Speech given by Liz Milton

A speach from an ex-Pat a decade after her return to Blighty and the disgust she felt at what was happening in our country. The speach was made at a UK Independence Party London rally, London School of Economics Saturday 1st February 1997

Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen and welcome to the launch of the General Election Campaign for the UK Independence Party in London. My name is Liz Milton – I’m chairman of the Brent and Camden branch.

Sir Winston Churchill said in 1956 “If Britain must choose between Europe and the open sea, she must always choose the open sea.”

It is now our job to see that the electorate are given that chance! I have very mixed emotions this afternoon. I feel such sadness for the state this country is in. I still find it difficult to believe we have actually needed to form a new political party to protect British independence.

I have a deep and burning anger for the deception our political leaders have, and are continuing to practise. They dare not tell us exactly what they plan, for they know the British people would reject it. I feel such anger that our paid representatives have given away so much of our heritage, without our permission. It was not theirs to give. Yet they continue to do so, and insult us by pretending they can actually do something about it – that they are “winning the arguments” but that progress can only be made if we stay in the heart of Europe.” What rubbish!

But most of all, I feel tremendous pride that, once again, the British spirit will triumph, and ordinary people though we are, we, in this Party, have the grit and the backbone to stand up for what we believe and to put the British interest first.

My family lived abroad for many years, and returned to the UK in the mid 80’s. I soon realised that tremendous changes had taken place in this land that I had known and loved.

Directives? What were they? They certainly didn’t sound very British! And the Collins dictionary definition did nothing to reassure me. A directive is an instruction that must be obeyed, for example the EEC directive forced the Government to act!

When I asked friends and family when we had agreed to be ruled by Brussels, the answer was “we haven’t”.

When I asked what directives were yet to come, no-one seemed to know!

When I asked “what are we doing about it?” the answer was always “What can we do?”

I often felt totally helpless and frustrated at what was being imposed and sometimes to the astonishment of my family, would yell at the TV or radio news.

Clearly, the media had been heavily influenced with regard to EC, now EU, matters. I found that deeply disillusioning, particularly the EEC part, as like many others living abroad, we had thought the EEC above reproach. They’re still at it – did you see Panorama last Monday evening? I voted at the last General Election with a heavy heart. I have never been particularly interested in politics, but I’ve always known who I wanted to vote for. It was a dreadful moment when I reallised that there was not a party I really felt I could support – no party was going to give me, or anyone else the chance to have a say on the European issue. All absolutely deliberate, of course. How could this happen in a democracy?

Considering it the duty of a loyal subject to vote, I watched the political broadcasts for the 1994 Euro elections, really trying to work out which party was the least of the evils. Well – suddenly I was yelling at the TV – “Yes, this is what I’ve been waiting for, there are other people out there who think like I do”. Thank you Alan [Sked**]. You have no idea what that short broadcast meant to me.

Now, as we approach the election, we know the issue of Europe will be sidelined again by the three main parties. Yet Europe is the single most “Issue” – the only issue. We are faced with a daunting task – are we equal to it? Of course we are.

We know the people of this country have the right to decide their future and we will given them back that right, which others have tried to take away. Madam Speaker may try to defend the honour of MPs – there is more honour here this afternoon than has been in the Palace of Westminster for decades.

To quote Chris Booker at Conference: “We are an army on the march and at last we have the chance to change the political force of this country. Let’s meet some of the people who have the courage to stand as candidates at the next election…

** Dr Alan Sked, a senior lecturer at the LSE was the founder of the UK Independent Party. He has since left the party and now fully supports the Conservative Party in the mistaken belief that they want to leave the EU.

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