Review of the UKIP Leadership Candidates and a Conclusion
First let me make it clear this is my own view on the leadership candidates and does not represent an official view of Kipper Central or, indeed, all of my colleagues at Kipper Central.
The Leadership Candidates As So Far Indicated
(Subject to a vetting process which should be underway.)
- David Allen
- Henry Bolton
- David Coburn
- Jane Collins
- David Kurten
- Marion Mason
- Aidan Powlesland
- John Rees-Evans
- Ben Walker
- Anne Marie Waters
- Peter Whittle
A Review of each in order shown above
A nice enough chap who never uses one word where a dozen would do. Guaranteed to ensure you have a good night’s sleep as an after dinner speaker.
Too much concentration on one issue.
First impressions were very poor. He seemed aggressive and defensive. He seems, also, reluctant to committing to supporting the eventual winner and working as a part of the team in some role other than leader.
He does have valuable experience which the UKIP leadership would benefit from. His knack of ruffling feathers would hinder his ability to lead. However, unlike the majority of candidates, he is one of the two who do respond to questions and it is clear he does read and absorb comments.
His snide attacks on another candidate were enough to put me off him. His whole approach seems to be dirty tactics.
His apparent contempt for members who do not wish to be formally elected as officers and his declared intention to exclude them from the policy formulating process means he is unlikely to command much support.
His strident anti-English stance at the London Hustings was a definite turn off.
She did not appear at the London Hustings and much of her presentation seems to depend on her own personal problems.
In later publications she presented some useful ideas but insufficient to provide evidence of leadership qualities.
An affable chap who delivers a good speech.
Unfortunately it takes rather more than that to be a leader. There appeared to be little substance behind the speech and his absence from the general debate is marked.
He has been criticised by some from an over reliance on jokes.
Who? That is the most asked question on facebook. The first most of us heard of this person was her appearance on the nominations list. How she managed to obtain the necessary nomination and assents without anyone knowing beats me.
Not heard of in any hustings. Not heard of in any forums. An evidence based decision would suggest she is not leadership material.
Here is another cure for insomnia.
Dull! Dull! Dull!
Nothing original to say and has not appeared in any of the online forums.
One of the leading candidates but I have some unease about him.
His Direct Democracy message is confused and ambiguous. As presented it is unworkable. As otherwise hinted it has major deficiencies. One of his proposals could be hijacked by evil people and UKIP members could be subject to considerable harm and real danger.
When questioned it was clear he did not have a clue how to implement what he proposes and is reliant on third party opinion. This is rather like our Chancellor of the Exchequer. Can be eloquent but has a tendency to verbosity.
Here is a man who is not loud, arrogant or verbose. On an individual basis he reminded me very much of Nigel Farage. He has a capacity to engage with individuals.
True his policies need fleshing out and hopefully they will be during the formal campaign but his approach to democratising the party and then the nation are more practical than those of JRE.
This candidate is the one of only two who seems to respond to each and every question and comment on facebook.
A courageous woman who I first met at the count in Lewisham at the General Election before last. The NEC refused to allow her to stand a second time and this has been a source of rancour in the party. Her own branch supported her and had selected her as its candidate in Lewisham East. She has many good ideas and her fervour on one particular issue is clear. She is one of the most inspiring speakers of this campaign although some of her proposals might take some digesting.
Unfortunately she has baggage. She is alleged to be a leading and certainly founding member of another organisation and it is hard to see how she can be independent of that. Even if she were to achieve this difficult transition the press and media would not let her forget her origins and UKIP’s publicity would be dominated by Establishment attacks suggesting we subscribe to various isms.
However good she is the media would ensure they used every dirty trick in the book to smear her and the party. However good she is I believe she would, on a personal basis, be harmed by that if she became leader. The party also would be damaged. Her weakness on economic issues would also present a problem.
With his exposure as Deputy Leader he might have been expected to have had an advantage but his campaign has been relatively invisible. Hearing members of his own branch (my own) speak you would believe he is entirely invisible (albeit this claim is disputed, see footnote). They complain he does not attend branch meetings and I can vouch for the fact that he does not appear to answer correspondence from his constituents, as a London Assembly Member.
He did not appear at the London Hustings, despite being a London Assembly Member and a large contingent from his own branch attending. He has appeared on radio programs where his output has been reasonable but in speeches he made in the approach to the Assembly elections he seemed hesitant and almost clumsy in his use of language.
I have no idea what policies he is proposing. He is invisible.
The leading contenders, in my view, are Henry Bolton, John Rees-Evans, Ben Walker and Anne-Marie Waters. On balance it seems to me Ben Walker has the edge on the others. Mostly this is because he is a down to earth chap with his feet firmly planted on the ground. Therefore, at this stage, I put my weight behind Ben. However I keep an open mind and so should we all.
I remain open to be convinced another candidate could do better. It is time, though, we saw some real campaigning and not the empty rhetoric that has been symptomatic of much of the exchange so far. It is time, too, for the candidates to take responsibility for those working for them in their campaigns and imposed some discipline on their agents and supporters.
Footnote – Correction
I am asked to make it plain that Peter Whittle had a good reason not to be at the London (Unofficial) Hustings. He had an engagement elsewhere which he felt he could not break.
The Secretary of Greenwich and Lewisham UKIP has complained because he says Peter is not a member of the branch. As I understood it he was a member of the branch. If this has changed I was unaware of it and other members seem, also, to have been unaware.
The views and details contained in this item are an impression of the candidates and are purely the opinion of the author. This is not presented as a comprehensive analysis but merely as a grassroots member’s view.