David Coburn MEP – why I have resigned from UKIP

David Coburn MEP – why I have resigned from UKIP

by David Coburn
article from Saturday 8, December, 2018

I HAVE DEVOTED my heart and soul to UKIP for 10 years, and stood in countless elections both North and South of the border, before finally being elected as the only Brexit MEP in Scotland. I stood on a platform of regaining our national sovereignty from the European Union, maintaining and protecting our union with the rest of the United Kingdom, upholding British values such as Free Speech, and defending the interests of Scotland and the UK in the European Parliament.

UKIP gave me the opportunity to advance a cause that I truly believe in, and work alongside some of the most remarkable people. I have had the opportunity to meet members across the country that have given me the drive and motivation to continue, even when the political climate has been difficult. Hardworking members, who felt strongly about the cause, and who are the reason that UKIP achieved the success that it did.

Sadly, UKIP is no longer the party that represents the values on which it once stood. Instead, UKIP has gone from a party for the individual; for sovereignty and for freedom, to a street movement, which has increasingly become obsessed with the question of Islam to an unreasonable degree.

I can understand the concerns that people have regarding Islam and some of the issues that have arisen. Yes, there are very real cultural issues in parts of our country that have arisen as a result of Governments failing to address community divides and integration issues that surfaced as a result of immigration policy. 

Tommy Robinson filled this vacuum and talked about these issues when politicians would not dare, and so in many ways his political existence is the fault of the establishment and the elite’s contempt and negligence. It is important however, not to lose sight of our own primary cause, and the reasons we were elected in 2014. 

The Scottish people have issues that are more pressing. They are living under an increasingly authoritarian and incompetent SNP government. They are worried about their taxes being higher than in England; whether their next joke will land them in Barlinnie; whether Sturgeon’s blown the education budget on ‘foreign embassies’; whether they can get a job; whether their healthcare is adequate; and indeed, resolving the issues of Brexit. 

I have delivered on the promises for which I was elected. UKIP is currently neglecting these issues, just as the UK Government has neglected those cultural issues above. These are the issues that are important to the Scottish people. 

The current obsession with Islam, is damaging the cause of Brexit, and distracting the debate. The methods that are being employed do not even address those concerns that actually are valid. I am concerned that the leadership of UKIP is participating in a march on Sunday with people who are constitutionally banned from joining the party as members, many of whom are English nationalists.

As a Unionist, I reject English Nationalism as much as Scottish Nationalism. I fear that the direction of UKIP is towards a Nationalist Anglo-Centric party, rather than a UK-wide British Party open to all. I cannot pitch this politics to Scots; they do not want it, and neither do I.

Previous movements have focused on Islam as a single issue, and they have crumbled, folded and failed to maintain viable public support. In this alienation of ordinary people, who are perhaps concerned about other issues far more, or who are ordinary Muslims that would otherwise share many of our values, UKIP is at risk of meeting the same fate as those movements. This is something that I hoped could be prevented.

Indeed, Brexit will solve many of the cultural questions regarding immigration and integration. When our nation takes back control, we will be able to manage immigration and social welfare in a way that does not set one group against the other, and that allows us to encourage measured integration that encourages harmony.

The current caretaker leader has no mandate to change UKIP’s core values from those that we espoused in 2014. Brexit, and the future of our country’s sovereignty is a far more pressing and immediate cause right now, and this, along with all of the things I mentioned before, which my voters put me here for, are what I still believe in and what they believe in. I reiterate, I will continue to faithfully represent them.

There is a massive appetite for a fresh Brexit vehicle with a broader appeal, and a dynamic proven leadership, to unite the nation against the current attempted EU-Westminster Remainer heist. 

To that end we will soon be back in a greater, stronger and more emboldened form, to fight for the Brexit the British people voted for, and send an earthquake through the UK and Europe. 

This is not the end; this is the beginning. Get ready to join us.

David Coburn, Brexit MEP for Scotland

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