What is DDIP really all about?
How did it all begin…..
Well as founder of DDIP, I doubt there is anyone who can answer this question better than me. Having been involved in politics for many years now – first with Labour and then with UKIP – I have certainly seen many changes in my time but none greater than peoples’ perceptions of British politics today.
For many years we went through a stage where the majority of people had simply had enough and resigned themselves to the fact that it really did not matter who was in power, they were going to get shafted no matter what. It was only how that happened that had any real bearing on the matter.
Then came along a man named Nigel Farage with a party called UKIP, a party that had outspoken politicians like Godfrey Bloom that said it how it really was and as they started to hit the headlines, it really was a breath of fresh air in British politics.
Here was a political party saying exactly what everyone else was thinking and Nigel’s style and charisma started waking people up from their political comas. I was one of the many hooked and was an extremely vocal activist from 2011-2014.
They broke all expectations in 2014 and became the first political party in Britain, other than Labour or Conservatives, to win a national election. Unfortunately, as great that victory was, it made them a clear threat to the establishment and so led to their own ultimate demise.
After that success of the 2014 EU elections, new faces were suddenly joining the ranks and being rapidly promoted within the party. I saw UKIP changing direction, suddenly wanting to be more like the other establishment parties that UKIP were actually meant to be against. I had no wish to go in that direction so stepped off the UKIP train and decided to go Independent, mainly to concentrate more on local politics rather than national politics.
In 2015 I stood as an Independent and came 13th out of 13, soon coming to realise that people did not want Independent candidates, they wanted a party they could believe in. Then in 2016 we had the EU Referendum and during the campaign I came to realise that people were changing the way they looked at and voted for political parties. In many debates it became more and more clear to me that people were in fact becoming more broadminded in their views and could agree with different parts of all parties: the cross party campaigns showed that opposing parties could work together on common aims.
On June 23rd 2016 the people of Britain voted to Leave the European Union. I, like many others, was somewhat surprised by the result, even though I had campaigned ardently for that result. This truly restored my faith in humanity because it was clear to me that the one key factor in that result was Sovereignty: people had shown it didn’t matter if they were worse off or not, they wanted Britain to be a self governing nation, no matter what.
No sooner had I started celebrating this victory, when Nigel Farage stepped down as Leader of UKIP. (I am still not convinced he wasn’t actually pushed but I guess we will never know).
Then the leadership battles started and as I saw this was UKIP’s last chance, I rejoined UKIP to help fight Steven Woolfe’s campaign because I knew in my heart that this was really a battle between the Carswellians and Steven who has always been pro membership. Unfortunately he was scuppered in his attempt to become leader.
Diane James won that first leadership election and became Leader but resigned just 18 days later. I am sure one day we will find out the truth about that. Then came another leadership battle and I was determined to back anyone who would fight to keep UKIP as UKIP and that most certainly wasn’t Paul Nuttall.
Unfortunately, I supported Raheem Kassam who decided to drop out of the race, so then I supported UKIP’s last chance, a man called John Rees Evans. John was the unknown quantity in the race but I soon came to realise that I should have backed him from day one. His views on Direct Democracy were totally on par with my own and his vision for UKIP were also identical. He truly wanted to empower the membership.
When it became a three horse race between John, Paul Nuttall and Suzanne Evans, I knew John was in fact UKIP’s last chance of survival. Sadly the membership did not see this and Paul became the new leader.
I had said to people like Bill Etheridge and Godfrey Bloom that should Paul win he would give Suzanne Evans a leading role and I was told I was talking nonsense. When Paul did exactly what I said he would do, I resigned from UKIP on November 29th 2016.
I had a lengthy chat with John Rees Evans about his plans for the future and he informed me that he would continue to fight for Direct Democracy within UKIP as he felt he owed it to the many people who had supported him throughout his campaign. I said I was more concerned about those like me who were leaving UKIP and did not have an alternative party to go to and that I would start a new party based on Direct Democracy and give people a real opportunity to voice their opinions in a party and so set about creating DDIP.
What were the fundamental ideas behind DDIP?
It was now clearly apparent that after the EU referendum people had become hungry for politics. However, they did not like what was on the current menu. It was quite amazing that people were now going out of their way to talk to me about politics. Not so long ago people were saying never talk religion or politics in a pub and yet there I was having people come up to me of varying political leanings, debating politics with me over a beer.
What became more and more clear to me is people were not happy with the current status quo and saw things in all parties that they could agree with. So with that in mind I thought about how a party could join people together in reasoned debates so that everyone had an equal opportunity to voice their own opinions in one party, even if they held opposing core political beliefs. I also knew that for Direct Democracy to ever become a reality, some kind of system had to be in place to connect the people in debates.
This was achieved by creating a members forum in a political party that cast aside the outdated Left and Right political ideologies and invited anyone who believed there has to be a better way of finding the best solutions.
The party has been built around its own Members forum, thus connecting all the membership and giving them the opportunity to voice their opinions at anytime that is convenient to them (24/7 365). Any member can put forward an idea for a policy and that is then debated on by the membership.
Should the debate then lead to a policy idea, it is then drafted and put back to the membership for further debate to iron out any creases. The final policy is then voted on by the membership using our internal voting system. Members are notified via email that there is a policy ballot and they then have seven days to login using their own personal details and they can vote either in favour or against that policy. After the seven days the results are shown and if more than 50% of those who have voted are in favour, then that policy is adopted.
As an example of our internal voting system we duplicated the UKIP 90 candidate NEC election. This was where UKIP hired a hall in Derby and then asked members to travel there at their own cost, only to find out there were not enough hours in the day and had to repeat that process (doubling the costs) the following weekend.
The DDIP system involves no costs to the party or its membership; money saved by using this system can be better spent on campaigns and promotion. It also means that every aspect of the party decision making can be voted on.
DDIP is open to anyone who is politically minded regardless of their previous political leanings. This is because the best solutions possible are always found from debating with those of opposing opinions. There can be no progress made on an idea if everyone agrees with it.
Some people have asked how DDIP intends to stop certain sections of society from infiltrating and swaying the vote in favour of what they want. In DDIP we use the debate platform not only to find the best solutions but to also educate each other through those debates. No one person has all the answers but by putting our heads together we can certainly find them. The collective thoughts of the many will always find better solutions faster than the selective opinions of the few.
So for arguments sake, say a group infiltrates the party that is against one particular thing and hopes to force that agenda. Unless they can provide clear evidence that what they say is fact, it will be easy for others to show evidence to the contrary and that in turns educates us all. This is why we believe that DDIP’s new concept of empowering the membership in a form of Direct Democracy will lead to a far better understanding of politics and find better solutions than any of our political opponents.
If you see the logic behind this thinking then do get on board and help create a real party of the people. All I have done is provide the tools to make DDIP a reality but if people want to have a real voice in British politics it is down to them to make this party a success.
You can join DDIP by filling out this application form
Thank you for reading this and I hope it has given you a better insight into what DDIP is really all about.