UKIP lacks leadership talent but must reject Farage

Lord Pearson of Rannoch, a decent man, has done the decent thing.  He has accepted that despite being a well meaning and respectable man, he is a walking disaster as a politician.  It is one thing to be a good business leader, it is a completely different proposition to lead a political party and so he has decided to step down.

Under Lord Pearson UKIP won an increased number of votes at the General Election, but it has gone backwards in terms of its profile and standing as a political force.  It is a regression that UKIP will find pretty much impossible to reverse as it has such a thin and shallow pool of talent from which to fish for a new leader.

What must be most worrying for UKIP’s remining members is that Nigel Farage is thinking of tossing his hat into the leadership election.  Farage is charismatic but he just cannot be taken seriously as a politician.  He is straight talking but he cannot connect with voters.  Farage gets attention not for the important messages he should be conveying but for the stunts in which he engages and behaviour that can be likened to that of an upper class twit trying to act like a rebel.  If he stands for election UKIP’s membership must reject him to stand any chance of a final throw of the dice to make a political break through.  If Farage stands and UKIP elects him, it will be the death knell for the party.

But then, perhaps the kindest thing that can be done with UKIP is to close it down.  It started life as a single issue party and despite pledging to widen its focus to include the full range of domestic and international political issues, it has been unable to break free from its caricature of being a refuge for malcontents who just happen to be opposed to EU membership.  It has missed the opportunity to be seen as a mature and viable political entity and despite David Cameron’s long march leftwards UKIP has squandered the chance to make the political centre right its own.

What is needed now is the birth of a new centre right party that stands on the common ground with this country’s disenfranchised voters.  What is needed is a party that talks to all the interests of the British people with honesty and integrity.  Britain needs a party that has not been formed primarily for the purpose of opposing EU membership, but that happens to possess a desire for national sovereignty and self determination among a whole raft of centre right political principles.

Who knows, perhaps Lord Rannoch’s resignation and Nigel Farage’s personal ambitions may have brought that day somewhat closer.

6 Responses to “UKIP lacks leadership talent but must reject Farage”

  1. 1 kenomeat 17/08/2010 at 6:45 pm

    It’s all very well wanting a new centre right party to appear but when will it happen? The traditional Tories are doing nothing to remove their social democratic leader, nor are they seeking a split. And how will a new party manifest itself? It took years for the Referendum party / UKIP to acheive even the modest level of support it has now. A new party, starting from scratch and with no air time afforded by the BBC, has no chance unless it includes big hitters from the Tories. So it’s UKIP or nothing. At least Farage is high profile and a good debater.
    One thought though – The Taxpayers Alliance sounds like a good name for a political party!

  2. 2 jameshigham 17/08/2010 at 9:06 pm

    It would never be allowed to happen- too many entrenched interests.

  3. 3 Derek Reynolds 18/08/2010 at 8:06 am

    That desire for a new voice to rperesent the people is just what UKIP stood for. It IS the people who are realising that the EU politik machine governs them – not Whitehall, it is the thoughts of almost everyone I read, speak to and know of that require national Sovereignty and a severance from EU politics that is so controlling our national well being. As James has alluded, it is who will be “allowed” to step up. Dismiss those with half a leg through the door is throwing the baby out.

    Heath was the key turner thirty seven years ago. Britain’s lid is shut fast, and each new day sees more screws driven home. It’s far from quiet and peaceful inside the box, but outside they wear ear defenders and Ipods, tuned to a virtual politic world. They will deal with realists through the wallet, health (lack of), education (their way), and child trafficking heaven forbid. Though that in itself is but another tool that comes with the kit.

  4. 4 thomas 19/08/2010 at 11:34 am

    Regarding Farage, I believe what you write is the opposite of the truth. He has a great ability to appeal to ordinary voters, which is why the party has tripled its votes over two elections. He comes across as a normal guy, not a lying politician. I have heard such things even from lefty friends. Having said that I think UKIP needs to look to a new face as leader. I would prefer Campbell-Bannerman or even someone much younger like Paul Nuttall.

  5. 5 Peter Mauley 20/08/2010 at 10:08 am

    Let’s imagine that we had such a party at the last election. Result, maybe a seat or two for them, far fewer Tory MPs, more Labour and Lib Dem MPs. And Gordon Brown would still be prime minister.
    Count me out.

  1. 1 nourishing obscurity » Politics moves to a new phase Trackback on 18/08/2010 at 6:07 pm
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