I have learned to hate all traitors, and there is no disease that I spit on more than treachery – Aeschylus
What has been apparent in its simmering under the surface has now boiled over into a full public display of dissent. Today Douglas Carswell openly claimed that Farage must make way for someone else. Saying that UKIP needs a “fresh face” in an interview with the BBC.
Farage later did a video interview with Sky, in which he stated that Carswell had been letting him know he had no confidence him as leader for some months privately, but now after going public will need to “put up or shutup”.
Carswells main grievance seems to be he wants a less aggressive style at the front of UKIP. Taking particular umbrage to things like Farage talking about health tourists and moaning about alleged postal fraud in Oldham.
Carswell has also stated he wont stand as leader. Indicating he would back someone else for the leadership.
You know what? Carswell does have a couple of points right. Nigel does make some big mistakes sometimes, and the health benefits angle before the GE was indeed one, and the recent Oldham claims were another.
Don’t get me wrong, Farage is right to question these, in fact I will go further, his claims have real substance. But he was still strategically wrong in the way he went about them.
Despite it being proven that people do indeed come here to get treatment for AIDS/ HIV at the taxpayers expense, many people (including myself) are not going to get their knickers in a twist over people coming to try and save their own lives from a terrible and evil illness.
The amount of money involved is tiny, and peoples compassion resulted in Farages comments on this being seen as a nasty attack. The facts were correct, its just not a big issue, and one that backfired on Farage in the run up to the GE. It would have put people off voting UKIP I am sure of it.
The postal votes thing, again despite being obvious that the system is open to abuse and indeed the electoral commision themselves bring up concerns, stank of sore-loseritis. I personally found Paul Nuttall and Farages immediate interviews and tweets cringeworthy.
Yes please by all means question postal voting, but be clever about it. Screaming about it immediately after a loss just gets it dismissed out of hand as UKIP throwing its toys out the pram.
So, there we have it, Farage got two things wrong with his bullish attitude. Douglas pointed them out. Let’s talk about what Farage has got right and achieved with the same attitude.
He predicted the increases in migration every time and in turn predicted the publics growing concerns with it. He then strategically capitalised on it, making it a major issue countrywide. Allowing it to be discussed sensibly for the first time in decades.
Under his leadership, and thanks mainly to his interviews and debates, the flaws of the European Union were brought to the publics attention.
Predicting they wanted a European army, pointing out the flaws with Greece, prediciting the migrant crisis before anyone even saw it coming, bringing the attention of the huge bills we pay to be part of the club to the masses, highlighting the plight of our fishing trade and too many other things to list.
Before Farage helped UKIP to rise, the EU was a non issue for most voters. No-one really knew much about it. But he brought it to our attention, and in doing so allowed UKIP to rise from a 2% protest vote to the one Douglas defected to join, the one that was voted for by nearly 4 million people in the last election.
In making UKIP a stronger party he has also helped get a referendum. In fact without his leadership and UKIPs rise we wouldn’t have one, that is an absolute certainty. Douglas would still be an unknown Tory MP, grumbling about the EU that no-one knew anything about.
He would still be with the majority of other Tory Eurosceptics sitting on his hands getting absolutely fuck all done.
Because lets see what Douglas has achieved in his time in politics shall we?
That is not an extra accidental paragraph. That is the full, unaltered and comprehensive list of what Carswell has achieved in politics. Nothing. Nada. Zilch.
The only thing of substance he has done is try and damage UKIP from within from the moment he arrived. This too will amount to nothing, he will eventually leave to become independent, lose his seat and the blank paragraph will remain his obituary in politics.
Farage is right, Douglas needs to either make a leadership bid, or pack his bags and go. As Douglas has ruled himself out, he would clearly be backing someone else. Whoever that person is will be tainted by Carswells treachery in the eyes of the majority of UKIP supporters, and I suspect be a puppet for UKIPs one and only MP.
Imagine what havoc Carswell could cause with a weaker leader than Farage. Just think about it. One thing is certain, I would cancel my membership instantly and I’m willing to bet many others would also.
Ah, his MP status. “He can’t go he is our only MP” I see people saying. Actually he can. UKIPs political clout in Westminster and its ability to make change within the political system will be the same. Zero.
One MP or Zero MP’s it doesn’t really make a difference, both are as ineffective in parliament. Even when Douglas gets to speak the PM can’t be bothered to answer him. He adds nothing of value.
But UKIP will at least be a party without dissent. This would strengthen the party because as we saw in the European elections and the run up to the general election a United UKIP can do very well.
So Douglas, you say we need a new face. Maybe you are right, but not yet and not in the manner you are attempting.
I say we need your faces to change, both of them, I say we will be better off without you, I say UKIP will flourish without you.
I say Carswell must go.