What Does UKIP Need In An Interim Period?
Given recent events, it appears that Henry Bolton may be nearing the end of his term. The NEC has instigated an EGM through their unanimous vote of No Confidence in his leadership, thereby leaving the ultimate decision in the hands of the members. For this democratic decision, they need to be applauded, whatever else you may feel about them.
Assuming that the Vote of No Confidence is upheld at the forth-coming EGM, this then places Ukip into a kind of ‘limbo’ stage until another leadership election takes place. However, given the current financial status of the party, many feel an election is not an option and coupled with the local elections fast approaching in May, they are therefore understandably concerned as to the way forward post EGM.
The most sensible and practical option would be to appoint an Interim leader, and this idea is, I believe, already being contemplated. This raises other questions, such as, for how long, and who is best placed to fill that role? I am not going to debate that itself, but would suggest that we need to broaden our outlook by asking the question as to what do we need in a leader to take us through this period?
We also need to address the question of priorities. What is most important? For some, it will be to get through the May elections with minimal disruption and maximum effect! They may well benefit from having a mobile grassroots spokesman to underpin their campaigning. For others, it will centre around getting long overdue reform instigated which requires a complex skill-set, for yet others, it will be policy focus requiring vision and initiative, or a recruitment drive headed by someone with charisma and passion.
Immediate qualities that spring to mind are stability, experience, respect, loyalty, commitment, and so forth which are all relevant. However, in addition to qualities are talents and general skill-set: IT expertise, business acumen, good PR and motivational skills, secretarial ability and numerical aptitude and so on.
It can be safely said that any one person will not possess all of these qualities and skills, and even if they did, they would not have the time or energy to apply them systematically. So, it would seem reasonable to suggest that we need to appoint a ‘leadership team’ to undertake the variety of tasks and responsibilities which the situation pre-empts.
Well surely that is the job of a leader to appoint his or her own team as is usually the case, but looking at the success of this system to date, it seems to cause more infighting than success! Could it be (subject to rules of course) that an Interim Team is appointed and not just an Interim Leader? An alternative might be that a leadership team is agreed with a prospective appointee prior to his or her appointment. I am asking the question as to whether the gifts and skills of individuals would be matched and utilised more effectively if appointed by a collective body, whether that be the NEC or members?
Obviously, the appointees would need to consent, and there may be other issues which I’ve not touched upon, but at this stage, I am addressing the principle.