Wednesday, 23 March 2016
My take on the Suzanne Evans situation (PLEASE READ) 23/03/2016
I have well and truly had enough. I was going to keep my mouth shut until after the Referendum because the Referendum above all other aspects are way to important. But seeing as Farage cannot be bothered to do the same I am forced to speak. Farage has spent the last 10 months since the General Election setting up Suzanne Evans, portraying her and others as villains in an effort to remove them/her as a threat to his position. Be it by removing them from Spokesperson positions or revoking their party membership altogether. See Patrick O'Flynn and Douglas Carswell for instance. Farage has encouraged people to accuse her, and others of all sorts of things, bombard her and others with all sorts of accusations, of party disloyalty whilst she has been putting across the UKIP party message, advertising the party and pushing for Brexit in various media forms. He has stripped her of her positions one by one, without giving any other reason than "she has been disloyal", which is an utter fib. This in my opinion has been done out of spite to cause maximum upset to Suzanne. If she has been disloyal, then every other member of UKIP who has joined Vote Leave can be accused of the same thing. But that isn't what it is about is it, as I said, threat to his position. During an episode of the Daily Politics Suzanne was asked whether "Nigel Farage was divisive", Suzanne replied honestly, and correctly: "He is perceived by many to be divisive". This isn't debatable, it is a fact. Yet people reacted to that, like she had just popped up from behind a sofa to stab Nigel Farage in the back! Even going back before Suzanne's comments on the Daily Politics, during what many people believe to be Farage's "unresignation", he for me, did something very unusual. Namely to nominate Suzanne Evans as deputy leader in the first place! Let me explain. Farage has a deputy leader, his name is Paul Nuttall. Why would he bypass Paul Nuttall as interim leader and place Suzanne Evans in charge. When Ed Miliband resigned as Labour Leader, in the absence in the House of Commons of Ed Balls, Harriet Harman was put in charge, as she was next in line as it were. Within UKIP there is no such problem, as Farage, Nuttall etc are not in the House of Commons. So placing Suzanne in charge, and circumnavigating Nuttall made no sense, unless in what I fear is highly likely, an attempt was going to be made to oust Suzanne from any position within UKIP, by falsely portraying her as an enemy, as someone trying to oust Farage from his leadership position. We are now in a position where Suzanne has been put on a 6 month suspension, much like Winston McKenzie and Godfrey Bloom rightly or wrongly were. This will drag on for some months, at which end, she will be quietly pushed out of the party. Douglas Carswell and others who defend Suzanne (including myself) will likely follow. Nigel claims that Suzanne has been disloyal. What the Hell do you call going on live television and repeatedly character assassinating her, Douglas Carswell and others as being? In terms of his party membership, Farage has been the most disloyal person within UKIP. He in many cases hasn't rewarded good performance with media representation or an opportunity to do articles on the UKIP website. The LGBT and disabled sections of UKIP for instance have been massively underplayed and under-used. Look at the parties results in Council Elections since the May General Elections? Rapidly declining. In fact I haven't seen a day where there have been council elections that haven't been a massive disappointment. Peter Whittle is polling second from last in the London Mayoral election. Only ahead of George Galloway. In the last few days polling for the Welsh Assembly elections have come out, where we have plunged by -4%, to go from expecting 9 seats, to 7. Our council results which I have already spoken about have been dire. We have lost around 30 council seats since May, many of which have been as a result of resignations surrounding the parties failings in Thanet meaning we have lost the only controlling margin in a District Council we have had. Party membership has fallen by 6,000-7,000 since May last year following a massive increase in our General Election vote. Meanwhile parties who massively disappointed in the vote are reaping a huge uplift in party membership. We have gained a grand total of 2 council seats since May last year. One by way of a defection, and one by way of a 12.5% turnout in Folkestone. Our polling in Scotland is nothing short of dire. We are on 1%-4%, polling to take 1 seat if we are lucky in Holyrood. Our position in London Assembly elections isn't much better. We have managed to alienate what little support we had by electing someone with abhorrent views to gay people as a candidate. Something which has countered any positive reaction we had to appointing Peter Whittle to his position as UKIP candidate for the London Mayoral Elections. UKIP's polling nationally has been erratic at best. In a situation of turmoil at the Conservatives and Labour Party we have not seen much if any of a bounce in national polling. We have not taken a firm line when unacceptable behaviour has occurred at the other parties. When anti-Semitism has erupted in Labour, we have been silent and not spoken about it. When the Tories anti-disabled budget was released. The disabled wing of our party bar those of us commenting on Social Networking sites was silent. In fact there has been no party outlet to speak about this event or others. Star Anderton (UKIP disability spokesperson) for instance should have had an opportunity to speak on the UKIP website about her disgust at the Tories cutting of disabled benefits. But no such event took place. When opportunities to rise as a moral party presented themselves, such as child refugees. Such as putting across Steven Woolfe's more ethical immigration policy that doesn't count students in the overall immigration figure the party has been silent. Defending young people against unfair deportation when they have been in the country most their lives, when TTIP has been posed as a direct threat to the NHS we have allowed Labour to take the firm grasp of defending it even though they made such a mess of it in the European Parliament and not supporting disabled charities in the light of the Conservative Party budget. I am going to wait for the outcome of any action, if any from the NEC of UKIP in the hopes they will stop his latest action against Suzanne Evans. I will also reiterate that for UKIP to evolve, Farage needs to step down as leader. I was more than happy for him to stay on until after the referendum. But what he has done now, the timing, is unforgivable. I know my opinions won't be agreed with by the majority. But it is the truth and if people don't speak out now. The party will most definitely crumble. If we are to stand any chance of improvement, we need to evolve, and we need to gain a good council platform to support candidates in the 2020 General Election. The way we are going now, with our rapidly dropping membership, we are going to fall back way behind the Lib Dems in voting numbers in 2020 and I fear our Assembly election results will be a huge disappointment as well. Nigel has said that Suzanne Evans doesn't have much support in the party. I know this not to be true, and I hope those people like me, put their loyalty to Suzanne ahead of a concern for party membership, and any such action the party might bring to bear. So I am putting UKIP and Nigel Farage on notice. If Suzanne Evans goes, then so do I. I won't be returning if this does happen until their is a fundamental change at the party.