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Some comments on Diane James’ resignation

If Diane James or the Farage team wants us to believe her story of why she resigned, she is entitled to do so, but they will have to do better than this.

Diane James never wanted the leader’s job. Her suggestions that she lacked the support of the party officers and MEP’s rings less than true. She claimed to want to reform the NEC, yet during her campaign failed, even when pressed, to put forward any ideas, suggestions, a plan or even demands. Therefore, how could anyone, supporters or detractors, judge her on this matter?

At Conference she waded into the Carswell controversy, sensibly saying she wanted Carswell inside the tent. She was less than kind about Neil Hamilton, but a week ago she confirmed him as leader in Wales and Nathan Gill accepted this. I am told by one of Farage’s inner circle that this latter decision was met with fury.

Things seemed to be moving slowly but in the right direction, but from last Tuesday (Sept. 27th) onwards, Diane James vanished. It was clear from comments from UKIP Wales and the press that her visit to Cardiff was chaotic: confirmation of this came from both sides.

Let’s be perfectly straight here: she never wanted the job and the only reason she stood was that Nigel Farage and Arron Banks realised their ‘chosen one’ was not even going to get past the starting gate, never mind over the first fence. They never expected Steven Woolfe to be dogged by legal matters which showed he had been complicit in submitting papers in the Police and Crime Commissioner election where he omitted to mention that he had committed an offence. The failure to submit his papers on time was, with respect to all, ‘hogwash’: an easy way to withdraw from the contest.

So what has happened from Diane James’ side of things?

She ran a campaign, which, as even members of her own team admitted, was to ensure she was not viewed or pitted against any of the other candidates. This worked for them but not for the party and this, coupled with her poor performances in public, saw her vote share dwindle from a high of 75% to the 47% she actually received.

That aside, she won, and being fair about her position and despite the Faragist flash of removing the other candidates, even I agreed she deserved a breathing space.

That space produced nothing other than a torrent of tweets and retweets about unimportant matters, virtually nothing about Labour and Liverpool, nothing about taking the fight to Labour, no outline of her promised 100-day plan.

Then, in the middle of an interview on the ‘Daily Politics Show (BBC). the huge gaffe of a flat cap and Geordie accent occurred. I assume that was unscripted, but given the quality of the help not unexpected. This sort of comment would play well in leafy Surrey but not in the area of the country she does not know, has never visited, and saw fit to use a childish stereotype for. These are the people who voted Leave and all Diane James could come up with was ….. Well, social media and the papers told her what they thought of that.

The new leader has to be first appointed by the party and then notified to the Electoral Commission. In the case of Theresa May this took a couple of days. 11 days after Diane’s election, nothing had been done, even after the Welsh debacle, nothing. Now we are told that the decision was made at a dinner with Nigel Farage in Strasbourg …

It was perfectly clear after the incidents in Cardiff that there were problems. For example, Diane James’s social media Twitter and FB presence fell from Twitter/Facebook 4-8 posts/tweets a day to 1 a day only over the last week. Steven Woolfe pushed onto BBC Question Time last Thursday, and a huge flurry of activity occurred, from The Woolfe Pack, Steven4leader and other supportive groups all clamouring for Woolfe to come to the forefront. That was what I took it for at the time, thinking Diane James is about to name him as deputy, place the new people in place and move on. All that, I have always thought,  was a precursor to Woolfe seeking the leadership in 6 – 12 months. That reminds me always to go with my gut instinct! Then I was told about the cancelled meetings with the NEC and individual NEC members. That, to me, was the clear indication she was on her way out.

As a final point: the Party was itself breaking electoral law in failing to file the change of leader forms with the Electoral Commission in the 14 days allowed. Why was this allowed to occur? It does seem to reinforce what I have said above, about when the decision to ‘resign’ was taken.

So the ‘never wanted it candidate’ rides into the sunset – and where does this leave UKIP?

The answer to that question depends on whom you ask.

There have been many calls from activists and members for Nigel Farage to return, again. Just as many called for Woolfe and Duffy to become leader as well, with as many calls against. Many people ask: is Paul Nuttall going to run? Nothing has come from the party directly, which is at the minute giving the impression of a headless chicken.

Farage in his own indomitable style chose the Victoria Derbyshire programme to announce that he was therefore still the leader –  something which I am prepared to bet 10/- and a sticky bun on as there was no reference to the Party. Given the spin being put on Diane James’ resignation,  that she was not resigning but had never confirmed legally she was leader and therefore Nigel Farage was still the leader:  that is what they now want, this will allow time, as it did in June, for Woolfe to get his act together.

The party needs unity; it needs leadership; more importantly it needs new direction. Will this come from one or even any of the candidates? We will see.

Few members will agree with this – but how the public see us is vital to maintain UKIP’s vote share. Just look at the preview of the Victoria Derbyshire show: the caricatures of Nigel Farage made us look foolish. Perhaps it is just not the time to give up on Nigel Farage – or is it time Farage really gave up on UKIP? Diane James did not think so – does UKIP?


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27 Comments on Some comments on Diane James’ resignation

  1. I agree with the comment above that we vote for NEC members based upm the minimum personal information. Surely in voting for candidates for the NEC and for party leaders, we are entitled for far more information than we are given.
    It would be much more informative if a full set of identical questions were put to each candidate for the to answer. As it is,there is scant respect or attention paid to systems and procedures, let alone accountability to the grassroots members of UKIP.
    It just appears that personal gain is at the forefront of the hierarchy, self serving careerists. Itistime for all this nonsense to stop and save this party from self destruction before it is too late.
    After watching and listening to Mile Hookam, who better to garner votes from Ordinary working class people? We must face the fact that as our PM has taken the mantle from UKIP,we should be concentrating far more to the ordinary people in this country. As it is,my daughter, a former plain clothes Detective Constable informed me that TM became a hated figure in the way she treated the police forces. Another failure with the judiciary system in a mess with insufficient police officers with those at the top being there fast tracked and never been on the beat.
    I still dot not trust May, and we need a loyal, trusted hierarchy to lead UKIP, not more failures.

  2. DT this morning:

    Nigel Farage says it was ‘one of those things that happens between men’

    What a useless observation when decisive action is required. Just reinforces my view that Nigel, with due respect for many years work in getting us the referendum and its result, is no longer the leader that UKIP needs.

  3. Just like to add that what is happening to the party is tragic. I’ve stated a number of times of my dismay when in the past long standing decent members were literally thrown aside to make way for new “charismatic” members but what is happening now, could possibly take away from us voters the only real alternative to LibLabCon. If there is any reason for hope, it may be that those who joined UKIP as a career move will deem it as time to move their ambitions back to St. Theresa fold, and let true UKIPers take control of the party again. You only have to read the quality of articles on UKIPdaily, and read the intelligent and constructively critical comments to appreciate the grassroots talent that is waiting in the wings.

    • Tragic indeed when UKIP is needed to keep May on track and deliver what the referendum result requires. The enemy has its troops entrenched everywhere and they will welcome the present goings-on.

  4. I think this is poor article,full of ill-informed assumptions about, and rash judgments of, other people’s supposed intentions,reasons and decisions.
    A large number of the comments are, in my opinion, even worse.
    Many seem to be insensitive to, and dismissive of, other people’s circumstances and illness, arrogantly cynical and presumptive of motives, and based on an unpleasant combination of shallow bias and short memories.
    They seem eager to forget that it was Nigel Farage who:
    In 2014,led UKIP to win the UK EU parliament elections.
    In 2015 achieved 4 million votes for UKIP in the General Election.
    In 2016,after 20 years of battling, won the EU referendum for us all.
    In 2017-18 will continue to lead the EFDD group of 48 MEPs in the EU.
    Is a household name in the UK; well known throughout all of Europe;
    The most significant politician produced in the UK for decades.
    Apparently,that doesn’t count for anything now.
    People who have never even approached similar achievements think they are politically wiser and know better.
    Give Nigel Farage respect for knowing what he’s doing; Aaron Banks respect for what would probably not have been achieved without him;
    and Diane James respect for the validity of her explanations.
    A last bit of advice for what it’s worth:
    I firmly believe that, if the anti-Farage, ‘middle ground’ LibLabCon views of the likes of Carswell, Evans, O’Flynn, Hamilton and others (you know-the cabal that tried to hi-jack the party in 2015) ever become prevalent in UKIP then you can all happily pucker-up and kiss the entire party a fond and sentimental farewell.

    • Thank you for that Howard, and for your information I do have the ultimate of respect for Nigel and what he has achieved, that is why it is so sad and annoying to see all his hard work being thrown away.

      But one must remember that respect should work both ways, and that has been thrown away also.

    • Howard, I don’t think anyone posting on here could or would ever forget the huge achievements of Nigel, nor the fact that we owe Arron Banks a very large debt of gratitude we can never repay.
      Nor am I underestimating the problems caused by a faction that want to drag UKIP to the middle ground.
      I suggest that a leader should deal with these problems, and it may be that the lack of a leader at this point has meant that a power struggle is being played out in the media instead of being dealt with.
      A future leader must be able to lead as he or she will see fit, and we can only hope that this will be the case sooner rather than later.
      As I am in the process of writing this I am hearing on BBC News at Ten that Arron Banks has said he will withdraw funding unless the governing body is replaced and, as the reporter put it, “the party’s only MP’s Douglas Carswell and Neil Hamilton” must leave the party.
      i suggest that this might have been a conversation for him to have with the Leader and the NEC first – and that this goes to show the depths of the problem.
      Neil Hamilton also has shown a massive lack of judgement in speaking as he has done today.

    • We are not insensitive to anyone’s illness. We just note that when she suddenly pulled out of the 2015 GE her husband’s illness was used as an explanation then. It may also have been used when she suddenly pulled out of the 2012 PPC election for which Eastleigh’s former chairman has not forgiven her.
      If her husband is so ill (again) as to necessitate letting so many people down it raises questions over why she stood in the first place. Nigel does have achievements – the same achievements of the many kippers who did the work on the ground. Nigel is indeed a most significant politician but members are not cult followers unable to think for themselves. Nigel is not an infallible Pope. He wanted Woolfe first then James, the people he believed would continue the party in his image. It is they who let him down not us commentors. Some members foretold of Diane James’ brittleness. They appear to have been right.

    • I believe all in UKIP and many beyond have great respect for Nigel together with gratitude for getting us the referendum and the result that we needed.

      However, his effective abdication with no successor in place was the root cause of all the present issues.

  5. I would like to add that Hamilton’s comments tonight haven’t been exactly timely or in any way useful to UKIP at this point, so it seems that we don’t just have a problem with the Faragistas.
    Yet another head in hands moment.

    • I think the comments by Farage on Hamilton and Carswell By Banks on Farage and Carswell and by Hamilton of Woolfe. Who is advising these people and what they think they are doing is beyond me, it really is.

  6. Rhys The remark on the flat cap was in an interview on DP when asked how she was going to appeal to voters in the North and she responded by saying that she was not proposing to start wearing a flat cap and she was never going to speak with a Geordie accent.

    • So in other words, a vacuous reply, lacking substance, but replete with clicheºs about the NorthEast which just manifested how little she knew or cared about the area.
      I have said it so often on here ………..she is a lady who has zero zero zero interest in or knowledge of policy……….
      So HOW did she get so many votes ?
      She was obviously badgered into going for the Leadership………. but why on earth did she agree to go along with it ?
      She was clearly Nigelºs candidate.
      What has happened just demonstrates again that for all his many many wonderful qualities, NIgel has terrible judgment about people.
      His favourite replacement is apparently now Steven Woolf……..someone who may still be prosecuted for the incorrect declaration on his PCC form, and someone who according to reports started a fight by telling a fellow MEP to º come outside º

  7. “… this will allow time, as it did in June, for Woolfe to get his act together.”

    Clearly he is doing a great job of that; 3 blots on his copybook already. Not fit to be on the leadership candidate list.

    • I don;t see how Steven can put his name forward now, this morning I was all for him being uncontested for the leadership, then remembered his spent conviction. Now this disreputable behaviour.

      The problem is who is left now to choose from? Quite honestly I am starting
      to lose hope.

      • Also, do not forget that he was in talks with Tory Party members about defecting to the Tory party – he admitted that, and he did say that he admired Ms May. Let’s not forget that, especially since it is allegedly the cause of the ‘altercation at Strasbourg’ …

        • Yes, that makes it even worse really, perhaps one can see why the person who allegedly hit him reacted in the way he did, as it sounds like Steven Woolfe invited him outside, according to eye witness reports. What a way to behave, but this all stems from saying too much to the press, even if Woolfe was thinking about joining the conservative party he should not have said so. It makes him look ridiculous to say in one breath he was putting his name forward but at the same time defecting to the other side.

          What was he thinking and now this, I am wondering if they are all beginning to lose the plot. It is a good job that us members are keeping it all together, and this is the time for Nigel to show his metal and get the party into some sort of order, if he cannot do it who will?

          • If Woolfe thought he could keep these talks with the Tories a secret, then he’s too stupid to become a Leader in the first place – these talks would’ve been leaked, no doubt about it.So he admitted to them, because he was probably informed that Diane James was going to resign and thus thought he’d have another go at the leadership.
            Not at all pleasant – and I hope all those who scream so loudly for the heads of any ex-Tories in UKIP will remember that when they think of voting for Woolfe: he was going to join the Tory Party.

  8. Dear David,

    This is a very sad state of affairs as it is beginning to look kike Diane James was ‘hung out to dry’ by the very people who should have been supporting her. Furthermore, those encouraging her to stand should not have done so as she was obviously too fragile to do so.

    This is no laughing matter although the media are having a feast with this, just suppose something worse than being spat at and verbally abused worse had happened to her. This does not bear thinking about and is an abject neglect of responsibility from those who pushed her forward.

    I feel very sad about what has happened to her and hope she recovers from how she has been treated with the lack of support from the higher echelons of the party. I also feel bad myself because I also criticized her when nothing seemed to be being said or done, when really it sounds that she was not fully responsible.

    Also, what an earth is going on in Brussels, that we hear that Steven Woolfe has been punched by another UKIP MEP, and is seriously ill in hospital over there. This situation cannot get much worse for goodness sake we all need to settle down and have respect for one another and use our common sense!

  9. UKIP has been on the brink before and managed to survive, not only survive but go on to see the success of a vote for freedom only 3 months ago.
    Who can pull the chestnuts out of the fire? Nigel and/or Paul Nuttall are the best hope.

  10. A lot of what you say makes sound sense.
    However can you elaborate on the geordie flat cap business ?
    ~I have absolutely no idea what you are talking about .
    She essayed a Geordie accent or what ?
    Certainly she never wanted the Leadership and it was always going to turn out badly, though who imagined so soon.
    It is not worth banging on about Dianeºs MANY faults – lack of interest in policy issues, intellectual incapacity for probing interviews and close debate, extraordinary lack of judgment in embracing Carswell and dissing Hamilton on her first absurd day in post – lets leave it all in the past where it belongs.
    What IS essential now is to get the right Leader in post.
    That emphatically is NOT Steven Woolfe.
    He has this HUGE albatross of the incorrect – I choose the word as carefully as possible – declaration on his PCC candidature papers around his neck.
    It was dropped by MSM when he stopped being a candidate but it will be raised forever and a day if he becomes Leader again and someone may even mount a private prosecution.
    Worse than that he even ADMITS he was in defection discussions with the vile Tories only put on hold when he learnt of Dianeºs resignation.
    What kind of Leader would that be ? One who clearly has doubts about the party having a future, and one who sought to put his own self interest above that of the people who have supported him, voted for him, got him his position etc..
    You would have to have a heart of stone not to laugh out loud at this risible prospect.
    I have no idea why he was not a candidate in June, but can only hope that that obstacle has now gone away and he will put himself forward.
    SUPERB public speaker, full of passion and not lacking intelligence and argumentative ability.
    He will enthuse the UKIP troops, and connect with the working class who have suffered so much from the so called eºlite Establishmentºs treatment of them over many decades.

  11. Diane used the family illness excuse when she suddenly withdrew from the 2015 GE. I don’t know if she used it when she withdrew from the PCC election in 2012 but her husband must be on life support by now if he is so frail for so long. My take is that Nigel wants a successor to do what he failed to do in his war with Carswell et al, that he wants to control the party still without actually having a leader’s responsibilities, and that such an untenable position (even Woolfe if he gets the job will eventually be subject to forces and temptations Nigel cannot control) is ultimately destructive. I agree that public perception matters greatly and will matter determinatively come the next by-election we fight, but my concern right now is that without money coming in there will be no party to fight any elections. Last year we were saved from bankruptcy by Christopher Mills converting loans to donations. What or who will save us this year? Nigel cannot see that his legacy, his charisma, is being squandered by pursuing his personal and internal battle in the public eye. There is no conspiracy to sink the party because the Faragistas are doing it all by themselves. Banks recent tweets showing some members as rats was disgraceful. The very same image was used by Goebbels against the Jews. I fear for our party and for the millions who are being betrayed. Do those at the top not see that history will not be kind them?

    • Stout Yeoman I am afraid you are bang on the nail. It was brought home to me yesterday, on The World at One, when in an interview Nigel was extremely insulting about Neil Hamilton, when being questioned about the disarray of UKIP by Martha Carney. Hamilton was interviewed on the back of that, and despite having Nigel’s words quoted to him he was extremely generous about Nigel and the great role he had played in British politics, and then went on to make a robust and coherent outline of UKIP’s future role post Brexit.
      The worst of it, to my mind, was that here was an opportunity for Nigel, when Hamilton’s name came up, to point out that Wales is a massive success story for UKIP and under Neil Hamilton, were able to fight for a positive future for Wales, where there had been a large Leave majority.
      All he did was use the interview to fight a battle that is almost forgotten, if not by all members, certainly by most voters.
      And Banks, on national television last night, continued the job in the same vein.
      I thought then that no matter who we get as Leader, Nigel and Arron Banks still want to be pulling the strings and sniping from the sidelines, so no-one will ever have a chance to move forward and stop fighting old battles.
      As you say, the Farragistas are destroying the party, led by Nigel himself.
      It is tragic, not just for members like ourselves who see the urgent need for UKIP as a political force, but also for the many voters out there who believed in UKIP. It is also tragic that Nigel has lost the plot, and instead of UKIP surging forward on the back of his personal triumph, it is looking, to the public, less electable by the day.

      • Dee, I agree with you on this point, when will Nigel ever let go of this massive ‘grudge’ he has against Neil Hamilton, I still do not understand what this man has done wrong. Is it just merely the fact that he is an ex- Tory?

        Plus, like you I have never heard Hamilton say anything bad on camera against Nigel Farage, in fact quite the opposite he is always polite and flattering in his remarks about him. At the moment he seems to be the only one who remains dignified and gentlemanly, perhaps some of the others should learn from him how to behave.

        • I would have so agreed, Mickey, until just now, when I saw him briefly on Channel4 putting the boot in. If ever there was a moment to shut up, now is it. So I am conflicted, although, to be frank, after Nigel’s attack on him yesterday, I cannot really blame him for getting his own back as it were, if he were not representing what is left of UKIP. But he is.

          • Yes, Dee I saw that as well, but I think he is just as sick of it as much as we are, and he did say he has kept it bottled up for years. At least he has not punched anybody yet, God knows he must feel like punching someone!

            I know I feel like knocking some sense into these fools.

        • I too am mystified about the grudge against N Hamilton.
          After all, as was the case also with Carswell remember ? it was NIGEL who welcomed him into the UKIP fold.
          I have never heard Hamilton speak ill of Nigel in public.
          I did hear him once at a northeast UKIP conference where he was a warm up speaker for Nigel…….
          He was absolutely EXCELLENT as a speaker….really enthused the troops present.
          And extremely loyal to Nigel, at least in public.

          I donºt honestly think anybody gives a damn about what did or didnºt happen 25 years ago with the ridiculous Harrods owner.
          The fact that he got elected in Wales and most especially, the fact that his fellow AssemblyMembers chose him as their Leader in that Assembly surely speaks highly in his favour ?
          Why should UKIP people outside Wales seek to query the judgment of the Welsh , elected UKIP members ?
          Esp. when they went on to achieve a pro LEAVE vote in Wales, against the urgings of every single other Party in WAles ???!!!
          Huge HUGE UKIP success in Wales which should be being celebrated, not denigrated.

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