On June 23rd, 17.4 Million people across the United Kingdom voted to leave the European Union. Brexit will happen (hopefully sooner rather than later.) Blair, Mandelson, Branson, Clegg, Farron et al; learn to deal with it.
That one sentence shows you how much has changed over the course of the last few years, but it also means that 17.4 Million people disagreed with many within the old parties, the banks, corporate giants, the City of London, world leaders.. It means that 17.4 Million people wanted to go in a different direction to that offered up to them by those that ‘know better’ within the establishment. It means that there has been a dramatic shift in public attitudes towards the political class and the opinions espoused by those in positions of power.
UKIP did more than any other political party to campaign for the referendum, and ultimately campaign to win the referendum. It did more than any other entity to advance the national debate in the years leading up to that point.
It got there by being a party unafraid to speak up about important issues such as mass uncontrolled immigration when Labour, the ‘Tories and others weren’t saying a word. Would Brexit have happened without UKIP?
Some in the media and elsewhere have suggested that UKIP should now transform into a different political animal altogether – into a middle of the road, politically correct party (there are enough of those about surely?) That would be a crazy idea. In any case; that’s not UKIP.
At the Party’s Spring Conference in Bolton, their former leader, Nigel Farage couldn’t have been clearer:
“We need to be leading the political conversation, not trying to sound like all the rest. We must not change our policy. We must be seen to be those that fight against political correctness…… Ukip is a radical party, or it is nothing.”
The United Kingdom and our exit process from the EU needs a fearless movement that stands up for people; holding the Government, opposition, publicly funded bodies and the mainstream media to account whilst offering an alternative platform. That movement needs to be bold, radical and unafraid to question and challenge the status quo.
The size of the Leave vote and Trump’s election victory stateside have proven that you don’t have to conform to the established worldview, or trot out the same old spin, lines and policies in order to be electorally successful on polling day; quite the opposite.
2016 was a year of significant change globally and signalled the beginning of a political revolution that looks set to continue elsewhere throughout Europe.
The Stoke by-election was a mess. To say otherwise is to delude oneself. It could be argued that the political revolution we have seen in recent times began with UKIP.
Arron Banks, a long-time donor and backer of the party has offered finance, guidance and a long-term strategy to professionalise UKIP and take it forward as that movement.
The party hierarchy would be fools not to bite his hand off.