Saturday, 7 August 2010


There have been a couple of questions on the UKIP Members Forum which I would like to answer but of course NEC Candidates are banned from posting so I can't respond. However, on the subject of disappointment regarding NEC candidate ages and there being no candidate under 40 years old!

I think that is a problem not only with UKIP's NEC but with other areas of UKIP as well. When I was a young lad in my 30's I was too busy earning a living, paying my mortgage and bringing up my family to consider membership of anything like the UKIP NEC. I didn't have the time to take a day off work every month or the spare cash to travel to London for meetings. I left the Hartlepool Rotary Club because it was a Monday lunchtime club and while it was very pleasant to spend three hours over lunch it wasn't something I could do every week.

The need to have both the time and the money to participate in things like UKIP NEC is the reason why its membership is restricted to those who are either retired, have a private income or who are MEPs (anyone else receiving any income from UKIP being disqualified from standing but of course allowed to participate as non-voting members). This is why UKIP is run by such a small group, it’s the people with the time and the money to be able to afford to do so. These same people also control the purse strings when it comes to employment opportunities within UKIP!

These are reasons why I support the move to hold NEC Meetings at the weekends. To allow working people to put they forward as candidates. I was also quite taken with the idea of moving the NEC around the country but the practicalities make that difficult and I’m sad to say that the road, rail and air travel infastructure in the UK mean that London really is the only place to hold this type of meeting.

Look at the Leadership candidates, the same criteria, either retired, have a private income or who are MEPs or with a seat in the House of Lords, no-one else can afford to do it. Its the same with Party Chairman, and this is no reflection on Paul who I think is excellent but who I don't think should be Party Chairman, his primary role should be using the tag "MEP" in the political arena, not sorting out party administration, however only those people who can afford to do any of these jobs (Leaders, Chairman, NEC) can go for them. So UKIP can never have people in posts by virtue of ability, the key criteria is can they afford to do the job and on that basis you will very rarely have anyone under 30 with the financial security to afford to do it and if they were able to then if they had any political ambition they would be in the Tories (or Labour) where their money would buy them a safe seat in Parliament!

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