Looking to 2020
Since 2016, UKIP has floundered because of poor leadership. Under Gerard Batten, nearly all our MEPs defected and we were wiped out in the European Parliament elections. We reached an electoral nadir when we were beaten by the Monster Raving Loony Party in the Brecon by-election last August. Following our success in the EU Referendum, the party seemed to lose sight of its very reason for existence. Internal rifts gave rise to splinter parties, all unsuccessful.
Frankly, UKIP lost its way through Gerard Batten's obsessive attempt to make former-EDL leader, Tommy Robinson, a UKIP member. This brought the party into disrepute and severely damaged our political credibility. Gerard Batten's chosen successor, Richard Braine, made things worse. He continued the pro-Batten in-fighting but eventually resigned when he could not get his way.
The party has now installed an effective leadership team, determined to reverse the mistakes of recent leaders and return to our libertarian roots, as set out in the Party Constitution. The internal strife and toxic associations forced upon us, to the dismay of so many members and, even more, ex-members, must be brought to an end.
Now, UKIP has suspended ex-leader Gerard Batten for:
(a) bringing the party into disrepute through his unrepentant association with Tommy Robinson
(b) publicly and repeatedly sowing division and disunity within the party
(c) inspiring a defamatory and abusive campaign against UKIP NEC members
His obsession with attacking Islam as a religion, using inflammatory and toxic language easily portrayed as fuelling hatred, has hindered any attempt at a reasoned debate on the critically important issues like Islamic extremism and political correct policing. By publicly associating UKIP with individuals widely seen as unsavoury and a political liability, he caused near-fatal damage to our party. This directly led to an exodus of almost all our MEPs, London and Welsh Assembly Members, councillors and major donors, along with many leading activists, dismayed or disgusted at Gerard's beaviour.
Gerard Batten has almost done for UKIP what Gerald Ratner did for his jewellery company. Unlike Ratner's, UKIP is determined to survive and revive. UKIP exists to gain electoral success, in votes and influence. The recent relentless concentration on in-fighting, obsessing about internal, administrative differences, actively prevents us from achieving our goals, as the last eighteen months have demonstrated.
With (a) the impending collapse of The Brexit Party, (b) the certainty that the Conservative Party will always let us down on immigration and other important issues and (c) Labour's abandonment of the working class of this country, we need a strong and growing UKIP to provide a common-sense alternative to the Westminster political Establishment.
UKIP is the only party committed to a clean break from the EU. We can boast a manifesto to make the most of post-Brexit freedoms: end mass-immigration and cultural dilution, defend free speech against cultural Marxism and political correctness, democratise the NHS, reduce funding for second-rate universities and increase it for vocational and second-chance learning, scrap the BBC tax and green taxes which hurt the poor so badly, scrap the failed and discredited House of Lords and the Welsh & London Assemblies, fight for real voting reform to make the People's Vote count. These are only some of our unique selling points as the Common Sense Party.
We need to re-focus on the future and the needs of ordinary people. If you believe in this country and a voice for the working man and woman who value common sense and personal freedoms - join us.