Tuesday, 25 December 2012

TESS THE LAST

Tess
The minute you first look into those bright inquisitive eyes, see an expectant look on a face that has a wet shiny nose and look at the young healthy dog you are about to adopt, then you are beginning a journey that is not only bring you years of joy, loyalty and companionship. It also brings a certain degree of frustration as you teach a new dog the rules of the house, such as not wetting the best Axeminster or chewing the Chippendale. Sadly, many years later it also brings tears and heartbreak as that once young dog has become old and tired and reaches the end of the road before you. 

In September 1995 at the Blue Cross animal rescue centre in Bromsgrove, Lin and I began that journey when we first saw Bess, a young six month old cross border collie and Labrador. She was a bit nervous and a little skittish, but there was something about her. She had a beautiful black shiny coat, dazzling white teeth and soft brown eyes that one looked into we were smitten. 

When all the paperwork had been done and after a home visit from the Blue Cross, a few days later we were allowed to bring her home where she was quickly renamed Tess. Sadly, Bess was a name that had bad connotations for us as some friends had a dog named Bess, which ate some strychnine laced meat that had been placed, we presume for foxes, off a track in North Wales. Poor Bess died in agony - that name was not for our new dog. 

It took about one day for us to quickly learn this shy timid dog was really and untrained yob. After Sandy, our lovely mongrel who literally turned up on our doorstep, and had always been such a well behaved dog had died young of liver cancer, taking in this untrained hooligan came as a bit of a shock.  

As she raced around the house, stooping to do her business in the middle of the living room and just wanting none stop attention, Lin and I began to wonder if we had done the right thing taking her in. That did not last long, it took Tess about a month to well and truly embed herself into our hearts, she very quickly learned the rules of the house too, such as dogs do not go upstairs or get on the furniture and they sleep quietly in their bed in the kitchen at night - oh, and the garden is the place to do their business.

Derek & Tess.
She quickly became so good we seldom needed to use her lead when we took her out, Sunday mornings when we went to the paper shop she would sit outside expecting a pat off everyone that went in and out and we also had to learn to fit into her routine as well. If her walk was not on time or her 9 pm Bonio not presented - we soon got to know about it. 

My own political career began due to Tess. In 1996 I was so fed up with the EU and the Conservative Party’s subservience to it, when Sir James Goldsmith’s Referendum Party came along I put my name forward as a potential party candidate, which came as a surprise to our family and friends as I had never been involved in politics before. 

After the initial interview I was asked to go on a twenty four hour combined training and assessment course at the Royal Angus Hotel in Birmingham. We checked in on the Friday lunchtime stayed over night and then completed the course on Saturday morning. Before going on the course I was asked to take a photo of myself to leave with them at the end of the course. 

As I did not have a decent portrait I got Lin to start snapping away in the garden with me grimacing to the camera. Suddenly, Tess decided she wanted to join in the fun and flopped across my lap, I smiled and we both looked at the camera and snap, that was the best photo of them all which was the one I presented. 

It took an agonising month of waiting before I received the news I had been selected as the Referendum Party candidate for Walsall North, this was two days before we were due to attend the Referendum Party conference in Brighton. When I arrived I was full of my own self importance as I was now a Parliamentary candidate and at a swanky bash we had been invited to in the Grand Hotel on the Friday night, I saw one the Referendum Party officials who had taken the training course. I told him how proud I was to have been selected to which he responded: “Do you know why we accepted you?” I wondered to myself if it was my wit, charm, magnetic personality or all those things combined, when he said: “It was because of that nice photo of you and your dog”. It was due to Tess I had entered the world of politics and nothing to do with my own abilities. 

Tess became a creature of habit, as she got older she had her routine, she was a real home girl but always liked going to Wales to visit my parents on our regular weekend trips. Those came to an end two years ago when my mother died and the house sold, and in those two years Tess slowed down. 

Her daily walk became a slow stroll to the field around the corner, then back again as she chose not to go any further. She became thinner ad slept longer and sadly, she became too ill to carry on, Rory Lydon, the vet based in Kingstanding, who had looked after her all her life, said the end had come on Friday 21st December 2012. We had one last night with her before taking her for that final visit early on Saturday 22nd December. She is now buried at the top of the garden of our Walsall home Had she lived a few weeks longer she would have made the grand old age of 18. 

After nearly forty years of marriage, all shared with a dogs and cats in our home, she will be our last dog - she will be Tess the last.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

TRUST ME, I'M A BULLSHITTER

Believe it or not, the moon is made of green cheese, I kid you not. Here’s another little known equally believable fact, David Cameron and his party are Euro-sceptics – honest – Dave said it so it must be true.

So the Leader of the Conservative Party, who is currently seeing an exodus from his party ranks to UKIP, the man who gave us a cast iron promise that if elected he would hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty, who also enforced a three line Whip against holding an in/out EU referendum, wants us to believe that his party will, to use his own words: “will go into the election with a clear Eurosceptic position.” Yeh, but what happens after the General election?

Sorry Dave, your party lost me twenty years ago and after being fed a constant diet of Tory unbelievable pledges and a whole raft of broken promises regarding our disastrous membership of the EU ever since, I see no reason to believe anything you or any other Tory tells me when it comes to the EU.

Christopher Gill, calls alledged
Tory Euro-sceptics "decoy
Ducks".
Christopher Gill, who as a past Conservative MP and one of John Major’s whipless rebels, who is now a UKIP member, refers to all alleged Tory Euro-sceptics as “decoy ducks”. Just like a decoy they attract their victims who think it is safe to vote Tory, then when it is too late and the vote cast, the Tory party, which is the very political party that signed the Treaty of Rome, lied to the electorate about the Common Market (now the EU) and are mainly responsible for the mess the nation is in and the loss of our sovereignty and democracy, will then say now is not the time to leave the EU.  And so it will go on. 

When Dave speaks a few platitudes about the EU and tries to convince people he is some sort of EU sceptic, few are inclined to believe him. He has really lost the plot as well as a large number of his members and voters who are moving to UKIP and not just for the issue of the EU, but for other things too.

At last the electorate can see that UKIP is a moderate political party with a whole raft of workable and sound policies. Dave’s slogan at the next General Election should be ‘Trust me, I’m a bullshitter’, nothing is going to save him now and his dwindling band of pretend Euro-sceptics.

Tuesday, 18 December 2012

A BIG NIGHT IN WALSALL

The Lyndon House Hotel, Upper Rushall Street, Walsall.  The place to be.
Tonight (18th December 2012) is the big night in the Lyndon House Hotel in Walsall, it’s going to be the political place to be as Mike Nattrass, the West Midlands UKIP MEP, is speaking there at a public meeting which is open to all.
Mike Nattrass MEP, speking in
the Lyndon House Hotel.

Mike has a lot to say and unlike most politicians is happy to answer questions put to him. If you are free this evening at 7.30 pm come along to the Lyndon, which is Walsall’s best hotel and bar where you can get a pretty decent pint of real ale too, and hear what Mike has to say about the EU and why we need to leave ASAP.

The Meeting is in the Garden Room, when entering the Lyndon House Hotel from Upper Rushall Street walk past the reception and into the room at the back, but get yourself a drink at the main bar first.

Tomorrow night, Wednesday 19th December 2012, he is speaking in the Electric Club in Chapel Ash in Wolverhampton so if you can't make one meeting you have another chance to hear what Mike has to say.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

MIKE NATTRASS MEP IN WALSALL & WOLVERHAMPTON

Mike Nattrass the UKIP West Midlands MEP to speak in Walsall & Wolverhampton.
Next Tuesday night is going to be a big night in Walsall, our local West Midlands UKIP MEP Mike Nattrass is coming to town.

He is due to talk at a public meeting he has organised in the Lyndon House Hotel at 7.30 pm on Tuesday 18th December – everyone is welcome to come along.

After all his years as an MEP in the European Parliament he certainly has a lot to say about the place and all the mad things that go on there. His talks are never dull and he loves to answer questions put to him from the audience – which is certainly something most other politicians do their best to avoid.

He relates how UKIP MEPs are the only ones to try to stand up against the tide of legislation that pours non-stop out of that place, the vast costs of running two Parliaments including the massive amounts of our money spent on translating over thirty languages even though there are twenty seven countries in the EU and some, such as the Irish, speak English but still have their Irish Gaelic translations anyway.

The following night, Wednesday 19th December again at 7.30 pm, he will hold another public meeting, this time in the Electric Club in Wolverhampton, so if you can’t get to one of these eye opening meetings then there is no excuse for missing the other – you really should be there as anyone that attends Mike’s public meetings learn one hell of a lot about the EU and why Britain should pull out as soon as possible.

The details of the two venues are:
Tuesday 18th December, 7.30 pm, The Lyndon House Hotel, Upper Rushall Street, Walsall, WS1 2HA.

Wednesday 19th December, 7.30 pm, St. Marks Road, Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton, WV3 0QH.

DON’T MISS OUT ON THESE INFORMATIVE AND LIVELY MEETINGS.

Monday, 10 December 2012

SIR PATRICK MOORE AND A UFO IN A LIFT IN BIRMINGHAM

Sir Patrick Moore, UKIP patron.
After stewing about the problem of our membership of the EU from around 1990 onwards, in 1996 I took the plunge and put my name forward as a possible Referendum Party candidate. After an initial interview in my home town of Walsall I was asked to go on a twenty four hour combined candidate training and selection course which was being held in the Royal Angus Hotel in Birmingham.

The course, which took place in September of that year, was quite intense as there was a lot to learn, it began at 1 pm on the Friday and went through to 7 pm when we were told dinner was one hour later and we would all have to give a three minute speech the following morning.

After dinner and a beer or two I spent a large part of the night preparing my first ever public speech. The following morning at breakfast whilst chatting with another member who was on the course we were both pleasantly surprised to see none other than Sir Patrick Moore, the great astronomer, come walking into the dining room for breakfast.

As I had to check out of my hotel room before 10 am and the next morning session was due to start at 9 am, after breakfast I went to the reception to hand in my key and whilst checking out the great man came and stood beside me as he had something to ask at reception. It was when I got into the lift, just as the doors were closing, I heard a shrill voice shout: ‘Wait for me’, which was when I found myself standing in a lift with a personality I had been watching on TV since I was a lad.

I could not resist and told him what a pleasure it was to meet him and how I had been watching him on the telly in the Sky At Night since my youth, to which he replied: “Oh yes, we have been going rather a long time”. The lift doors opened, I stepped out and said goodbye and as the lift doors closed to take Sir Patrick on his journey a few floor higher, I stood in the hotel corridor with a massive smile on my face, I just couldn’t help it as it was such a privilege to have met him.

My efforts that weekend in the hotel proved successful as a month later I was asked to be the Referendum Party candidate in Walsall North and with my team of activists, some of whom are still campaigning with me in UKIP all these years later, we achieved a vote of 3.3 per cent which was the RP average for the 1997 General Election.

Some time after that election a question was asked in the 'questions and answers' section in the Daily Mail, a question was asked by a reader: ‘Has Sir Patrick Moore ever seen a UFO?’ He responded to say he had not, other people gave all sorts of answers too and I just could not resist sending in a reply as well. In my response, which the Daily Mail published, I informed the readers how I had met Sir Patrick just before I was due to give a speech and let them know that he had actually travelled in a lift with an “Unknown Friendly Orator’ – a UFO.

When a year or two later as, by then a very committed and active UKIP member, I learned that Sir Patrick had become a member of UKIP too I was delighted – I just wished I had told him on that day why I was in the hotel as it was obvious he would have agreed with me.

As I could not help but notice on the day I shared a lift with him, he was a larger than life character both in stature and personality – Patrick Moore was without doubt everyone’s favourite eccentric. He was a remarkable man too. He was self taught in astronomy and the maps he had drawn of the moon in his early years were so good and accurate they were used by NASA for their first manned moon landings in 1969.

Nigel Farage the UKIP leader, said on news of the death of Sir Patrick on Sunday 9th December: "Since I first met Sir Patrick when he dominated a UKIP stage in 1999, he has been a friend and an inspiration. Not only to us in UKIP, but across the country and around the world.

"Today we have seen the passing of a true great, and a true Englishman". How true that is.

No doubt now released from this mortal existence his spirit is excitedly shooting around the stars and galaxies he spent all his life studying and finding out if his theories and facts on the universe were correct. What a nice thought, for a man like him that really would be heaven. He also met a UFO in a lift in Birmingham.

Saturday, 8 December 2012

GOODBYE TO BOB

Bob Deeley, St George in a trilby.
The most memorable election broadcast in the European elections of 2004 was, without doubt, the UKIP broadcast which featured an elderly sailor slapping a lederhosen clad Austrian with a wet fish. So bizarre and eye catching was this scene it even made it on to the BBC 'Have I Got News For You' programme. The famous fish slapper dressed in a sou-wester was the West Midlands Stourbridge UKIP member, Bob Deeley. 

Sadly, on Friday 9th November 2012, Bob passed away after a period of ill health and yesterday, Friday 7th December 2012   I attended his funeral, he was 93. He had lived a full and varied life. His first trade was as a metallurgist, which he did until he reached his early forties, then, suddenly, he had a complete change and was accepted as one of the first students to be trained at Newark College in the art of violin making and repairs, an occupation he continued until he reached the age of 70 when he finally retired. 

Bob was also a talented musician; he played the viola in several orchestras over the years and had a great love of music. 

When war came he served his country in the Signals and made his way across Europe as the Allied forces advanced, eventually serving in Germany after they surrendered. From speaking to him he had a great fear of another conflict, which was one of the reasons he first joined the Referendum Party then UKIP in 2000 - he worried that the undemocratic actions of the EU would be the cause of another great conflict, which at the time of his death we are beginning to see with the unrest in Greece, especially as they suffer economically due to the problems created by them joining EU's euro. 

Bob will be much missed by many in UKIP, not least at UKIP events in the West Midlands where he was always made welcome and appreciated by our members. He always had a twinkle in his eye and would catch out many a speaker during questions as he never failed to have an unusual and intelligent question to ask - added to which, there can never be another UKIP election broadcast to match the famous fish slapper of 2004. 

Bob leaves behind his long time partner Barbara Gillian, who he always called Gill. At the Torquey UKIP conference they were both presented with a joint gold medal for all the hard work and time they had given to UKIP. Bob also leaves behind a son, Simon, and nine grandchildren.

Monday, 3 December 2012

THREE EASY STEPS

Vince Cable, the Lib Dem Coalition Business Secretary, has been scratching his bald head of late wondering how UKIP can offer to increase spending on defence while at the same time cut taxation to ease the pressure on beleaguered and overtaxed companies and workers of the UK.

Poor old Vince, he just doesn’t get it does he, so in three easy steps, for Vince’s benefit, here’s how it is to be done.

Step one, the first thing a newly elected UKIP Government will do is begin negotiations to amicably remove the UK from the European Union. Step two, once Britain is out of the EU our payments to it, which currently are around £53million a day, will have ceased. Step three, using the £billions saved annually by leaving the EU taxes can be cut while at the same time the UK defence budget can be increased.

No longer will Britain’s hard pushed and much abused servicemen and women have to go into conflicts with shoddy equipment and not enough of them to achieve their objectives without increased risk due to the lack of manpower and back-up.

Now why didn’t you think of that Vince? Sadly, as a typical Liberal Democrat, when it come to the EU, getting out of it and putting our nation and democracy first, as well as considering the vast savings leaving the EU will create, is so unthinkable to Vince and his Lib Dem chums, they can only think of the one thing, which is taking Britain deeper into the EU labyrinth and ensnaring us in the mess it has created – to them the EU always comes first and the UK last.