European Court of Human Rights – Your views, Part 1

The European Court of Human Rights intervened to stop the deportation flight of asylum seekers to Rwanda.  The UK is a member of the Council of Europe and a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights.

We asked your views on:  How should the government react to the ruling by the ECHR?

On to Part 2

Les Beaumont

Les Beaumont stood for the Social Democratic Party (SDP) in Pitshanger Ward, London Borough of Ealing in May’s local elections.

“Whatever the outcome, the government should withdraw from The Convention and replace the existing UK Human Rights Act, which enshrines The Convention into British law”

As a member of the Council of Europe and a signatory to the European Convention on Human Rights, the UK really has no choice but to follow The ECHR’s urgent interim measure and await its full judgement.  I’m not sure if the UK can appeal the interim order in the meantime.

Whatever the outcome, the government should withdraw from The Convention and replace the existing UK Human Rights Act, which enshrines The Convention into British law, with an Act that provides the same protections as The Convention but with the UK Supreme Court as the final arbiter.  It should also commit to enshrine any future changes to The Convention into UK law, subject to there being no jurisdictions outside the UK courts.

Having served notice of its withdrawal from The Convention, the government should urgently consider ignoring any rulings of The ECHR and rely on the rulings of the UK Supreme Court on those matters.

Brexit campaigner Georgina Guillem.

“Human Rights did not begin with the ECHR the UK has always had the reputation for setting high standards both domestically and internationally”

The ECHR has stopped the first fight of Asylum Seekers to Rwanda.  This of course should have been considered as all European institutions (EU or otherwise) will do all it can to thwart whatever the UK does to try to address this problem.  Likewise, all the do-gooders that protest.  There must be a solution to this ever-increasing problem of mostly young men arriving by boat without trying to be accepted through the right channels.  Human Rights did not begin with the ECHR the UK has always had the reputation for setting high standards both domestically and internationally.

Not to honour a treaty once signed is wrong, however the safeguard of the UK must be considered, therefore it is also wrong not to put its wellbeing first. A true Brexiteer wanted to leave the EU, all the institutions of Europe and return full sovereignty without a deal, had we done this we might not have had all this agony.  Also the Northern Ireland Mess might have been avoided.

Brexiter Jeremy Wraith who has contributed several articles to our site.

“Why did the interviewer on Sky not ask him why they did not walk into one of the British embassies in the many safe countries they crossed and ask for asylum there, France in particular?”

I watched an interview on Sky TV with the Chief Executive of the Refugee Council.  He said that the refugees have a human right to come to the UK and claim asylum here as the refugees in Palestine cannot walk into the British Embassy in Palestine to ask for asylum. Why did the interviewer on Sky not ask him why they did not walk into one of the British embassies in the many safe countries they crossed and ask for asylum there, France in particular?

I firmly believe that the UK should cancel its involvement in the ECHR as the UK is perfectly capable of defending the human rights of its own citizens.  So why are we relying on foreign bodies to dictate our human rights policies for us. 

The quicker we withdraw from many other European and EU treaties and rules the better!

“If a signatory country is prevented from deciding who can enter and, therefore, whom it can legally deport, it is no longer sovereign”

Chris Scott stood for Reform UK in the Horley Central and South Ward of Reigate & Banstead Council, in May’s local elections.

I’m no lawyer, nor even a student, so my response will be based mainly on what I’ve gleaned from media interviews and discussions since the eleventh-hour ECHR ruling on the planned Home Office deportation flight to Kigali last week.

Although there was a lack of transparency by the ECHR on which judge, or judges were hurriedly called in to rule on deportations that had just been ruled legal by our own Supreme Court – the third English court to consider the appellants’ case – I guess it was unlikely that the Home Secretary would have been prepared to flout the decision on this occasion. I wonder, however, if the Home Office lawyers were expecting it and, if so, whether Miss Patel had been warned of the probability. Flouting international law is not something one would want or expect HMG to do in haste.

The UK was, evidently, the chief author of the original convention on human rights for Europe in the aftermath of the horrific events that were revealed during and after WW2. That we should have drafted it was right and proper. We had been the only European combatant to maintain our democratic freedoms during the war and had played a major part – initially single-handed, but for the stout help of our Empire countries – in saving Europe and much of the world from tyranny.

A court, also bearing the initials ECHR, was created. But, as I understand it, the convention’s original provisions have been extended and others added to the extent that the court seems even to have become a threat to national sovereignty. If a signatory country is prevented from deciding who can enter and, therefore, whom it can legally deport, it is no longer sovereign. Based in the same campus as the European parliament in Strasbourg, one suspects that the Court’s advocates may share similar aspirations to members of the Council of Europe and Eurocrats who, for reasons of their own, wish to lessen the autonomy of the EU’s nation states.

There is, therefore, a strong argument for the UK to withdraw from the ECHR and to give precedence to a new bill of rights seven decades after we framed it. This would doubtless provoke wide international condemnation, much of it sneering and disingenuous, from countries that have in many cases come late to the table of human rights. After all, it started here in Blighty over eight centuries ago with Magna Carta. The UK should continue to hold its head high on human rights and perhaps take a new lead, as we did in 1950.

On to Part 2

Image: details, original, amended.

Podcast Episode 71 – Graham Eardley: The ECHR, N.I. Protocol & The Bruges Group

We are joined by Graham Eardley, a spokesman for The Bruges Group, as we discuss the European Court of Human Rights blocking the Government’s Rwanda plan for asylum seekers and the proposed changes to the Northern Irish Protocol. We then chat with Graham about his background and the great work of The Bruges Group.

Graham can be found on Twitter and Online.

Spreaker

iTunes


Google Podcasts


Podchaser

Podcast Addict
Deezer

Spotify


Stitcher


Castbox

Chris Scott Reform UK candidate Horley Central and South Ward, Reigate & Banstead Council.

Reform UK the successor to The Brexit Party is standing candidates in May’s local elections.  We spoke with Chris Scott who is standing for them in the Horley Central and South Ward of Reigate & Banstead Council.

Chris thank-you for your time.

“Having spent many years flying European Airbuses, facilitated by courses at Toulouse, I remain a strong proponent of Anglo-European cooperation. However, it’s easily forgotten that the UK was making wings for Airbus before we joined the EEC, and the Anglo-French Concorde was conceived in the 1960s”

Tell us a bit about yourself and your party?

Like my friend and Reigate colleague, Joe Fox (standing in South Park and Woodhatch Ward), I’m a retired, septuagenarian grandfather. Born and having lived in beautiful Surrey all my adult life, I nevertheless spent most of my childhood in Africa. My wife and I have two surviving children and four surviving grandchildren. We live on the North Downs with our pets: currently an old cat and a young Ridgeback bitch. Apart from walking the dog on country footpaths, my leisure interests include minor car maintenance and home DIY, tending our garden (though I’m no gardener!), photography and classical music. 

I travelled widely in my career as an airline pilot. Having spent many years flying European Airbuses, facilitated by courses at Toulouse, I remain a strong proponent of Anglo-European cooperation. However, it’s easily forgotten that the UK was making wings for Airbus before we joined the EEC, and the Anglo-French Concorde was conceived in the 1960s.  

In 1975, I voted for the UK to remain in the then EEC, but Brussels’s handling of the Lisbon Treaty in 2007 led me to increasing scepticism of our EU membership. A lifelong Tory voter, by 2015 I was also disillusioned with that party’s abandonment of conservatism. I became a UKIP activist in time for the 2015 General Election, from which the party emerged with only one parliamentary seat in return for more national votes than the LibDems and SNP combined. Nevertheless, UKIP’s long campaign forced David Cameron to make and honour his manifesto promise of a referendum.  

After the referendum, UKIP became increasingly rudderless and I resigned early in 2019, joining The Brexit Party. Within months, we had won the European elections and forced a change of Prime Minister, despite having no representation at Westminster. Our standing down of all candidates against Tory incumbents allowed Boris Johnson to win an 80-seat majority at the general election that December on the promise of Brexit. 

Boris’s deeply-flawed Withdrawal Agreement, which has left us subject to decisions by European judges and living in a dis-United Kingdom, was signed by both sides in January 2020. The resulting recall of our MEPs from Europe led to many of them leaving the party and active politics to pursue other interests. Although Brexit was and remains far from complete, the party’s name was no longer appropriate and, in 2021, we were relaunched as Reform UK to emphasise the task of challenging the cosy two-party system at Westminster and the electoral system that perpetuates it. 

Reform UK’s national policies are radically different from those of the present government, which today is neither conservative nor libertarian. The Tory leadership has increasingly embraced socially-Marxist ideals and globalism, which undermine our heritage and the concept of the nation-state. 

  • We were and are strongly opposed to authoritarian lockdowns and vaccination mandates in the event of a pandemic, and advocate an NHS that protects the people, not the reverse.  
  • We regard the present energy policies, particularly net-zero and reliance on unreliable wind and solar, as economically suicidal and globally ineffectual. They are already creating financial hardship for decent, hard-working people.  
  • On immigration, we oppose priority being given, in effect, to economic migrants who arrive illegally over genuine applicants.  
  • We would cancel HS2, primarily an inter-city vanity project and costly in terms of money and adverse effects on householders and the countryside. Rail links elsewhere need instead to be improved. 

“the provision of at least one more recreation ground – preferably east of the Balcombe Road – for residents of all ages to stretch their legs or relax. I would keep a close eye on unsuitable developments affecting residents and threatening green spaces”

You’re standing in the Horley Central and South Ward, can you introduce the ward to us and what you can bring to the area?

It may seem odd that I’m standing in a Horley ward at the south-eastern extremity of the Borough, while living at the other end. I can’t claim to know Horley well, although I was based at nearby Gatwick for 21 years. The reason is that I’m the Reform UK spokesperson for East Surrey and, due to the vagaries of parliamentary and local-government boundaries, residents of the Horley Central & South ward of the Reigate & Banstead borough find themselves in the East Surrey parliamentary constituency instead of Reigate. My friend and colleague, Joseph Fox, represents Reform UK in Reigate, and is standing in the Southfields and Woodhatch ward.

Reform UK’s local policies include protecting green spaces from housing developments, and ensuring the latter include provision for the extra load on local infrastructure, transport, schooling and medical facilities. We would promote the revitalisation of high-streets with free parking and cuts to business rates, as well as encouraging more housing in town centres. 

Horley town centre is certainly in need of regeneration, though well served by its railway station. There is some light industry, based mainly near the railway line. The residential areas include apartment blocks near town, becoming less crowded and leafier further out.  

My individual aspirations, since banging on doors in the ward, include the provision of at least one more recreation ground – preferably east of the Balcombe Road – for residents of all ages to stretch their legs or relax. I would keep a close eye on unsuitable developments affecting residents and threatening green spaces. Other issues will no doubt come to my attention during the remaining fortnight before the election. 

“With the Tories currently in charge – and, in Horley Central & South, three councillors out of three – it’s time to elect someone with a fresh and critical perspective to challenge their complacency”

More widely what would you like to see change at Reigate & Banstead Council and across the borough?

Throughout the borough, the scale of fly-tipping is increasing and, in my opinion, this is being encouraged by hefty charges at the Earlswood recycling centre and elsewhere, even for the kind of waste that is produced by routine home maintenance. The Surrey County Council takes that revenue. The Borough, on the other hand, has to collect rubbish from streets and verges. Meanwhile, farmers and others have the expense and potential hazard of removing it from their land. 

Further, I’m astonished that, given the current, post-pandemic advice from central government, the Town Hall in Reigate has only partially reopened to the public, closing at 2 pm. Worse than that, it’s evident that the majority of its business is being conducted by staff still working from their homes. This represents a failure of leadership in the Town Hall. As a council tax-payer, I’ve written to them for an explanation and look forward to the response.  

With the Tories currently in charge – and, in Horley Central & South, three councillors out of three – it’s time to elect someone with a fresh and critical perspective to challenge their complacency. 

How can people find out more or get in touch if they want to get involved? 

Contact me at eastsurrey@reformparty.uk.  More information on Reform UK and our policies can be found on our website https://www.reformparty.uk/.

Joseph Fox Reform UK candidate South Park and Woodhatch Ward, Reigate & Banstead Council.

Reform UK the successor to The Brexit Party is standing candidates in May’s local elections.  We spoke with Joseph Fox who is standing for them in the South Park and Woodhatch Ward of Reigate & Banstead Council. 

Joseph thank-you for your time.

Tell us a bit about yourself and your party?

I am a 73 year old grandfather.  I have lived and worked in the borough for most of my life.  I became involved with EU-secessionist politics in 1995, and joined UKIP in 1999.  I stood for UKIP in 25 elections from 2001 to 2019 – I came second in the 2015 General Election.  But UKIP took a wrong turn after the referendum. The Brexit Party proved immediately popular, and with Brexit (nominally) done, Reform UK seemed to me to be the way forward.  I like it for its pragmatism and lack of ideological baggage.

“Nothing is more than four floors high, and there is plenty of greenery.  But like everywhere else around here, it is under threat of high-density development”

You’re standing in the South Park and Woodhatch Ward, can you introduce the ward to us and what you can bring to the area?

South Park and Woodhatch ward is about two thirds ex-council housing and one third moderately prosperous private housing.  Nothing is more than four floors high, and there is plenty of greenery.  But like everywhere else around here, it is under threat of high-density development.

“last year, they spent £35,000 on fitting lockable lids on some recycling bins, thus forcing us to post our rubbish through small holes or slots.  And I thought they were meant to encourage recycling!”

More widely what would you like to see change at Reigate & Banstead Council and across the borough?

Reigate and Banstead Borough Council is as capable of wasting public money as anyone else.  For example, last year, they spent £35,000 on fitting lockable lids on some recycling bins, thus forcing us to post our rubbish through small holes or slots.  And I thought they were meant to encourage recycling!  Experience shows that the presence of minor parties on local councils does them a lot of good.

How can people find out more or get in touch if they want to get involved? 

Contact me at reigate@reform.uk

Reigate and Banstead Borough Council Coat of Arms, Reigate Hill Footbridge by Ian Capper, CC BY-SA 2.0 https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Robert Poll, Reform Party GLA candidate for Croydon and Sutton

Robert Poll is the Reform Party (formally the Brexit Party) GLA candidate for the Croydon and Sutton constituency.  Robert is also the digital founder of the Save Our Statues campaign.  We speak to Robert about the campaign, local politics, and his campaign for the GLA.

Robert thank-you for your time.

“like many, it took a trigger moment to make me actually stand up and do something. For me, it was the attack on our heritage last summer. There were very few voices in politics speaking against it and I wanted to change that”

Can you tell us a bit about your background in political campaigns, and what led to you being the Reform Party Candidate in Croydon and Sutton?

I’m no career politician – I think the best politicians come from a background in life, not a background in politics. I’ve always had strong political convictions, but, like many, it took a trigger moment to make me actually stand up and do something. For me, it was the attack on our heritage last summer. There were very few voices in politics speaking against it and I wanted to change that. Similarly, right now, there aren’t many voices speaking up for our liberties. We have two parties that both believe in big government and high taxes, with no alternative championing individual rights and a free economy. The Reform Party offers that alternative.

You were part of setting up the Save Our Statues campaign.  How did you set up the campaign and how is it progressing?

I started the campaign in June last year after Colston’s statue was vandalised. It hit 10,000 followers in just 8 weeks and now there are 22,000. I think it struck a chord with the ordinary public who felt they weren’t being listened to or represented. The idea was to stand up for due process and to help rally the silent majority by publicising petitions, consultations and planning applications. And it’s made a difference. For example, after we raised 600 objections, the application to remove the statue of Thomas Guy at Guy’s Hospital was withdrawn. But there’s a lot more fighting to do – not only for statues still under threat, but in the wider battle for our identity and values.

We all understood what the Brexit Party stood for, but what’s the raison d’être of the Reform Party, and what do you hope to do in London?

I think Brexit made it clear that certain parts of our system are broken beyond the tweaking being offered by the two main parties, and actually need fundamental reform. These range from our public institutions that have lost our trust, to the political system itself. The British people deserve better – they deserve a real alternative. Economic reform is also vital, now more than ever, if we are to grow our way out of the pandemic. As our capital, London is the epicentre of these problems. It also has its own specific issues around transport and law and order, exacerbated by the current mayor, that need a fresh approach and renewed focus.

“Town centres like Croydon were already struggling before the pandemic, but are now facing extinction…. Parking needs to be facilitated and small businesses given long term rate relief”

In Croydon we have an epidemic of knife crime, a dying town centre and a bankrupt council.  What are your thoughts on the issues facing the borough?

The Mayor and Assembly should be doing much more to combat knife crime, starting with stop and search. This is where attention and money should be focussed, not on reviewing statues. Town centres like Croydon were already struggling before the pandemic, but are now facing extinction. They need urgent life support. Now that the vulnerable are vaccinated and Covid cases are falling, there’s no justification for ongoing draconian restrictions. Parking needs to be facilitated and small businesses given long term rate relief. As for the Council, this week we’ve seen the government send a taskforce into Liverpool to ensure key services continue, and perhaps Croydon needs similar drastic action. The long term answer is easier: don’t vote Labour.

The other half of the constituency Sutton, has a controversial incinerator and residents up in arms about parking and the amount of new builds.  What would like to say to the people of Sutton?  

It’s interesting that you put those first two issues together, the incinerator and parking. Why target and punish ordinary residents for needing to drive a car, while the incinerator down the road daily pumps out tonnes of carbon emissions? I want to see a more logical approach to the environment, with an end to the war on the motorist and a review into the appropriateness of the incinerator.

If elected how would you use your role in the Greater London Authority and what would you like to achieve?

The key role of the Assembly is to hold the Mayor to account and stop him acting as if London is his personal fiefdom. We need to move the focus away from cultivating the Mayor’s personal image, and back to the issues he and the Assembly are actually accountable for. Crime, housing, transport, and taking care of the unglamorous basics that make London a safe and enjoyable place to live and work in. I would also do everything I can to stop the mayor’s divisive statue review that is costing Londoners a million pounds!

“Ultimately, we need to redress the balance between the individual and the state. To establish the framework for a free and prosperous nation with a strong economy that will then be able to address other problems”

On a wider note what are you priorities for change in London and Britain?

Ultimately, we need to redress the balance between the individual and the state. To establish the framework for a free and prosperous nation with a strong economy that will then be able to address other problems. It’s also crucial to change the way we feel about London and Britain. To stop looking backwards and being ashamed and to start looking forwards with confidence. To unite us, not divide us along identity politics as Labour is trying to do. If we can change that, then ultimately the rest will follow.

How do people find out more and get in contact or involved?

Robert is on Twitter, and the Reform Party are at https://reformparty.uk/. Robert can also be seen discussing the Save Our Statues Campaign on New Culture Forum Channel.

Podcast Episode 42 – Peter Sonnex: Covid Curfews, Internal Market Bill, BBC Pay & the Un-locked Group

We are joined by Peter Sonnex from the Brexit Party as we discuss the latest COVID restrictions, the Internal Market Bill and whether it breaks “International Law” and the recent revelation of the wages of the BBC’s “stars”. We also consider the latest developments at Croydon Council and yet another leadership change for UKIP.

Finally, Peter talks to us about the Un-locked Group and how people can get involved.

Un-locked:

Brexit Watch:

Don’t Divide Us:

Spreaker
iTunes
Google Podcasts

Podchaser
Podcast Addict
Deezer
Spotify
Stitcher
Castbox
iHeartRadio

Podcast Episode 34 – Christianity & UK Politics

We are joined by Peter Sonnex of the Brexit Party, Maureen Martin of the Christian Peoples Alliance and Hoong-Wai Cheah of UKIP to discuss Christianity & UK Politics. We ask them:

  • Why Christianity is important to them?
  • How they think religion and politics should mix?
  • How Christianity should inform policy?
  • Should we have an established church, and how they think the CofE is performing?
  • What should we be doing about Christian persecution abroad?
  • What are their predictions for the future of Christianity in the UK?
Spreaker
iTunes
Google Podcasts

Podchaser
Podcast Addict

JioSaavn
Deezer
Spotify
Stitcher
Castbox
iHeartRadio

iTunes:

Peter Sonnex

  • Peter was the Brexit Party Parliamentary candidate for Croydon Central in the December 2019 General Election
  • A career soldier, Peter turned his hand to bus driving before becoming a Parliamentary candidate.
  • More recently he has been a volunteer during the Covid crisis.
  • Peter has been a guest on the Podcast and written for our website.
  • Also spoke at our ‘My Tuppenceworth’ in 2019 about Decency, Democracy, Freedom and Freedoms.

Maureen Martin

  • Maureen was (until they were postponed) a Greater London Assembly candidate for the Christian People’s Alliance (CPA). 
  • Maureen has run for parliament in Lewisham East in every election since 2015, which has included a by-election. 
  • We have previously spoken with Maureen for our website about what led her to run for the CPA, her experiences running and their priorities for London.
  • Maureen has also written for us and her piece Locked Down and Locked out! Can be found on our website.

Hoong Wai Cheah

Podcast Episode 32 – Bill Etheridge: TPA’s City Hall Rich List, Japan Trade Deal & Cancellation Culture

We are joined by Bill Etheridge, the former UKIP, Libertarian Party & Brexit Party MEP, as we discuss the Taxpayers Alliance’s City Hall Rich List, a potential new trade deal with japan and the Cancellation Culture attacking our historic statues and even beloved TV shows & films. We then chat with Bill about his time in politics, the demise of UKIP and the future of Classical Liberalism in this country.

Spreaker
iTunes
Google Podcasts
Podchaser
Podcast Addict
Deezer
Spotify
Stitcher
Castbox
iHeartRadio

YouTube:

Full Podcast with Bill including interview
Bill Etheridge Interview

Bill from the Podcast:

“over 10 years of supposedly Conservative government and I’m old enough to remember before they got in, they were going to sort all of this out and have bonfires of quangos…  still more than a decade on these obscene salaries are being paid out”

“we’re still an enormous economy, we’re very important in terms of diplomatic links, we are a hugely important country and of course people want to do deals with us”

“all of these things they want to erase, so they can start a new narrative, start from year zero.  This is a modern day version of a cultural revolution”

“there was a little game that the staff that worked with us as MEPs, used to sit down and do a bingo, and they would try and find the Thatcher or Reagan quotes that I slipped into my speeches”

“Nigel Farage is the most effective and inspiring politician for patriotic right of centre politics, that there has been for many years”

“partly I wanted to make a statement that Libertarianism is something people should look at.  Because it’s not discussed, people don’t talk about Libertarianism”

“it’s a tough old game being in politics, especially when you’ve got a bit of a reputation behind you, you become a target for all sorts of things, and if I’m going to do it, I’m going to do it for a party I actually believe in and it’s worth making the sacrifices”

“If you believe in something, don’t just sit in the pub with a couple of mates talking about it, don’t just type something on Twitter, or whatever.  Actually actively pursue that interest and try to make a difference”

Podcast Episode 22 – Peter Sonnex: COVID Lockdown, the Labour Party Leadership & the future of the Brexit Party

We are joined by Peter Sonnex from the Brexit Party as we discuss the ongoing COVID 19 Lockdown and the Labour Party leadership election results. We then chat with Peter about his experiences in the military and Whitehall along with the “Stockport Declaration” and future plans for the Brexit Party.

The Stockport Declaration can be found here: http://www.stockportdeclaration.uk/

If you want to read more from Peter you can read our interview with him, his My Tuppenceworth speech on Decency, Democracy, Freedom and Freedoms or his review the election and experience of standing, Is That It – Brexit Done?

Podcast:

Spreaker

iTunes

YouTube: