The Current Status of Ukip, Gerard Batten's Speech, Full Analysis

Ukip's Leader (elected unopposed of course) Gerrard 'Von' Batten, yes he of the dayglo lilac suit, made a keynote speech in Dorset on his party's recent past and future.

Unwilling as we are to draw too much attention to the now irrelevant extremist Party, it's worthy of note and a good basis on which to summarise the party's current perilous position, politically, democratically, financially.

Here's a selection of his statements, and our rebuttals.

On 'Dictatorship' in the UK ...

Batten says the UK in 2018 is "like living in Nazi Germany" and constantly returned to the theme about living in a society which somehow resembles the 1930s.
  • Nazi Germany, a political system embraced by Ukip's allies in Europe, such as the Swedish Democrats, who actually started as a Nazi Party, France's Front National, Germany's AfD who have spent most of their political life trying and failing to expel Nazis from within. And of course the man who saved Ukip's EU Group Finances - Poland's actual Nazi Janusz Korwin-Mikke who 'Seig Heils' to journalists and even did so in the EU Parliament. Perhaps if Batten dislikes Nazis so much he should ensure his party neither associates with or supports them.
He compared living in Britain today to being a citizen of a dictatorship.
  • A dictatorship perhaps like that growing in Hungary, another friend of Ukip that they support and talk up constantly. Ukip Blog Westmonster UK love Viktor Orban to death.
He said "It is now like living in the Soviet Union, or Nazi Germany, where you cannot speak the truth, without endangering your livelihood."
  • Oh, nothing wrong with speaking the truth - if it's the truth - but if you break the laws, or your employment contract, you suffer the contract, These are the British Laws enacted by our own Parliament which Ukip claim to support.

On South Africa ...

Batten slammed Theresa May for supporting what he called ‘ethnic cleansing’ in South Africa.
  • Which she never said, of course. When it comes to ethnic cleansing, that's the policy of groups such as Generation Identity who wish to remove all Muslims from Europe. Oh and of course, 'GI' are fully supported in this by Ukip.
"When we have the Prime Minister, this week in South Africa, saying that it was ok for the South African Government to take away the lands of white farmers. Our Prime Minister - has stood up and said basically it is ok to ethnically cleanse people in South Africa"
  • Batten returned to this theme but repetition doesn't make it true, ever. Theresa May, loathsome and incompetent in so many ways as she is, didn't state as such. 
  • The South Africa 'White Farmers' 'story' was created by mainly American White Supremacist groups, ignorant of course on the two centuries of history of Africa. Factually, it has no basis whatsoever. While violence occurs, white farmers suffer no more violence than black farmers, per population.

On Brexit ...

If Gerard Batten had been Prime Minister, and not Theresa May, he would be "doing a much better job with Brexit".
The UKIP leader said he had an exit plan which would have involved immediately using Parliament to undo EU laws ...
  • leading to almost Instant Economic Crash ...
 ... and then offering free trade to the EU - but not free movement of people.
  • Offer as you may, the EU would never accept such, and this has been their stated position from Day One. Has Batten not been paying attention? Batten's 'plan' is as pie-in-the-sky as the 'have your cake and eat it' and 'just wishing makes it so'.
"If we’d have had a genuine, patriotic Prime Minister after the referendum, and a patriotic House of Commons, what would they have done ?"
  • Ah. The reversion to 'Patriotism' and the suggestion that everyone else isn't. A dog whistle extraordinaire. Much as we dislike the current PM and the make up of the Commons, that's democracy for you, right or wrong, broken or working.
"We could have said forget Article 50, that’s your law, we’re not doing it that way, we’re doing it our way.”
  • Except this would have been both illegal and disastrous under the Exit Process that we signed up to, decades ago. Seems Batten wants the UK to be known as a nation which breaks it's agreements. Good luck getting Trade Deals on that basis.
Batten stated a "new determination to make a difference and push for a proper exit from the EU."
  • Batten seems blissfully unaware that Ukip's Brexit Plan - whatever it is, no-one seems to know, but he calls it 'proper' - is one of - we're guessing - 37 different plans for Brexit. His seems to be All Out Now Regardless of Consequences ... which nobody - probably not even many Ukip members - voted for.

On Employment ...

Suggested several times that ordinary Britons could "lose their jobs if they spoke their minds."
  • Only if they break the employment contracts to which they sign up. Or, as in many cases, actually break the law.
“I feel so sorry for people who are out there now in whatever job they have, whether it be in education, in the health service, everyday jobs where they’re frightened to actually say the truth and the obvious about things."
  • As for 'truth and obvious', such statements as employees get fired for is rarely truth nor obvious to those with a balanced and informed opinion. Most termination of contracts have come, we recall, from racist or violence-inspiring comments about muslims, driven in the main by Ukip, Britain First or EDL rhetoric.
  • Of course, he should really 'feel sorry' for those for whom Brexit is already affecting their pay, their overtime, and in the end, their jobs. 100s of 1000s of jobs will be lost - even the Leave Campaign admitted so.

On Bankruptcy ...

Batten admitted the party "almost disappeared” earlier in 2018 (actually it's the third near-miss they have with the debtors) when he took over, praising members for helping him to raise £300,000 which averted the real danger of bankruptcy. “We really were on the brink of annihilation. Quite apart from the political faux pas that we committed for the previous two years, financially we were about to go bankrupt."
  • Batten omits to state that the Party's expenditure is currently still outstripping it's income. This annual 'escape' from bankruptcy is likely to remain a regular occurence, especially as Ukip become less and less relevant.
  • It is also notable that until recently, Ukip repeatedly denied any financial problems of any kind. In short, he's at least being honest - but he's also saying 'we lied to you for years'.
  • Ukip also still owe a London Hedge Fund Manager a personal debt of £470,000. Repayment of this has been deferred twice. It can't go on forever.
Mr Batten said the bulk of £300,000 collected to keep the party afloat "came from members and patrons, rather than bigger donors."
  • Unproven, and we're pretty sure, unlikely. Where the cash came from no-one can say, but whatever Batten claims, we think it's more likely to have come from high net worth individual donors.

On Membership ...

After an exodus, Mr Batten said UKIP membership was again "starting to rise". "Numbers dipped to 18,000 under Henry Bolton but were now at almost 24,000"
  • Ukip stopped providing actual confirmed Membership Data to the media about a year or so ago, just about the time they'd peaked at about 39,000 and were falling fast. Since then each membership number has been the basis of unproven 'claims'. each suitably inflated.
  • Our data from our confirmed sources is that Ukip membership bottomed at 8450 and has risen recently to about 10,300.
  • Batten may be being mislead by his own party officials here, or perhaps he's simply ignoring the 100s of lapsing memberships monthly. Some join, some leave. The peak month for joing Ukip was August 2015, which means of course those memberships become due for renewal every August. The percentage of those renewals lapsing increases every year.
  • For now, it's growth, and minimal, but unsustainable and highly unlikely to continue for long.

On A Possible Election ...

“I put the party on red alert a couple of months ago. There may be an election - we have to be ready for it. People are now lining up to be candidates.”
  • Ah, Ukip Candidates. A constant source of merriment and joy to all, every election. Our favourite last time out was the Scottish Candidate who said she was sexually attracted to gorillas.
  • Ukip, due to budgetary constraints, have little or no vetting procedures to support any kind of nationwide campaign.
  • Expect much guffaws next time out. Every Ukip Candidate standing will be scrutinised with a microscope, both by us and others. It's ripe territory.
Batten described his "ambitious goals set about forcing out MPs with slim majorities.
  • 'Forcing out' MPs will of course simply force in one of their Tory, Lib Dem or Labour opponents. As a Ukip strategy, it simply doesn't work in their favour. Any effect they may have is most likely to be self-correcting across the parties. And this is his Election Strategy.
We can take that certainty away from the Tories and Labour... that’s our immediate tactic. That’s what we’re going to be doing in the immediate future - fighting in those marginals.”
  • At least Batten is conceding the unlikelihood of Ukip winning any actual seats. We well remember the Ukip claims of 'Forty Westminster MPs' in past elections (it even went up to 100 at one point). Seems Batten has been bitten by the realism of his party's tiny minority status.
He’s drawing up a list of 20 Parliamentary seats where voters chose to leave the EU - but where the local MP backed ‘Remain’.
  • Neatly sidestepping the fact that where the voters chose to Leave then (two years ago, remember) it more and more likely they now choose to Remain.
"These seats will be UKIP’s top targets whenever the next election takes place."
  • Ukip have failed to attain any of their 'targets' in any election since the Europeans in 2014. Still, ambition is a wonderful thing. Reality however is a cruel mistress.
"Make no mistake about it - they both intend to betray this country and either overturn the referendum, or do what I said, and not really leave at all.”
  • The old 'betrayal' line. Batten really hates the majority parties. And democracy. Betrayal ... would be proceeding with a 'Brexit' long since proven both to be fraudulent and economically disastrous.

On Hate Speech ...

“I will say what I believe, and what I believe to be true."
  • Yes, Gerrard, but when it's proven to be false as it usually is, and in fact is often incitement of hatred, you should cease it.
“And that doesn’t mean being nasty to anybody, that doesn’t mean insulting anybody, it just means being able to say black is black, white is white, and the sky is blue.”
  • But it does mean being nasty and insulting, in Ukip. There are simply hundreds and hundreds of examples, rarely if ever acted upon by party officials. Such has been both party policy and practice constantly since it was formed. It's what Ukip is. And will ever be.

On 'Populism' ...

Batten's ultimate goal is to produce a list of bullet point policies that would be popular with voters ... “I want our policies to be popular with the people."
  • Popular. No mention of whether those policies are right, just popular. This is why populism is false. Whiskey is very popular to an alcoholic.
"I’m sure it won’t have escaped your attention that the word ‘populist’ now is a pejorative term."
  • Indeed. Because 'populist' Governments have formed in Hungary, a fledgling Dictatorship, and Italy, an already-failing Semi-Fascist Coalition. There's you're 'populism'.
He also described UKIP more than once in his speech in the Dorset countryside as the “only opposition”.
  • Oh, please.... Has there ever such a perfect two-word example of the complete dismissal of electoral reality ? We think not.

Local to Dorset ...

Batten referred constantly to the local 'Leave' Vote. And here's where it bites.

A majority of voters in the South West now want a ‘people’s vote’ on Brexit.

The most recent YouGov poll (merely the latest poll to replicate the same results) concluded that most people in Dorset actually want actually almost the very opposite of Ukip's 'version' of Brexit ;
  • A majority want a say on any final Brexit deal negotiated by the government;
  • A majority want a new referendum if talks break down and the UK has to choose between staying in the EU or leaving without a deal
Crucially, overall 51% now support Remaining in the EU - a complete reversal in an area where most voted to leave in the 2016 Referendum.

Perhaps Dorset wasn't the ideal audience he thought it would be.