As I outlined in my last article, my interview with the fantastic Alice Grant, that I am researching why people support Brexit, from all different backgrounds and in this edition of The Brexit Series, I spoke to campaigner and self-proclaimed 'royal superfan' Joseph Afrane.
Many of you may have seen Joseph out and about in London and especially around Parliament Square, he's impossible to miss and you have got to love his enthusiasm. He is a prime example of a Labour supporting Brexiteer abandoned by the once great and respectable party who now favour the Metropolitan, London elite rather than their core voters in the heartlands. There are very few Labour MPs now who respect democracy and even fewer who actually support the Eurosceptic cause, there's only people like Kate Hoey, Dennis Skinner and Roger Godstiff to name a few who actually truly believe in Brexit but you do have MPs such as Emma Lewell-Buck (my local MP), Caroline Flint and Sarah Champion who have agreed to support a deal. But Labour is now full of People's Vote campaigners and Europhiles such as David Lammy, Emily Thornberry and Wes Streeting.
Joseph said how he was a "Labour party member, Labour promised us that they would deliver the referendum result in 2017 and they're going back on their word" and that's the problem, Mr Corbyn seems to flip flop around decisions and even his own views on the matter. Mr Afrane rightly pointed out how "Jeremy Corbyn is a leaver, a Eurosceptic who has always put down the European Union, he has campaigned his whole career against them" and he's not the only one to point that out recently, Boris Johnson in his maiden speech in the House of Commons as Prime Minister, pointed out that Corbyn was in fact a Eurosceptic. Mr Johnson exclaimed to the Leader of the Opposition "at last, this long-standing Eurosceptic has been captured. He has been jugulated – he has been reprogrammed by his Honourable and Right Honourable colleagues into a Remainer!"
However, despite being a lifelong Labour card holder, Joseph has now said that he is "more than happy with Boris as PM, he has a mandate and I hope with everything that he will deliver the mandate of the British people". "Britain is a great nation and we need to restore it's true greatness by leaving the undemocratic EU and taking back our identity."
In a scathing attack on the EU, Joseph talks about how he's "from Ghana and I have seen firsthand how the ties between Britain and the Commonwealth have been neglected since Britain was engulfed in the European project. I have lived here for many years and love Britain, British values and respect British values like democracy and we have to respect that result in 2016 whether you liked it or not, if you don't then you don't respect democracy." Furthermore, "the EU is a German project, it is undemocratic, the new Commissioner Ursula von der Leyen wasn't elected to the post, she was chosen by Angela Merkel, the hierarchy is nominated rather than elected and therefore not accountable". On the subject of the EU's motivations, Mr Afrane talks about how "the EU is all about money, corporatism which protects the big companies and neglects the man on the street, the ordinary people, Labour have done that also by choosing to support remain rather than their voters, Labour is my party, it's our party. Unfortunately, it seems that that is no more. I am a proud member of Labour Leave, there were 5 million people who voted Leave in 2016 and then Labour in the general election one year later, Labour promised to deliver that mandate."
In his closing remarks, he went onto say "the main reasons why we need to leave the EU are we need to be independent, run our own country and affairs as well as more importantly bring back making laws in this building behind us (Houses of Parliament), laws that we want to see as the British population, not ones forced on us by the EU."
I have joined them several times and they're a non-party political group so you will be welcome no matter whether you're Conservative, Labour, Brexit Party or even the Lib Dems if there are any Leave supporting Lib Dems.
Finally, I would like to exaggerate the point of not all Brexiteers are right wing, Joseph Afrane is a prime example of a Labour supporting Leave voter, he explained how members of the public regularly "ask me how much I'm getting paid, when the truth is that I love this country, I believe in this great nation and think that Brexit, deal or no deal is the best way forward and rebuilding relationships with the Commonwealth is more important." There are plenty of Labour Leavers who do a fantastic job such as the aforementioned Kate Hoey, MP for Vauxhall, Cllr. Brendan Chilton, the Director of Labour Future and businessman John Mills.
To leave you with this final quote by one of the most respected politicians from all sides of the house, a principled politician and staunch Eurosceptic who was Labour through and through, Tony Benn "you must ask the five powerful questions: 1) What power have you got? 2) Where did you get it from? 3) In whose interest do you exercise it? 4) To whom are you accountable to? and 5) How can we get rid of you?" Now these points of power all outline the shear bureaucracy of the European Union and you cannot argue with the logic of the absolute mahogany of a man that was Tony Benn.
Please show Joseph your support on social media
- Twitter: @josephafrane
- Instagram: @josephafrane1
And my social medias are @ethan_thoburn on Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn
*Please note that the views and opinions in this interview do not necessarily represent that of The Bruges Group*