I’ve written articles in the past for UKIP Daily, and from time to time our Editor-in-Chief asks me (and no doubt others) for new articles. I recently replied to her email, explaining why I had nothing to send. With Viv’s permission, I copy my reply below:
You ask for articles. I’m afraid I “dried up” as far as UKIP Daily is concerned a short while ago. I’ll be frank. The reason was disillusionment.
I felt that I was contributing some useful ideas but nobody except a few UKIP Daily addicts was paying any attention to them. Obviously one isn’t paid for them (and doesn’t expect to be) but without that incentive, I feel one needs the feeling of contributing towards the serious discussion of party policy. But almost no one at the top of the party ever contributed – not even in the form of comments. Presumably they didn’t read UKIP Daily at all. It struck me that maybe this journal, despite the quality of many of its articles, was only really there as a medium by which cranks could harmlessly let off steam… So what was the point? Because it takes energy and creativity to produce an article…
I suppose UKIP is (or was) a People’s Army, whose single purpose was to win the battle for Brexit, which is now won. There is no room in an army for the discussion of strategy in the ranks. Ours is not to ask the reason why …
Well! The battle is now won. The great leader’s purpose is accomplished and he has gone on his way. The People’s Army, if it is only an army, can now be disbanded. Will UKIP survive? It will soon have a new leader, but will it have a new purpose, a new role to play in the political life of Britain?
At present there is still a temporary role, because everyone is saying that the future is still uncertain, that the Tories may wriggle out of it. I don’t actually think they will. I think Brexit will mean Brexit. David Davis will take care of that. And the EU is dying anyway.
Labour is finished and the Tory Party is now likely to revive and be very strong, perhaps for a long time.
One of their first objectives as a party will be to swallow up the UKIP membership and perhaps some of the UKIP leaders. Once the future is clarified, the rump of UKIP will perhaps survive. What chance is there that it can achieve a new purpose? What should that new purpose be? OK yes, there is potential for us in the old Labour areas, but only if we have something positive to offer.
So I’ll be happy to write some more and probably others will as well, provided we can feel we’re contributing towards a serious discussion of policy from which a new and worthwhile UKIP platform may perhaps emerge. I’m 80 and weak on my legs. I’m too old to knock on doors, and probably too old to make speeches. Yet I can probably still contribute a bit – if my efforts don’t feel like a waste of time and energy.
I wonder whether any of the candidates for the leadership of UKIP will find time to read this edition of UKIP Daily? If so, I hope they will read the above article and draw their conclusions.
The new leader will not command an army. He will assume the leadership of a political party at a time when it will urgently need to strike out in new directions.
We readers of UKIP Daily have votes in the leadership election. Let’s make sure we cast them for a leader who will listen to what we, the members, have to say.
[Ed: I would like to urge all our readers to send the link of this article to their branch secretaries and to all other branch members, because we indeed need to elect a new leader who listens to us members, us, the People’s Army!]