In an article published recently, it was suggested that now was the time to let UKIP die.
The crux of the piece was this: ‘whilst we should be grateful for everything UKIP has done, they’ve had their day and can no longer deliver anything on Brexit’. The suggestion was that instead, we all leave UKIP and join the Tory party to infiltrate from within, Momentum style!
Sadly, I remember all too well the snap election last year, when UKIP decided to stand down against a swathe of Conservatives around the country to “help deliver Brexit”. The premise was a sound one. Allow May & Co a clear run for a majority that could then deliver what we’d all campaigned for – simple!
What was missing from the grand plan was the realisation that hundreds of thousands of people who believe in Brexit wouldn’t touch the Tories with somebody else’s barge pole! They all had their reasons – tribal, trust or tradition – but ultimately they all realised something that we seemed to momentarily lose sight of. Whatever the problem might be, the Tories are never the solution to it.
The papers over the weekend were riddled with articles outlining the countless ways in which Brexit is going horribly wrong. We had Jacob Rees Mogg breaking cover, and former Cabinet Minister Theresa Villiers saying that the direction of travel over the last year has gone only one way, “towards the dilution of Brexit”.
The Donald commented on the other Theresa’s negotiating skills (or lack thereof) and how he would rightly be much tougher were he in her shoes. Whatever your views on President Trump, he’s a Leader who is clearly willing to put his country first and nobody in UKIP would criticise him for that!
The Sunday Telegraph also raised growing concerns over allegations that civil servants who opposed Brexit are working to force the democratically elected government, led by a weak Prime Minister, into a “soft Brexit”. The government themselves are trying to water down the EU Withdrawal Bill because they’re in fear of getting thumped in the Commons.
As I said, whatever the problem might be, the Tories are never the solution. There is a reason that so many who left us a year ago to join the ‘blue brigade’ are now returning; they quickly discovered that the Tories don’t understand, they don’t believe and they’re in no way worthy of our trust when it comes to delivering our nation’s independence. Let’s not forget, it was them who gave it away in the first place.
Moreover, we now know from bitter experience that what makes UKIP unique is that we really are a refuge for the disenchanted from across the political spectrum. I wouldn’t want to guess how many former Labour or LibDem members we have in our party but I can guarantee it to be a substantial number. You’d have a greater chance of getting them to join the Temperance League than the Tories!
UKIP remains by far and away the largest grassroots organisation prepared to campaign on the ground for a real Brexit, and the kind of separation from the EU that our country voted for and future generations need. UKIP’s involvement isn’t simply preferable, it’s a necessity.
It is blindingly obvious that the time we’ve spent navel-gazing post Referendum has allowed the Remain establishment to take a stranglehold on Britain’s future. We can still save it, and we must.
As somebody who has seen firsthand the brilliance of our party and its members, I can say with absolute authority that the way we guarantee Brexit is not by becoming Tories, but by rebuilding UKIP!
It is clear from everything we read over the weekend, that UKIP must – not should, but MUST – return to the streets to lead the campaign to ensure that Brexit happens. We have much to do to make our party better, more effective, better organised – but if we take our eye off the ball, we will betray the 17.4 million people who trusted us to give them their country back.
We all know the value of the UKIP brand, and how hard it would be to replicate.
Instead, now is the time for anybody who believes in Brexit to come together and work with us in rebuilding the consortium that delivered Brexit; let UKIP sort itself out and develop as it should, with our motivated membership leading the charge in delivering the proper, full-throated Brexit that Jacob Rees-Mogg, Theresa Villiers and others are calling for – and only UKIP’s electoral threat can actually deliver.