The Future of UKIP
Nigel Farage was the man who made UKIP a success, from when he first became an MEP in 1999 and leader in 2006 he worked tirelessly and with conviction to build UKIP from a minor party on the fringes of the political landscape to the third largest party in modern British Politics. He spoke with conviction, with honesty and with passion, matched by no other politician he has helped change the political landscape in the UK. He will go down in the History books as the person which helped lead Britain out of the EU.
Not many leaders can say they left on a high, but for Farage, he has resigned after achieving his political ambition. Britain voted to leave the European Union, and while Farage alone did not secure the victory by himself, he and UKIP were instrumental in bringing about a referendum which David Cameron never wanted to see happen. So while we must honour his time and thank Farage for all the amazing work he has achieved over the course of his political career, we must also accept that UKIP is now moving into a different era. We now have to make a choice of what type of party we will be in the future. Will we continue to be a party that gives ordinary people in Britain a voice, which takes on the political establishment in Britain and wins or are we destined to lose our unique selling point, become politically correct and fall into the political wilderness? This will be perhaps the most important leadership election of UKIPs history.
There is no denying Farage has made some errors over his political career, and while there is no need to list them, it is important that moving forwards UKIP does not make the same mistakes again. We must professionalise our internal management. To properly progress as a mainstream party, we must have the ability to fight local, regional and national elections with expertise and knowledge. Candidates should be picked from local branches, and be chosen by the membership. It is important that candidates, whether they are MPs or councillors, assembly members or Mayors, are able to understand the local issues as well as the national ones and drive home the UKIP message that we are here to represent the people. We must make it clear that UKIP is full of politicians of conviction, who care deeply about issues and want to give the people of Britain a better deal than the lacklustre established parties. With our membership at such high levels and the breadth of talent in UKIP never being so large, we should have no issue in finding local candidates to fill up positions. Who live locally and who understand the local problems. The electorate wants their representatives to speak on their behalf, who have gone through the same issues as they have and who have done jobs that have given them experience in real life situations which they can transfer to politics. Teacher or Barrister, soldier or minor, it is important that we highlight people’s experiences so the electorate knows they are getting real people, who have used the same services as they have, gone to the same school and they have and have had to work for what they achieve in life and not had it handed to them on a plate. I also want UKIP to carry on talking about the difficult issues, UKIP made the immigration debate mainstream, UKIP made the EU debate mainstream and we must now shy away from issues such as these but tackle them head on. Be its Sharia law, multiculturalism or the NHS or our drugs policy, UKIP must give the British people a chance to have a serious and adult debate on these issues. We must never be afraid to talk common sense, to actually represent people’s views and to do what politicians are meant to do, be the people’s voice. Lastly, I hope the new leader really captivates and uses the talent in UKIP. We must not be seen as a one man band but of a party with talents from the Valleys in Wales, into the midlands in the North. We must use all our people effectively to ensure the electorate know of more people than just a few UKIP politicians, but can name as many as they can Tories and Labour.
I have no doubt that any of the candidates on offer will deliver this but the person who I feel can deliver the best chance at electoral success is Steven Woolfe. He has the three main qualities a leader needs. He will be able to professionalise the party and make UKIP a fighting machine. He has the media skills and charisma to make people listen, whether he is debating on question time or doing a simple TV interview. He always comes across charismatic, intelligent and honest. And he will be able to unify the party. Woolfe has never attacked any UKIP members or representatives, has always kept things civil and is the perfect candidate to bring UKIP together again after the minor issues we have faced. United we win, divided we fall. This is just the type of leader UKIP needs; a straight-talking politician who is able to appeal to the electorate, it won’t matter if you are Labour voters, conservative voters or no voters, UKIP will be the people’s voice and make your voice heard.
This is the future I see off UKIP and for those who think we will simply die after BREXIT, well you ain’t seen nothing yet.