Ukip: Will Someone Please Take This Weary Old Dog Out Back And Shoot It Between The Eyes?

27/03/2017 11:32 BST | Updated 27/03/2017 11:33 BST
Gareth Fuller/PA Wire

To say Ukip are having an existential crisis since the UK voted for Brexit would be an understatement.

It's easy to infer from this that they were merely a one-man band and ever since Nigel Farage actually resigned as leader of the party they were doomed to failure, but there is more to it than that.

Current leader Paul Nuttall set his sights on Stoke-on-Trent Central during its by-election, claiming it was the 'Brexit capital' of Britain and boasted arrogantly about how he would easily win the seat and become UKIP's second MP. In all fairness, Ukip did come second to Labour, just 0.4% ahead of the third-place Tory candidate. However, this wasn't the 'Ukip coronation' Nuttall proclaimed for himself. Perhaps it was the disingenuity of Nuttall himself that put people off voting Ukip in Stoke. At the time of the by-election Nuttall's website and LinkedIn profile made some outrageous claims such as a PhD from Liverpool Hope University that never was and a bogus contract with footballing team Tranmere Rovers. Nuttall's lies about losing close friends in the Hillsborough Disaster angered his local North West constituents in his current role as MEP for the region, in particular those in Merseyside with Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson calling for him to come and explain himself.

Perhaps Nuttall truly was the best of a bad bunch though. With leadership candidates Steven Woolfe and Mike Hookem literally engaging in a brawl outside the European Parliament, which resulted in the hospitalisation of Woolfe. Definitely the sort of people you want to enter diplomatic negotiations with(!)

There's also been a lot of 'handbags' moments in the party, for want of a better phrase. Most notably being the knighthood spat between Farage and their only MP before defecting to become an independent Douglas Carswell. Apparently Carswell played an active role in stopping Farage from receiving one. Since then, Carswell defected from Ukip and Ukip now has a grand total of zero MPs. Arguably their biggest financial asset, Arron Banks, has also left the party meaning they will need a new cash cow to whatever they want to do these days.

Ukip were started as a pressure group to get Britain out of the EU and they wanted to achieve this by obtaining a public referendum. They succeeded in providing a substantial electoral threat to the Tories to the point at which former prime minister David Cameron conceded a referendum due to fears there would be an uprising from Eurosceptic Tory backbenchers, and the Brexit vote was a clear winner in this referendum. They achieved their goal.

As with Candy's dog in Of Mice and Men, Ukip have had a happy life doing a valuable job for the public; ensuring Britain's EU membership receives a fair debate and the public get to choose whether it remains. They succeeded in this goal and at the ripe old age of 24 years this one-purpose protest party needs to be taken out back and shot to put it out of its misery and make it meet the same fate as Candy's dog. It's painful to watch them desperately try to carry on like this.