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Open Letter to the Editor of UKIP Daily

Email from Rob McWhirter re John Bickley’s article, received Tuesday 8th August, with the request for publication

This is the text as it was received. The answers of UKIP Daily’s E-i-C are added in red

 

Dear Editor,

>

> I note with dismay and heavy heart that the “Time to slay a few myths” by John Bickley thread is now closed to comments.

This is the first and only time I had to close comments, and I hope I shall never have to do so again. But it’s the preferred option to deleting comment posts en masse. Had I done so, the uproar would have been remarkable. I assume that’s not what he and you would have relished.

>

> In my time, I have been involved with several party-related forums:

>

> • DemocracyForum, setup as UKIPForum by (then) NEC Member Anthony Butcher, and subsequently rebranded because the NEC objected to an official forum.

> • UKIPforum, setup by Jonathan Arnott, and closed (Toby M., of this parish, has specifics), because of posts made, and the inability to adequately moderate.

> • NECForum, setup by myself to replace email distribution lists, which was intended to show the NEC could behave, then expand to regional organisers, chairmen etc. A couple of NEC members, including one of this parish, spammed it so badly that the others refused to have anything to do with it. And I had to agree.

> • This erm, newspaper/forum.

I note with interest that the Party, for whatever reasons and in whatever guise, closed down these forums because of no ability to moderate. The funny thing is that there are a huge number of blogs/forums on the internet, often run by one or two persons only, where comment is free and only very modestly moderated, where spammers/trolls are outed and chased off by the regular posters. It’s called ‘self-policing’. Of course, an official Party Forum would need much more stringent moderation than an open one. But why would a Libertarian Party want a strictly regulated echo chamber rather than open debate with members, would-be members and voters?

> I note that the (laudable) founding goal was to be a cut-price ConservativeHome. However, on that site, no-one complains about lack of party board minutes or voting records of board members!

Thanks for this back-handed compliment: UKIP Daily is not just cut-price, it’s ‘no price’. In good old UKIP tradition, everything is done by volunteers – from running the thing to authors writing for free. Of course, if you recall the articles/debates on UKIP Daily over time, you’d have noticed that the ‘complaints’ about the NEC/lack of minutes etc etc only kicked off after the disaster that was last year’s leadership elections (both of them), where candidates themselves took on the NEC and the abysmal lack of communication between HO and ordinary members. And I’m not even talking about emails to HO and MEPs which remain unanswered and about which too many members have complained about …

> One senior party member, who visits occasionally, has observed that the standard posting pattern is:

> • Welcome, Newbie!

> • Glad to have you posting here, but:

> • Bitch 1

> • Bitch 2

> Ad nauseam…

Please give me chapter and verse: which articles, which authors, which comments. Your summary is unrecognisable, to me as well as to our readers.

> John Bickley, our treasurer, has, resigned and restanding MPs excepted, our BEST EVER result in a by-election (losing in Heywood & Middleton by ~617 votes because no-hope Tories refused to hold their noses and support him). He also, at short notice, took on the difficult and time-consuming post of treasurer. This should be respected and cherished. Instead, when he comes here and delivers a dose of reality, in some cases going further than I did, he gets brickbats, and, in one case, a threat of physical violence!

1) He chose to interpret one angry sentence as a ‘threat of physical violence’. It wasn’t. Furthermore, you might have read the many comments from members who supported him in his by-elections. They had valid points and criticisms. Instead of attacking them for their use of pen names he might profitably have answered their questions.

2) Since when are UKIP leaders deemed to be sacrosanct, since when must UKIP members not criticise them because of ‘past deeds’?

> John has made his email address public. Stout could have used it to go “pm” with John, but apparently hasn’t.

So? What has that got to do with comments on an article on UKIP Daily? Or did he and you expect me to exhort ‘Stout Yeoman’ and others to please email John Bickley privately? Really?

> And it is abundantly clear that the site’s pre-moderation policy, by allowing the punch-up threat through, has failed.

Oh no it hasn’t. Not only is it ludicrous to proclaim failure based on one (!) article/comment thread, it is even more ludicrous to overlook who actually started that ‘punch-up’ – it wasn’t the comment posters! You are in fact asking for censorship of posts which might conceivably annoy authors who are of the ‘Party Elite’. Thank you, but no.

> There is also the not-trivial matter of people posting here through ignorance. Those who wish AMW to be allowed to stand for leader, unhindered, are perfectly entitled to their opinion, but should take the trouble to understand the limits of the NEC, and that it can’t overrule the membership endorsed constitution under ANY circumstances. And AMW, by the way, is not the only branch-backed prospective PPC to have been blocked at the urging of the (then) party leader as a GE candidate. Said candidate is now thriving in an, erm, westernly location 😉.

Has it occurred to you that this alleged ignorance is due to the fact that getting information both from the official website(s) and from the Party officials is like trying to wring water from a stone? That a drip feed of ‘suitable’ information by e.g. someone like you (which is at least something!) instead of allowing members to see for themselves is not sufficient? This complaint about ignorant members is rather patronising, and reminds me strangely of the complaints from Remoaners about Leave voters …

> It is popular, and easy, to make the NEC, and thus party directors, the fall-guy for defending the constitution and legalities, but that doesn’t make it fair or right. At least one leader resigned blaming the NEC, (“The information I requested in order to make our scheduled 1:1s meanngful has not been forthcoming) when she (hint!) had never even met us on the job! Those who post, therefore, from a basis of personal experience, such as Toby, thus automatically command more respect. He has also moderated a forum!

Yes, and? Where was the correction of this declaration by that erstwhile leader from the Party Management? I haven’t seen anything like that, officially. Instead it’s ’confidential’ rumours and more rumours.

> I now see why (most of) my colleagues on the NEC object to forums, and why I was wrong in defending them. Scales have fallen from my eyes.

Good grief, Rob! You might recall last year’s elections to the NEC. Most of the grassroot candidates (some of whom even published statements on UKIP Daily) didn’t get elected, due to lack of name recognition. They all stood on a platform of reforming the NEC, of wanting more openness. I doubt they’d have objected to open forums.

> Going forward, I will:

> • Reply, within reason, to comments on this thread.

> • Occasionally correct obvious glaring errors elsewhere, e.g. posters thinking the rule book (A10, for example) and NEC can overrule the constitution.

> • Refrain (for now) from wasting time from writing unwelcome and misunderstood op-ed pieces, and discourage senior members from similar wasted efforts.

>

> As the bard wrote, “To war, take you my most grievous curse!”

> Rob McWhirter 😢

Thank you, Rob – that’s absolutely fine, and doesn’t change anything really, does it! But please do tell me which of your op-ed pieces were ‘unwelcome’. Have we rejected any? Not as far as I know! As for ‘misunderstood’: yes, well, it’s up to writers to write in such a fashion that they won’t be ‘misunderstood’, and to correct misunderstandings when readers ask for clarification. If there is a theme to the replies to John it could possibly be summarised as typical kipper responses to perceived condescension. Something to celebrate, no? As one commenter wrote, IIRC, “Anyone who posts an article on here can expect debate and criticism, not grateful sycophancy.” As E-i-C I can confirm that.

And thanks for that quote from the bard …

 

 

We all, you comment posters and we, the editorial team, are now under extra scrutiny. Therefore, please remember when posting: ice-cold politeness works better than hot rants

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92 Comments on Open Letter to the Editor of UKIP Daily

  1. Ice cold politeness coming up. I yesterday thought I had posted a comment on this thread which concerned what I consider to be an unusual (and interesting) electronic approach to me via facebook by one of the Leadership contenders. My comment hasn’t appeared. I understand that there are many miles of cable between myself and the moderators and mistakes/power cuts can occur but may I confirm that the omission appears to be a mistake and I am at liberty to post it again. I did not identify the person involved – not even supply a gender but I think the occurrence on my f/b page should be brought to the attention of at least the readers of this site. If the information I provided was unacceptable, then the moderator’s decision is fine by me.

  2. Well, fellow members and contributors – These last few days have really opened my eyes to the problems we in UKIP now face as a Party. From the hysterical disdain of Mr Bickley to the genuinely expressed concerns of members (we were Momentum plants, apparently) and the (apologies!) really rather amusing way that Mr McWhirter pops up after every comment saying why we can’t be allowed to want what we do, culminating in the Godlike Mr Crowther descending from Olympus to patronize us – all would have been worthy of a Whitehall Farce (sadly, not PC these days). People, we are in a mess. But that’s not the worst of it, imo.

    The fact that a rebranding of the (beloved by me) Party logo has been foisted upon us at all is one thing, and very shocking – far more serious is if the NEC approves this happening, and it goes ahead. The NEC, as we have been reminded ad nauseum on here by Messrs McWhirter, Bickley and Crowther, have been elected by members. If not one of them has the common sense or integrity to believe that they should take such a serious and incredibly important matter back to the members they represent before high-handedly presenting a fait accompli – it is simply unbelievable.
    Have they become collectively so enamoured of power and privilege that they have forgotten they were put there to consider the wishes of members? I really am appalled at this latest evidence of how out of touch all those ‘running’ UKIP actually are. Or is it just me?

    • Please cite anyone who says the logo is being changed, Dee!?

    • It’s certainly not just you, Dee – As the plummeting membership figures so clearly demonstrate….

    • Well, read Paul Oakden’s email of today where he picks up JBs paranoia and runs with it! MIck McGough also retweeted today his observation that the party of libertarians has been overtaken by authoritarians.

      JB and PO both miss the point. We don’t love the party, the party has to earn our love. What we love is the CAUSE. The party is just a vehicle to achieve the cause.

    • kenneth james ogilvie // August 11, 2017 at 12:47 pm // Reply

      Personally I think it is imperative the logo is re branded,The colours are fine but I have never like the £ sign it looks cheap and turns many people off . Over the years all the parties have been re branded so why not us but if it is done do professionally then ask the members for approval. Also we are no longer the independence party we have won that so we need something else

  3. A couple of final thoughts from me, here, folks:

    1. The point I am trying to make, Viv, is that Google shows a LOT of closed threads. I don’t know if its automatic. When we cloesd a thread on UKIPForum, we left a mssage explaining why it was closed, to avoid any confusion.

    2. The person who found the forum very “Hello, welcome, attack mode” was Jane Collins. She stands by her first impression, and indeed has stopped coming back here.

    That’s it for the moment, although I will try to correct any glaring misconceptions/rule misunderstandings, and may resume regular posting once I am sufficiently chilled.

    Rob .

    • Hi Rob –
      @ 1: Those ‘closed threads’ were closed after ‘disqus’ was tried and found extremely unsatisfactory for this site. that was about two years ago, a time when I wasn’t (yet) editor, never mind E-i-C. they were then all closed when we moved to the current system. Check the dates – I’ve been in office since 1-4-16 only.
      @ 2: I’m sorry if Jane feels that way. Perhaps you, with your knowledge of how internet sites/comment sites/forums operate, and with your knowledge of the way comment posters here on UKIP Daily think and feel, might have warned her that readers were going to ask inconvenient questions and expecting honest answers. Yes, they greeted her with delight – they have done so for every single MEP who answers comments, and every single one has then got thought questions to answer.
      Unlike the people in the MSM, nobody here is asking’ ‘gotcha’ questions, we all want serious answers to our serious questions, with no faffing and no offence given or taken.

    • Mr McWhirter, I’m afraid that anyone who is too fragile to answer questions genuinely asked, whose views may not co-incide with the opinions of the questioner will not stand up to someone like Andrew Neil. Has no-one heard of the simple ‘I disagree’ or ‘that is your opinion, I’m afraid I cannot concur’ – it seems all people want these days is patting on the back and supine adulation – that’s what’s wrong with our society as a whole, and it seems to have infected UKIP.
      By the way, Mr McWhirter, I am sick to death of people criticizing Viv, who does a wonderful job on a forum that we all love – it’s an open forum for things UKIP – like going down to the Pub and chatting with like minded people. If the UKIP hierarchy really cared, they would read comments and get the feel of the membership concerns – but they don’t. Please leave our Editor in Chief to do what she does so wonderfully, connect us all.

  4. I continue to be frustrated. I took to this site for the exact reason that John Bickley criticises it for. Branches and members are ignored, there is no effective mechanism for communicating with the managementent or the NEC. this is the only way that works. Steve Crowther and John Bickley have come here because peoples views are in the public domain. it seems its the only way to get attention.

    For the record

    1. I strongly believe that No rebranding or logo change should take place in advance of a new leader. At least David Kurten has said he will keep the pound logo, thats a good enough reason to vote for him. Why anyone should want to destroy the most iconic political symbol of the last 20 years defies belief.
    2. In the interest of fairness, Anne Marie should be allowed to stand. Ukip may survive if she does. If she is banned I think UKIP is done for. The membership should decide. The current hierarchy may not like it, but who says they can pick and choose the candidates.
    3. I think UKIP is incapable of being fixed. The process for amending the constitution and thereby the NEC is too ponderous and lengthy. It would be far easier to start afresh with a new party. All we would lose is a name and image and it seems thats getting binned anyway.
    4. All thats keeping me and I suspect many others is the lack of an alternative party. I would never go Tory or Labour. I believe In September there will be two choices, something new from Aaron Banks and probably something from Anne Marie.

    I have enjoyed UKIp but its lost its way and is in the hands of people who think they know best and do not trust the members.

    Please take this constructively.

    Mary

    • You are not the only person to say that the Party can’t be fixed.
      I am very curious what positions, views, aims a party should have. In this I have drafted a constitution for this party or a new one.

      https://1drv.ms/w/s!Ao9jIj44pvh7gnG4_d1mlc9hQRHF

      I would welcome comments

      • Hi Liberas. I had a quick look but too busy to do more. A few thoughts.
        My approach would be research the constitutions of all the mainstream parties in the UK. Also Europe and N America. Learn from all those.
        I notice you use words such as racism, fascism, lots of the “isms”. This looks like the language of the elite – that they use to control debate. Some of these have too vague a meaning.
        Your constitution looks like a manifesto of policies – from a cursory glance.
        Right now all focus on choosing the next leader.

  5. I, like one of your commenters, have just discovered Ukip Daily, shame on me. My apologies, I could not resist commenting and am probably out of my depth. After reading the recent articles and associated comments I soon realised there were some intellectual heavyweights using the site. This is truly meant to be a compliment.

    I read John Bickley’s article ‘Time to slay a few Myths’ and the subsequent ‘tit-a-tat’ between John Bickley and the E-i-C. Finally I went through the posts and noted the response by Steve Crowther. WOW!

    My annoyance came with an intake of breath, my despair with an exhalation of breath, and thus with the flow of oxygen I was able to sustain my attention.

    As an ordinary member with no political or professional experience and certainly not the mental ability or agility of some of you, I would like to say this.
    John Bickley whether you like it or not your article was a little arrogant. Steve Crowther your ‘plan’ is overly presumptuous and somewhat impertinent. Please do not take my criticism personally I am sure you are both made of tough material. But there is no ‘I’ in team. It is important to retain good members and hopefully bring back those who have left in frustration.

    We have all been waiting since 24th June 2016 for something to happen. When that happens on 29th September, then, and only then should we be thinking of re-branding or whatever you want to call it. Then all before will be swept away and a new UKIP will be formed. Rules and timetables will not matter only objectives will matter.

    So let us forget all this nonsense, make friends and focus on the real battles ahead, where the truth will be our weapon.

  6. As Raheem Kassam’s ‘No Go Zones: How Sharia Law Is Coming to a Neighborhood Near You’ is reporting massive pre-orders and ‘Mohammed’s Koran: Why Muslims Kill For Islam’ is selling like hot cakes, the NEC vacillate over Anne Marie Waters eligibility to run for leadership.

  7. Rob McWhirter(Sponplague) // August 9, 2017 at 11:03 pm // Reply

    10. @Toby: Resuming the NEC stand at conference is a GREAT CONSTRUCTIVE idea, and, if I manage to make it, I’ll volunteer (3 years recent experience) to help man it if necessary.

    11. @Dee: “Then I, and many others, can understand how these decisions were reached. This just doesn’t happen. ” That is intentional, and, as I have said before, board meetings don’t get discussed on Conservative home, which is the aspirational model for this site.

    Nighty-night, folks – hopefully John and Steve have had a crack at addressing most of the other points.

    Spon >>yawn<<

  8. Rob McWhirter(Sponplague) // August 9, 2017 at 10:56 pm // Reply

    5. @Viv: Any UKIP leader can be criticised, indeed, I have done so in the past, but I now accept it may not be a good idea in public.

    6. @All: This IS a forum, as per the definition at https://en.oxforddictionaries.com/definition/online_forum. Proper forum software allows exchange of private messages etc; I find it entirely reasonable, with lack of such functionality, for John to invite people to get in touch.

    7. @Viv: ~My op-ed pieces have indeed been well-received by you, but some people, IIRC, have criticised them in the past (Life’s to short to check the entire history for now)…

    8. @Stout: “gratuitously pejorative” – fair or unfair, that is how they genuinely saw the site, and, if that’s their impression after a brief set of visits, it goes some way to explaining why higher-ups don’t spend more time here.

    and “How do we know McWhirter hasn’t invented that just to slip in yet another slur on UKIP Daily readers?” – In the same way that Viv hasn’t invented you: Trust 🙂

    I DO agree with you that Nigel was very wrong about the NEC, and if we washed linen in public, I would have corrected him – but life’s also too short for him and Aaron.

    9. @Russell: I saw the UKIP Surrey (e.g. Fond Local Branch: http://www.ukipsurrey.co.uk/node/13) and South East websites. The REAL issue is an NEC not sufficiently interest/proud of UKIP.org to expend the time necessary to discuss it properly. The cure is more internet-savvy NEC members.

    • Rob, for the umpteenth time: UKIP Daily is not a ‘forum’.
      As Gary has explained below, UKIP Daily is a site where articles and opinion pieces are published, on which comments are allowed.
      If this is your interpretation (Oxford dictionary notwithstanding, then The Times, The guardian, the Daily Telegraph, Daily Mail, Breitbart and BBC are all ‘Forums’, as are The Spectator and any online publications who present articles with readers’ comments below.
      Since it is not a forum, there’s no need for a ‘forum software providing a PM facility’ (PM = Private Messaging’). John Bickley posting his email address and inviting people to contact him was his own affair. We advise readers not to post their email addresses because this site is open to the public and UKIP Daily has no control over who all reads here and may subsequently annoy readers by sending them unwanted emails.

    • Rob, we have plenty of internet-savvy members. But the party has no interest in using members as volunteers. Russell has offerred his help many times, as have I. All we get is ignored. Again, why is the ‘board of directors’ of the party also acting as management? The NEC should not be involved, except to agree strategic plans and monitor their achievement. The members elect the NEC – the members wishes should be followed through by NEC – the NEC should keep the elected leadership and management team in check and on track. But the NEC should have absolutely no role in day-to-day management. This is the problem.

    • “8. @Stout: “gratuitously pejorative” – fair or unfair, that is how they genuinely saw the site, and, if that’s their impression after a brief set of visits, it goes some way to explaining why higher-ups don’t spend more time here.”

      May be. But why include it? Your letter was not about how a `higher up’ saw the site. So yes, gratuitous – and revealing of you higher ups.

      You don’t mind washing the linen of arrogance or disdain for members in public do you?

  9. Rob McWhirter(Sponplague) // August 9, 2017 at 10:38 pm // Reply

    Thanks for all your comments folks. I’m now at a proper browser, so can attempt to address them (over several posts, to keep the editors happy). I’ll also prefix my comments with numbers, so when replying, you can go re: 1 etc.

    1. @Viv: Thanks for taking my call this am. For those who haven’t realised, the original thread that triggered this letter has had several posts subsequently removed. When I was a moderator, I used to keep the post body, and replace with something like “[Moderator: post removed, because…]. That way, you’re not left hunting for something you’re sure was there.

    I accept it’s the only time you’ve closed a thread to comments, but ‘site:www.google.com “Comments are closed” ‘ returns many results. Do they automatically close with time?

    2. @Viv: You asked for examples of people going ” hello” then hostile(ish). Might I suggest that “So – thank you! Mind you, I must take issue with this remark of yours: ” might be construed as an exemplar? The visitor who made the observation is known to me, and if it is acceptable to have anonymous posters here, vouched for by Viv, then I should be able to equally vouch for my friend’s bona-fides.

    3. @Toby: Thank you for taking my call today, and letting me know you think my posts are broadly acceptable. I know from experience if I cross the line you will drop me a friendly note 🙂

    4. @Steve C. and John B.: Thanks for entering the lion’s den multiple times today, and saving me having to clarify numerous points.

    • Thanks, Rob, for calling me yesterday morning to clarify certain points.
      Yes, results for comments on the now closed tread will come up: closing a thread to further comments does not, never has, meant that all comments previous to closure are wiped off as well.
      @ 2): Sorry, Rob, that is not an actual instance, chapter and verse, of your complaint that commenters start nice and then bitch. And what this has to do with your friend posting anonymously but vouched for you needs clarification.
      I take your suggestion about leaving a remark when comments are binned – but please bear in mind that these comments were binned after they had been published, for the reasons which led me to close the whole thread. Usually, we bin comments before they appear on the site.

  10. I echo one comment made by Toby M, perhaps the single most important thing that could help and costs nothing. The leadership must actually want to be FRIENDS with the members. SMILE. Even when typing an email or a response, SMILE. You’ll catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.

  11. This is a ‘thank you’ note.

    First I would like to thank Vivian and all her team for all their hard work in providing such a valuable forum for Kippers and others to discuss and exchange political arguments and opinions where, before I discovered UKIP Daily about nine months ago, there appeared to be virtually none.

    Secondly, I would also like to thank the current and ex-party officials who contribute here, either in articles or in comments, because they provide much needed insight into the attitudes, inner workings and circumstances of UKIP.

    Thirdly, I would like to thank the many posters whose comments have interested, often informed, and occasionally irritated, me but with whom I have enjoyed agreeing with or jousting with, as the topic has required, in friendly debate.

    In my opinion the standard of discourse on this site stands as a beacon for others.
    That is a tribute to the team who keep UKIP Daily going.
    Thank you.

  12. Hi All

    Rob’s piece was rather good, I thought. He is very well informed, because he has been in the thick of things for an unfeasibly long time. Can I respond to a few points (and I will be happy to remember my ‘ice-cold politeness’, though I am not sure that is the prevailing tone on here (even in the EIC’s responses to Rob’s letter).

    It is true that communication up and down the party is difficult and frustrating. We are trying to reconstruct the organisation to make it better; it’s a bit like the Forth Bridge as an ambition. We are smaller now as an infrastructure than we were when I became chairman 7 years ago.

    The UKIP Forum was moderated, by Jonathan Arnott, and he did it very well. Unfortunately, it was increasingly difficult to keep within the bounds of ‘ice cold politeness’, and eventually was infiltrated by a journalist (via a disgruntled member) who then extracted lots of comments which could be construed by a hostile media as evidence that UKIP was ghastly. So, reluctantly, we had to shut it.

    On the NEC and Diane, we didn’t respond because we tend not to get involved in slanging matches, especially where these could feed a media narrative. In both Steven Woolfe’s case and Diane’s, the NEC was the fall-guy for a failure – entirely unfairly. In both cases it did no more or less than its legal and constitutional duty. The NEC is (almost always) composed of decent and conscientious people who care about the party. There have been one or two notable exceptions, but tend to be short-lived.

    On the rebrand, which was mentioned by someone: I was asked to look at the UKIP brand last year by the then Leader Paul Nuttall, because I was both a professional brand consultant and someone with a fairly strong understanding of the party. It is not a coup by me, I’ve just been working on it with some colleagues (also branding professionals and UKIP members) and since Paul announced publicly that we would launch it at Conference, that is the schedule I am working to. It is a ‘secret’ purely because its primary purpose is to relaunch us, via the media, back into the consciousness of the 3.5m people who stopped voting for us this year. If it is not a news event, that won’t happen. I have been around long enough to know that leaks are a distinct possibility!

    The NEC (boo, hiss) has been kept up to date with progress, and will have sign-off. I will present the proposals to the leadership candidates shortly thereafter, to get their buy-in. All speculation about changes of name, colours, logos etc are just that – speculation. Reviewing and refreshing a brand is much more about distilling and focusing your (existing) proposition than about drawing new pictures, and the one thing you don’t do is throw away your most valuable brand properties. I will be writing about this in the forthcoming Indy mag, to reassure the members that this is not simply my last act of sabotage, ordered by M!5.

    I hope this helps, and look forward to seeing you all in Torquay. We are trying, in this interim period, to communicate directly with members as often as possible.

    Regards, Steve

    • Two UKIP HO people on UKIP Daily today!! Thank you both. The more the better.

      You state “The UKIP Forum was moderated, by Jonathan Arnott, and he did it very well. Unfortunately, it was increasingly difficult to keep within the bounds of ‘ice cold politeness’, and eventually was infiltrated by a journalist (via a disgruntled member) who then extracted lots of comments which could be construed by a hostile media as evidence that UKIP was ghastly. So, reluctantly, we had to shut it.”

      While freedom of speech still remains on the internet and the future of our children and grandchildren is IMHO so threatened, isn’t it time UKIP said stuff what the MSM think/say/print, freedom of speech has been curtailed for so many years now, we must say what we think but always be prepared to consider alternative opinions. So many of our forebears died for our right to do so. If UKIP doesn’t stand up for this there is no other political party that will.

      • Dear John

        I couldn’t agree more. That is one of my most cherished principles. However, when someone’s verbal diarrhoea jeopardises the hard work of thousands of footsloggers by handing the front page of a tabloid newspaper a propaganda coup, there is another consideration to lay alongside ‘freedom of speech’. I always decry the ‘shouting fire in a crowded cinema’ excuse about free speech – if there is a fire, you should probably draw attention to it – but that is not equivalent to some numpty sounding off while half-cut without thought to the consequences, and claiming ‘freedom of speech’. My answer is yes, you’re free to say this, but I am free not to publish it.

        Regards, Steve

    • Thank you for your ‘ice coldly polite’ contribution, Mr. Crowther. Perhaps you would answer one question – I don’t think I’m the only person who would love to know this, and it wasn’t entirely clear to me in your comment. Are members going to be shown a ‘proposed’ re-branded logo at Conference, and asked to vote yea or nay, or are they going to be presented with a fait accompli, which has simply been approved by the few NEC representatives?

      • Dear Dee

        The latter. the NEC has been elected to do this. We have one chance to use the media – who are bound to cover us at conference – to reach the public. We can either have the story ‘UKIP launches its new brand and promises to… ‘ or ‘UKIP members vote for their new logo, and prefer a [. ] to a [ ], ha-ha’. We will only get one shot. Direct democracy is great, but political traction is vital, especially now. News management remains our main preoccupation, as it’s still the only way we drive up our poll ratings, and get things done.

        Regards, Steve.

    • Thank you Mr Crowther for posting on here. Important to have a platform that we can all engage on.

      “On the rebrand, which was mentioned by someone: I was asked to look at the UKIP brand last year by the then Leader Paul Nuttall”

      That someone would be me. You mentioned in an email newsletter that the rebrand would go some way to answering the question “what is UKIP for?” in our post-referendum world. The rebrand is therefore fundamental to UKIP’s future.

      Frankly, “Paul asked me to look at it last year” seems a pretty thin excuse for an interim leader pushing through such a fundamental change, when a new leader will be in place next month, and, more importantly, without consulting the membership at all.

      I’m sure Paul had lots of plans which were put on hold or dropped when he resigned. It would seem sensible to pause the rebrand until the new Leader is in place so that they can contribute to and approve the rebrand. It will be the new Leader after all who will have to take forward and sell the rebranded UKIP to the public.

      Handing the new Leader and the Membership a “like it or lump it” fait accompli on such a vital subject as UKIP’s much needed rebrand is symptomatic of the top down approach that has ruffled so many feathers.

      If one or more of the leadership candidates object to your direction for UKIP’s brand will you suspend work on it till after the new Leader is in place?

      • Gary, we both ask the same question within a few moments of each other, it is interesting to note. Not a contentious question in any way, I’d have said, in fact, icily polite, both of our queries (do we go to the top of the class?). But so far, although perhaps our hardworking E-in-C and moderator is having a much needed bit of time out, answer has come there none! Let’s hope this comment will be the catalyst for it appearing almost before I have pressed comment!

    • Thank you for your contribution. A leader writing on UKIP Daily of all places is a landmark event.

      You refer to McWhirters letter as “rather good”. But did you not notice his “One senior party member, who visits occasionally, has observed that the standard posting pattern is:
      • Welcome, Newbie! > • Glad to have you posting here, but: > • Bitch 1> • Bitch 2 > Ad nauseam…”
      You don’t think that is gratuitously pejorative? Or provocative? We just bitch do we and ad nauseam?

      And the senior party member is not named even though Bickley’s comments are consumed by identity issues. How do we know McWhirter hasn’t invented that just to slip in yet another slur on UKIP Daily readers?

      You suggest that the E-i-C’s comments fail to meet the tone of ice-cold politeness but make no such observation about McWhirter or Bickley when there are ample grounds for calling out some of their comments, Bickley’s in particular. I think the editor has been remarkably restrained in the face of insult and provocation.

      I agree with you and Bickley that the NEC is often unfairly maligned though I remind you that Nigel did call them not fit for purpose (but without elaborating) and many members swallowed that wholesale. Correct the former leader first not the loyal members.

      But if you step back from your role, if you use your imagination to see another’s point of view, to put yourself in their shoes, then rather than come on here to endorse McWhirter’s endorsement of Bickley you would see that Bickley’s comments were dripping with condescension and disdain. The editor’s patient explanations were dismissed as “not good enough” and he was obsessed with pen names not withstanding being told many times there are good reasons for using them. See citizenkain’s explanation for example. Bickley showed himself up as precious and bullying. As leader you ought to have had a word with him.

      Bickley’s comments were a disaster and calling McWhirter’s letter “rather good” cannot disguise that I am afraid.

      I used to defend the NEC and the leadership against unfair criticism. Not any more. Your failure to see and acknowledge the insult to readers and UKIP Daily’s editor does not reflect well on you. It is aristocracy that says never apologise to underlings. The absence of apology to Viv that several have called for, and which is definitely due, betrays how senior party members see themselves and the rest of us. But we are kippers. We are anti-elitism. Take note.

      PS Bickley has not answered my question about how we get rid of a treasurer. Any tips?

    • Dear Steve –
      I promised myself I’d keep out of the comments, but as Leader, even though the interim one, I believe it behooves me to acknowledge your presence, your first time ever presence, on these comment pages. So – thank you!
      Mind you, I must take issue with this remark of yours: “I will be happy to remember my ‘ice-cold politeness’, though I am not sure that is the prevailing tone on here (even in the EIC’s responses to Rob’s letter)” – yes, tempers do have a tendency to flare, so a gentle reminder by the E-i-C is occasionally called for. It’s not the first one, other reminders are about length of comment posts (I’m lenient right now but shall tighten the screws again soon, so be warned!) and bad language therein.
      However, you cannot have spent much time reading articles on UKIP Daily, especially not mine. Otherwise you’d know that, given my delight in delivering well considered, polished rants of 1,000 words, my remarks in Rob’s letter are indeed nicely, icily polite …
      See you in Torquay.

      • Dear Viv

        I was perhaps unfair to you. My apologies. You have a tough job. I shall not be replying to Stout Yeoman, who is doubtless just that, because I can’t quite work out how I became the problem by complimenting Rob, and am not really keen to be part of his issues.

        Regards, Steve.

        • Let me help you work it out. See again McWhirter’s paragaph alluding to commentors bitching ad nauseam. How does that advance the dialog? The thrust of the letter is that the NEC is too often the unjustified fall guy. Take out the judgement on UKIP Daily’s readers and the main argument still stands. Why was it necessary then to include the suggestion that commentors typically – for saying it is a pattern is to typify it – bitch?

          The point is that John Bickley and McWhirter cannot resist betraying an attitude that does them no credit. And when UKIP Daily readers give it back to them, so to speak, they cry foul. Even you could not resist, it seems, a pejorative judgement on the straw man of a commentor with “verbal diarrhoea”. That senior management has an idée fixe about UKIP Daily is clear. In dismissing its readers you dismiss many, if not also most, of the party’s activist ground troops.

          The fallacy of focusing on who said something rather then what is said is known as the philosopher’s fallacy. It is a fallacy because it blinds you to rational points that stand (or not) on their own merits and not because of who uttered them.

          I do not know what you think Bickley’s article achieved but whatever it might have achieved has been completely eclipsed by his pomposity and opacity to reason. Twitter and facebook are now about his bun fights not the article itself. Great work.

          If senior officers cannot cope with a bit of knock about, if they squeal when things don’t go their way, then they should not be in politics at all.

        • Hi Steve,

          > I can’t quite work out how I became the problem

          I can. 🙂

          Here’s a clue:
          http://www.ukipdaily.com/good-muslim-bad-muslim

          This article, simply common sense (and ANTI- election-losing sense at that) got me branded as a “dhimmi”, apologist for Islam / militant Islam, gullible, cowardly etc.

          😉

          • “Simply common sense”. So, you too are judge and jury in your own cause. Have you not noticed that kippers don’t like the self-congratulatory?

          • Re: http://www.ukipdaily.com/good-muslim-bad-muslim
            > “Simply common sense”.

            If, Stout Yeoman, it isn’t common sense – which bit(s) of it is/are not?

            My article claims it is more likely to be productive to argue about something when each side has a similar definition of that something about which they are arguing.

            That does sound like common sense to me.

            I don’t see how that sentiment makes me too “judge and jury in [my] own cause” or “self-congratulatory”. It means I have an opinion. You may not like it.

            Tough. Live with it.

            Or, perhaps I’m just too stupid.

            Who do you support in this election, SY, as first and (assuming an STV where choice 2 can’t harm the prospects of choice 1) second?

            I’m constrained here, but as an anonym (who probably isn’t a Regional Chairman running hustings, but that’s not relevant as we don’t know who you are) you are not.

  13. John Bickley : I agree with one thing that you say in your comment “face to face shy away” with reference to people not putting their face and names to a comment ( although I get there are a myriad of reasons some like to not use their real names on forums like this ) Its a big contemporary problem, people have lost the art of verbal confrontation and challenge, another consequence of 40 years worth of political correctness. It is a valuable thing for an Englishman to stand on his soapbox at Speakers Corner and say for example “Jeremy Corbyn is a left wing idiot and those of you who believe his lies are fools” and to do it in such a way for people to stop and listen rather than spit and walk away.

    Russell Hicks : You have not lost this art. I applaud you sir.

  14. Dear Mr Bickley,

    When in a hole stop digging.

    Best wishes,

    Spencer

  15. Russell Hicks’ comment just re-enforces my view that it’s political suicide for a party to discuss its internal operations in public. Who benefits? The party, the members, the voters, LibLabCon or the media? The answer should be obvious. Most, if not all of what Russell wrote was a rant, rather than constructive criticism. Shame.

    All of the discussions I’ve been involved in on this forum over the last few days are ones that should take place at UKIP branch, county and regional level (& at conference). If we did that does anyone on this forum believe it’d be in our interests to invite non members, LibLabCon and the media. Again the answer to that should be blindingly obvious, however we are effectively doing this on UKIK Daily.

    Can I remind everyone that the NEC & the Leader are elected by you. You have the power to kick them all out of office or not re-elect them. As Rob says, the NEC has to run the party according to the constitution that you voted for; you have delegated to the NEC the power to run the party. None of us on the NEC has any real power, just one vote of fifteen.

    It’s 48 hours since I published my email address on this forum. I’ve not had one email. That in itself is very interesting as I genuinely thought I’d receive some. It sort of tells me that many contributors will unload behind a pseudonym but when given the opportunity for a ‘face to face’ shy away.

    • There you again John Bickley, biting the hand that feeds you, slagging off someone who has donated tens of thousands to UKIP, paid for countless poster trucks, hundreds of thousands of newspapers, designed websites. It’s not a rant John, it’s what MANY people have been saying for a long, long time. Get the damned OUTPUT of UKIP sorted. There was almost NOTHING from UKIP HQ for months and months after the referendum and I gave two very comprehensive summaries here on UKIP Daily of POSITIVE & INTELLIGENTLY thought through ideas of what was needed. You’re so out of touch with the public facing parts of UKIP you probably weren’t aware that I was behind the last UKIP newspaper, approved by Paul Oakden and have been asked to do the next. No, public airing of our problems is probably embarrassing but you USELESS drivers of UKIP don’t respond to private criticism and can’t extrapolate from ballot box disasters what you’re doing wrong. Since the driving force of UKIP (Nigel) has walked off the stage, you haven’t had a clue what to do next. It costs NOTHING to send a weekly email to members about Brexit progress or lack of it – you can’t even do that simple thing.

      • Dear Russell,

        Please answer my question: what benefit is it to UKIP to discuss its internal operations in a public facing forum?

        The chairman and interim leader send out regular emails. The website has many press releases posted each week from our spokespeople (many about Brexit). I’ve lost count of how many I’ve had put up since taking on the immigration spokesman’s role.

        And there you go again, descending into insulting those people that try their best, with very, very limited resources to run the party. Calling them ‘useless’ says more about you than them.

        Please tell us what the party is doing wrong regarding your comment about ballot box disasters, or do you think it might have more to do with individual candidates and the FPTP/current political landscape? And here’s the kicker – Nigel was a brilliant front man for the party and yet at the height of his powers and with millions to spend we only got 12.5% of the vote in the 2015 GE and one MP. The system is loaded against new entrants. We can’t spend what we don’t have. The party is operated on a shoestring and those of us doing our best are amazed that we’ll be able to keep the party going till the conference.

        Those of us who been at the coal face know most of the problems that the party faces (is it the NEC’s fault that we’re on our third leader in a year – you elected them!) and have a good idea how to move the party forward (subject of course to knowing who the new leader is going to be), however we’re not going to discuss it in public, with people we don’t know. I respect the fact that you say posted two POSITIVE & INTELLIGENT thought through ideas on UKIP Daily. However, why post them on a public facing site and not share with you branch, county, region etc. I’ve never seen them or been sent them by you (same for the rest of the NEC) so how am I/the NEC supposed to react to something I’ve/the NEC have not seen?

        Most ‘kippers’ I suspect don’t come on this site; I very rarely do because to be frank it seems to be a place where many contributors engage in making unsubstantiated allegations about individuals and the party and just engage in mudslinging & ad homs. Very few commentators have even bothered to respond to my article which says a lot.

        I won’t be coming on this forum again, however people have my email address; they can contact me directly or invite me to a branch/county/regional meeting and I’ll answer any questions put to me.

        • Obviously Mr Bickley won’t read this, as I imagine he has gone back to the safety of the echo chamber – but I’d like him to have known that every single time I have heard a discussion about immigration on the Jon Gaunt Show, Steven Wolfe has been the spokesman for UKIP – introduced as spokesman for UKIP in Brussels, now an Independent. The Jon Gaunt show is one of the newer internet radio talk shows that are becoming increasingly more popular – perhaps Mr Bickley would like to contact them, and listeners would know that UKIP does in fact have a current spokesman, not a ‘former’ one, next time immigration comes up.

          • I’ve been on the Jon Gaunt show many times as UKIP’s immigration spokesman-shame you’ve missed all my appearances on that show & it would seem all the many other TV, radio and national press appearances. I’ve also put out many press releases which have been posted on UKIP’s website.

          • I certainly have missed you, but hope to hear you soon. Have heard Steven Wolfe there twice in the last three weeks. I do watch RT and BBC 10 o’clock news – but apart from that, not much. If anyone tweets that they will be interviewed, I try and catch those interviews. I will follow you – might help.

        • Dear Mr Bickley. I for one appreciate that you have come onto UKIP Daily to put your point of view. However, you state ” what benefit is it to UKIP to discuss its internal operations in a public facing forum?” As I posted in a comment on your recent article, UKIP HO shut down the members only forum, so where else is there to have a discussion that members/supporters can put forward and challenge opinions.

          Also, “(is it the NEC’s fault that we’re on our third leader in a year – you elected them!). How many prospective leadership candidates were prevented from running one way or the other in these previous elections?

    • “All of the discussions I’ve been involved in on this forum over the last few days are ones that should take place at UKIP branch, county and regional level (& at conference).”

      Good luck with that.

      It is precisely because such internal Party matters are not discussed at branch, county, regional and conference level (or more accurately, we do discuss such things locally, and then the NEC, leadership, MEPs show no interest in listening to us) that we take to online outlets such as UKIPD to air our views.

      Obviously it would be better if there were a chain from Member > Branch > Region > Head office and back again to discuss and disseminate party business. But there isn’t one. I’ll give you three guesses where in that list the chain breaks down.

      This is the crux of the problem, it gives rise to most of the other problems UKIP have had in recent years. Head office may as well be on another planet to the branches and Members.

      Now whether this is all in the heads of us silly Members, and in fact everything is working perfectly if only we knew it, isn’t really the point. That’s how many of us feel, and the stock response of “you elect the NEC”, “you voted for the constitution” does precisely zero to address concerns, and in fact just further alienates people who already feel like they’re being taken for granted and ignored.

      All of which is arranging the deckchairs on the Titanic in any case, as without serious reform UKIP as currently constituted is demonstrably electorally irrelevant and on borrowed time anyway.

    • Toby MicklethwaitToby Micklethwait // August 9, 2017 at 1:01 pm // Reply

      Dear John (Bickley),

      You say “…. discussions ……………. should take place … & at conference”.

      Good point. In 2012 it was decided that the NEC should have a stall at conference. We tried to start the stall up North (Doncaster?), but I fell ill. Then Andrew Moncreiff and I did run an NEC stall in 2012 at a Frimley conference. It gave people a chance to talk to NEC members. Then I ceased to be on the NEC and the stall lapsed.

      The idea could IMHO usefully be revived. Do you agree?

      Regards, Toby, 01932-873557

    • I would imagine the reason you haven’t received any emails, Mr Bickley, is that, as Dee pointed out, members don’t want to deal on a one-to-one basis with UKIP “management”. They would prefer all members were told what is being done in UKIP’s name, supposedly on the members’ behalf.

      For example, Anne Marie Waters’ deselection by the NEC. You say you weren’t at the meeting when the decision was made. Surely, though, when it was raised in the comments section of your article you could have made it your business to find out the reasons, put it on MyUKIP, and told us that if we logged in there we would all be told?. And also found out why we weren’t told in the first place. Why all the secrecy? This attitude that members do not need to know about these things is what causes so much frustration.

    • Can you provide a single example of the media using UKIP Daily to undermine or discredit the party? I could provide a long list of examples of party officers leaking to the press or penning articles that have discredited the party (except I would exceed the length allowed for comments).

      The E-i-C, Gary Conway and others have patiently explained UKIP Daily to you. You say “contributors will unload behind a pseudonym but when given the opportunity for a ‘face to face’ shy away.” But Panmelia spoke for most of us, I am sure, when in response to an invitation to email you privately she said “No, ta. I prefer the full, free and frank exchanges of views with everyday contributors on ukipdaily to a ‘private & confidential’ conversation with you.“ No-one is shying away. As Citizenkain explained, and as I did yesterday, there are legitimate reasons for pen names.

      By the way, Russell Hicks was not having a “rant”. He made his points fairly, with some wry humour. Really, this is getting embarrassing and it is worrying that you cannot see it.

      Several comment contributors have said they felt you should apologise to the E-i-C. Even if you wish to believe that your wilful disregard of her explanations was not arrogant or insulting you could not even say `I intended no offence’. It was clear that we were offended but the only feelings that count are your own as in, today, “First of all thanks for your support in my various by-elections, however you can’t resist having little digs at me, can you.” You cannot even give an un-qualified thanks. As I say, this really is getting embarrassing.

      It was helpful of you to remind us that we can get rid of the leader. I don’t suppose you have any tips on how we get rid of the treasurer?

  16. @ Rob McW
    “Scales have fallen from my eyes.”
    Well, I know the feeling. So many scales have fallen from my eyes in the past few months that perhaps I won’t need a cataract operation after all.

    By all means discourage senior members from writing articles for ukipdaily if they can’t show a modicum of appreciation and respect for UKIP members, campaigners, ex-members, would-be members(now fled, one fears), voters, supporters, interested parties including ex-pats, volunteer editors and techies, and our firm but fair Editor-in -Chief.

    Toby Micklethwaite’s contributions are helpful, pleasant and welcome. Yours, not so much. It’s something to do with the tone and style ….

  17. Reading Mr McWhirter’s Open Letter I don’t know whether to laugh or cry!
    As an ordinary UKIP member who is unable, unfortunately, to get to my nearest Branch, the UKIP Daily posters are the nearest I have to a group of like minded people and friends who I have got to know over time. It is also where I find out what other people think and feel on a wide range of subjects, and where I have always felt that I too, despite health issues, can have a say. It would be nice to have a UKIP website that would post all matters of interest, but what is of most interest to me is that the only Political Party I have ever joined is, unlike other Parties, open and incorruptible.

    I don’t know the ins and outs, the minutiae of UKIP governance, yet there seems to me to have been, sometimes, decisions taken that are at variance with the wishes of many UKIP members. That is fine, I’m sure there may have been good reasons, from the Stoke leaflet to the deselection of Anne Marie Waters. But if these things are done, I want to know why they were done. I want to see for myself, even if it is by giving my membership number so that I can access the detailed minutes that record exactly how these decisions were taken. Then I, and many others, can understand how these decisions were reached. This just doesn’t happen. That is why, Mr McWhirter, when we get the chance to ask someone, I, for one, do so. But it seems that any and all questions are ‘verboten’ unless one contacts someone privately – try it! – it is well nigh impossible to do so! But even that isn’t really the point. These questions should be openly answered so that all of us can see what the answer is. It may be that others have the same question. Hardly sensible to expect the NEC and others to separately answer each individual member – and anyway, there should be nothing to hide. That is the whole point.

    We members, those that are left, are increasingly frustrated. We try to get answers – and none are forthcoming. We are trying to ensure that the Party we love doesn’t die because it’s no longer a Party and more of a clique, with decisions taken behind closed doors and no-one answerable. Frankly, the last minutes regarding the decision to deselect Anne Marie were a joke – at least I can say so on here with confidence that the editor-in-chief won’t ‘moderate’ my comment – it’s the truth, and sometimes, it seems, the truth hurts. Tough! I intend to go on asking – as long as our excellent, -priced-above-rubies Editor-in-Chief, allows me to do so.

    • Hear, hear, Dee, but I’m afraid we’re banging our heads on brick walls trying to get through to Mr Bickley and anyone who supports his idee fixe: that ukipdaily shouldn’t exist because the media might use it as ammunition against UKIP. He has a bee in his bonnet and its buzzing is drowning out any reasonable arguments.
      Spencer Dugdale advised Mr B that when in a hole, stop digging. Good advice, but he ignores it and just digs and digs.

  18. ‘Stroppy members’ groans the management, just like Basil Fawlty ‘it would be easy running this hotel without the bloody guests’. I had to laugh at John Bickley complaining that he didn’t know who was complaining about UKIP’s dismal management, as if it matters, you might as well complain about ‘bloody voters’ and demand to know who they are.
    The defining feature of small business is arguing back at customers who complain, when in fact they are providing valuable, free, market research. The smart business person takes it on the chin with a smile and LEARNS from it.
    UKIP Daily is a vital forum and a very good one, the website alone is about 10,000 times better than UKIP’s utter heap of trash, which has cost us tens of thousands of votes…the NEC, MEPs and all other UKIP seniors are so distracted with nitpicking arguments in the back office of Grace Brothers, which is what UKIP has become, that they have utterly and for YEARS now, neglected the shop window.
    UKIP’s website SHOULD have been fixed long ago. It should be interesting, exciting, positive, it should make our core policies crystal clear, it should be simple and straightforward. It should go RIGHT for the jugular of EU fraud and waste, it should murder the BBC daily for its appalling and treacherous bias. And UKIP should have a mobile app that people go to daily for more riveting content, including videos that shock and inspire.
    But the present lot at the top of UKIP haven’t the guts, imagination or competence of Basil Fawlty, without even being funny. Most of the MEPs gave up even trying when they got their first EU pay cheques.
    Steve Crowther’s recent email broadcasts have been good…but why weren’t members and the public getting powerful UKIP output every week since the referendum, which is now on the ropes?

  19. Viv and Gary – I couldn’t have put it better myself and agree with all your comments.

  20. HEYWOOD AND MIDDLETON
    After a good attempt at Wythenshaw by-election – John Bickley 2nd with 18%voteshare – it was understandable that Bickley would be picked again to have a bash at Heywood & Middleton; though slightly odd that he claimed to be a local man in both constituencies. In the Rochdale area there was only a small local UKIP party but made up of very stout hardworking lancastrian patriots, who Bickley thanked profusely at the count and the following regional conference in Southport. I spent several days there doing my bit one of my days coinciding with a joint visit by Nigel Farage and Paul Nuttall who were both giving it their all and coping with the incipient moral corruption and incompetence ‘natural’ to a safe labour seat; which you could almost smell. Two of the stars in the backroom were Wayne Harling from Crewe who was an absolute genius at organising the polling and leafleting (why was he not used in Stoke?) and Noel who acted as campaign manager(forget his last name). I worked in two areas – the central zone where habitual labour voters were dead souls ( some nice exceptions including a street gang of teenagers) – what a tragedy for our country; and Norden. Norden is the only con ward in the constituency with a lot of suburban housing on its greenbelt ridge though it was also famous for Cudworth’s mill ( fustian cloth). There I had many lovely conversations with tory voters, many of whom told me they had postal voted UKIP or would be voting UKIP so Rob we did get many on our side and we could not get them all. We lost because the labour party inc leader EdMilliband were drafted in by their hundreds from Greater Manchester and they got out the dithering and dormant red vote at the last minute. 39%voteshare was good and raised party morale nationally. Bickley in person thanked me for my efforts.
    Oldham and Royton should have been offered to someone else to stand rather than Bickley (24% voteshare)as it began to appear a ruling clique dominated UKIP. My worst fears were materialised and I end up being denounced on no evidence by the party treasurer as an enemy!

    • CITIZENKAIN
      This is not my real name Mister Bickley – you got that right. I have a wife and children and a small business to run. Putting aside the abuse I have received from those members of the public brainwashed against us eg in The Stoke byelection where I acted as polling station Teller for UKIP at Burches Head alone and half forgotten in a safe labour ward where abuse and threats were not uncommon; there is also the real possibility that some people I work for would cancel any contract renewal as they could not be seen to do business with ‘an extremist’. I have an unusual name and the internet is a marvellous source of info. So Mister Bickley I do not have the luxury of being more openly active as you demanded. Are you not familiar with my type of situation?

      • Totally understand and agree with your statement, however this public facing forum is not the place to have a vigorous, critical no holds barred discussion about the party’s internal workings; it just plays into the hands of our enemies and the media.

        • It would be nice to get something IN the media – Rob – apart from the smearing of one particular candidate. As far as most people are concerned, UKIP is dead. Apart from some excellent interviews by Gerard Batten, mostly on RT and with both him and Steven Wolfe (who he?) on the Jon Gaunt show – I have heard practically nothing of UKIP’s opinion on Brexit – except on Nigel’s LBC – but as far as the public know, Nigel has dumped UKIP.

          • Sorry, Ed, that comment should have been addressed to Mr Bickley, who seems to be convinced that the MSM are following our every utterance on UKIP Daily.

            Incidentally, UKIP have been in MSM recently, the Spectator no less, an interview with our interim Leader Mr Crowther. As far as I recall the closing sentence was something like ..’and then he sauntered away to watch the cricket’. That says a lot, I’m afraid. Or rather, not a lot.

    • First of all thanks for your support in my various by-elections, however you can’t resist having little digs at me, can you.

      I never claimed to be a local man in H&M; I claimed that I was brought up there for some years, as well as in Wythenshawe, which shot the Labour claim that I had no connection to the constituency. The local branch were very happy to have me as their candidate, and as with all by-elections it’s always been the case that the NEC has the final say (due to the high profile media focussed nature of such elections).

      Noel Matthews & Wayne Harling were indeed stars of the H&M by-election.

      In Oldham the only reason I went stood in the hustings was because it was next door to H&M and I felt that if the branch & party wanted me to stand I had a duty to do so. Frankly, I’d have been happy had they chosen someone else. I don’t know why your worst fears were realised in Oldham – it was obvious to me and a few others that with a very strong Labour candidate (the leader of the Oldham Labour council), scores of Labour councillors organising canvassing and a large Asian population we had no chance of winning. I hoped to achieve 26/27% but no such joy (but still one of best by-election results).

      Remind me when did I call you an ‘enemy’? I believe you were the first commentator on my article and most of your criticism had nothing to do with the article. It looked to me like you used it as an excuse to unload on the party, with many unsubstantiated claims, ergo my request to ask who you are.

  21. Thanks for posting, Viv. I will study the comments, and reply en-masse, later.

  22. Having commented as a “punter”, I’d also like to comment as one of UKIP Daily’s editors. In neither capacity do I use a pseudonym…

    I had thought it abundantly clear, but it seems to need clarifying, that UKIP Daily is in no way an official UKIP channel. It does not now, nor has it ever, received any funding, endorsement or support of any kind from the Party. 

    Yes, it has “UKIP” in the title, but that is because the articles published here are of interest to UKIP supporters. I can think of several other organisations who also use “UKIP” in their title; “Stand Up to UKIP”, “SlatUKIP”… some of which, believe it or not, are even more critical of UKIP than some of the articles and comments on UKIP Daily…

    Will UKIP even be called UKIP after the September Conference anyway? We all wait like obedient mushrooms to see whether a new Party name will form part of the secretive rebrand being pushed through by the interim leader and rubber stamped by the NEC.

    If honestly held criticism offends the sensibilities of some high up in the Party then that’s unfortunate for them, but, frankly, is not our problem. UKIP Daily’s primary responsibility is to its readership, who happen to be mainly UKIP Members and Supporters, not to the party machine.

    It also needs clarifying that UKIP Daily is not a forum. It is a news and articles site, which happens to allow comments. I wonder if those unhappy with the comments posted here also monitor the comments below every article posted on Breitbart to ensure that they are not “low-information”. Would they hold Breitbart responsible for any comment posted under one of their articles that is critical of UKIP?

    It is an important distinction to make that it is not the content of UKIP Daily that is objected to, but the comments on that content made by the readership. These are opinions from the public. These opinions are in no way endorsed or fact checked by UKIP Daily, nor should they be.

    If there were factual errors or misleading statements in the articles themselves, UKIP or any other party can by all means complain and take it up with the Editorial team and/or the author. But nobody gets to control the comments made by the public in response to an article. If they’re not gratuitously insulting, libelous or sprinkled with foul language, then they get to have their say, however ill informed they may or may not be.

  23. UKIP Members and supporters have long standing, genuinely held and well intentioned criticisms of the way UKIP has been run. Some of these will be based on demonstrable fact, some on anecdotal experience, some just on perceptions and opinion. We’ve all made our sacrifices above and beyond the annual membership fee, whether it be countless hours spent campaigning online or on the streets, or even friendships lost to the UKIP cause. Having invested our time, money and energy in fighting UKIP’s corner, with little or no support from head office and often despite the latest national farce, we are at the very least allowed to have a bit of a moan.

    The high handed, nothing to see here, move along now response to this criticism is very reminiscent of our Remainiac friends, and can be summarised thus…

    “OK, the EU/NEC is not perfect, but we voted for it, and it’s better to work with it to change things for the better. You can’t blame everything on the EU/NEC, and most of the complaints about it are conspiracy theories with no basis in fact. Anyway, anyone who criticises the EU/NEC is “low information” and doesn’t know what they’re talking about. Those criticising the EU/NEC can’t give us a detailed plan of what their alternative would look like. All criticism of the EU/NEC should be silenced, as it is disruptive at a time when we most need stability. There will never be an EU/NEC army…”

    Practically every pronouncement from the “high-ups” in UKIP fans the flames of discontent. They have confirmed in many of us the belief that UKIP’s struggles over the past two years, the repeated failure to grasp opportunities and score open goals, is not down to one or two key individuals as we had initially thought (Carswell et al) but is more of a cultural problem at the top.

    Much like the Tories under Cameron and now May, it would seem the Party leadership have little in common with the grassroots ideologically (other than Brexit, one hopes) and indeed view those grassroots with barely concealed contempt.

    UKIP supporters as a breed, by definition, are ill disposed to being talked down to and having their concerns dismissed. We’re highly suspicious of anything that has a whiff of a closed shop, and we know when we’re being fobbed off. We prize free speech above almost anything else. The Leadership election will bring this issue, and many others, to a head.

    • I like your analysis Gary, it has in fact articulated my frustration at UKIP Head Office absence from; but below the surface control, hiding behind “the rules and party constitution”, but all the time dancing to the tune of the massed ranks of the MSM and most of the organs of the establishment ( which includes the much underestimated Common Purpose)
      I originally welcomed the re-appearance of Spon on here, I don`t think he is such a bad chap, I merely think he is in denial as he seems to think it is possible to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.
      It`s an old phrase “Rules are meant to be broken” – it`s about time we were breaking a few now.
      We weren`t meant to leave the EU, but we are on the way to doing it.
      I seem to remember our Chancellors have made (and broken) a few “Golden Rules”
      Come on UKIP let`s show some spirit and smash a few eggs!!!!!!!!!
      NB (Viv please don`t take that last remark as evidence of my violent attitude towards Eggs I`m not sure if the punctuation passes muster though)

    • Dear Gary,

      You state: ‘…Practically every pronouncement from the “high-ups” in UKIP fans the flames of discontent’. Evidence please

      ‘..Having invested our time, money and energy in fighting UKIP’s corner, with little or no support from head office’. Other than the cost of staff and other basic overheads all the money we raise goes on electioneering and campaigning. We just don’t have the resources of LibLabCon to do all that members would like.

      ‘…..Much like the Tories under Cameron and now May, it would seem the Party leadership have little in common with the grassroots ideologically (other than Brexit, one hopes) and indeed view those grassroots with barely concealed contempt’. You’re welcome to your opinion, how about some facts though?

      • Dear John,

        I don’t want to get too snarky, as at least you’re willing to come on here and engage with the Members and supporters, unlike most. However, you need to do better than that. It really is reminiscent of the tactics employed by our Remainiac friends (“yes, but what *evidence* do you have that Brexit won’t be a disaster?”)

        Do you seriously require evidence that the UKIP grassroots are discontented with how things have been run over the past 2+ years? If so, the situation is dire indeed. If any of this is news to HO, then the Party is over.

        It’s not (just) about money. How much does it cost for a regular drumbeat of emails from Head Office? A regular series of videos recorded by each of the appointed policy Spokesmen on their particular portfolio? The answer is next to nothing, if not actually nothing. Which, incidentally, is what we get from Head Office, unless they want money for something. Numerous people have suggested such things to HO on numerous occasions, even offering to help out, yet it always falls on deaf ears.

        I’m at a loss to understand why so many at HO are in such deep denial. There is demonstrably widespread frustration, disappointment and despair across what’s left of the Membership with Head Office. This is not a recent development. For years we have felt at branch level that we are on our own; we receive little or any support from HO, and HO are not interested in any feedback or expertise we may provide.

        You may genuinely believe that we’ve all got it wrong, that everything is in fact being managed competently and to UKIP’s best advantage. Even if you are right, Head Office should be asking itself why there is such a disconnect between the Membership/Branches and HO that we have such different assessments of the same situation.

        Back to my original point, I fear the “nothing to see here” response may well be the final nail in UKIP’s coffin, as stalwart supporters who have given freely of their time and money realise that the Party is unresponsive and unwilling to even admit there’s a problem, and so look elsewhere for another party or movement to come along that will better appreciate us.

      • ‘How about some facts, though?’ Reminds me of Lauren: “Am I bovvered, though? Facts, face, bovvered? I AIN’T bovvered!”

        How about re-reading your article and its 130+ comments, including yours in which you barely concealed your contempt for the members who asked challenging questions, the ones who campaigned for you, the ones of whom you demanded name and number and suggested that villainy was afoot if they refused to jump to your command.
        Are those verifiable facts or are you in denial?
        Is the disgruntlement of members expressed to me in branch meetings, in emails, on the phone, in pubs, and on these pages facts, or have I just made stories up to annoy you?
        Here’s a fact for you: we’re having what is probably our last branch meeting next week in which Secretary and Treasurer are resigning with no one to replace them because membership and attendance has dwindled increasingly since February/May/June this year (3 guesses why). The Chairman will probably have no choice but to wind up the branch and he won’t care because he is equally fed up. How do I know all this? Because I AM that Secretary and I know how the others feel because they TOLD me. Is that a fact, or are you going to dismiss it out of hand because, like the Queen of Egypt, you are in denial?
        Evidence? I’ll send you the minutes of that last meeting if I can be bovvered to write them up.

        • GEOFFREY CHARLES ELLIOTT. // August 10, 2017 at 3:15 am // Reply

          Panmelia,that article from Bickley was crass,and his attitud to dear Viv incorrigible,and as you say his contempt for us loyal members and activists was beyond the pale,he was unable to contain or control his anger,he so foolishly shot himself in the foot.Of late here on UKIP DAILY,we have had the big beasts of UKIP coming on spouting forth their propaganda,they write in a condescending manner,remember this one by Freddy Vachha:
          http://www.ukipdaily.com/good-muslim-bad-muslim/
          Panmelia many thanks for your support.For some time now we have had to put up with Mcwhirter,who hardly misses to reply to nearly everyone of our comments,in a holier than thou patronising manner.
          We even had Crowther on UKIP DAILY,his Hi All sounded so false,as if those of us left in UKIP are one big happy family,when that could not be further from the truth.Many thanks to Hugo for my next link:
          http://www.ukipdaily.com/human-rights-v-islam/
          Please see my comment which I posted on August 8 at 10:16 AM,
          here I explain my disgust with the so called leaders of UKIP,for that vile and despicable Muslim Appeasing Pro bloody Halal Leaflet,which was the defining moment in the loss of both our members,and support from the general public.I call them out as cowards and traitors,through their actions,UKIP have become irrelevant, make no,apologies for again describing them as “the useful idiots of Islam”.

          • GEOFFREY CHARLES ELLIOTT. // August 10, 2017 at 4:28 am //

            Further to my comment,I should have realised,I was big on calls of unity when I was promoting Paul Nutall,as my dear friend,colleague and fellow contributor Dee,here on UKIP DAILY told us at the time,that Nutall had nothing on policy,
            vision or direction.The hierarchy in UKIP are all determined to drag UKIP into,the centre ground,that policy has failed miserably,and has seen our members and voters just drift away,completely disillusioned.The collective leadership should all go,thank god Nutall has gone,I believe they should join him,don’t you.Since our monumental defeat at Stoke,and since that absurd bloody Pro Halal supporting leaflet was found,we have heard nothing from the idiots responsible for that garbage,the silence has indeed been deafening,I have lost count of the times that I have asked for an explanation,but nothing not even a damn lie,just a wall of silence,that alone proves their inadequacies.No clear statement made public,many people ask me:what does UKIP now stand for,also what are it’s policies,it seems to have lost its way.Nothing about reducing immigration,as well as the sky high Foreign Aid,which we pay more than anyone else,in fact one seventh,how stupid when we have the lowest Cancer survival rates,in Europe.Not a single mention of the word ISLAM,I joined UKIP all those years ago because I wanted my country back.I thought UKIP was going to be really Radical and would stand up for all those millions failed by the lib/ lab/con,I honestly thought we could really make a difference,and not pander to the wishes of the Islamists who hate us,and seek and celebrate our death and destruction.We have lost so much support,I honestly believe that we can regroup and rebuild UKIP,we could again have a great future.There is only one person who is Brave and Courageous to address the elephant in the room,the Islamification of Britain,the wonderful Anne Marie Waters,that is why I am urging everyone who wants our beloved Party to survive,to join with me this very day and pledge your support.
            Thank you,Geoff.Elliott,UKIP Pontypridd.

          • > so called leaders of UKIP for that vile and despicable …
            > Pro bloody Halal Leaflet

            1. I was more than unhappy about that leaflet, of whose existence I became aware only when it was being delivered.

            2. GCE, we know AMW is your #1 choice in the forthcoming election, and I have done whatever I can to ensure she is on the ballot paper.

            3. It seems possible that the voting system decided upon may be a STV one. Please, GCE, share with me *who would be your second choice* from among the candidates.
            Please don’t duck the question by saying you would leave it blank – if you had to put a second choice, or your vote be rendered invalid, who would it be. Assume the system made it impossible for a second choice vote to harm the chances of your first choice one.

            There is an excellent reason for 1., 2. and 3. above.

            I look forward to your answer. Indeed, I look forward to it from anyone who shares our view of the anti-stun leaflet.

          • Freddy. JRE, D Kurten, Ben Walker. All good candidates.

      • You want evidence Mr Bickley? It’s right in front of you – your own comments. You should have gone to Specsavers.

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