About John Rees-Evans
John was born in 1978 in Hampshire to parents that had left Britain in the 1970s for work. At just 20 days of age, he was therefore taken overseas and subsequently grew up in Africa as well as in various parts of the UK. Throughout the course of his childhood John attended 11 different schools in three countries, concluding his formal education at Jeppe Boys High, in Johannesburg.
John talking to Bulgarian National TV in 2015 about his opinion of Bulgaria’s membership of the European Union and his decision to invest in Bulgaria. He expresses the view that rather than deserting their own country to help make foreign corporations more profitable through their competitive labour rates, Bulgaria should incentivise their most talented people to stay home and make their own country strong.
On Leaving School
After school between working temporary jobs, John participated in adventurous expeditions. In early 2000 John travelled to Uganda to pursue an expedition up Mount Stanley along a route that had been closed off following a series of massacres against British and American tourists in 1995. Unwilling to turn back, John approached the national authorities and offered a very successful solution to reopening the national park. The authorities approved his plan and John summited the three highest peaks in Uganda, demonstrating that the Rwenzori National Park was safe to receive tourists once again. He received recognition from the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni at State House for his contribution to the country. Since February 2000 tourism in western Uganda has continued to flourish and local businesses have begun operating and employing workers again.
Diverse Work Experience and Starting a Business
Prior to launching his first business John worked as an operator in a meat factory, as a leaflet distributor in Devon, a postman and pizza delivery driver in Shrewsbury, and a passenger car driver, cycle courier and building labourer in London. Money raised from these jobs was used to fund expeditions that included cycling solo from Geneva to Jerusalem (1997) and across America from Los Angeles to New York (2000), as well as various mountaineering expeditions, including a failed unsupported attempt at Everest’s North Face with his then new wife, Rebecca, whom he married in October 2001.
Having had Arienwyn, the first of their three children together in 2003, John stopped doing risky expeditions and started a new tourism business in 2004, (Team Kilimanjaro), guiding clients to the top of Kilimanjaro, Africa’s highest mountain. He since developed a handful of other small businesses which span the tourism, business development, legal services and real estate sectors in Africa and Europe.
Returning to Britain
In 2013, John relocated to South Wales, back to his family roots where he lives with his wife and three children, several miles away from where his great-grandfather was a vicar in Ystradgynlais.
Europe: Cooperative But Autonomous & Distinct
In his youth, John spent time in France, becoming reasonably fluent in the French language and studying theology at the La Faculté Libre de Théologie Réformée. In addition to their main residence in South Wales, the family also have a small home in a little village in the South of France, and in a very remote village in Bulgaria. John’s family are irrepressibly passionate about Europe and enjoy family life in each of the places they spend time. His love of the wonderful diversity of Europe has cemented his belief that there is no such thing as a truly common ‘European identity’ or ‘European culture’; but a shared history reflected uniquely by each nation within Europe.
John believes that each country within Europe should be free to protect its own liberties, autonomy, values and national character, and that there should be healthy and friendly competition to compete for the highest caliber immigrants and investment from around the world, driving up standards across the continent by being motivated by pride in national achievements. However he also believes there is a deep alliance between European nations that should be nurtured and celebrated, with cooperation, not consolidation, at its core.
The Future of Britain
Believing that the political class in Britain largely lacks a sincere concept of public service, and that they are generally aloof from and lack affinity with their electorate, John believes that significant changes to the culture of politics in Britain are long overdue. He hopes for less slickness, less spin, less self-consciousness and a great deal more honesty, openness and humility.
John does not subscribe to the traditional concept of a left-right political paradigm. His personal concept of government favours minimalism: less intervention into the lives, choices and liberties of ordinary people; and cutting unnecessary regulatory legislation which he believes resists business creation and growth, saps motivation to be industrious, and suppresses our national economic development.
Smaller, Less Imperious Government
In short, John is a patriot who believes in the innate common sense of the British people, resents the overbearing nature of the nanny state while standing up for those who society has a duty to protect. He believes that Britain has been co-opted into a culture which sees many of our children being raised with a sense of learned helplessness and a lack of confidence, reflected in the attitudes of many young voters who seem not to recognise the many incredible opportunities regaining sovereignty by leaving the EU has to offer.
It is John’s conviction that our traditional values have been suppressed in favour of political correctness and by the contrived common ‘European identity’ which he does not believe actually exists – except within the fantasy of élite Brussels bureaucrats intent on stamping the world with their legacy; a ‘vanity project’ of an EU Superstate with the wholesale destruction of national sovereignty and identity at its core.
For the sake of his own children, John wants to see a Britain that is free to negotiate its own international trade relationships – particularly with developing countries – and that leads the world in living standards and entrepreneurship.
John has mentored several young people over the last few years and has come to believe that the current structure of Britain’s welfare state can disincentivise the young from achieving their potential, and at the same time stigmatises those who genuinely depend on it. He would like to see very significant changes that increase the motivation and self-respect of long-term unemployed young people in Britain, and hopes to work closely with people in this area to show them how to realise their full potential.
John believes that too many youngsters graduate from the education system with unusable degrees as opposed to vocational skills that could directly be employed by industry. He wants to see greater diversity in schooling that recognises the individuality of young people and allows them to pursue their unique aspirations, learning from successful education models in other countries.
John believes that the next government should investigate ways of ensuring that the educational route of each child should be tailored towards their interests and abilities and that no child should conclude their education without a skill set, whether a trade, entrepreneurial training, or an academic discipline, that will lead them towards a fulfilling career and self sufficiency.
Beginnings of Political Involvement
In 2014 it became clear to John that a tipping point had been passed, and Britons were increasingly coming to see the futility of handing control of our country to the unelected bureaucrats of the European Commission.
John is therefore confidently hopeful that the patriotism and common sense of the British people will prevail and that this will be reflected by a complete return of Britain’s sovereignty and a better deal for the people of Britain.
One of John’s most recent expeditions (Euro Man of Steel) – assisted by Sir Ranulph Fiennes – which raised funds for the Royal British Legion and World Child Cancer.
Above all, John enjoys spending time with his family, particularly walking in the hills or visiting historic sites. His hobbies include occasional adventurous expeditions, hill-running, cycling, mountaineering, skeet shooting, and competitive dynamic pistol shooting (in Bulgaria).