- Individual Freedom
- Personal and Family Responsibility
- The Rule of Law
- Limited Government
- Free Market Economy
- National Parliamentary Democracy
- Strong National Defences
"Freedom is usually appreciated only by those who have lost it, consequently it requires not praise but intelligent, active and continuous defence. We campaign for limited government and the fundamental freedoms essential to the maintenance of a humane and civilized society."—Norris McWhirter C.B.E. (1925-2004)
According to Wikipedia, the current Honorary President is Christopher Gill, who was also Honorary Chairman from 2001 to 2007.
[Gill] was one of the Maastricht Rebels and has been President of The Freedom Association (TFA) since 2007.
Gill served as Conservative Party Member of Parliament for Ludlow from 1987 to 2001, when he stepped down. He was known as the "Butcher from Ludlow", due to his family company being a meat processing firm. During the Maastricht Rebellion, Food Minister Nicholas Soames threatened to: "close every abattoir you own". He had the Conservative Whip withdrawn over the EC Finance Bill on November 28 1994.
He was a dedicated constituency MP, who fought against the closure of local cottage hospitals. Gill was known for being an expert on European Union legislation regarding farming and also unusually (for an landlocked constituency) fishing.
He served as Chairman of The Freedom Association from 2001 to 2007, before becoming its President.
So, Christopher Gill was a good constituency MP, renowned as being a knowledgeable man, a principled supporter of individual freedom and who was strong enough to risk personal emnity and political oblivion in order to vote with his principles, to vote against the EU. He is now a member of UKIP and is, in fact, one of my rivals for a place on UKIP's National Executive Committee.
So, one can see why Cameron's lot wouldn't like him. And so it should come as no surprise that Iain Dale should effectively call this principled, knowledgeable and conscienscious man a lunatic.
ConservativeHome reports that four ex Conservative MPs have written to the Daily Telegraph in support of grammar schools. What they don't say is that the four are now prominent UKIP supporters. They are Piers Merchant, Sir Richard Body, Christopher Gill and Roger Knapman. John Major once said that when he saw Sir Richard Body approaching he could hear the sound of flapping white coats. That could equally apply to the other three, and it's the reason why UKIP will always be a fringe party.
I can't speak for any of the other three, but in some ways Iain's right, of course: principled politicians are always going to be attacked and smeared by Cameron's Conservatives. Especially is their principles extend to being anti-EU. After all, Cameron is the Tory leader who said that there was no place on his front bench for EUsceptics.
But what I can guarantee is that all four of those people can coherently explain their stance on the EU. Which is, as I never tire of pointing out, is more than the Tory head of policy can do.
I am sorry that you and I do not agree about this matter - but I fear that we shall have to agree to differ.
And frankly, mad though some might consider them, I'll go with men who can justify, rationally, their political position rather than a clueless coward like Letwin, a smug arsehole who is nevertheless so unsure of his own beliefs that he has to dress them up in pseudo-sociological bullshit.