Kipperwatch! Something is rotten at the heart of Southend UKIP


reservoir ukip

We’re nearly a week on, now, from the bizarre latest clash in the Southend UKIP civil war, and I’m not entirely sure what we’ve learnt.

I did say, back when there appeared to be some sort of reconciliation between Cllrs Moyies and Waterworth, the leaders of the two “factions”, that it wasn’t over. I am delighted to have been vindicated.

The thing is, this isn’t just a battle between egos, but a fight for the soul of UKIP in Southend. I have long suspected that the party’s surge¬†(Isn’t that word trademarked by the Green Party? -Ed) in popularity has brought into the fold a lot of, shall we say, less savoury folks. It would explain how UKIP members in Rochford & Southend East managed to take a no brainer like Moyies vs Waterworth and still get it wrong.

No, it comes down, for my money, to Moyies being “too moderate” for the new UKIP. And my little birds are bringing me suggestions that this is exactly the case.

James Moyies is now permanently expelled” from UKIP, though he claims to be appealing. I’m sure he’ll be as unsuccessful before the Kangaroo Court of Appeal as he was with the Kangaroo Court of First Instance, and given that the dear leader Farage has described him as not being a “team player”, it seems unlikey he’d get a fair hearing in any case.

So the hinterland of Independence beckons, which is an unbearably ponsey way of saying he’ll go and sit with Ron Woodley and Martin Terry. Which might suit him better, actually.

My little birds report that some of his colleagues, his supporters even, hope that he’ll go voluntarily into exile and as such they won’t have to make the choice between Moyies and Waterworth. Moyies is far and away the more competent of the two (Which sounds like a compliment, but is much like saying, “The sky is bluer than the grass” -Ed), but Waterworth seems to have quite the stranglehold on the local party. After somehow becoming succeeding Moyies as chair of the South Essex branch he alone is determining candidates for the local elections, and his efforts to turn the party into a retirement home for local Conservative has-beens is not universally popular.

To be fair, though, from what I hear their candidate selection doesn’t exactly seem to be going well generally. One particular individual, earmarked for what must be a target ward, has apparently been excluded on the basis of their former membership of, err, the National Front. I won’t name them now, but there’s a chance that they may stand anyway as an independent (Because Lord knows we need more of those… -Ed), in which case disclosure may follow. The electorate deserve to be informed, after all.

So given that he seems to have very little support (I.e. none -Ed) within the council base, who exactly is it that’s backing him? Moyies accusations of intimidation and threats are fascinating, but at the moment unproved — though I would offer that whilst James Moyies is many things, I’d hesitate before branding him a liar. But Waterworth’s meteoric rise, devoid of hard work or wit, certainly raises questions.

The most immediate question raised though, in light of the looming election, is what reason would anyone possible have for voting for UKIP in Southend. Even if you support UKIP’s terrifyingly regressive policies, the cavalcade of clowns which wear the purple and yellow in this town have shown themselves firstly unable to organise a drinking party in a brewing establishment, and secondly disposed to hang anyone who looks as though¬†they might be able to.

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5 comments

  1. Leaving alone comment on the rest of the post, on the Councillor selection I have to put you right on 3 facts:

    1. The Branch Committee agreed the Councillor appointments, NOT Cllr Waterworth alone.
    2. Because of delays from the vetting process, we only yesterday sent out a press release with the first tranche of our candidates. Working on a few more.
    3. The reference you make to “National Front” occured in a case of Facebook page misidentification, the person in question having a quite common name. Some other bloke in Nottinghamshire was all tied with such distasteful organisations, our man is absolutely clean and is in the press release.

    1. There’s a predictable air of Mandy Rice Davies to my response: you would say that, wouldn’t you?

      I’ll be interested to see your candidates in the Echo tomorrow nonetheless. Your vetting process did an, err, spectacular job with last year’s crop of candidates, so I imagine I’ll have some blogging material over the week to come.

      This branch committee, would this be the same one that Cllr Waterworth took over all the roles of when the incumbents quit in support of one James Moyies? My sources have been very clear that the sitting UKIP councillors who aren’t PPC for Rochford & Southend East have been shut out of the selection process…

  2. I do not know Moyies personally. However, my heartfelt message to him is to accept that “we are where we are”. My personal hope is that, even though expelled, James acts for the greater good of UKIP. This is a time to show integrity, and accepting defeat with grace. “You can’t have any successes unless you can accept failure” ~George Cukor. I, for one, will have respect for James if he, in a low-profile way if he prefers, unconditionally supports the UKIP effort. If he wishes to appeal the UKIP decision, then to do so quietly, through the official channels, and without distraction at a critical time in the election cycle. Let’s not forget what UKIP is about in this election; it’s a huge opportunity to make Britain a better place to live in. That’s the big picture – that’s what matters.

    I would also say this. UKIP Is a comparatively young party and perhaps inevitably experiencing some growing pains. It is also a serious party with committed, principled, hard-working members. UKIP has been learning lessons very quickly and there is a strong underlying principled professionalism shining through.

    Yes, the media and certain bloggers (as is their, and your right) will do all they can to sling mud at us. That’s great as it means they’re/you’re worried. In all honesty, I would be seriously concerned if they/you were in any way positive about UKIP; that would really set off alarm bells!

    1. Interesting. Moyies has been making some fairly alarming claims about the behaviour of senior figures in the local party; intimidation, threats, etc. Are you saying that these allegations should be brushed under the carpet for the good of the party? That’s a little…fascist-y.

      As far as “certain bloggers” go, I’m not sure I’d describe what I blog as mud slinging. I hear things from a variety of sources, and I see it as my duty to inform Southend residents what their councillors are doing. It just so happens that the UKIP councillors have given me plenty to write about.

      Am I worried? Yes. I’m worried at the idea of these people being anywhere near power; and it’s as much because I doubt their competence as I disagree with their ideology.

      1. Hi Matt. Answering your reply, para by para…

        1. I made very clear in my post that if James wants to appeal the UKIP decision then he should do so through official channels.
        2. As a Labour candidate, I would fully expect you to mud-sling other parties; it’s in the DNA!
        3. As for your final paragraph, I would confidently suggest we agree to disagree (please refer to point 2.)

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