Following the election of Gerard Batten as leader I am re-considering joining UKIP. This follows a lengthy period of not being willing to consider it in the light of the various shenanigans of which we are all aware. However I need to be sure that such matters are firmly consigned to the past.
What can we see of UKIP?
Surely the first point of reference for an aspiring member would be a visit to the party website (ukip.org), but it is lacking any substantive information which I need to support my decision. In fact the site in no way meets my expectations of a professional organisation. One minor but particularly irritating item is the inane question at the bottom of most pages: “Do you like this page?”
When I try to find out more about the people I regard as the management team for the party all I get, with few exceptions, is a name and a photograph. When I looked for more information about a region which is of interest, the North West, the response is: “The site ukipnw.org.uk has been disabled. Please contact support.”
Clicking on “Regional Leaders” leads to another unacceptable result: “The page you were looking for was not found.”
A final worry, if one were needed, is “Hosted by NationBuilder”. Surely a proper party would have a proper bespoke website as others do? Maybe this is an indication of other necessary management processes not being fit for purpose.
In summary the site is absolutely useless for one wanting to find out pertinent detail about the party and might well be turning away potential members.
What I would like to see
I want to be sure that the party has an organisational structure and people in place which are fit for purpose. In particular I would like to see at the very least:
- An organisation tree indicating names and positions within the organisation
- Better detail of roles and responsibilities
- A brief statement showing professional qualifications and work experience for key personnel
- A statement of what they bring to the party by those personnel
- The salaries paid at the various levels of the organisation
I will consider joining a party which will support my beliefs in a fair and democratic society so need to see what the party actually stands for. This is particularly important in the case of UKIP which is widely described as a single issue party. So I would like to see:
- A list of the core beliefs which underpin the party policies
- A (short) list of the key policies which I would support my joining the party
I don’t need to see a manifesto at this time as it must be election specific but must be sure of the policies which would underpin it.
On other matters I believe that involvement in the “Sovereign Draw” is inappropriate as was promotion of the Lyoness pyramid scheme in the past. I need to be sure that both schemes have been consigned to history and their promoters sacked. The office location in the South West (I have worked there too and it is a very pleasant area to live and work) perhaps prevents the officers and staff from seeing the results of the Islamic invasion seen elsewhere.
Of course I have looked at alternatives. In particular I am supportive of the views of Anne Marie Waters but don’t believe that she has the organisational skills necessary or the broader range of policies for her party to succeed. The probability that one of the two historical parties in government will continue, helped by the fragmentation of the opposing vote, is worrying.
Hopefully UKIP will develop to meet my aspirations. Nothing is going to be perfect but I need to be sure that it is headed in the right direction and will not continue with the obvious errors of the past. I’m sure that there are many good people among the membership who can make UKIP what it should be and a party that I will join.
Time is short so they need to get on with it. I hope that they do.