Today’s letters from members and contributors touch upon policies UKIP ought to debate after the EU Referendum, from reform of the HoL and Fishery Policies to what UKIP stands for.
I wrote a letter on the composition of the House of Lords which The Times published – I had to recheck the date! – thirteen years ago on 26th September 2003. The intervening years have only slightly changed my view. I no longer think that my chosen members (e.g. Presidents and chairmen of Professional bodies) should sit during their years of office as they will be too busy doing their stuff and would not have the time to sit in a Senate, i.e. the renamed HoL
Far better to wait until their period in office is over! I can easily imagine that there would be many more suitable office holders than needful places in a Senate. I would have thought a Senate of between three and five hundred members big enough. Therefore only the names of ex-officios who wished for their names to go forward should go into an annual ballot or “sortition by lot”. I also consider that Senators should remain for no more than five years. I finished my letter by suggesting that past politicians should constitute no more than 10% of the assembly. I could now be persuaded to amend that only to past holders of ministerial positions. Finally, I would add some taxpayer power – the ten highest tax payers in the land, for the preceding year, should be offered a seat in the Senate, for the succeeding year.
Rspectfully, Mark Levy
I am emailing several politicians and media to bring to attention the Fishing 4 Leave website Material | Fishing for Leave which you may/may not be aware of. I am particularly concerned that the loss of our Territorial Waters that Heath recklessly threw away when he signed us up to the then EEC, is being overlooked. As I understand it, our Territorial Waters and Fishing were more or less stuck on as an addendum to our joining the EEC, plus, regaining our Territorial Waters has nothing at all to do with our Brexit negotiations and should be addressed to the UN and the Law of the Sea. Just last week, an Environment Committee Meeting started off with the statement that they are looking at Food, Farming and the Environment. No mention of fishing.
The UK Fishing Industry and Infrastructure is worth billions to UK National and local economies. Boat building, Boat repairs & Maintenance, fish quay’s, processors, equipment, Patrol Vessels under the Border Agency, Coast Guard or Navy, thousands of new jobs and businesses, etc, etc.
To get a feel for the potential size of UK Fishing, Norway would be a good parallel although I am not advocating a Norwegian style Brexit Agreement.
Respectfully, Donald Watson
Well done to Bill Etheridge for standing down from the leadership contest, a move that demonstrates he cares more about the party than his personal ambition. We now have “only” 7 candidates. Of those just 4 have even the faintest chance of winning and I have no idea why the other 3 are bothering, unless perhaps they wish to split the vote. Raheem Kassam and Peter Whittle do have a following and are both, in their own way, possible “front bench” spokesmen, but I very much doubt they can win either. The public and the party know little about them and they are very much shots in the dark. In my opinion they should also both withdraw.
That would leave us with Suzanne and Paul, which is more or less a representation of how our party is divided. Both are genuine leadership material and much angst, cash and time would have been saved if they had stood in the first place. In reality we have to choose one of those two and then all get behind the winner. This will be hard to accept for some of us, but in fact they are not all that far apart. Most members expected Paul to follow Nigel, he was the obvious choice and I believe still is. The two favourites need to talk and reach an agreement, that would be the easiest and most acceptable way to unite the party, though how to get Mr Banks to accept such a deal could admittedly be even more difficult. That may be down to how much Suzanne is prepared to compromise.
Blair and Brown managed to live together for the sake of their party and so should Paul and Suzanne. It would require Suzanne to cease running off and doing her own thing, and Paul to bend a little. Both as individuals are capable of uniting the party though Paul has a stronger following. Together however, they would be close to unstoppable, with Paul as leader concentrating on the north and Suzanne on the south but sharing the same agreed policies on national and international issues.
UKIP councillors do this, up and down the country, every day. We are usually small groups and need to co-operate with members of other parties for the greater good. Simply being a protest party does not help our wards or divisions. We are able to support or counter polices from the Tories, Labour, Independents and even Liberals based on the quality of policies rather than party dogma. Sometimes we can get our own proposals adopted. We may not be fond of all our colleagues but we do respect good ideas. UKIP members and leaders have to take the same line, inside the party as well as outside. In this way the public will be able to see that we are a serious political force and it will help our long and medium term progress greatly.
This does not mean we should become part of the “establishment”, we must retain our edge and independence. That is the key word. “Independence” means Independence from the established order as much as from the EU. We must demonstrate that we are of the people, for the people, throw off the ‘Toxic Image’ the political classes have unfairly created for us, pay greater attention to our grassroots and show we are all united in the common cause of challenging the political and economic overclass from Left and Right that has ruled our nation for so long.
Respectfully, Paul Foyster