There is a debate currently under way on the UKIP Members Forum regarding the future leadership of UKIP. As a candidate for the NEC I am banned from contributing until after the elections, (a stupid decision in my opinion that shows UKIP to be still in denial about the internet) so even though in several postings I am being mentioned by name I cannot respond! Frank exchange of views? What’s that?
A couple of the posters are definitely not fans of mine and I suppose that by now I should know it’s a waste of time trying to argue with people who have made up their minds. From a posting of over 700 words one person has homed in on the 15 words that deal with his obsession! He's ignored everything else I've said! So, for avoidance of any doubt on my position I will state very clearly my views on smoking:
I think smoking is a nasty habit, but if people want to do it in the privacy of their own homes then that is their choice. However, I don’t want to be made to breathe in their second hand smoke so in my opinion smoking should be banned in any public place, including walking down the street.
According to my fan on the forum;
“this draconian move would totally alienate us from working class voters!”
Quite interesting assumptions here that it’s only working class people who smoke? Actually the person who posted that does appear from some of his other postings to be a bit of a class warrior and it wouldn’t surprise me if somewhere in his personal baggage was a huge chip on the shoulder. There we are, now I’m making assumptions on some flimsy evidence!
Another poster waded in with;
”If he wants to ban smoking in the street then forget him. Will end up just portrayed as another fruit bat from the fruit bat party. We need a leader who knows what the public want, not just push their own crazy ideas.”
He is also making assumptions. How does he know the public want to smoke in the streets? Research I’ve seen shows that people DON’T want smoking in the streets. Many people I speak to think UKIP is the fruit bat party because of its support for smokers! Of course this is one of those no-win situations. The smokers are fighting to protect their human rights to smoke and the anti-smokers fighting for their human rights not to breathe in polluted air.
The fruit bat comment is I think either supposed to be funny or just an insult? What’s wrong with fruit bats anyway?
I haven’t been able to engage in open debate on these points, due to the forum posting ban, but I wonder what the position of these individuals is about the Burka? Should it be banned in public places? Or is it just the “right” to smoke that should be enshrined in civic liberties?
The whole thread is actually pointless because I have no desire to become Leader of UKIP.
A more thankless task I couldn’t imagine! Even if I did want the job I couldn’t afford it. The post is unpaid and you have to cover your own expenses. Anyone without access to a considerable private income, a very good pension or an MEP’s salary and allowances would find it impossible to do the job. I consider myself to be reasonably comfortably off, due to my own hard work, some good investment decisions over the past 20 years (and a wife who has her own business!), but I’m not in the income bracket that allows me to become leader of UKIP, thank goodness!