Bi-elections get all muddled in the memory, blending into one, so it’s difficult even to remember how many I’ve done. I’m sure enough how many general elections I’ve fought in West Suffolk. Two. And county/borough – several more.

No matter how hard you try while you’re out delivering leaflets you’ll eventually end up having to talk to a voter. Stoke. I remember a Labour councillor there – apparently the reason the egg butties were cheap was because it had a Labour council – a large gentleman with a bespoke three piece suit and a big black Jag. He would have loved to call me a racist but he couldn’t. Rochester, a bunch of Hope not Hate or some such lefty organisation got hold of UKIP regalia and hung about saying racist things, trying to get on TV. Somewhere else in Kent, a doorstepped chappie tried to make me say something racist that he could object to  but was floored by my immigrant background.

There must be more… yes, Newark, the woman  who voted for the first time ever in her forties, voted for us: solidly middle-class she would have run a mile from any party that had a member as easy to smear as TR. Same in another of the northern ones. And Sleaford, the same.

Those who think that letting Robinson join UKIP will gain votes are politically naive. We would lose the chance of attracting those who are desperate to register their disgust at the way the LibLabCon is betraying the future our our children and our country, but who are afraid to vote for anyone else. They know that their voting for the same old crooks and charlatans is part of the problem, but part of them is afraid of change. They will read their Sun or Mail, their Telegraph or Guardian and seize on the smears with relief. ‘Can’t vote UKIP, did you read about that Robinson chap, a right yob, a thug, a jailbird, and they let him in. No, I’ll stick with good old Boris/Jezza/ whatszirname.’ Fearful, they are seeking an excuse not to change their allegiance. Why the hell should we go out of our way to provide them with one?

By all means let those who think they know better try to get this rule changed. This is a democracy after all. I’ll fight them all the way because if they win they will sit and survey a ruined party, a failed chance, a broken future for all we hold dear. Remember how AMW was going to pull in loads of voters, tens of thousands, and when she went off in a huff she was going to build her own party to eclipse UKIP? Same thing. Gerard Batten is skating on very thin ice – even though he is saying the right things, leading on the caveats and pointing out how careful he is being while meeting the FLA or TR, the MSM are not listening – they are sharpening their pointy fingers and are itching to smear us into oblivion.

No matter how careful Gerard is, this proposal is a killer. It would set us back at least a decade and might easily finish us off. And without UKIP as a safety valve, things could get very nasty indeed.

How have I formed this opinion? No, not by reading the web, nor by haunting YouTube echo-chambers. Like I said, when on the doorstep you can’t avoid meeting all sorts of people. I’ve met them. I’ve talked to them, hundreds of them. That, in my judgement, is how they would react, in spite of their hunger for change, in spite of their yearning for a straightforward, pragmatic and above all /honest/ party, they won’t vote for a UKIP which relaxes its anti-extremist rule. Nigel Farage agrees with me.

Politically naive? Make that politically obtuse.

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