I should make it clear right away that I have never met JRE and I am not in any way a member of his team. My comments here are simply my own views, reflecting my opinions and conclusions after following his many speeches, lengthy Q&A sessions, hustings, and writings, most of which are available to view as videos.
I voted for him in last year’s leadership election, and I have never regretted that vote. I believe that had he become the leader, and of course been allowed to lead, then the party’s position would now have been considerably stronger. I will be voting for him again this month.
There are many reasons why my vote will be going to John, and included amongst them are his responses to the following questions that in my opinion only he has adequately answered:
1) How will you deal with the failure of representative democracy in UKIP?
“Within UKIP the centrepiece of representative democracy (also called ‘indirect democracy’) is the election of NEC members to represent the ordinary members. The pages of UKIP Daily are awash with complaints about all aspects of this arrangement. The heartfelt frustration and indeed resentment over the lack of information and poor general communication is very clear.”
John’s answer to this question is to radically broaden the control of power within the party by introducing UKIP Direct, a detailed system of direct democracy, to replace the existing indirect democracy:
“My leadership style is one of giving power back to the members, so that the mistakes of the last year, namely caused by small groups of people behind closed doors, are not repeated.”
“UKIP Direct will ensure that we get the best ideas from throughout the party to inform long-term decision making, and a robust policy development that is resilient to scrutiny; and that the party is administered with the proven consent of the members.”
2) How will you deal with the failure of representative democracy throughout the country?
“Nothing has more graphically illustrated the failure of representative democracy in the UK than the EU referendum. The gulf between the views of the people and those of their parliamentary representatives, both elected and unelected, has been exposed for all to see.
Shamefully, many of this representative minority feel they have the right to overrule the democratic majority and appear relentless in their attempts to do so.”
John’s answer to this question is that when Direct Democracy is fully established in UKIP and, accordingly, the party has grown into a direct democracy, mass-membership movement, then it will not only campaign on the issues that the members vote for, but also for the UK to become a direct democracy, a reboot of our ancient constitution, and the principle of ‘government by consent.
“I believe UKIP and the country will continue to suffer until we understand that this must be our purpose if we want to see genuine change.”
“We have the means to hand much of the decision making process to the people. And the ordinary people will always have their interests acted against while we rely on small groups of people, corrupted by lobbyists and transnational interests, to make those decisions on our behalf.”
3) This is a two-part interlinked question:
- 3a) How will UKIP make its voice heard, particularly in a world of an antagonistic MSM-Fake News?
- 3b) What is the role of Young Independence moving forward?
John’s answer to this double question is the creation of UKIP Media:
“Seizing control of the media agenda and by-passing MSM lies and distortions by producing our own high production value videos and news articles, and by saturating social media and sympathetic news outlets with our own content.”
“My plans for the total democratisation of UKIP, and for leveraging Internet-based tools to expand our reach will rely heavily on the young people within the party.”
John believes that Young Independence is a great asset; but currently, it is a sadly under used, some might say neglected, resource of ‘the obvious skills, knowledge, and experience of so many talented young people’ especially in the area of filming, video editing, and effective social media use.
4) How can UKIP be kept radical, as Nigel urged, without focussing on single issues?
John’s answer to this question is that Direct Democracy is, in itself, incredibly radical.Whether within UKIP or within the nation, it transfers the authority and the power to the grassroots; to the very people affected by the decisions formerly made by
Whether within UKIP or within the nation, it transfers the authority and the power to the grassroots; to the very people affected by the decisions formerly made by the government.
“But the other side of Direct Democracy is that it cannot possibly be, by its very nature, a single issue. The Direct Democracy platform will allow members to address any issue they please, be it the economy, taxation, multiculturalism, Islam, health, education, etc.
It will allow real, outside the box, radical policies to spring forth from our massively diverse pool of talent.”
I could add several more questions to the ones listed above, but I think that’s enough for now. I could talk about John’s plans for UKIP Connect, UKIP Local, and UKIP Affiliate. I could talk about his broad vision, his financial, economic, organisational, leadership and ‘getting things done’ skills.
But, instead, I ask simply that you compare his answers with those from other candidates.
You’ll hear talk of ‘new management teams’; of reorganisations; of getting out to listen to the members; of lessons learned and good intentions; but, in reality, I suspect, it all means just ‘more of the same.’
A final footnote:
JRE said recently that he thinks there is a ‘silent, suppressed majority’ who share his beliefs in the fundamental values of personal liberty, freedom of conscience, genuine independence, sovereignty, preserving national identity and heritage, a small state, low taxes and minimal interference from bureaucrats and busybodies.
I’d like to see him get the chance to reach that silent, suppressed majority.