I visited Newton Wycliffe (County Durham, August 16th, 2017) to observe AMW in the wild and was rewarded with a sighting. Stuart Agnew MEP accompanied Anne. I sat in the back row to find out how well AMW voice carried. Her voice carries well and I could hear every word clearly.
AMW spoke for maybe 30 minutes and then it was question time. Anne wanted to spend as much time as possible answering questions – there was a lengthy question session. AMW enjoyed talking to the members and facing the random questions. There wasn’t enough time for all our questions to be taken – including mine. I was going to ask Anne “if elected leader would you seek to unite the party and bring your opponents for the leadership into a shadow cabinet?”. I keep reading that members are going to resign if AMW wins.
The first subject Anne talked about was Brexit. Anne considers this the most important issue for the UK at the moment. If she was leader she would apply constant pressure on the government to proceed with Brexit. Anne considers this essential. The government and establishment do not want to leave the EU and they will only follow through with Brexit if the pressure is unrelenting. Without this pressure the establishment will seek to postpone – indefinitely. UKIP need to apply this pressure and UKIP need to keep the public aware that this constant pressure is needed.
The AMW approach is to focus on the everyday issues that most affect ordinary people in their day to day lives. And talk with honesty in a straightforward way. Approaching each issue with common sense – no ideology. Anne said she has been accused of being left and right wing, a socialist, marxist, neo-nazi, fascist and zionist – sometimes all on the same day. The audience was asked which of these they considered Anne to be. No one thought she was any of those – not any sort of extremist.
The four everyday issues that Anne talked about were jobs, schools, law and order and the NHS.
One of the consequences of mass immigration has been an over-supply of unskilled labour. This has depressed wages and made it harder for many to find work. Anne favours a form of protectionism to protect British jobs.
Stop brainwashing the children with multicultural propaganda and running down the cultural heritage of this nation. Teach children to have pride in what Britain has achieved.
Law and order:
One law for all – enforced. This is not offered by any of the mainstream parties. Anne considers that the MacPherson report turned the police into social workers rather than law enforcers.
Islam was mentioned briefly towards the end of her address – because everyone expected her to talk about Islam – so she did for a bit. But it was put into the wider context of Anne’s policy of “One Law for All” and “speaking the truth” which is a major departure from the bland and foggy style of careerist politicians. Anne talks in the straightforward way of ordinary people. With Islam being talked about in a straightforward honest way along with everything else. As this is unusual Anne is said to be an extremist.
Anne said she joined UKIP as she was so impressed by the Nigel Farage approach. Speaking in the same style as ordinary people was so effective. She was a member when Nigel gave us that wonderful referendum result further demonstrating that straight-talking works. Anne as leader would use honesty and plain speaking to cut through all the fog and blandness of careerist politicians who say whatever is best for their careers – not always believing in their policies. The election plan would be to target the large number of people who have stopped voting; to represent all those who feel abandoned by the mainstream parties; to provide a home for the 47% who consider Islam incompatible with Western Democracy; to keep politics simple.
1) Do you think UKIP can make a breakthrough under the first-past-the-post system ?
Yes but it’ll be hard. Initially target the seats with best chance. There are many seats where UKIP has been second – target those.
2) How to get the message to the electorate ?
Use social media and all traditional methods. Anne also favours knocking on doors and talking plus providing a leaflet.
3) University tuition fees.
Many opinions expressed from the floor. The discussion was lengthy. Policy is still a work in progress.
4) Would you rebrand UKIP ?
Anne said keep the brand and logo but look to modernise it a bit – a bit of jazzing up. Opinion in the audience was divided. Some said keep unchanged as the brand is so well known and so much has been invested in it. Some say rebrand or let members have a say.
5) Would you change the party structure?
I have heard many opinions during this campaign. This is something that would need much further consideration and consultation with the members.
6) How would you handle the likely intense media accusations of racism.
Anne talked for a few minutes on this. She has had plenty of media experience.
There was non-stop questioning and after answering Anne sometimes asked the questioner to answer their own question so be prepared for that. The questions prompted lively discussion. Some members remained undecided – I know because I spoke to some of them. The meeting concluded with people still wanting to ask questions.
There was no hint of Anne being a single issue activist. Her proposal is for the Government to put the British people first in its decisions, focus on the everyday issues that most affect people’s lives, spend tax money at home, keep the people safe. Islam would be just one issue among many for an AMW UKIP.