Today’s letters are examples of the reaction of many members to Bill Etheridge MEP’s article in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph, and are just the tip of the iceberg. May we add that it is remarkable that a prominent member of UKIP uses the opportunity of having something published in the DT not to celebrate the achievement of winning the Referendum a year ago but to attack a fellow member instead. The first letter comes from our reader and contributor Stout Yeoman:
Yesterday, Bill Etheridge had a rather bizarre article published in the Daily Telegraph. In it he egregiously misrepresented Anne Marie Waters, a matter I shall come to.
But first, why did he choose the Daily Torygraph rather than UKIP Daily? A few weeks ago he announced that he would be standing for the leadership. By ignoring our (unofficial) house magazine and writing for Telegraph readers is hardly the way to persuade kippers. But worse he decides to defame a party member and potential leadership candidate with an article full of errors, misrepresentations and straw man arguments.
Anne Marie has never advocated “the vilification of millions of people” nor can UKIP members be likened to Momentum (or Nazis, as Bill did at one point) and of using intimidation “to silence political opponents”. He says “I’m no theologian but I think it is safe to say that the majority of Christians don’t live by every rule in Leviticus, so where is the logic in saying every Muslim wants to kill all non believers?” Indeed there is no such logic because no-one, least of all Anne Marie, is saying every Muslim wants to kill all non-believers. This is all in Bill’s apparently deranged head.
The gulf between reality and Etheridge’s perverted representation of Anne Marie’s supporters as a “baying mob” is simply staggering. He pompously sneers at Anne Marie by invoking the UN definition of war when she was probably referring to a culture war which there undoubtedly is.
We’ve yet to see if he does stand but if he does then I think he has already blown it.
Respectfully, Stout Yeoman
The second letter is from our reader and contributor Jack Russell:
I’m puzzled about the rules of the leadership contest.
We were told by the Returning Officer in an email yesterday afternoon (June 22nd):
“I am determined that the leadership election will be conducted in a fair, open fashion, with no negative campaigning.”
AFAIK, one of our rules is that no candidate is allowed to smear another candidate. But: is there a rule about smearing us members?
Well, Mr Etheridge in his article in the DT yesterday didn’t exactly smear AMW when he compared her to Joan of Arc – but he did smear members by describing them as ‘neo-fascist entryists’ and as Nazis.
Is that how our wannabe leaders, the top-level members, a.k.a as MEPs, regard us?
The attitude towards us members shown in Mr Etheridge’s article makes abundantly clear the contempt the UKIP Hierarchy has for us. Since June 23rd we’ve been disregarded and discarded unless needed for by-elections, donations, and as footfolk for the GE. We mustn’t think for ourselves, our ideas as to how to develop policies for the Party (see the many articles on UKIP Daily) might as well have been shouted into the wind.
And then there’s the question of islam in our country. It is a problem which more and more people regard as the burning issue of present times. Are our wannabe-leaders so blind that they think this is best dealt with by sweeping it under the carpet? By silencing all who even dare to mention it? By using the tired old excuses and what-abouteries which people and voters are rejecting? By silencing the one member who does not and has not attacked single muslims but is describing and warning about sharia, demanding that something be done?
Instead, Mr Etheridge in the DT is in full-on virtue-signalling mode: signalling his ‘virtue’ to the London Establishment – as if they’d vote for him in this contest!
Here’s a funny thing: I remember Peter Whittle’s powerful speech at Conference in Margate (what a long time ago that was …) on this exact issue when he spoke about one British Law for all. He hasn’t been attacked by the Etheridges and Arnotts: is it because he’s a man? Have AMWs attempts to stand as PPC, to establish a group in UKIP to address islam, been suppressed simply because some of our MEPs and NEC members ‘don’t like her’ and never mind the issue she addresses? How is that for leadership nous?
We’re now told that AMW and her ‘vociferous supporters’ in the Party would split the Party. It looks to me as if it’s the leadership who is doing that, not AMW. Mr Etheridge said in an interview in the Mirror that he would remove her and the members who support her from the Party if he becomes leader.
You know what that reminds me of? The old Soviet Communist Party, where the Politbureau decided and where those who do not follow the Party Line were … eliminated. That’s not my UKIP any longer.
Respectfully, Jack Russell