“I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of the freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations.” ― James Madison

 

UKIP Manchester Blog 5:

UKIP 2016 Leadership Contest

By Kalvin Chapman

 

 Almost everyone interested in UKIP knows what has been happening.  We won the referendum and Nigel unexpectedly decided that was the time for him to stand down, as did our Party Chairman Steve Crowther.

 

People immediately started looking at the candidates: who would be the best leader.  I know that I thought that a Northern MEP would be best for Manchester.  That left me with a view of two or three.  Paul Nutall was the party deputy leader, is charismatic and can talk publicly very well, and rarely make a balls up of it.  Steven Woolfe is more familiar to me.  He is a former barrister.  He talks really well without a script.  They both know the policies and the issues backwards.  I wondered if our Health spokesperson Louise Bours would stand.  I saw her speak at an open event last year and she was truly amazing.

 

We went to the UKIP North West Conference.  Paul Nutall confirmed he was not going to stand.  Louise clearly was not going to stand.  That left Steven.

 

I attended Steven's campaign launch in July.  Whilst slightly stilted in what he was saying at times, what he had to say was what I really wanted to hear.  The North West was important.  Social mobility for those that usually do not get offered it was at the top of his agenda.  He was the full package.

 

On Twitter Lisa Duffy had announced, and her team were saying the most outrageous things about Steven.  It really was foul & disgusting.  I was suggesting Diane James should stand - she would reach segments of the population that no man ever could.  Then Liz Jones stood, and she really did come across really well.  Bill Etheridge stood, and he really comes across as someone who knows and understands the grassroots.  Jonathan Arnott stood, and he knew the constitution and party framework and also knew what the party needs to do to go forward.

 

So, there we had it.  Steven was out in front by a very long chalk mark.  It was almost a foregone conclusion.  Then his application was received by UKIP 17 minutes late.  He was out.  UKIP confirmed the things that Lisa Duffy's team had been saying was rubbish.  Needless to say, Lisa Duffy failed to apologise for her negative campaigning and outright lies about Steven.  You'd have thought she's have learnt from Project Fear - UKIP people do not react well to negative campaigning.

 

So, we have a race where the two favourites are not in the race.  We cannot blame Paul for not standing.  He has seen what Nigel has been through.  We will probably never know what really happened to Steven's application and why it would not upload to the system.

 

The leadership contest will therefore be the first of two I suspect.  Can anyone really be a leader with a mandate if they were not actually the front-runner?

 

Here's what I would like to happen.  I would like a leader who takes the bull by the horns and deals with the problems in the party.  There is clearly a line in UKIP:

 

Hamilton/Carswell and on the other side Farage.  Who will be the winning team?  This leads into the question of the actions of the NEC.  I think the NEC made the right decision in not accepting Steven's application.  They could have done, but if I had been a candidate and the NEC allowed someone's application that was late, I can assure you I would have sued immediately.  So they took the right decision.  But the NEC has done some disgusting things.

 

Steven's membership looked like he had not been a member for a few years.  Only someone with access to UKIP's private membership computers could have known that.  We know this because Steven has confirmed that he had to produce the receipt to show that he had paid for a five year membership because at first UKIP said his membership had lapsed - UKIP then confirmed that it in fact had not.  Lisa Duffy's team was spreading the lie around Twitter that he was not a member - where did she get this from?  Why has she not apologised?

 

Then the NEC voted to kick Nathan Gill out of the party until 2021 (ie a year after the next General Election) unless he stood down as an MEP or as a Welsh Assembly member?  What right did they have to do this?  Lots of people in UKIP double job.  Why were they targeting the nicest person and one of the hardest working people in the party?  Because Neil Hamilton wants Nathan out, that's why.  And now Nathan is being investigated for fraud and according to Order Order Hamilton was talking about it days before the police confirmed it.  Hamilton is toxic and is ruining UKIP.

 

So, what is the problem with the NEC?  Essentially, to my mind, is the fact that there are 12 people who have no real connection with the grassroots.  How do those 12 know what we up in Manchester are thinking?  It looks like they have their little groups and echo chambers and have moved forward based upon that.  Imagine saying that UKIP members are Nazis?  One NEC member suggested that.

 

So, I fully back the new leader considering what constitutional arrangements the party is subject to and there being a full vote of the membership to bring in a constitution that will change UKIP so that we the members have a voice.  Nigel has been talking about that for a while. The only ones who seem not to want this are the ones that think it is OK to kick out Nathan Gill.  That seems very suspicious to me.

 

Once we have arranged the party so that we are a party that can make decisions and policies based upon what we the members want, then the leader needs to tackle the issue of our PR.  We have an image problem, and this needs addressing.  I know from talking to people that a re-brand is not wanted and is not necessary.  I therefore think that we need to start showing what it is that we stand for.  Concentrating on nothing but Islam or migrants makes us look like closed minded people.  They are important issues, but for some this is beginning to look like all we care about.  Let us get out there and show people that we are a political party that has a very broad range of issues and policies.

 

I know I have laughed at people who claim we are racists and swivel-eyed loons, but the BBC and many of the newspapers will only print news that makes us look like that.  Our new leader should start to tackle this.  No more stunts to say things that are shocking.  We need our policies put forward, our best people put forward and most of all, we need to show people who are disaffected by Labour and Conservatives that we are a party that really is worth-while to join.  We can only do this with a leader who will take important steps to stop the in-fighting.  Labour is about to break up - we have just won a referendum and made a prime minister resign.  We should be on top, crowing about how good we are.  let's do that.

 

Kalvin Chapman

UKIP Manchester Secretary

20/08/2016

 

 

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