Today’s letters address issues which have come up during this overlong period of campaigning for the Leadership. The first letter is a must-read, addressing the question of islam which has been the main issue of contention in this campaign. It is by our contributor Stout Yeoman:
Islam has featured in the current leadership election with an apparently polarising effect. We all recognise the problem but differ on how to deal with it. It is a complex issue involving multiculturalism, integration v assimilation, the excesses of political correctness, the left’s attempt, and the EU’s attempt, to undermine national identity, and on top of it all uncontrolled immigration. Islam is not a single problem but is bound in with all these issues.
Historically, intermarriage played a large part in the assimilation of previous waves of immigrants as well as a wish by the (grateful immigrants) to adapt to and get along with their host culture. This was even true of many Pakistani families initially.
Islam differs on both these key aspects but crucially it is the undercurrent of violence that controls its own people as well as us. The British State was paralysed by the Salmon Rushdie affair in 1989 when large numbers of Muslims near rioted with book burnings and chants of death to Rushdie when they responded to the fatwa of Ayatollah Khomeini. Even the indomitable Maggie was at a loss. The appeasement approach was all our politicians could come up with and that intensified, culminating in our Prime Minister issuing Happy Eid messages!
There is no appetite among most people for violence or civil war but the underlying threat of violence from Muslims cannot determine our response. Like the smoking ban we should adopt a salami slicing strategy. First smoking was banned on airplanes, then trains, then cinemas, then pubs etc. A blanket ban would have provoked wide scale resistance and failed. Salami slicing worked.
UKIP needs to be the party providing that thought-out strategy. That will take time. The starting point has to be the Home Office and the police. A Muslim is not to be protected from `hate’ or offence more than I am. Their grievance culture must be ended by being rendered ineffective. Muslims cannot be accepted if they are afforded special status. That type of appeasement breeds the resentment the Home Office believes itself to be controlling
Special immigration privileges for imans – yes, they just waltz in – must end.
Ofsted inspections of Muslim schools must not allow religion as an excuse for teachings that under another name would be illegal. When we say boys and girls have equal status in our society we should mean it.
We should stop funding of the Muslim Council of Britain, of madrassas. stop Saudi and other funding of mosques. Instead of MI5 monitoring over 2000 radical mosques they should be closed down.
I could go on and on but the endpoint of all the salami slices, even if it takes 100 slices over ten years, has to be Monty Python’s ‘Life of Mohammed’. The left, via the BBC and Guardian and just about every comedian, tamed Christianity by taking the mickey out of it. When we can satirise Islam as we satirised Christianity then I will accept Islam in my country, for then my country’s long established culture of lampooning will be fully restored.
Our slicing strategy must be in the context of controlling immigration, of a Home Office and police forces no longer trying to be the most PC, of taking on the `blob’ in education and slicing the left out of it, and of many other things too. UKIP should present a transformative vision of Britain and have a realistic plan over a number of years. There are millions of Muslims across the country in established communities leading parallel lives. A head on approach will not have the support of a population fearful of violence, so we need to plan the slices, keep it at, and keep the end goal firmly in mind.
And we must be clear that not all cultures are equal. Ours is superior to any that treats women as of lesser status than men, and we should say so loudly and often.
Muslims will resist the very first salami slice. We must prepare for that and so we must have a Home Office and police force on the side of our culture.
Respectfully, Stout Yeoman
The next letter is a report on the East Midlands hustings. Hustings help us to form our own personal opinions of the candidates. The letter is by our correspondent icini:
For UKIP to recover we have to get the right new leader, 3rd. time lucky or we’re out of the game. The media will be all over whoever wins like flock of vultures, they are saving their ammunition for after the election.
On Sunday I attended the Stamford East Midland leadership hustings, an excellent event I thought worth reporting. These are my personal observations.
In attendance were Henry Bolton, Jane Collins, Aidan Powlesland, David Kurten and Peter Whittle, A.M. Waters was scheduled to be there but did not turn up. The smallish hall was full, maybe 100 odd members. The event was carefully managed, maybe a little too closely. This far into the contest I was surprised how nervous all the candidates seemed, at least to start with, though they warmed up after a while. Nigel they are not. Afterwards I was able to speak directly for a few minutes with Henry and Jane.
Candidates were asked about 6 main questions with strictly limited time to answer, including how they would move the party forward, for their opinions on Brexit and if they thought it was a sin to be gay. Islam was touched on lightly.
I’m going to be blunt. All were reasonable, none of them is an ideal leader. Aidan is a nice man but he bored me, he has no hope. Henry is as advertised, an honest, intelligent clear thinker, reasonably confident and with a plan but somewhat short on charisma. Jane is very sincere, likeable and though plain speaking does not strike me as a potential leader. She needs to choose her words with care. Peter carefully says the right things but is surprisingly too close to the usual mainstream political animal for me. David was charming, he must have been a good teacher and he does command attention. He seems to be a rather fundamental Christian, a mixed blessing.
No one stood head and shoulder above the rest of the field, though 4 of them have some potential to develop once in the role. Practice makes perfect. The few supporters of AMW I was aware of were disappointed but I doubt it will stop them voting for her platform regarding Islam. I tried hard to attend with an open mind but nothing said changed my personal opinion, which is the best team would be Bolton, with his impeccable CV, as leader and strategist, with Kurten as deputy, handling PR and doing as much of the media face to face stuff as possible. Jane also deserves a senior job. That just might work out well. At least we’ve a better choice than the Americans had between Clinton and Trump.