Saturday, 2 September 2017

UKIP Leadership Hustings - Opinion

I thought it would be useful to separate my impressions from the straightforward reporting. So the following is entirely my opinion. Lets go in reverse order.

7. Anne-Marie Waters: "Let me tell you why I am a horrible racist fascist" she said at one point. Was she being ironic? It was hard to tell.

6. John Rees-Evans started his statement with the bizarre proposition that only Anne-Marie Waters and himself were radical enough to save UKIP from oblivion. Was he being ironic? Who knows.

5. Aiden Powlesland was an entertaining speaker but probably not down to earth enough for UKIP.

4. I had heard good things about Peter Whittle but was somewhat disappointed. We spoke well and his closing statement about his parents values was quite moving. However I suspect that he is taking the cut and thrust of the campaign in a rather personal way and is possibly not thick skinned enough to lead a rambunctious party like UKIP.

3. Jane Collins has now got the backing of 4 former candidates, so clearly she understands the internal politics of UKIP. She seems like a reasonable and competent person. However there was nothing new in her vision for party.

2. Henry Bolton has a very impressive CV and is clearly a great asset to the party. He can speak well and his viewpoint is what I would call mainstream UKIP. I am less clear on whether he would connect with the voters though.

1. If there is one thing the leader of UKIP needs it is a sense of humour, and David Kurten had the ability to make the room laugh. He was upbeat and hopeful about the future of UKIP. He was also the only person in the room who had read my blog post on social conservatism (or so it seemed). UKIP needs a vision for the future and David seems to have that.

As I said at the beginning this is only my opinion. Take that for what it is worth.

Ken McNair

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