[Ed: The following article is the personal view of a contributor, a member of the East Hampshire Branch. We hope that other readers will also send in their own personal views of the candidate they will support in the forthcoming UKIP Leadership Election. This appeal is to further the debate amongst members, many of whom cannot attend the Hustings but are interested in the different views of those who are able to attend. Different viewpoints from members encourage debate – and that’s what we all want and need!]
These are my personal thoughts after the UKIP Leadership hustings in Frimley on the 22nd of August 2016, which I attended. They are not necessarily shared by my Branch.
My main thought is that UKIP needs better candidates and better governance.
This is not to decry the current candidates, but in Olympic terms we seem to be short of a gold medallist.
Why do I say that? In my view there is too much reliance on sound-bites and no coherent analysis of or solution to UKIP’s current woes.
Better governance implies a revised Constitution, but before we can finalise any changes to the constitution, we must have a stab at agreeing the main objectives and direction of travel, otherwise we will be attempting to argue the minutiae without a clear statement of direction.
Without a firm indication on governance from the candidates, it is impossible to know whom to support.
Below is my analysis and I hope that it may serve to prompt further moves to bring sense back to the “Party of Common Sense”.
In my view the “elect and forget” NEC is unfit for purpose. Why?
- Most members know very little about those standing for election, so how to vote?
- They are not standing for specific responsibilities or regions.
- They have no mandate to report back to the membership.
- The membership have no regular way to assess their individual or group performance.
I want better:
- A governance and reporting structure (to replace the current NEC) which will work for and be accountable to the membership;
- A political structure (leader and shadow spokespersons) which will be responsible for policy proposals, manifestos, media and public relations;
- A training development and compliance office to look after the needs of councillors, parliamentarians, and branches (including membership records), whilst defending the party against rogue elements of all stripes;
- An informal communications system where policy and governance issues can be discussed within the membership without commitment;
- Formal communications systems for reporting governance matters on the one hand and on the other hand obtaining approval by the membership to proposed policy.
Successful leadership is characterised by (amongst everything else) ensuring success in three areas:
- tasks: define plan and progress on what needs to be done;
- team building: break responsibilities down and build a team that is effective;
- Personnel: both leadership and team members are available, motivated and informed and fresh and capable to perform their tasks.
So what attributes does a leader of a political party need? My dream leader (leadership team) should be:
- Cold and calculating in setting priorities and managing risks;
- Ruthless, courageous and determined in driving execution;
- Well-thought-out, fully briefed, controlled, on message, articulate, inspirational at media events and public speaking, able to carry the nation with him/her and field any googlies;
- First and foremost a team player – loyalty always works both ways and loyalty to the Party is paramount;
- Committed to develop people, teams and structures within the party to ensure that the party can govern and renew itself successfully.
OK it’s a tall order, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get.