Reaction to the Inaugural British Tea Party Event

On February 28, an extraordinary meeting took place in a crowded room in Brighton on the south coast of England. The tea party movement, scoffed at by much of the British establishment, quietly arrived in the UK. With little publicity, and certainly none of it positive except on the blogs, Kenny Irvine arranged a successful event for the Freedom Association in two days time.

So successful was the tea party gathering that the 300-person capacity of the room was reached quickly and people had to be away. This was a British event, so the tea was consumed and not tossed anywhere. There was a cash bar as well for those wishing to have something a bit stronger -- another British tradition.

The main speaker for the event, Conservative MEP Daniel Hannan, did some pre-event publicity. Oddly enough, it was through U.S. media outlets like Neil Cavuto's Fox News show and Hot Tea Radio.

In both of these interviews, Hannan was keen to assure people that no tea would be harmed in any way. American observers found the fact that a tea party event in the UK was being planned both ironic and amusing. However, the problems discussed were as serious as the ones with which American tea party attendees are concerned: high taxes, bloated government, and fiscal irresponsibility.

ToryDiary reports and responds to potential criticism of a UK-based tea party movement:

To those who might criticize him for aping a foreign idea in Brighton today, he said that there is nothing foreign about meeting to say that we as a people should have a say over what revenue is taken from us. Mr. Hannan repeated his oft-made call for a complete rethink of the role of the state in Britain today and said that it was vital that ministers push powers downwards and outwards and restoring democracy.

Hannan makes the case yet again for the need for such events to call attention to what is going on via his own blog.

Let me say it one more time. Gordon Brown has doubled the national debt. Every second, it rises by another 5,000 pounds. Our deficit is 12.6 per cent of GDP compared to Greece’s 12.7. All this despite the additional trillion pounds taken in taxation since 1997.