I haven't had much opportunity to blog recently, installing a ground source heat pump and researching an MA Dissertation on Elected Mayors in the media have been taking up quite a lot of my time. However, I've been persuaded to stand for election to the UKIP National Executive Committee and tomorrow is the last day for submission of nomination papers so I thought I'd better get my finger out.
The election for the next UKIP NEC is looking like it will be a crowded field. I’ve heard reports of around 40 candidates standing for the seven seats and I personally have signed nomination papers for three people, it was four but one of them told me she had enough other assentors so didn’t need me! Tomorrow is the close of nominations so we may find out for sure then. Or knowing UKIP we probably won't find out officially for several days after that since there is a “cooling off period” where candidates can withdraw their names. Working on the basis that knowledge is power and the most important thing in UKIP seems to be keep the power in a small, select group, then there is scope for some behind closed doors horse trading once all the names are in, but before the final line up is released!
Even when the names of the candidates are released how exactly are the UKIP Membership going to be able to make an informed decision from a passport sized photograph and a 150 word statement? An impossible task I would have said, especially given the ludicrous rules imposed on the candidates to prevent anyone actually campaigning! Of course if anyone happens to ask me to visit their branch!!!!!
Surely we want people in UKIP with campaigning skills? So why ban campaigning for seats on the NEC. Of course the ban assists those people who are already well known in the party and those who can get a proposer, seconder and assenters who are also well known! Let's face it; the NEC has a very poor record when it comes to accepting new, radical or different ideas.
Anyway, if we accept the proposition that UKIP exists to get the UK out of the EU, which I assume we all do, otherwise why are you a UKIP Member? then as far as I can see there are three ways out; the EU collapses under its own weight and ceases to exist; UKIP members armed with Baker Rifles stage a coup, take control of the government and unilaterally withdraw our country from the EU; or, we grow into a mass political movement and win enough seats in the House of Commons to democratically achieve the aim of withdrawal.
The first scenario is actually a possibility, it happened to the Soviet Union and could happen to the European Union given enough time, and unfortunately it will also drag the UK down at the same time. Withdrawal by force has a poor record historically, the Hungarians showed what happens in these cases and of course the Southern American States are still smarting today over their treatment after they left “the Union” . So that leaves the ballot box. For which we need campaigners! So what do UKIP do? Ban Campaigning! Who makes up these rules? Surely it’s time we changed them?
UKIP needs a NEC with a strategy and business plan. The NEC must listen to the membership and report back to them. I hope my plain speaking northern voice can help shape a NEW NEC, to take on executive power, in a fully fledged party, capable of inspiring and leading the campaign that will get Britain out of the EU.
I do have an NEC Campaign Website if anyone would like to know more.....?