The East Midlands held their very successful fundraiser for the GLA campaign on Monday, 26th. March. It was supervised and hosted by Paul Hilliard, the Sub-Regional Organiser for Derbyshire, where the event was held at a plush venue. Around 100 people attended; many familiar faces as well as new ones were there, and a nationally known couple received a heartfelt welcome too.
Derby's Excalibur stall was very busy, with a lot of interest in their innovative new T-shirts - very smartly embroidered with a local logo.
East Midlands R.O., Geoff Dickens, chaired the meeting; after informing us that Derby will be busy with their own elections this May, he went on to warn that we are reaching a point of no return and must do all we can despite attacks from various agencies.
He then announced that we had already broken one record that evening - the Chairman had arrived on time! Amid laughter, Nick Griffin, who took this sally in good part, came into the meeting and was greeted with great applause.
A seasoned orator, Nick touched on many subjects in his speech; he started by saying that this time last year, the detractors said we wouldn't be here. He admitted that mistakes had been made, but thanks to 6 people - and here he left us in no doubt that Geoff was one of them - the party structure has been turned around. Although the papers will make something of our past problems before polling day, the fact is that this year we will end completely in the black. They have failed to get rid of us.
Other subjects Nick spoke eloquently on included the police and Marxism, the dangers of Islam, Iran and rising fuel prices, the protests at Heywood -acknowledging Paul's presence there, and put Question Time into context with the positive reaction towards us afterwards.
Nick concluded by telling us that 40 newspaper polls show that we have 7% support in London - we need 5% to gain a seat; London is our capital, and it is very important to win as that will give hope to the British public.
After the applause for Nick's speech had died down, Geoff showed us the high-quality leaflets going out in London; he then announced that a collection would be taken, saying that any who could not afford to donate mustn't worry, but he requested that leafletting and other jobs towards the elections be done instead. The Chairman conducted a 'Dutch auction', tentatively starting at £1,000. And yes, a cheque was given for that amount; then one for £500 and £250 following, all the way down to small change at the end!
The result, after the Regional Treasurer, James Mole, had totalled and verified the amount was £4,540.22 raised. This is the highest amount achieved so far, outside London, the second record of the evening for the East Midlands!
East Midlands officials would like to thank everyone who attended for their generous fundraising and continued hard work for the Party and our people.