Woking debate

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With Chairman Ms. Ruth Breddal and Lib-Dem opponent Mr. Philip Goldenberg

On Saturday, I was in Christ Church, Jubilee Square, Woking, for a debate organised by Woking Debates.  The motion was “In or Out of the EU?”.  Woking Debates seems to be organised by something called Network for Peace, and also to have an association with the Quakers.

Of course all sane people are in favour of peace, but there is a legitimate debate to be had about the best way of keeping the peace.  I rather got the impression that the sixty-or-so strong audience mostly had a rather dewy-eyed feeling about international relations, based on hope rather than experience. After all, the Transatlantic Alliance and Mutually Assured Destruction were never very popular with the peace brigade, yet for many decades they seemed to have rather a good record of maintaining the peace.

I always thought it was the Athenians who coined the aphorism “If you want peace, prepare for War”, but Wikipedia insists that it was the Romans. Either way, it makes good sense to me.

The Chairman of the Debate was Ruth Breddal, who was very well organised, and firm but fair.  I understand she is also the Regional Chairman of Amnesty International.

I was debating against a certain Philip Goldenberg, a prominent local Lib-Dem, who suffered from the supercilious sense of moral superiority which characterises Clegg’s cohorts.  I checked the spelling with Mr. Goldenberg before the event: “Philip with one ‘L’, please.  That’s the only correct way – straight from the Greek”.   And Goldenberg?  “B-ER-G, not B-UR-G, please.  That means it’s a hill, not a town!”.  Too much information, Philip.

The local paper took a photograph of the three of us – Goldenberg and me, with Ms. Breddal in the middle.  I proposed to get a similar photo on my own phone – but Mr. Goldenberg, while happy to pose for the paper, preferred not to allow me a similar photograph.  Ms. Breddal, to her credit, had no such qualms. Mr. Goldenberg seemed blissfully unaware that the photo of the three of us would be available from the newspaper, and would end up on my blog anyway.

Ahead of time I asked about Mr. Goldenberg’s politics, but he insisted that his remarks would not be political.  In his speech, however, he launched a robust attack against UKIP.  We were horrible people.  We spent our time scapegoating immigrants.  Nigel Farage had described Muslims in Britain as “A Fifth Column”.

In my reply (I spoke second – we’d tossed a coin), I remarked that Mr. Goldenberg had told me ahead of time that he wouldn’t be political, though I rather felt that he had.  He interrupted “Not party political”.  “Well you seemed to have a lot to say about UKIP” I replied.  Laughter from the audience.

I was (I must admit) quite cross about his misrepresentation of our position, and I replied: “We in UKIP are not scapegoating immigrants.  We don’t blame them for coming to Britain.  But we are scapegoating the politicians who made it possible – like Tony Blair.  And Nigel Farage didn’t say that Muslims were a Fifth Column in Britain.  He said that Islamist terrorists were a Fifth Column in Britain, and I think rather a lot of voters would agree with that”.

I suspect that most of the audience came to the debate as convinced Europeans (one had worked for many years with the Commission), and rather few changed their minds.  It was all good knock-about stuff.  But it’s worrying that people like the Lib-Dems can spin the facts in such a spectacularly misleading way.  Someone, somewhere may believe them.

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14 Responses to Woking debate

  1. omanuel says:

    Congratulations, Roger!

    See: “THE GREAT SOCIAL DEBATE OF 1945-2015”
    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Social_Experiment.pdf

  2. absolutelypassionate says:

    As always with Lib Dems, charmless and lacking tolerance for diversity of opinion.

  3. Ex-expat Colin says:

    Clegg, Huhne, Davey and this bloke and his Green Bank stuff. Anymore? Had their day haven’t they? Every dog…and all that!

  4. Ian Terry says:

    But as you well know Roger too many of the electorate listen and hear this crap and believe it.

    All we can do is keep on producing the true facts and figures and not leave ourselves open to attacks from the media and that will only come about with right minded focused people who engage their brains before opening their mouths. The party cannot afford any more cock ups if we are to get the non believers on side.

  5. Jane Davies says:

    I had already formed an opinion of him by the picture and his insistence on spelling his name right, then I read what he said.
    He is what a friend of mine say’s about certain people “a twallock”!

    Lucky you lost the coin toss Roger and could deflate his egotistical balloon and put him right on the facts.

  6. Mike Stallard says:

    People on a lot of blogs believe that Mr Farage is an alcoholic. He is also leading a party of racists which has actually become the new EDL and BNP. He is frequently compared to the Nazis in that )he seems to be a one man party. The Big joke is to call him the Dear Leader. (lol)
    Propaganda strikes home, I am afraid. People like yourself and Douglas Carswell convince me they are wrong._

  7. Richard111 says:

    When, in the wild, any species loses the will to survive, it soon becomes extinct. This applies to all the different species of humanity. It’s called evolution.

  8. Ex-expat Colin says:

    O/T (sorry)
    SURGE IN SUPPORT FOR UKIP MEP (N. Lincs) SUED BY LABOUR
    http://www.breitbart.com/london/2015/01/21/surge-in-support-for-ukip-mep-sued-by-labour
    This is the Rotherham sex scandal that only labour missed?

    Also got an email from UKIP central this am to sign up on Chilcot non release
    wwwDOTreleasechilcotDOTcom (replace DOT with the literal . )

    Not putting two URLS here because this website won’t accomodate e.g won’t post Reply

  9. Terry Knight says:

    I attended this event and couldn’t believe that educated people were actually applauding the LibDem speaker … he was rude, arrogant and regurgitated the same age-old jibes about UKIP and some of its more oddball member’s comments. Philip Goldenberg was the only speaker not to stand up to give his presentation (maybe his mini-me Cyril Smith appearance was contributory) and sat reading from his notes. To top it all, at one point he made a big play about his disdain for the tabloid press (to impress the clearly left-of-centre folk who formed the majority of the audience) and then proceeded to behave exactly like them, as if he were a trainee reporter trying to impress the editor of the Daily Mirror. Roger Helmer, by contrast, was, as usual, the perfect gentleman. His addresses and replies to questions raised the tone of the debate and not once did he take any pot-shots at the LibDems, which would have been so easy. Roger’s performance that day, in the face of unwarranted rudeness, made me proud to be a UKIP supporter.

  10. Alan Williams says:

    Re: Nigel’s ‘Fifth column’ comment. Mohammed instructed his followers to possess the world for Allah. Islam is an imperial totalitarian movement more like international communism than Christianity. The Muslim communities are more like colonies than ghettos, bases from which Jihadis can launch assaults on an unarmed population. Democracies are easy targets for Jihadists once Muslims reach a critical percentage of the population. Raymond Ibrahim is the best authority on this issue. His ‘Crucified Again’ is a must read.

  11. omanuel says:

    I am convinced Joseph Stalin himself played a key role in designing “The Great Social Experiment of 1945-2015″

    https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/10640850/Social_Experiment.pdf

    Who else would use the entire human population in such a worldwide social experiment, without consent?

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