Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Right in the wings

Oh dear, oh dear; UKIP seem to be very unhappy with Iain Dale's latest list of the most influential people on the Right. In fact, mutterings about "libellous statements" and "retractions" have reached the ear of your humble Devil.

The severe dissatisfaction concerns the entry for Nigel Farage.
    Leader, United Kingdom Independence Party

    Charismatic and unfailingly ebullient, Farage was seen as the man to take UKIP onto the next stage. Instead, he’s presided over a Party that has leaked members, is virtually bankrupt and failed in its stated aim to attract large numbers of Tories disaffected by Cameron’s soft approach to hard core issues.

    If Farage was doing well, he’d be in the top thirty on this list.

Firstly, the party has not "leaked members" under Farage's leadership: the membership is up, from 15,000 when he took over, to 16,000 now.

Furthermore, we now have a UKIP group in the House of Lords, with Lords Pearson of Rannoch and Willoughby de Broke hammering the government constantly and epecially on matters of EU law. Other defections include one of Thatcher's favourite economists, Sir Tim Congdon, and several important Tory regional organisers.

Hardly leaking members then.

As for being "virtually bankrupt"... well... Iain, as a Tory Party member, is hardly one to talk. Unlike almost all of the other parties, UKIP has no debts and no loans. Compared to the others, in fact, UKIP's finances are in rude health, despite the depredations of the Electoral Commission. As any government should, UKIP spends within its means.

Let's face it, UKIP have been successful enough that The Sunday Telegraph, led by the Daniel "Shitface" Foggo, made a concerted effort to destroy the party earlier this year, running damaging story after damaging story over a period of months (allegedly being fed information by certain disgruntled, former officers of the party).

And despite this, UKIP has, I repeat, gained members since Farage became leader. As such, Iain Dale's write up in The Telegraph is at best misleading and, at worst, libellous.

Meanwhile, your humble Devil is looking forward to attending the UKIP Conference at the weekend. I have obtained one of 18DS's citizen journalist video cameras to record the event, mainly because 18DS—prop. Iain Dale—is not, despite covering such massively high profile events as The English Democrats' AGM.

Now, that's what I call politics for adults...

UPDATE: I would like to point out that, personally, I couldn't give a shit where Farage came in the list; I hadn't even looked at it until a couple of UKIPpers contacted me about it.

Anyway, Iain has replied here.
Devil's Kitchen has had a right go HERE.

Ha! As Iain knows, the above is not a "right go" by my standards; but I'm sure he knows that.
Well, they used to have 27,000 members.

It is, of course, completely true that UKIP used to have more members; however, that is not what the article said. It said... [Emphasis mine.]
... he [Nigel Farage]’s presided over a Party that has leaked members...

... which is, as I have said, untrue.
They have well publicised financial troubles...

UKIP were rumoured to have only £5,000 in the bank. However, that does not mean that they are not solvent. In fact, there was a statement made at the time...
UK Independence Party chairman John Whittaker has urged party members not to be alarmed by the smears in the Sunday Telegraph today.

Dr Whittaker said that the article was "a disgraceful piece of journalism" and that it is nonsense that the party is ‘down to it's last £5,000’, as the newspaper alleges.

“During the court case considering Alan Bown’s donations, I was asked how much UKIP has in the bank. But this figure has nothing to do with the party’s solvency. Party expenditure is covered by income from donations and membership subscriptions and this is how it always has been.

“In March and April, we received £100,000 in response to an appeal to members. This hardly suggests that financial support for UKIP has dried up,” he said.

The Labour Party is £20 million in debt and the Tories had to sell their head office such was the dire state of their finances, yet no mention was made of this in the latest Sunday Telegraph tirade against UKIP. The UK Independence Party does not have any outstanding debts.

Now, you can choose whether to believe the journalist or the politician; a difficult choice, I know. However, I know Whittaker and, given what I know of him, I will, on this occasion, take the politician's word over that of a journo.
... and have failed to attract a large number of Tories over to them.

This is probably true. I can't tell. I don't think that UKIP ask you to put your previous allegiance on the form. However, Tory membership is still falling, I believe, and whilst they may not have come to UKIP, others have.
There were many on our judging panel who thought he shouldn't have even made the Top 100, let alone the Top 50. So if I were a UKIP supporter, I think I'd quit while I was ahead and thank me for even including Farage in the list in the first place.

Well, thank you from me, Iain. I am sure that other UKIP members will doff their cap in gratitude later. I know that Iain must have fought very hard to get Farage on the list, because here's another quote from Iain's article.
If Farage was doing well, he’d be in the top thirty on this list.

How badly does he have to do to not be included?

Look, I can see why Iain doesn't like UKIP—partly, I imagine, because of the threat to the Tory Party—and he's not alone; many of us indulge in party partisanship from time to time. however, whilst one could argue that Farage might have been lower, the idea that UKIP's leader should not be in the at all when that party's chief economist is cited at #97 and one of their peers at #86 is just silly.

And, in the end, it's just a list and I really cannot be bothered to waste quality rage on it.


knirirr said...

Will you be wearing one of your "string 'em up" T-shirts?

Anonymous said...

Iain Dale says you should grow up. Infantile, he says.

Vindico said...

I love the fact he retaliates by suggesting Nigel almost didn't make it onto the list. What a threat. Serious words DK. This man has power.
How happy he must be supporting a party which wants to tax poor people off planes, and surpress kids from poor backgrounds by shoving them into failing comprehensives. If Cameron is the answer, i refuse to read the question.

Andrew Ian Dodge said...

Considering how badly it looks the Tories are going to do next time round they should try to be a nicer. Iain's response smacks of arrogance and is just what people are so loathing of in regards to Cameron's Conservatives.

Newmania said...

If there is any arrogance it amongst those who are unable to compromise to the point that they prefer the country to be run( Loosely speaking) by Socialists. Whats more Soclialists who are actively misleading the people on the Constitution. I can see the place for a campaigning movememt but a poltical Party? Why. In the two Party system its showboating and unless you prefer the electorates veto to be dissolved itno the sleazy courtesans paradise of PR.

What is the problem with Cameron anyway ? Nice person , clean teeth , wet shiny nose. I like him

UKIP Webmaster said...

Hope to meet you at the conference and perhaps you could supply us with some clips for UKIP TV?

Devil's Kitchen said...

Of course. I have been playing with iMovie and I can now edit with confidence...


AD627 said...

An advertisement for the Cooperative bank is appearing on the DK website. The Coo-op a Labour bank and the slogan reads “Help make a strong climate change bill happen”.

Not only is their English poor, their aims seem somewhat at odds with those of DK. Still, if they want to subsidise a blog that opposes their aims, who’s to stop them?!

Anonymous said...

who's nigel farage?

Oh yeah? So what has happened for the last ten years, exactly?

Over at the ASI, they are posting some of the winning entries of the Young Writers on Liberty. One does not want to put such keen minds off,...