The method of producing policy in UKIP is that the leader and his aides develop an idea and fire it at the NEC. The NEC is the goal keeper. If the policy is good, then it is allowed into the goal. If it is not good the NEC blocks it. In theory.

To perform his function, the leader needs Policy Working Groups.

And the NEC also needs a separate NEC Political Committee and perhaps NEC Policy Study Groups to advise it whether to let policies through. These NEC structures are slowly forming. Andrew Moncreiff has written a paper on the subject of “How Policy is developed” for the NEC Conference Stall and here it is:


How Policy is developed

The Constitution states that the Party Leader shall “. . . .give political direction to the Party and shall be responsible for the development of the Party’s policies with the agreement of the NEC. Further, “The Party Leader may, at his discretion, form such advisory groups as he deems appropriate to advise him on any matter pertinent to the exercise of his functions, and will inform the NEC of the membership of such groups”.

Clearly, the Party Leader cannot develop all policy himself (although he is bound to have a significant influence on it since he must promote and defend it) and will typically appoint a trusted lieutenant to oversee policy and this person will in turn recruit groups and experts to work on individual policy areas.

The present arrangement is that Nigel Farage has asked our Chairman, Steve Crowther, to co-ordinate policy and Steve is working with a number of groups to edit and revise the policies which were developed, at Nigel’s behest, by David Campbell-Bannerman and his policy groups in 2009 and 2010.

The Constitution also states that the responsibilities of the NEC shall include “advising the Party Leader on political matters” and with this in mind the NEC has set up an NEC Political Committee, currently chaired by Andrew Moncreiff, to discharge this function. The NEC Political Committee receives policy papers and proposals from the policy groups and reviews them before recommending them to the NEC for their approval.

These arrangements provide some checks and balances and ensure that policies are reviewed by a number of people before being published. However, ultimately, the final decision will always, and must, rest with the Party Leader who must champion them to the outside world. Obviously, the Leader would be foolish to force through any policy unless he can carry the majority of the party with him, but it is also inevitable that no statement that is not totally bland will ever command the support of every member.

Andrew Moncreiff

There is a danger that a policy paper might come to the NEC, whose members might know little about the subject, and whiz through on an ignorant vote. The NEC Political Committee tries to prevent this.

In addition it might be a good idea to slow things down a bit. It would be possible to have a “first reading” of a policy paper one month and a second reading next month. Some might find an extended timetable irksome, but quality of policy is vital.

Another reform that might be sensible would be explicitly to allow NEC members to consult with a few trusted party members, confidentially, to get advice on what the individual NEC member’s response should be to any policy document.

The structure is not quite in place yet, but you can see where we are heading, which is in accordance with the constitution and should produce better policy.


My World View

Policy does not come from a vacuum. It comes from one’s World View. You might wish to know my World View.

I come from a family of barristers and judges, with the occasional spy, admiral, piano teacher and archbishop in the mix. Also links by marriage with the old Quaker banking families, Barclay and Tritton.

My mother was a Bosanquet. The Bosanquets were Huguenot immigrants in 1685.

My upbringing was to be absolutely clear about right and wrong. I am therefore shocked at what has happened to Britain’s ethics

Banks appear to be amoral. The police have been fiddling and going downhill. Every piece of financial advice given in return for commission payments has been wrong. Personal Pensions may turn out to be valueless. In times of prosperity we have run up debt. Blair felt he could ignore the million who marched against the Iraq war (including me and my whole family).

Only a UKIP government can sort the mess. And even then it will be difficult. And it will not be worth the bother if we allow UKIP to be corrupted along the way.

The only way is Ethics. 



Last Update: 22 September 2012
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