Why UKIP must Unite as a Party
Over the last week, I have seen more infighting in UKIP than I think I’ve ever seen before. There have been resignations, lies, plots and even jokes about murder. Now whoever you are supporting as the leader, you must realise that the party will have to unite after the new leader is chosen. In this article, I’m not going to name names, but I know of two people who have blocked anyone on Twitter who is supporting a certain candidate for the leadership.
UKIP’s reason for existing is to create an alternative to the traditional establishment parties. And up until 2014, we did a wonderful job of doing that. We were one united party that set out to achieve something and achieved it. Look at how much we did in those great years! We went from a single-issue protest party to one that took third place nationally. And then came the European elections, which we won! We were the first party other than the Labour Party or Conservative Party to win the popular vote in a British election since the 1906 general election! The Tories were scared out of their wits, Labour started collapsing – all because of the work of a new small party called UKIP.
Come the General Election, we got 4 million votes and only one seat to show for it. This could be interpreted as both a failure and a success. It was a success because we got our first seat in a general election, we got 4 million votes, and we started taking out Labour in the North of England and Wales. But it was a failure because we deserved 82 seats (according to vote percentage), so our electoral system had failed us. But little known was another failure that is coming up more often now we have a leadership contest. We failed to satisfy the ‘Purple Tories’ (A.K.A. Conservative MPs and Councillors who moved to UKIP) that we had a good election strategy. They are used to winning elections and the stunningly low number of UKIP MPs elected was a big shock to them. This caused a lot of anger towards the Farage wing of the party and certain individuals said some very offensive and inappropriate things towards other members of the party and its leader. This lead to Suzanne Evans being suspended and Carswell becoming almost as hated as Cameron by UKIP members.
Then things started going really wrong. Some of the Purple Tories started getting a little bit hostile. They said some nasty things about Farage and his team and more people were suspended that were allies of Suzanne Evans. Whether you like this wing of the party or not, you must see that it is bad for the party to have several divided factions. The next big division in the party was when we gained 7 members of the Welsh Assembly. Nathan Gill led our campaign in Wales and is still our leader in Wales. But when our group of AMs were chosen, they had to vote for a leader in the assembly. The plan was that Gill would get this position. However, Hamilton decided he was better for the role and stood, getting 4 votes over Gill’s 3. This was possibly the biggest row in UKIP’s history, with the Purple Tories against the ‘Faragites’ like never before.
The final straw for many was the EU referendum. It is undeniable that Vote Leave, the official ‘Leave’ campaign hated Farage and UKIP to the guts. They wanted nothing to do with us, other than the Purple Tory wing. They had Suzanne Evans on their board of chairmen and Carswell as a spokesman, so they were always going to anger the traditional kippers. This just added to feud in UKIP and was arguably the deciding factor.
And most recently, the NEC’s decision to bar Woolfe from standing to become the leader. I’ll be going into more detail on this tomorrow but for now, I will look at the division it has caused. There has never been a bigger split in the party than today. The governing NEC has decided that Steven Woolfe is ineligible to stand and this has angered masses of UKIP members. My Twitter feed was more active than ever before. In fact, I put a poll up on Twitter and after 385 votes, the results are that 81% think he should stand, 15% think he shouldn’t and 4% are undecided. The issue is, he submitted the application before the deadline, but technical problems meant that it was not received in time.
So, just from looking at few key moments in detail, we can see very clearly that UKIP is far stronger when we unite and work as one big team. So my plea to all UKIP members, supporters and politicians are let’s have no more backstabbing, no more insults, and no more unsavoury jokes. If we do this together, we will become the official opposition sooner than the establishment thinks.