UKIP Only Got This Far By Taking Risks; We’d Be A Party Of Cowards To Block Tommy Robinson Now
Tommy Robinson is a household name, even among the middle class lawyers and accountants that make up the majority of my extended family; although most of them seem to be of the opinion that Tommy Robinson is a fascist on par with Hitler and Mussolini.
So when I read that the NEC would consider admitting Tommy Robinson to UKIP my initial reaction was one of dread. Private school educated Lib Dem voters are a demographic that the mainstream media still seem to maintain a vice like grip upon and nothing would rock the hornet’s nest of establishment journalists quite like Tommy Robinson joining UKIP.
I thought the press release was made too fast and that if the NEC decided to let Tommy in then damage limitation would be a nightmare. I believed that Tommy Robinson should not be let in, partly for selfish reasons and partly for ‘optics.’
There have also been murmurings within the party that not everyone is happy with UKIP’s “lurch to the alt-right” under Gerrard Batten – as the hopelessly out of touch new statesman puts it. Nigel Farage also seems concerned that dealing with the threat of radical Islam is not the best look for the party and Ben Walker – an NEC member – told LBC that he’d have to consider his position in the party if Tommy was admitted.
Despite all of this I am now convinced that Tommy Robinson should be allowed to join UKIP. The turning point for me was Tommy announcing that he would join.
Surely if Nigel Farage was right then we would have lost members and votes when Gerard Batten spoke at the second Free Tommy rally, or when the mainstream media was bashing UKIP calling us alt-right when Sargon of Akkad joined. This is exactly the opposite of what happened. We soared in the polls in July due to Theresa May’s disastrous Chequers deal.
Few seemed to care about our alleged ‘Islamophobia.’
Okay I get that Tommy Robinson joining will lose us favour among some of the middle class elitists but these are not the types of people who would vote UKIP anyway. The type of people who will be turned off by this decision are remainers, Labour voters and pearl clutching conservatives.
It’s undeniable that there is a huge amount of support for Tommy among our core voters. You only need to look at the turnout for the Free Tommy rallies to realise how much support he really has plus thousands more who didn’t attend the rallies because they were unable to. Tommy is a massive influencer and he will bring untold benefits to UKIP in the form of members, votes and activism.
If we don’t let him in and he joins For Britain instead then we will have a real problem on our hands.
Even in my more gated and homogenous coastal community I see more Burqas every year. We need to remember that the Brexit vote was about immigration as much as it was about economics and sovereignty. Anyone who tells you that permitting Tommy Robinson membership will water down our focus on Brexit is either scared of the backlash or doesn’t understand the issue fully.
We can either take this opportunity to gain tremendous support or we can fret about possibly losing a couple hundred members and lose our biggest potential voting block in the process. We have only got this far by taking risks.
Don’t let UKIP become a party of cowards.
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