Friday, 28 September 2012

DOING MY DUTY WITH A HEAVY HEART

Derek Bennett, speaking at the UKIP conference in Birmingham.

There are times in life when you undertake to do something with a heavy heart, not always because you don’t want to do something in particular, but more because of the attitudes of others and not knowing what their reaction will be. Tomorrow, Saturday 29th September 2012, is going to be one of those days.

Sadly, my home town of Walsall where the local Council is doing all it can to wreck the local economy by harassing visiting motorists with increased parking charges and the introduction on-street pay and dismay parking machines, all enforced with an army of traffic wardens who pounce the minute some poor soul has made a minor infraction, is to be a no-go zone for anyone with an ounce of common sense on the above date. Tomorrow Walsall is to be the gathering place for an army of assorted yobbery as the EDL comes to town to protest about something only they seem to understand what it is they are protesting about.

All my instincts are telling me to not go anywhere near Walsall town centre tomorrow, however, my brother, Bruce, who is a devout Christian and active member of St Paul’s Church in Walsall, wants me to attend a rally to counter the EDL protest which is being organised by Reverend Mark Kinder the rector of St Paul’s.

This morning I called Mark, who is a thoroughly decent chap, to ask him if I would be allowed to say a few words of support at the gathering. As my brother had already told him that UKIP in Walsall would be present and giving its support, it seems a debate had already taken place at an organising meeting and the general consensus was one of surprise and wariness that UKIP was giving its support to their rally against the EDL. Naturally, even though I will still be there as they have not objected to me joining them, I have not been granted a moment or two to speak in support.

It seems the surprise that I would want to support them is down to years of press and media misrepresentation about UKIP and our aims, fuelled enthusiastically by the pro-EU lobby. In the past when I have debated the problems of EU membership I have had suggestions that UKIP are ‘right wing’, or ‘BNP in blazers’, to those who are UKIP members this false caricature is totally wrong and to those who have actually taken the time and trouble to learn about UKIP they know to be incorrect. Even Evan Davies, reporting on the BBC Radio Four ‘Today’ programme, declared that UKIP members were “nice people” after attending our first day of conference in Birmingham last week. As you can see from the photo of the conference audeince, we are a wide mixture of people.

Added to this, many of those organising the anti-EDL rally in Walsall know both our Walsall UKIP members and myself from election counts and when we have been out campaigning, often stopping for a friendly chat – they know that we are not a party that has racist views. This is proven by the fact UKIP members are made up of many religions and cultures as well as a mixture of moderate political views, all are welcome to join UKIP with the only restriction being that past and present members of the EDL, BNP and other extremist organisations.

Yes, UKIP has a strong belief that our borders should be under the full control of our own sovereign Government and not, as at present, dominated by the EU. UKIP is not against immigration but realises in a small land mass with an already high population this has to be controlled. UKIP proposes this should be done in exactly the same way that other countries such as New Zealand, Canada, Australia and the USA do – so why do people accuse UKIP of being anti-immigration yet not those other countries?

There is a limit to how far the infrastructure can cope, if our already overstretched and underfunded NHS, schools and Social Services are struggling to cope, what use is it to anyone of any race, creed or colour if the whole lot collapses under the strain because no one controls the total population? We will all suffer equally.

So, tomorrow I will be there to support my brother’s church’s rally against the EDL, I have no qualms about supporting this cause because it is right. My heavy heart come from the fact I have no desire to be in the vicinity of the EDL protest and the fact that I will be among people who do not realise who their friends are.

Monday, 24 September 2012

THE FUTURE LOOKING GOOD FOR UKIP

Nigel Farage MEP, the leader of UKIP speaking at the Birmingham conference.

It’s all UKIP’s fault, the UKIP conference in Birmingham over the last weekend was so good all my time has been spent sorting conference matters out since leaving no time to blog here. I took 800 photos of the conference over the three days from Thursday 20th to Saturday 22nd September, which has left me with the massive task of sorting them out for distribution.

While spending hours late into the night in my little Walsall home, looking and sorting those photos, you can see why it was such a brilliant conference and why everyone left impressed. The Birmingham Town Hall is an impressive structure in the heart of Birmingham City centre, the speakers were great, and as always, Nigel Farage gave his usual barnstorming performance at the end of Friday morning.

With some really big and powerful political names now coming to UKIP, such as Stuart Wheeler, Tim Congdon and in recent times Lord Hesketh and Lord Stevens, also Mike Read the well known radio presenter, UKIP is really beginning to make the news – good news too.

At one time UKIP used to be wrongly portrayed as a party of ‘Little Englanders’, ‘anti-Europeans’ and, as we all know too well, ‘Gadfly’s’ and ‘Fruitcakes’. Those days are now gone and our Birmingham conference really laid those unfair opinions to rest.

Evan Davies, the BBC Radio Four presenter who attended the conference, gave a very fair and substantial report of the UKIP conference on the Today Programme on Saturday morning, there was also news reports that UKIP is now outpolling the Liberal Democrats. For those of us who have given many years to UKIP to, at last, see the party being treated with the respect and seriousness it now deserves make the nineteen years of hard work since the launch of the party well worth it.

Conferences are always a good time to meet friends from other parts of the country and chat to people. The problem is sometimes there is such a lot to do and so many people to speak to there is never enough time for a good chat. Some of those I saw and know are not yet members of UKIP, however, after this conference I am sure they soon will be including a follower of this blog from Milton Keynes.

There were some great speakers at the conference, such as Tim Akers, who always gives a good talk, UKIP Councillors were present, Mike Nattrass MEP made the delegates laugh when he related the true tale of an EU Committee he sat in who seriously wanted to know how much wine went in a wine gum. Mike nearly said: ‘There is no wine in a wine gum’ then thought better of it in case wine gum manufacturers found the EU bans them from using the name because of a mis-description. This can only happen in the EU. It was good to see Christopher Gill selling copies of his latest book there too.

UKIP can now step forward to what looks to be a changing future where it is seen as a political force in the land. With elections coming up such as the Corby by-election and the Police and Crime Commissioner elections this November, as well as the County Council elections next year then the European elections in 2014 where UKIP is being predicted to come first. The future is looking good for UKIP.

THE UKIP CONFERENCE LEADERS SPEECH

UKIP is now really coming of age, after the UKIP conference in Birmingham the press and media have been reporting on one of UKIP most successful conferences to date and beginning to give the party the attention it's members have worked so hard for. Below is the leaders speech given by Nigel Farage MEP on Friday 21st September - you can see why UKIP is now being treated as a serious political party.

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

ARE YOW GEWING TO BE IN THE LYNDON TOO?

‘It’s all gew’, as they say in my neck of the woods in Walsall, everything is piling in together. On Thursday 20th September things begin to happen in Birmingham Town Hall for UKIP, where many of the Party activists will arrive for our big UKIP shindig, the annual UKIP conference.

Thursday sees Party training events taking place for our UKIP activists and candidates, there is a meeting and dinner for people from the West Midlands business sector where they can learn how UKIP would support them, also in the Town Hall on the night there is a performance of Eurocrash the musical. All this before the conference proper has kicked off.

The following two days sees a fantastic line up of influential speakers such as senior economists Roger Bootle and Tim Congdon, the leader of the True Finns Party, Timo Soini, as well as Nigel Farage the leader of UKIP who is now acknowledged to be one of the UK’s best orators – what a fantastic few days UKIP members and their friends and guest are in for.

No sooner than it is all over and everyone heads off home, UKIP members will be hitting the streets full of vigour campaigning in the Police & Crime Commissioner (PCC) elections, Bill Etheridge from Dudley is our West Midlands PCC candidate.

Bill, who had been a Conservative activist, quit and joined the Dudley UKIP branch and has become a rising star in UKIP since, hence his selection as the UKIP candidate for this important election which is to be held on Thursday 15th November.

On Tuesday 2nd October Bill is, as they say locally, is ‘gewing’ to be in Walsall for a public meeting in the Lyndon House Hotel. Anyone wanting to know more about Bill, what he stands for in these elections and his policies for the police, once elected, can come along to the meeting and hear him speak as well as ask questions of him. The Lyndon House Hotel, which is my favourite watering hole in Walsall, serves a good pint of real ale as well as other drinks and is a great place to visit. So, as we say in our local dialect, are yow gewing to be in the Lyndon too in order to find out why you should not waste your vote on the Lib, Lab Con and vote wisely for UKIP instead?

Thursday, 13 September 2012

GETTING READY FOR THE UKIP 2012 CONFERENCE IN BIRMINGHAM

Birmingham Town Hall, the venue for what is set to be a great 2012 UKIP conference.

Not long to go now to the UKIP national conference, it all begins on Thursday 20th at the Town Hall in Birmingham. UKIP members will be travelling from all parts of the country to Birmingham City centre for the event and this year, for me personally, it has been good to have a hand in the conference preparation again, although a small hand.


From 1999 I served on the UKIP conference committee for six conferences, being conference chairman twice. It was always a relief when the conferences were over and everyone left smiling and all had gone to plan. One of the conferences I was especially proud of was the UKIP conference I helped to organise in Scarborough in 2002, this was our first UKIP seaside conference with our first official conference hotel and our first conference dinner including an after dinner speaker - none other than the late famous cricketer, Freddie Trueman. There were even sticks of rock sold at the conference with ‘UKIP’ through them.


Every UKIP conference gets better and better as UKIP goes from strength to strength, and this year, in the fantastic setting of Birmingham Town Hall, I am convinced this is going to be one of our best yet. Although, as I said, I have not done a lot regarding this conference, but I am pleased that I was given the initial task of finding the locations of the conference venue and also the location for the conference dinner, which is the Burlington Hotel close to the Town Hall – two great locations.


On the second day of this year’s conference we even have one of our Walsall UKIP members presenting a motion to conference. Russell Armitage, who earlier this year stood as our UKIP Council election candidate in the Walsall Council Ward of Aldridge Central & South where he gained 517 votes. Considering how many motions are put forward, with few being selected, this is quite an achievement for Russell and our Walsall UKIP team.


The conference is open to none members, anyone who wants to attend will be in for a real treat as there is great line up of speakers. As well as the UKIP leader, Nigel Farage who always gives a barnstorming speech, are renowned economists Roger Bootle and Tim Congdon, ex Radio One presenter Mike Read who recently joined UKIP, and True Finns leader Timo Soini as well as many others.


The conference will be opened on the first day by Mike Lynch, who is the UKIP West Midlands Regional Committee Chairman, he will have the pleasant task of welcoming the delegates to our part of the world, and Mike Nattrass MEP will be the final speaker on the Friday, he will be speaking about transport and UKIP opposition to HS2. It seems Mike has something up his sleeve which will an eye opener too.


Next year, in May 2013, UKIP will be fielding more candidates then ever in the County Council elections, in 2014 there will be the European elections in which it is widely predicted UKIP will get the highest vote in the UK and then in 2015 there will be the General Election where UKIP stand every chance of getting its first Members of Parliament. As the prospective Parliamentary candidate for Walsall South I would very much like to be one of them. This conference is going to be the start of it all.


Book your UKIP conference tickets HERE.

THE MEANING OF DEMOCRACY IN THE EUROPEAN UNION

When watching films, especially horror films, the scariest characters are always the ones who are portrayed as moderate people, until you discover their real sinister side. The EU is stuffed full to the gunnel's with scary people like that, including the unelected President of the EU Commission, Jose Manuel Barrosso, who had the gall to lecture the UKIP leader, Nigel Farage, on the meaning of democracy. This man scares all kinds of brown stuff out of me, who needs Alfred Hitchcock when we have the EU.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

NIGEL FARAGE AND THE STATE OF THE EU

Somehow or other, in the strange world of the EU inhabited by some of its fanatics which have some peculiar ideas, the ancient and long outdated notion of a fully federal Europe that has its roots going back as far as the 1930's with this antidemocratic process being set in motion around sixty years ago, is to them 'modern' and the way to the future. I did say it was strange.

In his latest state of the Europan Union speach, the unelected EU Commission President, Jose Manuel Barrosso, has called for full federation and massive powers of banking and finance for the EU. The video below is the UKIP leadler, Nigel Farage's response.

Monday, 10 September 2012

CLASSIC CAR CRISIS

A younger Derek Bennett with his then, brand new, 1968 Triumph Spitfire.

Back in 1968, in the days when I was still footloose and fancy free, I ordered a brand new Triumph Spitfire from Hewitt's in Walsall. Sadly, both Hewitt's and my Spitfire are long since gone, all that is left are fond memories of my younger days when I gadded aroud Walsall and beyond in my little sports car, which these these days, if it has not long ago been sent to the scrap yard, would be regarded as a classic car and well worth looking after.



Those who are fortunate enough to own a classic car, and those who run businesses and work in the industry that supply parts for classic car enthuisiasts, have something to really worry about now the nuttters in the EU have begun to turn their unwanted attention in their direction.


This has prompted Mike Nattrass, the West Midlands UKIP MEP, to get involved. In a recent press release the UK Independence Party Transport spokesman Mike Nattrass has blasted Brussels bureaucrats who are maneuvering to bring in draconian rules which could see many modified and classic cars disappear from British roads.

The West Midlands MEP, who is a member of the EU’s Transport and Tourism Committee, fears EU moves to overhaul MOT rules could have dire consequences for the automotive industry and classic car enthusiasts.

Interfering Eurocrats are attempting to push through radical changes to MOT rules across Europe which would make modified vehicles illegal.

The EU is proposing major changes on how the roadworthiness of vehicles is assessed. This latest Brussels drive could see many cars automatically failing their MOT test for having minor modifications such as updated brake lights and different windscreen wipers.

Bodies such as the Federation of British Historic Vehicles Clubs (FBHVC) and the Association of Car Enthusiasts have attacked the proposals which they say could cost jobs and hit motorists in the pocket.

Commenting on the proposals, UKIP Transport spokesman Mike Nattrass, who owns a 1956 Sunbeam Talbot, said: “These plans would lead to major changes to MOT rules in Britain and across Europe.

“The envisaged changes to the road licensing system would have massive implications for all motorists and the car industry as a whole.

“Under the plans, a vehicle would automatically fail its MOT test if its ‘technical specifications’ was found to differ from the technical specification it had when it rolled off the production line.

“The FBHVC is right to say these plans are pie-in-the-sky as modifications to vehicles, particularly older ones, are common.

“These plans are attack on motorists, classic car enthusiasts and the car industry. I will raise this issue in the European Parliament and fight to put this latest EU drive in reverse,” he added.

Friday, 7 September 2012

EU MAYHEM AND MOT FAILURES GALORE

Derek Bennett, needs a beer in the Lyndon in Walsall to get his head around EU mayhem.

It’s now Friday and this past week as not just been a slow blogging week, it has been a zero blogging week on this site due to far too many other things to do this last week.

Despite this, the EU problem has not gone away and, sadly, the colleagues in the dark recesses of the European Union are still finding ways to regulate and ensure our lives are an increasing bureaucratic pain in the backside of the EU.

The fiscal misery in many parts of the European Union, such as the desperate situation in Greece with many struggling to make ends meet, growing unemployment and debt in Spain, Portugal and Italy still going on as the euro continues through its long drawn out death throes, is just part of the EU inflicted misery that blights the lives of many.

Mario Draghi is doing is utmost to save the EU’s euro, but if even the Guardian newspaper think its vanity currency is doomed, then Mr Draghi is on a beating to nowhere. His latest wheeze is the promise, sort of, of unlimited funds for the Eurozone countries who are struggling, ironically, because they joined the euro instead of sensibly staying with their own sovereign currencies and control of their own economies.

If Mario Draghi and the EU’s leaders really did want to help to make the lives better for the people of Europe and begin the process of recovery, then rather than the stupidly of adding to the misery by trying to save the doomed euro, they should be enacting plans for an orderly return to national currencies and the end of their failed project along with the closure of the European Central Bank – but sadly their project is placed above the well being of the people who no longer seem to count as far as they are concerned.

As well as all this, motorists will soon be finding out how the EU has devised ways of adding to their driving woes. If petrol and diesel at their highest prices are not already a pain in the steering wheel, along with speed cameras, congestion charging, talk of road pricing and congested roads, now the EU wants to make it almost impossible for a great many perfectly safe cars to get through their MOT’s.

An EU directive that is due to be implemented in the not too distant future will stipulate that any vehicle that has been modified will fail its MOT. This, presumably applies to every part of all cars, anyone fitting a windscreen wiper that is not made by the vehicles original manufacturer, feasibly, will fail its MOT. Young lads who fit go-faster spoilers and other bits and bobs to their micro cars to make them look, in their eyes like Ferrari’s, will fail too, even though they have not undermined the safety of their vehicles. This is an almighty classic EU created cock up that is, when imposed, is going to create confusion and havoc and MOT failures galore.

As well as this, the Scottish SDP administration, are proposing to bring down the drink-drive levels in Scotland to those used in the rest of the EU, no doubt to prove to our EU masters what a good little, subservient, EU toadie Alex Salmond is. This is going to create confusion and mayhem for those living on the Scottish borders.

Any motorist who is over the new extremely low limit in Scotland who heads south, will be illegal until they cross the border where, hey presto, they are within the limit. Going the other way a driver within the English safe limit may become illegal as he/she crosses the border. All this drives you to drink – I will certainly be having a beer or two this evening in the Lyndon House Hotel in Walsall just to get my head around it all.

Monday, 3 September 2012

THE LATEST LESC BULLETIN

John Mills, the Secretary of the Labour Euro Safeguards Campaign

Although the long established Labour Euro Safeguards Campaign (LESC) are a group that is moderately left leaning politically, like so many campaigning anti-EU groups they align to other campaigning groups of all moderate political persuasions. Many of their members are made up of people with Conservative values but are happy to support the LESC as all EU-sceptics are campaigning for the same thing - to free Britain from the EU.


Each month the active LESC Secretary, John Mills, sends out a very informative bulletin regarding all aspects of the European Union. This month the bulletin covers questions and answers a referendum on our membership of the European Union which I have posted below. It is well worth reading.


1. How much support is there for having a referendum on our membership of the European Union? All the opinion polls show that there is overwhelming support for a referendum on our membership of the European Union. This is partly because there has been no opportunity for the electorate to express its views on our EU membership since 1975, despite numerous broken promises that this should be allowed to happen. It is also because, looking ahead, the UK needs to decide where its future lies. This is why among those who support our continued membership, as well as among those who are opposed to it, there is a strongly held opinion that the British people need to be given the chance to decide whether they want to remain members, making the best of the opportunities this presents, or to take the risks involved in leaving the EU. The strength of feeling has been amply demonstrated by the unofficial referenda run this year by People’ Pledge. Both in Thurrock in Essex, on one hand, and in Hazel Grove and Cheadle, two constituencies close to Manchester, on the other, the results were overwhelming. With polls larger in percentage terms than those in recent local authority elections, almost 90% of all those who voted in all three cases made it clear that they wanted a referendum held.


2. What are the choices likely to be? A referendum of our membership of the EU, if one is takes place, is likely to take one of two forms. One would be a referendum where there was a straight choice between our voting either to stay in the EU or to leave it. There is, however, a substantial chance that this is not the proposition which will be put to the electorate, at least initially. Instead, there may be a three way option, the choices then being to stay in, to come out or to renegotiate. If there is a straight “in or out” choice, it is likely, on present form, that there would be a close vote. If there is a three way choice, however, it is very likely that the “renegotiate” option would be chosen. As the leaders of all the major political parties have made it clear that they want to stay in the EU, it is probable that, given a chance to do so, they might well choose the three way option rather than an “in or out” vote. This is because this approach may seem to provide them with the least difficult way ahead, at least in the short term.


3. Where would this then leave us? A vote for renegotiation with all our major leaders declaring that they wanted to stay in the EU would, however, leave the UK in an extremely weak negotiating position. For a number of different reasons, the other Member States are going to be exceedingly reluctant to make any serious concessions to the UK in these circumstances. The EU has been built up from its inception on the basis that powers ceded by EU nation states to Brussels should never be returned to them – the so called process of acquis communautaire. If Brussels was to agree to make concessions to the UK, there would be plenty of other nation states with particular axes to grind who would want to follow the UK’s lead by making changes in their favour, but at other nations’ expense. The EU Commission would want to stop this happening at almost all costs. The existing structure within the EU is the result of compromises and agreements built up over decades, and once one part of it started being unpicked, there would be a danger that it would all start to unravel. If the Commission knows not only this but is also well aware that all the UK party leaders are going to support continuing membership whatever the outcome of the renegotiations, they will have everything to gain and very little to lose, at least in the first instance, by taking a tough line with those charged with the British renegotiation.


4. What would the government then do? This will present the UK government with a predicament which they are all too likely to resolve by claiming that whatever concessions are secured – even if they are pitifully small - are a great triumph and the best we can possibly expect to get – exactly as Harold Wilson did in 1975. The Commission will very probably move just enough to provide the token changes which the government will need to have to be able to make this sort of claim. To avoid long term damage to the acquis communautaire it may well be that any concessions which are made – on the 48 hour working week, for example – will be time limited. There will, however, almost certainly be no radical changes at all. We will still be left with the Common Agricultural Policy and with the Common Fisheries Policy. We will still be paying in massively much more to the EU than we receive in return. We will still be over-regulated and left with little capacity to run our own trade and diplomatic policies. Claims that substantial changes to our relationship with the other EU Member States had been achieved may not, however, be sufficient to head off pressure from the electorate for the opportunity for their views to be expressed in a further referendum . If this is held, the main political parties in the UK may nevertheless all advocate staying in the EU.


5. What will the outcome of a referendum be likely to be in these circumstances? If the concessions made by Brussels were small enough, however, there must be a reasonable chance the outcome of this second referendum would be an “out” vote. It is therefore by no means certain that our leading politicians would achieve the outcome they want by going initially for a three way option. The fact that renegotiation had been tried and largely failed may make it more and not less likely that a second referendum would finish up with an “out” vote. It may, therefore, be the case that having an initial three choice referendum would lengthen the process of securing an “out” vote but would not preclude one from being achieved – and even make it more likely. There would then be a danger, however, that the government might take the line that a second referendum was not necessary, providing it with the opportunity simply to go ahead with implementing whatever renegotiation package could be secured. There are, nevertheless, also big risks with this strategy. It would still not provide the electorate with the opportunity to make its views clear as to whether the UK wanted to be in the EU or not and opposition to there still being no scope for a clear decision to be taken may be politically overwhelming.


6. Where does this then leave those who do want to see radical changes made to our EU relationships? One clear certainty about our future relationship with the EU is that there is going to be no radical change unless sooner or later there is an “in or out” referendum and an “out” result. If none of our major political parties is prepared to fight a general election on an “out” platform, as appears to be the case, the only way of achieving this objective is through the referendum route. This is the only practical way of achieving the mandate and political impetus required, as a result of a clear decision by the British electorate. This is why there is a strong case for pressing for a referendum being held. There is also an increasingly high chance that this strategy will be successful.. With the political leadership at Westminster becoming more and more at odds with public opinion on the EU, and in particular its refusal to let the electorate have a say on an issue where there is clearly great interest, there must be an increasing temptation to agree to a referendum being held.. This would allow the party leaders to claim that they were happy for the electorate to be consulted even if they, at the same time, all strongly advocated our staying in the EU.


7. What is the choice that the British people will have to make? For all the reasons set out above, it now looks increasingly probable that within the next few years – possibly within a year or two after the next general election – there will be an “in or out” referendum, either before or after an attempt at renegotiation has been tried. It is even more likely that there will be a referendum if the break up of the Single Currency produces a major crisis in the EU. What is the outcome likely to be and what will be the major influences on the way the vote goes? At this distance away in time, it is not easy to predict the outcome but it is clear what the crucial issues will be. While there is no doubt that a significant majority of the British people would far prefer us to have a much looser relationship with the other EU member states than we have now, there will also be fears that leaving the EU would both be disruptive as it happened and that it would leave the UK isolated if we were outside the EU club. It is always easier to win referendums which maintain the status quo than those which involve radical change. The key issue will then be whether a sufficient number of people can be persuaded that an “out” vote is the only way of getting the required alterations to our relationships with the EU states made and that the risks of disruption and isolation are small enough to make coming out of the EU a rational choice.


8. What should eurosceptics do now to prepare for the future? There is thus a momentous choice looming up for the UK electorate for which not nearly enough preparation has yet been made. If the British people are going to have to make a crucial choice about the UK’s membership of the EU within the next two or three years, it is vital that they know as clearly as possible what prospects and consequences are likely to flow from whatever they decide. They know what being in the EU is like but not nearly so clearly what it would be like to be outside it. This is why the most important next steps are to prepare the ground by drawing up a clear way ahead for the UK, if the decision is to be to leave the EU and to re-establish our role as an independent nation. There are no insuperable obstacles but this needs to be explained and the electorate will have to be convinced. Inertia is going to be on the side of maintaining the status quo. Disengagement from the EU is going to require a degree of self confidence and audacity. The key question is whether those who are sceptical of the benefits of the UK’s EU membership can mobilise sufficient of the population to take their courage in their hands and to vote for a better future, run by our own democratic institutions.

The LESC have arranged a joint meeting with the People’s Pledge during the Labour Party Conference. The meeting will be at 5.45pm in the Bridgewater Suite in Jury’s Inn Manchester, 56 Great Bridgewater Street, Manchester, M1 5LE on Monday, 1st October. Austin Mitchell MP will be in the chair and the platform speakers will be Brian Burkitt, Kate Hoey MP, Kelvin Hopkins MP and Mark Seddon and Graham Stringer MP.

For those wishing to attaend the joint meeting, join or contact the Labour Euro Safeguards Campaign they be contacted at: The Labour Euro-Safeguards Campaign, 72 Albert Street, London, NW1 7NR. Tel: 020 7691 3800 * Fax: 020 7691 3834. E-mail: lesc@johnmillsltd.co.uk