Why I left the Campaign for an English Parliament

! This post was written some time ago. I don't delete old posts but bear in mind that a lot can change in a year or more, including my opinions (and the amount of naughty words I use).


  1. Daggs (55 comments) says:

    You know? Sometimes i just bloody despair.
    I became a supporter of the English Democrats because they seemed to be the only voice speaking for England. They then veer so far to the right, they damage English Nationalism and i’m out.
    So i take up the CEP, even sending a (modest) donation. Now, according to your words. They are failing in what should be their only objectivive. Bringing to the attention of the people of England, the democratic defecit affecting England.
    Meanwhile, UKIP whisper a few words about supporting a parliament for England. A year or so on, the conference over. Not a peep.
    All that is left for me is to hope the Scots vote for independence. But they won’t, they know what side their bread is buttered.
    What a shambles…………………..

  2. William Gruff (138 comments) says:

    I was a member of the CEP NC when SR was the chairman (I joined the campaign only after speaking to him on the telephone and agreed to a nomination by him to the NC only because of his obvious commitment and integrity). At that time I was an active (branch chairman and reluctant LA and CC candidate – paying all of my expenses myself) member of the Labour Party, as was SR. I resigned from the NC and the CEP following the AGM and subsequent NC meeting, which together lasted for an exhausting seven hours. The AGM took up no more than one and a half to two hours and for the next five hours or more I sat through a replay of so many other committee meetings, for all sorts of purposes, in which jealously guarded egos fought over dotted ‘i’s, crossed ‘t’s and the credit for some trivial suggestion or another. I particularly remember the table thumping that accompanied a vigorous discussion of the precise wording of a leaflet that had been agreed, with difficulty, at the previous meeting, the megalomaniacal fantasy of ten thousand members marching in London and the near paranoid demand that we should submit all material for approval that met our suggestion that we could act as a campaign group within the party of which we were then members, which was the governing party. No one with any political nous would have thought of such an idea, understanding instinctively how impractical that would have been.

    What finally convinced me that the CEP was exactly what I had feared and could achieve nothing were the childishly snide remarks about the Labour Party and the sneers that were clearly directed at my wife and me in the pub afterwards, where we were refreshing ourselves, at seven o’clock in the evening, before driving back to Berwick-upon-Tweed from Bedfordshire.

    I was also a member of the EDP for a short while. I allowed my subscription to lapse after seeing and experiencing, to an admittedly absurdly trivial but none the less telling extent, the flaws of those running the party. I was also less than impressed by the performances of CC, RT and SU on 18 Doughty Street, who were very generously given a platform they clearly did not merit. That was five or six years ago (I can’t remember precisely) but I regularly received invitations to stand as a PPC for the party until I took the trouble to contact the relevant person earlier this year (if I recall correctly) and advise him that I have not been a member for some time.

    I remain committed to the cause of an EP, although I am not aware of any capable organisation that is campaigning seriously on the issue.

    I haven’t looked at your blog for some time and I’m surprised, and delighted, to see that my sporadic effort is shown in your blogroll, which is rare these days. Many thanks for that, I will add you to mine forthwith.

  3. wonkotsane (1125 comments) says:

    Daggs, sadly the CEP is on its last legs. It’s taken about 2 months to get a response to “One Nation” Labour’s calls for a Northern Parliament.

    William, it’s a common theme throughout the CEP’s history and a lesson that to this day hasn’t been learnt. If you’re interested in collaborating on something then there might be an opportunity soon.

  4. William Gruff (138 comments) says:

    I would be interested in working with anyone who is principally concerned with the issue and not his own advancement. With a very few notable and honourable exceptions almost everyone I have ever come in contact with, in whatever context, in various political and charitable organisations has suffered from what I think of as the small businessman mentality, viz: a very, very big fish in what was effectively no more than a puddle of piss in the dirt, if I may be forgiven for being so crude. Filled with very small ‘big dreams’ they lacked the vision, the intellect and the balls to do more than feather their own foul nests while deluding themselves with ideas of personal grandeur. As an example I offer, again, the example of the CEP NC. I suggested that the newsletter could be sent to MPs, peers and any other potential backer, whether political or financial, as a way of explaining what we were about and capable of. The suggestion was met with hostility and horror. ‘Oh no’, came the reply, ‘they’re not members so not entitled to a newsletter giving details of our business’, or words very much to that effect. I swear it’s true.

    I can work with anyone who finds that sort of approach laughable.

  5. Sarah (21 comments) says:

    ” It’s taken about 2 months to get a response to “One Nation” Labour’s calls for a Northern Parliament.”
    Have UKIP given a response at all? No offence to yourself, you’ve been a dedicated campaigner for years but your party isn’t covering themselves in glory on the EP issue. As Daggs says it’s been a year since it was first announced, by the deputy leader no less with supportive words from the leader himself. Since then it seems to have disappeared. There was some kind of conference with Welsh UKIP speaking against the idea, talk of it being ‘worked on’ and finalised as a proposal, then nadda. There doesn’t seem to have been any mention of it at the last UKIP conference from what I’ve read. Is there any movement at all?

    On the other hand.
    Interested to see what you and Mr Gruff come up with. )

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