The night owls amongst us knew last night that Diane James had resigned, after just 18 days. Those who got up early this morning learned it today. The first news we had last night came from social media, with nice remarks that Ms James’ spokespersons didn’t answer their phones, and with ‘confirmation’ on twitter and that font of all things UKIP, Guido Fawkes’ blog order-order, which was then followed by an article on Breitbart London by Raheem Kassam.
Head Office, in the form of Paul Oakden – who still is the Chairman because no other has been appointed – informed us during the night in a newsletter sent to all members that the NEC will convene an emergency meeting to “confirm the process for electing Diane’s replacement”. Given the unremitting campaign against the NEC in the last months, they simply have to get this right and run a second full and free leadership election. This will be costly, but any kind of fudge will be very unwise.
Leaving the rumours now floating around about why Ms James really resigned, it is now of utter importance that we members are being told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. But – will they do it? Going on past form, we are allowed to have our doubts!
We have to reiterate our pleas that members not be treated like unreasonable children who cannot be told.
We are sick of getting important information from blog sites and social media because people at Head Office leak such information.
We are sick of having an official website which at the time of writing (9.00 a.m.) still makes no mention of the resignation and has Diane James’ speech at Bournemouth as lead video.
We are sick of having a PR office which is apparently incapable of informing members – not the MSM, but us, the members – in a timely fashion. Do they not realise that rumours, based on actual facts or totally unsubstantiated,become “facts” when nobody in some sort of authority either refutes them or actually comes out with important news in an official manner?
This whole debacle, if not catastrophe, will have two effects:
One, regardless of who the new leader will be and how he or she will be ‘selected’, means that many members will now throw in the towel and leave.
Two, UKIP has now gone back to being the laughing stock in the MSM: unprofessional bigots, a one-man-one-issue set-up which should now go home and let the real professionals do their job.
That is what we’re now faced with. And this is how we’re going to win by elections and elections? Really?
As a member I find it unacceptable that we are left in such a mess yet again – a mess we members are now again having to clean up. It is unacceptable that we, the foot soldiers and grass roots, who have been praised by every single speaker at Bournemouth for our work, not least during the EU Referendum Campaign, have to pick up the pieces yet again.
It is utterly unacceptable that we members are not being told again what has happened – an astonishing thing in today’s world of electronic communications. We do deserve better – and I reiterate my demand:
We members deserve to be told the naked truth, the whole truth, harsh as it may be, and nothing but the truth.
Head Office – get on with it!