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Sharron Edwards urges more women to step forward.....

"BEHIND every good man, there's a good woman," goes the saying, but we need more. We know they are there, so why do they stay silent in the background? Before the reader concludes that I'm just another passenger on the feminist bandwagon, let me say that nothing could be further from the truth. Under no circumstances would I want to see our patriotic women used like 'Blair's Babes' or the 'Blue Rinse Brigade'. There is much more to it than simply courting respectability. Our women represent the true spirit of nationalism and patriotism - an invaluable commodity when it comes to enlightening those who have been indoctrinated with multi-culturalism, or to bringing up the next generation with healthy values.

So we need to see more women standing up in public for our country, but this is not something which can be forced from above with artificial and demeaning quotas. It can only come about when our women, as individuals, decide to make it happen. For a start, then, I would like to encourage the less faint-hearted women to stand as candidates, because the greater in number we are with our men, the stronger we are and the less likely to be marginalised or divided. Unity is again the key to success.

Understandably, reservations about standing in elections will arise, but before dismissing the idea out of hand, permit me to address some of these concerns in the light of my own personal experience. Name-calling has to take prominence above all else. You probably will be singled out, partly because you are a woman, but mainly because you are a patriotic nationalist. It almost goes without saying that you will be called a 'Nazi'. Not so long ago, when contesting a by-election, I fought the same seat as a Militant Labour candidate. He concentrated on portraying me as the biggest Nazi since Hitler, but while this tosh made no difference to my campaign, he ended up with a mere 17 votes!

All candidates, male or female, must console themselves with the fact that name-calling derives from insecurity and ignorance; you opponent's worthlessness and hatred is to be pitied, not feared. Furthermore, there are laws within the Representation of the People Act to protect candidates from personal attacks in elections. So if the opposition should become aggressive and rudely false about your character, a complaint to the Returning Officer, the Director of Public Prosecutions, and the police -- together with plenty of statements to the local press -- can soon put a stop to such nonsense.

Acceptability among friends and in the workplace is also of obvious importance, and is also often high on the agenda of uncertainty. All I can say from my own experience is that I have received both praise and admiration from all concerned. This is natural, because a nationalist candidate invariably represents ordinary decent folk by saying what they all think but don't quite have the courage to come out with.

I meet people from all walks of life, and I can honestly say that everyone has been comfortable with my politics, the parents of my children's friends included. From this I draw the conclusion that most people are already largely in agreement with us. This inspires me greatly. Besides, anyone who did disapprove wouldn't be worth having as a friend in any case, and would be taken off the Christmas card list forthwith!

Media not a problem

Another worry which often arises concerns the media. How do I handle them? What if I'm asked awkward questions? Don't panic, there are plenty of experienced party officials who can help out here. In time to come, more frequent educational seminars will enable us to prepare candidates extensively in press procedure. Also well worthwhile would be to train suitable, articulate members to provide each region with its own press officer. In the meantime, if you are confident that you are already able to deal with the media, that's excellent. A key tip here: Whenever you are speaking to journalists or appearing on TV or radio, always define the reason for your being there and adhere to it. What they don't have they can't transmit!

I hope that the comments and pointers above have helped to allay some of your apprehensions. Such worries are, as a matter of fact, not exclusive to women, or even to nationalists. Ask any cloth-cap Labour type what he thinks of the Tories and the air will be blue for a fortnight! That's just politics; it's nothing to worry about.

Badge of honour

In any case, hostility from the criminals who have dragged our people and country down into the mud is really a badge of honour. Take heart! For to contest elections is one of the finest deeds one can possibly do. You will have the full support of the party at all levels. And, without wanting to sound patronising, you will find working on behalf of the community to be rewarding as well as interesting.

Just stop and think for a moment! The courage of our ancestors left behind them a legacy of freedom; it is only right that today's generation honour their sacrifice and in turn do what we can for our country. And it is only right that women join our men in the battle to alleviate the perils of the present age: lawlessness; disrespect for family values; and the breakdown of society bred by the policies of the last government and made worse by the present one.

So if, like me, you too feel so strongly about your family's future, your beloved country, nation and heritage, do not deny yourself. Be confident in the courage of your convictions, for you hold a truth within which can never be destroyed.

Inner strength

Such inner strength is a vital tool for the 'cause', without which we have no hope for a worthwhile future for our children, and in which the contesting of elections is inevitably an important part of the struggle, although there are many other areas of our work in which women could -- and should -- be much more heavily involved as well.

There have in the past been many great British women who have made history. In the same vein I call upon all fellow female patriots out there to join with me and help make history. We have a maternal duty, a natural human capacity to nurture and care for our family under even the most desperate circumstances; so whether it be by supporting our husbands in the background, or by being counted on the elctoral front line, we can make history. We can make a real difference and provide a fitting inheritance for our future generations -- a country worth living in, a country of which we can once again be proud.

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