Having a couple of days to ponder Nikki Sinclaire's new political party I am slightly concerned. It seems that they intend taking up seats in the European Parliament if elected in 2014. I fear that standing in the Euros, and taking up seats, could be a huge double mistake.
Many of us were seduced into UKIP post-1999 with the promise that their MEPs would use their huge amounts of money to build a credible force at home in the UK. Sadly they went native and there are now just a number of people with a lot more money in their bank accounts as a result of being MEPs or working for MEPs on fat salaries, but not a single MP. Furthermore they have few elected councillors, most are co-opted onto town/parish councils. The few elected are usually defectors from other parties who lose their seats when they stand under the UKIP brand.
I believe that Nikki's movement would come across as much more principled if they refused to take up seats if elected. After all, most Eurosceptics know that MEPs have no power and any number of MEPs elected would not bring a referendum any closer, it has nothing to do with the European Parliament.
The real target for making an impact is Westminster. Hitting the governing parties in a general election is the way forward, not in meaningless EU elections. Remember James Goldsmith's Referendum Party? If the Tories were in danger in a Westminster election that would make a difference.
Sadly it seems that Eurosceptics have been seduced by the proportional representation system in Europe where, with a relatively small vote, they can gain representation, and fat salaries. Yes some misguidedly genuinely think it will help, others are in it for the cash.
I would not discount the We Demand A Referendum Party, but I will really take some convincing that it will be worth voting for in 2014.