Thursday, 14 May 2015
Bar Wars - Episode IV: A New Hope
What is going on in UKIP?
The single MP seems to want to split in half. The party leadership fracturing into People's Front of Judea factions.
Their has been justified criticism of Nigel Farage since his 'I'm leaving..no I'm staying' non resignation. A stupid thing to have done. Something that populist antennae should have warned him about. It looks just like a stunt one of the main parties might try. Not the party running on the 'we are not like the others' ticket.
Farage looked tired. Worn and disappointed and probably fed up with having his pub dinner interrupted by looney lefties.
He should have gone.
We know he thought he would win, so wouldn't have to resign. But he lost. So should have quit.
It's obvious he should have resigned as leader. Seven attempts and seven failures. That's time enough to try and become an MP. He failed.
Despite attracting voters by the millions he isn't the man to add the extra 2 million they need to turn votes into seats. UKIP must reach out a little further if they want to become a party the size of the former Liberal Democrats of the right. Farage has a limited appeal. Its a big appeal but not big enough.
I'm not suggesting for one moment that their most charismatic leader should disappear into the sunset. Farage has done something incredible. he took a weirdo party of eggheads and fantasists and turned it into a national protest party.
He has never backed down from a fight. Never been afraid to make his case.Doesn't really care who he annoys along the way. Farage is an incredible asset to UKIP.
But a toxic asset. Like nuclear power his energy lights the party up. But his clean up costs can be considerable.
But if the personality cult that is Nigel wants to go any further, he must widen the parties appeal and bring along some of his better media performers. UKIP needs to become a proper party. 127 second places in the 2015 election means a possible 50 MPs next time out.
This is the perfect time.
The election is over. And if the number of MPs was disappointing, the number of votes and where they came from was not.
Labour are defeated and unlikely to be doing much of anything for 6-12 months at least.
The Lib Dems are gone..possibly for good. The SNP are going to rattle their nationalist cage and annoy English voters. The Conservatives have a budget to set that will bring them unpopularity on a Thatcher 1981 scale.
All UKIP had to do was keep quiet and use their new found wealth to remind their supporters of their victory. Sort out their data. Lay the groundwork for their target constituencies.
The media will babble away for six months about new Labour leader. new Lib Dem leader. probably new Green leader. UKIP can relax.
Farage could have gone. Carswell or AN Other becomes leader after a vote and the party carries on after a brief media fuss.
Farage would only be resting. He's still an MEP.Still be in the media .
And ready to come back as deputy or leader of UKIP's 2017 EU Referendum campaign.
All the publicity UKIP could ever want is coming in 2016-17.
Having a leader and an MP and a Farage gives UKIP a wider voice. Or a different voice.
Farage would be refreshed, focused and with a simple message. Out of the EU. Which is pretty much his message anyway.
Nigel is on Question Time tonight. Not a good idea if he is the story.
He should cry off.
Unless he has something to say that will the close the story down.
Or blow it up.