Who Should Lead UKIP and WHY?
Am I alone in thinking the silly season is with us in UKIP? A leadership process has begun and yet the rules, once again, have been frigged, midstream, without the consent of the members or even consulting them. People have been told not to stand and people disqualified (by the NEC) to be Parliamentary candidates are able to. It will all end in tears and probably the courts!
So What Should We Expect of a Leader of UKIP?
- The ability to inspire.
- A good command of English language and its grammar and the ability to articulate.
- A good intellect.
- An enquiring mind open to being influenced by debate and evidence.
- No outside allegiances. This is a full time job (and a half).
- Clear evidence the candidate is not a one issue opportunist merely seeking to use UKIP as a platform for some other campaign.
- No baggage i.e. no scandals waiting in the wings.
- The ability to think on his/her feet.
- The agility to be an effective debater.
- The appearance of a leader, i.e. smart and relatively formal while not stiff and inaccessible.
- A firm commitment to consult the membership and deliver a comprehensive reform of the Constitution and Rules with a firm and binding promise to stand down and seek re-election once a better process has been devised.
Which of the Candidates Fit the Bill?
In short, none of them so far. There are promising beginnings from one or two but there are some very alarming concerns about some. There are some from the old guard and it is unlikely they will be believed if they provide the promises called for in (11.)
UKIP needs a high calibre leader more now than at any time in its history. Let us hope this coercive process ends up delivering one. One more failure and that will surely spell the end for this party. This time the leader elected MUST command the support of the overwhelming majority of the membership, or what is left of the it! The present rules make that a virtual impossibility.
Why Are We Here?
I did not join UKIP purely because of hopes of BREXIT. That was reason enough but to me UKIP offered the prospect of a new form of political movement devoid of slavish tribal loyalties or dogmatic political ideologies. I hoped to see a movement that looked at the evidence, the merits and demerits of any and every view on every issue.
My fervent hope was that we would see common sense rule and the natural consequence of that would be a smaller State (as a percentage of GDP) since the Civil Service would be told where to “get off”. There would be a fairer taxation system which did not subsidise imports and penalise the lifeblood exporters of this Great Nation. There would be a commitment to freedom and liberty limited by compassion.
It is time for the candidates to step up to the plate and begin to show us they have what it takes. The debate has been dominated, so far, by one candidate who would take us down a road to certain oblivion. The debate needs to be on these forums or on newly created ones where members ONLY can quiz the candidates.
Ideally those debates should be on a free standing platform and NOT associated with facebook. There is clear evidence all the UKIP related forums there have been infiltrated by some very unpleasant characters indeed! There need to be regional and local events where the candidates can be seen and met.
The clock is ticking. Will UKIP be destroyed by the blinkered old guard preciously guarding what is sees as its privileges or will they see sense and let UKIP develop as the political voice of Joe and Jane Public? The latter is the future I should prefer.
© PJW Holland MMXVII