This time of year is known in politics as the Silly Season, so it is no surprise to receive the latest letter inviting us to a meeting of minor parties which in the opinion of the organisers "have broadly the same aspirations for our country".
All small parties face a similar hurdle: we struggle to get our message across within a mass media that (understandably, perhaps) wishes to focus on the big players. We are under no illusions about the difficulty of getting heard. However, in the New Party we continue to work on building our case in order that at some point in the future we may become the nucleus of a broad reform movement.
When it is difficult people sometimes look for a comfort blanket, and the comfort blanket of choice for some is the idea that the various minor parties should somehow "come together" and "put aside their differences". It's a touching thought but fundamentally flawed unless there is clear common ground between the parties concerned. And that's the problem here.
You see, we have worked hard to establish our distinctive agenda. We are a party of economic liberalism, political reform and internationalism. We want to focus on the real reforms that will enable our country to meet the challenges of globalisation and will help individuals and families to rediscover their sense of initiative and personal responsibility. That's a positive, forward-looking agenda.
We do not see the same sort of agenda with the other invitees. We don't have the Little Englander mentality that seeks to retreat, pull up the drawbridge and shut out the world. We reject the embittered, narrow politics articulated by some. We oppose much of what these others stand for - their narrow nationalism, their obsession with immigration, their statist approaches to public services and much more besides.
In short, many of those invited represent a conservative-nationalist philosophy which we have explicitly rejected.
Therefore, we will not be attending the meeting that has been called and we would be surprised if some other invitees (such as UKIP) send any representatives. Thanks for the invitation, lads - but no thanks.