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UK Leadership Hustings

David Kurten, Anne-Marie Waters, Peter Whittle

Despite leaving UKIP in despair because of the inexcusable debacle that was the infamous Stoke By-Election, because of the foolish squandering of the political capital that had been built up during the period of the 2015 GE Campaign and on through the successful Referendum (including the too-hasty departure of the sainted Nigel) but mainly because of the Emperor’s Got No Clothes myopia of the so-called ‘Leadership Team’, I have been following the hustings with much interest.  And, incidentally, thank you again for the excellent coverage / comment provided via UKIP Daily – If only UKIP’s own online presence was as well-managed as UD is then at least some of the party’s problems would be addressed.

Last night, suitably equipped with a sufficiency of red wine, I was ready to witness the turn of the South-East Hustings, Dorking, chaired by a lady who ‘binged’ a lot.  ‘Welcome everybody…’ BING!  ‘Now it’s time for…’ BING! ‘Thank you for letting me address…..’  BING!  BING!  BING!  OK – I exaggerate, but there was a lot of BINGING!  And a candidate field that, taahhdaah, shock-horror, ‘dramatically’ narrowed to just eight hopefuls after Ben Walker, my personal favourite, after he’d made clear his express intent to sack bumbling party chairman, Paul ‘Oakie of Stokie’ Oakden, declared his undying love for Jane Collins, joining David  Braveheart  Coburn and the unremarkable Marion Mason, (a candidate so unprepossessing that the current Wikipedia article forgets to even mention her), and joined ‘Team Collins’.  Still, at least Marion provided a moment of light relief when one of the panel mistook her for Marilyn Manson, the American metal / rock singer or were they thinking of Charles Manson the cult leader turned mass murderer?

So, we’re down to eight – right?  Wrong!  In reality, as the Dorking Hustings clearly showed, BING!  BING!  BING!we’re actually down to three.  Yes folks, it’s a three-horse race between jovial pedagogue, David Kurten, Anne Marie Waters, known to her many followers as AMW, and Peter Whittle, known to his followers as… urrrmm … Peter Whittle, who, if nothing else, wears a nice suit well.  And, if I had a fiver for every time Peter Whittle raises his right hand and solemnly declares: “I am a gay man!” I’d probably be able to stop watching the death-throes of UKIP and go and join Sir Richard Branson in his palatial des-res on Necker Island.  Or maybe not as latest reports are that Hurricane Irma has laid waste to said pad.  Remainers will be glad to know that their man survived by hiding in his ‘concrete wine cellar’.  Peter!  It’s 2017!  Nobody cares about your sexuality, only about whether you’re fit to lead UKIP or not…

So, we have Peter Whittle, the establishment candidate, the fellow that the Crowther / Oakden cabal are hoping will win and maintain the ‘status quo’; a status quo that has seen UKIP membership drop to less than half of its pre-Referendum peak and which, as admitted last night, now apparently proposes to scrap UKIP’s iconic £ logo, presumably replacing it with one of a white flag.  And then the other two – who both display something that none of the other candidates convincingly do, least of all the urbane Whittle.  And that something is passion. P.A.S.S.I.O.N!

The difference is that David Kurten seems passionate about reinventing UKIP; about getting rid of the management myopia that has reduced a party that only a year ago had a decent shot of becoming the real opposition to the Tories to one that is becoming a laughing stock again.  And that, in itself, is highly laudable.  AMW clearly believes that all of that is just so much re-arranging of the deckchairs after the Titanic hit the iceberg.  She says that the British people don’t care about UKIP’s internal wrangling (except when they provide some light relief).  They don’t care about the NEC.  They don’t care about ‘unelected interim leaders’ or not enough candidates being selected or approved.  Etcetera etcetera.  And she’s right.

Seeing her passionately set out her stall and stating clearly what she would do as leader of UKIP reminded me of somebody else who passionately believed in a generally unpopular and unfashionable idea and carried the party forward on the back of his zeal.  That person was, of course, Nigel Farage.

That’s why, if I still had a vote, AMW would get it.  Hands down.

But based on the experience of the previous 15 months, I fully expect that I AM A GAY MAN will win and under the new white flag logo complete the job of dismantling the party.  Then the party really will be over for UKIP.

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13 Comments on UK Leadership Hustings

  1. Gerry – bing bing ? Only when the candidates kept over running their time slot. Oh for only 3 choices so they had the time to give expanded responses without limiting the number of questions that could be fielded. Freddy Vachha barked at them, Surrey
    pinged the ?

  2. If you haven’t seen them here are the three candidates in Belfast

  3. Peter Whittle lost any support he might have had, and we gay guyz should stick together, when he told the NEC what the key mayoral policies HAD to be, because he had already announced them! ?

    Whoever the new leader is, she will need to work with and not against the nec…

  4. What do most of the members know about the candidates?

    The Hustings videos on YouTube have been viewed a few hundred times. (Tiverton 700, Crawley 500, London 400, some others less than 100 times)

    So most voters have not watched them.

    Can those of us who have been influenced by those hustings really predict how the majority of votes will be cast when the voters have not seen the hustings?

    Is their decision to be based on something else like name recognition or appearance on TV/radio/newspapers or celebrity endorsement or warnings?

  5. WafflingWhittle wonky as a drunk monkey – the word on the street is that he can kiss tomorrow goodbye.
    NewKidOnTheBlock BigBadBolton brims with confidence and his CV guarantees the 20% of members who love golf more than politics will lend him their votes.
    Kurten’s kaper is not coming up trumps as too few people understand culturalmarxism.
    DollyJane has hit the wall – ten years toolate for the laurelleafs.
    Poundshop has the blues, but his sax is out of synch.
    The RoseofTralee is singing but do the people hear it?
    BrettMaverick is the fastest gum in UKIP but is his gun loaded?

  6. Excellent and amusingly written – thank you Gerry. And while we’re on thank-you’ – thank you to our Editor in Chief who I think came back from Mr Bolton’s husting (singular) and owing the the huge recent correspondence, probably went back to editing till well into the small hours.

    Anyway, to return to the article – you are right in many particulars. Our next Leader must have passion and be memorable, or we will fade away.

    We don’t need to appeal, and never will because of their agenda to either the far left or the MSM – and probably not to brainwashed ‘mature’ white haired Labour ex-teachers like the one I listened to being interviewed this afternoon (I won’t bore you but the essence is they will always be convinced that anyone who isn’t them is far right).
    But…but people! – there are a whole group of younger people out there who hate Antifa, hate the Tories, hate the thought of living in an Islamified Britain and who have no-one to vote for. They don’t necessarily understand ‘Cultural Marxism’ but they know they can’t speak freely any longer. They may not all understand Common Purpose or Agenda 21 but they know they are fighting for their own, and their friends and children’s futures.

    When you vote, I do beg you, for the sake of UKIP, don’t think so much of who appeals to you, but rather who will appeal to them. I can tell you for nothing that Peter Whittle doesn’t cut the mustard – I know who does.

  7. Excellent article. If Whittle wins the party is over. The only people joining UKIP are supporters of AMW. Our opponents call them entryists, yet the truth is that they are our voters. Who is joining UKIP to support PW? No one. If PW wins, I’m leaving UKIP.

  8. Gerry,

    I do so hope you are wrong, otherwise it will be a disaster.

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