Today’s letters adress topics very much in our minds: the state of our Party and how it relates to Brexit, which is being more and more debated to death by Government, Parliament and the MSM. The first letter is by our contributor Antony Nailer:
According to Isabel Oakeshott, on 17th October 2016, UKIP was £800,000 in debt and with no Leader. They have now been evicted from their London office, presumably for non payment of rent. There is no money for a leadership campaign and, according to Ms Oakeshott, none of the previous 3 rich donors is willing to continue pumping money into the ‘pressure group’ known as UKIP.
There is to be an election for NEC members, but I haven’t looked at the small print yet and it might be that NEC members are liable for a portion of UKIP debt in the likely event that the company is declared bankrupt!
The party has baggage and any potential leader has more than a mountain to climb. There is quite a good constitution, (I actually read it yesterday). What a pity those at the top do not abide by it! I had suggested that maybe the NEC should hire & fire, and the constitution gives them that power.
Anyone attempting to take over the party from Nigel will always be compared in the MSM to him. No one but an idiot might plough money into a debt ridden foundering ship from which the captain, first officer and most of the lieutenants have already set themselves adrift in the only lifeboat.
The headless chicken comes to mind again – only this time in the form of chicken and egg. Had the leadership stayed in place and launched a campaign for replacement for Nigel the donors might have stayed with it. To get the sponsorship you need to have functioning party.
Alternatively there are donors out there who have supported UKIP in the past and no doubt still wish to use their money to support a good political objective. Maybe now Aaron Banks will walk well away from the hole that UKIP is steadily sliding into and start a new party with new objectives in addition to making the UK (or disunited kingdom) sovereign again.
How about NUKIP. Silly – but I just couldn’t resist it.
Respectfully, Antony Nailer
The following letter looks at the same problem, from the point of view of grassroots and local councillors:
There seems to be an idea in parts of UKIP that a change to a “Five Star” type mass movement, using social media, is the way forward and the Italian experience is certainly tempting.
Unfortunately this would immediately exclude older people who do not have internet access or use it for essentials only. It also tends to work from the top down, input from the grassroots not getting adequate attention. We desperately need one united party built on our existing foundations, not a new direction or a split.
We also already have a situation where UKIP is afraid to allow open public comment in case a tiny number of unwanted “supporters”, who of course we can’t control, make inappropriate comments. I would prefer to see the few paid staff we can afford monitoring web comments rather than telling branches how to run elections. We know what’s best in our own constituencies, one size does not fit all and campaigns must be run according to available resources. Better use of the internet is essential but not to the exclusion of member input. For example: at least allow an up and down arrow system for articles written by senior members, who should use UKIP Daily to communicate more often, fly flags to see who salutes and then weigh the responses.
We certainly have to move on from our pre-referendum position, highlighting domestic policies, taking maximum advantage of our councillors to make a positive local impact, reminding the public we have not yet left the EU and warning of the Brexit extra-lite the establishment would dearly like to implement. Above all we have to demonstrate that the only way to achieve permanent change to the rotten political establishment is to continue and increase public support for our party. It’s also a fact that unless we all get behind whoever leads us, we have no future. That’s a big responsibility for both the grassroots and the leadership and will require compromise, common sense and the dumping of over large egos. Let’s show the nation we are up to it.
Respectfully, Cllr. Paul Foyster, Chairman, UKIP South Holland and the Deepings.
The last letter asks the questions our Party representatives ought to ask whenever they appear in the media, and which members should debate at every opportunity. It was submitted by one of our readers:
Is article 50 designed to ensnare any country that dares to try to leave the EU? When a member government notifies the EU of its decision to leave there is a maximum of two years to negotiate withdrawal, but this negotiated plan has to be approved by all the remaining member states (which for some will mean a vote in their own parliament).
Why would certain states chose to approve the leaving terms of a major contributor to European funds, unless that country continued to finance the EU system? A unanimous approval of the negotiation terms seems impossible in the case of Great Britain leaving.
So we reach the end of the two year period with no agreement – then what?Here is the trap: the two year period can be extended indefinitely, yes that means forever. Article 50 states that the negotiating period can be extended if the EU council and the leaving state agree.
Do you think that the present (or future) government would want to carry on negotiating? Both negotiating teams would be pleased to keep their jobs. The EU has been negotiating a trade agreement with China for ten years.
Many of our politicians and civil servants would relish the prospect of never ending opportunities to continue talking about a deal.
Article 50, as an exit tool, requires that we trust our politicians to carry out our wishes.
Do you trust them?
Respectfully, Anthony Rayner