Exclusive Interview with John Rees-Evans – “I see UKIP as Britain’s last hope to regain our sovereignty”
“As we work together with a degree of cooperation and unity that no other political party has ever enjoyed in Britain, we may be assured that very many decent people throughout the country will join our ranks.”
Yesterday, I interviewed the UKIP leadership candidate John Rees-Evans over Facebook. Being a Paul Nuttall fan, I was a little critical of his ideas but I wanted to hear them out and be open to a change of heart. And thank God I was.
The leadership of UKIP over the last few years has been great. But it needs something new. Something fresh. Something that can truly unite the party and take the battle to Westminster. In fact, in the words of Paul Nuttall, “Both Nigel and I are standing down from the stage. And that must mean standing down”.
Anyway, on to the interview.
What made you decide to stand for leadership?
“I love my country and I see UKIP as Britain’s last hope to regain our sovereignty and secure the kind of future that the many decent people in this country actually want. I recognised that as long as we have a system of internal organisation that allows a situation in which a small handful of people meeting behind closed doors make decisions on behalf of the entire party without bothering to consult the members, we will always be faced with the very real risk that the agenda within UKIP will be dictated by an aspiring political class within our party, which yearns for acceptance by and respectability amongst, the mainstream media and the Westminster bubble. We witnessed evidence of this direction on Sunday morning when we saw two leadership candidates apologising for decisions made by our party leader which were effective in attaining our primary goals, and yet which offended the sensibilities of the liberal elite.”
How would you grow the party?
“Once we empower the members through the implementation of direct democracy within our party, once it is evident that we value the ideas and skills and contribution of every member, once it becomes clear that everyone within the party is accorded the means to influence the future direction of UKIP, and once it is seen that issues that each member cares about are given a platform, there will finally be a compelling reason to join and get involved, and to recruit others of like mind. As we work together with a degree of cooperation and unity that no other political party has ever enjoyed in Britain, we may be assured that very many decent people throughout the country will join our ranks.”
And finally, how would you change our campaigning methods?
“Primarily, by harnessing the power of the Internet. Old-school methods would be retained to a degree, but I would be promoting a bias towards exploiting the potential of the digital revolution that we are now witnessing. Additionally, I would build our own independent media operation within UKIP which would be tasked with producing regular video content which would be disseminated through social media channels, largely negating the need to rely on cooperation from mainstream media – institutions that in the past have proven that they are intent on emasculating and distorting our message.”
I know there has been a rather alarming amount of anticipation about my decision from Young Independence, so I’m sure they’ll be pleased to find out that I’m backing John Rees-Evans. Right up until the day I voted, I was 100% behind Paul Nuttall, as I have mentioned. But then I heard about him excluding John from the BBC debate, and after hearing John’s responses to my questions, I decided to back him instead.
I would like to thank John for participating in my interview and for taking the time to talk with me – even though I’m just an ordinary member, not a celebrity or MEP.