Whittle – ‘We Will Stand In Every Seat’ – Defiant Message From Challenger’s Launch
Current UKIP Deputy Leader Peter Whittle has launched his party leadership challenge with a pledge that under his leadership the party would contest all 650 seats at the next General Election. He said that ‘the days when we help prop up the two party system will be over’. Whittle also pledged to introduce direct democracy into the party and said that UKIP needs its own media platforms to challenge the messages put out by the mainstream media (MSM). Here are some extracts from his speech-
‘I joined UKIP five years ago because it was the only truly patriotic party in the UK. That is the case now more than ever. As a patriot, I believe this country needs UKIP. We have made the political weather. We have set the agenda, and I believe we can have a remarkable and exciting future ahead of us. As we rebuild, as we prepare ourselves for this new era in Britain’s history, it would be my honour and privilege to be your leader.
‘It is not acceptable that members feel ignored, unsupported or locked out of the decision making process. We must also ensure that every region has a training centre for candidates, and establish a ‘fighting fund’ to help candidates with their deposits. Furthermore, we will develop a completely new interactive website and a smartphone based app to further engage with supporters and potential members.
‘We must professionalise our Party and establish a strong sense of collective responsibility amongst our spokespeople and elected representatives.
‘We shouldn’t air our internal arguments in public, but instead have the professional levels of discipline that voters’ rightly expect.
‘We must support and resource tomorrow’s generation of Brexiteer patriots in Young Independents by providing coaching, job networking and mentoring opportunities, and we must develop and support UKIP Students, a vital new branch of our Party, at a time of increasing restrictions on freedom of speech on University campuses.
‘All too often, the party has under-utilised the enormous talent and specialist expertise that has been there right at its fingertips. I would make it a priority to bring forward fresh faces, and create a more streamlined team.
‘Finally, our party must look afresh at how it gets its message across to the public.
‘I am one of the party’s most experienced media spokespeople, appearing on everything from Andrew Marr to Question Time to Any Questions. But I don’t need to tell you that as a party we have to deal with a broadcast media which is hostile to our ideas and our party. I believe the time has come to emulate the success of parties in other countries – in the USA and Europe – and develop our own platforms.
‘I cannot emphasise how important this is. I would make it a priority as leader that we in UKIP study and develop sophisticated ways in which to bypass an increasingly distrusted and irrelevant media. Of course, all of these things require money. You can’t do anything without proper resources. I built my own business, a high-profile and influential think tank, and am an experienced and successful fundraiser. It would be a priority for me to build on our existing donor base and go out and find new backers so that our future remains secure. I believe that I have what it takes to convince donors of my vision for the party, and to take them along with me.’
Westmonster Dave is the editor of alt-politics.com
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