UKIP if you want to, the lady is for turning

It speaks volumes of the UK Independence Party’s internal political warfare – when its people should be focussing all their attention on fighting for this country to leave the EU – that another one of its highest profile MEPs and senior party members, Marta Andreasen, has defected to the EUphile Conservatives.  It’s another own goal for Nigel Farage, coming just before the Eastleigh by-election.

Quite how Marta Andreasen thinks she will further the cause of this nation’s independence from the EU from within a political party whose senior members are overwhelmingly wedded to continued EU membership, is a mystery.  But then, one wonders if this was ever really her goal and in any case this is a result of what happens when UKIP’s leader puts more stock in pulling attention seeking  stunts like recruiting and installing a high profile former EU Commission whistleblower to the party’s candidates list , over and above long standing members who genuinely believe in getting the UK out of the EU, rather than leaving the grassroots to shape the party and its direction.  To lose one MEP and senior party member is careless, but to lose two…

The Daily Wail, in its story on this, explains:

Marta Andreasen, who was elected as a UKIP MEP in 2009, said she is going to join the Conservatives because they now offer the only realistic option for those wanting to bring about real change in Europe.

If they were being strictly accurate that would read: ‘Marta Andreasen, who was elected as a UKIP MEP in 2009 and faced imminent deselection from UKIP’s candidate’s list, said she is going to join the Conservatives because they now offer the only realistic option for her to maintain her financially lucrative position as a MEP in the European Parliament and tap into yet more hundreds of thousands of taxpayer pounds and euros.’

The Andreason affair is a problem for which Farage is solely responsible. Yet again his judgement and lack of strategic nous has been exposed in humiliating fashion. It was Farage who parachuted Andreason onto a candidates list that gave her the best possible chance of joining the EU gravy train – by breaking UKIP’s own rules on candidate selection – in the hope her profile developed from her battle with Neil Kinnock’s commission would rub off on UKIP (lots of parallels with the autocratic Cameron you will notice).

Although Andreason managed to secure a Brussels seat and spend her time supping from the never diminishing trough, it is Farage’s autocratic control of UKIP and his allegedly misogynist tendencies that she has found to be not to her taste.  She has spoken out about them in a way that has caused maximum embarrassment for UKIP.

Now combine that issue with her worries that the Brussels trough she so savours may soon be denied to her, as she suspected that Farage was planning to repeat his mistakes of taking high profile individuals and combining them with his fetish for the cult of (often minor) celebrity to ‘install’ Neil Hamilton, and possibly his wife Christine, to a winnable candidate’s list so they end up sucking the public teat in the European Parliament.  The resulting blow back made it clear Farage’s masterstroke was soon going to become yet another UKIP-harming piece of shortsighted stupidity.

That brings us to today and the sight of yet another unprincipled UKIP rent seeker jumping ship and boarding another vessel, ironically heading in the opposite direction to EU withdrawal, in the hope of securing the patronage of the control freak Cameron and his penchant for top down dictatorial rule.

As usual the losers in all this are the poor bloody grassroots eurosceptics, who again see internal party intrigues, rent seeking, arrogance and the fallout of autocratic foolishness escalate into cause-harming events such as these.  It is the worst possible advert for the campaign to enable the UK to escape from the EU.  Well done Farage. Well done.  Richard’s thinking on the matter appears to be rather similar to mine, as he explains:

Standing back from that, one can only regret that the eurosceptic cause is served so badly by all these shenanigans. We have enough difficulties and hurdles without our own side adding to them.

Exactly right.

8 Responses to “UKIP if you want to, the lady is for turning”

  1. 1 jazz606 23/02/2013 at 11:30 am

    Farage’s right hand man (and we know who he is) told me a few years ago that Farage was a complete asshole but that his ‘saving’ grace was that he was a world class orator. I’m sure about the first but not the second.
    Farage is UKIP’s achilles heal although they can’t see it, I wouldn’t trust him as far as I would like to kick him, he’s done huge damage to the eurosceptic cause and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was some kind of plant.

  2. 2 tallbloke 23/02/2013 at 3:52 pm

    I’m a babe in the woods when it comes to internal party politics, but it seems to me that selection procedures should be grass-roots democratic, and that we need sound thinking ordinary people as candidates, not greasy pole dancers like the Hamiltons.

    If the UKIP membership, as the real driving force behind a young party, can’t bring its NEC to heel on selection democracy, it’s a poor outlook for the people who need representation by those with more experience in the real world of industry, work, and the day to day life of the average Joe and Jacky.

    Time for the grass-roots to start growing, and stop being the doormat for career politicians.

  3. 3 Vanessa 23/02/2013 at 4:33 pm

    Sadly there are a lot of us in UKIP who know Farage is destroying the party and all the hard work most of us do and, yes, we knew Marta had been parachuted in against our rules but the people who could have done something about it are few and the people who are “yes men” are many. Need I say more? But I still see UKIP as the biggest and only vehicle of getting this country out of the EU.

  4. 4 Flyinthesky 24/02/2013 at 5:37 pm

    Vanessa, The Jury maybe out on your perspective of Nigel Farage but who would we replace him with. At this moment in time UKIP is Farage, no Farage no UKIP. Farage is the driver of the flight to UKIP, no other.
    The desired destination for all of us like minded is to be free from the clutches of the collective, dissention at this point will put back the agenda for more than a decade by which time the impetus will be lost and the possibilities will be severley reduced, if there are any possibilities left at all.
    I say this to all, the focus needs to be, to capitalise on the impetus, possibly one time only, on the destination not the route or the personality. The cautious and considered approach is not going to win this one.
    The time for crossing T’s and dotting I’s is from a position of where we want to be, not as a prerequisite.

  5. 5 George Curtis 26/02/2013 at 7:10 pm

    As one who has been occupied for a good many months in drawing up the selection policy for would be UKIP MEPs please be assured that I have never before read so much creatively imaginative nonsense in so few words. Naturally, being a mere human being , as are my colleagues, not one of whom is standing for these elections, we will do our best, but no guarantees can be given or implied. Given a following wind and sea, and God’s good grace, achieving a reduction in candidates exhibiting applied irrationality – the enemy within – should be possible.

  6. 6 Nomine Deus 01/03/2013 at 3:59 pm

    Excellent piece there my friend, fair hits the old nail square on the head….

  7. 7 ansel61 07/03/2013 at 12:40 pm

    Flyinthesky is dead right. Sadly, there are some UKIP/former UKIP people, including the author of this blog, I suspect, who have had a major fall-out with the party’s hierarchy and cannot put personal prejudices aside. UKIP is the only hope we have of getting out of the EU and the more disenfranchised Tories it can attract the better.

    However, AM and his ilk seem determined to do the party down at every opportunity. Claiming that Farage is holding UKIP back is ludicrous – except to those of you who don’t like him. As far as the public is concerned, Farage IS UKIP. Remove him and the party’s profile and its votes will diminish. Forget your petty internecine squabbling – it’s only of interest to yourselves – and focus on draining the Tories of their support.

    Eastleigh showed that the UKIP effect is continuing to damage the Conservatives. As people see results like Eastleigh, they realise that it is becoming increasingly acceptable to vote UKIP and this movement will continue to gain momentum. Or maybe, AM, that’s what you and your cohorts fear?

  8. 8 Flyinthesky 08/03/2013 at 1:45 pm

    Ansel61, This is the phenomenon that frustrates the life out of me. In order to stand any chance of success the focus needs to be on the destination, not squabbling over the route. UKIP at this moment has created the impetus and anyone wishing to achieve the desired destination should get behind them, even if you have to hold your nose. IMHO if this impetus is lost it will be lost for decades and by the time any new impetus is gained there’ll be nothing left to save.

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