Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Farage changes the rules - again

I wrote previously on the aim of Farage's proposed new UKIP constitution ie to consolidate Farage's power in UKIP. I was surprised to receive a circular email from Tim Congdon that while it is erudite and well meaning shows TC has no idea of what he is dealing with in Nigel Farage. It reminds me of Chamberlain at Munich. Nigel does not do respecting the memberships vote on UKIP joining Pan European parties. Its money, power and personal media image that matters to Nigel.

I reproduce a Tim's email below for the benefit of those not on his mailing list.

"Dear fellow members of UKIP (and others concerned about the UK's relationship with the EU),

Members of the UK Independence Party are being asked to vote for a new Constitution. It is very important that – in the run-up to the 2014 European elections and the 2015 general election – UKIP’s members agree to and respect their party Constitution, and that the Constitution itself be clearly written and legally unambiguous. The present Conservative-LibDem coalition government is mediocre and unconvincing, as well as being essentially Europhile.These are ideal conditions for minority parties to pick up protest votes. UKIP ought to top the poll in the 2014 European elections and at least to double its share in the next general election (i.e., to reach at least 6% in the national vote). But – as far as possible – UKIP must concentrate on “outfighting” (fighting our enemies), not “infighting” (fighting each other).

Unhappily, many influential members – including, for example, Mike Nattrass MEP and several branch chairmen – are concerned about the contents of the new Constitution. Last year the party had a major debate about its attitude towards pan-European political parties. I took an active role in that debate and helped put together some of the key information on the meaning of PEPPs. I was delighted that – after an open, democratic and occasionally quite fierce debate – the party’s members voted by more than two to one that UKIP must not become associated with a PEPP.

The current concerns about the Constitution focus on two issues,

-          the possibility that, under clause 3.4 of the proposed Constitution, the Leader and the National Executive Committee could override last year’s PEPP vote and take the party, and its MEPs, into a PEPP, and
-          the selection of candidates for elections.

I am not in this e-mail going to cover the second of these. However, I do feel very strongly that the party membership’s opposition to a PEPP must be respected by the Leader and the NEC. I have therefore written the following Open Letter to Nigel Farage and asked him to reassure members. Will Nigel give us a clear and definite commitment that, while he is Leader, UKIP will have nothing to do – no connection whatsoever – with a pan-European political party, a structure which – as everyone knows – is a creation of the EU and a bribe from the European Parliament to MEPs? If Nigel can give us that commitment, I will support the new Constitution. The Open Letter appears below, and is also attached as a Word file and a PDF file.

Open Letter to Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party

Dear Nigel,                                                                                                                                              12th February, 2012

Several party members have written to me voicing their concern about the proposed new Constitution. Some have sought my opinion on the Constitution and asked for my recommendation about how they should vote. One of their main concerns relates to clause 3.4 which reads,
The Party may cooperate with other like-minded democratic parties, institutions and organisations for any purposes which are wholly consistent with its objectives, whether such be in the United Kingdom or elsewhere for such time and to such an extent as the Leader and the NEC deem necessary and expedient in order to advance the Party’s objectives.
A commonly-held view is that this clause would allow the Leader and the NEC to form an association between, on the one hand, the Party and its MEPs, and, on the other, a pan-European political party established under the European Parliament’s auspices.

We perhaps do not need to remind ourselves that the UK Independence Party had a major intra-party debate last year about a possible association between it and a pan-European political party. That debate took up time and energy. I was myself on the panel of speakers opposed to a PEPP relationship and spoke to three “hustings”-type meetings. I was delighted that the membership voted by a decisive margin of just over two to one that UKIP should not become associated with a PEPP. I was also sorry and disappointed when, late in the campaign, you supported in an article in Independence a link between UKIP and a PEPP. I was sorry and disappointed not least because in January 2004 you had said that UKIP was “opposedon principle to the idea of state funding of political parties, either nationally or at the European level. (The italics are mine.)

You have frequently expressed your dismay about the lack of democracy in the European Union. I have admired your speeches and interventions in the European Parliament. I agree with you 100% that the un-democratic and centralizing direction of travel in the European Union must be deplored. But consistency then demands that UKIP conduct itself in a fully democratic spirit. If we deplore the un-democratic and centralizing direction of travel in the EU, surely UKIP itself must be a model of democracy.  

I might myself be willing to give you the benefit of the doubt on clause 3.4, but several party members are unhappy. Accompanying this letter is another, from Michael Foulston, chairman of the Mole Valley and Epsom branch, to his branch members. The worries set out in that letter seem to me to be very understandable.

I now come to the crux of the matter. Will you, during your period as UKIP Leader, respect the result of the democratic 2011 vote on the pan-European political party issue? More precisely, will you given a clear and definite commitment that you will discourage and prevent any association between, on the one hand, UKIP and its MEPs, and, on the other, a pan-European political party established under the auspices of the European Parliament? As we both know, such pan-European political parties are funded from the European Parliament’s budget, and its officials check and decide the compatibility of such expenditure with the EU’s wider aims. Those aims are totally at variance with UKIP’s.

If you give a clear, definite commitment that you will stop an association between UKIP and a PEPP, I will myself vote ‘Yes’ to the Constitution and I will recommend to others that they do the same; if you cannot give such a commitment, I will vote ‘No’ and recommend to others that they also vote ‘No’. Time is pressing, and I would appreciate your early reply. If I have not heard from you by Friday, 17th February, I will be voting ‘No’.  (Let me note that I have little doubt that the Constitution will be voted through, whatever the outcome of this exchange between us. At any rate, if UKIP does under your leadership link up with a pan-European party, party members will know where you stand.) I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Tim Congdon CBE

Economics Spokesman, UK Independence Party
Runner-up in the 2010 UKIP leadership election

Mike Natrass knows NF far better than TC and I respect his opinion for that reason more than Tim's. NF is the main indeed only cause of internal conflict in UKIP. You can see this in the selection of candidates for the coming London Assembly elections. I reproduce the list below.

Barnet & Camden Michael Corby
Bexley & Bromley David Coburn

Brent & Harrow Mick McGough

City & East Steven Woolfe

Croydon & Sutton Winston McKenzie

Ealing & Hillingdon Helen Knight

Enfield & Haringey Peter Staveley

Greenwich & Lewisham Paul Oakley

Havering & Redbridge Lawrence Webb

Lambeth & Southwark Gawain Towler

Merton & Wandsworth Mazhar Manzoor

North East Paul Wiffen

South West Jeff Bolter

West Central
 Elizabeth Jones

They all look like Farage loyalists to me but I would be happy to be proved wrong!

Mr Webb is also UKIP's candidate for London Mayor

TC is dead wrong. Selection for the EUKIP party slate is the be all and the end all of the NEC.

There is nothing wrong with loyalty to the party leader but it should come second to loyalty to the party's aims and aspirations. I feel that for many of these candidates their loyalty to NF comes first as they seek preferment on MEP lists. Joining a Pan European grouping is clearly counter to UKIP's core aim and the membership rightly rejected this Farage plan last year. I did warn T C that Farage would be back with the same proposal in a different envelope. Now who does that remind you of? That's right the EU!!!

That is why I and many others now refer to Farage's organisation as EUKIP. Its like the end of Orwell's satire Animal Farm when the animals having got rid of their human task masters end up controlled by their ruling political elite the pigs. The final chapter shows the still impoverished other animals watching in the cold through the farmhouse windows see the pigs drinking and gambling with the humans they claim to oppose inside the warm farm house and living high on the hog so to speak.

Thus it is with EUKIP.  EUKIP MEPs eat drink and carouse in Brussels with the EU elite and accumulate huge wealth whilst those who put them there suffer in penury in the UK. Not that it stops Nigel coming round frequently with his begging bowl. It reminds me of an old joke about a couple who win the football pools and the wife asks the husband what will we do with the begging letters. Keep sending them out her husband replies!

The only function  EUKIP's membership serves is to supply money and adulation to the controlling Cabal. 


Anonymous said...

Is this a case of 'he who pays the piper.....'

Anonymous said...

Well Farage is certainly in the pay of the EU. My point is there is no difference between EUKIP and EU crats as Orwell's point was there was no difference between the pigs and the cruel human farmers

Anonymous said...

The secret of sucess in these things is to appear plausible, just like a sucessful lie has a basis in truth. The gerrymandering of the MEP (and indeed ALL candidate) selection to place it totally under the personal control of Nigel has been masked by what appear to be fair and reasonable changes. The introduction of candidate assessment centres, very good idea, weeds out those people who are obviously unsuitable, the nutters, the fanatics, the wild eyed loons! Much more professional approach, increases the party's credibility. Of course assessment in under the control of Lisa Duffy and the new UKIP Press Secretary, bith of whom are Faragists. Second leg of the selection process is the vote of the membership, this could not be dropped titally as the members like to think they are involved in the process and their views actually count. This is of course untrue and the downgrading of the vote of the membership to "advisory" makes it irelevant. The third leg of the selection procedure is the NEC Interview. This is where those unsuitable individuals can be finally stopped even if they have managed to pass an assessment centre and make it to the top of the list on the membership vote. So effectively control of the NEC gives control of the candidate lists as a great performance in the assessment centre and a top place in the membership vote cam be overturned by the NEC Vote. Similarly you can not even appear on the ballot of the membership and never have attended, much less pass, an assessment centre but go top of the list via a vote of the NEC. This process is supposed to apply to all party candidate lists. Of course onlty the potentially winnable seats actually get any attention. In the next General Election (or indeed local elections) no one in the leadership actually cares since UKIP are not going to get lucrative seats on the gravy trains for any of thise elections.