So Diane James has left UKIP. Reasons for such a step are political or personal. She says she wishes the party “well for the future”, but if that were truly the case then she would not have left. Her role is purely that of an MEP and there is no evidence that she has any problem in that role, not with ADDE, EFDD or UKIP itself. Politicians who leave a party to become independent or a cross-bencher do so usually for policy reasons, and accordingly do not wish the party they are leaving well at all. But there appears to be no policy reason for Diane James’ departure. That leaves a personal one and in her statement she says that on becoming leader she found that she had no “support within the executive” and thus no ability to carry forward the policies on which she campaigned.
I do not believe her. She did not meet the “executive”, if by that she means the NEC. She had one meeting on the Tuesday following her election, with John Bickley, Treasurer, who briefed her on party finances. So what obstacles with the “executive” is she talking about?
Her main platform was to replace the NEC with an appointed management board, a process that would require a change of constitution and a two thirds majority vote by members. Insofar as that was a difficulty it was due to the constitution which she must have known about, and not due to the “executive”. She says she feels “it is now time to move on”, which is merely a re-statement of “I’m leaving” and explains nothing. When she withdrew as leader it was for “personal and health” reasons, the very same reasons cited when she withdrew as PPC in 2015 and PCC in 2012. At least we have been spared that this time round.
She cannot be so naïve to imagine that joining Woolfe as an independent will have no impact, but she seems not to care about any potential negative effect. Such is her loyalty to the many thousands of ordinary kippers who a) helped get her elected and b) worked so hard in the referendum!
It’s a selfish, petulant act. Her revenge for lack of support, if that was the reason, was to leave us leaderless again. Why now this further punishment? Do these people have any bounds on their egos at all?
If there is a hidden agenda then her resignation is also disingenuous and deceitful. But the evidence of her character to date suggest her behaviour is best explained by her selfishness and petulance. She plans simply to carry on taking her MEP salary and very, very generous MEP expenses and sod the party members who worked hard to elect her.
I’d like her to explain precisely how she plans to serve her South East England constituency “effectively and diligently” as an independent. Nigel is reported as saying, on both the BBC and Sky, that her decision was “yet another act of irrational selfishness” and she was no longer fit to sit as an MEP. She was elected on a party ticket and should resign as an MEP if she had a shred of integrity. Just for once in her life will Diane James tell the truth and stop fobbing us off with fake reasons?
I regret to be writing also about Raheem Kassam. On 1st November he tweeted “Most of you don’t know this but Douglas Carswell told the UKIP Patron’s (sic) lunch this weekend how UKIP should move to the centre”. Actually, Carswell said no such thing (for once). In any case, Kassam went outside while Carswell was speaking. The same day Kassam replied to a tweet that UKIP was dead, killed by infiltrators, saying he tended to agree. This was but a couple of weeks after his article of 14th Oct on Breitbart London, when he was still running for leader, in which he said Britain needed UKIP more than ever and urging members to renew their membership. Turns out it wasn’t Britain but Kassam who needed members until Nigel told him (at the Patrons’ Conference) that the best he could hope for was coming second. After that Kassam withdrew.
On 17th November he sent an email to his supporters “Do we want the “business as usual” brigade? The people I heard slating Nigel Farage at the UKIP Patron’s Lunch for his support for Donald J. Trump?” As with his previous fake news about Carswell’s speech he made up the slating of Nigel at the Patrons’ Conference – it was a lot more than a mere lunch – for Nigel was there and very well received indeed. No-one mentioned Trump.
I’m not a Carswell (or Evans) fan but I draw the line at fabricated news or, to give it it’s technical description, bare faced lying.
So what it is the matter with Kassam apart from a complete lack of integrity and not even a half-hearted attempt at maintaining any kind of journalistic standards? Is it just extended adolescence, the teenager’s delight in rebellion to the extent of faking news to provide an opportunity? Or is it something more deeply pathological that he won’t be growing out of? At the start of the Patrons’ Conference he agreed, as did everyone, to abide by the Chatham House rule. So much for Kassam’s word!
Kassam appears to be on an anti-UKIP stance again, perhaps n support of Banks gearing up for his `Momentum of the right” movement, the manifesto of which is simply to amuse Banks.
One person can stop all this nonsense. One person can bring the children to order. One person can set UKIP back on track and that person need not be leader.
That person is Nigel who needs to respect the ordinary members of the party and tell Banks and Kassam that Brexit is more important than their egos, that UKIP matters and needs to be united and that they must play their part in that.
So stop carping from the sidelines and support the only party that gave us, and can still give us, Brexit. Come on Nigel, put the children on the naughty step and tell them to behave.
Fail to do that, allow destructive forces to continue, and UKIP may fail. The remainers will be energised like never before. History will not judge you kindly. Whatever your beef with Carswell and the NEC – rise above it. Get behind the new leader, make sure all see that and, yes, help make UKIP great again.
Yours in anger,