Saturday, 3 May 2014

Some advice for UKIPers (and independents) - Part One

A number of the blogs have continued to point out some of the gaping holes in what UKIP are doing or are offering. It's a shame, but only in the way that many of the responding comments seek to attack what started out ultimately as advice and suggestions to get the organisation to a point where it could be genuinely effective and have a serious credible offering.

My hope is that the attacking comments are a vociferous minority and that somewhere amongst the UKIP fraternity there are others who too are shaking their heads at the various own goals, missed sitters and who are bewildered at the party's struggle to turn the public dissatisfaction into seats. Right now you have a problem and it's this. The whole thing is too much Nigel. The identity of the whole movement is bound up in him. That wouldn't have been too much of an issue had the media not decided he was a target for scrutiny, which they have now done. They're after him and they've rattled him a couple of times and they will dig until they have something they can really hit him with. The problem is that if they hit him they will hold him below the waterline and he'll take the whole ship down with him. That my friends, is you and all you might have struggled to achieve. My question is that something you can live with?

I'm not saying get rid of Nigel, so the naysayers can leave that argument off the table. I'm saying you need something additional.

So here's my advice - get visible locally. To an outsider looking in, you're virtually invisible beyond Nigel and the problem with Europe as a concept is the electorate have a habit of thinking it's something they're a million miles away from, so why should they pick you. They haven't made the connection between Europe and their everyday life. To make headway you need to do several things. Get involved with the everyday life and problems of the electorate, bridge the gap between Europe and them, get some serious numbers backing you visibly and have a local offering so that if Nigel goes down your fortunes are relatively unscathed.

Where I live we have a odd set up that in part demonstrates the potential for getting involved. Here, the Tories and the Lib Dems have been the constant tussle. This went on way before the coalition. Labour historically can't get a sniff but I know there are lots of labour folk around here. I know some of them even vote for the Conservative, even the ones who would have Thatcher for the Kennedy assassination if they could. The reason? They're visible locally and not just for politics. They've established themselves as community faces and their fortunes are not tied to actions of their national party activities so much.

You've got to get your local branch and your candidates (council, Westminster, whatever) visible. That said you can't just rock up around an election time with a rosette on asking for a vote. It won't work because it doesn't work. You need to get started now, just getting involved with local causes and initiatives. Become visible. If there's a local litter pick or something like that, get in on it and get talking to people. Stop letting the press tell your story, tell it yourself. Find the local problems and start helping with them.

To be truthful, this piece of advice is not just for UKIP. It's generally aimed at anyone who shares my dream for a restoration to legal and honest democracy. One which alters the dangerous course we're currently on. History has shown where our current stitch up politics tends to end up and out of that rises extremism of the very darkest nature that plumbs the depths of human depravity. I yearn for a day when we can all be optimistic about where our nation is headed and this thread is therefore aimed at anyone who wants to work for a thriving and stable United Kingdom, playing an influential and stabilising force in the world. So if a potential Mia Love is out there thinking about standing as an independent in some future election, what I have written here and hope to add to, applies equally to you.

1 comment:

  1. Hopefully, I'm being supportive of UKIP over at my place. I also can't help laughing at the own goals by all the other parties too!

    I'd certainly keep Farage - but I'd drop Neil Hamilton like a hot potato. Definitely a liability.

    Mind you, I had to laugh when they tried to parachute Hamilton onto the EU ballot paper in the South West but the local membership refused to endorse him. So not everybody in UKIP is blinkered to the guy's failings. Shame Farage is.

    Never a good idea in politics to give your opponents ammunition - and Hamilton is certainly that!