On 23rd June something extraordinary happened. In the most significant exercise in genuine democracy that Britain has ever witnessed, the people in voting convincingly to leave the European Union and regain total control over our national destiny, proved that so-called democracy in Britain is now an embarrassing farce.
The referendum vote exposed a clear democratic disconnect and demonstrated beyond question that in Britain we have political representatives who, while claiming to represent us, nonetheless overtly oppose the proven will of the people who have elected them and who pay their salaries.
Politicians in Britain recognise that the only means by which they are able to manoeuvre themselves into positions of power and influence is by feigning their commitment to the notion of democracy. Once in power however, they show their true colours, their disdain for genuine democracy, and their contempt for their masters – the ordinary people – by rejecting all available channels of communication by which they may better ascertain what actually is the will of those who they lead.
UKIP used to be an anti-establishment party, and that’s why I’ve always supported them since the early 1990’s. However, we are now being hijacked by our own home-grown etablishment which, in its desire for acceptability and respectability amongst the Westminster elite, wants to move the party in the direction that they judge is best, a direction that will pander to mainstream media, emasculate our powerful message and soon render us a political irrelevance; no longer equipped to leverage the government into securing a genuine Brexit.
You see, our own party elite think they know best. They think ordinary people are too ignorant to know what they need. And you can see the effect of this attitude. Wherever I travel throughout the country I meet members who have tremendous talent and commitment and valuable knowledge and experience. And yet these people are being ignored.
We have energy experts who could inform UKIP’s energy-independence policy, who have no means to contribute their ideas. We have veterans who have heavy hearts for the fate of their fellow ex-Servicemen, people who know what are the proper channels by which those who have given our country so much and who are themselves now in dire need, can get the support they require.
But no-one is listening to them, because there a spirit of elitism and arrogant superiority in our party. There is an attitude that says, just shut up and toe the party line and we’ll get in touch when we need you to skivvy for us, knocking doors and delivering leaflets, next time we have the chance to get one of our friends into a paid job.
Seriously, this has to end now.
The people who made UKIP great are the ordinary members, who pound the streets and sacrifice their own time with no expectation of thanks or acknowledgement. And these people are being used to promote the career interests of UKIP’s own new generation of apparatchiks.
John Rees-Evans is a UKIP leadership candidate