Saturday, May 26, 2007

Iain Dale: Freedom Association Chairman is mad

Now, generally speaking, I am a great fan of The Freedom Association, who's About page lays out the Seven Principles of a Free Society.
  • 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 He had the Conservative Whip withdrawn over the EC Finance Bill on November 28 1994.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.


Mark Wadsworth said...

"one of my rivals for a place on UKIP's National Executive Committee"

Cool! I see the deadline for ballots has been extended to 15 June, you can have one of my X's.

JuliaM said...

"..I'll go with men who can justify, rationally, their political position rather than a clueless coward like Letwin..."


james higham said...

I'd love to put you on the spot, DK and ask you that if it came down to it, Labour or Tory in power?

Anonymous said...

That's unfair James when both because of party hacks and ring lickers like the all new Dale are queuing up to be a part of their bid for power, either party.

Far, far too many sycophants like Dale now infest British politics, who used to be principled but sold their soul to the party.

At least the old leftys, nuts and bollck brained as they were, retained their principles to some degree.

Richard Allen said...

I met Cristopher Gill at a NO2ID meeting in 2005. He is man of eminently sound views and a very good communicator. I would like to see him given a more prominant role in UKIP.

Anonymous said...

Christopher Gill has written a book about his experiences as an MP, "Whips' Nightmare: Diary of a Maastricht Rebel", isbn 184104086x. Written before he joined UKIP & well worth a read.

Martin said...

Shit, this guy kept his seat in '97!

Dale should be begging to be allowed to stand next to him and be sprinkled with pixie dust!

Mark Wadsworth said...

Richard Allen, that's reassuring, because he also got an X from me.

verity said...

What a pompous git. Although for pompous gits, there's no one quite as patronising and pompous as David Cameron.

Mr. Hughes said...

Why am I not surprised that the Cameronites are indulging in gratuitous abuse of those who represent a coherent anti-EU position? Given that they are only too happy to sell the last vestiges of British liberty and democracy to a foreign dictatorship in return for a guaranteed place at the trough!
On the other hand, not only am I not surprised, but I am also a little encouraged: if they're that desperate then evidently they are also rather worried. Roll on the imminent implosion of what used to be the Conservative party.

verity said...

Mr Hughes - agreed. And they have elected exactly the right "leader", and he has appointed stupid self-regarding gits in sufficient number to facilitate their final troop through the door with the EXIT light above it.

verity said...

Hooray! This should do it!!;jsessionid=2EC0ODLTSAJLTQFIQMFCFF4AVCBQYIV0;?xml=/news/2007/05/27/nedu27.xml

Devil's Kitchen said...

I'd love to put you on the spot, DK and ask you that if it came down to it, Labour or Tory in power?

Why not ask me to choose between cancer and AIDS, eh, James?

Generally, the Tories because I don't think that that they can be much worse than Labour. However, I don't particularly replish the choice of either, frankly.

Someone asked me, today, if I was ever happy with government decisions. I replied in the negative because the government should not be in a position to make the kind of decisions that she was talking about, i.e. they shouldn't be making decisions at all.


verity said...

Agreed. Both twizzly Tony Labour and Dave's twizzly Conservatives are unacceptable to intelligent people with a sense of history and who own dictionaries in which they can look up words like "racist".

I see, by the way, that Jane Goody, who I have never seen in my life, has been accused of that golden-oldie, ever-popular "racism" for some drab remark or other. The uneducated elite apparently never studied history or geography, given that Shilpa Wotever'hernameis and Jane Goody are the same race: Aryan.

Pakistanis are also Aryan. So now wot? Iranians are also Aryan.

Why are so many people in British public office so stupid and ignorant? It really is irritating.

So could a member of the socialist party explain? - Why is Jane Goody being accused of "racism" against her own race?

This needs to be cleared up, otherwise it will become a given, like Al Bloviator's "man made" climate change.

These things take hold among hysterics.

Martin said...

I would personally take any type of insult directed against me by John Major as a ringing endorsement, given his culpability for much that went wrong with the Tory party. He laid the groundwork for the unprincipled hack now running the party.

Oh yeah? So what has happened for the last ten years, exactly?

Over at the ASI, they are posting some of the winning entries of the Young Writers on Liberty. One does not want to put such keen minds off,...