Busy Work in the South West
I remember the day I met Julian Deverell, who is currently running for parliament in Bath. We met in a nice coffee shop in the centre of the historic heritage city of Bath. I’ve always been opinionated and have always cared about supporting the people against big government control, however with a demanding job and an active social life I have previously had limited exposure to the everyday workings of political parties. Until this day I had been a back seat passenger in the ever evolving landscape in politics. Julian inspired me to become actively involved, his belief and commitment to UKIP would have been difficult for anybody not to have been encouraged.
That now seems like a lifetime ago, and since then I have been elected as Young Independence (YI) Chairperson for Bath & North East Somerset, where in my short time we have already over quadrupled the YI membership in the area. With the run up to what I consider the most exciting general election in my lifetime the calendar has become extremely busy.
With Dr Julia Reid MEP I spoke at a seminar at the University of Bristol with the intention of creating an official society at the University, something that is growing across the entire of the UK with the fantastically run UKIP Students campaign. We gave our opening speeches discussing enabling people power, leaving the EU and the role of the state in our everyday lives. What wasn’t surprising to me, however may have been surprising to a Guardian journalist were the demographics of the people who had turned up to listen. It wasn’t the depicted view of the old white British male, but a diverse group of young mixed ethnicity and gender people.
The Guardian journalist may have been even more shocked when the questions weren’t aimed at immigration or the EU, but about wider issues and challenges, not just domestically. We were posed questions about the protests in Hong Kong, where our sympathies were with those who are fighting for a representative democracy. Questions continued about the NHS, direct democracy, fox hunting and many more. It was clear; these young people were looking beyond the media bias and were starting to see UKIP as a genuine challenger who could offer ideas on a wide range of people’s issues. On the day we got some new members and were on our way to building a society in yet another University.
The hard work hasn’t stopped there, the launch of the public meetings in Bath & North East Somerset commenced with the first in Twerton. My speech started by showing we are far from the isolationist and little Englanders that we are portrayed to be, I spoke about my family who lived in Portugal for a large proportion of my life and together we have seen the devastating affects the EU and the Euro has had on them and the local people. I went on to discuss the European Arrest Warrant, the ‘snooping law’ and how now is the right time to be getting behind the genuine alternative to the cosy establishment elite.
The response at both meetings was immense, and one thing is transparent; the view of UKIP is changing. More people are seeing past the media bias, they are seeing past the lies of the failed politicians and they are looking to the honesty and straightforward common sense approach that is being put forward by UKIP.
Young Independence Chairman – Bath & North East Somerset