What motivates the leaders of the United Kingdom Independence Party?
Wednesday, December 31, 2003
What a Waste - UKIP's 2003
Some of this blog is opinion, the following facts about UKIP this year are not:
1. The unconstitutional suspension of two Regional Committees by Farage's EEC.
2. An unauthorised overspend by Lott of some £60,000 on the Welsh and Scottish elections.
3. Knapman's refusal to inquire into electoral manipulations by membership list padding.
4. Removal of properly elected Regional Committee members for exposing such fraud.
5. Abuse and manipulation of the Disciplinary Procedures to silence and remove those opposed or aware of the leadership's actions, and uphold an improper candidate disqualification.
6. Failed to consider Disciplinary Complaints against members of the ruling cabal.
7. Lost its E.D.D. Research Director Richard North, shortly before his book launch of great significance to the anti-EU campaign.
8. Established a fund-raising centre in Ashford, the main details of which were a mystery to most of the NEC, and which was widely believed in the Party to be siphoning off donations and membership subscriptions to fund Nigel Farage's campaign to remain an M.E.P.
9. Elected as its Scottish Euro representative, Peter Troy, who had previously been found guilty by UKIP's Treasurer of fiddling membership applications to secure his election as lead MEP candidate in the North East.
10. Illegally fired, then re-instated the Party Treasurer.
11. Sprung an ill-prepared recommendation on a surprised NEC to transfer the HQ of UKIP to Birmingham
12. In a bizarre lock-changing episode closed the London HQ and manhandled a staff-member to the street.
13. Dismissed the Party General Secretary, whose status is presently unknown.
14. Mishandling the reporting of party donations as verified by the Electoral Commission.
15. Mounted a series of disciplinary actions against committed Party workers, those decisions increasingly appeared to be made by a Disciplinary Committee virtually in the pocket of the leadership.
16. Losing a High Court action UKIP was forced to pay out compensation for failing to place Nikki Sinclaire on the NEC, who was then reinstated and had her office term extended by NEC vote.
17. Delivered the Party's worst-ever Parliamentary by-election result in England - a humiliating 0.65% of the vote in Brent East
18. Achieved one of the lowest Council by-election votes ever recorded in British history this month, in Lewisham - just "9" votes, which was less than one half of one per cent of the total poll.
Rehashing these facts is a thoroughly depressing experience, especially as the perpetrators all remain in their party posts and the membership appears indifferent. Certain Branch Chairmen, since the call by Mark Lester for an EGM, have quite incredibly sought to defend the leadership's actions. Committed Euro-realists must ensure that the electorate next June will not be similarly blind!
UKIP is a stain on the British body politic.
posted by Martin |
Tuesday, December 30, 2003
'Sackcloth and Ashes'
Boy! Oh Boy! Have I been well and truly blasted since making the last post, not least on the domestic front, which highlights the strong female element amongst my detractors!
In my defence may I point out that I did not say 'UKIP' received 'good coverage'....I clearly referred to Frank and further that the reference to the article, mainly concentrating on boxing, was as those who used the link would have quickly discovered, an example of the gentle art of understatement.
As to the last sentence - it was only a question, after all! Albeit one that presumed to assume the possibility existed that UKIP could do something positive.
Given the corrupted state of the party and its leadership I agree with my critics that any association with the UKIP party name is likely to cause damage and thus prove counter-productive. However, of all the terrible things UKIP has done in the past year....which I plan to detail here tomorrow to mark the year's end.....may I suggest (head down) that the Maloney London Mayoral candidature was possibly the least misguided?
posted by Martin |
UKIP's London Mayoral Candidate
Frank Maloney gets good coverage in today's
London Evening Standard
even though the article mainly concentrates on boxing. Could this be the one thing UKIP did get right in 2003? Read the report from
posted by Martin |
A Plea for Peace and Constructive Action
One time UKIP stalwart and now ultra-active anti-EU and anti-regionalisation campaigner, George West, made this request for the New Year in an internet discussion forum last evening. We presume he will not object to our reproducing it here as it clearly has a message for us all:-
Teetering on the verge of 2004, is it possible that those in the centre of
UKIP could join together with and listen to their members, present and past?
Could the 2003 strategy of "working against one another to wreck a common
purpose" be reversed?
posted by Martin |
Monday, December 29, 2003
Time for a Plan
The following quote comes from an article,
EU constitution row could last until 2005, Irish PM says,
Rarely has an EU presidency begun amid such division and bitterness,
after the collapse of efforts to agree on the constitution and calls for the emergence of a new core of countries committed to closer integration.
EU nations are also split on the rules that underpin the euro and the amount of money that should be spent in future aid to poorer regions. To make matters worse, the European Commission is becoming a lame duck as it reaches the end of its mandate.
Put another way,
Rarely has there been a better time to deliver the death-blow to this corrupt EU!
We await the verdict of the UKIP Branch Chairmen to whom the call for an EGM has been made!
The sheer lack of imagination of those presently guiding the party can be judged from the suggestion, aired over this weekend, for a St George's Day London rally. This, while the already agreed surrenders of the Constitution provide heaven-made recruitment material and the most obvious area from which to launch the assault!
Significantly the NEC member proposing this huge waste of time and effort is none other than 'she-who-recently-sued-the-party' and then had her NEC term of office mysteriously extended for a year from this February, as earlier reported on our blog
While we now understand the NEC can constitutionally co-opt members, this action appears inexpliquable and no reasons have ever been received!
posted by Martin |
Sunday, December 28, 2003
No thanks to UKIP!
Self-inflicted wounds of the EU in 2003
The Washington Times
publishes this fitting summary of the EU's past year by Barry Renfrew of the
Squabble-riven EU limps through '03
Some high (low?) -lights:-
angry governments squabbled over Iraq - The European Union split - The crisis over Iraq has left deep scars - there was no disguising the bitterness that lingered - the move to unite Europe continued amid the usual mix of idealism, recrimination and fudging - Efforts this month to frame a European constitution foundered - Europe dithered on how to handle its limping economy and high unemployment. - France and Germany effectively wrecked an agreement on limiting government spending - European business is weighed down by bureaucracy and high taxes - stabbing murder of Sweden's foreign minister as she shopped - the old scourge of anti-Semitism.
While UKIP has shown every sign of being bent on self-destruction in the past year, happily the organisation it exists to resist seems intent upon going the same way.
If reading from the UK, try this more cheery item from the same paper that reports Britain is now the wealthiest large country in the EU, no thanks to that latter organisation needless to report. Read from this
posted by Martin |
Saturday, December 27, 2003
Dick Morris Campaigning for UKIP gets Party a Plug in
We recently noted an interview given by Dick Morris, UKIP's expensive scandal-prone American ex-Clinton strategist and pollster, given to Epolitix which made little impact in the UK, unsurprisingly, as it mainly concerned US Democratic party politics. The interview can be read
It appeared for a while that UKIP were going to receive no publicity as a result of this interview.....NOT SO, however, as can be read here in a link to
The Palestine Chronicle
. I wonder how many potential UKIP voters read that paper? Here is the sole relevant passage:
'Morris was consultant to Clinton during his successful re-election campaign in 1996 but was later forced out of his White House role over a sex scandal. He is currently in Britain, campaigning for the anti-EU UK Independence Party in next June`s European elections'
The increasing incompetence of UKIP's leadership is breathtaking! No money for an office but they can fly in a high paid scandal-battered ex-Presidential advisor to talk about the Governor of Vermont. Absolutely mind-blowing!
posted by Martin |
Friday, December 26, 2003
Lowest Ever Poll?
Less than half of one per cent of votes cast!
We thank Andrew Edwards for bringing this item to our attention:
"For Mark Croucher (see below - ed.) & his masters in the Cabal, have kept very quiet about the recent council by-election result in Lewisham - can't think why!
Polling Day BTW was the 4th December - the figures below have been verified from the Lewisham Borough Council site.
Obviously this ward was a ' socialist ' one, and UKIP might not have expected to win. But 9 votes! That derisory number hardly warrants the recent boasts of Knapman & Lott! I have to wonder if this result could have anything to do with the demoralised state of party activists. If so the EUro elections are going to be dire!!!!
Socialist Party (Chris Flood) ELECTED - 590 = 32.7%
Labour - 490 = 27.1%
Leap - 355 = 19.6%
Liberal Democrats - 155 = 8.5%
Conservatives - 121 = 6.7%
Greens - 88 = 4.9%
UK Independence Party - 9 = 0.49%
Maybe a genuine and effective anti-EU party will rise phoenix-like from the ashes of UKIP in the early New Year! Anyone got a light?
posted by Martin |
Thursday, December 25, 2003
UKIP's Press Officer Caught Again
The Sprout December 2003
UKIP PRESS RELATIONS-BY-NUMBERS - CROUCHER CRACKED BY A SLIP
Journalists know only too well about the risks associated with running curtain-raiser stories - especially if the information provided comes from the spinmaster of a political group. But not all press officers are wary of writing a press release before the event occurs and being vulnerable to looking plain stupid.
Pray silence for nice-but-dim Mark Croucher, the press officer for the rabidly eurosceptic UK Independence Party (amusingly based in the London office of the European Parliament) who recently made a schoolboy error when he fired out his party's response to the Queen of England's speech at the end of November. The speech is the way in which a UK Prime Minister curtain raises his (or her) policy platform for the next year.
"The failure to mention the EU Constitution is symptomatic of this government's attitude to democracy," raged Roger Chapman, UKIP's leader. Shame his rage was premature though as the Queen did in fact announce that "My Government will play an active role in preparing the European Union for the accession of ten new member states next May. They will work hard to conclude negotiations on a new constitutional treaty for the European Union, following which they will introduce legislation to implement the treaty." When questioned about this faux-pas by 'The Sprout', Croucher floundered, then chuckled, "Oh, er that one sort of slipped through the cracks, didn't it...? I have to confess that I didn't listen to the whole speech myself...er".
The Sprout is a monthly magazine providing: Investigation, Satire & Comment Direct from Brussels and is available by subscription from managersubs(at)theSprout.net
Merry Christmas to all readers of UKIP Uncovered.......we are getting closer to the truth!
posted by Martin |
Wednesday, December 24, 2003
Chairman Lott "AT IT" Again!
A letter from UKIP's three MEPs was published in the
on 22nd December:-
Re: Gobbling the income
Date: 22 December 2003
Sir - D Haller (letter, Dec 20) may well be right to calculate an MEP's gross income as £249,000 a year. This is quite a gravy train, and helps to explain why all mainstream MEPs continue to promote the EU system. But the cost to the taxpayer is, of course, much higher.
When we take into account the duplicated parliaments in Strasbourg and Brussels, each with its attendant fleet of limos, banks of interpreters and hordes of bureaucrats, the bill is more like £1.25 million per MEP. Then we must remember to allow for the income required by the numerous fraudsters within the system, and for the vast extravagances incurred through incompetence.
It has been estimated that withdrawal from the EU would leave Britain's economy some £25 billion per year better off. Withdrawal would, it is true, create a little unemployment - among the so-called political elite, including all 87 British MEPs, plus commissioners Neil Kinnock and Chris Patten.
You can rest assured that, should we be given the chance, we three UKIP MEPs will become turkeys voting for Christmas.
From: Graham Booth MEP, Nigel Farage MEP, Jeffrey Titford MEP, Paignton, Devon
According to a Christmas message put out by UKIP Press Spokeman Mark Croucher (more about his bungling from Brussels in a while!) Party Chairman Lott in his Christmas message to members completely distorts this statement with the following:
"From: "Mark Croucher"
Subject: Xmas message from the Party Chairman
Date: Wed, 24 Dec 2003 10:36:56 -0000
U.K. Independence Party
The Office of the Party Chairman
Wednesday 24th December 2003
From David Lott - UKIP Party Chairman.
Our three MEPs had a letter printed in the Daily Telegraph on Monday 22nd December. In it they revealed that each one could receive £249000 a year if they so chose. We know that every one of them provides the Party with every penny they legitimately can. At the end of the letter they pledged themselves to become the turkeys that voted for Christmas
and eschew forever any benefit or salary they might otherwise receive.
The last phrase that we have put in bold print appears to be a product of Lott's very fertile imagination as there is no sign of the phrase in the version put out by the newspaper!
posted by Martin |
The Secrets Along the Path to the United States of Europe
Regular readers of this blog, wanting something to chew on other than turkey during the Christmas break, are invited to visit our sister blog
especially to today's well linked posting titled
From W.T.Stead to Cecil Rhodes to Alfred Milner to Arthur Salter to Jean Monnet to the United States of Europe?
which should provide much food for thought!
posted by Martin |
Tuesday, December 23, 2003
I received the following letter from the Electoral Commission this morning, in reply to my 16th July 2003 complaint:
18th Dec 2003
Dear Mr Cole,
DONATION TO UKIP
Further to our correspondence I am writing to inform you that the Electoral
Commission has been in correspondence with UKIP over the reporting of your
donation to them of 905 copies of 'Millennium Blitzkrieg'. This culminated
in a meeting with their Treasurer, Mr John de Roeck, on 16th December 2003.
At the meeting it was emphasised to Mr de Roeck that under Section 53(1)
of PPERA the value of the donation is 'the market value of the property',
and that the market value of the books at the time of donation makes the
donation a reportable one. Once this was explained fully to the UKIP Treasurer
he agreed that a donation report was needed and will be providing one in
due course. As soon as we receive this the Register and our website will
be updated to include your donation.
This donation raised the question of how to properly value and report donations
'in kind' and therefore the subject of much corrrespondence between the Commission
and UKIP. This question of interpretation has now been resolved with Mr
de Roeck, and in light of our lengthy discussions with him the Commission
will not, on this occasion, be taking any further action against UKIP.
This is, unsurprisingly, in complete contrast to information put out by Mark Croucher, UKIP's Press Officer, on the subject, of which this letter to a party member is an example:
Friday, September 05, 2003
Re: UKIP Accounts
Contrary to correspondence from the usual suspects, the electoral commission has not contacted the party treasurer regarding any alleged irregularities within the national accounts. The electoral commission, like the police, tend to ignore complaints which they believe to be spurious and malicious. The party has no knowledge of any investigation the electoral commission may be making, and we have received no notification of the appointment of a case officer. As far as we are aware, the complaints have been dismissed as unfounded and part of the on-going smear campaign being waged against the party by disgruntled former members.
I would point out that one complaint was made relating to a large quantity of vanity published spy thrillers which were donated to the party and subsequently disposed of as unsaleable. The complainant believed that these books should have been declared, but their market value on disposal fell significantly below the reporting requirement. Consequently, the complaint was dismissed without investigation by the electoral commission.
I will of course let you know if the electoral commission does investigate the accounts, but I believe this to be highly unlikely.
National Press Officer
U.K. Independence Party
"The history of Europe is a tissue of lies, follies and misfortunes" - Oliver Goldsmith, A Citizen of the World
posted by Martin |
The Head Office Office Lock-out
We have received this report on the recent events from Andy Edwards:-
Hi, at last I've been able to piece together the sequence of events that led up to the Lock-Out at UKIP HQ. The information has been obtained, in the main, from one of the three female members of staff present that morning. Many will not be very surprised that the facts don't entirely coincide with the version given to the Financial Times, presumably, by the UKIP Press Officer.
The sequence of events:
Michael Harvey faxed Derek Clark seeking assurances that the new premises had planning consent for office use, fire certificate, employers liability insurance, and that sub-letting of the premises was permitted.
Unspecified response got from Mike Natrass.
Derek Clark was at Head Office together with Michael Harvey, and staff, plus volunteers, as the Scottish EU election ballot count was taking place.
The Office was very busy that day. Michael Harvey told, Derek Clark, that he's not prepared to co-operate with the move until satisfactory assurances were received, and, nor was he happy to give Derek Clark a set of keys (Mr Clark had never before asked for a set of keys). Derek Clark left in a huff about 4pm and was expected to return on either December 18 or 19.
Staff leave Head Office between 6pm & 8pm. There was a meeting of the London Region Finance Committee during that evening, held on the premises.
Michael Harvey was the last to leave the building at 11.30pm.
Just before midnight, Chris Browne was telephoned by John Moran - General Manager for Nigel Farages' Ashford tele sales operation - that he (Chris Browne) may be needed to go to Head Office soon. At 1am John Moran telephoned again to say that Derek Clark had gained entry, changed the lock on the front door, and the combination lock to the inner door. Chris Browne was telephoned again, this time by Alan Bown, the financier for the Ashford tele sales operation, who asked if Chris would go to Head Office to, "man
At 8.15am the first two staff arrive but the door is, locked (new lock),
At 8.30am Miss Antoine arrived and was, also, unable to open the door.
At 8.45am Chris Browne arrives.
At 9.05am the door is opened by Derek Clark. Miss Antoine is physically repelled, before being allowed to wait in the hall for the Police to arrive.
At 9.10am approx. the Police arrive, and staff are subsequently allowed into the office to remove a few personal items, witnessed by police officers. At 9.35am the three ladies (staff) we escorted from the building by police officers.
Telephone calls to Head Office later that morning were told that the Office had been permanently closed.
Note: This account is clearly at odds with the story given to the Financial Times. The account also shows, that all of those who actively took part in the lock-out, were also very closely allied to, Nigel Farage!
The FT version of events firsted posted last Saturday can be read by scrolling down this page or by clicking
posted by Martin |
Monday, December 22, 2003
'Twas The Week Before Christmas
'Twas the week before Christmas, when all through the town
The rumour was spreading that UKIP was down
To it's very last penny, it hadn't the rent,
So the fourth largest party was packed up and sent
With its records and files and its office HQ,
And its list of addresses for me and for you,
With no sounding of fanfare, no roll of the drum,
To an old fireplace factory on outskirts of Brum.
The passwords were altered, the locks were replaced,
The office vacated with unseemly haste,
Miss A was evicted, and manhandled too,
While Hockney and Harvey got ready to sue
"This move is illegal" the branch chairmen said,
"The cabal must be harnessed or UKIP is dead"
But Farage and Knapman and Nattrass and Lott
And Clark The Enforcer will care not a jot -
What matters the party, when Euros advance?
And Brussels, not Westminster, holds out a chance
For an MEP hopeful intent on his prize,
With circles of stars shining bright in his eyes?
As members of UKIP go pounding the street
With petitions and leaflets for all whom they meet,
Why have ten years of effort in all that they do
Brought Britain no nearer to leaving EU?
Their party's fragmented throughout the UK,
A fresh crisis threatens with each passing day,
And NEC members in factions stay ranged
No matter how often their leaders are changed.
It's clear that when EU rewards are so high,
Ambition will triumph though party may die,
Will the last one remaining please turn out the light,
Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good fight!
(with apologies to Major Henry Livingston Jr.)
posted by Martin |
Sunday, December 21, 2003
Whether To Go or Whether to Stay?
The UKIP debate has been raging on various internet fora night and day. One well put viewpoint with which conclusion we do not necessarily totally agree, but nevertheless goes to the heart of the problem, was this posted last night by a once very senior but now ex-UKIP member, quoted here only in part:-
I come back to my original prognosis for UKIP. There is a mischievous virus in this organisation. It fans the flames of argument and chaos. It drains the resources and spirit of its members. And don't just look to one side to be "right" or "wrong" - this virus infects all sides! But I am sure of one thing. You could not cause this amount of disruption over such a long period of time without considerable resources, organisation and, indeed, training. It is undoubtedly professional. It also has a vested interest to ensure that UKIP survives - but only just enough to discredit and demoralise EU critical voters, prevent anything more useful from coming through and to maximise support for the main pro-EU parties. Such disruption could only have succeeded like it has because the virus was planted right from the very
start. No doubt most people would feel more comfortable with the "cock-up" rather than "conspiracy" option.
If UKIP's rank and file members ever try to take control of the party they will find these viral leeches will fight dirty to the end! Much better to leave the party - let UKIP die from lack of membership - and build a newparty with none of UKIP's baggage.
posted by Martin |
Saturday, December 20, 2003
UKIP Leadership's Lies
The following is a contribution just made to an internet debate regarding the calibre of those presently directing UKIP:
Check this link to a newspaper article illustrating how UKIP's Leadership lies and happily smear the names and reputations of decent volunteers and candidates.
Nigel Farage suspended the NE Committee members and spread downright half-truths
and lies to maintain Peter Troy as a candidate.
Troy was later found guilty of all the allegations laid out in this newspaper article, while those who exposed the scam remain expelled to this day. Troy, a close confidant of the thoroughly digraced Nigel Farage was allowed to continue within the party to stand and manipulate in Scotland.
See this from 12th April report Northern Echo
Roger Knapman, David Lott, Nigel Farage, Mike Nattrass and Derek Clarke are quite frankly the kind of people I would not entrust to deliver a letter, let alone enter my house. That judgement is a personal opinion based entirely on close observation of their behaviour over the past year. While they lead the party, UKIP will be a malign force within the nation's politics.
An EGM is not just the best course for UKIP it is the only hope!
posted by Martin |
UKIP Corruption at the TOP
Heated debate continues across various internet discussion fora often used by UKIP members. This is one example chosen by me because as the main contributor to this blog, I was an early victim of the secretive and digusting tactics used by Derek Clarkes' mafiosa disciplinary secret hearings referred to below.
The judge in the Sinclaire case was scathing about some of our practices...and he would not make much, Simon, of MEP employees sitting on discipline cases where their employers had an interest in finding against the poor sap under attack. Indeed he had a few choice words for such situations...funny that Derek Clark our party secretary takes no notice of this and carries on with such actions, which are now known on the NEC as Clark's Kangaroo Courts (we even refer to them in communications with each other as CKCs now, so often does he bring them, so secretly does he install employees and hides behind confidentiality refusing to name who is on the panel, so transparently fraudulent are they and so almost laughable the nature of them if the matter were not so serious).
Incredibly, otherwise decent people, but continuing party members are still trying to defend the disgusting, thuggish and sometimes criminal behaviour of the most senior party members.
We have yet to see a questioning, let alone Party explanation for the presence of election- rigger and exiled North Country Regional Organiser Peter Troy on the Scottish Candidate's list. Refutation of the fact that this disgraced individual (previously unknown in Scotland) topped the Scottish MEP Ballot, continues to be witheld.
Branch Chairmen and all Party Members would be adopting an ostrich posture if they continued to believe that UKIP could gain any European Parliamentary representation while the real facts about the true nature of their present leadership are fully known, but not yet revealed, even within the blogosphere. Resignation and reconciliation among those remaining is now the only course if UKIP is to survive.
posted by Martin |
A response to 'Xmas Crackers'
Christina Speight has responded to our post below with these comments to the internet group 'Eurofaq':
All of this sounds a highly improbable scenario.
Can anyone supply some missing links ? EG What time did Clarke get to the Office? Was there anyone in it? If early why did Clarke come up from the East Midlands so early that Ms Antoine was not there (only to be manhandled)? Did he "know" in advance the locks had been changed? Who told him? Was M Harvey actually there? Why?
Frankly I don't believe it!
IT LOOKS MUCH MORE LIKE A STITCH-UP TO PUT MICHAEL HARVEY IN THE WRONG
BEFORE ANY POSSIBLE 'UNFAIR (or 'Constructive') DISMISSAL CHARGES
As stated earlier we are seeking clarification on this report and hope to be able to post further on the actual events that occurred shortly .
posted by Martin |
FT Reports on Office Lock-out
has reported on the UKIP problems in this item appearing in its
There's a distinct lack of seasonal cheer within the UK Independence party. Derek Clarke, party secretary, arrived at the anti-EU party's Soho head office this week to find the locks had been changed, as well as the passwords to access the 20,000-strong membership database.
Had there been a simple admin cock-up? After all, as a cost-cutting measure UKIP is relocating its head office to Birmingham in the new year. Alas, it seems not.
According to a terse statement on the UKIP website, the party is blaming its outgoing general secretary for the problems. It claims that "the general secretary refused to supply Mr Clarke with either the new passwords or the new keys".
Michael Harvey, general secretary, Observer is later told, is one of two staff being made redundant because of the move to the Midlands. Harvey was unreachable for comment.
As a result, UKIP, which boasts three MEPs, has decided to open the Birmingham office this week instead. "It's a storm in a teacup," insists a party spokesman.
No mention of the resulting call for an EGM, which can be read in the next posting but one from this. We hope later be able to provide an accurate version of these events.
posted by Martin |
An Essential EGM
The post immediately following this contains a very necessary and belated call for a January 2004 EGM, to try to salvage UKIP.
On 1st June this year, we circulated NEC and many other active party members details of the depths to which the party had sunk. This can be read by
. We quote below the last of several urgent steps then recommended but ignored, as were similar warnings in the months before:-
"Surely,now, at this late stage, the calling to account by the NEC of those responsible for the current situation.
Can it really be too much to hope that serious steps might now be taken to remove the incompetents who are driving the party into the ground at the very time outside events are moving so clearly in the Eurorealists' favour."
posted by Martin |
Friday, December 19, 2003
Call for an Emergency General Meeting for UKIP!
I have been asked by Mark Lester to place the following on this blog:
The time has come for members to call an EGM. Talk of not wanting to rock the boat is silly - the boat is rocking; an EGM should aim to stabilise it.
Is there justification for this EGM? Certainly there is. There are two leaders of UKIP:
1. Roger Knapman - Party Leader
2. Nigel Farage - Leader of the All powerful European Elections Committee and the lead MEP
These two men have tremendous power to drive the Party's agenda and affairs. They are strongly supported by Derek Clark (Party Secretary) David Lott (Party Chairman), and Mike Nattrass (Deputy Leader), which gives them awesome authority on the NEC and in the Party.
No others really matter. For example, Damian Hockney may be vocal, but he does not have even close to the same authority to direct Party affairs as these men have. Meanwhile, no other non-MEP NEC members have strong roles or positions, except Party Treasurer (who has been under assault of late).
With such power to drive Party affairs must go some responsibility and accountability.
So let us look at what their leadership has produced:
1. An unpheaval of the Party's entire administration and removal of experienced personnel, just 24 weeks before the European elections. Why disperse administration across the country (e.g., Treasurer in London, PR in the European Parliament Offices in London(!), databases in Birmingham, telesales in Ashford, Leader in the South West). The potential for chaos and distraction is obvious.
2. An over-active and flawed disciplinary committee that has limited ability to be impartial, containing as it does paid employees of MEPs.
3. A Party where 100,000 pounds (including most of UKIP's financial reserves) was spent on Welsh and Scottish elections, even when they knew that UKIP's most important NATIONAL election is just months away. As a result, the Party may not go ahead with an election broadcast in the European elections due to a lack of funds.
4. A split NEC, where agenda items concern not political and campaign strategy, but arguments over court cases, illegal sackings, lack of proper documentation for NEC decisions, disciplinary hearings, etc.
5. A party membership who are instructed not to meet or debate issues, re: the Branch chairmen's meeting, where paid employees of UKIP and NEC members (Mike Nattrass, Malcom Wood, etc.) made great efforts to stop people attending a neutral meeting about governance issues.
The list can go on, but it is tiresome. At the end of it all, members must recognise that their local efforts will be wasted if the national Party machine is in turmoil.
The way to fix the national situation is simple:
1. Call an EGM immediately (to be held in January 2004) to debate vote of no confidence in the entire NEC and Party leader. If passed, hold elections for all NEC posts and for the post of Party Leader.
A new NEC will be elected for 6 months, with the limited mandate to run a NATIONAL European elections campaign. After the European election and summer holidays, the NEC
will be disbanded and stand for re-election.
2. Make constitutional amendments as follows:
BRANCH CHAIRMEN's FORUM
a. Form a branch chairman's forum within the Constitution that will negotiate specific Job Descriptions, areas of responsibility and clear targets for every NEC member at the beginning of each year. This same forum will review their performance every 6 months, and be required to receive NEC minutes and written reports on progress.
b. Branch chairmen's forum will vote annually to have 9 representatives, from among the Party membership, to scrutinise NEC performance and review in detail the Party'sffinancial accounts.
c. 5 of these representatives must be qualified accountants and/or lawyers. Others will have strong experience in commercial or non-profit organisations (and should be able
to read financial accounts). No representative can have links to NEC members or Party Leader, or sit on NEC committees (e.g., regional committee or EEC).
d. The representatives will report to branch chairmen bi-annually: declaring their activities and giving their evaluation of each NEC member's performance against objectives, and to comment on the overall state of the Party.
e. Branch chairmen's forum can censure NEC members for poor performance. Any censures, comments or resolutions from the forum must be published in a dedicated and prominent location in the Party's regular national newsletter for members.
f. The NEC will be composed of the following posts that will be held by a separate individual:
(i) Party Chairman - Responsible for ensuring Party runs smoothly and for developing integrated strategy for the Party
(ii) Party Secretary - Responsible for adminstration
(iii) Membership Secretary - Responsible for Membership matters, including discipline, rules, subscriptions, administration of applications and donations.
(iv) Party Treasurer - Responsible for Party Accounts
(v) Press Secretary - Responsible for Media Relations
(vi) Campaign and Promotions Co-ordinator - Responsible for organsing campaigns and promotions.
(vii) Marketing Secretary - Responsible for campaign and political strategy
(viii)Research Secretary - Responsible for policy documents
(ix) Policy Development Secretary - Responsible for Manifesto and Processing suggestions from the membership
(x) Secretary for Branch Affairs - Responsible for supporting branch development and learning
(xi) Fund raising Secretary - Responsible for National Fund Raising Initiatives and Events
(xii) Political Representative - Responsible for Representing Views of All Elected Party members (MP, MEP, councillor)
(xiii) Liaison with Eurosceptic Organisations - Responsible for deciding merits of, and co-ordinating efforts with, campaigning activities of external groups/individuals.
(xiv) officer w/o portfolio
(xv) officer w/o portfolio
g. At NEC elections, candidates will have to rank (in order of preference) which 3 posts they want to hold and submit a CV giving experience relevant for their preferred post.
The disciplinary committee
h. The disciplinary committee will be appointed as follows:
(i) Its chairman will be elected by the AGM, after approval of candidates by the NEC and Branch Chairmen's Forum. No MEP, NEC member or Party employees can stand for this post.
(ii) Its members shall be selected after candidates submit an application to join the committee. These will be screened by the Branch Chairmen's Forum. Each member will then have to be approved by the Party Leader. Disputes will be adjudicated by NEC in secret ballot. No MEP, NEC member or Party employees can stand for these posts.
(THIS IS A CORRECTED VERSION OF A POSTING FIRST MADE AT 1.08 PM TODAY)
posted by Martin |
On Open Debate
Confronted by a UKIP member regarding his communications to UKIP Branch Chairmen receiving broader circulation, Damian Hockney, has issued this challenging defence:-
The only people who have actually carried this debate into the public forum are the leadership, who posted comments about it on the public website two or three days ago - you can still see them. And Mike Nattrass whose Joe Maplin style wild comments in capital letters and exclamation marks are a source of constant amazement among his NEC colleagues.
The only thing I have ever done is to inform just the branch chairmen and the euro elections candidates. My comments have been sent only to them...if the argument is to be that we must suppress all information of law-breaking by the leadership simply on the chance that one of our senior 200 people may just possibly mention it to someone outside the party then there is something wrong somewhere...particularly with the argument and the logic.
The idea that we must conceal everything from all our own people is a mistake for one very big reason. In a climate of secrecy and concealment flourishes corruption, even of a minor nature. Without the daylight, it is easy for those who earn money out of our cause or have an agenda related to their own personal earnings to attempt to prevent others from doing things which might expose them. Take Greg Lance Watkins. We all know he was paid
2,000 pounds and handed the party mailing list by some of the same people who have now spirited away the party records, in order to smear a leadership contender a few years back. London Region have demanded that the party leadership disociated themselves from this man. Past attempts by the NEC to achieve this have failed. Take others - have you not noticed that most of the public attacks have come from people who earn money out of the party?
These people are now being used to start discipline campaigns against anyone who even mildly and privately questions the leadership.
So if my telling the senior 200 in the party is "inexcusable", what is the description for the leadership's actions of spreading muck on the party website and briefing GL-W to attack party members in public?
And in spite of all the lame protestations by the proprietors of Knapman and Clark Removals Inc that they are 'furious' that some e-mail comments of mine have been found on the BNP website... Well, what do they say now when the BNP lifts wholesale the leadership's own comments from our own website to say that "UKIP is in disarray etc etc". In truth, it is the lowest of tricks - saying that certain people should be censored from talking internally
because the comments might be used against us if passed on, but then taking every opportunity themselves publicly through Greg Lance-Watkins and the party's own website to spread what Richard North described as Farage's Law...if you don't jump when I say jump then you are an enemy.
The party is too important for all this type of Wild West or pre-war East European style politics. I am certainly not putting up with it and I say it frankly. If no-one says anything, things will suddenly break out later at a much more inconvenient stage. We have time to resolve this all now. We will not if it all comes to the surface in April.
Yes Simon is right that we must get on with the main event and stop the sideshows. But even as I write this, the leadership has been using poor saps to call others on the NEC and try an illegal coup by attempting to remove anyone from the NEC who disagrees with them. Happily, enough members of the NEC have now told them to stop it at once. Simon, try telling the leadership to stop the infighting which they have started.
If you know an NEC member, ask him whether he has been asked to try and support a way of illegally disbarring members of the NEC on these grounds in the last few days. Perhaps ask Tony Stone who has been making some of the calls. Basically a decent man, he doesn't like the way I deal with the leadership head-on in meetings over what I regard as corruption, deceit and double dealing. I appreciate his feelings and accept that my frankness is not everyone's cup of tea, but I will not simply accept the continued damage
being done to our cause. Appeasement got us knowhere 60 years ago, and Churchill taught us how to deal with those of a dictatorial tendency.
Again, all I am doing is responding and telling senior members of what is going on. I sit in amazement while this Wild West behaviour is inflicted on the party. As an NEC member, I have not been the instigator of any one of these illegal actions and have illegally been told after the event on many of them. I cannot sit by and watch, as there are very important consequences to the damage being inflicted by the leadership on this party. I do not make
up that the party leadership illegally sacked the Party Treasurer and that I had to spend my own money rescuing the daft buggers from their own mess. I do not make up that Nigel conspired with Derek Clark to secretly put a member of his own staff onto a dscipline panel to get rid of someone from the party who had pointed out the corruption of Peter Troy in the North East (now parachuted into Scotland after an intense leadership lobbying
campaign). Once the private avenues have failed, and heaven knows I have tried them all, do I just sit back and allow the party to be taken over by this type of Wild West behaviour?
No, I want to reform it from within. I accept everyone's caveats about the need for unity for the euro elections campaign. But the leadership itself needs to take that message on board as it now begins another round of sackings and false discipline actions. The leadership could call a halt now by declaring that it will stop breaking the law, stop all the infighting
which it has instigated, and stop the latest attempts at a coup.
Everyone has the right not to read the facts, and everyone has the right to say "I want to hear no more". Out of the 200 senior people, 4 have said "No more", over 60 have written strongly supportive messages to me, a further 20-ish have written "supportive with caveats" messages, and a half dozen have said "disagree with you totally" but have not asked me to stop keeping them informed.
The only real response to me from the leadership, which appears to include dear old GL-W, is smear and bizarre personalised attacks. Never an answer to any questions though.
Do not be fooled by the smokescreens on this. The party needs serious reform at the most convenient moment. Without it, whatever number of MEPs we win, they could simply walk away on a pretext, leaving all our hard work and money raised dangling in the wind.
posted by Martin |
Thursday, December 18, 2003
Another Rigged Election Victory!
We have received confirmation that our earlier information regarding Peter Troy having headed the Scottish MEP Candidate Poll is indeed correct. Results were due to be announced on Tuesday and are apparently being hushed up.
The North East region was where Troy first successfully fiddled the ballot by issuing unsolicited membership cards, and this writer was disqualified as a candidate for disclosing to the NEC what was being reportedin the North East Daily Press. when such a BNP recruit went public.
A copy of the Treasurer's Report detailing Troy's dirty tricks was sent to Scotland from the North East, as soon as his candidature was known. A similar mysterious surge in UKIP membership apparently also occurred ahead of the ballot. Why was Troy's candidature ever accepted? Can there be any further doubt as to Troy's credentials as the cabal's chosen candidate?
We hear that a protest has already been launched but the Returning Officer Michael Harvey has been fired as Party General Secretary and locked out of his office so presumably has no access to the ballot papers to allow an investigation to commence.
posted by Martin |
It was reported yesterday that the individual manhandling a UKIP employee from Head Office was a certain Chris Browne.
We received this e-mail from one of our readers a while back:-
Quick correction. The new mouthpiece of Farrage.... is someone called Chris Browne (or at least he says he is) and won't answer my question as to whether he is connected with disgraced Tory John Browne who Farrage was happy to embrace into his company and UKIP.
We understand there have been other problems with this individual regarding abuse about an ex-UKIP member on an internet discussion group called 'conservativedemocrats' about which complaints have been made to the internet server. We are getting some further details on this matter. Meantime we remind readers of our posts on
UKIP's Thug Image
posted by Martin |
Reported Elected as UKIP Scottish Lead MEP Candidate
Such is the astounding news in a report received from North of the Border this morning. Proven election rigger Peter Troy, was forced to stand down as UKIP's Lead Candidate in the North East of England Region following the Party Treasurer's inquiry into his vote-rigging activities.
Quite amazingly Troy was nevertheless allowed to stand as an MEP candidate for UKIP in Scotland. We are now informed he has topped the Scottish ballot with 18 per cent of the vote. We are trying to obtain verification of this result, which if true will surely lay bare the last pretence of UKIP's political repectability.
posted by Martin |
UKIP London Region Resolution
1) Following the attack on Damian Hockney, Frank Maloney and Gerard Batten by Greg Lance-Watkins, the London Regional Committee at its latest meeting on 15th December passed a UNANIMOUS Resolution calling on the Party Chairman to repudiate these attacks publicly and issue a statement giving the Party's full support to these candidates.
2) Furthermore, it asked that all Party Officials cease all communication with Greg Lance-Watkins.
3) The London Regional Committee passed a UNANIMOUS Vote of Confidence in Gerard Batten, Damian Hockney and Frank Maloney as candidates in the Euro and London Elections and in their roles as representatives of the Party membership.
posted by Martin |
Wednesday, December 17, 2003
Crisis Update Correction
We have received the following (thankfully brief) update/correction to our last post:-
"One of our staff this morning actually went by Broadwick Street to see what was going on and to his utter astonishment he saw the Party Leader and the Party Secretary loading a filing cabinet onto a van, Delboy style. As he commented: "Is this the 4,000 pound removal firm to which you refer in your memo?"
I was wrong, aprarently, about John Moran being at the break-in. He sent a chap called Chris Browne who it appears was the one who manhandled a member of staff and threw her out."
posted by Martin |
We quote in full, the latest update from Andrew Edwards, regarding the developing Party problems:-
Hi, I'm enclosing a copy of a long letter (that I've just received from a very concerned party member) that has been sent to Branch chairman by, NEC member, Damian Hockney. This letter gives a very clear picture of the problems currently ripping the Party asunder! Apologies to, Damian, for any embarrassment my posting this letter may cause, but, its contents deserves a wider Party audience than just the Party chairmen! Also it may help focus the minds of those who have accused me of peddling half truths!
Obviously, since this letter was posted a few developments have taken place - the dismissal of HQ staff & the closure of the London Office. The lack of any information as to the legalities surrounding the office move remain unaltered.
Dear Fellow Branch Chairman and European Elections Candidate
In the early hours of this morning, the Party Secretary Derek Clark, Ashford telesales manager John Moran and another party member broke into Head Office and changed the locks as part of the plan to move the party HQ to offices which the leadership knows may lack planning permission for use.
What was worse was that the party manhandled a member of staff out of the office and the police had to be called. This a very serious matter and is one more example of the lawless and dangerous way in which the leadership of the party is behaving.
Last Monday's NEC was heated and difficult, and after the event some of us on all sides of the problems agreed the need to put difficulties behind us, to try again to discuss among ourselves the issues which are causing such contention and to attempt to resolve them privately. This is why I have said little publicly during the past week. I know that the desire to deal honourably is genuine on the part of some people, but a number of developments oblige me to write to you again. Not least of these is the untrue content of the branch chairmen's newsletter which you may just have received, and the failure by the party leadership to respond at all to clear allegations that the party may possibly now break the law by illegally occupying an office in an old fireplace factory without planning consent.
What is worse, I have learned that the leadership has made this all into a public statement, and featured this untruthful information to everyone in and out of the party, on the public section of the party website in the press section. This is something I would never do, having confined all my communications to yourselves, the branch chairmen and the candidates.
Indeed, it has been the essence of the leadership criticism of me keeping you informed that the information I have sent to you as party officials may find its way into the hands of those who are not our friends. The latest actions of the leadership guarantee that the information about their law-breaking and of the actions of those like myself who are trying to restore order will find its way openly into the hands of unsympathetic parties.
I apologise for this e-mail being quite long, but I wish to make sure that you have the facts on record.
LEADERSHIP REFUSAL TO TAKE ADVICE FOLLOWING NEWS THAT NEW OFFICE BREAKS
I can do no better on the office move than put before you (below) the General Secretary Michael Harvey's wise and thorough letter to the Party Chairman. So serious is the content of this, and so enormous the failure to investigate the matter properly by the party leadership, that it is possibly the highest dereliction of duty of care and attention to the party that I have ever seen by a group of officials. It is not so much that mistakes can be made - anyone can make these and tolerance must be exercised about this - but that there is no consultation and a refusal to act or comment on the serious matters raised due to a blind determination to go ahead at all costs. For his efforts to resolve this important matter,
the party leadership are planning to get rid of the the General Secretary and replace him with someone who will simply do what they tell him. I have been told this by one of their number who believe that this action is wrong. This of course is indeed wrong, as the General Secretary's role is to assist the party through difficult matters in a professional role, not be an innocent low-grade patsy who simply acts on instructions.
MEMO FROM GEN SEC MICHAEL HARVEY TO PARTY SECRETARY DEREK CLARK AND PARTY
CHAIRMAN DAVID LOTT
To: Derek Clark, Party Secretary
David Lott, Party Chairman
From Michael Harvey, General Secretary
Re: Proposed Head Office Move
Date: 15th December 2003, faxed at 10.10am.
I trust that you have taken proper legal advice (independent of Mike Nattrass) prior to taking on any legal obligation re: the lease on part of 123 New John Street, Birmingham B6 4LD. There are always potential pitfalls in any property transaction which need to be fully considered. If no legal advice has been taken, I strongly advise that you rectify this
immediately and certainly before signing a lease. I also strongly advise that no Party funds are disbursed (except, of course for the legal advice) until all outstanding queries are resolved.
The following lawyers in Birmingham specialising in property matters have been recommended:
Community Law Partnership - tel 0121-685 8595 (independent practice in
B2)Wragge & Co, Colmore Row - tel 0121-233 1000 (bigger B'ham law firm)
Several important questions have been raised by NEC members since our visit to the site last Monday, none of which have yet been answered. These include:
1) Does the site have the necessary planning consent for use as
offices? If so, please quote the Birmingham City Council Consent Number.
2) Does the site comply with Health & Safety regulations and does it have a
3) What is the Party's liability for rates, both during the rent free
period and thereafter?
4) What other costs will the Party have to meet, both during the rent free
period and thereafter (eg. buildings insurance, light and heat, repairs and
renewals, service charge (if any) etc. etc.)?
5) Have the Party's insurers approved the site for the purpose of our
employer's and public liability cover?
6) Is the Party guaranteed security of tenure for the entire duration of
7) Do permissions need to be secured from the landlord and, if so, has this
Other important issues not directly related to the lease are:
8) Who is responsible for hiring and training staff in Birmingham?
9) Who is responsible for supervising and training volunteers?
10) Who is responsible for organising the removal of Head Office equipment?
11) What is happening to the merchandise operation?
12) Will the Party have a separate postal address and post box, or will it share 123 New John Street with others? If the latter, who will have access to the Party's mail?
13) How much is it proposed to spend on the telephone system, who will own the system and is it portable?
Finally, the A4 sheet of costings promised to the NEC at its November meeting is still awaited. Time is now very short so I advise that you circulate the written legal advice on 1-7 and confirmation of arrangements for 8-13 to all NEC members within 48 hours. Any problems must be resolved before the lease is signed and before any time and money is spent on relocation.
It will also show that the leadership has exercised responsibility in its conduct of the Party's business, and that there is no question of negligence that could result in personal liability.
-end of Michael Harvey's memo to the Party Chairman -
David Lott, Roger Knapman, Nigel Farage, Mike Nattrass and Derek Clark have been placed on notice that Birmingham City Council planning department claim that there is no planning consent for the party to have offices at Mike Nattrass's estate agents building, and these party officials have failed for a whole week to respond. Derek Clark now claims that whatever the situation, whatever laws we might break, we are moving into these offices come what may "because to do otherwise would be seen to be weakness and giving in to Damian Hockney". It is clearly felt by the leadership that, because complying with the law vindicates the stand of those who have recently had to restore legality to the party on other issues over the past four weeks, that even the law must not now be allowed to prove this point.
Hence the fear of taking legal advice, just in case it proves the allegations. This is the height of absurdity, and is going to lead the party into chaos.
And knowing this need to deal carefully with the bruised egos, this is indeed why I dealt with them for a whole week privately, to try and ensure that we could achieve an end to this without it appearing that one argument had 'won' or 'lost'. I even wrote and offered to take a complete back seat on the argument and to say that I would accept the Birmingham move if adopted properly, and to say nothing about this matter if they quietly resolved it and took me up on my offer to help fund a London office with no strings attached if Birmingham did indeed prove to a non-starter.
To accidentally break the law is one thing, but to plan to do so simply through spite and bruised ego is quite another and I call upon all those who plan to break the law, and those who support those who plan to do so, to resign now or offer the party indemnity if they go ahead.
Mike Nattrass is now claiming that planning consent is not necessary, but repeatedly refuses to get the matter confirmed by lawyers, or to write to the party with a planning consent number, and has written personal and emotive criticisms of anyone who has attempted to establish the legality of the situation. The building is a tatty interwar building designed as a fireplace factory, with very low grade accommodation and clearly dangerous
concrete and iron beams and height restrictions. Mike conveniently ignores the fact the the City Council planning department which covers his area has stated that there is no planning permission, that it is required if we want our offices there and that it would be unlikely to be granted. If the leadership believe that the planners are wrong in what they say (and of
course they could be), then why not pick up the telephone or drop a line to the planners - I have given the leadership all the names concerned. But no.
The only response is somewhat intemperate letters accusing those like myself of being bitchy or beingtroublemakers.
The latest is that Tony Stone, an otherwise decent NEC member, has been deputed by the leadership as part of their attack on those who wish to restore order, to call NEC members and try and get them to censure another NEC member who sent a private communication to fellow NEC members pointing out the legal pitfalls of what we are doing. The e-mail has gone no further than the NEC, has been clearly contained within and is vitally important as
the NEC member in question has considerable experience in property. Tony is being used by the leadership to censor the inconvenient communications of another NEC member, while allowing Mike Nattrass to send out unpleasant personal attacks at the behest of the leadership.
DANGEROUS LOW BEAMS
The beams of the building are so low and cross the office floor, it is questionable whether we would be able to get that planning permission, even in the unlikely event that it might be considered. Birmingham works towards a unitary plan and is not happy about carving offices out the commercial stock within the city, and its planning department communications have made clear that it would be very unlikely to allow the party to have its offices there, even had we taken the sensible precaution of applying. We cannot simply break the law with impunity, operating our head office as a hole in the wall operation, hidden from sight because it may be functioning illegally. And if we are not breaking the law, why are the senior party officials refusing to take advice and failing to protect the party, leaving it to others who they attack for doing so?
In the spirit agreed last Tuesday, I did not tell anyone except the most senior party officials what Birmingham City Council had communicated to me. I made clear what had been discovered, and the seriousness was acknowledged. A good start I felt...then no action was taken, in direct contravention to the understanding that had been achieved.
The leadership were most anxious that I should not continue to inform you of these problems, and I agreed that I would first attempt to resolve such issues with them privately first. They were deeply concerned at the loss of support they had experienced over this and at the fact that almost a third of branch chairmen had communicated their concerns about the leadership repeatedly breaking the law. This is why they have knowingly made a false
statement in the branch chairmen's newsletter which they have broadcast to the whole world on an internet site, available to anyone, about my e-mails to you being 'misleading'. Indeed, I wish that the content was not true, but it is their attempts to cover-up and obfuscate in the face of facts which is misleading. My e-mails have contained the inconvenient truth.
The only response of any substance to me after the initial acknowledgement was an unnecessary and abusive e-mail from Mike Nattrass on an internet site which I attach below. As you will note, it is to a third party who is questioning the office and it threatens legal action against him. It uses abuse in place of reasoned argument, and it concentrates on diverting attention from the real matters in hand onto 'display boards visible by
passing motorists' and whether in fact Mike is an Estate Agent.
E-MAIL FROM MIKE NATTRASS ON AN INTERNET SITE TO A THIRD PARTY of 13th
"In your twisted report ,of what you were presumably told that the NEC discussed ,you failed to mention that Damian had his title VICE CHAIRMAN" removed by the Leader. The other Vice Chairmen remain unchanged.
Was this because Damian omitted to advise you of this fact?
LIKE A LITTLE GIRL, HE LIKES TO DROP OUT THESE FACTS ON THE INTERNET, THEN SMILE TO EVERYONE ON THE NEC AND PROMISE THAT HE/SHE WILL NOT DO IT AGAIN AND ASK THAT NO ONE STARTS ANY MORE CIRCULARS (except himself naturally) This little girl has however
a very bitchy nature and I want to discuss this with you under oath in Court.
The offices which in your report are "at the back of an Estate Agent" actually have a 12 Feet x 6 feet display window facing the ring road at Dartmouth Circus which can be illuminated to show off our UKIP signs and wares for the benefit of passing drivers ( presumably the Estate agent trades from the pavement).
Did Damian advise you of these incorrect facts and will he be paying for your case? We are all still looking for the" Estate Agent" perhaps you can help by coming here,showing me what you mean and discussing this very serious issue which is of your making.
Did you inspect any of the LONDON offices proposed by your friend Damian or hear how we laughed when it was suggested that we should pay £14,000 per annum for a smelly little 500sq ft on a FOURTH FLOOR in a London back street( this being one quarter of the space
available to UKIP here) The details of how we could "do it up" were not discussed.
The firm I shall be using in the case against you are Hills solicitors of Manchester and the Barrister will ,I hope, be expensive.
I HAVE HAD ENOUGH OF YOU AND YOUR FRIEND.
- e-mail from Mike Nattrass ends -
I am sure none of you would condone such abusive language from one colleagues about another on the NEC. I appreciate that Mike is keen to rent the office to the party, and that it would be useful for his business if the party were to pay the rates on 1,800 sq ft of space which he is currently liable for. This cost was recently sprung on us and will not been
quantified until after we move in, as well as his new 5,000 pound telephone system which would have been unnecessary in the new London office. However, Mike needs to grasp that if we are paying money over to him or paying monies to another party like the local rates which he would normally have to pay himself, then we need answers and we need accountability.
So far, the budget for Birmingham just to move the equipment (4,000 pounds) and to install Mike Nattrass's unnecessary new telephone system (5,000 pounds) is not far short of the whole annual London office rental. The last move within London two years ago cost less than 900 pounds, and there was (and is) no need for Mike's new 5,000 pound telephone system which he wants to charge us for in his building. We have enough telephones. If we need to save 12,000 pounds a year on a free office, then why are we paying out 5,000 pounds to Mike for telephones that the party workers and employees say are unnecessary?
And why have the NEC not been told about the costings for this move, or seen quotes? Why 4,000 pounds when it was previously 900 pounds? This move is not about cost saving, or it would never have happened. When the costs are finally arrived at, this move to Birmingham would be devastatingly expensive to the party if achieved. All to gain control and to get rid of those officials like the General Secretary and Party Treasurer who have acted dispassionately, questioned the leadership's actions and stopped them breaking the law.
In the last week, Mike Nattrass has refused to supply a planning consent number as challenged to me by Birmingham City Council, and has failed to answer any of the questions put to him. In an aspect of supreme irony, Birmingham City Council somehow believes that I am masterminding this move into these illegal premises and is asking me for proof that I may occupy them.
Can you seriously imagine what would happen if a political rival discovered half way through the campaign next spring that we were in illegal occupation of our national HQ? That they informed the planning department and we were given 28 days to leave? This is not some fanciful scenario drawn from a novel. It is a possibility read over the telephone to me by
the Birmingham lawyers and the planning department officials, people with whom our leadership are refusing to deal with or notify the party's governing body about. So absurd is this that my offer to them to pay the lawyers' fees for a Birmingham planning lawyer to confirm or deny the findings and place the party on a safe footing was rejected, so I now have to take the advice myself. This is why I am writing to you again.
I am asking you to contact the Party Leader to ask him on what legal basis the party is moving into the factory premises in Birmingham, and to confirm that he personally will underwrite any damages to the party which emerge. I ask you also, irrespective of your views on Birmingham as a base for our head office, to ask the party leader to get legal advice before plunging us into another crisis as he did over his attempt to illegally sack the Party Treasurer ten weeks ago. On that occasion I picked up the legal bill to restore order to the party as he has recently confessed. Mike Nattrass has now actually put in writing that if the offices are somehow not legal, then we can always quickly move to other premises in Birmingham, which itself is alarming and an indication of the chaos and hole-in-the-wall administration we might face.
As I have said, I myself am taking legal advice urgently for the party, even though I am writing to you from out of the country. I apologise in advance for the fact that my e-mail facilities here have caused a few problems, so if you reply to me at all, please copy me at
I am also asking you to note that I am currently putting in place a way of ensuring that this state of affairs is resolved quickly and in a manner which will not interfere with our campaigning for the European Elections, and that this is a time to stand firm behind what we believe in, and not be put off the cause simply because of the actions of a few who are causing damage.
LEADERSHIP CAMPAIGN OF SACKINGS AND INTIMIDATIONS CONTINUES
There is also now a refusal to see reason, striking out at anyone who disagrees, trying to get individuals put through the discipline process, sacking employees whose branches have the temerity to write advising caution. I have now heard that the leadership will shortly try to illegally sack the General Secretary or attempt to make him redundant. Those who are
doing this are all receiving either monies out of the party or are subsidised to some degree by MEP monies.
In my view, those like the Party Chairman who get money out of the party or out of MEPs for doing the bidding of a few should declare these monies when they support plans which are clearly unsupportable and damaging. The same applies to those who make a living out of things like party merchandise. These people are possibly unhappy to rock the boat and they wish to keep their earnings from the party so will do as they are told by those who
might possibly cut off their earnings if they do not. The example to them which they are all now quoting is the London regional organiser whose branch committee wrote questioning the Birmingham move. He was sacked - or purportedly sacked - by one of the MEPs without reference to the London Region Committee because his branch spoke out. As has become typical, the MEP botched the sacking and has opened himself to both legal action and
further costs as well as public humiliation for himself and for us.
MY VICE CHAIRMANSHIP
As you may have read in the recent branch chairmen newsletter, which was placed by the leadership on a public website in contravention of all their claims to want to do things privately, I am no longer Vice Chairman. The unfortunate and untrue way in which it has been aired in the newsletter makes Roger Knapman look venal and petty, and is not the truth about what happened.
At last Monday's NEC, Roger claimed that he had been at an interview with John Sopel on a programme called Hard Talk, and had been embarrassed by the fact that half the interview was allegedly about "Damian Hockney, and the problems over the legalities of the office move". For that reason, he claimed, he was removing my vice chairmanship. I questioned the reason and asked to see a copy of the tape as I do not believe the story. I am still
awaiting the promised tape and I challenge him to produce the proof.
But as it happens, there is no need for the party leader to fabricate a story, if that is what indeed he felt he had to do: the vice chairmanship is in the gift of the leader and it is perfectly in order for him to remove it from anybody as he sees fit. Whether it is wise or politically sound is another matter, and it would have been better for him to have discussed the matter quietly with me and for us to come to a joint understanding. I made
clear I was happy to jointly agree that I would no longer be vice chairman in view of our recent misunderstandings but this is now being spun in a very unsound way. I additionally made clear at the meeting that I was surprised he had not already asked for my resignation as vice chairman.
One final thing I ask you to consider. Whilst my communications to you are clearly critical, they draw attention to specific and defined problems: I am sure you will agree that I at least bring to you an outline of the gravity of the situation as I see it and I attempt a solution. But I am never abusive or personal. I ask you to consider the nature of the
information (or the complete lack of it) provided in response to my arguments by people like Mike Nattrass and the leadership confidante Greg Lance-Watkins. It is almost always personal and vicious in a manner which I have never descended to and never will - descriptions like "bitchy girl" to describe me by Mike Nattrass and by the leadership confidante Greg Lance-Watkins, who you may remember recently called the murder of a
political opponent in Sweden "the act of a patriot". This is not the sort of person our leadership should be welcoming into its open arms as a close confidante. The leadership should be involving its fellow NEC members in the decision making process, not someone being investigated by the police who has praised the murder of a political opponent. I call upon David Lott, Roger Knapman and Nigel Farage to cease their regular communication with Greg Lance-Watkins, and to stop giving him information on NEC meetings
which he can then place in the public arena.
In the next day or two, I hope that this matter will be resolved satisfactorily, but it should never have happened in this way. The leadership must be accountable, it must stop behaving like a group of insecure petty tin-pot tyrants in pre-war Roumania, and it must not take illegal decisions and then stick to them out of weakness and pettiness, wanting to prove that it is always right.
I repeat my call upon those who have embarked upon this dangerous and costly course of action to stop immediately and to indemnify the party against the mounting costs which they are incurring in their pursuit of complete control of the party.
We none of us are always right all the time and they are leading us on to very dangerous ground. At a time when small and challenging parties throughout the West are being attacked by new regulations and strict adherence to laws that no-one thought mattered, this is not the time to behave as if we were in the Wild West. I have never opposed a duly adopted NEC decision in public, simply because large numbers of decisions are now being taken illegally and in contempt of the membership, the constitution and the rules. We must obey our constitution, however imperfect, obey the laws of the land and accept that we cannot always do things secretly and behind closed doors. Locking out staff, manhandling them onto the street, acting in this Wild West fashion is not the way to proceed and I shall write to you again very soon when I have full advice and have consulted other NEC members. If we fail to honour the principles I outline above, then we will fail with our most important objectives as well.
I shall write to you again within the next few days having consulted widelyand once I have received the relevant advice, and would appreciate anyviews that you may have.
posted by Martin |
Constitutional Implications of Extending N. Sinclair's Term
On Tuesday we reported on the NEC voting to extend Nikki Sinclair's membership of the body for another year. That post is linked
We received a response to this post from an NEC member stating such was permitted under the constitution. It seemed bizarre to us that such a process could be allowed in an elected democratic body and sought guidance from Barbara Booker who has previously been of great help when other mysteries of the UKIP Constitution have arisen. We received this reply:-
To extend Nikki Sinclaire's term on the NEC would of course be unconstitutional because members are elected for a term not exceeding three years, and hers expires in February 2004. However, party members who voted her on to the NEC in 2001 will have had the benefit of her input to it for only three months out of the three years they elected her for, so it could be argued that extending her term is morally justified and no more unconstitutional than disbarring her in the first place. If this is the reasoning behind the NEC's decision, then logically her term should be extended for two years, not one. I think whether Nikki goes or stays, her position is not going to be strictly constitutional.
More significant is the effect extending her term will have on the number of places up for re-election.
Normally, at least five members must stand down each year and if Nikki is counted as one of these (as she should be), but because of the unusual circumstances is returned automatically without election, then an election will need to be held for four other places only. I think that would be the correct procedure following a decision to extend Nikki's term. If, however, a fifth NEC member is forced to stand down in place of Nikki, I think that would be wrong.
As I understand it, the position of individual NEC members is as follows:
Farage, Booth, Lott, Nattrass - elected 03, serve until 06
Stride, Gillman - elected 03 for 1 year, with maximum extension to 06
Mackinlay, Stone, Moore, Batten - elected 02, serve until 05
Scholefield - elected 02 for one year, with maximum extension to 05
Sinclaire - elected 01, should stand in 04 but now extended to 05
Hockney - elected 01, must stand in 04
Clark - brought on in 01 when Nikki disbarred, should have re-stood in 02 but didn't; must stand in04
Beaman - brought on in 03, must stand in 04
There were two resignations in 03:
Brown - elected 02, would have served until 05
Longman - elected 03, would have served until 06
If Scholefield and Stride replace Brown and Longman, and Sinclaire is re-elected automatically, then I believe members standing down should be: Hockney, Clark, Beaman, Gilman. If extending Sinclaire's term forces another member to stand down in her place (wrongly, in my view) I think that would be Scholefield.
Following today's lock-out of Head Office Staff, reported below, there is now, no doubt, a large body of opinion within the party of the view that the entire NEC should be dumped forthwith . If there is not, then such is certainly the view amongst the growing body of ex-UKIP members from whom we are receiving much comment.
posted by Martin |
Head Office Staff Locked Out!!
We have had the following report of developments at the London Head Office today:
This morning when the staff arrived for work at the UK Independence Head Office, they found their keys wouldn't open the door.
A little later Derek Clark turned up and told the staff they could no longer have access to the head office and that they were locked out as from this morning.
Derek Clark then proceeded to insult Miss Antoine. We are not sure of the nature of the insult but we hear it was sufficient for her to call the police.
Strangely this is not the first change of locks at Head Office in UKIP's short history, as regular readers of this blog will well know.
We also hear that Party Secretary Derek Clark has presented Party General Secretary Michael Harvey with a letter sacking him from his post; allegedly because of the latter's failure to agree to terms which he found unacceptable as laid out by the Cabal.
posted by Martin |
UKIP's NEC Seriously Wanting
Christina Speight editor of
EU Facts Figures and Phantasies
has charged UKIP's NEC of not protecting members' interests and allowing recent gross abuses to continue. In reaction to the latest news about the Birmingham office move she circulated this e-mail:
"All this shows that those members of the UKIP NEC who are NOT part of the cabal are not doing their job. With all these liabilities hanging over them and "if they have been warned" one has a right to expect that they would take ACTION to make sure the law was being obeyed.
Now I am sometimes told that as a non-member it is none of my business. But corruption and law-breaking in UKIP are just as much my business as such practices in the Conservative and Labour parties. They all want my vote!"
To which she received this rebuff:-
"Although I haven't consulted my fellow NEC members - another court injunction? - I imagine we will be more than happy to do without your vote, in which case what goes on in UKIP really is none of your business."
Her reply was as follows:-
"Of course it's my business. UKIP is a registered party and subject to the law just like all other registered parties. It is also as a corporate body subject to employment law, Health and safety regulations and employee insurance. UKIP has no right to think itself above the law and it will find in due course that it is not."
What is going on in UKIP is, of course, everybodies' business, because it devalues the whole of our nation's democratic processes, which UKIP make much of their aim to protect.
This chicanery has been going on for a very long time as evidence presented in this blog clearly proves. It has risen to another peak over the past few months as I was particularly reminded in researching material in response to a query as to why Chairman Lott might have added the word 'black' in the quotation used in our post
The Loyalty of Lott
earlier this week.
To illustrate just how severe the problem is within the NEC and how long matters have been allowed to drift along by the non-cabal NEC group, quoted below is the culmination of many e-mails I copied to the entire NEC regarding the election rigging eventually confirmed in the Party Treasurer's Report. This e-mail was sent on 3rd April 2003 just before the April 2003 NEC meeting:-
............As a point of clarification I recently informed the Chairman of the North East Regional Committee, Michael Rollings, who I assume is the correct person for me to look towards in these electoral matters, that with the present leadership of the United Kingdom Independence Party, I would be unable to continue with my candidature to stand as one of their European MEPs. (How could I possibly consider any other course in light of the action by Nigel Farage to suspend the two committees, the refusal by the Party Leader to investigate the matter and the present increasingly bizarre events in Darlington and obfuscation from London!).
I joined the party believing the published material that stated it was strictly non-racist. I ALSO BELIEVED THE DECLARATION I SIGNED REGARDING CONTACTS WITH RACIST ORGANISATIONS WOULD BE FAITHFULLY FOLLOWED BY OTHER CANDIDATES AND PARTY OFFICIALS. Following recent circumstances this is now clearly in question.
If the National Executive has a majority of decent and non-racist members then the necessary steps will be taken to allow me to proceed as a candidate in the elections. I await the result of the next National Committee meeting with interest!
I will respect your request to keep your e-mail to me Private and Confidential. I will nevertheless give this reply the widest possible circulation of which I am able.
Contrary to my expectations, the NEC disregarded the clear facts of blatant wrongdoing available to them in their April meeting and thereafter. They have ever since seemed to allow the ruling cabal to continue however they chose. Month after month the situation has deteriorated.
The NEC has therefore repeatedly proved that it is now part of UKIP's problem, and is incapable of bringing order to the party.
posted by Martin |
Tuesday, December 16, 2003
More Mysteries on the Move of Offices!
The latest just in from Andrew Edwards who is closely monitoring this matter:-
Hi, given the ominous plan to close Bridgeman House this Friday, it is even more essential that the numerous unresolved matters about these offices be cleared up this week.
I understand that what is currently going on in 123 New John Street, is the conversion of part of an old industrial building into a separate office suite, that is to say, a separate demise ( I think that's the correct term). It is now a matter of urgency that the veil be removed from the true facts about these premises:
Take planning permission. Mike Natrass tells me that there are no problems.
Yet, preliminary checks with Birmingham Council have revealed no planning consent???
It's time the relevant documentation was revealed. Assuming that planning consent is still under consideration, then when will it be granted. Clearly obtaining this permission will be a complex matter, and likely to take some time. Especially as a unit is being 'carved out' of an existing demise - not an already separate unit where the Uses Order may allow changes of use in certain cases.
Of course if consent has been granted, then all that has to be done is for the Consent Number to be made available. Then we can all stop squabbling about that element of the move!
Next there is the little matter of a Fire Certificate? Has the building as a whole got a fire certificate? Remember, new demise and change to multi-occupancy will require a new fire certificate. Again, sight of a valid Fire Certificate would allay many concerns!
The intended alterations and occupation will clearly have required building regulations approval. Has this approval been obtained? This question needs clarification, this week, in view of the low concrete beams across the main room, which several people have remarked upon. The height of these beams could well prevent occupation on Health and Safety grounds: the low beams may constitute a hazard, especially to visitors, or in the case of fire or darkness. This matter must be resolved before occupation. Has the H&S Agency been consulted? They are very helpful and give swift advice.
Health and Safety also impacts on any insurance policy. Under the "uberrimae fidei" rule, any possible hazard to the insurance cover MUST be disclosed to UKIPs' insurers in advance in respect of employers liability/public liability, etc. Importantly, this is whether or not it is of interest to the Health and Safety Executive. The insurers may possibly accept the situation after inspection, but if they do, it is also likely that they will want an exclusion clause - this would mean the Party has no public liability or employer liability for anyone getting injured. This, of course, would be totally unacceptable. So if these H&S/Insurance issues are already resolved, let ALL NEC members have sight of the approvals!
Then there is the question of the Rates - has a cost liability calculation been done? If not it should be possible to quickly obtain give a rough estimate of the rates payable by: Calculating the floor area of the proposed Birmingham office suite in relation to the rest of the buildings floor area.
Now I'd like to outline what is actually being proposed for the dispersal of Head Office (as from next week) - as I understand it thus far:
1. the accounting function is to be transferred to John de Roeck's private address.
2. the merchandise function is to be transferred to a private address in South London.
3. the European Elections Committee to operate (possibly) from an address in Aldershot.
4. the Press Office to remain at the Queen Anne's Gate broom cupboard.
5. the membership communications database and other H.O. functions to go to Birmingham.
6. tele-sales will remain at Ashford - no surprise there then.
Can anyone confirm that proper and relevant insurance, etc. has been obtained for all these locations. Health and Safety legislation - includes lighting, fire protection measures, access, etc etc - will also be relevant at these locations if they become official Party addresses.
It seems that the Cabal believes the Party HQ can function more efficiently when its various elements are scattered over so many sites. Surely, the opposite is true, and the potential for the left not knowing what the right is doing will only be made much worse. We've seen how bad it can be when the HQ was centralised, (except for Ashford of course) - the Celtic overspend - this planned brake-up can only make such eventualities more certain in the future.
In conclusion two other critical points that must be properly considered before a duly considered decision can be said to have been taken, they are:
1) The arrangements and costs for discharging and recruiting staff in London and Birmingham are still far from clear. Michael Harvey has only been offered travelling expenses for two months. What then? He will certainly be able to cite this as additional evidence at an Industrial Tribunal!
There is, of course, already a letter from Michael Harvey and others' solicitors protesting proposals on constructive dismissal of staff. A letter to which the NEC have, so far, received no written legal advice. The effects and costs of this issue are therefore an unknown quantity, though no doubt the financial bill to the Party could well be huge!.
2) You may recall seeing the comments of George Stride recently. No costings have so far been given to the NEC of the total costs of new offices - as outlined by George Stride. In spite of a promise to do just that at the November NEC meeting!
There are, of course, many other matters, such as the proper functioning of the Treasurer's office, which are important. Surely all the accounting records should be held at Head Office - and given recent events, the Treasurer would be well advised to ensure that this is where the accounts are indeed kept.
I've said it before, and I'll say it again. You simply couldn't make this up, except as a script for a black comedy!
posted by Martin |
Office Move Update
We are hearing reports that the London Head Office could now be closed down as early as this Friday. Meantime following a cheery Christmas Message to members in the Eastern Region from Jeffrey Titford MEP:-
"Quite a few members seem to be unduly concerned about the recent announcement that head office is moving to Birmingham. I would point out to them that this has been on the cards for two years and is not a sudden decision.
"It was seriously considered when our lease in Regent Street ran out but a member offered us favourable terms for short lease in Broadwick Street. The Party would only benefit from the full prestige of a London office if it were located in Westminster. Sadly, our finances do not run to such a major expense. Rest assured that normal service will be swiftly resumed from Birmingham in the New Year".
A party member close to these decisions two years ago recalls that Nikki Sinclaire was
invited up to see Mike Nattrass for a weekend in January 2001 to discuss her terms for moving to head up the operation in Birmingham. He seems to remember she was quite taken with the idea. It is understood that Mike Nattrass's premises have been unlet since then.
It appears that if these are indeed the same premises, and they have been been unlet throughout the intervening period, then the accruing taxes due to the local authority could be part of the reason for the Party Deputy Leader's apparent determination to get UKIP into his premises.
Elsewhere from the opposite end of the country, we have been told that the five Branch Chairmen in Cornwall have finally had enough of the crazy antics of their NEC and have passed a motion of
in the NEC or the move to "where was it "? A letter has been sent to Chairman Lott (who has reportedly earmarked £4,000 for the logistics of the physical move, plus £5,000 for the installation of telephone equipment) informing him of this fact.
posted by Martin |
Demands of Democracy Discounted -
As NEC extends Member's office term on its own vote
We are informed of the following from a recent NEC meeting:-
The court case brought against UKIP by Nikki Sinclair resulted in the Judge ordering she be re-instated on the Party's NEC until her normal time ran out in February 2004..
The NEC have no powers to co-opt members. If a member of the NEC resigns, then the next one on the list is automatically appointed.
The NEC, on the 10th November, discussed extending Nikki Sinclair's term for an additional year, to run out in February 2005. This was proposed by Andy Moore and seconded by Mike Nattress. The voting was 9:5 in favour with three abstentions.
Branch Chairmen, in our view, should urgently seek clarification on this matter.
Ordinary party members can only speculate on the reasons for such action. Was an extended term of office being used to swing crucial votes in the ruling cabal's direction, or perhaps to buy silence from one who knew too much and thus avoid the disgrace and/or exposure of others? Clearly, if this report is true, the NEC has co-opted yet another function supposedly reserved exclusively for ordinary members?
We have queried one NEC member regarding this matter and will post any reactions we receive from him or others, as they are received.
posted by Martin |
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