Open Letter To Gerard Batten: The Important Questions About Tommy Robinson’s Involvement With UKIP

Gerard and Tommy would "wipe the floor" with Remoaners says Lord Pearson.
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Editor’s note: This letter was sent to UKIP Leader Gerard Batten on behalf of all members of the UKIP Chesterfield, Bolsover and North East Derbyshire Branch. Its points are not necessarily endorsed by Kipper Central, but we believe in facilitating debate and discussion around the issues raised.

Dear Mr Batten,

Many party members have stated that Tommy Robinson will be a liability to the party, many have stated he will be an asset, many choose to stay on the side-lines not wishing to upset either side. This has led to a serious rift in the party with accusations and counter accusations being made. We feel that there is a definite lack of transparency of opinion and logical civilised debate.

Each side vehemently states its position, but few people respond to the opposing sides arguments. Each side tends to get emotional, preferring to further dig in their heels and reaffirm their position rather than provide a reasonable retort to the argument being made against their position. No one is the winner, each side are losers, and the party is again consumed by in fighting.

We believe that arguments on how criminal or how courageous Robinson is are quite irrelevant. We are a political party, the only arguments that matter on this subject are those that relate to our electoral campaign performance.

We write this open letter in the hope that it will start a dialogue that eventually resolves the issue. We do not seek to castigate you for the decisions you have made, we seek to understand your reasons and to politely hold you to account. We seek clarification on your position and direction for all members; especially candidates. We hope you will provide a thorough itemised response to the following arguments:

  1. The party has long had a list of proscribed organisations; former members of these organisations cannot join. We understand that this was not because they are all assumed to be bad people. It was a tactic to ensure the party could not easily be shouted down by accusations of racism and bigotry. It also ensured the public could view us as the party of common-sense policy. We needed to present ourselves as a serious, professional political party. Any baggage from a candidates or officers past would have damaged our image in the eyes of the public, putting them off and inhibiting our chances. It also meant that we never needed to apologise for our views or soften our position. We believe this tactic has worked quite well over the years.

Would you agree with this assessment, or do you believe this tactic no longer holds any worth?

Do you believe that any special exceptions made will be accepted by the public?

  1. Some of our members and candidates have very fruitful careers. So far, their employers have been tolerant of their UKIP membership. Even if they aren’t so tolerant they cannot easily dismiss them due to the legitimacy of our party, in no small part due to the tactics described above. If our party is in anyway associated with riot, brawl, fight or racially motivated attack, many members could find themselves under economic threat for being part of a ‘nasty’ organisation. It could be argued that their continued membership contravenes a workplace policy and they then find themselves being disciplined and dismissed. If anyone within or associated with our party does something reprehensible, it’s inevitable that we will all end up being categorised together as persona non grata.

Do you acknowledge that mixing with street protest groups increases the likelihood of such an event and places our existing members under risk?

  1. You have stated many times that you want Robinson to become a member. We think that it’s reasonable to assume that this would be a first step into a larger role. Given that you seem to have sparked a friendship with the man, it’s reasonable for us to assume that the subject of such a progression has come up in conversation.

What future within party do you foresee for Robinson? Do you foresee him moving into a frontline role? (Candidate, spokesman, officer etc)

  1. Your leadership of the party is interim. Your mandate was to stabilise the party, a task which you have successfully carried out. As far as we can assess, you have no mandate to change the political position of the party in any significant or fundamental way. Because Robinson joining the party is effectively proscribed by our constitution, we believe that you are exceeding your mandate. Initially you sought a ballot at the conference; this was prevented, which is a good thing as not all members can attend. You then sought to send a ballot paper to each member; the NEC subsequently ruled against this for the time being. You then appointed him as a ‘personal’ adviser, announcing via social media. Judging by the email form Kirstan Herriot dated 2nd December, it appears the NEC are keen to show they do not endorse the course of action you have taken.

Can you explain why you sought to exceed your mandate, even after restraint was advised by the NEC?

Why was it necessary to publicly announce such a controversial ‘personal’ appointment, without the express consent of the party?

  1. In your recent radio and TV interviews you have been forced into defending your association with Robinson and his long criminal record rather that talking about the issues of the day. We agree that the media are biased against us, but it must be admitted that such a line of enquiry is not entirely unreasonable and is probably in the public interest.

Do you agree that almost all your media appearances have been spoiled by questions over your association with Robinson?

Do you imagine that the interviewers will ever give up this line of questioning?

Do you believe his entire record can be explained away as a combination of self-defence, state persecution and youthful indiscretion?

Do you think the electorate will ever believe the justice system got it wrong so many times?

Is it ever reasonable for a party member, let alone leader, to publicly to defend another person’s criminal record?

  1. Ukippers are loyal but some have said that they do not wish to stand, canvas, man the street stalls, or even leaflet for us if they must justify either the party’s or your relationship with Robinson to the public. They end up torn between their own beliefs and their loyalty to the party. If our political foes spot this weakness, then they will be quick to exploit it.

What should UKIP activists and candidates say when they are confronted with questions or even accusations concerning Robinson?

Should they mirror your defence of his actions and criminal record?

If he does become a member, is it reasonable to ask established members and candidates to defend a man they’ve never met and certainly don’t endorse?

Can you offer any guidance to the thousands of rightly concerned members?

  1. Our branch has gone from 34 to 63 members over the course of this year. Each new member has been contacted. None of the new members have stated Robinson as an influence in their reason for joining. To the contrary, many expressed scepticism and doubt over your association with him. The most common answers we get are Brexit, PC gone mad and the influence of certain YouTubers. It seems to us that the rise in our branch membership has largely been brought on by Brexit and the failure of Westminster politicians. Therefore, the same could be true for the party on a national level.

You have stated that Robinson can bring us more members and help turn us into a national populist movement. Can you offer any empirical data that confirms your association with Robinson and attendance to his events has led to a rise in membership and participation in branch activities?

  1. Some members of our branch members have not renewed their membership. We were able to get into contact with some, they stated they were not happy with the direction of the party. We are losing MEPs and long-established members. We have lost our very popular, highly effective former leader.

Do you believe the loss of active members can be mitigated by X number of new members joining?

How do you plan to counter the loss of experienced candidates and branch officers?

Will you email our members to tell them how many we are losing rather than just quoting our net gains?

You have said before that as leader, you expect to make a few mistakes. We believe that your present course might be your big mistake. We hope you will reflect and respond to this letter in an effort to stabilise the party and explain your vision for UKIP to all the concerned members.

Yours Sincerely,

The Officers and Members of Chesterfield, Bolsover and North East Derbyshire Branch

Note: This letter has been written on behalf of all members of the Chesterfield, Bolsover and North East Derbyshire Branch. It has been given assent by way of vote at a well attended branch meeting and carries the unanimous approval of the members and supporters in attendance.

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21 Responses

  1. Malcolm Jackson says:

    More of Farage and Crowther’s 5th Column, “” The Officers and Members of Chesterfield, Bolsover and North East Derbyshire Branch “”
    Nigel is supposedly starting a new political party very soon, so it would be good if this shower left UKIP asap and joined Nigel’s new party.

  2. John Mallows says:

    Tommy Robinson has been much maligned by a left leaning main stream media, totally falsely.
    Please do not beleive the slurs against him in the press and from any political opposition.
    Make up your own mind, AFTER listening to his speech to the Oxford Union, it is very easily found on the internet and will be an eye opener for many who only listen to mainstream news outlets!
    After all, a similar thing has been done to UKIP leaders and members for a very long time…
    After watching, you may feel like finding out more, as I did and then purchase his book ‘Enemy of the state’.
    Don’t fall into the rabid media’s sensationalism trap….
    The more I see from the media, the more I disbelieve almost anything they say…

  3. John Ferguson says:

    Well if they are hoping to get sensible answers to any of those questions, they should have posted their letter as a wish list to Santa Claus.

  4. MIKE MAUNDER says:

    I can only give you my opinion, for what its worth. I would not wish to be a member of a Party that prides itself on being exclusive, small, and of no serious political account. This is the danger that UKIP faces. ….. Consider this old chestnut. – ‘All of Heaven rejoices when one sinner repents’. ….. In my early days, Communism made sense to me. Marx and Engel’s reasoning seemed quite sound. I then travelled to Communist Nations, and came away with a changed point of view. I am accepted as a UKIP member. ….. Tommy would probably be the first to acknowledge his errors, so is he damned for life ? ….. LET UKIP BE ALL THAT IT CAN BE, RIGHT NOW !

  5. Aelfred says:

    This matter has already agreed to furthers discussion within UKIP at future date so there is absolutely no need for this open letter. Please look at the support by far majority for Gerard and majority. It has always been the norm for the media to try avoid UKIP’s excellent political platform UKIP. From when certain people behaviour was brought up by the media way before Gerard had the courage to become leader. So to was Farage’s drinking and decision making often brought up. That is the nature of the media it will try to avoid what it does not like most i.e. UKIP Brexit. They will always look for one thing or another or make it up as they go along. I watched Gerard’s excellent recent sky interview. He was with calm, positive, and got UKIP’s position on the Brexit deal across clearly. I hope those who wrote the open letter went to the pro Brexit rally? Now lets move on from this open letter as Brexit needs us all and as many voters and supporters as we can get.

    • Carol says:

      Absolutely right, there was no need for this open letter. It’s a shame the writers who sound very much like ‘disgusted of Tunbridge Wells’ don’t channel all their energy into making UKIP a success. If they want to send an open letter, ask 8 questions with countless sub questions and send it to Treason May.

  6. UKLCR says:

    Some uncomfortable questions here! Good questions that deserve answers. In my view this letter points out some very difficult problems and it would just be a ramble if I attempt to address point by point. I would say however that UKIP has matured. To protect the party from Far Right Wing has reached its use by date and prevent people from membership is probably a policy that needs investigating. It acts as a filter and whilst historically had merit it does not hold the same merit going forward.

    To prevent the party from being infiltrated is a lofty aspiration and difficult to criticize however as a filter it prevents many good people from membership who in years past may have held different views.

    Under Farage’s leadership Cameron was highly critical of UKIP, referring to them as “fruitcakes, loonies, and closet racists” MSM have always presented a negative view of UKIP. It takes a strong coherent personality to deal with negative and intrusive questions designed to create a headline to suit their narrative.

    There is no doubt that Farage was able to manage the aggressive interviews and present a robust defence. However, there was always the undertone of racism that was being prodded and teased out as some sort of hidden truth. Denial was never enough.

    Notwithstanding the decline of the party in the intervening years from Farage standing down, Batten has brought the party back from the brink. He has been able to do that because he connects with the man in the street. Many people were unaware of Batten because he is perceived as an unassuming man. That is a great asset. YouTuber personalities provided a platform to expose the newly enlivened party to a wider audience. Batten effectively tapped into a rich vein of social media that by definition is connection with people 24hrs a day.

    The controversy of Tommy Robinson is the contentious issue today. The only way to defend Battens decisions in the short term and from my perspective is to look at Maajid Nawaz.

    Today Maajid is respected and reformed. Maajid Nawaz Born in Southend-on-Sea, Essex to a British Pakistani family, Nawaz is a former member of the Islamist group Hizb ut-Tahrir. This association led to his arrest in Egypt in December 2001, where he remained imprisoned until 2006.

    After his turnaround, Nawaz co-founded Quilliam with former Islamists, including Ed Husain.

    If Maajid Nawaz was asked to be a personal advisor or applied for membership would he be held back because of past beliefs and actions. I suspect not. In my view Tommy Robinson is a young man that is growing into a mature rational thinking person. He emphasizes non-violence and speaks out against violence.

    A question from the article is …. “Is it ever reasonable for a party member, let alone leader, to publicly to defend another person’s criminal record”?

    In Maajid Nawaz case I would answer yes. The same rule must apply for all people. Understanding that people are jailed for many reasons, the defence of such persons isn’t to defend the right or wrong but to acknowledge the debt to society has been paid.

    Fear of criticism is paralysing. Bold clear-headed defence of UKIP manifesto and a program to galvanize middle England is the way forward to achieve Brexit and become a credible nation force in British political life.

  7. Carol says:

    I think the one important question missing from this long and complex list is ‘can you explain the meaning of life’? Or is it just a spoof document and really meant to hugely congratulate the UKIP leader on a well supported, incident free march by individuals without face masks or other devices to hide their identities, to show their disatisfaction regarding the betrayal of Brexit?

  8. Kathy cox says:

    Definitely food for thought and I’m sure there will be many people out there with the same questions wanting to be answered.

  9. Tony T. says:

    Good letter, good questions. I will also be interested to hear the answers.

  10. Stanley Cutts says:

    This open letter is SOOOOOOOH UKIP !!! This is the reason why I resigned from UKIP two years ago. It’s a bit like travelling 100 miles on a double-decker bus where all the passengers have their own personal hand brake!

    But sadly and seriously, the reality is that this is also the reason why UKIP will never get anywhere in British politics. RIP what might have been…..

  11. Pauline says:

    UKIP will be targetted the the Establishment whether TR is on board or not. There is no doubt TR has huge following of ordinary people who are sneered at by our laughingly called ‘elites’. After watching TR at the Oxford Union I had a complete reversal of opinion. Everyone should watch it before blindly believing MSM.

  12. VB says:

    And do you realise that The Interviewers on BBC Sky News are Biased beyond belief and therefore Trying to turn UKIP VOTERS off of Gerald Batten concerning T Robinson… as they realise that He will bring so many supporters with him that UKIP would in fact then be a viable party. The news media now only show the Biased News against Tommy Robinson…You just have to watch Utube And Rebel Media…There are thousands of people who support what Tommy Robinson has said against what this country has become..News Biased one way….covering up foreign crime etc….And The Sharia Law problem here already. Now Brexit betrayers in Government….Why are UKIP and Nigel Farage doing exactly what the Government want. They have been trying to shut Tommy Robinson up for years because he tells it how it is. Thats why the people love him ..He stands for NOT RACISM But for THE TRUTH… which everyone else in the Political establishment want closed down. They wanted Multicultrilism Globally and it just is not working.

  13. J.L.Kay says:

    I agree with the majority of the previously-expressed opinions. The Chesterfield, Bolsover and North East Derbyshire Branch need to get real and stop sounding like ‘disgusted of Cheltenham’. We are living in the midst of the greatest invasion of Western Europe by Islam in history. I truly believe, having read widely and having written a book on the subject, that there is no ‘moderate Islam’ and that Tommy Robinson is right in his criticisms of the insidious spread of this religion. Don’t forget that it is a duty by the tenets of Islam, as written in the Koran, that the long-term aim of Islam is to establish a universal Caliphate, regardless of the suffering and repression of ‘non-believers’. Yes people, get real. Tommy Robinson, for all his rough edges and questionable past, is absolutely right in his instincts and his sentiments.

  14. Stuart Beaker says:

    I tried to make this comment on the UKIP Daily site discussion of this letter, but the size-limit beat me:
    I don’t see anyone here (ie on UKIP Daily) addressing the real problem now, which is neither Brexit nor uncontrolled islamic immigration anymore. Both of these issues devolve from the central one which has been so starkly demonstrated over the past two and a half years, but with undeniable finality in the last few weeks. Our democracy is in a state of decrepitude so severe that it is no longer capable of preserving either our sovereignty or increasingly, our very liberty itself.
    Any political organisation that thinks it can now win effective power through the very democratic means that have been shown to be inoperable in the clearest plebiscite mandate in many years, is deluding itself. If power through the ballot box is still seen as the achievable goal that it always has been, and respectability is seen as the key to that power, then UKIP is in for a terminal disappointment. No amount of tinkering with electoral systems – forms of PR or whatever – even if they stood the remotest chance of being implemented – would cure the underlying sickness of our system. We are living in the corrupted, crony-globalist mangled relic of a democracy. Batten was right to refer to an imminent constitutional crisis, when – not if – Brexit is stood on its head and our trust in conventional politics is deprived of its last remaining prop.
    What will UKIP, or any other party daring to dissent from policy and powers rooted in foreign powers, a bureaucratic despotism, and international organisations like the UN, run by alien national regimes combining together in aggression against our, and any other, nation that opposes their plans? If the salt has lost its savour, with what will it be salted? That is our democracy in a nutshell.

  15. Tony T. says:

    We have important things to concentrate on, Brexit, a General Elections, Local Elections.
    Mr. Nuttall got most Media interest for his imaginary friends, Mr. Bolton got most Media interest for his girlfriend, Mr. Batten has been doing very well but is now on the way to getting most Media interest for his support for Mr. Robinson. Mr. Robinson is not in UKIP and all discussions about that should be left until after Brexit is decided. We must present UKIP as a serious, caring party with a good manifesto and talk about the failures of our ruling politicians, not our own personal wishes or problems.

    • Carol says:

      The NEC stated a while ago that any application from TR would be considered after 29th March. However in a knee jerk reaction to him being appointed personal advisor to the Leader – not paid by UKIP or a member – the NEC then stated that the party “does not endorse the appointment of Tommy Robinson in any advisory role”. Adding: “He is not a Ukip member and through his associations he is barred from joining Ukip.” That was wrong on many levels and in my huimble opinion devalues the NEC considerably – commonly known as ‘Doing a Treason May’ – saying one thing and promptly going back on that decision and doing another. So much for a broad church and that his application would be considered? I advise the NEC to choose your battles carefully or just as TM has made the Tories unelectable for generations, so will the NEC do the same to UKIP. Why aren’t we reading congratulations from the NEC on a brilliant march by people without faces covered or causing trouble/damage/injury to others , while exercising their right to object?

  16. J.L.Kay says:

    This is not a failure of democracy, at least not an intended one. It is the fault of preening politicians like Jean Claude Juncker in Europe and Boris Johnson in the UK, who are not really interested in the ‘ordinary people, but in furthering their own careers. I also add people like Gina Miller, who are again not interested in ordinary people, but in banking and big business. Let’s not also forget people like George Soros, Richard Branson and Mark Zuckerberg, committed globalists,who would like a complete breaking down of any international barriers, so as to allow complete freedom of movement through mass immigration from one country to another and hence the demise of the nation state and the death of things like patriotism and pride in the history of one’s country. Branson has no discernible moral compass and graduated from selling records out of the back of a van to tax avoidance to being a mega prick, who has cut himself off from the world on his own private island.

  17. ogga1 says:

    Is this then the first political party in the history of political parties that has a membership
    totally without sin, bloody incredible.

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