Sunday, 28 October 2012

Post Democracy Chiefs and Indians

Fraser Nelson wrote an excellent piece in Friday's DT pointing out how G Brown had set up his government in exile by getting all his placemen and fellow travellers appointed to controlling positions in quangos and charities. These include household names like Save the Children (Justin Forsyth, GB's ex strategy chief), NSPCC  (Peter Watt former Labour party general secretary) and CAFOD, the Catholic Aid Agency has Damien McBride former GB spin meister. Public sector union activists and officials are paid by HMG and have security passes to government buildings. No wonder Cameron's efforts at reform always seem to run into trouble. Many charities receive a large percentage of their funds from HMG and have very highly paid CEOs which must siphon off a lot of the funds so the intended recipients get a whole lot less. For this reason I do not now donate to charities.

What are the Tories doing about this? Nelson writes of Cameron, 'He is too much of a gentleman to play Labour's game and start stuffing quangoes with Tory placemen'. So we have quangoes where an estimated 77% of activists are Labour. Have the Tories learned nothing from the last Labour boundary review exercise where they barely bothered to send representatives whilst Labour put out their best team to gerrymander constituency boundaries in their favour as far as possible. The Tories are still trying to claw back what they lost then but of course as prisoners of the LibDems they now cannot.

There is a real lack of core elctoral nous in the Tories but far more so in EUKIP. You need to attend to the boring nitty gritty crucial details. Look at the effort Obama and Romney are putting into swing states like Ohio. Look at the professionalism of the US operations compared with the bumbling amateur approach of the Tories and the total incompetence of UKIP who in the recent London elections when they could not even get their candidates name on to the ballot paper. What was Mr Crowther, UKIP's party supremo doing? What is he paid for?

There is a complete lack of basic simple electoral expertise in UKIP. UKIP MEP candidates simply don't want to do the hard electoral graft. I was appalled last time in the South West when the party members voted for William Legge, a belted Earl with no electoral record, rather than Alan Wood one of the 5 elected district councillors UKIP then had. Alan knew how to run an elctoral campaign and had a long record of hard work for UKIP. He has now left UKIP. I thought deference for the aristos died with the WW I when the aristo leadership led to over a million dead. Lions led by donkeys was the truth.The lesson does not seem to have sunk in with the SW donkey UKIP members.

Poor a candidate as Legge was we are expected now to have Neil Hamilton as lead SW UKIP MEP candidate. Incredible! A man mired in the cash for questions scandal and unsuccesful libel actions. A man who in the 1997 General Election lost Tatton the fourth safest Conservative seat in the UK to an Independent by a majority of 11000! He was selected by the local party who after Hamilton's defeat promptly ditched him and selected Gideon, call me George, Osborne. I never saw Hamilton at any of the meetings working for UKIP in 2009. Come to that I never saw Legge until the MEP slate selection meeting.

That is UKIPs problem. Too many incompetent Chiefs and not enough Indians, Success comes from talent, expertise, training and hard graft. UKIP fails on all four. Sure they will get a lot of votes in 2014, but it will only be protest vote in an elction that the electors know is meaningless. 
Read Crouch's book entitled Post Democracy to understand what is going on.


Oxo said...

You make reference to Alan Wood and the SW donkeys in relation to the election of SW MEPs. I hope my memory serves me correctly and I agree that he knew how to run a campaign, but I don't think he left the party as a result of the MEP selection process. Indeed I think he was delighted that Trevor Colman was first past the post. Trevor wasn't elected by donkeys but by people who had seen him at work.
I think he left Ukip because of the Ukip donkeys nationwide.
Let me take you back to the leadership campaign when Mr. Farage had resigned. He said that he would not influence the election of a new leader and promptly stated that there was only one credible candidate, namely Lord Pearson. If that didn't effect the outcome nothing did, and, of course Alan Wood was a candidate in that election. If my memory serves me correctly Trevor Colman was his proposer, which reinforces my point above.
We all know what happened to Lord Pearson who stood down as his leadership was not going as well as had been hoped. I recall that, during the run up to the election Alan Wood made the point on the Ukip forum that Lord Pearson "would lead us into the wilderness", or words to that effect, and was berated for it.
I ask who was right?
Alan Wood brought up the rear in that election and left Ukip almost immediately. Parts of Ukip have never recovered.

Eric Edmond said...

Agreed Trevor worked very hard before the MEP selection but so did Alan Wood. Had he stood against Pearson as an MEP it might have been different.

ALAN WOOD said...

The story of UKIP is told in Dr. Peter Gardner's excellent book following the 2005 General Election, HARD POUNDING:THE STORY OF THE UK INDEPENDENCE PARTY.
There was success at European Elections in 2009 thanks to the grass-roots members.
The story since 2009 has been one of disaster as the leadership and the MEP's have (with certain exceptions) been a liability in PR terms through their indiscretions.
Worse has been the failure of the leadership and the MEP's to use their income to develop a powerful grass-roots organisation like other parties.
The anti-EU movement has its roots in the rebels of the Conservative Party and some of the Labour Party
like the indomitable Lord Stoddart.
The mistake of Farage has been to ignore the growing discontent of the traditional Labour voter, allowing the BNP to gain "market share" of the anti-EU vote. There was an opportunity in 2010, actually supported by Lord Pearson with my encouragement, to bring together other minor parties like the English Democrats. Farage squashed this idea.
It is possible that the EU will self-destruct through its austerity measures, as did the Weimar era in Germany which spawned Hitler.
This should be a golden period for UKIP to recruit both Labour and Conservative activists but I fear that Farage stands in the way of progress.

Eric Edmond said...

I agree. Its the working class that lose most from us being in the EU. Poles, Slovaks and soon Romas and Bugars over here competing for unskilled jobs, social housing, health care etc.

Bob Crow set up an anti-EU party in 2009 called something like No2EU. It would have been a great fit with UKIP. He is a terrific debater. He demolished Nuttall the last time I saw/heard them together on the Beeb. That's why Farage cant contemplate joining up with someone like Crow. It would be obvious Crow would be a superior leader for such a joint party.

Farage's strategy condemns UKIP to be a fringe party of a minority party. That is an eternal no win position