In a blaze of triumphant glory, Nigel Farage announced yesterday that the all new “The Brexit Party” had been formally recognised by the Electoral Commission and would be ready to stand candidates in any forthcoming election.
The party was founded with my full support and with the intention of fighting the European elections on May 23 if Brexit has not been delivered by then.
I have made it clear many times that I will not stand by and do nothing if the referendum result is betrayed, so should this election need to be contested, I will stand as a candidate for the Brexit Party and I will give it my all.
I won’t go into the full details of the background behind this, as anyone reading this is probably familiar with the backstory already. But here’s a summary of what I know.
Nigel Farage, the former leader of UKIP, turned his back on the party after he stepped down as leader, and then finally resigned his membership last year when the party’s ruling NEC (National Executive Committee) voted down his motion to remove Gerard Batten as leader because of his “obsession with Islam and Tommy Robinson”.
At the same time, a number of other ‘senior figures’ within UKIP also resigned their positions and/or left the party, citing similar reasons. One of these was Catherine Blaiklock, who briefly held the position of Economic Spokesperson, before being dismissed from her role following an ill-judged attack on the party leadership in an article penned for UKIP Daily (now Independence Daily).
Catherine Blaiklock then decided to set up her own political party, “The Brexit Party”, which then received endorsement from Nigel Farage, no doubt looking for a new political vehicle to jump aboard.
I have no doubt that Ms Blaiklock set up this new party with good intentions:
I did not start the process to set up The Brexit Party to spite anyone or any party. I did it to win because we are in danger of losing despite the democratic result.
My party is being set up for one goal only – get us a proper Brexit. It is not to wade into ideological debates about halal meat or modular homes or who runs the railways.
It will have two simple political messages: Get out of the EU and control immigration. And it will aim to unite all 17.4m leavers.
As Nigel said, voters are now split between whether they voted ‘Leave’ or ‘Remain’, not traditional left and right parties. Now is, once again, the time to mobilise all leavers across the political spectrum.
But in the current political climate, one simply questions ‘why’?
With no General Election forthcoming – the next one is not scheduled until 2022 – what exactly does this new party hope to achieve politically? Will they be standing candidates at local council elections in May, and if so how successful would a ‘single-issue’ party on the subject of Brexit fare?
Of course, Nigel Farage lets a cat out of the bag by stating that if Brexit doesn’t happen on March 29th and the UK has to elect MEPs for the European Parliament Elections in May, then he will stand as a candidate for this new party.
But who’s party is this then? The Brexit Party was founded by Catherine Blaiklock as a limited company, with herself as director and secretary, according to Companies House records. Okay fair enough, she may not want to be the party leader, but look again at the opening line of Nigel Farage’s Facebook announcement (which was also the Telegraph’s headline):
MY NEW BREXIT PARTY STANDS READY TO DEFEND DEMOCRACY.
Haha, looks like Nigel Farage has taken over already! Lets face it, Mr Farage likes to get his own way every time, that is why he turned his back on UKIP and ultimately left the party. Mr Farage spent a lot of time criticising UKIP’s NEC – made up of members elected by the party grassroots.
The ultimate ruling body was the NEC, generally made up of people with little understanding of politics or knowledge of logistics. Despite being the leader, at times this arrangement left me virtually powerless.
In contrast, the Brexit Party will have a leader who then appoints a board of their choosing, and the party will ultimately succeed and fail on the judgment and personality of that leader.
Checks and balances. The NEC is essentially the board members of a limited company, and they have an amount of responsibility and accountability with regards to the company as a whole.
“With great power comes great responsibility”. I think that comes from the Spiderman comic series! Nigel wanted free reign to do whatever he liked, and bring in whichever cronies he wanted, and he got upset because the NEC thought otherwise.
Sadly, I think this is what will happen with The Brexit Party if he inevitably becomes their leader, and I can guarantee there won’t be any leadership election!
Anyway, as things stand at present with the Article 50 process of the UK leaving the EU, from 29th March, whether a withdrawal agreement has been reached or not, the UK will be released from all EU treaties, and will not be obliged to take part in European Parliament elections scheduled to take place on May 23rd.
I know its prudent to think about such matters, but I wonder why Mr Farage is very keen to stand again in these elections, if they indeed actually take place. And not just Mr Farage, but all the other MEPs who won seats at the European Parliament in 2014 (the only election in the UK that UKIP actually won ahead of the other Establishment parties) on the back of standing as UKIP candidates, who have since resigned from the party, but kept their seat in the European Parliament, rather than handing over to the next UKIP member on the party list. I wonder, could it be anything to do with the lavish salary and expenses afforded to MEPs?
The irony of ironies is that it was Nigel Farage of all people who created the UKIP MEP’s Charter and who has himself broken it by resigning from the party and not giving up his MEP seat.
Now, while I believe that Nigel Farage did have good intentions regarding Britain’s exit from the EU, there is enough evidence to suggest that he has somehow been ‘bought off’ by the Establishment, and that he is somehow carrying out their bidding to nullify UKIP as any kind of electoral threat.
If that’s the case, then Nigel Farage is just as much part of the Establishment Problem that he himself has been seeking to undermine for the past twenty odd years.
Money talks sadly, and money can influence people in strange ways. Nigel Farage, as well as all the other ex-UKIP MEPs, obviously enjoy a generous remuneration from the EU for being MEPs, so who would turn down that opportunity to keep their noses firmly in the trough?
My belief is that Farage ‘knows’ (being an insider) that the UK will be contesting EuroParl elections in May, because the UK will not be leaving the EU. He, and they, would have no credibility standing as UKIP or independent candidates, so they need the legitimacy of a ‘new’ political party to stand behind.
But what if? If Article 50 isn’t delayed, and the UK does actually leave the EU on 29th March, what next for The Brexit Party? If a Withdrawal Agreement is reached, and the UK doesn’t actually leave the EU on 29th March, but doesn’t need to elect MEPs, what next for The Brexit Party?
For all its faults, UKIP is still a recognised ‘household name’ now. UKIP itself has leadership elections taking place in the next couple of months. Anyone who had any doubts about the ability of or the direction Gerard Batten was taking the party in, had their chance to stick it out, throw their hat into the ring, and let the membership decide.
But no, those people chose to walk away from UKIP, have their little hissy-fits.
Anyway, I’ll conclude now by saying that you should be very careful which horse you back.
Brexit is being negotiated within the Houses Of Parliament by MPs and Lords that have no desire to leave the EU. With no representation in the House Of Commons, there is very little that the likes of UKIP, For Britain, Democrats & Veterans, Leave Means Leave, and even The Brexit Party can do right now.
And I hate to be the one to say it, but exactly how much influence have UK MEPs made over the last five years?
Lets just for argument’s sake, suggest that the Article 50 deadline gets extended for a further six months, and there is another General Election or second Referendum (or Peoples Vote) called.
What could yet another “pro-Brexit” party actually achieve? In the event of a General election, the ‘pro-Leave’ anti-Establishment vote would just be further splintered and diluted, which would see the Conservative/Labour one-party Establishment state maintain its grip on power, thanks to our ‘first-past-the-post’ (FPTP) electoral system.
Mr Farage may well have been ‘bought-off’ by the Establishment, and be doing their bidding, hence his lack of appetite for following on from UKIP’s perceived success at the 2015 General Election and subsequent EU referendum result.
Was that result in 2016 meant to happen? Maybe not, hence Mr Farage’s decision to step away from UKIP.
Who knows, who really knows? The elaborate game continues, and it remains to be seen how the next few weeks pan out.