People here voted for Boris to ‘Get Brexit Done’ and because they believed he would provide conservative government. Instead, he has made a hash of Brexit and we have a red/green administration masquerading as conservative. They are fake-Conservatives and people are upset and angry about how this regime is destroying the nation.

They have introduced lockdowns which destroyed businesses and children’s education, they are threatening vaccine passports and bringing in ’no jab no jab’ policies for care home workers and NHS staff, which is going to further damage healthcare, and to top it off he is ploughing on with ridiculous ‘green’ policies. People do not want to have to get rid of their perfectly good cars and buy electric cars or rip out their gas boilers and replace them with inferior heat pumps.

The Heritage Party provides a simple common-sense alternative which is resonating on the doorsteps.

Parents are also extremely concerned for their children. The Johnson regime want to jab them all with experimental mRNA that is linked to heart problems in injected children. They have also introduced compulsory Sex and Relationships Education that is exposing young children to gender ideology and highly sexualised lesson content. The Heritage Party is the only party I know of that opposes both these things. I have spoken out on them since the beginning, and we offer voters a choice to protect their children from the things the government is doing to harm them.

“I’ll also keep fighting against political correctness and cancel culture which has become endemic and is corrosive to our everyday life”

If elected, what would you want to focus on in office?

I’ll be a voice for common sense and traditional British values in Parliament. I want to end mass rapid immigration, which is the cause of the housing crisis, I’ll speak out against the climate alarmist agenda which demonises carbon dioxide while ignoring real issues like deforestation and pollutants which really do cause damage like heavy metals, BPA, and PCBs. I’ll fight for financial responsibility and for the government to stop wasting billions of pounds on useless and unnecessary spending.

I’ll also keep fighting against political correctness and cancel culture which has become endemic and is corrosive to our everyday life. People should have the freedom to talk about whatever they want without the fear of being thrown out of University, losing their jobs, or even worse, being criminalised and imprisoned for whatever the regime deems to be ‘hate speech’ or ‘misinformation’. This is where all the other parties are taking us, but it is vital that we fight to keep our freedom, and I’ll do that in Parliament if I have the chance.

David can be found on Twitter, Facebook, and has a website.  The Heritage Party are on Twitter, Facebook, and online