For Ukippers up and down the country, September is going to be a monumental month. 7 diverse candidates have been flogging their ideas to members in the hope of winning the top job in UKIP. I have decided to support Henry Bolton for UKIP leader, and I want to persuade fellow UKIP members to do the same!
It’s certainly tough being a member of Ukip at present. Not only has the party tanked in the polls, achieving a measly 1.8% of the vote in the recent election, but it also appears to have lost its place in the debate over our EU exit. If Ukip is to survive, and indeed thrive, it will need to take back control of the debate, to coin a popular phrase.
Henry Bolton is best help Ukip take back control of the EU debate
As much as I would like to have faith in the Conservative Party to deliver a clean break from the European Union, recent history illustrates why I do not. Talk of transitional arrangements has become commonplace and appears to have been accepted by the mainstream media, and indeed by many mainstream politicians.
The ‘Brexit bill’ is talked about as if demanding large sums of money from a nation for expressing its desired will is commonplace. These are just a few of the debates which a strong Ukip would be able to quite easily challenge. Thusfar, the mainstream has been allowed to walk away with it, we cannot allow that to continue.
But it isn’t just the European Union that requires a serious party with a serious vision. The growth of radical Islam, and indeed the growth of Islam in general has thrown British politics into a new, necessary but uncomfortable debate. The key question in my mind on this whole issue remains; How do we integrate large groups of people whose primary allegiance is to ideology, not land? Secondly, how to we engage with this debate in the most constructive and indeed useful way?
Islam is an important topic, but only Henry Bolton has the professionalism to effectively deal with it
Identity has become something of a sine qua non of politics, but the debate is not an easy one. It is inevitable that Guardian types who have encouraged the policies that have left us requiring these debates will try and shut it down, with their various ism’s and phobia’s. It is incumbent upon Ukip as a party to do their utmost to bypass this nonsense. The best way of achieving this is by electing somebody who makes these claims look as ridiculous as they are. You dispel this ridiculousness by appearing credible and by approaching these difficult subjects with tact and dignity. This is why I’m backing Henry Bolton for Ukip leader.
Henry has a vast swathe of experience in the realms of international diplomacy and defence, something which will most certainly become a hot topic as terrorism continues to scourge Western societies. Not only has he a wealth of experience on matters diplomatic, but he’s also seen first hand the almost uniform backward steps the Islamic world has made in recent years to a far more intolerant and fundamental form of Islam.
Ukip needs to avoid the baggage carried by some of the leadership candidates
I understand why so many Ukip members will cast their votes for Anne-Marie Waters on this precise issue, but I would urge them to reconsider. I am not one for joining the “she’s a fascist” brigade, she’s quite clearly a reasonable person who has (for the most part) argued a reasonable platform. I would stress however her sheer lack of political judgement. By helping found street movements and associating herself with individuals linked to the BNP, you would be forgiven for thinking she didn’t believe in the parliamentary system at all.
Just like Raheem Kassam and some of his more disgusting tweets, it would become the only story Ukip would be asked to discuss and would detract from the very important work that is required if a party like Ukip ever wants to restore its voter base.
We do need to have a discussion about Islam and Islamism and by extension offer a policy platform to address many of the country’s concerns, but it’s not the only discussion. Anne-Marie’s platform has the feel of the old Ukip platform back when the party was a pressure group, arguing for a single issue and hammering that issue home wherever possible. This in my view is a backward step for a political party whose member surely envisage it in Government one day.
To win seats Ukip needs a wider appeal, something Henry Bolton can provide
Ukip may have many internal struggles and a lot of the debate during this leadership contest has centred on party structure, but Ukip members must also remember the bigger picture; attracting votes and winning seats. Admittedly, this is something that even the great Farage struggled with, but it’s not an impossible feat if the party pitches itself to the right people.
Ukip needs desperately to appeal to a wider audience. I’m backing Henry Bolton for because I believe he is the best candidate to appeal beyond Ukip’s base. As disheartening as it is to admit, Ukippers do not represent a majority in the UK. Therefore, the biggest obstacle to winning seats remains those who disagree with us. This is where we must look for success.
Henry Bolton has that wider appeal. He has a level of professionalism necessary for a wide appeal, something Nigel Farage did not have. Polarising figures hinder any party under a First Past The Post system and of the leadership candidates standing, Henry Bolton appears to me the most capable of reaching across both divides and encouraging former Labour and Conservative voters to put their cross in the Ukip box at election time.
Ukip needs a team of vast experience to break into issues beyond the EU & immigration
Majorites are all about coalitions, Ukip needs to build one, and it’s going to need to be wide if it’s ever going to win. Ukip needs to drop the ‘dad’s army’ look and make an asserted effort to professionalise. This means elevating serious people to positions of authority who are able to convince the country that the party has seriously thought about the issues and has a credible and desirable plan for addressing them.
I believe Henry Bolton is the best placed candidate for this monumental task. His vast experience would indeed grant him an authority that no other candidate would have. When somebody has sat at the top table, negotiated competing interests and represented important institutions, it’s far harder to dismiss them as a crank, loon or indeed fruitcake.
Ukip needs a leader for the country, not just for the party. This principle is one I always aim for when deciding who to vote for and it’s one of the main reasons I’m backing Henry Bolton. We’re not likely to win a general election anytime soon, but surely it doesn’t hurt to start considering what is necessary to achieve it? By voting for Henry Bolton, Ukip members will be voting for somebody who doesn’t just have the most experience of all the candidates to lead the country, but somebody who could lead the country with the support of people who didn’t vote for him.
With 7 candidates to choose from, every vote really does count. Henry’s experience, professionalism and appeal are my reasons for giving him my vote, a vote I will certainly feel more comfortable casting this time around. There are other great candidates, indeed none are particularly bad, but for the sake of Brexit, for the sake of our culture and identity and for the sake of winning parliamentary seats at the next election, I am backing Henry Bolton for Ukip leader, and I hope you do too!