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:

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?
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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.

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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 20 – The Future of Freedom & “Liberalism” in the UK

We are joined once again by Sean Finch of the Libertarian Party and Hoong-Wai Cheah of UKIP to discuss the future of democracy & freedom in the UK, Progressive Liberalism vs Classical Liberalism and how we can fight back against the woke culture so prevalent in parts of our society today.

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Interview with London Assembly Member and Independent Mayoral Candidate David Kurten

GLA Member David Kurten was elected as part of the UKIP list in 2016, he now sits as part of the Brexit Alliance.  He has stood for UKIP leadership, been the party Education spokesperson, and ran in the 2018 Lewisham East by-election and in Bognor Regis & Littlehampton in the 2019 general election.  David has a local connection to Croydon, working as a teacher at the Royal Russell School.  David has also spoken at two of the Croydon Constitutionalists’ events, discussing Britain’s Opportunities outside the EU, and Freedom of speech.

David is now running as an Independent Candidate for the Mayor of London and London Assembly.

David thanks for your time.

“I’m very much an outsider against the progressive hegemony which rules politics in the UK and especially in London”

You have been in the GLA for the last 4 years holding Sadiq Khan to account.  How’s that experience been, and what do you make of Mayor Khan’s tenure?

It has been tough as I’m very much an outsider against the progressive hegemony which rules politics in the UK and especially in London. I have stated that the housing crisis in London is the result of over-demand caused by mass, rapid immigration, called for a no-deal Brexit and supported President Trump, and have got a lot of flak for doing so. Mayor and Khan are two words which should not really exist together: he has been a terrible Mayor concerned with virtue signalling and self-publicity while presiding over a huge increase in violent crime which is spiralling out of control. 

As well as talking at a couple of the Croydon Constitutionalists events you have taught in Croydon.  What are your memories of the town, and what do you see as the major issues today?

I taught Chemistry at Royal Russell School between 2001 and 2003. Croydon now seems completely unrecognisable with all the new skyscrapers which have gone up over the last 10 years. It seems to have lost its small-town suburban feel, and become a place which is far more transient with fewer people who have a connection or roots in the town. This is a malaise which many places are suffering from, especially in outer London – as people move out or are priced out, they are replaced by new people who are not rooted in the town and it loses its character and sense of community.

Your career has taken you to Botswana, Bosnia-Herzegovina, New York and Bermuda.  Any favourite places or weird experiences?

I loved Botswana for its sense of space. It is a huge country twice the size of France with fewer than 2 million people there. Thus it is amazing for wildlife, especially in the parks, although once my car nearly got crushed by a rhino who was not looking where he was going!

“people will have the choice to vote for someone pro-Brexit, pro-Trump and anti-woke if they want to”

What made you choose to stand as an Independent for Mayor?

I’m standing in both the Mayor and Assembly elections in May 2020. I got actively involved in politics in 2012 because I wanted to leave the EU, and also to stand up to the suffocating culture of political correctness. We have now left the EU Parliament and Commission and we will leave the Single Market and Customs Union on 31st December, although there is still much to do to ensure that we do not just leave in name only on 31st December.

There is still a great need to restore common sense to the country in the face of ‘woke culture’ which is becoming more bizarre and insane every week. None of the other parties who have put forward a candidate will restore common sense – they are all part of the problem – so I decided to stand as an independent so that people will have the choice to vote for someone pro-Brexit, pro-Trump and anti-woke if they want to.

The role of Mayor has significant powers over Transport and Policing what are your priorities in these areas?

We need an end to politically correct policing. The job of the police is to catch criminals and lock them up. Police need to use stop and search as a tool to find and catch criminals who are carrying knives, machetes and guns – there is no excuse for this. Stop and search needs to be targeted at the people who are most likely to be the perpetrators of these crimes, i.e. young, black men, who are also disproportionately the victims as well. Stop and search is not pleasant but it will cut crime and make London safer.

The current Mayor wants to expand the ULEZ charging zone up to the north and south circular roads, meaning that millions of vehicles will be caught by an extra £12.50 per day. I disagree with this and would not expand the ULEZ charging zone.

London’s roads have been clogged up by cycle superhighway construction on main roads. I would call an immediate end to building cycle superhighways on main roads, and return some of them to motor vehicles where possible.

Crossrail must be finished with no more delay, but I am opposed to HS2. The huge amount of money that HS2 needs could fund hundreds of projects all over the country, including some in London like the Bakerloo line extension and Tramlink extension in Sutton.

“Mass, rapid immigration has caused unsustainable demand for housing, especially in London where the population has increased by 2 million in the last 20 years”

What other areas would you like to focus on as Mayor?

London needs more affordable housing, but new homes should be built in a way which is sensitive to the existing historical character of the neighbourhoods they are built in. However, no amount of new homes will solve the current housing crisis until the underlying issues are addressed:

  • Mass, rapid immigration has caused unsustainable demand for housing, especially in London where the population has increased by 2 million in the last 20 years. 
  • Help to Buy has artificially inflated house prices; it needs to end. 
  • Right to Buy has devastated council housing stocks so there are far fewer affordable homes available – it needs either to end, or be reformed so that Right to Buy homes are sold at market price and councils are able to re-invest the money into building or purchasing new housing stock.

How can people get involved in your campaign?

My website – www.davidkurten.net – has more details of my policies, a sign-up form to get involved and a crowdfunding page. Please have a look!

You can also follow David on Facebook and Twitter.

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/

Join statement by the founders of the Croydon Constitutionalists – Croydon Chairman and Committee member leave UKIP

UKIP in Croydon has suffered a double resignation with both the branch Chairman, Dan Heaton and the Campaigns Manager, Mike Swadling resigning from the Party.

Mike, their Croydon North candidate in the 2017 General Election previously ran the borough wide Vote Leave campaign for the 2016 EU Membership Referendum, with Dan Heaton being the lead for the Croydon Central constituency.  They have both also stood in local elections for UKIP.

In a joint statement Dan and Mike said:

“UKIP has achieved great things in the last 25 years, culminating with the vote to regain our nation’s sovereignty by leaving the EU.  At a time that the delivery of this is under threat and UKIP should be the natural home for all Brexiteers, the party has stepped away from serious electoral politics. 

UKIP by its constitution is a “democratic, libertarian Party” https://www.ukip.org/ukip-page.php?id=07. It had a proud stance of not accepting membership of former National Front, EDL and BNP members.  The only major party to take this stance.  The close association of Gerard Batten with Tommy Robinson has brought this to an end.  That Tommy Robinson is in a position only in a personal capacity to Gerard Batten, and not a party position, is a distinction without merit.

Gerard’s actions have now driven Bill Etheridge MEP to the Libertarian Party and Patrick O’Flynn to the SDP.  These MEPs represent both wings of a respectable UKIP and like us neither feel they have a place in the current party.”

In early 2018 Dan and Mike set-up the Croydon Constitutionalists http://croydonconstitutionalists.uk/, a non-partisan events and campaigning group.  The group’s purpose is to promote a Classically Liberal set of ideas and encourage others to campaign and promote individual freedom.  We will continue to promote a Classically Liberal philosophy locally and organise Brexit events to ensure the result ofthe 2016 vote is honoured, we remain a democratic nation and finally leave the EU.

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