2 Jun 2009


Excellent article on comment is free on the real thoughts of UKIP, women should stay in the kitchen, climate change isn't happening, etc, etc.

From the ever excellent David Cronin here

If the opinion polls are accurate, a lot of people will be registering a similar disquiet by voting for the UK Independence Party in this Thursday's election. Superficially, the Ukip leader Nigel Farage appears to be offering an alternative to Labour and the Conservatives with his vow to work towards ensuring that Britain's future is determined in Westminster rather than by "faceless, unelected bureaucrats in Brussels."

In reality, however, the performance of Farage and his party's other MEPs proves that they are a reactionary bunch who take more delight in defying common sense than in presenting a cogent critique of the many problems besetting the EU's institutions. The first thing that should be noted is that the party won 12 seats in the 2004 European election but now only has eight MEPs. Two of the original dirty dozen have left of their own accord: former party leader Roger Knapman (who accused Farage of being more interested in obtaining plush offices than in defending core Ukip principles, whatever they may be) and Robert Kilroy-Silk (who left in a fit of pique after he failed to succeed Knapman as leader). Two others – Ashley Mote and Tom Wise – have either been convicted of benefit fraud (Mote) or charged with money-laundering (Wise).

With miscreants such as Mote out of the way, Farage has tried to convey the impression that the party is as smooth and clean as his immaculately pressed pin-striped suits. Yet he has had only limited success in muzzling the party's charlatan-in-chief Godfrey Bloom. In his own words, Bloom is a financial trader with "modest prestige" in the City of London. Spending too long in that male-dominated environment might help explain why he has felt out of place dealing with gender equality legislation as a member of the parliament's women's rights committee. Shortly after being elected he offered this incisive view of the opposite sex: "I just don't think they clean behind the fridge enough."

Any suggestion that Bloom has subsequently matured was disproved in 2007 when he took issue with claims by York archbishop John Sentamu that there are racists within the Church of England. "I would have thought that the fact he was made an archbishop with a face as black as Newgate's knocker would belie that," said Bloom.

Time and again, Ukip has shown that its only response to Europe's economic malaise is to peddle policies that would harm workers and the poor. Its candidates have opposed the minimum wage and limits on working time and have argued for a far-reaching deregulation of the economy (ignoring how deregulation in at least one sector helped land us in our current mess).

One of the few positive observations that can be made about Ukip is that it can be relied on to provide comic relief whenever a debate is in danger of turning turgid. During discussions on climate change, its MEPs have tried to sound authoritative on matters environmental by blaming the phenomenon on the natural warming up of the sun. Never mind that experts the world over agree that man-made activities are imperilling our future, Ukip candidate Gawain Towler is convinced that this consensus represents nothing more than "voodoo science".

It is often forgotten that the correct definition of a sceptic is a seeker of truth. We urgently need genuine Eurosceptics to shake things up in Brussels and Strasbourg but Ukip doesn't fit that bill. Instead of seeking the truth, the best it can give us is a few cheap laughs.


Gawain Towler said...

Nobody is suggesting that climate change isn't happening. Merely questioning whether mankind is entirely responsible for it.

weggis said...

As far as I know, nobody is suggesting that mankind is entirely responsible for Climate Change.

However, if you accept, as your comment appears to do, that we are a contributing factor then surely that factor should be assessed and mitigating action taken?

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