[Ed: we publish this letter with the author’s permission because we think ordinary members need to know, to enable them to ask candidates pertinent questions at the forthcoming hustings. Moreover, the Party Management desires to stop false rumours. Such rumours, as we all know, arise from being kept in the dark. It is high time, if not past time, for us members to be informed. Answers to the points raised in this letter would surely be welcomed by all!]
Dear fellow Kippers,
A change of leadership allows us to change our culture, away from cheating and toward listening to the members.
I could write at length about the cheating in the party, but I will keep it brief: the Clique cheats all the time.
Elections (except the leadership election) are “adjusted” (i.e. rigged and it looks like a crime to me). The NEC votes are insecurely handled and some of the results look grossly rigged. In 2004 the perpetrators were caught in the act.
The London list was “managed” in 2012 and 2016, the list being “re-sequenced” after the members had voted. That is normally called election rigging, a crime.
The MEP list was managed in several wrong ways: national voting instead of in the constituencies; and the merit point system was rigged.
There was an attempt to rig the 2016 Welsh list.
The discipline process was misused against Chris Pain and Suzanne Evans: disciplinary proceedings at a vital moment, causing them to be “not in good standing” at a vital time.
Recently, the Rulebook has often been changed to target non-chums.
In our 2011 referendum we voted not to join a PEPP (Pan European Political Party – see here). Yet we joined a PEPP in 2014. Our MEPs are so ethically numbed that they cannot see how outrageous this is.
The Clique has so far failed to manage the 2017 leadership election to its satisfaction. So what further methods are possible? A massive telephone campaign perhaps? Or outright rigging?
The ERS (Electoral Reform Services) will count the votes. But the ERS will not check our membership list for dummies. Surely in Africa ERS check the voter list. Why not here?
If there is nothing to hide, then I suggest that the Clique allow me have a look at the membership list. I have detected frauds in England, Austria, Australia, Hong Kong, Nigeria, and USA. Let me have a crack at this one!
The party will always be run by a small clique. Teams larger than five cannot manage anything. Year by year the Clique has brought power toward itself. The DNO (Delegated Nominating Officer) system. Discipline system. NEC election rigging. Corruption of NEC members by dangling MEPships. Secrecy of NEC voting. NEC members not receiving minutes of RORC (Regional Organisers, Regional Chairmen) meetings. Party Chairman chairing NEC and RORC meetings (thus controlling the agenda). Abolition of regions and regional chairmen. All this has brought power toward the Clique.
We lack opportunities for upward communication. The NEC should have a stall at conference, as should each Policy Supremo. Those easy changes will make a big difference.
Let’s elect a new leader who has a better attitude to fairness and listening!
Diane James never managed to wrest power from the Clique. A new leader will need to set up a completely new team, quickly, and be tougher than Diane. Recommendation: read this book: Machiavelli (The Prince)!
The Top of the Party
The constitution needs to define the split of powers between the Leader, Chief Executive (now known as Chairman), NEC members, Regions, Branches. Therefore those bodies should not draw up any new constitution.
Therefore we seem to need, in the long run, a Supervisory Board. That would be a major change, needing amendments to the constitution. Lords Pearson and Willoughby de Broke seem the obvious first candidates. The Supervisory Board should have control over the Constitution, Rulebook, Internal Audit, and Discipline Procedure.
I do not see a Supervisory Board being introduced unless we elect a leader with both spine and ethics.
To reassure our members that all is well, we shall need an internal auditor, roaming freely, supplying reports to the members. Not under the thumb of the executive. The auditor must be a chartered accountant, must have the right to talk to the Supervisory Board when necessary and an unrestricted right to publish. Maybe we should advertise internally. No salary. The first thing I want looked at is the membership list, to ensure there are no dummy branches and no dummy members.
Rewriting the constitution would be onerous, and unnecessary. We need just a few amendments, which should be put to the members in separate votes.
On 17 August I sent a report to all the candidates; the above text is an edited extract. Below are suggested actions for a new leader. Each can easily be turned into a question at hustings.
I like easy changes that bring big results, so I say which proposals are easy.
Cultural change (easy)
- Start listening to the members
- Stop cheating
First week (easy)
- Put the rebranding on hold.
- Put the scrapping of regions on hold.
- Put the abolition of regional chairmen on hold.
First week (difficult)
- Review the lease of Newton Abbot.
- Get your secretary to read UKIP Daily (UKIPD) and highlight good ideas.
- Have an NEC stall at conference.
- Have a stall for each policy supremo at conference.
- Get each Policy Supremo to run a discussion area on UKIPD.
- Do not rewrite the constitution (just do a few amendments).
- Do not parachute candidates into branches.
- Do not “adjust” election results.
- Do not misuse the discipline process.
- RORC minutes to go to NEC members.
- RORC to appoint own chairman
- Squeeze the corruption out of the party.
- Executive role for each NEC member.
- Better use of video in NEC elections.
At first NEC meeting (easy)
- Arrange one-to-one links between regions and NEC members.
- Encourage NEC members to visit UKIPD and participate.
- Decentralise the DNO system further.
- Protect UKIP from infiltration
- NEC to elect own chairman
- Create Aide Memoire Manual on conferences
- Create Aide Memoire manual on by-elections
- Create Aide Memoire on websites
- Amendments to constitution, voted individually, (not a rewrite)
These are questions you should ask of the candidates at the forthcoming hustings.
Regards, Toby Micklethwait