An Evening With Bill Etheridge
In Monday the 5th of February, I attended a public meeting at which Bill Etheridge MEP aired his views. Hosted by UKIP Chesterfield, Bolsover And North East Derbyshire Branch, the event took place in the lecture theatre of Chesterfield Library. Introduced by Chesterfield Branch Treasurer James Bush, Etheridge was welcomed with a warm round of applause.
Bill began by informing us that we would be able to ask questions when he had finished – and he wanted tough questions! He then proceeded to tell us about his background, wanting us to see how he had formed his opinions.
He told us that he had been no platformed when he had supposed to be speaking at Sussex University, ironically about free speech. The University of Sussex Students’ Union had branded him a medium to high risk. He declared to us that, from their point of view, he is an “extremely high risk.”
The MEP dictated that he went to school in Wolverhampton and that more pupils went to jail than University. He believes that this was because of a lack of encouragement. He posited that there was too much political interference, with teachers promoting socialism and Marxism.
He orated that he has worked at British Steel and there were world class steelworks that employed skilled workers. 20 years on, companies have closed as business has gone to Germany. Premises have become warehouses.
Etheridge complained that all youngsters are now encouraged to attain degrees, not learn trades. This leads to an overabundance of graduates, but leaves a shortage of skilled workers, which the left use as an excuse to bring in more immigrants. We would not need as many skilled immigrants if we appropriately trained more British workers.
He has campaigned in Wolverhampton and struggled to find constituents who spoke English. Multiculturalism has permanently changed our country. He doesn’t blame immigrants, he blames Governments who have allowed the situation to develop. The massive influx of foreigners has been state sponsored.
Though he thinks Enoch Powell’s terminology was racist by today’s standards, Powell’s predictions were correct. Bill does not recognise modern Britain.
Students are not proud to be British, or proud of our history, heritage and culture. They are not optimistic about our nation. They accuse anyone who is patriotic of racism.
The English Empire gave the world free trade and modern democracy. People in countries like India respect the British and appreciate that we gave them infrastructure, such as rail lines.
He also stated that history is not being taught properly. World War I has been rebranded as the first European civil war. It is a legacy of Britain that we stood up to the rise of Nazism in World War II.
It has been said by some that the UK will be isolated when we leave the EU. America and Japan are not isolated, they’re independent superpowers. We have the 6th or 7th largest economy.
Pupils are taught that the UK is in the wrong, that they should be ashamed of being British. The EU wants to mollycoddle us.
Bill believes in personal freedom to do what we please, as long as we don’t encroach on each other’s rights. He also thinks people should be enabled to keep more money, by imposing less tax.
He told us that he endured a 2 hour debate in Strasburg about how much housework men do. Some MEPs argued that not doing enough makes men violent towards their women. (A ridiculous notion!)
The EU want to pervade every facet of our lives. It is nothing to do with trade, it’s all about control. They make demands of us because it suits them.
He observed that Labour are perceived to be great for workers, but actually they’re not.
Etheridge informed us that there are more lobbyists in Brussels than there are in Washington, who surreptitiously guide the direction of the law. MEPs are inconsequential. Nick Clegg lied when he said European laws don’t affect us.
He postulated that the State is our enemy, part of a hostile system. Governments have been puppets, and a politician’s party merely determines whether they’re a blue or red puppet. Activists don’t know this and campaign for them in good faith.
Corbynistas believe in Marxist dogma and look to the Labour Leader to deliver the system. He allows them to think that he will do so, but he won’t. The Conservatives play on this, leading the electorate to believe that a vote for them is a vote against Marxism. They too have fooled people with their lies.
The referendum options were simple – Leave or Remain. If Brexit continues on its current trajectory, we will still be under EU control. The negotiations are lies! In reality, Michel Barnier is accepting Britain’s terms of surrender.
Bill opined that we should believe in ourselves. Ours is a great country, inhabited by great people. We have advantages, such as speaking the world’s most common language and diplomatic links to other nations.
He suggested that UKIP’s 1st objective should be to leave the corrupt bloc completely – Barnier would come begging for a trade deal.
He lamented that UKIP at the top has failed. As an MEP and former Spokesman, he accepts some responsibility for that.
People have gone to sleep. We need to give them something to believe in. The state can help by motivating them. We need to bolster the NHS.
We are all capable of being heroes and standing up to the state – it should be our servant, not our master. Political Correctness is the best tool at the state’s disposal.
Our MEP remarked that when he had asked voters what they wanted most, they often said that they were not racist but were concerned about immigration. This is because people are told that it is racist to want immigration controlled. People from ethnic minorities speak frankly about it, unafraid of accusations.
UKIP shouldn’t hold back. He told us “multiculturalism is evil” and races mix properly without it. There should only be 1 system of law in the UK and it should not be Sharia. “Live under British law or get the hell out!” he said. Our culture has been a good influence and encourages meritocracy.
He talked about the grooming that has occurred in Rotherham. Police were too scared of Political Correctness to adequately investigate. Face coverings should not be worn in public and people should not be held back by archaic superstitions.
Our MEP stated that the public can worship any god they want – he doesn’t mind about colour, faith or background, as long as everyone here accepts our values.
Communists will be opposed. If Britain falls, nowhere will be safe. We must stand up to fascists, fanatics and the state. We must not be scared to stand up for what we believe.
True patriots should unite in battle against the EU. “Once freedom is gone, it’s gone forever” Bill warned.
He told a fable about a family who gradually had ornaments stolen until they had none left. Eventually, new generations did not know of the ornaments’ existence. This was a metaphor for youngsters not knowing what we’ve lost.
The World War II generation didn’t give up. We’re on our last chance to restore English law, values, culture and heritage. We are the protectors of freedom.
Picture the UK in 20 years – we will be a province of the United States of Europe. We will have a dark soviet future, with punishments for thought crimes. He warned “If we fail, it’s over!”
He criticised the outlawing of free speech, particularly in universities. He thinks we should be able to express disapproval of anything as long as we don’t threaten or incite violence. Apathy will deliver us to our oppressors.
He advocated complete independence where democracy is real. Maybe the economy will grow and maybe Britain will once again be a beacon of light and hope. We could be the catalyst that frees Europe.
The floor was opened to questions. To break the ice, Chesterfield Treasurer Bush asked the first question. He talked about the deficit, focusing on the primary deficit. He observed that Britain has to sell assets to pay for imports and asked how we can increase manufacturing so we don’t need to import as much.
Bill asserted that UKIP has to be radical in all areas. Radical ideas have been held back by senior Kippers. We have had no Economic Spokesman or policy in 2 General Elections.
In the referendum, Jeremy Corbyn said that if we left the EU, Britain would become a low tax haven. Etheridge hopes that this will happen. Small and Medium Enterprises are the enemy to the Government.
We need to make it attractive to invest in the UK. We can compete. We have the best workers. Jaguar and Landrover are doing well. We must initiate tax incentives, such as lowering corporation tax. “The EU goes mad” about this, ranting about solidarity.
James Bush chipped in that we should encourage our citizens to buy British made products.
Our MEP continued, praising Britain’s ability to innovate new technology. Once we leave the continental bloc, we can get rid of VAT and roll levies into a single tax. Tax avoidance occurs by exploiting the complicated system, which we need to simplify. The hated “death tax” must be abolished.
Someone asked a question that related to tax, but I unfortunately couldn’t hear it properly.
Bill responded by informing us that the top of UKIP had been running party policy and we need to drain the swamp. He opined that tax is theft and told us about the Laffer Curve – the theory that a lower rate of tax would actually increase the amount of revenue raised.
Someone has said that he sounds like Donald Trump, which Etheridge considers a compliment. The Tories have compromised their stance so much that they should be called The Blair Party.
An audience member asked Bill what he is really going to do and when. He said that we aren’t in the media enough, branches are closing and UKIP has failed its members.
Bill’s answer was that we need the leadership to release members’ views. He is an outsider to the leadership clique. He wants to get rid of the Leader, the current NEC incumbents and the Chairman. He said we need a leader “like me.”
Henry Bolton has claimed that voting to retain him as Leader at the upcoming UKIP EGM will give him chance to reform the NEC. Etheridge urged us not to fall for this “snake oil.”
Bill orated that Bolton doesn’t believe in anything. When asked what he believes in, Henry apparently hesitated and replied “I’ll have to get back to you.” The leader has also quoted Paddy Ashdown.
Bolton promised to appoint a new Chairman and rectify the NEC upon his election, but he’s spectacularly failed as well as betrayed Young Independence.
Etheridge stated that the Leader’s personal life was irrelevant and he wouldn’t care if he had slept with a goat. He then joked that as Henry is a liberal, he might have.
An attendee complained that members of his branch campaigned in favour of Brexit for weeks, with not 1 person receiving congratulations from the party’s upper echelons. The branch has been destroyed.
Bill stated that he had begged branches to give the new Leader a chance to keep the battle going. The leadership has betrayed the membership. Bill’s frankness has made him “as popular as a fart in a lift in Brussels.” We need to clear out the top level. Activists are heroes.
Somebody asked who Etheridge would like as our Leader.
He responded that he doesn’t know as we aren’t yet aware who will stand in the inevitable election. He likes Gerard Batten, but he’s not sure the former Brexit Spokesman will be the right person in the long term. We need open debate.
1 person pointed out that Etheridge says he’s a libertarian but wants to ban the burka and asked how he can say both. They also suggested that if we ban halal products, extremists will leave Britain.
Our MEP replied that he is not 100% fanatical about radical libertarianism. He observed that burkas are banned in Brussels and that security is a priority. The burka issue breaks his libertarian heart, but it is a matter of public safety. He is concerned about animal welfare and is against fox hunting.
An attendee stated that Bill has ticked all his boxes and asked what he thinks his chances are of becoming Leader.
An audience member asked Bill what is aim is in politics.
Etheridge declared that he wants to represent people, but leave them to live their lives without interference. He obviously wants independence. He feels a need to make an impact.
A person said that Bolton had come from nowhere, backed by Nigel Farage. They asked if there is just 1 question being asked at the EGM.
There will only be 1 question – whether or not to get rid of Bolton. The MEP orated that Henry’s assertion that keeping him in place is our single opportunity to change the NEC is completely false. Plenty of people want to change the NEC.
An attendee brought up EU solidarity and free movement. They opined that we should make more noise about illegal immigrants and demand to see the EU’s accounts.
Etheridge speculated that if the EU was a company, its shareholders would be in jail. He stated that he has been to the camp in Calais and many of the migrants admit that they want to come to the UK to claim benefits.
He went on to say that some have mobile phones and their friends and family that are already here advise them to “come over.” We need strong border controls. We should not award benefits to new arrivals until they have lived and worked here for 5 years. If they don’t like our rules, they shouldn’t enter our country.
Someone spoke about foreign factories opening, reaching saturation point and being shackled to the EU.
Bill postulated that when our economy does well, foreign companies will want to trade and invest here. It would be wonderful to make products and sell them abroad. The NHS needs staff, but we should train Brits to fill these and other roles.
An attendee raised the issue of UKIP members being banned on Facebook. (This resonated with me. As a Deputy Editor for Kipper Central, I know only too well what a hindrance sharing bans can be.)
Our MEP concurred that the media are hostile towards us. He predicted that we will find a way to overcome this disadvantage and encouraged us to knock on doors and hold street stalls. We could cause a domino effect in Europe, as several other parties already want to leave the bloc.
An audience member said that UKIP MEPs are under agreement to donate funds to the party and repeated rumours that some don’t. They asked why the agreement has no binding force.
Etheridge confirmed that there is an agreement and that some renege on it. At least 3 MEPs don’t pay a penny – he would not mention names. He dictated that everyone who is elected under the UKIP banner should donate money to the party. He complained that once our MEPs are elected, the party have no power over them.
A citizen in attendance said that Theresa May has banned a far right organisation. The Tories have become too left wing. Why can’t they ban extreme left groups?
Bill orated that common sense policies are now widely seen as right wing. We should “take our spot” – people want us to do so. Voters thought that Labour represented workers. People will see that they don’t and we’ll regain their votes. He called into question Jeremy Corbyn’s character and associates by pointing out that Gerry Adams backs the Labour Leader.
A member told a metaphorical anecdote about his girlfriend’s wood-burner. When the fire appears to have burnt out, you can rake over the smouldering embers and reignite the flames. This was a metaphor implying that UKIP can be revived to fight with fiery spirit again.
After the meeting had technically finished, a couple of people initiated a conversation with Etheridge. He revealed his opinion that Henry Bolton is a plant, intended to destroy the party from within. Either that or he is a stupendously incompetent Leader.
As I am also a Co-founder of Kippers For Cannabis and since our former Spokesman stated he is a libertarian who values personal freedom, I asked how he felt about legalising the substance. He is strongly in favour and believes that the subject needs studying.
I found Bill to be a likable and approachable person. I think he performed really well and I agreed with virtually everything he said. I remain unconvinced that he should be our Leader, but I would definitely like him to return to the UKIP cabinet in some capacity.