POLITICS

Ukip Members Mock Nelson Mandela's Death And Call For Apartheid 'Reappraisal'

13/01/2014 12:55 GMT | Updated 25/01/2014 21:01 GMT
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FILE - In this Tuesday, June 2, 2009 file photo, former South African President Nelson Mandela reacts at the Mandela foundation, in Johannesburg, South Africa, during a meeting with a group of American and South African students as part of a series of activities leading to Mandela Day on July 18th. Israel's state archive has published a 50-year-old letter stating that the Mossad spy service unwittingly offered paramilitary training to a young Nelson Mandela in 1962, and released a number of other documents showing a tense relationship between the Jewish state and apartheid-era South Africa. The release of the documents in the wake of Mandela?s death appear to be aimed at blunting criticism of Israel's close alliance with South Africa's apartheid rulers. (AP Photo/Theana Calitz-Bilt, Pool, File)

Nelson Mandela's death prompted Ukip members to pour scorn on a man who "did nothing" for Britain, call for a "reappraisal" of the apartheid regime and suggest that some are "intended by nature" to be slaves.

Writing on Ukip's members-only forum days after Mandela's death, West London member David William Griffiths quoted from the Greek philosopher Aristotle to argue that some are "intended by nature" to be slaves and a mere "possession" of another man.

Griffiths went on to suggest, by quoting William Blake, that the same laws for "the lion and Ox" is "oppression". The Ukip activist also chose to title his forum post "apartheid - time for a reappraisal?".

Asked by another member why he chose to make his point in asking others to "reappraise apartheid" just through quotations, Griffiths responds with another quotation, from the Greek philosopher Diogenes Laertius, to say he wanted to avoid the "ridicule of the common people".

Simon Cressy, from the HOPE not Hate campaign, told the Huffington Post UK: "There are certain members of Ukip who'd like to turn back the clock and go back to the days of the 1950s and 1960s."

Griffiths' controversial comments come as others mocked the "overkill" of news coverage following Mandela's death.

In a post last month, Pamela Preedy, secretary of Ukip's Redcar branch, wrote: "Showing lack of hysterical grief and an unwillingness to join in an orgy of self-indulgent news coverage with every journo and TV reporter flying out to South Africa to count the floral tributes - this could lead to complaints from Labour and Limpdem councillors and thought-police action, complete with arrest, lock up and fingerprinting".

She went on to compare the "overkill" over Mandela's death to the "genuine mass mourning" over Princess Diana's death in 1997 that were a "fitting tribute".

"It makes me laugh to see the overkill of coverage about this man who had nothing to do with Britain and did nothing for Grimsby or anywhere in the UK," she wrote.

Another Ukip activist, John Patrick, described the news coverage about Mandela's death as "almost like the Second Coming" and wondered whether something was "hiding behind all this veneration".

Ukip members' controversial remarks about Nelson Mandela's death come after the Huffington Post UK revealed other members predicted "up to 75%" of the voters for the British National Party would move to back Ukip.

Labour MP and anti-apartheid campaigner Peter Hain told the Daily Mail: "This is the true face of UKIP. Under their thin veil of respectability lurks rampant bigotry and prejudice, fed by disenchantment and feelings of social injustice.

"None of these comments surprise me, because whenever I speak out about apartheid I am bombarded with bigoted and quasi-racist tweets from UKIP supporters."

In response, a UKIP spokesman said: "UKIP does not endorse any of the comments made on this forum which go against the party’s principles and core values.'

"However, the party does not police open discussions. Where elected representatives or party figures make comments bringing the party into disrepute, we act accordingly."