Henry Bolton: The Best Way That I Can Continue To Serve My Country Is To Serve UKIP as the Party’s leader
If you have not yet voted in the leadership election, please consider doing so.
This leadership contest will not only determine the future of our party but, because we are the only party that can provide an effective pro-BREXIT opposition, the outcome of this election will also determine whether the future prosperity and security of our country. It will determine how effectively our party will be able to hold the government to account for delivering the mandate given to the government by you on 23rd June last year.
We brought about the referendum and we were instrumental in achieving its result. However we have not yet left the Customs Union; we are not out of the Single Market, we do not have control over our borders, we do not have full control over immigration, we cannot conclude our own trade negotiations and our courts and parliament are still subordinate to a foreign power.
BREXIT does not end on the day that we finally leave the European Union; it is about giving the people of this country a voice in their own affairs and it is about making Britain an independent, outward looking and global nation, a trading nation, a secure nation in which one rule of law – the law enacted in parliament – prevails; a nation that supports its friends and allies abroad; a nation that is optimistic and proud to be called British. Achieving these goals is our party’s core task; that is our purpose. Leaving the European Union is only the first step, but it is an absolutely necessary one. We must make it happen.
The challenge is great. Much is against us: the media, parts of government and a range of vested interests here and in abroad. Many of our institutions have been compromised by decades of mismanagement, swinging cuts and ever increasing bureaucracy. Our fishing and manufacturing base has been run down to an appalling degree and extensive privatisation has created a wealth imbalance and undermined almost every area of public service delivery from prisons to public transport. The European Union itself has encouraged an emphasis on administration and adherence to process rather than problem solving and so we dig ourselves into an ever deeper hole.
In the background, but no less significant, is the gradual erosion of our way of life, the fragmentation of our communities and sense of community. An unacceptable rate of net immigration continues to overwhelm those same communities, public services and housing. That immigration brings with it new cultures, security risks and a massive additional burden on our services and infrastructure.
There is much to do to put our great country back on track. We know that the Conservatives and Labour will not do it – they created this situation. The Liberal Democrats have stated quite clearly that they do not want us to leave the EU. The ONLY party that can deliver is ours, is UKIP, and we will only achieve it with effective leadership!
To deliver change, to become a dominant political influence and lead Britain we must professionalise the party, we must organise and we must mobilise.
I have spent my entire working life serving my country, as a soldier, as a police officer and as an international diplomat. I have led troops on operations, I have led efforts to combat transnational organised crime targeting the UK; I have negotiated regional security agreements with governments in Central Asia, the Balkans, the US, Russia and Europe and have 14 countries to reform their institutions, deliver better public services and protect themselves from 21st century threats. I headed the international police in Central Croatia; I directed international ceasefire operations in Macedonia and am a recognised international leader in strategic border management. I led coalition stabilisation operations in Northern Helmand, Afghanistan for 27 months and was Chief Planner for the response to the crises in Ukraine and Libya.
I now believe that the best way that I can continue to serve my country is to serve UKIP as the party’s leader; to use my skills and experience to professionalise and organise the party and to deliver credible policies; to firmly and decisively project our party into British politics so that we, together, can deliver meaningful change for our country.
As leader I will immediately set about:
- Creating an administrative support platform, consisting of individuals recruited openly from the public and selected for their professional skills in HR, finance, legal, IT, procurement, planning, internal communications and media affairs. This platform will be headed by a senior professional manager. Its task will be to support the leader and the delivery of our politics. It will also conduct the fiscal and legal scrutiny of our policies to ensure they are realistic and capable of implementation. The Platform Manager or Chief Executive, will not have a political role and will be solely responsible for the smooth functioning and performance of the Platform.
- Establishing a Shadow Cabinet. Each spokesman will, by open recruitment from the membership, appoint advisers selected for the subject matter expertise they can provide in support of the particular spokesman’s portfolio: Defence, Education, Trade etc. The Shadow cabinet will develop party policy proposals for adoption by the members at conference. I shall appoint a Youth Affairs spokesman.
- Reforming the NEC. I want to enhance the NEC’s ability to represent and inform the membership. My intention is that Regional Chairmen will be elected by their regions and that as well as being Regional Chairmen they will sit on the NEC. They, in turn, will elect their own Chairman from amongst their members. The party leader will then endorse and appoint that person as the Chair.
a. The respective role of the NEC must be clarified. Presently, whilst it is meant to be the governing body of the party, it also involves itself in policy, in executive matters – the Chairman is the Chief Executive – and in the party’s policies. This creates conflict of interest and compromises accountability and good governance. The NEC will no longer involve itself in policy. Policy will be a matter for the leader. Although the NEC must be invited to comment on policies, it shall have no veto or amending authority. My intent is for the NEC to become, in effect, a Border of Trustees representing the interests of the members by providing oversight and confidence in the proper management of the party and its assets. The NEC will, for example, have the power to initiate audits. The Leader and Chief Executive will provide reports to the NEC.
As part of the professionalisation of the party, we will provide greater support to our Branches and candidates at all levels. I want each region to own a training team that can help prepare candidates and to support them in office. I also want each region to have a campaign team to support the party’s campaigns and District, County and parliamentary level. An immediate task for the party will be to begin the process of selecting and preparing parliamentary candidates. The practice of only selecting candidates once an election is called is ineffective. Candidates must be assisted in working their wards and constituencies as early as is possible.
I want to allocate 15% of all membership subscription renewal fees to the branches, so as to provide branches with a fighting fund and motive for maintaining the branch/member relationship.
The sole purpose of this reorganisation and professionalisation of the party is to provide us with a frim base from which to launch our politics.
I will immediately commence that work of projecting our policies into British politics, firmly, credibly and decisively. Indeed, I have already started. Only this week, in the national papers and radio, I have taken the government to task over their offer to subordinate elements of UK armed forces and our foreign policy to the EU.
As a basis for our party policies we will immediately, the moment I am elected, revert to our 2015 General Election Manifesto. That is to be our start point. The Shadow Cabinet will then commence work on drafting amendments to that manifesto for adoption by party at conference.
Much of what I intend will cost money. I have already started to build my relationship with donors, but if they are to contribute towards kick-starting our party, they deserve a credible financial statement and budget plan. I and my senior team will provide this to them within two weeks of me being elected.
All of this work must start straight away. There is very little time left to influence the outcome of Brexit and we must engage immediately on that task – too much time has already been wasted. The need to provide the British people with a real voice in the community is immediate.
Once again, if you not already done so, I urge you to vote; the success of BREXIT and the prosperity, security and way of life of this great country of ours will be determined by your choice.