Is there a serious question to be asked about the need for and reasoning behind this planned march from Trafalgar Square to Parliament Square on 5th December (the first day of the appeal to the supreme court by the Government, against the high court ruling regarding the invoking of article 50 and the Governments Sovereign power to do so)? The march, although in the first instance sounds like a valid idea and given that since the June 23rd vote we, the Leave campaigners, have been quiet and have not actively campaigned for the pursuance of Article 50, the timing and purpose of this event still warrants an examination.
We have of course been busy with many other things. The leadership issue is still not settled and all the nonsense since the resignation of Diane James has concentrated our view elsewhere. It could be said we have taken our eye off the ball. The hunger and passion though has most certainly not diminished. But I question the rest of the 17.4 million who are not Ukip members – they voted and were passionate then … are they still as passionate? Perhaps this march will be the litmus test.
Much will be made about the numbers attending this event, 100,000 (if that number is attained) will be seen as paltry, bearing in mind the 17.4 million that we fall back on to emphasis the victory of the Brexit vote. We Leavers have often made much of the low numbers attending the marches and demonstrations in London and elsewhere on behalf of the Remainers. These numbers have often been embarrassingly low and much, quite rightly, ridiculed. Can we therefore afford to score this potential own goal.
What is the intended outcome of the march? If the Supreme Court uphold the appeal, the Remoaners will cry foul and blame the march for swaying their verdict; if they quash the appeal then the press and the Remoaners will cry victory and that the miserly numbers on the march meant for nothing and were, to all ends, an embarrassment. Either way we could stand to lose.
The press, no matter what the outcome of the appeal, will have a field day. This will in all probability be at the cost and detriment to Nigel and our party. Taken within the context of our newly appointed leader being in post just seven days it is hardly fair, it seems, to encumber our new general with this battle so soon into their post and, bearing in mind he or she will have had no say on the planning, strategy, reasoning and indeed thought processes behind the march. It could be a big headache. The new leader could find themselves touring the studios to fend off claims against the purpose of the march. God forbid there is any trouble and violence. Ukip will undoubtedly attract much unwarranted and detrimental attention.
In the early part of this century three marches and a rally in Hyde Park by people from the countryside numbered some half a million on each occasion. Their protest was about the ban on hunting with hounds. No difference was brought to bear upon the government of the day, even given the numbers of people attending. If though the government backslides or defers to the Remoaners within Parliament and it is looking likely that Brexit will not happen, then surely that is the time to mass and protest through London. We would also, given the circumstances, be much more likely to enthuse and recruit non-members of the Ukip party who voted leave, to attend such a march.
There is it seems little appetite for this planned march. It is not widely advertised, travelling from different parts of the country at that time of year will be very cost prohibitive for many too.
Numbers in the millions marching through our capital peacefully to protest against the Government’s lack of action to Brexit in the spring would surely have a much greater effect on the government than a badly-planned march of some 100,000 (if that number attend) marching to press an action already taken by the Government in support of Brexit in December. Should we not keep our powder dry and choose carefully our battles?