Monday 6 September 2010

DCB's positive vision for the future

David Campbell Bannerman's party leadership speech is on the UKIP website:
These next few years are the most important for our country, our liberties and our party.

And only through our Positive Vision for the way ahead will we be able to grow this party. That’s what we want, don’t we? To grow this party? To realise its real potential?

The foundations are set, we increased our vote share by 50% at the last election. We have a full and comprehensive manifesto, taking the fight to the Coalition and Labour on everything from defence to the economy, to fisheries and immigration. Policies make us relevant.

But we are the most underrepresented party in the UK, with nearly a million votes in May we have more votes than the Northern Ireland parties but with none of their 18 MPs.

So we are today calling for a fairer voting system: Alternative Vote Plus should be an option on the referendum ballot paper next May.

Now the Government may also create an elected House of Lords, and we could achieve an estimated 30 elected peers.

So my Positive Vision for the Party is one of 20 MPs, 30 elected peers, and UKIP as the largest UK party in the European Parliament next time.

But to achieve this vision, this party must grow up and professionalise.

What we say and do isn’t just for us – it’s for them. It’s for the people we seek to represent - and the majority of the British people want to leave the EU. It’s for the media too. They need to respect us, and we to respect them by acting like a serious political party.

It’s a call for our manifesto to be understood by our own spokesmen. It’s a call for us to be proactive, hitting the Coalition with everything we have from freedom of information to Parliamentary Questions to exposure of EU Directives.

It’s a call for us to build this party – and that means winning the fight here instead of showboating in Brussels. And if that means fighting every council by election, or Welsh, Scottish or Northern Irish elections as if they were a general election, then so be it.

If I am fortunate and honoured to serve this party as the next Leader, then mark my words: the lazy days of UKIP are over!! [p] The days of us only being accountable to ourselves for what we say, rather than what we do will be numbered. I believe a new UKIP must be a party of action, not of talk. Not a party of navel gazers or those who think their role is to compete with Dan Hannan for YouTube hits!

A new UKIP has to think bigger and wider. We should be planning NOW how to be the number one British party in the European Parliament and to double our seats… not being content with being second. For Complacency Kills. And we should be doing all we can RIGHT NOW to win seats in the next General Election.

It makes me angry that a Green MEP won a national seat in May – I commend Caroline Lucas for the professionalism that did it. If our own party had a more professional approach to how it was run, UKIP could have had one or two MPs in the Commons now.

And so we owe it to you, as our party, our team, to win and have a plan to see UKIP grow and reward your efforts with victories. We owe it to the British people to stand as a credible opposition party worth their time and continued support. And we owe it to our country to stand up, proud of our policies and beliefs, to fight for this great nation.

Now, we’re only a few months into the Coalition Government but already their approach to civil liberties is covered in so much spin and so much duplicity that it would make Peter Mandleson blush.

They talk tough during the election campaign, but in office they’re auctioning off our liberties - left, right and centre. It seems where Labour finished, the Coalition merely carried on.

You’d have to live under a rock not to see our freedoms disappearing. Every 8 hours someone in the UK is apprehended under the European Arrest Warrant, a scheme where British citizens can be plucked off the street and detained for years – for years – in foreign prisons without trial.

The European Arrest Warrant has exported our right to a fair trial and no-one in the Coalition cares a damn… So it is up to us, to UKIP, to lead the fight to recover our lost freedoms.

What war did we lose to be in a position where British citizens can be treated this way ? Did we all miss something? I am angry that our government thinks so little of us that it won’t defend us against arbitrary trial and imprisonment abroad.

Yes, I’m angry. I’m angry with the previous government for allowing this to happen. And I’m angry with the current government for advancing it. Why did the UK government do nothing to free Michael Turner and Jason McGoldrick when they faced two years of imprisonment in Hungary?

But when the governing parties sat counting their expenses and fiddling the system, it was us, it was UKIP, it was UKIP MEPs - Gerard, William and others -who fought to free these people. It was UKIP acting as the Real Opposition.

It should tell the British people all they need to know; We are by your side. UKIP will defend your freedoms - today, tomorrow and beyond. We will safeguard your liberty come what may.

Even after these injustices, the Coalition’s answer to this totalitarian law is to review it. Review IT?

Mr Cameron, don’t try and fob the British people off with a ‘review’. A review is worthless to a family who have seen their loved ones condemned by dodgy magistrates or left to rot in a remote jail.

You said ‘we’re all in this together’, Dave. Act like it then.

I say enough is enough - we must scrap the European Arrest Warrant!It has no place in a country where we are innocent until proven guilty.It is a betrayal of what generations of heroes fought to protect. Of course the Coalition can blame Labour for signing up to the European Arrest Warrant. But Lib Dems like Graham Watson promoted it.

But what the Coalition can’t do is shift the blame when they signed us up to the European Investigation Order only a few weeks ago.

It should terrify us all that foreign authorities will be able to use this order to investigate us for crimes that are not even crimes in this country.

It should worry us that we could all be investigated and tried for the same crime twice abroad.

It should anger us that it’s OUR Government allowing foreign courts to direct OUR police to collect OUR private details – even our OUR DNA – for THEIR authorities!

Look at those governments in Europe. Some have barely escaped Communism, yet David Cameron and Theresa May want them to be able to instruct and direct our police forces!!

But this Coalition hasn’t given us a signal yet that it will stand on the side of law-abiding Brits. So far their approach to law and order is a throwback to 1960s ‘flower power’ politics. But what can you expect from Ken Clarke – a man who insisted Britain should join the Euro?

Give me a BREAK!

He’s the epitome of a Lib Dem Tory - a perfect Coalition being. Ken Clarke began as Justice Secretary by declaring war on prison – not on criminals - rubbishing deterrents and favouring soft punishments as the key to fighting the war on crime. Thank God he’s not Defence Secretary or he’d be sending our troops into battle armed with blanks.

But he hasn’t had a good start has he? Look at the convicted murderer Tracie Andrews, let out of prison to go on an 8-hour shopping spree. Some punishment that is!

There is a reason, a good reason, why people feel the Government isn’t on their side. It’s because it isn’t on their side. The so-called Human Rights Act trumps the victim’s rights to justice.

We can’t even deport foreign criminals who commit the most heinous crimes in the UK. Remember the tragic death of Philip Lawrence, the head teacher? His killer, Learco Chindamo, fought tooth and nail to remain in the UK and won his right to stay. Shamefully, our collection of New Labour laws and EU diktats kept him here.

Did you also know he walked free this year? He has a right to remain in Britain, whilst Mr Lawrence was denied his right to life.

What sort of country are we living in when over half the nation wants killers like Chindamo firmly punished, but our politicians and justice regime set murderers free? Just who is running Britain?

Earlier this year I went to Bullwood Hall prison in my constituency. It’s one of two UK prisons solely dedicated to detaining foreign prisoners.

It wasn’t until I was shown around that I came across this newspaper. ‘Inside Time’ is written for prisoners by prisoners. This one has 125 lawyers’ adverts so prisoners can harvest legal aid and legal leeches abuse the Human Rights Act to get them compensation. One prison governor I met is being sued day in, day out.

The gap between what the people’s idea of law and order is and the politicians’ idea has become a chasm. Meanwhile, police stations in my constituency are already running half days, 6 days a week. We have Community Support Officers on the beat instead of real, qualified police. And we have a Human Rights Act that not only blinds justice, but ties her hands behind her back.

As part of our Positive Vision, we will tell the people that a vote for us is a vote to scrap the Human Rights Act.

It’s a vote to rebalance justice in favour of the victim and not the criminal.

It’s a vote to deport criminals who have no right to be in this country. On all these issues, the voters were spun a message, trust the old parties and vote for change. What change? Your liberties have been sold off to Brussels and your right to live free from crime put at risk with Ken Clarke’s hippie policies.

And just as bad is the Government’s constant flip-flopping on Immigration. This issue still ranks as the second most important voter issue according to Mori. The people want control of their borders but they feel powerless. And they’re right to feel that way. For the government simply cannot control Immigration while we are in the EU

And you know, we’re so tired of being told we’re racist simply because we want to control and manage immigration - just as four out of five Britons do. But we can’t do that unless we are much tougher on illegal immigrants who abuse our hospitality, our liberties and freedoms.

The Lib Dems aren’t the only fans of amnesties for illegal immigrants. Boris Johnson, the London Mayor, is too. So are Spain and Italy. Yet the Portuguese amnesty was a disaster. And for every amnesty in the EU, that’s more EU passports and more illegal immigrants given the right to stay here in Britain. To claim welfare in Britain. To gain housing in Britain. Ladies and Gentlemen, this has to stop.

I am proud that our policies will limit and control immigration. We will rebalance the process and introduce a fair points system to get the best from immigration.

The message must be: If you want to come to the UK, you must be able to speak English to a reasonable degree. If you want to stay in Britain you must be in good health and have excellent qualifications – so you contribute to our economy. Most importantly, if you want to come and live in Britain you should be able to financially support yourself.

You wouldn’t be able to turn up and claim benefits in Australia or New Zealand, so why should you be able to claim here?

So UKIP will end the ‘welfare from day one’ policy for new immigration.

In short, we want immigration to be fair. Yes, we want immigration to benefit Britain. But these abuses must end.

Looking ahead, perhaps the biggest test for us all is the coming Spending Review. Remember, that for each cut they make to a front line service, they are still employing armies of politically correct bureaucrats.

The street football coordinators – they will still be there.

The diversity officers will be protected en masse.

The community empowerment network programme managers – they’ll be safe from the axe.

This is the ploy of big government. They will cut where it hurts to trick you into handing over more in taxes, to give government yet more control.

We will fight cuts to the front line without taxing you more. We will fight to scrap regulations and political correctness that cost us billions. We will reenergise our economy with low taxes: UKIP says no tax on minimum wage and end employers’ national insurance – we must create new jobs.

And we want to be free from the EU so we can grow trade in a Commonwealth Free Trade Area. We will be a free economy with a global reach able to do our own trade deals once more. It’s no good Mr Cameron going to India with a trade delegation if Britain can’t even do its own free trade deal with India – the protectionist EU does it for us !

The fact is we could talk about the EU all day, but if we do not address these bread and butter issues, from pot holes to jobs and taxes, we will stay as we are – a one hit wonder at Euro Elections. We’ve got to get real.

In our Positive Vision for our Country, we free ourselves from the EU so we can implement these policies. We will explain the process of leaving and the advantages of becoming a free, independent nation once more.

Eurosceptics are sometimes criticised for being all negative but this is about a positive, credible, reasoned, common sense alternative to EU membership.

UKIP should be FOR something not seemingly AGAINST everything.

Now the old parties may tell you withdrawal is ‘impossible’. It’s another wretched lie, just like the wretched lies which brought us into the Common Market in the first place !! Remember Ted Heath promising there’d be no loss of sovereignty? And lies now about not being able to leave:

1.‘Britain will lose 3 million jobs by leaving the EU’! Not true. We’d have a new trade agreement.

2.‘It is not possible to leave the EU’. Not true. We can repeal the Act and leave in a day!

3.‘Britain would lose influence in the world’. Not true. We are a major player in our own right.

It’s actually a question of legality and political momentum. UKIP is the only party which can start that momentum, but we will work in partnership with others.

Under my Leadership, I will put together a coalition of leading politicians and renowned legal experts, trade officials, former heads of state and senior civil servants to demonstrate the process of withdrawal and the great advantages of being outside the EU superstate. That is our Positive Vision. This work begins today.

I can’t believe UKIP has not done this work before. It is so essential and obvious to our cause. Now we must show the British public how easy, practical and achievable it is to leave the EU and be free again.

It is NOT impossible, it’s actually straightforward. But the process of dialogue between the key players must start immediately.

Unless we do this, what will we tell our grandchildren when they ask us what we did as UKIP MEPs? That we just went to Brussels to pick up allowances or get on TV? Or that we spent all of our time bickering like children – I say that this party in-fighting must end!

Too much amateurism has been allowed to creep into the party so that individuals place their own political legacies first – which I want to stop as leader. I want to begin a meritocracy in UKIP which allows talent to flourish and for the party to be properly managed. And then, we can be driven by results. By election victories.

We will professionalise so that we can get our country back. It’s our only direction if we are to sleep well at night knowing that we did everything we could to save what we will soon only remember as British identity and values. Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s time to be, rather than to seem. To deliver more and rant less. Time for more statesmanship, and less showmanship.

Under my Leadership, no one will ever question UKIP’s credentials as a Eurosceptic party. We will show the country that we are determined to do whatever it takes to remove Britain from the shackles of European Union membership. And you have my word: I will never rest until this is achieved!
A welcome call for an end to party in-fighting from DCB and a crafty swipe at a certain other candidate.  This is going to be an interesting contest!