Those who frequent these pages will be familiar with my political views over the years as expressed in some 69 articles published in the Daily.
The absence of appropriate clarity and vision in the party and a dearth of candidates with only broad generalisations or single-issue focus supporting their campaigns,has prompted me to enter this leadership contest. It will still be a miracle if we achieve a successful result, simply because, as is the case with most administrative things within UKIP, the election process is flawed, but at least a substantive argument for a political direction will be made. Whether it will be heard or not, though, is another matter.
I’m still in the process of collecting assenters. My campaign website www.davidallen-ukip.co.uk contains a wider portfolio of ideas in written and video format and is being added to regularly. Alternatively you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, so do that if you want to support me.
This article has two parts. The first is about leadership; the second a very clear and supported description of what we can do as a small party to increase support and begin a return to relevance.
Leaders are of their time. When that time has passed, and if they remain in a leadership position, they become the captives of their ideas and their infrastructure, unable, any more, to develop or excite,so rest in the subordinate roles of managers or facilitators, though the title of leader may often remain. That which embodied the ethereal quality of leadership is no more, because the flame has died.
Before becoming leaders, they would have been innovators, perhaps even campaigners, often at odds with the existing regime, or the norms of the day. Much time would have been spent thinking,because that is where the vision is born, where the ideas are created and honed. Typically, the battle to express and enact those thoughts and ideas will be an uphill one.This is why deputy leaders or closely associated people can never make leaders themselves as their positions aren’t born of the same uniqueness but of patronage and servitude. When in the shadow of a leader, some of the celebrity might rub off but none of the quality. We have to be very careful not to make the same mistakes again.
The exertion of leadership is why they are of their time, because the effort to see the vision through takes away all the space that used to be there for the construction of the dream. All one’s energy is expended in cementing the ideology in place, protecting it from lesser people who would wish to destroy the aims, often from within one’s own camp, so leaders are often undone or frustrated by their closest enemies; a process that builds when the flame begins to weaken.
It takes a particular set of circumstances to bring a leader to the fore. Often, those who could achieve are overlooked, or ignored, for an unthinking preference of the mundane, or the celebrity of office, or some other unearned advantage. In reality, these usurpers are people who could be nothing other than followers whatever their appearance might be.
This is one of those times for UKIP. Do we want a leader or a facilitator? We’ve had one leader and know what that feels like, so perhaps we need to look more closely at the current opportunities that present.
I have a vision. Whether that sees fruition, or indeed, if it is any good, will only be revealed in time, but I urge you to stimulate your critical abilities and mark out for yourselves a set of internal criteria for determining leadership quality, then judge the candidates in accordance with them. Don’t be fooled by the superficial; look for the vision.
Our party is at a crossroads; if we get this wrong it could be the end. Already members are haemorrhaging away, so whoever is to turn that around must be quite different. I urge you to look at the clarity and purpose of the arguments and not the noise. Remember, it is not our remaining members who need to be convinced but the millions of people who desperately need a political approach that will truly seek to solve the structural and economic problems of today.