Today saw the official launch of the UKIP campaign to educate people on the failings of the EU in the run up to the promised Referendum on our membership. (Below)
As Nigel Farage rightly pointed out, those who wish to keep us in the EU have been quick off the mark and are already getting increased airtime on TV and in the columns of the national newspapers. Richard Branson has been very vocal about our need to remain a part of the superstate, even suggesting that we need to re look at joining the Euro currency which has brought so much misery to the peoples of Europe, most notably Greece – Interestingly enough, he lives in the Caribbean and recently moved his Virgin headquarters to non-EU Switzerland!
UKIP will be throwing the full weight of our organisation behind the ‘ground campaign’ that Nigel talks of, with our own branch in Hillingdon already having held a well attended public meeting in West Drayton last week with more to follow. After that meeting I have had a few conversations with people who, whilst totally agreeing with our stance, feel that we can’t win because of the size and resources that the ‘Yes’ campaign will deploy against us. I disagree with that sentiment and here’s why….
The spirit of 1940
Some have dubbed the Referendum ‘The Battle for Britain’, drawing on the fact that this is the 75th anniversary of the RAF’s famous victory over the vastly larger German Luftwaffe in the skies above Southern England. Whilst we are not in a shooting war, the Referendum has some parallels in that we are fighting to preserve our nation and our democracy from being consumed by a foreign dictatorship (The EU) that does not share our values and will impose its will upon us (Indeed, with more than half our laws coming from Brussels already some would argue we are almost there).
However, I would liken it more to another famous victory from that year which is not given the publicity it deserves and equally could have spelt the end for our country if it had not been won.
Whilst the RAF fought a desperate action in the skies over England, a force of 50,000 British and Commonwealth soldiers under the command of General Archibald Wavell (Left) came under attack from nearly 250,000 troops of the Italian army on the borders of Egypt and the British Mandate of Palestine. The Italian dictator, Benito Mussolini, thought that the UK was finished and saw his chance to take over the territory and push on to seize control of the Suez Canal, cutting off a vital route that the British needed to shift supplies through to continue the war.
Despite being underequipped and with the odds stacked heavily against them, the British force not only held their ground but proceeded to chase the Italians back across North Africa forcing Mussolini to turn to his German ally Hitler for help in stemming the advance.
‘Wavell’s 50,000’ as they became known had scored a stunning victory in the face of massively superior firepower when most people had written them off and it is here that I draw the inspiration from that the ‘No’ campaign can be successful.
Like Wavell and his troops, we are facing an opponent that will have bigger numbers, better resources and powerful allies – We also know that we are facing a threat to the continued survival of our nation as a free, self-determining country.
The numbers are also uncannily similar – Wavell’s army was 50,000 strong, Nigel Farage’s ‘Peoples Army’ has a membership for the ground campaign of nearly 50,000.
My grandfather, Walter Daisley, was one of Wavell’s men and with his comrades did not flinch in the sands of North Africa. Whilst not facing the hardships of war as he did, I feel that it is my duty to follow where he led and to defend our liberty, this time via campaigning and the ballot box, to protect the legacy of freedom that he and men like him gave so much for, many with their lives.
But there will also be further similarities to this story to come. Mussolini convinced Hitler to commit forces to help him stop Wavell, with the crack General Erwin Rommel despatched to fight alongside the Italians and stop the British. Rommel became known as ‘The Desert Fox’ and his German Afrika Corps put the British forces in to retreat in a series of battles that ebbed and flowed across the desert for the next three years.
Securing a ‘No’ vote in the Referendum will be just the start as the EU, as proven before, have a tendency to reject results that go against them and come back at you with even more firepower – The Irish found this when they voted against the Lisbon Treaty in a referendum and were forced to vote again, with massive amounts of money thrown in to push a propaganda campaign convincing the people to change their mind and give Brussels their victory. I have no doubt that if the British people reject the EU at the ballot box, David Cameron and his pro-EU allies will employ similar tactics to ensure that we remain ensnared in a pan-European nightmare of ever closer union and further erosion of our rights and freedoms.
We must be prepared to face this just as Wally and his brothers in arms, who became the British Eighth Army, had to after their initial victory. Like them, we must fight through the bad times and in the face of seemingly unsurmountable odds until our message gets through and the tide turns in our favour. It did for them in late 1942, at the Battle of El Alamein, where the Eighth Army under the command of General Bernard Law Montgomery scored a decisive victory over the German and Italian Forces and proceeded to rout them from the shores of Africa.
The EU referendum is our Wavell moment, the once in a lifetime chance to score a famous victory over an opponent that seems to be too big and too powerful to stand up to. Once the initial victory is secured then we need to steel ourselves for the longer battle that will hopefully lead to our own political version of El Alamein and the defeat of the anti-democratic forces of the EU.
We need to show the fighting spirit of 1940 to enable us to do so.
Do you want to help spread the message? Can you be one of our ‘ground force’ that takes on the European Union? If so, please get in touch via the website and we will put you in touch with your local team.