Referendum, then what? Why UKIP FC might win the odd game, but won’t be challenging at the end of the season

While Nigel Farage was the focus on media attention yesterday, he said that:

If Ukip win these elections, a referendum, an opportunity for us to get back control of our country will be one massive, massive step closer.

The problem here is that an in/out referendum is seen as the be all and end all by Farage.  There are two major holes in his objective.

  1. How, in the first instance, will the anti-EU side win such a referendum in the face of FUD, misrepresentation and plain falsehoods when the people being asked to vote is many times greater than the combined audience of the recent debates? What is the plan to turn a current majority in favour of remaining in the EU to a majority in favour of leaving, particularly as UKIP is ever more focused on Westminster politics and issues such as gay marriage and HS2?
  2. Assuming a referendum is won, then what? What is the UKIP plan for events after the UK announces it is leaving the EU as set out in Article 50? What if any understanding does UKIP have of the global trading and regulatory environment into which the UK will boldly step, and what plan does it have to offer for making the transition and new arrangements a success?

The problem in British politics at the moment is tribalism, but tribalism with little or no philosophical base.  One look across comment threads on newspaper and blog websites lays this problem bare and shows that this is now more true of UKIP than any other party – which should be a huge concern to the anti-EU side. The political process now resembles more than ever something akin to football and UKIP is the club that wants to reach the Premier League but remains stuck firmly in the Conference…

All that seems to matter to the management and the vocal, cult-like supporters is the excitement of scoring goals and winning at the final whistle to get one over the opposition.  It is all superficial.  There is no detailed consideration or discussion about what makes a team successful behind the scenes, such as a set vision, effective management, leadership techniques, having the right coaches, physios on the backroom team, match strategies, repeated reviews of the previous games, the science of nutrition and fitness, training regimes, qualified scouting networks, and looking at the future opposition time and again to prepare the right tactics for the forthcoming matches.

When it comes to UKIP the management team is with the fans in the pub chewing over things like how many more fans they brought to the game, how crap the opposition fans’ support was, how their team deserved to win but were unlucky or cheated by the officials, how their players aren’t getting the recognition they think they should get, bemoaning poor write ups in the press match reports as biased rubbish, and only looking at the next match through the prism of which pub to get the best drink in, what songs to sing and how to make their presence felt, and looking at their mid-table position claiming they are making a push for promotion and that they will soon stun everyone.

Stepping away from the football analogy, what is the point of pushing for a referendum without any plan for winning it, or any idea of how to deal with what awaits the UK after leaving the EU?  The work that UKIP should be doing using the many resources at the party’s disposal – including financial – to develop, publish and campaign on a comprehensive workable plan for leaving the EU, is instead being done by a blogger.

Without the detail and the complexity having been worked out, there can be no catchy slogans, easy to understand one liners or bitesize soundbites to present to the public.  That is why the argument that the public don’t do detail doesn’t wash.

Without assurance that there is a detailed plan in place the public will not take the leap of voting to leave the EU.   Therefore details have to be carefully worked out and a compelling case made that the UK has positive reasons to leave the EU, and will have opportunities and benefits as a result.  The soundbites alone, with no plan behind them, will quickly be exposed as politicians just blowing more hot air and referendum will be lost.  But if we leave it to the fans in the pub, the armchair pundits, UKIP will not develop what is needed.  They are only bothered about the buzz of the match and don’t have a clue about what it takes to turn their team into winners.

9 Responses to “Referendum, then what? Why UKIP FC might win the odd game, but won’t be challenging at the end of the season”


  1. 1 Brian Lloyd 23/04/2014 at 11:26 am

    Thanks

    We have to support them now and next year- they will create mayhem and then afterwards ———?

    no negative remarks for the present please!

    Brian

  2. 2 Silence Dogood 23/04/2014 at 12:50 pm

    Why Brian? How will they create Mayhem? To what end?

  3. 3 Wes 23/04/2014 at 9:55 pm

    There is no detailed consideration or discussion about what makes a team successful behind the scenes, such as a set vision, effective management, leadership techniques, having the right coaches, physios on the backroom team, match strategies, repeated reviews of the previous games, the science of nutrition and fitness, training regimes, qualified scouting networks, and looking at the future opposition time and again to prepare the right tactics for the forthcoming matches.

    I think that you can get so worked up you see life in black and white, when it’s really shades of grey.

    UKIP are not quite as dumb as you make out. They are using populist policies to swell the number of voters and it’s yielding results at by elections. They are using the Miley Cyrus approach to publicity – being a bit naughty gets you noticed, and one journo sees no loss of votes even in the allegations of sleaze.

    In local elections they’ve already shown they can be winners, and their councillors are more ‘the face of the party’ in some counties than their top brass, and are tasked with being effective ambassadors.

    They have put a lot more work into candidate quality control, even if there are still allegations of favouritism.

    The number and professionalism of members is going up and their written output is well pitched. They are taking time to get their policy development right behind the public gaze.

    You are still right to notice a lack of Brexit strategy, but at least the penny has dropped over Article 50 and the need to maintain trade.

  4. 4 The Wasp 24/04/2014 at 1:18 pm

    North and his acolytes have a fixation with Article 50. Do you really believe that by expounding a detailed exit plan the populace will will be convinced by the exit case? Is it more likely that any such a plan would, at present ,provide more grounds for argument and division. Answer the fundemental in/out question then promulgate the exit plan.

  5. 5 Wes 24/04/2014 at 1:45 pm

    Using Article 50 is a binding Treaty requirement, not a personal fad – I take it you can’t be bothered to read up treaty law?

    The population as a whole will be more interested in In/Out without the detail, but if there is no plan to safeguard trade, jobs and the stock market, the No side won’t look very credible.

    As there is no single exit plan yet agreed, I would see it as fostering debate rather than argument. After all we are on the same side, wanting our country back, aren’t we?

  6. 6 cosmic 24/04/2014 at 5:30 pm

    Note the number of people in the polls on the EU who don’t know or would be happy to stay in the EU if it could be reformed. There aren’t enough who want to get out and are firm enough in their beliefs to stick to them, despite the tidal wave of FUD which would come from the government, the EU and the BBC.

    Having a credible exit plan is part of reassuring those people, whose votes would be necessary, that the whole thing isn’t a giant step in the dark, that it has been thought through, and the FUD can be forgotten.

  7. 7 CastIron 25/04/2014 at 12:53 pm

    “The work that UKIP should be doing using the many resources at the party’s disposal – including financial – to develop, publish and campaign on a comprehensive workable plan for leaving the EU, is instead being done by a blogger.”

    He posted v5 recently with a promise that v6 will “follow in a few days.” If anyone has gone through the 6,000 words I would be interested to know if the precise terms of the free trade agreements – e.g. with the US – have been set out.

  8. 8 Wes 26/04/2014 at 8:44 am

    A referendum on Europe isn’t guaranteed. General and other elections are.

    UKIP seem to regard their work as to build an electoral machine, which face it would be necessary to get MP’s elected and eventually form a government. Or at least be part of a coalition.

    With their history of organisational instability, they would be doing well to come up with a consistent and costed manifesto. Perhaps that is what they would see as “success”?

    Any reasonable person would say that they are years away from power and some would say light years, so you could argue that they are first putting in place the short-term things that are needed before you can have a long term.

    In the past seven years, support for the LibLabCon party has been crumbling and UKIP cannot be blamed for tapping the fallout.

    It is great that we have a blogger who is prepared to put in so much work on a Brexit strategy, though. He is in good company, as I’ve seen a growing number of Brexit proposals…. Ruth Lea and Brian Binley… Ian Milne for Global Britain… David Campbell Bannerman.

    We’re not there yet, but at least some people don’t have the distraction of fighting elections.


  1. 1 If UKIP was really serious about the EU… | Autonomous Mind Trackback on 25/04/2014 at 3:12 pm
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