Monday, 28 September 2015

2015 Annual General Meeting

Members only: your chance to shape and quiz the leadership of UKIP Watford

From Jon Goddard, Chairman, UKIP Watford:

"As a valued member of UKIP Watford, you are invited to attend the Annual General Meeting on Tuesday, October 27 at 7.30pm. This event will be held at the Watford Town & Country Club, Halsey House, Rosslyn Road, Watford, Hertfordshire WD18 0JX.

This meeting is being convened to provide you with an update on branch activity from the committee,
Watford Town & Country Club
a chance to meet with fellow UKIP Watford members, and to vote in the annual elections for Chairman, Treasurer and Secretary.

If you would like to put your name forward as a candidate for any of these positions, please contact me. In order to be able to stand for any of these posts it is a requirement that a candidate has a seconder. If your seconder cannot be present at the meeting, a signed and dated written note will be required in advance or produced on the night to confirm the support.

All those standing will be entitled to a five-minute address to the Membership."

On behalf of the UKIP Watford committee we look forward to seeing as many members as possible taking part in this important procedural event.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Democracy Roadshows Underway!

Your chance to come and listen to both sides of the "Leave / Remain" debate

Between now and December there are nine "Democracy Debates" taking place in our region. The topic is the mooted EU Referendum and the debates will see two "Leave" speakers pitted against two "Remain" ones. The speakers will be from various political parties; UKIP's representatives will include Patrick O'Flynn, Suzanne Evans etc.

Hertford Corn Exchange
At the start of each debate the audience will be asked for their stance; at the end they will be asked again, which will help us to gauge whether the debates are changing people's minds (for good or bad!)

The full list of dates and venues is here; the closest venue to us is on 4th November at the Hertford Corn Exchange. The event is free of charge but you still need to book to confirm your place. This must be done here.

It would be good to have a healthy contingent from UKIP Watford there to bolster our speakers. Please get in touch if you need a lift or - even better - you are prepared to offer one!

Sunday, 23 August 2015

People's Front of Judea

United we stand (a slim chance), divided we fall

Note: this piece has been written by former UKIP Watford Parliamentary Candidate Nick Lincoln 

My last post was a while back, immediately after the May General Election. I make no apology for my absence: I was knackered and fed up with politics, politicking and all the hoopla.

Now - refreshed after a Spanish holiday and England's performances in the Ashes (London Tests notwithstanding) - I am back in the saddle. And although not much is going on politically - aside from the Labour Party seemingly about to elect the unelectable as its leader - my thoughts are turning toward the EU referendum. Or more to the point, I find myself dwelling on the various bodies on the "No" or "Out" side.

There are many good and wise people in the "No" camp. All of us want pretty much the same thing: a fair referendum on our continued membership of the European Union. What concerns me is how fragmented we are. In 1975 the "Out" camp was primarily a left-wing group, including such lovelies as Tony Benn, Peter Shore, Eric Heffer and the support of the National Front and various other unpleasant "isms". Yes, Enoch Powell was among their number but at this stage of his career (by now he was sitting in Westminster as an Ulster Unionist) he was not of left or right but very much out on his own.

Will we learn from 1975?

Whereas today's "Out" camp covers the political spectrum: there are scores of Labour and Conservative supporters who either want out of the EU or could be swayed to that viewpoint if a cogent argument is presented to them.

And it is to this latter group, these potential supporters of an "Out" vote, that we must appeal. It is no good hammering home about immigration 24-7: that "meme" has been played out. It will not win wavering supporters who have not already been converted. Indeed now it probably repels more people than it attracts.

If the "Out" campaign is to have a serious chance of winning the EU referendum then the message has to be positive, inclusive and delivered by credible people from across the political spectrum (unlike 1975 then). There are some very bright, informed people on the "Out" side. All of us have a duty to each other to put aside pride, personal and political differences and work toward a common purpose.

Because if we do not then we will be wiped out in the EU referendum. It will not be a fair battle to begin with: if we as a party think we can convince millions of potential voters to say "No" on a single issue campaign (immigration) then we are deluding ourselves. And if we in the "No" camp as a whole think we can win by ignoring each other, or pouring vitriol on anyone who takes a view even a degree askance of our own, then likewise we are dead in the water.

In 1975, when we voted "Yes" to stay in the Common Market, this country was at its lowest peacetime ebb. (Dominic Sandbrook's masterly history of the 1970's captures a nation on its knees - I highly recommend this and this.) In 1975 we turned to Europe as much out of desperation as hope. Now the scene is different; we go into a referendum about our future relationship with the EU with a far stronger, more fluid economy, certainly relative to the Euro-bound countries that forty years ago we yearned to ape.

If we waste this opportunity because we cannot pull together effectively, because we refuse to work alongside the Judean People's Front (and vice-versa), then we deserve the hammering that is coming our way.