By Foghorn Leghorn
Regular EDL News readers will be aware of our increasing concern that the United Kingdom Independence Party is providing a haven for far right extremists and racists. We have previously exposed former UKIP candidate Kim Gandy as an EDL supporter and racist. To it's credit UKIP took action and Mrs. Gandy duly departed the party, although she continued to post highly objectional comments on the Internet and is now rumoured online to be joining yet another tiny far right splinter group.
The racist exploits of Gandy’s close associate and former UKIP election agent Maggie Chapman have also been well documented. Confusion still reigns as to Maggie’s involvement with the party. Whilst she has recently claimed to be not just a member but an activist- saying she is to campaign in the South Shields by-election – others in the party beg to differ. Perhaps Annabelle Fuller, the party’s PR supremo and right hand woman to Nigel Farage might now care to comment having previously brushed off a voter’s inquiry by suggesting the evidence presented was all part of some lefty smear.
We would certainly like to go with a version of events which saw Ms. Chapman being shown the door from UKIP, but the party’s enforcement of its own membership rules has been far from consistent, leaving only uncertainty as a certainty.
To recap, here’s the pertinent section from the UKIP rule book:
Now, whilst it’s certainly true that UKIP has unceremoniously booted out its Tintagel candidate Sue Bowen for her previous BNP membership, others have been excused the wrath of Farage. Famously one such is his Martyn Heale, ex National Front organiser, who was Mr Farage’s election agent when he stood for Thanet East in 2005. Next week Mr Heale himself stands for UKIP in nearby Ramsgate.
Then there is the curious case of Cliff Dixon. One-time English Democrat Party candidate Mr Dixon has also associated himself with the English Defence League.
Despite being associated with not one but two organisations on UKIP’s banned list, Mr, Cliff has not just been allowed to join but to stand for the party. In Hillingdon, where he is standing, the local branch are quite touchy about the subject and resorted to abuse and false allegations when contacted via Twitter by online group, Still Laughing At The United Kingdom Independence Party - UKIP.
In an amusingly foamy dialogue the branch also claimed that March For England had approached the Race Relations Board and been named as an “ethnic rights group.” This claim impressed us greatly as by our reckoning the RRB ceased to exist the best part of 40 years ago.
They went on to - as is standard practice - falsely accuse SLATUKIP of being allied to Unite Against Fascism and, better still, government funded.
Moving on we come across Caven Vies, UKIP candidate for Rawmarsh Rotherham and a man whom The Guardian reports has close links to the BNP and its South Yorkshire stalwart, Marlene Guest. Despite this and having expressed disgraceful Islamophobic sentiment, unlike Ms. Bowen, he gets to stay.
So too does John Sullivan, a UKIP candidate in the Forest of Dean. Not what you’d call a temperate man, Mr. Sullivan has launched tirades against homosexuals and misogynistic rants. Here he can be seen on UKIP’s Forest of Dean page recommending a YouTube video hosted by White Rabbit Radio which run by white supremacist – and alleged active Stormfront member – Bob Whitaker.
Mr. Sullivan - who on his Facebook profile likes pages such as “Pork Eating Crusader” and “We Don’t want Sharia-law here and anywhere” - also claims to be able to identify, unseen, the ethnic origin of alleged offenders and believes immigrants have demolished one of the world’s greatest capital cities.
Given Mr Sullivan is a prolific poster on the UKIP Forest of Dean Facebook page it seems rather unlikely that his local party colleagues are unaware of his bigoted views. Yet, along with Dixon, Heale and Vines, he remains an official candidate.
Those of you having a vote on May 2nd might wish to ponder just what putting your cross next to a UKIP candidate means in practice. There seems to be little appetite for consistently applying the party own rules when it comes to excluding those with racist and fascist sympathies and allegiances. Add to that its official membership in the European parliament of the Europe of Freedom and Democracy group which, if you were being generous you would describe as being “Eurosceptic”; if you were being accurate you’d note it’s known for being more a ragtag bunch of far right political parties, among them Austria’s Freedom Party and Italy’s Northern League.
The question still very such remains as to whether a vote for UKIP is a vote for the far right or even fascism? Is the party the very thing it hates to be described as: the BNP in suits?
* With thanks to the administrators of, and contributors to, Still Laughing at the United Kingdom Party – UKIP.