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UKIP – we have a problem …

During these last two weeks, many and various reports and comments by UKIP members in social media and on websites have illustrated some issues which I find very worrying indeed. 

The issue of the the whole Leadership campaign from the 31st of July onwards, the issue of the NEC, the issue of the Hustings now underway: all of that is worrying. There is however one aspect which connects them all, like a red thread. It is how we, the members, have been treated by those whom we have elected and those we employ to run the Party – and I don’t mean just the NEC. The one, crucial aspect is that, and how much, we, the members, the Purple Army, have been and are being kept in the dark.

It is unacceptable that members learn of resignations or of accusations of ‘dark forces’ in articles from alternative news sites. Anodyne ‘newsletters’ by Party Chairmen, or little articles on the official website which read more like official press releases than information for members, are not sufficient when there are rumours flying about, some unsubstantiated, some very much substantiated. Worse – it seems as if not just we ordinary footfolk have not been told about things we ought to know, so have those we elected to run things, like the NEC.

It is unacceptable that only those with twitter accounts – which many of us do not have for valid reasons – were able to learn about the Woolfe rejection, which must have been leaked from inside UKIP Head Office before the official announcement. Leaking is a well-used instrument of party politics, honed to perfection by Blair’s government …

I must be very naive, but I thought UKIP was better than that!

Even more damaging to the Party is the suppression of news about acts by people who seem to have licence to do what they want because they are closely connected to Head Office. I was staggered to receive this article, showing that some members may have had this information while the majority is still kept in ignorance. For me, the key sentence in that post is:

“[…]extraordinarily in UKIP, [the panel] released the report of the hearing. The panel chairman’s report makes damning reading of what happened.”

Wouldn’t it have been easy to write in the newsletter the Chairman e-mails to members that ‘such-and-such panel has sat and released a report, here is the link’? Or must we ordinary members wait until this report is also leaked and finds its way into the MSM, like this about one of Nigel Farage’s aides being arrested in the USA, which ‘graced’ the headlines in two papers today, see here and here?

Clearly, there are leaks to the MSM coming from inside Head Office. The events of the last few weeks have shown that. Are we to believe that it is better for UKIP to keep the members in the dark, in the hope that the MSM won’t find out, and that it is better for the Party to let members, kept wilfully ignorant, defend the indefensible until the next MSM smear bomb, even if it leaves all of UKIP with egg on their faces?

Let’s consider this mess from another angle: many members are now clamouring for a “5 star”, “Direct Democracy” Party. How can this work if people are not well informed? How can this work if even a governing body like the NEC is kept in ignorance? How can this work if one needs to have a twatter account to follow all those who know something, or leak and hint, only giving ‘news’ in order to ‘enthuse’ the masses, but never telling the whole truth? Are we to assume that there won’t be a Head Office any longer, that no leaks will occur and that everybody will behave perfectly? Astonishing!

Some of the blame for the dire situation we’re in however does fall on us. How many of us knew the exact procedure to call for an EGM and how long it takes to arrange one? How many piled in on websites after having seen tweets by certain people, demanding an EGM or else? How many blithely skimmed over the explanations by Jonathan Arnott (here)? How many did actually vote last year for the new NEC members, on the postal ballot sent out to all members? Well?

And so to the next, vital question: where in all this is the leadership so many members are calling for?

The handful of Leadership candidates? The reports from the hustings are not encouraging, their format having been prescribed by Head Office. It’s as if candidates and Head Office are trying to convince the London media of their credentials, not us members!

But we do have others, don’t we – so where are they? Have they all gone on holidays? Isn’t Nigel still Leader until the next one has been elected? Isn’t Paul Nuttall still Deputy Leader? Why are they so ominously silent?

The EU Referendum has shown that winning elections or a referendum means having boots on the ground. Twitter and facebook ‘likes’ do not translate into votes nor into leafletting, into manning street stalls, into doing the nitty-gritty work necessary. A new, online-only Party won’t win elections, not here in the UK.

Far more importantly – UKIP is nothing without us, the foot soldiers, the Purple Army. Forget that fact, leave us behind to create a ‘modern, online-only’ entity, and all of us will lose, Party and Country. It would be a betrayal not only of all of us loyal members, of the Party we love, the Party we joined, the Party which won the EU Referendum, but also of all of those who voted in the Referendum for Brexit.

Anyone going down that route must realise that this is exactly what the Establishment wants: the ‘modern’ way of finally killing UKIP.

Are we really going to let that happen?

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About Vivian Evans (241 Articles)
Vivian is a UKIP patron, Vice Chair of UKIP Cardiff and Editor in Chief of UKIP Daily

38 Comments on UKIP – we have a problem …

  1. Nigel’s moustache looks like a hybrid of that of Alf Garnet and Omar Sharif’s, just an observation.

  2. Right, so who has frightened Jonathon Arnott off then? I was just beginning to think of voting for him! I hope nobody else is going to be bullied out of going A.W.O.L, or is Steven Wolfe going to replace him?!

  3. News just in:
    Jonathan Arnott has stepped down from the leadership campaign:

    http://www.jonathanarnott.co.uk/2016/08/statement-on-the-ukip-leadership-election/

  4. Alan Piper - 2015 PPC // August 15, 2016 at 10:36 am // Reply

    I hadn’t realised this site was separate to the party and am grateful for it. Thank you Vivian and co.
    May I suggest The common threads in all these emails is the frustration caused by the lack of coherent leadership added to the lack communication with and involvement of the membership.

    I mention it because the latter is more frustrating than the former yet, with one exception, the former is taking precedence in the far from perfect husting process.

    The exception for me is Jonathon Arnott. As the ex general secretary he knows more than anyone about the imperfections in the party’s management structure and communication strategy and has made reorganising that his stated priority.

    He can only achieve that if he is made leader and personally I agree with the earlier comments that rate the substance of party reorganisation over the photogenic qualities of the next leader, who’s relevance may be fleeting without the reorganisation we all seek.

    In the current mess I suggest that Nigel’s boots are too big for any candidate to fill and that if reorganising the party is the memberships priority, they should vote accordingly.

    And for the record I have never met JA but do remember his informative communications from the centre before he became an MEP.

  5. Paula, what is so scary in the guardian today? I cannot see that much or anything that refers to the candidates.

    There is just the article about Steven Wolfe, and I happen to agree with it now. I think we have to let go the idea of adding him to the list, it would no longer look legitimate. After all, there is no reason why he cannot be given a prominent position in the new leadership team, but we cannot keep harping on about so called grievances we feel have been made against him.

    I think also he should now accept the decision and not bear ‘sour grapes’, perhaps he already has as I have not seen much from him recently.

  6. Please read the article in the Guardian online today. UKIP cannot survive this. At least two candidates need to step down and the rest should have the grace to allow Steven back on the ballot. We can then have a truly democratic vote. Let the members decide who leads UKIP. Meanwhile, join the Wolfe pack on facebook

    • NEC members are the directors of UKIP Ltd and the behaviour of board members is circumscribed by company and administrative law. The candidates hand over £5K each under published rules and there is then a contract with UKIP Ltd. Sentiment from members cannot overrule that. Woolfe’s local computer problem that persisted for 17 minutes could have been leniently treated – no member would have minded – but the threat of potentially expensive legal action does explain why the NEC voted to exclude Woolfe. There are still some questions though. Who were the two candidates who were so churlish over 17 minutes? Why were they privy to the potential effect of those 17 minutes before the NEC voted and so able to influence the decision with threats? Why did the NEC take the threats seriously? (Did any candidate really think they had any future in the party if they took it to court over a mere 17 minutes? It costs money to go to the High Court and I would have questioned their resolve.)
      But it is not just two candidates and the NEC that are issue. It is just odd that the candidate rated as front runner by the bookies should have left things to the last minute. He was the first to hold a launch event and presumably had no difficulty getting 50 nominations. He even has staff to help or other supporters to help. It cannot be nominations that held things up nor as a well paid MEP is it likely to be getting hold of the £5K. So why wasn’t his submission made weeks earlier around the time of the launch? And why did Diane leave it until two days before deadline to start gathering nominations? Two `front runners’ have behaved in an anomalous way and I do not see that the NEC is the sole villain in all this. How late could Woolfe be? Could he be completely cavalier and have submitted on Monday morning? Would the NEC still be vilified?
      All this comes against a background in which the leader, deputy leader and chairman resign more or less simultaneously. The captain and lieutenants walk off the bridge and leave the crew floundering. I am not impressed. While I do not approve of witch hunts, lynch mobs, and leaks – all a contempt of ordinary members – the current furore does expose what the Editor-in Chief’s excellent article highlights: a disconnect between the higher ups and the rest of the party. But this is not the fault of the NEC nor did it originate with them. The Chairman expected board members to do his bidding unquestioningly and so nullify the point of a board. And the NEC were not rspsonsible for Carswell. Remember, Nigel never took him on publicly. He didn’t call him out, he didn’t challenge him to public debate, and blaming others for what he couldn’t do is not persuasive. The fact is Woolfe screwed up, the NEC may have done also (at least politically), the higher ups have screwed up in the timing of their resignations, and now we hear that two candidates acted with self-interest without regard for the wider interest of the members. It’s a right royal screw up all round. Well done everyone.

  7. I too would like to add to the comments commending this site, and how I also found it by accident. But find it much more interesting reading the sensible comments made by the more ‘ordinary’ members of the party.

    The main thing seems to be we have left our egos behind, perhaps the ‘higher ups’ ought to take notice. After much thought I think I have now decided which candidate I am going to vote for, but I have to say it is not with great enthusiasm which is quite sad.

    However, I must also add that I am becoming quite concerned that Nigel Farage is taking all the glory for winning the referendum. It may just be the way it is being reported so I will give him the benefit of the doubt, but it appears he did it all on his own! Well, we all know this is not true, obviously I do not want to take too much away from him and maybe I might feel different if he was staying on, but he and the top brass did have a bit of help from the foot soldiers and others outside the party.

    Also, when Paul Nuttall said he was worried about the party breaking apart I thought it was a bit rich when he also seemed to be running away, what’s up with them? We should all be sticking together to create a credible party for the future, otherwise the leader we choose will have nothing left to lead.

  8. @StoutYeo. I can’t disagree about the danger of the media but this has been brewing for a long time. In truth, it’s probably the best time to get it over with. As for Diane holding meetings rather than attending the Hustings, have you seen the comments on the hustings events so far held ?
    There is no way I could to get to one of those listed anyway, it would involve overnight accommodation and far too much time, maybe I’ll get lucky and see her nearer home, the other candidates could easily hold their own meetings too.
    Woolfe, Evans, and Duffy I have heard speak and met, James is well known nationally. The others I know only what’s in their brief CV in the media and on UKIP sites. I may never get to question them. How come the party are not videoing the hustings for U tube ?
    Look guys, the Tories are just pretending to be united, Labour are exploding, it’s not unreasonable, post referendum, that our party should take a good hard look at itself too. Especially the fallings out and manoeuvring at the top, just where folk should know better.
    Perhaps I could have lived with Evans, if she was a little less Tory centre, Paul would have been ideal, Carswell will always do his own thing and so long as he tones things down a little, that’s fine too. We are or should be a wide church.
    Let’s get the new leader in place, he/she can influence the EGM, which now looks unavoidable anyway, sort out governance and move forward… and please– all those MEPs, restrict yourselves to standing for Westminster in your own areas, don’t squabble over the limited party jobs that will be available if you’re not happy with the cards circumstances give you.

  9. A new member says that she is “totally confused with all that is going on”. Then please take a look at therightwaycampaign.wordpress.com revealing the underlying problem and answer.

  10. Have the EGM and lance the boil, it seems that sufficient branches will insist anyway. Leave the leadership contest to run it’s course, get behind whoever is elected and persuade them to include as many different views as possible in their team, then insist they all get behind agreed party policies ( right now that’s the 2015 manifesto).
    There will be other leadership elections and debates on policy but we MUST have only one party. These squabbles have to cease, they put at risk years of hard work and not inconsiderable cash from many activists. No more Prima Donnas or carpet baggers please.

    • A contestable EGM overlapping a leadership contest as we approach a conference with lynch mobs on social media while leader and deputy leader walk way at the same time is not a recipe for “only one party”. Diane James now holding a series of events and by-passing official hustings. It just gets better and better.

  11. I personally do not like what is going on in UKIP since the referendum.
    I don’t know what is going on in UKIP now.
    And the latter largely explains the former.
    Without doubt, some of this is down to the fact that UKIP is still a new party and is in its relatively formative years. This current ‘sorting out’ may prove decisive as to whether UKIP evolves further, or vaporises. I hope for the former, but there seem to be many human frailties at play here, including self interest, ego, leftist type ‘I am right and anybody who does not agree with me is wrong’ attitude, and possibly even what I call ‘careerism’.

    • Indeed – this rise of what you call ‘careerism’ is worrying. It’s been cloaked with the nice label “professionalism”, but one of the arguments ordinary members have made again and again is that we are not professional politicians, that professional politicians with no previous life and work experience outside politics, like so many MPs, is what got us into this mess in the first place.
      We have a fight on our hands, and it’s not just about who should be our next Leader or who should be on the NEC.

      • Vivian my very brief sojourn in politics has been something of a steep learning curve and to be frank, in the last few weeks, seems near vertical! I’m used to the business model based on a feudal structure. Bluntly put, one does one’s job or gets fired. Now I find myself in political la la land where it seems to me that once elected someone can pretty much do as they please or even do nothing at all and keep the job until voted out! My take on this is we need to be sooo careful who we vote into positions of power and need to be especially wary of these careerist types who say whatever needs to be said to get elected. Rotten apples, closet Marxists, plants from other parties …
        When hiring I’ve always looked carefully at curriculum vitaes to weed out the chancers. Methinks when voting for a candidate we should see ourselves as hiring which is way different to voting in an ordinary election.

        • Good points!
          We also need to stop this pandering to the London media, for example judging a candidate only as to his or her abilities to stand up to the BBC or ‘look good’ on telly.

  12. Whisper it but UKIP super activists number no more than 10,000. We punch well above our weight but can be no serious match yet against the countless Corbyn Culottes and the aging but still powerful 100,000 tory home guard.
    We who have given up masses of time and money in the last 3-4 years must support the insupportable and button our lips. We have already tasted the sweet glory of the 23 June and more is to come. It is a shame the way things are but with time and persistence we can reform the Movimiento. At the moment our role has to be that of a division of Guards divided geographically as Anglia, Mercia, Lancaster, York, Wessex etc. United in our loyalty to our country our sacred yet defiled land.Destiny beckons,the Libdems are determined to self destruct through increasing irrelevance and pointless dogooderism. The Labour Party is engaged in a complete civil war which will consume the party for years to come. Speaking from the North of England in a BREXIT stronghold I can confirm that at last the working class obedience to their party is at an end. Give them a chance and 30-59% of them will vote UKIP in the coming years so long as we are perceived to be sensible and united. We all have the opportunity to write to the MEPs in their area and politely but firmly and in privacy state that things must change. The days of doglike deference are over for ever. Witness the events in Spain, Italy, Denmark, Austria, and in their own way the Visegrad group. At most we are 5 years away from the collapse of the €uro. We need to be ready to announce to our fellow countrymen “We told you so”.

    • Great points! It would be a great pity (to say the least) if we lost this vital battle because some inside the Party want UKIP to become like the old establishment parties.
      The points you make illustrate precisely why an exclusively online ‘party’ won’t work. UKIP has always been ‘our’ Party, not that of Head Office. That’s why we must fight the attempts to turn us into a purple, Tory&Labour “Lite entity.

  13. As a new member I am totally confused with everything that’s going on. The depressing thing is that when I joined it took ages, because so many others were also signing up, apparently. (Immediately after the referendum, I felt supporting and voting wasn’t enough any more, I wanted to give money and join what I thought was a party for the people who had been so brave and voted Leave). I am worried that other new members are equally out on a limb.
    I don’t know the qualifications of the NEC members, about whom long term members are exercised at the moment, I gather that there may be new NEC members shortly voted for by UKIP members, and I will be equally at sea.
    Click Regional Organiser on the UKIP Wales page and it’s blank. Apparently there isn’t anyone in my area (Brecon & Radnor) but I haven’t been contacted by anyone at all. I am not very tech savvy, and no Facebook or Twitter, so it’s very hard to feel I am actually a member of anything.
    UKIP Daily is fantastic, and my lifeline to the party, and someone else has commented on here that this could be the vehicle to connect us all, and where future Leadership candidates could tell us, as Johnathon has done, how they would lead the party.
    But putting all that together would be a tremendous amount of work for Vivian, I fear.
    Lastly, I don’t understand how we have lost the Leader, Deputy Leader and Chairman in one go so soon after a UKIP triumph. Surely Paul Nuttall could have filled the gap until the conference. From reading comments and articles it seems that UKIP is rudderless at the top, but with so many members willing it to survive, as I do.
    Thanks, Vivian, for UKIP Daily.

    • Dee, your example is another point to the problem UKIP has. I remember well my first tentative steps after joining, and how I had no idea about anything relating to the local and regional structure. That is indeed something which must be addressed.

      As for UKIP Daily – it was set up and organised by someone else, and it is by no means a one-woman-band! I’m a late-comer, having been invited to join the four other duty editors at the beginning of this year, and then been invited to take over the role and work of Editor-in-Chief six months ago.
      We’re all volunteers, and UKIP Daily is independent of UKIP Head Office as our logo shows, and we rely on ordinary members or those sympathising with the aims of UKIP to send us articles and letters to publish.
      UKIP Daily is a forum for debate amongst ourselves, so – shameless promotion! – all of you who write such brilliant, long comments: you can write,obviously, so why not submit an article to widen the debate?

    • Dee
      I have been a member since 2013 and I am just as at sea on all this as yourself.
      I also am totally puzzled as to why someone like Paul Nuttall has not stepped in to be the media face of UKIP in the interim.
      Not to mention I have no idea why he is not standing for the Leadership himself.
      Various shenanigans are reported in today’s MailonSunday website all of which are bad news for UKIP.
      I note that ( according to the Mail but I have also been told this from another source I am not at liberty to reveal ) that Diane James is the current Head Office / Nigel Farage favourite for Leader : well that might have been a recommendation, if only she had shown herself to the Membership at Hustings and elsewhere with a coherent, persuasive programme of Policies.
      As to the merits ( or otherwise if you see what Nigel F is quoted as saying about them ) of the NEC members I have no direct knowledge.
      But I am persuaded that the current method for electing them ( which is a national postal ballot on the basis of a few lines they can each write about themselves in the relevant edition of INDEPENDENCE, the UKIP members’ magazine ) appears to be democratic, but in practice is not, because members seem to vote on name recognition rather than for candidates who may have a lot to offer but whom they do not know.
      THAT is why I ( and I am not the only one ) believe it would be much more democratic if NEC members were elected in each Region ( still by postal ballot ) after a proper Hustings in each region which the membership would more easily be able to attend. Further, because the paperwork would only have to be distributed within each Region each candidate could set out their experience and preferred policies at some length, in documentation which could be sent to the region’s members, as well as on relevant websites.
      Who can say for sure, but if after a reform of this kind we still ended up with an NEC which was not representative of the generality of the membership then I don’t know what !
      By the way, if you agree that this would be a good way forward, nothing to stop you trying to get a motion passed at your Branch urging this reform, and communicating same to the current party Chairman paul.oakden@ukip.org
      For that matter, nothing to stop any of us as individuals from communicating such sentiment direct to Mr Oakden, in the absence of time to organize Branch meetings prior to the Conference in Bournemouth.
      It IS all v. worrying, but we can only do each our little bit whilst we wait to see what transpires between now and Conference. For what it is worth I feel let down by certain senior members of UKIP, but there is zero indication that any of them read UKIPDAILY ( the sole candidate who has posted here to date has been Jonathan Arnott – so he would be the exception ) .

      • Dear Rhys, Thank you so much! So we have a party magazine called Independence and a real live party chairman with an email address! At last something I, as a bemused new member can make some sense of. Perhaps new members should have some kind of welcome pack sent to their email addresses, tailored to their geographical address. At the very least it should have a link to UKIP Daily which is my lifeline to UKIP. I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

        • Independence Magazine is a one way street. Communicating with party officials by email is potentially disastrous. Imagine 10,000 members email the chairman and expect individual personalised replies. I’ve seen members complain that their email was not answered. No explanation of why they think the chairman works 24 hrs a day.
          The solution is UKIP DAILY. Our officials should be mandated to read it and the comments to see what issues are worrying members. Those of them that do not do that already should be called out for contemptuous lack of interest in the prime members forum.

  14. Schrödinger's cat // August 13, 2016 at 3:07 pm // Reply

    Viv is absolutely correct here.

    The lesson to take away from the referendum result is that it is the little people who ultimately call the shots.

    This applies to all parties but, with UKIP supporters, it is axiomatic. This is because those who voted for the party, myself included, cut themselves adrift from years of association from the main parties. That does take considerable resolve.

    Ignore them and they will more than get you back. Because they have taken the trouble to think about things rather than continuing to behave tribally.

    Never mess with the little people!

    • Just so!
      All those chairmen, leaders, party heads should remember the last line of Kipling’s poem “Tommy”: ‘And Tommy ain’t no blooming fool – you bet that Tommy sees!’
      The EU Referendum result should’ve had alarm bells ringing in Party headquarters. Apparently, they haven’t rung loud enough yet.

  15. To my mind, Twitter is like a game of Chinese Whispers and completely unreliable; that’s why I don’t bother with it. I don’t understand why the hierarchy does not employ ukipdaily as a noticeboard for all members, advertising and promoting it as such in order to dispense with hearsay, and to present news and information from the horse’s mouth. Then the membership will actually know what’s going on instead of having to learn of it secondhand from newspapers or online sites. The leadership candidates could reach more of the members than any Hustings can, setting out their policies and strategies in detail long before the voting papers are sent out.
    THIS site should be our online presence to communicate with members nationwide. We certainly do not want a ‘modern online party’. Nothing can replace branch meetings, regional and national conferences and the physical work of electioneering in teams of people who know and trust and co-operate with each other.

    • I couldn’t agree more! Nothing can replace the enthusiasm and the amount of work of ordinary members. It was that, and that alone, which made and hopefully makes UKIP successful.
      An online party would lose all that. The analysis of the Remain loss surely illustrates this. And haven’t we all experienced that person-to-person interactions in one’s community is more effective than all the glossy leaflets or indeed twitter and Facebook ‘likes’ when campaigning?

    • I certainly think UKIPDAILY needs to be more widely known.
      I came across it only by accident : long may it thrive in its present incarnation.
      However, there could be dangers in any kind of formal alliance / agreement with the official party HQ. The official Party has its own website already.
      The benefit of UKIPDAILY is that it is broadly supportive of the Party in general terms, but editorially independent : thus criticisms ( always constructive, I hope ) of the Party can be tolerated.
      There is nothing to stop the offical Party Leadership / MEPs et al from joining in with ( polite, constructive ) discussion !
      I hope that UKIPDAILY will somehow be given a boost at Conference : perhaps readers / contributors can indicate if they will be at Bournemouth mid September ?

      • I’m going to be in Bournemouth for the Conference and I’d like to meet other contributors to ukipdaily. Problem is, I’ve never been to the Bournemouth venue before and wouldn’t know what meeting point to suggest.
        Is there anyone who does?

        • It’s not confirmed yet, but we’re hoping to get a room for a ‘fringe meeting’ for all UKIP Daily contributors, commentors and readers on the afternoon of Friday 16th.
          Once we’ve got the confirmation, I’ll publish an announcement.

  16. Thank you, Viv.

  17. The machinery of professional politics and the people that inhabit it is usually an ugly business I’m afraid, & any idea that UKIP is different will swiftly be dispelled by writing to most of UKIP’s senior figures and trying to engage them on a subject they’re not personally interested in.

  18. It’s a bit like Yugoslavia; Tito died and the lid came off. Nigel and Crowther resign and …. which is not to say the way they ran UKIP should continue. The sudden departure of the two at the same time was irresponsible in my view. The captain and his lieutenant walked off the bridge and left the crew floundering. There appears to have been no planning for the change in culture that would entail, no preparation of the members, and the lack of transparency continues. Which individual or individuals decided the current rules for holding hustings? A commentator called Squirrel explains on Guido: “Very disappointing leadership hustings yesterday at the Unity Hall, Wakefield. Two candidates, Diane James and Liz Jones, simply didn’t show up at all. What doomed proceedings was the format. There was no opportunity to directly question candidates. After the speeches everything stopped while we were made to queue up to give written questions. When things started again a selection of vetted questions were presented to selected candidates. That candidate then had two minutes to respond, usually drifting off the subject anyway. Other candidates then had the opportunity for a thirty second soundbite, utterly preventing the issue being explored. However, this didn’t matter as audience participation was entirely prevented, resulting in increasing mutterings of discontent and a number of irate hecklers.
    Ultimately the hustings were a farce. Candidates who must go up against hostile crowds in public life were not given the slightest opportunity to test their mettle in the context of a largely supportive audience. Seeing how candidates perform under pressure was the only point of this event. As it was, it was pointless any of us being there. Every candidate expressed their discontent with the hustings format after the event was over, complaining that the format had been imposed by UKIP head office, something I was disturbed and discouraged to learn. Anyway, for people thinking of going to other hustings, I’d suggest checking with the organisers first to see if it will be a real debate with proper open floor questions. If not, save your petrol money and give it a miss.”
    The view by some at the top appears to have been that ordinary members are solely for paying subscriptions, acting as doorstep foot soldiers,ratifying pre-determined policies, and occasionally electing NEC members (how many now howling about the NEC voted?). Head Office behaviour, in which we are so grudgingly informed of anything at all, suggests an elitist disdain for members. So ironic, so EU!
    The immediate issue is electing a new leader and everything else ought to wait on that. If only the six candidates would issue a joint statement asking members to desist from witch hunts and fomenting dissent until a leader is in place with each promising members an opportunity to voice their concerns and to listen. Out of that some revised structure would emerge that might allow the party to turn to its mission of Brexit and to domestic policies.

    • It’s indeed ironic, this appearance of disdain for the foot soldiers shown by some at head office. One cannot help but wonder if we again see the saying about power corrupting been played out. And yes – it is ‘so EU’, I like that comparison!

    • Three years ago an ally of Cameron allegedly called Tory Party activists: …mad, swivel-eyed loons. I wonder how the UKIP elite regard their members?

      I have recently returned to UKIP Daily. Following the closure some time ago of the members forum, this site seemed to become more of a propaganda site for sheep like members to follow, where there appeared to be little room for open debate in the comments area. That seems to have changed now. Well done and thank you

  19. Leaks happen in most organisations and are not entirely avoidable. However, I wrote some days ago about the need for due diligence in selection of the leadership candidates.

    I should have written “selection of all officials”. UKIP as a “new” party is extremely vulnerable to leaked information whether correct or not and cannot afford an enemy within.

    It would be well to remember that the establishment will stop at nothing to destroy the party.

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