Following on from yesterday's AGM, it is my pleasure to announce the following elected offical of the South East branch structure. Due to work commitments, Rob Waller (right) has stepped down as regional coordinator and taken up the post of secretary.
Simon Gibbs (left) is the new SE treasurer. I'll leave it to him to introduce himself here fully in due time.
Which leave me. My name is Andy Janes, and I am the new SE regional coordinator. I am a microbiologist working in a central London hospital, and live in Chatham Kent. If you so desire you can follow me on Twitter here. I have been a party member since November 5th, 2009 and want to set out my aims for SE for the next year.
First off I'd like the thank Rob for his sterling work the last two years, he's done a great job keeping things going pretty much single handed and organising the monthly meetups.
I think the south east is pretty much our home territory, so it should be the most active branch. Our strategy for the next year should be twofold, to focus on 1) recruitment of new members, and 2) raising awareness of who we are and what we believe.
I really want to work on getting county level branches organised, if anyone is willing to be a coordinator for where they live let me know. I'm willing to double up for Kent and London until someone else is willing to take over.
Starting in the spring I'd like to have leafleting sessions throughout the SE, again I'm willing to kick things off round where I live and am willing to come top your town to do the same. Ideally I'd like a couple of bunnygirls to give out leaflets, but guess I'll have make do with what we've got!
Following on from this, I want to see monthly get together's throughout the southeast. Once we have a core group of half a dozen activists in each county we can then go down to the city and town level, and start thinking about the local elections. I've got a few ideas for a local platform I want to discuss with Tim Carpenter, so watch this space. We will do what we can to support anyone willing to stand, even if just as a paper candidate.
At a national level I think we should e joining campaigns with other groups where interests converge to help raise our profile. A good start would be to work on getting deposits for general elections abolished, this is something every small party from UKIP down to respect would be keen on.
Finally I want us to be out there making a moral case for limited government and our other core ideas. The current government isn't doing us any favours by presenting the cuts as being done as a necessity and not making the arguments for why a smaller state is desirable. That is what we should be doing, I foresee come 2015 there will be a major realignment of the Tory and lib dems and want us to be ready to form the core of a grouping of classical liberals, libertarians and so on. To to this we will need to be organised and have a positive message based on why freedom, personal choices and responsibility are better than statist solutions. (I want us not to be merely the voice of no!) I look forward to meeting you in all in the future.