Bognor Regis is hardly a key battleground in the coming General Election. It’s a safe Tory seat, where the incumbent took 59% of the vote in 2017. Traditional folk live here, unlike the trendy liberals of nearby Brighton (otherwise known as London-by-Sea). However, being of Remain disposition in a Leave community, MP Nick Gibb is not to everyone’s satisfaction. How will dedicated Brexiteers cast their vote?
When Nigel Farage agreed not to compete in the 317 Tory seats, there was consternation from Brexit Party candidates. These men and women had paid for the privilege of interview, had their social media profiles carefully scrutinised, and had already began campaigning in high streets. By contrast, there was much relief for sitting MPs – half of whom are Remainers who could yet throw a spanner in the Brexit works.
Effectively, a constituency with a Tory Remainer MP has no Brexit option at the coming election. Unless it is one of the few seats where UKIP is putting up a fight. Yes, UKIP – the chaotic remnants of Farage’s vehicle that drove the Tories to deliver a referendum on EU membership. Having lost count of its numerous leaders since then, most people are unaware that UKIP still exists. Despite reaching 11% earlier this year, it no longer features in opinion polls. Although the party won seats in the north of England in local authority elections, it failed miserably in the EU election in May.
Apart from self-destruction, the main reason for the demise of UKIP was the sudden rise of the Brexit Party, founded by Catherine Blaiklock, and driven off the forecourt by Farage for his latest political journey. This slick new machine swept across the country in May, topping the EU poll merely six weeks after launch. But the Brexit Party’s withdrawal of candidates has left a perch for a parrot.
Meanwhile back in Bognor, UKIP stalwart David Kurten is striving to unseat a Tory Remainer in his home town. A genuine conservative, Kurten has been a fly in Sadiq Khan’s ointment, courageously speaking up for Brexit and for traditional Christian values in the London Assembly. Kurten was tempted by the Brexit Party for a while, but is now glad that he stayed with UKIP. Farage’s party has betrayed some of the ideals of Leave voters; and as Blaiklock observes, it has been taken over by neoliberal globalists in favour of lax immigration and deregulation. There is something Blairite about the Brexit Party as it vies for attention.
UKIP gets zero media coverage, and that may be to its advantage. Under the leadership of Gerard Batten, the party was persistently smeared as extremist for its association with Tommy Robinson and YouTube stars Paul Joseph Watson and Sargon of Akkad. In Bognor and other constituencies where it is standing, UKIP will be a leaner, more localised operation. Kurten is explaining to voters why Boris’ withdrawal agreement offers a paucity of sovereignty and control. It’s another establishment stitch-up.
But Kurten is not only focusing on Brexit. The area has changed immeasurably since he was a lad, and not all for the better. The constituency includes Littlehampton, a former fishing port devastated by EU quotas. Despite being disparaged as outmoded seaside resorts with a large elderly population, these towns are growing rapidly. The sprawl of bland new housing estates eats into the surrounding farmland, and national planning policy has set a target for 20000 more homes in the constituency. Stamping of human footprint over nature continues apace, and road traffic rises inexorably on a metastasis of roundabouts. Houses are built on flood plains, but who cares? Local opposition to building plans seems futile.
Rather than a nostalgic outpost, Bognor Regis is a mirror of a transforming British society. The demand for housing is entirely due, indirectly and directly, to immigration. Families move here because they cannot afford to live in London or elsewhere in the South East. Undoubtedly immigration has forced house prices up in the region – only a fool would argue otherwise. As well as spill-over, Bognor has a steady influx from eastern European and other parts of the world. Walk through the shopping precinct and you will hear a plethora of foreign languages. The current MP has done nothing to protect the community from these pressures; indeed, he regards this growth as progress.
Nick Gibb also has a progressive approach to identity politics and the gender revolution. As the government minister for schools, he is responsible for the imposition of LGBT teaching to primary and secondary schoolchildren. Many parents who Kurten has met are concerned by the indoctrination of gender fluidity and the impact this is having on confused teenagers. Kurten on the other hand makes no apology for his Christian principles.
This general election, though, is dominated by Brexit. And that will be Kurten’s main line of attack on the status quo? Leavers must learn from the lies of the 2017 election, when Remainers promised that they would honour the biggest mandate in British political history. Boris may win well, but the Green benches will still be packed by MPs like Nick Gibb who think that they know best. Given a chance, they will rig Brexit and keep the Littlehampton fishermen signing on at the Job Centre.
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Good luck David!
There are many things that will indicate whether we have truly left the EU, two of these are:
The return of our fishing grounds, fishing fleet, and small boat building industry. If this happens, in conjunction with an ability to control over-fishing, possibly by the introduction of sanctuaries and consequently produce a large, sustainable British caught harvest from the sea, that is the first sign of true separation from the EU.
The second is the reduction of immigration to nearly nought, and a consequent stable population, with no further need to build over good growing land. This would also create an employees not (as we have had for the last forty years) an employers job market.
I concur with Raven and I guess David Kurten would too.
>Many parents…are concerned by the indoctrination of gender fluidity…. Kurten on the other hand makes no apology for his Christian principles.
You don’t have to be a Christian to know that ‘chicks with dicks’ should not be allowed anywhere near the girls’ toilets. Any sane person knows that.
Yes, but as someone once almost said, an asylum for the sane would be empty in this modern world.
It does seem, Michael, as though the West is being destroyed by the madness of crowds. Very sad for those of you who have remained sane. A Fahrenheit 451 world beckons.
‘The demand for housing is entirely due, indirectly and directly, to immigration.’
Yes, I agree – but how it is true is not explained in this article.
Replying to Robert, I used the term spill-over, which is a well-known phenomenon when housing demand and prices increase in a metropolis. Look at any primary school roll in SE England and see the demographic transformation, also the Portakabins built over every school playground. Where have all the poorer white British gone? Further out – into towns like Bognor.
Interesting analysis but we all know how the odds are stacked against parties other than the terrible two.
I’m guessing we’ll end up with another blocked parliament and that I, being 76, will have exited before Brexit happens, if it ever happens.
Be of good cheer, Michael. The polls clearly indicate Boris is set to win and that means Brexit will be achieved while you are still with us – in fact in 2020, Boris, whatever may be said about him, is a political genius. What other Conservative politician could twice become Mayor of Socialist London?
… Perhaps someone who can appear to be something he isn’t?
Like – – Prince Andrew?
Richard Dawkins, that great humanist, had argued for a second referndum because hopefully, by the time it happens, old people like you will “have an opportunity to fall off their perch” and thus no longer stop progress. His mother recently died at 103 and he wrote a tribute to her. No “I’m glad she fell off her perch” stuff. It’s not thatc he wants *all* older people to drop dead; only those who disagree with him politically.
Me too, Michael – aged 91.