There are constant rallies and events about Brexit and most of the time, UKIP is nowhere to be seen.
Last night I attended a full-to-capacity rally in Bournemouth for ‘Leave means Leave.’ It was also watched by 100,000 people on live streaming and the press were there. Nigel, the local conservative MP, a fabulous Labour Brexiteer, Tim Martin of Wetherspoons, as well as Richard Tice and John Longworth were all speaking – and even a fantastic DUP MP turned up. What a fabulous lot of speeches! What an atmosphere – and not just for Nigel who was in normal top form and had the crowd roaring.
The DUP speaker was also out of this world – and thank goodness May did not win an overall majority at the last election – the DUP have ten times the grit, determination and strength of May. They will never be pushed into accepting a deal which divides them from the UK and they are totally right.
There were over a thousand people waving Union Jacks, shouting, clapping, standing on chairs – making everyone realise why they got involved in this fight in the first place. Many of course would have been former UKIP voters, UKIP members and probably UKIP candidates but there was not a single UKIP sign and not a single UKIP MEP or senior member of the party involved except Nigel.
It was exactly the same at the fringe events at the Conservative party conference – The Bruges Group, The Bow Group, The Brexit Alternative conference, The Freedom Association and Leave means Leave all had big events – but apart from Nigel, one well known NEC member, myself and a young prominent activist UKIP member from London, there was not a sign of current UKIP leadership.
There were plenty of ex-Ukippers around. Indeed in the tea-room at the Bruge group event, I bumped into a man who told me he had got 10,000 votes for UKIP in 2015 in Cleethorpes. I also met Victoria Ayling from Grimsby.
But no UKIP MEP”s or leadership.
On a week that is absolutely critical to Brexit, yet again we have been talking about Tommy Robinson and today (Monday 15th October), whilst May said she would, in the event of a ‘no deal;, send Brexit back to the Houses of Parliament to vote on (with 70% of the MP’s being remain!), we end up talking about Pakistan!
We have plenty of issues here in the UK – the biggest of which is Brexit. If we do not get out of the EU, we can have no influence on anything – least of all in Pakistan. Whilst every day Brexit is being betrayed, we have posted articles on the website about a virgin being sold for 50 goats in some far away country which is of absolutely no significance to most people in the UK and then have defended the Muslim Rohingya in Burma – another complete irrelevance to people in the streets of British towns and cities, and it is not even consistent with the leaders world view on Islam.
And why do we not get involved in these Brexit events?
Because we have called a lot of these groups, a ‘pile of old Tories’. There is animosity between Gerard and Nigel and Gerard and many of the MEP’s. (I actually got told about a dispute in Strasbourg last week by a member of Democrats and Veterans, how they knew I do not know) – but that is not the only reason. The main reason is that no one is making any effort to be part of these Brexit groups, write for them, help them, realise that we are all fighting for the same thing. Instead we are nowhere to be seen.
It’s a disaster. Our enemy is not other Brexit groups.
Don’t tell me these groups will not have UKIP. This is blatantly untrue. It just seems with a few rare exceptions, most senior people seem to have completely forgotten that we are a Brexit party.
There are a few exceptions – Patrick O Flynn has written pretty regularly for Brexit central and is speaking at events and a couple of MEP’s have spoken at the Freedom Association but in general, cross party means cross party without UKIP.
I am sure it is not that these groups will not have us. It is that either we make little effort or in some cases actively go out to compete with other Brexit groups or have nothing to do with them. Fishing is a good example of this. Instead of working with Fishing for Leave, we do completely separate things.
There are plenty of other anti-Islamic parties out there but there is only one party that is solely a Brexit party and that is UKIP.
I am convinced we are not trying to open doors and deliberately not cooperating with other groups for purely petty ego issues. I have been working hard to open doors and surprisingly those doors just open.
How is it I started writing 6 months ago, having never written before and am not an MEP but contacted Asa Bennett, the Brexit editor at the Telegraph and he put an article in! Why cannot other members of the party, much more senior than me, do it – especially the leader, the deputy and the MEP’s?
How is it that I did a podcast with James Delingpole at Breitbart for Delingpole world on Friday in Oxford but he has never done one with Gerard or as far as I can see any UKIP MEP? Has anyone ever asked? And I mean asked like badgered him with 30 emails over six months!
We cannot take no for an answer and must take every media opportunity we can.
How is it as far as I can see only Patrick O Flynn and myself have published on Brexit Central and no one except myself on the Bruges group? Why is it the Bruges group asked me to come on ITV with them?
Why are we not working with Leave means Leave? I literally arrived at their office last week, on the doorstep, introduced myself, gave them a business card and yesterday morning, before Bournemouth, got up at 5am to go to Stratford to record a video for Brexit means Business: they had asked me if I would do it.
If we push on doors, they do open. If we simply want to compete with other groups, we will not only completely fail at our original purpose, Brexit, but become a complete irrelevance. They will just move on without us. That’s why there is now no purple anywhere – aside from the fact that we are considered by many to be toxic which is another issue altogether. (On a side note, I am being told that the Football Lads Alliance which were one of the great hopes is probably not doing any more marches.)
I am going to give one final example of our problem.
There might be new members but they are certainly not going to meetings, not forming branches, not standing as candidates and not raising money. Last week Waveney branch in Suffolk, to their great credit, tried to get Great Yarmouth branch going again – after the councillors left to go to the Conservatives and effectively collapsed the branch. Waveney sent out 60 letters – 50 were to old members ( in a branch that had 14 councillors and a Mayor!) and 10 were to new members. Three people turned up. That’s right, three people except for myself and the Waveney people and that is after they had booked an entire room and spent a lot of money and effort. One of those members was 90 and the other two were 70.
And even today, I had more emails in my inbox including another branch chair and a county chair, saying they were on their last legs and were about to leave.
I might get fired for this but I had to say it. Why doesn’t Tommy Robinson go and join Anne Marie and they can talk about Islam all day long together?
We do not need two anti-Islamic parties in Britain whilst we do not have a single party that is the only one dedicated to fighting for Brexit.