This Thursday the UK Independence Party will be hoping that you cast your vote for one of its more than 1500 local election candidates.
Over the last weeks I have worked desperately to bring you just a small selection of these and other key UKIPers ; Cliff Dixon, UKIP Hillingdon chairman was photographed posing with EDL leader Kevin Caroll and openly boasts on his blog about having 'tagged along' to their marches . Cliff responded that a group called 'Muslims for Peace' were there too. . He also suggested that a violent far-right group he was involved with, MFE had very recently been 'classed as an Ethnic Rights Group' by the 'Race Relations Board', a body now defunct for well over 20 years . Stuart Parr, another high-ranking UKIP figure, was exposed as believing the EDL 'has no political ideology at all and campaigns only against Islamification and unfettered immigration' He even complained to the BBC regarding its description of the EDL as 'far-right' . Then there was Anna-Marie Crampton, the disgusting anti-Semite who claimed that 'Zionist Jews' had 'engineered' the second world war and the holocaust, urging voters to read the notorious fake Protocols of the Elders of Zion . Unsurprisingly, when all this was revealed and she was suspended, she claimed she had been 'trolled', at one point suggesting the 'Zionist movement' itself may be to blame for this . She had even posted far-right hate material straight to UKIP's own Facebook wall before being selected as a candidate . Next up was UKIP's John Sullivan, a Forest of Dean candidate who thinks that 'Victorian' physical exercise releases boys' tensions and thus 'avoids' homosexuality . The other insights of this homophobic genius, who congratulated Russia on banning gay pride, include recommending that one should raise children in a manner akin to dogs and that gay marriage rights activists are 'termites' . UKIP's Phillip S Rose, an Amber Valley candidate, was caught ranting about how 'gay folk' were being used by the 'forces of evil' to halt UKIP's progress . And UKIP NI councillor Henry Reilly expressed his fear about the 'militant well financed movement trying to impose its will on those who do not accept what they see as a [sic] alternative life style'
Setting aside the little matter of me not actually being a Tory party supporter, member, employee or agent (I ran in University elections with the slogan 'fees and cuts, fight back'), this betrays UKIP's breath-taking double standards. Nigel Farage is perfectly happy to dish out the most exaggerated, demeaning insults about Belgium being a 'non-country' and Herman-van-Rompuy having the charisma of a 'damp rag', but it appears he can't even bear the fact-based, accurate, reasoned discussion of his candidates' views by the mainstream media. In layman's terms you'd call him a 'bad loser'.
Nigel seems desperate to forget all this and talk about policy, even though it appears his own party is in utter disarray over even this; One MEP complained of new recruits bringing 'political correctness' (maybe not that bad a thing, considering the candidates above) and suggested buying policy 'of the shelf' from conservative think tanks. Nigel himself was recently caught out talking about the err ... 'two-tier flat-tax' he would like to see .
So let's start with one policy grassroots UKIPers might actually be able to agree on; Leaving the European Court of Human Rights, which 'kippers would have you believe was a far-left political-Islamist court and one that would grant convicted axe-murderers the right to vote. Of course such a portrait of this vital court is as far from reality as some of the absurd theories a number of their candidates have. In reality it is an essential safeguard protecting your human rights, a desperate last resort for dissidents from dictatorships from Russia to Azerbaijan. There is nothing in the court's findings that means axe-murders have to be given the right to vote, all the court did was to reject the notion of prisoners categorically being unable to vote (so for example we would have no trouble with the court if we gave the vote to prisoners, say, serving less than one year terms for non-violent offences). And Abu Bigot could have been behind bars a long time ago if the British government decided do the decent thing and put him on trial in this country. Common, even you wouldn't want to be extradited to a Middle Eastern monarchical dictatorship to stand an unfair torture trail on the basis of rightwing newspaper headlines and articles. Far from pandering to Islamism, the court has actually by means of the Section 111 in the Kasymakhunov and Saybatalov v. Russia 2013 declared any 'regime based on sharia' incompatible with the European Convention on Human Rights, putting paid to all attempts by a tiny minority of hateful, sexist extremists to impose it on Britain. In the same judgement it also gave us the authority to ban radical Islamist groups, whether violent or not, under Article 17 of the Convention. But Eh, try telling that to deluded government ministers, who still blame Europe for their very own spinelessness when it comes to tackling the supremacist groups like Hizb-ut-Tahrir who run riot on our college and university campuses.
Not even neo-Stalinist strongmen in Russia or Azerbaijan would ever dare to leave the ECHR. Yet some UKIPers are very happy to demolish the last safeguard on you and your families basic human rights, leave us isolated and lagging behind neo-Soviet regimes in terms of human rights protections.
Don't forget, a vote for UKIP could be a vote for people like John Sullivan, who supports draconian and brutal USSR-style legislation banning political events he disagrees with, with the final say on you and your family's right to free speech. (And these 'eurosceptics' even have the guts to complain about the 'EUSSR').
You kip if you want to, I won't be turning back on Britain's tradition of tolerance, rejecting extremism and protecting human rights.