UKIP Uncovered
What motivates the leaders of the United Kingdom Independence Party?

Tuesday, October 14, 2003 

A Power Grab for What?

The January 2000 EGM has now been covered in some detail and can be seen as a ruthless means of disposing of a Leader, who had become unacceptable to some in a severely split NEC. It was the culmination of months of bitter wranglings, split Head Offices, even dual membership lists and never to be restored political working relationships. To this non-involved observer it seems that even the cause, which had initially brought so many of disparate views together, had itself become obscured.

The opening shots in that battle had first become visible to the broader membership at the Birmingham Conference the previous October. For many ordinary party members coming to London for last week's party conference this must have been the first indication they received that those old battles were not yet over.

I would like to be able to report that somewhere at the centre of UKIP there were a sufficient number of serious individuals to decide to call a halt to the open warfare and make a detailed report to the conference delegates as to the difficulties the party faced and propose ways forward. It appears, however, that the NEC met on the conference eve and agreed to say nothing. Thus the party was left without explanation or remedy to the many publicised problems highlighted by the Vice Chairman, Damian Hockney and publicised during the conference week, which can be read here and the follow-up here. Once again, if the links do not work, try scrolling down the page.

Sadly, according to an internet discussion forum, it was left to UKIP's political opponents, lying well to the right of national politics, to bring the ordinary UKIP member up to date with the events and crises within their party. Leaflets prepared by UKIP's enemies and distributed outside the conference, made much of UKIP's problems, while avoiding, according to the versions reported to us, the accusations of actual law breaking suggested in the UKIP Vice Chairman's first statement.

We are still left to wonder at the motives of those who seized power in January 2000, the elections that followed that coup d'etat were themselves engulfed in controversy, scheming and double-cross which we will shortly explore in detail. The winners have run the party ever since, it is they who master-minded the huge Welsh overspend. The main question about which, for this observer remains, not where did the money go? But Why! What relevance would UKIP members of a Welsh Assembly have had to Britain's struggle against the encroaching EU? Not one penny should have been spent on such a cause if UKIP stands for what it professes. But does it? I am daily and increasingly forced to believe that it does not!

posted by Martin |9:07 AM
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