Despite the ban on campaigning for the NEC and being blocked from the Members' Forum I have been having some interesting e-mail exchanges on various points regarding UKIP and my views on where the party is going. One member I've been exchanging views with made the blanket statement he would not vote for anyone who has an MEP as their proposer, seconder or as one of their assentors. Obviously as someone with an MEP as a Proposer and 4 others as Assentors I will not be receiving a vote from this individual.
This member seemed to regard anyone with an MEP on their list as one of the enemy within and obviously a former Tory intent on holding the party back. The suggestion was made that members of UKIP with left wing leanings, former Labour Party members, etc should form a group to push a more left wing, socially fair, agenda. I actually think we should all just be members of UKIP and not Former Tory-UKIP or Former Labour-UKIP. The labels don't help in my opinion.
My background is Old Labour but with a dash of paternalistic Tory, I believe 100% in equality of opportunity but don't believe you can impose equality of achievement. A government should protect its people from exploitation but cannot protect people from their own stupidity; the line unfortunately sometimes gets very blurred. I'm very much a libertarian when it comes to freedom of choice but very much against freedoms that impact on other people. I would allow anything between consenting adults in their own homes but am in favour of the smoking ban in all public places, including the streets. I would remove speed cameras but would have life with hard labour for any driver who killed someone through reckless or dangerous driving, maybe make them diffuse road side bombs in Afghanistan?
Some of those ideas make me quite far to the right; others make me a libertarian, others left wing! The labels are meaningless these days.
The basic principle to which all members of UKIP subscribe is that we don't want to be in the EU, after that we splinter dramatically! I support a confederate system and believe a single world government is actually an inevitable and possibly a desirable thing BUT only as an overall co-ordination body, not a sovereign body handing down laws to be obeyed.
So, I’m not a supporter of special interest groups of any kind. I think they are divisive, elitists and quite often populated by people who know they are right and everyone else is wrong. For example, I object very strongly to the "UKIP Friends of Israel" Group. Not that I have any issues with Israel and anyone who wants to be a friend to that country. I do however object to the attachment to the “friends of Israel” the name of another organisation of which I am a member, i.e. UKIP.
In fact I object so strongly I'm thinking of forming a "UKIP Friends of Palestine" just to make the point, or how about "UKIP Friends of the IRA" or UKIP Friends of Mugabee? At what point do you decide someone or something is worth the tag “UKIP Friends of……”
UKIP shouldn’t endorse any special interest group of any kind. We should be totally inclusive. If I want to be a friend of Israel then I’m perfectly at liberty to be one, I shouldn’t however presume to have the name of UKIP tacked onto my group.