Yesterday Marta Andreasen, UKIP MEP and former EU accountant before being dismissed for alleging fraud by the EU, issued a press statement, one that reputedly read:
"Party members and supporters are justifiably angry. After promises of success and claims that the party would triple the number of its seats, after large amounts of party members and donors money was spent on what was a poorly led campaign, the result was frankly dismal. I do not for one minute lay any blame for the results at the candidates or party workers door. Their work-rate and commitment to UKIP is beyond reproach. This campaign was masterminded at the top and that is where the axe must fall.
"As someone who passionately shares UKIP ideals and who works day in day out to further the party message in the European Parliament and in my constituency of the South East, the result was a bitter disappointment.
"It is time for change. Mr Farage has abjectly failed to deliver and is not leading the party on the course to victory. Even he must recognise this fact.
"I am calling on him to step down as Leader of UKIP and make room for a new Leader who resonates more with the public and who will move us forward to where I know we should be.
"UKIP can become an even more significant and powerful voice of dissent towards the UK government's ongoing capitulation to the European Union. It should also build on articulating the concerns of the Great British public on a number of home policy fronts. With the Liberal Democrats in free-fall, Labour in a mess and the Conservatives popularity on the wane, there are opportunities to be grasped.
"I do not believe that these opportunities will ever come to fruition with Mr Farage as Leader."
In searching for this statement and news of the event, the last place I thought of looking was the BBC but, lo and behold, they have actually reported it. Having said that, I do have one small gripe:
"The party came second to the Conservatives at the 2009 European Parliament elections but it has never done well in town hall elections."
and with the usual BBC bias they have understandably never heard about the result for Ramsey Town Council - but I digress.
I have also been in email contact with Marta Andreasen who has responded that whilst it is not on her own website, but will be in approximately half an hour, that as she is about to go into a meeting she will email me her comments later - at which time I will update this post. (I now notice that the aforementioned press statement has now appeared on her website.)
Earlier today The Purple Scorpion had a 'condemnation post' on the subject of Nigel Farage and the performance of UKIP as a result of the local elections and on which I left my own contribution in the comments section. I know that some in UKIP consider that Nigel Farage is a good speaker but - and her I quote one particular MEP (who I will not, under any circumstances, identify):
".....he makes a bad leader because he mixes with the wrong people, has some very bad habits, has no idea how to motivate staff and is very selfish. He takes all the credit for himself via his own publicity machine, for which others pay. UKIP should not be a "One man band " but this where he has taken it. I did not notice any National Election Campaign and we are not a Right Wing party, a fact that needs to be made clear. Wanting Independence is not a Right Wing policy, it is a basic UK right."
On a personal basis I have to agree with the first comment contained in the quote above; that Nigel Farage is an very good off-the-cuff public speaker who resonates with his audience probably for his use of plain English coupled with his forthrightness. Where Nigel Farage has a difficiency is that he has no administrative ability and has commited the cardinal sin, as does appear has Cameron and MiliE, of surrounding themselves with yes-men. It is also a fact that for some years now I have considered the presentation of the party completely mis-focused and wrong, that the party website is virtually useless and is now on a par with a political joke and that amongst Farage's yes-men are those more concerned about their personal advancement than should be the case. As an example, when Farage stood in Buckingham against John Bercow, the person who appeared to be responsible for running Farage's campaign (ineptly, some believe) was the person who, had Farage been successful in his bid for MP, been the person who being next on the list would have taken his place in Brussels - perhaps the focus was on the wrong objective?
The statement by Marta Andreasen has the potential to cause much grief with UKIP and whilst I believe her basic argument to be sound, is an unwelcome development. Needless to say for Farage to be usurped it would need a challenge for the leadership, but then the question has to be asked from whom might that come. What is needed, again in my opinion, is someone who is personable (although not necessarily well-known to the public), who has leadership and administrative skills and is able to present a quiet, reasoned argument without the need for 'jingoism'. In this regard the election of Lord Pearson was ideal in that he was a man of "Old English" values, however by his own admission was not effective in the present-day cut-and-thrust world of politics. In electing a leader there is an element of the 'unknown', but on the other hand very often the 'unknown' is written off before they have had a chance to show their ability - one has only to recall Margaret Thatcher who was initially dismissed (a) because she was a woman and (b) because she had that air of calm and reasonableness when dealing with the public on a face-to-face basis - but yet, as events showed - promptly proved all her critics wrong.
Time, as it is said, will tell.............