28 October 2016

UKIP Proves That Party Politics is Broken

I recently renewed my membership for UKIP to support Raheem Kassam in his effort to become the next leader of the party. I did not renew when it expired in early 2016, as the problems now destroying UKIP were apparent to me even back then, as I shouted into the wind about how UKIP was heading down a path of self-destruction. I’ve pointed these problems out many times before on videos, social media, and in conversations with people involved in the party. As I write this, it is the day after I attended a local branch meeting, and to say it was a frustrating experience is an understatement.

One of the reasons I’m backing Raheem Kassam as UKIP leader is because I’m hoping he can stop the party being destroyed from within, by restructuring it and keeping it true to its roots. I was hoping to speak to Raheem on a livestream on the day this was posted. I always knew this was a longshot given that he was very busy running his campaign. He did initially express some interest, but deep down I knew he wouldn’t have the time. That said, Raheem, if you’re reading this, I’d still love to speak to you on another occasion. I’m a big supporter of your campaign because your vision is just what we need on this eleventh hour.

Raheem Kassam: the only leadership candidate that will
stay true to UKIP's roots.
Three times I’ve attended branch meetings. The first meeting was pleasant enough. The second was just after the general election, when fifth columnists really ramped up their attempts to undermine the party. I was repeatedly poked in the chest by a councillor who didn’t like being challenged when he defended Douglas Carswell, and attacked Farage. The third meeting was yesterday. No chest poking this time. But the Farage attacks were no better.

I realise now that the reason UKIP is in dire straits is not necessarily because the party itself is broken (although it is most definitely on its last legs), but that party politics doesn’t work very well. In my time with UKIP I’ve met a lot of people that talk a good talk, and tend to make a lot of sense when you have political discussions with them. But most of the time this doesn’t translate into people walking the walk, or standing up for their beliefs in the face of attacks from outside the party, not to mention the ever growing number of attacks from inside the party.

The majority of people now involved with the party apparatus either insist that there’s no one trying to change UKIP’s political direction (at least not in any credible way), or that all the problems within UKIP are the fault of the ‘Farage loyalists’. Any call to change UKIP’s political platform (however credible this might be) is especially puzzling when you consider that a YouGov poll shows that 73% of its members either want the party to stay on the right, or move even further to the right. Only 22% of UKIP members agree with the Evans/O’Flynn/Carswell ‘strategy’ of ‘modernising’ and ‘professionalising’ the party by moving to the ‘centre’ (i.e. moving to the left – let’s not mince our words here). I’ve found that, in my branch at least, people think I’m exaggerating when I say there are those trying to pull the party to the left, because no one openly supports this.

Admittedly, the ideological subverters appear to be a very vocal minority, but no matter how much trouble they cause they manage to avoid being kicked out of the party, especially the usual suspects like Carswell and Evans. It’s easy to see who their supporters are because they get very belligerent if you describe UKIP as libertarian or conservative, and argue that the party should be against political correctness. But this ideological subversion is not the only problem, not by a longshot!

Those who (supposedly) want the party to remain on the right are not necessarily much better. Many make alliances with those opposed to Farage, or with little to no interest in maintaining UKIP’s political direction. They tell you that they believe in a right-wing, conservative UKIP, but then they get into bed with the worst culprits for undermining this. How principled they really are, when this is how they behave, is worth asking. The most alarming part is the sheer animosity that even these types express about Nigel Farage. They spread vicious rumours about him within the party, none of which can be substantiated. As Saul Alinsky once wrote:
 “Pick the target, freeze it, personalise it, and polarise it. Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.”
Sound familiar?

Furthermore, these people always defend the National Executive Committee’s failure to adequately discipline the troublemakers in the party. Anyone with a modicum of common sense can see that these troublemakers have repeatedly avoided any meaningful punishment that amounts to anything more than a slap on the wrist, when they NEC should have kicked them out of UKIP a long time ago. These agitators then live to fight another day, working towards the removal of Farage and his supporters from the party.

The Farage rumours can only really be described as slander designed to destroy the reputation of the greatest politician of this generation. Judging by the self-serving, amoral nature of these people, they don’t even deserve to be in the same room as Farage, let alone take his place. I’m sad to say that the animosity towards Farage is now so rife that, within the party infrastructure at least, his support may not be enough to fend off their machinations. Within the party membership, and the wider public, Farage gets the support, recognition and respect he deserves. But jealous, scheming anti-Faragists are now so numerous that I don’t think anything less than a mass purging can prevent them from severing Farage’s link to the party, much like Thatcher’s demise with theTories.

Bar Raheem Kassam, Arron Banks, and a few less established high-ranking figures, there aren’t many people left in UKIP that will do more than talk a good talk about policies and direction. I realise now that most of the anti-Faragists (whatever politics they claim to espouse) don’t want to solve the factional infighting. They’re very happy for it to continue because they don’t want their cliques to be compromised, and they’re more than prepared to see the party fold before that happens – if I can’t have it no one can!

These people are rallying around Paul Nuttall’s campaign, and pretending that he’s going to be able to tame the likes of Douglas Carswell and Neil Hamilton if he becomes the next leader. Nuttall, while demonstrating a more conservative stance in the past, is now aligning himself with what Raheem Kassam calls the “UKIP establishment”. These are the party elites trying to silence the will of the membership through bureaucratic red tape.  Why? Because they overwhelmingly support Farage, and want UKIP to be right-wing. If nothing else, this pressure from the right of politics will force the Westminster bubble to acquiesce to UKIP’s policies, just like the pressure for an EU referendum did. You can see why UKIP fifth columnists, working on the behalf of the Westminster establishment, would try to prevent that from happening.

What Nuttall actually represents is what Kassam describes as “business as usual” within the UKIP establishment, who increasingly ignore the membership and public just as flagrantly (however intentionally) as other political parties. We know the story; politicians do everything they can to con the public into accepting their agenda, and don’t waver unless the consequences will lead to loss of power and influence. Therefore a right-wing UKIP is essential if British politics isn’t going to be mired in cronyism and socialism. Farage gets this. Kassam gets this. Banks gets this, and an ever shrinking number of people in the ‘Farage camp’ get this - the very people I keep hearing so many bad things about in branch meetings, every time I hold my nose and dive into UKIP politics on the ground.

The bottom line is that party politics is broken, but what do we do to stop this self-serving Machiavellianism that’s not only wrecking UKIP, but the entire political process? This system is designed to benefit narcissistic and sociopathic personalities that plot and scheme their way to the top, possessing no real talent other than superficial charm and skulduggery (if you can even call this talent). They never create real wealth in society, like Banks or Trump, and they don’t have any genuine respect for principles. Everything is a game to them, and they’re more than happy to make any alliance necessary if it fast-tracks them to success. Some might call this pragmatism. But true pragmatism is understanding how Rome wasn’t built in a day, not ruthlessly trying to destroy a great man like Nigel Farage, for your own personal benefit.

I now understand why Arron Banks and Nigel Farage (and to a certain degree, Raheem Kassam) want to abolish the NEC, transferring accountability and voting powers directly to the party membership, much like the Five Star Movement in Italy. Events of this year prove that the public is very favourable to right-wing populism. All the public need is a chance and a choice. They’ll then grab this with both hands and run with it. People did this with the EU referendum, and they’re doing this with Trump in the US. They also did this with Thatcher and Reagan decades ago, so why not give the members more power to decide policies and direction in UKIP? This would make it much harder for clandestine operators like Neil Hamilton to undermine the party, because power is so broken up that you can’t manipulate a few people at the top, just like the NEC.

I’d actually go even further by working towards more direct democracy in Britain. Let’s have a party policy to turn the Downing Street petition site into the opportunity to vote for new acts and amendments. We can create a Swiss style system, wherein a petition requires enough support for the public to vote in a referendum. With enough referendum votes this can then be ratified or introduced as a law. All you’d need is some sort of constitutional limit to what you can vote for, and a high court that decides what is constitutional.

When you go this far, one has to wonder why you need party politics for anything more than an executive branch of government. Could this mean the end of the House of Commons and Lords? One step at a time, but one thing’s for sure, party politics has failed too often, and it’s time to start thinking outside the box.

8 comments:

  1. Great Article MrE. I've always despised Party Politics as those at the top always ignore the interests of the People themselves! It's no wonder George Washington himself was against the establishment of Political Parties...

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    1. Well, I completely agree with George Washington.

      Thanks for reading :-)

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  2. UKIP is just one manifestation of a greater anti-globalist uprising. Of course globalists will employ Machiavellian co-opting. The idea is to make it like a game of "smack the gopher". Serve the body of the greater movement, many heads will sprout. Stay angry! Stay informed! Grassroots!

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  3. I don't know if I'd want to ascribe a conspiratorial motive here; I think their moves are adequately explained by greed and selfishness alone. It doesn't surprise me that more left wing people have arrived either. Up until now UKIP has been perceived as a single issue party. With the success of Brexit I think there's lots of people who see Brexit as a-political and want to see what the fuss is about in UKIP.

    Still, I agree about the nature of party politics. What's happening in UKIP is the exact same as is happening to the Labor party right now; factions pulling things in different directions with little heed paid to what the members actually want. That's one thing that makes the Tories about the only viable rulers right now because at least they know how to walk in line.


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    1. Not sure why you'd want to throw the word "conspiratorial" out there. It's a word often made in bad faith.

      What's actually happening in Labour is entryism. It's the same thing in UKIP in a different fashion, although selfish ambition plays into it, too. There is no doubt that people are trying to undermine Farage as well. If you think that is a conspiracy theory then I can assure you that you are 100% incorrect, as I know this for a fact.

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  4. That's quite a long article to write about policy differences without actually naming any of the policies. I'm not likely ever to vote UKIP because I don't want to leave the EU, but if we leave in such a way that rejoining was not possible I might consider supporting them if they had appealing policies and looked like they could put that programme into action. I am not too fussed about whether it is left wing or right wing. I don't know enough about the party to know which faction is the one that has the most realistic programme. But I have a feeling that people who write long articles about internal party business probably don't either.

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    1. UKIP is no longer a party of small government and low taxes. It is the party of welfare and social programs. I've done more than anyone to break down UKIP across the board. So your dismissals just make you look like a shill trying to downplay the truth.

      This is the third time I've responded to you (1st 2 times on YouTube). So I am now going to ask you to start making proper arguments for the last time, or find that your comments will be removed in future.

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