As U-kippers cry over their cornflakes, following the Irish referendum on the Lisbon Treaty (which saw the treaty endorsed by over 67% of the vote), U-kippers are also facing up to the open warfare of a leadership campaign. Lest we forget, UKIPs most presentable face, Nigel Farage, resigned as party leader last month at UKIPs annual 'conference' in Southport, forcing a fresh contest just over three years after he was elected as leader. UKIPwatcher may despise Farage's politics, but there's no denying that he is a fine media performer (indeed, UKIPs only one).
Farage's decision to resign in order to fight House of Commons Speaker John Bercow's Buckingham constituency, has left a lot of devastated young U-kippers who feel betrayed. Now more petrol has been poured onto the fire by newly elected MEP Nikki Sinclaire, who has written this open letter to Farage begging him not to stand down
Sinclaire has already caused problems for Farage, publicly expressing her unhappiness at the assortment of racists, xenophobes and other fruit-cakes that make up UKIPs new group in the European Parliament. This letter, which by calling on Farage to "honour your pledge to the UKIP members - who elected you for a four-year term - to see out that commitment" adding that "the last thing the party needs now is a couple of months navel gazing", is a barely coded attack on the pin-striped wonder.
Still, impassioned though the letter may be, good grammatically, it ain't - "I respectively suggest" - shurely shome mishtake! Sinclaire has already put her name forward as a candidate to replace Farage, and this letter, which heaps gushing praise on Farage, whilst also implying dereliction of duty on his part by deserting UKIP, is a canny piece of work.
So, if Farage backs down on his commitment he looks weak, if he ignores Sinclaire's letter she shores up a lot of votes as the UKIP unity candidate and greatly undermines him. Smart work. Maybe UKIPs class of 2009 are not quite as dumb as their predecessors!