The full site will be live very shortly but in the meantime here is my manifesto...
Personal Statement from Lord Pearson of Rannoch
Although I understood his reasoning, I deeply regretted Nigel’s decision to step down as leader. Sadly my efforts to get him to change his mind, publicly at the conference and privately, have been to no avail.
I had to think long and hard before putting my own name forward to lead UKIP. I knew that were my bid successful, I would be committing to an indefinite period of hard work and would have to forgo directorships and other interests.
However I also realised that any sacrifice would be trivial compared to those made by Nigel Farage over nearly two decades. Dauntingly, I would also find myself successor to the most eloquent politician in the land.
Initially I declined to volunteer because I lacked ambition to lead a political party.
But I believe passionately in my country and in the democracy and freedom which so many generations have fought to win and defend, often at terrible cost, all now being sold out by a selfish and deluded generation of gutless professional politicians.
In the end it was the sheer persistence of many UKIP members and donors who said that it was my duty to offer myself to my country’s service. I suppose that is arm-twisting UKIP style!
So what can I offer you? Perhaps I should start by telling you what I am not.
In a party with 13 MEPs I am not an elected politician.
You must consider whether that is or is not a virtue. It does mean that I am available in this country, without the continual distraction of continental travel.
Certainly I am well placed by my seat in the House of Lords to articulate our case. It is, of course, Westminster where these great issues must eventually be decided.
That I am not a professional politician may be no disadvantage in an age when our political class is widely despised.
My background is in international insurance. I would like to think that habits such as delegation, training and financial discipline might be useful in the necessary reorganisation of a party whose power and influence has outgrown its infrastructure.
There is one particular area where I feel I should be able to contribute usefully. With the likely implementation of the Lisbon Treaty, these are perilous days. We are desperately short of time if we are to save our great country.
This means we have to rapidly recruit and train a large force of people dedicated to national survival. To this end we need to cast a broad net and my contacts with the wider Eurorealist movement could prove very valuable.
Along with David Willoughby de Broke in the Lords, as well as through my activities with Global Britain, I can lay some claim to having rare contacts throughout the movement.
I hope that I enjoy some respect from people as politically diverse as Lords Stoddart and Tebbit and with others less well known but with considerable financial assets and patriotic dedication.
As far as I know, I have no enemies within UKIP and remain on good terms with many who have left us.
What of my political philosophy? I am essentially interested in conserving the British constitution against all who threaten it, most particularly from those “Traitors within the Gate”, the British politicians who have betrayed their own people.
It is rare for a new party to survive long in British politics. UKIP has stood that test of time and changed the political agenda singlehandedly. Our recent success must now be turned to maximum advantage.
We must develop the quality of our candidates and activists. This requires training, with experienced campaigners helping those who have yet to cut their political teeth.
This has to be backed up by activity manuals and informative literature. As someone who has provided (I hope useful) publications such as “What is the point of the European Union?” and “BETTER OFF OUT” I may have something to offer here.
We have speak to the British people in straightforward language. Against the background of the country’s financial crisis, we must show how leaving the EU is positive, invigorating, vastly enriching; in short everything to be welcomed and absolutely nothing to be feared. Hand in glove with this goes the promotion of binding national and local referendums. Only thus can power be returned to the people from the political class in Westminster and Brussels.
UKIP policies should be short and incisive and targeted to emphasise what can only be achieved by leaving the EU. They should also be selected to embarrass the old parties by showing how their political correctitude has left them out of touch with the basic common sense of real people.
Examples abound: Their refusal to entrust us with education vouchers or to insist on work permits for foreigners; their failure to maintain our borders and their appeasement of militant Islam.
My ambition is for UKIP to do well enough in the General Election to trigger a revolutionary realignment of British politics. In place of our current ‘one party state’, with all the older parties blindly deferring to the EU, we desperately need a new and genuine Opposition.
Already many Conservative MPs and most of their activists are with us.
Many decent Labour and Lib Dem supporters are also getting the point.
Our priority, which cannot be overstated, must be to maintain our aim of an amicable divorce from the European Union. My slogan is “Friendship and Free Trade only.” Anything and everything we do must be directed to this end and nothing must compromise this objective.
We now have a growing majority of the British people who share this view and a monopoly, amongst the moderate political parties, in expressing it.
This is an electoral gold mine.
I shall feel honoured and humbled if you elect me to lead what is the noblest cause in British politics today. But whoever is elected can rely on my full support.
Lord Pearson of Rannoch was born in 1942 and educated at Eton.
In 1964 he founded the PWS Group of international insurance brokers, which went public in 1984 and was sold to the THB Group in 2008. He is now Hon. President but is willing to sacrifice that position should he become leader of UKIP.
During 1975-82 he was the main protagonist in the “Savonita Affair” at Lloyd’s of London, when his refusal to collect a fraudulent claim led to reform at Lloyd’s, and a new Act of Parliament.
From 1984-90 he actively promoted freedom in the Soviet Union through financial and other assistance to dissident groups.
In the period 1983-92 he represented commerce on the Council for National Academic Awards, Britain’s largest degree awarding body, which validated the courses in our Polytechnics (Universities since 1992). He joined with Baroness Cox and others in fighting far left control of Teacher Training, Social and Media Studies, etc.
In 1984 he founded the Rannoch Charitable Trust, which has funded such things as refugees from Communism in Europe, various human rights initiatives, research into British state education, the environment of the Scottish Highlands, free market economics and Islamic fundamentalism.
In 1990 Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher raised him to the Peerage.
During 1991-97 he led several successful amendments in the Lords on Scottish environmental legislation.
In 1992 he received an Honorary Doctorate (of Laws) from Council of National Academic Awards, for services to Higher Education.
During 1992-96 he was a Member of the House of Lords Select Committee on the European Union, which led him to become a leading exponent of the case for the UK to leave the European Union.
In 1992 he became Hon. President of RESCARE - The National Society for Mentally Handicapped People in Residential Care, a subject where he has family experience.
In 1998 he joined with Lord Harris of High Cross (Independent) and Lord Stoddart of Swindon (Labour) to found “Global Britain”, a non-party think tank, to research alternatives to UK membership of the European Union. (See www.globalbritain.org )
In 2004 he lost the Conservative whip for suggesting that people should lend their vote to the UK Independence Party, in elections to the European Parliament, and now sits in the Lords, along with Lord Willoughby de Broke, as a UKIP peer.
His many speeches can be found on http://www.lordswhips.org.uk/
His belief in freedom of speech and disregard of controversy was illustrated in 2009 when he invited the Dutch MP, Geert Wilders, to show his anti-Islamist film, “Fitna”, in a press conference at the House of Lords. When Mr. Wilders was banned by the Home Secretary from entering the UK, Lord Pearson went ahead with the film and accused the British Government of appeasing Islamism. (Google: “Fitna” and “Geert Wilders”).
For many years he has been an articulate critic of the institutional pro EU bias of the BBC and has personally invested in research, proving the case much to their discomfiture.
Lord Pearson’s Web Site www.lordpearsonofRannoch.co.uk will be available in the