FOR me, it’s all about democracy. In 2016 we were asked should the United Kingdom remain a member or leave the European Union.
That question engaged the British public beyond expectation, with more turning out to vote than at the last seven general elections. It was the biggest vote in a generation.
The decision to leave, right or wrong, took a European Parliamentary election, two general elections and over three years before we finally left on January 31 this year.
Even now, as yet another Boris deadline has been missed and he claims we will leave on Aussie rules, it is unknown if that democratic decision will be genuinely honoured or whether the Government will concede to the EU’s demands over sovereignty and law to achieve a trade deal.
It was the failure of democracy and witnessing a Parliament unwilling to accept the result of the referendum that drove me to get involved in politics for the first time in my life.
On May 1 last year, I joined the Brexit Party as a supporter, ten days later completed an application to stand as a parliamentary candidate and six weeks later was selected.
For most of us it was a very steep learning curve, but the effort was worth it and we were able to successfully impact events and stand up for democracy.
We had a voice and a platform for the first time to make known our views – and our dismay, not least about Boris Johnson’s ‘lipstick on a pig deal’ last October that was designed to offer only more slavery to the EU.
Then on November 11, it all came crashing down about our ears, bringing all our hopes to an end when Nigel Farage stood down the 317 Brexit Party candidates standing in Conservative seats, myself included, in the single most important moment of the 2019 general election campaign.
That should have been the end of politics for me. It may well have proved the end of any hope of a decisive Brexit.I wrote in TCW on November 12 of my total and profound dismay and of my feeling of betrayal.
In that one swift moment, like a good many people around the UK, I was disenfranchised and had nobody to vote for. For me, democracy once again had failed.
Nigel Farage had been the UK’s most influential politician to have emerged in a generation. Maybe it was simply a reflection of his character, maybe it was due to his precision-guided focus on Brexit, but he missed the opportunity that was his for the taking and that even greater achievement of a lasting new force in British politics.
By that, I mean building on the Brexit Party momentum to build a lasting alternative and viable political party. It was there for the taking – a team almost exclusively entering politics for the first time, untainted by political party cronyism, selected professionally, based on ability and merit, who understood and represented the people. It was there to be built on.
It meant too catalysing public interest in further objectives – of changing politics for good; of the urgent need for Parliamentary reform; of making MPs more accountable to the people rather than acting in accord with their own interests and opinions alone; of the need for career politicians to be replaced with representatives of the people who put their local communities first; above all, for trust and honesty to be brought back to politics.
So near, but so far. I was one of those who had been catalysed. Being disenfranchised reignited my motivation to fight for democracy. Admittedly, it’s a fine balance between standing up for what you believe and being a glutton for punishment.
While Nigel Farage ‘moots’ the idea of restarting the Brexit Party, I believe he has moved on and it’s dead and gone. Its baseline constituency-building has been wasted and evaporated.
Meanwhile, the fight for democracy is all but trampled on and waged in the margins of the social media. All the Parliamentary parties, the mainstream media, corporations, the education system, in fact the entire Establishment, dictate to a population they no longer represent and from which they have become detached.
In fact, they have become the very thing the British people have throughout history stood up to and fought against to achieve their democratic rights.
Today, those who stand up against their orthodoxies and Big Brother politics are cast as the villains, are shut down with accusations of racism, hate crime and so on – and, of course, with that final demonisation, labelled as far Right.
Why? We already live in a great and tolerant country with equality under the law, that is non-discriminatory, abhors racism and is liberally-minded.
Yet casual smears, unsubstantiated accusations of racism or being far Right can immediately result in that person – whether an academic or a policeman – being cancelled, nullified and cast on the scrapheap.
What better or more effective way to shut down conversation, debate and democracy than this – to baselessly accuse someone or an organisation of what we all already abhor?
Laurence Fox has stood up against this vile Orwellian mission creep.
He has accepted the challenge and by launching the Reclaim Party, is taking on the Establishment. His woke and angry naysayers, not satisfied with managing to cancel his acting career, continue with their baseless accusations of racism and far Right labelling of him.
At the weekend on Twitter, he bravely retaliated, demonstrating the impact of these vile calumnies.
On the Jeremy Vine show last Wednesday, he forced Yasmin Alibhai-Brown to withdraw yet another libellous insult.
He is standing up for democracy, against the Establishment and stopping the conversation being shut down.
He is the only person brave enough to start a political movement to protect freedom of speech, reform our public institutions, preserve our history and celebrate being British.
The Establishment would love to portray the Reclaim Party as Right-wing and xenophobic. Interesting how they come to this conclusion, considering Laurence supported Remain, only switching to Leave after the referendum as a believer in democracy, has voted both Labour and Conservative, and calls himself Liberal.
The Reclaim Party is culturally conservative with a small c. We will have to give it time to develop policy on all subjects to see if it is politically Left, Right, or broad church combination. After my previous experiences, I hope it will be built not only to support democracy, but as a democratic organisation.
As I said in the beginning, it’s all about democracy.