Well Malcolm Pearson has been elected new UKIP leader with 47.7% of the vote on a 74% turnout of almost 10000 votes. This implies a UKIP membership of 13250 and is one of the first problems for Pearson to tackle. Just after the 2004 European election UKIP had almost 30000 members. As Nikki said during the campaign UKIP has more ex-members than members so the first question for Lord P is how does he intend increasing the membership?
My main concerns about Lord P are he is a poor speaker, was ennobled by Mrs Thatcher, has a real hang up over Islam and is a closet Tory who does not want to oppose BOO group Tories.
The latter is patent nonsense and may show Lord P's true allegiance. This week in our local weekly the Western Gazette in response to a Tory attempt by a Mr Wilding to defend Cameron's melting cast iron position on the Lisbon Treaty there were around five letters printed from former Tories so angry with Cameron that they have either Joined UKIP or say they will vote UKIP. These letters were headlined by the editor, 'Devious approach of the Tory Party'. I can do no better than quote from one of these letters by a Mr Turner,
"Cameron is yet another Tory con artist in promising a referendum with strings attached and failing to do so. These promises by Tories have been on their hymn sheets since their earlier leader Edward Heath sold us down the river in the 70s.... Cameron has put people such as Kenneth Clarke on the his front bench; people who are not only pro-EU but also members of the secret Bilderberg group."
Now if the ordinary citizens of Yeovil can see the old Tory con trick why can't Pearson. The answer is he does not want to and neither does his master Farage.
The biggest tranche of votes up for grabs next year will be disillusioned Newlabour voters but they will never vote for any one so closely connected to Thatcher as Pearson. Put that with Pearson's intemperate and ill judged statements on Muslims and you have not a leader but an electoral liability as Nigel Farage well knows.
The shame of it is that there is a huge chance for UKIP with so many disillusioned Labour and Tory votes up for grabs. Tory fellow traveller Farage has well and truly dished that chance. In the fullness of time he will get his reward from the Tories for this sabotage.