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David Allen Steps Down

--- Why I support Henry Bolton ---

As an activist and local campaigner, having sought elected office unsuccessfully on multiple occasions and not being a part of the party hierarchy, the leadership election was always going to be a step too far. Not because of ability, or experience, or knowledge or innovation, but simply because nobody knew who I was. How could they?

My initial announcement, at a Brexit referendum celebratory dinner, made it clear that I didn’t expect to win, but I had other objectives. Clearly, I needed to have something other than winning to justify a ludicrous deposit of £5,000.00 and a £500.00 application fee. As I’m no longer allowed to have a page in the Independence magazine the additional £1,000.00 that candidates must ‘stump up’ as a ‘contribution toward costs’ will be returned.

I felt very strongly that we needed to move forward as a party on issues that can attract broad support. We will, of course, continue to form policy on all governmental areas but we’ve slipped into a position of irrelevance and regaining that must be a priority. Above all, we must be interesting, sometimes controversial, but always measured, with everything we say well thought through. The way back requires firstly relevance, then support, then votes.

I campaigned on promoting electoral reform, but in a quite different way. The similarity with Brexit is marked. There has always been an undercurrent of dissatisfaction with the EU amongst the British people. We didn’t create that, it was already there, but we cultivated it to a successful conclusion. There is now an undercurrent of dissatisfaction with our government, governance, and politicians in general. We need to cultivate that and, just as we did with Brexit, offer a solution. To get support for voting reform, don’t talk about voting systems, talk about better governance, fairer representation and more people power.

I have a clear strategy to do this, to make it happen, which I have talked about at length, so won’t reiterate here. The point is, that I saw my candidacy as a way to get people to listen to this approach. Not just the attendees at hustings, but also other candidates, because one of them will win. Maybe, if they’ve been listening, some of my ideas will have resonated.

As the contest has developed, it has become abundantly clear that my personal profile simply isn’t developed well enough to win, so I have stepped down from this leadership contest to throw my full support behind Henry Bolton.

My decision to step down will accomplish two important things. Firstly, it reduces the ridiculously large field of 11 candidates down to 10.  Secondly, I now have a real opportunity to progress the strategy that has underpinned my campaign to date. Principle and pragmatism, when combined, allow achievement with integrity.

On Sunday 20th August 2017, I rang Henry Bolton. I had met him once before when he stood as the PPC in Kent. It was a brief encounter as I recall. However, I scrutinised his website and campaign messaging, as I have done with all the other candidates and it seemed that electoral reform was also an issue that he felt strongly about. That discussion, another conversation and further scrutiny on my part led me to believe that Henry Bolton could win the leadership. I was impressed, a sensation I’ve not experienced with any of the other candidates, with the exception of John Rees Evans, though I have serious concerns about John’s obsession with Direct Democracy and how that would play with the general public.

When we explain concepts to people, a mechanism we use to recognise that they have understood is when they ask the right questions. When we explore the needs of UKIP, and when each party to a conversation adds something to collective understanding, one knows that both people are on the same page. In short, I could work with Henry Bolton, and he with me.

Were Henry to win the leadership I would take the party’s portfolio for electoral reform as the official spokesperson. In essence, that’s what I set out to achieve. All we need to do now is make sure Henry wins.

So, why do I think Henry Bolton will win?

I urge everyone to look at Henry’s website, to avoid the repetition of a spectacular career and CV on these pages. An ex Police Officer, soldier and officer, he has been described by others thus:

Henry Bolton was awarded the OBE in 2013 for services to international security and stabilisation. He was commended for outstanding bravery by the Police in 1997.

In my view, none of the other candidates come close in status, ability, career, experience or relevance. He is thoughtful and has an eye for strategy, communications and organisation. Quite simply, a leader in waiting. Not only will Henry’s background and high-level experience resonate with our members, he will also resonate with the British people. That’s exactly what we need.

Let’s talk numbers.

My understanding is that UKIP currently has something less than 24,000 members. Many of them won’t bother to vote as is usually the case with internal elections. With no well-known and well-liked candidate in the competition, apathy will abound. The expectation (a selection of people’s views) suggests that about a third may vote. 8,000 total voters, perhaps. Of those, I doubt that many will have attended a hustings, maybe 1,500 overall. That means 6,500 members, many of whom do not do social media, or check emails very often, will decide the outcome. The only information they will see will be the candidate’s page in the Independence Magazine and whatever MSM presence the candidates are able to manufacture.

Those candidates that have had some MSM exposure will benefit from that. However, one look at Henry Bolton’s career history and a powerful image of him receiving the OBE from Princess Anne is likely to have the same effect on our members sitting at home, as it does on our members at hustings when he speaks. UKIP members are very much Queen and Country people, and respond to those with a service background. They certainly recognise a deserved national honour.

That’s why I think Henry will win. That’s why I’m looking forward to being a part of his team. That’s why I forfeited the rest of my campaign, with no deposit return, and that’s why I’m supporting Henry Bolton for leader.

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About David Allen (89 Articles)
Author and political innovator. UKIP Borough Council candidate 2016, KCC candidate 2017, Parliamentary candidate for Rochester and Strood 2017 in which he saved his deposit.

29 Comments on David Allen Steps Down

  1. Henry Bolton says AMW shouldn’t have been allowed to stand:

    If you feel like that, Mr Bolton, shouldn’t you have said so sooner?

  2. I do like Henry. He did not acknowledge an Email I sent asking him what his policy priorities were, which is a shame but his CV is excellent and with the right team he could do well. He need to remove his digit if he wants to progress. UKIP members are not the sort of people to be overawed by rank or qualifications and domestic politics is not the same as international diplomacy. Develop a “common touch” Henry, something that Nigel did so well.
    The basic problem with our old party politicians is that they are a shifty, manipulative lot, apt to use terminological inexactitudes but they are excellent at using the media, somehow you need to get more publicity if you are to win. A lot of members do use social media but by no means all, you can’t just rely on your website and poorly attended hustings.
    Thanks for standing down David, a wise move, I’m sorry your bid cost you so much. I can see why big deposits were required but it’s kind of sad that only the well healed could stand. What we need now is a shortlist of 5 at the most.

  3. I have been keeping brief notes on all candidates,but had nothing on Henry Bolton because I have seen zero commentary about him.

    Thanks to this article I now checked his website. His background is very impressive.

    Do the electorate know about him?

    • By the ‘electorate’ do you mean our party members, because that is the first hurdle. And no, probably not as is the case with almost all the other candidates. Don’t believe all the social media stuff as most (a lot) of our members don’t interact that way. The promotional page in the Independence magazine is critical to overcome the automatic advantage of Peter Whittle’s profile advantage. Henry Bolton has class, the picture of him receiving his OBE from Princess Anne is a powerful reminder of his status. As an expert in international border control at governmental level he is, by far, the outstanding candidate. Nobody else has achieved anything comparable. That information in the magazine will be highly influential. By that means I think he will win.

  4. Henry Bolton is a white middle class government employee, as such he his out of touch with most of the voters. His large protected pension is something that normal people can only aspire too.
    Now I’m not saying he was good at his job as I’m sure he was, but, it’s not what ukip needs.
    We need to be radical.

    • Eddie, may I politely suggest that such views as you’ve expressed in this comment are more suitable for LabourList.
      UKIP is not about identity politics!

  5. In his interview with Kent Online in July Henry Bolton is quoted as follows:

    “He said the party needed to establish a broader domestic policy platform to widen its appeal and had to tackle the issue of a right-wing insurgency in the party.”

    “After the referendum and getting the vote – which had united us – there was no other vision. I think there is a space in British politics for a party which is not part of the left or right spectrum.”

    What do you think he was he referring to David?
    Was the first paragraph about Anne Marie Waters?
    Was the second paragraph about ‘centrism’?

    I think the voters should know.

  6. David showing his age here, thinks that people only use Independence Magazine and the MSM to get info on candidates. David, something called social media exists, and is where pretty much everyone gets their information from these days.

    • I take your point, but that doesn’t hold true for a significant proportion of our members, the people that will actually be voting. Ths social media perspective on this election presents a distortion of what will really happen, giving succour to no-hopers and pretending that everyone who matters (i.e. real members) are glued to their twitter accounts. Twas ever the case with UKIP elections, but only time will show if that has changed. As a door knocker actually meeting members, Methinks not.

      • Based on the hit rate for Lisa Duffy’s leadership website last year, David, you’re spot-on! IMHO, most vote for whoever Nigel blesses… ??

        • Rob, you are probably right there, so if this Henry Bolton is so good how come Nigel is not supporting him? His credentials sound good but I am afraid I find him boring, sorry as he seems a decent enough chap.

        • Rob, I don’t think that is true any more. Nigel favoured Diane James and that did not end well.
          Much as most of us love, respect and miss Nigel, I don’t think he ‘gets it’ about islam and the threat it poses to our society and future as a nation. I noticed that when he was still leader, but realised he was focusing all his attention on getting us out of the EU. That was his forte and he was successful. But Nigel stood down as leader and now we have to make our own minds up about whose truth and courage is the most important. For me and many others, it’s Anne Marie Waters’ truth and her courage to proclaim it.

  7. David Allen, you are an intelligent nice man with some interesting things to say to the politically engaged. Mr Bolton is similar.

    But dry and bland white middle class Englishman from the perceived provincial middle class establishment is not what the Party needs right now and, is certainly not what the Country needs right here right now. There are far to many of those in the smugs that populate the LibLabCon pact.

    No, what we need is the intelligent, passionate, measured, engaging, street wise wisdom that the terrier Anne Marie Waters is offering us. Lets embrace her whilst we can.

    • Yes! Passion and justified conviction. Enough is enough. Whoever can provide vitality, vision and virtue that person or those people are needed now. No more half answers no more prisoners no more pc niceness.

  8. It seems that the Folkestone members betting strategy is helping to shorten the odds on Mr Bolton. I wonder who else will place a huge bet to sway the vote?

    • leonard, clearly, you have a beef about Henry Bolton, your prerogative, but please keep up the standards of the ‘Daily’ and its commentators and don’t make up stuff. Honest critique, factual matters and informed opinion keep these pages interesting, informative and readable. I’de like it to stay that way.

  9. Henry Bolton , unbeknown to most UKIP members, has helped in the undemocratic actions of the Folkestone Kent branch. This branch was recommended to have a steering group put in place by the previous regional officer Chris Adams. This candidate spouts honour and branch participation–as long as its his way

  10. In my article ‘Hustings a Must’, I urged people to go and see candidates in the flesh. It is the only way you can really get to judge who they are as people.

    I have been to the Eastern Region hustings at which David Allen stepped down, which I reported on, and in my opinion, Henry Bolton came out on top even though I knew nothing about him beforehand.

    He will not be driving the party in any new directions, but he could be the ideal ‘regrouping’ leader to sort out the massive UKIP internal issues, both structurally and financial. We simply cannot grow the party or rush ahead while we are still so divided and poorly run. We need a leader who will sort our own house out first and Henry has the credentials.

    People will remember our Lord Pearson era. Many said at the time that his lack of public profile was a problem. However, it was a holding period that worked and when it was over, we came back stronger and eventually resulted in a tremendous victory for us!

    Henry is considerably better than Lord Pearson and I believe it is time for another holding period while we rebuild. If Henry, or another, becomes a new clear mega-leader, then we can make that choice down the line.

    Henry is a safe pair of hands, and that comment should not be taken as feint praise. Some of the other candidates I have seen would risk internal fracturing or undermining the hard earned UKIP reputation for common sense and being broadly libertarian. Then it would be all over.

    • I thought the Lord Pearson period was such a disaster that Nigel felt obliged to return, even though seriously hurt in plane crash. The 2010 manifesto was totally disowned by Nigel and all other sane people.

      • Good point. Perhaps it wasn’t the best example.

        I was trying to express my view that we can hold a quiet position for a while and still come back to huge successes as long as we keep our reputation intact. Better to have a period of rebuild than to prematurely shoot off attention seeking fireworks and lose our way.

        • David, what reputation do we have to keep intact? From the Glorious Day of 24th June when the Referendum result was announced to the present moment, it’s been downhill all the way. The MSM are always torn between jeering at us for being irrelevant post-Brexit, or laughing at us for two leadership failures and electoral disasters, or demonising us for the jackbooted fascist image they like to present (with the honourable exception of the D Express).
          We’ve nothing to lose and everything to gain by electing a leader that can drag us out of these doldrums and inspire us to keep the faith. Losing some dead wood at the top would help, and so would ‘a safe pair of hands’ who could sort out the organisational problems – but not as leader. A leader has to be someone who makes the voters sit up and take notice.

  11. Mister Allen you have done more than your fair share for UKIP in the last few years and have thus served your country well. You are an honourable man, something you share with Mister Bolton. What both of you lack – with great respect – is political insight and also political savvy. You stood by and watched as Suzanne Evans, Bill Etheridge, Jane Collins and others of the ukip aristocracy attacked in the MSM leadership candidates David Kurten and AnneMarie Waters.You should have complained! You should have defended them – if only to raise your profile with ordinary members. They were bringing the party into disrepute.
    You have undoubted talents and a good mind so I hope whoever becomes leader invites you to join their kitchen cabinet. It will not Be Mister Bolton as he is more invisible to most members than you are. It seems below him to engage with the cut and thrust of this blogsite let alone the MSM – where if you had any nous the pair of you could have got together a story about your endorsement of him.
    Good luck with all future plans Mister Allen and the same goes to the sterling Henry Bolton. For reasons you point out he will not be the new leader and you are probably right. Due to the crowther/bickley/oakden/oakley effect voting will be probs 10,000 max.

  12. Toby Micklethwait // August 24, 2017 at 9:45 am // Reply

    Dear David (Allen),

    You say “ridiculously large field of 11 candidates”.


    Thank you very much for stepping down! This will make our husting in Dorking (31.8.2017) slightly easier to manage.

    There are only 5 (just possibly 6) candidates who can possibly win this contest. In the interests of the party the others should also withdraw.

    Do you happen to know when the magazine will go to the printer?

    Regards, Toby, 01932-873557

  13. Henry Bolton certainly has an outstanding CV.

    Question: why has he not attained a more prominent position within the party before now?

    Many thanks David for your prolific flow of ideas, suggestions, and articles.

    • Hugo, I agree about Henry Bolton – and in another time I think he would be outstanding. However my worry is that he will, in the perception of the public we need to attract, seem almost Tory like (if you see what I mean) – the other thing he may lack is inspirational leadership?

    • Hugo because Mister Bolton has such an outstanding CV is the reason he has not attained a more prominent position in UKIP. The aristocracy running the party behind the scenes and taking full credit for all our efforts when things go well don’t like competition. They applaud mediocrity and the empty skill of babbling hence oakden and s evans exalted posts. With hindsight even paul the simple appears to be mediocre – who else would risk their future with tales of tranmere rovers whilst writing a PhD on nuclear physics? And living in a back to back in Stoke to boot!

    • Hugo, there has always been a massive blockade between grass roots people and the party central. Even good people don’t get a look in. I seem to remember that Diane James was going to include Henry in her team (though not certain about the details), but, as we all know she bottled it in record time.

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