Why UKIP Need a Serious Change in Strategy – Part One

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Part One

UKIP are dominating the headlines. Friday’s election results showed UKIP to have a huge projected national share of 23%. No party has been such a challenge to the establishment for decades, and for the time being, it looks like UKIP is set to continue dominating the headlines.

It also looks like UKIP is going to become, or indeed remain, a serious threat to the increasingly liberal Conservative Party. I’m a small c conservative myself, but I’m not a supporter of UKIP. I may indeed commend the efforts of its tireless supporters and campaigners, but I have good reason not to support the party. Not only does the party have a serious problem with its structure, but it also has issues with key policies and decisions made over the last few years. I’m going to explore these problems and suggest what needs to be done to fix them.

Membership Policy

The first thing I feel implored to comment on is the membership rules. The party’s website states:

“Membership is not available to anyone who is or has previously been a member of the British National Party, National Front, British Freedom Party, British People’s Party, English Defence League, Britain First or the UK First Party. Any applications made from people who are or have been members of these organisations will be refused, and any subscriptions collected will be refunded. By applying for membership you certify that you are not and have never been a member of either of these parties.”

The reasoning behind this at first seems sensible. The party was at risk of being attacked just in the way that the BNP was back in 2009 when it was becoming the protest party for right wing conservatives to choose. UKIP successfully avoided the same level of criticism not only because its leadership didn’t have the questionable backgrounds that some leading BNP figures have had, and also because of these membership rules.

UKIP is the only major party that is taking this ‘moral highground’ of not allowing ‘extremist’ members into its party. Again, at first look, it makes sense – but now that the party grows, they are treading on dangerous ground.

First of all, they don’t just ban these people from membership. Members, activists, spokespersons and the leadership openly attack members of these parties as extremists. At the same time, they are asking for their vote.

Of course, some members will have joined those parties or organisations out of hatred or a wicked, unpleasant view that non-white people are somehow of less value than a white person.

Some members, though, will have joined because just a few years ago, they were dominating the headlines. The BNP for instance, in 2009 and 2010, was doing much better than UKIP. It had more votes per constituency than UKIP in the 2010 General Election, and was known as the go-to party when it came to the matter of immigration.

I know from personal experience that the modernisation of the party worked for a period of time. The modernisation began appealing to people who would have previously never voted for the British National Party – largely, conservatives who were feeling let down by David Cameron’s ‘liberal conservatives’.

In reality, the sharp rise in membership of the British National Party came from increasing interest from small c conservatives who had no other option. The now sharp decline shows that the party is no longer the go-to party. Furthermore, the disastrous results in the council elections show that these BNP members and supporters have now seen the light and decided to leave and give their vote to other people. Largely, that’s UKIP.

So UKIP has a major problem here. They have this rule in order to combat extremists, but what they’re actually doing is demonising a large amount of people who now vote for them, or would vote for them if they weren’t demonised.

If UKIP keep this up, then they’ll certainly never get my vote. For a party to demonise and generalise a group of people, and then ask them for their vote, is totally appalling and I call on Nigel Farage and the party executive to either change the policy, or publicly reject the vote of people who have been members of the parties they dislike.

I tell you, the latter would be a disaster. The former would actually work in their favour.

See, I think there’s another reason why UKIP should be reviewing their membership policy – and that reason is publicity.

UKIP is the only party that has come under widespread and national media attack for standing candidates who have a history in the likes of the British National Party. Labour stands former BNP candidates all the time, and so do the Tories. The reason why they stand is because the prefix ‘ex’ actually means something. When a person leaves a party, it generally suggests a disagreement on policy or leadership.

UKIP has only come under attack for this because they have openly suggested that they do not or will not stand or accept people who have once been a member of a party they do not wish to be associated with.

If they had not had this rule in the first place, and didn’t make such an issue out of the matter, then the media wouldn’t have covered the stories quite as much. The odd candidate may have appeared in a paper, but UKIP could have easily dealt with the short span of attention it would have received. But alas, this wasn’t the case and won’t be for a very long time. UKIP are digging their own grave with this policy. From now on, they are going to have to go to huge extents to check every single one of its candidates and members to ensure that there is literally nothing incriminating. This is all their own doing.

By suggesting that the party only requires a high, or indeed perfect, standard of members, then the party has in essence created its own downfall.

In part two, I will discuss UKIP’s immigration policy and reforms that it needs to make to remain a credible alternative, or even protest party.

  • Mike Kent

    This article combined with your article “I Was a Member of the BNP – And it’s Cameron’s Fault” gives the impression that you’re a bitter attention seeker.

    Consider this constructive criticism.
    When the BNP was doing well you were all about the BNP. Now, that UKIP is the new leader in the “protest vote” you have disavowed yourself from the BNP and are angry that UKIP won’t have you.
    Perhaps you should have exited the BNP at a less opportune time and gave good reason that the leadership has become a self-destructive tyranny. And, later expressed desire to join UKIP; and, meanwhile poking at UKIP’s non-inclusive policies that are very much a leash on their ultimate success.

    I really do like the concept of National Culturalism. It shows solidarity and support of all peoples the world over. But, you really need to be more tactful in your desires to be a political figure.

    Good luck in your pursuits.

    • culturisthub

      I have no desire to join UKIP. At least in it’s present state and under Farage. I do not trust them. My point regarding exBNP is still important however. – Jack

      • thanksdellingpole

        You go on about it enough.

        • culturisthub

          I tried to make it clear in the article what I was saying. A huge part of this discussion is how a party can ask for votes and at the same time, demonise many of those people publicly.

    • thanksdellingpole

      It does come across that way, but is it right, after all NC or the CH is supposed to be something everyone can be a part of, how can that be when such a figure is a member of a party.

      • culturisthub

        With an organisation shift, the NC has become the Culturist Hub. We have new columnists on board and planning new content. It is now a community and I no longer make all the decisions with regards to its direction. From now on everyone will be on an equal footing, and so, party membership doesn’t matter. You may be aware that I recently decided to join Liberty GB myself. – Jack

        • thanksdellingpole

          I didn’t know that. Why do you need to join things, why not just be independent?

          Dropping the “National” bit was a good idea, but I was kind of enjoying the idea of embracing a faux-pas term like that, to detoxify it.

          I guess it makes it easier in the end.

  • thanksdellingpole

    Maybe in the future, but not now. The party has to grow to a size where they may take blows such a these and weather them.

    You’re complaining that some people think their race is less superior to their own and that this is somehow not right, well, it’s normal. Deal with it and stop moralising and judging, especially when you complain others are unfair for moralising and judging you!

  • Ben Leo

    I’d say the only thing UKIP have really got right is their immigration policy, but it’s not as if their success in local elections is going to propel them to the forefront of the political scene. It’s much more likely that their time in local office will illustrate how devoid of any ideological substance their programme really is.

    This policy that they have about ex BNP (etc) members just confirms that they’re not to be trusted as it shows them as all too comfortable pandering to the PC crowd. At the end of the day it’s pointless because nobody on the left is going to give them an ounce of credit for it. Did their policy stop the Guardian from publishing the (erroneous) accusation that one of the UKIP candidates was former BNP? Of course not. Did it stop the “Conservatives” from calling them a bunch of racist clowns? Nope.

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