Each week, the UKIP Eastern Region team sends out an email update to members on the activities of our remaining MEP, Stuart Agnew. We re-post his updates under his profile below each week, deleting the previous week's version.
Stuart Agnew, MEP
Stuart represents the East of England
in the European Parliament, having been elected in June 2009. Stuart is a member of the European Parliament's Agriculture & Rural Development Committee, where he is often a lone voice in speaking up for British farmers and trying to make the Committee understand the practical effects of their proposals on farmers, in the real world. He is also UKIP’s Agriculture Spokesman.
Outside of UKIP, Stuart Agnew is a member of the National Farmers Union and served as their Norfolk County Chairman in 1998. He is a keen campaigner against the man-made global warming myth and on coastal erosion. Stuart lives and farms in Norfolk. More about Stuart can be found at stuartagnewmep.co.uk
29th April 2019 update
I was interviewed live by Radio Essex on Tuesday. I got far more time than I expected and was able to make the most of this. Some, most, or all of this was repeated later on Radio Norfolk. One of the Conservative candidates, John Flack, was also interviewed. The Tories have a real difficulty in the East in these elections (which he didn’t mention). Their lead candidate, Geoffrey Van Orden, is a ‘mild remainer’ whilst their number two, John Flack, is a staunch leaver. David Bannerman has surprisingly decided not to stand.
This was a week spent largely on campaign planning matters. I am trying to produce a ‘climate change hoax’ leaflet and a correx board that says more than just ‘Vote UKIP’. I am being helped with both of these projects by our London member, Richard Braine, who has real expertise in this area. The problem is he also needs time to make a living.
I will be mounting this correx board, and others if we can design them, on a home-adapted sheep trailer. My son Kit is helping me with this and we have made a start, as can be seen in the attached picture. This picture may motivate one or two members to think that they themselves could do something similar, with a boat trailer for example. We have to show we are here, and here with a different message to the competition. One message is:-
The Tories want to dilute Brexit,
The Brexit Party want to delay Brexit,
Labour want to deny Brexit,
Whilst UKIP wish to deliver Brexit.
If you think that you can construct a billboard support on your own trailer that is safe and fit for purpose please let me know.
On Saturday I went to Biggleswade to help our local candidate, Duncan Strachan. As promised, those members involved got a free lunch!
Meanwhile, I have some dates solidly in the diary. See John Woodhead's email of 29th April to Eastern Region members for details.
22nd April 2019 update
I wanted to attend funerals on Monday and Tuesday, so had only a very brief trip to Strasbourg. This was the last Session of the present term with a very heavy voting session to get all the Reports through.
I returned to the UK late Wednesday evening, staying overnight in London to be ready for our national European Election campaign launch on Thursday. I met a number of the other candidates and some of us were asked to ‘say a few words’. There was a reasonable press and media turnout, however, I was taken aback by how they were so fixated on a tweet someone made some time ago about not wanting to rape a woman. The level of interest made me think initially that he had said the opposite whilst drunk behind a keyboard. Thank God that wasn’t the case.
In the afternoon I went to the comfort of the Farmers Club balcony for a telephone interview about the climate change protestors in London. It was a three way conversation between myself, the interviewer and Rupert Reid of the Green Party, who was amongst the protestors. Unfortunately the line was very poor, so the effect was diminished. I am constantly trying to improve my delivery on the subject. A lot has to be said in a very short time and, as soon as an interviewer realises I am making sense, they jump in with a different angle. Although I will never fill the shoes of my former colleague, Roger Helmer, on the topic, I am making it a very high priority for the campaign as all climate change legislation originates in Brussels. If any of our members knows of a climate change conference or debate taking place in their area, please let me know about it. I am also thinking of producing a UKIP leaflet on this subject.
I also took the opportunity to chat to my numbers two and three on the Eastern candidate list, Paul Oakley and Elizabeth Jones. Unfortunately, they had to be at separate meetings as neither were available at the same time.
I am frequently being asked about the Brexit Party and I say the following: “It is one half of a Conservative Party that wishes to wage a civil war with the other half at taxpayers’ expense in the European Parliament. Its leader wants to delay Brexit so as to indulge more effectively in this activity.”
On Saturday I went to support our Lowestoft Local Election candidates at their stand in the town’s High Street. BBC TV, in the form of Andrew Sinclair, covered the event. Their rules for Local Elections are that they don’t speak to individual candidates, but like to speak to a Party spokesman. I can see the logic behind this because of the difficulty of trying to maintain balance across so many candidates. I was obviously the spokesman for the UKIP candidates. I am very impressed with the efforts of the branch there, led by chairman Phillip Trindall who has ensured that all 16 seats are contested. He is also starting to rejuvenate the neighbouring Great Yarmouth branch and one of their young candidates was with us in Lowestoft that day. Their PPC, Marion Mason, also attended the event. She had come in a smart white suit all the way from Stevenage where she currently lives, prior to moving to North East Suffolk shortly.
I went from there to collect a UKIP gazebo from our very long standing member, Jesse Pryke, who lives near Chelmsford. If any branch would like me to appear with this gazebo at their local town and man it with them for a few hours, please get in touch as soon as you can. It will be your responsibility to find a ‘pitch’ which is legal. I will pay the charge if necessary. I have already been booked up for Saturday 4th May.
A couple of weeks ago I was the guest speaker for the Springbok Club, giving them a debriefing on my European Parliament delegation visit to investigate farm murders in South Africa. News of this found its way to the Guardian who asked me to confirm it. They then ran an article depicting the Springbok Club, which they had researched, as a collection of hate filled zealots. My local paper, the Eastern Daily Press, then followed with a ‘cut and paste’ article. One of the contentions was the term “reverse apartheid”. The Guardian took this phrase the wrong way (innocently?) inferring that the Springbok club wish to reinstate apartheid in South Africa. What this term means now is the creation of a ‘Homeland’ in South Africa for the white tribe, reversing the system where black tribes were allocated Homelands in a white controlled South Africa.
The point of all this was to smear a UKIP candidate. Despite informing the Guardian that I was forced to leave a job I held in South Africa in 1975 for calling a black man ‘Sir’, they chose not to print it.
Out of the blue on Good Friday I got a call from a barrister who was aware of the situation and offered to sue the Guardian on behalf of the Springbok Club, on a no-win-no-fee basis. I am most grateful to this barrister.