The DT ran an interesting piece today on Caroline Lucas, leader of the Greens, elected as MP for Brighton Pavilion this May. Membership of the Greens is booming but still not at its high water mark attained after its 'freak' 15% share of the vote in the 89 Euro elections. The Greens have been going for 38 years, roughly twice as long as UKIP. They have been riven with the internal disputes, purging anyone who showed signs of becoming popular with the public.
Sara Parkin, largely responsible for their 89 success, was fired by the Green party members at the 92 party conference, having been described as the party's 'greatest asset' only two weeks previously. The same phrase Gill used to me in lauding Farage! The Greens clearly do not do leader worship the way UKIP does. They are a true grass roots party as their name implies who yesterday in a by-election just failed to take control of Norwich City Council where the LibDems furious at being sold out to the Tories by the self seeking Cleggover deserted to Labour and not the Greens.
But the Greens were in with a chance to win Norwich. The BNP have come close in Stoke. UKIP have come nowhere everywhere. Why?
The Green party is controlled and run in a democratic fashion by its activists not by its leader. Indeed up till recently they had two leaders! Lucas is a formidable operator who carpet bagged Brighton into adopting her as candidate but she chose the best ground to fight on. Wellington and every other successful soldier were great Generals because of their eye for the ground on which to fight their battles. As the DT says the Greens got their most electable candidate into their most winnable seat.
But crucially Lucas genuinely wanted to be an MP. Farage was only going through the motions in Buckingham. Winning that election was the last thing he wanted. He would have lost his lucrative MEP job! See how he reacted when UKIP conference made it clear joining any future EU group. You have cost me one million Euros was his comment according to Junius. A bit like in the Merchant of Venice when Shylock lost his daughter and his ducats but as Shakespeare makes clear, the ducats were his real love.
Farage's judgement of the best political ground for UKIP to fight on is poor as was Griffin's in Barking. Both crave the media spotlight above all and put their personal ambitions, in Farage's case to become a media celeb, above their party's cause.
UKIP had some good ground to fight on particularly in the South West as Alan Wood and others pointed out, in seats they almost certainly would not have won but in which had Farage stood, and money and TV time been put in, UKIP could have achieved 20% to 25% of the vote. These seats had been fought at the local level by good UKIP candidates and activists who had prepared the ground for Farage. But no, obviously too far from London and the media circus to attract Mr F the wannabe media star.
The real joke is the person who did best out of Farage's Buckingham efforts and who has become a media celeb and luvvie subsequently is the attractive Mrs Bercow!
UKIP can never succeed in its present incarnation, a third rate copy of the Tory party run by third rate Tory rejects with a constitution drawn up to resemble the Tory party. It has to become like the Greens a party run by the activists who campaign locally for the cause and who are prepared to cut down any leader who forgets its our cause we work for not him and his dubious friends.