The Hanseatic league was a loose trading confederation run by groups of merchants in the Hansa towns, Lubeck, Bremen, Hamburg Bruges etc. Each town gave away as little as possible but gave what was needed to maintain the league. It dominated North West Europe from the 13th up to the end of the 15th century. They had no standing army and avoided wars as far as possible however one town, Lubeck mobilised 50000 men when needed at a time when the King of England could barely raise 10000 men. The Hansa preferred commercial pressure and diplomacy to achieve their aims. It was far more cost effective and less damaging to wealth. The Hansa had no political elite and despised aristocrats. Wealth creators ruled. Emphasis on the plural!
This is EUKIP's problem. It has no plurality of leadership. Its a one man band or cult with Farage as cult leader and band. This makes it an easy target for the pro EU media to attack and defeat. Decapitate and defeat will be the EU phile strategy and it will succeed. I recorded the Andrew Neil Sunday politics show broadcast on 16th Dec and switched it on when I got back. There was Farage and there was Andrew Neil, a closet Eurosceptic, deploying exactly this strategy in an interview throwing everything at NF . Farage batted it away prety well as the delicious Isabel Oakeshott remarked but when the subject turned to Nigel's nasty EU friends things became more difficult.
Farage survived this time but it is the shape of things to come. As A Neil remarked at the end if you lie down with dogs you get fleas and NF by this token must have quite a lot of fleas by now and its only a matter of time before the media start finding them.Add that to the attack by Verhofstadt on Farage trousering EU funds big time, click on link to watch, and you cannot see Farage surviving.
This has always been the basis of my opposition to Farage as leader. He comes with such a huge downside and baggage to which he is intent on adding with the Hamiltons. Its a surefire losing strategy. A leader who is so vulnerable to opposition attacks is a liability no matter how many positive assets he has. Once his flank is turned he is finished and because he is EUKIP the party is finished.
Then there is of course the enemy within, Marta Andresen and Gerard Batten who fear their deselection by NF and losing their place on the EU gravy train. Both have I gather written virtually public letters opposing their possible deselection. Much good it will do them. When on the NEC I warned Farage that Andresen should not be put on any UKIP MEP slate as she failed six of the criteria to be a candidate. Worse she is the embodiment of the EU dream of breaking down nation states, a foreigner living outside the UK representing a UK region.
Strategically therefore Andresen is a huge political danger to UKIP and she will not hesitate to exploit this. Batten is a lesser danger whom Farage can brush aside as a bad loser. He cannot do that with Andresen whom he so assiduously promoted and for whom Gill was happy to waive candidate eligibility rules.
Alas poor UKIP. Its on a good wicket right now but its main and only batter is so easy to dismiss and they don't have any others when he fails as he will. Its not that EUKIP won't get us out of the EU they simply can't get us out of the EU.
Learn from the Hansa. Have a dispersed group doing as little as possible to maintain the common interest whilst looking out for themselves ie a Europe of nation states with a common defence treaty called NATO. That will be our salvation. Its what we had before our political elite gave it away. Its time to go for a Hansa style direct democracy. Have MPs by all means but leave all major decisions in the hands of the people as the Swiss do. Its the political class we have to fight first and that includes Nigel Farage.