Why UKIP’s civil war should worry you


By Nathan Friend

Former Vote Leave Wales Activist

It’s been two months since the British people voted to leave the European Union and, so far, Britain has managed to dodge almost all of the doomsday predictions. However, one prediction may have stuck; some of the key parties in the House of Commons are bloodied and battered. Is the promised death of party politics in the United Kingdom imminent?

Yes, and then also no. The Conservatives, predicted to be the first to implode following the referendum, has remain unified. I suppose that could be another reason to be proud of my party of choice, although I fear something slightly darker in damage control. Theresa May has, for the most part, managed to unify a party that looked to be on the verge of a very nasty civil war. She has managed to do this despite previously being on the losing side of the referendum. She has managed to keep the party together with no defections, despite packing her cabinet full of Remainers, with a few notable exceptions.

Here we are, two months on from ‘Independence Day’, and Article 50’s initiation is nowhere in sight, with some sources claiming that we may not see the beginning of the formal Brexit process till after 2017. Theresa May seems to feel next to no pressure to deliver on the Brexit Vote. In fact, it seems like there is next to no pressure to be felt from the party in regards to Article 50. I fear that Theresa May could just have stolen a full Brexit out of the EU from underneath our noses.

Labour is in no position to challenge any party, let alone one holding a majority in the Commons. Labour is currently embroiled in a Trotskyite versus Less-Trotskyite civil war that has huge potential to total consign Labour to electoral oblivion. Journalists, part time pundits, arm chair politicos, and university-going Labour lovers across the nation are now panicking. ‘If there is no real and electable HM opposition, there will be no way to stop a Tory one-party state! The government will be able to do more or less whatever they want!’ Now don’t get me wrong, I understand how that could be a problem. We should indeed fear (with a pinch of salt) a ‘tyranny of the majority’ situation. Without an effective opposition to keep a majority holding party in check, unsavoury laws can sometimes be slipped through with next to no debate.

However, the parliamentary Labour Party endorsed Remain, and will continue to do so no matter who or what emerges from the proverbial bag of angry cats as Glorious Leader of the socialist revolution. They will not ensure that the voice of the British people is heard, even if they could somehow manage to be an effective opposition against the now Remainer-led Tories. If my suspicions of Theresa May turn out to have some reality behind them, then we many never leave the European Union or perhaps even end up with a Brexit-lite; an insult to the democracy that we pride ourselves on.

Enter UKIP. Keep in mind that Nigel Farage’s jolly band of love-them-or-hate-them purple renegades are pretty much the only reason we were bestowed a chance to break the shackles of the European Union in the first place. It’s entirely possible that if David Cameron hadn’t felt that the threat of UKIP splitting the Tory voter base in the 2015 General Election was legitimate, that we may never have been promised a referendum, let alone actually have gone through one. So surely UKIP will now stem my anxiety over Article 50, and continue to pressurise Her Majesties government by nipping at their toes?

It isn’t looking like that’s going to be the case. UKIP has been engulfed by a civil war vicious and bitter to its core. The most electable candidate Steven Woolfe has been forcibly ousted from the leadership race by the party’s National Executive committee. It has also come to surface now that the ever reviled Neil Hamilton and his cronies, heavily connected to the NEC, have launched an attempted purge against Mormons in the party; they claim that Mormons have a ‘disproportionate’ influence. In reality, it’s probably down to the fact that Nathan Gill, a Woolfe supporter and leader of UKIP Wales who was instrumental in delivering a UKIP presence in the Welsh Assembly and in securing a ‘Leave’ vote in Wales, is himself a Mormon. I don’t really need to comment on the absurdity of this civil war, it speaks for itself. It also screams alarm bells. Who the hell will keep the government in check over Brexit?

The crux of the issue here is that it is looking an awful lot like UKIP, the party that has recently played the part of the people’s poking stick to pressurise HM Government into listening, is about to either tear itself apart or elect an unelectable leader. It’s important not to underestimate or play down how important Farage’s charismatic and notably outspoken yet realistic leadership was in securing a referendum promise and a Leave result.

If you care about democracy, you need to fear the ongoing civil war in UKIP. I’ve been a Tory member for some time now, and I have only ever seen UKIP as a means to an end. A sympathiser; never a supporter, I relied on them and worked with them to deliver an escape from the undemocratic, protectionist, and statist European Union. I now feel that my very own party, a lot of which doesn’t love liberty quite as much as CFL members like myself, is going to try and con the British people out of their sovereign right to decide.

Article 50 needs to be triggered as soon as possible. There can be no dawdling, no messing around with the fine details; the people have spoken. UKIP used to hold a megaphone to that voice so that those in the seemingly soundproof Commons could hear.  If you believe in democracy, you should fear the fall of UKIP. With them gone or unelectable, don’t expect the main two parties to stand up and honour what we said on June 23rd.

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The views expressed in this article are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Conservatives for Liberty