Inspired by the news that UKIP is now polling at 9% and the belief that when our Party is polling in double figures, at the Tories expense, they will dump Theresa May, our action morning in Brixham on Saturday 21 July was full tilt – ‘Support UKIP if you want Brexit’.
Gerard Batten said earlier this week that some 10% of Tory members have actively ditched their support for the party in the last 2 months.
It is likely that many of those will give their support to UKIP and we feel they need to be encouraged to join us as soon as possible. There is no better way than for them to see us out and about.
With this in mind, Team Totnes, plus two members from Newton Abbot Branch (Will and Gerrie), ran 2 stalls and had some roaming campaigners in the iconic fishing port and town of Brixham. It was filled with holidaymakers enjoying the sunshine.
Armed with OUT NOW leaflets, membership forms, free ‘Brexit Means Exit’ hessian shopping bags, and with a backdrop of Fishing For Leave banners and flags on the trawlers and fishing boats in the inner harbour, a focal point for the holiday makers, we set to work.
I asked the campaigners to write their impressions:
CRAIG: ‘Dennis, Tom and I set up near the gangplank of The Golden Hind. We had a great response from people approaching us to say they had voted leave and were annoyed and frustrated with how Theresa May and the government were dealing with Brexit. They thanked us for our presence and what we were doing. I spoke with a Swiss lady who was very impressed to hear our views. She said Switzerland is successful due to being free and independent and hoped we could be the same soon.’
TOM: ‘Almost everyone I talked to was unhappy with Theresa May – unsurprisingly. Quite a few people seem to have become disillusioned with Brexit due to the amount of time that it’s taking.’
DENNIS: ‘It has gone brilliantly. When are we going to do this again.’
WILL: ‘The hours that I spent promoting Brexit to the general public yesterday turned out to be unexpectedly enjoyable. I was standing in the sunshine while an almost continual stream of people passed by… I would say that a solid sixty per cent of people were happy to accept our material, and that’s not to say that the other forty per cent were hostile. I know from many years of campaigning experience that these results are extremely favourable, and bode very well indeed for our future, certainly if we are prepared to go out there, and garner the support that is waiting for us. ‘The fields are white unto harvest, but the labourers are so few!’
Ray and Gerrie were the roaming campaigners:
RAY: ‘Up until recently the impression I got from friends, reader’s letters and general chat was that, one way or another, Theresa May would get us a Brexit that was grudgingly not too far off what we were expecting – give or take a policy or two. These last two Saturday mornings at Brixham have shown me that it is only a minority of supporters who now believe that.
There is an angle where maybe the prospect is more dire than we think, because it may not necessarily be a simple matter of changing the Tory leader. There is such a split in Westminster. How can any leader produce anything other than a fudge. So was a no-deal always going to be the end result? As VIKI the AI computer said to Will Smith in I Robot, ‘The logic is undeniable.’ .’
GERRIE: ‘What a great atmosphere there was at Brixham. I chose predominantly to go round all the tables at the outdoor cafes with Fishing For Leave leaflets accompanied by OUT NOW ones, and to explain how the one, was dependent upon the other. People were there on holiday from all over the country and from Germany, Poland, Austria, Australia, Sweden and France. Virtually all of them were only too glad to take leaflets for themselves and for other sympathisers, and to discuss the iniquity of the EU. I saw no evidence of any minds having been changed by the opposition Battle bus charging like Goliath round the country, they were simply seething with resentment at the Government betrayal…or total incompetence as some of the less politically savvy assumed it to be.. and wanted out on WTO rules, or indeed on any, just so long as we get out. I was invited to sit at tables and join them for coffee in order to have lengthy discussions, and for them to have me explain many points for which they needed clarification. The fact that 7,500 ripped up membership cards have been returned to the Tory party as a gesture of anger, appeared to afford them great delight. The weather was fine. We all enjoyed ourselves, smiled and laughed, and together hoped fervently for our day of deliverance from the coercive regime.’
CERI: I wore a UKIP rosette throughout the morning and had UKIP flags flying from my car near to one of the two stalls. A considerable number of local people came up to me to express great anger and frustration that the Conservative Associations are not calling out our Brexit wrecking MP, Sarah Wollaston. I will make sure that the councillors in Brixham, the largest town in her constituency, understand the level of frustration at their perceived passivity.