Today’s communications are: an important press release by David Kurten’s office; an invitation by a branch chairman to meet David Kurten, and a letter warning about ‘campaigning’ by a branch chairman which is a warning to members because it may well happen elsewhere. First the press release:
Former UKIP party leader Lord Malcolm Pearson endorses David Kurten
UKIP Peer dramatically joins Leave.EU chairman Arron Banks in promoting the party’s Education Spokesman for the top job
Lord Malcolm Pearson, who was leader of UKIP during the 2010 general election and is leader of the UKIP Group in the House of Lords, has dramatically intervened in the party’s leadership election and announced his support for London Assembly Member and party Education Spokesman David Kurten.
Three weeks ago Arron Banks, chairman of Leave.EU and Brexit referendum colleague of Nigel Farage, endorsed David Kurten, stating that “David is an articulate intelligent patriot” and that “he is just what the party needs”.
Now Lord Pearson has stated that “David is a man of courage and conviction” and he “warmly commends him for leader”.
“I am grateful for Lord Pearson’s vote of confidence,” said David. “As a former UKIP leader himself, he knows what is required for the top job.”
David is one of the front runners in the leadership race due to his popularity among members across the country. He first came to national party prominence when he received a rapturous standing ovation for his passionate Education speech about the future for our children at the party conference last September.
David’s profile and popularity soared earlier this month when he stood his ground in response to a vitriolic attack both by Pink News and by party deputy chairman Suzanne Evans over his traditional views on marriage.
Alan Craig, Campaign Manager, DavidKurten4Leader – 07939 54719
Next, an invitation to meet David Kurten from the Basingstoke Branch:
Dear Basingstoke branch members and UKIP Members everywhere.
On Thursday 7th September our branch meeting has UKIP leadership candidate, David Kurten as a guest speaker. It will be an open meeting to UKIP Members from anywhere to attend. We can quiz David and discuss the future under his potential leadership.
As this meeting could attract more members than our usual branch meetings, can you please reply to me to indicate if you would like to come.
Obviously I cannot give you an address yet (size of hall depends on numbers coming) but it will start at 7pm on Thursday 7th September and be in central Basingstoke with plenty of parking and good rail links across the country.
I hope a good crowd can attend, as David is an interesting speaker and worthy of your time.
AMW may also come, she has been invited. Peter Whittle has not even bothered to reply.
RSVP Alan Stone, UKIP Basingstoke, 12-14 Church Street, Basingstoke, Hampshire RG21 7QH – and/or : firstname.lastname@example.org
Finally, a letter reporting on events in a branch in regard to the leadership contest, given a background and a warning that such might also occur elsewhere:
I have received an email inviting members in my county to attend a meeting where it is intended to ‘show a number of tube videos from the main contenders and have a discussion on the candidates’. The email originated from the County Chairman and forwarded by the Branch Chairman.
Before the GE Paul Nuttall was recorded as saying that it was up to individual branches to decide whether they fielded a candidate in the GE. Some in our Branch pressed the Chairman to hold a Committee meeting as soon as possible. For some reason there was a good deal of procrastination before a date was fixed. One of the reasons given for the delay was that there was to be a Chairman’s meeting and that we should wait until after that had been had.
By the time the Branch meeting had been fixed weeks later we had been informed that a strategy for fielding candidates had been decided at the Chairman’s meeting. Although this decision was clearly made and documented by emails between Steve Crowther our County Chairman and the Branch Chairman, when I challenged this decision making process as being undemocratic, said it was merely advisory. To add to this situation, and after I had objected, the Chairman withdrew his name from the list of possible candidates thus eliminating the availability of the floating candidate in the region, making their plan a fait accompli.
My Branch subsequently, at a meeting that I could not attend, unanimously chose not to field a candidate. Were they manipulated? Was the inevitability of the already made decision influential in their vote?
I believe the policy of tactical representation was undoubtedly a major component of UKIP’s disastrous result in the GE and therefore, indirectly, why Paul Nuttall resigned. The policy fuelled the notion that UKIP’s job was done. The policy disenfranchised those voters who would vote for no other than UKIP. The policy took away the possibility of attracting for those voters who otherwise would not have voted at all. The policy was a betrayal to many in Nigel’s ‘People’s Army’.
I tried in vain to persuade my Branch that to tactically vote was the voter’s prerogative but to tactical represent was a denial of democracy.
Since the GE my colleagues have been cap in hand to the Conservative constituency office asking for political favours. Also much to my surprise the chairman emailed HO to ask if AMW could be stopped as a potential candidate.
My point in giving you this lengthy backdrop is to question the motives behind this planned ‘discussion on the candidates’. Those who received the email would also be able to watch the ‘tube videos’ and make their own minds up. You can draw your own conclusions – I have.
Unless the top down rot is stopped UKIP is going nowhere. I implore everyone to be brave enough to vote for fresh blood, someone with vision and courage. You have nothing to lose. It may not be easy but who said right was easy. The Mister Boltons of UKIP and anyone who makes personal attacks are not helping and will not win any elections.
The branch chairman attended that meeting with two other branch members. He emailed a report in which he said that he was not attempting to influence, only giving his opinion. In one paragraph he praised five of the candidates. In another he wrote that the proxy for JRE did his best. In a third paragraph he felt a candidate did not do well (not AMW).
But what has dismayed me is that he spent three paragraphs running down AMW. He had spent nearly a third of the whole report criticising AMW. This behavior may be happening elsewhere in the country!
Respectfully, Kim Gavin