CONFERENCE AFTERMATH: Where Do We Go From Here?


So, the dust has settled (a little bit) on what has been probably one of the longest leadership campaigns in the history of politics. The big question now for UKIP is what does the future hold and that is true for the Party and obviously also those candidates who failed to win.

In terms of news of appointments to the top team, my understanding is that we will have to wait a minimum of two weeks for these to begin in earnest although there will be inevitable speculation and rumour. 

In terms of the destination of individuals; most speculation at Conference centred on the next moves of Anne Marie Waters and John Rees-Evans. 

In regards to Anne, I would say she is odds-on to form a new party. Her and her supporters have been demonised and vilified, it has to be said, not just by the mainstream media but by now leading figures in the Party, including the leader himself. This, to my mind, is unacceptable. She was the only other candidate bar Mr Bolton himself to save her deposit and not only did she amass over 20% of those who voted, her views unquestionably have support amoung those who plumped for other candidates. I would certainly say amoung the supporters of every other candidate bar Mr Bolton himself, given his hard-line on her candidacy, the views of Anne Marie Waters on Islam have many sympathisers.

She therefore has a clear mandate not to lead but to be heard. Articles like this in The Standard run totally contra to trying to foster unity and be inclusive and I do not accept that the media tail should wag the UKIP dog. Henry is at fault for accepting  the characterisation of her and her ‘Nazi’ supporters if he does not believe it to be true. 

Speaking to Anne’s supporters many feel, not unreasonably, that Ms Waters and themselves are simply not welcome and people are unlikely to stay where they feel unwelcome. 

I would argue the situation in regards to John Rees-Evans is less clear no matter what the snipes say. Snipes, I may add, motivated by what seems like suspiciously puerile personal spite. It was widely touted around the Conference that he had left and set up a new political party. This was based on a Facebook post from his campaign page which mentioned a new organisation called  Affinity based on Direct Democracy. This Party was, as the post tells it, set up by JREs friend. 

It is unclear whether he still remains a member. Certainly, he has not said he is no longer one. He has expressed a wish too “quietly support UKIP from the sidelines”. So, I would suggest in this regard we cannot rule anything in or out at this moment in time. 

Qualifying the above are the welcome noises coming out the of the new leadership team that they will strive for unity and towards incorporation of both these individuals and their supporters. It can only be right that this is the course we set as we march forward into our new future. 

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5 Responses

  1. Pamela Preedy says:

    You’re right – AMW supporters feel very unwelcome and will probably let their membership lapse. I know I will.

  2. Barrie Greratorex says:

    Disparaging factions inside the Party would bring failure to our still main objective, Bexit. The tactics used by AMW and her supporters would be, I believe, destructive and reminiscent of the MT inside the Labour Party of the 19170/80s.

  3. forthurst says:

    In JRE’s Facebook post at 01.00 September 30th, in answer to Marcus Green, “Does this mean direct democracy in ukip is no more and does it mean you are leaving ukip ?”

    John Rees-Evans, “Yes. While no longer a member, I shall return to being a quiet supporter of the great work UKIP do, and of the many wonderful people in that organization, as I have been since my teens. And Direct Democracy will indeed be progressed, however, only not from within UKIP. ”

    There were four Continuity candidates, of which the best qualified was Henry Bolton. Of the three Breakout candidates, JRE, AMW and the redoubtable, Aidan Powlesland, JRE was the one who would have offered UKIP a renaissance rather than driven it straight into the ditch, much faster than the weaker of the Continuity candidates. JRE is far too intelligent not to have observed that the advances of Islam in the UK and the EU have been both with the connivance and instigation of politicians and functionaries as well as the machinations of well endowed individuals and organisations that do not regard the preservation of Western Civilisation as their primary goal, on the contrary. I also thought that JRE’s exemplary manners would have made a nice contrast to Nigel’s rather raw persona.

    For now, the old men of UKIP have decided to elect someone whom they hope will follow in Nigel’s footsteps but with the further hope and expectation that he will not delegate the administration of UKIP to complacent and self-satisfied functionaries.

  4. forthurst says:

    Many thanks to you lads for providing an excellent commentary on the proceedings, both in front and behind the camera, in Torquay.

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