Saturday, 26 May 2012

British Tea - Start Your Local Voting Blocs

For those who saw it, I made a plea for a grassroots movement akin to the The Tea Party in the US.  What I'm effect calling for is for the creation of local voting blocs because my view is (among other things) is that this is where the change begins and where people who genuinely want to see this Nation and its people thrive need to become organised.

I talked about the Tea Party movement.

My call however was not for someone to start a national Tea Party Movement (#BritishTea).  Far from it.  That is too large a job.  All I was calling for was for people to start their own local voting blocs in their area.  It doesn't have to be a roaring success from day one - nothing worthwhile ever is.  It just needs starting.  One person membership is enough for day one.  All you need to do is have a determination to start it.  Someone just needs to be that person in an area.  I can't shout it loudly enough that the first stage is such a simple one that just has to be a determination to start it, simply because you know something much better than what we have now is possible.

Who is that person - well it's you.  If you've ever found yourself moaning at the TV - it's you! If you've ever found yourself shaking your head at a newspaper story about politics - it's you! If you've ever looked around Britain and found yourself wondering what went wrong - it's you!

This time it is all about you.

Don't worry about where you're going to go from here so that you can make a difference - I'm going to try and help you with that.  I know you're alone right now or at least you feel that way.  I'm going to add more on this to try to help you.  It feels enormous, I know.  That's why I'm trying to keep this in small manageable steps as far as possible.

All you need to do right now:

  • Decide you'll start it in your constituency- even if you intend for someone else to take over long term
  • Bookmark this site so you can come back or subscribe to it.
  • If you don't have one - get a Twitter account and follow me @restoregb
  • Stay informed - those bloggers over on the right of this page are a great place to start

Saturday, 5 May 2012


Better commentators than me have put their finger on what yesterday's local elections point to.  Only the BBC really seemed to be trying to spin it for anything other than a terrible indictment  of the British political scene, but even they had to touch upon it (but not for too long)

Running under all of this was a good stream of commentary on UKIP.  Opinions vary.  Whilst the party itself was talking up the number of second places, others were wondering how they had failed to once again turn such widespread dissatisfaction into hard numbers.  To a point this is a fair question. I'm sure the increase in second places were heart warming to the party, but if this were a school report it would look like those "could do better if tried" type comments.  The opportunity has probably never been better for them.  They are staring at a political open goal yet somehow they're not slotting the ball home.  This is causing many to ask if they ever will be able to find the back of the net.

Jon Ward over at The Slog ran a nice little piece yesterday and there was some back and forth on Twitter between Witterings from Witney and Calling England, along similar lines.  Having never voted UKIP or being involved with them, I can't say whether or not the problems quoted ring true, but they do appear as themes that crop up a few times.

Sadly, I spent a lot of time mulling UKIP yesterday and began to conclude that we need a more effective UKIP on the scene.  We need a fourth force in UK politics to show the other three that the game is changing.  This might seem a strange view for someone who only the other day wrote about it being time for a non party movement.  I concluded that one could co exist with the other and also identified a third idea as well which I'll put forward in time.  My view on UKIP is that their emergence could prove that the electorate has finally sat up and taken notice.

To do that however, they need to start taking some seats -  and soon.  For some reason they are just not turning their work into seat winning voting patterns.  Something is amiss because I think the Tories are genuinely scared of them.  The Tories can't decide on how to position UKIP.  One minute they're talking about not wasting your vote on UKIP because it plays into Labour's hand by stealing votes from the Conservatives.  The next minute they're describing UKIP as the natural home for ex-BNP supporters.  This latter description demonstrates a real sense of fear.  This is normally the politics of the hard left when they want to make something a no go area.

So they have an opportunity.  But that is all it is - an opportunity.  They have to turn it into votes.  Shallow though it sounds, they have to work on their presentation.  Europe is having an over arching effect on our everyday lives and is even pervasive down at town hall level.  The problem is that this federalisation is so complex and so well hidden that the public either can't see it or it's complexity causes us to simply switch off.

Unfortunately for UKIP - Europe is the only message that really makes it out into the public conscious and as such it seems like the party is only about one thing and that one thing does not feel like the central problem in the minds of the British electorate. They're just not ready for that level of complexity - it needs boiling down to something really simple that affects their everyday life.

For me the current name is the same issue, especially when you have the pound sign logo.  It places too much emphasis on getting out of Europe in the minds of the public because they boil it down to as simple a meaning as possible.  I'm for getting out of Europe but if you're Joe Public and you haven't looked into UKIP it's easy to give the impression that's all you're about.  This leads to the inevitable question of what they are about once they've achieved that aim.

Before anyone comments that there is other stuff on the website that shows what they're about - I know that.  Appealing to voters though is like meeting a partner.  There's that first impression that needs to be given just by looking at them.  Only once you've created that initial attraction do you get to have an that deeper conversation where you learn more about that prospective partner.

It was Jon Ward's observation of what he would do if he were on their marketing team that really got me thinking about UKIP when he suggested:

Were I in charge of their marketing, I’d place far more stress on the word Independence – it is positive, it has many dimensions of great appeal concerning everything from personal liberty to export markets, and it is going to be a very important emotional word in the world that could emerge from the trauma we’re about to suffer. But why is no thinking like that coming through?

For me, this is a great angle to come at it from.  Inherent in it are the concepts of small state, low bureaucracy and messages of aspiration and opportunity.  It has something for disaffected Tories and to be frank it nails the myth of the modern Labour party that it is there for the working man and woman.  This is where the freedom for such people lie - in taking the opportunity afforded to them and keeping most of the fruits of their labour.  Added to that, this message solves the question of what UKIP stands for once out of Europe.

Get this message out front and centre and UKIP will start taking seats faster.

The other message they need to get out is the message that the big three aren't listening to the voter.  We know it in the blogsphere and more and more I hear everyday people talking about this concept.  Get out there and mine it.  They know the parties aren't listening.  Tell them you know that and offer them a home - provided of course you're willing to listen.

To start taking seats faster however they need to get out of the election cycle.  It's the only time the press turn their attention to UKIP in any detail.  Between those times it's mostly the big three and they need to get a little more savvy about it by bumping their presence outside of that time.  Stuff happens and seats come up outside of the cycle.  They need to be in a good position capitalise as maybe their first gains come from catching the big three flat footed.

One way I think they need to do this, is raise their local profile.  I've just been to the website to look up their local presence.  All I could find was a name, an email address and a mobile phone number for the local chairman.  In terms of candidates, all I could find for my region was a list of candidates for the local elections.  Nobody else to be seen.

To make gains when the mainstream press isn't paying you much attention, you have to raise your own voice and you have to do it locally.  UKIP need to get faces and voices out locally to start building a power base locally.  Local is where it's at.  The party needs to get faces known and speaking at every opportunity locally.  They should be out their constantly repeating their new message so that come voting day they have the public have a better understanding to make a more viable candidate.  Waiting till election time to announce your presence looks exactly like the other three who simply parachute in to patronise you in return for your vote.  If you want to know how that approach is working, take a look at how the real winner in yesterdays elections was the NoShow party which accounted for 69% of the vote.

What I've described is not rocket science.  Right now is UKIPs best opportunity.  The goal won't get any more open than it is now

Thursday, 3 May 2012

The Aha! moment

Richard North over at EUreferendum has been digging.  Whilst the mainstream press has been making some attempt at humour around the fact notion of the wettest drought on record, EUref laid something bare which I think is quite startling.  I strongly recommend you head over to take a read about what appears to be the Eu's hand in this debacle.  He has for a good few days now been lifting the lid on one of the largest improbables in the nation - i.e. how a nation with so much rain as Britain (that even the world talks about) has a water shortage.

Go read for yourself.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

He's Right - It Is Time

Autonomous Mind has hit the nail on the head today.

In his critique of a piece in the mainstream media, AM like many of us has identified that there's a lot of moaning going on but that the time for it has passed. It is time for a change. One in which the people take back the ownership of their democratic rights.  At the end of his post he concludes:

But it will only germinate and take root if people who care are prepared to help nurture it and play a part in tending it to maturity and strength.  The time for complaining is over.  The time for positive and constructive action is at hand.

I agree totally with this sentiment.  There has been more griping than you can shake a stick at, yet each passing day brings more of the same.  Nothing will change whilst the electorate sit on their hands.

Something needs to happen.

On a positive note, there seems to be more of a widespread commentary even in the MSM that all parties seem to be getting ever more detached from their electorate and that all, regardless of their leaning are heading down a similar path.

I share the opinion of Autonomous Mind when he writes:

What is needed is a new settlement.  What is needed is a constructive blueprint for the future that empowers people and makes them want to support it for positive reasons.  What is needed is something that is borne from the grassroots and evolves and grows, rather than something imposed from on high.

I have written my viewpoint on this before with this post in which I suggest a concept similar to that of the Tea Party movement in the US.  Despite the name, the Tea Party isn't a party but a movement and although it has a national profile, it is the collective power of local chapters.

What the Tea Party learned in the US was that the idea of Washington as a power base for politicians is an illusion.  Whilst politicians look all powerful and untouchable in Washington it does in fact have an Achilles heel.  That Achilles heel is the local voting district.

It is precisely the same for us in Britain with our constituencies.  Local is where its at people. No MP in the UK gets to Westminster without the say so of the people of a constituency.  Every time there is an election they have to come here to market themselves to the electorate.  They need you to vote for their place at what is currently a trough for greedy snouts.  They cannot do it without you.

That is a simple truth they hope you never really work out, because once you do, the dawning realisation is you are the one who holds the power.

Now what we have in Westminster right now is because we are not exercising that power.  Each time there is an election they come here with their marketing machine.  We vote for our favourite coloured rosette and one of them wins.  It is quite easy for them because they know that we're asleep at the wheel and that locally there is no collective voice to hold them to account. We're out there and we're angry, but we're atomised - all standing alone, thinking that we're alone.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  A local chapter can watch politicians and done right can create a local power bloc.  In the US, the Tea Party shopped for a candidate.  They had simple messages - we want a smaller government and a return to a genuine opportunity to thrive and we've got the local votes for any candidate who will work for that. But they had something else - they also told any candidates they were watching and that paying lip service and reneging on the deal once in Washington wasn't going to cut it.

That's what is needed in the UK.  Forget what you've heard about the Tea Party being racists or crackpots. The Tea Party was a game changer in the US and that terrified the so called progressive left.  The progressive left have for decades been aware of the power of organised voting blocs.  It had been a cornerstone of their activity and a reason for their major successes.  They also knew the principle was politically neutral - that is the strategy works for anyone that uses it.  The progressive left needed to therefore retain ownership of that technique and deny it for their opponents.  As a result they had to engage in mud slinging when the Tea Party came along because for the first time, they were under real threat and so the racist narrative was borne.

Why do I keep talking about the Tea Party?  I'll explain why.

The movement to restore Britain needs to begin so that we can get back to an honest decent democracy amongst other things.  That however is a numbers game.  Angry comments in relevant newspaper stories will not do it.  Nodding in agreement at blogs will not do it.  Bloggers cannot do it because we are too few and we are not in every locale.  It needs the people to do it in their own locality.  Many however may not know where to start.  That is why I point to the Tea Party.  They are a modern phenomenon and as such they are easy to find on the web.  They can be researched and so can the tools that show how they got their local chapters started.

Start it you must if you want anything to change.  Although you might feel alone, there will be many more like you just waiting for someone to put their hand up.  Remember each local Tea Party chapter was one person once.  Whatever you do, keep it legal honest and act with integrity at all times.  As I mentioned back with my original post on the subject, I'm going to identify what I can to help you grow and post it here.

It is time - Britain needs you!