Conference may be over, but the events which took place there are by no means done and dusted. The first letter is by our contributor Stout Yeoman. He takes aim at those inside the Party who started the ball rolling by using the ‘Nazi’ label first:
I have been appalled at senior members of UKIP bandying about terms like `racists’ and `Nazi’. It is an elementary rule of politics that you do not use your opponent’s language lest you validate their choice of terms and so by implication their charges against you.
But our politicians appear more self-serving than aware politically. The current bizarre turn of events began last June with Bill Etheridge claiming `neo-Nazis’ were joining UKIP and he was followed by Jim Carver and David Coburn banging on about the `far right’ and `Islamophobia’ in the party. Just bizarre. The left can take a break from calling us names as we are now doing it to ourselves.
I wrote to Bill asking 1) what is a neo-Nazi exactly? 2) how do I spot one? and 3) what should I do if I do happen to come across one? To date, no helpful reply. I am upset about that because I was at Torquay ever alert to the possible presence of Nazis but unable to identify them.
From memory, I believe Nazis and the far right can at times be intolerant thugs. The only candidates for that I know of……oh my god …. is Etheridge and Coburn. Gosh what cunning they have to throw us off the scent by pointing the finger first. The devils. It’s still not clear what we should do about intolerant thugs though. Chuck ’em out I say.
Respectfully, Stout Yeoman
The second letter is by our contributor Tomasz Slivnik, who takes a critical look at how that new logo came into being:
Why were we asked at the conference to vote on rebranding the Party? Why was a rebranding necessary? We were offered to vote on two new versions of the logo – but were not given the option to keep the original branding. I don’t like either new logo and virtually every member I have spoken to does not like them either. The £ sign was a very identifiable brand. Ask the voters what the Conservative Party logo is, and they don’t know. Labour? They don’t know. But everybody recognizes the £ sign as UKIP’s logo.
By dropping the £ sign, was Steve Crowther deliberately playing into the hands of Michael Heseltine, who has told us that not only would Britain stay in the EU, but would also adopt the Euro? If so, who is he really working for?
There are a lot of downsides to changing the brand. What are the upsides? What do the two new brands have in common that makes them better than our original branding? What common message or vision do they convey? The answer is nothing, and none.
If there were any benefits to be had from the rebranding, we would have been presented both alternatives months before we had to make a decision. We would have been given time for a consultation, time to give feedback. There would have been time to point out that the lion logo was a rip-off of the Premier League logo (is Crowther trying to commemorate all our professional footballers and their uncanny ability to fail to score an open goal and run back across the field to score an own goal instead?). The new Leader would have been given the opportunity to provide his input. Instead, he was deliberately pre-empted by forcing the change through just before (only hours before) he was elected. Such substantive change is ultra vires what an Interim Leader should properly be doing.
Instead of being given time, we were presented with two options to vote on with no advance notice at all. One option was clearly a decoy – we were not meant to vote for it; we were meant to vote for the lion instead, which everyone of course duly did. So that the appearance of the members having been consulted can be maintained. But this appearance is a farce. If there really was a consultation of the members, the option to maintain the status quo would have to have been offered, and our input and feedback would have been sought in advance of the vote.
This is yet another example of Steve Crowther showing his utter contempt for democracy, for the members and for those legitimately empowered to make the decisions on the Party’s behalf. It also is another example of his propensity to usurp decision making powers from those legitimately entitled to them. So long as he remains close to the levers of power in this Party, he will continue this usurpation.
I hope that Henry Bolton and the NEC – on behalf of us members – reverse the rebranding decision and this coup by Steve Crowther, and take whatever action is necessary to put Crowther back in his box. Otherwise, he will continue to undermine the party, the members and the new Leader.
Respectfully, Tomaž Slivnik