Firstly, a communication relevant for all who are thinking of standing for the NEC. It was sent in by someone who is ‘in the know’ but prefers to remain anonymous – and yes, I do know who it is. It also gives a much-needed description of what the NEC does:
So, you think you want to be on the NEC?
The 2016 NEC Elections saw 91 people put themselves forward.
I wonder how many of the folks submitting nomination papers have an accurate idea of what the NEC does? I suspect that most think that it is all about policy and campaigning. That could not be further from the truth.
What will you do if you get elected to the NEC?
Well the first thing will be that you will become a Director of UKIP Ltd and your name will be registered at Companies House.
Shortly afterwards you will find you are a target to be blamed for everything that anyone thinks is wrong with the party – everyone from ex-Leaders to members past and present, but hey – I suppose everyone needs someone to blame. This is because you have been elected by the membership and you spend your own money travelling to London once each month to attend meetings!
So, what exactly is the function of the NEC?
It exists to manage the party; to ensure that the Party Constitution and Rule Book are adhered to and that the Party complies with Electoral Law, Tax Law, the Information Commissioner – and every other branch of law affected.
It hears regular reports from the Chairman, the Leader, the Treasurer and the General Secretary. It discusses business matters and proposed affiliations; it deals with internal elections and adjudicates on disciplinary matters. It examines and approves changes in the Branch Network. It approves Conference dates and venues – grunt work!
Very occasionally it gets to approve Policy – but only if the Leader has approved it first.
So, if people are putting themselves forward thinking that the NEC is a political platform they are sadly misguided – there will be no chance of your strutting your stuff on a political stage at the NEC. Even our Leader gets his head down to the minutiae of party administration.
So guys and gals – if it is a Political Stage you want try the Old Vic – everybody else does politics from the Stage these days – but if you have an eye for detail and expertise in running an unwieldy organisation you will be much appreciated on the NEC!
Next, our excellent correspondent Roger Arthur sent this letter:
some suggest that the young vote would swing the result of a future EU referendum, in favour of remain.
Unlike them, many of the 67.2% who voted to remain in a common market in 1975 have seen the EU morph towards ever closer union. So not surprisingly only 48% voted to remain in 2016.
Many oldies travelled freely around Europe in their youth and having been close to the WW2 generation, which fought to restore the sovereignty of nation states, many of do not like being told by the EU that “the era of the nation state is over.”
Yes a future generation could re-apply for EU accession if a majority is ready to vote for ever closer union (a question never asked before) including Eurozone and Schengen membership.
Perhaps they would also value free travel with Juncker’s EU Army, but I doubt that. They are not totally green and they will be learning too.
Respectfully, Roger J. Arthur
Our reader and correspondent Bill Piper sent in his observations on plastic and litter:
microscopic pieces of plastic are being found in water.
Whilst this superficially sound alarming there seems to be no stated source of the water.
Some years ago, I was led to believe that biodegradable supermarket bags end up as very small bits of plastic that enter the water system.
There is no question that there is a offensive amount of plastic waste to be fore around the footpaths, the hedge row and of course in the sea.
The ‘knee jerk’ reaction is that we ought to recycle.
When I was a boy, I used the same shopping bag for years, the grocer used to put the potatoes in the bottom, loose, then the vegetables and so on. Only wrapping the things that needed to be kept clean – cheese and a sheet of paper wrapped loosely around a loaf of bread.
We had our milk delivered, in glass bottles, that we washed out and left out.
We bought ‘pop’ in glass bottles, that we returned to the shop to get the deposit back on them.
After our dads had had a few of the lads around, we took the bottles back to the pub, for the deposits.
Oh – our newspapers were recycled down the local chip shops (the only fast food to be had).
What my preferred stance is Reduce, Reuse then Recycle.
However, for these plastics are still ending up hither and thither…
Then there’s Litter.
We think nothing of throwing a cigarette end away, however the filter is a cellulose plastic. Is that what’s in the water course?
The recent bad boy on the street are those little tube the filter tips come in (for you hand rolled cigarettes).
We see an increasing number of volunteers going around organising litter picks. I have to commend them. However, what a shame they’re needed.
I also commend those that cut up the plastic drinks can holders – however, they are probably just the people that will ensure they end up in the recycling bin anyway!
Let’s have a tougher line of litter and tackle the issue before it gets on the streets, or in our streams and rivers. That may not make everything recycled, but it would increase it fundamentally.
The Mirror (8th May 2018) showed a number of examples of litter on a public beach – disgusting.
Perhaps if litterers, when caught and prosecuted, had to spends so many hours community service, picking up litter – for a first offence.
Three times that period of time for a second offence, and so forth. Thereby making the punishment fit the crime.
Also trying to stop the problem at source in two ways: retraining offenders whilst cleaning up after others.
Respectfully, Bill Piper
Finally, our reader and correspondent John Owen tells me he ‘has been at it again’ – he’s produced this flyer which you might like to reproduce and use: