I have read with some amusement the efforts of the UKIP spin machine to misrepresent my blog on the NEC election fiasco. The shambles UKIP created could have been so easily avoided by using the Electoral Reform Society voting ballot service. It would have done UKIP no end of good with the electorate to be seen as a 'clean' party, a transparent party, a party with nothing to hide that clearly represented its members and the wider electorates wishes to leave the EU. Instead we have an administrative cock up!
The complaint implicit in my previous blog was not against any individual candidate but the chaotic system itself which it is alleged has allowed a candidate to become involved with the ballot count. That seems to me to be down to an absent returning officer, an acting returning officer who appears to have been uncertain of the rules and whom my informant alleges was taking advice from the UKIP office manager. It is the duty of the returning officer, no one else, to conduct the ballot according to the electoral norms of the UK!
One simple point, if you watch the count for any parliamentary or council election you will see it is conducted in one large room where the scrutineers and returning officer can see all that is happening during the count. What UKIP's acting returning officer allegedly did was to split the count between two rooms! Scrutineers and the returning officer cannot be in two rooms at once and validate the count. Hence if this allegation is proved true the count is fatally flawed and the election has to be rerun.
UKIP has for too long ignored its own rules, eg on MEP candidate eligibility, and electoral law on financial contributions as represented by the electoral commission. Any serious political party must obey its own rules and the law of the land. UKIP fails both tests. It simply cannot go on like this. This culture comes from the top and has to change. UKIP needs a new leader, a new culture and a new epicentre in the UK not Brussels.
I hope what happened to me and David Abbott, both democratically elected representatives of the members on UKIP's highest committee, kicked off and smeared because we disagreed with the leader will never ever then happen again.