With local elections fast approaching in London, we interview Laurence Williams the SDP candidate for Sidcup Ward the London Borough of Bexley.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your party?
I have re-joined the SDP as a result of appearing at the Croydon Constitutionalist hustings in February ’22. The SDP are my political awakening Party from 1981, and I should have remained with them through thick and thin. They are enjoying a good resurgence now thanks to the usual LibLabCon hegemony. This is my 10th local election since 1990!
You’re standing in Sidcup Ward in the London Borough of Bexley, can you introduce the ward to us and what you can bring to the area?
I am standing in the LB of Bexley’s Sidcup Ward and hope to bring a bit of ‘Zazz’ to our local politics by breaking the cosy tory family affair here!
More widely what would you like to see change at Bexley council and across the borough?
I would like to see our available housing stock properly utilised across Bexley and an end to the scar of foodbanks and poverty in general!
How can people find out more or get in touch if they want to get involved?
A humanitarian crisis is unfolding before us following Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine. The risk of a major military conflict is remote but real, and the situation on the ground continues to change. We asked our contributors how they think Putin’s aggression will impact politics and policies in the UK and what if any changes are needed?
The first casualty of war is the truth, so we are now long past looking at the causes. We ought to all agree that Putin is “to blame” but errors were made by the West and Ukraine. To mention this however is to invite the accusation of being a Putin shill, so we might as well gloss over them.
When seeking directions, as the Oirish say, I would not start from here. Putin cannot lose and escape with his life, so the options are
Putin wins. I think this is the least likely. I can see no scenario where he “wins”. His economy will sink like a stone.
Palace coup, 15 minute show trial on a mobile phone and execution. My preferred option.
WW3, because Putin looks like losing, but retains control in Russia. My least preferred option.
Long drawn out conflict, Afghanistan on steroids, really sorry, but I think this is the most likely outcome.
To be brutally horribly cynical, option 4 is quite good for the UK. Self-indulgent drivel like Indyref2, lockdown fetishism, personal pronouns, critical race theory and most of all Net-Zero will be forgotten in the face of far bigger things. But Freedom of Speech will be a hard sell for those of us who believe in it.
It’s even fairly good for the EU. The EU was facing a genuine existential crisis in the face of Brexit, Net Zero and the Culture war. Six months ago the EU was threatening to cut off funds to Hungary and Poland for being naughty. Now, there is no danger of them cutting off funds, and in any case, Hungary and Poland have rapidly lost the will to be naughty.
Its also the option the West should be playing for, because it leaves Option 2 in play and keeps option 3 out of play.
Given that we cannot directly confront Russia militarily in Ukraine as they are not a member of NATO we must play the long economic game. In particular Germany and Italy must wean themselves off Russian oil and gas. It may take some time, but eventually Putin will fall and his successors will sue for economic peace and the occupation will be ended as part of that deal.
Yesterday Putin came clean. He does not after all believe in the Principle of Self-determination of Sovereignty, which is enshrined in international law, contrary to what as he has previously indicated. He accepts now that he is acting illegally and doesn’t care, reverting instead to the base and uncivilised human instinct for territorial domination and imperialism. The Principle is perfectly clear that the sovereignty of any territory is no longer determined by war, history, geography or religious scriptures of any kind but solely by the wishes of the people who live there today. Putin by contrast regards Ukrainians as Russians regardless of their own wishes.
This crisis just emphasises yet further the inadequacy of the UK’s immigration and refugee policy, and that incudes UKIP’s own policy. As a member of UKIP’s NEC I am currently arguing for manifesto changes as follows:
We need an auctioned quota system for long-term immigration, not a points-based system. I would set the quota at 50,000 a year fewer than the number who emigrate each previous year, so we have a background of depopulation going on. This country is dangerously overpopulated and, as any competent social psychologist will tell you, overpopulation leads to competition for scarce resources, which in turn leads to a fracturing of society along the nearest visible fault line. Today that is racism. It used to be classism. Either way Labour subversively ramps it up for their own selfish identity purposes, thereby making racism worse. A policy of depopulation will reduce that risk not increase it, as well reducing shortages of housing, access to essential public services, wild habitat, overloaded sewage works overflowing into our rivers and may other forms of environmental contamination as well as the fact that we can now only grow 55% of the food we eat.
You cannot humanely turn refugees away, and it also impossible to distinguish objectively between refugees and other illegals (ok, I know there are plenty of cynics out there who say it is quite easy, but that is not legally sufficient). Also it is all very well saying they should return to the first safe country they come to, but those countries are not co-operating and anyway have severe immigration crises of their own. With a quota system we can instead bring them in and allocate them free of charge to the quota and correspondingly reduce the number available to normal auction sponsors so the total quota is not breached. If the number is greater than the quota in any year it can be spread over several years. Either way refugees and illegals should be given special refugee passports, saying for example British Ukrainian Refugee Passport, which would only be valid until the occupation has ended. When they return home their quota places can be returned to the quota.
In the meantime we should be looking to purchase a large tract of habitable land somewhere outside Europe where, with the agreement of the host country, we can set up a refugee colony as British Sovereign territory, so we can then transfer all new arrivals there immediately. This would be outside the quota but still British sovereign territory so that even a successful appeal for asylum would not require moving them back to the UK. They would already have the refuge they need there. I am not proposing this as a cheap or punitive option (unlike Australia). It must be done properly with open borders, law and order, security, benefits, housing, and public and personal support services enabling them to engage in economic activity which should lead to self-sufficiency and achieve a reasonable standard of living in the longer term. It would use the host country’s currency but under our economic management, thereby enabling trade with the host country and giving that country a substantial regional and national economic and export boost as part of the deal. In the short term we can use some of the massive overseas aid budget which is currently doing little useful other than assuage some people’s guilt complexes.
I welcome any comments or additional observations so we can construct as practical and acceptable a policy as possible.
It’s a loaded question, ‘Putin’s aggression’, ‘Putin’s actions’ would have been better, but, though I detest war and its repercussions, I am not in the least surprised as to it happening. Yet another US proxy war, this time starting in 2014 with a President Obama organised coup, followed by 8 years and 15K casualties in the Russian speaking east at the hands of Ukrainian forces, is the perfect storm. Given that the Ukraine has national guard units modelled on Nazi Germany’s SS, and that these units committed unspeakable crimes against their own in WW2, they have now ‘modernised’ into having some 15 US bio – chemical facilities, just like Saddam Hussein was supposed to have in Iraq!
I am not at all surprised that most of the western governments have acted to cut Russia off (and our future gas supplies, of course) with their gesture politics. Two years ago, these same governments said that we must all be vaxxed with an un-tested toxin, against a Common Cold! Our same government said that PM Johnson didn’t go to parties when thousands of non-Etonian people were prevented from seeing their loved ones!
Cutting off Russia in the sports, and now our football clubs brandishing Ukrainian flags is just gesture politics like ‘taking the knee’, it just winds people up. The Olympics is dead for sure now, and so, hopefully, it the Eurovision song contest!
Laurence Williams is the new London and South East Coordinator Designate for the UK Libertarian Party. Laurence lives in Sidcup and has stood in multiple local elections and the 2010 General Election. We catch-up with Laurence about his new role.
Laurence, thanks for your time.
Can you start by introducing yourself to our readers, and tell us how you became the Designate London & South East Co-ordinator for the Libertarian Party?
I’ve been ‘Bitten’ by Libertarianism after many years in and out of the political wilderness. This lead to me re-joining Libertarian Party recently. This was just in time to be put forward for the vacant role of London and South East Coordinator, which I have accepted.
You’ve stood in 3 General Elections, 2 Welsh Senedd races, 2 x European elections, and Local elections over the past 32 years. Do you have any enduring memories from previous campaigns?
My favourite election was the 2010 GE for which I was allowed free – rein to be myself at the hustings in Erith & Thamesmead constituency, exactly what Libertarianism is all about, no whip for us! It was a great night, and one voter couple wanted to hire me as a stand – up comic!
We appear to finally be moving out of the period of lockdown. What would you like to see happen to get the country back to a form of normal?
Stop the lockdowns and media scare stories! And stop the useless vax passports!
How do you feel the Libertarian message in London goes down, and what do you see as the key messages for the capital?
The Libertarian Voice is comparatively small in London, bought about by a general ignorance and disillusionment in our populace; ‘Libertarian’ to most uninterested ears sounds like ‘lib dem’ or ‘liberal’, and people can’t differentiate easily. Key messages from us are: Small govt, small tax, Large Truths!
Any thoughts you would like to leave our readers with and how can people get involved.
For anyone who fancies having a go at politics, I say, give us a try, you don’t know until you do, you may even enjoy it! To get in touch, it’s either the LPUK website or myself on Facebook via the Libertarian Party London and South East branch page.