Ladies and Gentlemen, Fellow English Democrats, hello and welcome!
I am Robin Tilbrook, your Chairman and I welcome you all. Thank you for coming today to our 5th Annual General Meeting. Many of you, I know, have come long distances from right across our unique and precious heritage, which is England!
As a Robin, I am delight to welcome you to Robin Hood country and the City which was the home of good Sir Guy of Guisbourne and the nice Sheriff of Nottingham….. No? Have I got that wrong? Aren’t you the “Sour Little Englanders” that “Dave” Donald Cameron was talking about the other day at the Scottish Tory Conference?
we are Mr Cameron
and this is our Annual General Meeting!
It is very heartening to me and to the other members of your National Council to have your support and interest today. I also take confidence in the strength of interest of members which is shown, not only by the fact that you have come, but also by the fact that we have received 207 proxy votes. Give us a few more years and we will show Mr Cameron what Sour Little Englanders can do once they get organised!
Before we proceed with the agenda today, I would like to say a few words about the way that we English Democrats do things.
We English Democrats are trying to develop a truly democratic approach to politics for England.
As your Chairman, I am not here to try to impose my WILL upon you as a “Leader”. I do not try to issue “Orders”, nor do I try to push my faction of supporters into key positions within the party. None of us in this party have any taint of corruption or self-seeking. We are all genuinely working for the good of England, not only with no thought of self-advancement but often actually at personal cost and personal expense to ourselves.
So in a democratic and thoroughly English way, I hold, for as long as you want me, and you are going to have a chance to vote on that later, a role in our party as Chairman. The National Council are like your Board and our regional and local organisers are like our managers and we are all, as subscribing members, rather like shareholders in a company, which means, that in a general meeting of members, like this today, you can, if proper notice of motion is given, change the office holders of the party, our manifesto and also our constitution.
This means that our general meetings are really very important to the English Democrats as a party and so I really do thank you with all my heart for making the effort to come here today, and I welcome you to this meeting.
All the National Council members work hard for you and the cause - so can I now briefly introduce you to those of our National Council members here today. Please give a round of applause to:-
(MAP OF ENGLAND)
We also have members of our National Council who are our Party’s Area Chairmen. If you look at this map, you will see that we have divided England into “Areas”. Those Areas are of course very similar to the Government’s “Regions” – they have to be, because we are a political party and therefore our purpose is to stand in elections - including Regional Elections. So let me now also introduce our Area Chairmen. Please give a round of applause to:-
You will all have had a basic agenda, but here is the detailed one. I don’t think that much explanation of the timetable for today is needed, but I would just say now that we will, I hope, have some interesting speeches this afternoon. I am giving one, so I hope that you will stay!
I am also going to keep my report on our progress since our last General Meeting, until then. We shall also have, I hope, an open and fruitful Question and Answer session for us all to discuss policy issues and anything else that anyone would like to bring up for the good of the party generally or the National Council in particular.
I will now turn to the first item of Business on the Agenda.