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Members & staff of UKIP past & present. Committed to reforming the party by exposing the corruption and dishonesty that lies at its heart, in the hope of making it fit for purpose. Only by removing Nigel Farage and his sycophants on the NEC can we save UKIP from electoral oblivion. SEE: http://juniusonukip.blogspot.co.uk/2013/05/a-statement-re-junius.html

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

UKIP Civil War: An open letter to Nigel Farage by Tim Congdon

Professor Tim Congdon writes to Nigel Farage concerning the proposed constitutional changes - changes that will give Farage total control of the party.

We were very disappointed to read that Prof Congdon is not prepared to discuss the fact that the new constitution will allow Farage - due to his control of the NEC - the final say on who stands for UKIP in the Euro elections. Why is Prof Congdon not concerned that the MEP lists will be rigged to ensure that Farage supporters get all the top slots? See: LINK

Dear fellow members of UKIP (and others concerned about the UK's relationship with the EU),

Members of the UK Independence Party are being asked to vote for a new Constitution. It is very important that – in the run-up to the 2014 European elections and the 2015 general election – UKIP’s members agree to and respect their party Constitution, and that the Constitution itself be clearly written and legally unambiguous. The present Conservative-LibDem coalition government is mediocre and unconvincing, as well as being essentially Europhile. These are ideal conditions for minority parties to pick up protest votes. UKIP ought to top the poll in the 2014 European elections and at least to double its share in the next general election (i.e., to reach at least 6% in the national vote). But – as far as possible – UKIP must concentrate on “outfighting” (fighting our enemies), not “infighting” (fighting each other).

Unhappily, many influential members – including, for example, Mike Nattrass MEP and several branch chairmen – are concerned about the contents of the new Constitution. Last year the party had a major debate about its attitude towards pan-European political parties. I took an active role in that debate and helped put together some of the key information on the meaning of PEPPs. I was delighted that – after an open, democratic and occasionally quite fierce debate – the party’s members voted by more than two to one that UKIP must not become associated with a PEPP.

The current concerns about the Constitution focus on two issues,

-   the possibility that, under clause 3.4 of the proposed Constitution, the Leader and the National Executive Committee could override last year’s PEPP vote and take the party, and its MEPs, into a PEPP,

- and the selection of candidates for elections.

I am not in this e-mail going to cover the second of these. However, I do feel very strongly that the party membership’s opposition to a PEPP must be respected by the Leader and the NEC. I have therefore written the following Open Letter to Nigel Farage and asked him to reassure members. Will Nigel give us a clear and definite commitment that, while he is Leader, UKIP will have nothing to do – no connection whatsoever – with a pan-European political party, a structure which – as everyone knows – is a creation of the EU and a bribe from the European Parliament to MEPs? If Nigel can give us that commitment, I will support the new Constitution. The Open Letter appears below, and is also attached as a Word file and a PDF file.


Open Letter to Nigel Farage MEP, Leader of the UK Independence Party

Dear Nigel,                                                                                                                                              12th February, 2012

Several party members have written to me voicing their concern about the proposed new Constitution. Some have sought my opinion on the Constitution and asked for my recommendation about how they should vote. One of their main concerns relates to clause 3.4 which reads,

The Party may cooperate with other like-minded democratic parties, institutions and organisations for any purposes which are wholly consistent with its objectives, whether such be in the United Kingdom or elsewhere for such time and to such an extent as the Leader and the NEC deem necessary and expedient in order to advance the Party’s objectives.

A commonly-held view is that this clause would allow the Leader and the NEC to form an association between, on the one hand, the Party and its MEPs, and, on the other, a pan-European political party established under the European Parliament’s auspices.

We perhaps do not need to remind ourselves that the UK Independence Party had a major intra-party debate last year about a possible association between it and a pan-European political party. That debate took up time and energy. I was myself on the panel of speakers opposed to a PEPP relationship and spoke to three “hustings”-type meetings. I was delighted that the membership voted by a decisive margin of just over two to one that UKIP should not become associated with a PEPP. I was also sorry and disappointed when, late in the campaign, you supported in an article in Independence a link between UKIP and a PEPP. I was sorry and disappointed not least because in January 2004 you had said that UKIP was “opposed on principle to the idea of state funding of political parties, either nationally or at the European level. (The italics are mine.)

You have frequently expressed your dismay about the lack of democracy in the European Union. I have admired your speeches and interventions in the European Parliament. I agree with you 100% that the un-democratic and centralizing direction of travel in the European Union must be deplored. But consistency then demands that UKIP conduct itself in a fully democratic spirit. If we deplore the un-democratic and centralizing direction of travel in the EU, surely UKIP itself must be a model of democracy.  

I might myself be willing to give you the benefit of the doubt on clause 3.4, but several party members are unhappy. Accompanying this letter is another, from Michael Foulston, chairman of the Mole Valley and Epsom branch, to his branch members. The worries set out in that letter seem to me to be very understandable.

I now come to the crux of the matter. Will you, during your period as UKIP Leader, respect the result of the democratic 2011vote on the pan-European political party issue? More precisely, will you given a clear and definite commitment that you will discourage and prevent any association between, on the one hand, UKIP and its MEPs, and, on the other, a pan-European political party established under the auspices of the European Parliament? As we both know, such pan-European political parties are funded from the European Parliament’s budget, and its officials check and decide the compatibility of such expenditure with the EU’s wider aims. Those aims are totally at variance with UKIP’s.

If you give a clear, definite commitment that you will stop an association between UKIP and a PEPP, I will myself vote ‘Yes’ to the Constitution and I will recommend to others that they do the same; if you cannot give such a commitment, I will vote ‘No’ and recommend to others that they also vote ‘No’. Time is pressing, and I would appreciate your early reply. If I have not heard from you by Friday, 17th February, I will be voting ‘No’.  (Let me note that I have little doubt that the Constitution will be voted through, whatever the outcome of this exchange between us. At any rate, if UKIP does under your leadership link up with a pan-European party, party members will know where you stand.) I look forward to your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Professor Tim Congdon CBE

Economics Spokesman, UK Independence Party
Runner-up in the 2010 UKIP leadership election

Also attached – again as a Word and PDF file – is a letter (Junius says: Letter is published below) from Michael Foulston, Chairman of the Mole Valley and Epsom branch, to his members. It is a good example of the worries being expressed by UKIP activists about the Constitution. I agree with every word and hope that the letter has wide circulation throughout the party. Nigel Farage must give us an unbreakable commitment that UKIP will not – repeat, not – become associated with a pan-European political party.

With best wishes,  

Tim Congdon

Letter from Michael Foulston to UKIP members
Date: Fri, 10 Feb 2012 16:26:42 +0000
From: m.foulston@btinternet.com
Subject: UK INDEPENDENCE PARTY
To: m.foulston@btinternet.com
To all members of the Mole Valley + Epsom UK Independence Party (plus copy to Toby Micklethwaite and Roger Bird)

Dear Member

You should have by now received a copy of the new draft party constitution on pages 11-14 of the party’s magazine Independence. I hope that you will take the opportunity to read through this proposed change and vote.

My reason for writing to you about this matter is that having discussed it with your branch secretary Bob Cane and branch treasurer Peter Lindsay, I find that we do share some concerns. In particular, we feel it is regrettable that there has been no consultation period allowed and members are being asked to vote Yes or No to the whole document as it stands.

Our objections relate in particular to paragraph 3.4 of the draft constitution which states:-

3.4 The Party may co-operate with other like-minded democratic parties, institutions and organisations for any purposes which are wholly consistent with its objectives, whether such be in the United Kingdom or elsewhere for such time and to such extent as the Leader and the NEC may deem necessary and expedient in order to advance the Party’s objectives.

You will probably recall that the Party spent much time and trouble last summer because of the wish of certain MEPs to join a Pan-European Party. That was firmly vetoed by the membership by a vote of 5161 to 2535 on a 49·2 per cent turnout.

Bob, Peter and I are anxious to ensure that we should do all we can to ensure that the Party is not closely associated or grouped with other European parties which are at variance with the principles of UKIP. That paragraph as it stands is far too widely drawn and could be interpreted as an “enabling” clause which might allow just the sort of entanglement which was rejected last year. We would like this aspect of the document to be clarified, expanded and much more closely defined.

Obviously, each member must vote as he or she sees fit – and, indeed, I hope you will participate in the vote. However, as it currently stands, I am personally voting against this new constitution as are Bob and Peter.

Regards

Michael Foulston
Chairman, Mole Valley + Epsom UK Independence Party

2 comments:

Sean O'Hare said...

Thanks for posting this information. I have recently joined UKIP and having read the new Constitution document, I had some difficulty in deciding whether or not I should support it. Now I am better informed and I shall not place my vote until I read the reply. If there is no reply then "No" it shall be.

Sean O'Hare said...

Junius if you had published and responded to my previous comments I might have given credence to what you say. Now I don't know what to think!