As secretary of Support 4 the Family I would like to thank the NEC for awarding our organisation Special Interest Group (SIG) status. We are now called Support 4 the Family in UKIP. Our new status was agreed by the NEC at its meeting on Sunday 25 March 2018, according to a process defined in Section 6.26.2 of the Constitution and Section Y.1 of the Rules of Procedure. SIG status is a way of recognising the contribution that a group makes to the party, and we look forward to the opportunities it will bring to our group in terms of policy-making and campaigning.
Our objectives are:
(1) To support UN resolutions calling upon member states to reaffirm that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society, and rightly entitled to state protection.
(2) To affirm parents’ rights to be primary nurturers and educators of their children.
We take the traditional view that the family consists of a mother and father and the children naturally born to them. We accept that there are variations of the family, for example children might be adopted to resolve difficult situations, but we reject the idea that a family can consist of two homosexuals who have trafficked a child through surrogacy like a piece of merchandise and in the process broken up someone else’s family.
Support 4 the Family began with a group of Christians from various denominations who were concerned that the family had become marginalised in society. We felt that we should become politically involved and we were attracted to UKIP because:
(1) it was the party with the strongest support for traditional family values, and
(2) it was the only party that was seriously interested in getting us out of the European Union.
We have always believed that we should be inclusive, welcoming people of all religious persuasions and none, and our arguments should always be rational and scientific as this is the most effective method of influencing the political process.
We made our first appearance in UKIP with our exhibition at the National Conference in Doncaster in September 2015 and we were encouraged by the level of support, and continued holding exhibitions at various events including most of the major UKIP conferences up to the present time. We have had much support, especially from the South West Region where Tony McIntyre, the Regional Chairman (and now the Party Chairman) very kindly supplied us with a roll-up banner saying ‘UKIP South West supports Support 4 the Family‘.
At the latest National Conference, in Torquay in September 2017, we set up our exhibition as usual but we also introduced a motion to the conference expressing concern that the Children and Social Work Act would open up the way for cultural Marxism in schools and we need to appoint a spokesman for Families and Children. It was a well-attended meeting and the motion was passed with overwhelming support, and from that point onward we knew we had struck a chord with a large number of members.
Then came the Henry Bolton debacle where the new Party Leader, after only three months in office, abandoned his wife and two small children at Christmas and went off with a glamour model less than half his age. He caused so much embarrassment that party activists looked ahead with gloom and despair at the prospect of knocking on doors in the forthcoming local elections. Suddenly, family values became a major public issue for the party and no longer a purely private matter. We felt that we had to respond to this, so we canvassed our supporters for their views and lobbied the NEC with the results. There were many others who wrote to the NEC with their views and the NEC responded by implementing the appropriate constitutional processes with the result that Henry Bolton was dismissed. We now have a new interim Party Leader, Gerard Batten, who doesn’t put his family on any public stage but we might as well know, just for the record, that he has recently celebrated his 30th wedding anniversary.
In the aftermath of all this, two events have occurred:
- The NEC has awarded SIG status to Support 4 the Family, as already discussed.
- Gerard Batten has implemented our conference motion with the appointment of Alan Craig as spokesman for Families and Children.
These two events mark the repositioning of UKIP as the party of traditional values, a process that needs to happen as we try to decide what sort of society we want in post-referendum and hopefully post-Brexit Britain.
We in UKIP now have an opportunity to recruit many more members, starting with those who resigned when Henry Bolton dumped his family. Many of them have already come back and we are encouraging our supporters to bring back anyone else they know who has not yet returned.
We can also look forward to recruiting many new members because there are lots of people out there who acknowledge that the family is the natural and fundamental group unit of society and they want a political party that represents them.
Support 4 the Family in UKIP