Supporting UKIP is a bit like supporting the English national football team – so much promise! You pin your hopes on them because there’s no logical reason why they should fail. Then in every competition they throw away their chances through elementary mistakes and failure to step up to the mark, which leaves you sitting in front of the TV with your head in your hands and cringing with embarrassment as they come off the pitch apologising that they couldn’t do any better. Perhaps sacking the manager will solve the problem? It doesn’t because the rot is at the heart of the institution.
Our interim leader sends us cheesy ‘keep-your-chin-up-we-have-everything-under-control-and it’s-business-as-usual’ emails telling us the phones are ringing off the hook at Lexdrum House and this time we’re going to get it together and actually put candidates in place, ready in case there’s another general election.
Don’t they get it? Do they think we’re stupid? Are they deluded or has it just not sunk in yet:
UKIP’S SHARE OF THE VOTE COLLAPSED TO A MISERABLE 1.8%.
You could say that, well, we didn’t stand in a third of constituencies and perhaps half our supporters voted tactically for the Tories to support Brexit. Charitably that puts us at 5%. If there’s another election, who’s going to waste their vote on UKIP under a first-past-the-post system?
Don’t Crowther and the Old Guard understand? UKIP is finished in the mind of the general public. The narrative that UKIP has served its purpose and is now a busted flush has been cemented in concrete. I repeat:
OLD UKIP IS FINISHED.
If there’s another general election in the next few months, UKIP’s broke. We already had no money for the election just gone. The Cardiff branch was left with £60 after paying for the Local Election leaflets. Then the GE was called. We couldn’t afford any sort of campaign. Few of our old volunteers came forward. There was of course zero assistance from Head Office. Every UKIP GE candidate in Wales lost their deposit – even those in seats where we polled over 20% the last two years! Who’s going to stand for UKIP next time round if they’re going to lose their deposit and a packet more money trying to run a hopeless campaign?
UKIP is like a successful rock band in which there’s one guy who leads the band, writes all the songs, does all the singing and plays all the guitar licks. The rest of the band though come to resent his controlling ways and bad behaviour and force him out, thinking they can make it without him, only to find their careers bomb because he was the talent. Perhaps they realise their mistake and get back together a few years later but, while they may be able to work the nostalgia circuit, fickle public tastes have moved on and they never regain the dizzying heights of stardom.
I know some UKIPpers are hoping for a return of our once-and-future-king. I hear no hints coming via Raheem Kassam or Arron Banks of an “I-told-you-so” return to the top job though. I suspect he’s making far too much money working for LBC and is very aware that his MEP’s salary will run out in two years. Do you realise that ordinary people snigger at the idea if Nigel Farage making yet another comeback as UKIP leader? Hard as it will be for his many devotees to accept, many of the problems with how UKIP operates were bequeathed to us by our former leader.
UKIP is a bit like a self-destructive friend. After destroying their relationships, career and financial situation, you see them washed-up and in desperate need of being put back on the right track. You know it’s hopeless trying to help them though, as they won’t listen to advice, will blow every opportunity and squander any money you give them. Sadly and powerlessly you conclude it’s only a matter of time until they shuffle off this mortal coil.
I don’t need to go back over all the disasters and inaction of the last 12 months which have taken us from the stunning success of winning the referendum to electoral irrelevance. Still the talentless cabal of old boys who run UKIP cling on to control, like a tired old Soviet Politburo, or indeed the European Commission. Don’t they get it?
THERE’S NOTHING LEFT TO SAVE!
The worst manifestation of this is the current desperate plotting to stop Anne Marie Waters from standing for the leadership. Bill Etheridge’s article in the Telegraph smearing ordinary UKIPpers as neo-Nazis, using the language of the hard left, was truly treacherous and shameful. It’s likely they will try to disqualify AMW by deeming her not to be a ‘member in good standing’, thereby avoiding being tested in any kind of democratic election among the membership.
I understand those who don’t want to be tarred with the same brush as the BNP or the EDL. There was a logic to this when UKIP was a more respectable alternative, riding high in the polls and with establishment friends who could protect its leaders from being dragged through the courts. All that has changed. UKIP today is polling far lower than the BNP were before we sucked away their support. The Integration Agenda has led to us being painted as Islamophobes. We only have a couple of significant donors left.
Those who may consider themselves morally and intellectually superior to the likes of the BNP may be surprised to find that many of the opinions expressed about Islam, immigration and cultural Marxism at UKIP branch meetings or in the pages of UKIP Daily would not be out of place in ‘far right’ circles. The truth is that anyone who challenges the establishment leftist narrative on these matters will be demonised as ‘far right’, ‘Fascist’, ‘Islamophobic’, etc. The alternative is to stay silent and go along with the agenda. By joining the chorus condemning the ‘far right’, we play along and set ourselves up for the same treatment.
There’s so much exciting stuff going on at the moment on the right – whether it’s Tommy Robinson, Paul Joseph Watson and other vloggers on YouTube and social media, inspiring marches and rallies against Islamic extremism in London and Manchester or former/moderate Muslims speaking out – which UKIP is barely connected with.
UKIP risks being overtaken and sidelined. This is happening already. UKIP seems to have zero online strategy. Its national website is rubbish and the Party Chairman was even reported to have told the Party spokesmen to stay away from social media during the election campaign! No wonder older people still form the core of UKIP’s support base. We need to attract younger people if we are to survive and save our way of life!
Either Anne Marie Waters emerges as the victor of this leadership election and revolutionises the party with a new energy and focus or I, and I suspect many others, will abandon UKIP and follow AMW instead, possibly forming a new party with energy and talent at the top.
The only thing UKIP has left is its branch structure and grassroots activists. Let’s hope they can be incorporated into a movement which harnesses all the talents of the patriotic right and is unafraid to stand up to the biggest threats facing our society.