If, like, me you are tired of the antics of Gina Miller who is intent on removing pro-Brexit candidates at the general election, then there are many Brexiteer candidates who need your help. Here are six to get you going from different parts of the country. If you can assist them in their election campaigns, please volunteer your services.

I will be going to Shipley. If you would like to join me, please drop me a line, and we will arrange a date.

Pro-Brexit candidates graphic
Graphic courtesy of The Freedom Association 

What the North needs is the invisible hand of the free market, not the dead hand of the state 

Below is an article I wrote for Think North, a new Conservative group of which I am an advisory board member.

If the Conservative Party wants to maintain and grow its support in the North, we need more free market policies, not fewer. We need more of the invisible hand of the free market, and less of the dead hand of the state.


There was a time when the Conservative Party was the party of free trade. That’s the reason I supported the party from an early age. It still pays lip service to it, but to all intents and purposes, there really isn’t a cigarette paper between the Conservative Party in 2017 and the Labour Party in the Blair years.

Peter Mandelson famously said that he was “intensely relaxed about people getting filthy rich as long as they pay their taxes”. Many on the left saw this as the final straw – Labour had well and truly sold out and had embraced the free market, warts and all. With the benefit of hindsight, it can be said that all Labour did was maximise tax revenue so it could spend taxpayers’ money as fast as it came in (and then some more) to spend on pet projects and increase the client state.

Governments of all colours are like the average punter on a day’s outing to the races: they all think they can pick winners, but the reality is at the end of the day they leave much poorer than when they started.

This Conservative Government also thinks it can pick winners. Stuart Andrew’s article on this site last week proved it. He spoke of a few £billion here and a few £million there that the Government (taxpayers) will spend on projects to supposedly benefit the North. The Government has an “industrial strategy”. Those two words together send a shiver down my spine – and not in a good way.

Stuart rightly states that the “North was at the forefront of the country’s Industrial Revolution”. It was, and it was done without large injections of taxpayers’ money. Before anyone starts shouting that this was done at the expense of workers’ rights, and that health and safety wasn’t even a concept, I know all of that and I am not advocating going back to Victorian working practices.

Stuart went on to say that “with the Industrial Strategy it [the North] will lead the way in our Industrial future.” My question is: as the North was successful without constant Government interference, why can’t it be successful again without the need for an “industrial strategy”? Why can’t we just let the market do its job? The problem isn’t that the state doesn’t do enough – it’s that the state tries to do too much, which makes more people reliant on it and the economy less productive.

During the Thatcher years the Conservative Party was arguably at its zenith. Rolling back the state, not picking winners, and unleashing the potential of ordinary people was at the heart of its policies.

A few weeks ago I was at the UK launch of the Heritage Foundation’s ‘2017 Index of Economic Freedom’. This is an annual publication covering all countries in the world, apart from a few where the data is unreliable, and it proves every year that those countries with the most economic freedom are the most prosperous. The governments of those countries that don’t try to pick winners have higher incomes per capita.

So when I read that the Government has decided to create a £23 billion National Productivity Fund that will “deliver investment in transport projects, rolling out broadband and future 5G mobile technology as well as an investment framework to encourage both private and public sector investment in every region of the UK”, and that “Ministers have committed £4.7 billion in research and development funding by 2020-2021 as well as £170 million to set up Institutes of Technology to keep developing new ideas and industries and ensuring that future generations are equipped with the skills to develop them further”, I sigh.

Telecoms is a hugely profitable sector of the economy. There isn’t a reason on earth why those current companies in the marketplace, and new companies in the future, cannot provide broadband and 5G without taxpayers having to pay for it. If broadband coverage is poor in certain areas, ministers have sharp elbows to get the telecoms companies to improve. Telecoms is regulated, and the regulator has the power to demand improvements.

When I first bought a mobile phone over 23 years ago, I could never imagined how it would evolve. Mobile communications have evolved because of the free market. Of course we want a workforce equipped with the skills they need in order to find gainful employment, but who knows what those skills are going to be in ten years time. The market is nimble; Government is not.

Instead of doling out money as if we didn’t have a £1.7 trillion deficit, we need more of the invisible hand of the free market, and less of the dead hand of the state. That’s how we raise living standards and have more prosperity for all.

Paul Nuttall is wrong to stand in Boston and Skegness

There were rumours whizzing around that Paul Nuttall was about to announce that he was going to stand in Hartlepool. He is visiting the town today. Instead, he announced he intends to be the UKIP candidate in Boston and Skegness. 

Although Matt Warman, the sitting Conservative MP, voted Remain in the EU Referendum last year, and over 75 per cent of his constituents voted to Leave, Matt Warman has consistently criticised Remoaners and has supported Theresa May’s policy of a full Brexit. 

If anything, Matt Warman could increase his 4,336 majority. In the 2015 general election, the UKIP candidate was Robin Hunter-Clarke, a young, local candidate. Paul Nuttall is neither. He should have chosen a favourable constituency in the North West where he is a MEP. 

This is not going to end well. 

Aldershot Conservatives should refuse the three candidates on offer tonight

When Sir Gerald Howarth MP announced he was standing down from Parliament, Aldershot Conservative Association made it clear that their preference was for Daniel Hannan MEP to be their candidate at the general election on 8 June. Dan said he would like that too. There shouldn’t have been a problem, but there is one. Tonight the association has a choice of three candidates to select from, but Dan has been left off the list. CCHQ is blocking Dan and Aldershot Conservative Association is not happy about it.

Nor should they be. Dan has been very loyal to the Conservative Party and does not deserve the treatment he is getting. Aldershot Conservatives have threatened to dig their heels into the ground. Although I am sure that the three shortlisted candidates are very good, Dan should have been on the list.

I sincerely hope Aldershot Conservatives do dig their heels into the ground tonight. Too many associations buckle under the pressure from CCHQ, however, those associations that don’t, tend to win.

Labour Marginals – Bishop Auckland

I was born and raised in Bishop Auckland. It was the constituency where I campaigned for the first time during the 1987 general election – a mere lad of 16 years. The Conservative candidate was Robin Wight who was trying to oust the incumbent Labour MP, Derek Foster. Lord Foster (as he is now) was, at the time, Labour’s Chief Whip. All I can say is that it gave me my first lesson (and I have had quite a few since then) on how not to run an election campaign. We had motor cavalcades going through the streets of strong Labour areas with Mr. Wight standing on a moving vehicle (sometimes getting soaking wet in the pouring rain) asking – no demanding – that people vote for him. I can remember the jingle to this day. “Vote for Wight, get it right. Vote for Wight to be your MP.” You could tell he was a successful advertising man! Although Robin Wight did increase the Conservative vote very slightly by 169 votes, Derek Foster’s majority increased from 4,306 in 1983 to 7,035.

Derek Foster’s majority reached its zenith in the Labour landslide of 1997 (21,064) and the Labour vote since then has steadily declined. Helen Goodman was first elected as the Labour MP in 2005 with a majority of 10,047; in 2010 it was 5,218; and in 2015 it was 3,508. Local Conservatives are hopeful.

Here is the 2015 result in full:

Bishop Auckland 2015
Figures from Wikipedia have been verified

Co. Durham voted Leave in the EU Referendum, and as you can see from the graphic above, in Bishop Auckland, UKIP managed to increase it’s share of the vote by 15.1 per cent in 2015. I think the UKIP share will drop significantly and that will favour the Conservatives. Even without that support, a 4.5 per cent swing directly from Labour to the Conservatives will be enough to give Helen Goodman her P45. I predict that Christopher Adams (who is standing again as the Conservative candidate) will take the seat with a majority between 2,000 – 4,000 votes.

For the first time in its 132-year history, Bishop Auckland is going to have a Conservative MP.