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The Golden Thread


John Wallace and Annie
Image: Vanessa Crichton

There is a golden thread running through the tapestry that is the struggle to win and defend freedom. Without that golden thread - spun of such qualities as courage, intelligence, generosity, a sense of history and loyalty to liberty - the tapestry could never have been woven.

What we mean by generosity is that in the past Brits struggling to win liberty and establish representative government did so without any pay or reward and at considerable cost to their bank accounts and often to their lives. They were not paid to work for an NGO or a non-profit cause. They were volunteers, and their unstinting giving was part of the golden thread.

Today there are hundreds of thousands of British men and women who work as volunteers with trusts and charities. They donate their time and often their money to help children or conserve art, to protect animals or fund medical research, to save those lost at sea or to oppose the government’s stealthy assault on the fundamental rights of the British people.

Typical of these men and women is John Wallace. He is not unique in making vital contributions - if anything he is a British everyman. In fact, when we showed him this post he said, "That's not me, surely."

The father of two grown children, John is a mechanical engineer who lives in Sussex and designs and supplies drives for industrial and marine engines, He was working in the office one day, listening to Radio 4, when he heard something about the European Union threatening Britain's independence and British freedom. He'd heard about hundreds of encroachments over the years, but this particular item penetrated, and he thought, 'That's it, then', and went straight to the UK Independence Party website, and signed on.

Today Wallace is the volunteer UKIP West Sussex Organizer, helping local UKIP branches, handling communications, and speaking at public meetings - a first for him - he had never stood in front of a crowd before. He used his own funds to hire an IT man to design and develop the West Sussex UK Independence Party website, and the template is now being used by many local branches. Meanwhile, he also faces the challenge most people experience of working to put bread on the table.

Wallace believes that he is defending the freedom of the British people, and it may be that the people who live in Sussex think so, too. He says that when he’s out walking up on the South Downs with his lurcher, Annie, people often call out, "Johnny, how’s it going?" and they mean UKIP and the broader Euro realist movement.

But Wallace doesn't think many British people yet understand what's at stake. "We have censorship," he says. "The media does not report the real negatives of membership in the EU."

When we talked with him, Wallace was upbeat. He seemed to think the best of almost everyone, though he admitted, "My blood boils when I hear those MPs lying." And then he was off, racing to deliver a speech at a meeting in Redhill.

He is one of the hundreds of thousands of British people who are giving of their time to to restore the country they love. They don't know it, but they are golden.