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The Brexit Chronicles

An evening with Patrick O'Flynn MEP at the Great Yarmouth Racecourse

As the day arrived to host Patrick O'Flynn's first outing of his Brexit Chronicles, so did the High Court’s decision on whether Parliament should be consulted on the triggering of article 50. I met with Patrick prior to the event to run through the program for the evening and initially I expected him to be a little upset with the news, but after our little “catch up“ (as I had not seen him for quite some time), it soon become apparent that his journey here to Great Yarmouth had given him much more time to digest the news than I had, as I had been attending one of Lisa Duffy's excellent training sessions previously that afternoon.

In effect he concluded that whilst this was another blip on the road to our ultimate goal of ridding ourselves of the shackles of the European Union, Mrs May and the high court judges’ decision had just become the best recruiting sergeant we have at the moment for UKIP membership. Remember, he said, that 17.4 million voters are expecting their will to be enacted on this issue ! I then remembered why I used to follow his political columns in the Daily Express.

The event start time arrived and I introduced a slightly apprehensive Patrick O'Flynn. After all this was the first public run-through of his presentation in sync with the projection and voice overs of the main characters provided by himself. His impersonations were no Rory Bremner – his words not mine – but after about 30 seconds as he got into his stride the apparent nervousness had well dissipated.

There then followed an account of his journey from Political Editor of the Daily Express to his present role as one of our Eastern region MEPs and everything in between and it was both informative and entertaining. After his presentation concluded I joked with himself and the audience that the DVD version would be available on the door as they left. But in all honesty if it were to be published, I'd buy the book.

After a short break I introduced Cllr Lisa Duffy who is Patrick's chief of staff. She went on over the next 30 minutes to prime us ready for our next phase in UKIP of converting as many of the 17.4 million referendum voters who sided with our view, to become UKIP voters. Grass roots pressure on the political establishment was now the order of the day, and just as it had brought about the referendum, it should bring about our exit. A battle had been won but there was still the war to win.

She also went in depth into the widely held UKIP view that article 50 is a complete red herring and our next course of action should be to pressure the government to repeal the 1972 European Communities act that got us in this mess in the first place, a sentiment supported by many of the

audience. Her message to Mrs May & Co, stop dragging your heels and just get on with the job.

The evening concluded with a very orderly Q & A session.

All in all a very entertaining evening which I am assured will be rolled out to other Eastern region areas and well worth a couple of hours of your time to support or maybe keep your eye out for the book!

NHS: 'Uncollected Millions'

During the 2015 general election, UKIP highlighted the millions the NHS are failing to collect from Health Tourists. The other parties accused UKIP of scaremongering over such a trivial amount. In the Daily Mail of 28/10/16 it made front page news. The Daily Mail reported that the NHS are particularly bad at recovering costs from EU residents, and warned that the health service will fall £200 million short of a target to recoup £500 million a year by 2018. This was highlighted after figures were released by the National Audit Office.

Under a freedom of information request by a UKIP councillor, for the period  1/1/2015 to 1/1/2016 we obtained the following figures for hospitals in our local area:-

Norfolk and Norwich - invoiced £358,640.00 - recouped £47,042.00

James Paget Hospital - invoiced £88000.96 - recouped £3,845.34

Queen Elizabeth Kings Lynn - invoiced £22,974.00 - recouped £3,393.00

From just these 3 local hospitals £415,334.62 is outstanding. No small amount!

UKIP was called racist for highlighting these figures. Does this make the national Audit Office and Daily Mail racist too?   I don't think so!

Remembrance Day 2016

Thankfully the weather held out and the only things falling from the skies were the autumn leaves from the trees in Great Yarmouth St Georges park.

This year witnessed many hundreds of residents and families gathered to pay their respects to our fallen war dead. It has been a very long time since these numbers have been witnessed in the park, and it was especially moving to see the young represented by so many cadet and youth groups.

It was a very special and moving service for UKIP Great Yarmouth as not only did we have the privilege of our branch representative Cllr Chris Walch laying a wreath of commemoration, but for the first time to see the civic party being led by Mayor Cllr Malcolm Bird, a UKIP councillor for the town.

100 years have passed since the great land and sea battles of the Somme and Jutland and from then to the conflicts of the present day, we must remember those who gave their lives so we can live our lives as we do today.

There can be no more fitting line to reflect on than that contained within the Kohima Epitaph which reads

“ When you go home,

tell them of us and say,

for your tomorrow,

we gave our today”