Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine: Your views – Part 4

Picture: Every Night for Ukraine 022 Russian Embassy Finland.  Author: rajatonvimma /// VJ Group Random Doctors

A humanitarian crisis is unfolding before us following Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine.  The risk of a major military conflict is remote but real, and the situation on the ground continues to change.  We asked our contributors how they think Putin’s aggression will impact politics and policies in the UK and what if any changes are needed?

Back to Part 3 | On to Part 5

“The people of Ukraine do not deserve to have their homes, their lives and even their children blown to bits by Russian missiles. That is obvious. But too little sympathy is being shared with citizens of Russia … who are currently being severed from the outside world”

Harley Dalton, Steward of the Independents for Liberty.

As noted author, detective and volunteer firefighter Lemony Snicket once wrote, if everyone fought fire with fire, the whole world would go up in smoke. It is worth considering that quote in the context not merely of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, but also the actions of our own governments both leading up to and during the crisis.

First, I make no apologies for Vladimir Putin, whose unconscionable escalation to violence is but a less restrained expression of how he treats his own people. But neither do I think very highly of Volodymyr Zelenskyy or his government, who are not blameless in this conflict and deserve to be subjected to far more scrutiny than the present consensus permits. Truly, I do not care which group of corrupt, rights-abusing kleptocrats strut through Kyiv’s ministry buildings.

The people I care about, and for whose wellbeing I state my case are the innocent people caught up in this game of thrones, both Russian and Ukrainian alike. The people of Ukraine do not deserve to have their homes, their lives and even their children blown to bits by Russian missiles. That is obvious. But too little sympathy is being shared with citizens of Russia (and, it must be noted, the Russian-speaking people of Donbass), who are currently being severed from the outside world, worldly comforts denied, their whole lives and prospects rent asunder, and subject to the most outrageously fervent racism courtesy of the Tolerant and Inclusive. Whether Vladimir Putin brought that upon them or not, the fact is that it is “us” – our governments, Western media, Western corporations, who are doing it to them. It must stop.

Our leaders have no moral high ground from which to lob criticisms at Vladimir Putin. When the likes of Justin Trudeau, Joe Biden and Scott Morrison call him an enemy of freedom and democracy, who is it that Mr Putin sees? A bunch of blood-stained hypocrites. Who would take seriously these charlatans posing as respectable people, when they call for peace, unity, restraint and diplomacy? As if they hadn’t invaded nations on flimsy pretexts. As if they hadn’t murdered foreign civilians in pursuit of self-righteous conquest. As if they don’t turn those guns on their own civilians when convenient. As if they allow peaceful protest. As if they don’t collude to spread propaganda. As if they operate with a free press. As if they don’t fiddle with elections, both in their own countries and abroad. As if, begging your pardon, they hadn’t committed war crimes. As if Ukraine don’t also shell civilians, imprison political leaders, ban opposition parties, and entertain radical elements. As if they, the whole stinking lot of them, weren’t corrupt… so horribly, openly, intractably corrupt.

One cringes to see these self-appointed arbiters of moral virtue in charge of making the serious decisions affecting the lives of millions – possibly, even, billions, at least if the prospect of nuclear war has any legs to it. But they’re not serious people, and a serious response to Russia is unlikely to come in any good time before the damage – to both Russia and Ukraine, to the geopolitical situation as it pertains to China, and to the obvious self-harm we’re doing to our economy and, naturally, the poorest in our society – can be contained. A whole world up in smoke, ourselves included, with many lives lost or diminished, and for what? For the hypocrites to grandstand about the fire while they fan the flames.

A serious response involves recognizing that Russia is a legitimate nation with legitimate national interests, not merely a pariah state Soviet caricature led by the new Hitler, and then treating them as such. A serious response involves being an exemplar of the values of ‘freedom and democracy’ you claim to represent, rather than that now-cliched slogan being the war cry which precedes drone strikes, propaganda, and destroying the lives of innocent civilians.

I won’t be holding my breath.

“Anyone might be forgiven for thinking we are not actually supposed to understand the situation. After all, how can anyone believe our Western leaders are sincere in shouting ‘Freedom!’ when they have spent the past two years depriving their citizens of their most basic and important rights and liberties?”

Zack Stiling, Heritage Party candidate Selsdon and Addington Village.

The Ukraine situation is so confused that I am in no position to make confident predictions, but there are a number of possible outcomes which I hope will not materialise. In our rush to virtue signal, some voices among us have called for all manner of dangerous, unethical or self-destructive policies. Currently, the only victims of the war between Russia and the Ukraine are the unfortunate Russian and Ukrainian citizens who have been dragged into it. If some warmongers have their way, people everywhere will suffer.

To illustrate: the ban on Russian oil imports means British citizens are paying record prices for petrol and it is anticipated that energy bills could reach £3000 a year. This is a pointless act of national self-harm. Just when you think the EDL’s particular brand of bigotry is dying out, along comes Conservative MP Roger Gale to revive it, only this time it’s Russians instead of Muslims. Gale spoke on Talk Radio of the need to ‘send everyone home’, including the ‘good and honest and decent Russians in this country’. What possible moral grounds can there be for making thousands of innocent people victims of a war in which they have played no more part than any native British people? Let’s not get started on the toy-soldier enthusiasts who behave as if they think Britain really needs another raging war.

What do we really want to achieve and what do we think we’re fighting for? And who’s really to blame? Obviously, Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine cannot be excused or justified, but the pantomime portrayal of the situation in which the Ukraine is a damsel in distress, the West her Prince Charming and Russia the evil stepmother must not persist. Through the expansion of NATO, the West has gone against the advice of its own diplomats and terms it had agreed with Russia, and in doing so provoked Russian aggression. Nor is the Ukraine blameless; when it was formed, it absorbed many people who considered themselves Russian. By implementing a series of anti-Russian policies, the Ukraine hastened the breakdown of its relationship with its neighbour. And if anyone thinks Putin has always been the bad man for his oppression of opposition media, they might be surprised to find that Zelensky has the very same blots on his escutcheon.

The majority of people will not know these things because the propaganda drive is well underway. Truths which do not conform to the narrative are suppressed and shouted-down. Doublethink is rife: apparently we are supposed to believe that Russian soldiers are inhuman devils, while simultaneously understanding that they have no wish to be in Ukraine and are fighting against their will. Russia Today may not be a reliable source of news, but its censorship deprives us of something vital: a different perspective.

Anyone might be forgiven for thinking we are not actually supposed to understand the situation. After all, how can anyone believe our Western leaders are sincere in shouting ‘Freedom!’ when they have spent the past two years depriving their citizens of their most basic and important rights and liberties? Whether it’s Russia or the Ukraine and the West which emerge the victor in this little skirmish is really an academic matter. The practical reality is that the arrogant, corrupt and unaccountable politicians who have created this situation will survive it unscathed, while ordinary citizens pay the price, whether it be with their wallets, their rights or their lives.

What we should be doing is making every effort to maintain peaceful relations with Russia while encouraging its withdrawal from the Ukraine by diplomatic means (which may require encouraging the Ukraine to rethink some of its longstanding anti-Russian policies). It is not our war and aggression will only hurt us all.

“Putin the aggressor, moved his troops into Ukraine to take what he wants. Where does this stop and who will be next if he wins the Ukraine battle. When Putin took Crimea, the west did very little to stop him, he flexed his muscles and tested how the land lies”

Mary Laws, Councillor, The Foundation Party.

I am not a war expert and talk only of what I have seen and read. I hate war and my heart breaks at the thought of people, especially children are being killed for no real reason other than a bully who wants to.

So, Putin the aggressor, moved his troops into Ukraine to take what he wants. Where does this stop and who will be next if he wins the Ukraine battle. When Putin took Crimea, the west did very little to stop him, he flexed his muscles and tested how the land lies. This is not WW3, but it could be, if anyone from the West bowed to calls for a no-fly zone. This stance must remain and Boris at present is handling everything well. I believe that the young people of Russia need to protest on a mass scale to get Putin out. I think the young people in Russia want peace and do not wish to kill their neighbours, who are family and friends. I don’t believe Putin is not mad, but he is a bully that needs to be stopped.

It’s amazing how quick Europe got so heavily dependent on Russia’s Gas and oil, some Countries with 100% dependency and the likes of Germany at 40%. Billions are being frozen all around the world from Russia and Russian bank accounts and assets. Yet Europe and even the UK are handing Russia Billions for their oil/gas while handing Millions to the Ukraine in aid. How perverse is this?

We as a country are supporting the Ukraine and must continue to do so. Aid, arms, finance and other needs the country may have. The need to help Ukrainian’s women and children to enter UK must be done in a humane and measured way. Records must be kept of Visa applications of who is coming into the country and make sure this is a temporary measure until its safe for them to return to their homeland. Now I understand that Priti Patel is allowing Ukraine’s to apply for Visa’s online which will speed up the process,  if they have passports.

Going forward the UK needs to look at how we survive in the future. We are an Island nation dependant on so many countries to feed us, manufacture all our home devices, white goods and utilities. We need to get back to our industrial age although being greener in how we do that. We need to get back to farming on a big scale to feed ourselves. We need to do that before we build on all our farms and green spaces with housing.

What this war in Ukraine and the Covid 19 pandemic has shown us in the last two years is how our freedoms were swept away by Parliament who all agreed a covid law. We as citizens are constantly being pitted against one another in all sorts of issues. While Parliament has all morphed into socialists and against most of the people. It has shown us how governments can shut off all our bank accounts, food can be stopped from entering the country and they can turn off our utilities at the touch of a button.  The UK Government need to nationalise our utilities and stop foreign companies from controlling them. Food, heat and water are not nice to have, they are essentials to live and must be protected. If we were to ever be attacked so much could be held from as with food, power and other necessities.

The government must reflect on these issues and introduce policies that will ensure these essentials needs for its nation. Our freedoms in a democracy must be upheld and not changed to suit parliament and everyone from other countries. Anyone entitled to live in this country should not expect to change or alter our freedoms or our way of life. Our governments preach all around the world about our democracy but are in fact moving away from what they preach. We as a diverse nation must stop these changes and stick together through the ballot box.  Parliament with all its parties have been against the majority of the people in this country for a number of years now. We need to pull together as a nation to change the whole rotten system.

“The obvious truth is that the only way we can really help a country under attack from a larger army, would be for Challenger tanks, RAF jets and infantry regiments to join the fight and destroy the invading forces.

But another obvious truth is that military intervention of this kind would undoubtedly lead to far greater harm to human life, rather than less, and potentially without limit”

Chris Mendes, Leader, The Foundation Party.

The following is an extract from an article by Chris at https://foundationparty.uk/blog/punishing-the-russian-people-and-standing-with-ukraine-are-not-the-same-thing/.

Do we really think these sanctions will make any meaningful difference to this war? Are we so naive to think that the Kremlin didn’t anticipate them beforehand?

So why do our politicians do it? Is it really to help the Ukrainians as they claim? Some of them are probably foolish enough to think so. But for the more senior figures with broader considerations, such as the Prime Minister, it isn’t.

The obvious truth is that the only way we can really help a country under attack from a larger army, would be for Challenger tanks, RAF jets and infantry regiments to join the fight and destroy the invading forces.

But another obvious truth is that military intervention of this kind would undoubtedly lead to far greater harm to human life, rather than less, and potentially without limit.

Our economic intervention on the other hand, like a great majority of government decisions, is to defend the integrity of the government in the court of public opinion, as they hastily judge it, and defend its future electability.

Rightly, millions of people demand justice for what has happened, I’m one of them, and hopefully one day when the conflict is over the Ukrainian people will get it.

But politicians, especially of the calibre that we have today with neither courage or conviction, are ultra-sensitive to their vulnerability in this regard and are desperate to signal otherwise. And in that desperation often comes ill-considered and utterly unprincipled action that does more harm than good.

This economic virtue signalling at the expense of innocent people in Russia does absolutely no good at all and needs to stop.

Back to Part 3 | On to Part 5

End of transition: Brexiteers on Brexit – Part 7

Now we have left the Transition Period we asked Brexiteers if they feel Brexit is now complete, for their hopes and their predictions for the future. 

Part 7 below. You can also read Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5 and Part 6.

“As comedian Geoff Norcott quips when asked if he regrets voting for a conservative government. “No. I regret not getting one.”

Tam Laird, Leader of the Scottish Libertarian Party.

Did Brexit get done?  I think only technically, but it was a long drawn out torturous process that could have been avoided by (a). Accepting No Deal from the get go. (b). Taking the Norway option. But it is at least a beginning.

How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms  Freedom is a long way off. BoJo and co are doing their very best to comply entirely with the globalist agenda and their record on individual Liberty so far is abysmal. As comedian Geoff Norcott quips when asked if he regrets voting for a conservative government. “No. I regret not getting one.” But one hopes against hope that they will begin to tear up over sixty other international trade agreements that government had no real right to being involved with in the first place. Business should do business with business and make their own agreements.

What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next?  I hope to see the repeal of the Equality Act of 2010 and the absolute right to free speech guaranteed in a bill of rights based on individual liberties. In the realms of fantasy I would like to see more regional autonomy within the UK on a confederation model.

What do you think is next for the EU?  I think they may do their utmost to frustrate and hamper Britain at every available opportunity especially by using Scotland Ireland and Wales with their pro EU regimes as bulwarks.  But I hope it dies a slow painful wasting death.

“electoral reform and the reshaping of the devolution settlement, including an English parliament based outside London and the reform of the House of Commons”

Andrew Bence, of the Social Democratic Party (SDP).

Did Brexit get done?  Yes, although I can’t pretend to have an in-depth understanding of the pros and cons of the deal that was achieved. Meanwhile, as a non-economist and someone with zero experience of the import/export business, I wait with a degree of trepidation to see exactly how ‘things’ turn out. But the democratic will of the people has, finally, been respected, and as one of those who voted for Brexit, I shall own the decision we made.

How do you hope the UK will use the new found freedoms?  Again, on economic matters I am a layman, trusting in those whose expertise I find persuasive, according to whom any short-term disadvantages will be superseded by advantages long term, as new cooperative arrangements bed in, we develop home-grown products, and export more widely. However, the EU isn’t the only jurisdiction running on a democratic deficit, and my dearest hope is that this renewed focus on sovereignty will inspire a rise in democratic engagement here in the UK, leading to electoral reform and an end to our present mediocre governing duopoly.

What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next?  Abolition of the House of Lords is long overdue. I’d like to see that followed by electoral reform and the reshaping of the devolution settlement, including an English parliament based outside London and the reform of the House of Commons. Details can be found here: https://sdp.org.uk/policies/constitution/.

What do you think is next for the EU?  Entropy? Just as with the broader liberal establishment, I don’t see those at the helm recognising the error of their ways any time soon. Therefore sensible reform, increased democratic accountability, the discarding of the federalist project, these things are unlikely to happen. Europeans will become increasingly disillusioned, looking to the UK to see if the alternative is proving preferable.

“I’d like to see the House of Lords abolished or cut in size. Also and I don’t know if this is constitutional related, but I’d like to see the lockdown over.”

Anonymous local Brexit campaigner.

Did Brexit get done?  Brexit did get done. Technically that was done on 31st January 2020. 

How do you hope the UK will use the new found freedoms?  I’d like to see the UK cut unnecessary regulations and do more free trade deals, particularly with regards to services. Also, I’d like the UK to not pay welfare to EU nationals.

What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next?  I’d like to see the House of Lords abolished or cut in size. Also and I don’t know if this is constitutional related, but I’d like to see the lockdown over.

What do you think is next for the EU?  The EU will survive for now but the EU wants more integration and some member states want less. Eventually that will come to a clash and the EU will either back down or carry on. If it carries on other states will leave. If it backs down on integration then it might survive. 

“we should unilaterally withdraw all import tariffs. Tariffs in the end are self-harming. …so we can reduce consumer prices and give everyone, the poorest in particular, a well-earned break”

Chris Mendes, Croydon South Vote Leave lead, and leader of The Foundation Party.

Did Brexit Get Done?  Yes and no. We have ended the jurisdiction of the European Court of Justice and the EU Parliament and the EU Commission no longer govern our country. The free movement of people has ended and we are free to adopt free trade agreements with other nations.

This is excellent news. We who have campaigned hard for our right to national self-government can rightly feel a sense of liberation and victory.

But is this the treaty I would have agreed to? No it is not.

Boris Johnson’s government simply identified and prioritised a set of checkboxes they felt needed ticking to survive in government – namely, the separation from EU institutions mentioned above to placate “Leave” voters, and continued tariff-free access to the Single Market to placate “Remain” voters.

Everything else important was wrongly deprioritised. It is why Northern Ireland remains attached to the Single Market, why the EU still has shared access to our fishing waters, and why in this treaty we have agreed to common rules on employment, competition, state aid and the environment.

These would not have been agreed to if the Prime Minister had a full understanding and a loyal devotion to the principles underlying our independence in the first place. The whole point of leaving is for us to have our own internal conversations about all matters under the sun and to decide for ourselves what we want to do – it’s called democratic self-government.

But yet again, the Conservative Party have agreed to a treaty which is simply supposed to be about trade, but actually includes other policy agreements which it shouldn’t.

The good news however is that we can cancel this new treaty and walk-away in the future, or renegotiate the terms, if we so wish.

Theresa May’s appalling “Withdrawal Agreement” meant that both parties, the UK and the EU, had to agree to its termination before it could be terminated. We effectively came very close to national imprisonment, such was the naivety and insensitivity of that period in our political history.

In summary, having left the European Union a year ago and now agreeing to this new treaty, we are finally an independent and sovereign country again.

But the fight for enhancing our freedom and our liberty further still, with respect to this treaty, as well as Westminster itself and policy matters across the board, is still well and truly on the agenda.

How do you hope the UK will use the new found freedoms?  First and foremost, now that the dilution of our democracy has been reversed, I expect us to discuss as a nation and decide at our general elections what our trade, fisheries, agriculture and immigration policies ought to be.

We haven’t had an open discussion on these matters in recent decades due to Westminster outsourcing them to the European Union, but now our elected politicians are responsible for these matters again, the people will rightly expect robust debate on these vital issues for them to make an informed decision.

On the subject of trade, we should unilaterally withdraw all import tariffs. Tariffs in the end are self-harming. The EU’s Customs Union only succeeds in forcing millions of EU citizens to buy and sell goods at highly inflated prices. We should abandon import tariffs so we can reduce consumer prices and give everyone, the poorest in particular, a well-earned break and more money left over to save or spend on their own priorities.

Moreover, and this is where Boris Johnson’s treaty will hold us back, my ambition would be to look very closely at our industries and identify heavy-handed and counterproductive EU regulations, and indeed UK regulations, that are unnecessarily disrupting economic growth.

Government does need to regulate the markets and there are plenty of areas where constraint is justified, the environment being a sound example. But over recent decades our free market system has become less and less free and we are worse off as a result.

For example, the EU’s gigantic and overly-complex GDPR data protection regulation ought to be abolished, in favour of something far lighter and less burdensome on small businesses. Our archaic Sunday trading laws should also be abolished and we should allow businesses to trade on any day at any time.

Let’s free business to do what they do best and focus on giving the consumer the freedom to choose. This will allow us to grow the economy, expand our manufacturing base and create more jobs across the board in the long-term.

What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next?  After 47 years of our membership of the European Union, with the democratic injustices throughout, such as the signing of treaties that damaged the nation’s capacity for self-government without the consent of the people, the refusal to grant the people their say for so long, and the attempts by Parliament to subvert our decision to leave at the first chance we got, the obvious question is – how do we prevent this from happening again?

The answer is to introduce a Sovereignty Protection Act that prevents Parliament from severely diluting our national sovereignty without the consent of the people.

No policy may be implemented or law passed that would render our Parliament subordinate to any other. Politicians elected in other countries must never again be empowered to make our laws. We should forever have our own independent trade, immigration and defence policy. Our territorial waters shall remain ours to regulate, police and enforce. We shall forever remain economically independent with our own currency and our Supreme Court shall remain supreme.

Never again shall politicians have the unilateral right to change any of the above without explicit permission from the British people, expressed in a referendum, first.

Moreover, we also need a Referendum By Petition Act to allow referendums on constitutional matters to be triggered by popular petition.

If the people are unhappy with a given policy, we simply wait until the next election and vote for a change. But if we are unhappy with how the Government and Parliament works, and what powers over us they have, suiting the politicians but not the people, we must have a route to change.

When a petition on a constitutional matter obtains at least 10% of the voting population, a referendum for the people to adjudicate the matter must be held whether the politicians like it or not.

What do you think is next for the EU?  The direction of travel for the European Union is clear – more centralisation, command and control by the EU’s undemocratic institutions.

Frontex, the “European Border and Coast Guard Agency”, has this week become the EU’s first uniformed service.

This anti-democratic centralisation of power is the irreversible direction of travel of the European Union. This particular reform allows the EU to step closer towards a centralised immigration and border policy, which it has always wanted, and which was accelerated as a result of the EU migrant crisis in 2015.

In that same year, Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor of course, and then-French President François Hollande, both appeared and spoke at the EU Parliament.

They openly stated in explicit terms, and indeed this was one of the very reasons why I decided to campaign for our exit from the European Union, that the EU must have a common defence and common foreign policy.

This dangerous and anti-democratic ideology of centralisation towards a single state called Europe, without the people of Europe’s consent, is at the heart of the true purpose of the European Union.

Now that Britain has left, the authoritarian and paternalistic ideological zealots of Europe’s political elite, who hate the notion of the democratic nation state, will now have a much clearer pathway to their fanatical utopia.

Undemocratic and authoritarian empires that hide from accountability and democratic consent do not last forever. They all come to an end. And so in time will the European Union.

Back to Part 6

Podcast Episode 49 – Brexit Trade Deal, Lockdown 3, Local Elections & US Politics

We are joined by Chris Mendes, the leader of The Foundation Party and local Brexiteer Duncan Forsyth, as we discuss the Post-Brexit Trade Deal with the EU and the latest Covid Lockdown. We then consider the planned May local elections and the latest developments in US politics.

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Podcast Episode 23 – Chris Mendes: COVID Lockdown, the Shadow Cabinet & an update on the Foundation Party

We are joined by Chris Mendes, the leader of the Foundation Party, as we discuss the ongoing COVID 19 Lockdown and the Shadow Cabinet appointments. We then chat with Chris about his experiences as a political campaigner, what led to the creation of the Foundation Party and their future plans. The link to our virtual meet-up is: https://www.gotomeet.me/CroydonConstitutionalists

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You can read our interview with Chris at http://croydonconstitutionalists.uk/interview-with-foundation-party-leader-chris-mendes/ and his speech at our Debate for Democracy at http://croydonconstitutionalists.uk/grassroots-democracy-in-croydon/.

Interview with Foundation Party Leader Chris Mendes

We are delighted to interview Foundation Party Leader Chris Mendes.

Chris has declared the major political parties not fit for purpose, and says the country is desperately missing a party, one that is more patriotic and genuinely at the service of ordinary people rather than themselves.  Many of you will remember Chris from when he was the Vote Leave lead in Croydon South during the referendum. 

The Foundation Party is a long-term project for building a serious platform for clear patriotic principles for like-minded individuals who believe that our country can do so much better.

Chris thank-you for agreeing to this interview.

What first got you involved in politics?

The EU referendum. A choice between one direction or another was never clearer. Having adopted a strongly held view – to leave – the permanent nature of the referendum result compelled me to act. Over an eight month period I campaigned on the ground running street stalls, knocking on doors and holding public meetings to persuade others to vote to leave. It was clearly a rare opportunity, possibly the only opportunity, to activate the railroad switch for changing the track on which our country runs in this regard, from the wrong one to the right one.

I was, and still am, emphatically unpersuaded by the necessity of our membership of the European Union. And when the primary argument made for voting for something does not revolve around the merits of that something, but the exaggerated-for-effect demerits of not voting for it, then that argument is an inherently weak and unpersuasive argument by default, in my opinion.

“the Remain campaign’s desperate ultra-cynical strategy

‘Project Fear’, the Remain campaign’s desperate ultra-cynical strategy of scaring as many people as possible into submission – watching it on television but also seeing the impact on the ground, the real fright affected upon some people whom I encountered – shocked me.

And so it was and is the unhealthy state of our politics that has drawn me in. The gross irresponsibility and lack of leadership from people too cowardly to present an argument on its own merit, at the expense of ethics and more constructive discourse that in the end sinks us all, must be challenged.

For as long as open, calm and confident civilised debate is absent from our politics, we will forever move at a snail’s pace, if at all, towards forming any form of meaningful consensus around serious progressive change of any kind.

What campaigns have you been involved in?

The campaign I remain most proud of has been the most important campaign so far, the Leave campaign for Croydon. Week after week we distributed information and made the pro-Brexit argument in favour of national self-government and a healthier democracy.

More recently however, my new party, the Foundation Party, is at the very beginning of its journey. We took part in the Local Elections 2019. It was a mixed occasion for us featuring both wins and defeats. But the highlight was the election of Foundation Party Councillor Peter Harris in Tendring, Essex, where we topped the poll collecting the same number of votes as the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats combined. Hearing this result announced live on LBC was quite a buzz!

Prior to forming a new party, I volunteered at a senior level for UKIP working with the then party leadership. I thought at the time it might be a party that could push on and advance a much-needed political reform agenda. But in the end, it showed itself plainly to have no such potential.

What do you think is next for Brexit?

From where we are now, leaving the EU without a deal is the only course.

The outgoing Prime Minister’s “withdrawal agreement” violates the result of the referendum. The big print says “we are leaving”, while the small print says “we may not be leaving, it depends”. The UK would require the EU’s permission to annul the agreed “backstop” and leave the EU completely, which after a historic nation-wide majority voted to leave and “take back control”, is one of the greatest civilised insults from politicians to the people anywhere at any time.

Regardless as to what happens outside the Conservative Party, Brexit is eventually resolved from inside the Conservative Party.

Brexit in the end is not about cargo, but constitution. We voted for our industries, our public services and our democracy to operate within a free, independent and self-governing country. We must leave the European Union. And the next Tory leader and Prime Minister, in the event of failing to secure a better deal, must take us out without a deal and show the same degree of courage as the people who voted for it.

What surprised you most about getting actively involved in politics?

The capacity of the individual to make a difference. Having your say and helping to one extent or another is more possible than one might think.

If you could introduce or repeal 3 laws, other than for Brexit. What would they be?

So many to choose from! OK, here are my chosen three…

Top of my list of priorities is the introduction of a new completely codified constitution, similar to that of France and the United States, with explicit guarantees of independence and self-government, enforced by the Supreme Court, changeable only by a direct mandate from the people expressed via a referendum. This would help prevent temporarily elected politicians from permanently trading away our nation’s sovereignty, slowly over many years, without the proper transparency or authority from the people.

I would repeal the current ban on grammar schools and encourage the establishment of new such schools throughout the country. There is no greater gift given to academically gifted children from poorer backgrounds in particular, than granting them access to an elite standard of education. It is a shameful social injustice that this education is currently available only to much wealthier families who can afford to live in the few very expensive-to-live areas that have them.

And for my third choice I could have chosen a radical tax reform policy I have in mind, or the power decentralisation agenda that I strongly believe in – details of which can be found on our party’s website – however I’m going to stick with cleaning up politics.

“We reject the murky pattern of every major political party

I would legislate to cap donations to political parties from any one individual or organisation at £20,000 per year. As a voluntary measure this is the Foundation Party’s highly principled policy and it is hard-coded in our constitution. We reject the murky pattern of every major political party where rich individuals make huge donations in return for unjust and undemocratic influence over the party and our democracy.

Addressing the question of party funding is just one of the many aspects of the political reform agenda, and our party is determined to campaign for real action towards rebuilding our broken democracy. The career politicians won’t do it, so we the people must.

What do you see as your parties route to electoral success?

The key to obtaining popular support on the one hand and votes for winning an election in a given area on the other, are clearly two distinct objectives that need to be appreciated separately. In the age of social media, it is all too common to get carried away and mistakenly conclude that ‘likes’ and ‘re-tweets’ will carry a candidate to electoral victory.

We will focus relentlessly on building relationships with people on the ground in local communities, listen to their concerns, listen to their worries, help them where we can, offer our thoughts on matters big and small, and see if we can build partnerships and, in time, lead a movement towards radical change that could change our country for the better.

Our mission is to campaign for greater accountability of the state and greater power and control for ordinary citizens.

Control, control, control. It is the sexiest word in politics today. No one is voting for less of it. And future elections will be won, not by parties that pledge the same old recycled notions of grand design where government is the answer to every problem and the source of every opportunity, but by parties that offer to transfer economic and political power and decision-making downwards to local communities, individuals and families.

simpler and lower taxes so we keep more of our own money

This agenda touches on a range of issues such as freeing the country from the intrusive and democracy-diluting EU super state, cleaning up Westminster and making it more accountable, reducing the scope of national government and increasing that of local government, greater parent choice in the education system, greater patient choice within the healthcare system, simpler and lower taxes so we keep more of our own money, and constitutional protection for rights such as freedom of speech which is, shockingly, well and truly, under attack.

This is a message and a policy platform that I am very excited about. There is a different way of doing things outside the tired and out-dated mantra of the major political parties. And in the years to come, we’ll see how well they cope when the people rightly come knocking and insist on depending less on them, and instead, demand the proper power and control to improve their own lives for themselves.

The Foundation Party can be found online at https://foundationparty.uk/. They are also on Twitter and Facebook. They can also be contacted at
enquiries@foundationparty.uk.

Grassroots democracy in Croydon

Grassroots democracy was in action in Croydon on Thursday 18th April, when the Croydon Constitutionalists held their inaugural Debate for Democracy.  Five democracy honouring pro-Brexit parties spoke and took place in a debate at the Green Dragon on Croydon high street.

Unlike so many in Westminster all parties agree on honouring the biggest vote in British history and the evening focused on a post-Brexit Britain.  Questions covered a wide range of topics from knife crime, where a number of participants spoke about the need to rebuild families, alongside tough sentences.  Chris Mendes the former Vote Leave lead in Croydon South and now Foundation Party Leader quoted a recent case where someone caught with a assortment of knives on them, was given just a four month suspended sentence.

Chris Mendes

Parties policies on the Customs Union was an area of agreement with all saying they wanted to leave it, and move to WTO terms.  In the event us being caught in the Backstop, Richard Plackett who in 2002 stood for Labour in Shirley and is now the SDP London and South East Regional Organiser, suggested they would want to give notice to leave and use the Vienna Convention to ensure we did.

Direct verses Representative democracy was a reoccurring theme, Neville Watson the Democrats and Veterans Party Spokesman for Cities, Urban Communities & Sport, and Sean Finch Libertarian Party candidate in the Lewisham East By Election speaking in favour of a Swiss style model.  UKIP Croydon Chair Hoong Wai Cheah, who stood in Lewisham West in the 2017 general election and Old Coulsdon in last years local elections, spoke about UKIP retaining its deposit in the Newport by-election and how we need to move to a Proportional Representation system for elections.

Neville Watson and Hoong Wai Cheah

In a change from the tribal nature of so much of politics the representatives and their supporters stayed behind to enjoy a drink and swap stories from many campaign trails.  With the current two party system broken these parties showed how the future of politics can be different.

Audio from the night available on YouTube at:

Speeches https://youtu.be/UPIirhZECTY

Panel Part 1 https://youtu.be/J_e-2IffCEo

Panel Part 2 https://youtu.be/Ults3b-k-cQ

Richard Plackett
Sean Finch
Panel with Chair Dan Heaton

Press Release – Debate for Democracy

The Croydon Constitutionalists are hosting a ‘Debate for Democracy’ of democracy honouring pro-Brexit parties in April. Representatives of the Democrats and Veterans Party, Foundation Party, Libertarian Party, SDP and UK Independence Party, will be setting out their agenda for a democratic Britain and taking part in the panel debate.

The debate will be held upstairs at the Green Dragon, 60 High St, Croydon CR0 1NA from 7pm on the 18th April 2019. All parties are pro-Brexit and honouring the biggest vote in British history. Each speaker will be given 5 minutes to talk about their party and plans for Britain free from the EU.

Democrats and Veterans Party – Neville Watson

Party spokesman for Cities, Urban Communities & Sport, Neville has been actively involved as a social / community activist for over 30 years, often fighting against the odds for social justice and equality. The party fights to ensure that the government serve the interests of the people ahead of special and foreign interests; and for the sovereign will of the British people to be asserted on our servants in Parliament – by campaigning for Direct Democracy.

Foundation Party – Chris Mendes

Party Leader Chris has declared the major political parties not fit for purpose, the country is desperately missing a party, one that is more patriotic and genuinely at the service of ordinary people rather than themselves. Chris was the Vote Leave lead in Croydon South during the referendum. The Foundation Party is a long-term project for building a serious platform for clear patriotic principles for like-minded individuals who believe that our country can do so much better.

Libertarian Party – Sean Finch

Libertarian party candidate in the Lewisham East By Election, Sean is an avid free-speech advocate. The party stands for lower taxes for both individuals and companies, small government, free speech and individual responsibility. They support free trade and free enterprise whilst believing that people should make their own choices and not rely on the government. They support a withdrawal from the European Union and a return to the free trade agreements that it was founded on.

SDP – Richard Plackett

Richard is the London and South East Regional Organiser for the Social Democratic Party. The SDP represents the radical centre of British politics today, defining the limits of the market and the state and harnessing both to rebuild Britain. The Party aims to provide a political home to all social democrats who seek a stronger and more capable state along with greater individual responsibility, trust and social solidarity.

UKIP – Hoong Wai Cheah

UKIP Croydon Chair Hoong Wai has stood in Coulsdon for recent council elections and Lewisham West in the 2017 general election. UKIP is a Party that represents freedom, freedom from the European Union, freedom from political correctness and Cultural Marxism, freedom of speech, and freedom to be proud to be British. UKIP’s mission is to show the way forward for Britain as an independent, self-governing, democratic nation. They want trade, friendship and co-operation with the world.

This is a great chance to see local representatives of parties that are growing as people are increasingly dissatisfied with the discredited politics of those in Westminster.

https://leaversofbritain.co.uk/events/debate-for-democracy/