Listen to our conversation with Zachary Stiling of the Heritage Party discussing the extension of the Ultra Low Emission Zone to Outer London and how this could affect places like Croydon. (9 minutes)
We are joined by Zachary Stiling, a local Heritage Party activist and previous Council candidate in Croydon, as we discuss the news that various Conservative MPs have announced that they are standing down at the next General Election and we bemoan the fact that Croydon Council has declared bankruptcy for the 3rd time. We also chat about the wokery and hypocrisy engulfing the FIFA World Cup.
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?
This is the now very familiar battle between the rule of law and woke social justice or asylum seekers versus economic migrants. Nations without controlled, patrolled and hard boarders are not sovereign nations at all but merely what the USA calls sanctuaries for whosoever. The UK government has a responsibility to its legal citizens to ensure they carefully vet whom we allow into this country, this process must be governed by the rule of law and not fuzzy feelings of social justice policies, otherwise known as the European Court of Human Rights.
The ECHR is making rulings based upon individual appeals and of course as they are all in basically the same predicament the court has ruled similarly in each case. For one of these individuals the argument is being made that he was seeking a better life in the UK and would still be vulnerable in Rwanda. If the vulnerability of the individual is the issue, would he be vulnerable wherever he settled? What makes Rwanda a dangerous place for him? This is not clear. In addition to which seeking a better life makes him an economic migrant and not eligible for asylum seeker status. This must be addressed as the cry of human rights activists seems to focus on this point; it is not humane to deny someone the chance of a better life. The answer to that is if a better life is the goal, then the rule of law must be adhered to. The desire for a better life is not a valid reason to illegally enter a nation and expect to be welcomed with open arms. They must go through the process legally.
The UK government should pursue its mandate to protect our boarders and enforce its immigration laws and policies. The message must be sent to other nations, human traffickers, and drug smugglers that the UK is not open for illegal immigration business. If they know that asylum seekers will be sent to another closer/bordering nation it will deter those considering making the trip across the Chanel risking their lives in the process.
We have to look no further than the USA to ascertain that such policies are extremely effective. During the Trump administration the Stay in Mexico Policy was instrumental in controlling the Southern border with amazing results. The current administration has rolled out the welcome mat for whosoever resulting in record illegal immigration numbers, the highest in 97 years. We do not want the same in the UK.
The interference of the European Court of Human Rights in the deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda is disgraceful, but sadly predictable. I strongly doubt that any flights will ever go ahead, because the E.C.H.R. is unlikely to relent and I do not believe the Johnson administration really cares about cracking down on illegal immigration. Having mixed a preposterous cocktail of socialism, totalitarianism and spectacular economic cretinism during its first 2½ years, who can honestly expect the Johnson government to successfully implement a genuinely conservative policy?
Through its decision to suspend the flights, the E.C.H.R. has given up the pretence of existing to protect human rights and quite openly revealed its politicized agenda. The deportations do not contravene any part of the European Convention on Human Rights and yet the Court is happy to remain silent when serious contraventions do occur in Europe (the Convention is supposed to guarantee the right to personal liberty, freedom of expression and freedom of association, all of which are disregarded by so-called public health measures and the criminalization of ‘hate speech’). All migrants do, of course, have a right to live in Britain provided they follow the correct legal procedures and satisfy at least the same criteria as are required of all native-born British citizens.
The E.C.H.R. would appear to prefer the policy mooted in May of destroying a Yorkshire village by filling it with 1500 asylum seekers, at enormous cost to the British taxpayer. By the same margin, it refuses to recognize the merit in deterring would-be asylum seekers from making the dangerous journeys across the English Channel which have already resulted in dozens of them perishing. Perhaps the E.C.H.R. prefers them dead, or maybe it just thinks British resources should be stretched even further by having coastguards posted on 24-hour dinghy-watch.
An important distinction which must be made is that the right to life is the right not to be killed, not an entitlement to be spoon-fed by Nanny Taxpayer. If we presume that the E.C.H.R. would rather claim the latter (and we must presume much, for it is being so suspiciously cagey), we can be certain that it has abandoned any interest it may have had in protecting actual human rights in favour of trying to impose costly and community-destroying socialism on countries within its jurisdiction. To suggest that working taxpayers who are struggling to make ends meet and young workers with no hope of ever buying a house should have money taken from them and given to people with no entitlement to British residence is much worse than crassly insulting.
As with the E.U., we again find ourselves being coerced into acting against our own interests by an unelected body. The best thing the government can possibly do is withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights. As nice as it is to have such a convention, which looks on the surface to be so righteous and upstanding, its value is nil when existing clauses are ignored and non-existent ones are fabricated and used against us. Britain would be much better off with her own intelligently drafted human rights constitution.
Decisions taken by a foreign body on UK & it’s citizens, must be stopped at all costs.
When the rights of foreigners come before the country’s own citizens it’s time to leave. This is something that should have been done at the same time as leaving the EU. We campaigned and won the right to be a sovereign nation. We must leave the ECHR and bring in a UK owned ‘Bill of Rights’. This must be agreed by the people of this country not Parliament.
If in many years to come this country can sustain taking in large numbers of economic migrants, then great. However, the infrastructure is not in place for its own people never mind those illegally entering the UK. The country also needs to reduce the amount of work visa being issued to many countries around the world. 1,000,000 foreign nationals came to the UK on work Visa’s last year during Covid 19.
I, as a local Councillor see local people having to go back home to parents with their families in overcrowded housing condition. Families being separated and moved to other parts of the country. If you have a partner and cannot prove how long you have lived together you cannot live with them if the Council is helping them out.
In my local town there are no private properties available to rent as London Boroughs send those on their waiting lists to us and other towns. London Borough’s pay large deposits to landlords and agents to guarantee those on their waiting lists above locals. No social housing is being built even though there is such a huge need.
We have insufficient medical services, too few GP’s, patients unable to see a GP, too few beds in ICU units, overcrowded A&E departments.
Schools are overcrowded and having to spend time teaching foreign children English. Children leaving primary and secondary school illiterate. Insufficient vocational education, too many children being pushed for academic education. Pushing vast numbers to university instead of training for future carpenters, electricians, bricklayers, engineers, or plumbers.
If the country continues the way it is going, we will end up with most of the country’s citizens getting poorer with no housing, no education, mental health continuing to rocket. People dying as they would be unable to get any medical care.
People calling for more migrants to come, pushing wages down while trying to fight for better wages and conditions for those already here, is perverse. Businesses looking for cheap labour and rubbing their hands together. Let’s look after our own first and when we have improved our infrastructure and helped all our own then by all means put infrastructure in place and bring in those in need at an agreed number.
This whole of Parliament has for the last 6 years been pitting people against each other on all these matters. We need to have a grown-up conversation about this country going forward but this useless Parliament are incapable of doing so.
The people are the masters not the servants – we are stronger together.
A life long Croydon resident Zack is standing Selsdon and Addington Village ward in May’s local elections.
Zack thank-you for your time.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your party?
I have lived all my life in Croydon’s suburbs and have come to harbour some considerable affection for the borough. Although some parts of Croydon have their problems, and it seems to be suffering more and more each day from inappropriate and unsympathetic development, it has a proud history and still retains a lot of fine architecture and, at the fringes, natural beauty. I am very keen to celebrate and promote these aspects of Croydon.
The Heritage Party was founded in 2020 to rectify the absence of traditional conservatism in our political system. As its name suggests, it exists to protect and promote our country’s history and culture, as well as defending other fundamental components of a healthy society, such as individual liberties and the traditional nuclear family. In particular, we are staunchly opposed to the tide of ‘cancel culture’ and discriminatory identity politics which pose a threat to free speech and equality of opportunity.
You’re standing in Selsdon and Addington Village ward, can you introduce the ward to us and what you can bring to the area?
Selsdon and Addington Village is a charming part of Croydon close to its rural fringe, where pleasant suburbia mingles with Green Belt land. Addington in particular is one of the most historic parts of Croydon and one of the last reminders that much of what is now the London Borough of Croydon was once open countryside, although it arguably suffers slightly from its proximity to what Clough Williams Ellis termed ‘the Octopus’ of London’s sprawling conurbations.
Highlights of the ward’s rich history include Addington Palace, a splendid 18th-century Palladian mansion which once served as the country home to the Archbishops of Canterbury, and the ancient St. Mary’s Church, which has one of the finest churchyards in all Croydon and contributes to Addington’s feel of a rural parish. For walkers, there is an abundance of green space, including Addington Park and Threehalfpenny Wood, sections of the London Loop and the Vanguard Way leading to the North Downs, plus the wonderful ornamental gardens of Heathfield, another historic house.
Unfortunately, all this is ever under threat. Croydon Council is considering building on a number of the borough’s green spaces. Although nowhere in the ward appears to be threatened at present, the council has been eyeing up open land in New Addington and near Lloyd Park. If there were to be any development on these sites, apart from it being a terrible loss for biodiversity and our natural landscape, it would lead to an increase in traffic which would directly impact residents in Selsdon and Addington Village, especially since Addington Road already suffers so badly from congestion at peak times. I will not stand for any attempts to build on greenfield sites and will oppose every such application.
I am happy to consider developments on brownfield sites provided they do not involve the destruction of any historic or otherwise significant buildings, and provided the new buildings meet the very highest standards of construction and aesthetics. As a case in point, I would work to overturn the decision to permit the demolition and redevelopment of the wonderful Art Déco Selsdon Garage. This building, although an eyesore all the while it remains unoccupied and derelict, once looked superb and is of enormous local significance for its unusual and exciting Modernist design. The community would suffer a great loss if it were to be replaced with mundane, generic rabbit hutches, but I would strongly encourage its refurbishment as two to four maisonettes preserving the original structure.
I consider myself a supporter of the arts – that is, fine art, music, literature and theatre – and I believe every resident of Selsdon and Addington Village should have access to culture. To that end, I will ensure that Croydon’s libraries remain open and will defend Selsdon Library against any plans the council may conceive to close it. I would also like to make the most of the council-owned Heathfield House, which in recent years has been well used by the Croydon Ecology Centre charity, but which Croydon Council last year suggested could be sold as part of a ‘series of proposed asset disposals’. The house formerly belonged to Raymond Riesco, who was known for his important collection of artworks and antiques which he bequeathed to the council (but which they partially sold in 2013). While ensuring the Ecology Centre retains its rights to the building, I should also be keen to see parts of it opened up to the public as a historic house, with the remaining items of the Riesco Collection put on display for the education and enjoyment of the public. This would, of course, bring visitors to Croydon and encourage spending in the local area.
Presumably Croydon Council had something different in mind in 2020 when it began the process of licensing Addington Park for music festivals, similar to one staged in Lloyd Park in 2019. Anyone who had the misfortune of witnessing the Lloyd Park event will recall that it was not so much a celebration of culture as an antisocial Bacchanalian orgy of intoxicated cretinism. That such an event should happen anywhere is embarrassing; that it should take place in a residential area is unacceptable. Selsdon and Addington Village deserves better, and I will make sure it gets it.
More widely what would you like to see change at Croydon Council and across the borough?
Perhaps the one thing that unites everyone across the borough is their anger and frustration at Croydon Council’s unrelenting financial irresponsibility. While 28 council employees were earning over £100,000, residents have been missing out on waste collections because the council went bankrupt and remains in a precarious situation even after a £120 million taxpayer-funded bailout.
You might think the council would have turned over a new leaf, but it has not. It has yet to scrap Brick by Brick, its good-for-nothing, loss-making property firm with a curious aversion to social housing, and it has recently announced the roll-out of so-called ‘Smart’ bus shelters, which are made by an American company and require a constant energy supply to fund their internet connection and garish LED lighting. They also have sinister overtones because they will all have cameras connected to the internet. Whatever was wrong with analogue bus shelters? I will save money and protect residents’ right to anonymity in public by opposing this development.
My love of natural beauty will, of course, be applied to green spaces all over the borough. In particular, I will support Chris Philp MP and others in their bid to have the Surrey Hills Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty extended to include Farthing Downs, Happy Valley, Riddlesdown and Coulsdon Common, thereby providing them with further protection against the threat of development. I should even like to go further and extend the designation to Croham Hurst and the Addington Hills.
I would also like to see money saved by scrapping Croydon Council’s equality and diversity strategy, and ending its support for divisive and politically-charged non-events such as black and LGBT+ history months (October and February to you and I). When the council runs a programme ‘the aim of which is to increase the number of BAME managers in the council’, we realise that ‘equality’ refers to equality of representation rather than equality of opportunity. This is unfair, discriminatory and precisely the opposite of what Martin Luther King campaigned for when he said “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will be judged not by the colour of their skin but by the content of their character”.
Finally, when Croydon’s finances are secure, I should like to make a statement of local pride. As an antidote to the onslaught of fanatical iconoclasm masquerading as social justice which began with the illegal vandalism of Bristol’s Edward Colston statue, I should like the council to affirm that it loves its town and its history and erecting a statue would be a good way to do that. I’m not an advocate of making statues for statues’ sake, but I would be in favour of anything which enhances the town centre, performs an educational function and gives recognition to a worthy individual. Croydon has produced many great individuals who merit commemoration, composer Samuel Coleridge-Taylor being a particularly well-known and deserving example.
How can people find out more or get in touch if they want to get involved?
I would be glad to answer enquiries sent to [email protected] Anyone interested in finding out more about the Heritage Party should visit heritageparty.org.
Picture: Every Night for Ukraine 022 Russian Embassy Finland. Author: rajatonvimma /// VJ Group Random Doctors
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?
Harley Dalton, Steward of the Independents for Liberty.
As noted author, detective and volunteer firefighter Lemony Snicket once wrote, if everyone fought fire with fire, the whole world would go up in smoke. It is worth considering that quote in the context not merely of Russia’s actions in Ukraine, but also the actions of our own governments both leading up to and during the crisis.
First, I make no apologies for Vladimir Putin, whose unconscionable escalation to violence is but a less restrained expression of how he treats his own people. But neither do I think very highly of Volodymyr Zelenskyy or his government, who are not blameless in this conflict and deserve to be subjected to far more scrutiny than the present consensus permits. Truly, I do not care which group of corrupt, rights-abusing kleptocrats strut through Kyiv’s ministry buildings.
The people I care about, and for whose wellbeing I state my case are the innocent people caught up in this game of thrones, both Russian and Ukrainian alike. The people of Ukraine do not deserve to have their homes, their lives and even their children blown to bits by Russian missiles. That is obvious. But too little sympathy is being shared with citizens of Russia (and, it must be noted, the Russian-speaking people of Donbass), who are currently being severed from the outside world, worldly comforts denied, their whole lives and prospects rent asunder, and subject to the most outrageously fervent racism courtesy of the Tolerant and Inclusive. Whether Vladimir Putin brought that upon them or not, the fact is that it is “us” – our governments, Western media, Western corporations, who are doing it to them. It must stop.
Our leaders have no moral high ground from which to lob criticisms at Vladimir Putin. When the likes of Justin Trudeau, Joe Biden and Scott Morrison call him an enemy of freedom and democracy, who is it that Mr Putin sees? A bunch of blood-stained hypocrites. Who would take seriously these charlatans posing as respectable people, when they call for peace, unity, restraint and diplomacy? As if they hadn’t invaded nations on flimsy pretexts. As if they hadn’t murdered foreign civilians in pursuit of self-righteous conquest. As if they don’t turn those guns on their own civilians when convenient. As if they allow peaceful protest. As if they don’t collude to spread propaganda. As if they operate with a free press. As if they don’t fiddle with elections, both in their own countries and abroad. As if, begging your pardon, they hadn’t committed war crimes. As if Ukraine don’t also shell civilians, imprison political leaders, ban opposition parties, and entertain radical elements. As if they, the whole stinking lot of them, weren’t corrupt… so horribly, openly, intractably corrupt.
One cringes to see these self-appointed arbiters of moral virtue in charge of making the serious decisions affecting the lives of millions – possibly, even, billions, at least if the prospect of nuclear war has any legs to it. But they’re not serious people, and a serious response to Russia is unlikely to come in any good time before the damage – to both Russia and Ukraine, to the geopolitical situation as it pertains to China, and to the obvious self-harm we’re doing to our economy and, naturally, the poorest in our society – can be contained. A whole world up in smoke, ourselves included, with many lives lost or diminished, and for what? For the hypocrites to grandstand about the fire while they fan the flames.
A serious response involves recognizing that Russia is a legitimate nation with legitimate national interests, not merely a pariah state Soviet caricature led by the new Hitler, and then treating them as such. A serious response involves being an exemplar of the values of ‘freedom and democracy’ you claim to represent, rather than that now-cliched slogan being the war cry which precedes drone strikes, propaganda, and destroying the lives of innocent civilians.
I won’t be holding my breath.
Zack Stiling, Heritage Party candidate Selsdon and Addington Village.
The Ukraine situation is so confused that I am in no position to make confident predictions, but there are a number of possible outcomes which I hope will not materialise. In our rush to virtue signal, some voices among us have called for all manner of dangerous, unethical or self-destructive policies. Currently, the only victims of the war between Russia and the Ukraine are the unfortunate Russian and Ukrainian citizens who have been dragged into it. If some warmongers have their way, people everywhere will suffer.
To illustrate: the ban on Russian oil imports means British citizens are paying record prices for petrol and it is anticipated that energy bills could reach £3000 a year. This is a pointless act of national self-harm. Just when you think the EDL’s particular brand of bigotry is dying out, along comes Conservative MP Roger Gale to revive it, only this time it’s Russians instead of Muslims. Gale spoke on Talk Radio of the need to ‘send everyone home’, including the ‘good and honest and decent Russians in this country’. What possible moral grounds can there be for making thousands of innocent people victims of a war in which they have played no more part than any native British people? Let’s not get started on the toy-soldier enthusiasts who behave as if they think Britain really needs another raging war.
What do we really want to achieve and what do we think we’re fighting for? And who’s really to blame? Obviously, Russia’s invasion of the Ukraine cannot be excused or justified, but the pantomime portrayal of the situation in which the Ukraine is a damsel in distress, the West her Prince Charming and Russia the evil stepmother must not persist. Through the expansion of NATO, the West has gone against the advice of its own diplomats and terms it had agreed with Russia, and in doing so provoked Russian aggression. Nor is the Ukraine blameless; when it was formed, it absorbed many people who considered themselves Russian. By implementing a series of anti-Russian policies, the Ukraine hastened the breakdown of its relationship with its neighbour. And if anyone thinks Putin has always been the bad man for his oppression of opposition media, they might be surprised to find that Zelensky has the very same blots on his escutcheon.
The majority of people will not know these things because the propaganda drive is well underway. Truths which do not conform to the narrative are suppressed and shouted-down. Doublethink is rife: apparently we are supposed to believe that Russian soldiers are inhuman devils, while simultaneously understanding that they have no wish to be in Ukraine and are fighting against their will. Russia Today may not be a reliable source of news, but its censorship deprives us of something vital: a different perspective.
Anyone might be forgiven for thinking we are not actually supposed to understand the situation. After all, how can anyone believe our Western leaders are sincere in shouting ‘Freedom!’ when they have spent the past two years depriving their citizens of their most basic and important rights and liberties? Whether it’s Russia or the Ukraine and the West which emerge the victor in this little skirmish is really an academic matter. The practical reality is that the arrogant, corrupt and unaccountable politicians who have created this situation will survive it unscathed, while ordinary citizens pay the price, whether it be with their wallets, their rights or their lives.
What we should be doing is making every effort to maintain peaceful relations with Russia while encouraging its withdrawal from the Ukraine by diplomatic means (which may require encouraging the Ukraine to rethink some of its longstanding anti-Russian policies). It is not our war and aggression will only hurt us all.
Mary Laws, Councillor, The Foundation Party.
I am not a war expert and talk only of what I have seen and read. I hate war and my heart breaks at the thought of people, especially children are being killed for no real reason other than a bully who wants to.
So, Putin the aggressor, moved his troops into Ukraine to take what he wants. Where does this stop and who will be next if he wins the Ukraine battle. When Putin took Crimea, the west did very little to stop him, he flexed his muscles and tested how the land lies. This is not WW3, but it could be, if anyone from the West bowed to calls for a no-fly zone. This stance must remain and Boris at present is handling everything well. I believe that the young people of Russia need to protest on a mass scale to get Putin out. I think the young people in Russia want peace and do not wish to kill their neighbours, who are family and friends. I don’t believe Putin is not mad, but he is a bully that needs to be stopped.
It’s amazing how quick Europe got so heavily dependent on Russia’s Gas and oil, some Countries with 100% dependency and the likes of Germany at 40%. Billions are being frozen all around the world from Russia and Russian bank accounts and assets. Yet Europe and even the UK are handing Russia Billions for their oil/gas while handing Millions to the Ukraine in aid. How perverse is this?
We as a country are supporting the Ukraine and must continue to do so. Aid, arms, finance and other needs the country may have. The need to help Ukrainian’s women and children to enter UK must be done in a humane and measured way. Records must be kept of Visa applications of who is coming into the country and make sure this is a temporary measure until its safe for them to return to their homeland. Now I understand that Priti Patel is allowing Ukraine’s to apply for Visa’s online which will speed up the process, if they have passports.
Going forward the UK needs to look at how we survive in the future. We are an Island nation dependant on so many countries to feed us, manufacture all our home devices, white goods and utilities. We need to get back to our industrial age although being greener in how we do that. We need to get back to farming on a big scale to feed ourselves. We need to do that before we build on all our farms and green spaces with housing.
What this war in Ukraine and the Covid 19 pandemic has shown us in the last two years is how our freedoms were swept away by Parliament who all agreed a covid law. We as citizens are constantly being pitted against one another in all sorts of issues. While Parliament has all morphed into socialists and against most of the people. It has shown us how governments can shut off all our bank accounts, food can be stopped from entering the country and they can turn off our utilities at the touch of a button. The UK Government need to nationalise our utilities and stop foreign companies from controlling them. Food, heat and water are not nice to have, they are essentials to live and must be protected. If we were to ever be attacked so much could be held from as with food, power and other necessities.
The government must reflect on these issues and introduce policies that will ensure these essentials needs for its nation. Our freedoms in a democracy must be upheld and not changed to suit parliament and everyone from other countries. Anyone entitled to live in this country should not expect to change or alter our freedoms or our way of life. Our governments preach all around the world about our democracy but are in fact moving away from what they preach. We as a diverse nation must stop these changes and stick together through the ballot box. Parliament with all its parties have been against the majority of the people in this country for a number of years now. We need to pull together as a nation to change the whole rotten system.
Chris Mendes, Leader, The Foundation Party.
The following is an extract from an article by Chris at https://foundationparty.uk/blog/punishing-the-russian-people-and-standing-with-ukraine-are-not-the-same-thing/.
Do we really think these sanctions will make any meaningful difference to this war? Are we so naive to think that the Kremlin didn’t anticipate them beforehand?
So why do our politicians do it? Is it really to help the Ukrainians as they claim? Some of them are probably foolish enough to think so. But for the more senior figures with broader considerations, such as the Prime Minister, it isn’t.
The obvious truth is that the only way we can really help a country under attack from a larger army, would be for Challenger tanks, RAF jets and infantry regiments to join the fight and destroy the invading forces.
But another obvious truth is that military intervention of this kind would undoubtedly lead to far greater harm to human life, rather than less, and potentially without limit.
Our economic intervention on the other hand, like a great majority of government decisions, is to defend the integrity of the government in the court of public opinion, as they hastily judge it, and defend its future electability.
Rightly, millions of people demand justice for what has happened, I’m one of them, and hopefully one day when the conflict is over the Ukrainian people will get it.
But politicians, especially of the calibre that we have today with neither courage or conviction, are ultra-sensitive to their vulnerability in this regard and are desperate to signal otherwise. And in that desperation often comes ill-considered and utterly unprincipled action that does more harm than good.
This economic virtue signalling at the expense of innocent people in Russia does absolutely no good at all and needs to stop.
In this episode we bring you the speeches from our recent event held at Clyde Hall in Croydon,
- David Omamogho – Christian Peoples Alliance
- Zack Stiling – Heritage Party
- Gavin Palmer – Independent Candidate for Mayor
- Laurence Williams – Libertarian Party
- Steve Kelleher – SDP
Photo’s from the evening: http://croydonconstitutionalists.uk/hustings-2022-photos/
Thanks to all who attended our Hustings last night. A tremendous set of candidates with great ideas for Croydon, further afield and our country. We wish them all well in May.
Photos from the night below.
Image from Ragnar1904
With the New Year upon us, we asked our contributors for their predictions on, and wishes for 2022.
Thanks to Harry, Zack, Oliver and Tom for their contributions.
Prediction: Inflation will continue to surge, further worsening the cost of living crisis. I suspect the Bank of England will be hesitant to increase interest rates but they’ll have no other option. Decades of money printing are finally catching up with us and the effects could be devastating or at the very least continue to stifle already poor economic growth post Covid.
Prediction: This should be the year that we finally put covid behind us. It seems likely that as the virus mutates, its effects will be no worse than flu or perhaps even the common cold. Hopefully, governments around the world will realise this and we can return to normality. The rise of “Papers please!” societies both at home and abroad have been an affront to liberty.
Wish: It probably won’t happen but I would like the government to deliver some much-needed tax cuts for millions of Brits. You cannot tax a nation into prosperity. Slashing a range of taxes, especially income and both types of national insurance would get the economy booming again.
Zack Stiling, Heritage Party candidate.
Prediction: the motorist will come under further attack. Motorists living or working in London have seen the cost and inconvenience of living rise enormously during 2021, thanks to the Ultra-Low Emissions Zone and the increased hours of operation of the Congestion Charge Zone. Similar schemes already in place in Birmingham, Leeds and Brighton are to be joined in 2022 by the Manchester and Bradford Clean Air Zones. Arbitrary charges cause all manner of problems for residents, visitors and local businesses, but they will remain the go-to government policy all the time they prove effective for squeezing money out of citizens while allowing MPs and councillors to assume a false moral high ground.
Wish: England becomes the new Sweden. It’s been pleasantly surprising to see England survive the Christmas period reasonably unscathed by Covid hysteria, though the existing mask and vaccine mandates remain unacceptable aberrations. By staying relatively calm and composed compared to other countries, England has shown the recent bout of fearmongering to be a total sham and will hopefully encourage other countries to learn by our example, as they should have done with Sweden. Then, maybe the Prime Minister, his Cabinet and the Opposition would humbly apologise for the damage done by their authoritarianism – but that might be a wish too far…
Wish: the big parties are held to account in the local elections. Numerous traditional conservatives are alienated by the Blairite Tories and countless Labour voters understand that Labour no longer represents workers, but they still see elections as a contest between the lesser of two evils. We are fortunate now to have the Heritage Party, SDP, Reclaim and Reform Parties, which all offer a sensible and viable alternative to the mainstream. We’ve got a lot of work to do, but if we co-operate we can seriously threaten the Lib/Lab/Con lost causes, and at the very least frighten them into taking their responsibilities to the public seriously.
Oliver Bielski, the co-founder of Enact, a new political party that endorses Direct Democracy. Oliver writes in a personal capacity.
Prediction: The ‘othering’ of the unvaccinated will continue apace in 2022, with a new varient not far away. Despite reaching herd immunity quite some time ago, there will NEVER be an antibody test available to get your Healthpass. It’s vaccination or isolation I’m afraid. This will leave 25% vs 75% in perpetuity, and the mass formation psychosis continues in the name of profits. Who knows where that leads but that will be a 2023 or 24 prediction…
As more of a desperate hope than a prediction; I see the only way out of this to start vaccinating every 3 months with Boosters, including children who don’t need or want it. The only way out is to drive adverse events up sky high to awaken people. And… when enough Footballers and Cyclists have collapsed, enough Ambulances have been called for heart problems, enough children have developed myocarditis and everybody knows somebody who’s been affected – Maybe, just maybe, people may see the vaccine as an over-reaction to a disease that can be treated simply and immensely effectively at home, with already approved medications.
Wish: My want for 2022 (that is never going to happen) is the breakup of major corporations under existing competition laws. Google, Facebook, Twitter, BlackRock, Vanguard, etc. should all be broken up like Standard Oil was made to breakup – It’s high time this happened. No single company should have $10 Trillion AUM!!! That’s more than the GDP of France, UK and Germany Combined, lol. As I say, desperately needed but never happening.
Dr Tom Rogers is the Deputy Leader of the Christian Peoples Alliance.
Prediction: 2022 will be dominated by the increasingly catastrophic consequences of the mass vaccination programme, as well as the fallout from most of the other oppressive and counterproductive COVID policy measures enacted over the past two years. Some of the world’s leading scientists in the field, including Dr Geert Vanden Boshe, Dr Mike Yeadon and Dr Robert Malone, have repeatedly warned of the adverse effects the COVID injections will have and are having on people, including a rise in autoimmune diseases and the destructive impact on the population’s natural immunity.
The decision by our Government to manipulate and coerce the nation into having three doses of this experimental medical product will prove to be one of the greatest crimes against humanity we have ever known. It will result in unprecedented strain on the NHS, if not its total collapse, as well as severely impact virtually every industry and sphere of the economy which will face crippling labour shortages due to chronic illness.
The unvaccinated will continue to be used by the establishment as convenient scapegoats for the failure of the shots, as well as their other scams, possibly resulting in further oppressive and counterproductive measures. However, this pack of lies will grow too heavy for even the mainstream media to maintain, and we should, please God, see the total collapse of the whole house of cards long before the end of 2022.
The growing questioning of the Government’s whole approach to COVID, at least of any further proposed lockdowns, is a welcome sign, but such healthy scepticism must increase substantially over the coming year if we are to avoid the complete fall of what is left of western civilisation. If so the Great Reset can still hopefully be avoided and we can start to reclaim politically the precious God-given freedoms we have thrown away.
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.
Part 5 in our series of your views. More responses can be found from Part 1.
Thanks to Zack Stiling, and Roald Ribe for their responses.
Is global warming a threat?
No. Glacial and interglacial periods occur naturally across thousands of years and, since we made it through the ice age with little more than basic hand tools, fire and animal skins, we should be quite well equipped to cope with a projected rise of 1.5 degrees centigrade thanks to several millennia of scientific and technological progress. Even if global warming was a threat, it would be arrogant and foolish to suppose that we could arrest a natural and inevitable greenhouse period simply by coercing the public to adopt a lifestyle which blends medieval feudalism with an enforced dependence on smart technology. Presumably, some ‘net zero’ enthusiasts such as Barack Obama and Bill Gates are secretly of the same mind, or they would not both have bought coastal properties within the past year.
Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?
No. Few members of the public have a detailed knowledge of climate and there is a danger that the government could increase its fear-mongering to manipulate voters, as the Remain side tried to do with the E.U. referendum. In the event of the government winning such a referendum, it would have a moral imperative of sorts to accelerate its Net Zero authoritarianism.
What action should we be taking on the environment?
The most important environmental action we should be taking is the protection and restoration of our countryside. Other than the fact that the countryside is an invaluable public asset, access to which is a lifeline for many people living in crowded urban areas, the destruction of it leads to phenomena which are immediately attributed to climate change. Before we get carried away with climate, a more immediate cause for loss of biodiversity is habitat destruction; a more immediate cause for flooding is the paving over of green land with impervious materials, which causes excessive surface run-off. We should also make an effort to reduce waste – so much plastic is unnecessary. As far as the climate goes, we should be making use of human ingenuity to adapt, not resorting to fear and authoritarianism in an attempt to control the uncontrollable.
Is global warming a threat?
Within the current range of claims made, it is my understanding that no existential threat exists. If the sun were to expand, as it will at some point, that warming would be a threat.
Should we have a referendum on enforced Net Zero targets?
I am against letting any dictator, proletariat, group or majority control and run the lives of each individual. A referendum will not help much given the sense of doom and panic transferred into the population by bias and propaganda.
What action should we be taking on the environment?
The state or collective “we” should not do anything related to hypotheses about the planet’s climate. The “we” of rational individuals should work for more individual freedom, which is the only action that will unleash the creativity and the economic environment needed to enable all to have enough surplus in their life to care about the environment they live in.
This is the fifth set of your responses, further responses can be found from Part 1
His responses to the prepared questions are below, and give a good insight into the candidate, and the party, ahead of next years London wide local elections.
What do you see as the most important priorities for the people of Kenley? And how will you help deliver on these priorities?
If I may take a minute to introduce myself and the Heritage Party, the party was founded in May 2020 by London Assembly Member David Kurten. We are a socially conservative party founded to champion civil liberties and traditional family values. On a national level, we oppose lockdowns, vaccine passports and ‘woke’ cancel culture, and promote freedom of speech, free markets and individual responsibility. I am entering politics after five years as a freelance journalist and historian, and have lived in Croydon all my life. I am a conservationist at heart, having been actively involved with the preservation of historic vehicles for several years, and I am equally passionate about preserving historic architecture and the countryside. I have developed an affection for the rich history of the borough, which I believe is to be celebrated, and am committed to seeing it prosper in the future.
I believe that the rapid construction of high-density, low-quality housing is one of the greatest threats Kenley currently faces, along with the council’s cavalier disregard for the Green Belt. Housing developments are typically constructed at the expense of green spaces, historic buildings or community venues. I will address this matter in full shortly, but suffice it to say that I am wholeheartedly committed to protecting Kenley’s countryside, historic buildings and community facilities, and I will object to all developments that do not meet the very highest standards.
Often in winter, Kenley suffers from severe flooding, a problem which, incidentally, is likely to increase with more housing, as more hard-standing will prevent water infiltrating the soil and lead to surface run-off into the valleys. Croydon Council was unable to fulfil its planned flood-prevention measures as a result of its bankruptcy in November. Now that the council has been bailed out by the government with £120 million, I will make flood prevention and infrastructure improvements in Kenley a priority.
I am also conscious that many workers in Kenley, especially small-business owners and those working in hospitality, will have suffered severe financial damage because of the lockdown. In 2016, the council gave £4 million to Boxpark despite local business owners’ fears it would damage their trade. Local, independent businesses play a much more important role in a community than national and transnational corporations, and I will see that they are prioritised for grants and loans.
Many people in Kenley are concerned about a rise in housing developments in Kenley – How do you respond to these concerns and if elected, what would you do?
Kenley residents are quite right to be sceptical about housing developments and I share their concerns. Repeatedly over recent years, the council and developers have done great harm to communities with unsympathetic, sometimes barely habitable, housing developments, while the objections of local residents have been ignored. In Kenley’s case, new developments are almost always detrimental to the local character of the area and create longstanding damage.
In January 2020, the council approved plans for a block of nine flats on Welcomes Road, a road occupied only by one- and two-storey interwar properties, ignoring residents’ objections. Then, in May, the council’s in-house developer, Brick by Brick, unveiled plans to build a block of flats on Reedham Park Avenue which contravened the regulations outlined in the council’s own Local Plan. I am fully aware that Croydon is under a lot of pressure to supply affordable housing, but the rapid construction of cramped flats is little more than cheap tokenism, and it is especially wrong in an area like Kenley, which people enjoy for its green spaces, natural beauty and high standards of suburban architecture. In many cases, Croydon’s new housing developments are not affordable for first-time buyers anyway, and are inadequately provisioned.
I spoke today to a disabled lady in social housing who complained that her house has had a serious leak for some time, but the council showed no interest in helping her repair it because it wasn’t what they considered to be an ‘emergency’. The council lazily cited coronavirus as an excuse for not responding to her complaints and, on the occasion when someone was sent to investigate, he informed the resident that the leak was ‘not his department’. One would like to think of this as an isolated problem, but the scandal of the Regina Road flats in South Norwood tells us that it is not. This is the inevitable legacy of trying to cram as many people as possible into the tightest possible space for the cheapest possible price, and it will persist into the future unless there is immediate change to the council’s attitude to housing. Not only that, but it won’t be a problem that exclusively affects social housing tenants; Croydon Council has built very little social housing of late, preferring instead to sell land to developers for private accommodation. The principle of cramming in as many people as possible at the lowest price still applies, but, instead of being awarded to the needy, the houses are being sold for a premium.
Equally worrying is the council’s attitude towards the Green Belt, which it sees as an obstacle to yet more development. Having already sacrificed 27 acres of Green Belt land for a hideous new school building in South Croydon, the council again revealed plans to eliminate sections of Green Belt in Sanderstead, Selsdon and New Addington for 6000 houses. Thankfully, Kenley has not yet been earmarked for anything so destructive, and I will defend its open spaces tooth and nail to see that Kenley residents may always have access to nature, which is so vital for our wellbeing. I am always receptive to the views and criticisms of the Campaign to Protect Rural England, who understand the importance of the Green Belt better than many councillors.
I am wholly committed to the protection of the countryside and the need for new houses to meet high standards of construction and beauty. I will not approve any development planned for a greenfield site, nor any developments that are ugly and which will have a negative impact on quality of life for Kenley residents. With Croydon’s town centre already suffering from a severe affliction of high-rises, the only new housing schemes I will support will be ‘gentle density’ ones. Brick by Brick has been an unaccountable, loss-making failure, and I will campaign for it to be scrapped. On a national level, the Heritage Party will invest in towns in the North and in the Midlands which are neglected by Westminster, thereby relieving the pressure on London for housing.
Croydon Council have stated that they face a £64.2 million gap in funding this year and that this inevitably means cuts to services; what do you consider are vital services in this community and how will you ensure that these services are retained?
The nature of Kenley, with many houses built on spacious plots with large gardens, makes the council’s garden waste collection a valuable service. Although garden waste collection already comes with a cost of £68.29 per year, and is therefore not likely to be scrapped, it ties in in an important way with fly-tipping because a lot of people decide to fly-tip because they find it preferable to paying for waste disposal. I am confident that, if the council’s finances were managed well, the cost of the service could be reduced or even assimilated into the cost of council tax.
Kenley has the good fortune of being a quiet area with a semi-rural feel in places. Sadly, the downside of this is that it is attractive to fly-tippers, who feel they can get away with dumping their waste without being seen. To this end, the council’s fly-tip reaction teams, who work with council enforcement officers to catch, fine and prosecute offenders, are a valuable part of the council’s operations. It is just a pity that in the past the council has pursued fly-tippers with more enthusiasm than honesty – several people, including a family member of mine, have been issued with fixed-penalty notices from the council, for which there is no option of appeal, because they attempted to dispose of waste at council recycling sites which were overflowing from where waste collections had been neglected.
I am interested in targeting real fly-tippers only, and I believe no fixed-penalty notices should be issued unless there is proof of an offence having been committed. I will make sure the fly-tip reaction teams operate justly and efficiently. I also believe they should have more of a presence in public so as to deter people from fly-tipping in the first place but also to catch people who drop litter, who so often evade justice. Littering is a vile habit for which there is no excuse, and a blight on many communities. Dropping litter carries a fixed-penalty fine of £150. I will strive to see that this is enforced to the fullest extent, albeit only with proof of the offence being committed.
Obviously, when fines are generated, enforcement teams will pay for themselves to some extent, but I do not believe it is prudent to rely on fines as a source of income, and that mentality is what encourages councils to set targets for revenue from fines, to be met by hook or by crook.
When a council is struggling to meet the needs of its citizens, it ought to look to itself to make cuts before it strips the public of services. With 16 council workers still on over £100,000 per year (compared to 10 in Sutton, nine in Merton and nine in Bromley), this is where the first cuts should be made so that civic improvements can be prioritised. Croydon Council could save thousands of pounds each year by not overpaying its senior staff.
The Kenley Community Plan was successful in a bid for GLA funding to deliver projects that connect and improve Kenley. What new and existing projects do you think will connect and improve Kenley?
Dare I say that there is not much to improve? Residents of Kenley are generally very proud of their neighbourhood and the council’s attempts to interfere with it, especially where housing developers are concerned, are often very unwelcome.
However, it is clear that because Kenley is a bit out on a limb compared to other areas of Croydon, residents are too dependent on cars and would appreciate better public transport links. A lot of residents have complained of heavy traffic in the area, cars driving too fast, and lack of provision for parking, while also finding that public transport is overcrowded. I believe Croydon Council needs to work with Transport for London to discuss the provision of a more regular bus service in Kenley. There is no convenient public transport between the southern part of Kenley and central Croydon. A regular bus service from the town centre to Kenley Common would be advantageous for residents and would make Kenley a destination for walkers, who could combine a visit to Kenley Common with Coulsdon Common and Riddlesdown, and spend money in local pubs and cafés.
I would like to consult with residents about improvements to Kenley’s road layout. Speed bumps are never a clever means of slowing traffic down as they shorten the life of a car’s suspension and contribute to air pollution as they force drivers to move through the gears and rev their engines. Chicanes are a far more sensible approach and could be employed in redeveloping Kenley’s roads for the better. All this, of course, is in addition to the improvements needed to mitigate the effects of flooding, which I will resume at the nearest possible instance.
As stated already, residents are aware of Kenley’s magnificent heritage. At present, Croydon Council does not seem to be very proud of the borough’s history but it is an aspect I would like to promote. Besides being of general interest to residents, I believe promotion of Croydon’s historic buildings and institutions would encourage visitors and benefit local trade. I have been drawn to Kenley Aerodrome on a number of occasions when it has hosted events and always felt I have had a good day out. The Aerodrome’s events would, I am sure, attract many more people to Kenley if decent public transport made it more accessible.
Local Youth and Children’s work providers Play Place ask ‘within the youth sector we are increasingly concerned about the lack of positive diversionary activities, poorer transport links and an amplified sense of deprivation for small communities in the south of the borough. How might we best respond to this?’
This is a subject I feel very strongly about, as I have been trying to raise awareness locally of the problem of young people riding motorcycles around my local woodland. Let me say, so that there is no doubt, that I do not condone this activity for an instant. Riding motorcycles in a space shared by dog-walkers and young children is clearly dangerous and irresponsible and has the potential to go horribly wrong. But let us try to understand our fellow man. The young people riding these motorcycles are not wilfully trying to harm anyone, they are simply trying to indulge a hobby for which there are absolutely no proper provisions. And I will say that, as a hobby, I absolutely do condone off-road motorcycling. Through riding off-road, motorcyclists are able to learn a lot about controlling their machines, all of which serves to make them much safer riders on the road than someone who buys a motorcycle merely for ease of commuting. Plus, as enthusiasts, they are learning about engineering and mechanics and developing practical skills which are not encouraged in schools, and that helps to cultivate an ethos of individual responsibility.
Much has been said lately about the Valley Park car meets, where young car owners display their modified vehicles. Undoubtedly, there is an antisocial aspect to this when drivers rev their engines incessantly and engage in dangerous driving, but this is not justification for trying to ban the car meets entirely. With proper measures in place to ensure safe driving and peaceful behaviour, they could be a great addition to Croydon’s culture, generate visitors and improve local spending. This has been the case in the past with the Chelsea Cruise, the monthly parade of classic, custom and American cars that has been taking place on the last Saturday of the month since 1975. For a time in the early 1980s, the Greater London Council embraced the cruise because it was a popular public event and drew thousands of spectators to the King’s Road. Sadly, that has been in decline as the green agenda that has been prevailing in London for several years has been hostile to motorists irrespective of whatever historical, cultural or aesthetic contribution they may make, and the expansion of the Congestion Charge zone may sound the death knell for the Chelsea Cruise.
Sad though that would be, it is obvious that there is sufficient enthusiasm here in Croydon that we could have our own safe, well-attended Croydon Cruise. The scale of it means that it would necessarily require some policing but so long as people drive safely and do not make a public nuisance, it is something the council ought to encourage. Young people generally should be encouraged in their hobbies, not demonised; overbearing regulations are the death of creativity in the young. As it stands, the council’s current failure to provide adequate facilities for young people and the punishment of them when they try to entertain themselves has all the hallmarks of a joyless, lazy bureaucracy.
Few people today know that Croydon once hosted a motorsports venue. All that remains of the Waddon Lido is the sad ghost of a diving stage. Many south London musicians, from Jacqui McShee of Pentangle to the Damned, started their careers on Croydon’s once thriving live music scene. McShee sang at the Olive Tree folk club and the Damned famously played at the Greyhound – both are now long gone and the current scene in Croydon is unlikely to give rise to any more great musicians. The innumerable houses springing up over the borough are apparently built with the expectation that the people living within them won’t have any hobbies to pursue.
I don’t believe Kenley is the right place for heavy development, but Croydon town centre is in dire need of facilities for the young and I will use my position in the council to encourage the development of sports facilities, hospitality venues and music venues. Sports facilities may necessarily require large amounts of space and I believe the best area for development is brownfield land close to Croydon Airport. With adequate development and improved transport links to the town centre, young people in Kenley would not be deprived of amenities anymore.