David Kurten: UKIP’s Future and the British Renaissance
After meeting Kipper Central’s owner, David Kurten wrote the following as a part of our continuing leadership election coverage.
It was with immense pride that I stood alongside many tens of thousands of members and supporters of the party in campaigning for and winning the referendum to leave the EU last year.
After this triumph, UKIP is now having its third leadership election in a year, and the new leader must set the political vision for the party and be the public face of the party. We must remain a vital force in British politics to ensure that we have a full Brexit, and we leave the EU, the single market and the customs union as well as regaining control of our borders and fishing waters.
Yet we must also stand up for the freedoms and customs which make our country and civilization great and prosperous: democracy, common law, freedom of speech and thought, a respect for reason, the pursuit of excellence and support for the fundamental institutions of marriage and the family. We often take these for granted, but they are being gradually eroded.
As an ex-teacher I see the urgent need to tackle the red blob which currently controls the education system, and transform it into something which gives young people both a pride in their country and the skills they need to survive and thrive as the UK leaves the EU. The UK must become self-sufficient in skills rather than relying on importing skilled and unskilled labour from abroad, particularly in Medicine, Construction and Engineering.
UKIP must also continue to be the party of financial responsibility, and will stop wasting vast amounts of money on HS2, ‘overseas development’ and ‘green subsidies’. British money should be spent wisely on public services in the UK such as schools, the NHS, the police and border force and honouring the military covenant rather than running down our armed forces. We must continue to reduce the deficit and get the nation’s finances back into balance otherwise there will be a heavy price to pay in the future with a debased currency or hyperinflation.
I also want UKIP to be the party of free speech. Everyone must have the right to discuss and criticise all ideologies and texts without fear of being harassed by the state for their opinions, provided that they are not inciting violence. The culture of political correctness endemic in many of our once fine institutions has allowed violent, aggressive manifestations of Islamism to thrive in many areas and particularly in our prisons.
UKIP must be the party that turns back the rise in Sharia Law in the UK by abolishing Muslim Arbitration Tribunals, and combatting self-declared Sharia zones that have appeared in many towns and cities after large demographic changes. Foreign funding for radical mosques run by Wahhabis, Salafists and other Islamist sects must be cut off, and mosques and madrassas, which are found to preach incitement to violence or terrorism, must be closed.
Political correctness is also used to silence parents who are aghast at plans to introduce compulsory sex education into primary schools. School children should not be exposed to unscientific nonsense like genderqueer theory, gender fluidity or materials which are grossly age-inappropriate. There should always be freedom of speech to support the traditional family and traditional marriage.
I will continue to lead UKIP to have the courage to stand up for freedom, and to create a nation where excellence is honoured.
UKIP needs to be a party which has the vision to be in government. The Conservative Party is no longer conservative, and the Labour Party has swung to the far left. This will not happen without the party being run efficiently internally, and for that it needs to professionalise.
The second most important role in the party as it exists under the current constitution is the role of Chairman. The Chairman must be an excellent manager, administrator and communicator. I will instruct my Chairman to put in place teams that deal with press & communications, policy, fundraising, membership & branch support, candidates & campaigning, and IT & social media.
There must be much greater support for branches and help for them to find and train candidates. Where there is a call for county branches on a local level, the NEC must allow this. The current system of funding branches is inadequate. I would like to allow branches to keep 20% of membership fees and regions to keep 5% of membership fees so that all branches and regions have a regular income which can be used to fight elections.
None of this will happen without sufficient funds. I will employ a fundraiser and task them with winning back 200 patrons and increasing the membership by 20,000 in the first year. This will provide an extra £600,000 p.a. for the party which can be used to employ the extra staff needed for the party to function efficiently and provide branches with a regular income from membership fees.
More staff are needed in the press office to publicise our great policies, not just in the old media but in new media and social media too: 48% of young people now get their news from Facebook and this will continue to rise in the future.
The party also needs a full time policy unit which updates the manifesto and policy costings on a daily basis in response to political events, members’ ideas and national financial circumstances. UKIP has immense talent which is often not recognized or appreciated.
We must also start to put in place candidates for the next election immediately. We lost our Major Party status in June 2017 by abdicating from over 250 seats. This must never happen again. We must stand candidates in all seats in England, Scotland and Wales. It is very unlikely that Theresa May will plod on until 2022, and UKIP must be battle ready for the next election as soon as possible.
It is vital that UKIP professionalises to become a well-oiled machine, influential at both local and national level. Under the current constitution, the NEC has the power either to support or to block the leader. If the NEC does not fully support professionalisation of the party, I will work with branches to call an EGM and a vote to change the constitution.
Either way, we will build a great party which can bring about a British renaissance and truly make this nation great again.
UKIP Education Spokesman and London Assembly Member
More information at www.davidkurten.net