Sunday, 1 December 2013

Towler, Denny and Fuller: More UKIP deja vu

On perusing my Sunday Telegraph this morning I found in the Mandrake column that Gawain Towler is being eased out of his press officer role and Annabelle Fuller, last seen escorting Godders into oblivion, is being eased in. I have described in my previous blogs how GT and AF only survived in UKIP because they were supported by Farage. Fuller is well known as a very close friend of Farage.

Then on reading my emails I find a copy of a long rambling statement by Mr Denny, a former friend of Farage, describing the shortcomings in the UKIP MEP selection process administered by Mr Crowther which has caused huge divisions in UKIP faithful. There are so many Johny come lately UKIP members wanting to get their snouts into the EU trough  that Senor Barroso will have to build a bigger money trough.

I reproduce below what I was sent of Mr Denny's statement:

Mr. Crowther states an "independent panel"  was used. 

The panel finally used (and it was not appointed by the NEC when actioned) has at least six people who, in my opinion and personal knowledge of people within UKIP,  I would NOT select for such a panel on the grounds of them having either potential self interest (as employees for example whose salary is dependent on the patronage of the Leadership), and/or,  of being potentially subject to undue influence from the Leadership by being close friends (like John Moran and Mr Crowther);  or very close to the Leader's organisation for his European election campaign (such as Roger Bird).
I believe the pre-selection part of the process to be flawed,  and fatally so from a democratic point of view for UKIP members.

The pre-selection process over which you have presided which you freely admit was carried out without proper resolutions obtained is, in my opinion, seriously flawed.

I believe the results are so anomalous, and have caused such widespread dissent in the party with those affected,  as to indicate that one of two things has happened, or both:-
1) either that part of the process of selection has been seriously deficient in how it was developed and/or applied; or
2) there has been maladministration in some form or another applied by one or more persons involved.
I  disassociate myself from it  as being the exact opposite of what was intended.
I believe it allows the possibility of, and certainly allows the accusation of, potential gerrymandering,  and I believe is fatally flawed as a democratic process by not conforming properly in its development to the Party Constitution and Rules, also by potential maladministration and/or misapplication of the rules by the party chairman Mr. Crowther. 
Ref Minutes of NEC 13th May discussion of MEP Selection.

NEC Minutes of 13th May clearly state certain people who are well known in the party, of good repute, and of good standing were to be used for that panel.
There was no dissent of these people in the NEC and an amendment to T.3.2  was proposed and carried.
Those people listed were:-
George Curtis (NEC member);
Sebastian Fairweather (NEC member);
Jeffrey Titford (Ex Party Leader);
Rachel Oxley (Ex-NEC member and head of an Independent school);
Roger Bird (Chairman of the SE selection committee and Nigel Farage's organiser for the European elections);
Steve Crowther (chairman of the NEC);
Peter Reeve (Party Nominations Officer).    
The selection panel actually used however,  was considerably different and was NOT approved by the NEC at that time,   and contained people who would in my opinion, most certainly have caused considerable debate in the NEC as to their suitability.

...... with near 100% certainty one in particular,  who was associated in one previous UKIP EU election in assisting the present Leader,  as manager and director of a Telephone Call Centre for donations, which had a bank account set-up for the Leader's region without the knowledge of the then Party Treasurer.{Refers to John Moran}

On the 17th Aug Steve Crowther requested a vote by e-mail of all the NEC,  to make a resolution for the acceptance of a selection panel of three including himself, as he had not finished the process. This is after I had questioned the legality of the selection panels vis a vis UKIP constitution and rules,  and is a tacit admission that the selection panels were indeed deficient by not having NEC approval.
The Party Secretary {Jonathan Arnott?} first claimed he had carefully examined all the papers regarding the MEP selection process,  and said the whole of the selection process was legally sound in all respects {assuming this is Arnott speaking, his ability to make a 'legal judgement' is somewhat limited}.  He then later changed this opinion to an acceptance of what he called a "technicality" whereby the selection panel was deemed to be ultra vires because it had not been approved by the NEC.
On the 18th August,   Steve Crowther then called for a retrospective vote of the NEC by e-mail to regularise the deficiency. He wanted a rapid resolution within 24 hours.  The Party Secretary claimed this was legally acceptable {see above},  and claimed it would have made no difference to the acceptance of these people if it had been put to the NEC properly earlier. 

This is an incredible statement.  As a long-standing NEC member I dispute this vociferously.
The selection panel contains a significant proportion of people who were NOT on the original list put to the NEC on the 13th May and would certainly have caused considerable debate and some dissent in the NEC with some of the newly introduced people.
It was discussed briefly at NEC that party employees should not be a part of the selection process because they might be considered to have a interest in that their salary is dependent upon the patronage of the party leadership; but that was never resolved one way or another with a vote.
Further to Ref:  Paragraph 10
Para 13 states:-

"In this iteration of elections UKIP has worked especially hard to ensure that the process for selection of candidates has been as fair and transparent as possible".
This is an incredible statement.
As an NEC member I do not feel this process has been transparent regarding the selection process at all.   In fact it is completely opaque to me as an NEC member representing the UKIP membership.  I cannot possibly say to the UKIP members "I know the process was undertaken with complete transparency and think it to be fair and equitable".   I do not think that at all.

A sub-committee was formed but its required  functions were never satisfactorily carried out, nor its deliberations presented properly to the NEC for ratification.
This resolution for the formation of a sub-committee is contained in the following:
Document:        MEP Candidate Selection Process 2013  Revised 29.04.13
provided by Steve Crowther says:-
The sub-committee will establish a Selection Panel comprising five members selected for their experience, judgement and availability who will oversee and manage the process.
This sub-committee and its formation is mentioned in document to the NEC from Steve Crowther: marked:
NEC 7 January 2013   MEP SELECTION
which says:-
An NEC sub-committee was set-up in October, comprising members of the NEC who are not intending to stand for MEP selection.
NEC sub-committee:-
 Steve Crowther, George Curtis, Douglas Denny, Toby Micklethwait, Alan Bown, Lisa Duffy (a), Peter Reeve (a), Michael Greaves (a)   
That sub-committee only sat for two sessions only  that I remember, (possibly three),  but no minutes were taken, though they should have been,  (which is why I cannot remember if two or three meetings occurred),  and not even the sub-committee's outline decisions were given as written presentation to the NEC;  and no specific criteria for selection/assessment were ever discussed by that committee or the NEC.   As a committee it might as well have not existed.  Correct due process of the sub-committee, required by the NEC in a resolution (as above) was NOT carried out.
Another example of maladministration of the process used for MEP selection by Mr. Crowther, is that at the NEC discussion on the process, it was agreed that no member of UKIP of less than one year's good standing would be eligible to stand as a candidate, ......
I am given to understand this NEC requirement in the selection rules of at least one year's membership in good-standing for eligibility appears to have been ignored completely. 

I have tried to ameliorate the problems by suggesting modifications to the process which could be easily implemented by resolution(s) of the NEC (obtained within the 24-hour format that Mr Crowther has already done in this case to retrospectively obtain correct due process),   and for an extraordinary meeting of the NEC to be called rapidly (within the week) when I first raised my concerns with the party chairman; but all these protestations have been turned down by the Party chairman and NEC chairman Mr. Crowther."

Note: The author of the above, Doug Denny, was removed from the NEC for submitting these statements to the Party. 

It is ironic that when I raised similar issues in the run up to the 2009 European election Mr Denny was my severest critic. Mr Denny's favourite phrase was to label  those complaining about bias and unfair treatment in the selction process, "malcontents".

I console myself with the thought that there is much joy in heaven when a sinner repents.

No minutes of crucial meetings being taken has been a long standing feature of the Farage regime as is no audit trail via emails. Phone calls are Mr Farage's admin tool of choice of which no definitive record can be obtained.


Obat Alami Batu Empedu said...

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Anonymous said...

Are safe seats being given to the likes of Arnott & Co, despite upsetting grass root members, because they are Farage or Nuttall favourites or because they know where the bodies are buried?