[Ed: you can read Part I here]
Let’s recap on where we are, so we can grasp the size of the task ahead of us.
After the stunning successes of 2016, early 2017 has seen the Patriotic Spring falter momentarily. Following the excitement raised by his rhetoric, Donald Trump has packed his administration with neocons and former Goldman Sachs employees and settled into Republican business-as-usual, with his top priority further lining the pockets of his billionaire buddies. His supposed Muslim travel ban was slapped down in court and was just a resurrected old Obama order which only restricted a tiny proportion of the world’s Muslims – certainly not his rich Saudi friends.
Our own erstwhile leader showed up in the ‘capital of Brexit’ in a flat cap, promising to scrap VAT on fish and chips, only to find this didn’t cut the mustard with the working classes.
Geert Wilders didn’t top the poll in the Netherlands after all, only winning about two thirds of the seats he had been predicted to get.
As for the French presidential election, Marine Le Pen will be lucky to come top in the first round, only to be trounced by tactical voting in the second. (Sorry, I forgot, UKIP won’t ally itself with the FN, because we regard them as socialists. Why weren’t we there in Koblenz?)
Here in the UK, the possibility of an early general election has receded with Theresa May now having invoked Article 50 at long last. Perhaps that’s a good thing. I feel it in my waters that UKIP is going to take a beating nationally in May’s local elections.
I come to ask myself questions around our UKIP top brass like ‘Would you put yourself on the line for these people?’ ‘Would you give your money to these people?’ and ‘Would you give up your time to traipse the streets and deal with the hostility to campaign for these people?’ I don’t know right now whether I would answer ‘yes’ to these questions. And as for the question ‘Would you have these people running the country?’ Well, having read Thomas Slivnik’s resignation letter, and hearing about how those at the top of UKIP behave, the answer I’m afraid is ‘No’.
Will UKIP even exist as a meaningful political force by the end of the year? I recently listed the existential threats to UKIP:
- Electoral collapse (If we poll less than 10% nationally in the local elections this may, we might as well call it ‘game over’)
- Lack of funds, leading to bankruptcy
- Falling membership/volunteers
- Ongoing factional/egotistical infighting
- Financial/legal irregularity (e.g. EU investigation into MEPs’ spending), leading to court/bankruptcy
- Non-toxic leadership fails to inspire voters/volunteers
- Lack of professional organisation
- Arron Banks party attracts voters/volunteers & is better organised
- Alt.right party with a stronger anti-immigration/Islamisation/PC message emerges
- UKIP elects a nonentity or liability leader
- Concerted media demonisation/censorship
- Intimidation by leftists
- Legal persecution of party
- Tories deliver
The painful lesson of Stoke is that, while we’re still banging on about Brexit, as far as the public’s concerned the referendum’s happened. That was last year’s story. Theresa May’s getting on with it. What other policies do UKIP have or were they just a single issue party?
What tilted the balance and won the referendum was that, to many ordinary people, it was a proxy vote on immigration – Muslim immigration in particular. The old Tory Eurosceptics never saw it that way and, going by recent ministerial statements, there’s a strong change the public will feel betrayed when immigration doesn’t come down significantly. That is what we should be putting centre-stage as the next great battle, along with the struggles against political correctness and cultural Marxism.
It takes a very special person to stand up and lead a party which stands for that – someone who will put their head above the parapet and determinedly push on despite the hatred and attacked thrown their way – someone like Nigel Farage. Paul Nuttall may not be that kind of guy. I’m told he sat out of the first leadership election because he had seen what had happened to Farage and didn’t want that for his family. I can understand that. I have had some rather fraught conversations in my household about my involvement in UKIP and its implications. In that case though he should have let Raheem Kassam step up and take on the mantle.
Still, Nuttall seems to be speaking out a bit more now, so let’s give him another chance (even if much of the electorate may not after he exaggerated how much he was affected by Hillsborough). After all, it’s not like we can have yet another leadership election without becoming an even bigger laughing stock in the eyes of the public. Another leadership election would be an expensive, embarrassing navel-gazing diversion which might just finish the party off. We have to keep Nuttall for the time being.
Unfortunately Brexit is the only big thing we can all agree on. UKIP is an awkward coalition of economic libertarians, who welcome free movement of people like they welcome free trade in everything else which benefits business, and patriots who want to halt the demographic disaster which is unfolding. I am firmly in the latter camp.
Paul Nuttall set himself the task of uniting the party, but maybe it’s time for it to split. Thankfully Carswell is now gone. Perhaps his buddies can return to their spiritual home in the Tory Party. Either that or I start looking out for a party which represents what I’m passionate about, along with quite possibly the great majority of UKIP’s members and potential support base.
So, back to TNS. What is the next step?
UKIP still is the largest patriotic party in the UK, with a recognised brand, grassroots organisation and possibly a double-digit share of the national vote. It’s not finished yet. We’ve got 3 years till the next general election now. A lot can change in that time too, quite possibly to our advantage. By that time Stoke will be ancient history, as long as Nuttall learns from the experience, doesn’t do anything else stupid and doesn’t parachute himself into any by-elections for the time being.
And what if UKIP doesn’t survive? Think of the left. The left is not just the Labour Party. If you put an end to the Labour Party there are still legions of left wing groups and activists who would simply carry on doing what they’re doing. Most of them aren’t even in the Labour Party, (a lot of them regard Labour as too moderate – crazy, hey?) but they work together and autonomously and they have been devastatingly effective. It’s like a many-headed hydra. If you slice one head off, it just keeps coming at you.
Next I will describe this many-headed hydra in more detail …TNS (The Next Step) – Part Three: The Many-Headed Hydra
[To be continued in Part III tomorrow]