Israel, by-elections and upcoming meetings

20 October 2023 , categories: News

In this update we cover the events in the Middle East, the recent by-elections, and upcoming meetings in October and November. So don't sit on the sidelines, come and join us!

The Hamas terrorist atrocities in Israel

The atrocities committed by Hamas in Israel shocked most of us and we are asking ourselves how we got into this situation and how we will find a way out of it? Do you agree with us that we really need to talk about this and find a way to bridge the divide? If you have strong opinions, whether on the pro-Palestinian, pro-Israeli side or support those on both sides seeking an end to war and terrorism, we are keen to get your input. If you would be interested in taking part in a discussion to understand the conflict better and to propose ways forward, please email us at

What the by-elections tell us

We woke up this morning to find out that the Tory party have lost two more seats, with large majorities overturned. Labour are naturally celebrating historic wins but it looks like they were largely driven by Tory voter apathy and dissatisfaction with many staying at home. This prompted a lot of discussion in the group with the main disappointment being the lack of breakthrough for smaller parties.

Many of us argue for a more grass-roots driven approach, trying to gain support locally by campaigning for smaller parties and securing council seats. Supporters of this idea cited many positive developments where independents have gained a foothold in local councils. Others applauded this but pointed out that for the big issues of the day (e.g. NetZero, handling of pandemics and migration), change will only be possible through a change in the electoral system. Again, if you think this is a topic worthy of more discussion and want to get involved, please email us at

Croydon Constitutionalists host Reform UK Party candidate Alan Cook

Speaking of smaller parties, Croydon Constitutionalists recently interviewed the Reform UK Party candidate for Bromley & Biggin Hill, Alan Cook. During the interview Alan explained that:

The greasy pole of politics for its own sake holds no attraction for me. I see public service as just that, being a servant to the public. These days unfortunately it appears that many in parliament are self-serving and not aware of the true honour and meaning of the role.

This echoes how many of us feel about our political masters and illustrates some of the points raised in our recent fascinating discussion  with Peter Ramsay on the void in British politics.

Come and meet us at the Battle of Ideas Festivals

On a positive note we are very happy to remind you that we will have stands at the upcoming Battle of Ideas Festivals in both London (October) and Buxton (November). We will also be appearing on one of the panels in Buxton discussing From debanking to Bud Light: the rights and wrongs of ESG – Battle of Ideas, a subject we’ll be discussing in detail at our next Manchester meeting (see later).

Members and supporters get discounted tickets to the London event. Find out more here.

Manchester meeting on Wednesday 25th October 2023

Our topic will be Environmental, Social and Governance criteria. What are they?  How do they affect our everyday lives, our employers, and the organisations we deal with?  We are delighted to welcome our guest speaker, Elric Langton, who will present an introduction to ESG, its power and impact, and its connection with equity, diversity and inclusion.  Join us as we explore how these factors shape the financial and working environment for individuals, businesses, and countries.

More details here.

Newcastle meeting on Tuesday 14th November 2023

Polling shows an increasing number of people in the UK feel politically homeless and let down by the main parties. This is particularly true in the Red Wall constituencies in the north of England. Reform UK (formerly the Brexit Party) aims to ‘make Britain great again’ by offering common sense policies to overcome the challenges facing the nation. Our political system makes it very difficult for challenger parties to get a foot in the door, but the EU Referendum result showed us how influential smaller parties can be. As the mainstream parties become increasingly indistinguishable from each other and out-of-touch with the electorate, smaller parties keep democracy alive by enabling people to vote according to their own views and values. This meeting will be introduced by local Reform candidate Steve Alder.

More details here.

We are growing!

In 2023 we are hoping to expand our activities via regional Politics in Pubs groups and have created a map where you can search for a group near you.

Don’t worry if you can’t find anything nearby as you can start your own group. If you would like to be put in touch with other people interested in talking about politics, please reply to this email letting us know your location and we’ll help to get the conversation started.

We have also started to expand our partner network with other free speech groups who have a similar interest in open discussion and debate. If you would like to join our network you can find out more about partnering with us here.