This all happened around 5 years ago. In the intervening period a whole new generation of UKIP activists and wannabee candidates have joined UKIP. It is for those newcomers like Mrs James that I write. Why? It is the same cabal that runs UKIP today that was running UKIP 5 years ago. We are also in the same period in the European MEP electoral cycle now as were 5 years ago when I participated in the process in the SW region.
UKIP members who wished to go on the 2009 SW MEP slate were interviewed by a small sub committee of 3 all of whose members were fanatical Farage supporters especially the late Malcolm Wood who was the SW RO. They drew up a short list of 10 candidates who participated in four hustings organised by Wood and spread across the region. (Wood also organised speaking engagements at the biggest branches for William Legge alone.) The members then voted on a ranked vote system ending with Trevor Colman first and Legge second. Really very democratic compared to what will happen in 2014 when candidates will be chosen at the last minute solely by Mr Farage
As part of the short listing process we all had a recorded TV tough media interview with Clive Page UKIP's then press officer Clive Page. I well remember mine. Clive pulled an old trick at the start stating UKIP were the fourth and smallest UK party. I picked Clive up on that pointing out that in the previous 2004 Europeans UKIP had come third polling more votes than the LibDems! Afterwards Clive told me it was only me and Farage who had picked up his little journalistic trick. Did not say much for how clued up the rest were!
All these interviews were stored on Annabelle Fuller's laptop computer so Farage could see how possible candidates had performed in a simulated media interview. There was no other copy of these interviews. These interviews were to be totally confidential for this use only.
An Eastern region activist, John West, had done one of these interviews which was held on Fuller's laptop. West was shocked to find his interview had been posted on Facebook with the horrible head line, "How not to do politics". This was public for all to see and obviously designed to humilate and ridicule John West. An investigation traced the posting of this interview to Morroco. Ms Fuller likes to holiday in Morocco.
Del Young, David Abbott and I then on the NEC were detemined to get to the bottom of this. We were not able to interview Ms Fuller which is what we wanted to do but we were given the foolowing taxi tale. Ms Fuller claimed she had left her Laptop in a London taxi. It had been missing for two days. Then Ms Fuller claims it was returned to her London address by the taxi driver who had discovered her address by looking at files stored on the Laptop so he must have posted West's confidential interview on the web.
I thought it was a cock and bull story. Whittaker, then UKIP chairman, would not take it further but did tell Del Young that Ms Fuller would no longer be allowed to be involved with UKIP.
Fast forward 5years and who was very visible at Eastleigh but Annabelle Fuller. Junius has recently published some emails that seem to show Ms Fuller is not over enamoured of Mrs James.
The unanswered question is why John West's interview out of the 100 plus interviews done was selected for public consumption? John was a popular and very active in the Eastern region just like Mrs James is today in the Southern region.
Plus ca change plus c'est la meme chose, Mrs James. Tread carefully. I opine there never was a Morrocan taxi driver and as London cabbies are required to hand in all property left in their taxi to the police within 24 hours there is a missing 24 hours so I am unconvinced there was even a London cabbie.
I have no doubt UKIP will do very well in the 2014 European possibly even come top of the poll. What concerns me is who these MEPs will be. Andreasen and Bannerman were Farage approved candidates. I predict that there will be more A & Bs who will gain the Fuerher's blessing with the same results. This will be a continuous drain on UKIP that eventually in the inevitable tight election or referendum to leave the EU may prove fatal to our cause.