Wednesday, 20 March 2013
Former UKIP Youth Treasurer Allrik Birch Calls on YI Members to Quit Party.
Earlier today on tbg former UKIP Youth Leader Olly Neville concluded UKIP had a bright future if Young Independence (YI) were able to succeed with all of its bright minds.
Allrik Birch tells tbg that he believes a section needs to leave for YI to survive, or the UKIP National Executive Council may have no choice but to disband the youth wing.
Allrik Birch is a recent graduate, libertarian and former treasurer of Young Independence. Allrik resigned shortly after Olly Neville was removed from his position as UKIP Youth Leader and has now joined the Conservatives.
"The ongoing and brutal Young Independence election campaign is almost a case study in group dynamics gone awry. People from all sides are highly antagonistic, with personal grudges, conspiracies both real and imagined, attack ads and even legal threats going around. Can YI recover?
"Unlike Olly, I don't think YI can just move on after this. Either one group of people leave the party, or infighting will continue to subvert the group, making it largely ineffective.
"Like with certain members attending events in Westminster think tanks, the presence of certain people on campaign days will ensure that others don't go. Young Independence will become detached and dysfunctional, with snide remarks being made on Twitter and elsewhere.
"Once you go to the level of threatening to sue people, it becomes almost impossible for those involved to work together in any form. A legal threat is a fairly serious measure, which should only be considered in extreme cases. What naturally results from the threat is a personal grudge.
"Part of the problem is that Young Independence is very small, whilst it nominally has around 700-800 members (with no unified members information, the number could easily be much higher or lower, basically 700 is a best guess), there are less than 100 people that are really active. When it comes to those who might attend party conference or other national campaigns, the figure is more like 40.
"For anyone who disputes these numbers, they should simply look at how many positions in these elections were uncontested. Everyone at least knows of everyone else, and because this is a national party, people hear far more about people than they actually know. Often people hear stories before they meet the people in question.
"Within such groups, grudges and cliques are very quick to form and easily become entrenched. It can soon them become acceptable within some cliques to start attacking individuals, going to the extent of digging up old stories and attacking people for highly personal things.
"Small groups are reinforcing hatred of each other. This trend has increased over the latest election period, but it had already been simmering for a long time. This set of elections is brutal, the last one was nasty – but largely the same people are around and on the same sides. Even before the last elections, these simmering hatreds existed and have been getting worse.
"Unless a significant group leaves the party entirely, or Young Independence is itself scrapped by the main party, these strains will continue to get worse and eventually impact on national polling of UKIP. This is not even an ideological battle, the two people running for Chairman have many similar policies and indeed, surprisingly, Sean is the more libertarian of the two candidates.
"This is a personal battle, the sides are largely made up of people through chance of meeting one person first. Exclusion of individual members might get rid of the worst elements of the dispute, but it is now already too late for the infighting to be curtailed entirely."
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