We helped deliver referendum dream
During the general election of 1997 I was the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the Referendum Party in the constituency of Ashford. My thanks and admiration for the supporters of the Referendum Party and all the constituents of Ashford are beyond words.
We were one of the very few Referendum Party candidates that kept our deposit by gaining more than 5% of the vote. I believe only 10 of +500 of our candidates were able to do this.
Interestingly, the Ashford Referendum Party gained more than twice the number of votes that Sir James Goldsmith, the party leader, garnered in Putney. (As I recall, we actually won the vote in Brabourne and in Stanhope! Interesting...)
The above was achieved during the heady days of pro-Eurpean dreammongering by the Major government and with the Conservative candidate being one of the most pro-European somnolents.
What struck me most during the campaign was the cross-party support that we received.
Indeed, our supporters – though obviously of different political views and some quite politically active – rarely discussed those views. It wasn’t about Labour, Conservative or Liberal: it was about gaining the people their democratic right to decide who ruled them.
Nearly 20 years later, the people of Ashford and the entire country have the opportunity to make a choice: Westminster or Brussels. Britain or the EU.
Hopefully, party politics will not play a part in the vote. Voters must – and will – rise above the misinformation, confusion and fear sown by party place men.
Their day is past. The future of Britain, in control of its own destiny, lies ahead. Christopher L. Cruden London