A little while ago, I received a copy of the newsletter and information on the four candidates vying to replace Roger Knapman as leader of UKIP. Obviously, since his plain-speaking was in large part responsible for my decision to join them, Nigel Farage was my initial favourite. However, whilst two others—Davids Noakes and Campbell Bannerman—also looked promising, it was Richard Suchorzewski's Manifesto that really resounded with me. Here's are the very first two points in his Manifesto for Britain:
Britain has always been a bastion of individual liberty, but that is disappearing under a torrent of increasing police and state powers, ID cards and surveillance, political correctness and false values, creed and colour hate laws, constant monitoring and frivolous litigation.
A fundamental basis of British law should be that the public are free to go about their private business without constant interference. The Government as servant of the people must aim for minimum impact and interference in our daily lives.
With personal freedom comes responsibility, and again this is being steadily eroded. The over emphasis on individual human rights damages the cohesion of society.
We must encourage people to take responsibility for their own mistakes, and take responsibility for their own financial affairs and debt. We must help them to look after their own futures and make counselling available should they have need of it.
We must end the culture of complex tax credits, government dependency, inappropriate disability claims and frivolous lawsuits that give rise to massively over-burdened state departments.
Responsibility for self-discipline and that of children is not a state function, it is a personal duty.
Personal responsibility also means more opportunity for people to have their say in their own local communities – for instance, more democratic control of local policing policies, education and medical standards.
How could I not rally to this standard? At least he is saying the right things which is, let's face it, rather more than Spam is.
And then here is the second point from Richard's Manifesto for UKIP itself:
2. Codes of Conduct
I demand transparency, integrity and equality in the party. We will always tell the truth, say what we believe, and create equal opportunity for all. We will encourage the competent to shine, the good to excel and the excellent to assume the responsibility they are suited to, regardless of colour, creed, gender or age.
Acts of dishonesty, sleaze and public immorality will be dealt with fairly and transparently, without fear or favour. This will differentiate us from all other political parties and show why we, the British people, cannot, and will not, remain in the unarguably corrupt and centralised EU which has failed to produce adequate accounts since 1995!
Again, yes; he is saying the right thing. Isn't this the sort of commitment that we should be hearing from all political parties? Most importantly, it sounds as if Richard actually understands and believes in the concept of free trade and a low tax, low regulation economy. So, I think that my vote will be going to Mr Suchorzewski—even if he is Welsh...
However, there are some important points to be raised regarding UKIP generally and, most especially, their image. UKIP suffers from the perception that many of their members are old, racist, reactionary and insane or all four. They also suffer from their perception as a jingoistic one-issue, parochial party. If UKIP really wish to become a credible force in national politics, they need to take several steps.
- The pound logo has to go. Whilst leaving the EU is the single most important issue, if UKIP is to ditch the one-issue label, then a logo which intimates a broader concern should be adopted. I don't know, at this stage, what that should be but I am sure that a few brain-storming sessions could come up with a few ideas. Why not leave some in the comments and I will mock them up?
- All policy on the EU should be couched in terms of favour to Britain, i.e. instead of saying, "all these foreigners get our cash" we should be putting that, "Britain is compelled to donate your money for EU to spend as it sees fit". We should also be gracious; it should be made clear that—whilst we wish our fellow Europeans the very best in their project—we don't want to be any part of it, thank you.
- Why we don't want any part of it should be couched in simple terms that the man on the street can understand. That is not to say that UKIP should be patronising, quite the opposite; but the effect that the EU has on Britain should be phrased in terms of simple economics and freedom issues and not in terms of "straight bananas" and the like.
- The damage that the EU does to the environment and the people's of the Developing World should be repeatedly and consistently high-lighted. These issues play well with those with a guilty conscience and with moonbats. As Spam is finding out, there are votes in "green" issues these days. However, these issues should always be played against the economic benefits of certain policies, as Timmy frequently does. The research, and increased funding that UKIP would bring to that research, that is being done into alternative power sources that aren't fucking wind turbines (hydrogen fuel cells, zinc oxide powerstations, wave generation) should also be emphasised
- The Newsletter: oh good god.
- The newsletter should be designed by a proper graphic designer. Right now, it looks as though some fucking amateur has pasted it together in fucking Publisher. And, please, will you stop using sodding gradients: they stoppped being trendy when they became effortless for all, about 10 years ago. The Independence Newsletter should look professional and slick; it should be easy to read and pictures should be clear and not lo-res and badly-shot. Also some care with colour-correction would be a bonus. In short, get it professionally designed: hell, I'll do it!
- Don't include articles by one-issue loons with an agenda—such as the one bemoaning the tighter restrictions on vitamin supplements by Marlene Houghton, CH Ed Dip NuTh SNHS (Herbalism) SNSH (Advanced Herbalism) SNHS Higher International Dip (Herbalism), Associate Member of the School of Natural Health Science and Registered Member of the National College of Holistic Medicine—because it attacks the party's credibility. Herbalism and holistic medicine are far from being credible in this country: there is little or no research that shows any benefits of holistic medicine and to carry a full page article someone who patently has an interest, but who references no research, simply makes the party look like a bunch of self-interested loons. One can afford to lose a couple of Marlene Houghtons if it brings the party more votes.
- Even in my one newsletter there are several catty comments and evidence of bitchy infighting. Stop it, grow up and start at least acting like a bunch of professionals rather than a collection of frustrated schoolgirls.
- Consult someone with a proper understanding of economics and with a good degree of research. There are, for instance, a number of bloggers whom you could tap for this. Again, Worstall applies his economic knowledge and writes about such issues several times every, single day. Tap this information and familiarity with the subject. Each word that any UKIP representative utters should be reinforced by total theorectical knowledge and absolutely backed up to the hilt by quotable and credible research. UKIP is starting from a position well behind the other major parties: it is absolutely essential that every single speaker should be au fait with anything that might back up the major points that they are making. They must not be seen to stumble over any question that might be asked.
- Anyone expressing racist views, even accidentally and in any circumstances, must be disciplined immediately and with great fanfare.
That'll do for the moment, I think. I'm sure that I shall think of some others in due course.
In the meantime, although it does rather counter what i said about the bitchiness, the Suchorzewski camp's fisking of Campbell Bannerman's draft manifesto is not only entertaining but also spot on.