UKIP; the party that buried itself with its own spade

A political party is like a very large, extremely annoying extended family. Active involvement takes over one’s life.

One can therefore imagine the emotional wrench Nigel Farage experienced when he left UKIP a couple of weeks ago. His was the face of UKIP. Not only had he given his life to UKIP but as a founding member in 1992, he had worked 36 years, almost non-stop for this annoying extended family.  Love him or loathe him, the one thing no one can accuse him of is not being consistent. For decades with energy and fortitude, he persisted in fighting, through thick and thin, to exit the European union.

So what made Farage leave UKIP? He doesn’t think that Brexit is done and dusted. Last week he predicted that there will be a second referendum which will need to be fought over again.  Brexit has been, as every leaver knows, betrayed.

UKIP ‘was’ the political face of Brexit.  The UKIP that I joined was also remarkably united. There were always rumblings between ‘red’ UKIP and ‘blue’ UKIP members but they were minor, always some discontent among a few members about Islam but in general the party was united – unlike both other major parties who have torn themselves and each other apart over Brexit.

All UKIP members wanted was to leave the EU, to replace it with small government, lower taxes, free speech, control of our borders, a massive reduction in welfare tourism and see a halt to economic immigration. In addition they wanted a return to proper policing and the rule of law. All were in favour of reducing overseas aid and putting British people first. None of these things were controversial. The party was united.

Then Gerard Batten took over. Mr Batten seems to have spent most of his short leadership concentrating his energies on getting one man, Tommy Robinson, admitted to the party. (Ironically UKIP is the only party which specifically forbids membership – written into the Constitution – to anyone who has been a member of either the BNP or the EDL.) Tommy Robinson is not only the founder of the EDL but has never, before now, had any interest in either Brexit or UKIP.

Indeed two senior journalists told me that Mr Robinson is not really that interested in joining UKIP and all the running to get him to join has been done by Mr Batten, not the other way around, as people have been led to believe.

Batten’s policy has been met with ferocious resistance internally; from rank and file members to regional organisers, from NEC members and even as far as the House of Lords;  both Lord Stevens and Lord Willoughby have left the party in the last couple of weeks.

There have been however a number of recruits of hard core of Tommy fans. These include a number of senior people from Anne Marie Water’s party, her deputy and many new members – some of whom are clearly ex BNP and EDL supporters. Indeed critics of Batten have characterised it as a ‘Momentum’ like insurgency.

The entire party has changed out of all recognition. Many of the older stalwarts – local chairman, regional chairs, elected councillors, London assembly members, mayors and MEP’s are now openly and disparagingly called ‘Old Tories’.

Whilst the party may have increased membership, it has lost its core – it funders, it’s writers, it’s intelligentsia and many of it’s hard working, grassroots activists, leaving the question, who are disaffected Conservative voters like Victoria, writing this week at at Conservative woman now going to vote for?

This is when, with Brexit failing, there could not be a more propitious time for UKIP. Instead, under Batten’s leadership UKIP has achieved the astonishing feat of burying itself with its own ideological spade and is languishing at 6-8% in the polls.  It will not win a local district council seat with that electoral share.

As a result the entire Brexit campaign now focuses on Nigel Farage, Rees Mogg and Richard Tice at Leave Means Leave. UKIP is dead.

Catherine Blaiklock was formerly UKIP’s Economics spokesman and the Eastern Regional Chair.  She has resigned and left the party.

25 Comments on UKIP; the party that buried itself with its own spade

  1. This is depressing. The country is crying out for a right-thinking political party founded on integrity and common sense. Why is this so difficult to achieve?

  2. Reportedly there has been a rise in UKIP’s membership and a rise in public support. What has been the consequence? Some of the old guard who have been content with UKIP in the doldrums have collectively jumped up and made a vocal show of walking to the exit. Are we to take this as a demonstration of principle, or a lack of grit? NF’s UKIP was ill-served after his exit because so many solid people who had an opinion were sidelined. Post-Brexit there was no recognisable faces that gelled with the public, just those we’d rather forget, such as Suzanne Evans.

    Sadly many of those Catherine suggests were berated with the moniker ‘old Tories’ were nothing of the kind. They were classical liberals, who like Farage, was happy to play along toing a left-liberal media consensus promoting things such as purely skills-based mass immigration from wherever they would come in the world. NF’s trick was to suggest that UKIP were less ‘racist’ because they’d take more people from developing countries, if only they waved the right certificates. As the work of Matthew Goodwin, Roger Eatwell and Kaufmann (liberal academics) demonstrates, people don’t want their neighborhoods transformed on the basis of neo-liberal economic voodoo.

    I’m sure that an uncouth element has entered in and not followed the appropriate conventions at the buffet table, but all the internal positions of power were held by the old guard and now they seemingly seek to withdraw (SDP)?

    So be it. UKIP has a countrywide network, but to use the metaphor of the rise and fall of civilisations, it may be they needed that influx of barbarians to remind them of the important things in life once again and avoid decrepitude.

  3. While I don’t support Batten’s efforts to get Tommy Robinson into the party (it does distract from Brexit), the reality is that Nigel Farage abandoned the party in 2016, and without Batten it would have gone bankrupt. He rebuilt the party and has brought in a new, younger and if anything more ‘intelligentsia'(!) demographic. I joined in June 2018, motivated by the Youtubers Count Dankula & Sargon of Akkad, and I don’t regret it. I do regret Farage’s attempt to wreck the party when they wouldn’t let him take over again. They made the right call – Farage would have walked away when he got bored, just as he will abandon whatever new movement he founds. Something he and Tommy Robinson have in common.

    • Gerard Batten was doing a good job of running the party (the manifesto was rather cringeworthy in most of its parts, but …), and all he needed to do was carry on steadily, doing nothing too much externally visible, and just wait for disaffected Brexiteers from all parties switch to UKIP in disgust as the Brexit betrayal became ever more obvious. Instead, he picked the one most destructive thing he could have done by starting to associate with Tommy Robinson. If a team of geniouses, supported by a massive farm of supercomputers, were systematically looking for one single thing to do that would cause the most damage to UKIP, divide the Party, blow it to smithereens, they could not have done better than recommend committing this one act of utter folly. Perhaps Gerard personally walking into McDonalds, wearing pencils in his nostrils, a pair of underpants on his head, shouting “Death to Saracens!” and shooting 50 people with an automatic weapon, might have come close, but it would still not have been as damaging.

    • ….Something he and Tommy Robinson have in common…
      I’m not sure I agree with you. Robinson, under mentor Batten may well develop staying power through necessity.

    • Can someone explain to me why Robinson was convicted of mortgage fraud (something UK newspapers keep reminding their readership about) but Baron Mandelson’s failures to provide the Notting Hill property lender with relevant material information and his failure to make the required disclosures were not treated as fraud/misrepresentation?

  4. Good grief. Has this old fool got any idea about the things Tommy Robinson has shone a light on? The mass rape of tens of thousands of English children in every town and city in the country by vast networks of openly racist Muslim men? The thousands of gang attacks on lone white men near Islamic ghettos? The rampant electoral corruption imported from Pakistan and Bangladesh? The epic levels of graft and corruption in Muslim dominated councils?

    I thought this old duffer was the Rule of Law but it seems that he is more concerned about not being embarrassed in the golf club.

    Old Tories are all the same.

    • Tommy Robinson is a brave man but he cleaves closely to the shaven-headed paradigm that is trotted out to discredit right-thinking people. In that sense he may be a burden, politically speaking.

  5. We know that trades unions in the 1970s and 1980s were infiltrated to the highest levels by UK internal security plants, as was the IRA. No reason why UKIP, as a potential threat to the status quo, should not be similarly infiltrated at the highest levels.

  6. Can’t agree. Tommy and friends are the symptom and not the problem. UKIP need now to be the insurgent, radicalising Nasty Party, not the genial golf club bites and blazers like Garage, maybe you too. Islam is an existential threat, the coming men and women are in the frontline. Whereas you’re not. Batten grasps this, but you prefer croquet banter with Crick, who stitches you up like the old kippers that you are.

  7. A friend of mine has just emailed me to say “you must read this” and read it I have.Catherine, I do have respect for you, I really do, but wow you absolutely crack me up too ! this piece is your best yet. You just do not get it do you !

    “Battens policy has been received with ferocious resistance internally ” !! 🙂 this may be so by a few, but I assure you the people I speak to are 100 % behind the trajectory GB is taking the Party.

    You talk about ex BNP and EDL members like they are the scum of the earth. You are so far wide of the mark. No, the majority of these people are not scum, they are people who are desperate for a credible entity to get behind, to save their country from the tyranny of the EU and the morally bankrupt Islamic Sharia world.

    GB and the resurgent UKIP, with purpose, rather than the forlorn Farage Tory Lite old model, could just give them what they want, nay demand.

    And, finally, to Dora’s Pan Box comment, boy are you close to the mark 🙂

    Jeff Wyatt ( ex Deputy Leader For Britain )

  8. Tommy Robinson spoke at Oxford Union. His reception was frosty to say the least. At the end however he had a queue of people wanting to shake his hand.

    He is the leader of the working poor. Freedom of movement is a racket promoted by big business. You wrote about this very point Catherine in the Conservative Woman.

  9. Out with the old, in with the new!
    WELCOME, Tommy Robinson and supporters, to certainly the best party for the UK’s future beyond the inevitable, imminent world financial system reset (which the banksters and their witting and unwitting allies, will naturally try to blame on BrExit, or whatever).

  10. “always some discontent among a few members about Islam”

    Translation: Those at the top did not give a damn about the concerns of the grassroots members regarding Islam. And its evil effects such as the industrial scale cruelty of non-stun Halal slaughter.

    The support among grassroots members for a humane policy, in 2015, was close to 100%. However, Farage did not give a damn about that and ignored the concerns of decent ordinary members, and also rode roughshod over the NEC, in order to impose his own idea of multicultural nirvana. The result of courting the Islamic vote was to seriously divide UKIP. Witness the pro-Islam “special” leaflet delivered during the Stoke by-election. Good, decent members who travelled long distances several times to Stoke to help with the campaign had no idea about this special leaflet. Have you any idea whatsoever of the disgust that those members felt when they found out about it later?

    For me, there is absolutely no point in regaining our sovereignty from Brussels if we then give it away to Islam. Catherine, can you not understand this simple point?

    The EU is anti-democratic. Islam is also anti-democratic and seeks to impose itself on everyone irrespective of whether you are a Muslim or not. If you oppose the EU why do you not also oppose Islam? Opposing one but not the other makes no logical sense whatsoever.

  11. Gerard has been and is amazing. I trust him. Did I trust others? No not fully but until recently I couldn’t, or didn’t want to. GB is Ukip from day one, just like NF. The difference being that NF’s flamboyant personality engaged frustrated people of the UK to leave the EU. Leave could never have won if it hadn’t been for us, the foot soldiers, the ones who were used and dumped. I’m proud of everyone who fought for Brexit, not just one person. Remember how, actually as the votes were coming in, NF threw in the towel, then as Brexit won he slithered back, all on a matter of hours! He never wanted to be the Leader of a Political Party, just a one subject one. GB engages with so many wide ranging peoples. He is a true Political Party Leader. It is necessary to drag out, confront and deal with, what all other Party’s brush under the carpet. There are other threats facing the UK, not just the EU. Thank you Gerard. The ones who are serious about the the future of our democratic country are fully behind Gerard and that means Ukip.

  12. Well said Amorée.

    I will always be grateful to Farage for his huge amount of work to secure the referendum and then contribute to winning it. He was not without flaws, however, and he simply does not “get it” regarding Islam. He should just stick to the topic of Brexit, and leave the topic of Islam to those who have examined it properly. Namely Gerard Batten, Tommy Robinson, and others such as Robert Spencer, Anne Marie Waters, Douglas Murray etc.

    Tackling Islam is an enormous, and daunting task. And yet we have no choice but to do so if we are to secure a good future for ourselves and for the generations to follow. Appeasement cannot work.

    It is probably a good thing that those in UKIP who do not grasp the enormity of the task ahead to leave. They would just be a drag on the good members such as you Amorée.

      • “still batting for UKIP”

        I left UKIP in 2015, as I strongly disagreed with the policy U-turn on the non-stun slaughter of farm animals. Insisted on by Farage, in order to court the Muslim vote. Without any concern about common decency or the destruction of democratic principles of one law for all.

        More recently UKIP has introduced a humane policy. However, in my opinion, it is inadequate, in that it would still allow the importation of meat which was not humanely slaughtered.

        There are good people in UKIP, such as Gerard Batten. And Amoree. It is a real shame that he did not come to the fore sooner. My reluctance to re-join is that the party stance on difficult matters such as Islam could so easily be reversed after he steps down from being the leader in April. And then UKIP would probably go through yet another bout of self-harm. Although For Britain is less well known, it is building on a solid and coherent foundation and is therefore likely to be more useful than UKIP as time progresses. Time is rapidly running out, and we may only have until the year 2030 to 2040 to the point of no return of the Islamisation of the UK. My calculation was published on UKIP Daily (now Independence Daily).
        https://independencedaily.co.uk/uks-demographic-transition-islamic-state/

    • >Enormity of the task
      What you guys in Europe need is a modern version of the Reconquest but without the ethnic and religious persecution that followed. Its plain-English manifesto (for want of a better phrase, La Nueva Reconquista) should appeal to people of all colors and ethnic backgrounds who care about the UK/Europe and Western Enlightenment values, who are free traders but who want strong borders, a transparent, simple and fair tax system, a structured immigration system geared to the long-term needs of the economy, separation of state and religion (i.e. freedom of conscience guaranteed but confined to the private sphere), Parliamentary sovereignty (peopled by honest politicians who have had real-life leader jobs) and judicial independence reinstated and an education system geared to excellence and to producing learned, free and critical thinkers. Current politicians, economists and lawyers should be stripped of their excessive power over the fate of nations. Foreign policy should be based on reciprocity – e.g. one mosque for one church; asylum seekers processed offshore; foreign criminals deported after sentencing but before incarceration…

  13. Catherine, your timeline and suggestion of cause and effect is confused. UKIP was at 6-8% long before the Tommy Robinson affair, and even lower before Gerard Batten took over.
    Batten is right. A party which believes in independence and deliverance from existential threats from any quarter has to appeal to the people. There was never any electoral future for UKIP as another manifestation of the Conservatives, and no chance of any influence on Brexit after the Referendum without policies the people will support in a general election.

  14. Utterly right Pentonville -Catherine is utterly wrong, factually inaccurate and appears a little malicious, rather like Nigel Farage. For all those head-in-the-sand resigners who have put their sanctimonious principles and misguided perceptions before their Party, their Leader and before fighting for Brexit itself, there are many more who are so impressed by Gerard Batten that they are joining a political party for the first time in their lives!
    Not only is membership rising under Gerard’s bold leadership, but let us not forget that without him, THERE WOULD BE NO UKIP!. With skill, loyalty, dedication and sheer hard work he rescued UKIP from the verge of extinction whilst Nigel was conspicuous in his absence.
    Far from being dead Catherine, UKIP is alive and well and I am personally very excited about the direction in which Gerard is leading the Party and he has my unequivocal and total support.

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