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Time To Slay a Few Myths

Nominations for the election of a new Leader of UKIP have now closed and we wait with baited breath for who will be the Party’s new Leader, the third one in a year, to be announced at the Party’s 2017 Conference in Torquay.

The last twelve months or so have been difficult for the Party, following the key role we played in winning the historic EU Referendum. It is always difficult to maintain momentum after such an historic and sometimes unexpected achievement (just ask Leicester City!). Unfortunately for UKIP, life after the referendum was made even more difficult by having not only two leadership elections but being subjected to various attacks from people who at times seemed to be deliberately trying to publicly undermine or even destroy the Party.

Shockingly, some of these people were ‘kippers’, very senior ones at that. The NEC (national executive committee) and Party’s management were the favourite kicking stools, at fault, it seems, for one candidate failing to adhere to the nomination rules, for a new Leader appearing to self implode and resign from the leadership and Party within weeks of their election (having made no attempt to meet with the NEC or its Party officers) and finally for not sacking the likes of Carswell, Hamilton or Evans (insert the name of anyone you don’t like) despite the fact that the Party’s constitution doesn’t allow a member to be thrown out of the Party without due process. Nigel knows this as he was on the NEC when certain members were on a ‘hit’ list. Natural justice must prevail or the Party becomes an anarchic non entity.

Let’s discuss the NEC. I put myself up for election in the autumn of 2014 because I wanted to give something back to the Party after the fantastic support I received from members and the Party in the Wythenshawe & Sale East (January 2014) and Heywood and Middleton (Oct 2014) by-elections.  

Remember, all NEC members carry out their roles on a voluntary basis, which over the course of a year adds up to at least a month’s work. The NEC is a child of the Party’s constitution and exists only to run the Party. Both Nigel and the membership signed off the constitution in 2012 that gave rise to the current NEC – here’s a link to it. Please read it as it clearly shows that our Party is run by its members – period.

Of the 15 votes that the NEC uses to run its affairs 12 belong to your elected representatives. Those, who really should know better, accuse the NEC of being a bunch of amateurs. Does that mean that the members who voted for their NEC representatives are amateurs as well? Was Nigel an amateur when he was a member?

Let’s consider the make-up of the current NEC: 5 lawyers/solicitors, 2 accountants, 1 multi millionaire entrepreneur, 1 business person who owned a very successful London based marketing enterprise, and senior execs from the corporate world e.g. one who ran international businesses for American and Japanese multinationals. These people are not stupid or amateurish, though like all human beings they are fallible. They run the Party according to its constitution and rulebook, because that’s what members expect them to do, what they were elected to do.

The NEC’s elected members are chosen from among the national membership and represent all members, wherever they live. Some have suggested we elect NEC members based on the 12 regions. At one level that seems to make sense. However, the Party’s membership is not evenly distributed. Most of our members are in the South; at least one southern UKIP region has as many members as the whole of the North of England, Scotland and Northern Ireland put together, so regional representation may not actually be fair. Personally, I believe NEC members should be elected based on their ability, experience and knowledge to run UKIP, not where they live.

Ironically, there is talk of the Party needing ‘direct democracy’. We already have it though, via the members’ elected NEC, which makes UKIP more democratic in terms of member representation and control of a political party than either the Tories or Labour.

One very important aspect of the Party’s constitution is that it ensures no one person or cabal can take over the Party and run it as their own fiefdom; it ensures the members always have control, via their elected reps of the Party. Of course some members may want a Leader to have supreme power, able to appoint their own board/management team, without any remit or accountability to the membership. The question is: why is that better than what we currently have? Where is the detailed explanation, justification and benefit for such a change when it is promoted by some, versus a rant or personal attack on the current set-up and/or staff? And one needs to remember the saying: ‘absolute power corrupts absolutely’.

In the upcoming leadership election I’m afraid some candidates may make evidence-lite and unwarranted attacks on the NEC and the Party’s management, rather than focussing on what really matters: how under their leadership the Party and its policies will appeal to enough voters so we end up with hundreds of local councillors and realistically, ten to twenty MPs. If candidates attack the Party machine ask them to provide evidence to back up their claims, not sound bites or unsubstantiated rumours. If a candidate claims to have a better solution to run the Party ask them to set it out in detail, why it will be better, how it will be funded and how they as Leader will attract donors and funding.  

I’m first in the queue to admit we can always improve how we manage and run the Party. However, let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water. We have a members’ constitution that’s been hard fought for. Don’t give it up because someone flashes shiny baubles in your face. Often they turn out to be glass, not diamonds!  

Let’s see someone in the leadership election rise above the petty insults and posturing that have been all to prevalent in the last twelve months. Let’s see someone present a compelling, positive vision and policy platform for the Party that we can confidently take to the electorate in 2022.   

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About John Bickley (2 Articles)
John Bickley is UKIP's Treasurer

133 Comments on Time To Slay a Few Myths

  1. John Bickley // August 7, 2017 at 8:34 am //

    Writing my piece (which was essentially about how the Party’s constitution and member elected NEC shows that the members have ultimate control of the party) in a public facing forum has led me to conclude that it’s dangerous for a political party to ‘wash’, ‘iron’ or ‘arrange’ its linen in such a public ‘free for all’ place. Some contributors just used my article as an excuse to attack the Party and make evidence-lite statements/accusations.

    We have an extensive branch, county & regional structure that serves members well (if they engage in and support it). Within that structure and the hundreds of meetings that take place we know that at the very least all attendees are UKIP members and it’s that environment, rather than a public one, that is best for vigorous considered debate.

    And finally, the 24/7 media who are desperate for headlines and want to stuff UKIP will come to this sort of site and look for negative stories/comments to write about us. Because of that alone the party shouldn’t wash its linen online; it should do so within its branch network & via the NEC (all behind closed doors within the party).

    If you have a specific question about UKIP’s internal operations then please email me at with your full name and membership number. Our conversation will remain private & confidential.

    • Mr Bickley, how I would have loved it had your first sentence read something to the effect that you understand the frustration of members who, despite what the constitution actually says, feel that they are excluded and not listened to, and would take back to the Chairman and NEC concerns voiced on this forum.

      Sadly, it seems that you have concluded that not engaging or listening to members is the way forward – if I assess your comment correctly. That is a real pity – because only through dialogue with members is it possible to move forward together, to achieve a United party, in my apparently worthless opinion.

      • You’re frustrated Dee, well so am I. My point is that we have an extensive membership network via branches, counties & the regions. They’re the places to vent frustrations etc, not public forums where things can get out of hand quite quickly and give the media plenty of ammo.

        BTW – the party is currently looking at how the branch network can work better for members, however please remember we have very limited resources and very much rely on volunteers, like the NEC members to keep the show on the road.

        Any member can bring any topic they like to the NEC either directly or via their branch/county/region. You can mail the Devon office if you have an issue for the NEC. I suggest members use all of these channels.

        • Thank you, John, for at least understanding my frustrations. I live in hope, but hope only carries one so far.

        • Mr Bickley,
          I am a current member and was a member at the time of the last leadership contest.

          I wanted to attend the hustings at Wolverhampton and my wife, who was not a member, was also interested in going. Although she has voted UKIP many times she has never thought it necessary to join any political party. However, as the hustings was restricted to members she decided she would put her principles aside and join UKIP provided her membership came through in time.

          I, therefore, emailed UKIP a couple of weeks before the hustings and asked if she joined that day would her membership card be received before the date of the hustings.

          Some nine months later I am still awaiting a reply and, needless to say, she has not joined.

          Is this the sort of communications path you are recommending we use? I could have sailed around the world more quickly.

          • John Bickley // August 7, 2017 at 1:52 pm //

            Please email me the email you sent to UKIP & I’ll find out why you didn’t receive a reply. BTW, did you speak to your branch chairman about this or any other UKIP official for that matter?

          • Branch chairmen should be able to – and delighted to, as they get the funds – take memberships on the day!

          • Mr Bickley. The email has been deleted now. No, I didn’t take it up with my Branch chairman or any other Party official. If Head Office couldn’t be bothered to encourage a prospective new member to join, I wasn’t going to be bothered to go to any more trouble.

            Rob. I didn’t know this but, if that’s the case, why didn’t Head Office tell me so?

    • The “evidence-lite statements/accusations” from Bickley who accused UKIP Daily commentators of being Momentum members and ghostly figures with a motivation – he’s a mind reader – of undermining. Paranoia masquerading as caution is one thing but the disregard of the E-i-C’s reassuranace was the most `evidence-lite’ part of the whole shambles that was Bickely’s article.

      Bickely’s no platforming, safe space attitude suggests he would be better off in another party.

      His belief that information flows up and down the county and regional structure is laughable and false.

    • Toby Micklethwait // August 7, 2017 at 1:59 pm //

      Dear John (Bickley),

      You say “We have an extensive branch, county & regional structure that serves members well”.

      A couple of suggestions to make the system work even better in effectively representing the the views of the members.

      * It would be possible for the RORC meetings (which occur ever 2 months) to appoint their own chairman.

      * It would be possible for the minutes of those RORC meetings to go, routinely, to all NEC members (which has never yet happened, I believe).

      Regards, Toby, 01932-873557

    • @ JB
      No, ta. I prefer the full, free and frank exchanges of views with everyday contributors on ukipdaily to a ‘private & confidential’ conversation with you. You have managed to annoy long-standing members and campaigners (even people who campaigned for you, personally!) and our esteemed E-in-C Vivian.

      The metaphor is actually ‘washing your dirty linen in public’ – it kinda loses its meaning if you omit the ‘dirty’. I regard your paranoid demands for “Name and Number!” as distinctly grubby and the sort of pompous naivety that the media would love to report if they saw it.

      If freedom of speech and freedom of discourse with members, ex-members, non-members, voters, potential voters and interested parties nationwide is so distasteful to you, I suggest that you leave social media well alone. One needs to have a certain resilience to participate. Contributors to this site are generally polite, or at least not abusive; Viv sees to that.

      The government’s PC Thought Police are already on the job of identifying and persecuting anyone who posts things they don’t like. In UKIP, we don’t like PC, secrecy, unaccountability, or attempted suppression of free speech.

  2. I think that Mr Bickley might take away from his visit to UKIP Daily, and pass on to Messrs Crowther and Oaken the following – quod erat demonstratum – Members, ex-members and those interested in UKIP have shown themselves to be courageous, tenacious, resourceful, doggedly determined, witty and perceptive, led by our editor-in-chief who is firm, fair and, like others here, gives her time voluntarily and unstintingly to the cause. We have no truck, either, with political correctness or groupthink. It is these qualities of UKIP members that not only gave you the positions you hold today, from MEP’s, AM’s and all others who draw salaries, but who, in spite of being ignored and condescended to, will either put these talents into a new, revitalized UKIP, or, if their collective will is ignored, will leave you to preside over the slow and inevitable death of UKIP – because frankly, without us, you will be nothing.

  3. John I think some of the points you make are fair ones : particularly that the Party has a Constitution with statutes and rules which have to be followed to avoid falling into illegality ~which would have its own dire consequences.
    Not everyone seems to appreciate that political parties are subject to the Law.

    On the extremely important subject of the mechanism for electing NEC members : my own reason for supporting Regionality is that it would permit proper scrutiny by the Membership of the candidates ~ie there could be proper Hustings which most if not all members could attend to really evaluate the candidates for NEC membership.
    The current system where huge numbers of candidates are allowed just a few lines of print leads to ‘name recognition’ voting : ie most people simply cannot distinguish and end up voting for people they have heard of / seen on the telly or whatever.
    How many NEC members are from Yorkshire or the NorthEast regions ?
    I accept that some regions have more members so there might need to be more places on the NEC for those regions. Tho’ I would also be open to the idea of just accepting the anomaly whilst encouraging all regions to campaign for greater numbers of members.
    I like the idea that directly elected Regional Chairs should, ex officio, be members of the NEC.
    Once so constituted the NEC could have powers to co- opt others for specific skills or attributes.

    • “A scant few lines of print” will be cured by electronic voting. ?

    • John Bickley // August 7, 2017 at 7:56 am //

      Thanks Rhys,

      Under Paul Nuttall’s leadership we were looking at how regional representation could work. I don’t believe there is a perfect representation system, however Rob McWhirter makes a good point that with electronic voting there would be more scope to have very detailed backgrounds published on all NEC candidates.

  4. Mary Singleton // August 6, 2017 at 10:22 am //

    John Bickleys article illustrates all that is wrong with the UKIP hierarchy. It is arrogant and dismissive of the honestly held views of some members. John obviously has his own views and any that dont fit his mind set are dismissed as trouble making or subversive. The hierarchy need to listen to alternative visions for UKIP. technically John is right when he says the NEC are the guardians of the constitution. The trouble is it is being abused to bar a candidate who keeps company they do not like. I am sure Anne Marie will be banned because thats what the rules say. However the management have ignored or defied the rules when it suits them and if Anne Marie chooses to go to court over this I will supply the examples. I know the top people are campaigning and working to stop Anne Marie, they are not neutral in this process. However the NEC have a decision to make, its going to be difficult with the interim leader sitting there to go against him, but that is what is needed. The vetting report ( whoever is doing it) will be advice, it is not law. The NEC make the decision and they do not have to follow advice, ( they have ignored it before). The fact that the rules and constitution are going to be used to ban AMW shows the structure is not fit. Unfortunately I do not have the patience to wait the 9 months or so a change to the constitution would take.
    On that note I suggest everyone looks at Rule A10. The NEC has the right to to determine what the rules mean, and they decided an August date was the last date for members to vote, but the NEC are now being told they made a mistake and a June date imposed. An example of interpretation to suit the hierarchy. I do not think they can be overruled so easily.

    John says we cannot have regional representation on the NEC because the membership is not balanced. Another obfuscation, whats wrong with weighted voting? If they cant invent a system i will do it for them. At the moment you cannot contact NEC members because their emails are not published so how do the members make their views known if they have no one local? I challenge John to publish the NEC email addresses so members can contact them. What could be simpler?

    I could go on at length ,although that is not my nature. The only way out of this is for AMW to be allowed to stand. It really should be the members who decide.

    I am exasperated and fed up, just like so many others. Please listen.

    • Sorry, Mary, but A10 only applies to the rules (which can be amended anytime by majority NEC vote). The 23rd June cutoff for new members voting is from 7.8 of the constitution, ratified by the membership by postal vote in 2012, and the NEC have NO power to overrule it, even if they wanted to.

    • John Bickley // August 7, 2017 at 8:05 am //

      Dear Mary,
      Stop making false statements please:

      * no candidate has been barred from standing.
      * who says the NEC is not listening to alternative visions for UKIP – please provide evidence
      * what advice have the NEC ignored before
      * I haven’t said we can’t have regional representation; I just laid out some of the issues behind that alternative. It’s not my decision, it’s the NEC’s i.e. the body to which you have constitutionally delegated power to run the party.

      I’m not giving our personal contact details on a public facing forum

      • Toby Micklethwait // August 7, 2017 at 2:58 pm //

        Dear John (Bickley),

        It is good that you have come on this website, but you don’t seem to be enjoying it. Which is a pity.

        It’s 5 years now since but Doug Denny and I used to post on the old forum when we were NEC members. We never got into an argument. We enjoyed harmonious relations with the members. It’s NOT that difficult.

        The purpose of the old forum and of this website is to develop lines of discussion which will help UKIP forward.

        That sort of constructive debate can more easily happen when long standing UKIP members communicate electronically. We are in lots of different branches and counties.

        We make numerous constructive suggestions and it is good that you are here to read them.

        What is needed now is for you to understand the feelings and the logic and, if possible, get some of the suggestions implemented.

        And make friends with us.

        Regards, Toby Micklethwait, 01932-873557

  5. Baited breath!

    Freddy is correct. He often is!

  6. Gerry Robinson // August 6, 2017 at 8:46 am //

    This is Gerry Robinson, writing under the psuedonym of ummmmm Gerry Robinson. Ex UKIP Member. Ex UKIP Parliamentary Campaign Manager. Ex UKIP Councillor Election Agent and Ex UKIP Councillor Candidate.

    I’m glad John Bickley wrote that piece because it neatly and elegantly demonstrated the kind of introspective, self-obsessed navel-gazing that has led to UKIP members leaving in droves and in despair at the biggest squandered opportunity this century for any political party. Thanks to the quality of people at the top, UKIP will now only be remembered for the Referendum result whereas it could have been remembered as the party that won the Referendum and then went on to become the biggest opposition party were it not for it’s own hubris. Hubris amply demonstrated by the demand that ‘only UKIP members’ should write for UKIP Daily! If the likes of Bickley want a UKIP-only channel then perhaps they should revive the flagging UKIP website…..

  7. Brenda Rattle // August 6, 2017 at 7:25 am //

    Mr Bickley seems to have an unhealthy obsession with peoples’ names and how this site is run!

    I am a UKIP member, number 428030.

    For Mr Bickley’s information, I also used to be a member of a naturist club (nudist colony) so I can safely say I am transparent with nothing to hide.

  8. GEOFFREY CHARLES ELLIOTT. // August 6, 2017 at 1:27 am //

    UKIP Daily is a news and commentary outlet for all things UKIP.

    As UKIP moves into its twenty first year, the party has reached a watershed moment. It is now becoming a real force in local politics, with 24 MEPs elected to the European Parliament in 2014 and numerous local councillors taking their seats, and will heavily influence the results of next year’s general election. As a consequence, we the members must move UKIP past the spirited amateurism that has thus far been its calling card, whilst doing our best to retain its straight-talking, common-sense-thinking nature.

    UKIP Daily aims to give a platform to all views within UKIP, so that they can be discussed in a sensible manner. We want the grassroots to have a say in shaping the future direction of the party; we aim to be a conduit through which their voice can be heard. We also invite people from industry, the media and from think tanks to offer their views in order to open dialogue with the party.

    UKIP Daily is independent of UKIP, but the editorial staff are all members of the party and the site is written in a supportive spirit.
    John Buckley,if you had taken the time to read something about what we in UKIP DAILY represent,this can be found at the very top right hand corner:”ABOUT US”,
    and which I have copied above,you could have seen for yourself that UKIP DAILY is an excellent online platform,which is open not only to us activists and members,but in fact anyone who is interested in discussing with us,the future of UKIP but also the future of our country.Also if you had read the last paragraph,see above that: UKIP DAILY is independent of UKIP,you would not have made such stupid and crass remarks,to my dear friend and colleague Vivien Evans (her real name),who does such a marvellous job,in promoting everything UKIP as our Editor in Chief. I object most strongly when you start your attacks on us,especially when you make such an adsurd remark,when you say:”the commentators have a vested interest in undermining the party”,that is a complete and utter downright lie,we all want UKIP to survive.

    • GEOFFREY CHARLES ELLIOTT. // August 6, 2017 at 3:28 am //

      Further to my recent comment,I would like John Bickley to see how he has failed to impress us.I suggest he reads again what our colleague Stout has to say about him,published here yesterday,August 5 2017 at 4:39 PM.”I doubt anyone is fooled by
      your diversionary tactics”,and “After your unwarranted slur about commentators here
      I would just have deleted your article”;”The debate is about what is said.You are
      embarrassing yourself”.Then below what Thomas had to say about you,again shown
      yesterday August 5 2017 at 5:58 PM: “The ignorance of John Buckley about this site
      is absolutely mind boggling,and he’s one of the people holding a senior position in the Party.No wonder we’re in such a mess”.John Bickley I could go on and on,but I won’t.From the heady days of of the 2015 General Election when 3,881,099 voted UKIP,to our recent disasterous defeat in the 2017 Snap General Election,when just
      594,068 voted UKIP we had lost the support of 3,287,031 voters.That was caused by all the infighting,18 Day Diane James,the Steven Woolfe fiasco,and to Raheem Kassam standing down,to when Paul Nutall eventually became our new leader.
      There was no one more vocal in wanting Paul to become our new leader,unfortunately he was a total disaster for us.When I heard about his four lies,
      the Hillsborough one being the very worst,I knew that no one in their right mind would vote ever for him,or us again.After his disasterous and spectacular defeat at Stoke,where he was allowed to spend £99,455,worse was to come when my friend and fellow activist,and colleague Dee told me about that Muslim Appeasing bloody pro Halal leaflet,I was incandescent with rage.I new then that the UKIP leadership had become the useful idiots of Islam.This totally stupid bloody Halsl leaflet was produced for the Muslims of Stoke to vote for us,any bloody fool could have told Nutall and his dullard advisors that Muslims just don’t and didn’t vote UKIP,as they always vote Labour.By siding with the death cult Islamists,Paul Nutall and the other
      idiots who were complicit in producing that vile and despicable bloody Halal leaflet,
      proved beyond doubt how seriously deluded they were.They were so stupid they failed to see that by promoting the bloody cruelty of Halal they were in fact promoting Sharia Law,which are inextricably linked and known to fund terrorism,and the terrible
      intolerism of the Radical Islamists.I new then UKIP might never ever recover.

      • GEOFFREY CHARLES ELLIOTTz // August 6, 2017 at 4:17 am //

        Further to my previous comment.Looking back,what me so mad about that Muslim Appeasing pro bloody Halal leaflet,was that it was hidden from us in a most sly and underhand way.While we were all cheering loudly and clapping Nutall after his speech to us at our Conference in Bolton,he was hiding a terrible secret,that very fact,proves that he and his dullard advisers were damaged goods,they treated us members with utter contempt.Viv,Dee and
        Panmelia and our other wonderful contributors,and UKIP activists,knew I wrote numerous emails,urging them all to stand down.I started by trying to appeal to them,I usually asked them: “to stand down now!,if you care for both the survival of UKIP,and the survival of our once great and former Christian country,I urge all of you,if have a decent bone in your body,to please stand down” .Not one of those Dhimmi Muslim Appeasers did in fact stand down,I was sickened by their indifference,I was met with one huge wall of silence,they just buried their heads in the sand,and I suppose hoped that it
        would soon all be forgotten,and it would die a natural death,how very wrong they were,I will explain later,how I felt when I heard that the Brave and Courageous Anne Marie Waters was prevented from standing for us in Lewishsm East,and the very people who were responsible for stopping Anne Marie are now helping the failed hierarchy in UKIP organise our latest leadership election,are there no depths that they will not sink to in their desperation to hold onto power,how I hate what they have done to our Party.

        • Anne Marie is courageous and knowledgeable. It was utterly bizarre that she was not permitted to stand as a candidate in the general election.

          My recent email correspondence with her regarding Halal and UKIP policy:

          Dear Anne Marie,
          I think that you will agree with my arguments regarding the current confusion of UKIP policy in this area:

          Best wishes,

          Her reply:
          “Thanks Hugo, great article! (and you’re right, I agree!)”

          Ben Walker is also opposed to Halal. Where other candidates stand on this issue I do not (yet) know. Does anybody know? (Maybe I have not being paying enough attention.)

        • It is sad that despite both kicking off around the same time, the Libdems have managed to conclude their leadership contest 3 weeks ago whereas ours still has 2 months to run……

  9. Bickley doesn’t just want to know if commentors are members but which particular member they are. He can only check that by resorting to the membership database.

    What rule authorises him to check on UKIP daily contributors?” He says “we” need to know who “we” are dealing with. Who is “we”? And why do they need to know? The issue is what is said not who said it. By acting as an arrogant, paranoid, mono-manaically fixated party officer trying to track members he brings the party officers and NEC into disrepute. He should be disciplined.

  10. Oh, my gawd! This page went downhill fast, didn’t it after J Bickley got hoity-toity on his impossibly high horse and started lecturing Viv. The pomposity leapt off the page: “That’s not good enough, Vivian.” Whaaa-??

    Like a teacher out of his depth in a lively classroom, JB began demanding of recalcitrant posters “What’s your name?” and “Are you a member?” Stout Yeoman’s laugh-out-loud response to the first question was a treat. JB demanded to know if I was a member even though I’d just described what goes on at the Annual Conference in some detail. He saw stooges, entryists, ghostly figures, troublemakers from Momentum and liblabcon everywhere.

    All of this goes to show that JB didn’t have a clue about ukipdaily and had never read the articles and comments published on it. He thought he’d breeze in and ‘slay the myths’ and we’d all be jolly grateful. Clearly, he doesn’t talk to Patrick O’Flynn.
    As Stout Yeoman pointed out to JB when his repeated outbursts had stopped being funny: “You are embarrassing yourself.” Give over, as they say in Lancashire.

  11. Some thoughts.

    1. I would REALLY like “preview” and “edit” functionality.
    2. This is notva ‘KIPPER only site, and can’t be enforced assuch.
    3. The old UKIPForum had a majority against it; some “a*******” deliberately goading the moderation policy ensured it was doomed, irresprctive of any merits.
    4. I think voting records should be public, thats not the case to date.
    5. Yes, Dee, provided a meetting is quorate, all decisions are valid. That’s the point of being quorate. Disciplining NEC members, however, requires a higher definition of “quorate”.

    “6.17 Seven voting members of the NEC including the Party Chairman or, in the Chairman’s absence, the Vice Chairman appointed under Article 8.3, or such NEC member appointed for that meeting as Chairman in accordance with Article 6.16, shall constitute a quorum.”

    Changing this would require constitutional change. And the NEC date couldn’t be moved to accomodate long planned holidays etc., because of GE timetables. Blame Theresa Mayb or calling the election when she did!

  12. Howard Keating // August 5, 2017 at 7:49 pm //

    Just so you know, I have been a UKIP member for several years.

    I am pleased that you chose to write a piece for UKIP Daily. Thank you for doing so. You may be asking yourself at the moment whether it was such a great idea, but I think communication within the party is absolutely vital even when it involves angry disagreement. And it has been sadly abysmal in UKIP for far too long.

    However, I must echo Toby Micklethwait’s earlier comment:
    ‘However … you say “…our Party is run by its members – period”.
    Oh no it’s NOT. And it’s NOT run by the NEC either.’

    In support of Toby’s point I offer the following two extracts from the resignation letter from Victoria Ayling, Raymond Finch MEP and Michael McGough to the National Executive Committee of UKIP – August 2016:

    ‘As members of UKIP’s NEC we have been privy to the increasingly alarming behaviour of many on that board, leading us to conclude that the party’s executive committee is no longer fit for purpose. Rather than aim to represent the membership who appointed them, a growing number of members of the NEC are placing personal ambitions, loyalties and jealousies at the heart of their decision making. We have witnessed an escalating megalomania that is detrimental to the functioning of the party.’

    ‘We strongly believe that under the current governing structure the future security and success of UKIP is in jeopardy.’

    (I am aware that Mick and Ray are now back as current members of an apparently truncated NEC.)

    In September 2016 another NEC member Tomaz Slivnik resigned. Now I have to say that when Tomaz resigns he doesn’t muck about. He wrote a 14,500 word resignation letter detailing his reasons. It’s available online for those who have the time for an enlightening dissection of matters UKIP.

    I would say, John, that the above, and other records which I could refer to, do not support the impression given in your piece that ‘we already have direct democracy’ and that ‘the party is run by its members’.

  13. John Bickley // August 5, 2017 at 2:13 pm //

    I notice many of the people who comment on this site hide behind a pseudonym, so why should we take any notice of them, after all who are they: a member, ex member, member of LibLabCon, Momentum etc? If you want to comment on such a UKIP specific site, and in particular criticise contributors and commentators why not stand up and be counted and tell us who you are. Otherwise the party should ignore comments from such ghostly figures as they may just be troublemakers out to undermine the Party.

    • Vivian Evans // August 5, 2017 at 3:09 pm //

      John – the overwhelming majority of those who post under a pen name are known to me, as E-i-C. They choose pen names because they have reasons to fear professional and indeed UKIP-internal backlashes should their real names become known.
      I do not need to give instances – but rest assured that I know who they are, and rest assured that they are not Momentum members, many have posted here for years, well before Momentum became the entity we know today.
      That you regard them as ‘troublemakers out to undermine the Party’ speaks for itself, illustrating how right they are to use pen names …

      • John Bickley // August 5, 2017 at 4:27 pm //

        That’s not good enough Vivian. This is supposed to be UKIP only site. I’m happy to put my head above the parapet and engage in a debate with ‘kippers’. I don’t buy the fear of a professional or UKIP internal backlash; that just sounds like a good excuse to hide behind a pseudonym.

        If we don’t know who’s commenting on your site how can we trust it’s not used by entryists or troublemakers?

        Can you categorically state that only UKIP members are using this site?

        • Vivian Evans // August 5, 2017 at 4:44 pm //

          Sorry, John, this is not a “UKIP-only” site. It was founded to be the UKIP equivalent of “Conservative Home”, and I believe we are doing a good job at that, without any of the financial resources available to them.
          At ConHome, all can post freely, pen names or not, Tory members or not. Therefore, all can post here freely, pen name or not, UKIP members or not.
          It is about providing ideas and a place to debate them, for those who are interested in all things to do with UKIP.
          Trolls and actual trouble makers have long since been banned, the few who do come get short shrift from comment posters in no time at all.
          If you want a pristine, UKIP-only forum, then I respectfully suggest you, i.e. the UKIP Management team, provide one themselves. You can then control who is and is not allowed to speak.
          UKIP Daily is still a place where we value free speech, something which is not and should not be restricted to ‘known members’ only.
          And frankly, I’m not going to state anything at all about the comment posters here, especially not categorically. I repeat this for the third time now: that I know them should be sufficient for you.

          • John Bickley // August 5, 2017 at 5:21 pm //

            OK Vivian. I understand your position, however it does make it difficult for the party to engage on a site where the some of the commentators may have a vested interest in undermining the party, as you can’t vouch for either their authenticity or support of UKIP as a political entity.

          • Vivian Evans // August 5, 2017 at 6:20 pm //

            For the fourth and final time, John: your suspicions are utterly unfounded. Being critical is not = ‘having a vested interest in undermining the party’.
            Furthermore, it is unheard of to demand that I as E-i-C (or indeed any E-i-C of a website like this one) should ‘vouch’ for comment posters.
            I’ve told you already that we ban and have banned trolls.
            I do see however your and UKIP Top Management’s problem: you simply are not used to debate with us lowly members. You all seem to think that critique must not be allowed unless it’s behind closed doors, by ‘vouched-for’, card-carrying members, and everything to be kept ins strict confidence.
            If you had followed the debates here on UKIP Daily, both in articles about the future of the Party and in the comments, you’d have known that this is exactly what so many of us deplore.
            Finally – I can only conclude that you are unwilling to take my word for it, that I know most of the people who post on here.
            You have heard of this thing called ’email’? Comment posters and of course contributors email me privately. I know who they are. That’s all. Take it or leave it.

          • Labour List and Lib Dem Voice also allow pen names.

            My estimation of John Bickley has dropped considerably due to his curious attitude. And I knocked on doors in Wythenshawe in the rain for his by-election campaign.

          • John, you know me, and I am happy with pen names, on the basis that, if necessary, Viv has their real emails…

        • @JB
          It’s a bit of a nerve coming on here and cutting up rough about people using pen names as if this site belongs to UKIP or is funded and supported by UKIP. It isn’t! There used to be an official Members Only Forum, but that was closed down by UKIP PTB more than 3 years ago, for reasons best known to themselves. Commenters used pen names on that as well, FYI.

          I think you’ve disrespected Viv, our Editor-in Chief, and should apologise; she shouldn’t have to explain or defend this site that she and the other volunteers run amazingly well, not twice, not thrice, but FOUR times. This, more than anything, reveals how out of touch you are with ordinary members, the way they communicate, and how fed up they are. Anyone who posts an article on here can expect debate and criticism, not grateful sycophancy.
          Do you think we’re idiots who can’t tell a friend from an enemy of UKIP and what it stands for?
          I campaigned for you in Wythenshawe and H&M, but you didn’t seem very interested in my real name then.

          • Brenda Rattle // August 6, 2017 at 7:06 am //

            Well said Panmelia.

          • “Reasons best known to themselves”: Squirrel-Nutkin like members delighted in baiting the mods, and posting whatever they pleased, despite appeals for reasonableness.

            Some NEC members, by no means computer-illiterate, insisted that it be closed down. I disagreed, but was outvoted. And, in honesty, I couldn’t defend the prosecution case. The reality is, however, that if members had been self-censoring to a degree, and worked with the moderators, it would still exist!

          • Toby Micklethwait // August 7, 2017 at 7:59 am //

            Dear Rob (McWhirter),

            I was a forum moderator too.

            Jonathan Arnott was chief moderator and he was too tolerant.

            All that was needed was a chief moderator willing to chuck people off the forum.

            Regards, Toby, 01932-873557

          • Sorry, Toby, no. A clear majority of then NEC members, including technically-savvy ones wanted the forum closed. Heavier moderation would not have satisfied them, inless we personally vetted every post prior to publication, and probably not even then. It was a lost cause.

          • Toby Micklethwait // August 7, 2017 at 7:21 pm //

            Dear Rob (McWhirter),

            I am hoping that the new leader will restart the forum.

            You say “A clear majority of then NEC members, including technically-savvy ones wanted the forum closed. Heavier moderation would not have satisfied them”.

            Can you state why they wanted it closed?

            What reason was given for this act of destruction?

            Regards, Toby, 01932-873557

        • kenneth james ogilvie // August 6, 2017 at 2:48 am //

          I am an ex member and will continue to be an ex member until UKIP sorts itself out, I say this I firmly believe that the main problem with UKIP is the NEC

    • Mr Buckley, my name is Deirdre Trotman, I write as Dee, my membership number is 428423 and should you wish, I can furnish you with all my details on here, though my membership number should suffice.
      Please answer my question, as I believe it defines the entire problem of the NEC -obfuscation on a very serious, even unprecedented matter seems to be of little importance to anyone but members, certainly this one.

      • I would like to add that I have voted UKIP for a long time, have never belonged to any political party until just after the historic vote – when I joined to help, as I thought, swell member numbers for the undoubted fight ahead. Since I joined, my disillusion has steadily grown – I really thought UKIP was the one Party I would be proud to represent.

    • Stout Yeoman // August 5, 2017 at 3:51 pm //

      My real name is Sedgewick Witherspoon-Green. Once gender fluidity becomes law I will become Penelope Tiddlington. How does this affect any comments I make? I am not hiding, merely adopting a nom de plume.

      Given that kippers can suffer discrimination – remember the couple denied adoption because they voted UKIP? – there are legitimate reasons why some people adopt a nom de plume. Presumably, you refuse to read George Orwell and George Elliot because they used pen names.

      The issue is what is said not who says it. I think the E-i-C’s reply was remarkably restrained. You should apologise to her and UKIP Daily readers for an unwarranted slur and a lame attempt to duck the matters raised.

      • John Bickley // August 5, 2017 at 4:15 pm //

        This is a UKIP site isn’t it (not a public one), so we only want to hear from ‘kippers’, not entryists, ex members or plants, therefore those that want to criticise contributors or commentators should ensure we all know who we’re dealing with. Why hide?

        • Vivian Evans // August 5, 2017 at 4:34 pm //

          Well, John – as I said already in my answer below: I know who Stout Yeoman is, as I know who a whole lot of other posters are who use pen names. That ought to have been sufficient. If you think that those who post under pen names – I repeat: I know who they are – don’t deserve your answer, that’s fine: don’t answer then. Readers are perfectly capable of drawing their own conclusions. But kindly refrain from wading in and trying to decide how the comments section should be run.
          You are not the E-i-C.

        • Stout Yeoman // August 5, 2017 at 4:39 pm //

          It’s a public site. Some employers search their employee names. There are legitimate reasons for using pen names.

          How is knowing everyone’s name relevant? We cannot check membership databases. You wish to use your privilege? The database is for policing an independent website?

          On this site we critique. There are some fragile egos that see every less than fulsome comment as criticism – you for example – but mostly it is honest debate based on mutual respect.

          I doubt anyone is fooled by your diversionary tactics. Have you really only just discovered that people here use pen names? You are lucky I am not E-i-C. After your unwarranted slur about commentators here I would have just deleted your article. Viv has given you re-assurance about the commentators yet still you persist with your lame and unfounded speculation about entryists and plants.

          The debate is about what is said. You are embarrassing yourself.

          • The ignorance of John Bickley about this site is absolutely mind boggling and he’s one of the people holding a senior position in the Party.

            No wonder we’re in such a mess. And I am a member-not that I need to be.

        • Right, Mr Bickley, I have given you my credentials, so please would you answer me, which you have not done. If you weren’t at the extremely important meeting held to endorse proposed candidates, why not? Why wasn’t every NEC member at such a meeting? How many NEC members were there? We gathered (via leaks) that there were 8 plus the Chairman. Most importantly of all, if the person whose casting vote cost Anne Marie the General Election candidacy she had been offered by her Branch is too cowardly to give their name, or allow you to give it, he or she needs to tell you, so that you can tell me, on what grounds this decision was taken? Presumably there is a record of that meeting that you, as Treasurer, can refer to.

          I had hoped to ask other questions, but will just ask why Mr Crowther, our interim Leader at the time allowed someone representing UKIP to write an article that has so damaged UKIP that it will probably never recover, no matter who the next Leader is. Why did he not refute the article and dismiss the writer? A Brexit supporting article would be really useful, from anyone speaking for UKIP – but all we are getting in the Press is opinions about a particular candidate. Why is this allowed? I thought the NEC were the guardians of UKIP’s good name – though there is precious little of that left now.

          • John Bickley // August 5, 2017 at 6:43 pm //

            In the three years I’ve been a volunteer on the NEC I’ve attended almost every meeting. The NEC only needs to be quorate to carry out the party’s business. I don’t recall why I wasn’t at that particular meeting, however as I’ve voluntarily given up months of my life to fight by-elections, general elections and general canvassing there will be the odd time when I can’t make a particular meeting.

            As I wasn’t at the meeting I don’t know what the arguments were regarding AMW’s candidacy, however a vote was taken and she wasn’t allowed to stand. More recently, the NEC has voted to publish minutes and voting records, however retains the right to redact these if there’s a danger of breach of confidentiality, libel or bringing the party into disrepute.

          • Thank you Mr Bickley for replying. I feel you have furnished me with the bare minimum details of a meeting that was so much out of the ordinary as to be extra-ordinary. However, you weren’t present, so thank you. There is no doubt that the lack of transparency in the current running of the Party has led to not just people leaving, but becoming disillusioned even if they remain members. It is a tragedy for Britain. The Leadership election and how it will be handled will be the defining moment for the Party.

        • Perhaps I should explain, Mr. Bickley, that the reason I am pursuing this matter is because I believe it is fundamental to the credibility of UKIP. You must know that a great many people beside myself think it essential that Anne Marie be allowed to put forward her leadership bid. Were she to be disallowed, as Mr McWhirter has suggested somewhere else that she might be, because of that previous decision not to endorse her, we need to know chapter and verse and,there needs to be an unassailable reason, or, as you will know if you read the comments on ‘An Open Letter to the NEC’ 2 days ago, you will lose people from Branch Chairpersons to members, on a matter of fundamental principle.

        • John, I am an ex-member. I did not renew because of the U turn on Halal and Kosher in April 2015. I stated that clearly in my article:

          I do care what happens to UKIP, not so much for the sake of the party, but for the sake of our Country.

          I have nothing to hide.

          Please answer: why should ex-members be banned from writing here? And how on earth would you enforce such a requirement? The other websites for comments on party politics do not check membership numbers (Lib Dem Voice, Labour List, Conservative Home)

        • John Freeman // August 5, 2017 at 9:08 pm //

          Mr Bickley, we Kippers had a member only moderated forum . You had to register with your membership number to get on it. However, as the MSM didn’t like a few of the posts and probably some of the UKIP Elite didn’t like members posting their concerns, that members only free speech site was shut down. So please tell how us ordinary members and ex-members are supposed to have a discussion without UKIP Daily. Ex-member 283709.

          John Freeman

        • kenneth james ogilvie // August 6, 2017 at 2:56 am //

          If it’s on the web it’s open to all. What is the matter has a non kipper upset you at one time if that is the case you are to thin skinned and are applying for the wrong job

      • Oh Stout! I love you! ???

        • Stout Yeoman // August 5, 2017 at 4:43 pm //

          It’s mutual. I’m nominating you for kipper of the month.

          • GEOFFREY CHARLES ELLIOTT. // August 5, 2017 at 11:00 pm //

            Stout I second your nomination and would go further and say
            that Dee for me is the true voice of reason and commosense,and is a great asset to the party,her workload is
            impressive,she never ceases to amaze me I am always so impressd,i don’t know how she does it,long may she continue.I agree with everything she says,I am so glad that we have such a wonderful ambassador here on UKIP DAILY,
            I am so proud of my dear friend,colleague and fellow Activist,
            my kindest regards,Geoff.

          • Dear Geoffrey, I have only just read your extremely kind comment. Thank you. That’s all I can say, except that many others are so much better informed, and I think it’s together that we are, or could be, such a force for UKIP, and UKIP could be such a force for the U.K. if only we could wrestle it back under members control.

      • John Bickley // August 5, 2017 at 6:45 pm //

        Please list what matters I have ducked please?

      • Witherspoon – what a wonderfully eurosceptic name ?

    • I don’t recall it saying anywhere that this site was for the use of UKIP members only, after all it is publically viewable and anyone can comment.
      Personally, I am not a fully paid-up member of UKIP, and I have never been a member of any political party. However I have been voting for UKIP in local, national and European elections since 2010 (and of course voted Leave at last years referendum).
      I came across this website a couple of months ago now, and find it a great source of information, with some very insightful articles and contribution comments from UKIP members and supporters alike.
      I’ve come very close in the past to becoming a UKIP member, however I’m going to wait and see how the leadership election unfolds and who ultimately becomes leader and what direction the party is going to take before I make any financial commitment.
      I must say that Mr Bickley’s comments here have made me possibly change my mind, as they must be very off-putting to other potential members too. However I am glad that UKIP Daily is open to comments and contributions from supporters as well as members, and will continue to do so.

    • This is a really bizarre conversation. This is a public site. It is open to all. Nobody can vouch for anybody. Does twitter vouch for everyone who tweets, or Mark Zuckerburg vouch for everyone on facebook? UKIP used to have a members bulletin board in myUKIP but it was shut down by the party. The level of conversation on UKIP Daily is far more civilised than on twitter, where for example you can witness David Coburn and Suzanne Evans engage in name calling, or Anish Patel of the NEC call everybody else a cnut. I have never seen that kind of behaviour on UKIP Daily in 18 months or so of following it, which I am sure is due to the excellent moderation of the EiC.

    • I am a member but I don’t know for how much longer the way things are going, I do not consider myself to be a trouble maker but you seem out to pick a fight for some reason with some of us.

      For your information I did used to post in my own name but read a note advising not to, it seems that may have been a wise decision now as I sense a ‘blacklist’ coming on. I think you need to get over yourself a bit actually.

  14. I too am glad John has written, perhaps the message is getting through that, like Trump, the leadership need to communicate directly to the members. But in summary, this article seems to be saying ‘there is no need for change’. This contrasts greatly with the feeling amongst members that they are disenfranchised. The key issue seems to be the lack of accountability of NEC members (are they representatives or delegates? It seems neither…) to the actual members. This is caused by the fact that so few people vote for each individual NEC member. Last time around there were 90 or so people standing. Each person would run around a few branches that they have spent a few months buttering up and get 40-50 supporters. I wonder what the minimum number of votes was for an NEC member, I guess around 50. This is way too low for a party with a membership of 30,000. But members who stand for NEC are necessarily only known in their local region, so I guess it is impossible to get members elected on say 500 votes as no ordinary member knows 500 people. Taking this reality into account you will have the situation where a very small number of people elect NEC members, and therefore the NEC member only feels accountable to those 50-100 people who elected them (3-4 branches) but not to anybody else. E.g. here in London we have NEC members from other branches but they never visit our branch and there is no formal process by which they can be held accountable by us. Hence we are totally cut off from the NEC.

    • John Bickley // August 5, 2017 at 4:10 pm //

      Graham (surname?), bizarrely the NEC elections last year showed just how open the party is to being run by its members. Every member in good standing could stand or vote; many decided not to – that’s their right in a democracy though.

      Any branch can invite any NEC member to its meeting – how many bother to?

      Minutes from NEC meetings are now being published (I’ve asked the gen sec to make sure they’re up to date)

    • will comment here as your comment addresses some of the issues raised in John’s article.

      I was a candidate for the NEc last year. I came 10th (I think) in the poll with around 1500 votes so I think partipation was greater than you may think.

      I do, however, agree with you that the NEC does itself no favours by not communicating at all well with the membership. To say that the NEC represents the membership is correct in theory. In practie few of the members interact with members other than those on the NEC or in their own branches.

      I would add that the “Party Management” is remiss in not making use of offers of assistance specialised areas when required – and not only does not take up such offers but lacks the manners to even acknowledge them. This does nothing to make members feel involved or valued. – Mr Bickley is as guilty here as any.

      I do however recognise that the NEC is a necessary component of the Party. There has to be a body which guards the constitution and ensures that the rules are applied equally and fairly to all.

      Pat Bryant
      Membership No 66655

      • OK thank you, that is useful information and does change my view somewhat. 1,500 is a lot of votes. My question was less around participation (total number of votes) but the number of candidates (90) and therefore the number of votes per successful candidate.

      • I should have done this before of course, but searching through UKIP Daily, that no-good organ of treachery and skullduggery, I find some data. It appears for the 2016 NEC election around 12,000 members cast 85,000 votes, of which 16,000 were cast for the winners. In other words, in an election of 85,000 votes, 69,000 of them were ignored. To me, this is the root of the problem.

  15. John,
    There is the “small” issue of accountability. The NEC once elected has mostly performed in secret (the minutes recently so tardily published are a poor start but a start none-the-less). There are no hustings to guide our opinions of the candidates – most members are voting blind. How on earth are they to be accountable to members unless we can see upon what they deliberated and how they voted? Even our miserable Parliament is more accountable. As it stands the NEC is not accountable and the members thus have no influence. Until this changes our Party is about as democratic as the EU.

    • John Bickley // August 5, 2017 at 4:06 pm //

      Dear Jim,

      There will be a number of hustings around the country for the leadership election. The party is funding one large one in London (most of our members are in the South).

      The idea that you run the party in public is ludicrous and would be manna from heaven for our enemies & the media. Members elect the NEC to run the party on their behalf, just the same as parliament in that respect. We can only run it though according to the constitution which the members signed off.

      • Dear Mr Bickley,
        I can watch parliament sessions and voting record of any member, therefore your parallel could not be further from true. In my opinion, the idea that you run the party in secret (especially in secret from its members) is ludicrous. Everything could be changed, including the Constitution.
        FYI I am an ex-member and this lack of communication between the party establishment and grassroots was one of the main reasons I left.

  16. Mr Buckley, thank you for posting an article on UKIP Daily. This site should have been used by NEC members, MEP’s, London Assembly members as well as the Welsh contingent long before now, and then perhaps members wouldn’t be feeling as excluded as they undoubtedly do. Also, any of us who have even served on local representative committees have an idea of the work involved, so a thank you to all who put themselves forward for the task. But….there’s always a but!

    I agree with every one of Citizenkain’s questions and would like answers to the same, however, I would like to drill down first into one particular incident which I think encapsulates the problems. It is the deselection of Anne Marie as a candidate at the General Election. This was someone who, it is no secret, had previously been called ‘that woman’ and further disparagingly commented on by our then Leader in an exchange with a journalist. Someone who was also known to be ‘disapproved of’ by some who were seen as the UKIP ‘clique’. However, notwithstanding that, members of a particular branch felt that they would like to choose her as their candidate for the General Election, and put her forward. Given all that, and that Anne Marie is popular, not just with her branch but with quite a few in the Party, any decision to deselect her needed to be completely open and fair and scrupulously considered. Yet, a cloak of secrecy prevailed. All members knew was that Anne had been ‘deselected’. Gradually it trickled out that this was quite a heated discussion, with the NEC being split 50/50 and the decision taken on a casting vote.

    Everyone who has served on any committee knows that when a controversial decision is taken, the way that it is arrived at must be scrupulously minuted and available to all who are affected, i.e. members, and not least the branch affected.
    The record of that meeting, when it finally arrived, is, frankly, an insult to members.

    ‘The NEC formally selected candidates for target seats and (separately) ruled that Anne Marie Waters not be allowed to stand as a candidate at the General Election’.

    No minuted reasons, no voting record, nothing! Do you really think that this is the way elected representatives should behave? Because I don’t, and I think it encapsulates all that is wrong with the UKIP NEC at the moment. Frankly, I am astonished, and even embarrassed that the NEC felt this was good enough for members.
    If you have no answer to give, then who ever Chaired that meeting should come on here and give it. Members deserve no less, in my opinion.

    • NEC voting records have NEVER been published, Dee – so this is nothing exceptional.

      • Do you not think, Rob, as this was both controversial and, as far as I’m aware, though there may have been cases way back, unprecedented, it beloved the NEC to do so in,this case, although I would ask why they have never been published in the past. If NEC members apply to be accountable, surely members should be able to see how they vote on matters that affect UKIP? Anonymity is bad practice!

        • Behoved – Ed – sorry, spell check again!

        • Toby Micklethwait // August 5, 2017 at 2:49 pm //

          Dear Dee,

          You say: “members should be able to see how they vote”

          I totally agree.

          I was on the NEC for 16 months and very much wanted to publish how I was voting.

          As an example, I voted that, on principle, we should NOT adjust the London list (that the members have voted for).

          Few (if any) others voted that way. Most of them did what the chairman wanted; hoping to become MEPs, which they did.

          The whole thing needs a steely eye cast over it.

          Regards, Toby, 01932-873557

      • Actually, in the recent ‘meeting records’ published on myUKIP, there is a strange mixture of disclosure; e.g. on the chairman no-confidence vote there were abstainers but are not disclosed, but on another vote later on the abstainers were disclosed. Sunlight is the best disinfectant.

    • D, In addition, the NEC members who did not attend that meeting for various reasons, were assured that nothing controversial would be decided in their absence. That proved to be untrue.

      • Alan, The whole episode was not only appallingly badly handled, but it’s outrageous that members still have no clear idea of why such a decision was taken. Except we do know from various articles published in those friendly UKIP publicity organs, Huffpo, Guardian, Telegraph and Mirror, as well as Welsh News, that many of those empowered by us to speak for them have a particular view of Anne Marie. That much is clear and quite transparent. That is the only thing about this whole issue that is clear and transparent.

  17. Thank you John.I believe you are talking sense.
    The biggest problem I see with Ukip is that a high percentage of the members believe that expelling other members makes the party stronger. Then there is another sort who think that reorganising the structure to a state where true democracy will assert itself is the panacea. This an incredibly attractive option to the politically naive.
    Personally I shall be voting for the candidate who shows the most political nous regarding national politics and party dynamics. This is unlikely to be JRE or AMW, though I have respect for both.
    Its a pity you’re not standing John.
    However, here I am waiting to be impressed by someone who can show the above-mentioned qualities. My vote is up for grabs at the moment.
    I look forward to a good contest

  18. The article says the membership distribution is such that regional representation would not be better than the current national election of NEC members. It’s a fair point. In fact, regional representation on the NEC was voted down last year at the Bournemouth conference, in a transparent exercise in democracy among members. The central argument that swung the vote was the issue of membership distribution.

    It is curious then that the members’ motions section of the conference was not attended by and has subsequently been ignored by party officials and by the various agitators and factions who believe they know better how to run a party. The hall was two thirds full at the vote and so a good sized sample of members.

    Neither Mr Bickley nor John Rees-Evans and his evangelical supporters mentioned conference democracy and the vote at Bournemouth.

    • Bias of membership towards South West and South East has always been sticking point for regional representation, for me. Also if, say, there are only 100 members in Scotland, what is the quality of the pool going to be like, as well? Do we have to accept the only candidate with the time to stand, JUST because he currently luves in Scotland? It always amazes me that more people don’t get this…

    • It’s noticeable that the members’ motions section of the Conference is always held on the final day in the afternoon when many members have gone for trains or long car-drives home. It also feels as though the most important ‘players’ have gone home too. Why isn’t it given a much earlier slot in the schedule with more chance of full attendance by members and senior figures to witness democracy in action? The session could be organised better too, with speakers for and against a motion already assembled and seated on the platform instead of the hiatuses that occur when someone has to make their way to the steps.

    • John Bickley // August 5, 2017 at 3:57 pm //

      Please tell us your name. Are you a member?

      At the moment motions passed at conference are not binding, only advisory

      • Yes, of course I’m a member; can’t you tell from the way I describe what happens at Conference? I’ve been to every annual conference since joining, but I won’t be at this year’s for several reasons, one of which is that it’s on the south coast again. I know that motion outcomes are advisory, but if the whole event were treated more seriously, perhaps they should be binding.
        I helped in your campaigns in Wythenshawe and Heywood & Middleton; the latter was a near-run thing. The years 2014 and 2016 were good years, except for Carswell coming across. I campaigned for him too; wish I hadn’t.

  19. I think we need more transparency about what goes on in the higher echelons of UKIP. Since becoming a member of UKIP approx 5 years ago, maybe more. I have never been contacted by anyone who is a member of the NEC apart from being sent a voting form with their own information about themselves on it when they were seeking my support. We have invited West Midlands MEP Bill Etheridge as well as several Eastern region MEP’s, Stuart Agnew, Patrick O’Flynn and Tim Aker to our branch as well as Carswell when he was in Clacton (what a traitor he proved to be). Not one of them could tell us what was going on in the NEC and the only person to answer our questions recently about what UKIP is standing for is Peter Whittle. Plain speaking like our MEP’s but as far as expressing what the party should be doing and the policies we should be broadcasting, I still have no idea what is going on under the temporary leadership of Steve Crowther. We get no information, no help or support locally, no money, no leaflets and I wonder just where our subscriptions go and what they are spent on. During the referendum our branch distributed over 200,000 leaflets from every leave source available, no help from the top at all. All this work done by a membership (apart from one youngster) by senior citizens. No thanks (not that we did it for that reason) but some sort of appreciation and acknowledgement would have gone a long way in boosting morale. We feel out on a limb and isolated, I think many branches are feeling the same way. Apart from a couple of regional conferences we attended there is very little news or information. The website is very poor and needs up-dating regularly. As a branch we are trying to stay optimistic and fund-raising for the future, we want UKIP to rebrand and go forward. However, there needs to be a cascade from the top down to the grassroots and information from grassroots to be taken onboard by those at the top. We ARE the foot soldiers, we realise that a lot could change with new leadership BUT we await information about anticipated changes in policies and a new manifesto, which should be disseminated asap.
    We need a strong voice to publicise our views on Brexit but also other pressing issues.

    • You should have invited the MEP reps who sit and vote on the NEC, if you wanted MEPs to tell you about the NEC – it is equally faIr to say that most NEC members couldn’t tell you abiut MEP meetings ?

    • John Bickley // August 5, 2017 at 3:55 pm //

      I think we need more transparency about what goes on in the higher echelons of UKIP. Since becoming a member of UKIP approx 5 years ago, maybe more. I have never been contacted by anyone who is a member of the NEC apart from being sent a voting form with their own information about themselves on it when they were seeking my support.

      We have invited West Midlands MEP Bill Etheridge as well as several Eastern region MEP’s, Stuart Agnew, Patrick O’Flynn and Tim Aker to our branch as well as Carswell when he was in Clacton (what a traitor he proved to be). Not one of them could tell us what was going on in the NEC and the only person to answer our questions recently about what UKIP is standing for is Peter Whittle.

      Plain speaking like our MEP’s but as far as expressing what the party should be doing and the policies we should be broadcasting, I still have no idea what is going on under the temporary leadership of Steve Crowther.

      We get no information, no help or support locally, no money, no leaflets and I wonder just where our subscriptions go and what they are spent on. During the referendum our branch distributed over 200,000 leaflets from every leave source available, no help from the top at all. All this work done by a membership (apart from one youngster) by senior citizens. No thanks (not that we did it for that reason) but some sort of appreciation and acknowledgement would have gone a long way in boosting morale. We feel out on a limb and isolated, I think many branches are feeling the same way. Apart from a couple of regional conferences we attended there is very little news or information. The website is very poor and needs up-dating regularly. As a branch we are trying to stay optimistic and fund-raising for the future, we want UKIP to rebrand and go forward. However, there needs to be a cascade from the top down to the grassroots and information from grassroots to be taken onboard by those at the top. We ARE the foot soldiers, we realise that a lot could change with new leadership BUT we await information about anticipated changes in policies and a new manifesto, which should be disseminated asap.
      We need a strong voice to publicise our views on Brexit but also other pressing issues.

  20. John, much of the problem with the party seems to be due to inadequacies and petty rivalries at the top. I can expend huge effort delivering 10,000 leaflets, only for that hard work to be undone by some stupidity at the top. It is really disheartening.

    Stoke could have been won in my opinion if it had not been for the Hillsborough issue, and other easily avoided mistakes such as the empty house “main residence”.

    The pro-Halal “special” leaflet delivered to the Muslim areas of Stoke has also dismayed members and supporters. I know that the policy supporting religious abattoirs was asserted in April 2015, however grassroots members really dislike it. Yes Nigel was persuaded by a few religious lobbyists. If UKIP aims to be truly democratic, why is it that a handful of individuals with their own special interests can count for more than many thousands of grassroots members?

    UKIP policies are incoherent in this area. See my article here:

    I came to help you with the Wythenshawe by election. I also helped in Stoke. The Hillsborough mess was bad enough, however I would not have helped at all if I had known about the “special” pro-Halal leaflet.

    • John Bickley // August 5, 2017 at 3:49 pm //

      Dear Hugo,

      Yes Stoke and ‘associated’ issues did for us, and then fed into the general election.

      Re halal meat, the key is that how meat is slaughtered should be made clear to consumers and no meat slaughtered according to ritual should be sold into the retail/catering wholesale chain or used by any public body.

      • John. Cruel methods of animal slaughter must be made illegal

        Non-religious abattoirs are legally obliged to use humane methods. Religious ones have exemptions from this law. Do you want “one law for all” or not?

        UKIP must do the morally correct thing, otherwise it is just as bad as the other parties.

  21. Toby Micklethwait // August 5, 2017 at 9:55 am //

    Dear John (Bickley),

    It’s nice to see such a distinguished member of the party posting on this website.

    You may feel that you are getting flamed. Just tell the truth and you’ll be fine.

    I totally support your statement that the individual members of the NEC are well qualified and experienced businessmen.

    However … you say “…our Party is run by its members – period”.

    Oh no it’s NOT. And it’s NOT run by the NEC either.

    Regards, Toby, 01932-873557

    • John Bickley // August 5, 2017 at 3:44 pm //

      Dear Toby,

      Thanks for your comments. Who runs the party then if it’s not the NEC, which is mostly made up of members’ elected reps?

  22. Judging from the comments on this site, AMW has the contest wrapped up, though the number of members who comment here are quite small in number. I do hope she is allowed to stand. I want to know if my party is now some sort of anti-Musim group or still has serious aspirtions to become a viable alternative to the usual suspects. There are so many issues that need tackling, not least the rapidly growing attempt to water down Brexit into a shadow of what we worked for.
    I have to say none of the candidates inspires me but then I know little about most of them. Since the media is largely ignoring us these days I trust they will all use this site, their own facebook pages and any other vehicle they can find, to set out their stalls.
    It was sad that Nigel, who I admire, simply dumped us after the referendum. I guess it was understandable but it did hurt. I have no idea where we go from here but unless things move very quickly post conference, I think we’ve had our chips. People vote for hat colours, not individuals, as a party we must look electable, sensible, united and inclusive, even given a new leader who is good will not be enough, he or she has to be exceptional and have the full support of us all. We must also accept whatever evolves as party governance, including the NEC, if that’s what it comes to. Members who won’t do that need to look elsewhere, as I may find myself doing, though I greatly hope not, there is nowhere else to go just now since I could never support the old parties again.

    • Toby Micklethwait // August 5, 2017 at 11:11 am //

      Dear Icini,

      You say “none of the candidates inspires me”.

      You could try the following links.
      Regards, Toby, 01932-873557

      Candidates links (in alpha order of full name)

      Aidan Powlesland

      no known links

      Anne Marie Waters

      3 minutes:

      78 minutes:

      4 minutes: (with music)

      Ben Walker

      David Allen

      David Coburn

      David Kurten

      Henry Bolton

      Jane Collins

      John Rees Evans (launch speech with annoying muzac and weird audience)



      Marion Mason

      no known links

      Peter Whittle


      • Toby, I have to agree about John R-E’s launch and the flag waving young people. However, remember we had a young poster on here who says that many YI are four square behind John. He takes notice of the YI and inspires them, so maybe it’s just us ‘more mature’ people who find it a slightly strange way of doing things!

    • Icini, I’m not sure about AMW having the ‘contest wrapped up’ – I think a lot of commenters simply felt, as you do, that she has to be allowed to stand. Very few said that it was anything to do with winning, was the message I took away from recent comments. There is no doubt though, as you say, a direction has to be defined. As I see it, at the moment it’s between more of the same, internal reforms of one sort or another, or going in a new direction, although we have yet to hear from some candidates.

    • Icini, we need to clarify terminology. You probably are as annoyed as I am when a Remainiac keeps saying “Europe” when they really mean “EU”. It is a dishonest confusion of terms.

      I also am annoyed when people use the term “Muslim” when they should use the term “Islam”. Muslims are our fellow humans, deserving of respect and decent treatment. If you have read the Koran you will see for yourself that it has numerous instructions commanding violence, hatred, and cruel punishments. Nobody has any authority to change even a single word in the Koran. It remains the inspiration for evil deeds today just as it has for fourteen centuries.

      Estimates vary, however it seems that several hundreds of millions of people have been murdered over the centuries as a direct consequence of Islam. Nevertheless, Muslims are now, and always have been the main victims of Islam.

      • @ Hugo
        Which muslims are the victims of islam? Certainly, the ones who are killed by terrorists, and murdered for apostasy or impugning some specious ‘honour’ code. Certainly the women who suffer misogynist oppression, and the little girls who are maimed and scarred for life by barbaric FGM. Certainly, the gay men and women who must conceal their sexuality at all costs, marry, and live an unfulfilled life of lies. We also have to remember that there are many who continue practising islam out of fear and under duress; and not forget that millions who conform do so because they have been relentlessly brainwashed.

        Who are the victimisers? muslim men, who see no point in challenging a system that benefits their gender in terms of power, control, endorsement and respect as ‘elders’ or ‘community leaders’. Among these men are the very worst kinds of people for whom the koran is a licence to kill, maim, rape, assault, oppress, lie, cheat, steal and ignore any ‘man-made’ laws that seek to control them. We would describe these people as criminals, psychopaths, sociopaths, but they claim they are following the koran’s teachings about how to treat infidels and disobedient women, children and gays.

        Rather than look at ‘muslims’ as an undifferentiated bunch of ‘victims’, we should discriminate between the entitled victimisers and the oppressed victims. By ignoring these distinctions, our lazy, cowardly political leaders permit dreadful abuse and wicked crimes to be perpetrated. We have to make it clear to those leaders that we will no longer tolerate such evil to continue. Anne Marie Waters is right: islam is evil and those who allow it to continue on the laughable grounds of ‘respect for others’ religion and culture’ are condoning evil.

        • PurplePottymouth // August 5, 2017 at 6:17 pm //

          Panmelia – which muslims are victims of muslims? Do I need to remind you of the community minded shopkeeper in Glasgow who wished his customers and neighbours a happy Christmas? He was, I believe an Ahmadi (? Ahmadiyya) Muslim, a group whom I, like David Kurten do not have a problem with. Some scumbag Islamist nutjob travelled to Glasgow from the midlands to murder him in cold blood for his message of goodwill in our season of goodwill.

          • PP:I think you’ll find he wished his customers ‘Happy Easter’, not Christmas, which is significant because although mainstream muslims accept the birth of Jesus as one of the prophets, they do not accept the crucifixion and resurrection. Whoever wrote the bit of the koran concerning this issue insisted that the crucifixion was just an illusion and Jesus, therefore, was not resurrected. The murderer did not kill the shopkeeper because he greeted his customers with goodwill, but because he was an heretic for acknowledging Easter. Europe used to have Christian heretics back in the day and burn them, but that was about 450 years ago; we moved on from those horrific days and islam is half a millennium behind us, which is their own business in their own countries, but not acceptable in ours.

            BTW, at what point did I suggest that muslims aren’t victims of muslims? If you read my comment carefully. I list very carefully which muslims are victims. OK, I did leave out ‘muslims that belong to minority sects and get murdered by sunnis’, but now you can consider it added.
            Indignantly reminding me of stuff like that is like pushing hard at an open door you know. No one gets angrier than me!

        • Panmelia, yes of course women, gays and apostates are victims of Islam.

          Muslim men are also victims – they have to play a role which is inhuman. They are living a lie.

          Shahids (martyrs – “suicide” bombers) are also victims. They literally pay with their life because they have been brainwashed by lies.

          There must be zero tolerance of the evils of Islam.

          • @ Hugo
            Erm… I think you’re confusing a victim with a perpetrator, which is a dangerous thing to do. It could lead to absurdities such as excusing a stone-cold psychopathic murderer of a woman because “he couldn’t help it you know, he lacks empathy and feeling and the only way he can feel anything is by killing someone unable to fight him off’.

            As I said, and as I believe, muslim MEN are the greatest beneficiaries of the koran’s teachings, sharia law and islam, and I don’t hear of too many denouncing it on the grounds that it’s inhuman, cruel and evil. This is understandable in islamic countries where state and religion form a prison, but not in Western democratic countries where a much better, far advanced example of how to treat people is before them every day. Why should the men renounce the power bestowed on them by the koran? – it suits them to keep it.
            If they really wanted to be reasonable humans instead of tyrants backed up by an evil religion, they are completely free to do so. But where are the huge crowds of enlightened ‘apostates’ who march in protest against a government that allows sharia in this country, that doesn’t crack down hard on FGM, that doesn’t ban halal killing, that doesn’t intern thousand of jihadis allowed to wander around plotting their sick crimes? If good and brave muslims wanted the government help them overcome the psychos in their midst, why aren’t they in revolt and calling for British laws to be strictly imposed to beat the religious bullies and dictators?
            Yes, there should be zero tolerance of evil islam. First, it is important to target the most fanatical adherents to it – the men – and break their power.

        • Panmelia. In reply to your other comment due to indentation:

          I am trying to point out that Muslim men are also victims of Islam. They have been brainwashed from an early age. Ex terrorist Walid Shoebat was brainwashed to hate Jews. Somehow he managed to see sense, but most cannot.

          Around a quarter of Muslims in the UK I guesstimate are “nominal”. If there was not so much shame and death penalty for apostasy they probably would walk away from it. They would have to walk away from their relatives, their friends and their community – it is a big ask. There are apostates:

          Islam is far more effective from a Darwinian perspective than Western feminism or feminised men. It does not mean that it is morally correct, it just means it will win the demographics contest.

          If you want western men to lift a finger to do something about it then there has to be something in it for them. Family courts preventing loving fathers from having contact with their children is a serious disincentive.

          • @ Hugo
            Thanks for that link. I particularly liked the placards declaring “allah is Gay” and “islamophobia is an oxymoron”. The resolution on Richard Dawkins’ no-platforming is commendable. Pity that there were so few brave souls prepared to ‘come out’, unsupported as they are by the kind of government funds lavished on pro-islamisation propaganda councils and institutes.
            It would be much easier to un-brainwash the muslim male oppressors if the government of this country stopped fawning all over them and made sharia, halal killing and FGM illegal – no, sorry – FGM is already illegal, but it’s easy to forget that fact because nothing is ever done to enforce the law.

            Blair’s government was a national disaster and the worst thing he/it ever did was allow sharia councils, thereby strengthening the power of the MALE oppressors. Theresa May endorsed these councils and even arranged funding for them. Unbelievable stupidity of the most unforgivable kind; I’ll be glad when these kinds of idiot politicians have disappeared into history. Lab/Con/Lib are cultural traitors and enemies.

            Do you mean by ‘western men’- muslims who live in Western civilised countries and should have learned better by now? Something in it for them? How about getting up from their knees, not living a lie anymore, refusing to be terrorised, adopting the values of the country they CHOSE to live in, with its opportunities for choice, freedom, independence from mind-control.
            I know this country does not have the kind of free speech we used to enjoy, thanks to Blair’s ‘perceived hate crime’ travesty-of-justice law but, again, that’s down to traitor politicians fawning all over their favourite voters, the muslim MALE oppressors of their families and communities. If we’re going to put islam back in its box and practise zero tolerance of its evil, I suggest you focus on the power-base of its population – it’s not the women and children.

  23. When are the UKIP accounts going to be published to members?
    Why are the minutes of NEC meetings so slow to be made available and even then minimalist?
    Did you vote for Steven Crowther to be temp leader and why were not all NEC members contacted? Why the inordinate haste?
    Did you vote in favour of AnneMarie Waters being blocked from standing as a UKIP candidate in this year’s General Election?
    Why is there no better use of the internet to promote UKIP both regionally and nationally?
    Why was Oakden allowed to harry John ReesEvans from the hustings of the last leadership contest?
    Do you not agree that the ruling clique inc you have served the party badly given the catastrophic GE result for UKIP?
    Did you have anything to do with the idiotic halal leaflet in the Stoke Central by election? (I know you were there towards the end and that you were working hard getting the vote out)
    Are you not being smug and conceited when you claim that UKIP is run by its members and that if things are going wrong it is down to the members?
    What is the current membership and what are the finances at the moment? (I am a member I have a right to know).
    When are the ordinary members going to get a proper chance to influence policy by being allowed to speak at conference events?
    Is it not the case that a cosy cabal has developed of bickley/evans/flynn/oakden/crowther/whittle who have a sense of entitlement to decide the fate of UKIP ? (but not take the blame when things go wrong?
    Have you any idea just how many members are on the point of leaving due to the atrocious leadership of the party by the NEC in the last 10 months?

    • Well said CK; dramatic change is needed if UKIP is to survive and do the job that is necessary for the survival of native Brits.

      • John Bickley // August 5, 2017 at 2:19 pm //

        Jack T (surname please): see my new comment, that on a UKIP specific site like this you should tell us who you are, so we know whether you’re a member or not.

        • John, why on earth does it matter if Jack is a member or not? If he makes interesting and rational comments, then who actually is offended? Unless he starts gratuitously offending others on here, why would you ban him?

          Do you think that those who gratuitously offend others should be banned?

          Democracy cannot survive censorship.

    • Thanks for a great article, John! As for some of CK’s questions:

      John was on holiday at the AMW meeting, CK, so couldn’t vote. It’s partly why it was barely quorate.

      David Challice has posted elsewhere, last month, that membership is ~30,000.

      Accounts are published annually, once the business meeting has approved them.

      • Rob, are you honestly telling me that the decision regarding Anne Marie’s candidacy, which had such resounding ramifications for UKIP – people like you who frequent Twitter will know that – was taken by a meeting barely quorate? I can’t believe this was the case. If some were on holiday they could have either been paged in or the meeting date moved to accommodate them. I didn’t think much else could astonish me, but that revelation has.

    • To get the accounts just go to the Companies House website and search for them there, although they are quite out of date by the time we see them. Next set for 31 December 2016 is due to be published before 30 September this year at the latest. As UKIP is structured as a company, this is one piece of information that has to be disclosed to members! And creditors….

      • John Bickley // August 5, 2017 at 2:17 pm //

        Graham (surname?): we run the business according to company law and publish our accounts accordingly. We treat our creditors correctly. We have a business meeting at the annual national conference in accordance with the constitution.

    • John Bickley // August 5, 2017 at 3:41 pm //

      Who are you? Tell us your name so we can establish whether you’re a member or not, otherwise why should we take any notice of you; you might be a plant trying to undermine the party. I’ll answer your questions, this time only though, until we know who you are:

      Why are the minutes of NEC meetings so slow to be made available and even then minimalist? I’VE ASKED THE GENERAL SECRETARY TO MAKE SURE THEY’RE UP TO DATE & PUBLISHED
      Did you vote in favour of AnneMarie Waters being blocked from standing as a UKIP candidate in this year’s General Election? I WASN’T AT THAT NEC MEETING
      Why is there no better use of the internet to promote UKIP both regionally and nationally? WE HAVE A NATIONAL WEBSITE AND MANY BRANCHES HAVE THEIR OWN. THERE IS WORK AFOOT TO OFFER A NEW WEBSITE TEMPLATE TO BRANCHES
      Why was Oakden allowed to harry John ReesEvans from the hustings of the last leadership contest? I WAS UNDER THE IMPRESSION HE WALKED OUT. I WASN’T THERE THOUGH
      Did you have anything to do with the idiotic halal leaflet in the Stoke Central by election? (I know you were there towards the end and that you were working hard getting the vote out) NO
      Are you not being smug and conceited when you claim that UKIP is run by its members and that if things are going wrong it is down to the members? PLEASE DON’T CLAIM I STATED SOMETHING I DIDN’T. HAVE YOU READ THE CONSTITUTION? THE PARTY IS RUN BY THE MEMBERS VIA THEIR ELECTED REPS, WHO THEY CAN DITCH WHEN THEIR TERM IS UP
      What is the current membership and what are the finances at the moment? (I am a member I have a right to know). 30K PLUS. FINANCES ARE TIGHT; ALWAYS HAVE BEEN. WE DON’T HAVE TRADE UNIONS OR BIG CITY DONORS TO KEEP US FLUSH – WE RELY ON MEMBERS AND KEY DONORS.
      When are the ordinary members going to get a proper chance to influence policy by being allowed to speak at conference events? I KNOW PAUL NUTTALL WAS LOOKING AT THIS AND STEVE CROWTHER IS ALSO LOOKING AT HOW WE CAN GET THE MEMBERSHIP INVOLVED.
      Is it not the case that a cosy cabal has developed of bickley/evans/flynn/oakden/crowther/whittle who have a sense of entitlement to decide the fate of UKIP? (but not take the blame when things go wrong? ARRANT NONSENSE. THE ONLY PEOPLE THAT RUN THE PARTY ARE ELECTED NEC REPS, PARTY OFFICERS AND LOCAL BRANCH/REGIONAL OFFICERS – AND ALL HAVE TO DO SO WITHIN THE BOUNDS OF THE CONSTITUTION & RULE BOOK
      Have you any idea just how many members are on the point of leaving due to the atrocious leadership of the party by the NEC in the last 10 month. PLEASE PROVIDE EVIDENCE RATHER THAN JUST RANT. AND TELL US YOUR NAME SO WE KNOW WHETHER WE’RE DEALING WITH A MEMBER OR NOT.

      • Vivian Evans // August 5, 2017 at 4:03 pm //

        This comment is well over the 400-word-length we stipulate for comment posts – but I have decided to let it stand, even though I personally loathe replies using CAPITAL LETTERS – on the internet, this is regarded as shouting, John.
        The rules for posting are on the home page, for all to see (click on ‘contribute). everybody keeps them, those comments which re too long get binned.
        Fair warning: the next comment over 400 words will get binned, be they from a lowly member or from John Bickley or indeed any MEP.
        Rules are rules, aren’t they!

        • John Bickley // August 5, 2017 at 5:23 pm //

          I only used capitals Vivian so my answers were easily discernible from the commentators. I wasn’t aware of any other way to make it readable

          • And I’m me.

            > baited breath

            bated breath

            btw John I’ve fallen foul of the word limit thing too and had my work of art consigned to the bit bucket. I’ve also been told by several regulars here that by my defining, in the interests of productive debate rather than ranting and retreating into preordained positions, a “good Muslim” as a:
            “good person who is a Muslim”
            rather than as a:
            “Muslim who tries to carry out the literal commandments of every verse of the Quran and Hadith”,
            I must be a pretty rotten sort of chap, or at least weak-minded, a dhimmi, apologist, etc.

            Settling back, getting the popcorn out, etc. 😉

    • Mick mcgough // August 6, 2017 at 9:25 am //

      Accounts should already be published on the El comm site and from October on he Companies’ House website as they are every year.

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