I can’t help but look upon the imminent demise of UKIP without a certain frisson of pleasure. A party that’s done more to ruin the UK’s reputation abroad and helped deliver the shambles that is Brexit is about to get its come-uppance – as blogger Tim Fenton mentioned today.
Ukip’s most recent accounts show it was £380,630 in debt before the 2017 election which weakened the party’s finances even further. The party’s so skint it can’t even put up candidates in local elections. The parlous state of the party’s finance have been the subject of infighting in the past and an open secret amongst members (link).
Now UKIP can’t afford another leadership election, which might save the skin of the latest temprorary Leader (the 4th in 15 months), Henry Boulton, despite the revelations about his openly racist girlfriend – Jo Marney. Jo’s provided social media with an open goal, so I make no apologies for sharing this pic of the couple caught together on the London Underground after their supposed ‘split’. Oh, and the Twitter commentary from Scott Ballantyne is inspired!
Meanwhile, former UKIP leader Nigel Farage has got himself embroiled in the murky world of American politics, Trump, Assange and Russia…(link). There’s no chance of him riding to UKIPs rescue as there no money in it for him anymore which leaves the party stuffed. Even MEPs and some of the remaining local Councillors are jumping ship. John Arnott, the MEP for the North East of England, said he had lost confidence in Mr Bolton but thought no better of those “jockeying” to replace him.
Here’s a list of recent desertions, with links. Arnott
All 3 Plymouth Cllrs quit
All 5 Hartlepool Cllrs quit
Will the last one to leave please turn out the lights?
Of course, UKIPs collapse spells even more trouble for another bête noire of mine, the Stop Hs2 campaign!
I’ve not seen any evidence that UKIP helped the campaign financially or practically, other then lending it support via social media & having members who had a foot in both camps. But UKIP did help draw attention to the campaign. Their opposition to Hs2 was nothing more than a cynical ploy to attract votes from disaffected Tories who lived on the HS2 route. The problem was that the Stop Hs2 campaign had always exaggerated how much support it had, so the avalanche of votes UKIP hoped for never materialised – even in the Chilterns, which was the ‘hotbed’ of anti Hs2 activity. They gained (and then lost) a couple of Council seats but never seriously threatened to unseat any MPs.
UKIPs demise will leave the Greens as the only party opposing Hs2 – and they’ve got their own problems as their standing in the polls and share of the vote in recent local elections has fallen dramatically. As an illustration of both parties troubles, here’s three local election results from Thursday.
We live in interesting times…