Friday 9th February 2018 saw the launch of a new political party ‘The Democrats & Veterans Party’. The newly formed party submitted their registration to the Electoral Commission on 30th December 2017 and has now been approved. The D&V party plan to field candidates under the Democrats & Veterans banner in the up-coming local elections in May.
This will be the party’s first big challenge, and one that the party freely admit that they don’t expect any extraordinary results in such a short space of time. Their plan is to bring together decent, patriotic people who serve their country and implement direct democracy across Britain. They intend to work at grassroots level in local communities and be a voice for the people who, the D & V Party believe, have been ignored by the political classes. They believe there is a real appetite for change in politics and this desire for change will be manifest in support for the new party.
In this exclusive interview, Trevor Coult MC – Party Deputy Leader talks to TMT Editor Mike Buss:
Why should a civilian with no military connection vote for and support your party?
We believe that members of the public have given up voting for who they want and now just vote to keep Labour out of power. We have introduced a system of direct democracy were are members can upload their issues and ideas onto our website, if other members agree with them and their ideas begin to trend and is supported, then it gets placed on our manifesto for that particular area, this way our spokesperson must begin to try and achieve what the members want. So whether you are a veteran or a member of the public, we will ensure you have a voice in how this Country spends your taxes.
What was the attendance numbers of the launch? How do you think the launch went?
Our Launch was a very special day, we had lots interest and we had to stop taking names as the venue was over filled, we wanted it contained and as a result we had seating for up to 200 people and others had to stand, the Union Jack Club was filled with veterans and guests. It was a very successful launch.
There are many that although voted to stay in the EU, also believe the poor treatment of veterans and the continued desecration of our armed forces by successive governments is wrong and needs changing now… I voted to stay in the EU, your party is Pro-Brexit, how would you try to get my vote?
Brexit is still a raw subject with many people, we must begin to understand that if we really want a democracy then we must listen the majority of the Nation and they voted to leave; if we continue to fight this then we are no better than a dictatorship. What we can push forward is the point that our MEPs were never voted in by the British people, yet they earn 85k a year and get expenses on top of this, each MEP when they retire get a nice pension – and this money comes out of our taxes. Would that make you change your mind about leaving.
What is the D & V Party’s stance on the dealing with the Justice For Northern Ireland Campaign by the Government? Do you think they are taking the advice of the Defence Committee seriously?
The Justice for N.Ireland Veterans is without doubt a sensitive issue and its been made very difficult by our politicians. It doesn’t matter how many people march to Downing Street or haw many signatures are handed in. N.Ireland is just a headache for Downing street and they will avoid the subject until the next government comes into power.
What is the D & V Party’s stance on the Defence Committee, who believe the best way forward is to draw a line under the whole Northern Ireland Conflict by giving full immunity and a 20yr statute of limitation on prosecution to both sides. This inludes both the Republican & Unionist Paramilitaries, British Army, RUC and other security organisations who were involved in the conflict. Do you agree, or do you have other thoughts?
The issue with the Defence committee is that they are making decisions knowing that it will not effect them. Maybe if the decision making was handed to a select group from N.Ireland it would be handled more tactfully. The biggest problem that the people in N.Ireland face is the Statue of limitations (SoL) if the government decide to force this onto the the people then it could very well go back to bombs and bullets. The SoL currently does not cover the RUC, so they should have been included in the initial outline. I do not agree with the current SoL and hope it never takes effect.
Recently, a British male who went out to Syria to fight against ISIS was arrested and charged with terror offences, when at the same time the government have turned an almost blind eye to returning ISIS jihadist allowing them to walk free in this country. What is the D & V Party’s stance on this?
We are aware of the gentleman who has just been placed on terror threat charges for fighting ISIS. This is very alarming and it sends out the wrong message to our Country, currently it seems that if you join ISIS you can go abroad and cut heads off infidels, and come back to the UK and be placed on an integration program. But if you go out to kill the these evil ISIS members we will charge you with terror offences!! This I believe we need to take up and press the government to rethink their stance on this.
We’ve seen that there have been a number of tweets expressing concerns that the D & V Party are attracting far right groups due to your hard line on Brexit. What would you say to people that might think that you could be the next UKIP or BNP with a racial undertone due to your hard line on Brexit?
We are a Brexit Party, and we will do what the people have voted for. As a Veteran I have worked with every religion and every race, I just ignore people who are narrow minded. As for other groups of people who currently exists……well we have a very strict vetting process and those individuals who might try and drag us down will never be able to join our Party.
People who are branding us as being one of those earlier Parties will only do it until they see the changes we achieve. Once we begin to fix areas that are currently being neglected then I am sure they will all come on board.
There have already been a lot of reports in the press that are very negative towards your party and its key members…Former leadership candidate John Rees-Evans was reported to have once claimed a ‘gay donkey tried to rape his horse’. The D & V Party logo has a donkey; is there a reason behind the logo? Is there a connection?
With regards to our Party Leader, well there will always be people who doubt our selection of him. However, if people really thought that a bunch of veterans with no political experience could go up against some of the most underhand and sinister people in the world (ministers) then they were deluded. We sat around a room last Friday in the Union Jack Club and we asked John to take on the role, we knew John wasn’t connected to a Party and we watched his videos and how he conducted himself. We all decided that we wanted him on board. It was decided that I would be deputy and as a veteran I intend to learning from John and one day when John is ready, or the members decide they want to change the leader, then John will step down. I believe John will win the public over when he starts to make changes for our country.
The comment that is being thrown around social media about John and this “A gay donkey raped my horse” is typical media slurs against John, the whole conversation has been cut in a way to degrade him. What was actually said was that John told the camera that no matter what he said the media would go after him. He then said, “even if I said a gay donkey raped my horse they would turn it against me!!” And he was right on the money – as is now being thrown at him!
As for the party’s logo, the donkey depicts a workhorse and the hilltop it stands on depicts the Brecon Beacons where much of the British Armed Forces trains.
It has been reported in the mainstream press that Robin Horsfall was involved in setting up the D & V Party; is this correct?
The Party was not set up by Robin Horsfall. When we started to look at ideas of who we could get to set the Party up, we asked Robin if he was interested. Robin actually received the manifesto nearly 6 weeks before everyone else; his email back to the chairman was that he had read it and that he liked it. Robin has decided that he wants to try other things and we wish him all the best.
The army have recently produced at a huge cost of public money, a recruitment campaign to show and promote ‘inclusiveness’ in a hope to recruit new members into the army which is 4000 under strength and dwindling in numbers. How do you feel about these adverts?
I think our Army recruiting advertisements are spineless and an insult to our Armed forces, there is nothing there to encourage young men and women to join up, they need to show, Canada, Cyprus, trips to battlefields, helicopter drills, things that get your adrenaline going, they are a waste of money. Recruiting will not increase until we look after our veterans. Everyone can see that veterans are thrown on the scrapheap and they know its not a great career anymore. Maybe they need to bring back the days of KAPE tours and young men and women standing in shopping centres giving out leaflets. I know its a bad idea handing over recruitment to a civilian contractor, however they could very well utilise veterans who have served on Operations; this could free up soldiers to do unit work and help veterans with employment.
What is next for the D & V Party?
Our Goals for this year are to have our members influence changes, and get our Branches up and running effectively. If there are bi-elections then we will contest those seats that are up for grabs.
We will be fully operational with branches complete by the next general election and we may challenge every seat depending on how ministers have conducted themselves.
You can find out more about the Democrats & Veterans Party and read their manifesto at: https://dvparty.uk/