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Is UKIP Facing a Perfect Storm’?

23rd June 2016 will be a date long remembered in British history – the date that the British people clearly and unequivocally voted to break away from the shackles of the shambolic, undemocratic, corrupt power bloc that the EU had become, and re-establish their country as an independent and proudly national one again, instead of just being the twenty-eighth state of a dystopian European Federation.

If there’s any justice in this world, 23rd June, Independence Day, will become a national holiday in years to come and Nigel Farage, love him or hate him, will receive the recognition he deserves as one of the main architects of that victory. It will go down with other dates that persist in the British subconsciousness:

  • 1066 – the Battle of Hastings and the Norman Conquest;
  • 1215 – the year of Magna Carta; 
  • 1805 and 1815 – British victory at sea and on land: the battles of Trafalgar and Waterloo respectively;
  • 8th May, 1945 – VE Day, and 15th August the same year – VJ day;
  • And of course 11th November, every year – Remembrance, or Armistice, Day.

Turning to politics closer to home, I wonder if 4th May 2017 is also going to be memorable? But, if you’re a UKIP Member, Activist, Supporter or even just a Voter, possibly memorable for all the wrong reasons … Because on the 4th May, in less than two months time, the voters go to the polls again for the Local Government Elections in England, Wales and Scotland (as well as Mayoral elections in England), and UKIP is not looking well prepared to fight them.

Frankly speaking, since June 23rd 2016, UKIP have lurched from one crisis to another. Whether it’s abortive Leadership campaigns, fisticuffs in Brussels corridors, concerns about the NEC election and its subsequent transparency or the farcical Stoke campaign, the political capital that UKIP had managed to build up during Nigel Farage’s tenure has been thoroughly squandered. The antics of Del Boy Oakden and Boycie Nuttall in their matching tweed three-pieces and flat caps during Stoke simply served to underline that fact.

Here in Rutland, following the resignation of the Conservative Council Leader, we’ve just had our first Ward election since January last year and the results make for uncomfortable reading.

In 2015, a year which saw UKIP gain nearly four million votes nationally and achieve second-places everywhere, (Rutland & Melton Constituency saw a four-fold increase in the UKIP vote and a move from fourth to second place, compared to 2010), as well as adding UKIP Council seats across the country, our candidate for Exton Ward took 19% of the vote, coming third behind the Lib-Dem in one of the safest Conservative Council Wards in Rutland, one of the safest Conservative Seats in the country. It’s probably a fairly safe assumption that if we had not had a vote-splitting Independent candidate, she would have gained half of his 111 votes (with the remainder going  to the Lib-Dem) and ended up with 21% of the vote (237 votes).  

 

Fast forward to last week and the same candidate, already well-known to the Exton electorate, saw her vote share halved – or more than halved if you accept and take into account the rationale according her a possible 21% vote share in 2015.

It seems to me that UKIP is facing a perfect storm. Riven with internal squabbling within the Party, very poor leadership by both its officials and its political electees, (to pick out just one example – Paul Nuttall’s decision to disappear ‘on holiday’ immediately after Stoke followed with a petulant insistence that where he’d been was secret) and burdened with political electoral management which, to put it charitably, can only be described as ‘naïve’, it faces a revived Conservative Party who moved quickly to resolve their own leadership issue, unlike both UKIP and Labour, and who, under their Black Watch tartan-suited leader are, at least on the face of it, making a good hand of Brexit, also pinching Grammar Schools and sundry other policies which UKIP once regarded as their personal preserve.

It’s no secret and becomes glaringly obvious at UKIP Meetings and Conferences that many Members and Supporters are ex-Conservatives who were deeply dissatisfied with a liberal-leaning Conservative Party which was weak on Europe, as perfectly demonstrated by the Chamberlainesque return of Dodgy Dave, empty-handed from his ‘Great European Negotiation Tour’.

If our Members and Supporters are seeing a Conservative Party that they feel they can once more get behind – then why shouldn’t our Voters?

And that’s why, I for one believe, that unless UKIP can do some serious growing up in the next six weeks and demonstrate that they clearly have something to offer other than ‘internal unity’, they’re in for a drubbing on the 4th May.

I hope I’m wrong but my gut tells me different.

 

Photo by emiliokuffer

 

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About Gerry Robinson (2 Articles)
Gerry Robinson is the Membership Secretary - UKIP, Rutland, Melton & Harborough Branches

25 Comments on Is UKIP Facing a Perfect Storm’?

  1. When UKIP starts using the word ‘homeland’ we’ll know it’s on the right track. Some chance!

  2. The present leadership cabal simply has to go. A man who praises the enemy in an election leaflet has no place in UKIP. They are a liability and will destroy UKIP before they consider changing. I’m still waiting to hear the outcome of the Electoral Commission investigation. I’m not sure what powers they have but barring the culprits from standing for election would help the necessary reforms.

  3. A Northern Voice // March 18, 2017 at 9:53 pm // Reply

    There will be many by-elections coming up particularly with all the loss of seats and boundary changes etc. Many will jump ship and move out of politics (e.g. Osborne and Tristram Hunt etc). So what we need is a special by-election task force, to bring together the best expertise in UKIP (and some of that expertise is extremely good). Can someone ask the NEC to do this?

  4. Nigel resigned. We had a ghastly first leadership election and then a second one. The Welsh were in chaos and the brass were all pulling in different directions. Paul N started to tackle the problem and then came the Stoke by-election. Of course he should not have stood, he may as well have painted a target on his head and invited people to take shots, a local candidate would not have attracted nearly so many attacks.

    Stoke was a distraction, it put reform back and it’s close to too late to save the Locals now. I am infuriated, we had candidates who lost out by a few votes 4 years ago and given bit of stability would have romped home this time. My county desperately needs to get rid of the Tory majority, they are selling us down the river. It will now be hard to hold our vote share and our party are STILL arguing between ourselves.
    Post referendum and given May’s cunning plan to pretend to want a hard Brexit, we were always going to have a problem after winning the referendum, it defined us for so long and like Cameron, we had no plan B
    .
    Despite it all we need to have patience and keep the faith, let’s get May over and see what the leadership come up with. If nothing much has happened after 3 months…then will be the time to reconsider.

    And in case you think that’s self interest.. right now most of us could get elected more easily as independents but we’ll still be standing for UKIP.

  5. The leadership (aka the NewKip Cabal) aren’t listening and don’t intend to listen. They don’t care that we’re going to get mauled in May. I suspect many of them are absolutely intent on driving UKIP into irrelevance. They’ll use the party brand to keep themselves in elected office until the party is close to collapse and then they’ll finally defect.

    But!! Thank God for Tory electoral shenanigans and the likely by-election!!! The NewKip Cabal did not expect that at all! If Farage stands for MP in South Thanet by election the membership will roar back into life. I predict epic numbers of UKIP activists and a surge of enthusiasm that’ll force the NewKip cabal into full retreat. If we can get Nigel into the Commons then Carswell will become the total insignificance he so richly deserves to be and UKIP we can get our party back.

  6. To be fair and do justice, UKIP obviously wasn’t founded by conservative evangelicals. As is well known, it was founded by Prof Sked who is a social democrat. When Uncle Nige took over, UKIP did not become the People’s Army that it’s supposed to be since the Eastleigh by-election overnight.

    At the end of the day, UKIP has not only to keep on expanding its base but reflect its policy approach and policies accordingly – otherwise it’s not going to be sustainable – to be sure without becoming a socialist party but also without lapsing into an ideology which for all intents and purposes indistinguishable from the mainstream …..

  7. Gone were the days when more than 20 years ago as an undergraduate studying in Aberystwyth I met some quirky Protestants (of the Scottish Presbyterian variety) at a theological conference in North Wales wearing UKIP lapels. Gone were the days when Adrian Hastings produced his Principality and Powers of Europe or when I read about the popery’s stratagem to ‘recover’ the British Isles (that part of which is now known as the UK) via the EU project on the Tube, and I’d bet that the well-dressed executive (‘banker’?) sitting next to me haven’t the faintest idea what the cover on the booklet meant.

    Times have changed and since then Roman Catholics, atheists, agnostics, LGBTQs, etc. become part of the patriotic movement to restore British sovereignty once for all.

    And if UKIP doesn’t change, it risks being left behind …..

  8. May’s not to the Right — her’s is the centre ground avoiding the extremes of Right and Left (but to be fair and sure, within the Establishment ideology of globalism and neoliberalism).

    She is an advocate of State interventionism (again to be fair and sure, within limits). She is courting Labour voters and in her speeches, May goes further than the ‘aspirational’ (i.e. working class background) Tory MPs from the North and Midlands (Nuttall, Davies, Hollobone, etc.).

    May is not going to repeal the Marriage (Same Sex Couples) Act 2013 or turn back the tide of Sharia.

    Personally, I admire May though and am proud that she’s the 2nd female British PM.

    But going to the right of May isn’t going to advance the cause of UKIP unless of course if UKIP decides that it doesn’t really want to be a patriotic, nationalist, populist party. Instead it wants to be that party that upholds and preserve Thatcherism and libertarianism which incidentally is the ideology of the Establishment (in its essence that is) as embodied by Big Business, Big Finance and Big Vested Interests.

    What is needed is (as Quercus has said) a broad patriotic alliance to turn back the tide of globalism and neo-liberalism.

  9. To me there shows far to many people that think that the job was done and dusted on the 24 June exit victory,I was posting on building on the membership, a multitude was asking what use is UKIP now? then the fault finding began and instead of trying to fix the problems the whinging got worse, the membership en block have the power to tell the party hierarchy
    we are not happy with the course the party is taking and if no changes are to take place then membership renewal fee’s are stopping on a nominated date, as in “You either shape up or we ship out”

    • Well said, Ogga – but I’m afraid if we want to fight the enemy both within and at the gates of Britain, Nuttall will have to step down. He will have no credibility with the public after that Stoke leaflet – and his self-inflicted ’embroidering’ of the truth.

  10. This article is right on the button. I like many other Former Conservatives who have joined UKIP will return as we see the party courting Labour supporter which could mean Centre or left Policies and I for one will never stay if this happens.
    Now that Cameron has been banished together with his Centre polotics we see May moving to the Right this will bring many UKIP members back.
    Without Nigel at the Head of UKIP the future is bleak with the new leadership and executive.

    • By the current looks of things may is going to be rather busy in explaining her part in the South Thanet by-election odious dealings she was/ is part and parcel of what went on.
      In point of fact and it looks very much like the tory’s had a hand in denying Farage a place in parliament and the benefits that would have brought the country and party over the two years since.
      If in 10 weeks time treachery is proved then they still find support? personally I would definitely as a party be looking for a large amount of commpo.

  11. Another excellent analysis, of which there have been many on Ukip Daily over the past few weeks. But no one in the UKIP politburo is listening. Do they even know it exists, or are they simply confirming the general opinion of them, expressed in these pages, by turning a blind eye to any views but their own. Any leadership worth its salt would at least respond, even if it is only to rationalise and justify its own position, to such an overwhelming groundswell of well presented disapproval. Kippers laugh at, and thank Heaven for, Jeremy Corbyn, but we shouldn’t throw stones; we now have our own.

  12. Your gut may just be right, Gerry. I believe Nigel recognized that UKIP now has to seize the initiative and that was why, at the Spring Conference, he begged that UKIP be the radical party that promised so much.
    Sadly, up to now, his plea has fallen on deaf ears. Not that radicalism would help with local elections, but it would start to give people an idea of what UKIP’s role would be in the future – a General Election is not far away.
    Personally, I see UKIP’s role as speaking out about things such as Law and Order, restoration of British Law, vigorous opposition to Sharia and all it stands for – and leaving running Councils to the Lib Dems and others, if resources are stretched – what a shocking heretic I am! As it is, we timidly fall between two stools, unless something changes.

  13. Agree, lot of former conservatives seem to have returned. In theory there’s still former Labour voters to court. But as you say, the UKIP message hasn’t been clear or even distinct.

  14. The Tories may be facing a perfect storm themselves what with the fine and possible prosecutions and election reruns.

  15. Agreed. It’s such a mess that UKIP should now just limit itself to keeping the Tories on the right path. The Tories are totally capable of throwing away their advantage and reneging on the EU referendum. Those UKIP voters who have ebbed away to the Tories will always need a true home to return to reapply the pressure when it’s needed. We have to acknowledge that prominent UKIP personalities are ex Conservative and there-in lies the problem. A Tory mind set prevails. Conjuring up some new “great idea” is just not on the cards. This is reflected in the Aaron Banks position – he wants to change the approach and modus operandi.

    • John that’s so complacent it’s incredible.

      • Mike, there is nothing complacent in what I say. It is an opinion based on the current dire state of the party. sadly with the unsavoury infighting UKIP has dug a hole for itself and even its main donors are now deserting. Is Mr Banks complacent?

    • John, there is not a great new idea that many UKIP members want to conjure up. There is no need.
      We see, and you will too if you read Flyer’s article also published today, that Britain along with Europe is in more danger than it ever has been, with the aid of not just our Government but those that run the EU, of an Islamic takeover. – whether engineered by Islam or the Globalists is, as Flyer says, neither here nor there, the danger is present, yet no-one speaks out. Just as only UKIP spoke out when our freedom and law-making ability was quietly handed over without our consent by all previous Governments, so they are quietly surrendering the U.K. To the Globalist/Islam agenda, and people are watching, powerless, because no-one will give them a voice. Many UKIP members, though not all, are desperate for UKIP to be that voice once again, and shape the agenda as we did with Europe.
      All over Europe parties that speak out, slandered and denigrated by MSM and the liberal left as well as the hard left though they are, are gaining support, because people understand what is being done to them, and want to try and stop it, for the sake of their children. In Britain, there is no party that speaks out.
      Britain needs UKIP to be that party, and under the current clueless leadership cabal, it isn’t, and I for one, want to change that.

      • Dee,

        But how can we change it when no one is listening? I truly feel that Anne Marie is our last hope and we all must back her to the hilt, she is the only sign of life in what has become a corpse.

        • I agree, Anne Marie’s appointment as spokesperson for women, as suggested by Stout, would be the only thing that might signal to voters that we are back to the UKIP that dares to speak out.

      • Dee, I agree.

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