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THE HARDEST ARTICLE ….

~ Wonderful People. Quercus Robur. ~

Quercus robur, commonly known as common oak, or English oak, is a species of deciduous tree native to the United Kingdom.

I joined UKIP in July 2015. It was in the aftermath of the general election and my son had persuaded me to accompany him to a UKIP meeting of the Huddersfield and Colne Valley branch where the Chairman at the time was Rob Butler. I had seen Rob Butler (UKIP candidate 2015 in Huddersfield) perform at a hustings alongside two MPs, Barry Sheerman and Jason McCarthy and I had been impressed by his knowledge of his subject matter and forthright defence of freedom and UK sovereignty.  Rob left UKIP following a lengthy and unreconciled internal disciplinary matter. I had campaigned with Rob and remain friends with him to this day.

In anticipation of the forthcoming referendum I had felt duty-bound to give my time and involve myself in the efforts to achieve a successful result in a referendum which had been promised to the electorate by the (so called) Conservative Party. UKIP was the only vehicle that was visible to the electorate which represented my views with respect to the UK’s relationship with the EU and I was delighted to meet good people at that first meeting. Wonderful people. People who care about their country, their heritage, their neighbour and the responsibility for these things that they acknowledge and cannot ignore. People who can see the societal damage unfolding as a direct result of the inability of our failed corrupted Government to represent the British people and protect their rights.

Strong as oak. That is a characteristic that I would suggest is a theme among these wonderful people. The strength to take the insults and slander that comes with wearing a UKIP badge. The slander that emanated and emanates still from those who pre-judge, whose prejudice is moulded by hatred and division spread through the mainstream media, political parties and now a corrupted academia. It was not fruitcakes or swivel eyed loons (perhaps one or two) that I met in the branch meetings and conferences I attended since joining in 2015. I met Quercus Robur – Common Oak.

One of the first things I did after joining UKIP was to subject myself to the experience of being in a potentially uncomfortable situation with a UKIP badge adorning my lapel. I chose to attend a Society of Friends meeting where Professor Paul Rogers (Bradford – ‘Peace Studies) was speaking, and took with me some Angela Merkel related UKIP literature. I first encountered Professor Rogers, a thoroughly dangerous ‘academic’, some 29 years previously, but that is a story for another day. What I did see at the meeting was the nature of human psychology. Some people spoke with me respectfully and normally. Some reacted in a Pavlovian manner to the simple visual prompt of my UKIP badge. Whatever the truth of the matter, brand UKIP had and still retains toxicity in the psyche of a significant proportion of the electorate. Propaganda works.

Whilst the healthy acorns in YI germinate and a new growth of political engagement strengthens their patriotic networks in the new digitised world of mass communication, the old UKIP tree is thirsty and weakened. There is a perception of irrecoverable rot in the trunk and boughs. Was there only Nigel Farage standing above the ground, supported by a healthy, thirsty root network? Since the aspirations of UKIP members were realised (and 17.4million people agreed with us) the sap ceased flowing in the UKIP tree.

I have had the privilege of standing in elections as a candidate for UKIP on three occasions and have received stoic and enthusiastic support from the members in branches throughout Yorkshire (and Wales – thank you, Ed.!), from the rootlets of our party, those who give their time and boot leather: each one – Quercus Robur.

On the last occasion I stood for election, it was in Barnsley East where in the early hours of the 9th of June 2017 Stephanie Peacock (Lab) was returned in a Labour ‘safe seat’. It was the 5th best result for UKIP in the election – by vote share – 8.0%. The 4th best result was achieved by Gavin Felton in Barnsley Central (8.5%), the neighbouring constituency with a common counting and declaration location. All UKIP members and supporters will recall their feelings on that disastrous night for the Party as the public rejected UKIP, despite their distrust in both Labour and Conservatives.

On Friday 12th January 2018 Gavin Felton was announced as an organiser for a new political Party – The Democrats and Veterans Party. I have been in contact with Gavin, who was the Yorkshire & North Lincs Regional Coordinator up until July 2017.

I have today resigned as a member of UKIP. To those who I have met, campaigned with, supported, argued with, conversed with, dined with, drunk with and shared so much camaraderie with, I say thank you and good luck in what you choose to do in pursuit of what remains our common goal. I will be joining my friend Gavin Felton in planting a new sapling, and giving my efforts to help nurture a new, healthy and robust political tree for the United Kingdom.

Photo by Kumweni

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About James Dalton (29 Articles)
James Dalton stood as PPC for Barnsley East in the GE 2017

41 Comments on THE HARDEST ARTICLE ….

  1. Purple Potty Mouth // January 15, 2018 at 10:23 pm // Reply

    James, sorry you felt you had to do this – UKIP has lost a fine, common sense voice and, dare I say it, a sturdy oak. (Thank you Henry – not)
    David is right to mention divide and rule – how many new parties & splinter groups do we have now? And he is more than right to raise the spectre of deliberate sabotage.

  2. The oak tree might have made a better new logo than the lion

  3. UKIP opponents are succeeding with their divide and conquer tactics. They managed the same during the referendum splitting support between Leave EU, UKIP, and Grassroots Out. UKIP’s demise is their final goal before they move on and ignore Brexit.

    We have well funded and organised opponents, its not improbable for them to have infiltrated the Party with saboteurs or incompetents. (it certainly looks that way)

    If genuine UKIP members desert UKIP now it will be finished, we need to turn our attention to solving this problem and then getting fit to give the 17.4 million voters a party to vote for that will give them what they want.

    UKIP needs to stop infighting and focus on resolving the leadership and management issues. The members need to work together to help rather than walking away.

    The formation of a Branch Officers Association with the ability to take decisions or influence the parties future might be a way forward, this has been put to UKIP management and acknowledged as a possibility but may be in the long grass.

    • The central party couldn’t care less what the branch officers or even the regional officers think, David. That has been the case for some years and there is no sign of it changing.

      Rather like the EU, sooner or later it’s time to say “This organisation is unreformable because the people at the centre don’t want it reformed”, and walk away. We all have a different threshold for that decision.

      • You are right Keith.

        I have not yet reached the point of no return myself and hope I could do something to save the Party.

  4. Wishing you all the best, James, you’re one of the best – I wish you were joining For Britain though! God speed and good luck anyway x

  5. James,

    Well done with that outstanding election result — we lost our deposit, even though we performed better than most.

    While I sometimes feel like the boy on the burning deck, I’m going to hang around. Someone has to fight the political class which is selling us down the river — watch the way the money men cluster around the HS2 contract for example, or the power battles for the soul of what is ostensibly the party of the working classes.

    The UK is ruled by a venal, self-satisfied and monolithic political class, with Left and Right indistinguishable. This has to change. Tilting at windmills? Well, what choice do we have?

    Rgds

    JF

  6. So we have For Britain, Affinity, Ray Catlin’s something or other, and soon Democrats & Veterans. How many new wannabes will we have? How come they do not regard each other as good enough and have to form their own?

    Forget ideology. Which one has or will have the most money? Do they understand anything about voting behaviour and campaigning? No sign that they do.

    But I wish John the best of luck and sorry to see him go. I’m probably not far behind assuming UKIP lasts long enough for me to leave it!

    • We also have the Veterans and Peoples Party which was formed in June 2017. Seems we are spoilt for choice!

    • The People’s front for the liberation of the UK
      The UK Liberation people front.
      The Front for the people’s liberation of the UK
      The Liberation front for the UK peoples.
      The Liberation of the UK people’s front.
      The Popular front for UK liberation.
      The Provisional front for…..
      The New front……
      The Continuity front for……
      Anyone for a new party guys?

      • I like the list, it grows all the time doesn’t it? How about ‘Umbrella for all the above’. It is daft that so many have taken to diversity in their politics so to heart. Surely there could be a ‘Real Conservative peoples’ party’ that all could get behind to stand up to big government and counter the Marxist/Soros agenda so near to fruition. We need another Jimmy Goldsmith (someone of Cromwellian stature), not mini Kilroy Silk style micro parties that vanish after the election humiliations they will suffer.

        • The problem Ian is that Tories won’t stop voting Tory, in case the socialist hordes take everything they’ve got.
          It’s a con by the libertarians and really wealthy of course, but UKIP hasn’t been up to rumbling it.

  7. Sorry to hear yoy’re going.

    But if I had a pound for every time someone left UKIP and decided the answer was a new party, I’d be rich! ?

  8. James – Thank you for all of the work you have done for UKIP. We cannot afford to keep leeching activists like you. Trustworthy, respectful,considerate and a great communicator with the public.

    How can Branches get their activists out to follow a leader who humiliates the Party and shows this kind of judgement.

    “You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!”

  9. Interesting news about Gavin Felton, previously of UKIP: on November 2nd 2017, Affinity was “delighted to welcome Gavin Felton to the #Affinity National Management Team as Trustee for Field Campaigns.” How about John Rees-Evans? Is he still in Affinity or is he joining Gavin or is he perhaps seeking to mend bridges with his old party?

    • There appears to be very little information about John Rees Evans. His twitter feed is barely active and the Affinity website doesn’t seem to have progressed from it’s pre-launch mode when it promised to be up and running ‘soon’!

      • I am following Affinity UK on Facebook, they don’t go into much detail but seems they’ve been trying to overcome some hurdles: “We have been quiet in recent weeks due to attempts of an extraordinary nature being made to stop our progress. Most of these have been dealt with. But a few still remain.”
        “Please be advised that we have now overcome the last of the major (and extraordinary) obstacles put in our way by the Establishment to prevent our progress. We will be working flat out over the next few weeks to make up for lost time.”
        I’m aware that they fell foul of the Electoral Commission, just as For Britain did, but I will be curious to learn about these other Establishment ‘obstacles’ they mention.

        https://www.facebook.com/affinity.uk/

        • Thank you, Stuart, for this update. I don’t have any plans to join another party but I do like to see how the various leadership candidates who left UKIP are faring with their new ventures. John Rees Evans was one who seemed to have gone into hibernation.

          Thanks for the Facebook link. I’ll take a look just out of curiosity.

          Kind regards.

  10. A great pleasure working with you over the past couple of years, James.

    All the best with your future endeavours.

  11. Actually i like the analogy. Except,

    We’ve got no branches, except for a few little twigs of MEPs with scarce leaves.

    So we have nothing at the top providing light and energy. As a result the trunk (nec ) is showing rot and the roots are trying to provide water ( Money ) which never gets there.

    There’s my strategy for today.

  12. I knew Paul Rogers in the 1970s and can say he was a very decent, sound person. He was well ahead of the curve as well. My experience with him was very positive.

    Thanks for all the work you placed into UKIP, love the article about the Oak. Am not sure how many new parties this bandwidth of political perspective can support, but good luck with the launch scheduled in February

  13. James

    Not so much a sapling, I fear, as a splinter.

    It is indeed a tragedy that the patriotic movement is splintering. It’s happening because of UKIP’s domination by Tories who think they can re-create Toryism in UKIP’s image, and refuse to see the only way to break through FPTP is to enlist the patriotic working classes with policies that attract them. The 2017 GE wasn’t so much a rejection as a complete ignoring.

    We have to hope that someone one day will grasp that and act on it before it’s too late.

    Good luck with the D&V! It was very good to meet you in Torquay.

  14. You will be missed. Of all the trees there are and I love them all having spent much of my young innocent life climbing in them, I’ve always loved English Oaks the best. Today we’ve lost a good old stick.

    As for me, I’m sticking around. For all UKIP’s faults and it certainly has one or two (well OK maybe more than two! Especially now) it does have one redeeming feature.

    UKIP is never boring!

  15. I agree, James, we need a new Brexit party; but I hope you will first consult widely before setting it up.

    Why not set up an email address for interested parties to contact you and then, if there is sufficient interest, convene a meeting/conference up there in Barnsley to discuss the objectives and methods of the new party?

    Best to start the way (I hope) you intend to proceed – democratic and consultative.

    Because let’s face it the only thing that unites Kippers at the moment is a shared belief in Brexit, that is regaining independence for our ancient country. We need to thrash out a common approach which will maximise support over the whole country, and not just the North.

    Btw congratulations on your achievements in the General Election.

    • That party already exists and it’s called ‘For Britian’. Funded by member contributions but with none of the shenanigans.

  16. James, thank you for your service to UKIP and for your untiring campaigning efforts during the referendum. As the regional campaign director for Grassroots Out! and then Vote Leave, it was always a pleasure to have you on the other end of the phone demanding more T-shirts and printed materials. Good luck with your new venture. If your new organisation wants a talk on energy policy and mainstream climate nonsense, feel free to give me a call.

  17. Thank you James, that is close to my own experience. Since I have European connections, my own tree is Quercus Ilex, evergreen, Spanish or Holm Oak. It does have some advantages over our native tree and grows very well indeed in the UK. It’s not deciduous, resists some pests that cause damage, grows faster than Robur, look good all year and if it is damaged or cut back, soon regrows. Something that UKIP has spectacularly failed to do.
    I will not be joining any other nationl party however, I wish UKIP well and don’t want to harm them so in future I’ll stick to mostly local matters.

    • The Spanish, or Lucombe, Oak is Quercus x hispanica, a natural cross between the Turkey and Cork Oaks, and not to be confused with the Holm Oak, Quercus Ilex, though both are evergreen.
      Its saplings won’t grow in frost pockets (I’ve tried) and common oak is quicker, regenerative and bigger.

      But then you seem confused on most things, Icini.

      • I have two in my garden, grown from Spanish seed and now over 40 years old. We get quite a lot of frost. There is also a huge one in my local park. They do just fine. There are a very large number of oak varieties, over 250 if I recall correctly and maybe some extra hybrids. If you can tell every one individually you are a better man than I, Gunga Din.
        I think perhaps ypu would be wiser concentrating on the broad picture rather than minutia.

        • Since you seemed to be making some obtuse point extolling non-native trees, I would have thought a response extolling the common variety an apposite comment on ‘the broad picture’.
          It was Holm Oak I tried to grow in the frost, not Lucombe though. On that detail you may be right, but then it’s not very clear what yours actually are, or if you planted them, or whether you’re in a frost pocket.
          Details, details …

          • Ha Ha,
            Unfortunatly the Robur variety, at least locally are suffering from ‘ACUTE OAK DECLINE’. Many are very sadly slowly dying out, just like a certain political party. Best bet is to remove and plant a resistant sub species.
            By the way I personally saw the seed being collected, planted it myself, potted it on myself and still have one very dwarf specimen in a container on my front patio, now cloud cut, as well as those in the garden. I also tried cork oak and scrub oak, which failed.

    • I have a post on my Facebook page about our oak trees: the oldest is probably over 500 years old and has seen a lot of changes over the centuries. One shouldn’t write off a sapling too soon — who knows, perhaps it will settle down to become one of the forest kings. And if it doesn’t another seed will germinate in its stead.

      The problem with concentrating on local matters is that local isn’t local any more. We have a couple of councillors who have declared themselves as independents when the biggest problem our residents will face over the next 15 years, social dumping from the overcrowded and generally hostile London boroughs, can only be controlled by primary legislation. The big parties don’t care about independents, only a nationwide party has the least chance of exerting pressure upon them. Stand as an independent in West Suffolk and you are telling your residents that you can’t defend them.

      Likewise fishing policy, another East Anglian concern.

      JF
      Every year I gather ilex acorns from the miniature forests where we walk in the Sierra Nevada foothills — no luck yet though.

      • Just about everything is controlled by central government, look at planning for example. Being an independednt does not somehow gag people from commenting on national matters where they interface with local issues. Personally I consider that helping form at least a nominal opposition to the huge Tory majority on my council, is better than being a failed UKIP candidate and enabling yet another Tory councillor. I have worked for UKIP since my theoretical retirement over 5 years ago, so I consider I’ve done my share in terms of time and treasure and I will continue to support most UKIP principals if I get re-elected in 2019.

  18. Can I just say that Mr Felton and Mr Dalton are exactly the sort of people who should be the bedrock of UKIP.
    That they have now left the Party tells you all you need to know about what UKIP has evolved in to under it’s current leadership.
    A really sad day.

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