Robin Page has provoked more slanging-matches between U-kippers with his resignation from the party. Page, known to millions from his time presenting "One man and his dog" on BBC 2, was (although only a few would have noticed) a leading light in UKIP.
In this piece in the Telegraph, he blames the corruption and 'gravy train' mentality of the 12 men elected as UKIP MEPs in 2004 and Nigel Farage's attempt to turn the party into his own personal play-thing and crushing any dissenters.
There is plenty of evidence to back this up. There were serious allegations of malpractice during the members' ballot that determined UKIPs regional lists for the Euro elections. Several party members were kicked off the list following the election (including most notoriously Gregg Beaman elected by party members to top the list in the North-West only to be forced to stand down to be replaced by Party Chairman Paul Nuttal). Even disgraced Tory MP, now UKIPs Returning Officer, Piers Merchant admitted the election was "flawed".
Even so, Page's article can't quite be taken at face value and there is more than a whiff of sour grapes - basically he's resigned because Farage wouldn't let him be a candidate. Needless to say, his public resignation has caused a predictable slanging match between the assorted cretins that post on the Democracy Forum website. Indeed, if anyone has a penchant for watching the English language being mercilessly butchered it's worth checking out the mangled ramblings of Bob Feal-Martinez (who is a big fan of this site)!
With three months to go before the Euro elections, UKIP need to pull a rabbit out of the hat if they are to avoid disintegration. The party has no money (receiving a meagre £72,000 in the final quarter of 2008), a membership list that continue to fall (now down to 14,000) and are facing a real challenge for the far-right vote from the (even more) vicious BNP. UKIPwatcher is crossing her fingers that the big money donors stay away and UKIP are finally wiped out in June.