The current spat between Neil Hamilton and Marta Andeasen chronicled by Junius is the first round in what promises to be a long game of musical chairs for UKIP MEP slots. UKIP will certainly win more MEPs in the 2014 Euro elections and out of the woodwork will crawl a largely talentless collection of wannabee UKIP MEPs who want to get on the £ 1 million pound guaranteed gravy train that a high spot on the UKIP slate brings.
The downside to party list systems of voting is you don't vote for a candidate as you do in a UK parliamentary election you vote for a party. After party votes representatives are picked of a pre ranked list of candidates submitted by each party and declared as elected representatives of the people by the EU. So who ranks the candidates on the UKIP lists. Well last time it was done on a democratic vote of UKIP members in the region but under the new constitution Farage pushed through list places will be allocated by the NEC however as many members of the NEC want to be on the MEP lists I estimate only half the elected members will be able to vote on these list rankings.
UKIP's web site shows an NEC of 13 elected member and 5 ex-officio, ie unelected Farage nominated members. Farage attends all meetings of UKIP NEC something which does not appear under the NEC section of UKIP's website. I wonder why not?
The truth is Farage defacto controls UKIP's NEC. Its a manipulated system. Those elected to UKIP's NEC are frequently nominated, seconded or asseted by Farage. That counts hugely with the UKIP ordinary members who vote for such Farage endorsed candidates thinking they are supporting the great leader. It works in reverse when the leadership election comes round. These Farage endorsed NEC members and UKIP MEPs endorse Farage and once more the ordinary members think they are supporting the UKIP leadership. They are but what they don't realise that the people they are voting for are largely there for their own selfish reasons rather than furthering UKIP's aims.
Ms Andreasen seems now to find herself on the wrong side of this system. She appears to have lost the leader's favour. Worse the leader it seems now smiles on Neil Hamilton an elected member of the NEC and widely expected to be a UKIP MEP candidate in the SW region. She is quoted by Junius as considering herself an elected representative of the British people. What is her address in the UK? What does she do in the UK? Other than Brussels where else does she reside?
I opposed Farage at the NEC over allowing Ms Andreasen onto any UKIP slate in 2009 as she did not meet 5 or 6 of UKIP's stated and published candidate criteria. Using his control over the NEC Farage pushed her improper candidacy through. What is to stop this happening many more times for the 2014 Euro elections? Nothing, in fact given his new constitutional powers it will be easier for Farage to get his own nominees onto every slate in the country. Last time there were three of us on the UKIP NEC, myself, David Abbot and Del Young prepared to speak out for upholding UKIP candidacy rules. We are gone. Who will speak for UKIP rules now in this matter? Who on the UKIP NEC dares oppose Farage?