Nigel Farage, Chair of the EFDD, has called for UKIP’s party directors, the NEC, to remove their current leader Gerard Batten.
UKIP’s NEC has been under pressure from Tommy Robinson supporters to make an exception and allow him to join the organisation, though generally former EDL members are banned by the party’s proscribed list. In the spirit of fairness, I believe the proscribed list should apply to either all or none, with no special cases – UKIP must allow in either all or none who were formerly members of the EDL.
There was some disagreement on Facebook when Ben Walker, a party director, strongly objected to waiving the proscribed list for Robinson, stating on LBC radio that Robinson was involved in, what many, myself included, can not approve of: assault of an off-duty police officer.
Hence, considering the views of the silent majority, including Brexiteers in general, while I acknowledge that time was served, the optics of political party membership, now leadership would be beyond challenging – we must note how quick people are to find excuses to resort to cognitive dissonance rather than face shocking issues they find overwhelming. I can see that the media’s frequent reference to history is vexatious.
As for other matters, such as imprisonment for illegal entering the USA, while I would certainly not encourage anyone to do so, I can see how Robinson felt he was a rebel against suppression of a political view.
Personally, I think the most recent imprisonment of Robinson was most unfair, considering journalists often report from outside courts, and the BBC has published similar content to that in his livestream. I believe he should be free to make news reports without harassment by the police.
After the elected NEC said they will hold off any decisions on the matter until after May’s shoddy Brexit in March 2019, unelected Batten bypassed them, appointing Robinson to UKIP management as a survival advisor.
Farage stated that he is “appalled” by UKIP’s decision to appoint Robinson and he has vowed to bring down the party leader Gerard Batten, who he feels is “dragging us in a shameful direction”.
“I’m going to fight and save it [UKIP] but if it carries on going in this direction, electorally it is finished.” As Batten and Robinson plan a Brexit rally in London, Farage said welcoming the latter as a “big player in the Brexit vote” would mean UKIP is “finished”.
“I’m appalled,” he told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme on Friday. “Gerard Batten has this sort of fixation with Tommy Robinson and discussing Islam and dragging Ukip into the direction of effectively being a street activist party.”
Personally, I favour Christian principles, and I think fundamentalist applications of Sharia law seriously violate woman’s and children’s rights. I strongly people must respect the law of the land whatever religion they be.
I respect all, especially the victims, who spoke out so bravely against the Islamist rape gangs terrorising British cities.
However, if we approach this matter in a manner lacking strategy, all that will result is a large noise, and no change. I don’t think Batten is a populist in touch with the people in general when he uses phrases such as “Islam is a death cult” – to win over many voters, few of whom read the Qur’an, he would need to, but I fear lacks potential for, the nuance of Douglas Murray.
He may be a long time member of UKIP, with a cushty, very well-paid elite income level job in Brussels, but Rome fell when army generals lacking political strategy took the realm. It would seem that Batten has no idea what the Overton is because he ignores silent majority, and speaks only for one group, outside the window, but most vociferous.
He doesn’t make just a dog whistle to controversial, edgy topics outside the window, but UKIP is a full blown, one issue party, with speeches focussed on one topic. There is no room for pluralism; no broad base – he should be courting libertarians, high Tories, and old school Labour.
I instead favour Malaysia’s approach of simply enforcing the law, and thus refusing to tolerate medieval practices such as FGM, which judges should not allow to be excused in the name of religion. Our attention should be on investigating special interest groups that influenced the Crown Prosecution Service.
The MEP for South East England said he would be writing to the party’s national executive committee to call for a vote of no confidence in Mr Batten, whose term of office is due to end in March 2019.
“We are going to have one last go of getting rid of a leader who is dragging us in a shameful direction,” or if the NEC backs Batten, Farage will launch a new party.
(Articles reflect the views of the author, and not necessarily those of Luke Nash-Jones, The Red Pill Factory, or Make Britain Great Again.)