Lewisham East parliamentary by-election: the end of civic nationalism?

David Kurten, former UKIP leadership candidate humiliated in Lewisham by-election

Yesterday’s parliamentary by-election in the SE London constituency of Lewisham East was another tragi-comic episode in the slow death of the United Kingdom Independence Party.

Under the leadership of Nigel Farage, UKIP won more votes and seats than any other party at the 2014 European Parliamentary elections, ending up with 24 MEPs, though never gaining more than two MPs in the House of Commons. The party was primarily responsible for forcing then Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron to concede a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union, resulting in the historic Brexit vote of 2016.

But that was the beginning of the end for UKIP. Structural problems and ideological confusion (already analysed in several issues of H&D well before 2016) were never properly addressed even under Farage’s leadership, and since his departure immediately after the referendum the party has been scarred by factional infighting and incompetent leadership.

Yesterday was merely the latest demonstration of UKIP’s desperate state. Their by-election candidate was one of their highest profile and most experienced performers, half-caste London Assembly member David Kurten, but he finished a poor sixth with only 380 votes (1.7%), behind not only the big three parties and the Greens, but also behind the Women’s Equality Party!

Tess Culnane – polled more votes in a single Lewisham ward than UKIP managed yesterday across the entire seven-ward constituency of Lewisham East

To put this into context, H&D readers should remember that in 2002 BNP local election candidates Barry Roberts and Tess Culnane polled more votes in a single ward of Lewisham East than Mr Kurten managed yesterday across the entire constituency (which contains seven wards)!

The only good news for UKIP is that Kurten finished ahead of his former colleague Anne Marie Waters. She had been UKIP candidate for this constituency at the 2015 General Election, polling a very creditable 3,886 votes (9.1%) in what were admittedly far better times nationwide for the party. After an acrimonious leadership election last year, Ms Waters quit and with the help of former BNP and EDL activists created a breakaway party called the For Britain Movement.

Yesterday Ms Waters finished a poor seventh, with only 266 votes (1.2%). Her only excuse is that Labour called the by-election very quickly after the resignation of the previous MP, so Ms Waters and her campaign team (which included former East London BNP election guru Eddy Butler) had very little time. Yet it must be admitted that the Liberal Democrats also had very little time, yet they succeeded in building a serious bandwagon and advancing to second place: having lost their deposit twelve months ago with only 4.4%, the Lib Dems polled 24.6% yesterday.

Anne Marie Waters on the by-election campaign trail with former BNP election guru Eddy Butler (third left, back row) and an activist team including several former BNP officials and councillors, whose help could not save Ms Waters from a crushing defeat.

The inescapable conclusion is that the Lib Dem message (almost entirely focused on pro-Remain voters) resonated strongly with a certain section of the Lewisham electorate. We know that there is a different section of the Lewisham electorate who respond to nationalist issues, including immigration and law and order, but the Islam-obsessed campaigns of Kurten and Waters failed to resonate similarly among those voters. This was despite Ms Waters’ ally ‘Tommy Robinson’, founder of the EDL, getting himself jailed during the campaign and creating worldwide publicity. Proof yet again that there is a big difference between Facebook likes, or turning out screaming mobs in Whitehall, and the serious grown-up politics of winning votes.

It probably didn’t help that Lewisham is an odd place to bang on about Muslims: the area has many immigration-related problems, but relatively few of the large non-White population here are Muslims.

The third civic nationalist candidate, Massimo DiMambro of the new Democrats & Veterans party, was always going to be overshadowed by the far higher profile and better financed campaigns of Kurten and Walters: he managed only 67 votes (0.3%).

However the Democrats & Veterans party, which is much less Islam-obsessed than either UKIP or For Britain, but takes a strong line on immigration and other nationalist issues, seems to be having more success than Ms Waters’ party in building a network of branches nationwide.

The best bet is that UKIP-style civic nationalism is dying, but when the dust settles Democrats & Veterans might be the one viable civic nationalist party still capable of making a challenge (at least for local council seats).

 

H&D 84 published

 The new issue (#84) of Heritage and Destiny magazine is now out.

The 26 page, May – June 2018 issue, has as its lead.

The Last UKIP Winners? Derby UKIP ousts Asian Labour leader in “Racist” campaign, while the rest of their party fades away.

front cover issue 84

Heritage and Destiny Issue 84

Issue 84 -May – June 2018.

Contents include:

  • Editorial – by Mark Cotterill
  • Madness by Media – Simon Sheppard details the relentless march of the cat ladies
  • Book Review: The Colonisation of Europe – by Guillaume Faye – Part I – reviewed by Ian Freeman
  • Dialects in danger – Edmund Morrison looks into the Yorkshire dialect
  • Britain’s Secret Files on Nationalist Leader Colin Jordan – Part III – by Peter Rushton
  • Book Review: If we do nothing Essays and Reviews from 25 years of White Advocacy – by Jared Taylor – reviewed by James Knight.
  • Local Elections 2018, UKIP disappearance leaves nationalist vacuum – Peter Rushton looks at this years’ local election results
  • Movie Review: Darkest Hour – the new Churchill movie reviewed by Mark Webber
  • Zionist thought police target “anti-Semitic” Left – by Peter Rushton
  • Two pages of readers’ letters
  • Movement News – Latest analysis of the nationalist movement – by Peter Rushton

If you would like 2 sample copies please send £5.00 /$10.00 or for a years (6 issues) subscription, send £26.00 (UK) – $48.00 (USA) – £35.00/$48.00 (Rest of world).

Dying UKIP ousts leader

Henry Bolton (left) – ousted UKIP leader – with the party’s only successful chief Nigel Farage

[spacer height=”20px”]On Thursday UKIP lost yet another council seat, today the dying party voted to oust its leader Henry Bolton, who has been brought down by multiple scandals. The vote at an emergency UKIP conference this afternoon went 867-500 against Bolton.

UKIP’s real problem is a combination of poor quality officials and a confused identity.  To what extent is it a nationalist party?  Is it at all racially conscious?  Does it even oppose immigration?  Is it Thatcherite (even ultra-Thatcherite or US-style libertarian) or does it seek to capture some of the spirit and electoral base of the old Labour Party?

None of these questions will be resolved today by the vote to remove Henry Bolton.  In fact Bolton himself may refuse to go quietly, but he is now so discredited that it seems impossible for Nigel Farage and Arron Banks to use him in their longstanding plan to overturn UKIP’s constitution.

Farage and Banks had aimed to reduce the power of UKIP’s National Executive and concentrate power in the leader’s office – what some have unkindly called a BNP-style, führer-principle constitution (though of course without BNP policies)!

David Kurten, likely to be UKIP’s next leader

[spacer height=”20px”]Now the most likely outcome is for UKIP’s rump to select either half-caste London Assembly member David Kurten, or half-Turkish MEP Tim Aker, as the next (perhaps last?) captain of the sinking ship.  Meanwhile Farage and Banks will go off to form a new pressure group (probably not a party) in favour of “Hard Brexit”, while Anne-Marie Waters will continue her chaotic attempt to forge a new party out of UKIP dissidents and ex-EDL types.

Many disillusioned UKIP members have already voted with their feet and wallets, rejoining the Conservative Party where they hope to elect Jacob Rees-Mogg as the next Tory leader, succeeding hopeless Prime Minister Theresa May.  Yet despite his new status as bookies’ favourite, Rees-Mogg is unlikely to make it as far as the members’ ballot, and will probably strike a deal with Boris Johnson or Michael Gove.

Will all this eventually leave political space for revival of a serious racial nationalist party?

UKIP’s death spiral – councillors in mass resignation

Latest UKIP MEP to quit is Tim Aker (above right), seen here campaigning with Nigel Farage in Thurrock, where the entire UKIP group has walked out.

The latest twist in the slow death of UKIP has seen mass resignations in two of the party’s few remaining strongholds. Two MEPs have left the party in the past week, which has led to entire blocs of councillors also quitting.

All seventeen UKIP councillors in the Essex borough of Thurrock (who had been the main opposition to the Tories on the council) resigned yesterday, including Eastern England MEP and former Thurrock parliamentary candidate Tim Aker. They have formed a new group called ‘Thurrock Independents’.

Meanwhile five of the six UKIP councillors in Hartlepool, which had been the party’s only growth area in the 18 months since the Brexit referendum, have also walked out, joined by the MEP for NE England and former UKIP leadership candidate Jonathan Arnott.

Significantly UKIP’s latest leadership crisis – with Henry Bolton refusing to quit despite a no confidence vote by his entire party executive – does not seem to have boosted the breakaway party set up by Anne-Marie Waters, the Islam obsessed runner-up to Bolton in last year’s leadership contest. After their first application was rejected by the Electoral Commission, this new outfit is still not registered as a political party: it now hopes to use the name ‘For Britain Movement’.

Henry Bolton (above left) – the latest catastrophic UKIP leader – with Nigel Farage

Rather than Waters and her ex-EDL associate ‘Tommy Robinson’, the short-term beneficiaries of UKIP’s collapse might be Nigel Farage and his financial backer Arron Banks, though they are likely to build a cross-party movement out of UKIP’s ruins rather than a new party, and it would be focused merely on securing Brexit.

The tragedy is that the broadly nationalist views held by a very large percentage of British voters now have no credible electoral voice. Both UKIP and the BNP have effectively died, and for the time being the only widely-heard spokesmen for any sort of nationalist or even vaguely patriotic politics are cranks or charlatans.

 

Pro-Farage candidate wins UKIP leadership

Henry Bolton (left) – winner of the UKIP leadership race – with Nigel Farage

[spacer height=”10px”]Despite all the hype, UKIP’s small-c conservative membership eventually voted for the most obviously “respectable” leadership candidate.

Former intelligence officer Henry Bolton was today elected UKIP leader with 3,874 votes (29.9%), ahead of the anti-Islam campaigner Anne Marie Waters on 2,755 (21.3%). The party’s peculiar first-past-the-post, single ballot system – and the fact that there were seven candidates on the ballot paper, six of whom had a serious chance – meant it was always likely that the winner would have less than one third of the membership’s support.

Turnout was only 46.6%, reflecting the fact that many of those nominally listed as party members (and entitled to vote) have already quit UKIP and had no interest in its leadership contest.

Bolton had warned that a victory for Waters and her EDL backers would risk UKIP becoming some form of “nazi party”. He will now claim a clear mandate, since the two most obvious anti-Islam candidates (Ms Waters and GLA member Peter Whittle) had only 32.2% between them, so even with a transferable vote Ms Waters would not have won.

Mixed-race GLA member David Kurten finished third with 2,201 votes (17.0%); Welsh businessman and libertarian John Rees-Evans fourth on 2,021 (15.6%); original bookies’ favourite Peter Whittle fifth on 1,413 (10.9%), after much of his support drained to Ms Waters; Rotherham parliamentary candidate Jane Collins a surprisingly poor sixth on 566 (4.4%) despite having been backed by two former rival candidates who withdrew in her favour; and space-travel enthusiast Aidan Powlesland seventh on 85 (0.65%).

All eyes now are on Nigel Farage and his financial backer Arron Banks, who had plans to launch a new breakaway movement within days if Waters or Whittle were elected. Their decision may now depend on whether Henry Bolton is able to secure constitutional changes reducing the role of the party’s executive and enhancing the leadership’s power.[spacer height=”20px”]

UKIP leadership candidate Anne Marie Waters (left) promoting the UK launch of anti-Islam group PEGIDA alongside the EDL founder Tommy Robinson (centre) and Liberty GB’s Paul Weston

[spacer height=”20px”]The most likely short-term breakaway is now from the other side of the party: Anne Marie Waters and her Islam-obsessed faction.

One of Ms Waters’s leading allies, Paul Weston of Liberty GB, reacted badly to the result, tweeting: “UKIP needed a revolutionary leader, instead it got Mr Establishment Henry Bolton OBE who will do nothing whatsoever about Islam.”

Another close Waters associate, EDL founder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (alias Tommy Robinson), similarly commented: “UKIP are now irrelevant when it comes to the biggest threat our country faces. We need a political voice to oppose Islam like Wilders & Le Pen.”

By contrast third-placed David Kurten and fellow candidate Jane Collins were quick to tweet their loyalty to the new leader.

H&D will have a fuller report on the UKIP contest later this weekend, and a detailed analysis in issue 81 of what these developments mean for the British nationalist movement.

Anne Marie Waters now favourite to win UKIP leadership

UKIP leadership candidate Anne Marie Waters (left) promoting the UK launch of anti-Islam group PEGIDA alongside the EDL founder Tommy Robinson (centre) and Liberty GB’s Paul Weston

Anti-Islam campaigner Anne Marie Waters is now favourite to win the UKIP leadership. The result will be announced at the party’s conference in Torquay on 29th September.

Ms Waters is an associate of EDL founder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (alias ‘Tommy Robinson’), and one of her campaign organisers is ex-BNP official Jack Buckby. Most of the UKIP establishment, including almost all of its MEPs, are set to quit if she wins the leadership, but ordinary members seem more receptive to her obsessional focus on Islam.

Despite Jack Buckby’s involvement in her campaign, Ms Waters has indicated that she would not allow former BNP or NF members to join UKIP (maintaining the present constitutional ban on such applicants).  However a Waters-led UKIP would almost certainly attract a flood of applications from supporters of the EDL and other anti-Islamist groups such as Pegida and Liberty GB.

For almost the entire campaign (since the resignation of Paul Nuttall just after the general election) GLA member Peter Whittle had been favourite to win UKIP’s leadership election, but heavy bets have been placed on Ms Waters in the last few days, making her the new favourite with bookmakers including Ladbrokes, Bet Fred, Coral and Betfair.

Dark horse UKIP leadership candidate Henry Bolton has extensive experience as a military intelligence officer and counter-terrorism expert

Rival candidate Henry Bolton (favoured by much of the UKIP establishment) seems to have overplayed his hand by warning last week that UKIP “could see a swing away from our traditional, secular values and stances; towards something far darker… we could easily slip towards the ideals of National Socialism. The last thing UKIP needs is to become the UK Nazi Party.”

UKIP members seems to have viewed this intervention (quite rightly) as ludicrous hype.  Anne Marie Waters is an Islam-obsessed crank, but she isn’t a “Nazi”!

UKIP plot to block anti-Islam takeover

Jane Collins (right) now has the support of three former rival candidates in her bid for UKIP leadership – though her fellow Yorkshire & Humber MEP Mike Hookem (left) is supporting Henry Bolton

Four of the candidates in the chaotic UKIP leadership election have united in a last-ditch effort to block anti-Islamist candidates Anne Marie Waters and Peter Whittle.

There had been eleven leadership candidates, but Scottish MEP David Coburn and two ex-Tories – Gloucestershire councillor Ben Walker and former Hertfordshire councillor Marion Mason – have abandoned their own campaigns and now back Jane Collins, a Yorkshire MEP who polled 22% at the Rotherham by-election in 2012.

This new alliance calling itself UKIP United will be formally launched tomorrow at a 10am Westminster press conference, and backs Jane Collins for UKIP leader with Coburn to be her deputy and Walker to be appointed party chairman. UKIP United is supported by one of the party’s biggest donors, retired bookmaker Alan Bown.

In a letter released to party members yesterday, Ms Collins strongly criticised both the outgoing leadership of Paul Nuttall and his general election campaign team.  At several points in her letter she attacks small groups of London activists, in an appeal to party members outside the capital and an implied attack on leadership favourite Peter Whittle (described by the Jewish Chronicle as “the Israel-loving friendly face of UKIP”) who is a member of the London Assembly and was last year’s UKIP candidate for Mayor of London.

Ms Collins denounced this year’s UKIP general election campaign for its obsession with “nonsense about burkas and beekeepers as the leadership lurched from one PR disaster to another, largely of their own making.”

Retiring UKIP leader Paul Nuttall (left), who presided over a disastrous general election campaign this year, is endorsing leeadership favourite Peter Whittle (right).

Paul Nuttall has endorsed Whittle, who has signalled that if elected he would appoint Anne Marie Waters as his deputy.  Ms Waters is presently second favourite for the leadership, but is anathema to many leading figures in the party because of her open involvement with militant anti-Islam groups such as the English Defence League and Pegida.  She is a close ally of EDL founder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (alias ‘Tommy Robinson’) and her campaign team has included former BNP activist Jack Buckby.

None of the ‘moderate’ candidates had emerged as a clear challenger to Whittle and Waters, hence the field thinning out this weekend, but many members will remain confused.  Another of the fringe candidates, former parliamentary candidate David Allen, has also wound up his own campaign and endorsed Henry Bolton, a military intelligence veteran and foreign policy expert who was UKIP candidate for Kent Police & Crime Commissioner last year.

Henry Bolton (left) – dark horse in the UKIP leadership race – with Nigel Farage

Bookmakers have responded to these developments by making Bolton and Collins joint third-favourites, alongside mixed-race David Kurten (another London Assembly member) and Welsh businessman John Rees-Evans.

These four candidates are jostling in hope of emerging as the clear rival to the leading two: Whittle and Waters.  There is one remaining fringe candidate, space travel enthusiast Aidan Powlesland.

Nigel Farage seems to be backing Henry Bolton, while past leadership candidate Bill Etheridge (a West Midlands MEP seen as head of a libertarian faction) has endorsed John Rees-Evans, who would appoint Etheridge as deputy.

Ballot papers began to be sent out to UKIP members this weekend. With seven candidates (rather than the original elevcn) now on the ballot paper, the election will be decided on a simple, Westminster-style first-past-the-post basis, with no second choices available.  The winner will be announced on September 29th at UKIP’s conference in Torquay.

Meanwhile the UKIP youth wing Young Independence planned to hold its conference in Sheffield this weekend, but the event had to be cancelled after militant ‘anti-fascists’ forced the cancellation of two venues. First the Hilton Hotel cancelled the booking claiming that there had been threats to the safety of staff and other guests.  Then a second venue, the Bessemer pub which would have hosted a smaller-scale version of the conference, also cancelled, claiming they had not been told the truth about the booking.

‘Anti-fascists’ would have protested outside the venues, due to the presence of speakers Anne Marie Waters and Martin Sellner, an Austrian anti-immigration campaigner.

Having once been among the leading political parties in Britain – winning more votes than any other party at the 2014 European Parliament election – UKIP has declined to fringe status and is now easy prey for the far left, particularly because unlike racial nationalist activists, UKIP officials have no experience in street politics.

UKIP executive decides not to block EDL-linked candidate

Peter Whittle (left), bookies’ favourite to win the UKIP leadership, with former leader Nigel Farage

[spacer height=”20px”]UKIP’s latest leadership election will have eleven candidates after the party’s national executive announced yesterday that they had decided not to block an EDL-linked candidate from standing.

‘Moderates’ on the executive tried to block the leadership campaign of Anne Marie Waters, a former Labour Party member whose campaign team includes ex-BNP member Jack Buckby. Ms Waters is a longstanding ally of Paul Weston (head of Liberty GB) and Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, alias ‘Tommy Robinson’ (founder of the English Defence League, EDL).

Liberal media outrage against Ms Waters (typified by a Nick Cohen column in The Observer) is matched by opposition to her candidature within UKIP, almost all of whose MEPs would quit if she became leader or deputy leader. Mike Hookem, UKIP’s deputy chief whip in the European Parliament whose immediate superior – chief whip Stuart Agnew – is Ms Waters only senior supporter, quit in protest yesterday saying that “turning a blind eye to extremist views” was “not something I am prepared to do”.

H&D readers will remember last year’s fracas involving former leadership favourite Steven Woolfe, which seemed to show that Mr Hookem was more likely to inflict a black eye (if provoked) than turn a blind eye.

Among those condemning Ms Waters is rival leadership candidate Jane Collins, an MEP for Yorkshire & Humber who fought two high-profile parliamentary by-elections for UKIP: Barnsley Central in 2011 and Rotherham in 2012, but Ms Collins is a fringe candidate in a contest that (if you believe the bookies) is now realistically a five-horse race.[spacer height=”20px”]

David Kurten (left) with leadership rival David Coburn MEP

[spacer height=”20px”]A UKIP establishment bandwagon was growing behind David Kurten, a mixed-race UKIP member of the London Assembly, who now has the backing of the Farage-Banks lobby group Leave.EU.  Leave.EU’s backing for Kurten was a blow to Welsh businessman John Rees-Evans, who has organised a nationwide tour to promote his campaign for ‘direct democracy’ to revive UKIP, but apparent ‘homophobic’ comments by Kurten have revived Rees-Evans’s chances.

The field of ‘moderate’ candidates has been further confused by the late entry into the race of Henry Bolton, a military intelligence veteran who stood for Kent Police & Crime Commissioner last year. Bolton is the dark horse in the race, and seems to be picking up support from ‘moderates’ who think that neither Kurten nor Rees-Evans are serious leadership material.

Libertarians disturbed by the anti-Islamist obsessions of Waters and Peter Whittle (described by the Jewish Chronicle as “the Israel-loving friendly face of UKIP” and current favourite to win, after promising to appoint Waters his deputy) are tending to back David Coburn (UKIP’s only Scottish MEP) or Ben Walker (an ex-Tory and councillor for a Bristol suburb), but some will try to pick a ‘non-Islamophobic’ winner from among Kurten, Rees-Evans and Bolton, so as to block the ‘extremists’ Whittle and Waters.

Coburn and Whittle are gay, while Waters is a lesbian. Former leadership candidate Suzanne Evans was thus able to post on Twitter celebrating the fact that “33% of UKIP’s leadership candidates are gay. What other party has ever been able to say that?”

Surprise candidates joining the race but likely to finish as also-rans include Aidan Powlesland, parliamentary candidate for South Suffolk earlier this year, who is an enthusiast for space exploration; David Allen, 2017 parliamentary candidate for Rochester & Strood; and Marion Mason, a former Tory councillor who was UKIP candidate for Hertfordshire Police & Crime Commissioner.

The result of the leadership election will be announced at UKIP’s conference on September 29th in Torquay, after which senior figures such as Nigel Farage and Arron Banks will get on with the serious business of organising a split.

UKIP economic spokesman quits, criticising libertarian faction

Patrick O’Flynn MEP, who resigned today as UKIP economic spokesman

UKIP economic spokesman Patrick O’Flynn – an MEP for Eastern England who was formerly Political Editor of the Daily Express – has resigned.

While most UKIP news recently has focused on the increasingly influential group in the party that is obsessed with Islam and seeks to take UKIP in an EDL or Pegida-style direction, O’Flynn’s resignation is prompted by a very different split – his disagreement with the ultra-Thatcherite ‘libertarians’ in the party.

O’Flynn said in his resignation statement today:
“It is clear to me that UKIP’s activist base wishes to go in a more libertarian, shrink-the-state and Thatcherite direction when it comes to economic policy.
“Ever since becoming prominent in the party, I have argued for UKIP to be at the common sense centre of politics, rather than allowing itself to be defined as on the right wing. For example, I have sought support for tough measures to combat corporate tax avoidance and proposed a premium rate of VAT for luxury goods in order to make that tax more equitable. I have also championed more resources for the NHS, arguing against those in the party who would prefer to run healthcare on private insurance lines.”

The libertarian faction criticised by O’Flynn advocates policies that might go down well on golf courses and in Rotary Clubs across southern England, but which would kill off any chance of challenging Labour in its northern working-class heartlands.

It remains to be seen which strand of UKIP will dominate in the new movement planned by former leader Nigel Farage and his financial backer Arron Banks.

John Rees-Evans, third favourite in this year’s UKIP leadership election, at a hustings during last November’s contest

One of UKIP’s leading libertarians – West Midlands MEP and ex-Tory Bill Etheridge – announced this week that he was withdrawing his nomination for UKIP leader.  Etheridge is bitterly opposed to the two anti-Islamist candidates for leader, London Assembly member Peter Whittle and former Pegida UK deputy leader Anne Marie Waters.

The Guardian today picked up on the story reported by H&D eleven days ago, that Ms Waters’ campaign is being run by former BNP member Jack Buckby.

While a groundswell of members has built up behind the anti-Islamist agenda, making Whittle and Waters the two favourites, most of UKIP’s leading members (including almost all its MEPs) are appalled by the prospect of the party becoming a political wing of the EDL.  They have no clear front-runner to back, but perhaps the most likely challenge to Whittle and Waters is from John Rees-Evans, a Welsh businessman who polled 18.1% in last year’s leadership contest that was won by Paul Nuttall.

A late entrant in the race and potential dark horse is Henry Bolton, former military intelligence officer and counter-terrorism expert, who was UKIP’s candidate last year for Kent Police & Crime Commissioner.

Dark horse UKIP leadership candidate Henry Bolton has extensive experience as a military intelligence officer and counter-terrorism expert

UKIP on verge of split as Islam-obsessed faction attempts takeover

Anne Marie Waters (left) with EDL founder Stephen Yaxley-Lennon (alias Tommy Robinson) and Liberty GB’s Paul Weston, launching a British version of the German anti-Islam movement PEGIDA

 

The dying United Kingdom Independence Party faces an imminent split as hundred of Islam-obsessed EDL supporters have joined the party in recent weeks, supporting the leadership campaign of former Labour Party activist Anne-Marie Waters, who is an ally of EDL founder ‘Tommy Robinson’. Her campaign is reportedly organised by former BNP activist Jack Buckby, who contested last year’s Batley & Spen by-election as candidate of Liberty GB, seen as a political arm of the EDL.

Most prominent figures in UKIP, including former leader Nigel Farage and almost all of the party’s MEPs, have indicated they will resign from the party if Ms Waters becomes leader.  One problem for the UKIP establishment is that the candidate most likely to defeat Ms Waters – former London mayoral candidate Peter Whittle – is almost equally obsessed by a militantly anti-Islam agenda.

There are suggestions that if Mr Whittle wins he will appoint Ms Waters as his deputy, a scenario which would again lead to a serious split.

 

Jack Buckby (left), now running the Anne Marie Waters campaign for UKIP leader, seen here in his earlier political life with fellow Young BNP official Jack Renshaw. Mr Renshaw has taken a different path: he is due to appear at Preston Magistrates Court on July 28th charged with ‘inciting racial hatred’.

 

Earlier this year a breakaway from UKIP was already being planned by Nigel Farage and his main financial backer Arron Banks.  This was to be called the Patriotic Alliance, and would have taken a clearer hard line on immigration than UKIP has previously espoused, though not a narrow and aggressive focus on Islam as advocated by Waters and Whittle: also it would have avoided the complications of UKIP’s democratic constitution, with power very much in the hands of Banks and Farage rather than an elected committee.

However the Banks-Farage plan has been delayed by June’s general election, rapid electoral collapse of UKIP, and growth of the EDL-style faction.

It now looks likely that UKIP could split into at least three segments.  The Waters-Whittle faction obsessed by opposing Islam; a libertarian faction inspired mainly by reducing state intervention and regulation post-Brexit, in pursuit of an extreme American-style version of Thatcherism; and the Banks-Farage group focused mainly on immigration and perhaps open to allowing members with past affiliation to nationalist parties and groups.

Peter Whittle (right) current favourite in the UKIP leadership race, seen here with outgoing leader Paul Nuttall

Nominations for the UKIP leadership election close on July 28th and the winner will be announced at the party’s national conference in Torquay on September 29th, but by then multiple splits will already be unavoidable.

Nigel Farage has already made clear that he will not stand: ‘Farageistes’ are likely to support either Welsh businessman John Rees-Evans, who finished third in the last UKIP contest won by Paul Nuttall last November, or David Coburn the leader of UKIP in Scotland. (Like rival candidates Peter Whittle and Anne-Marie Waters, Mr Coburn is openly homosexual.)

The libertarian faction (some of whom remind H&D of the ‘loony lib’ factions who operated inside the Federation of Conservative Students during the 1980s) are likely to support West Midlands businessman and MEP Bill Etheridge, a former Tory who also serves on Dudley Borough Council.

Bill Etheridge, leader of UKIP’s libertarian faction, with former fiancée Lorraine Chew

Some of the party mainstream who have personal objections to Mr Etheridge are likely to support Ben Walker, a councillor from the Bristol suburb of Bradley Stoke and another ex-Tory; or they might be tempted to burnish the party’s ‘non-racist’ credentials by electing UKIP’s first mixed race leader, London Assembly member David Kurten.

And as mentioned earlier, the increasing numbers of Islam-obsessed members will back one of the two current favourites, Peter Whittle or Anne Marie Waters.

Whoever wins, UKIP seems set on an irreversible course to make the BNP look credible!

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