Direct Democracy in UKIP
John has long been of the belief that Direct Democracy in UKIP represents the future of politics in Britain and that ordinary party members should be afforded the same opportunity to propose and promote policies and campaign initiatives as the leadership and administration, and that policy adoption should be driven by merit and force of persuasion, rather than the influence of cliques, financial leverage, and the well-connected.
When John proposed these ideas publicly in November 2016 during his leadership campaign, his views were met with decisive opposition within the party hierarchy. Subsequently however, it appeared that the rationale for the then party leader, Paul Nuttall, in opposing John’s ideas was based on false premises and by March 2017 the party leader had come to share John’s view that the party should implement Direct Democracy.
Attempts by Paul Nuttall to Implement DD in UKIP
Further to the former party leader’s subsequent request described in an email composed by the party chairman and sent out to members on 28th March, the UKIP Direct team created the UKIP Direct website in April and began running tests with around 100 members, directly after the General Election in June. From July 2017, however, it came to appear that the agenda of Direct Democracy in UKIP lacked the will of key decision-makers within the party hierarchy to be implemented, and funding for the programme was not made available.
In spite of John having designed and overseen the implementation of the system without cost to the party, and John’s then being willing to sign over the intellectual property rights for the programme to the party, John was subsequently informed by the party treasurer that, in effect, the former leader had been functioning ultra vires in placing this request with John, and that the project did not actually have the backing of the NEC and could therefore not be funded.
Where Things Stand Now
John has secured funding independently for the Direct Democracy system, the developer has been paid for the work done, and the system is ready to go live as soon as key decision-makers within the party are able to convince John that doing so is not an empty gesture to placate the membership, and that the platform will indeed be supported and publicised by the party, and used in the way that it was conceived to be used.
However, as from early July 2017 John has come to be of the opinion that these circumstances will not materialise until such time as UKIP has a party leader that fully understands and is committed to the principles of Direct Democracy, and until either there is an NEC that likewise fully supports these principles, or else a means of imposing the will of the membership on the NEC – or on whichever organisation replaces the current structure – has been achieved.
In the meantime, we ask members carefully to file any proposal ideas that they have, pending the official launch of UKIP Direct, in the event that the above conditions are finally satisfied.
While we regret the wait, we are nonetheless very excited by this promising development and – having successfully championed genuine sovereignty for Britain – we believe that with the implementation of Direct Democracy, UKIP will be superbly well placed to champion the cause of fighting for genuine democracy in Britain and for a system that legally imposes the will of the British people on the government, rather than merely obligates them temporarily to adopt a popular policy until such time as it politically survivable to jettison such a policy.