There is a points at which, even if you support an organisation, it becomes necessary to speak out because only from such criticism will the organisation realise that its behaviour is unacceptable. Following information I have received since the Euro Elections regarding UKIP in Scotland, I now must speak out.
In a democracy there are certain standards we must expect of any political party, and one is these is that the party itself is democratic. Because if it doesn’t respect democracy within the party, then it will not respect in society in general.
As such as the former energy spokesman for UKIP Scotland, I feel compelled to express my concerns regarding UKIP as I am increasingly alarmed by the party’s attitude to Scottish democracy.
As was widely reported, six months ago the Scottish UKIP leader Lord Monckton was summarily sacked and the Scottish chairman Mike Scott-Hayward forced to resign. Their crime? Planning to hold an EGM to explain to Scottish party members why they had stood down from the MEP list in Scotland. The fact UKIP would not justify the way they handled David Coburn’s selection (the present Scottish MEP) to their own members at this EGM was damning enough for me to leave the party.
Officially, Misty Thackeray then became acting Chairman until the AGM which was due to be held before the Euro Elections. Much to many members disgust that AGM never took place. I now hear it has been put off until “after the independence referendum”. That means the election of a replacement Scottish Chairman, which should have been urgent, will be delayed for almost a year and there is still no confirmed date so it could be longer.
Even for the Vice Chairman Misty Thackeray to have continued this long without the endorsement of members is unacceptable for a political party in a democracy. But it is worse! We now hear in the Scotsman that the Vice Chairman is not in fact running the party. Instead the new MEP, David Coburn ‘was “sort of running it”.
So it is the persons whose own selection onto the UKIP MEP list was so contentious that the old Chairman resigned who has now taken over the party and is refusing to have the AGM. But surely as the first elected representative in Scotland, Coburn would be more than eager to receive the acclaim of his party members at an AGM?
Things must be really dire in UKIP Scotland if Coburn, who should expect to be showered in glory, is so fearful of democracy that he dare not face the Scottish members at an AGM.
And he has the same contempt for democracy generally. Being London based, I doubt Coburn even has a vote in our referendum and from press reports, he clearly knows little of Scotland since devolution. He would best be quiet. But no! Unlike any of the No Campaign, Coburn has stormed in to say that if Scots vote yes for independence, he will not accept it. The Euro-elections show this is no idle threat. UKIP could easily be part of the next UK government in 2015 and if Coburn removed the only Scottish Tory MP he could be their Scottish minister able carry out his threat to reverse the democratically expressed wishes of the Scottish people.
And how will he do this? If UKIP Scotland is anything to go by, he will summarily dismiss the elected representatives, cancel elections and take over the government.