Sunday, 30 April 2017

Letter from the Maidenhead Constituency (updated 9 May)

Just Charley (twitter @JustQCharley), The Just Political Party's founder, writes:

I lived in Maidenhead for over 25 years.  My kids were schooled there.  Theresa May, Prime Minister, has been MP there since 1997.  The question is whether she will be the MP after June 8th?

"Of course she will" I hear you say.  But not so fast!

Constituents' attitude to Brexit

The Maidenhead constituency consists of parts of two unitary authorities:
  1. The northern half of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead, bounded by the River Thames between West Windsor and Bisham
  2. The northern part of Wokingham Council, including Twyford and Sonning
RBWM voted 54:46 to Remain in the EU Referendum last June. Wokingham was 57:43, despite arch-Brexiter John  Redwood being the MP for the town.

So it's clear that Maidenhead voted Remain.  Theresa May campaigned for Remain last year, with strong logical arguments against Brexit.  Voters don't like a turncoat, a flip-flopper seemingly putting career over country.

Theresa's Voting Record in General Elections

In the General Election in 2001, Theresa beat the LibDem candidate Kathy Newbound by only just over 3000 votes.  Around  this time the LibDems ran the local council.  There was a solid centrist tendency in Maidenhead, which still exists.

From this week's Maidenhead Advertiser
Despite this, the LibDems candidate for 2017, Tony Hill, was firmly trounced in 2010, and in 2015 was beaten into third place by Labour.  That could well be the case again in 2017, subject to a national LibDems revival.  This hasn't happened yet.

Who Could Beat Theresa in 2017?

Theresa's majority in 2015 was so large, the question is actually who could split the Tory vote?  The candidate would need to be:
  1. Centrist
  2. Anti-Brexit, or at least wanting a soft Brexit
In other words, in the absence of anyone else, a candidate for the Just Political Party.

Visit to Maidenhead 29 April 2017

So what are voters thinking now?

Before I went, I spoke to a uni friend who served as a diplomat for the Foreign Office and was Chief Exec of hi-tech businesses.  Likely to be a true blue Tory, how was he going to vote?  "Not Tory.  No way." was his immediate response.  The same goes for others in Maidenhead.

Maidenhead Bridge for the A4 with Maidenhead Rowing Club
I then spoke to another uni friend in Maidenhead who has been a main Board director of two FTSE100 companies. "Sadly Theresa" was his response.  Not exactly inspiring!

Another friend and colleague runs the Food Bank in Maidenhead.  (Yes you read that right.  A food bank.  In Theresa's constituency!).  He was away.  I'll get his thoughts when he's back (see below).

A chat with a friend who has been captain of Maidenhead Golf Club was unconvincing. He'd just left the course, and talk had been more about how to get that ball into that ruddy hole! (Golfers, eh?  Do they think of anything else?) - see below for an update.

Theresa was in this very spot Saturday morning
So off to Maidenhead.  Theresa made a literally flying visit to Maidenhead on Saturday morning on her way to Scotland.  I heard about her visit too late to get there, and arrived mid-afternoon.  Not a single indication of a General Election.  Nobody yet prepared to campaign?  Not worth bothering?

The eateries are staffed by eastern Europeans.  Fearing for their future.

Chats with people in the street were mixed, but typically similar to one lady who said "I'm not happy with the Tories, but will vote for them if nobody better."  Sounds like the polls are exaggerating the true level of Tory support.

Update from Saturday 6th May

Labour intensive.  Pat McDonald (right) outside McDonalds
Back to Maidenhead the following Saturday.  The only party to set up a table in the High Street was Labour.  Pat McDonald, their candidate, was there bright and breezy at 9.30 ready for their 10-12 licence.  He told me:
  1. He had voted Leave last June
  2. The only special offer Boots had ever sent him was for shampoo (see photo)
Anyone recognise the journalist to whom Pat was talking?  Hint: Not from the UK media.

I then visited the FoodShare foodbank in King Street.  Great facility, fantastic people and I'm now a volunteer.  Folk get a voucher from one of various local services, and collect their food Wednesday evening or Saturday morning 9-11.

Perhaps Theresa May might like to see for herself on her next visit?

The Carters Gallopers.  With music from a traditional organ.

But a day in Maidenhead wouldn't be complete without a visit to Carters Steam Fair.  They over-winter in White Waltham, in the heart of the constituency, and tour the SouthEast in the spring, summer and autumn. Just twice a year in Maidenhead, they were at Pinkneys Green that day.

Immaculate, the #BestOfBritish.  Absolutely in tune with The Just Party's maxim "Great Aspirations.  Great Britain."

Update from Tuesday 9th May

Today I visited Maidenhead Town Hall to hand in the Nomination forms for The Just Party candidate in the Maidenhead constituency.

Maidenhead Golf Club. View from the 19th
A key issue up and down the country is Housing, and the need perhaps to huild on green-belt land.  For Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM), they own land right by Maidenhead train station currently leased to Maidenhead Golf Club. It's very tempting to develop it.

I popped round to see a recent Club Captain. The Club has a quandary.  Wait until the lease runs out, and potentially be thrown off with nothing. Or take some money sooner which can be used to build a new course and Club out of town.  What would you choose?

Whilst at the same time locals are concerned the "lungs" of the town will be concreted over.  Squaring that circle of competing objectives will take some time!

Winning Maidenhead off the Tories

So Maidenhead is winnable by a centrist candidate who wants to soften or stop Brexit.  It can't be Labour, with a Brexit candidate and party policy.  It won't be the LibDems on recent form.

Step forward The Just Political Party candidate for Maidenhead.  Julian Reid. .International businessman and experienced negotiator at the highest levels of government.  Profile to follow.  If Macron can win in France, so can Reid in Maidenhead! 

Saturday, 29 April 2017

Do you want to support a centrist party that is anti-Brexit?

Do you believe that a hard Brexit would be a mistake?  A transition that is already meaning lost jobs, resulting in a lower tax-take and having to slash public services?  Completely undermining any longer term advantages of Brexit, that are dubious at best?

You probably regard yourself in the centre of politics, but are faced with a choice between hard Left and hard Right?

Do you have the time or the money to support a party that is both centrist and anti-Brexit?

Then join us, support us, contribute.  Maybe even stand for us in the General Election.  Nominations need to beThursday 11 May 4pm.

Do contact us.


Calling Labour MPs who supported Remain (updated for Local Election results)

Have you been a LabourMP?

Did you campaign and vote for Remain last June?

Are you worried about the recent Local Election results, and how Labour will fare at the General Election?  Perhaps fear for your seat?

You probably don't support Jeremy Corbyn.  Do you now feel you are in the wrong party? 

In which case take a look at The Just Political Party.  Does this match your beliefs and aspirations for you and our country?  If so, your country needs you!

Last summer there was talk in the media about forming a new Pro-EU party from a combination of moderate Labour MPs and moderate Conservatives.  Did you think of taking part?   It didn't happen then, but could happen now.  Maybe your last chance to make a stand for our future.

It would work like this:

Join us.  Support us.  How about standing for us?

Candidate nominations need to be in by Thursday 11 May 4pm, now just a few days away.  As do any withdrawals if you have already been officially nominated for Labour.

Just time to club together with fellow anti-Brexit centrists.  The idea would be to join The Just Political Party as it is already registered to do the job.  Early members will have chance to shape the manifesto for GE17 by expanding and tweaking the aims, objectives and policies listed here, and to appoint a leader for the GE17 campaign.

How about it?  Up to you.

Do contact us to discuss further.

Calling Tory MPs who supported Remain (updated for Local Election results)

Have you been a Conservative MP?

Did you campaign for Remain last June?

Are you at heart a "compassionate conservative"? And so are you concerned about Tory policies that make them "The Nasty Party"?

The Tories are riding high after the Local Elections.  But do you now feel you are in the wrong party? 

In which case take a look at The Just Political Party.  Does this match your beliefs and aspirations for you and our country?  If so your country needs you!

Last summer there was talk in the media about forming a new Pro-EU party from a combination of moderate Conservatives MPs and moderate Labour MPs.  Did you think of taking part?   It didn't happen then, but could happen now.  Maybe your last chance to make a stand for our future.

It would work like this:

Join us.  Support us.  How about standing for us?

Candidate nominations need to be in by Thursday 11 May 4pm, only a few days away.  As do any withdrawals if you have already been officially nominated for the Conservatives.

Just time to club together with fellow anti-Brexit centrists.  The idea would be to join The Just Political Party as it is already registered to do the job.  Early members will have chance to shape the manifesto for GE17 by expanding and tweaking the aims, objectives and policies listed here, and to appoint a leader for the GE17 campaign.

How about it?  Up to you.

Do contact us to discuss.

Friday, 28 April 2017

The Just Political Party is Recruiting. How About You?

(Aspiring MPs)

The General Election is on Thursday 8 June.  Nominations for candidates need to be in to the relevant local authority by 4pm Thursday 11 May.  This is with nomination forms duly signed by ten of the good folk of the relevant constituency, by The Just Party, and with the deposit..

Rome wasn’t built in a day.  The snap election produces tight deadlines for The Just Party to get candidates and support in place.  A challenge, but not impossible with your help.

We are hoping to have prospective candidates for The Just Political Party in place for a selection of constituencies, especially those where voters backed Remain last June.  These might include those who have recently been Tory or Labour MPs, plus other folk, who believe more strongly that the Just Party vision is what's actually in the national interest.

We already have a strong candidate for Maidenhead, which by coincidence happens to be Theresa May's constituency. Would you like to represent us elsewhere?

Candidates for other constituencies need to be identified preferably by Wednesday 10 May, so forms can be signed by the candidate and The Just Party for submission by Thursday.  The candidates will then appoint their own Leader, and model their own manifesto to achieve The Just Party's Aims and Policies.


There also needs to be:
  1. A high-profile Chairman with a national reputation
  2. Preferably some initial funding, though this can follow the Thursday dadline
  3. Steps towards recruiting members
  4. Lots of local supporters keen to spread the word about The Just Party candidates
  5. Marketing specialists, experts on issues such as the economy and housing, and experienced Party administrators. Such people in the pipeline at least.  This is to support the candidates during the election campaign, and to run a professional Party after the election is over, regardless of the result.  The Just Political Party is a vision for the long-term.
  6. In the longer term an experienced CEO to replace the founder who is acting as interim CEO

Prospective Parliamentary Candidates will no doubt bring their own local supporters, maybe even a breakaway group from an existing local Conservative or Labour association.  They may also bring their own Funding, to supplement the Party's own fund-raising efforts.

Broadly speaking this needs to happen, including a Chairman, but in a rather more iterative manner as the recruitment snowballs:

Do you want the UK to remain in the Single Market at least, but preferably cancel Brexit altogether?. Democratically, of course, given the 2016 Referendum was the starting gun, not the chequered flag, and voters must have the option to change their minds in the light of events as they unfold.  

Then how do you want to get involved?  Let's get this started, and it will soon snowball!

Contact us via Twitter @TheJustParty or by other ways here


Thursday, 27 April 2017

Where Do Voters Put Themselves On The Political Spectrum?

It has long been known that the party that best appeals to the centre ground of politics wins a General Election. New Labour in 1997. The Cameron win in 2015.  What hasn't necessarily been obvious is quite how polarised the electorate are.

ComRes asked voters in late 2014 where they thought they stood on the political spectrum.  The result was crystal clear.  A significant majority think of themselves as right in the middle, whether they voted for a major party last time (bottom line) or the electorate as a whole (the top line):

A few more people think themselves right of centre compared to left of centre. Very few are "hard left" or "hard right".  But that is exactly where the Labour and Conservative leadership have taken those two major parties.  The majority of the electorate are not directly served by a mainstream party.  They are forced to vote for who they dislike least, abstain, or indeed vote against who they don't want.

It is now The Just Political Party's role to provide a party that centrists can actively vote FOR.  Will you?


Who Might Move To A New Centrist Remainers Party? Who Might Lead It?

Last July, the Observer ran an article titled Pro-EU Labour and Tory MPS look at chances of forming a new centrist party”.  We were told that a source at ministerial level had said “talks should be taken seriously”..

Nothing further has appeared since, probably because Andrea Leadsom dropped out of the Tory leadership race the following day, and Theresa May was crowned Prime Minister.  Whilst that removed the issue for those that were not willing to serve under Andrea, a key issue still remains. 

Theresa's government is pursuing Brexit, and it's looking like a "hard Brexit".  But over half of Conservative MPs campaigned for Remain. Nine months on, are they happy with the Brexit strategy? Presumably many are not.  Would they be interested in joining a new party that better represents their views?  Quite possibly.

On the Labour side, not much has changed.  Jeremy Corbyn is still leader, but many Labour MPs are still very unhappy about that. Would any Labour MPs consider moving to a new party?  Again, quite possibly.

Toby Helm, co-author of last July's article, subsequently said in the Observer that, as a result of Theresa May appointing a new cabinet and set of junior ministers, she has "exiled to the backbenches a powerful collection of able and still ambitious Tories who will, if she falters, not be shy of seeking revenge." Given the possibility of a new centrist party that would pursue a pro-EU agenda, the ex-ministers do not need to wait for her to falter.  Indeed for those who believe leaving the EU would be bad news, the quicker the Brexit nonsense is stopped the better.


The people who have campaigned for Remain and could join the new centrist party could include (with apologies to anyone omitted):

1) Ex Cabinet Ministers

The following former cabinet ministers are noted Remain supporters, and no longer hold any ministerial post:

Nicky Morgan - former Education Secretary
Oliver Letwin - former Cabinet Office minister
Stephen Crabb - former Work And Pensions Secretary (although he resigned for personal reasons)
Mark Harper - former Chief Whip

There is also of course David Cameron .  He had always fancied being seen as Tony Blair's successor in terms of running a centrist government.  So could he be tempted to return to government to complete his ambition with a more appropriate centrist party? Stranger things have happened since the referendum result!

Then there's George Osborne - former Chancellor, who will not be standing for the Tories in GE2017.

2) Current Cabinet Ministers

The following members of Theresa May's cabinet supported Remain and could be tempted to move to a new pro-EU centrist party.  Especially if they would command a higher position:

Philip Hammond - Chancellor
Amber Rudd - Home Secretary
Michale Fallon - Defence Secretary
Liz Truss - Justice Secretary
Jeremy Hunt - Health Secretary
Justine Greening -  Education Secretary
Karen Bradley - Culture Secretary
Damina Green - Work and Pensions Secretary
Sajid Javid - Communities and Local Government
James Brokenshire - Northern Ireland Secretary
Alun Cairns - Welsh Secretary
David Mundell - Scottish Secretary
Patrick McLoughlin - Party Chairman
David Littington - Leader of Commons
Greg Clark - Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

3) Senior Centrist Labour MPs

Last year a list of Labour MPs was published, showing how sympathetic there were to Corbyn's socialist cause.  Assuming this highlights who are more Social Democrat, and therefore eligible for a centrist party, the more senior and well known MPs are:

(a) In the "Hostile Group" (furthest from Corbyn politically)

Caroline Flint
Chris Leslie
Chuka Umunna
Liz Kendal  (former Labour leadership candidate)
Harriet Harman (fomer acting leader)
Jamie Reed
Margaret Hodge
Pat McFadden
Rachel Reeves
Rosie Winterton (Chief Whip)
Sadiq Khan
Simn Danczuk
Stella Creasy
Tristram Hunt
Yvette Cooper (former Labour leadership candidate)

(b) In the "Core Group Negative" (nt sharing Corbyn's socialist views)

Alan Johnson (former Home Secretary)
Dan Jarvis (almost a former leadership candidate)
Ed Miliband (former Labour leader)
Hilary Benn
Keith Vaz
Lyn Brown
Margaret Beckett
Maria Eagle (not Angela Eagle, leadership candidate)
Stephen Kinnock

(c) In the "Neutral Not Hostile" Group (not necessarily sufficiently centrist)

Andy Burnham  (former Labour leadership candidate)
Angela Eagle (current leadership candidate)
Chris Bryant
David Lammy
Heidit Alexander
Paul Flynn (author of "How to Be an MP")
Stephen Timms

Even Tony Blair is tempted to make a political comeback for  General Election 2017.


There is clearly plenty of leadership and ministerial talent in both the Conservative  and Labour parties who would be eligible and potentially interested in joining a new pro-EU centrist party.

It now remains to be seen who grasps the mettle, and makes the idea a reality!.

If you know any of the people in this blog posting, do bring this to their attention. Thanks.

Thoughts on Britain's Nuclear Deterrent

Last July, Trident was debated in Parliament.

With many people advocating unilateral or multilateral dusarmament, we have to ask "What would the world be like without nuclear weapons?" and "What deterrent would be put in its place?" Could it be worse?

Here's some thoughts from last year.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017

The Just Political Party – The Centrist and Bremain Party For You


The Just Political Party is a centrist party with the registered description “GREAT ASPIRATIONS. GREAT BRITAIN”.

There are four Core Principles that link the centre right (Tory Modernisers) with the centre left (Progressives and Social Democrats):
  1. Personal Aspiration and equality of opportunity for all
  2. Social Justice for those in need - hence the name “Just”
  3. Strong financial management of the UK’s finances – promoting growth and creating jobs by balancing spend with the need to control the national debt
Leaving the Single Market, by leaving the EU, is inconsistent with these principles.  So a fourth Core Principle has arisen:
  1. Support for membership of the Single Market, and with it the European Union ("Soft Brexit" or no Brexit)


The four Core Principles translate at the next level into a number of key objectives:

  • Life better tomorrow than today for you, your family, your country and your world
  • Supporting ambition and personal choice within a “compassionate capitalist” system
  • Equal opportunities, not socialist equality, to provide higher living standards for both richer and poorer
  • Compassion and help for those who need it, both practical and financial
  • Housing for all, habitable and affordable, through a mix of private and public sector
  • NHS free at point of use
  • Living within our means as a country
  • Promote investment in business. Create jobs.
  • Strong bank regulation
  • Invest in education
  • Encouraging new private sector businesses, and investment in existing businesses
  • Creating and protecting jobs in public sector where real value being added to society
•    CONCERN FOR THE ENVIRONMENT (our Green dimension)
  • Our planet is our home. It is our responsibility to look after it, not least for our children and grandchildren. This should not be sacrificed in the pursuit of profit
  • Ensuring energy security with safest, cheapest options
  • Recognising the right of people to be represented at work, whether by a trade union, professional institute or other representative body
  • Backing the UK as Remain in the EU as the best option to support the objectives above


There is the opportunity for initial members to develop the policies that support the objectives, starting with a clean sheet.


There has been talk in the media of the Labour and Tory parties each splitting.  This could create a re-alignment of the parties. as described here.  In summary the new party would be The Just Political Party, being the merger of the centre right and centre left into a party of sufficient size to govern.


The Just Political Party was registered with reference PP2520 but the party has not yet fielded a candidate in an election.

The only expenditure has been the registration and renewal fees.

The Just Political Party is therefore equivalent to a newly registered party, with a registered Constitution suitable for a centrist party. It is nonetheless anticipated that the constitution will be reviewed and revised if necessary by the initial members.


There are 3 membership categories:

(1) Full member: £24 per year (£2 per month)

(2) Concessionary rate: Full membership at £6 per year (50p per month) for:
  • Under 25s and mature students
  • Serving and former members of the UK’s armed forces
  • Unemployed or under-employed – you be the judge
(3) Introductory rate for sitting MPs and members of the House of Lords: £1 per annum

Membership applications are subject to the Terms and Conditions of being a member.

Additional donations are also welcomed, for example:
  • £5
  • £10
  • £25
  • £100
  • £500
  • £1000
  • Or any other amount of your choosing

The Just Political Party reserves the right to not accept a donation or application for membership, or to return any donation initially accepted. 

We welcome signficant donations, in the thousands of pounds, but please note that under the Political Party Elections and Referendum Act 2000 (“PPERA”):
  • If you are donating more than £500, you must be on the UK electoral role at the date of the donation
  • If you donate £7500 or more the donation has to be reported to the Electoral Commission, who will publish the fact


It is anticipated that initial members will include MPs moving from the Labour and Tory parties to collaborate in the national interest:
  • From the Conservatives, where they are Bremainers who do not wish to be associated with a party with a Hard Brexit agenda
  • From Labour, where Bremainers want to make a break from a party that has shifted leftwards and become unelectable
An invitation is extended to any sitting MP, or Prospective Parliamentary Candidate (PPC), who would sign up to the four Core Principles above, which in essence means you are both:
  • Centrist
  • Bremainer
A similar invitation is extended to members of the House of Lords, and people within other European and local organisations.


It is anticipated that someone at ministerial or shadow ministerial level will
initially be the leader of The Just Political Party, chosen from initial MPs and PPCs joining the Party.  Potential people are listed here

It is anticipated that there will be a full leadership election within the next year, with candidates originally from both the Conservative and Labour parties.


It is recognised that a fully functioning party will need a strong Central Office function and the development of an enthusiastic Local Constituency presence.

The party will be recruiting experienced Central Office staff in the near future.  Formal recruitment will take place in due course, but If you are interested please send in your CV soonest using the contact methods at the foot of this posting.

It is anticipated that MPs who are interested in making the move to The Just Political Party will have a number of local supporters who will form the core of their new Constituency Party.

The new Constituency Parties will start afresh, and so there will be no need to split the assets of the existing parties, as has been discussed by the media.


The initial objective is to have representation in Westminster.  Candidates for local elections and MEPs will follow naturally in due course.


If you are an MP or PPC who believes The Just Political Party better represents you and the National Interest, then do get in touch as below. We can arrange to meet at Westminster or somewhere else nearby, as suits you.

This is an urgent matter, given that nominations for GE2017, signed by some of the good folk of the relevant constituency, need to be registered with the relevant local body by Thursday 11 May.


Likewise, we would be delighted to talk to members of the TV, radio, print and internet media about The Just Political Party and its aims.

The founder can be contacted via Twitter @TheJustParty or his business Linkedin account

Published and promoted by CR Challis on behalf of The Just Political Party at The Dairy House, Moneyrow Green, Holyport, MAIDENHEAD, SL6 2ND