In view of the lock-down of the site tomorrow (see below), we’re publishing two “Letters” columns today. The selection of letters below address the burning issue of the EGM. The first letter comes from our contributor Julian Flood:
“Politics is the art of the possible, the attainable — the art of the next best” (Otto von Bismarck)
Wouldn’t it be nice if we were in a stable and secure political haven,where senior Party members were not at each other’s throats, where the administration of our little bureaucracy was secure, and members past and present could refrain from bitching about their own particular bonnet bees! Alas, we aren’t, it isn’t and they won’t!
Given those three facts, the problems we face come into focus. If the EGM votes against Henry Bolton then a lot of good people will despair and leave UKIP, angered that a recently elected leader has been overthrown by a faceless cabal of bureaucrats, a cabal already criticised by some of the longest-serving and most respected of our members. If the EGM votes for Henry then we will lose those who despair at the hopeless task of working for a leader who has committed the worst sin of all — looking ridiculous in public – and whose tenure so far has not been marked in terms of sparkle.
Immovable object – meet irresistible force! Either way, UKIP will go into one of its periodic bursts of self-harm just before the next set of elections. When our ex-voters, our residents and our members tell us that we, a Party which wishes to change the face of UK politics, are not fit to clean a privy then we will have to agree.There is no route out of this maze unless we accept that no-one is going to win if we continue in this direction. Whichever way the EGM vote goes, UKIP will be out of the running for another five or ten years, and those years are vital for the well-being of the British people.
Allow Labour to dictate the path for five years and we will see huge damage to our economy. Let the Conservatives run free and watch the snouts go back into the troughs of over-development, into the money buckets of HS2 and the EPR reactor scandal, watch our countryside being sold to the highest bidder. Let the LibDems sniff power again (look out for flying pig muck) and they will invent some totally new way of damaging our country.
Where does duty lie in this situation? There has been a lot of criticism of the NEC, most of it made without any real awareness of the hard work those representatives of the membership put in year after year. There has been a lot of comment about Henry Bolton and his reckless choice of companion and about his commitment to UKIP at a time of crisis. They all have a duty: save the Party.
Where integrity? All concerned can demonstrate integrity by putting the needs of our country before their own interests, before the flattery of office and the self-importance of title.
Where loyalty? UKIP is very poor at loyalty. Sticking together, supporting each other in adversity, appreciating and rewarding hard work and commitment are rare in any sort of politics, but we aspire to be something better.
Politics is the art of the possible. It is possible to rescue something from the current slow-motion crash but to do so requires both sides of this dispute to demonstrate their acceptance of the prime moral and political virtues. Forget pride, forget the importance of presiding over a once proud political force: choose Service over Self.
Cancel the EGM. Both Henry Bolton and the NEC should immediately submit their resignations to the Chairman who will appoint an interim leader. Convene a series of meetings on policy – my recommendation would be to use the 2015 manifesto as a guide, with those who have had experience of standing for local and national seats being involved as a priority – and have everything done and dusted in time for the next local elections. Once that is done then we can start to think about the new constitution.
It’s quite simple. Compromise or fail.
Respectfully, Julian Flood
Next, our correspondent Mike Kennedy sent the result of his research into an item as stated by Bolton during the hustings:
Henry Bolton claimed during the hustings that he had received officer training at Sandhurst and had been awarded the Sash of Honour. Enquiries at RMA Sandhurst have elicited the information that Henry was an officer cadet on a TA training course prior to commissioning in the Territorial Army as a second lieutenant on 2 August 1992.
The TA training courses at Sandhurst only last for a few weeks and no prizes were/are awarded at the end of the course. For the record the Sash was only ever awarded to female cadets and in no circumstances was it ever given to a male cadet.
Respectfully, Mike Kennedy
Finally, Mark Childs asked us to publish the communication from a County Organiser on the current situation in the Party:
could you please post the item below from a county organiser who can’t be named for obvious reasons:
‘Members will see an “opportunity” to rid the party of the current NEC. How many times in past years have conference motions submitted for NEC reform been kicked into the long grass? This EGM will be potentially the most important meeting the Party has held. – Its future is at stake –
With possibly an attendance of + 2,000 its also a massive opportunity (with a Henry win) to rally all the activists behind the leader on a massive campaign during the next few months to force through the Brexit we all worked for.
I am afraid it looks like we have conspiracy working in the party against its best interests with too many disruptive personal agendas & ego’s getting in the way.
Please note a local Chairman’s comments yesterday: NEC and other officials can’t obey rule J.3.14: ‘Party officials shall avoid any public criticism of other Party members online.’
I hope Henry will be explaining where the donations made to him have/will be spent in addition to his strategy for the future of the party which embraces structural & party reform.’
Respectfully, Mark Childs
Attention all readers!
We are finalising the relocation of this site to a different server. Therefore, this site will be in lock-down from 9 a.m. tomorrow, Friday 9th February. Normal service to resume as soon as everything is done, so do check in from time to time. See you all on the flip side!
Your UKIP Daily Team