Signatories came from across the party spectrum including Liberal Democrats whose party believes officially in the opposite of national self-government! A number of candidates of different parties reconsidered the Declaration after the election and several sitting MPs then registered their support. In all some 100 MPs or Candidates either signed or indicated their full support without signing.
We commissioned a MORI Poll which had the following devastating results:
30% of all voters would switch their vote to another candidate who had signed if their own party’s candidate refused to sign the Declaration. A further 12% of ALL voters would NOT VOTE AT ALL if their own candidate refused to sign. An extraordinary 55% of Conservatives would not vote for their preferred candidate (40% would switch to a candidate who had signed and 15% “would not vote”) if their candidate did not sign. No fewer than 72% of younger Conservative voters (age 18-24) would either vote for a different candidate who had signed (40%) or would not vote (32%) if their preferred candidate did not sign. 34% of Labour voters would either vote for a different candidate who had signed (24%) or would not vote (10%) and 41% of Liberal Democrat voters would either vote for a different candidate (31%) or would not vote (10%) if their own candidate did not sign.
The small turnout of 59% of the electorate (a 14% drop on the 1997 Election) shows how people refuse to vote for those who refuse to govern. This was a vindication of our Constitutional Democratic Campaign then – and the BDI today.
But most important of all we set out the strategy by which our democratic nationhood and the sovereignty of the British people will be asserted. We have provided the means by which voters and candidates could remain with their traditional politics and yet re-assert the sovereignty of the people and reclaim their parliamentary authority.
THAT STRATEGY LIVES ON – with even greater power – IN THE NEW
BRITISH DECLARATION OF INDEPENDENCE
At the 2001 General Election the Conservative PPC for North Devon, Clive Allen, signed the South Molton Declaration in the market place of South Molton. Mr. Allen was the first PPC to sign publicly A number of passers by, having discovered the reason for the assembly, expressed their approval by pledging to vote for Mr. Allen and a surprising number went further and said that they would join or rejoin the Conservative Party. When the South Molton Declaration approached UKIP and told them that unlike most Tory, Labour and Liberal Democrats Clive Allen could be trusted on the vital question of the Sovereignty of the British people. UKIP should therefore not put up a candidate in the North Devon Constituency – otherwise the eurofanatic Nick Harvey (whose deliberate misleading of his electors on the sovereignty question was the cause of the “South Molton Declaration”) would be returned to Parliament.
UKIP refused to stand down and as a result a candidate who would have voted to assert the Sovereignty of the British people was defeated and the anti-sovereignty Liberal Democrat went to represent the people of North Devon in Parliament.
Together with the overall constitutional aim of the SMD (now the BDI) to allow the British people to make their own laws and sack their own law makers (that is Democracy!) this electoral tool is designed to prevent good democratic candidates wiping each other out – as happened in the above case in North Devon!
Following is the correspondence with John Butterfill MP who claims to be a Eurosceptic for the purpose of retaining his seat. It proves how the BDI (SMD) can demonstrate the reliability of MPs intentions on “Europe”. Mr Butterfill, despite once being a leading member of the Euro-federalist European Movement now claims to reject the European Union’s takeover and believes in exercising British Sovereignty. But he refuses to sign a document (in 2001 the South Molton Declaration, now the British Declaration of Independence) which commits him to unequivocally asserting that Sovereignty.
Why should voters trust him? Why will he not sign up to doing in Parliament what he claims he believes in outside Parliament?
I see you have me listed as a Eurofederalist. Like many in the Tory party [including the late George Gardiner!] I used to be keen on the EU on the basis that it supported the Capitalist system at a time when the Labour were little short of crypto Communists. Today I believe we should repudiate the discredited Euro, withdraw from the CAP & Common Fisheries Policy and renegotiate most of the recent treaties. We joined a trading bloc, not a putative Federal state! Please take the trouble to read my Parliamentary speeches and election addresses over the last decade!
From: Free Nations [mailto:[email protected]]
Sent: 24 November 2002 09:50
To: BUTTERFILL, John
Subject: Re: Enquiry from Free Nations website
Dear Mr Butterfil,
Are we incorrect in believing that you had a leading role in the European Movement for many years?
—– Original Message —–
From: “BUTTERFILL, John” <[email protected]>
To: “‘Free Nations’” <[email protected]>
Sent: Monday, November 25, 2002 7:02 PM
Subject: RE: Enquiry from Free Nations website
You are correct that I was Chairman of Conservative Group for Europe from
1989 to1992 and a member of the national council of the European Movement
from 1980 to 1990. A lot of water has passed under the bridge since then!
I no longer have any connection with either organisation.
Dear Mr Butterfill,
We are delighted that you have now joined the forces defending the sovereignty of the British people – i.e. their inalienable right to sack their lawmakers.
We are concerned that your political record will count against you in future elections (or perhaps more to the point in future selections). In order to overcome this obstacle and declare yourself unequivocally we invite you to join an increasing number of Conservative and (other party) candidates who have signed the South Molton Declaration.
We can assure you that names of signatories are not disclosed by us. The South Molton Declaration is a powerful electoral tool which we are delighted to make available to those candidates who need to overcome the understandable cynicism of an electorate, which has been repeatedly lied to on the sovereignty issue for over 30 years.
We will be sending you the declaration for signature in due course.
Rodney Atkinson sent a copy of the South Molton Declaration on 10th December 2002.
REB Atkinson Esq.
The South Molton Declaration
Unit B, West View Terrace
St Omer’s Road
17th December 2002
Dear Mr Atkinson,
I thank you for your letter of 10th December enclosing a copy of the South Molton Declaration.
I do not regard my record as having been ‘tarnished’ in the way you suggest since you may care to remember that at the time I was Chairman of the Conservative Group for Europe, Margaret Thatcher was its patron. It is just that times move on and today’s European Community is a very different animal from the Common Market which I originally supported.
Whilst there is nothing in the Declaration to which I object, it is not my policy to sign declarations produced by others but to make my own points in my own way to those whom I seek to represent. I have not had any particular difficulty in doing this in the past since, as you may be aware, I had one of the lowest swings against me in the whole of the U.K. in 1997 and actually increased my share of the poll at the last election.
John Butterfill FRICS MP
House of Commons
8th January 2003
Dear Mr Butterfill,
I am in receipt of your letter of 17th December 2002.
We are delighted that you have acknowledged that with changing circumstances and perceptions it is often necessary to change your mind – in your case from eurofanaticism to apparent Euroscepticism.
It is precisely that principle which is enshrined in our democratic constitution – that no decision of parliament can be taken ‘irrevocably and irreversibly’. The ‘irrevocable and irreversible’ removal of that very principle from the constitution of the United Kingdom in the Treaties signed by your party and voted for by yourself is therefore revealed for the crass and historically evil step that it was.
The South Molton Declaration offers you an opportunity to commit to the reassertion of the rights of the sovereign body in this country – i.e. the people. You have refused to sign and therefore you have refused to act to assert the sovereignty of your electorate. You have therefore hammered another nail in the coffin of a once great political party – not to mention the coffin of a once great nation.
You stance will of course now be broadcast to the electorate nationally and to your constituents.
Rodney E B Atkinson
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