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Chamber of Secrets

Chamber of Secrets

A European Movement member who wishes to remain anon writes to me about organisational concerns from The Brexit Chamber of Secrets

Reports are reaching us from a number of sources of a wave of resignations from the European Movement following the implementation of wide-raging changes made by its new Chairman, Lord Andrew Adonis.

The resignations began last year when former MEP, Saj Karim, left after a shambolic election to appoint vice-chairs.  Less than a month later, the leading Conservative pro-European group disaffiliated from the Movement when the Adonis-led group pledged to place its resources behind a campaign to unseat 44 of the party’s MPs (some of whom were pro-European) at the next General Election.

The turn of the year has seen the exit door revolving even faster.  We understand that one branch has had most of its senior officers quit, whilst another chair reported resignations immediately after Lord Adonis spoke with members over a Zoom event.  Indeed, the actions of Lord Adonis appear to be a common thread driving many of those choosing to part ways with the organisation that sees itself as the country’s leading pro-EU grouping.  One now-former member specifically cited the controversy over how recent rule changes were pushed through by the leadership:

“I have seen a lot of reports about how rules have been ignored by those in charge when driving through their new agenda,” they said.  “I felt I couldn’t criticise Johnson for having one rule for him and another rule for everyone else whilst remining a member of an organisation whose leadership were adopting exactly the same policy.”

The latest woes come at a bad time for the European Movement.  Recent months have seen a massive turnover of staff and come the end of this week, only one of the head office team from 18 months ago will still be in place.  To make matters worse, despite their much-vaunted claims to be driving diversity, all but one of the new appointments to replace them have been white and male. We fully expect their next appointment to be a Grassroots for Europe crony, following the silent takeover at the Chamber of Secrets.

Editor’s note: We need STEPS, Diversity or ABBA. At the moment we appear to have BOYZONE !!

Please join us on Monday 31.01 at 8 pm on ZOOM to Re-Boot Britain where we will consider :

* Brexit futures 2021-2031

* Strategies to rejoin

Please pm me an e-mail via reboot@academy-of-rock.co.uk to RSVP as numbers are limited.

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Grassroots for Europe

I have been asked to stand as a candidate for the Council of Grassroots for Europe. This is part of a wider initiative to bring together the many organisations that supported Remaining in the EU and is a welcome development.

I therefore ask for your vote. Voting takes place from TODAY Monday 1st Feb 00.01 until Sunday 7th Feb 23.59. Here’s my video pitch. You will find all the details of how to vote on the You Tube description and the list of eligible groups at the bottom of this post.

I presented at the hustings on Friday 29 Jane. You can find all the lovely candidate presentations at HUSTINGS

My presentation begins at just over two hours in. The first 30 minutes of the video is empty so please jump ahead on the link.

JOIN US TO RE-BOOT BRITAIN

My candidate statement is attached below. I am not a continuity candidate but in our 4.5 years, continuity has not exactly got us where we need to be in terms of Brexit, democracy and our place in the world. However I am an extremely skilled person with considerable experience and someone who works to get the best out of others, sometimes against the odds. Grassroots for Europe has emerged as one of the main players in the post Brexit fight to rejoin and re-boot our democracy.

Peter Cook – Grassroots for Europe

I am an unusual mix of scientist, business academic and musician. I have led a variety of grassroots activities from street stalls to writing three albums of political protest songs and got one of them to Number One on the Amazon chart. Aside from that I’ve organised dozens of activities and events both in the street and online, e.g. interviews with MEPs and celebrities about Brexit, restoring democracy and ending populism. Working with a wide variety of groups e.g. EU Flag Mafia, European Movement. I am both a strategist and exceptional mentor / coach and a pragmatist, turning ideas into events with impact across national and international media.

Protest Songs
In Limbo reached No 1 on Amazon for several days – all this from a basement with no mainstream record company support

On terms of my work over the last five years, I have led the Rage Against The Brexit Machine project, having written three albums of anti-Brexit protest songs and got one of them to Number One on the Amazon chart.  “Brexorcist in Chief” for Mid Kent 4 EU, I wrote a book on the subject of having difficult conversations  with Leave voters from many thousands of hours of activity on the street, in cafes and bars.  Out of all this time, on one occasion I gained two black eyes for misjudging an interaction with angry leave voters.   I was also arrested by Essex Police for driving a Mini Cooper with “B*llocks to Brexit” on the side.   They asked me to remove the signage on the hard shoulder of the M25.  Sadly for Essex Police I called 999 to have the officer arrested.  250 000 Tweets later, Essex Police had to retreat with an apology for putting their lives and ours at risk.  I should emphasise that the vast majority of our dealings with the Police and public have been cordial and uneventful.

Grassroots for Europe
With Grassroots for Europe Chair Richard Wilson

I stood a stuffed cat in the 2019 General Election.  Although the cat was only there to create tactical voting, to my surprise, Stan the Cat  did not come last in the ratings, beating the Christian People’s Alliance who had been campaigning for 15 years with a budget !!  Aside from the above sensationalism, I’ve managed to get our cause into the BBC, ITV, Sky, LBC and all major print media from The Guardian to The Express without ANY media agency or budget, just by using a professional approach.  Whilst some Remainers consider me “underground”, my approach is much more effective than the blowhards in committees who simply watch things happen.

We organised the relabelling of Kent as the “Toilet of England” – featured on most mainstream media from The New York Times to “Have I Got More News for You”

For nearly 5 years I have acted to dispel the illusions of Brexit.  At 62 I am at some risk from Corona and consider that a fitting epitaph for my life would be the destruction of Brexit populism for the sake of future generations.  I wrote a requiem for Brexit on 31 January 2020.   This explains why Re-Booting Britain matters better than words can manage:

You may vote if you are members of the following groups. Please contact your group leader to express your views.

  • Bremain in Spain
  • Oxford For Europe
  • Brighton & Hove for EU
  • Leeds for Europe
  • Liverpool for Europe
  • Hope for Europe
  • Merseyside for Europe
  • EMM European Movement Merseyside
  • London4Europe
  • Sevenoaks Swanley and Tonbridge in Europe
  • Glasgow Loves EU
  • MoVEM Mole Valley European Movement
  • NES4EU North East Surrey for Europe
  • EUnitySeahaven
  • North Somerset 4 Europe
  • Berkshire for Europe
  • Cambridge for Europe
  • Sixteen Million Rising
  • EU in Brum
  • Lewisham East for Europe/Lewisham Together in Europe
  • Northern Devon for Europe
  • Ipswich With Europe
  • Open Britain Reading and Berkshire
  • Fife4Europe
  • Highland4EU
  • Edinburgh 4 Europe
  • Preston For Europe
  • Waltham Forest
  • EMGreenwich for Europe
  • Lancaster For Europe
  • Witney for Europe (formally known as Peoples’ Vote, Witney)
  • Maidenhead for EU
  • Warwick District 4 Europe
  • East Kent European Movement
  • Ashford for Europe
  • Hull and East Yorkshire for Europe
  • Veterans For Europe
  • Suffolk EU Alliance
  • York for Europe
  • Swindon for Europe
  • Norfolk for Europe
  • Bromley4Europe
  • South Bucks for Europe
  • EM South West Surrey
  • Lambeth for Europe
  • EM Portsmouth-Chichester
  • European Movement Mendip Branch
  • Hampshire European Movement
  • Devon for Europe
  • Devizes for Europe
  • Islanders for Europe, The Isle of Wight Branch of the European Movement UK
  • Cheltenham for Europe
  • Wales for Europe
  • Harrow and Hillingdon European Movement
  • European Movement Sussex
  • SW Scotland for Europe
  • EM Mid Kent
  • Re-Boot Britain
  • Herefordshire for Europe
  • Dorset for Europe
  • Coventry4Europe
  • Lincolnshire European Movement
  • Gwynedd dros Ewrop [Welsh]/Gwynedd for Europe [English]
  • Swansea for Europe
  • Cheshire Europeans
  • Ceredigion4EU
  • Weaver Vale For Europe
  • Wrexham for Europe
  • Watford for Europe
  • Pro Europa

Get The Tories Out

We have 20 000 leaflets available for non-party campaigners to help #GTTO or Get The Tories Out by Friday 7th May. By sending them a massive shock wave in the local elections, we hope to point out their vulnerabilities. Nothing moves politicians quicker than losing their seats.

To get physical copies of leaflet, mail me at gtto@academy-of-rock.co.uk

To have the leaflet badged with your group’s logo or details, get in touch

To simply use the leaflets online, just download the images below

Support us so we can print more and deliver them via the Bollocks to Brexit Mini via Go Fund Me

Get The Tories Out
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Get The Tories Out
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Get ‘Em Out by Friday

We are taking the Mini on the road – let us know if you want a visit
April Brexit Showers

April Brexit Showers

In our occasional round up of April Brexit Showers via the medium of populist media parody, we offer you “The Sun”. The only difference with The Sun is that we include some facts …

I have to include a fact and fiction checker just for clarity:

FICTION : When Liz Truss said she got a great trade deal with Japan, she meant “for Japan”. A really good deal in fact, with five times the amount of trade going to Japan.

FACT : Dairy exports have fallen by 96% due to Brexit.

FACT : Meat exports have also fallen by 25% and these losses are expected to be permanent.

FICTION : Rachelle does not plan a trip to Scotland or Ireland. Nicola Sturgeon does not need her help to Get the Tories out in Scotland. Rachelle is however available for modelling assignments in France.

FACT : Northern Ireland is beginning to become the great tragedy of Brexit as tensions continue. This is not news. It was always predicted to be the case.

FACT : If you want to help get the Tories out at the local elections, contact me for leaflets via email gtto@academy-of-rock.co.uk. We have 12 000 left for rapid distribution.

If you like this article, please tip us using the Paypal button on this site or via GoFundMe

We need support to continue doing this. It takes considerable time. Thank you in advance.

Say no to the new variant Brexit – Write to your MP and the press using the facts in this article to make your case

Read our guide to Brexorcism

Join us every Monday at 8 pm to Re-Boot Britain

Support our local election campaign

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Subscribe to Re-Boot Britain – we cannot continue without support

Get the Tories out

We have delivered 20 000 leaflets to help get the Tories out and Re-Boot Britain in the last 10 days. This is quite astonishing when one considers that it has been done with just 12 people and a Mini Cooper. There are 23 million houses in Britain and our 20 000 leaflets represent 1/1000 of those houses. Not bad at all for a micro organisation. To help support our work, please donate using the PayPal button or via Go Fund Me for a regular donation.

To join us on the tour, here are our dates this coming week:

  • Monday : Gravesend from 11.00 am
  • Tuesday and Wednesday : Tunbridge Wells from 10.30 am
  • Wednesday evening : Maidstone from 6 pm
  • Thursday : TBC
  • Evening slots available most days by appointment

Please contact me directly via gtto@academy-of-rock.co.uk to join us

Here is our report from the street from stalwart campaigner Don Adamson

If you like this article, please tip us using the Paypal button on this site or via GoFundMe

We need support to continue doing this. It takes considerable time. Thank you in advance.

Say no to the new variant Brexit – Write to your MP and the press using the facts in this article to make your case

Read our guide to Brexorcism

Join us every Monday at 8 pm to Re-Boot Britain

A Better Medway

A Better Medway

Two areas of Medway have elections coming up and a better Medway is needed.  It seems that people are rejecting the cosy coalition of the two-party system in the towns, now that the effects of Brexit + COVID are becoming apparent in what has been termed a “Britastrophe”.  The UN red alert on climate has flagged up the long-term impact of Brexit on climate change:

  • More disaster capitalism means tax avoidance and non-payment of taxes in nation states.  This is bad for our environmental stewardship and our reputation as a world leader in ethical politics
  • A bonfire on standards leads to moral hazard in product manufacture, with a return to shoddy products made in sweatshops and environmentally damaging materials.  One hairdresser in Chatham told me that she was looking forward to the day when she could once again used banned chemicals on her clients’ hair.  She seemed unconcerned that the chemicals are carcinogens when I explained as a Chemist.
  • More global trade = more carbon footprint.  You may say, I don’t care, but what legacy do we hand on to future generations.

Locally in Strood North, overdevelopment of the Hoo Peninsula is leading to the destruction of sensitive environments and threatens to gridlock residents in the Medway towns.  Residents also have concerns about schools, lack of social housing, overdevelopment, litter, public transport and the capacity of the NHS to cope under Johnson’s sale of the century.  It also seems that the issue that dare not speak its name aka Brexit is also causing residents real concerns. It starts to become clear that Brexit was not really about taking back control except in the sense that it has enabled Boris Johnson to give unprecedented amounts of taxpayers money to his cronies and blame all economic, social and political problems on COVID.  Closer to home, food shortages are becoming visible as people realise that we are no longer self-sufficient in food.  With a shortage of 100 000 foreign lorry drivers, the supply of 2000 HGV army drivers from the “Royal Cucumber Corps” is not going to make up the difference.  Walking into Aldi in Strood lettuces are already brown in the displays.  Yes, I know Aldi operate a Just in Time system system, but the food is not supposed to be rotten in the supermarket.  This is just an hors d’ouevre …

Brands Hatch in Strood

Peter Bonney, an ex-deputy headteacher is a local activist for a 20 MPH speed limit in the rat runs along these roads in a congested part of Strood Weston, Cromer, Gordon, Jersey, Bryant, Brompton Lane, Cliffe Road etc.  Peter is the model of an activist, having organised petitions, letters and been given airtime at the local council with his proposal.  He thought all was well when he gained a warm reception across the political spectrum, but then the views of councillors were crushed by Councillor Alan Jarrett for no reason.  Jarrett is a seasoned professional who I have dealt with.  Prospective Green Councillor Cat Jamieson is to take the issue up.  There are many schools in the area and the use of the rat runs presents both a safety issue for children and an environmental issue for all the residents.

People driving at 40 miles and hour up the road is an accident waiting to happen

Overdevelopment

Residents in Brompton Farm Road are concerned about the issue of overdevelopment on the Hoo Peninsula with houses for 30 000 people proposed in a sensitive natural habitat for birds and other wildlife.  One resident described the problem:

“Boris the Builder just wants to build, build, build and the local Tory Councillors support this so they can line their pockets.  Meanwhile Labour are just supine.  We need an independent voice to hold Medway Council to account”.

It’s not just the people on the periphery of Hoo that are concerned.  The housing development will also put pressure on the arterial roads into Strood centre, placing still more pressure on the rat runs. There are also issues with the lack of social housing in the new Riverside developments around the area of Strood Station.

Transport connectivity is key if we are to reduce our reliance on cars

Cat responded to the call from residents:

“Greenwashing won’t wash.  We need to plan development within the towns in ways that are sustainable and sensitive to residents’ needs.  In some cases, that means just saying NO.  In other cases, it will be about finding much better ways to think about our natural resources in consultation with community leaders.  What we have now is local government by diktat. We must Act Now, before the Green Belt turns Brown”.

The Green Party will hold the Conservatives (and the “official” opposition) to account if elected.  Since there is already one Conservative and one Labour candidate, voters can cast their vote for a truly independent voice in the knowledge that they are not eliminating one of the parties, but simply enriching the mixture of views to make better decisions.

The Hoo Peninsula

Find out more about voting Green at The Green Party.

Join us at our event with Professor AC Grayling.

Foul Play

I was in a local cafe when the football fans emerged today. Gillingham lost to Portsmouth by one goal in the 93rd minute. A dejected fan came in. When I asked how it had gone, he pointed out that it was totally unfair as there was foul play and it should have been declared a nil-nil draw.

However, he seemed to think that the Brexit referendum, polluted by foul play, industrial scale fraud and a whopping lie in the 93rd minute should stand although it too was won on the thinnest of margins.

Can anyone explain the decision science in both cases?

Discuss it on Twitter – please play nicely

To all those that SAY that they want the Tories out and an END to Brexit, this is your big day. Get your arses down to Sidcup rail station on Monday 29 Nov at 12 noon. We are leafleting the area. The Torons are so worried that they have sent Johnson, Raab, Sunak, May et al to the area to canvass for Louie French Let’s #GTTO

Please help us pay for the leaflets by giving us a tip on Patreon

Peter Cook

Election FAQs

Many thanks to those who got in touch re my candidacy for the Branches Forum Chair position at The European Movement. I’ve made some responses to the issues you have wanted to know more about below:

Collaborations with Grassroots Groups and activists

There’s a very long list LOL !! Some notable entries include driving to Barnard Castle in collaboration with the EU Flag Mafia to test my eyes … Stopping along the way to deliver collaborative events with Leeds for Europe and North East for Europe in Leeds City Centre and Durham. I was the first to review the In Limbo book for an international human rights leader. Subsequently I wrote a song to amplify the book around the world, incorporating 30 spoken voice contributions from all over the world and taking three months to complete. The song reached No 1 on Amazon. I have also written Op Ed pieces for The New European, Grassroots for Europe and Hendrik Klassens, founder of the FBPE hashtag. Among the many partners I’ve collaborated with over the years, the list includes Berkshire and Hampshire for Europe, Manchester for Europe at the Tory Party Conference, Brighton and Hove for Europe at The Labour Party Conference, No 10 Vigil, Voices for Europe, Essex for Europe, SODEM, Eddisbury for Europe, Swindon for Europe, AC Grayling, Tunbridge Wells IN, The Rejoin Party, Enfield for Europe, New Europeans, Young European Movement and many more. Aside from that, I’ve just written an article for The Federal Trust on Brexit and musicians. We plan an event featuring some music giants following the release of the article. We are also about to undertake a national tour of UK with a number of branches and groups to re-engage people on the rocky road to rejoining the EU. At present the list includes Sheffield for Europe, Cornwall for Europe, EM Staffs, Glasgow Loves EU with more coming on board daily.

Our torch song we wrote to re-ignite people young and old in pro-EU activity

Diversity

Clearly it would be easy to make the critique that I’m male and pale. But I’m certainly not stale, having spent lots of my time working with young people of all persuasions in the various collaborations above. We really do need to attract different demographic and lifestyle sectors, having myself campaigned at Pride and other events. We are working at The Reading Festival this weekend with just the aim of reaching new demographics in mind. Through my personal networks, I am to engage new sectors and help develop leaders to take EM forward with a rainbow coalition of people united with the aim of building a better Britain in a better Europe for a better World.

Pride in the name of Europe – One of our performances at Pride

Uniting The European Movement

Colin Gordon from Oxford for Europe asked the question reference the BARNS reforms which are a vital part of the Organisation Development for The European Movement. I’ve simply copied his question and my answer here for transparency for all that are interested.

Colin Gordon : You may recall [see below] that I sent you on July 2nd a letter from our chair Dr Peter Burke to Andrew Adonis setting out out concerns about the BARNS proposal. We wrote about the proposal to establish a separate status and rights for branches and affiliates that “A new formal division within the largest pro-European organisation could look from outside (and inside) like a significant own goal ”. You replied to me: “I …. concur with the points in the below letter.  It is important to build the organisation as strongly as possible and I don’t think that the “own goal” serves EM well, especially at this time when we have unprecedented levels of “Brexit Apathy” within the UK and therefore the movement.” In your more recent candidate’s statement, you say that if elected you will work on “completing the BARNS reforms”. Does that mean that you support the BARNS proposals for a different constitutional status and rights for groups classed as branches and groups classed as affiliates?

Peter : The BARNS issue is a complex problem.  It rather seems that a number of internal issues were conflated with external ones and this has clearly led to disquiet amongst members.  Whilst rejecting the vote or attempting to re-run the vote have parallels with the Brexit referendum, what is wise here will be to analyse the 28% and find ways to disentangle the separate issues and find solutions or mitigations to these issues where possible.  I would offer to bring parties together to process the “unfinished business” on this matter to facilitate an equitable resolution of the matters.  This is what I do for a living.

Uniting The European Movement will not occur until there is substantive movement on the organisational issues that need addressing. This needs active intervention to harmonise the various viewpoints and will not heal by simply repeating the words unity. I say this with 27 years of experience dealing with Organisation Development (OD) issues of a complex nature at Human Dynamics.

Reaching outside the bubble

It’s vital that we reach outside the bubble as a European Movement. This means that I have targeted mainstream media outlets in collaboration with others. I realise that media coverage in populist media is outside the preferred range of some of our members, and I have recently received some private critique (and a healthy dose of praise) about it, arising from a misconception about the reasons I have done it. Yet I believe it is necessary if we are to change minds on Europe and Brexit and I just happen to be good at such things. We achieve nothing other than tea and empathy by staying inside our own safe places. I intercepted this malicious communication from Patrick Reynolds, who accidentally sent it to me without realising I was a Branch Chair. if people are going to do bad stuff, it helps to be good at the job. Patrick seemed somewhat embarrassed about this and wanted me to remove this from public view. We uncovered much more of this material being circulated on whatsapp groups and in underground chat groups. These appear to have emanated from Yvonne Wancke’s team and Grassroots for Europe, although it is not clear just who originated the smear campaigns:

From Patrick Reynolds, Sevenoaks Swanley & Tonbridge in Europe SSTIE – an alternative view from Adrian Ekins-Daukes follows:

I believe that Peter is the right person for the job since he has the qualities of, inter alia, leadership, imagination and determination to get a job done.  He is an ‘ideas’ man and a strong chairman but listens to the views of others and is open to their suggestions. He is skilled at addressing waverers on the EU and stands up vigorously for our cause against its opponents when the occasion arises. His is the style of leadership that European Movement branches need  in the present circumstances. For too long it has drifted, preoccupied with its own internal problems, communicating mainly with its own supporters and converts, and encouraging members occasionally to write letters to their MPs who disregard them. I agree that the candidate whom you support, Yvonne Wancke, possesses impeccable  qualities which would make her a very good candidate for the chair of a wide range of organisations. The European Movement, however faces opponents who are dishonest, corrupt and completely unscrupulous. Beyond Brexit, they are set on undermining our democracy and retaining power for the rest of this decade and beyond. The Movement’s leadership has been slow to recognise this in the past and there are still those who turn a blind eye to it. If we really hope to achieve our goal, we need leaders who take a tougher and more active and inventive approach than at present. Peter is the man to steer our branches along this arduous track.

I am proud that we have reached into the BBC, Guardian, France 24, ZDF, New York Times etc. AND The Mail, Sun, Express, RT and the populist press, all done with no agents, no budgets, just with an intelligent approach to PR and media relations. We cannot rely solely on demographics to help us Rejoin the EU. I will help Branches and Affiliates to leverage their talents to do this, whilst respecting that we are all made differently. Some prefer letter writing, others street events, media work and so on. All are valid, as our guide to activism shows.

Legitimacy

Another untrue rumour was raised and shared to all those with votes via WhatsApp and other messaging platforms that I had insufficient service as had only been a member for two months. This is not true. I have in fact been a member for over a year. It would have been two years but my EM membership direct debit failed the first time I applied and I did not realise for 6 months. Aside from that I have been a member of the Mid Kent EM for 4 years and was instrumental in starting our events across the area. I had eventually to write to The European Movement about these matters although they and Yvonne Wancke refused to do anything about it.

Transparency

Colin Gordon from Oxford for Europe also raised the issue of what some people perceive is the “elephant in the room”. It seems that some people are asking about this topic, so I may as well deal with it openly and honestly.

Colin Gordon : In the same email you mentioned that you were presently fighting a case of potential unfair dismissal on behalf of your son Tom, who works as senior Digital Officer at European Movement UK, and that this was impacting on your communications with EM executives and your ability to comment on EM affairs. Can I please ask whether this dispute is still ongoing, and whether there is a risk of its impacting your work, if elected, as a member of the EM Executive Committee ? Should branches considering their vote in this election be taking account of  this issue?

Update 23 November 2021 : As was expected, the matter was resolved to everyone’s satisfaction with an agreement struck. It was never relevant to decision-making and this remains the case. For transparency, I have left my reply to Colin Gordon per the original post below. I am not Dominic Cummings, nor in the business of erasing history or culture wars, so my reply below remains as was originally posted at the time.

Peter : My son’s dispute is his dispute and not mine.  I had hoped that all would have been done and dusted, but there has been an unexpected delay in completion and it is now once again on the way to finalisation.  To answer your question, the matter should not be taken account of in decision making.  I am a professional business person and that’s all that matters for my part. It is completely irrelevant to my candidacy.

Profile statement

Finally, here is my 500 word statement to help guide your decision making. I bring considerable business experience to the role, plus prolific skills in grassroots campaigning and getting our cause into mainstream media. If you have questions for me, please feel free to call me.

Rejoin

Rejoin Party

In the wake of Keir Starmer’s announcement that he wants to make Brexit work, all final hopes that Labour would become a serious opposition have been shattered. We need a new force in politics, hence this post.

Rejoin EU Party Announces Leader Richard Hewison will contest Old Bexley & Sidcup by-election 

  

Rejoin EU today became the latest party to enter the hotly contested by-election in Old Bexley & Sidcup on December 2. On paper, a rock-solid Conservative seat with a majority leave vote at the referendum that few observers expect to change hands, though given the turmoil engulfing the Tories over parliamentary standards, sewage and Brexit, anything could happen. 

  

Candidate Richard Hewison said: “In the last few months, the carnage Brexit is wreaking has been seen throughout the country. From empty shelves in supermarkets and truck-driver shortages to sewage being dumped in the sea and childish spats with our closest neighbours, the effects are far worse than anyone suspected. The so-called ‘Project Fear’ that Remainers were accused of peddling is fast becoming ‘Project Reality’. And while most Londoners didn’t vote for ‘Brexit’, they’re paying for it.With Northern Ireland still able to benefit from single-market access, why not London? It’s clear the Greater London area needs far greater autonomy in its affairs, at least on a par with Scotland, to restore its crucial trade links with the EU.” 

  

Reflecting Rejoin EU’s commitment to work with other parties, the Londependence party supports it in this candidacy. 

  

Londependence Leader Tom Foster said: “We wholeheartedly back Rejoin EU in this election, particularly knowing Richard’s commitment to proper devolution for Greater London, which would so benefit everyone who lives here. Bexley, Sidcup and the whole of London are being leveled down by this corrupt government and neither of the major parties have an answer that will bring power back to the people. Re-joining the EU is by far our best option for the future and we strongly urge everyone in Old Bexley and Sidcup to get behind Rejoin EU and send parliament a message it can’t ignore.” 

Old Bexley
The seat of former MP Ted Heath who believed in a better Britain in a better Europe for a better World

  

Asked why Rejoin EU doesn’t just support other larger pro-EU parties, Rejoin EU chair Andrew Smith said: “Well, there aren’t any! The Conservatives are pretending Brexit is a fantastic success, whilst Labour is trying to pretend it isn’t happening and looking increasingly foolish as a result and, however supportive the Lib Dems may be in private, they shy away from discussing Brexit in by-elections. We’re literally the only party prepared to talk about the one solution to our current problems – re-joining the EU.”

As Hewison’s nomination was confirmed, the news broke that some 250 Tory MPs had voted to overturn parliamentary standards commissioner Kathryn Stone’s verdict against their colleague Owen Paterson. Hewison said: “I’ve always said one of the problems with our tame opposition is that it never publicly calls out this government in parliament and records it in Hansard for posterity. If elected on behalf of the constituents of Old Bexley and Sidcup, I’ll ensure the words ‘liar’ and ‘corrupt’ are recorded next to this government on every occasion I can, however many times the Speaker ejects me from the chamber!”

A strong Tory victory on December 2 could signal a snap general election in early 2022, so please back Rejoin EU to make this rogue government dump its disastrous Brexit.

The Rejoin EU party is campaigning to re-join the EU because we believe the UK belongs at the heart of Europe and re-joining is the only way to solve the problems Brexit has created. Brexit is broken and it’s breaking our country too. All the promises on which Brexit was sold to the electorate in 2016 are now increasingly exposed as fantasy. Far from bringing the promised reduction in red tape and bureaucracy and providing £350m a week for the NHS, Brexit makes trading with the crucial European market more complex, difficult and expensive and threatens to reduce funding for public services. Sectors such as farming, fisheries & financial services, supposed to benefit from Brexit, now face an uncertain future. If you agree Brexit is making our country poorer, less tolerant and less united, join us and send a strong message to Westminster that you want your EU membership back, along with all its freedoms and benefits. 
 
Contact Rejoin EU at admin@therejoineuparty.com or visit our website at REJOIN. You can also follow the party on Twitter at @rejoinp

My Secret Brexit Diary

My Secret Brexit Diary

I have just bought a copy of My Secret Brexit Diary, an astonishing tale of open-ness, decency and collaboration in decision-making and negotiation by Michel Barnier. His revelations stand in stark contrast to the approach taken by the British government during five years of Brexit negotiations and some comparisons are useful. I will be returning to Barnier’s book in this blog frequently, but this is how he begins.

The very first act that Michel undertakes is to establish unity of the 27 nations and to assess any important red lines that would destroy unity. In Barnier’s words:

“The mission of this small ‘commando’ unit is to travel through the 27 countries of the union over a period of few weeks establishing personal contacts with ministers and prime ministers so as to find out where each of them draws their red lines and, in broad terms to construct our own line of negotiation on the basis of four first principles that I will, from now on, recite to each of my interlocutors.

First, there can be no negotiations until we receive notification from the British government. In the Council, the 27 member states have been very clear on this point.

Second, we will only succeed in this negotiation by building and maintaining very strong unity between the 27 member states.

Third, no EU country should find itself in a position where it has less say than a country outside the Union.

And finally, no country outside the Union should be given a veto on, or even the right to intervene in, the decision-making process of the 27.

These are the key points to which we will hold fast throughout our work, and which are the conditions for its success.”

In stark contrast, the very first act of the British government is for Dr Liam Fox to tell a lie, by suggesting that the European Commission was responsible for David Cameron’s loss of the referendum.

“Fox says ‘our enemy is the Commission, which wants to be forgiven for making Cameron lose. Many of the 27 need us.’

I am told that these remarks which have been reported to me, were made yesterday in private before a group of businessmen in London by UK Trade Minister Liam Fox. This Scottish MP, a former defence minister for David Cameron and a former candidate for the conservative leadership, losing to Theresa May, is obviously at the forefront when it comes to imagining the future of trade relations between the UK and the EU. But first of all, Brexit must be achieved, and he is in favour of a fast-track agenda. That, however, is no reason to propagate such untruths.

So it was the Commission that lost David Cameron the election? This is to pass over in silence, just a little too quickly, the ‘new settlement’ agreed with him at the European Council on 18 = 19 February 2016, in the midst of the migrant crisis – a settlement that further strengthened the UK’s special status within the Union. In the end it wasn’t enough to prevent Brexit, but not for the lack of trying …

It is also to forget that, if all European leaders voluntarily kept silent throughout the referendum campaign, they did so at the express request of the British Prime Minister. According to him, any intervention by ‘Brussels technocrats’ or foreign leaders would have been immediately exploited by the Brexiteers …

In any case, Liam Fox’s statement only strengthens my determination: we must secure and consolidate the unity of the 27 as rapidly as possible.”

I sense a twinge of regret in Barnier’s penultimate statement, that the European Union maintain silence during our referendum process when it may have been wiser to speak out and promote the benefits of the union. We are currently beginning to find out just what these were, somewhat too late to do anything about it in the short term. We must remove the Brexit culture carriers from government and Re-Boot Britain, with the eventual ambition of applying to join once again.

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