Two of today’s letters are Open Letters which speak for themselves and which we publish without further ado:
Open Letter from the NEC
to the Chairman of a Region, County or Branch
by Steve Crowther for the NEC
Dear Chairman (of a Region, County or Branch),
I am writing to you on behalf of the NEC, as their appointed spokesman. I am aware that the Party Leader is arranging to meet groups of members during the coming fortnight. This is quite proper, and part of his role. However, it is also natural that he will take these opportunities to promote himself and, if asked, to respond on his own behalf when questions arise regarding his leadership and the NEC’s recent vote of no-confidence.
It has been suggested that the NEC should seek to engage in counter-argument, issue a leaflet or statements, or in some way ‘put its case’ in the run-up to the EGM. I want to make clear that this is not what we will be doing.
The current situation is not a contest between the Leader and the NEC. In passing the vote of no-confidence, the NEC was simply doing its job, representing UKIP’s members, activists and elected representatives in what it considered to be the proper way.
This triggers an EGM at which the members can determine, according to the Constitution, whether to uphold that decision. If they do not, the twelve elected members of the NEC will stand down, and a new twelve will be elected.
If the members decide that Henry Bolton is the man to rebuild the party’s fortunes, so be it. But this has nothing whatever to do with the Constitution, or the role and authority of the NEC, which will remain exactly the same.
The NEC has been looking at reform of its composition since 2011, and more actively since 2016. That will require a full redraft of the Constitution, consultations and hustings around the country, and a ballot of the members. There has not been a time when the requisite focus, resource and leadership stability has been available to do this, for several years past. However, the NEC has an adopted plan for Constitutional reform, starting with member consultation, which will proceed this year regardless of the outcome of the EGM.
So, the NEC will not be engaging in a ‘campaign’ before the EGM on 17th February. I look forward to explaining the NEC’s decision, in Birmingham on that day, and receiving the members’ approval, or otherwise.
If you would like any individual NEC member to attend a meeting to answer your questions in the meantime, I am sure they will be more than happy to do that.
Yours truly, Steve Crowther for the NEC
~~~~~ ooo ~~~~~
An Open Letter to the Chairman, Paul Oakden
as the latest crisis has unfolded in the full glare of the press, aided and abetted by the cringeworthy spectacle of our leader unburdening himself to two of our leading dailies, I had one horrible gut wrenching fear – that the press were holding on to some hideous tit-bit, waiting for him to convince the EGM that it was all the fault of the horrible, aggressive NEC. So what can I say but ‘Thank you, Michael Crick’!
What is wrong with UKIP’s vetting process, how do candidates living in la la land persistently slip through the net? I appreciate that you were not chairman when Paul Nuttall’s CV left something to be desired, or when a certain Natasha Bolter claimed to be a PPE graduate from ‘Wadam’ College, Oxford – but you were chairman when the last football team of hopefuls presented themselves, their CVs and their £5,000 cheques to be vetted for the 2017 leadership election.
After it transpired that Henry Bolton missed a marriage out of his details, two of my members complained about our vetting process. One had undergone due process in the past to become a Labour candidate, the other was rightly angry at the contrast between the declarations required on the candidate’s forms for local elections and national cock ups. Before it went online, I was ashamed and embarrassed as I doled out the forms for my annual round-up of district council candidates. Members, who were in their fifties and sixties, fathers and respectable pillars of society, had to own up to brushes with the law in their more impetuous teenage years, typically involving underage activity with vehicles. Another had to wait to catch me alone, to admit to a long finished and short lived extramarital dalliance. I felt that they should not have to make me party to that private information. At least I got to ‘fess up privately to Pete Reeve when I underwent PPC candidate training.
So candidates for national and local elections are checked – but how thoroughly? Ms Bolter’s talent for fabrication revealed itself even before the 2015 general election, leading to the resignation of a general secretary and another page three of the Telegraph spread, despite her allegations being false. OK – up to 650 candidates for a national election, thousands for locals, there is only so much can be verified, BUT – surely a dozen leadership hopefuls could have had their CVs properly scrutinised? If Henry Bolton’s CV anomalies had been spotted we would have been spared the current crisis, this has to be more worthy of disqualification than a 15 minute late submission.
Helena Windsor, Branch & County chairman
And finally, a letter about the latest gagging of a UKIP AM (Wales) politician, by the same Labour AM who tried to gag Gareth Bennett AM in December last year. Coincidence?
on Wednesday morning (Jan 31st), the UKIP AM David Rowlands (Wales) was banned from speaking at a cross party event about tackling modern slavery and trafficking in the UK. This event, organised by Labour AM Joyce Watson, involved speeches on the topic made by a number of invited AMs and the Chief Constable of Gwent Police Julian Williams.
Upon arrival at the event, Joyce Watson asked to read David’s speech on the topic, which pointed out the prevalence of immigrant gang involvement in human trafficking in the UK. The Labour AM asked David to remove this part from his speech, which David refused to do. Watson then informed him that she would not call him to speak – effectively gagging him. This decision was unsurprisingly backed by Gwent Police & Crime Commissioner and former Labour AM for Caerphilly, Jeff Cuthbert.
It is also not the first time that Joyce Watson has moved to gag UKIP voices in the Assembly. Last December, Watson attempted to get South Wales Central AM Gareth Bennett banned from the chamber for highlighting the dangers of newly proposed gender identity laws. She appears to have a particular hatred for UKIP – Watson referred to our Assembly Members as the “rabid dogs (of Brexit)” in a plenary session held on May 17, 2017.
Slavery and trafficking in the UK has skyrocketed in recent years, and the expansion of the EU into former Warsaw Pact states, in particular Romania and Bulgaria, plays no small part in this. Labour pretend to be concerned about the plight of trafficked people, but the fact that our open borders enable the expansion of this inhuman industry into our nation is an inconvenient truth for the politically correct establishment.
The gagging of dissenting voices continues to be the key tactic of Labour politicians in Wales. This is made easier for them by the fact that Labour apparatchiks control most of the key roles in Welsh civil society. Labour believe that they have a right to rule and that Wales is their own private fiefdom. For Labour, the fact that the people of Wales voted for UKIP to represent them in the National Assembly is an aberration, and a hiccup on the way to them achieving a true one party state. Labour’s arrogance in power has impoverished Wales, with the nation now the poorest part of the United Kingdom on every scale.
UKIP Wales will shout out when our freedom of speech is curtailed by the Stalinist tactics of Welsh Labour. We will continue to speak truth to power and work to disrupt the cosy Cardiff Bay political consensus.
Respectfully, Kris Hicks