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UKIP Leadership Election: The Case for Bill Etheridge MEP

[Ed: The following article is the personal view of the author, and we hope that other readers will send in their own personal views of the candidate they will support in the forthcoming UKIP Leadership Election.]

Why Bill Etheridge MEP Must Lead UKIP:

Whilst I am sure we will be in find hands whoever wins, I am endorsing Bill Etheridge for leader and here is why.

Bill has the unusual double mandate of local councillor and MEP. As a local councillor, he has picked up the critical skills of pavement politics, from pot holes in the road and bin collection to save our park/hospital/cinema type campaigns that are the lifeblood of any political party. As an MEP, he has sat yards away from figures as high profile and international as the Pope, Jean Claude Juncker and King Abdullah of Jordan. This has given Bill experience as both an MEP and a councillor, someone who is as comfortable talking to a local group as he is talking to a world leader. Some of the other candidates only have an MEP mandate, some only have local experience. Bill has both.

Bill has shown the personal strength a front-line leader needs. During the alleged golliwog crisis, far from backing down and doing liberal penance, he stood his ground. Someone who can directly trespass on a liberal taboo like political correctness, and then refuse to back down from their attacks is a man well built for leadership. During the 2015 General Election he was the target of the Labour-left’s attack dogs Hope Not Hate. Various leftist factions waded in to his constituency of Dudley North with their usual shrill tone and self-righteous moral chest beating. They even went to the lengths of producing a grotesque attack leaflet. Bill did not back down in the face of this and won an impressive 24% of the vote.

Bill also supports letting the people decide on the death penalty. The EU has a slightly creepy obsession with the death penalty, holding up its opposition to the death penalty as evidence of its alleged moral superiority. The EU heavily funds anti-death penalty campaigns in other people’s countries, wading in where they have no business. This includes their obscene intervention to save the lives of death row inmates convicted of the gang rape and murder of two teenage girls in Texas. Bill Etheridge stood tall and fought the corner of the victims and their families when the issue was raised in the European Parliament (see the video below). On moral issues, we cannot expect our MPs to vote against their conscience on any issue. Bill’s policy of a direct referendum is the best way to resolve our policy on the death penalty.

But if there is one reason above all others I will support Bill, it is this. Bill understands that the centre ground of the Blair-Cameron consensus has had its day. Indeed, as the Tories move to the right, and Labour move to the Corbynite left, even the centre does not want to be in the centre anymore! So why would UKIP want to occupy the centre? The image of a dishevelled Tony Blair bumbling excuses at Chilcot was highly symbolic. That was the moment the centre ground Blair had created and championed in the 1990s and early 2000s was comprehensively discredited. It puzzles me that some figures in UKIP advocate moving to this centre. Bill passionately advocates a radical post-Brexit programme to really make our country a better place, and that will involve a dramatic break from the dying, discredited centre.

We have a number of good candidates. But for me, I am backing Bill.


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About Morpheus Magnus (34 Articles)
Morpheus Magnus is the pen name of a religious and political conservative, whose views of the EU went from supporter to opponent the more contact he had with the EU. He is an ex-pat but always keeps an eye on events in the mother country.

19 Comments on UKIP Leadership Election: The Case for Bill Etheridge MEP

  1. Panmelia, I’m afraid my comment about Diane’s ‘late application’ was misleading and the result of my own editing. Thank you for pointing that out. My original draft compared the fact she’d succeeded in submitting her application during the last hour when Steven had apparently been unable to.

  2. Rhys, My views are my own and my preferred candidate would actually have been Paul Nuttall. I was disappointed to discover he wasn’t standing, and then puzzled to find Diane wasn’t standing either. Personally, I felt quite ambivalent about Steven but he appeared to be a good candidate and I would probably have supported him had his candidacy not been lost as a result of the debacle surrounding his application. I know as little of Diane’s policies as I do those of any of the other four remaining candidates, which I imagine is the case for most members, and have no idea why she submitted her application so late.

    Arrangements for applications, hustings and the election itself, have all been extremely rushed and are taking place at a time when many members and candidates may be away from home taking a much-needed break. In addition, there is no formal forum for candidates to publish information about themselves and to comment on existing policies or what changes they may wish to see. It seems we have no alternative but to wait and hope more information will be forthcoming from HQ nearer the election, after once again being let down at a crucial time. It is likely that more members than may normally have been the case will miss the election because of its timing, which will almost certainly apply to me.

    It’s not for me to excuse/explain Diane’s, or any other candidate’s, absence from the hustings and I can only say that when I enquired who was to speak at my nearest one the very next day, I discovered just one candidate had confirmed, and decided against driving a fifty mile round trip, working in my garden instead.

    I’m surprised you ask about Diane’s speeches at the EU because they are readily available on youtube, as are clips of her appearances on Question Time, Daily Politics, Sunday Politics and post-election programmes. She is very clearly spoken and invariably comes across as intelligent, well-informed and extremely articulate and thinks ‘on her feet’. There are links to youtube clips below and here is a clip from the Brexit event at Wembley Arena, during a discussion with Clive Myrie and Lisa Nandy, a Labour front-bencher: Also, she is well able to cope with a hostile audience plus a partisan compére who is on their side:

    More youtube clips than were necessary, but I was interested and watched more than I’d intended to:

    • Diane didn’t get her application in late and she is still standing. She isn’t going to the official hustings, but has organised her own tour with a different format instead. You can find more info on diane4ukip.

  3. I whole heartedly agree with ‘Rhys’ comments, it all seems like common sense.
    We need much more information from the six candidates not just soundbites which we get all the time from other politicians.

    As for Dianne James she has not even issued a soundbite as far as I know, just her wish to put her name forward. It is all really not good enough and makes me question the calibre of all six, in fact at present I will not be voting at all.

    Please will someone come forward with some concrete and sensible policies to excite both the members and the public.

  4. It’s unlikely the public would vote for someone who posed with a golliwog on facebook. Etheridge is a caricature and the mainstream media’s dream candidate for UKIP. He and the party would be a laughing stock at the next general election.

  5. I would be pleased to learn on what basis you believe Diane James is best for Leader ?

    She did not appear at the NorthEast Hustings.

    My memory of occasionally seeing her in the ( distant -where has she been ? ) past on such progs as QuestionTime is that she is somewhat ‘UKIP – Lite’ and a good bit too vague on what actual policies she believes in. Someone told me she more or less lives in France since becoming an MEP ~ is that right ? If so, not a good look for an UKIP Leader, I would have thought.

    That said, NONE of the candidates has so far set out a list of core policies they believe in and which they believe would be best for the country.

    It’s all very well to talk about ‘common sense policies’ or ‘reducing taxation ‘ but in the real world and in serious politics difficult CHOICES have to be made.

    WHAT ARE UKIP’S CHOICES ???? The Leader will be interrogated closely.
    What answers will s/he give ?
    Vagueness, AllThingsToAllPersons, Ambiguity : these are the stock in trade of the traditional political parties – the voters are craving for more than that and UKIP needs to give it to them.

    Reducing taxation ? Fine – but what are the areas of current expenditure you would cut to pay for it ? Not everything can be solved by stopping the payments to the EU.

    Bring back a grammar school to every town ?

    Well, having gone to one, maybe. But how does that ( on its own ) appeal to the 80% of parents whose children, by definition, will not get into the said grammar schools ?

    More affordable housing ? Of course, long, long overdue. But there’s no easy choices there. WHERE will these houses be built ? HOW will they be paid for ?
    NB, the main ingredient cost of housing is the price of LAND, not so much the price of the building materials or labour.
    That’s why new houses in the NorthEast can be half or less than half the price of the same sized new houses in the South.
    It is basic Adam Smith textbook economics that the Price of LAND is affected by the demand for it. Thus an additional half a million people or more entering the country every year must push up the price of land ! ( All those PPE graduates in all three traditional parties seem not to know that 2 plus 2 = 4 .
    UKIP needs to keep saying it.
    In my view the housing crisis, especially in the South of the country, is now so huge, and the cause of so much misery, that it can be tackled only by allowing SOME incursion into what’s left of the Green Belt ( as well, of course, as building on brownfield sites such as they are. )

    Also, Planning rules need to be changed to allow all new proposed housing ( in principle) to go up to three or four storeys, instead of the traditional two storey semi.

    ALSO, the Parker Morris standards ( which set minimum room sizes and were stupidly abolished by Mrs Thatcher, leading to the current idiocy of matchbox sized new houses ) need to be reinstated, and maybe improved upon to give people decent sized living accommodation, even in flats.
    (Flats are associated, correctly, with pokiness in the English mind : but this doesn’t have to be the case, and needn’t be so for the future.)
    BUT NONE of the above ( increasing the supply of new housing, and with decently sized rooms ) is worth anything unless it is combined with a hard nosed policy of a Moratorium ( almost total ) on all new immigration from whatever part of the world, and for at least five to ten years, whilst we attempt to sort out the housing crisis. ( The two need to be linked. )

    For too long UKIP has resorted to the phrase ‘ An Australian style points system ‘ and even said that we ‘do need some immigration ‘…………. BUT here’s the truth : almost all the immigration we have now is absolutely NOT needed at all.

    Employers ( such as the Health Service ) are filling their vacancies from the EU and beyond without any regard whatsoever to what this is doing to the housing crisis and the schools places crisis and the difficulty of getting a GP appointment crisis ( with knock on effects to A and E services ).
    ( Not to mention what it is doing to the developing countries who need to retain their trained medical staff .)

    The truth is that we need urgently to increase training opportunities for people already living here : we do NOT need persons from abroad for all but a very very few positions difficult to fill ( and some are difficult to fill because of the housing crisis in London in any case ).

    If UKIP is to have anything concrete and useful to say it needs to be unafraid to be hard nosed about this : given the ludicrous influx of immigrants over the past twenty years a halt now needs to be called , for five to ten years in the first instance ( the Moratorium ) until houses have become affordable again for people on the average national wage. AND YES – this does include a halt to immigration for the purposes of arranged marriages / family reunion and so on, as well as for employment purposes.
    I am not saying such a blanket policy would have no negative effects in the short term at least ( those hard choices again ) but the potential prize is a return to something approaching social cohesion and a large increase in the supply of affordable housing ( council / housing association provided, as well as for purchase ).

    SO – CANDIDATES FOR LEADER : What are your ACTUAL policies ?

    On Education, Housing, Immigration, Taxation ?

    Vagueness, Imprecision, Padding and Ambiguity : will all be MARKED DOWN and result in a FAIL marking !

  6. Jonathon Arnott, as far as I know, is the only one to have set out his stall.

    The other candidates need to do the same, soon, and be ready to respond to questions. This needs to be done here as many will be unable to get to meetings.

    The debate could be kick started by requiring them to respond in detail to particular topical questions; it would not be difficult to make a list.

    • Even Jonathan has spoken mostly about internal UKIP matters ~ of zero interest to the general public.
      What are his ( and the other Candidates’ ) specific , concrete policies on all the matters I listed in my original post ?
      Education / Housing ( and the necessary incursion into the Green Belt ) / Immigration / Taxation ????

      I see that so far the MSM have not reported any of the UKIP Hustings, whereas they report in detail on the Labour Party Hustings. Should UKIP not be inviting the MSM in to report our Hustings for the benefit of members as well as the almost 4 million who voted in 2015, and arguably the 17 million who ‘voted UKIP’ in June ?
      The June vote was an incredible, potential, boost to UKIP – but it is being squandered.

  7. Lisa Duffy – “Ban Islamic schools, Sharia courts and face-veil in public”

    Neil Hamilton brands Nigel Farage a ‘BULLY’…

    Ukip’s chairman Paul Oakden pretended to be a pilot on a dating website.

    Bill Etheridge MEP – “Lee Rigby’s killers should have been given death penalty”

    These people need to engage their brains and stop giving ammunition to the enemy. I’m not saying that they are all wrong in their views but are these people really fit to hold responsible positions in the party?

    The establishment will lie and take every opportunity to discredit UKIP so they must not be given that opportunity on a plate.

  8. UKIP needs a talented leader, quickly, & this man isn’t it.

  9. As I am unable to get to any Hustings, and also bearing in mind that there must be other UKIP members like me, I think it is very important that the leadership candidates all post on here, as some have done, and hopefully will keep doing, or someone will do on their behalf. Maybe Hustings are live streamed, perhaps someone could tell me.

    I think the hope that Nigel might come back eventually is not a good way forward, and asking someone to step aside if he does is demeaning to any potential leader. We need a leader confident that they will be respected as the new, elected leader of UKIP. If Nigel comes back as a grandee of some sort, brilliant, but we must build and go forward, not mark time. There’s so much to do, and I totally agree with the comment that we must start behaving like a single party, after the Conference, we need to be confident, polished and credible.

  10. I agree with Paul Icini’s comments, particularly about Diane James. We desperately need to heal the Party’s self-inflicted wounds and would do that most effectively by getting behind Diane and giving her a massive majority which leaves no doubt in anybody’s mind that she has the support of the grassroots.

    Other matters such as reform of the NEC are for another day and I do not support holding an EGM.

    • Appalled by Mike Munford’s suggestion of deliberately setting out to elect a ‘caretaker’ leader on the off-chance Nigel may decide he’d like to return one day, in his own time, and on his own terms. A candidate prepared to accept such terms would inevitably result in the election of a leader few could respect and the Party would stagnate and dwindle because he/she would lack the authority to oversee and effect the change so clearly needed.

      Let us build on our achievements by holding the Government’s nose to the grindstone and ensuring, as far as we are able, that the wishes of a clear majority of those who voted to leave the EU are honoured.

    • It would have been nice to see and hear Diane James at the very first Hustings held on Monday 8th August in Gateshead, but she wasn’t there. Neither was Liz Collins because she attended an NEC meeting instead. Why the NEC arranged their meeting on the first day of the Hustings is one question. The other question is why Liz Collins blew out the North East in favour of attending the NEC meeting.
      Diane, apparently, was in France, either ‘stuck there’ or ‘dealing with family problems’, depending on whose version we heard. But she did not send a personal message of apology for her absence.
      It would be good if she addressed the readership of ukipdaily as Jonathan Arnott has done in the last few days, and the same goes for the other candidates.

    • Ms. James doesn’t have the mind or the personality required for the role.

    • MARIE : do you know what Diane J’s policies are on the matters I listed ?
      Perhaps you could tell us ( in the absence of any statement from the lady herself ) ?

      Education / Housing ( and the necessary incursion into the Green Belt ; allowing 4 storey builds as normal ) / Immigration / Taxation ????

  11. The membership want Nigel back and thy are right. Nigel will come back (in his own time) if he is given carte blanche to run the party effectively in the way he thinks best. Our vote should go to whichever candidate recognises this and states explicitly that he/she will stand aside for Nigel if he can be persuaded to return.

  12. Nothing wrong with any of the candidates on the ballot, they are all capable of holding doing top jobs, except that only one can unite the party and that’s Diane James. We do clearly need reform, the foolishness of Hamilton leading Welsh Assembly members, The Woolfe affair, Suzanne and Carswell doing their own thing, Lisa thinking she will boost our electoral hopes and the Oakden dating site exposure and so on must stop.
    Without our branches we are nothing and judging from the depth of feeling in my own, it’s time we started to understand there are different opinions within the party, which is fine but the way to promote them is through debate, not “office politics”, press briefings or manuvering at head office. The grassroots are thoroughly sick of working our socks of only to be smeared by other parties due to the amateur behaviour of a few individuals. How can we criticise Remainers for throwing their toys from the pram when some of our own leadership do the same ?

    Nigel is impossible to replace but we desperately need to get behind the best leader we can find, support him or her fully and keep any differences of opinion within our party. The national conference is the place to debate policy, not the media.

    The NEC is now past it’s sell by date, the bulk of the party don’t know who these people are, a committee from each region, who can take decisions based on common sense and must go home and justify their actions to local members afterwards, seems the way forward.
    Whatever happens, we need unity, some self discipline is essential if we’re to prosper, so let’s have this sorted now and after the conference and the election, start behaving like a single party, not the proverbial herd of cats.

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