Last week, the Havering Branch debated the motion. “This branch urges the NEC to make an exception within the rules to allow Tommy Robinson (aka Stephen Yaxley-Lennon) to become a member of UKIP.”

There were about twenty people at the meeting, and the motion was carried two to one in favour of Tommy Robinson being allowed to join.

Some of those who voted against did so because they did not want the media to tar us with the same brush that is used to tar Tommy Robinson. There are some in the party who wrongly believe our sole purpose is to get us out of the EU. Whilst that is fundamental for what we want to achieve, UKIP has always had a broad range of policies many of which have subsequently been stolen by the other parties.

It took us 25 years but we have won the argument about the EU, although we haven’t yet won the war. The problem is that many people have now developed Brexit fatigue and are turned off by the farce that is Theresa May’s “negotiations.”

At the end of March, UKIP runs the risk of falling off a cliff. We don’t yet know what the BREXIT deal will be, but the government with the help of the mainstream media will be peddling the lie that we have left the EU. Perhaps the only visible sign of such will be that we no longer have any MEPs.

Therein lies the problem for UKIP, rightly or wrongly MEPs have provided a structure of sorts for the party not least of which is that over the years MEPs tend to make up the bulk of our spokesmen and have helped to raise the party’s profile by being reported in the media. When they return to civvy street, the media will not give a damn what they have to say.

If we do nothing, UKIP will fade away and die which is very much the desire of the established political class as it will make the job of betraying Brexit that much easier. As a party, we must adapt or die.

Tommy Robinson has managed to tap into and build an audience of more than a million people, many of whom have been disengaged from the political system for many years, and who are concerned about what is happening in their communities and feel they have no voice. Tommy Robinson gives them that voice. We are on the cusp of creating a populist political movement in this country similar to those that have sprung up around Europe. But to achieve that we need people like Tommy Robinson to direct those people in our direction otherwise they will either remain disengaged from politics or find someone else to vote for.

Most of those who seem to be against Tommy Robinson joining have formed their opinion of him from the (mainstream) media. The same media that have conspired to keep us in the EU. The same media that constantly tell us how wonderful immigration is. The same media who call us racists for wanting to talk about the negative impacts of immigration. The same media that for 20, 30 years, or more, has ignored the industrialised rape of tens of thousands of children by organised criminal grooming gangs in towns and cities across the country. Quite frankly I don’t give a stuff what the mainstream media has to say – they are part of the problem, not the solution.

There will be others who will be concerned that if he joins UKIP, the Party will be distracted away from Brexit and there will be too much focus on Muslim grooming gangs. To those I say, you are falling for classic misdirection. Tommy Robinson’s campaign, while it highlights the impunity to which these gangs have been able to operate, its focus is not necessarily on those gangs, but rather the politicians (of all Parties) the police and council staff who have ignored and covered up these crimes and more concerned about the sensibilities of Muslim communities and their continued votes, than they are about the mass rape of children.

I accept that TR is no angel and has served time in prison but so have:

  • Gandhi; arrested on 10 March 1922, tried for sedition and sentenced to six years’ imprisonment.
  • Mandela; arrested and imprisoned in 1962, and subsequently sentenced to life imprisonment for conspiring to overthrow the state.
  • Aung San Suu Kyi; from 1988, spent 15 of the following 21 years under house arrest.
  • Vaclav Havel; involved in the failed Czechoslovakian uprising of 1968 and subsequently had various stints in prison before rising to the presidency in the “Velvet Revolution” that toppled the country’s sclerotic communist regime.
  • Jawaharlal Nehru; jailed in British-ruled India in 1921 after calling for the boycott of a tour by the Prince of Wales. He spent nearly a decade behind bars on various charges of civil disobedience. He became India’s first prime minister in 1947.
  • Martin Luther King Jr.; arrested about 30 times and imprisoned in the 1960’s.

In fact, there are a good many people currently elected to the House of Commons who have committed crimes ranging from fraud to treason and who should actually have been imprisoned but haven’t.

In the end, I suspect those that will be most vocal about not letting Tommy Robinson join will be crusty old Tories labouring under the misapprehension that the Conservative Party will eventually see the light of day and once again actually become ‘conservative’ while there are others who have ambitions way beyond their abilities who feel once the limelight shines on Tommy Robinson they will be cast into the shadows (where they belong).

If you truly want UKIP to survive to ensure that we get the Brexit we voted for I urge you to lobby the NEC to allow us, the members, to have a vote him being allowed to join UKIP

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