2022 Predictions and Wishes – Part 2

Image from Ragnar1904

With the New Year upon us, we asked our contributors for their predictions on, and wishes for 2022.

Thanks to Tam, Nigel, and Peter for their contributions.

< Back to Part 1 | On to Part 3 >

“In Scotland I predict we will see the SNP try to centralise more power. An attempt at least to introduce more draconian legislation with possibly another attempt to bring in Named Person Legislation or something similar”

Tam Laird is the leader of the Scottish Libertarian Party.  They can be found online, on Facebook, and on Twitter.

I think the most worrying development we may see this year is the introduction of CBDC (central bank digital currency) It may be the beginning of a cashless society which has massive implications for individual privacy and liberty. Especially if it goes hand in hand with a concerted effort by government to erase competing crypto currencies such as bitcoin. No easy task but government may decide that if you use crypto you are automatically involved in criminal behaviour and if caught face stiff penalties. They did it with gold before and there’s nothing to suggest they wouldn’t try it with crypto currencies.

Prediction: In Scotland I predict we will see the SNP try to centralise more power. An attempt at least to introduce more draconian legislation with possibly another attempt to bring in Named Person Legislation or something similar. They may also attempt to ban home schooling.

Wish: What do I want to happen? That’s simple enough. For the Scottish Libertarian Party to increase its support and membership and perhaps even win a few seats in the upcoming council elections in May.

“I would also like the government to abandon its plan to sack NHS staff who are not fully vaccinated and respect their right to informed consent.  Most nurses know more about health than the ministers responsible for this decision”

Nigel Jacklin is a statistician and market researcher.  He also runs www.TheDemocraticNetwork.org which helps new and independent candidates stand in local elections.

Prediction: Many of us who would like to break the hold of the Westminster parties on local Councils will fail to prepare for and take advantage of the May 2022 local elections.  Whilst there are not too many places with elections this year, rules and guidance which are created centrally tend to get implemented locally.  I predict there will be more candidates who feel the measures taken by the UK government in response to Covid-19 have done more harm than good.  These candidates will be best placed to counter over-reach by Council jobsworths.

Prediction: One month will be the warmest/coldest/wettest/driest month for the past 20 years.  This is a statistical joke.  Another would be predictions that something very bad may happen, to justify some imposition.

Wishes: My wish for 2022 is that the NHS resets the Covid case definition such that it is in line with other diseases.  This will put an end to the narrow focus on Covid and mean further restrictions will be unjustified.  I would also like the government to abandon its plan to sack NHS staff who are not fully vaccinated and respect their right to informed consent.  Most nurses know more about health than the ministers responsible for this decision.

“Many of us are politically homeless and will be seeking a values-based, principled alternative to the increasingly illogical, irrational and irrelevant legacy establishment and established parties”

Peter Sonnex, former Brexit Party candidate and political campaigner. Peter can be found on Facebook, Twitter and Gettr.

Through our conversations together in 2022, even protests, in the public square – engaging, explaining, encouraging and exposing wherever necessary, essential freedoms of expression, speech, association and peaceful assembly – I make two predictions and have one wish.

Prediction: The mainstream emergence of hopeful alternative, beneficial and compelling Covid and Climate narratives. As with Brexit, many commentators in 2022 will be manoeuvring themselves to the right side of history as the increasingly illogical, irrational and irrelevant legacy narratives crumble.

Prediction: The mainstream emergence of a hopeful alternative, beneficial and compelling political opposition. Many of us are politically homeless and will be seeking a values-based, principled alternative to the increasingly illogical, irrational and irrelevant legacy establishment and established parties.

Wish: “Modelling” is brought back into the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study – building on our knowledge – of the structure and behaviour of the physical, social and natural worlds through predictions (hypotheses), objective observations and experimentation. We used to call this “science.”

Two notable enablers in all this, for me, are the Reclaim Party and The Together Declaration – both founded on common denominator values and principles that may transcend self-interested party politics and politicking to paint an irresistible picture of a shared future.

Image from Jan Bowman

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Net Zero – We came together to fight a referendum do we need a new one? – Part 1

Reaching Net Zero carbon emissions by 2050 is enshrined in UK Law.  With COP26 in Glasgow the news is full of stories about Climate Change and Global Warming.  With all the main parties in agreement on the policy we have recently seen calls for the people of Britain to have a choice via a referendum on Net Zero.  Nigel Farage has hinted he could campaign, articles have appeared in the Spectator, and Gaia Fawkes sums the position up brilliantly when they say:

“Politicians seem very keen to avoid a Net Zero Referendum. It’s a project without democratic legitimacy. Let the politicians who want us to eat bugs, have cold showers, lukewarm heat pumped houses, higher energy bills and far more expensive foreign holidays, make their case!”

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

Thanks to Peter Sonnex, Jeremy Wraith, Dr Tom Rogers, and Scott Neville for their responses.

“we must allow the developing world their industrial revolution. The world, where energy poverty is no longer a significant factor, will be in a better position to adapt to ever changing climactic conditions”

Peter Sonnex, former Brexit Party candidate and political campaigner.

Is global warming a threat?

Global warming may be a threat to the planet, if only we knew! That the climate has always been in flux is true – so what is the ideal status quo or permanent reversal we are trying to engineer? And, at what cost, if our UK 1% contribution may amount to £1 Trillion to mitigate?

Climate and Covid catastrophists are one and the same – doing stuff just in case, if it saves just one ounce of carbon or one life. And, we know the government can’t do cost benefit analysis.

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?

Referenda are only offered when the establishment believes it can win. The Brexit result confirmed both arrogance and a lack of connection to the electorate. Neither the government, nor the opposition, will risk a climate referendum.

What action should we be taking on the environment?

Firstly, we must allow the developing world their industrial revolution. The world, where energy poverty is no longer a significant factor, will be in a better position to adapt to ever changing climactic conditions – perhaps even influence the most extreme effects.

Secondly, I think we should be pursuing nuclear power – capital plants, small modular nuclear reactors and fusion – with more vigour and investment. We should be emulating the example of our sun, not trying to fight against it.

With nuclear power comes the energy to desalinate and move water, ending the reality of water poverty and potential conflict. Hydrogen through electrolysis becomes entirely viable. Hydrogen can be stored, and with fossil fuels provide stored, potential energy and, therefore, energy security.

Peter is a regular contributor to the site, and can hear him on a recent Podcast.

“The REAL threat are the people who think that man made CO2 is causing it and making us all suffer huge costs and inconvenience  because of it”

Brexiter Jeremy Wraith who has contributed a number of articles to our site.

Is global warming a threat?

NO! The REAL threat are the people who think that man made CO2 is causing it and making us all suffer huge costs and inconvenience  because of it.

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?

DEFINITELY and ASAP!

What action should we be taking on the environment?

Developing more nuclear power stations and using coal (mined in the UK of course) powered power stations until all our generated power is nuclear.

“We have to be very careful about being panicked or coerced into measures that in themselves would be catastrophic to our industries, economy and human freedoms in response to alarmist claims of a ‘climate emergency’”

Dr Tom Rogers is the Deputy Leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance Party.

The CPA affirms that we have a duty to be the best possible custodians of God’s creation — our planet and its natural resources. We therefore have a developed programme of policies for greening the economy and transport, which you can find in our 2019 Manifesto (www.cpaparty.net). 

Our approach to ‘climate change’ is a sensible and cautionary one. We have to be very careful about being panicked or coerced into measures that in themselves would be catastrophic to our industries, economy and human freedoms in response to alarmist claims of a ‘climate emergency’ and ‘climate extinction’. Contrary to the establishment narrative that ‘the science is settled’ (in itself an unscientific statement) the extent to which recent changes in temperatures are unnatural, dangerous to our survival and/or caused by human activity are questions still contested by many scientists, and which require much more open scientific freedom, investigation and debate than is currently being allowed. The earth’s climate after all has never been something static but has always been constantly changing and evolving in the absence of human presence or attempted control.

We would therefore implement effective but proportionate policies best in themselves for the environment and long-term provision for humanity, and not just because they reduce carbon omissions. It is right that we seek to eliminate pollution, continuously improve energy efficiency, increase recycling, and strive to further the use of renewable sources of energy, and we have detailed policies in all these areas which we would support also at a local level.

“you will be going back to the supermarket at some point, the lorry that delivers to the supermarket will go back to the factory, just take the damn bottles back and refill them”

Scott Neville is a party founder and the Nominating Officer of the Hampshire Independents.

Is global warming a threat?

Potentially, it depends on how far it goes and I don’t believe we have sufficiently accurate data to know for sure. The important thing to consider is the word “threat”, is any of this a threat to the planet, no, the planet will be fine regardless.  If the planet was going to boil away with a self-reinforcing loop of heating it would have done so millions of years ago. However any change is always a threat to some people (and potentially a benefit to others), so yes global warming or global cooling does pose a threat to some of humanity regardless how big or small.  There could however be a big threat to humanity, I personally don’t believe all the doomsday predictions, but I accept I might be wrong, and I accept totalitarian government is a very big threat too.

Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?

I am unsure. I don’t believe in enforcing many things is just, because the use of force against another is wrong, holding a referendum does not suddenly make me believe this is ok (as many found the presence of an EU referendum does not make their belief in themselves less European).  I simply don’t agree with a tyranny of majority.  Any referendum would be fought on religious grounds (the fastest growing religion of “the science”) and that will just lead to far more anger and fighting with everyone becoming more ideologically entrenched rather than trying to examine empirical fact and critically assess information presented.

What action should we be taking on the environment?

Waste is by far the biggest problem, filling up our landscapes with all this scrap, use once and throw away plastics. The debate is so skewed it’s all about paper vs plastic straws rather than “why do most people even need a straw?” or make sure that you put your plastic bottles in the correct bin rather than “you will be going back to the supermarket at some point, the lorry that delivers to the supermarket will go back to the factory, just take the damn bottles back and refill them”.  Energy production needs to focus on nuclear, particularly research in nuclear fusion where the UK is already a world leader, bizarrely we don’t say much about our achievements despite our achievement in making Didcot the hottest place in the solar system (briefly) https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/didcot-was-hottest-place-in-solar-system-gj9wg258f.

You can read more about Scott and the Hampshire Independents in his interview with us, or listen to him one of our recent Podcasts.

This is the first set of your responses, further responses can be found in Part 2

Podcast Episode 59 – Domestic Passports? DEMOC, Rayner’s Rant & The Withdrawal from Afghanistan

We are joined by Peter Sonnex, former soldier and Brexit Party Parliamentary candidate, as we discuss the threat of domestic Covid Passports, the upcoming DEMOC Referendum and what Angela Raynor really thinks of you. We then chat with Peter about the shambolic withdrawal from Afghanistan and the future security implications.

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Podcast Episode 51 – Vaccine Wars, Woke Peace Force, Emerging Parties & Impeachment 2.0

We are joined by Peter Sonnex, the former Brexit Party Parliamentary Candidate for Croydon Central, as we discuss the Vaccine Wars and Lisa Nandy being inspired by the proposal for a Woke Peace Force. We then chat about the plethora of emerging parties and the Democrats plan to impeach ex-President Trump.

Peter can be found on Twitter, and previous articles and podcasts are available here.

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End of transition: Brexiteers on Brexit – Part 3

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 3 below more (parts 4 and beyond) to follow….. You can also read Part 1 and Part 2.

“The 4½ year wait is miniscule in historic terms and will soon be forgotten. And what particularly pleases me is how Boris Johnson and his team have been able to claw back the amount of sovereignty they have from such a disastrous starting point bequeathed to them by Theresa May”

Crispin Williams local long term Brexit campaigner.

Did Brexit get done?  My short answer is yes.  If you had asked me on 23rd June 2016 if I would have been happy with the exit arrangements we now have, I would have ripped your arm off for them.

If you had asked me on 24th June 2016, I would have been disappointed with the 4½ year delay and the outcomes achieved.  If you had asked me in May 2017 or in the months before, I would have been delighted with the current outcome.

So, overall, I am very happy. The 4½ year wait is miniscule in historic terms and will soon be forgotten. And what particularly pleases me is how Boris Johnson and his team have been able to claw back the amount of sovereignty they have from such a disastrous starting point bequeathed to them by Theresa May.

It’s a long way from the perfect Brexit but, given the politics involved and the large minority of dissenters to the whole idea, it is realistically as good an outcome as we were ever likely to get.

How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms?  Ah, ‘hope’ versus ‘think’! I hope that we will widen our trading sphere, reduce bureaucracy and red tape, lower taxes to make the UK more attractive to invest in and invest the money saved in infrastructure projects that represent value for money. And control immigration so that all incomers are of genuine benefit to the country.

However, I worry that governments of all colours are inefficient, bureaucratically controlled and extremely wasteful of public money. If we can keep a government with the policies of the current one, we will come out much better off than before we left the EU, although probably not as well as we theoretically could. If, however, we get a Labour administration or even, in time, a Theresa-May type government, then I think things would back-slide to the point where we might as well have not left.

What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next?  My initial answer is a negative one which is no Scottish independence. Although there seems to be an inevitable march towards demand for this, I cannot see how Scotland could operate as an independent nation; and if you think Brexit was complicated, just imagine how hard Scottish independence arrangements would be. Boris (or whoever) would need the very best negotiators to put Ms Sturgeon in her place as, for all her faults, she is a very shrewd politician.

In common with many people, I would like to see reform of the House of Lords. However, I am vehemently opposed to an elected chamber on the grounds that this would tend to mirror the lower house, it would lead to instability and, more pertinently, it would make it more party political. The Lords’ great strength is that its members can largely act on conscience without the worry of being deselected or voted out.

My suggestion is for members of the House of Lords to be selected by an appointment committee. This committee would be composed of ‘the great and the good’ by the position they hold in public life, not by personality. Thus, the holders of specific posts would automatically have a say in selection, whoever they may be.

Below I give some examples of the kind of positions that might comprise the appointment committee. As I say, these are just examples and there can be much further debate as to the final choice.

  • The Prime Minister and, say, three leading cabinet positions
  • The Leader of the Opposition and one other Opposition position
  • The Leader of any other party with X number of seats in the Commons
  • The Speaker of the House of Commons
  • The Speaker of the House of Lords
  • The First Minister of Scotland
  • The First Minister of Wales
  • The Mayor of London
  • The Archbishop of Canterbury
  • The Prince of Wales
  • The Governor of the Bank of England
  • The General Secretary of the TUC
  • The Director-General of the CBI
  • The Chair of the Commission for Racial Equality
  • The Chair of the National Federation of Women’s Institutes

This would lead to a House of high quality people being elected by a committee with balanced views. Clearly, some of the above might also be Lords themselves.

The House of Lords would comprise 250 members, re-appointed on a staggered 10 year basis, with no restriction on the number of times a member could be re-appointed.

However, I would rather see the House of Lords remain as it is than become an elected chamber.

What do you think is next for the EU?  I think the EU will stagger on for a long while yet. It will attempt to hoover up as many peripheral nations into membership as it can. The Euro will continue to be propped up until this becomes totally unsustainable. The collapse of the Euro, combined with an increase in nationalist parties being elected to governments, will probably eventually result in the EU’s demise in its current form.

However, I believe that it is in the UK’s interests that the EU does survive for, now we are out of it, it does offer useful advantages in terms of collective co-operation with other countries and, particularly, security from conflicts.

“we are quite sure that the BREXIT was soon enough for GB to not get into an ever larger EU with more laws and much less freedom”

Friedrich Dominicus leader of Partei der Vernunft (Party of Reason) – the German Libertarians.

Did Brexit get done?  We surely hope so.

How do you think the U.K. should use the new found freedoms?  Don’t fall into “protection” mode. Keep your markets open and get your taxes down.

What do you think is next for the EU?  We don’t know really, we are running into a terrible debt (death) spiral. Covid is used to minimize freedom and to maximize what the governments are “allowed” to do. So we are quite sure that the BREXIT was soon enough for GB to not get into an ever larger EU with more laws and much less freedom.

“Make improvements to trade agreement with the Commonwealth and other African countries especially. Change some foreign policy especially towards Israel and Iran and other Middle Eastern counties. Talks with Dublin to broker better relationship with them”

Maureen Martin, Christian Peoples Alliance, GLA Candidate.

Did Brexit get done? Yes essentially, trade deal is not perfect but considering the unwillingness of Brussels to broker a mutually beneficial deal it is a better outcome than expected.

How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms?  Make improvements to trade agreement with the Commonwealth and other African countries especially. Change some foreign policy especially towards Israel and Iran and other Middle Eastern counties. Talks with Dublin to broker better relationship with them.  Give financial incentives for any British industry that needs to improve productivity and can create wealth for us by building new plant.

What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next?  Reformation to House of Lords and proportional representation.

What do you think is next for the EU?  The UK success will incentivize more nations to leave. Also will need to refinance with major shortfall in their budget.

“For too long we have seen the rise and rise of the precautionary principle (better safe than sorry and just in case) with politically correct wokism stifling reasoned dissent and free speech”

Peter Sonnex Croydon Central Brexit Party Candidate GE2019.

Did Brexit get done?  Yes, legally. This ends the fight to achieve Brexit, leaving the peace to be won. I am mightily optimistic for our future as a global, generous, independent coastal nation.

Much of the government rhetoric is expressed in absolute terms, where it is clear our departure is conditional on significant alignment with institutions of the EU and the risk of an easy path to re-joining.

Practically, politically and subsequently, full sovereignty and control of money, laws, borders and fish were traded as an expedient to achieve the Trade and Cooperation Agreement – which goes much further than trade. Tariff and quota free trade is always the preferred trading understanding, though this should remain open for action in the national interest. With a £100Bn trade deficit with the EU, and wider trade opportunities opening up all the time – especially with Commonwealth Nations abandoned when we joined the EEC – we should not fear a tit-for-tat trade war; such are normal in adjustments to trade and diplomatic relations among sovereign equals acting in their own interests.

Of particular concern to me are:

  1. We did not leave the EU as one United Kingdom. The longer term workings of the Northern Ireland Protocol remain to be seen. I am reassured by the measured approach of the Northern Ireland Assembly and that the Protocol will be subject to review in four years’ time. There are opportunities and risks. Vital self-determination is preserved as are the workings and institutions of the Belfast Agreement – a bilateral agreement between the UK and the Republic of Ireland and no one else, it should be remembered;
  2. Defence, intelligence and security is less than autonomous for the UK. We know this well through our memberships with NATO, the United Nations and the 5-Eyes intelligence network. But, we remain bound to spending on EU Defence Programmes at least through our subscription to EU Horizon Europe. Even if we should refrain from becoming a troop contributing nation, where such may not be deemed to be in the national interest, we are still bound to funding defence, research, communications and other EU defence infrastructure – perhaps to further EU foreign policy with which we do not necessarily agree; Defence contracting remains bound by EU procurement laws. Tenders for UK defence contracts must be shared with the EU, even where this may be prejudicial to UK defence industry and jobs, perhaps even national security;
  3. The UK fishing industry has been let down. Intent to rebuild the UK fishing industry was never signalled during TCA negotiations. £100M to energise the industry is a lame sop;
  4. We remain bound, through the TCA hence international law, to the European Court of Human Rights. Though not an EU institution, the EHCR and the UK supporting legislation in the Human Rights Act have been counter to UK rights, responsibilities and immigration justice; and,
  5. As we leave the EU, in the TCA a raft of new bureaucratic institutions are created. Whilst there is no doubt negotiations will be ongoing, we must be vigilant to their motives and operation, and ensure transparency and parliamentary scrutiny.

Ultimately, we must continue to hold our elected representatives to account and to their word, exactly as I said I would when standing for the Brexit Party in 2019. I meant it.

The barometer on our Brexit future is expressed well by Brexit-Watch here:

https://www.brexit-watch.org/barometer-table

They assess the government’s performance on rhetoric and action, currently at 38% and 43% respectively.

If we do not trust our elected representatives, or do not like the direction they are taking us locally or nationally, we must change them. With so many available alternatives, I shall be advocating for people you can trust – so a vote other than for any established or establishment party currently represented it is then!

How do you hope the U.K. will use the new found freedoms?  Cancelling VAT on sanitary products and banning electro-pulse fishing on Brexit Day One were low hanging fruit, showing a lack of government ambition and boldness. Pulse fishing was already banned by the EU other than for “scientific purposes’. Banning supertrawlers would have signalled far greater intent, protecting our single biggest natural and sustainable resource. Fishing protection was, and remains, the acid test for Brexit if, practically, Brexit is to be other than in name only.

Particularly in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, I would like to see aggressive moves on economic stimuli; reducing taxation and funding enabling national infrastructure, such as broadband,  nuclear energy (especially fusion energy), transportation, ports and housing.

Our parliamentarians, hitherto so used to EU initiatives, will be required to come up with their own. We can look to alternative media, such as Unlocked to lobby ideas:

https://www.facebook.com/unlockedunitedkingdom/

https://youtube.com/c/Unlocked_UK_

What constitutional reform would you like to see happen next?  Reclaim of reason, tolerance, manners, fairness, and common sense in our institutions; local government, education, civil service parliament and established church. For too long we have seen the rise and rise of the precautionary principle (better safe than sorry and just in case) with politically correct wokism stifling reasoned dissent and free speech. So-called social justice warriors have been polarising and divisive, leading to a situation where to be anti-racist is actually to be racist in one of the most tolerant and inclusive countries in the world.

The interview below with Laurence Fox, whom I have been supporting, makes the challenges clear:

https://www.conservativewoman.co.uk/so-what-does-laurence-fox-stand-for/

https://reclaimparty.co.uk/

The House of Lords, with over 850 unaccountable members must be reformed or abolished. Enough said there! Then there is the NHS…

What do you think is next for the EU?  I am watching the progress of leave campaigns in other EU countries and supporting the French bid for a referendum (https://twitter.com/CH_Gallois & https://twitter.com/ReferendumUE). As the EU comes under increasing pressure by member states to be democratic, fair, effective and efficient – operating to their advantage, on balance, in the national interest – I see the EU having to reform enormously or fail as a project. This should not be feared, and those who claim the EU to be the only stabilising factor in post war peace are peddling a fear-mongering fallacy.

The institutions of the EU remain bloated and anti-democratic.

Not any more!

Back to Part 2 > On to Part 4

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:

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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 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:

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Is That It – Brexit Done? – Peter Sonnex Brexit Party Candidate for Croydon Central

With the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland all but certain to leave the various clutches of the EU and its institutions on the 31st of December 2020 (after some false starts), Peter Sonnex – Parliamentary Candidate for the Brexit Party in Croydon South, then Croydon Central – reflects on the Brexit Party, his role in the 2019 General Election and the future. Is that Brexit done, then?

“I am proud of what we achieved. I remain humbled by the selfless support of a team of volunteers, coming from all walks of life and political persuasions”

As a veteran, definitely not a politician, I was involved in politics for the first time to achieve an effect: delivery on the result of the 2016 Referendum; the UK becoming, once again, a self-governing, independent coastal nation; and, setting the conditions for wider political reform. I am proud of what we achieved. I remain humbled by the selfless support of a team of volunteers, coming from all walks of life and political persuasions, who committed themselves in all weathers to the causes of upholding our democracy and restoring trust in our institutions. We got it done!

My wife, Lesley, was the greatest supporter. Without question she walked more miles, delivered more leaflets, stood on more street stalls and, as my election agent, went through the nomination process twice as I stood first in Croydon South, then Croydon Central. My debt of gratitude, as with my carbon footprint, is irredeemable.

My campaign manager, “Chris”, provided energy and challenge in equal measure. His experience, local knowledge and drive for justice as much as political reform were invaluable. It is a sad reflection of politics, with its unnecessarily toxic environment for those who choose to get involved, that “Chris” will be known only as “Chris”.

Some wailing about ‘splitting the vote’, the very odd expletive when canvassing and petty online trolling aside – I enjoyed the election experience; from being energised by political rallies, the overwhelmingly positive reception on the fabled “doorstep”, street stalls, hustings, leafleting, social media interactions to media opportunities – all mysteries hitherto. Even without the prospect of electoral success, save for any seismic national factor which didn’t materialise, I was compelled to take part. I felt it was important enough to provide a voice and a candidate on the burning issues of the day. More than I could have hoped for, I was marginalised (some may say, brilliantly) by the Conservative Party campaign as they necessarily and increasingly took up the rhetoric, focus, determination and manifesto (Contract) of the Brexit Party and Nigel Farage.

Listening to Croydon’s Chris Philp MP and Councillor Mario Creatura change their tune on the EU in the interests of capturing the electorate and for their party to exist at all, let alone remain in power, was as enlightening about politics as it was – a sad reflection on me – amusing. Sorry…

Strategically, I think there were four elements to the (even now barely a year old) Brexit Party achieving its effect:

  • Winning the 23 May 2019 election to the EU Parliament, especially in the Labour Party heartlands of the North East and the North West (the so-called Red Wall). Labour had been found wanting among the five million Labour Party supporters who had voted to leave the EU. This became key in winning support for the Conservative Party who promised to “Get Brexit Done!”
  • Failure, thank goodness, at getting Theresa May’s Chequers-launched withdrawal agreement through parliament, combined with the EU election result, led to a change of PM and a new cabinet;
  • The Brexit Party standing up over 600 credible prospective parliamentary candidates (PPCs) on the 4th of November 2019 provided an existential threat to the Conservative Party. Even the Evening Standard was forced to headline that day with “Nigel Farage pushes Tory general election campaign off track” (as ministers plead [with] him to withdraw Brexit Party Candidates); and,
  • The unilateral decision on the 11th of November, just a week later, to stand down 317 Brexit Party PPCs* so as not to risk either a hung parliament, a second EU referendum or a referendum on Scottish independence.

[*The strict rule of not standing in a seat with a Conservative hold or win in the 2017 General Election was not without criticism (understatement). It did not account for seats where ‘remainer’ Conservatives had joined other parties or where they had retired or otherwise stood down. A great deal of talent and political goodwill/horsepower was lost or disenfranchised as a result.]

“the government’s approach to control of our territorial waters, are being monitored by legacy Brexit Party MEPs and supporters”

That said, operationally on Brexit, there is still a long way to go… Much remains to be resolved. We should be most wary of the following during the transition period:

  • Our contingent liability to the European Investment Bank (EIB). After joining the EU, the UK became a member of the EIB, with a 16% capital share. The UK has contributed over €3.5bn and has over €35.4bn of ‘callable capital’. ‘Callable capital’ is a contingent liability, i.e. money which the UK would be obliged to pay if the EIB suffered losses it was unable to cover using its accumulated reserves. As shareholders in the European Central Bank (ECB), our contingent liabilities could be as high as €200-400bn – who knows…;
  • The wedge hammered into our Union (in relation to NI) by continued ‘dynamic alignment’;
  • Existing commitment or further consideration (as required in the Political Declaration, given legal effect in the Withdrawal Agreement) of integration in military Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO), similar to NATO, as part of the EU’s security and defence policy (CSDP) over normal bilateral cooperation as necessary in the national interest;
  • Fragility of the Eurozone economies;
  • Fragility of EU cohesion amid, among other things, high EU youth unemployment; and,
  • Challenges on the Greece-Turkey border as we speak!

These topics, with the government’s approach to control of our territorial waters, are being monitored by legacy Brexit Party MEPs and supporters as part of a Brexit Barometer. We are not going away until Brexit is truly done.

I am no cheerleader for the Conservative Party, but…

Nationally, I think we can be heartened by the government’s opening approaches to Brexit negotiations. The sticking points at the end of the first week are those relating to our independence: withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights; the role of the European Court of Justice; the maintenance of a level playing field for UK and EU businesses; and, conditions on future access for EU fishing fleets to UK waters. The EU may just be realising any final deal has to respect that the UK shall be independent of its institutional orbit, laws and courts.

I think we can be encouraged by the government’s intention to honour manifesto pledges on immigration and infrastructure investment. It is good to see the spotlights falling on the House of Lords and the BBC. Our government and institutions must be held to account for what they promise, do and say in our name. Whatever they do, they cannot be institutionally dishonest, biased, unaccountable or wasteful.

I think we can be buoyed by the government’s handling of the recent flooding and the ongoing Covid-19 Coronavirus outbreak. History will tell… Would a Labour Party in government have done any better?

The gulf between provision in the NHS and in social care remains to be addressed, and we are watching here, too. We are keen to see enduring cross-party approaches and consensus removing health and social care as perennial political footballs. No political party owns our NHS.

“We are in a complete pickle over free speech as debate, even the truth, is shut down by either cancelling an opposing view or legislating against it”

We are in a complete pickle over free speech as debate, even the truth, is shut down by either cancelling an opposing view or legislating against it. I see light in the topic of free speech being discussed more often and more openly. It requires as much education as it does leadership and example. But please, no more legislation to appease sensitivities…

As a teacher, leader and example, how good a PM is Boris Johnson? We don’t know yet. On the evidence, he remains ambiguous, past and present, on so many issues, including on those relating to the EU. He is utterly unambiguous though on power as it relates to his party being the party of government. The lesson learned in our democracy is to listen to the people. In particular he is and needs to keep listening to those who lent their votes in order to uphold our democracy and get Brexit done!

Locally, we have a failing Mayor of London hiding in plain sight. On knife crime and housing alone he can only be found wanting. And yet, on a typically low turnout he is most likely to be re-elected to deliver more of the same in the face of no credible opposition candidate. It hurts that earlier this year, the Brexit Party chose not to engage in the Mayoral, GLA and local elections. Voices for an electorate looking at slates of least-worst options have been denied. Democracy, eh?

“For Croydon, I really do hope for a democratically elected mayor to be empowered to deliver for everyone and be held to account by the borough as a whole”

Closer to home, we see the usual partisan Punch and Judy show that is the Croydon Borough Council. What a revelation it would be to see councillors united in their approach to knife crime, development, housing and reform solely in the Borough residents’ interest, and for the long term. For Croydon, I really do hope for a democratically elected mayor to be empowered to deliver for everyone and be held to account by the borough as a whole. DEMOC – now, let’s get that done!

You can read more from Peter in his interview with us from before the election – http://croydonconstitutionalists.uk/interview-with-peter-sonnex-brexit-party-prospective-parliamentary-candidate-in-croydon-south/.

Peter also spoke at our ‘My Tuppenceworth’ in 2019 about Decency, Democracy, Freedom and Freedoms, with the speech at –http://croydonconstitutionalists.uk/decency-democracy-freedom-and-freedoms-my-tuppenceworth-speech/

You can meet Peter at our Leavers of Croydon Drinks in New Addington on Saturday 21st March 2020 – http://croydonconstitutionalists.uk/leavers-of-croydon-drinks-new-addington/

Finally Peter can be found on twitter at https://twitter.com/SonnexPeter

Decency, Democracy, Freedom and Freedoms – My Tuppenceworth speech

Our Free Speech event, My tuppenceworth, on Tuesday 19th November gave lots of people the opportunity to speak.  One of those speeches came from Peter Sonnex, Brexit Party Candidate for Croydon Central, we have reproduced the text below.

Decency, Democracy, Freedom and Freedoms… These have been hard won, but so easily taken for granted. Easy come, easy go can quickly lead to freedoms being expressed with no thought – the playground stuff – for the consequences and the damage they may do to those very freedoms
themselves…

The irony is not lost that we should be aware this evening of our location and that we are in the throes of another Brexit General Election… I shall, of course steer away from party politics in respect for our hosts. After all, I am not a politician!

The poster for this event shows Field Marshal Horatio Herbert Kitchener, late of the Corps of Royal Engineers – my very own Corps. The appalling waste of blood and treasure aside – if that were ever possible, as we shall never forget – it was his rallying call that galvanised the country’s resolve
against tyranny in Europe – standing up for democracy then – as I am now.

[As a young officer, it was Kitchener who was sent to rescue another former Royal Engineer – General Gordon of Khartoum. His plan to build a railway from the Red Sea to Khartoum, thwarted by the hubris of Field Marshal Wolseley who insisted on going up the Nile by boat. I wonder if he
used free speech to let him know how he felt…]

Only in my dotage have I really been able to put my own, rather less glorious military career in perspective: In the Falkland Islands defending the democratic will of the Falkland Islanders who had voted overwhelmingly to remain as a United Kingdom Overseas Territory; during the Cold War in Germany, defending our democracy and freedoms against the very real threat of the Warsaw Pact – winning as the Berlin Wall came down – sparking a fire of democracy to burn all the way through Eastern Europe. Long, long tours of the Former Yugoslavia were spent establishing a safe and secure environment for their first democratic elections; my time in Iraq spent establishing a safe and secure environment for – you’ve guessed it – democratic elections. I remain traumatised by our failure as the Occupying Power to deliver on their mandate for democracy and freedom. They do not have what we, the UK as the Occupying Power, promised them – at all…

At home, I find our future lies in the hands of people for whom entitlement is a right not earned and every demand is pandered to no matter the cost for their so-called ‘freedoms’. People who never learned that no means no or that our democracy came and comes at a price: selflessness, fairness, empathy, compassion, compromise, tolerance and respect.

I feel betrayed in my own country as our freedoms are taken away by a wedge of political correctness, a lack of trust and truth in politics, and incompetent legislators. I feel compelled to stand up again for democracy in my own country as our vote – and it is all you and I have – is counted, disrespected and fails to be acted upon.

Who do I trust in all this?

Easy. You! YOUR COUNTRY NEEDS YOU!