First came that letter to us members, like a bolt out of the blue, alerting us to ‘private news’ going to be splashed across the pages of a red-top paper, The Sun.
Then came that article, followed by more articles in the MSM. Then the Sunday papers published even more articles. The comment posts (where allowed) were … interesting. I assume you have seen some of them, so shall refrain from going into details. One thing is certain: it’s been a very long time since a leader of UKIP has garnered that much attention in the MSM!
However, it seems that two things have slipped a bit below the horizon. One is the question what this ‘love affair’ means for the future of our Party, the other is a puzzle to which I’ll come later.
That so many of us are deeply disappointed, that those more closely connected to Henry and his leadership campaign are distraught – that goes without saying. It’s not just his cheating on his wives, it’s that we now all ask what else has he not told us, what does this say about his personal and political judgement, and what does it means for UKIP. Had he not realised that in politics, nothing is private?
Not only did he show an extreme lack of political instinct, he did so in spades. Firstly, by writing that long letter to members only after he knew it would come out, and omitting the details we now find splashed all over the MSM. It was galling because he’d not written anything to members on issues important to us. Secondly, by acting as if nothing extraordinary had happened – look at his twitter feed: business-as-usual.
Btw – someone tell him that tweets are not = communicating with all members! Above all, someone tell him that yes, he’s entitled to his private life but not when, from its inception, his affair was splashed across his ‘n her social media accounts and thus made public.
We ordinary members have been warned repeatedly to be extremely careful on social media because the MSM will use anything they can find there against us. Had nobody told Henry and Jo? Are they aware that tweets using screenshots of some of her facebook pages like this one:
are circulating on twitter – and that all of UKIP will now be tarred with that brush? Ordinary members would at the very least have been hauled in for a disciplinary hearing, for having put this sort of thing on their Facebook page!
At least members must now be told the full truth, all of it, no secrecy. And at the very least members should receive an apology for the distress caused – that ought to be another letter to members.
There are already calls for Henry to step down, the latest by Star Etheridge, the UKIP Spokeswoman for Disabilities who resigned from her post in Henry’s shadow cabinet because of his behaviour.
His affair will certainly be on the agenda at today’s NEC meeting.
I expect that questions which ordinary members have raised, not only in online comments but also privately, will therefore remain unanswered, for example: who will be the chairman replacing the “interim chairman” who has been “interim” since July 2016? If he isn’t replaced, watch member numbers drop like a boulder. Many have made their continuing membership conditional on that particular change.
But perhaps the NEC will ‘make Henry go’ … and then what? Who is to replace him? The Deputy, Margot Parker? Steve Crowther as ‘Interim leader’ just like last June? And then – another election?
No, I think there’ll just be a wrist-slap for Henry and then back to ‘normal’, i.e. the same old same old because Henry has now truly shackled himself. Thus the changes Henry proposed in a letter to members last year will be quietly put aside. Everything will remain just as it was, especially no input accepted from us ‘little people’: we’re still being taken for granted by the Party ‘grandees’, our voices will not be heard.
More members are already leaving, not simply because of this public affair but because Henry put his personal delectations before Party. We accused LibLabCon politicians of putting ego before Party before Country. Now our leader has done the same. Have membership numbers risen to such an extent since September 29th 2017 that this new exodus is just a petitesse, to be brushed off?
Now for the puzzle I mentioned above.
I find it strange how we seem to have gone all Victorian about this affair. While I in no way condone or excuse Henry’s behaviour, I do wonder why nobody seems to even question the behaviour of Ms Marney, never mind criticise her. In an odd twist, today it’s the male members, not the female ones, who are the most critical – of Henry, but not Ms Marney. She doesn’t figure. Male Victorians in contrast forgave the sinning male – the female was condemned by all.
Is this perhaps a sign of how far we’ve already swallowed the feminist agenda, namely that no female can do wrong, even if she wrongs another female?
Or worse – have we bought into the latest meme that females, even the savvy topless models who delight having their half-naked poses splashed across the nation’s papers, are so feeble, weak and helpless that they are incapable of resisting a man’s advances? That they are by nature incapable of making advances themselves and are thus innocent?
It’s not that long ago that women, especially married ones, while rallying round the maligned wife and condemning the culprit, would soundly and publicly condemn and shame the woman who was the partner in such affair. ‘Home-wreckers’, they were called, and they’d be given the cut direct.
So what about Ms Marney? Is she really the totally innocent, helpless victim in this? The photos accompanying this article would indicate otherwise.
Me, not being particularly known for mealy-mouthedness, I’d say we call her not just ‘home-wrecker’ but also ‘Party-wrecker’ and give her the cut direct.
Oh and btw – I don’t buy the excuse of ‘fell instantly in love’. I’d call it something else entirely …
[There will be a follow-up article tomorrow.]