08/05/2014 19:37 BST | Updated 08/07/2014 06:59 BST

Brace Yourself Newark: Five Career Lowlights of Ukip Candidate Roger Helmer

Roger Helmer, the recently announced Ukip candidate in the Newark by-election, is one of the grand old men of the party, having been a member for all of two years. But he has been embarrassing himself and his associates for far longer than that...

1. Hating Everything About Solar Panels - Except the Money He Could Make

As a long time climate change sceptic, Helmer came under criticism this year after it emerged he had fitted solar panels to his property to earn some extra cash. Despite describing the government policy allowing him to do so as "sheer lunacy", Helmer declared it a "straightforward financial proposition" for him to take advantage of the policy. Well, that's settled then. Of course rank hypocrisy may in fact be one of Helmer's more charming attributes when compared to ...

2. Blatant Homophobia

"Why is it OK for a surgeon to perform a sex-change operation, but not OK for a psychiatrist to "turn" a consenting homosexual?" asked Helmer on twitter in 2011. Assuming that he was not genuinely curious or in a weird struggle with his local GP, his support for this dangerous and discredited psychiatric practice shows the strength of his prejudices. Naturally this is not the first example of his homophobia, though he may choose to dispute the term, as he is of course the real victim...

3. Actually Not Being a Homophobe, Because There's No Such Thing

'"Homophobia" is merely a propaganda device designed to denigrate and stigmatise those holding conventional is frightening evidence of the way in which political correctness is threatening our freedom'. Despite his (many) flaws, it is easy to feel sympathy for Helmer. Not only does he seem to struggle to understand homosexuality (he also once questioned why a same-sex relationship is different from an incestuous one), he is also apparently persecuted just for being full of hate.

4. Being Incompetent and Proud

What was shocking about Roger Helmer falling asleep on the job wasn't just the act itself, but the pride he took in it, retweeting the photo below.


Though to be fair to Helmer, Ukip are officially the laziest party in the EU, so perhaps he was just catching up on his work. It may have been while he was sleeping that he came up with the horrific and offensive notion that...

5. "Rape is Always wrong, But Not Always Equally Culpable"

This charming piece of wisdom was produced by Helmer in a 2011 blog post in which he also said that some victims of rape should share the blame, "if only for establishing reasonable expectations in her boyfriend's mind". Yes, sexism verging on misogyny: the trademark of a true Ukip stalwart. What gave Helmer the authority to make such a pronouncement is unknown, but we can reasonably expect more of the same outdated and offensive garbage should he be elected in May.

With this history of sexism, homophobia and incompetent and hypocritical political behaviour it is little wonder than Roger Helmer is Ukip's candidate for the Newark by-election. For as much as the party may trumpet its female and minority members while decrying every scandal-hit candidate as an exception, when there is a position of real power available, it will go to the dinosaur in the room that represents the true face of Ukip. Every time.