MEET THE LEADER: Moulding The People’s Army Into A Fighting Force
My day in Derby started with a very successful canvassing session. It has been a while since I had canvassed so I was probably a bit rusty but it was nonetheless pleasing to see a) how many people attended and b) how professionally Councillor Alan Graves organised the session. Of course, I cannot forget to also mention the presence of Kiera the UKIP dog whose presence charmed everyone present including the attendant press pack.
However, the main event was in the evening. Henry Bolton has been there touring the country meeting members and now doubt has been on the receiving end of some of the “pent up frustration” he noted among the membership due to “long-term neglect”. This represents a laudable start to his tenure and if it is the shape of things to come bodes well for membership involvement and indeed he expounded the concept of members being a vital part of the team many times during his speech and the answers he gave to questions from the floor.
He announced that the beloved £ sign will remain the logo for the upcoming local elections. The legal issues around the use of Larry, or whatever pet name you care to give the lion, have been resolved but now it is merely a question of time. UKIPs organisational malaise, a legacy bequeathed to Bolton despite the explicit promise that an appropriate “vehicle” would be put in place, is something that obviously occupies a considerable amount of his time. It would be an understatement to say this is unfortunate and in the long term it is simply somewhat that has to change.
Henry really came alive when he was talking about Brexit. In response to a question from the floor he stated that the Conservatives simply won’t deliver Brexit and indeed today he has been proved totally correct. Far from taking us out, he declared, they are taking us further in. In response to a question from the floor on Cultural Marxism he said he was against UKIP embarking on “crusades” but for him personally and UKIP in general I would argue Brexit remains a partial exception to that rule. Again, events today have proved the necessity of continuing the crusade for Brexit and indeed the national event that he committed UKIP to organising on March 29th next year, precisely one year before Article 50 is fully enacted, should put us on the map again as the only 100% pro-Brexit Party.
The centrality of Brexit still permeates everything that we do so, although Mr Bolton wants UKIP to be the party that takes Britain “through Brexit and beyond”, until this issue it settled it will always be the beating heart of the party.
Obviously, there has been a period of significant instability for UKIP but in many ways that was a political luxury which it can no longer afford. It is highly unlikely this government will last much longer. In his comments Henry acknowledged this saying he had expected the government to last but now it looks so unstable that there could be a General Election as early as May next year to run in tandem with the local elections. I would say this outcome is a distinct possibility. So, we now have no choice but to redouble our efforts to become fighting fit and mould the People’s Army into an effective fighting force.