Paul Nuttall correctly posed the vital question with regard to Theresa May: she can talk the talk but can she walk the walk? Recent reports about BREXIT would suggest the answer is no. A lack of vision, management and determination are taking us to who knows where.
Ever since the last general election it has been on the cards that there will be another general election before the end of the Article 50 two-year process. This may be forced by events in Parliament, the House of Commons or Lords or a combination of both Houses, or “events”, such as 17million people feeling they are being sold down the river.
As the core rational and foundation of UKIP is BREXIT it seems to me that all the Parties resources should be focused on putting the Party in the best possible position to fight such an election. A general election fought because of Brexit failures by Conservatives, Labour, LibDems etc, and where the key election issue is the future of the UK, provides the golden opportunity for UKIP to make a sensational breakthrough with a significant number of MPs. It is entirely feasible that the result could be a minority Conservative Government in coalition with UKIP and the DUP.
Of course it might not happen. But it is a realistic possibility and the chance of a lifetime for a political breakthrough. It seems to me the Party resources, material and supporters, should be focussed on the preparation for a BREXIT election, and they should be given the highest priority.
This would mean that all the other things important to Members but not vital to Brexit must have second priority. Thus, we should accept the 2015 Manifesto as the basis for a wider view. Resource sapping policy work on change not relevant to BREXIT, such as to the electoral system and the BBC, should be on hold until after we have actually left the EU in the manner we all want.
I appreciate that there is an argument that electoral reform and the BBC, for instance, are policy areas that would gain some electoral support. But they are also areas that could lose UKIP electoral support.
I recall Nigel Farage on BBC Radio 4 several years ago. It was a half-hour phone-in where he took questions from listeners. One self-declared UKIP support phoned in with a question on fox hunting. Nigel explained Party policy, but because it was not totally and unequivocally against fox hunting she said she would not be voting for UKIP. Extreme though this may be, it does illustrate that to get votes not only do you have to be appealing, you also do not want to give voters an excuse not to vote for you!
So, for UKIP for now: avoid pushing ideas that, no matter their inherent merit, can not be sold to the voters in the short term. Concentrate on what is important now and leave other matters to be addressed on a longer timescale.
And it would be helpful if Members’ contributions to the debate focused on constructive ideas for the short term strategy rather than going on about what is wrong, which, true as they may be, are minor issues in the current circumstances.
Three main Brexit issues are, I suggest, in descending order of priority: (1) describing the UK’s future in the World without an EU deal and without EU constraints; (2) the alternative future the UK would be facing if the BREXIT Referendum had gone the other way; (3) advantages from a mutually beneficial deal with the EU.
For Priority(1) I suggest very strong emphasis on the Commonwealth: twice as many countries as the EU and four time the population. Commonwealth policy agreed by all the Commonwealth Heads of Government, is “trade not aid”. Commonwealth studies has shown there to be a significant cost advantage for trade between Commonwealth countries compared with one of the parties not being a Commonwealth country: the “Commonwealth Advantage”. And this is without any further benefits that arise from a trade deal!
Once we are out of the EU and into the World, and have taken back control so that we are in charge of our own destiny, we can then return our attention to those other policies that will help make Britain great again.
Should we be stuck with Theresa (indecisive) May for the duration, then the stronger UKIP is on Brexit the more we can push her in the right direction.