Real estate, alternative real assets and other diversions

The Euros 2019

Political Insider

No you have not missed a footie championship. The heading refers to the EU Parliamentary Elections last week, in which I stood and following which have been returned to Brussels as an MEP, for the Brexit Party, representing London. 

I have been in business all my adult life; interested in politics and politically aware but not active. Brexit changed that for me. I was motivated to stand not so much by my belief in Brexit (in which I do wholeheartedly believe) but by Project Fear, which continues to this day and by the Government’s and Parliament’s inability to deliver on their undertaking to do as the people directed in 2016. Indeed, having witnessed our Parliamentarians in action, I can only conclude that the institution is in contempt of the people.

It has been a whirlwind of activity for me since I first met Nigel Farage in late March. Nigel, by the way, is an extremely charming, affable, focused and committed individual. Nothing at all like the way he is painted by his detractors. I am not an apologist for Nigel but while I have your ear, I feel obliged to make the point!

Anyway, I threw my hat in the ring at my very first meeting with him. Little did I know then what lay in store and that our brand new party would top the polls, firmly kicking the Tories and the Labour Party off their perches. Never in the history of the party have the Tories done so badly in an election. 

My campaign and indeed that of the Brexit Party’s was launched on 12 April in an industrial facility in Coventry, at the heart of the Midlands. I admit I was nervous before my maiden speech. I have spoken publicly many times but always on behalf of my business, not on politics. At Coventry the subject matter and congregation were very different to that to which I was used. But after my opening remarks I quickly found my stride. Being a property man I am well versed in contractual law and, once I cited the repudiatory breach of the contract made by the government with the people in its pre-referendum leaflet, I was off….. The next milestone in that speech, and one which came to somewhat define me during the campaign, was my pointing out that taking no-deal off the table was bonkers [which it was]. The crowd loved that turn of phrase. 

Having come through my first engagement I felt emboldened and comfortable with the media attention I was subsequently given. The campaign was exhausting but exhilarating. There was hardly a day when I did not appear in print or on air, either the radio or TV. These latter appearances were typically for a short period, not long enough to develop any arguments for our position. One thing that became clear early on is that the media is typically not interested in detail – soundbites seem to be the order of the day.






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About Ben Habib

Ben Habib

Ben founded and is CEO of First Property Group plc, an award winning commercial property fund manager which specialises in and has an excellent track record in producing high investment returns. It is listed on the AIM segment of the London Stock Exchange and operates in the UK, Poland and Romania. In May 2019 Ben was elected to be a Member of the European Parliament (MEP) for the Brexit Party, representing London.

Articles by Ben Habib

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