Well initially I had decided not to even bother posting about what happened between me and John Rees Evans, as I had simply put it down to one of those disappointing moments that we see far too often in British politics but it appears that even questioning his motives behind the Affinity Project makes me some kind of nut, spitting my dummy out, so I think a blog will save me having to explain myself over and over to people. I had the exact same reaction when I pointed out the truth to the ‘Sheeple in Dragon Clothing’ about the fact you cannot have a judicial review of an Act of Parliament, sad thing is just a little bit of research would prove I was right in what I was saying but that is obviously a little too difficult for some. Anyway here is my own version of events in what happened with UKIP, DDIP and JRE….
I left UKIP back in 2014 when the NARP’s (Newly Arrived, Rapidly Promoted) took over and wanted to change the party into their kind of party, which wasn’t the party I had joined. I remained friends with many in UKIP and when I saw that Stephen Woolfe was standing to replace Nigel I saw a chance of UKIP getting back to its roots. I rejoined to support him in his campaign but sadly he fell at the first hurdle. I ended up supporting John Rees Evans, who was campaigning on a Direct Democracy ticket, something that has always been close to my own political point of view. He lost that campaign and afterwards I spoke with him at length in regards to a plan B. John said that he felt obliged to remain in UKIP because of all those who had supported him and though I felt that was an honourable thing to do, I did point out he was wasting his time because there is no way the powers that be in UKIP were ever going to allow true Direct Democracy in the party. I offered to start up a new party up so that when he realised he was flogging a dead horse he could then take over the reins of that new party to pursue Direct Democracy in Britain. He told me about a new party idea he had been working on called DEMOS DIRECT, demos is the Greek word for ‘The People’ and the origins of the word ‘Democracy’ though I did say to John at the time that most people would read demos as being short for demonstrations and think we were just about putting on protest marches. I set about the task of creating DDIP, using the same logo he was going to use on his idea. I knew at the time I was not suited to being a party leader but also knew that many members of UKIP were left out in the cold when Paul Nuttall became leader and had no real political alternative to turn to and I also felt it wouldn’t be too long before JRE realised he was never going to achieve DD in UKIP. I kept in contact with JRE constantly throughout the creation of DDIP
Then when Paul resigned and a new leadership battle started, I knew that if JRE didn’t win this time he would call it a day and take over DDIP, as was planned all along. Then he called me one day to ask me if what I had said about him taking over was still valid and I told him straight, I am a man of my word and that DDIP was his party. We felt there was no way he would win this time either and even created a private group on Facebook with some DDIP members and some of his campaign team. I even told John I was actually going to take a year out of my law degree to concentrate on the party but now it looked like he was coming over, then I would enrol for my next year. Alan Love and I decided that we would go to Torquay for the UKIP conference weekend so that we would be there if JRE did not win and then he could announce it that weekend that he was coming over to DDIP.
On Monday 25th September John rang me to say he was just going into a meeting and did I have the DDIP bank details, I texted him the name, sort code and account no, to which he replied: “Very Many Thanks”. I actually felt good in myself because I had set out to do something, that I believed was the right thing to do and it was now going to finally amount to something. On Thursday 28th September we had a by-election in Barnsley, with the campaign being run by Gavin Felton and Trevor Smith was the DDIP candidate, with a nice leaflet created by Jamie Ross Mckensie. So obviously as far as we were aware, John Rees Evans was going to take the reins of DDIP, meaning that I could get on with my law degree. I met Alan in Torquay on Friday, September 29th and Henry Bolton had already been elected as the new leaders of UKIP, I was certainly in a good mood about things. Then on that night, we met with John and some others in the Rivera Hotel bar and as I walked in, I could feel something was not quite right. Certain people like Gavin could not even make eye contact with me and then someone came over and said “Marty, you need to talk to JRE and I mean you need to talk to him now”, I went over to talk to him and this is when he dropped the bombshell on me about Affinity. I could feel my blood starting to boil and when I asked him why he wasn’t coming over to DDIP, as it was all set up and registered. He said the people behind Affinity didn’t like the party name, I pointed out that DEMOS was his choice, not mine, which surprised a few people, I then suggested he should arrange a meeting with me, him and Robert and I would explain the why they should back DDIP, it was plainly obvious by his expression that was not going to happen. I then said I needed to go outside for a cigarette, I knew I needed to calm down and think quickly but when I returned JRE had gone and I didn’t see him again that weekend. We did have a brief discussion on Facebook where I said I would buy him a drink to show there were no hard feelings but he never responded to that offer. I said to Alan Love, there was nothing to be gained by spitting the dummy out over this as it is only politics and these things you simply have to take on the chin. Inside I was furious of course but that is more with myself really, as it was my own fault for getting over excited I suppose. I am truly disappointed in the fact that JRE could not be as honest and upfront with me as I had been with him, a trip down to Torquay from Poole was only a three hour drive and it was good to catch up with some old UKIP friends but Alan Love travelled all the way over from Northern Ireland and that could have been so easily avoided had John just simply told us about Affinity beforehand, it is quite blatantly obvious he has known for quite some time.
I explained to Alan Love, there was nothing to be gained by spitting the dummy out over this as it is only politics and these things you simply have to take on the chin. Inside I was furious of course but that is more with myself really, as it was my own fault for getting over excited I suppose. I am truly disappointed in the fact that JRE could not be as honest and upfront with me as I had been with him, a trip down to Torquay from Poole was only a three hour drive and it was good to catch up with some old UKIP friends but Alan Love travelled all the way over from Northern Ireland and that could have been so easily avoided had John just simply told us about Affinity beforehand, it is quite blatantly obvious now that he had known about it for quite some time.
On the Sunday before my wife and I headed off back to Poole, Alan Love asked what was our plans now and I explained we simply have to crack on with ensuring that there is at least one true Direct Democracy party that gives the people a real opportunity to voice their opinions, to create real change for the better but the first thing we need to do is get rid of that awful name Demos, most people see it and think it is short for demonstrations, which could not be further from the truth. Once back home I started a debate on the members forum to chose a new name for DDIP, around 18 names were put forward but only one gained a lot of interest and so it was agreed by the membership that we should push ahead and register a name change with the Electoral Commission as time was of the essence. The name that was chosen is ‘ENGAGE’ and that really describes our party properly. We want to ENGAGE with the people, with each other, with government and even with those who do not agree with us because we believe that through engagement we can find the best solutions and get back to learning from each other once again, we might even be able to eradicate political correctness that has swamped commonsense in this country.
That is our aim and we intend to continue trying our best to deliver that….
As for JRE and Affinity…. Well, as far as I know, Affinity is run by a group of very rich people that simply want to buy the government, that doesn’t strike me as something that will ever lead to Direct Democracy. I listened to John’s words carefully on the Daily Brexit show, on Facebook (09/10/2017) you can listen to it here:
I was rather shocked when he started talking about creating a people’s bank that intended to give 10% interest. We do happen to have banking regulations authority in this country and the MCP meet every month to discuss bank interests rates, so I do not see how Affinity can deliver on that particular promise. However, I will watch on with interest and you never know they may prove me wrong and there really is a group of rich folk that have realised they can’t take their wealth with them , so want to use it to create People Power instead, I am sure that is how JRE described them but personally I think that belongs right up there with Santa Clause and the Easter Bunny stories but as I always say in politics…. time will tell.
I know some reading this will be thinking if I am not bothered about what happened then why did I write this blog? Well, it will save me having to repeat the story over and over to people who keep asking me about it and as people are already saying that I am just being bitter because JRE did not want to work with me, I felt I should set the record straight. Good luck to all those who follow JRE in this Affinity project, you never know he may well be thinking to himself he can use these financial backers to create his dream of Direct Democracy quicker, as I know some of the people who are behind it and I find it hardly unlikely he will actually succeed in that endeavour. Time will tell…
Personally, I believe if people truly want a party of the people and one that implements Direct Democracy within its party system, then the people have to get together to build that themselves and in ENGAGE we have created the platform to do just that. We will continue on in our own endeavours to create change for the better in British politics and we will use common sense, honesty and integrity, every step of the way. Anyone is more than welcome to come and join us in that aim.