Britain today is governed by a social democratic consensus of the liberal elites. There is virtually no difference between Labour, Tories, LibDems, the Greens, SNP because they all fundamentally believe in socialism, social democracy or some other disguise of the same thing, despite that system having demonstrably failed, despite the demonstrable horrors that system has committed wherever it had power.
Yet the normal people of Britain do not share these socialist values of their ruling classes. They (still) mostly believe in the traditional Anglo-Saxon values of fair play, hard work, honest dealings, rule of law, equality before the law, individual liberty, free speech, free markets, free trade, prudency, frugality, small government, low taxes, etc.
It is the rejection of the values of the liberal elite consensus and the bold, open and confident advocacy of these traditional British values which turned UKIP — combined with hard work over more than two decades — from a fringe pressure group into a rapidly growing, political party. We offered ordinary people what no other party would and what they were thirsty for. We have been as much the party of the aspirational hard working poor who wanted to better themselves in life through their own innovation, entrepreneurship and hard work as we were the party of the self-made rich who became so through their own effort. We were as much not the party of the liberal “elite” who lived off the taxpayers’ teat as we were not the party of the poor, professional welfare sponger.
Our Party Constitution (still) says
2.5 The Party is a democratic, libertarian Party and will espouse policies which:
- seek to diminish the role of the State;
- lower the burden of taxation on individuals and businesses;
- strengthen and guarantee the essential, traditional freedoms and liberties of all people in the United Kingdom.
At our height in 2014, the Party was polling at 26% and won the European Elections — with about that share of the vote.
This rapid growth established the Party as an easy route to political office and we attracted a great number of carpet-baggers and failed politicians from other political parties — most of whom did not, and do not, share our values. Foolishly, being blinded by pure numbers and too impressed with our own growth, we allowed them in.
That 2014 European election also allowed some of these establishment liberal elite infiltrators to become MEPs and to acquire important roles in the party as key spokesmen and as key policy makers. They used that platform to try to move the policy agenda to the liberal mainstream left, to attack the hard working party activists who had built the Party up and brought it to where it was.
The Party abandoned our policies of flat taxes and introduced ideas of progressive taxation, luxury VAT, and squeezing corporate taxpayers until pips squeak. Our rhetoric became the rhetoric of jealousy and envy and became increasingly indistinguishable from that of the other political parties. We moved to the so-called “centre” and “mainstream” as the self-styled ‘Red UKIP’ described it, or rather: we started moving to the social democratic consensus.
The result was predictable. Having abandoned our values and having proved ourselves to be opportunists like everyone else, and indistinguishable from them, our fortunes started to wane and in 2015, we were polling at 13%. We have never since recovered.
When Paul Nuttall stood for leadership, I was enthusiastic and hoping he would win and unite the Party which was in turmoil. I knew Paul was not fully aligned with the libertarian worldview which had made the Party successful, but I believed he was broadly enough in agreement with it. When elected, he declared that his would be a leadership of unity. Very reasonable words, unfortunately not matched with corresponding reasonable actions.
In reality, Paul appointed to all the top posts in the Party prominent members of Red UKIP: Deputy Leader, Principal Adviser, Chairman of Policy, etc. Those who did not belong to this minority clique were sidelined.
The Stoke by-election was very much fought on the basis of the Red UKIP narrative. UKIP Daily itself, before the election, published 11 articles written by “Quercus”, a prominent Red UKIPper, advocating policies of envy, high taxes, interventionism, protectionism, prising the money out of the rich, and de facto advocating that UKIP turn itself into its own antithesis and become a reincarnation of Old Labour, our libertarian Party Constitution and the belief of the majority of our members notwithstanding. The author was smart enough to know that his readers would never go along with this on the basis of principle, so he justified it with pragmatism by quoting the same sentence over and over again at the end of each of his articles: “Do we want to win – or not?” In other words: do you want to stick to your principles and do the right thing, or do you want to win, stupid?
From the point of view of a Red UKIP infiltrator, whose objective is to destroy the Party from within, this strategy was genius. Either UKIP lost in Stoke, in which case UKIP was finished (if Paul Nuttall can’t win there, how can we ever win a seat anywhere?), or UKIP won in Stoke, in which UKIP as we know it was finished and UKIP would permanently become a new Old Labour party. This has always been the Red UKIP agenda — either change the Party into its own opposite, or cause it to split and destroy it. Either result successfully neutralizes UKIP’s threat to the liberal elite establishment, whose interests Red UKIP represent.
The result of the Stoke election proves that not only is abandoning our principles for the sake of electoral success morally wrong, it is also unpopular with the electorate and electorally catastrophic.
If the Party is ever to recover, it must be led by a Leader and a top team who share the values and the integrity of its members and the Party Constitution. Currently, we could hardly be further from this than we are.
In light of the results in Stoke, I believe that Paul needs a long and hard think about what the right thing is for the Party and the country at this juncture. One thing is clear — the top Red UKIP team has to go. Can Paul regain the credibility and the trust of the electorate — not just his own but of the Party? If the answer is not a clear yes, he needs, in my opinion, also to consider his own position.
Do you want to do the right thing — or not?
If you do, electoral success will follow.
[Ed: the full text of this article can be found at this website]