I was astonished to receive a letter from The European Movement banning me from attending a lecture by Gavin Esler on my birthday today. The reason given was that I am taking The European Movement to court. It is not however the real reason.
The real reason is that Chris Hammond does not wish to meet me, in case I embarrass him about the fact that he indulged in a concerted smear campaign with others last year to pervert the course of The European Movement elections. The below letter from Sevenoaks and Swanley & Tonbridge in Europe (SSTIE) includes a paragraph that refers to me as the only other candidate. They used their own “Nationbuilder” bulk e-mail system to contact thousands of EM members. This could count as a case of defamation. It could also count as a misuse of the system or at least a perversion, in terms of data protection law. See below for just one of the letters that was written about me. There are others of an even more personal nature, but I am not permitted to share them due to the imposition of a gagging order by The European Movement.
At the time I asked the other candidate Yvonne Wancke, to ask these people to cease and desist, as we had a good relationship at the start of the election and we had agreed to conduct the campaign fairly. Yvonne refused and I can only draw the conclusion that she approved of the campaign tacitly or otherwise.
On Saturday 4 September European Movement Branches
will elect a new Chair of the Branches Forum
This key role is going to be hugely important as the European Movement determines the way forward and the future relationship between HQ and the branches.
It is essential that this works well in both directions. The Movement needs the branches so that it can grow and thrive. The enthusiasm and energy that exists in those groups must be fostered and supported by HQ, and the groups need to see the advantages of supporting the Movement as a whole.
A relationship based on working closely together for the benefit of all is essential, and there is a great deal of work needed to ensure that good relationships are established and maintained.
This will require a Branches Forum Chair who can and will build teams that will work collaboratively over a wide range of issues. The Chair will need to establish consensus amongst the branches and with HQ so that each group and the Movement will work harmoniously towards our common goals.
This is certainly not a role for someone who seeks to be the centre of attention, or who thrives on publicity. It needs someone who knows about building consensus and agreement, and who can use those skills to the benefit of the European Movement as a whole.
That is why we urge you to vote for YVONNE WANCKE to be the next Chair of the Branches Forum.
Patrick Reynolds Chris Hammond
Sevenoaks Swanley & Tonbridge in Europe East Kent European Movement
Robina Jacobson Colin Gordon
North East for Europe Oxford for Europe
South West Surrey
As regards the accusation made in the letter, it is true that I am taking The European Movement to the small claims court for non-payment of expenses. This is a ‘one of a kind’ claim as their youth arm were recently fined £1800 by HMRC for non-submission of accounts and non-payment of VAT. I feel fully justified in taking them to court for this and expect the judge to make the judgement, not some committee in East Kent who simply want to avoid embarrassment for their own bad behaviour. The ultimate humiliation came from the fact that I only got to find out about the smear campaign when Patrick Reynolds, secretary of the Sevenoaks branch, did not know how to use the e-mail system and sent the smearing e-mail directly to me !! 🙂 Despite what people probably think of Vladimir Putin, at least he knows how to conduct skulduggery properly !!
Goodness knows how we’ll ever manage to rejoin the EU with people like this leading the charge. One of my weaknesses is that I find petty bureaucracy troublesome.
I was looking forward to a chat about prog rock with Gavin as he is a big fan, but it won’t kill me if I don’t. I will instead enjoy my birthday on a cycle ride to Canterbury.
I had been thinking about writing what has come to be known as “Reading Gate” down to experience. I must say that the pathetic actions of the local European Movement branch and that of their agents hiding in the shadows have rather stiffened my resolve to ensure that justice is done.
In other news I find that this is not an isolated incident. Byline Times have just censored an article written about Tony Blair that takes a mildly critical view of his leadership decisions on democracy. The style of democracy being put forward by The European Movement and Bylines appears to be more related to Putin’s democracy. I would tell them, but Lord Andrew Adonis and his sidekick Richard Wilson have blocked me on Twitter for giving them valuable feedback.
Coming soon, the banned article on Tony Blair, a Ukraine update and the new book on rejoining the EU.