The following post is the opinion of the author, and does not necessarily represent the views of the UK Independence party (UKIP)
First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they attack you…..Then you win – Mahatma Gandhi
This has to be one of my all time favourite quotes from an iconic historical figure – Over the last 15 years it could pretty much sum up the rise of UKIP and also the realisation amongst the English people that those who claim to represent us at Westminster live in their own little world and only come out to talk to us at election time to keep their place on the gravy train.
Over the course of the last few months, the UKIP ‘surge’ has shown no signs of dying down despite the lack of major elections to fuel the anti-government ‘protest vote’ that the old establishment parties would have you believe is behind the healthy position of the party in the polls. The reality is that the UKIP stance on such concerns as mass uncontrolled immigration, rising energy prices, the EU, education and law & order fit in with the concerns of the public, a public who have been ignored as an inconvenience by those in power who believe that they know better.
The Gandhi scenario has been played out in England since Blair and ‘New Labour’ came to power in the late nineties – The people were ignored in the first rushes of ‘Cool Brittania’, with UKIP under the radar before our first MEP’s were elected on an anti-EU ticket in 1999.
Then came the ‘ridicule’ era – Any member of the public was branded as out of touch and a ‘Little Englander’ if they opposed the EU and the opening of our borders to all comers, with UKIP branded ‘gadflies, loonies and closet racists’ by the old Lib-Lab-Con triumvirate for expressing views that were in line with a large section of our society.
When the ridicule didn’t work, the public paid the price for their scepticism about the benefits of mass uncontrolled immigration by being attacked as ‘racists’ and ‘xenophobes’ by the government and compliant media – Who can forget the moment during the 2010 general election when Rochdale resident Gillian Duffy expressed her concerns to then PM Gordon Brown about mass immigration to be branded a ‘bigoted woman’ in an unguarded moment over a still live microphone?
With UKIP raising the immigration issue, the establishment turned their attacks on the only major political party campaigning on the real problems of lack of infrastructure, housing shortages and overloading of the NHS – But as the smears mount, so does party popularity as many realise that our critics are playing the man and not the ball.
Cranking up the rhetoric
Party leader Nigel Farage (left) has led from the front, and as such has had to deal with some fierce attacks as he has been singled out for special attention.
The BBC Question Time of 7th November saw a particularly spiteful attack from government minister Anna Soubry, assisted by Labour’s Emily Thornberry.
Despite Ms Soubry showing her lack of knowledge of her own government brief (a defence minister who doesn’t know that Navy support ships are currently being built in Korea whilst shipyards in Portsmouth are being closed down), she attacked UKIP as being a party to ‘scaremonger’ and ‘turn to the stranger and blame them’ during the economic downturn. This attack was even more ridiculous when you consider that just weeks previously, her party in government had put ad vans on the streets of London telling illegal immigrants to ‘go home or face arrest’ and sent text messages to people asking them if they should be in the country! ‘Operation Vaken’, as this was christened, cost the taxpayer thousands and resulted in just 11 people turning themselves in according to a report in The Metro newspaper on 1st November.
Ms Soubry faced a barrage of criticism from the public after this appearance, and further showed the lack of coherent answers to the questions posed when making a childish comment about Mr Farage’s sexual preferences on The Marr Show last week in an attempt to be funny.
The week following the Question Time episode , the inappropriately named ‘Hope not Hate’ organisation attacked UKIP Thurrock for laying wreaths to the fallen on Remembrance Sunday with a party logo on them. Whilst my personal opinion is that no political logo’s are appropriate from any party on this day, The Royal British Legion supplied them and were happy to do so. Interestingly enough, the other parties have been placing wreaths with their logo’s on supplied from the same source for years and HNH have said nothing – Considering the support from politicians in certain of the old 3 parties for organisations that have killed both English civilians and British servicemen on home soil, their silence in the preceding years is deafening.
Most recently, we have seen UKIP member and former Conservative party candidate Victoria Ayling subjected to sustained attack from The Mail. Their front page on 7th December read ‘Send them all back home’ and was backed up with an edited video where Ms Ayling had said she would do so but ‘can’t really say that, can I?’ Unfortunately for The Mail and whichever terrified Tory spin doctor put them up to this story, there were a few inaccuracies –
1 – The video was edited to take out the part where Ms Ayling was discussing ‘illegal immigrants’ – It is actually government policy as could be seen from the aforementioned vans for illegal immigrants to be removed, so she was stating that those who break the law should be sent back to their country of origin – Not unreasonable?
2 – The video was recorded in 2008 – Ms Ayling was a member of the Conservatives at the time, and subsequently stood as a candidate for MP in the 2010 general election. If this was such a big story, why was it not broken when she was with her previous party?
3 – She was referred to as a ‘Farage Filly’ and key ally of the UKIP party leader based on having a photo taken at conference – Many of the UKIP council candidates in 2013 had their photo’s taken with Mr Farage as part of the campaigning, that doesn’t make them a ‘key ally’. If a Labour council candidate is pictured shaking hands with Ed Miliband, does that make them a ‘key ally’ of the Labour leader?
Whilst these concerted attacks have been carried out, the hypocrisy from the establishment parties and their allied organisations has been astounding.
With the opening of UK borders to all Romanian and Bulgarian citizens on 1st January, Prime Minister David Cameron has tried to rush through legislation at the eleventh hour to restrict benefits to citizens of these countries for 3 months after entry. He knows full well that this will be challenged by the EU as a breach of the rules – Indeed, the UK is currently being taken to court by the EU for not giving equal benefits to European migrants in relation to our own citizens. He also knows that we can’t control our own borders whilst we are a member of the European Union, but is trying to show a tough side to head off the threat at the ballot box posed by UKIP – Remember his triumphant return from Brussels at the end of 2012 where he claimed to have stopped an increase in the money paid by our taxpayers in to EU coffers? If you check the figures, a year down the line and we pay more than ever, just via a slightly different route.
It is also interesting to note that Bulgaria was sponsored as a full member state of the EU by none other than Conservative MEP’s led by Geoffrey Van Orden (Or Uncle Bulgaria, as UKIP MEP’s refer to him) – So you could say that the situation we find ourselves in with open borders to Bulgaria were actually triggered by the people who claim to be trying to defuse the situation! Of course, they have been aware of the relaxation of border controls since coming in to power in 2010 – So why such a late response? It couldn’t have anything to do with trying to head off UKIP at the polls, surely?
Then we have the reaction of other leading party figures to newspaper revelations of disharmony in communities caused by mass, uncontrolled immigration.
Former Labour Home secretary and Sheffield MP David Blunkett has predicted riots in his constituency unless Roma migrants integrate in to local society, with fellow Sheffield MP and Lib-Dem deputy PM Nick Clegg chiming in and saying that the Roma ‘need to play by the rules’ and have ‘a lack of respect’. Labour grandee Jack Straw has also chipped in to state that Labour ‘made mistakes’ on immigration when he was a member of the government.
Could you imagine the storms of protest from the establishment if Nigel Farage had said something similar? Yet two former Labour cabinet ministers, who oversaw the mass immigration that has led to the issues they talk of, now make comments that go far further than UKIP’s principled stand against open borders which is based around numbers and infrastructure pressure, not nationality.
The Betrayal of an English Generation
Then we had the spectacle of David Cameron at the end of last year talking down our youngsters in an attempt to justify the EU migration that he is now so drastically backpedalling on.
During an Apprentice event on 29th October, reported on by The Daily Express, he spoke of factories being half full of Poles, Latvians and Lithuanians because ‘our kids are not up to it’. He followed on in this vein on 13th November, when he was reported by The Telegraph as having stated that young working class people have ‘low aspirations’. This kind of outrageous pigeon holing of English youth would be classed as racist if levelled against any other ethnic grouping in our country – Yet Cameron has had the nerve to refer to UKIP members in the past as ‘closet racists’.
For a Prime Minister to talk down a whole generation of our youth who have been betrayed and denied a proper education by both his government and the previous Labour one is an abomination – To use that betrayal then as an excuse for recruitment of low skilled factory workers from abroad whilst those same youngsters are subjected to zero hours contracts or unemployment is a dereliction of duty on an epic scale.
Smear by association
With a definite lack of policy issues to attack UKIP on, the establishment parties have now turned to ‘smear by association’.
Following on from the 7th December headline, Vicky Ayling was further attacked by the Mail who then claimed that she had a background with the ‘far right’ National Front. This line of attack was based on her attending some meetings when she was at university and studying law as part of a thesis she was writing – A thesis that meant she attended various meetings across the political spectrum.
Yet the Mail printed nothing about these accusations when she was a Conservative candidate, and also failed to notice the following story from the local press in Rossendale and Darwen
Yes, Nick Holt was a former BNP member and candidate who was apparently asked to stand by the Conservatives for Darwen Town Council in 2009 – Not someone who attended a meeting as a student for research, a full blown BNP member who had stood for them before in elections.
But it is not just the Tories who have recruited from the ranks of the BNP. Meet Trevor Maxfield (Pictured) – He is the executive member for leisure and culture on Darwen council and is a sitting Labour councillor. Yet he was previously an organiser and member of the BNP, and also joined the white supremacist ‘England First’ party before joining Labour.
When questioned about his appointment by the local press, his fellow Labour councillor Dave Smith said ‘To be fair to Trevor, he’s quite a good bloke – I think his BNP stuff is in the past”
Tory council leader Mike Lee was also quoted as saying he had ‘never heard him say anything that would equate to a BNP comment’
So there you have it – Attend a meeting as a student thirty years ago if you are in UKIP and it is a press headline, but be an active member of the BNP and then join the establishment and your sins are absolved and you have seen the error of your ways.
Funnily enough, it would be impossible for either Mr Holt or Mr Maxfield to join UKIP as former BNP members are barred from the party – Not something that the establishment like you to know as it doesn’t fit their narrative.
When Mandrake is more ‘half-baked’
The Telegraph runs a popular political gossip column called Mandrake – In late November, I received a call from a UKIP colleague to tell me that there was a story about me in that day’s edition entitled, “How Nigel Farage’s UKIP chairman marched with the English Defence League’. This came as a bit of a surprise, as I had not been contacted by the press for comment before they ran the story – The Guardian had been on to this months before, and after talking with me didn’t bother to run what they called a ‘non-story’.
Author Tim Walker stated, “UKIP’s Chairman in Uxbridge, West London, is Cliff Dixon, who admitted taking part in a march held by the far right English Defence League in East London. Dixon posed for photographs on the march in 2011 with Kevin Carroll, the co-founder of the EDL”
The photograph that Mr Walker alludes to was taken outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square on the 10th anniversary of 9/11, not in East London. Nor was there a march – It was a remembrance ceremony that was attended by many high profile politicians, members of the Royal Family and the families of the dead.
Finally, I was there in my role at the time of London Vice Chairman of the English Democrats political party prior to joining UKIP – I was stood with a group of activists from the March for England movement, whose flag I was photographed next to. Mr Carroll moved in front of the flag with a wreath and can be seen in one of the pictures. Also stood just to one side of us were activists from Muslims for Peace, who were there to oppose Islamist extremists led by Anjem Choudary who were mocking the victims families, as reported on by…..The Daily Telegraph (Link below)
So Mr Walker – Are you suggesting that this EDL march I was photographed on was also attended by Prince Charles and David Cameron?
Yet more attempts at ‘smear by association’ – In this case, ignoring the far bigger story of Islamists being allowed to disrupt a remembrance ceremony in the heart of London with a Police escort as can be seen in pictures I took that day. (Below)
Again, it also begs the question as to why the press give coverage to, and completely misrepresent, a story about a minor UKIP official but have ignored the presence of Labour MP Jeremy Corbyn at the annual Al Quds parade in London which is supported by The Iranian Government and features homophobia, anti-Semitism and calls for death to the West?
Here is a video of his speech to the crowd in 2012 – You can just see the banner behind him which carries the image of Malcolm X
What you don’t see in the video are the battle flags of proscribed organisations such as Hamas and Hisbollah, nor the placards carried by children urging violence which are now an annual feature (see pictures below)
How does this square with the calls for peace from the Labour MP, and why are the press and Police so shy of reporting real sectarian and racial hatred on the streets of our Capital city? Indeed, I have put official complaints in about breaches of the public order act committed on these marches for the last 3 years to The Metropolitan Police, and have written to my local MP and Mr Corbyn’s party leader, Ed Miliband, about it. My only reply has been an email from the Police saying they are sorry I have been a victim of crime!
If all else fails – Fabricate some evidence
I mentioned earlier the inappropriately named ‘Hope Not Hate’ organisation, a group that claims to fight racism and extremism.
They have recently set up a special section on their website entitled ‘Purple Rain’ to ‘put UKIP under the microscope’.
It begs the question – Why? UKIP have proscribed membership to extremist groups, and have members from all differing backgrounds, races and religions in the party. Indeed, UKIP policies are based on a meritocracy where everybody is given equal chances in life and immigration is judged on a points system irrespective of where you are from – If they are really out to clamp down on discrimination, then the Lib-Lab-Con with their migration policies that discriminate against those from outside of the EU would be a good place to start, surely?
A dig around on their site may give some clues when you look at organisations that back and partially fund Hope Not Hate – Trade Union leaders such as Dave Prentis of Unison, Paul Kenny of The GMB and Christine Blower of the NUT all proclaim their support. With Labour enjoying the input and funding of the Trade Unions, and UKIP making such inroads in to their core voter base that has been taken for granted for years, in my opinion it wouldn’t take Hercule Poirot to make some sort of connection between Hope Not Hate’s new found interest in UKIP and their paymasters from the ranks of the TUC and the political establishment.
Not content with making vague accusations against the party, HNH activists have now stooped to trying to ‘set up’ youth wing Young Independence’ members on Facebook, as explained below by the excellent ‘Nope Not Hope’ website
HnH’s Morphett photoshops details on latest ‘expose’: not spin, an outright lie
On the other hand, one of Hope Not Hate’s main activists and reporters is a gentleman by the name of Matthew Collins (pictured above). Collins is a former member of the BNP and National Front who has boasted of how many members of the Asian community he used to rough up. But again, of course, joining the establishment (In this case the ‘anti-fascist left’) absolves you of all crimes and allows you to take the moral high ground, even if you are still a thug – Just of a different cloth.
The smell of fear
With the EU elections and a large swathe of council elections due this year, followed by a general election in 2015, the continuing popularity of UKIP is unnerving the old tired parties in England and their overlords in Brussels.
This is just the start of a concerted ‘dirty tricks’ campaign as career politicians and bureaucrats try to cling desperately to their positions of power and privilege, consumed by a fear of change and real choice for the electorate.
I fully expect further ‘revelations’ and ‘scandals’ as the count down to May continues – The party must stand firm and trust in the people to see through the lies and continue to back us. The alternative of more EU control and the continuing dynasty of Lib-Lab-Con politics is too awful to contemplate.
We are now at stage 3 of the Gandhi quote I started this piece with – Come election time, I pray that stage 4 prevails for all of the people of England.