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UKIP Newport (South) Branch meeting hosting Henry Bolton

+=+ UPDATED WITH A COMMENT BY VIV EVANS +=+

The UKIP Newport (South Wales) Branch hosted a ‘Meet the Leader’ evening where UKIP members had a chance to hear the views and plans of Mr. Henry Bolton OBE and to ask questions to him about current and future issues.

Following a welcome from the Newport Chairman, Stan Edwards, where concern was raised about miscommunication from UKIP Head Office and declining membership levels Mr. Bolton addressed those present speaking clearly and confidently on pertinent points that both the Party and the country are facing.

Henry started with his concerns regarding the Permanent Structured Cooperation (PESCO) agreement and the Space and Research packages that the UK leads within the European community. He spoke about how concessions were being made by the current Government which meant that certain facets in the UK would continue to be ran by the EU, even post-Brexit.

Talks of ‘threats of rebellion’ within the current Conservative Party continue to loom over the UK’s Brexit plan(s) and Mr. Bolton was keen for the UKIP to be ready for action and ‘fighting fit’ with members ready to get up and be active. This is a whole party endeavour and to do his part as the Leader he stated that he is acutely aware of the finance and communication (both internal and external) issues. To help overcome these there is a new Communications team to be set up shortly to make UKIP a cohesive party and one with a correct corporate identity. This should include a revamp of the websites, email system as well as better external media relations –exposure by Mr. Bolton, on national media, will be more visible in the near future too.

Henry advised members that he has been working hard to get core factors arranged within the party since his election victory and is keen to set up some new initiatives up and running, including:

  • Save Our Services (SOS) Campaign. This will be launched on Thursday (16thNov) focusing on those who dedicate their working careers to looking after all of us. It will look at the factors and causes of specific human costs, stress, suicide, retention issues etc… as well as looking at sensible and thought-out options to reverse cuts to Services. It is a chance for UKIP to state their commitment to secure ourselves at home and overseas.
  • Local Govt. Elections Support Teams. This should be announced shortly (Henry did say today – 14thNov)and will look at the party policies, manifestos, literature and candidate preparation.
  • Brexit Campaign Team. Henry admitted that as a party we do not have a ‘fit for purpose’ plan and this is to be looked at to ensure that UKIP have a strong voice ‘Through Brexit and Beyond’.

 

Mr. Bolton spoke about his Welsh roots and spoke highly about Wales, its uniqueness in politics. He spoke about the political passion in Wales and reiterated his ideal for cohesion:

“Wales has a very distinct character and identity. “Also we have the Assembly here which has aspects which require a particular approach. It’s not always appropriate to dictate too much from the centre.”

Although former Ukip Wales leader Nathan Gill still represents the party for Wales in the European Parliament, in the Senedd he sits as an Independent. Mr. Bolton said this made the organisation of the party in Wales “untidy” and said he hoped to resolve this.

He received a rapturous applause when he stated that UKIP (nationally) must not interfere in local branch matters but advise and support better.

Henry also responded to Stan Edwards’ point of membership levels by stating that both in Wales and UKIP nationally the membership figures have remained stable recently but we all do need to as much as we can to improve membership levels as subscriptions are a reliable source of income for the core budget.

Following Mr. Bolton’s address the members present were given their chance to put questions to the leader. These questions included communication issues, the UKIP logo, restructuring, governance, funding and leadership.

  • Henry spoke passionately about the need for the party to be ‘as one’ and support the ideas generated. He spoke about how the pressure was on for UKIP to get itself organised and ready for any and all opportunities.
  • The logo was a hotly discussed topic with both sides of the debate represented, Henry told the members that the way the new logo was presented to the membership was wrong and although he was currently looking at it there is a slim chance that it may change again – more in the next two weeks.
  • Governance was a key leadership pledge for Mr. Bolton and he reiterated that governance had to be done in correct stages but he would not hesitate to take disciplinary action on anyone in the Party breaking any policy, rules or regulations.
  • The new communications group would be empowered to get information and support out to the branches in a timely fashion. It is important also to deal with underlying misconceptions about the Party.
  • Additional Party funding is currently being addressed but we do need to, “Fix the leaky bucket”.
  • There are key roles in the party that are not currently filled but there is a need to get the right person in the right position soonest.

Mr. Bolton concluded the meeting with a statement reminding the members that, “the people are the party”, and the members should carry on and “do the job and spread the word”. There is a lot to do to get the Party fighting fit and as leader he is up to the task.

Neil Hamilton (AM) (Welsh UKIP leader), David Rowlands (AM) as well as former UKIP leadership candidate, Ben Walker, were also present and spoke to members once the official part of the evening closed.

Note by the E-i-C: my impressions and comments on the meeting

The meeting was an invitation-members-only meeting and was announced as ‘family meeting’. There was no media presence. It did indeed feel like ‘family’, perhaps because so many of us know each other from previous events. Joe has reported the gist of the meeting above, so allow me to add my personal impressions.

I was surprised by the atmosphere of general good will to Henry in spite of some fierce criticisms. Henry told us as much as he could about what he’s been doing. Frankly, sorting out the mess as much as possible, to then be able to launch credible and sustainable campaigns is simply common sense.

Remember the ‘OUT NOW’ campaign which was trumpeted at Conference and then vanished? Well, with an email system that is ‘shot to pieces’ according to Henry, with a membership system where members old and new still don’t get their membership cards because the ‘electronic voting’ embedded in the new ones ain’t working, with finances beyond dire, with branches in disarray – do tell how any campaign would work successfully under such conditions! So getting the basics sorted, as unglamorous and boring as it seems, is a sine-qua-non.

Putting in place a Communications team – inner-party, reaching all members, and working with UKIP Daily and ‘kippercentral’, has been one of the priorities. The other priority: the finances which are being sorted out and, I hope, we will get a report on that.

We were told that according to yesterday’s figures, the hemorrhaging of members which started after the EU referendum seems to have slowed if not stopped. To those who claim we lost members because of AMW/Henry/”nazi” smear, I’d suggest that members have left since 2016, well before this year’s leadership campaign, never mind Henry’s election. We might perhaps entertain the idea that this bloodletting is coming to an end because of Henry’s work … anathema to some, I know …

Hugh Moelwyn Hughes, to huge applause, then described a system of party governance where branches in a region work together and help each other rather than keep themselves separate and get ‘controlled’ by a Party Controller from HO.

There was unanimity that Brexit must be fought for, with Henry pointing out that we need to go a step further and start developing policies for ‘Brexit and Beyond’, because life doesn’t stop on March 30th 2019.

I was surprised to note how even fierce critics accepted the reasoning for why this work needed to been done as priority, and what still needs to be done. Anyone who reads the comment posts here might have expected resounding shouts of ‘off with his head’ and walk-outs. Why it didn’t happen – might it be that those present were all experienced activists who understood that even in UKIP politics is the art of the possible?

Personally, I think Henry’s emphatic remark that we, the members are the Party and that he and HO are there to help us, the members, achieve our aims is far more empowering than waiting for some wonderful slogan from a ‘leader’ from up high, like a crumb from the top table, and then told to go and deliver any which way we can, torn boots and no money notwithstanding …

Yes – it was a very good meeting.

 

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32 Comments on UKIP Newport (South) Branch meeting hosting Henry Bolton

  1. Nothing bout the Islamic invasion then ‘enery?

  2. HB doesnt want to confront the issue of Sharia Law succeeding English Common Law. He has said “We are bot at war with Islam”, and as UKIP supports the Royal Family and Prince Charles himself supports Islam, (remember “Defender of the faithS”?), there is no way that HB is going to make any public comments criticising Islam. He simply doesn’t recognise it as a problem, but with the most popular name for baby boys in this country being Mohammed, and 4 out of 5 babies in London being born to foreigners, sooner or later it WILL be a problem, and HB sticking his head in the sand so as not to irritate our future king, does not help. Hence the flood of resignations fom Kippers joining “4B”. (For Britain) which Lexdrum House may not publicly acknowledge but which is happening right now, nonetheless.

    • Oh give it up with Islam. We know all this and there is much that can be done but right now is not the time and outright confrontation is not the way forward. To have a party that’s viable it must be organised properly.

      Meanwhile leave Islam to AMW’s new group, according to her campaign promises she has it all worked out, you moan about Henry but I see absolutly nothing about FB in the MSM. Not exactly flooded with activists is she ? It is simply not the main issue for most of the electorate.
      We can return to sensible integration once the borders are controlled but without a strong UKIP, proper Brexit won’t happen and heavy immigration will continue.

      • Sensible integration? Is the USA a good example? I think they’ve had enough time to sort it out – not. Meanwhile Bristol is ‘the most segregated City in Britain’ according to Radio 4 this AM. Depends what interpretation one puts on ‘segregated’ I suppose. Are Oldham, Bradford, Luton ‘segregated’ or have they simply been taken over? Add London to that list please.

      • “Right now is not the time”. When will be the time, icini?

        There are currently 3.8m Muslims in Britain and they are doubling their numbers every 12 years. Because they mostly live together in Muslim areas, their Labour candidates are taking over in one constituency after another.

        This is a mirror image of UKIP’s failure to win MPs in 2015, despite our 3.8m votes, because our support was geographically dispersed. Within a very few years it will be impossible to win power without the Muslim vote. And all you say is “not now, not now.”

        • The observation about concentration/dispersal is a good one. What I am curious to understand is why UKIP have not been more successful in areas where populations who have been displaced thanks to immigration have ended up living. I know UKIP has been popular in say south Essex where a lot of people moved to from East London, but you would have thought specific areas of say Bradford would also have been fertile. Certainly one 30 year scenario is that the country Balkanises, first politically (once those muslim voters form their own political party and dump labour) and then physically as barriers are erected between the different communities, just like the so-called ‘Peace Wall’ in northern ireland. In fact, it could be said that northern Ireland is a foresight of what is possibly to come for mainland Britain, with communities separated by walls.

          • Graham, I have lived in London for many years but I was born in the West Yorkshire industrial area. From my own experience I know that the aspiration of many of those born in that same area is to move to the more residential areas outside of the Bradford/Leeds conurbation. Partly to get away from their neighbours and partly because they feel it is generally a step up in the world.

            The truth is that as with most British people everywhere, they have sold their souls for gold. What matters to them is not the ugliness that they hope to leave behind, or have already left behind, but purely and simply their own self interest.

            What concerns these people most of all is should they buy the Deluxe or the Super Deluxe version of the latest model car, and where should they go for their third exotic holiday this year.

            Yes, you are right, muslims are only using the Labour party as a temporary convenience. It is inevitable that eventually they will form their own political party and Labour will meet its nemesis.

          • “once those muslim voters form their own political party and dump labour”

            Graham,

            I agree, this will happen, it has happened in both Austria and the Netherlands, the UK will be no different. Labour are only a temporary means to an end, a hire vehicle as it were. It will happen in Sweden and Germany too, Turkish Germans are already king makers in some areas.
            I know a lot of Kippers love the idea of Proportional Representation (PR) voting, I don’t, I oppose it, and with good reason. With PR every vote counts, its a numbers game, at least with FPTP things are compartmentalized, not with PR, and the demographics statistics alone should tell anyone PR is best avoided.
            PR would result in identity politics gone mad…

        • When we again represent a threat to the old parties. No one will vote for us unless we look viable and thus we can’t do anything exempt shout and be ignored. You had better hope that Henry can pull off what he’s attempting because he is our last chance. For that reason alone he deserves our full support.

          • Icini. You say “When we again represent a threat to the old parties.” And then you say “You had better hope that Henry can pull off what he’s attempting…” It seems to me that you really aren’t all that confident.

            Regarding dealing with Islam, as Keith says, all you ever do is say that the time isn’t right. OK, so please enlighten us, exactly when WILL the time be right?

            Perhaps you have many more years in front of you, but I am 71 and at this rate it won’t be in my lifetime.

          • @Peter.UST. I’m very hopeful rather than completely confident but I will bet a penny to a pound that if Henry fails, we are done. I even have a contingency plan of sorts but it is not joining any other party.
            I have to defend my council seat in 2019 so I too can’t wait forever and you only have one year on me anyway.
            The point is we need to stop knocking the leadership, it will reduce their chance of success and the possibility of disrupting the cosy status quo that has ruled us for so many years. With that in mind I’m prepared to be patient a little longer and give Henry & Co their head.

          • “You had better hope that Henry can pull off what he’s attempting because he is our last chance.”

            icini,

            One can’t live on hope,I’m actually now in the belief UKIP is past the point of no return.
            I’m sad to say it, as a member since 2011, but HB is not the man to save UKIP, its like moving the furniture on RMS Titanic when the bow is 30 feet under water already…
            …time to man the life boat….

  3. “with an email system that is ‘shot to pieces’ according to Henry” –
    How many mailing lists are there? I’m not a UKIP member, but I did sign up on the website ‘to stay in touch’ and thus signed up for some kind of mailing list.
    I did notice during Steve Crowther’s ‘interim leader’ period, that I started receiving more emails from UKIP than normal, and some of them admittedly read as though they should have been targetted at UKIP members only (nothing overly confidential in them, just a feeling I got really). Plus, after seeing other comments here, I seemed to be receiving UKIP emails that actual members claimed they hadn’t seen.
    I was bored one day and was having a look at the Nation Builder website (which powers UKIP’s website, as well as Tommy Robinson, Rebel Media and For Britain among others) and email communications is supposed to be one of its strengths. Is UKIP’s website just not configured properly, or the people using it not familiar enough with the software to get the best out of it?
    I don’t expect anyone to answer these questions here, I’m just asking out of personal curiosity, but then in the hope that perhaps someone within the party may also ask the same questions…

    • I wouldn’t even begin to imagine what they are playing at regarding communications. I have signed up to ‘stay in touch’ (I am a member) and yet have never received any of these emails. I do get occasional letters through the post asking for donations though.

      I will let my membership lapse next year as I have come to the conclusion that renewing would just be throwing good money after bad.

    • The problem is that there is a ‘Technical Committee’ that manages such things run by a certain R McWhirter who established this committee so that he could maintain a permanent unelected position within UKIP once he was voted off the NEC. Rob lives in Switzerland and as far as I know has no background in IT. However, as a founder member of UKIP he (and others like him) do feel the party belongs to them and so create positions that allow them to rule the roost. However, from a technical perspective they are incompetent. Hence it is Rob who has been trumpeting the electronic voting for several months now and it is obvious from the article above that it is a complete failure. Actually UKIPs systems have degraded over the past few years since Rob and his committee have been in charge. The email system used to work. Unless Henry clears these people out, the permanent unelected management who seem to think they own the party and who work at the instruction of the donors rather than the members, then UKIP will continue its slide into oblivion. There is a very famous business book, “Good to Great” that gives the simple advice for any successful organisation – “Get the right people on the bus”. If HB keeps these people in charge there is no hope.

      • The Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport revealed today that the Government are prepared to issue visas to 1,000 overseas high tech entrepreneurs to show that Britain is a great place for technical start-ups. So the UK has not invested in technology to the extent that it can depend on the indigenous population to fulfil these roles. A thousand new companies that will need – how many employees to make them functional? Where will they come from? Maybe if the UK didn’t ’employ’ so many ‘performance poets’ and the like….?

    • I am led to understand that most modern systems are only as good as their IT departments. If Head Office can’t afford an IT dep’t at all, then no one could keep up. This is only what I am given to understand from a variety of sources of some experience.( two have gone back partially to paperwork with some success and considerable savings ) I’ld like to know if this is incorrect. Or is it old men interfering.

  4. Many years ago I was sometimes “parachuted” into failing companies that my bosses had bought out. The plan was to see if they could be saved or just asset stripped. When we did try to make firms into viable outfits again, the amount of time and effort was huge, as was the stress.
    I suspect that UKIP would have very obviously been a lost cause, not worth bothering with. Naturally it has to be saved, the most urgent issue was no doubt finance, developing backing and a clear income stream. That’s before even communications, the life blood of politics.
    It’s true that time’s limited but give Henry a break, he’s trying to do the near impossible and I doubt anyone who posts here could do better.
    As someoone else said, the Islam issue is a problem but it’s not THE problem, nor is anything else except for ensuring we get a proper Brexit and the only way to achieve that is a viable, electable UKIP. You can sometimes do the impossible but miracles take rather longer.

    • I agree, Islam is A problem, and while other new parties are making it THE problem, it is disappointing that UKIP has become very silent on this matter.
      Yes, of course, Brexit is a number one priority, but UKIP will not go anywhere (or become viable, electable) if it remains a single-issue party focused on that subject. No need to go on full-on attack against Islam, but please UKIP, show some concern, and start speaking out, there is a voting public out there waiting to listen.
      In my opinion there seems little point in securing Brexit and escaping the tyranny of the EU, only to find in another twelve years or so that we have to try and deal with an oppressive religious tyranny that we have allowed to become a dominant majority because no-one was prepared to ask difficult questions or confront the issue.
      Independence, from the EU and from Islam.

  5. Wot!!!!
    Not one word on Sharia law or the prospect of the sovereignty of Islam in the next 20/30 years. or the way they treat their women as second class citizens – never mind their attitude to kuffers

    Nothing on the Commonwealth and our need for it primarily as a buffer strategic trading concern to match this new hegemony that this latest Chinese leader is presently promulgating. Surely if we abandon the EU as a major trading block, then we don`t want to be trapped in the USA tentacles, then we need to have sufficient clout to stand alone from them – surely the Commonwealth is our ace in the hole.

    I agree with others who have commentated regarding immigration, correct me if I`m wrong, but apart from complete recovery of sovereignty, 17.4 million people placed that as a prime reason for leaving – towns like Coventry, Leicester, Newcastle RING A BELL

    “Save our Services” he said – for one fleeting moment I thought he meant the Navy, Army and Air Force, but my hopes were dashed – surely there is no one in UKIP better than Henry to appreciate the dreadful pass that all our services are in I`ll bet they couldn`t even rescue the Falklands again – shame!!!!!

    Oh and there`s another of my pet subjects – I rather liked Mrs May`s plans to leave us with at least £100,000 legacy for our children – I approved of Maggie`s “trickle down” policy What`s the point of enterprise without it?

    Come on Henry – there is indeed a hole in your bucket, surely you can get beyond the first chapter of the army book of inspiration and leadership

  6. About membership – members don’t resign, they let their subscription lapse. They pay annually, so it will be six months on average before UKIP membership lists could catch up. After that, UKIP give them 3 months grace to renew before counting them as lapsed. So on average, we wait 9 months before we realise they’ve gone. How anybody can estimate our current membership with any accuracy at all I cannot say.

  7. If there is not a very clear message on Mass Uncontrolled Immigration ( such as ~my preference ‘ An Immediate and Complete [ or almost complete ] Moratorium on All New Immigration from whatever source for Five years in the First Instance, whilst we try to address the dire housing situation ‘ ) then no amount of top class administration or communication or computer improvements and what not will help us get back to the hopeful days of 2014 – 15 .

    Recall, please, that the Libs probably have the very best, and most ruthless, party machine of all the parties ~both locally and nationally……… yet even they, with all the advantages of incumbency, lost very very heavily in 2015 – surely because their previous supporters considered that they had been betrayed on certain key issues such as student fees ?
    Policy really DOES matter, and if UKIP’s immigration policy ~’ It should be lower than it currently is but I am not going to specify a preferred number ‘ which is a cigarette paper difference, if that, from Government policy ~ then why should the voters in the country return to us, or join us for the first time ? WHY ?

    • I agree with you Rhys. I too would like to see the end of all immigration for the foreseeable future. Nigel ,like Anne-Marie Waters, stresses the supply and demand equation when talking about the dreadful housing situation brought about by mass immigration. Correct me if I am wrong but I’m haven’t heard Henry make use of that equation. In fact he put his foot in it with regard to immigration in my opinion on the day of the election result. He backtracked a little but hasn’t really come up with anything concrete since then that I am aware of. Could it be because of pride in wanting to be his own man and not be seen as back-pedalling that he is yet to call for a moratorium on immigration which is what the people want.

    • Henry Bolton wants to be respectable not radical. What else to know?

    • Just what we were talking about yesterday yet HB can’t see an open goal. I said it before and I’ll say it again. He just isn’t a kipper and I suspect he doesn’t really want the job.
      http://www.express.co.uk/news/uk/879728/migration-uk-crisis-housing-watch-government-number-latest-figure

  8. Sounds like Henry doesn’t want to lead from the front but rather just administrate. If I remember correctly that was one of the concerns people had against him during the campaign. Actually I’m beginning to feel a bit sorry for the membership. They are just being strung along.

  9. Could Joe Crocker tell us how many members were there please? It looks like fewer than 15 in photo 1. The members in photos 2 and 3 are sitting at the front right in photo 1.

  10. Oh dear. We are doomed. A fish rots from the head. Unless our leader finds a voice then nothing else will happen. Membership will keep falling. Revenue will keep dropping. Cuts will keep being necessary.

    We need a rallying cry, not this constantly repeated ‘the party needs to be as one’. If you want it to be as one, then inspire us, let us know you are the man that deserves to be followed. Make a passionate rabble-rousing speech that is provocative and attention seeking, take advice from Nigel on how to get attention, stage a plane crash or something.

    Only then can the virtuos circle be built; the message inspires members into action and attracts new members; member retentions and new members mean more money; more money means better structure; better structure allows message to be delivered more effectively, etc. But it all starts with a single speech!

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