After Polling Day on Thursday, after Friday when the meaning of what happened started to sink in, the official political pundits and of course all our journalists in the MSM are working flat out to provide us with their spin. Let’s not forget the extra-party organisations such as ‘Momentum’ and other assorted groups on the Left who think that Labour leader Corbyn ‘won’ and that he should therefore be the new PM. Simple maths never was one of the Left’s strengths, so the fact that the Tories won the popular vote (so important to the Left!), or that they have the most seats in the HoC doesn’t count.
Of course, we have all learned that having the most seats in the HoC does not mean Ms May has the majority of MPs – thus the coalition with the DUP, led by Arlene Foster – and the MSM are now in full ‘omigawd, they are ‘extremists’!’- mode.
What I find rather interesting is that the Tories, who have been doing their utmost to paint UKIP as the worst possible (insert your favourite smear word) ultra-hard-horrible crowd with whom one couldn’t possibly share a room, never mind the HoC, are now forced to do so with those who are not one bit less ‘ultra-hard’.
As always after a defeat the Blame Games start, inside the parties and in the MSM.
First and most honourably off the blocks was UKIP’s leader Paul Nuttall, who resigned on Friday, followed by the resignation of UKIP’s director Jonathan Arnott, and the ‘appointment’ of Steve Crowther as interim leader.
Next we have the internal rumblings inside the Tory Party, leaked of course to the MSM, about dire threats to Ms May not to give way on Brexit. We haven’t heard of similar rumblings from the SNP who lost heavily. All other Parties are of course celebrating: they won, didn’t they!
How did that happen? Because, as observers stated yesterday, Labour promised a money tree for everyone, or more to the point, the scrapping of student fees and student debts. His gains, and the loss of Tory seats such as Canterbury, came from constituencies with modern universities. Yet again, voters in Rotherham sent back their Labour MP, regardless of the decades-old grooming gangs scandal. Keighley, the latest place to be in the news for grooming gangs, also elected a Labour MP. The fate of white working-class girls obviously do not matter to anyone.
The Tories on the other hand looked as if they didn’t really want to win this election. They alienated their core clientele with what the MSM called ‘dementia tax’, and with proposals to scrap the winter fuel allowance. Voters from different constituencies described how their Tory candidates were invisible, how they seemed to take voters for granted, how they were out-campaigned by new Labour candidates. “The Tories were lazy” was the general consensus.
So – UKIP. How did we do? It cannot be stated more starkly: we did abysmally badly. UKIP achieved close to 600,000 votes … let that sink in! In 2015, you may recall, UKIP won 3,88 million votes. How did we manage to lose 3,2 million votes between then and now?
Perhaps we should ask: how did we squander the achievements of the EU Referendum? Shouldn’t UKIP have been capable of retaining Leave voters? Since we obviously didn’t – why not?
The shambles of the leadership contests after Nigel Farage left was one reason. We’ve heard how these shambles were all the fault of a ‘NEC mafia’. The funny thing is though: if there was such NEC mafia – even after a new NEC had been elected in November – shouldn’t they have been able to lead UKIP to further glory, now not hampered by Nigel and his Chairman Steve Crowther who resigned on the same day Nigel did? Perhaps there is another ‘mafia’ at work inside HQ …
Let’s also take a look at the huge database of Arron Banks’ LEAVE.EU. This group without a doubt was instrumental in organising the grassroots and winning the EU Referendum. So – what happened? Why was this huge group not activated in this election? Were they kept ‘on hold’ for the long-rumoured new, online, ‘direct-democracy-style’ organisation Banks and indeed Nigel have been hinting at these past months? The Labour organisers have learned from the EU Referendum where online support did not translate into Remoan votes. Was this lesson lost to our ‘organisers’ with the online database?
Then: take the shambles of getting candidates to stand in constituencies, the shambles of getting out the manifesto, leaving candidates to their own devices because we didn’t have one. That manifesto, as we all remember, came out after the deadline for postal voting had closed and the campaign had already run for several weeks. Are we to assume all that was without effect?
UKIP’s absence from the MSM is not new but it was worse this year. Our TV channels might as well have been labelled the official Labour PR machines. Furthermore, this election was supposed to be about giving Ms May a mandate for Brexit. Brexit however vanished from the public discourse for the last four weeks of campaigning. Our leaders were unable to make the case for Brexit.
Before the terrorist attacks, it was all about dementia tax on the one hand and free stuff on the other. After the attacks it was about ‘Tory Cuts’ to the security services, but of course never about islam: that subject is ‘toxic’ – not to be mentioned, as our leaders have made clear in their actions, or in the resignation note from Mr Arnott.
After the Blame Games – the fall-out, starting with finger-pointing at members, usually by those who’ve known it all before. Clearly, many ‘red’ UKIP voters voted Labour on Thursday, while the ‘blue’ ones stayed at home, else Ms May would not have been in the mess she is in.
After the Blame Games and the finger-pointing: what about UKIP’s future?
Must UKIP become Labour-Lite, as some maintain? Or must UKIP become a thoroughly modern ‘election machine’, with a CEO, with branches as subordinate franchises whose members are there only to follow orders from up high, getting candidates elected as the only reason for UKIP?
Is this then the future of UKIP: either to dwindle on the vine because there’s now no cause to fight for and we can leave Brexit to the Tory ‘experts’, all other vital issues being too toxic to touch – or to be made over into something which looks and sounds modern but which reminds me fatally of certain political parties flourishing on the Continent in the 1930s?
There’s this “I” in UKIP which our leaders and would-be leaders disregard at their peril. We members think for ourselves, and while we gladly support those whom we’ve elected as leaders, we reserve the right to criticise them.
Loyalty is a two-way street. I suggest that our loyalty has been exploited and will be exploited unless we members stand up and speak out. It is our future as UKIP members which is at stake. After all – That Lot On Top cannot throw all of us out for ‘bringing the party into disrepute’ because we dare have our say!