Young Independence declares Crisis Period after Meeting With Henry Bolton
Yesterday afternoon, I met with UKIP party Chairman Paul Oakden, and party Leader Henry Bolton, in order to discuss the membership fee increase which has been forced top-down by the party leadership onto the membership.
Henry did not arrive at the meeting on time, so I was left in the company of Paul for the vast majority of the meeting.
We managed to quickly establish that membership cards cost around 70p to send out, NEC election ballots cost around 80p per member and staff costs come to around £9.80 per members. We discussed and negotiated the membership cost in detail between the two of us, and for members under the age of 22, we eventually managed to agree upon the cost of £1 per month when paid by Direct Debit or Standing Order, which comes to a total of £12 per year. Paul said that these were the costs necessary in order to keep the party running effectively and maintain a profit, and it would be impossible to go any lower than this.
We also managed to agree upon a cost of £24 per year, or £2 per month when paid by Standing Order or Direct Debit, for those members within the party aged between 22 and 30. When compared to the previous membership costs, this would be – as a matter of fact – a discounted fee for members aged between 22 and 30. This way, the party wasn’t making any money from us, however, they weren’t losing anything either.
These are members, who, although are a part of YI, previously did not get any reduction in membership fee. These offers were universally accepted by the YI Executive Council, and unanimously agreed to.
Henry arrived hours late at 3:45 PM, when he should have been there at 1:30 PM. He immediately vetoed any negotiation, and was totally unreasonable. Henry stated that he wanted to make a profit on the membership fees and that £20 was the cost of running the party.
Henry refused to budge on this at all, even when it was repeatedly pointed out that it would result in a mass desertion of membership all over the country.
Henry’s attitude towards Jake and I was very dismissive and uninterested. He dismissed the issues that Jake Painter and I brought up, interrupting us and talking over the top of us.
Further, Henry appears to have entirely backtracked on his pledge to make the YI Chairman the Youth Affairs spokesperson of the party and the Council does not find this acceptable.
Henry even claimed “YI is TOO AUTONOMOUS” and we “shouldn’t be allowed to be self funded, have a constitution or an executive committee”.
As a result of what has taken place, we unfortunately have no agreement with the national party on membership fees. We would like you to be aware that the Executive Council is acting on this, and we have established an updated clause within the Constitution which allows for a ‘crisis coalition’ under the Chairman’s supervision. This coalition has been unanimously approved by the YI Executive Council, and, we are taking steps to ensure that our proposals are brought before the NEC on Monday at their meeting.
I will be speaking to Paul on the phone tomorrow and I will still be proposing the membership fee we agreed on to the NEC. I am sure Jake will have something to say about the meeting as well, I will leave you all to judge this for yourselves, but I must say all members of the Executive Council aren’t pleased with the situation we find ourselves in.
YI must not be forgotten or deserted by the UKIP leadership. We are the future of this great party and it’s time that the leadership learned that.