CHRIS WELLS: Bolton; The Final Frontier
Another day in Bolton’s UKIP fantasy land. Having presented himself as a harbinger of change, he has disappointed, dissembled, and destroyed members confidence in his honesty and competence. The changes he proposes, demolished and undermined by more than one article on this site, would leave us with authoritarian control reminiscent of the divine right of kings; something this country once chose to prevent by civil war.
And yet he has the barefaced cheek to condemn the authoritarian style of the EU as his core belief.
Do as I say, not as I do is neither a pleasing nor elegant message.
Massaging the facts about your past is neither an honest nor palatable position.
Sneering at our personal morals neither a welcome nor sensible act.
This morning, facing probably the most important 24 hours of his (brief) political life, what was this man doing? Once more on local radio in Kent condemning the actions of the only local authority run by UKIP. A place he has banned from being mentioned in UKIP press releases as he wants “nothing good coming out about Thanet”, presumably until the veterans of three years bloody battling to demonstrate the difference a UKIP council can make, do his ill-informed will.
I must make one thing straight. I have never attacked Henry Bolton. I have, as now, simply responded when attacked. Once tomorrow is done, whatever the result, huge damage has been done to the UKIP brand by Henry Bolton’s actions. We will either wake Sunday morning facing life under a deluded, Canute like figure, resisting the democratic tide of the times; or be once more plunged into hamstrung inactivity by another farcical leadership election. Farcical because many good candidates cannot participate and be elected without access to personal wealth to prop up their living expenses.
To be honest, I am not sure which is worse. But, that is the trade of politics, the art of the possible. In this case, as in mine with the local issue of Manston Airport, the choices are uninviting. But as with Manston Airport, the facts matter more than anything else. And the facts here state whilst a leadership election is nobody’s first choice, it is, at least, an election with rules and equality of franchise. Whichever way you spin Bolton’s vision of UKIP’s future, the rules and the franchises proposed are profoundly undemocratic.
Those of us who have given so many years to opposing the undemocratic nature of the EU, will not walk into Bolton’s whimsical worldview. We would rather walk away with our heads held high.