This page highlights some of the major topics of the moment, majoring on the state of the Brexit negotiations.
Our active members and supporters usually meet on a Wednesday evening at 7pm for a "pint and a pie" at a local hostelry, to discuss the topics of the day in a relaxed manner. Not everyone stays for the "pie", and newcomers (no need to be a member) are encouraged to make our acquaintance - join our email list and we will let you know where we will be.
(22/01/18) One would have to be a hermit to be unaware that UKIP is currently undergoing a leadership crisis. As a result of press revelations about Henry Bolton's (now not so) private life our NEC (National Executive Committee), in response to considerable expressions of concern from the membership, has passed a motion of no confidence in his leadership. Following which, Henry has confirmed that he will not resign.
As a result of this impasse, the Party will shortly hold an Extraordinary General Meeting whose sole purpose will be to allow the Party membership to decide the issue. As a result, either a new leader or a new NEC will be elected.
It's worth making a few points about this.
Press articles have appeared (notably by William Hague) to the effect that UKIP's time is past and we should disband.
Well, he would say that wouldn't he? With Mrs May seemingly determined that we should "leave" the EU but remain subject to all its restrictions indefinitely (and pay huge sums for the privilege), the last thing that the Tories need is a recovered UKIP that will make the obvious case that a clean Brexit now will be hugely better than an imitation Brexit many years in the future. Until there is a clean Brexit, UKIP is required and we are not giving up.
UKIP is seemingly "in perpetual crisis", and since the referendum has had more leaders than can be counted. Sadly there is truth behind this exaggeration - UKIP has not been blessed with good leadership recently.
We might also note that the other main Parties seem not to be so blessed either, but they do nothing about it because their hierarchies apparently believe that the views of their grass-roots supporters can be ignored. That way lies decline and fall.
UKIP in contrast is a democratic party, has listened to its grass-roots, and is dealing with its leadership problem. UKIP will (God willing) emerge fitter and strong enough to make the case for the clean Brexit that is ever more clearly required.
One final point. UKIP has shown that the best way to make a political impact is to demonstrate an electoral threat.
If you as a voter believe that a clean Brexit is non-negotiable, then a vote for whichever Party stands on that platform is the very best way to achieve that aim. Only the policies matter - the current state of the Party leadership or any other consideration is in practice largely immaterial (and you don't even have to wait for an election, you can signify your support by becoming a member and swelling the numbers).
We recommend that as voters we should always vote for the policies that we support, regardless of Party or other considerations. That way, we stand the best chance of achieving those policies, whichever Party is elected to government.
If we continue to vote the same way as always, then as night follows day we will get the same results as always.
(17/Jan/18) Priti accuses the Electoral Commission of bias and double strandards. Who would have thought it?
(19/Dec/17) This article in the Sunday Express highlights the Petition to walk away from the give-everything-away EU non-negotiations.
The only honourable course now is to advise the EU that they are welcome either to negotiate a mutually advantageous but non-political trade deal, or to trade on WTO terms once we have left.
It is become abundantly clear that continued negotiations on the current basis make sense only if the Tory government intends to keep us in the EU in all but name.
"by their deeds shall ye know them" (Matthew 7:16)
Mrs May has snatched agreement from the very jaws of catastrophe!
Jean-Claude and Michel confirm that the UK has made "sufficient progress"!
Leaving aside the enormous bribe, and the humiliation of having these Eurocrats mark our Prime Minister's homework, the agreement on the Irish border is flashing red warnings.
For Ireland north and south: "The United Kingdom also recalls its commitment to preserving the integrity of its internal market and Northern Ireland's place within it, as the United Kingdom leaves the European Union's Internal Market and Customs Union."
That's OK then, we will be leaving the Internal Market and the Customs Union, as per Lancaster House speech.
A bit further on: "In the absence of agreed solutions, the United Kingdom will maintain full alignment with those rules of the Internal Market and the Customs Union which, now or in the future, support North-South cooperation, the all-island economy and the protection of the 1998 Agreement".
So the UK leaves the Internal Market and Customs Union, but if the EU doesn't agree any differently (and why should they, as they now have us over a barrel?) all the UK will maintain full alignment with the rules of said Internal Market and Customs Union - current and future - no end date? Is it any surprise that Jean-Claude et al agreed this sweeping concession?
Did I then read in the Sunday Telegraph that "Nbr 10 aides" advised that these weasel words are "meaningless", "not binding" and "simply included to secure Ireland's approval"? Has our Tory prime minister negotiated in bad faith?
It will not be at all surprising when, as the UK finally remains safely subject to each and every EU restriction but barred from all of Brexit's many freedoms, the appropriate "Sir Humphrey" is awarded his peerage...
Ray Finch MEP highlights the failure of the Brexit non-negotiations in the EU Parliament:
Tim Aker MEP: Mrs May has sold us out.
Nigel Farage MEP in the EU Parliament.
Mrs May's Florence Speech.
Watch Gerard Batten's excellent presentation at Conference. If you were wondering what Mrs May actually said in Florence then Gerard explains it with great clarity - if you believe that Brexit is safe with Mrs May then you absolutely need to view this.
I take my hat off to 1&1 for providing an easy and inexpensive way for anyone to set up their own wesite, domain name, and email server, on someone else's cloud. More power to their elbow!
Westmonster (something to do with Arron Banks...)