Thursday, 7 February 2013

Farage's EUKIP, a party not fit for purpose at Eastleigh

The LibDems have made a very smart move in Eastleigh by calling the election with the least possible notice on 28th Feb. They hope to take advantage of their supberb organisation in Eastleigh with many local disctrict councillors and party activists to rush the election through before the other parties have got their campaign going. I thought they would go long but I was wrong. Their candidate will officially be chosen on Saturday but of course has already been selected behind closed doors.

Lib Dem by election campaign underway

Liberal Democrats have a proud 20-year record of action in Eastleigh, fighting for people in both local government and in Westminster. The people of Eastleigh should have the opportunity to elect someone to serve the constituency as soon as possible. This is going to be a tough fight, and clearly a fight that’s between Liberal Democrats and Conservatives. I know that we will be up to the task – and I am confident and determined that we will win.
The leader of Eastleigh Council, Keith House, emailed all Liberal Democrat members today to announce that campaigning had already begun. He said:
Our campaign is well underway. We had to hit the ground running, just as we always do in Eastleigh. It’s why we hold every council seat in the constituency. Tim Farron was with us yesterday. All our leading MPs and campaigners are being booked in. Our by-election HQ opens tomorrow. Saturday marks the start of our first action weekend.

Its a tactic that will see off EUKIP and show up their hopeless organisation and lack of management preparedness. I suppose Chairman Crowther is responsible for getting their campaign up and running  but that obviously does not inspire confidence following his cock up on the London assembly ballot papers for UKIP.  Responsibilty for Crowther's appointment rests with Farage. He is a typical 'Yes Man' that Nigel likes, prepared to do anything to get his name high up on a UKIP MEP slate.

EUKIP are riding high, at least by their standards, in the polls yet their great leader and media star seems strangely reluctant to step into the media limelight that will shine on Eastleigh these next three weeks. Farage announced he would not stand on Twitter, not many words for Nigel.

He had the day before said he was 'thinking about it'. Click on link to watch this less than stellar interview.

His decision to concentrate on his busy EU duties rather than Eastleigh is chronicled at link

I remember a similar situation over the Lisbon Treaty when I was on the NEC. The House of Lords committee considering this treaty invited contributions. I wrote in with mine as did all of the Yeovil UKIP committee. Duely the report was published, nice red portcullis and all, and all contributors were listed. There were MEPS from all EU countries and parties listed but not one from a UKIP MEP. I challenged Farage and Clarke at the NEC on this lamentable omission. Clarke replied that he could not be expected to know everything and he had been busy with his EU committee work! Even Whittaker, the then NEC chairman was shocked by this breathtaking admission of the truth. He remarked to Clarke that he was not elected by the people of the UK to do the EU's work. Whittaker and Farage were equally culpable but at least had the sense to keep quiet about their cock up.

Its the same at Eastleigh. The Tories are in a shambles over Cast Iron Dave's gay wedding and Labour are not bothered. A great opportunity for EUKIP? Nope, incompetence rules OK. EUKIP is simply not fit for the purpose of fighting Westminster elections. Farage's incompetent leadership has ensured that.

PS I think nominations for Eastleigh must have closed at 5pm, today Thursday 7th Feb 2013, so we should know soon who Eukip's candidate is if Crowther/Reeve got the papers in on time.


Anonymous said...

Do you not think that you are doing a disservice to the Country by running down Mr Farage all the time, instead of getting behind him to beat the enemy, the present government.

Eric Edmond said...

Nope. UKIP needs to be run properly as a party not a cult.

Mike Bridgeman said...

Extract from the London Evening Standard
The party's candidate will be chosen by local Lib Dem members at a hustings in the constituency on Saturday. Nominations from the party's list of approved candidates close on Friday.
This may help
I wonder if the Lib Dems will get points for speeding?

Eric Edmond said...

Thx Mike,

Any info on how the UKIP candidate will be chosen? Or will he be annointed by Mr F

Eric Edmond said...

Tories last night selected Maria Hutchings who came second last time with 21,102 votes as their candidate. They are clearly up to win this.

Last night's poll gave UKIP 13% of the vote, Tories 34%, LibDems 31% and Labour 19%. UKIP need a candidate fast if they hope to get past Labour. Is Crowther up to it is the question.

Mike Bridgeman said...

I did write to Ukip saying how I thought the candidate should be chosen, but, as I am not a member of the party (or any other) I doubt it counts for much.
I think a local activist chosen by the constituency members would stand them in good stead. When you consider the hemorrhaging of members from the Conservative party and the way "A" listers are sent in I see it as an opportunity to show a little democracy and win over some members. Ukip only got 3.6% at the last election and, realistically, 10% this time would be a good result so it would pay them to try and win over support by the way they present themselves.

Eric Edmond said...

Mike, I agree with you. I don't care for Skeptyk Finch but be the least bad choice.

Richard Thomas said...

Since Mr Farage knows the constituency well it is surprising that he has not put himself forward to carry UKIP's banner. Or is that as he is known locally he wouldn't dare?

Eric Edmond said...

You may well be right Richard. He has may skeletons all over the South East


Mike Bridgeman said...

I think Nigel is too shrewd to stand.
I don't know why but I will give you my thoughts and, if I am way off beam, he might like to correct me through this medium.
Since 2005 Nigel has stood twice in parliamentary elections in the South of England. I was a foot soldier at the first.
Against John Bercow I thought he had a good chance but had a very poor result.
This election is between the Conservatives and the Lib Dems and Nigel (and Ukip) have little to gain other than try and put up a good show and improve Ukip's standing. Nigel would become a bit of a parliamentary loser standing in this one. I think he made the right choice as, for once, it shows Ukip as other than a one man band. Something I think voters are looking for. Also there will be no deals with the Conservatives this time which goes against the pressure group scenario. Andrew Neil criticised him for not standing. Had he stood the criticism would have been far worse after the result.
This election is a make or break situation for both Cameron and Clegg. If Clegg should lose his tenure as leader of the Lib Dems looks very shaky and if Cameron should lose the same will apply but over a longer time frame. It will be an unusually dirty battle.
Nigel is very sensible to keep out of it.
As I say I don't know, but will stand corrected if someone knows better.

Eric Edmond said...


I agree. Farage did well not to stand. Andrew Neil rattled his cage at lunch time by saying people were saying NF preferred the cushy life in Brussels to the hard slog of UK by elections. Very true and we will be seeing a lot more of this. Political life is going to get a whole lot harder for Nigel.