Coming clean on UKIP

12 May
Maybe if UKIP was just Nigel Farage in a unusally flattering sea captain's hat UKIP would be much more popular.

Maybe if UKIP was just Nigel Farage in a unusally flattering sea captain’s hat UKIP would be much more popular.

I’ve been reflecting on my last post and I’m starting to feel slightly embarrassed about suggesting UKIP is a racist party. It’s a bit small-minded and short-sighted of me. Which in light of what I’m suggesting is quite hypocritical of me.

I do think UKIP aim to insight fear in the public, as though there is an epidemic looming over Britain. That’s clear based on the language used in the leaflets that I receive through the post. However, strictly speaking, there is nothing on their official website that marks them out as being racist. In the up-coming European election they have been very clear about two things: They want stronger regulation on immigration and they want to leave the EU/EEC. That’s not racist.

I’ll be open-minded, I’ll do some actual research. I barely even need to scratch the surface. Second or third link down after typing ‘UKIP’ into Google is their Wikipedia page. I begin to read their relatively brief history, since they began in 1993. It was founded by Alan Sked, who low and behold left the party “feeling it contained members who “are racist and have been infected by the far-right”. This is also my problem with the party. I don’t necessary think the party itself, and what it’s striving to achieve is wholly racist, but it certainly attracts racist people.

Members such as UKIP MEP, Godfrey Bloom, who was reported as calling women “sluts” and criticising foreign aid to “Bongo-Bongo-land” and William Henwood, UKIP council candidate, tweeting that Lenny Henry should “emigrate back to a Black country” are slightly worrying. However, they have both been left the party now.

Nigel Farage, himself, as Labour MP, Chuka Umunna, pointed out on Question Time this week, says some dubiously unethical things. Farage’s controversial remarks is no doubt what has made him the most regular panellist on Question Time since the 2010 General Election. I liked Russel Brand’s comparison to him being like Boris Johnson. The entertainer of politics. Just what will he say next?!

question time

I can see why his plain-speaking manner is very appealing however. In sharp contrast to Conservative MP, Grant Shapps, who ducked and dived questions on Question Time last week, Farage gives very straight answers. Shapps may have been following Margaret Thatcher’s political advice who said “You don’t tell deliberate lies, but sometimes you have to be evasive”. The public has become so familiar, wary and mistrusting of this transparent attempt to be evasive that Farage comes across as quite refreshing. Farage is not all that different from most others MPs in Parliament in terms of background though. He’s privately educated and presumably affluent, since he spent his working life working on the stock exchange for an investment bank. He markets himself as being different from the rest, but when you learn just a little bit of background you discover that the diversity of choice is as slim as ever.

Farage seems to be saying 'Look! I'm just like you - drinking a pint in a pub!" I'm guessing it won't be a Whetherspoons though.

Farage seems to be saying ‘Look! I’m just like you – drinking a pint in a pub!” I’m guessing it won’t be a Whetherspoons though.

At some point in this post I have to come clean and tell you I went to a UKIP fundraiser last Saturday. THE SHAME! I was invited by a family member, I won’t say who – not that they will be ashamed, but just because it’s the proper thing to do. I was curious, I still am. I went under the perception that they’d be a lot of people there and I’d be able to get a more rounded perspective on what kind of people vote UKIP. Are their members are as shady as the Guardian would have you believe? Well there was that AND the free pies. There was not actually a very big turn out.
Although, me and my prejudice, automatically pin-pointed one particular thuggish looking character as being a blatant fascist based on his over-sized beer belly and shaven head. Turns out he ran the venue where they function was being held and did not even seem to attend the event itself! OOPS! There was very little sign of UKIP paraphernalia bar two balloons. I pointed this out and asked someone running the event if they “were keeping it on the down-low?” How ridiculous of me! Why would they? Why should they? Several moments later there was some encouraged chanting. Nothing like a brawling football chant just a simple few encouraged responses from the audience. About as harmless as “Oggy, oggy, oggy!” – “Oi, oi, oi!” I didn’t join in with the chanting and I noticed a couple opposite didn’t either. In my mind, I immediately assumed that, they too, must have felt similarly unaligned with UKIP, going as far as presuming that they also felt a little awkward being there. If they were, it was for very different reasons, as by the fourth and final time the audience was expected to respond shouting ‘UKIP’ one of them instead shouted “BNP!” Once again, I was proven very wrong. Rascism is dressed in all guises. I must admit, I feel very stupid.

Jonathan Arnott, North EAST representative for UKIP. He might not look like much ladie, but he's damn good at chess.

Jonathan Arnott, North EAST representative for UKIP. He might not look gorgeous ladies but he’s damn good at chess.

Now for an even more shocking confession – I have agreed to attend a political UKIP function. Maybe I’ll get a better insight there. My political opinion won’t be swayed into voting UKIP because I wish to remain in the EU anyway. I’m quite proud of that fact that England and the other founding members won the Nobel Peace Prize as part of the EU in 2012. I think that’s more reason to be patriotic about Britain than many. The clearer labelling on consumer goods, some of anti-discrimination treaties, cheaper flights and open borders also appeal to me, so UKIP would never be the party for me. I’m struggling to justify why I’m going. I don’t even think there’s going to be pies! I’m regretting accepting the invitation but I feel as though if I’m going to bad-mouth them, as I have done, then I need grounds to do so. It’s very misguided to believe what the newspapers say since they all have a political agenda. I need to hear it from the horses mouth. Who are UKIP? I’ll let you know who I discover them to be shortly.

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One Response to “Coming clean on UKIP”

  1. oogenhand May 14, 2014 at 12:39 pm #

    Reblogged this on oogenhand.

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