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Money, money, money

The latest Electoral Commission report of donations and loans to UK political parties for the quarter to 30 June 2107 (including the General Election period) was released earlier this week.  In addition, UKIP’s accounts for the year to 31 December 2016 were released a couple of weeks ago.  What do these documents tell us about the health of our party?

Donations were staggeringly low.  Whilst it should be borne in mind that these figures only include funds donated to the central party and not the branches (or individuals losing their deposits!) the figures are still shocking. In a general election quarter UKIP only raised £156,000. For a party of 25,000 members this is £6 per member.  This is lower than the Women’s Equality Party (£282,000) and the Greens (£176,000) with even the BNP (£100,000) not that far behind.  The three main parties were far ahead; roughly speaking the Libdems raised £5million, Labour £10million and the Tories £25million.

The gap between UKIP and the Libdems is staggering.  For two parties who had been in the same vote share bracket for the previous two to three years, for them to raise over 30 times what we can raise is incredible.  On the other hand, they gave a very low return on investment to their donors!
The list of Tory donors is galling as the biggest were the leading Eurosceptics.  The Bamford family of JCB fame, who have spoken out many times against the EU, were the biggest single donors giving at least £2.25million (to remainer Theresa May!).  The founder of Addison Lee (London taxi company) gave £900,000 (he can’t be a big fan of Uber!) and John Gore (a theatre producer, who said all luvvies are Labour?).  Labour, of course, depend on the unions.

As for UKIP?  Occasionally, you will receive an email from head office asking for money.  The arrival of such messages is easy to ignore, there is no follow-up and seemingly no consequences.  I used to respond to messages sent by Nigel, but apart from providing £1,000 to fund our branch’s GE17 campaign I have not responded to HQ.

Looking at the accounts, the most noticeable thing is the reduction in staff, down from 83 in 2015 to 31 in 2016.  I have always viewed cutting cloth to fit as being a necessary Plan B; but it should not detract from Plan A, which is to raise more funds.

And this is where we have failed the most as a party.  Our commercial activities are negligible; the Sovereign Draw contributes around £16,000 a year.  We have not found new donors, just relied on the ‘big three’ of Stuart Wheeler, Alan Bown and Chris Mills.  We have not been successful in raising funds from members, or using new ideas like crowdfunding, or selling merchandise in the same way as Infowars, or even publishing books or online media.  Without a mass member recruitment program we have not built a large base of small donors.  Without clear policies and leadership, our membership base has been shrinking.  Even though the Libdems have been through a similar crisis of confidence, somehow they have managed to maintain a healthy income by having branches actively raising funds for the centre.  In UKIP’s list of donations, the lack of contributions by branches to the centre is very clear.

So what to do?  Well, not much will happen until the leadership contest is over (again, benchmark to Libdems, process started same time as us but they were done and dusted within four weeks).  But it is clear that the current Chairman and Treasurer are not the right people to help us raise funds.  Totally new ideas are needed to expand membership, get members excited and get members contributing.  If the current leaders have been unable to come up with any new ideas thus far, the chances of them doing so in the future are negligible.  It’s time to step aside and give someone new a chance to remake how the party ‘goes to market’ and commercialises its activities.

Here is one simple idea to form part of a wider package – under a ‘TrueBrit’ brand, to have a retail platform where we market British products and services to our members.  I was horrified to read an article on ukip.org praising Amazon opening a warehouse in Bristol.  Not only will it be staffed with immigrants on minimum wage, and will not pay any rates or profits tax, whatever profit it makes will be sent back to its owner Jeff Bezos to spend on the Washington Post and further globalist brainwashing.  We need to let our members know what to buy and what not to buy based on whether the companies manufacturing them conform to British values.  A kind of kite mark for patriots.  We can create a loyalty and retail platform for these products and introduce them to our members.  We should be letting our members know, for example, that Wetherspoons is the preferred pub partner and we should get special offers for our members.  We have to raise the consciousness of patriots that how they spend their money really matters.

Not only can we make more money, we can become more relevant and exciting again, a part of our members’ lives.  Cutting the cloth is normally a death spiral.  The only way out is growth.

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About Graham Matthews (5 Articles)
Graham Matthews was the 2017 General Election UKIP Candidate, Kingston & Surbiton Parliamentary Constituency

19 Comments on Money, money, money

  1. The reason why UKIP lost the Stoke-on-Trent central by-election, why UKIP did soo badly in the 2017 local and parliamentary elections, and why people left UKIP, is because of Paul Nuttall. Paul Nuttall is an anti-right-wing, centrist, libertarian, hypocritical, Tory 2.0, scumbag. All the UKIP leadership candidates, except for Anne Marie Waters, are Paul Nuttalls. If we elect another Paul Nuttall as our leader, then UKIP is finished, and I will be done with UKIP. UKIP, and the nation, DESPERATELY needs Anne Marie Waters as the leader of UKIP!

    I have no idea why Nigel Farage had chosen Paul Nuttall as his deputy. I dont know know what the hell Nigel Farage saw in Paul Nuttall. What a huge dissapointment Paul Nuttall turned out to be.

  2. this is really quite interesting.

    I used to know and do business with The late Joe Bamford.
    I ( and my local chair ) have many times offered to aproach the Directors. Once even giving a speaker ( about funding ) at a W Midlands do, a slip of paper with my offer to be of help. This has been going for several years now. I have made several aproaches of several kinds about various kinds of initiatives.

    I’ve been ignored. No response. Zilch.

    I’m clearly beneath contempt.

    As a Director of many companies over 50 years, and still could still possibly pick up more if I wished. I find this astonishing. I do not understand this. Many reasons are possible, They possibly think I,m Ga Ga ( not unreasonable at 84 ) But why not be polite. I’ve also found people who copy my stories in their hunt for something to say. Could they be waiting for something. or are they careless?
    I’m an ex business person with the usual ups and downs, and cannot comprehend the mind set.

    They’ll need to change. I don’t hold out much hope for the prospects of of ukip now. The future looks awful.

    I know what I’ld do but I’m passed it.

    The nec has taken authority with no hint of the other side of the coin….Responsibility.
    One without the other is the prerogative of the harlot

    • Yet another letter from a brilliant member of UKIP who has had a lot to offer the party but who has been snubbed by the aristocrats ( elite)both in Mercia and nationally.
      Anybody who knew Joe Bamford deserves respect and needs to be listened to.
      Mister Spokes you are not alone in being sidetracked and dismissed; it is a weakness that political parties attracts the indecent as well as the decent and the former are amazingly good at troughing at the table viz Coburn.
      Take heart sir that your efforts and support have not been in vain.
      I salute you.

  3. kenneth james ogilvie // August 28, 2017 at 1:19 am // Reply

    UKIP short of money, what do expect when the NEC suspend their biggest donor,Banks.

  4. The lack of direction is a killer. You can’t expect people to donate or vote for something unknown.
    Whoever wins this election must quickly set out a clear series of policies for the most important issues and stick to them. Preferably without members publicly disagreeing at every opportunity or knocking the leadership, as was the case with Nuttall. Be warned, the media will attempt to crucify whoever we elect and much of the mud will stick. Those of us who can’t accept the new policies will need to look elsewhere, this election will further reduce membership, though if we get the right person we could start to recover quite quickly. This applies whoever wins.
    Right now we are so disorganised and in the dark that public debate won’t make much difference. Post conference it will be a different matter.

  5. Funds – from whatever quarter – will only be forthcoming if the membership and donors have confidence in the leaders. Surely that doesn’t obtain now. Fund raising is not, surely, difficult and we can each play our part. As the item above makes clear there would need to be members of the party who know how to make the best of our efforts. Ben Walker, who is a straight talker, assures his audiences that he has an experienced fundraiser ready to go should he succeed. He’s a genuine no-nonsense candidate and I believe him. Have others promised as much? In my small way I raised £270 in one hit for the party earlier this year; it cost me £20 for a frame and a first class stamp. I could do that a further 6 times but I won’t do it unless and until there’s someone at the top who appears to genuinely have the health of the party as their aim.

  6. I hope the so called rebranding will not add extra confusion as to what we stand for and reduce party income even more.

    How much of our funds have been used for the upcoming rebrand and who in the grass roots membership has been consulted?

    Brexit has not been fully achieved and like many feel that we will not end up with what we voted for, Unity at the moment is probably the most needed asset not massive leap in the dark changes.

  7. UKIPDaily published two articles about the large demand and huge potential fund raising if UKIP would publicly state three policies:

    The large numbers and funds waiting for UKIP:
    http://www.ukipdaily.com/suggestions-ukip-alliance/

    How much we could raise and how : http://www.ukipdaily.com/thoughts-ukip-ideology/

  8. Isn’t the retail platform bit one of jre’ s policies?

    Before the referendum Nigel had to set up his own campaign team. So problems at the top precede the ref. But since then, they have been utterly dire as Graham relates here. So anyone on the candidates list remotely connected to the hierarchy is a definite no-no for me. That goes for MEPs, who appear to have become too used to the flesh pots of Brussels and Straz and to hobnobbing with liberal lefty colleagues to remember what UKIP is about. So that reducues the field somewhat. Then Bolton and Poundsland have lost it and Allen has retired bruised. That leaves four, one of whom is a non starter for me. So three to choose from. Simples

  9. It follows from the foregoing that a leader offering a new direction, a new strategy, vision and ethos for the party is much needed.

    Bottom up reform with a transparency never experienced before within our party. Removal from the ‘hierarchy’ of those working against and not for the party, a central policy unit listening to members, costing and ratifying policy which is in a rolling manifesto for use at any time, up to date and relevant.

    A leader who has a team ready to land runnning on 29th September and make the changes needed. A professional fund raiser, with a proven track record in place ready to get going…….

    Ben Walker is that leader…www.ben4leader.com educate yourselves please.

  10. Graham, at the risk of being boring I will say again that I am extremely worried that we aren’t being told the truth about the actual membership figures. Fundraising doesn’t happen because of the state of the Party. Why would anyone rush to drop a coin in the bucket? As far as most are concerned, UKIP is going no-where and is a waste of their hard earned cash. There may have been a spike in membership applications when the Leadership election was announced and hope was revived that UKIP could be rescued, but apart from that, I believe we are down to the bare bones – whatever the cheery emails from Head Office tell us. The plain fact is, we have no idea!

  11. At the moment, there is no real reason to join or rejoin UKIP for most. Including myself. I doubt this will change regardless of which candidate becomes leader. Certainly anyone who has been making the “if we concentrate on (x issue) we’ll survive” argument is deluded. I think if David Kurten, JRE or perhaps Henry Bolton wins, then UKIP might remain relevant in a few areas. But more likely is that the party will not recover. How sad, but predictable given the idiots at the top, and the tendency of personality cults in UKIP to form.

  12. Lexdrum House staff have had to take pay cuts. These already low paid people are the reason the party keeps going at all.

    Stuart Agnew called on MEPs, pursuant to their charter to donate to the party. 16 refused preferring Lexdrum House staff to be put on even lower pay.

    • Can anyone please explain why UKIP MEPs cannot be deselected? They were not individually elected by the citizens of the areas of the country, they were put forward by UKIP to represent the party in the EU parliament, if I understand correctly. Why can’t UKIP (if the members/leadership decide) especially regarding Diane James, Woolfe etc. simply replace them with other people?

    • Should be named and shamed!

  13. Many thanks to Mr Matthews for an excellent article.
    Thankyou Mister Oakden and Mister Bickley for your services to the party but it is time to say goodbye. Please do the honorable thing and resign so that new blood can raise the party from the coffin. Someone like Mister Matthews would make an excellent Party Treasurer. Someone like Panmelia would make an excellent Party Chairwoman.
    I have no doubt the membership of UKIP contains still many fine and talented persona from many walks of life. We need them today more than ever.
    So many thanks to Mr Etheridge; Mrs Nuttall/de Bours; Mr Carver; Mr Flynn; Mr TomCobley; Colonel Sanders; please allow new people of talent to replace you as you appear stale and tired and need to go away on a long holiday (what is that you say Louise – you have just come back from a month in the sun?)

  14. Thinnish Free-Thinker // August 27, 2017 at 12:41 pm // Reply

    The key phrase in all this is “Without clear policies and leadership …”.

  15. I am still a member and still paying my subscriptions but I have ceased making regular extra donations, as probably many other members have also done, because I have little or no idea what I would be donating for. The party seems to have lost all sense of direction at the moment and the information being supplied to members is minimal. We have now 10 different candidates for leader with 10 different viewpoints and policies and you have to search the Web to find those instead of having it all on our own UKIP Website. I used to think I knew what the UKIP stood for in general, (I did not agree with all manifesto items, but who does?) but at the moment it is totally unclear for me.

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