In 2010 I remember someone sending me a video of Nigel Farage in the EU Parliament asking Van Rumpoy, the then president of the EU, “Just who the hell do you think you are and calling him a damp rag”. That was most certainly a breath of fresh air for me in regards to politics and I soon started showing a lot more interest in what UKIP and especially Nigel Farage were all about……. Here is that video from 2010.
So Nigel Farage was certainly waking me and many others up to the nonsense of the European Union and I began to study the EU intensely, the more I found out about it the more concerned I became. In 2011 I started to attend local UKIP meetings and soon became an ardent campaigner for UKIP both locally and nationally. My first serious conversation with Nigel was during the Eastleigh by election campaign when we were trying to get Diane James elected as an MP. From talking to Nigel it was clearly apparent to me that what you see is what you get and there was certainly no falseness in his passion for getting Britain out of the EU. 2013 was a very important year for UKIP and the Eastleigh by-election certainly got the party noticed but the real springboard for UKIP’s success came about more by chance than design. In November 2012 a couple in Rotherham had their foster children removed simply because they had announced they were members of UKIP, of course Nigel did not miss out on the opportunity that this had given him and the mistake the media actually made in this particular story was to make UKIP the underdogs and we all know how us Brits will always support the underdog, its actually party of our own culture to do so. This is why Eddie ‘The Eagle’ Edwards was a national hero but no one particularly liked Steve Davis when he was a world champion in his sport. It is just the way we are. So the media who have constantly attacked UKIP at every opportunity were in fact the ones who made UKIP popular in the first place.
Well Nigel was a great unifier and the speeches he made in Parliament, at conferences or at meetings around the country certainly got everyone singing from the same song sheet in regards to getting Britain out of the EU. However it was very clear to me that Nigel only had one aim and really didn’t care too much for the party nonsense, he left all that to the likes of Paul Nuttall and Steve Crowther and Crowther was personally responsible for getting rid of some very good people in UKIP, I suspect he will be doing the same now he is on the NEC. In 2014 UKIP had its biggest success of all by becoming the first political party in Britain other than Labour or Conservatives to a national election in the European Parliament elections. Unfortunately this popularity attracted the career politicians like, Suzanne Evans, Patrick O’Flynn and numerous others. At the time we had a UKIP members forum and we often referred to these newcomers as NARP’s (Newly Arrived, Rapidly Promoted) and they simply saw UKIP as a step ladder for their own political ambitions, they had not fought to get UKIP were it was nor seemed to understand what UKIP were really about and simply decided that they wanted to professionalise the party to make it more like the others, much akin to the parties we were actually supposed to be against. I was actually witnessing the exact same Toryification of UKIP that had caused me to cast Labour aside when Tony Blair managed to do it and in 2014 I soon came to realise that UKIP was on a downhill slope and as it was determined to go in a direction I had no wish to go, I quit the party and became an Independent. I’ve always remained in contact with the friends I had made in UKIP and still voted for them on a national level but was certainly sickened by some of the antics of people like Suzanne Evans, with the stunts she pulled on the likes of Alan Craig and others just to increase her own chances as well as her constant jibes at Nigel Farage, calling him the divisive one, now that is hypocrisy at its very best.
Then on June 23rd 2016 we won the EU Referendum, much to many people’s surprise and at that point Nigel confirmed something that I had always believed, he only ever had one aim and that was to get Britain that much needed referendum, he had not only achieved that but we had also won that referendum and I fully understand why after fighting for over 21 years to achieve that goal he decided that it was time for him to get his life back. However the knives in UKIP were definitely out and there was a distinct flavour of anti Faragism in the party. Anyone who supported or applauded Nigel were shunned, people like Steven Woolfe, Raheem Kassam, Arron Banks and John Rees Evans were suddenly looked upon as the bad guys and the likes of Suzanne Evans were suddenly been shown as being the victims, I was told that Neil Hamilton had said Faragism is the cancer of UKIP and needs to be removed, Suzanne Evans and Paul Nuttall were #TeamSensible and along with Douglas Carswell were openly stating that Nigel was the divisive one and what really amazed me about it all is people were actually accepting it? I rejoined UKIP in an attempt to stop what was about to happen because I knew that if either Paul Nuttall or Suzanne Evans became leader it would mean UKIP would then become just another politically correct, establishment party under Tory control and if anyone thinks that is not what has happen now, then they really do need to take their blinkers off and take a proper look at the party, I would be very surprised to see them try to take more than 20 seats in the next General Election and think they will be lucky to get double figures. The moment Paul Nuttall proved everything I had been saying was true by giving Suzanne Evans leading roles, I emailed Paul Oakden and quit the party for good and I was far from alone in doing so. However, I was fully aware that there really wasn’t an alternative to UKIP for myself or any of the others who were tearing up their membership cards…
So I certainly realised that an alternative to UKIP was needed now more than ever or else ex UKIP members would find themselves with no political home or even worse become once again disenfranchised with British politics. The EU Referendum had awoken many from their political comas and they were hungry for politics, however they did not like what was on the current menu. There were two clear obvious mistakes that had happened in UKIP over the years, one was it lost its believe of Direct Democracy, which is a bit of a surprise considering that UKIP in the EU parliament sits on the EFDD group (European Freedom & Direct Democracy) and are also members of ADDE (Association of Direct Democracy Europe) but it has to be clear to anyone now that those at the top of UKIP have no real desire for Direct Democracy within the party, they know best and as Paul Nuttall clearly stated people have the choice of either getting behind them or leaving. The other major mistake UKIP made was the closure of its own Members Forum back in 2014, this broke the connect between grassroots members and the hierarchy, obviously done deliberately but I do believe that for Direct Democracy to work there has to be a debate platform like a members forum to keep everyone connected. I had a long chat with John Rees Evans on the 29th November 2016 because he had campaigned on a Direct Democracy ticket throughout his leadership campaign and I needed to know if he had any plans for a new party, he believed that he had a duty to those in UKIP who had supported him throughout his campaign and it would be wrong for him to walk away simply because he didn’t win. He said he would remain in UKIP to continue the fight from within to get Direct Democracy back into the party. Well I don’t hold out much hope for his chances for success in that endeavour with #TeamSensible calling the shots now and I still had the problem of there being no alternative political home for those like me who had already quit, so I put the wheels in motion for setting up an new political party, one that would be based on Direct Democracy and would have that members forum to ensure that all members had an equal opportunity of voicing their own opinions to help shape policies, structure and direction.
DDIP was officially started on November 29th 2016 and it has already started to prove to be a very interesting project. We initially wanted the name it Direct Democracy Initiative Party but unfortunately this was rejected by the electoral commission because there is already a party named Direct Democracy (Communist) Party, so we had to think of a new name. This was a good test for the Members Forum as members put forward party name ideas and then we had a vote where members could choose any two from the list and the winning party name was DEMOS DIRECT INITIATIVE. Demos (pronounced DEE-MOS) is the Greek word for ‘The People’ and the origins of the word Democracy, Direct is because we are a Direct Democracy party and Initiative in government means a procedure by which a specified number of voters may propose policies, constitutional amendment, or ordinance, and compel a popular vote on its adoption. Which fully describes the party in just three words.
At the time of creating the party, UKIP were going through their own NEC elections and so as an example of what we can actually achieve I duplicated their 90 candidates NEC election on our members forum, allowing members to vote on no more than 7. It worked like a dream and showed the members how DDIP could run an internal election of 90 candidates without any financial costs to the party or its membership and most importantly there could not be any errors whatsoever in the counting of the votes. When we create polices in DDIP all members have an equal opportunity to debate a policy idea to get the best overall solution to any given problem, then a policy is drafted and put forward to the members for further debate and then voted on before adoption. We believe that by creating a direct democracy system within the party it will increase the chances of the somewhat Utopian idea of a nationwide direct democracy system in Britain becoming a reality. Our aim is to use the collective minds of the many to find the best solutions possible for the betterment of the people and the more people who do get on board the faster those solutions can be found.
If you would like to find out more about DDIP visit our website at WWW.DDIP.ORG.UK The Commonsense Party of the People.
All the very best