It was reading David Kurten’s statement that broke me. I was trying to be objective and see the positive side of this story but to say I was struggling was an understatement. I couldn’t think of a positive angle to take and I still cant – the statement is dignified, respectful and just plain nice. The facts in Mr Kurtens statement are the incontrovertible truth. He was promised the position of Deputy Leader. The video is out there and it exists. I should know. I spent a whole evening spooling through videos of the hustings in question to defend on Facebook the story as it appeared on Kipper Central. This promise has now been broken in what I believe to be a grievous error of judgment made by Henry Bolton. Trust is a scarce commodity for any politician and it has now been thoughtlessly and needlessly squandered.
However, there is a wider point which adds insult to the injury. It is my belief that the leadership election results showed a clearly socially conservative majority among those who voted. Of course, Mr Kurtens 2,000+ votes are in that mix as were a substantial proportion of the votes cast for John Rees-Evans and Anne Marie Waters. The most overtly socially liberal platform put forward was by UKIP United and they scraped a mere 600 odd votes. Indeed, many of Mr Bolton’s own votes were cast for him on the explicit understanding that Mr Kurten would be Deputy, had Henry been honest and stated that he was not going to appoint Mr Kurten then his number of votes would be reduced. I am not saying it would have been by enough to lose to Ms Waters but it certainly would have been reduced. So, to add to the affront to common decency, the sense that loyalty should be rewarded, we have another, deeper insult to democracy.
I understand that Mr Bolton has his reasons but those reasons from what can be heard on the grapevine basically amount to a capitulation to the extremist behaviour of the LGBT In UKIP group. This group is a minority and in a democracy, a minority should yes, have their rights protected but those rights do not include the right to usurp the settled will of the majority and as I have just demonstrated that is the core of what has happened here. The minority has been allowed to hold a gun to the head of the leadership and instead of a Deputy Leader who represents the settled will of the majority we have a Deputy Leader who looks suspiciously like a social liberal. I will give Margot Parker the benefit of the doubt, for now, and indeed the treatment of Mr Kurten can scarcely be said to be her fault even if she is the immediate beneficiary of its consequences. Maybe she will step-up and give the newly disenfranchised a voice at the top table. I hope so and I hope the above assumption is proved wrong.
However, this is all spilled milk now. What of the future? Mr Kurten himself has stated he intends to start a “new venture” to “rally the forces of conservatism” This sounds to me like a new movement, not a new Party. Good. I look down the leadership list and while it is a conservative list, with little radical change, I look in vain for a serious voice of social conservatism. No doubt this is why Breitbart vented its spleen all over the leadership damming Mr Bolton’s choice of “establishment allies”. Democratically speaking social conservatives are morally entitled to representation at the top table but we have none. It is not just Mr Kurten who was disenfranchised but every single social conservative within UKIP. So, let me be the first to suggest this solution. If we are to be excluded from the appointed leadership then let us fight the democratic fight. NEC elections are imminent and it is my sincere belief that Mr Kurten should put himself forward as a candidate for the NEC and were he to so do it is my belief that he would win that election and give us, the majority, a voice at the highest level of the Party. We cannot allow this Party to be held hostage by a terroristic, and in the words of others extremist, minority within the Party and must recognise that the majority has the right to democratically assert itself. It did in the leadership election and Mr Bolton was the beneficiary, however, this time, it will, hopefully, right a serious wrong that he has done against Mr Kurten and indeed many of his own supporters.
Author: Darrell Goodliffe Kipper Central