UKIP’s Butterfly Effect
Well, that was pretty dreadful wasn’t it? I am referring to the truly monumental lathering that UKIP took at the polls this Thursday. Over 100 seats lost and just one won; superficially, it is not hard to see why the likes of Arron Banks have taken to the airwaves and declared UKIP “finished” as an electoral force.
Lets start with a proposition. UKIP is dead. However, that doesnt mean that it is time to wind the party up, like Katie Hopkins has said we should. The UKIP that died this Thursday (may it rest in peace) is the one that aimed to replace the Conservative Party. The Conservative Party is going nowhere, it will, literally, be with us until the end of time, and even after that it will probably still haunt the corridors of power. All of UKIPs support that tactically switched from the Conservatives to UKIP to achieve first the referendum and then Brexit have returned home. However, a fundamental tenant of my faith is that new life is accompanied by the absolute necessity of death and that holds true here.
We are free to be what we want to be. We do need to find a new identity and purpose but this is something we can do. We need to be an integral part of shaping Britain as it leaves the prison of the EU, blinking in the cold harsh light of the world. Just because we have left the EU, does that mean the issue of Islam has gone away? Of course not and despite the leaderships ‘one-step-forward, two-steps backwards’ approach to this question, it is an issue where so many in this country are left without a voice.
Patriotic working class voters disenfranchised by the implosion of the Labour Party may be prepared to give the Conservative Party their trust right now but how long will that last? Working class support for the Conservative Party has historically been conditional on it not crossing the line and with a potentially unassailable majority on the cards for Mrs May that crossing of the line probably wont be too long in coming. So, when the day comes, where will these people go? Back to Labour? Not likely.
Politics in this country is broken and fundamentally speaking, what is the point of leaving the prison of the EU to sink in the Westminster swamp. Such strong feeling exists in support of Brexit because for the first time in a long time people felt empowered. They stood up to the monied elites and made a difference. We need to carry that mood forward and let it sweep through our Party.
So, we have a purpose. The caterpillar can become a butterfly. How do we get there? Well, we do need to start professionalising and changing the leadership now is not going to help that process. Every leader is new broom and will start their tenure by bringing in their people. Keep on swapping leaders and you will never have a chance of putting the needed structure in place because its in too much flux. This isn’t the time to change the leadership.
This is a pivotal moment for UKIP and we have a choice to make. We can either sink or swim. I vote we choose to swim.