We spoke with Les Beaumont when he ran for council in 2022. Les is now the SDP’s prospective candidate for the Ealing North constituency.
Can you briefly introduce yourself to our readers?
I’ve lived in the Ealing North constituency and its predecessor since 1995. I’m married with four grown-up children and four grandchildren. I enjoy cycling, reading, and watching football (born in North London, I’m a lifelong Arsenal fan) and take a keen interest in current affairs.
Before retirement, I ran a commercial cleaning company. You’ll now find me during the week at my local community-run library.
What made you decide to stand again for the SDP?
The major parties can’t match the mix of left-of-centre economic policies and socially conservative values that are unique to the SDP.
Our motto is ‘Family Community Nation’ and we are passionate about ensuring that government nurtures all three. Sadly, Labour has abandoned working-class values and Tory rule has seen a disastrous decline in our wealth, resources and social cohesion.
You’re the Spokesman for Ealing North what’s made you decide to represent this area?
I stood in the local council elections in 2022. I’m standing again in the general election to give my fellow constituents the chance to vote for the SDP. A party that represents what I believe are the values and aspirations of the vast majority of British people.
Ealing’s is a diverse population but whatever your religion, ethnicity or heritage, the SDP’s goal is a united community grounded in a common vision of what the nation is and what it stands for.
What do you see as the big concerns for the constituency and what issues do you hope to champion?
The Economy, Health and Housing.
The SDP has a comprehensive set of policies to tackle these issues. Not short-term fixes but long-term solutions. Solutions that will re-energise our country and bring us lasting prosperity, will transform our health service into one to be proud of once again and will build homes in which our young people can bring up a family in comfort and security.
For those eager to help, how can they get involved in the campaign?
Join the SDP! Go to https://sdp.org.uk/ read our policies and click on Join in the top right-hand corner of the screen. You can become a member or, for just £1 a month, become a Friend of the SDP.
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?
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.
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.
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!
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.
The Social Democratic Party (SDP) is standing candidates across London in May’s local elections. We spoke with Les Beaumont who is standing for them in the Pitshanger Ward, London Borough of Ealing.
Les thank-you for your time.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your party?
I joined the SDP a couple of years ago, shortly after I sold my contract cleaning business and retired. I live in the ward in which I am standing for local councillor. Free from vested interests, the Social Democratic Party seeks the common good in Britain’s national interest. We represent neither capital nor labour, not private industry nor the public sector, but only the welfare of the British people and residents of these islands.
You’re standing in the Pitshanger Ward, can you introduce the ward to us and what you can bring to the area?
The ward is predominately made up of owner-occupied and privately rented properties with a social housing estate on its western border. As a local resident with no allegiance to the three largest parties, my objective would be to ensure that the council addresses the issues of the people that I represent, be they property owners, private tenants or living in social housing.
More widely what would you like to see change at Ealing Council and across the borough?
When I speak to people in my local area, these are the main issues most frequently raised:
a) Overdevelopment. Ealing Council has approved and continues to approve, planning applications for high-rise developments that are totally inappropriate to the local area. Some local people say that Ealing Labour councillors appear to have too close a relationship with the main housing developers in the borough.
b) Fly-Tipping. It is far too difficult and expensive to dispose of waste in the borough and the council closed one of its two waste & recycling centres last year.
c) Car Crime. There is an epidemic of catalytic converter theft in the borough.
d) Swimming Pools. Ealing Council closed our local swimming pool during the pandemic and then failed to re-open it with the intention of redeveloping the site with massive high-rise tower blocks.
e) Council Waste. Like many boroughs controlled by Labour, Ealing Council wastes a lot of money on schemes introduced for ideological or party-political reasons that do not benefit the majority of the community.
How can people find out more or get in touch if they want to get involved?
The SDP website is the major resource for our policies and to find out what we stand for. You can also follow the SDP on Facebook and the London branch on Twitter.