We helped de­liver ref­er­en­dum dream

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Points Of View -

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

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