Enough is enough

It’s curious to observe what some people consider to be acceptable and beyond reproach and contrast that with what immediately sends them into a frothing , seething mass of indignation, aggressive self justification, vitriol and sneering sideswipes.

It seems that 13 years of UKIP failure to advance either discussion or activity that moves the UK closer to withdrawal from the EU, a raft of broken promises by the party’s leader including the failure to publish expenses details and be transparent with voters, a cavalier disregard for the party’s own rules which resulted in ineligible yet favoured ‘supporters’ being elevated to European Parliament candidate status and thereon to becoming well remunerated MEPs – with at least one later defecting to the Conservatives, and the absence of any expert comment on EU matters let alone a robust strategy and plan for exiting the EU, is for many a perfectly acceptable state of affairs.  They are happy.

However, pointing out these failings, criticising them and exposing a variety of fixable shortcomings is considered to be completely unacceptable.  The result is the bitter invective hurled about by those for whom supporting UKIP has become a belief system that reminds me of something like a political version of scientology.  Anyone who fails the purity test and dares to challenge the party or its elders becomes the target for a barrage of intolerance.  The aim is to silence the critic or better still destroy him. Tonight, along with others, Budgie and Peter S over on the UKIP comment thread on Raedwald’s blog have succeeded.  I made a snap decision that enough is enough.

As I have just told them over there, go back to Nigel and claim your reward. I’m going. You’ve done your job well. You have silenced a critic through abuse without a single substantive use of evidence to correctly contradict any of the points I’ve made. You don’t accept the warnings, so when it all falls apart you can find someone else to blame and abuse.

I will take no pleasure seeing the Eurosceptic cause defeated in the future due to the paucity of leadership and the failure to provide a route to successful exit from the EU. I will take no pleasure from seeing a party that had so much potential, a party I wanted so much to be able to support, collapse from the inside through incompetent leadership and infestation by BNP exiles.  I have been accused of all sorts of motives for criticising Farage’s leadership and woeful performance and none of them are true.  But that doesn’t matter any more.  When blogging becomes a misery making bind – not because of debate or even heated argument, but because of personal abuse and sneering comments designed to undermine me because of the opinion I hold and expressed – it’s time to give up.  When you cannot be heard above the heckling there is no point continuing to speak.

There have been some good little successes on here over the years.  Hopefully all those hours of tapping away quietly on my keyboard have challenged some people to give thought to the way the world around us works and is run, and to look at things more critically, not taking things at face value, but digging deeper and looking at the evidence to see why things are the way they are and whose interests are being served each time the media publishes a story.

So that’s it.  I don’t want to do this any more.  It’s ironic really.  The tribalist Faragista usually only manage to wear down and drive away people inside the party.  Now they’ve managed to drive away someone outside it who wanted it to improve and do the Eurosceptic cause justice. UKIP will have one last hurrah in the 2014 elections, thereafter it will slide away as people realise that it is all fur coat and no knickers, and be swamped in the 2015 general election.  Should there be a referendum in the future, UKIP will be bit part players at best, hamstrung by inept and self serving leadership and continuing their slide into obscurity.  Why?  This simple statistic…

In the polls around 15% of people now declare their support for UKIP.  In the polls around 45% of people now declare their firm opposition to EU membership.  Therefore 30% of people who are against EU membership do not support UKIP.  Yet the Faragista tell us UKIP is successful and that the leader is a trump card who appeals to voters by talking their language and being an ordinary bloke!  If UKIP cannot seal the deal after all these years with that 30% who apparently share UKIP’s core aim then something is badly wrong.  But point out the problem and the cause and you get the digital flamethrower.  The lemmings are marching towards the cliff, blindfolds wrapped tight, and if you get in their way you’re for it.  Well, they are impervious to logic and resistant to evidence, so I’m now all for moving out of the way and letting them go over the edge.

Thanks to all those people who have contributed in a variety of ways to this blog.  Thanks to all those who have given up their time to read my musings and comment constructively, even in disagreement, on them.  You made it rewarding and fun.  All the very best.

52 Responses to “Enough is enough”

  1. 1 maureen gannon 18/08/2013 at 10:24 pm

    Sorry that you have had enough AM , I do not agree with all your opinions but that does not mean one could not learn from opposing views indeed I believe them to be of the utmost importance , so farewell really sorry the ignoramous bigots have won

  2. 2 ianhillsatsparklingsites 18/08/2013 at 10:27 pm

    No-one is indispensable, everyone has failings, and we should avoid personal invective when things don’t go our way. That goes for politicians and bloggers alike.

  3. 3 Tim 18/08/2013 at 10:27 pm

    Well that is a shame. I have enjoyed your writings since I stumbled across you via Google one day. You have opened my eyes on a number of issues and you have been a start point of a number of further investigations.

    I would urge you to continue and not get dragged down by those who resort to such behavior. Sticks and stones and all that.

    All the best.

  4. 4 Thomas Hobbes 18/08/2013 at 10:33 pm

    KBO old chap.

  5. 5 Robert 18/08/2013 at 10:38 pm

    If it is your intention to give up your blog, then it is indeed a sad day as I have found your posts interesting and thought provoking for which many thanks.

    You will be sorely missed.

  6. 6 Darryl Vickery (@d_vickery) 18/08/2013 at 10:48 pm

    One of the few bastions of sanity on the Internet closes it’s door. I’ll miss your well constructed and highly readable articles, but understand your stance. I wish you all the best.

  7. 7 Anthem 18/08/2013 at 10:50 pm

    Adios amigo. Unlike you, I do not hold Farage responsible for our situation. He’s just offering a solution. It is up to people to get behind it… or not.

    Forget the “way”… where there is a will, there is a way. UKIP just want people to show the will.

    It’s not half as difficult as North makes it out to be to leave the clutches of the EU. We just tell them to shove it. What will they do? Sue us? Under what jurisdiction?

    I’ll be here with my baseball bat and saucepan on my head. Let Barroso come and claim what he thinks is his.

    If I need help, I’ll come and get you from under your bed.

  8. 8 Ken Whittaker 18/08/2013 at 11:51 pm

    AM, yours was the first eurosceptic blog I ever read. If you withdraw from the arena it will be a sad day for the cause.
    It now seems churlish of me to want to pick you up on one point which you’ve made in your piece but here goes. You say that UKIP’s 15% in the polls reflects poorly against the 45% who would leave the EU. Two points here:
    1. Many of the 45% are committed Conservative voters who actually believe that we will have a referendum in 2017 if they vote Conservative.
    2. Many of the 45% must be Labour supporters who would never vote for a right of centre party.
    So I think a third of those wanting to leave the EU supporting UKIP is probably reasonable.
    I sincerely hope you reconsider your decision. I can understand your frustration over article 50 and apparent absence of a UKIP exit plan and how some of us Ukippers feel protective towards our leader. But it’s human nature.
    But, as I said earlier, I hope you reconsider.

  9. 9 Brian H 19/08/2013 at 12:17 am

    The loudness of the criticism is a measure of your importance and success.

  10. 10 nzrobin 19/08/2013 at 1:52 am

    That’s fair enough. You gave it your best shot. Just maybe, after you’ve had a break and gathered your thoughts, and enjoyed life outside of blogging for a while, you might come back with a fresh approach.

    I read your blog from the other side of the globe, New Zealand, so I can’t say a lot about UK politics. However it is possible for blogging to have a big impact. It’s when they get really annoyed with you that you know your having some impact.

    Anyway, take your break. Enjoy life for a while and reevaluate.
    With kind regards from Kiwiland.

  11. 11 David Jones 19/08/2013 at 6:11 am

    That is sad AM. Thank you for all you have done. I for one will miss you.

  12. 12 Robert Conway 19/08/2013 at 6:56 am

    terrific site, thanks for it and best wishes for the future.

  13. 13 Peejos 19/08/2013 at 7:38 am

    Dear AM,

    You can’t win every battle, tides turn and so on, but please don’t give in. Your blog is so very important to those of us who are totally agin all things EU and the success or othwerwise of UKIP is only part of the war. Your astute and pertinent comments are vital to those of us less talented and help maintain our morale against the constant flow of propaganda and incompetentencies of the MSM.

    We need you, don’t desert us now

  14. 14 Mark 19/08/2013 at 7:43 am

    Courage. Some of us who think but don’t have the resources to research and analyse depend on people like you to tell it how it is.

  15. 15 Captain Ranty 19/08/2013 at 7:56 am


    This is a damn shame.

    I have been a regular reader, and commenter, since forever. I find your writing to be intelligent and incisive. The blogosphere will be reduced by your departure. Please think again.

    That UKIP had a determined stance on the EU gave me great comfort but I have a natural mistrust of all politicians. They lie. All of them. And there is nothing to suggest that UKIP would not toe the line if they ever won power which, as you have suggested, is highly unlikely for many, many years. The very best we could hope for is that they do extremely well next year, and on the back of that, get a few people into parliament in 2015.

    We do not want change in the UK. We want to go on electing the same drones. Forever. We demonstrate this every five years. We are determined to wait for the thousandth cut before we even consider doing this differently, but by then, we will be totally subservient to the EU monster.

    Anyway, I wanted to send you my very best wishes.


  16. 16 aurelian2 19/08/2013 at 8:05 am

    Thank you, AM, for your excellent blog, which I have followed for some years.
    I shall miss your insights.
    Best wishes, and farewell.

  17. 17 David B. Wildgoose 19/08/2013 at 8:38 am

    Take a month off.

    Then get back to the fray – you’re too valuable a voice to lose.

  18. 18 Orde Solomons 19/08/2013 at 8:38 am

    My sincere condolences. The same thing has happened to me in a different context. I’m one of the anti EC voters who hold negative views on UKIP, that you describe and have to put a blank ballot paper in the slot at general elections. I for one am sorry to see you go.

  19. 19 NeilMc 19/08/2013 at 9:02 am

    AM – Just because some UKIP supporters don’t agree with you is no reason to walk away. I’m sure many socialists don’t agree with your views but that has never stopped you. Now is the very time to up your game as Cameron prepares a sham negotiation with Merkel, not to be put off by some adverse comment.

  20. 20 matthu 19/08/2013 at 9:09 am

    Sorry to see you go – I hope you will leave the door open to return at some future time. I enjoy your writing without often commenting.

  21. 21 Sceptical Steve 19/08/2013 at 9:19 am

    So sorry to hear your news AM. Your blogs have been principled, coherent and informative, and the reaction from the “Cult of Farage” has been pitched at such an insultingly low level that no reasonable rebuttal is even possible.
    Thnaks for all you’ve done.

  22. 22 Tom 19/08/2013 at 9:51 am

    I hope you will reconsider. We all get discouraged sometimes.

  23. 23 Bruce 19/08/2013 at 9:55 am

    You couldn’t get UKIP to behave the way you wanted and so left. You couldn’t get commenters on your blog to agree with you either and so left. The words “toys” and “pram” spring to mind. You and Richard share a common failing: you have a guid conceit of yourselves. You’re an excellent writer and penned some great blog posts but the closer you moved to Richard, the more rabidly anti-UKIP your posts became. I’ve been a regular reader of your blog for a long time and could see the shift in your choice of topics and style. You went from being an insightful and perceptive writer to Richard’s mini-me. It’s a shame that you either couldn’t see or didn’t care that you were alienating so many people who were naturally sympathetic to your views.

    [Bruce is very upset that this comment got caught in the spam filter. Instead of dropping me a polite email to enquire after his comment, he had a fit of paranoia and ran off to the Raedwald thread to assert I must be moderating out any comment that isn’t gushing in praise, so later on I can declare that due to universal adoration I have chosen to make a triumphant return for the sake of disappointed readers. This is the kind of crap I’ve had enough of – AM]

  24. 24 maureen gannon 19/08/2013 at 10:02 am

    I so agree with you Neil, as I said I don’t agree 100% with AM but learn from him all the time it’s good to hear such succinct arguments, we will be the poorer without them will a pretty please make you change your mind AM these posts show the support you have in comparison to the couple of blaggers that seem to have caused this .P&L

  25. 25 Brian Hull 19/08/2013 at 10:13 am

    Sorry to hear you have had enough, I for one think you have done great work, and your blog is one I refer to regularly. I do not think your ‘voice’ was unheard above the abuse and heckling. Those who have criticised you, are I’m sure in a minority, those who have read and empathised with your view are I’m sure the vast majority, and many will have come to form coherent views on our troubled relationship with the EU as a result of your efforts. Give it rest for a while and then take up the virtual pen again, I hope!

  26. 26 Bellevue 19/08/2013 at 10:23 am

    I can well understand that you might want to stop knocking your head against a brick wall. I am constantly amazed that Richard North keeps on keeping on – it must be terribly discouraging sometimes.
    Along with many others, I do so hope that you will re-consider….
    I have been reading your blog for a long time, and you do have a wonderful way of putting things clearly and readably. It would be such a shame if you were to stop altogether.
    Meanwhile, many thanks for all your efforts.

  27. 27 JohnB 19/08/2013 at 10:27 am

    Can only echo Tim, above:

    I would urge you to continue and not get dragged down by those who resort to such behavior. Sticks and stones and all that.

    And BrianH:

    The loudness of the criticism is a measure of your importance and success.

  28. 28 Sean O'Hare 19/08/2013 at 10:31 am

    This is indeed bad news. For the sake of the anti-EU cause please take a break for a few weeks and then reconsider. Take heart from the fact that there are many UKIP members, me included, who read your blog and do not dismiss your opinions of the leadership out of hand. That is quite an influential position to be in isn’t it?

  29. 29 Tcheuchter 19/08/2013 at 10:36 am

    I do hope you reconsider after a (hopefully short) break.

    In the meantime, best wishes.

  30. 30 cuffleyburgers 19/08/2013 at 10:49 am

    ALl the best AM, I am sorry, and surprised to see you go, just when things are starting to get interesting, there has never been a greater need for blogs such as yours.

  31. 31 Vanessa 19/08/2013 at 10:52 am

    What a very sad piece, I am sorry (with everyone else) that you are giving up.

    Political Correctness has won the day ! It was supposed to stop people thinking and speaking in a certain way but it has ended up with people being utterly intolerant of anyone with a different view to their own.

    Once we were a very tolerant nation and accepted people with all sorts of views and if one did not agree with them you wanted to know why they held that view and debated the reasons – not any more!

    I happen to agree with your summing up of UKIP (of which I am a member) and I am working for the day Farage steps down and someone more inclusive and able takes the stand.

    I hope to see you at EUReferendum (although I cannot leave a message on that blog) I am sure you will still follow the “debate” and contribute.

    All the best.

  32. 32 Sam Duncan 19/08/2013 at 11:07 am

    Nil illegitimi carborundum, AM. This comments thread alone would give me pause, in your position.

    As for UKIP, I look at the current shambolic referendum campaign in Scotland and wonder if they’re even aware of it, let alone learning anything from the SNP’s complacent declare-independence-and-be-damned attitude. When you started your criticisms of Farage I was inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt (as the only game in town he’ll still have my vote, but nothing more), however having seen what happens when a separatist campaign ignores the details in favour of the “big picture”, I’m now inclined to agree very strongly with your analysis. The fact that they don’t seem to have answers for some of the most simple post-“independence” questions may or may not cost the Nats the referendum, but after a long run of success it’s certainly taking the shine off their cause. UKIP doesn’t even have much shine to lose.

    Both seem to think it’s simply a case of taking the ball and walking off the field, but the Nats are slowly finding out that the other party involved might have something to say about it too. In time, so will UKIP (if they even get that far).

  33. 33 qed 19/08/2013 at 11:16 am

    UKIP is Farage’s little plaything. The way he controls it, his speeches and the antics of some party members suggests to me that he doesn’t actually want to achieve anything. Being in opposition is easy. It’s all rant and no trousers.

    The trousers have always been here and at EUReferendum.

  34. 34 JohnM 19/08/2013 at 11:52 am

    As long as farage gets enough support for him to keep his “job”, he’s happy. As for “budgie”, the bigot, well…other have fallen foul of his right-wing rhetoric and uninformed propaganda….so you’re not alone in that.
    Of course, we could just repeal the communities act and walk away…but then trade barriers would immediately go back up. Since 50% of our trade is with the EU things would immediately get very bad…..

  35. 35 meltemian 19/08/2013 at 12:24 pm

    AM, please don’t make any hasty decisions. You’re disheartened and fed up with all the aggro, it’s the ‘Dog Days’ of summer and you feel you’ve had enough. Take a break, don’t even look at your computer for a couple of weeks.
    When you feel up to it please let us have your comments again. It doesn’t have to be on your own blog but we NEED your input.
    Nil carborundum illegitimi!!!

  36. 36 Graham 19/08/2013 at 12:36 pm

    I echo the thoughts of all of previous.

    AM, have a holiday from blogging for a while. Come back again in a few weeks, or months. You will be sorely missed. In the meantime relax and have a few beers. (Sorry, I don’t mean a la Farage).

    I also concur with Vanessa re hopefully reading you at EUReferendum.

    Anyway, thanks and all the very best.

  37. 37 Derek Buxton 19/08/2013 at 12:58 pm

    Very sorry to hear of your decision and even more so by the way it has come to pass. If we cannot look critically at any party for not doing what it says on the tin, then things have come to a pretty pass. Do enjoy yourself away from the keyboard and the stress it has brought in its train. And who knows, maybe you will be back in time, We will be here but for now, best wishes, you will be missed.

  38. 38 BulloPill 19/08/2013 at 2:57 pm

    Very sorry to hear that you’re leaving off blogging. Reading your well written and reasoned posts has always been thought provoking. You have articulated well so many of my own feelings about our scum politicos.
    It seems standard practice these days for so many people who represent “we know best” organisations to drown out by shouting any opposing views, which is a great loss to discourse. I’m so sorry that your thoughts, ideas and writings have fallen prey to the unthinking loudmouths.
    Best wishes, and thanks for everything.

  39. 39 David A. Evans 19/08/2013 at 3:07 pm

    You’ll be missed AM so I hope this is just temporary.
    Time means I don’t read half as much as I should.
    Best wishes & rest well.

  40. 40 Ant 19/08/2013 at 3:08 pm

    I understand, AM, and I’ve promised myself something similar in the next couple of years. Life is not a rehearsal!

    Thankyou very much indeed for all your work and if you do feel inclined to take up a cudgel again – thankyou in anticipation!

    Regards Ant

  41. 41 Bernd Felsche 19/08/2013 at 3:21 pm

    Your blog will be missed by many, but I doubt as much as by yourself. Don’t let it go (entirely). We need voices of reason. We need voices to speak uncomfortable truths. And I believe that you will still need to make your voice heard.

    Take a break and rethink how you handle the blinded, gibbering idiots. You’ve (re)discovered that there’s no point trying to reason with the unreasonable. But, IMHO, that’s no reason to give up speaking reasonably to the reasonable. And you can usually get good mileage out of combusting the idiots.

  42. 42 PeterMG 19/08/2013 at 3:51 pm

    AM I hope you have a change of heart. Take a break, go on holiday, you are too valuable to lose to the cause. It is not easy running a thoughtful blog such as yours, It takes time and effort, and even for those of us that try to reply to just a hand full of articles find it hard to contribute as much as we would like. So the effort is not going un-noticed.

    For me the secret to your blog was that stories stayed at the forefront for a number of days, giving us more time to digest what you were saying and time to craft more thoughtful replies. On many of the faster moving blogs it becomes impossible to contribute amongst all the dross.

    Lastly I would look at what you have contributed about UKIP recently this way. You did your analysis, sent the report, you hit the bulls eye. The reaction from a surprisingly wide range of UKIP supporters suggests to me that your critique is 100% on the button, and is something that most know but few dare to admit for the irrational fear that will damage the cause.

    I think you have done the cause a huge favour, for whilst it seems all you have received is a load of abuse, this must also reassure you that you are getting the message through. The euro sceptic cause can not run on emotion, there must be rational thought and this is something that UKIP is not providing. The sooner everyone in UKIP realise this the sooner they can collectively demand a change. If not you have mapped out exactly what will happen. If Farage thinks he can pull off turning UKIP into a main stream party then he is smoking something other than Tabaco.

    That the UK will leave the EU is not in doubt. History has demonstrated so many times that central control of anything never works, and always ends in disaster. For the UK its all about limiting the damage done before we leave, and whether the people have the ware with all to pressure the political class into action. UKIP don’t have a plan and that’s frustrating. So are all the Tory Euro sceptic’s that are closet Europhiles. As for labour, never has there been a steeper decline in a political party.

  43. 43 Matt 19/08/2013 at 4:12 pm

    As someone who has subscribed to your blog for some time now, and who always looks forward to new posts (except this one!) I think it is a sad day indeed. I can only echo the general sentiment here, and hope you come back soon. Your well-thought-out arguments are hard to disagree with, and it has been very re-assuring to know there are likeminded people out there in the darkness eloquently shouting to get heard.

    People don’t like having the truth pointed out to them, which is why they get angry. If they have no valid response, they get personal. But don’t take it personally, it just means you’re hitting the spot. Take some pride in that, at least, as well as all you have achieved here.

    Don’t give up, the cause is too important.

  44. 44 David Parker. 19/08/2013 at 4:39 pm

    I can well understand and sympathise with your sense of frustration and disillusion in the face of bigotry ( not to mention plain stupidity), but I am sure that I am not alone in saying how much I will miss your blog and your robust common sense.

  45. 45 Gareth 19/08/2013 at 4:56 pm

    AM, politics has always been dominated by showmen and creeps. The voters pay far too little attention to what the government is doing, and even less attention to opposition parties. Even so, there is now, throughout Europe, a growing realisation that the European Project is a disaster. I will be very surprised if “ever closer union” survives another five years. This is no time to walk away from the debate! For every infantile critic, there are several more who appreciate your writing.

  46. 46 Ian 19/08/2013 at 8:16 pm

    For a while I’ve thought the “debate” about “Europe” so feckless and subversivley skewed that the question of UK EU membership will only ever be resolved as a side issue, should the UK public ever stop tolerating the lying, stealing and incessant PR exercise that passes for national Governance.

    I can only hope you’re around to see it/be part of it, should such a movement ever arise.

    All the best for whatever’s next, and THANK-YOU; to all intents and purposes Nixon got away with it. People like yourself are the only hope we have that ‘they’ won’t get away with it next time, or even try it in the first place.

  47. 47 Sam Duncan 19/08/2013 at 8:51 pm

    “AM, politics has always been dominated by showmen and creeps.”

    Heh. Very true, Gareth. As I recall saying on the EURef forum back when North first started voicing his concerns about UKIP there: You started a political party and were surprised that it had politicians in it?

    Which isn’t to say that he and AM are wrong. Far from it. But dealing with people who want to run the show themselves, won’t listen to constructive criticism, and are surrounded by a clique of defensive followers is a large part of what politics is. (And, by the way, one reason I think it’s a thoroughly bad idea.) Are Cameron’s Tories really all that different? Or, as I said, Salmond’s SNP?

    I’m reminded of the most famous dictum from How to Win Friends and Influence People (no, I haven’t read it, but everyone knows this): “Let the other fellow think your idea is his”. The “other fellow” there is a guy like Farage, and that’s how you deal with them. Easier said than done – can’t say I’d know where to begin – but it’s hardly a new problem.

  48. 48 Dan 19/08/2013 at 8:58 pm

    Ah fucks sakes, don’t be so precious.

  49. 49 GeoffC 19/08/2013 at 9:35 pm

    I am really sorry you are giving up. I no longer buy a newspaper but get all my information from various blogs (EU Referendum, Witterings from Witney, Raedwald, The Boiling Frog, Autonomous Mind) and you have taught someone who thought he was politically aware and ‘savy’ so much. The invective that some people post is scary I admit but all the same Farage does not have ‘UKIP infallibility’ (I am not a member of UKIP) or even ‘leaving the EU infallibility’ and you and your learned and penetrating comments will be HUGELY missed. All the best.

  50. 50 Anthem 19/08/2013 at 9:52 pm

    OK. OK. Farage is a terrible leader. UKIP are a lost cause.

    Now what?


  51. 51 Robin Horbury 19/08/2013 at 9:55 pm

    Please reconsider. Your posts have consistently shown sharp brilliance on the great,burning issues that matter. No one does it better. And those bigots that have attacked you were rattled; now,sadly, they are smirking as they turn their attention elsewhere. I stopped blogging a year ago because the abuse hit home. I regret it now.

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