David Allen, a longstanding contributor to UKIP Daily, will be running in the UKIP Leadership election. We are happy to publish David’s Leadership manifesto, as requested by some comment posters. The manifesto is too long to publish here in full, but we include the introduction and the first paragraph from each section below to whet your appetite.
The full manifesto is available in PDF form here: David_Allen_Leadership Manifesto
You may be thinking why on earth would I want to do this when I am unlikely to win. Here’s why.
I see the process as an opportunity to present an alternative vision of what the party should focus on and how it should be organised. It’s a reality that, even being a part of the campaign, elevates the impact of ideas raised and discussed, perhaps to such a level that the eventual winner, were that not to be me, may feel attracted to, or even bound by (depending upon the number of votes I receive) some aspects of my personal manifesto.
It is my view that our party’s decline happened because we failed to pursue an agenda that would increase support and, instead, relied upon one which was steadily losing it. The party also became embroiled in public bickering, which didn’t help, and elected a leader who didn’t present a broad enough vision or present current policy with an intellectual clarity that could connect with hearts and minds.
In this manifesto I’ll introduce ideas and concepts that I think would gain support, and the party should progress. Whether I personally take them forward, as leader, or someone else does, isn’t particularly important. We have to find a way of attracting supporters in a climate where Brexit is tottering toward a conclusion and one in which our influence has been dramatically reduced. We need to move on to the next big change.
Above all, I hope the election doesn’t become another beauty competition or celebrity contest. Candidates should be clear about what they want, where they want to take the party and how they will achieve this. They should be tested on their ability to inspire us with their messaging, show resilience under questioning and undergo a forensic examination of their intellectual clarity of thought. We didn’t do this last time and
got a nice bloke who had no idea where to take us despite being deputy leader for six years.
Let’s not make the same mistake again.
A new regime is necessary. Do watch my videos on the manifesto web site where I will outline how this progression back to relevance and the achievement of a physical parliamentary presence can be progressed.
A UKIP Future
Let us just consider, for a moment, the reality of our position. We have lost support dramatically and the rate of this exodus is increasing. Ironically, the only ‘cliff edge’ associated with Brexit, is the one our members are falling off.
We have no parliamentary presence and have lost our standing as a major party. We have little influence in Brexit negotiations and fewer media opportunities. We lost all but one of our county councillors, 337 general election candidates lost their deposit and only 40 saved theirs, as I did. If things do not change we’ll probably lose most of our borough councillors as well in 2019. We cannot wait and hope for Brexit to go wrong. We must, above all, want Brexit to succeed, so to begin a return to political relevance, must pursue a different message with equally profound ramifications.
Quite simply, it is time to move on
It is my view that the most important political challenge, which also has significant support in the country, is electoral reform, beginning with voting reform. In this endeavour, we have the support of other parties also. The Liberal Democrats, the SNP, the Green Party and even a section of the Labour Party. As leader, I would seek to create an electoral reform coalition to progress this objective. After all politics is about achieving change and not just talking endlessly about it.
The Internal Party
It is my view that UKIP has long been disorganised, aloof, unhelpful and amateurish. For this to change to a professional and connected organisation, we need the following to happen:
- A new constitution and rule book.
- A formal and functioning communications and responsibility structure between the constituency associations and the party management and leadership.
- An NEC with clear responsibilities and accountability to regions and constituencies.
- A rigorous policy-making process which includes vetting (i.e. a red team).
- A mechanism to facilitate the utilisation of individual skills within the membership, particularly for new ideas, voting system selection and policy critique.
- A new window to the world (our web site) with constituency web sites taking on a consistency in look and feel.
- UKIP email addresses for all officers, candidates and elected officials, a sure sign of professionalism.
- A re-evaluation of membership funding between the party central and the constituencies with greater emphasis on attracting supporters as well as members.
In the UK residential energy market there is no effective competition. That is a principle reason why we all pay too much for our energy. The government has been playing at this and pretending to do something, but only the introduction of real competition will drive prices down.
There are too many people for too few houses and it is unlikely that we can ever build enough to keep up with the forecast population increase despite the vacuous promises of politicians. Those that are built remain unaffordable for many because purchase and rental costs are driven by the excess of demand over supply and that situation will forever remain unless we do something different.