Members & staff of UKIP past & present. Committed to reforming the party by exposing the corruption and dishonesty that lies at its heart, in the hope of making it fit for purpose.
Only by removing Nigel Farage and his sycophants on the NEC can we save UKIP from electoral oblivion.
We have had it confirmed that Tim CongdonCBE is throwing his hat into the leadership race.
Professor Tim G. CongdonCBE is an economist, educated at Oxford University, with a long record of commenting on public policy issues, including writing sympathetically about the monetarist approach to macroeconomic policy. He has considerable experience working in the City of London and was the founder of the macroeconomic forecasting consultancy Lombard Street Research. He has also held a variety of academic appointments. Between 1993 and 1997 he was a member of the Treasury Panel that advised the Conservative government on economic policy. In recent years, he had expressed considerable skepticism about the direction the European Union has been moving in. He now feels that Britain should leave the EU at the earliest availableopportunity.
Professor Congdon was the unsuccessful UKIP candidate for the Forest of Dean constituency in the 2010 General Election, obtaining 5.2% of the votes cast.
He is seen by many UKIPPERS as a reformist candidate who will clean up the party. He stated in late 2009 that he was very disappointed to see the extent to which UKIPMEPs"had been 'captured' in the sense of not seeing that their job was in Britain, not in Brussels or Strasbourg."
He also put his name to a letter that was sent out to all UKIP members. This letter concerned proposed changes to the constitution which would have given dictatorial powers to the Party Chairman. Farage has never forgiven him for this.
Dear UKIP member,
We are writing this letter more in sorrow than in anger. At a time when every effort should be directed to our June election campaign, the NEC is wasting time and money on divisive and controversial changes to the UKIP constitution. It is now holding a members' referendum on this.
What is worse, the purpose seems to be to make it easier to get rid of members at a time when we should be concentrating on the reverse - expanding our membership. The changes will stifle freedom of expression within the party and reduce and weaken the power of members:
Amendments 6 and 19 (VOTE 2) The changes abolish the annual business meeting. Members will be deprived of their current absolute right to vote annual on the Party's accounts at a meeting of all members and to receive annual reports from all national officers. Yet the Party should belong to its members and the leadership should be accountable to them.
Amendments to 14 (VOTE 4) the changes will abolish the democratic right of members to elect a Disciplinary Committee at the annual business meeting. Instead a Disciplinary Panel of three will be selected arbitrarily by the unelected Party Secretary from a "pool" of about 55 people, themselves appointed by regional committees. Further changes will give the unelected Party Chairman (appointed by the Leader) arbitrary powers to suspend temporarily any member for any reason without a hearing.
These changes are worthy of the EU itself - reducing accountability and democracy.
Given that the leadership launched this attack on members' rights and is now asking your view, we feel it right to present the case against. We ask you to vote AGAINST all changes but particularly Vote 2 and Vote 4. The other changes are simply needless.
In less than six months voters will be choosing their MEPs. UKIP should be campaigning now for a major breakthrough. Yet it is low on the opinion polls and short of campaign funds.
The NEC discussed the coming campaign for the first time only a few days ago. Meanwhile it has been wasting energy on feuding and squabbles. It then launched a witchhunt for imagined enemies within. Two NEC members elected by the members were summarily kicked off the NEC; their crime apparently being to express their own opinions (and absolutely nothing to do with the BNP as some have tried to imply). The deputy treasurer was similarly removed. Ordinary members have been thrown out without being given the right to any hearing.
We condemn this navel-gazing and misdirection of effort. It must stop. We call on the leadership to accept that any democratic party is bound to have a spread of views; that intellectual debate can be healthy and that, amazingly, the Leader, the Chairman and the NEC may not always be right.
As prominent UKIP members we call on the Party to unite, dispose of this distraction quickly by voting against these unneeded changes and concentrate on the proper task in hand.
Sir Richard Body, was MP for 39 years Tim CongdonCBE, leading economist Roger KnapmanMEP, former Party Leader and MP Dr. Eric Edmond, elected NEC member Piers Merchant, former UKIP Chief Executive and MP Bruce Lawson FCA, former UKIP Treasurer Martin HaslamFCA, former UKIP deputy treasurer Del Young, elected NEC member Dr. David Abbott, elected NEC member