With Nigel Farage getting his life back, and the June referendum safely won, our dear party appears to be paralysed in a barren dream, lurching from one crisis to another while wrestling with a philosophical question that is timeless: Why?
Why do we still exist? Why do we not, instead, retire and bask in the memories of our finest hour?
Well, I believe there are two main reasons for our continued existence in British politics. Firstly, while the referendum has been won, exit from the European Union has not been secured. Not only do we have a new Prime Minister who backed Remain but we have a new Prime Minister with a history, in her time as Home Secretary, of failed promises, empty words and endless bowing and kowtowing to the virus of political correctness.
Secondly, moving away from the issue of the United Kingdom’s membership of the sclerotic and decaying European Union, we are still locked into a grim and chastening political reality in Britain. Five hundred and sixty-one MPs in the House of Commons are from either the Labour or Conservative Party. These parties are meant to be ideologically opposed to each other, but this supposed ‘opposition’ is a sad joke, as their differences are trivial and they both prefer to ignore anything that exists out of their narrow paradigm.
UKIP is required, therefore, to maintain electoral pressure on a potentially-dishonest Prime Minister and to present a radical political alternative to the beige offering of the pathetic and tired ‘mainstream’ parties who currently hold dominance in the main offices of political power.
As we move into our second leadership contest of the year, I believe only Raheem Kassam has the requisite ideas, profile and presence to propel our party into a successful and meaningful post-Brexit and post-Farage future. Kassam has come up with a radical and profound set of ideas and policies for both UKIP and our future manifesto which, if he becomes leader, can ensure three things will happen.
Firstly, our foundation as a party can be secure. Kassam wants to slash the membership price and bring the number of members up to 100,000 by 2020, thereby providing UKIP with enough activists, volunteers and potential candidates to fight future elections and spread our beautiful message far and wide.
Secondly, Kassam wants to inspire a digital revolution for the party, dragging us into the 21st century and making UKIP far more accessible than it currently is for potential members and folk who want to find out more about us. After all, the Internet is king and our current social media presence is inconsistent and haphazard.
Lastly, and perhaps most importantly, with Kassam as leader our manifesto for the next General Election will present a genuine and glorious alternative to the narrow-minded focus of the Conservative and Labour parties. Flat tax. Opposition to extremist Islam. Better education on British history. Justice for Marine ‘A’. Opposition to the failed doctrine of multiculturalism. A return to technical colleges, as well as grammar schools. The list can go on.
Neither of the other two main leadership candidates, Paul Nuttall and Suzanne Evans, is offering such a persuasive and enticing set of pledges. On her recent appearance on the Andrew Marr show, Evans stated that she wanted to take UKIP to the centre ground currently occupied by the notorious ‘mainstream’ parties and she bizarrely labelled Kassam as wanting to take the party in a ‘far-right’ direction. Personally, I feel that Evans made a very bland and vapid opening pitch. I do not want UKIP to be a party of the centre as we already have an abundance of parties in British politics taking that position. Equally, her comments about Kassam’s genuine vision for the party seemed rather sour.
On Sunday Politics, Paul Nuttall pitched himself as the ‘unity’ candidate. I agree, certainly, that unity is important, but it seems strange, to me at least, that a man who was Farage’s deputy for so long believes he can heal the vast divisions and civil strife that sadly exist in the party. It seems even stranger still that he believes unifying the party should be the main aim and motivation; in the eyes of a great majority of the British public, UKIP’s raison d’être has been served. Whilst unity would be grand, it would serve no practical purpose unless accompanied by a bold and innovative set of ideas – the latter of which only Kassam is offering.
With UKIP at risk of being consumed in the fire of political irrelevance and oblivion, we need a new leader to reclaim our eternal theme of being outspoken and unashamedly forthright. I joined UKIP two years ago because we were a radical and genuine alternative to the failed ideas of the mainstream. I would like us to stay that way, so I am firmly supporting Raheem Kassam to be our next leader.