UKIP Daily readers know me as Rog Tallbloke, the climate sceptic and UKIP candidate. Now I have another role, as Grassroots Out Yorkshire & Humber Campaign Executive. Since my appointment three weeks ago, I’ve been busy collating supporter data, meeting those willing to offer practical help in winning the EU referendum, and establishing constituency Task Forces to achieve that aim.
Last Saturday we held 23 street stalls across Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire – twice as many as any other region; it’s a big area with a population of 5.5 million, around the same as Scotland. There was a hugely positive response from the public, with many filling pledge cards with their details. I have excel spreadsheets dancing before my eyes after much late night data input.
People want to do something to help. They know that the might of the establishment is arrayed against us. They know that they can’t expect just a small group of Brexiteers to take on the task alone. They are offering their services as canvassers, sign board erectors, leafleteers, Get-Out-the-Vote volunteers and polling station tellers. These roles and others need filling in every constituency across the UK to make the campaign manageable for our local activists. Very soon on the Grassroots Out Website, you’ll be able to identify and contact your local constituency Task Force Organiser. Please do so, we need all the volunteers we can get to make certain of winning the day on June 23.
There are complicating factors. The local election period is in full swing, and many of our activists are also busy candidates. The designation competition is in its final days, with the funding implications meaning we have to run with two plans at once. Fortunately, Arron Banks is a patriotic man with deep pockets and reasonably long arms, so the Grassroots Out campaign will run all the way to the referendum regardless of the outcome on Thursday, but spending limits are still a consideration.
Nigel Farage said in a recent article that he’s had positive conversations with eurosceptic government ministers, and is confident the two ‘Out’ campaigns will pull together after Thursday. I’ve been in touch with my opposite number in Yorkshire since before I started my role and will be sharing a platform with him tonight at a ‘Leave’ meeting in Huddersfield. Be in no doubt, we are ready to work together towards our common goal.
As we move into the final ten weeks of the campaign, we are picking up momentum in the polls. The latest YouGov result shows Leave/Stay too close to call. We have to redouble our efforts and pull ahead for an emphatic win no-one will cavil over afterwards. To succeed in the world, we will need to be a United Kingdom in order to become Great Britain and Northern Ireland once more.