I have listened intently to your commentary on LBC this weekend concerning the direction of UKIP.
As somebody who has always been a big fan of yours I believe that your intentions are genuine but, on this occasion, your conclusions are incorrect.
Let me elaborate
Firstly, you state that the Brexit march on 9th December is a UKIP rather than a cross party event. This is not a correct assessment. Whilst UKIP members will be involved and both Gerard Batten and Lord Pearson will be on the list of speakers, it was always intended to be a march for Brexiteers from all parts of the spectrum – this was made clear yesterday in an email from The Party Chairman which states
“The planned march on 9th December was not organised by UKIP but members are free to attend should they wish.”
Which brings us on to your concern about the risk of violence at the event which could negatively impact on the Brexit campaign.
You stated that the involvement of Tommy Robinson will attract thugs who will carry out acts of violence and that previous events that he has been involved in have seen arrests and Police Horses attacked. As somebody who has been active in street politics since 2010 with a number of groups, I have indeed seen some unpleasant scenes at events – but these are invariably triggered and mainly perpetrated by the regressive left, most notably the likes of AntiFA and the UAF.
Take, for example, two marches by The Football Lads Alliance. In 2017, seventy thousand turned out on the streets of London to protest against extremism, grooming gangs and the treatment of our armed forces veterans. There were people of all backgrounds involved, including a large veterans contingent. With a very small number on the counter demonstration from ‘Stand up to Racism’, there was not one arrest.
Contrast this with their successor organisation, the DFLA, doing the same march this year. Around two thousand counter demonstrators turned up from AntiFA, UAF, SUTR and the Trade Unions – Police were attacked, as were women and children on the main march. Scuffles erupted down Whitehall as the counter demonstrators ran riot. Yet the mainstream media reported it as ‘violence at a far right rally’. You can see my report on the event here –