First up, as many of you asked us to do, we’re publishing the letter Henry Bolton sent to UKIP members yesterday. It’s because it seems many members haven’t received it and many non-members wonder what was said in the letter when others referred to it. we publish it as we received it, unedited:
(member’s name) —
I shall be providing you with regular updates on my activities. This is the first of those reports.
My first week as Party Leader started very much in the media spotlight. I’ve appeared on ITV, the BBC (twice), Russia Today (twice), LBC, Talk Radio, BBC South East, Australian TV, Italian TV and many others. The media attention continues but has eased off, partly because of the mess the Tories are in, allowing me to concentrate on the urgent task of planning for the future.
I know many of you want to know what decisions I have made regarding my team and various aspects of reorganisation, but I intend to get them right, not rush them. To that end I am familiarising myself fully with the present situation: the state of our finances, personnel issues, organisational matters, legal affairs, processes etc. before I decide anything concrete. We all know there are problems and I am determined to solve them properly. That said, you will not need to wait long, I shall be promulgating a range of decisions one week from now.
‘Fake News’ is an ongoing issue and appears to have infected the party. I am not in the habit of commenting on rumours and speculation, but I also hear there is a rumour that anyone who voted for Anne-Marie Waters is unwelcome in the party. This is untrue. Anyone who believes in and supports our party is welcome. During my acceptance speech I said “Whether you voted for me or not, I would call on you all, please, to rally around the party, to be united, because without being united, we cannot lead the nation.”
Please watch that speech here. Ignore any mendacious attempts to undermine and damage our party. We have a job to do and two immediate priorities to get on with:
Ensuring Brexit is delivered and that it launches us on the path to being prosperous, secure, optimistic, confident and proud nation in every way;
Giving local people a say over the future of their communities; forcing local government to listen and serve.
The coming week:
During the coming week I have a range of national and international media appearances. I shall be travelling to Brussels to speak with our MEP’s and staff there and I then hope to pay an initial visit to Lexdrum House. At the end of the week I shall be finalising appointments to my top team and Shadow Cabinet.
In the coming couple of months I shall be asking the party to commence the selection of constituency Parliamentary Spokesmen who will, when we get to the next General Election, become our Parliamentary Candidates. Before doing so however, I wish to ensure that we have the necessary resources in place to properly support them.
Henry Bolton OBE, Party Leader
The next letter is staying with the subject of Party Unity while looking at the ‘new parties’. It was sent in by our contributor Jim Makin:
Suddenly the air is thick with announcements of new political parties, all vying for the “traditional British” voter who believes in independence for the United Kingdom.
Firstly of course UKIP. Secondly Anne-Marie’s new party ‘For Britain’. Thirdly John Rees-Evans’ new party of Direct Democracy. Fourthly the Right Way Campaign’s new party, to be launched in early November.
Suddenly it’s “party like there is no tomorrow”!
Henry has his work cut out to discourage UKIP members from leaking away to alternate leaderships.
Four parties of course is way too many for electoral purposes – the prospect of the UK’s future being determined by MPs elected from so many disparate bodies is vanishingly small (as is the hope that our voters will attentively follow all the ins and outs). So what to do?
For my part I will continue to support UKIP (warts and all) despite my misgivings over the opaque leadership. Henry has earned the right to sort them out and he must do this (or at least start this) in short order. If he can’t do it then he must resign at the right time, which would be our signal to shut up the UKIP shop and join one of the new parties.
That time is not yet. For now, the only party with working structure on the ground capable (however badly) of mounting election and public messaging campaigns is UKIP. We are entering a time of dangerous weakness where our ability to campaign will be split amongst rivals – we must not dissolve our one effective campaigning team until at least one of the other parties has demonstrated viability to take on the leadership.
Voters must be central in all our thoughts and actions. There is no point in being the perfect party if we split the national vote.
This group of parties cannot realistically all survive. Those which turn out to have the least support will fade, fold, or merge with a preferred rival. The remainder must promote common cause within a formal Alliance and must campaign as one for the common policy platform which we all share.
This realignment will take time. Once it becomes clear which party is in pole position, we will be able to gravitate to it – if necessary.
Sadly this process has now become inevitable. Let us get it over as quickly as possible, but let us take steps throughout to keep alive our ability to campaign to good effect.
Our cause is noble and must not be sacrificed to factional splits even if (Shock! Horror!) that means staying for now with the UKIP that we know, but maybe do not much love in its current form.
Respectfully, Jim Makin