Today’s first letter is from “Mr Bav”, a contributor and comment poster. He makes some very worthwhile proposals on membership fees and we hope that, post-Bolton, his proposed raise of said fee for all members, YI included, can be replaced with this one:
I’ve just read the article from the VAT spokesman [Ed: see here]
If he really does mean what he says and he has ‘a million’ supporters then these need to be converted into membership.
My own reticence to re-join UKIP stems from a refusal to fund the lifestyle of characters like Farage Bolton and Oakden. I ALWAYS knew that money was misspent as I’ve been to places where I’ve watched UKIP money being blown. John Bickley’s revelation that Bolton got paid £10000 (and the rest) reinforces that.
Membership fees are like taxes. No taxation without representation. I would – and I’m sure a lot of these VAT members would – reconsider that position provided that there were checks and balances in place beyond the no doubt honourable but flawed system overseen by John to date. How can £80000 be wasted on Facebook? Why was £250,000 blown in Stoke? No point in recriminations right now but the point is made.
As for subscriptions, they need to be small but regular. £35 is too much for many. It does not take a genius to work out that 100,000 memberships at £24 a year ( £2 a month ) is better than just 22000 members paying in £35 a year.
In addition a very simple concession, just £1 a month for under 21’s, over 75’s and students, will immediately bring goodwill, membership and revenue.
Voluntary contributions are fine. The Patrons are not in it to ‘meet and shake hands and wine and dine’ with whoever the leader is. They, especially the ‘small’ ones, are chipping in in their branches, e.g. funding the deposit in GEs, publication in branches etc. without making a song-and-dance about it, and certainly not to be able to come and make mwah-mwah with Nigel or Henry. THAT is the essence of real grassroots activism, which any decent Chairman should embrace.
The next step may be controversial. I would propose paying a salary to the Leader and Chairman which matches the current UK MP’s salary once membership tops 50,000. Other offices may also need payment if the party is to professionalise. The UKIPD site and editorial team do not need central funding as it has ramifications on editorial independence, however lessons can be learned and the main UKIP site needs tearing up and starting again.
I would scrap ‘entrance fees’ to stand in internal elections as it is manifestly unfair. However stringent vetting and minimum standards need to be set to prevent frivolous candidates and time-wasters.
For PPC’s it is unrealistic to fight over 600 seats. I doubt if any more than 60 can be realistically tackled, and they must be selected, funded and managed carefully from the grassroots. All this stuff is the job of a Chairman (not the Leader ), to co-ordinate with a total commitment to the regional and branch organisations and it’s very simple to put this to the NEC once the leadership farce is over.
But, as the VAT have said, and I will also say, none of this will happen under Bolton. He must GO before the EGM is forced.
If Gerard Batten then stands as Interim Leader – not permanent – then I for one will throw my backing behind him and the party – and rejoin.
Probably with a lot of other tatty Lions….
Respectfully, “Mr Bav”
The following letter, by Ruth Kenward, has some most important information regarding the EGM – read and distribute and tell your friends who have left UKIP because of Bolton:
Unless the following information has already been published on UKIP Daily, would you please let people know the following. It has been confirmed by the ladies in the office at Newton Abbot when I phoned them yesterday morning.
(1) If you don’t attend the meeting in person then you don’t get to vote. (No proxies. No postal votes.)
(2) If you want to attend the EGM it is essential that you register your name and membership number online OR YOU WON’T BE ALLOWED IN. This means that Members who do not use the internet either need to ask a friend to register them, or if they phone Newton Abbot then the very helpful ladies in the office there will press the necessary buttons on the computer to register them.
(3) CRUCIALLY, any ex-Members who want to vote at the EGM can do so if they re-join UKIP immediately. I have friends who resigned from UKIP in protest when Henry was elected. They are now seriously considering re-joining UKIP solely to enable them to go to the EGM and vote Henry out of power. This is allowed (Newton Abbot has confirmed) and, in my opinion, if enough ex-Members are made aware of this opportunity and take it up, this could make the EGM very interesting indeed.
Respectfully, Ruth Kenward
Finally, our contributor Alan Wheatley encourages you to write to your MPs – here’s the reason why:
Checking the ‘Leave Means Leave’ website I find 48 smiling faces, mostly MPs, committed to the cause that having voted in the Referendum to leave the EU that is exactly what the Government should be actively doing. I notice that my MP was not among them, though from all that I know about him he is a supporter of the idea that leave does mean leave.
So I have sent him an email asking him why, apparently, he is not backing leave. Perhaps others might put pressure on their MP to be seen to be supporting what we voted for in the Referendum.
Incidentally, UKIP’s Lord Pearson is one of the 48.
Respectfully, Alan Wheatley