Gerard Batten has sent out a missive. If you missed it, here it is:
Dear Fellow UKIP Members,
The English local election results are of course disappointing to say the least. We all knew it was going to be a difficult night but we worked and hoped for the best.
First of all let me commend and thank all our former councillors, candidates, and activists who put in so much hard work over the years for the Party and the cause we believe in. These unsung heroes and heroines sacrificed their own time, effort and money in the interests of democracy. Thanks also to all the loyal UKIP voters who stayed with us at this difficult time.
There is also some good news in this election.
A preliminary estimate of 16 councils shows UKIP achieved an average of 7.5% of the vote.
When all the results are known we hope to have achieved an average of between 5% to 7% of the vote (across the seats we contested).
If you recall, in the General Election of 2017 UKIP had sunk to just 1.8% of the vote overall or approximately 3% across the seats where we stood (378).
Recently an opinion poll for UKIP still put us on only 3% nationally (YouGov).
When all the numbers are finally crunched, if we are indeed on between 5% to 7% of the vote then this represents a definite uplift in our support.
This is significant because the percentage difference between the Conservative and Labour parties is currently running at about 5% (Cons 43% Labour 38% YouGov, April)
In a General Election, the ability to command 5% or more of the vote has a significant impact on the votes, and seats, of the Lib-Lab-Con.
That is why the political and media establishments are saying UKIP is dead. They want us dead – but UKIP is still very much alive.
Certain results deserve a special mention.
In Derby, we held a seat and won two new seats. UKIP Councillor Alan Graves held his seat on 58% of the vote, and new UKIP Councillor Paul Bettany displaced the sitting Labour leader of the council on 40% of the vote. They are obviously doing something right and the Party needs to learn from them. In the results for Redditch, Winyates ward saw UKIP with 23.2% of the vote. We are still awaiting confirmation of some results.
In Burnley, UKIP Councillor Tom Commis also won a seat – well done Tom!
Our candidates and activists in Rochdale held the Labour council to task on the Grooming Gang/Sex Slavery issue and achieved a very respectable 13.8% of the vote.
We all knew the result would be disappointing but UKIP is still in the fight. Now we have to regroup, reorganise and rethink – and come out fighting again next time.
Have a relaxing week-end and an enjoyable Bank Holiday on 7th May.
Gerard Batten MEP
Our second offering is an open letter from regular contributor Jim Makin.
Let nobody doubt the changes that Gerard has brought to our Party. The local election results were pretty poor but we were not completely wiped (work with me here…).
Gerard has done some impressive interviews recently – if only I could maintain such a relaxed and gentlemanly demeanour in the face of the media’s most cynical interviewers – and still get the replies out without hesitation deviation or repetition! He did us proud.
And yet . . .
Where are the simple concise messages that we should be declaiming to every visitor to our still woeful national web-site telling them exactly what differentiates us from the Lib-Lab-Cons?
If For Britain can do this with their eight ‘campaign priorities’ then why can we not do it even better? Surely someone can put together a similarly punchy summary within the next week or two? Our message cannot be left to go by default.
The silence of our leadership on the principles which drive us threatens to become deafening. We cannot take it for granted that everyone knows them!
I think that For Britain are on the right lines but their list is incomplete. I would add:
Restore the legal safeguards that defend our citizens from the state:
- No court cases whatever to be held in secret – this is the only real defence against the miscarriage of justice
- All cases that threaten life-changing outcomes eg: loss of liberty, taking children into care, seizure of assets (inc. Family Courts and Court of Protection) to be tried by a jury (another well established safeguard against the unreasonable application of our laws)
- An end to all extraditions in the absence of the hearing of a prima facie case by a UK court
end government by the back door
- Stop the funding of ‘charities’ which have no significant funding from public donations (eg: The Franco British Council)
- Stop the funding of ‘independent’ NGOs which cannot be independent if in receipt of Government funding
- Parliament must approve all new international treaties and all changes to existing treaties
End the delivery of services by public-private monopoly providers (an arrangement which is open to abuse)
- Services should be funded by government-issued voucher to the recipient of the service (or their representative) who should be able to choose the best provider for their own circumstances wherever viable
Reform the House of Lords to restore its function as an apolitical revising chamber
- Members to be selected at random from each region (in proportion to population) from citizens reaching retirement age who are willing to serve for a period of 5 to 10 years (on receipt only of a small stipend plus reasonable expenses)
I note that momentum seems to be gathering for the abolition of the House of Lords (and indeed in their zeal to defy the electorate their lordships do seem intent on courting this fate) but it is abundantly clear that the House of Commons is sorely in need of a firm restraining influence, which the House of Lords is well-positioned to supply. It is the composition of the House that needs reform, the function that it should serve is still very much required and currently sorely missed.
Some of these might be quick wins and some would be wars of attrition, but if we never start then we will certainly never finish.