Membership of UKIP is still rising, as of the latter half of May 2013 it stood at 28000, a rise of 46% since January. Contrast this with the membership of the Liberal Democrats which, as of January 2013, stood at 42,500 a drop of 42% since 2001.
Before fellow Ukippers get out the drums for a ceremonial paradiddle, look again, more closely at the figures. The fact that the Liberal Democrats have more members than UKIP is hidden by the “rise & fall” percentage figures. This is the new territory that we have now entered. The land of the “number cruncher”, beloved by the spin-doctors of the left.
Imagine Chuka Umunna, Iain Duncan Smith or Simon Hughes quoting these figures had they have related to their Parties. The membership numbers would have been deliberately edited out and the percentages highlighted. Why? because people love good news. Especially if it is presented in such a way as to be unequivocal. Having said that, let us not lose sight of the fact that despite all of the furore surrounding the accelerated rise of UKIP membership over the past twelve months, we are still minnows in political terms.
I, like all Ukippers have been jubilantly riding the crest of a wave and, why not? Things have been going our way, we are getting a lot of press coverage and our star is in the ascendant. However, like all waves, they eventually crash onto a beach somewhere and we need to be sure that we do not crash with them. I’m talking about public spats on Twitter and stupid, ill thought out comments on Facebook. All ‘grist to the mill’ for our critics.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that now is the time for UKIP members to ‘box clever’. We may well be minnows but, we are minnows with teeth who are ready to jump into the mainstream. Communities up and down the country are benefitting from having UKIP representation on their Local Councils, soon they will benefit from UKIP representation in Parliament. This is what we have all strived for and now is not the time to see all of that hard work go for nought.
Going back to the first paragraph, information, facts and figures are powerful tools. Used correctly they can sway public opinion and win or lose elections. At grass-roots level we have to stop taking facts and figures on face value. Find the source, check the facts, discuss them in forum or committee and come to your own conclusions. Having already checked my facts I would say, to anyone who questions me about UKIP, that since January our membership has risen by 46% whilst the Party below us, the LibDems, has seen their membership drop by 42% over the last twelve years.
That is a fact and also the truth which leads nicely into the next observation. ‘Common sense’.
Common sense is anathema to the Tories, Labour and the Liberal Democrats. Why? Because common sense relies on the truth and the well-being of others. They tell so many lies and half truths in order to preserve the Party line that only self-interest remains.
For example, common sense tells you that if you do not regulate immigration on this small island of ours you stand the risk of over-population. Labour, through self-interest, ignored this and carried on with a policy of uncontrolled immigration. In their eyes, more Labour voters justified the means. Self-interest outweighed common sense.
The same argument can be made about same sex marriage, foreign aid and the ever elusive EU referendum. The NEC can offer guidelines but it is down to us, at grass-roots level, to deliver the common sense message on the doorstep. This is where ‘boxing clever‘ comes in. We do not need distractions caused by public squabbling as we will have enough to contend with. We know that we will be hit by the racist question, the immigration question, the EU question and, possibly the question about the economy. All these before we can deliver our ‘common sense’ message so, my advice would be to, take dis agreements out of the public domain and deal with them privately whenever possible.
Otherwise, I suspect, you will spend more time defending UKIP than promoting it.