OPINION: A Democratic Revolution For UKIP
UKIP is now in such a state of disarray and chaos following the revelation of Henry Bolton’s affair that one thing is clear and on this one thing we should all agree. We cannot go on like this and if we do it will be the death of UKIP. I am going to leave the question of the leadership and chairmanship aside and take the fact that we need new incumbents in both of these two key posts as a given because aside from anything else, both Mr Bolton and Mr Oakden have made it eminently clear they are barriers to serious change within the Party.
Let’s be frank. Mr Bolton allowed himself to be consumed by the UKIP swamp and its selfish ‘me-firstism’, it’s desire to feather it’s own nest. He cannot see what he has done wrong when he has lied too and betrayed every UKIP member and his election is now built on lies to such an extent that in my eyes it is null and void. The swamp with its contemptuous abuse of the Party and us the UKIP members is a monster and it must be drained.
So, where do we start? With the NEC. Regional representation on the NEC is actually a sensible proposal and it should be followed through. In addition, MEP’s, Councillors, [future] MPs, AMs and last but no means least Young Independence should all have a seat on an expanded NEC with a portion of the seats then reserved for directly elected member representatives. This will give us an NEC that represents a broad cross-section of the Party both from the membership in terms of the regional representatives and directly elected members reps and from our representatives. The NEC will become a truly representative body of the entire Party.
People like Alan Bown have no place on the NEC. Corporate governance of the Party should be devolved to an NEC-appointed sub-group operating as a Board Of Trustees. The marriage of the corporate and political governance of the Party is a corrupting influence on both and it has to be ended. While we on the subject of revamped powers for the NEC, the Chair should be accountable to the NEC, not the Party, ie political, leader. All issues detailed in this very informative piece on UKIP Daily should be dealt with as suggested and the autocratic nonsense Mr Oakden has brought in should be reversed.
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While we are in the ‘ball-park’ discussing the Chair, the Chairman should have their wages capped at the average national wage. I have heard enough tales of ‘Biggles Oakden’ answering and making calls at midnight to have been persuaded that the position deserves a salary but not the gross amounts Mr Oakden is purportedly paid. It has to stop. All appointments made by the Chair should be subject to a rubber-stamping by the NEC. The leader has to suffer this vetting so why should the Chair not?
Open reporting of NEC meetings by NEC members in the UKIP press, online and offline in the Independence magazine should become a standard practice. All these measures taken together would begin the process of rebuilding UKIP as a democratic Party ruled by its members, not the current shadowy oligarchy that runs it and is responsible for its current predicament. On this basis, we will survive and become strong again and eventually thrive and if only one good thing can come out of this entire omnishambles please let it be this.