Quite apart from their policy embarrassments and the disingenuous attempts of their leader to paint himself as some kind of anti-establishment everyman, UKIP faces embarrassment after embarassment from its members, candidates and leadership.
Here’s just a summary from the recent few days, with links to further reading:
- In a ‘cash for seats’ scandal, UKIP MEPs and candidates in winnable position have been strong-armed into donating thousands of pounds to party coffers. The Times reports that sitting MEPs have been forced to donate large sums, at least £10,000 a year. Those who refuse have been threatened with being barred from standing again. Amjad Bashir (Yorkshire & Humber) donated £10,000, and Jill Seymour (West Midlands) and her husband donated £30,000.
- A young Asian woman, dubbed by UKIP as their ‘rising star’, quits UKIP over “racist populism”. Sanya-Jeet Thandi, who recently appeared on Channel 4 News to speak for the party, now says that their campaigning methods undermine their claim not to be a racist party: “They are turning the election into a game of ‘us’ and ‘them’. Well, I am with ‘them'”.
- A UKIP MEP candidate calls for police to arrest its political opponents. Janice Atkinson, a leading UKIP candidate for the South East, has said police should arrest campaigners who protest against the party.
- UKIP candidate David Jones, a member of the Orange Order, betrayed a cavalier attitude to the death of a Catholic police officer in Northern Ireland when commenting recently on the shooting of an RUC officer in 1998, five weeks after the constable lost an eye and suffered severe wounds from a blast bomb thrown by loyalists during rioting in Portadown.
- “Anyone who does not fear Islam is a fool“, argues UKIP representative John Kearney. The Basingstoke candidate blames “Muslims” for the fact that, in his view, Britain is “a country run by sexual perverts who delight in child abuse”.
- Magnus Nielsen, UKIP council candidate in West Hampstead, thinks that women and the poor should be stripped of the right to vote: “I sometimes think the people who fought for the vote in 1832 and 1888 and so forth, trying to extend the franchise were probably doing the wrong thing. I think perhaps we should start reducing the franchise.”
- According to Gay Star News, homophobic UKIP councillor JohnÂ Lyndon Sullivan wants to “shoot poofters” and argues that giving children more exercise will prevent them from becoming gay.
- UKIP’s small business spokesman (and Yorkshire & Humber candidate) was labelled a hypocrite after it was revealed that one of his restaurants was raided by police for employing illegal immigrants and several arrests were made.
- A candidate standing in Brent described Islam as a “totalitarian ideology”. Observing the size of the Muslim community in Brent, he remarked, “Time to call in MI5 and MI6 for sure”.
- UKIP has been embarrassed into admitting it had its anti-EU ideological leaflets printed in Germany, taking advantage of the EU’s single market.
It makes for pretty depressing reading. If you’re still in any doubt about UKIP’s true colours after all that, watch LBC journalist James O’Brien expose UKIP’s hypocrisy in an extended interview withÂ Nigel Farage, point by humiliating point, over 20 agonising minutes.
Update: There’s some interesting and entertaining analysis from Purple Rain.