We’re having another GE! What fun! What would Spring be like without having to campaign!
The MSM are already in full electioneering mode, with opinion pages full of why this is good for the Tories, the Libdems, Labour, and why this means we will get Brexit – soft, hard, extreme, ultra, or none. UKIP is again non-existent – for now, that is. Wait until June 1st and we’ll have the usual slime and smears poured all over our candidates: the MSM only have to dust off the articles they wrote daily in 2015.
There are however a few points which make this coming GE different from that in 2015.
First of course is Brexit. That’s what it is about, that’s why such eminent people like Ms Gina Miller and Mr Tony Blair are already ‘campaigning’ to support any LibLab Remoaner candidate. That’s why the Tories are planning to force their choice of candidates on local associations, to give Ms May a Parliament full of soft-to-no Brexit MPs.
Then there’s the issue of the police investigations into breaches of Electoral Law in the 2015 GE. Various people, Nigel Farage first and foremost, have pointed out that this is the reason for Ms May going to the country now since many sitting MPs are involved. That would have meant many by-elections later this year – something she could not afford with her small majority of 12 MPs. A GE wipes the slate clean.
You will however not hear the MSM talk about this.
Then there are the Remoaners. The LibDems, who are on an upswing, are positioning themselves as the ‘Party of Remain’. The past by-elections have shown that this might be a successful strategy. And Labour – well, it is in disarray, but we all know that in the Labour heartlands people will vote Labour regardless.
So where does this leave us?
Frankly – in a hole we dug for ourselves.
Thanks to the waste of time, effort and resources in the by-elections we fought and lost, the local elections in two weeks will not be as successful as we hoped. Some are predicting a huge loss of seats, or, in other words, a blood bath. The MSM and the establishment parties will certainly go to town on that. Good timing, Ms May!
We – that is, our ‘leaders’ and party management – have wasted time ever since the referendum was won. Let’s just say that our leaders had six months to come up with some sort of manifesto. Instead we’re told that ”we have a plan” – but what that plan is, we don’t know, we’re not being told, and we don’t have any input. Many authors on UKIP Daily have been proposing policies UKIP could and should adopt. They were extensively debated by readers and members. There has been no interest shown by our Leaders. None!
We – that is, our ‘leaders’ and party management – have wasted effort, by standing in by-elections with candidates who were not local. We in UKIP have always prided ourselves on not being like the establishment parties, on not fielding ‘professional’ politicians, on promoting our own local candidates. Isn’t it extraordinary that we have been doing just that! Has Party Management, have the Leaders still not got it that prominent UKIPpers may be prominent in UKIP but not locally? Do we now, like the establishment parties, have a ‘party elite’ who feel they are entitled to become candidates in any constituency where they feel they have a chance, relying on us ordinary members to get them that seat, regardless? Or are HQ trying to do as the Tories: forcing their choice of candidates on local associations?
We – that is, our ‘leaders’ and party management – have wasted resources, especially in the by-elections we fought and lost. We all know that UKIP has not got funds, we all have had the begging letters, we all donated – but we do not know where our money went or how it was spent. We know from the local paper that the Stoke campaign spent nearly £100,000 of our money. Members have asked for a break-down but the treasurer has brushed them off. We can hand over our dosh, but must not ask if it was spent wisely. And now we’ve got to fund a GE campaign? What with?
That is the cold assessment of where we’re at: all at sea.
Where does this leave us?
Well, we now have to wait until June 9th before we can, in good conscience, ask for a revision of the leadership, spokespeople and party management. That is hard to swallow, but that’s life. Nothing we can do about it right now.
What we can do something about, starting today, is demanding from That Lot Up There to accept that we won’t win without taking a courageous stand on issues which will make voters want to vote for us; to accept that, no matter what we do, the MSM and the establishment parties will attack us anyway; to accept that we won’t win any votes by appeasing that lot!
What though about our policies? I suggest that we keep it simple, focussing on issues which people, voters, have talked about since June 23rd 2016:
- British Law for all
- No more foreign aid
That’ll do for starters.
“Immigration” – which Ms May will not stop – was the largest issue and vote winner in the Brexit campaign. It is the best point with which to clobber the Tories, Labour and the LibDems, covering jobs, housing, schools, benefits, ‘refugees’ …
“British Law for all” addresses the burning issues from creeping sharia law to creeping islamification. (Did you know that one muslim councillor actually tweeted that calling the election in June was unfair to muslims because: Ramadan?) It is simple and elegant, chiming in with our innate sense of fairness while covering such points as abolishing the EAW.
“No more foreign aid” is simple but has many facets. For example, why do we send money abroad when our infrastructure crumbles, when our elderly live in misery, when our NHS has become the International HS?
See – we do not need another doorstop manifesto! Even better: these points show that UKIP is not a single-issue, Brexit-only party.
If we keep it simple, if we field local candidates, and if there are no more halal leaflets, we might, just might, pull off the one or other surprise win.
If we wait for Head Quarters and The Leaders to come up with a ‘national’ strategy aimed at out-labouring Labour, we will lose.
If we do not target a few seats but go for the blunderbuss approach which helped us lose in 2015, then we’re simply not smart enough to win seats in Parliament.
If we waste resources and effort by putting up candidates against Brexiteer Tories such as Jacob Rees Mogg or Brexiteer Labourites such as Kate Hoey, we fully deserve to lose.
I do hope our leaders see sense. Else I predict a bloodbath of epic proportions starting on June 9th, and who knows if UKIP will survive even unto the AGM in September.