Date: Saturday, 26 July, 2008, 16:52
Saturday 26 July 2008
Dear Mr. Whitaker,
First of all let me say that I can sympathise with the fact that a stupid, selfish and destructive action concerning the posting of John West’s MEP media interview on YouTube by Annabelle Fuller has put you in a difficult position.
When the actions of others put us in difficult positions it can be highly frustrating, however given the circumstantial evidence that there is a 99% chance that this video was indeed posted by Miss Fuller, from your email I get the impression that you have not spoken to Miss Fuller indepth regarding this matter.
Instead you have chosen to email the National Executive of the party a fanciful story from Miss Fuller, which is hugely insulting to what little intelligence I possess.
Not only is it damaging to Mr. West that this video has been leaked, it is potentially far more damaging to the party that this video and Miss Fullers Comments – “UKIP are the Eurosceptic nutters” etc. - have ended up in the public domain, and indeed I believe it was posted for a time on the BNP website for god’s sake.
The leader and his disciples have always accused innocent hard working activists of doing things to damage the party and yet one of his most protected confidants has done immense damage to the party with her vengeful, spiteful actions.
As the Chairman of the party and NEC, your first loyalty should be to the best interests of the party and the cause for which we fight, but increasingly over the years you and the majority of NEC members seem to have put loyalty to the leader ahead of the interests of the members, the party and our cause.
As an NEC member I have a duty to work with the elected leader of the party to take our cause forward, but I do not owe that duty blindly and unquestioningly – I have to balance what help or support I give to our leader with the best interests of the party, its members and our objectives.
It has been an open secret within the party that Miss Fuller was under the protection of the party leader and that is why on many occasions Miss Fuller has written things on internet forums that were hugely offensive to members, including certain NEC members and yet no action has ever been taken against her.
Indeed there was a particular series of postings on an internet forum regarding Tom Wise & Roger Knapman a year or two ago by an individual and Miss Fuller which caused some concern to me in so much that this individual and Miss Fuller must have had first hand and unrestricted knowledge of the matter.
At that time I raised my concerns to the NEC and they were minuted regarding persons in the press office having access to information of a sensitive nature and not handling it with confidentiality and care.
I later found out that the person in question was Miss Fullers partner and I was assured by Clive Page that Miss Fuller would not make any future postings and that she had been warned about her behaviour.
Yet after a couple of months Miss Fuller was once again posting on Internet forums commenting in ways unbecoming of a professional member of this party.
Indeed she stated on the Independence and Democracy forum that she is not answerable to the party, instead claiming that she reported to someone in the European parliament and yet it seems she has open licence to abuse UKIP’s name, members and NEC.
If Miss Fuller chooses to resign from whatever positions she holds or indeed from the party before a disciplinary hearing can be arranged, if that is deemed appropriate, there is little that you can do.
However I still believe you should have had a meeting with Miss Fuller to establish all the facts in this matter and prepared a report for the NEC to consider, at the specially convened meeting Eric Edmonds requested and any response to the wider members then agreed by the NEC, instead of this Hollywood fantasy involving a taxi driver and a mysterious computer specialist - I did not realise Stephen Spielberg had joined the party!
Miss Fuller’s actions have left the party with a potentially very large can of legal worms and a high risk of financial liability, I understand that Mr. West has now engaged lawyers and intends to sue the party, as it was UKIP that was responsible under the data protection act and not Miss Fuller.
I would also like to point out that all members of the NEC are liable and responsible for any financial liabilities of the party.
I also believe that the police will be interviewing Mr. West in the near future with a view to launching an investigation and that the information commissioner to whom this matter has been reported may also conduct an investigation, which may lead to the party receiving a sizeable fine.
So you see Mr. Whitaker, Miss Fuller may have walked off into the sunset, whilst we are left to face the music and the possibility of picking up a number of huge bills and your email has done very little to help matters and gives the impression we are running for political numpties of the year award (hotly contested with Gordon Brown I believe).
I suspect that this may not be the last we see of Miss Fuller with regards to UKIP and the InDem group and their activities, I rather suspect that she will be employed by someone connected to UKIP or as a consultant in the 2009 campaign and hence again given the right to apparently speak on behalf of the party.
What has happened to Mr. West has been totally hurtful, unprofessional and hugely unacceptable on all levels, however sometimes we cannot control what happens to us, but we can manage the effects of what happens to us.
As an NEC member I want to work with you and the other members of the NEC in managing this very fine mess once again, created by someone under the protection of the party leader.
Firstly I would respectfully suggest that you write a letter on behalf of yourself and the NEC unreservedly apologising to Mr. West and call an extraordinary NEC meeting as requested by Eric Edmonds so that we can work through and manage where possible, repair where we can, apologise where we must and ensure that the party does not find itself in this position again.
There is an increasingly distasteful pattern appearing in the party, that when party members raise concerns or lodge complaints, they are treated with disdain, contempt and viciousness and in some cases are openly attacked or have lies told about them.
There also seems to be a general refusal to investigate complaints, which in turn leads to further dissatisfaction and trouble that could have been avoided in the first place.
Dr. David Abbott stressed at the NEC meeting in July that we really need to investigate John West’s and others complaints, because failure to do so upsets the activists and rubs the members up the wrong way, sadly his request as per usual appears to have fallen on deaf ears.
Mr. Whitaker you are a very intelligent man and I know you are better than this.
Loyalty to our leader is admirable and should be encouraged, but that loyalty cannot take precedence over the interests of the members and our cause, if the leader is hell-bent on taking us down a very narrow political dead end, there is no good to come from us ignoring the signs and pretending that we cannot see the dangers that lie ahead – it is our duty to advise the leader that he must change direction – this is not disloyal, this is common sense.
At the NEC meeting in June I tried to point out to our leader some of things he needs to change and some of the things that he needs to change, including certain personnel, to get the party back on the right road but this also fell on deaf ears.
We need to have a clear functional and effective strategy, working closely with our branches and our activists in moving forward and growing the party, as our hardest task is to educate the British people on the dangers of the Political EU.
Simply concentrating on returning as many MEP’s as possible in 2009, whilst maybe being admirable and right is not a wholesale or effective strategy for achieving what we must achieve in the UK .
One does not have to like the messenger, but it does help on the odd occasion to listen to the message.
Please call an extraordinary NEC meeting for early in August so that as an NEC we can ask the relevant questions and uniformly manage this mess.
The NEC needs to get back and manage this party as laid down in the constitution, as there are far too many individuals or little groups who are unaccountable to the NEC and yet are making decisions or taking actions whilst being given licence and protection by the leader to use UKIP’s name, sometimes causing damage to the party’s name or members, whilst the NEC is responsible and liable for any recriminations.
It is time for us to stop being the see no evil, hear no evil, but do much evil club.
I have no doubt I will be branded mal-content or trouble maker etc. as usual, however I can assure you that I have just one agenda, and that is to save this country from the political EU and to make this party as strong and effective as it can be to achieve that aim.