Ladies & Gentleman
You are very welcome to the EDP election campaign press launch which we hope will be a refreshing change from the stale old politicians!
In case you were wondering, I am not our comic act. I am Robin Tilbrook, the Chairman of the English Democrats Party.
I am, professionally, a solicitor, a profession which I am told is not always popular with journalists, so I wondered if you knew why solicitors are not always buried 6 feet down but always buried at least 12? It’s because deep down solicitors are quite nice!
I want to reassure you that the EDP are very nice and that we are people who care about England’s future. We are all volunteers, none of us are from that profession held in much lower public esteem than either solicitors or journalists – the professional politician!
The English Democrats Party is a new party. It is not much more than 18 months since our press launch, but in that time we have been very busy in setting up the party and we have been delighted with the support that we have encountered in England, and, indeed, we have got members from as far a field as Australia and Hong Kong.
We have had a welcome from the Scottish National Party and Plaid Cymru and now I am proud to be able to announce that in such a short space of time and without any of the vast sums of money and colossal financial backing which the Conservatives, Labour and Liberal Democrats seem to require, we have raised £75k, mostly all from our members and we have candidates standing for election for 30 seats and in 5 Regions for the European Parliament and local elections. We have had 14½ million leaflets printed and these are being distributed to just under ¾ of the households in England. We have taken this step because we are very concerned about the direction politics is taking in this country and the future of England. You will see in your packs that we quote John Prescott and Charles Kennedy.
We think these quotations show that unless action is taken now England will be abolished. As you know, the English Democrats Party calls for an English Parliament and strongly opposes the break up of England into Regions, the power grab of strategic planning by Prescott’s office which caused the Eastern Regional Assembly and the South Eastern Regional Assembly to impose plans to build vast additional estates of new houses in West Essex, Hertfordshire and Kent. We demand; an end to Scottish and Welsh MPs voting on English only matters (especially where they impose on us policies which they reject for themselves i.e. student top-up fees); an end to unfair extra subsidy for Scotland under the Barnett Formula (which allows much higher Government spending in Scotland and Wales the rates are:- giving them free prescriptions for all, free residential care for elderly, student grants, etc.); we want an end to the appointment of Scottish MPs as Ministers for English-only Departments, like John Reid, the English Health Minister and like Alistair Darling, the English Transport Minister, who imposed plans for a vast extension of Stansted Airport (against the wishes of the airlines because their preferred option of a Heathrow expansion was over 3 Labour marginal parliamentary seats)!
So far as the European Union is concerned, as a party we have some fundamental reservations. We consider ourselves to be Europeans and are strongly in favour of continuing trade links and other co-operation, but do not agree with any of the drift towards a European super State. Unlike the UK Independence Party and the Conservatives, we are not so concerned with the EU’s threat to Parliamentary sovereignty. NO we have a much more fundamental objection than that, because we are concerned with the sovereignty of the people and of the English Nation.
We are also concerned that of the approximately £12bn a year that is the U.K. subscription to the European Union, the whole of which is paid by English taxpayers as that is the only part of the United Kingdom for which there is a net tax revenue. Out of that £12bn a year, the vast majority of the approx £8bn that is rebated back to the U.K. by the E.U. is spent in parts of the United Kingdom other than England and therefore England is a substantial net loser out of membership of the European Union on the current terms. This is the “conduit” effect and is ugly sister to the Barnet Formula.
We are also concerned as Democrats about the ridiculous and, if anything, growing “Democratic deficit” within the European Union structure.
We also note with horror the growing scandals of corruption and waste, to which the European Union’s only response seems to be to silence, dismiss and rubbish all those that protest and those that attempt to blow the whistle. None of this inspires any confidence that the European Union will ever be soundly and properly administered.
Again, as Democrats although we have these reservations about the European Union, we would not consider it proper to make any substantial alteration to the terms of our membership without a mandate from the people in the form of a referendum. This is unlike the main parties who have brazen contempt for true democracy that they are working to change our constitution without seeking a specific democratic mandate to do so.
In this election we hope that we have enough of the votes of the people of the North-West, Yorkshire/Humberside, Eastern, London and South-East for some of our candidates to be elected. If so shall seek to work diligently in the interests of all the people of England!
Not all our candidates could come but those who are here I will now introduce.
Obviously we hope that our packs will answer most questions but we will take your questions soon, but first we have been watching the reports of the press launches of the other parties and noted that they all appeared to be very very earnest and very very dull and so we thought that we would thank you for coming by trying to, as the Simpson’s say, “lighten up”! David Beckham has been reported in the papers, so I call upon David’s alter ego to add some spice to the occasion!