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UKIP Leadership Election 2017

So here we go again… YALL: Yet Another Leadership election. Some years, it seems that they’re a bit like buses, clustering together with long pauses, and then several occur in short order. I’ve voted in every leadership election we’ve had, with varying degrees of involvement, from just voting, discussing on the NEC and as Regional Organiser, through to running Lisa Duffy’s website last year. This gives me, I hope, some experience and some insights worth sharing.

First and foremost, whoever the new leader is will need to live. This sounds obvious, but since we have no money to pay a salary, they will already need to possess money or be in a position to raise it. This used to be a requirement for parliamentary MPs, too. I read once that when Ramsay Macdonald became Labour’s first PM, he had to beg and borrow furniture to put in No. 10.

Last year, it was made clear to Lisa Duffy that, if elected, she would need to raise significant funds in a short time if she was to have any sort of salary – and she fully understood that. The new incumbent will be doing a lot of travelling, too, and there is no expenses budget, either. Lastly, depending on the candidate, they may be unlucky enough to need full-time security guards, as Nigel did in his last few years. None of this is cheap, and the idea that some penniless but idealistic member, with no track record of serious fundraising and networking would end up as leader is, frankly, batshit-crazy.

Hence the need for deposits and signatures. It is possible to obtain help with the signatures – one eminent follower of this site once held a “Chickenpox Party” so Winston McKenzie could get the necessary signatures: he was so new to the party then that he was still listed as leader of his previous (own) outfit! Whether such get-togethers are a good idea or not, at least if they happen, it shows the organisers – who must have some influence – have faith in the candidate.

It has been written elsewhere that the Labour Party doesn’t require deposits. True – but they DO require the support of at least 20% of MPs (would 20% of MEPs or 99 signatures countrywide be fairer?), and remember: all their shortlisted candidates will not only have a salary but also expect a significant increase as Leader of the Opposition once elected. So is it fair to compare UKIP’s leadership rules with Labour? Manifestly not.

Leadership elections are horrendously expensive. The Diane James one, where we held hustings all over the country, cost well over £12,000 – I checked with the Party Secretary when I wrote this article that my recollection was right – and, since it was Diane who resigned in short order, (I won’t break the NEC confessional with further thoughts on that, however tempting), I myself would support a rule requiring candidates who resign in less than, say, 6 months without good reason to have to make a contribution towards costs.

The leader has two jobs. In the first instance, he or she is the public face of the party, and as such will be expected to be on TV, the stump, or propping up a bar a lot of the time. But: they are also a voting member of the NEC and on the board of directors, with consequent legal and financial obligations/risks. I have known leaders in the past concentrate on the former, and keep the latter to a minimum. This will not be a wise course for the new leader to chart. Hopefully the current NEC will prove adept at ensuring they turn up, meaningfully engage in management discussions, and don’t spout lines like “Adam proofed these rule changes, and he’s clever so just trust him and vote them through”, one minute into the agenda item, as happened once on my watch.

A leader needs a good team, and it is perfectly understandable to me that when a leader leaves office, his appointments lapse too – e.g. Peter Whittle and Suzanne Evans as deputies – although given her health (get well soon) I suspect she would have stood down anyway.

EGMs are deliberately tricky to organise, for good reason. I was present at the only one we ever had in the past, and it was so stressful and heated that a member died of a heart attack. EGMs can’t actually do much by way of changing the constitution (on the spot), anyway, so, with the likelihood of another General Election by the autumn, we would be mad to spend time squabbling over internal procedures just now.

We need to accept that the winner will either be a “name”, or rich, or better still both, hopefully have humility when dealing with difficult factions (UKIP has been accurately described as 8000 egos in a 3000 strong party in its early days …) and then concentrate on getting candidates in place, and – novel idea alert – let them get on with it, and see what they present in autumn at Conference!

 

 

 

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72 Comments on UKIP Leadership Election 2017

  1. I see a lot of discussion about potential leaders, but if UKIP are to survive then prosper, the return of Nigel Farage as leader and sweeping changes to the party hierarchy are the only option.

    We’ve won the greatest political victory in decades. Now we need to redefine the party, set out what we stand for and get that message out to all voters. No better person than Nigel to do that.

  2. So unless your loaded don’t bother standing! Kind of defeats the idea of democracy doesn’t it. I think you’ve hit the nail on the head in regards to politics in this country – only the rich get any real shot at it – is it any wonder that most of the population gets ignored.

    • Not loaded, no, but you can’t RELY on the money coming fom elsewhere, and the Aarons of this world may well attach strings.

      • Rob, in some of the more strident comments here, I think you appear to be getting totally undeserved stick for stating obvious truths.

        Facts:
        The Conservative Party has the financial backing of big business.
        The Labour Party has the financial backing of the trade unions.
        UKIP has the backing of a small membership, and a praiseworthy but small, fluctuating group of donors.

        As things are, that’s simply reality; hence the practical truths you highlight in your piece.
        We would all like it to be different but currently the situation is what it is.

        By the way I’ve loved the Goons since I was at school @*$&? years ago. What about the next UKIP conference being held at a granny hurling factory in Tooting?

  3. This whole article seems to imply that the next UKIP leader is, more or less, expected to be completely biddable and conformable to the will of the Executive and/or the NEC! I was always told by my old boss (who was revered by all) that “leaders should lead from the front, not drive from the rear”. The leader of UKIP appears to face the unenviable fate of being “driven” by a group of people who, based upon recent showing, do not inspire anyone to believe that they have anything but their own interests at heart. I do not feel that anybody contemplating new membership, will be at all convinced the the party Executive has yet taken their heads out of the clouds!

    • The last two comments show all too clearly the disillusionment of members, former members and would-be members of UKIP. And they are right to be disillusioned. We have to beat the mindset that is evidently prevalent in those that move in the higher circles of UKIP, or we are done for. That’s why we need someone driven, as Anne Marie is – give her the chance to lead, and she will do so. I have today endorsed her, having been asked to do so by Anish – I hope if others are asked, they will answer the call.

    • No, I am not saying the new leader will be biddable to the will of the nec – although he/she will have to attend meetings and attempt to work WITH them. He or she will, however, be in thrall to whoever is writing their salar cheque 🤓🤑

      • It’s good to be honest. Let’s face it, the reason O’Flynn is there is because he is trusted by Richard Desmond (who he used to work for) who gave £1million and who wants his own man to represent him.

  4. No- I don’t think I will either, Dee… And I also find it hard to respect the opinions of grown men that don’t write under their own name but instead use a silly alias!!! Sponplague!!! In the words of Harry Potter – RIDDIKULUS!!!! Mind you, I suppose it fits well alongside the image of a Party Chairman who is alleged to have gone on Dating Sites masquerading as an Airline Pilot!!!

    • To be fair, Gerry, he does use his own name as well – as to anything else, let’s not even go there!

    • You are right of course – I am a grown man and I post opinions here under an alias. Just for the record I run a small business that takes up a lot of my time and is vital for my family’s welfare. For a long time I did not get involved in radical politics simply because I knew it would affect the family business drastically as certain people have been plain to me that they could not be seen to be supporting an enterprise that is involved in ‘racist and fascist politics'(sic and sick). It is cowardly I know and it upsets me but sometimes we have to beat them ( the marxist left) at their own games.
      At least I do not risk the fate of similar people in Sweden who end up getting death threats and their houses torched simply for being an open member of Sweden Democrats Party.

    • Many people don’t post under their real, or full name, here. Gerry who, for example? Are the offerings of “Stout Yeoman” not to be considered because of his nom-de-plume? It is an open secret that I am former NEC member Rob McWhirter. And it is site moderation policy that real names are optional.

      Origin of sponplague, for the interested: http://www.thegoonshow.net/scripts_show.asp?title=s08e23_the_spon_plague

      Wallace: This is the BBC Light Service. It might not sound much but (tearfully) it’s home to me. (Sings) We’ve been together nah fer forty years and it ain’t been a day…

      FX: Pistol shot.

      Harry: Got him, folks. It was the kindest way out. We had the vet’s permission. Now, folks, by permission of one of the Lord Chamberlain’s secretaries, we present –

      Orchestra: TIMPANI ROLL (COME IN ON WORD ‘SECRETARY’)

      Spike: “The Great Spon Plague”.

      Orchestra: DRAMATIC CHORDS (NEW ONES, PLEASE

      Peter: My name is Doctor Hairy MacSquirter, Squirter MacSquirters of the Clan MacThud and Jim Thudder of Leeds – our history goes back over half a decade. I have got nothing to do with tonight’s show, so I’ll bid ye all a guid night.

  5. It is my intention to vote for John Rees Evans should he decide to stand. I voted for him last time round and still believe he is the only person who has all the attributes to take the party forward.

    If he does not stand, then I will most likely abstain from voting at all.

  6. McWhirter’s article above is the worst I have ever seen in any political blog in my life.
    What UKIP needs is a leader with charisma and great courage to tell the truth to the people. Such a parson as Tommy Robinson or AnneMarie Waters or John ReesEvans – all are capable of keeping the balls in the air such as living, paying the mortgage, travelling, leading the party to the dizzy heights of 100,000 members and ergo crowd fund the leadership costs at £1 per person per year.
    With the exception of Nigel Farage there is no-one who is a name who I would give tuppence for. We live in a new age and the world is changing very fast.
    PJW without any help from anyone has become a staple of political tv blogs and is seriously influencing the national/international debate.
    McWhirter’s comments are something like a dinosaur from the 19thC when only the rich had the vote.
    If a Crowther clone becomes the new leader I state with absolute certainty that UKIP will be dead by Yuletide.
    Will someone please ‘blow the Lurhorns’ of Hardangerfjord and awaken the Norse Viking Gods and for them to rally at Trondheim as I think we need a miracle.

    • AMW is DEEPLY divisive, as recent NEC meetings have shown, and will split the party if she becomes leader. I have BEEN in a split UKIP under Michael Holmes/Craig Mackinlay (whatever happemed to him? 🤔) and will bend over backwards to ensure it never happens again.

      If AMW is self funding, then, again, like JRE, great, but people on other pages have said that candidates SHOULDN’T need to be self funding in order to stand; you, by naming candidates who are, are reinforcing my point.

      Lastly, I hope we can both agree that Götterdämmerung is a bad idea 🔥

      • The only reason, I would submit, that AMW is ‘divisive’ in your book is because she is willing to address competently the threat that Britain faces from creeping Sharia Law – rather than pussy-footing in an amateur way around the edges like everyone else, who wants to be loved by MSM and is afraid to call Islamic ideology what it is, evil. That’s why we need her. You cannot say deeply divisive without giving instances – and if it’s her (shock horror) association with Pegida, or sharing a platform with Tommy Robinson, that doesn’t wash any more – people understand that Tommy has been right all along, his book has twice been at the top of the Amazon best seller list detailing his experiences with Government – only Antifa and the media hate both of them – which, in my book, shows they are doing a lot of things right.
        So, back up your assertions, please, Mr McWhirter.

        • Also, Anne Marie is funded by ordinary people – she gave up a promising career as a lawyer to fight Sharia Law, which she knows will be catastrophic for all women.

        • Anish Patel made public posts on Twitter to the effect that Anne Marie had split the NEC. That is a fact. Other members have indicated to me they will resign if she gets the leadership. As for whatever else I may know, I will not break the seal of the NEC confessional, but Google searches make it pretty clear that while she has strong support, the party membership is by no means unanimously behind her. Whatever her merits, she WILL cause a split; the only concern is how big…

          • No, Rob, he didn’t say that, what he said was ‘the NEC was split’. That is quite different from saying ‘Anne Marie split the NEC’. In fact, it was the ‘old guard’ propped up by Mr Nuttall – the new young thinkers and Peter Whittle wanted to allow her to stand. And actually yet again,they have shot the selves in the foot, because their actions, going against the Branch that selected her, don’t forget she was selected by them, simply opened people’s eyes wider and made many members more determined to support Anne Marie.

          • Sorry, Dee, bad wording: the ISSUE of Anne-Marie split the party. Assuming NEC members represent their electorate, sahe WILL split the party.

            You are, of course, welcome to support her, but please don’t assume it won’t have consequences! 😡

          • Rob, when Nuttall tried ‘unity’ it didn’t work out too well – maybe time for a change?

          • Brian Williams // June 22, 2017 at 2:31 pm //

            If the choices are (1) a split party where one half is dedicated to restoring our rights and liberties and reversing our march towards dhimmi status, or (2) yet another MSM-approved, cultural Marxist-infested, “cuck” party participating in our cultural suicide (and the genocide by birth of our people) then I for one desire a split.

      • Rob,

        Just out of interest who are you thinking of voting for then?

        • No idea so far, but can confirm I can’t afford to stand myself 😉

          • Rob,

            Oh Dear, that’s a shame. Have to also agree with you that you are probably right about Anne Marie that she may well slit UKIP. I spoke to one male member and he said the same, that many males may not like her ‘aggressive’ approach. I myself have mixed feelings about her and JRE, I quite like both of them but they both have totally different approaches, therefore, I could not really see them working together.

            I personally think that AMW’s is a much more inspirational speaker on the one subject she speaks about, JRE strikes me as someone who would be a good behind the scenes organizer especially structuring the party and on social media, so they could compliment each other that way, but I think they may just clash. So I agree with you at this point it is difficult to know who to vote for, perhaps another shining light will come forward.

          • Let’s see who the candidate list is…

          • OK this comment is quite endearing

      • Many thanks for your reply sir. You have perhaps misinterpreted one thing – I do not envisage Götterdämmerung ( although we may be lurching towards it for all we know)rather an intervention of the Norse Gods in the old Viking capital to stir the sleeping masses of Nordic Europe into action against the international marxists and their global agendas aided and abetted by the evil MSM.
        Every single day dark forces plot against President Trump in the Capitol itself and they are both Republican and Democrat members of the Deep State who want ‘business as usual’. Corrupt.
        As for the UK we are so small in numbers and so tiny in resources that no moderate mediocre leader of the UKIP party could make a positive impact. What is going to have an enormous impact is the native white working class – or skilled elements of it who are increasingly angry at the lies and subterfuge of politicians. We are in for a true Norsk Thunderstorm.

        • CK, you may have seen it, but on utube have a look at ‘End of Times Production The Deep State – 50 year old recording explains why the world is going crazy’ – I think plausibly. At all events, fascinating, the most fascinating I’ve ever seen.

        • Call it a conspiracy theory, but there is no other answer that fits these facts:

          (1) during the 90s onwards, EVERY Western government(99% Bilderbegers) opened the floodgates to massive muslim immigration;
          (2) Western social policies actively discouraged native reproduction, particularly of the most financially reproductive; feminism (career vs motherhood); single mothers (only the poor would have more than 2); easy divorce (bad experiences = fewer children); easy abortion; active encouragement, at school age, of the adoption of non-reproductive sexualities;
          (3) Promulgation of multiculturalism rather than enforced integration, ensuring that the incoming culture would be violently opposed to the host culture with the above policies.

          Brexit has shown that we do not want globalism and open bordes, but these Soros-backed policies are the only way to a global (Marxist) elite. The only way to achieve it is population replacement with a biddable population who will not only vote for, but demand, a global government – under Islam.

          The structures are already being developed, via the “Climate Change” scam at the UN for global governance.

          The Iranian revolution showed that there is a desire to combine the highly compatible ideologies of Islam and Marxism. If it were not for Ayatollah Khomeini’s absolutism, and the eventual liquidation of the opposition, Iran would be an Islamo-Marxist state now.

          That, I believe, is the eventual aim of the global elite. They will willingly convert to an Islam which encompasses Marxism in order to achieve it.

          They MUST be stopped.

    • Oh dear, Citizenkain, how are you going to get the likes of “Gerry” to respect your views with a moniker like that? 🙄

      Can we all please agree that we should be debating arguments and merits, irrespective of whether posters choose to share their real names? And, incidentally, if I DID post as Rob McWhirter, how would you know it was me, or the right me? Sue Doughty was MP for Guildford, but another activist with the same name regularly writing in the Telegraph caused genuine confusion… 😉

  7. “Storming out of hustings, having pre-warned the camersa to get good coverage does not command my respect. And it does not show good leadership qualities, particularly in regard to dealing with conflict.”

    Rob,

    In answer, I’ll tell you what doesn’t command my respect:

    Party officials having the unbelievable arrogance to tell the candidates what they could and couldn’t say at the leadership hustings; and threatening exclusion from future hustings if any candidate dared to disobey.

    No candidate with a backbone should have accepted that. Yet only John Rees-Evans had the character to refuse to comply and walk away. That shows both integrity and leadership in my book.

    He did not storm out of the hustings. He left after, with in my opinion remarkable politeness and restraint in the circumstances, he exercised his right to explain to the audience why he could take no further part. Judge for yourself. His five-minute address starts at about 16 mins in on the link below:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SoB_LVLsPLA

    His, and consequently the party members, punishment for daring not to take orders was that Paul Nuttall and Suzanne Evans refused to appear with him, let alone debate with him, for the benefit of the membership, on television or elsewhere.

    I think that was absolutely appalling behaviour, fully condoned by the leadership, and thoroughly undeserving of any respect whatsoever.

    • Unless UKIP gets someone with fire in the belly like JRE it’s finished.

    • Howard: I have now cross-checked with several people, including the party secretary and returning officer. At the previous hustings, John breached Q13 of the rule book, which can be summarised as “You may tell everyone how good you are, but you may not tell everyone how bad another candidate is.”, and he was taken aside and reminded of this.

      Any such candidate, who then throws his toys out of the pram will not get my vote -we have enough prima-donnas in the party as it is!

  8. Regarding salary for leader, NEC members etc. It is a fair point, people have to live, though a small working salary and all reasonable expenses should be paid by the party before very much else.
    I have sat for some years as an independent on a very large ( a budget of some 3/4 million including private grant funding) and non political Parish council, have a portfolio and am now Vice chairman. I’m also a UKIP District councillor and chair our constituancy branch.
    The Parish bit is unpaid and without expenses, takes a lot of time and actually costs quite a lot to do properly. I can do this only because I continue to work part time past retirement age. To be honest, just occasionally, I wonder why I bother. Who on earth would want the job of UKIP leader without any renumeration ? It’s bad enough to find decent Parish councillors.

  9. Candidates. By all means have HQ vet them for skeletons in their cupboards or extreme views. Otherwise leave it to the branches. We’ve twice has people approved by HQ and much better local candidates rejected because they were unable to jump through HQ’s hoops.

    It seems to me there is a case for some sort of federation of Branches and a very small HO structure.

    Leader. I hope Nigel stands, I simply can’t see anyone else with sufficient gravitas to pull us together, nor can the public. (except maybe Peter W). Are we really reduced to simply restricting the leadership to the well heeled, no kind donors left to fund one without insisting on his or her own policy platform ? This is very bad news.

    Tories. Unless idiots, putting their party before the country did huge damage and may have cost proper `Brexit” At least they can’t smear us for choosing the wrong leader, they did as badly themselves.

    • If there is a “kind donor” willing to fund a leader with minimal strings attached, that would meet my good networking/fundraising criterion. But generally, (I know of a few exceptions), they want influence for their buck. And there have been cases when offers to help were made, then welched on when the bill was presented.

      So in the short term, the leader needs to be a man of funds or connections. End-of.

      • Come on, spill the beans, tell us what you know about each donor

        • Sorry, nope. But you can deduce much from Google searches, e.g. Richard Desmond and Andrew Reed *cough* allegedly aren’t best buddies 😉

          And some donors buy the goods directly, without it ever passing through UKIP central coffers…

          • Well if I were a large donor like Sykes I would do the same if I were allowed to. I understand he wanted to buy all the advertising himself. I guess Reed using Desmond’s money to pay back his own loan hasn’t set the best example. But indeed there must be a very complicated second set of accounts to reflect all these other transactions. Let’s hope the members of the NEC, as directors of the company, understand their legal liability!

      • Where I do agree with Rob is that the real problem in UKIP is the lack of money and the deals that have to be made to get it. I have already introduced the concept of the third C&C structure. Now here is the biggest problem – the lack of money caused a deal to be entered into whereby the MEPs circulate cash around to fund various activities. You can read about the Roger Helmer allegations in the Guardian, but this is not unique. Obviously the deal was that if the party put you onto an MEP list and you made it then some of that money has to be made available to the party. And then you have the black book of donors who each have their own unique requests. And then you have the friends of donors who get inserted into the organisation. What it all adds up to is an organisation where the supposed structure that you can see, and the results of that structure that you can see in its accounts, are totally different to what actually happens in practice. And the governance of that party, and how decisions really get made, follow this real structure, not the structure that is created for the external world to see. All the ordinary members can run around to their hearts content canvassing, doing local work in their communities, but you will never amount to ANYTHING in this party because it needs money and the people at the top only care about who can provide the money. So for example in the general election just passed most PPCs will have spent £1,000 – £2,000 of their own funds but their effort is basically unrecognised. Why, because that money didn’t go back to the party central to feed the beast. This is the sickness at the heart of UKIP, the good news is that it will go away when the MEPs disappear, the bad news is that unless we figure out a way to have a much larger and more generous membership then we will never break the spell of the donor class. Perhaps we should do an Alex Jones and start selling health supplements or something, I am not joking! The spending power of the membership has to be developed and tapped if the party is ever going to be INDEPENDENT of its donors.

  10. Just one or two observations:

    1. The last three leaders have all received very well remunerated salaries and expenses as MEPs, so why would they need to be rich as well?

    2. Diane James organised her own hustings. Surely UKIP wouldn’t have paid for them so why should she have been responsible for repaying any of the cost of the official hustings?

    3. £12,000 seems like petty cash, when compared to the £100,000 thrown down the drain on the abysmal Stoke campaign.

    4. The last accounts I can find on the internet are for the Year ended 31/12/2014 (published on 10/08/2015) when £916,986 was spent on staff yet now, apparently, we can’t afford to pay the leader a salary? We also spent over £2m on “miscellaneous” and yet now, apparently, £12,000 is considered horrendously expensive for a leadership campaign?

    Presumably, donations have now run down to next to nothing? If so, why is that? Could it be anything to do with the running of the party?

    • Thank you for the sensible and interesting questions.

      1. MEPs should cease to exist in two years time, hopefully, but they have a well paid job for now – people here have suggested that non-MEPs should be able to stand, and I am asking how THEY would be funded?

      2. Not all the election costs were down to hustings, but they still took place irrespective of whether Diane played ball or not. She should therefore have contriibuted to costs when she resigned. There is, of course, much more to this, but I am bound by the seal of the NEC confessional. I think it reasonable that a winning leader’s deposit be held in some sort of “escrow” for 6 months; what do others think?

      3. I keep hearing Stoke mentioned, but the blunt truth is that many donors will spend on visible big events, like by-elections, but not internal stuff. When Richard Desmond generously gave 1 million, and Andrew Reid spent some of it repaying his own loans, similar in some ways to drawing a salary in good times, Richard hit the roof – and almost hit Andrew, too! I have found it VERY dangerous to assume that money that appears during election campaigns could be called down or obtained for other purposes, e.g. Websites. I also recall that Aaron Banks’ offer of future help was based on the idea that as chairman he could do pretty much anything he liked. Not my idea of more member democracy…

      4. 2014 was the year we won – by a large margin – the MEP elections. We had a massive staff, and wound most of them down over the next year or so. Now, we have an absolutely minimum staff, and yes, no salary for a leader (and barely anyone else).

      Donations are low because we’re not fighting MEP elections, which are sexy and we win them. Find something that a donor is interested in – Paul Sykes and posters, for example – and the money will be forthcoming, but it will be hypothecated funds, and they will insist on control of the expenditure. This has always been the case, ever since the party started.

  11. Why embarassed? Maybe it’s too near the bone for some on here? 🙄

    • Viv -please move below Dee as reply; my bad…

    • Rob, I think Graham below has put it rather well – I would just add a little extra.
      Because of the dreadful, inept management and appalling Leadership, one source of money, from membership, whether by subscription fundraising or donation, dried up fairly soon after Mr. Nuttall took over. Whether you admit it or not, it is true, obviously. Knowing this, the ‘Management’ took it upon themselves to squander just shy of one hundred thousand pounds on Stoke. Members willingly answered the call, and gave freely of their time. What did this money go on? Following the Stoke debacle any hope of a membership surge died. So now, the outgoing clueless cabal have left the classic note – there’s no money left’.
      But that’s not why I could not and would not want to be associated with a Party that thought in the way your article wants us to go.
      If our next Leader doesn’t inspire a returning membership, and people wanting to work their backsides off and or contribute every spare penny they have to UKIP – it doesn’t deserve to survive.
      If the kind of Party you seem to want is what we end up with, you won’t see any support, financial or otherwise, from me.

      • As a regional organiser, I spent the election in part phoning round my region to raise funds, and have a good idea why funding was tight during the GE – and for the most part, it wasn’t Paul. I suspect it was in part battle fatigue – several people I rang said they had given generously, recently, and yet here I was, calling for money again!

        Where did the Stoke money go? All expenditure in a by-election must be accounted for, so that will be publicly available.

        I, too, want an inspiring leader – but I am not sure how much even the most inspirational of leaders can raise for their own salary, and, until said money starts appearing, and can be accounted for, what do they live on in the meantime?

  12. If Nigel does not return, I would be pleased to see John Rees-Evans stand again.

    He has publicised and explained clearly his thinking, ideas, principles and plans for the party; and I voted for him last time.

    Also, regarding Sponplague’s personal solvency concerns, I believe he is financially independent.

    • Howard – I have a paying job, a large mortgage, and it cost me a small fortune flying in to the NEC every month for three years – plus by-election campaignng etc. I would by no means describe myself as “financially independent”…

      • Rob, you’ve misunderstood me. I was talking about John Rees-Evans.
        Obviously my phrasing was a bit clumsy.
        To clarify: I believe John Rees-Evans is financially independent. So the financial matters you mention in your article are unlikely to be a problem in his case.

    • Storming out of hustings, having pre-warned the camersa to get good coverage does not command my respect. And it does not show good leadership qualities, particularly in regard to dealing with conflict.

  13. This article represents everything that is wrong about UKIP. It’s basically an argument to change nothing. We have lost the trust of the electorate, we are losing members even more quickly after the GE, we are ignored by the media as irrelevant, but no need to change! It’s just another plea to let those in power keep their positions. Even worse, this article is an attempt to assert the power of money over ordinary members (and indeed, this is the real cancer eating at the soul of UKIP). In Rob’s worldview, everything comes down to money and ‘realism’. Only the rich can stand. What kind of message does this send out to the members and voters? That the so-called anti-establishment party is actually run according to who has the most money? Someone else yesterday, in their announcement of termination of membership, wrote that they were sick of being in an organisation with 2 separate command and control (C&C) structures, which inevitably leads to fighting between them. The truth is that there are 3 such structures. The third is the most powerful, the group of financial donors who get what they want. For example, in my home constituency of Richmond Park, the local branch voted unanimously not to run a candidate in the GE. The regional organiser didn’t want to run a candidate either as the sitting remoaner libdem MP could be unseated by the return of Brexiteer Zac Goldsmith. But somehow Peter Jewell (who lives in Worcestershire and has no links to this area) got parachuted in by Head Office above the heads of the branch and region. He won a paltry 435 votes, but as Zac’s majority was finally only 45, this was an incredibly close call for us. For the sake of what – one person’s ego? – we almost had another remoaner MP. Every member of the branch was basically told ‘you mean nothing to us’. This kind of decision, going against the members, the branch, logic, comes from the 3rd C&C structure, that of money. It appears that contributing money is what really matters in UKIP, and here is Rob to confirm that. I would remind you that coming up with £5,000 for a deposit tells you NOTHING about that person’s ability to finance themselves going forward, anyone can scrabble together £5,000. Indeed, the party’s inability to develop new ways of raising funds apart from relying on a small group of donors who then hold a gun to the head of the leader has been the greatest failure, as it guarantees this culture will continue. Conspiracy theorists may go a step further and say that the reason we have two official C&Cs head-to-head against each other is so that the third can divide and conquer. Better to be poor than to be held hostage by these kind of people, who will also block any attempts to raise money through other means that could dilute their power. Drain the swamp!

    • Graham – explain to me, please, in simple terms, how the leader is going to eat, pay rent, and travel around carrying out his duties in the short term, while we put he new constitution etc and rebranding being worked on in place? Why is it wrong to point out that the leader can’t live and exist on nothing?

      • I think we have got to the heart of darkness in UKIP. The control of the party by the money people who even get to sit on the NEC as deputy treasurers. Presumably Peter Jewell is a friend of these people as he was also made a deputy treasurer (no longer, those positions are now reserved for people who put cold hard cash in and who presumably want a seat at the table when their money is spent) and put in charge of the patrons club. From what I can see he was introduced to Nigel Farage in 2013 who then gave him this position. I can’t find any evidence he has ever donated any money to the party, and yet he got onto the NEC without a vote, and there he was trying to have himself installed as the leader post-Diane James! And then somehow the record of his participation was wiped clean???? That was a coup attempt.

        Give me an honest pauper every time. Oh and Rob, you might be surprised to know that a lot of people get by on very low salaries and do fine, you don’t need £100k a year to be leader. And if the party can’t raise £60k to cover a leader’s salary and travel expenses for a year then it really does not deserve to exist.

    • Well said Graham. And to your last point about a conspiracy theory, it’s not a theory.

  14. I’m sorry, Spoonplague – I am too embarrassed to tweet this onto my timeline. Others, feel free.

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