As a result of me and others rattling the cages of the Faragistas on Democracy Forum the Mods have come up with one or two good comments and ideas. Denny always the first into print Farage apologist in UKIP's version of Animal Farm attempts to dismiss the Green's success in getting an MP in Brighton as below,
'It (UKIP) has failed to obtain an MP it is true. And the Greens obtaining one is thrown in our faces. But always there can be special cases where MPs win seats - like the white suited Bell chappie for example, and the hospital consultant in an area where the hospital was to be closed - and then lost again next time most likely as it is unsustainable. Brighton was one such special case.'
One of the Mods, Tom Wilde replied as follows,
'I really can't let that terrifying remark pass without comment. I'd have said that the Green Party's victory in Brighton was exactly not the kind of flash in the pan "special case" that you describe. It was the result of focussed, long-term activism in a particular town. They've build their presence there from the foundations upwards over many years, first winning a few councillors, then more, then doing pretty well in Westminster elections, then finally capturing the seat. This is exactly what UKIP has needed to do and has failed to do - so far. When it has had areas of strength in terms of activists and councillors - like Devon a few years back - it has generally failed to back those with the necessary resources to consolidate and build on the local successes. The nearest thing to an exception is Newcastle-under-Lyme, (5 borough councillors and 3 county councillors). UKIP must learn to back local success stories, and to realize that winning an MP takes a decade or more of hard work, not just a quick lucky break!'
Spot on Mr Wilde! The Greens worked long and hard over many years in Brighton a UK city for their success. Mr Farage was parachuted into Bucks and then for an encore crash landed there as well and lost abysmally to the most unpopular Speaker the Commons has ever had! Caroline Lucas who was also an MEP spoke in Brussels on Green topics unlike Farage did not do cheap, media attention seeking, personal attacks on EU officials. As Mr Wilde points out the Greens had a long term strategy, built up from the grass roots through local democracy and won with a good candidate.
Farage is always trying to ape Kilroy Silk's success in 2004 but he lacks RKS' political skills or media reputation or personna. Both are needed to win a parliamentary seat as Esther Rantzen found out in her defeat at Luton. Martin Bell won against Hamilton in Knutsford because he had political skills and a media reputation. He also fought against an expenses soiled MP but also Bell was perceived as a man of integrity and not just another politician on the make as was the successful Kidderminster ex hospital consultant.
Tony Butcher, who owns Democracy Forum, underlined the need for some real long term strategy on voting reform thus,
'All this talk of winning MPs again raises the question of why UKIP does so little with regard to electoral reform. UKIP would have a good number of MPs under a proper, fair system of voting'
'The Lib Dems have managed to put electoral reform on the agenda - that is a massive success for them.
I am not sure that UKIP has had any big success so far in influencing policy wrt the EU. All I can think of is that the Lib Dems now support an in/out referendum and the Tories were, perhaps, forced to sound more eurosceptic in the last EU elections although there appears to have been little substance behind their rhetoric in this regard. Unfortunately, UKIP has done little to follow up on the broken promise of a referendum on the LT however.'
Well said Mr Butcher and dead right. No UKIP follow up on the LT promised Referendum and no push to influence UK voting reform. UKIP needs a strategy now!
All we get is a promise from Farage to continue to be a bad boy at Brussels for the cheap media personal publicity shots. He cultivates the Max Miller cheeky chappie image. He should read up what happened to Max Miller. Farage is not a credible political leader and neither is there a potential good leader amongst the Cabal. Pearson is cringe making with his anti Islamic remarks.
UKIP will not get a decent strategy or management until the current leadership is ousted. Their horizons extend only to getting on the Brussels gravy train.