Sunday, 19 January 2014

Scientology And Other Matters

Tim Stanley from the Telegraph makes an interesting case about the cult-like behaviour of a seemingly substantial number of UKIP members. He doesn't say the words "cult-like" of course but that's what it is - that some in the party and/or UKIP voters are unable to cope with any criticism no matter how slight or well-intentioned it is:
The trouble is, [UKIP] needs more than just leaders. Slowly, it draws to itself activists who are essentially refugees from mainstream politics. Most of them are reasonable people. Many are not. For example, when Mr Farage made the humane case for accepting refugees from Syria, the Ukip Facebook page came alight with angry commentary. “Have you been smoking crack with Toronto’s mayor?” asked one. Another: “Sorry nigel dont agree. This country is full now but with more scum headed our way in a few days.” And another: “keep out of UK its full up ENGLISH are the ethnic minority now.” Someone even asked whether Nigel was being bankrolled by “the Muslims”.

I’ve experienced this unpleasantness at first hand. I have been making a series of tongue-in-cheek online videos for the Telegraph that offer “five top tips” for the party leaders on how not to mess things up in 2014. The one I filmed for Ukip was intended to be as light-hearted as Mr Farage himself: keep Godfrey Bloom under lock and key, avoid Scotland, read your own manifesto. The emails and thousands of comments that followed contained personal vitriol of the sort you rarely get from any other party supporter — and that would probably horrify reasonable Ukip sympathisers. Common themes were my ugliness, youth, class and sexuality. [We moderate comments, but you'll find plenty of belters on YouTube].
...why should any reporter write nicely about a party whose supporters throw homophobic insults at them? Especially when “Ukippers” effectively write their own negative headlines. It wasn’t journalists who made Godfrey Bloom refer to women as “sluts”. It wasn’t the media that made Lord Pearson forget the contents of Ukip’s own manifesto. And it is far too easy to find one of the party’s activists willing to say something derogatory about a minority.
Given that UKIP is a threat to the established order, and that the media in general see UKIP as a problem to be eradicated, it is tempting to dismiss Tim Stanley's comments as part of an establishment which aim to belittle the party. Yet looking through the comments below Tim's piece they largely make the point for him. They illustrate quite clearly that anything mildly critical is tantamount to heresy.

Sadly this is also personal experience, and experience of fellow bloggers, which suggest that Tim's comments are uncomfortably accurate.

For example to merely venture on this blog the (not unreasonable) point that UKIP has failed in the 20 years of its existence to offer a coherent exit plan brings out rapid condemnation, despite the obvious fact UKIP has many well paid MEPs yet there is no real policy on the matter. This is a point that has been made elsewhere

Revealingly only by the phenomenal hard work of Richard North (unpaid) has there been an attempt to answer the longstanding question about Brexit and how it can be done. And he has done it by putting forward a very coherent and detailed argument in terms of the "Norway" option which has been shortlisted for the IEA Brexit prize. To point out the lack of such a policy where UKIP is concerned though is heresy.

Autonomous Mind has had similiar problems when he makes the following justifiable points:
For as long as I choose to blog (which may not be much longer given the way I am feeling), shutting up about it isn’t an option for the simple reason that, rightly or wrongly, Farage is seen by many as the head of the Eurosceptic movement by virtue of his position as UKIP leader.  If he fails, the Eurosceptic cause will fail.  Hoping no one will notice the failings by keeping quiet about them is not the way to get the problems addressed.  In speaking out I am not trying to ‘do down’ or undermine UKIP.  I am trying to draw attention to what needs to be improved in the hope more people will apply pressure for change.
And Witterings From Witney too:
To turn to the Guardian article, this is a damning view of Nigel Farage, albeit one that is undoubtedly a dish of revenge served cold. If Farage is someone who does not do policy and is not interested in running his party, why on earth would any sane person elect him to run the country? With regard to Bloom’s assertion that the party is without brains, that has become apparent when one considers the number of open goals that have been missed.

I am often taken to task by commenters on this blog for my condemnation of Ukip – aka Farage – and admonished for criticising the ‘only alternative’, come the next General Election. To which I can only reply with one question:

Just why would anyone vote for another political party headed by yet another politician who, it seems, does not do detail or policy; who would appear to care not one jot for his country or those to whom he appeals for support, but would appear to be interested in only one thing, namely – and would seem not to care by which avenue that he achieves it – power?
But it was just as badly "fixed" in 2004 and then again in 2009, when Nattrass was a beneficiary of the system that made him an MEP. Only now, though, when he has fallen out with The Great Leader, and become a victim of a rigged system that also brought in Farage's drinking mate, Godfrey Bloom, does Nattrass go public and complain.

This desperately weakens the power of Nattrass's complaint, and the UKIP cult members have been quick to point this out. But this is the standard fare of the cult, which specialises in blackening the names of detractors. They will do anything but concede the truth and admit that, even though Nattrass is not the most sympathetic of characters, he is not necessarily wrong.

In fact, we don't really need to rehearse the issues, once more. Most recently, it was Will Gilpin and before him many more, all saying roughly the same thing. Again and again, we see the same charge: Nigel Farage "only wants people in the party who agree with him". More particularly, he surrounds himself with sycophants and, from Sked onward, levers out those who present a challenge to him.

That is probably the way it is going to be for as long as Farage has a grip on the reins of power within the tiny pond that is UKIP, but it also typifies small party politics, which get caught up in the grip of a single individual – as with the BNP and Nick Griffin. The test will be whether UKIP can survive the demise of Farage, and rebuild itself without falling prey to the cult of The Great Leader.
And we come back to Tim Stanley who believes the party needs a "chill pill" (an ungainly phrase):
Believe it or not, Ukip needs to lighten up
It's not a "chill pill" UKIP needs, instead it's grown up policies, detail, strategy and above all maturity - the recognition that politics is a very rough game where criticism comes with the territory, and not all of it is unfriendly or malicious. However in the absence of this we see a cult in the form of Nigel Farage's UKIP, not too disimilar to the 'cult' of some in the media who have a "love affair" with Cameron:
In a very unhealthy way, party politics in the UK is beginning to develop a feel not dissimilar to that of North Korea where, amongst the faithful, only expressions of the most abject adoration are permitted.

Sadly, though, with the cult of the leader also comes the cult of the follower. The lumpen masses, mindless and inert, demand leadership before they can begin to exert themselves. Gone is the initiative, independence and assertiveness that once made our nation great. We whinge and whine that we have no leaders, and then demand absolute fealty to our anointed ones, whom we are expected to follow over the edge of a cliff if demanded.
Thus those not in awe of the "Great Leader" become a 'Suppressive Person'. This is no way to exit the EU.


  1. Unfortunately, in strictly electoral terms, the person who wishes to record an 'EU withdrawal' vote has very little scope. Granted there are a very small number of committed MPs currently in Westminster who cannot be regarded in any manner as Europlastics, but their ranks are tiny, and scattered largely within solely two parties.

    I think there's an unthinking association between (perfectly valid and legitimate) criticism of Farage\UKIP and intentional undermining of the EU withdrawal case. I really do understand the frustration. Two steps forward in the withdrawal case can invariably lead to three steps back thanks to unthinking UKIP-supporting tribalism.

    This next bit might sound like wishful thinking but there's some logic of precedence behind it.

    There will, in the coming years, be 'Black Swan' moments. Very sudden and unexpected incidents of lucid opportunity to grasp. For example, the current new treaty which we will be presented say circa 2018 may be subject to referendum in Ireland - I say 'may'. Don't rule it out. The Scottish Referendum may yet trounce Cameron in the same manner he blithely walked to defeat over Syria.

    I'm not suggesting complacency or for awaiting the possibility of manna from heaven falling, but unexpected opportunities will arrive - frequently from overseas - at which point a permanent wedge can be driven into the sudden cracks which open in the accepted orthodoxy.

    At that point, the careful strategist in possession of the right skills of timing can take the reins of the agenda. Galloway did it on twitter as Obama plucked victory from the internet. It's not impossible. The Eurosceptic blogosphere already has the skills to make the case - what they don't have is a plain opportunity.

    Maybe we need to come up with a series of contingencies for likely hypotheticals - where the necessary information is readied for immediate use in such a way that the MSM cannot react offensively to it in the timescale necessary? There's no need to make allies of Geert Wilders or Marine le Pen to be able to take advantage of any wrecking operations they may successfully enact?

    I'm no Chess Player but history is a series of anecdotes of otherwise mediochre nobodies, in the right place at the right time, with the right plan and who knew how to act.

    I'm proposing we stop despairing of those who can't help, release them into the wild and start a process of educated guesswork as to which political, international, legal, policy, economic back alleyways and stable doors we can predict will be weak. And when.

    And then work out how it will be 'US' who takes advantage.

    Because if we don't, somebody will.

  2. I was wondering whether you had let your membership lapse TBF?


    I find that there are a number of what I like to call "hangers and floggers" in every walk of life, whose usual response to criticism is swift and usually ill-thought out, but (like golf) every stroke/vote counts.

    However, I have found that there are none so testy as the folk that feel that they have been slighted by UKIP members at some point in the past.

    During the last four years, the EU has acted to strengthen its grip on the member states, mainly with the Lisbon Treaty taking effect.

    The suggestion that for twenty years UKIP had no "Brexit strategy" is really a misnomer, since there was no defined mechanism for leaving the EU. UKIP and the Referendum party were both formed with the idea that an exit from the EU was necessary, or at least a referendum on what Heath had neglected to point out. I reckon that both fledgling parties did not think that they would be where they are today, it was more about threatening the Quisling tendency of the CONservative party.

    Anyway, following the untimely death of James Goldsmith, the two parties merged, and they are where they are now, with a tremendous amount of support.

    Christopher Booker made a very good point today, when he wrote about the example of a Conservative party local constituency chairman finding nothing left of what he regarded as anything to be loyal to, following Major's disgraceful behaviour.

    The problem for supporters though, is that they are facing virulent attack from all directions, including people that want what UKIP want... The real goal of course is to restore the UK's system of government in such a manner that much behaviour by governments, especially foreign departments that go native, can not excuse their incompetence by transferring powers to a foreign technocracy.

    There is a real problem with people that like to analyse every move made by fledgling political parties... WHICH IS WHAT UKIP IS! I doubt whether anyone thought even five years ago that UKIP was anything more than a pressure group... And if the leadership, not just Farage, were to listen to every golden pearl from the likes of Hannan or North, and then make ridiculously verbose speeches, nobody would have the slightest clue what was being said.

    The recent media success and so-far modest electoral successes in local council elections have been achieved, not through a succession of navel examinations, or complicated dissertations on the nature of modern technocratic government, but rather through Farage's rather simplistic speeches... It's an old trick, apparently lost on some folk.

    Keep it simple stupid!

    I fully expect to see, a continuing stream of vicious attacks on Farage (mainly) but also on the many fairly amateurish candidates and less prominent representatives...

    Politicians, representatives of large inefficient corporations well paid journo's and media mouthpieces, from both the Tory and Socialist organs, are running scared, their cushy sinecures may be under threat, and we can't have that.

  3. Thanks for the link TBF - much appreciated.

    There may be a kernel of truth in the two preceding comments, but the main charge remains: namely when Ukip did begin to gain what may be termed 'traction' and the Lisbon Treaty signed, having spotted the 'exit clause' why did Ukip not start work on an exit plan? Did Ukip submit an application for the short list of the IEA 'Brexit' competition? So many questions about Ukip - and so few answers from them.

    I rest my case.

    1. No I fully agree. (I'm 'anonymous' at top).

      Just the past few days is a classic case. The Rennard affair - or in my own terms, 'The LibDem Scandal'.

      Last week had Channel Four News - the Thursday edition with some extraordinary ammunition immediately in the public sphere. Go to Channel Four News Catchup - Not sure if I link it here whether this post will go thru' so I'll leave it - and watch the debate entitled 'Senior LibDem speaks out.' If you want to shorten your scrutiny, you need only watch from 02:00 to 03:00 for the main point.

      A senior LibDem, introduced for the purposes of the interview as having a decision-making role highlights that 'Rennard may not be guilty, but he isn't not guilty either' - and shortly after decides 'hasn't been proven innocent'.

      (If anyone can download that for permanent access, I'd advise it, it's quite a juicy peach of a comment to keep in context)

      Today, we have Clegg essentially abusing his public Office to find a definitively innocent man guilty in the court of public opinion, and makes punitive threats against him unless he jumps to the party tune.

      In less than a week Farage has been presented with:-

      (i) A senior LibDem decision maker advising in a public forum that people now were under an obligation to prove their own innocence, where that person's current stance is unacceptable to the LibDem party itself. And a news outlet hardly known for right-wing views letting that comment go unremarked, and the Party itself making no attempt at even a retrospective qualifier to the instance.

      (ii) The sight of a Deputy Prime Minister effectively declaring an innocent man as guilty, repeatedly in public - which is a textbook breach of one individual's human rights which are there to protect the weak against the power of Parliament.

      Comment from Cameron? None.

      Comment from Miliband? None.

      If that's not a definitive bleedin' perfect opportunity, then what is? You don't have to pretend to be Rennard's best mate to be able to demonstrate the extraordinary authoritarianism and arrogance in the LibDem stance?

      How could they miss making political capital from that?

  4. I see UKIPs position is one of fostering the concept of independance and self determination, over the past few years it has done a fine job. If it hadn't had the sucess none of these discussions would be taking place, whatever the smart people think. Until that concept passes 60%+ of the populace there will be no way forward. UKIP are trying to sell the idea, uphill, of self governance. The "only" reason that the government and the opposition are paying lip service to it is for motives of self preservation.
    Readwald has it nailed in his last paragraph:

  5. I know a senior member of UKIP personally - he and his wife regulalry have dinner with me and my wife. I'm not going to name said individual (and I appreciated the consequences of that - but the gentleman in question is a UKIP MEP and I don't want to be responsible for adding to his burdens).

    I am full aware of the invective levelled at UKIP by what to people outside the eurosceptic movement would consider to be the same side (i.e. WfW, AM, Richard North etc.) and the criticisms of lack of exit policy levelled at the party. So, last time we met, I asked the MEP what his thoughts on this were and his reply was very simple. The party deliberately chooses to ignore criticism from the likes of Richard North as they regard it as anti-eurosceptic, that engaging in debate with such hostile people would be pointless and time consuming and not advance their cause one iota.

    I know Richard North reads this and other blogs and as he always does whenever he is criticised, he will leave a nasty, reply about this telling me how I am not entitled to an opinion because I haven't spent xx years studying the EU etc. Fair enough - bring it on, but for me, the relevant facts are that UKIP have been successful in making themselves the face of euroscepticicsm in a way that RN, WfW, AM have failed to do. If we're talking failures, why are Richard North and his ilk not regulalry mentioned in the MSM, and whilst this may not be something they put a value on, if they wish to influence the debate, then they need to be heard.

    So, whilst the purists reject UKIP whilst still nominally having broadly similar agendas and point to their "failures" they have nothing to point to as their own successes, whereas UKIP seem to me to have more than a few.

    I also believe that the main reason that there is such a divide amongst eurosceptics is Richard North's outright hostility to Nigel Farage. Followers of his blog will be all too aware of the inredible levels of vitriol spewed forth. I'm sure it must be incredibly frustrating to Mr. North that Nigel Farage chooses not to respond publicly to him and that UKIP considers him an irrelevance.

    1. I am unable to speak for RN, AM, or any other person and the views expressed here are my own.

      I genuinely wish Ukip well in the forthcoming elections, but I do not believe they serve their purpose well by indulging in generalities with the apparent need to get a 'soundbite' - is that not what all the other parties do and are not Ukip supposed to be different.

      The public is ill-informed on matters EU and one would have thought that that was part of Ukips raison d'etrê - to inform the public?

      It is all very well, for example, for Nigel Farage to state that if negotiations for a trade only agreement stall the UK should just 'walk away', but he should know it is not that simple - and if he doesn't then we have another problem.

      With regard to your comment about bloggers not getting mention in the MSM - why would the mouthpieces of the present political class, on whom they depend for their 'news', begin publicising views that are anathema to those they so obviously support?

      If we are to leave the EU then besides all those matters which Ukip do not wish to, or appear to not wish, tackle is the subject of democracy as presently practiced. As has previously been mentioned, pray what is the point of reclaiming our independence only to hand it to another set of dictators, albeit ones elected?

      I could continue,, however I have no wish to appear to be abusing the hospitality afforded me by TBF, suffice it to say ceasing EU membership requires far more than a message that we need a referendum now.

    2. The public are misinformed about the EU, but a simple truth of communication is that if UKIP were to engage in the kind of rhetoric necessary to convey the complex arguments known to students of the subject, they would turn off far more than they ever turn on.

      I agree with you 100% that our so called system of democracy is massively flawed - but do you really think that there is any chance at all of that message being understood, accepted and acted upon anytime soon?

      I once read a description that the Birtish tend to be practical in their approach, and the French and Germans more philosophical and inclined to support an idea or concept if it appeals to them even if it will never fly in the real world (and the EU itself is an example of this - the project is a political concept that has got way out of hand).

      I think your suggested approach here is less British and more French, whereas my opinions tend to be boringly practical

    3. But if the facts are not discussed, aired and debated, how pray are the electorate supposed to make any reasoned decision? You would have them, as they do now, vote in ignorance? That question is not just to do with matters EU but on any matter on which they are asked to vote. I also believe that where the electorate are concerned you do them a great disservice..

      On your point about democracy, that and the question of EU membership are linked and on democracy, again I have to ask how any decision can be made if it is not aired, and debated.

      To make a practical decision one needs to be in possession of all the facts. To be boring practical is easy if one is not.

    4. I'm not at all sure your confidence in the electorate is deserved.

      I had the misfortune to be the chairman of a group fighting against a planning application for a wind farm. I found *HUGE* local support for our position - we polled 93% in favour of rejection in a village poll (and more than 50% of the population turned out to vote) but very, very few of our villagers were willing to research for themselves the issues concerned and so the way we garnered such strong support was by delivering the message in a simple and digestible form.

      You might think it fair to inform, educate and then allow reasoned decision making, but the forces ranged against you know that you will achieve nothing this way and until you recognise this, then you will be wasting your efforts.

      Clearly, movements of all kinds need the kind of thought leadership that you have provided over the years and I fully agree with your intellectual stance on the nature of democracy. But you have no credible plan for delivering it (sound a familiar criticism? Isn't that what you, AM and RN constantly accuse UKIP of?) as you seem to completely reject the mechanisms by which people can be persuaded.

    5. In respect of your last paragraph it is my intention to do that which I criticise Ukip for not doing - that is to hold a public meeting come the Spring (and assuming I can get a suitable venue - at my expense) and talk to people. It is only by talking to people that hopefully you can make them question their present beliefs.

    6. " full aware of the...criticisms of lack of exit policy levelled at the party. So, last time we met, I asked the MEP what his thoughts on this were and his reply was very simple. The party deliberately chooses to ignore criticism..."

      That both saddens me and depresses me - that UKIP are more interested in ignoring the messenger rather than the message; a message which (certainly on this blog) is well-intentioned. Does UKIP really think it is going to win a referendum (or any in/out campaign) without a detailed plan? Any lack of strategy is going to lose us a referendum thus condemning us to generations of EU membership.

      If UKIP don’t want to listen to RN, WfW or AM why don’t they try Alex Salmond. A man who has for years wanted Scottish independence but has comprehensively failed to provide a proper exit plan – for example on currency, on the welfare state and on EU membership. As a consequence the SNP’s case is tanking (current odds are about 1/7 against independence).

      Instead UKIP ignore such matters. You accuse RN of leaving nasty replies, that will be nothing compared the vitriolic abuse UKIP will get on here should we lose a referendum as a result of their lack of competence and their bone-headed attitude to what is a reasonable criticism – a lack of a plan to leave.

    7. 'Anonymous', above, is absolutely correct in his assessment of the situation. This breathless obsession with 'educating' the public - as the means to a desired end - is identical to that which drove the Far Left back in the 1970's... along with its delusion that the public's lack of an education was to blame for the dismal failure of its project.

      The route-maps for a Socialist Utopia AND for a Sovereign Britain are un-navigable by 90% of a population - a public far too busy with its own myriad interests to want to become embroiled in an impenetrable maze.

      Wiser politicians know the 'will of the people' - rather than 'mind of the people' - decides how votes are cast, which direction a country takes. If a need arises - and felt to be justified and privileged - it seeks not to ponder upon the anatomy of each obstacle lying in its way - but to hold firm towards that which shall meet it.

      That's not to say that the political leader, Farage, should not equip himself with the charts to navigate and the language to read them. But the greater public will judge him only as witness to his successes having done so.

      Those charts may not require information - and detail - superfluous to their specific task. The misunderstanding may lie with the cartographer.

    8. "This breathless obsession with 'educating' the public - as the means to a desired end - is identical to that which drove the Far Left back in the 1970's..."

      On that basis UKIP shouldn't produce a costed and fully thought out election manifesto either?

    9. TBF: "On that basis UKIP shouldn't produce a costed and fully thought out election manifesto either?”

      Im not saying that. I’m saying that a fully thought out manifesto is subsequent to the need to which it shall refer - both in its detail and its method. There may be a manifesto so intricately detailed and so thoroughly complete that only an elite is able to digest it… but without first establishing the need the document would apply to - it is about as useful as an instruction manual for piloting a rocket to Jupiter.

      UKIP are doing a magnificent job in identifying that need - in explaining how it has arisen, the aberrations resulting from its remaining unmet, the obstacles to its being met (including vested interests and their FUD) and naming the political change required so that the need may finally be met.

      As we see, in having cleared the clutter from the story - and in managing to keep it clear - Mr Farage disentangles and exposes a need which was previously obscured to the public… one which appears to make sense to their frustrations, their powerlessness and their feeling that, somehow, an important contract has been broken. And that need - that lack - turns out to be perfectly sovereign-shaped.

      This is how momentum is built. Not by waving in the public’s face some impenetrably dull tome and then screaming at them when they (quite understandably) take no interest. Nor, by screaming at Mr Farage when such a document is not only of zero use to his immediate purpose - but would actually become part of the very clutter he has so successfully removed as obstacles to building, validating and focusing the need driving a will to change.

      Those whose will it is to leave the EU have enough enemies lined up as it is... the last thing they want (but unfortunately, have) is a fringe group who not only refuse to participate in broadening the public momentum vital to its success, but whose misbegotten - and bitter - intransigence only undermines the project.

    10. "the last thing they want (but unfortunately, have) is a fringe group who not only refuse to participate in broadening the public momentum vital to its success, but whose misbegotten - and bitter - intransigence only undermines the project."

      A tad unfair methinks? Who is being intransigent - those who are trying to educate, or those who;ve stuck their fingers in their ear, refusing to listen?

      Misbegotten is your opinion (to which you are of course entitled) but I think I can speak for the others when I say there is no bitterness on our part just sorrow for those who appear to wish to remain ill-informed.

    11. "the last thing they want (but unfortunately, have) is a fringe group who not only refuse to participate in broadening the public momentum vital to its success, but whose misbegotten - and bitter - intransigence only undermines the project."

      It's very difficult to "participate in broadening the public momentum" when there have been countless ex-UKIP members who have tried and failed massively when members of the party. The reason? Look at the leader…there's a pattern of a complete lack of detail going back years. The only person undermining the project is a leader who refuses to do detail and gets caught out time and time again, see here:

      Just to clarify I am actually a current member of UKIP. I’m not bitter against the party as you clearly insinuate (bitter against Lord Lawson maybe but that’s another matter).

      I don’t care how we leave the EU, I just want it to happen and I wish UKIP well. However for UKIP not to have a manifesto for the Euros and not to have an exit strategy is quite frankly a joke.

      This is not bitterness but constructive criticism. If UKIP want to ignore the lessons of Alex Salmond and the SNP then so be it but I don’t see any merit in “glorious failure”.

    12. TBF - "Look at the leader…there's a pattern of a complete lack of detail going back years. The only person undermining the project is a leader who refuses to do detail and gets caught out time and time again…”

      You don’t get my point. When working to build momentum, ‘detail' is as much an obstacle as FUD is. Both have the same highly destructive capacity to derail the identification and validation of a need. Without the need, ‘detail' is just so much meaningless w*nk - destined for the Kleenex of history. Once need is established - at a tipping point - ‘detail’ is called upon as the required route-map to the need being met. Then, we might debate which details are the most appropriate.

      Not even to staunchest Europhile would deny that leaving the EU is not only possible, but technically easy. That it may be time consuming and require elaborate knowledge, no one contests! So insisting upon ‘detail’ is seeking to win an argument that doesn’t even exist! It is a distraction, an indulgence, the brooding industry of someone who has made himself peripheral to the real debate.

      Mr Farage might not “do detail” for the blindingly obvious reason that, without first establishing a need - the details of getting it met are a complete and utter waste of time and money.

    13. Alex Salmond hasn't done detail either and he is going to lose as a result.

      Funnily enough people do like detail or at least the assurance that UKIP have a detailed exit plan...if only to reassure them about trade, about jobs, about all the problems an exit might pose.

      Not doing detail, not having proper costed detailed policies and trying to wing it as a result are the actions of amateurs. Is it any wonder Farage keeps being caught out?

    14. The question is: Does the detail cause the need, or does the need cause the detail?

      Your view appears akin to an assertion that you have written me a recipe, therefore I AM hungry.

      The reality, of course, is that hunger causes recipes - as descriptions of a means to its end.

      Farage "being caught out" is a telling example... The UKIP leader disowned the party manifesto because it contained far too much detail... about policies for which their was virtually zero public appetite (ring any bells?). That was where the absurdity was exposed - not in Farage's steps to rectify the situation.

  6. "to engage in the kind of rhetoric necessary to convey the complex arguments known to students of the subject, they would turn off far more than they ever turn on."
    My contention to a tee.
    There are factions that foster the concept and those that refine the concept. Unfortuately never the twain.

  7. Oh dear. What we seem to have here are the defenders of he-who-cannot-be-criticised, criticising the defenders of he-who-cannot-be-criticised, for criticising a journalist’s opinions… which-cannot-not-be-criticised (although they have been).

    If this is what “doing detail” looks like, perhaps Mr Farage is wise to give it a VERY wide berth. Surfacing for oxygen, we find the public still has an EU to get out of.

    1. Just for the record - he-who-cannot-be-criticised has been criticised by me privately, one more than one occasion, to the extent that his links to my blog
      are now virtually non-existent. I'm what might be called an outcast from his coterie.

      Because I happen to agree with he-who-cannot-be-criticised on this particular subject in no way implies I am a disciple of everything he-who-cannot-be-criticised proffers.

      Just saying................

  8. My blog is not UKIP supporting. I am a Eurorealist and I support the cause of leaving the EU asap. I am not a member of the Farage cult that is EUKIP

  9. It's great that we've got blogs like these to thrash out the arguments and ideas so that when battle commences in full we are ready to combat the FUD.

    There's truth in what a lot people say here but there is no right answer as in many cases we are talking about tactics. By having the arguments here and elsewhere perhaps we can get nearer an optimal position. Personal animosity should play no part as the objective is too important.

    As an aside, I've always thought we should have a library of arguments to counter the FUD so people can cut and paste below the line on the usual MSM nonsense and perhaps link to these blogs to get the word out. EG, sovereignty, who governs us, economic myths, immigration, big business love of the EU etc

  10. The main point about UKIP is because UKIP is the only choice available to send a very clear ballot box message to the present political elites, who are all engaged making sure this country remains in the EU.

    UKIP is the only political party we can vote for, because they are the only political party to stand on a platform of leaving the EU.

    The Norway option as illustrated by Dr North might well be the best way to actually leave the EU, but it is meaningless until we get to the point of leaving, UKIP will get us there, the Norway Option and the Harrogate Agenda wont.

  11. With UKIP it it is operation Mocking Bird or rather its British equivalent, watch a pattern on the hysteria meter, false members waiting for the EURO elections then the silly sayings will pour out.


  13. How idiotic to judge UKIP from some facebook profiles that you assume to be UKIP members, 25% of the UKIP facebook page happened to be from Brussels the last time i checked, and then no doubt at least another 25% are random trolls.