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Letters to the editor – Sunday 3 September 2017

Today’s letter is by leadership contender and MEP Jane Collins.

Sir

You may have heard by now that three other candidates who were standing in this leadership election have stepped down and have joined me as part of a team to unite UKIP and embrace the dynamic, grass roots-focused party that in recent months has disappeared in favour of a more top down approach dominated by an authoritarian policy agenda.

Those policies and that leadership team were roundly rejected by the voters in three elections in 2017 and UKIP slumped to a poll rating I have not seen since my early days as a member of UKIP.

The party I became involved with in 1998 was one where the membership was valued, not taken for granted, where experts in their field were encouraged to participate in policy formation and our manifesto wasn’t left to a small number of staff based in London.

We challenged the received wisdom that our membership of the EU was inexorable, to bring about not only the historic referendum, but win it. On the way we set the agenda on other topics, making it clear we would talk about the effects of uncontrolled immigration on housing, schools, jobs and security despite the establishment telling us it was racist to do so.

We became the party that spoke up for the people against the liberal elite and I was delighted to be part of that surge as the candidate for UKIP in the Barnsley Central by election where we achieved our first ever second place in a Westminster election, and follow it up with 22 percent of the vote in the Rotherham by election, achieving the highest ever recorded for us in any parliamentary by election up to that time. Then, like now, it was my name on the ballot paper representing a fantastic and hard working team: it was never just about me.

I want us to return to the messages and policies which saw us take county and district council seats across the country: the people’s army that spoke up for the working class men and women, for young people struggling to get jobs, for people unable to get on the housing ladder and communities and businesses trying to fight against multinational companies tearing up communities and building over green belt. […]

I have set out my key pledges in Independence News, from fundraising to target seats, which look at the changes I would like to make to the running of the party and how to get it back onto an even keel. My job as leader is not to dictate, it is not to write the manifesto myself. It is to establish that structure which develops a manifesto the media can report on positively and you can sell on the doorsteps to get votes. It’s to provide campaigning tools, training days, research and advice so you can win those elections in your areas.

But here, in this letter to you, I want to outline my top five policy pledges which I would like the political direction of the party to follow.

1. Involve more members in policy making. We have members who are experts in a range of policy fields, whose enthusiasm is not currently harnessed. Let’s change that first.

2. Develop policy for the whole country, not just the London bubble. Let’s hear more about countryside policies, develop our plans for animal welfare reforms and shout about our scheme to take back control of British fishing grounds. […]

3. Pensions. UKIP has never had a fully-researched pension policy, despite many of our members and voters finding their retirement incomes cut back by successive Chancellors. This must be a top priority for us.

4. Address the generational divide. Younger voters may struggle to buy a home, to repay a student loan, or to save for a pension plan. No party has successfully addressed these needs. Let’s give this issue the recognition it deserves.

5. Be different to the other parties. UKIP is rightly known for its championship of Brexit, insistence on controlled immigration and challenging the establishment at all levels. Very few of our other policies have widespread public recognition. […]

But this team, UKIP United, is different from the others in this candidate race because it is a team. I have sat in branch meetings and hustings and heard ideas I support delivered by passionate, talented people and I have been truly honoured to join with them in this new campaign to win back the heart and soul of UKIP.

If you supported Ben Walker, Marion Mason or David Coburn you can still get the ideas and ideals they inspired you with because they will be part of my leadership team. I said from the beginning I would be a leader with a ‘little L’. […]

I understand there will be some disappointed people out there but the people you initially supported have not gone, their name is still on the ballot paper as part of my vision for UKIP. Jane Collins now stands for more than just my name: it represents an exciting opportunity for UKIP to retake our place on the political scene and to once again become part of our communities up and down the country.

I am up for this fight and this team is ready for this challenge. I hope you will join us.

Jane Collins MEP

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30 Comments on Letters to the editor – Sunday 3 September 2017

  1. Further to my last comment, may I add that as an ‘Assimilated Immigrant’ and East African Asian, it’s deeply worrying that none of you apart from Anne Marie Waters and Peter Whittle, seems willing to address the Integration vs Multicultural argument.

    For, this is the issue that’s leading to Segregated communities, with constituencies in Bradford, London and Leicester electing their own MP’s in large numbers, to use the democratic process against us. It would be naive not to realise, that the ‘Incitement to Hate Legislation’ has come into being specifically to assuage pressure from our Muslim Communities.

    This is the space UKIP must fill in order to avoid being irrelevant , for our previous position has now been stolen by the Tories.

  2. Will someone please ask these three converts if they have had a promise of their deposits being paid for. If anyone thinks Jane Collins is up to the job, just view her TV car crashes. its embarrassing. Why anybody would want to be associated with David Coburn is beyond me.

  3. You’re Right about item 5 i.e. Be Different from Other Parties.
    Your problem is that you’re Not Different enough from the current Tories!
    You are proposing policies which would make us conservatives MKII.

    The answer is obvious, to regain the debate on Immigration we can’t just repeat yesterdays arguments, but must Say What’s On Peoples Minds i.e. ISLAM and Third World Cultures. Your shortcoming is that you’re not Controversial enough.

  4. Listened to you at East Midlands hustings tonight Jane, at Stamford.

    To be honest, I was unimpressed. I’d say more, only you didn’t really have anything much to say yourself.

    You aren’t going to be taking UKIP forward. Whether you are elected to the position of leader or not.

  5. Purple blood runs in my veins // September 3, 2017 at 11:05 pm // Reply

    It’s “different from”, not “different to”, Jane.

  6. Item 5 – be different

    With a new leader is anyone going to pay attention to UKIP if there is no dramatic controversial aim?

  7. Yes thanks Grummy

    I did sadly send the reply before I spelt checked it…please accept my most sincere apologies…16 hour days do not help

    • Erm… I know it’s late but, for example, “spelt checked” probably wouldn’t be flagged up by your spell-checker. Sometimes careful humans do better.

      I know, a minor point.

  8. I’ve just returned from a weekend away where I refused to allow myself to access the internet. So on return I eagerly switched on the laptop and straight to UKIPD. After catching up on the leadership shenanigans; Steve Crowthers reply to Toby etc etc. and the comments, the first thought that came into my mind was a line from Enoch Powell’s famous speech, but substitute the word “party” for nation:

    “It is like watching a nation busily engaged in heaping up its own funeral pyre.”

    I hope I’m wrong

  9. Always Stun to kill. Only in UK. Imagine how easy to see if the animal has been humanely slaughtered with a simple BRITISH flag on the front of items. It is vitally important to get this off the ground ASAP. Strictly labelled imports for those still choosing to eat ritually slaughtered meats. The Zakat tax paid solely to Islam to be paid by those choosing this slaughter. Exports of humanely slaughtered meats from OUR BRITISH farmers to be available for those citizens in other countries who cannot get their Governments to see sense can buy ours. Get in their our wonderful farmers!

  10. Non stun slaughter has reared its head. At the SE hustings we had several questions on banning halal but deliberately decided to ask the candidates if they would ban non stun slaughter. Delighted to report that it was yes all round, including Jane as she has already confirmed

  11. To everyone, Hugo especially.

    Apologies for late repply you will I hope understand that Jane is flat out, hsutings roday and media.

    Jane Collins is totally against the non stun slaughter of animals in this country. This method of despatch is totally at odds with this countries animal welfare ethos and policy. Subject to the policy forum agreeing that this should be policy for Ukip and approved by the intended central policy unit. It will become Ukip Policy.

    I hope this clears this up for everyone

    Stephen Place
    Campaign Manager Ukip United (Jane Collins MEP, Ben Walker)

    • Stephen, many thanks for the reply. I am delighted that this is the stance.

      It may seem to be a side issue, however indeed it is key. We must have “one law for all”. We must be anti-Sharia. We cannot at the same time permit exceptions for special pleading religions to act contrary to the wishes of the overall population.

      This stance, if fully implemented as a carefully drafted policy, has the potential to transform the fortunes of UKIP. The voters are sick of having to bend to these unreasonable demands. A bold and sincere stand taken by UKIP will surely be reciprocated by the public.

    • If you’re a Campaign Manager for politicians who aspire to be taken seriously, shouldn’t you re-read your comments before posting?

      Or do you think that level of sloppiness is acceptable?

  12. Teaming up with the bottom end of the ballot will diminish not enhance Collins’ chances. She is finished.

    JRE, a delusional utopian, is too whacky for many, AMW is not credible outside her expertise on Sharia and her inexperience was exposed in her interview on LBC.

    It’s a three horse race now between Bolton, Kurten and Whittle.

    Bolton is an elitist snob like his backer. Regional representation was defeated at last year’s conference. Advisory only (as members are only allowed to be = ignorable) but Bolton is not even aware of the decision such his is lack of interest in what members think.

    Whittle, despite trying hard with airs and graces, cannot break through the public school class system that seeks to maintain its grip.

    That leaves Kurten.

    • Ahem, …in your opinion – Spencer.!

      There’s no harm in being the under-dog in an interview if it gathers you supporters, which Spencer, you will see by the comments to that LBC interview on social media, is what happened to Anne Marie. And at least she was interviewed, the others weren’t . Perhaps you have forgotten Anne’s manifesto, For Britain, and her determination to not only achieve Brexit support by having the backbone to concentrate the discussion back where it should be, on immigration – as well as her ambition to work with others in Europe to collapse the whole rotten system. She has the determination and backbone to do what she says she will.

      David Kurten is very good on his education brief, and cultural Marxism, a cheerful, amiable man who won’t inspire those we need to join and vote for UKIP, imo – who may not be able to robustly withstand Media howls of outrage if he mentions the aforesaid CM that they love so much. Possibly his ability to be at ease in London salons might mean he could be the Metropolitan choice.

      Unless you decide that Peter Whittle, despite being Deputy Leader, and achieving nothing except a collapse in UKIP support and a determination to see the burka as a threat to security instead of what it actually is, a prison within which a woman is forced to live in order to be a Sharia obeying half-the-value-of-a-man virtuous woman who might inflame manly lust if she didn’t wear it, might suddenly achieve what he has failed to do up to now, which is to be memorable for anything except a hand in the catastrophe that was Stoke.

      I’m afraid that John Rees-Evans, whilst charismatic and the favorite with YI, will never enthuse the public with his Direct Democracy – with the struggle that life is these days, they simply haven’t the energy.

      Which leaves the new ‘chosen one’ – who will have put the other two Metropolitan grandees noses out of joint. Mr Bolton, having shot like a meteor across the sky, has already crashed and burned in my eyes, because he looks and sounds like a Civil Servant and the fact that he has spent much time hobnobbing with those in various corridors of power will mean that he will be viewed with deep suspicion by the ordinary man and woman in the street – he’s ‘one of them, not one of us’.

      I forgot to mention the ‘coalition’ – but I dislike coalitions – we need a Leader.

  13. No mention of the ‘I’-word in the whole letter and I’m not talking about immigration.

  14. When voting for a leader one likes to discover what one is voting for. In contrast to AMW, say, or JRE, the above ‘manifesto’ in all areas boils down to ‘Develop Policy’.
    Great. Glad that’s clear, what she believes, where she wants to go and how she will get there.

  15. Thank you Jane, for engaging with UKIP Daily.
    I too would like to know if you support banning all non-stun abattoirs with no exceptions.
    Have you changed your stance on not speaking at rallies held by groups like Gays Against Sharia? This is they way modern younger people try to get their voices and concerns aired, and it’s the way to get your face, and our Parties views known to a far wider audience. So far, the only candidates that have demonstrated that they understand this are AnneMarie Waters, and to a lesser extent John Rees-Evans.

  16. Rob, why do you so liberally use emojis?
    🖤 🏴 💣

  17. Leadership with a little “l”, and in a rather small font.

  18. Next to nobody supported coburn; mason would have had a derisory vote so for her sake I am glad she has withdrawn from the race. Even walker would have been a washout in terms of numbers.
    Jane Collins your record with UKIP is amongst the best but at the moment I cannot vote for you. If you want to improve your chances then make a last minute deal with David Kurten where you each promise to make the other Deputy Leader if elected. Try to offer membership of your cabinet to the two great outsiders AMW and JRE. At this stage you have nothing to lose.
    Sheffield is your patch and also you have held the shadow home secretary brief so why not make it plain your feelings heard about the criminal gang that stopped the YI meeting at Hilton Sheffield. Threats of violence to hotel, staff, ukip members is unacceptable and the failure of UKIP HQ to formally complain to Home Secretary Amber Rudd is a dereliction of duty.
    These criminals are mentally ill and need care not in the community but in Broadmoor or similar as they are a danger to themselves and society . Anyone who threatens to burn down buildings or whatever they said/texted is obviously a danger to our society. Doing nothing is not an option.

  19. Jane, what is your stance on non-stun religious abattoirs? Do you want non-stun to be banned in the UK? I have asked you three times and you have as yet not given me a clear answer.

    I am not giving up on this, so the sooner that you can provide clarity, the better it will be for your campaign.

    I have spoken on this matter at three branch meetings, by show of hands it was unanimous at two branches to have a policy opposing non-stun, at the third branch it was close to unanimous – only one person said he did not care about animals.

    Admittedly only three branches is a small sample of the total membership, however if you really mean what you say about taking the grassroots seriously, then you must take this matter seriously. There is no reason to think that other branches would not also want to ban non-stun.

    • Hugo, I’ve used an online butcher for a number of years because I became concerned by the origin and possible slaughter methods used. It occurred to me about a month ago that I’d taken for granted they didn’t sell halal meat, and used humane methods of slaughter but I didn’t actually know, so I contacted them.

      This is the relevant part of their reply:

      ‘In response to your query, I can confirm that we do not sell halal meat.
      The animals from which we obtain our meat are pre-stunned immediately prior to slaughter, which is then carried out as quickly and humanely as possible. No religious procedures, whether halal, kosher or otherwise, are a part of this process.
      Animal welfare has always been and continues to be a serious and important factor in what we do.’

      Maybe something we could do as a party, is to contact all supermarkets, particularly, as well as larger meat retailers and wholesalers. For members who are customers of smaller retailers, we could have a letter they or branches could download, which asks the pertinent questions.

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