Johnny UKIP or John Bulls***? From the behaviour of its supporters, there’s no difference between the two.
Praise is due to the Royal Mail employees who delivered a missive to VP Mansion, despite the fact that the top line of the address was missing.
It was a poison pen letter from a supporter of UKIP, clearly incensed that Yr Obdt Srvt has dared to use the letter pages of the local papers to question the actions of its elected MEPs.
“Dear Sir,” it began. “Are you some kind of a nutcase of have you caught a member of UKIP shaging your wife. However, I am voting UKIP next election with enemies like you they cant be wrong” [reproduced as written].
It was signed “John Bull, Newtown, Powys” – an obvious nom-de-plume but also a faux pas, as John Bull was created to be “a heroic archetype of the freeborn Englishman”. Any Newtown resident using such a disguise clearly has his national identity confused.
But then, he is a UKIP voter.
The irony is, the debate in the newspapers was winding down but now – thanks to “John”‘s Bull(ying behaviour), it seems these Kippers deserve a little more battering.
For information: UKIP’s people here in Powys had got into a terrible froth after Yr Srvt reminded them that UKIP MEPs had voted against a resolution calling on member states to legislate against marital rape.
Their arguments were easily countered with reference to exactly such a law which is currently passing through the legislative process in the Welsh Assembly. The question was: If UKIP had any Assembly members, would they support or oppose this Bill? If they supported it, they must be hypocrites; if they opposed it, then there would be no evading accusations that they approve of violence against women.
A UKIP supporter had responded by saying the party had been formed to regain democratic self-government, therefore “to oppose a measure because it was enacted by our democratically devolved government would be inconsistent.”
He continued: “Personally, I suspect that the practicalities of enforcement will largely vitiate a well-intentioned measure. Rape and assault outside the home are not prevented by laws criminalising them.”
In two paragraphs he managed to present the worst possible case. UKIP would hypocritically support such a law – not because it would protect women (this Kipper didn’t think it would) but because its members like the Welsh Assembly more than the European Parliament.
There’s a four-letter word that is often appended to “John”‘s surname – and UKIP is full of it.
Bizarrely, this is one instance of UKIP getting something right: The image by UKIP’s youth branch, Young Independence, makes it clear that the party is opposed by the NUS. There is no mention of a ban.
Our friends at UKIP have been at it again.
What follows is mainly from the A Liberal Life blog, detailing UKIP’s attempt to claim the National Union of Students voted to ban the party from standing for election within that organisation, when in fact all the union did was declare that it formally opposed UKIP.
Daniel Stevens, NUS International Students’ Officer, explained the decision on the NUS website. He said UKIP made the arrival of Romania and Bulgaria in the European Union a central focus of its 2013 election campaign, “using fear, misinformation and xenophobic language. They claimed the move would [lead] to an influx of 350,000 to 400,000 Romanians and Bulgarians a year, claimed that it would have an enormous impact on public services and went as far as to say it would lead to a ‘gateway for organised crime’… I have met Romanian students at UK universities and colleges who have been absolutely demoralised in the way their country has been stereotyped and portrayed by UKIP. One student went as far as to say that they now felt ashamed to be Romanian in Britain. There is something fundamentally wrong and blatantly xenophobic about a party that is willing to demonise and stereotype an entire country for its own political devices.”
Moving on to immigration, he pointed out that the NUS represents more than half a million international students, and that he spoke to members of that group every week “who are incredibly fearful of what UKIP represents, and I don’t blame them. Along with UKIP’s entire manifesto, its policies on immigration are currently undergoing a review. Whilst it stresses that it wants a non-discriminatory immigration policy, there is no indication of what that might look like. What’s clear is that UKIP [is] content to use xenophobic language to get their point across. Its previous manifesto stated that ‘multiculturalism has split our society’ and ‘our traditional values have been undermined’. Its new poster strongly implies that 26 million unemployed Europeans are after British jobs. UKIP’s entire campaign is based on immigration policies. The language it uses is an ‘us vs them’ mentality. Farage has suggested that parts of the country have been ‘taken over’ by foreigners and claiming that this has come at a ‘financial’ and ‘social price’. UKIP [has] repeatedly refused to create policies, or in fact a campaign, based on verified evidence of the impact of immigration. Instead [it uses] negative buzz-words that play on people’s emotions to drive an agenda of division.”
Finally, he pointed to what he called UKIP’s “problematic membership”. He stated: “Whilst UKIP will defend itself as not being racist, almost each week brings another case of a party member standing for a position that harbours racist, islamophobic, disablist or homophobic views”. For example:
• The star of UKIP’s TV ad dismissed Ed Miliband as “a Pole,” tweeted islamophobic messages and said Africans should be left “to kill themselves.”
• A UKIP candidate called for Lenry Henry to “emigrate to a black country.”
• An MEP called for British Muslims to sign a non-violence charter.
• A UKIP candidate in Enfield sent messages saying gay marriage sickens people and made misogynistic comments about a female councillor.
• A UKIP candidate in Leeds listed Nazi war criminals as individuals who inspire him.
“These examples are just from a two week period.”
He concluded that some had claimed that NUS passing policy that opposed UKIP contravened free speech. “On the contrary. Students across the country have democratically voted to hold UKIP accountable [for] its actions and views,” he stated. “We must always be suspicious and vigilant against the politics of fear and any political party that is willing to use xenophobia to gain political influence.”
He made it clear that if anyone else from UKIP wanted to run for office in the NUS next year, they would still be entitled to do so.
Now you know the background, let’s get back to the dodgy dealings on A Liberal Life, where we are told that yesterday (August 3), UKIP “community spokesperson” Suzanne Evans tweeted that the NUS was a “leftie dictatorship” for “not allowing UKIP candidates to stand for election”.
Faced with the fact that no such ban exists, the response was, “Debate impossible with LiberalIsland [that’s the author of the blog] – clearly believes it’s fine to ban party that won last nationwide election.”
Then some supporters of this lady jumped in to, well, support her. None of them had an answer to the main point of fact and the best they could manage was a lame “the opposition is equivalent to a ban”.
This is the face of UKIP today. Yr Obdt Srvt has been enjoying (if that’s the word) a debate over UKIP’s opposition to a European Parliament resolution calling on member states to legislate against domestic violence including marital rape. The latest UKIP position is that they were right to oppose the EU resolution because the European Parliament is undemocratic (so does this mean their election win is not valid?) but it would be inconsistent with UKIP’s intent to regain democratic self-government to oppose the Welsh Government’s planned law on the subject.
Apparently the safety of women in the home is of no interest whatever. In fact, the correspondent made this clear by stating: “I suspect that the practicalities of enforcement will largely vitiate a well-intentioned measure. Rape and assault outside the home are not prevented by laws criminalising them.”
Clearly UKIP is perfectly happy to justify its inconsistencies by playing with words.
Farage: The UKIP leader voted against an EU motion for laws to end marital rape in 2006 – now that such a law is going through the Welsh Assembly, would he hypocritically support it?
Back in 2006, UKIP’s then-Members of the European Parliament voted against a resolution calling on member states to legislate against violence on women, including marital rape.
According to at least one UKIP supporter, this was done “simply because of their opposition to the EU and all its works”.
How unfortunate for UKIP, to be seen to support the continuation of domestic violence – including marital rape – simply because the idea of making laws against it was put forward by the wrong people.
That isn’t statesmanlike – it’s childish.
Now a UK legislature has taken forward the ideas in that EU resolution; the Gender-based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Bill aims to end domestic abuse, gender-based violence and sexual violence.
What a pity UKIP has no Assembly members!
If it did, the party could clarify its position – although this is not without its drawbacks.
If UKIP still opposes such legislation, then we will all know that the party supports a loathsome philosophy – that it is all right to commit physical and sexual abuse against a partner in the home.
If UKIP now supports it, we will all know that it is a party of hypocrites who would think nothing of allowing such abuse to continue, in order to push forward its own agenda.
Without Assembly members voting on the proposed Welsh law, UKIP does not need to clarify its position – but that lets Mr Farage and his friends off the hook far too easily.
Isn’t it time UKIP clarified exactly where it stands on this issue – so we can all be sure to despise that party for the right reason?
(The above article has been sent in letter form to the major national newspapers and the BBC. Let’s see if the mass media can do their job.)
(Note to any readers who are getting bored of all this concentration on UKIP: I promise I’ll write about something else tomorrow.)
It isn’t VP policy to name names usually, but this gentleman’s tone was so aggressive that he deserves to be identified. On his own FB page he describes himself as ‘Belligerent Ruler of the Planet Earth’. You are encouraged to visit if you want to enjoy more of his pearls of wisdom, such as: “Mental. Thankyou very much to the lefty anti-UKIP article someone posted the other week listing me in the top 8 ‘worst UKIP tweeters’ my Twitter following gave me a much needed boost from fellow Kippers!”
He’s right – that is mental. Or maybe they are…
His communication with me was as follows (in fact the first is much the same as a comment he posted to the blog itself): “The UKIP picture you have published as an article was created by a Green Party member/supporter before the European and Council Elections.
“It’s so outdated it’s cringeworthy.”
Let’s just pause for a moment and look at the caption under the image, which states that “Most of the links on this now-infamous meme have been taken down by UKIP members, anxious to hide the embarrassing facts they revealed. The vote in favour of marital rape is not so easily removed as it is recorded on the European Parliament’s official website.” It explains perfectly adequately that matters have moved on since the image was created.
Back to Mr Evans, who asks: “Are you just recycling out info to damage UKIP or are you genuinely just that out of date?!”
Neither. I was using it as a direct example of the way UKIP behaves.
“The picture makes use of 2010 manifesto policies which have long since been abandoned.
“UKIP’s 2015 General Election manifesto doesn’t come out until September. Same goes for the other parties if you hadn’t realised. So how on Earth can you be critical about any parties policies for an election when they haven’t even been released yet?!
“In fact the only certain policies released by UKIP aren’t mentioned anywhere in your article or that picture so are you intentionally trying to be misleading?!”
You will know, Dear Reader, that this ground has been covered very thoroughly already – here, for example, and also here and here.
So Yr Obdt Srvt was very sure of his ground when he responded: “I checked the accuracy of the information contained in the meme and was able to substantiate everything except the claim about cutting education funding to build aircraft carriers.
“Just because this information has since been taken down (to eliminate embarrassment for the party?) that does not make it any less valid.
“Don’t waste my time with the argument about the manifesto.
“And don’t waste my time with suggestions that I am trying to be misleading. It is UKIP that has tried to mislead the public, and it is UKIP that is desperately trying to cover up its policy indiscretions.”
Alas – as noted in my article earlier today, Kippers don’t like to let the facts get in their way. Mr Evans got back to me with the following:
“Eliminate what embarrassment?
“You are referring to past policies as current policies in your article.”
No. He inferred that, but the line “Policies put forward by UKIP or by high-level members of UKIP include…”, although a quotation from a previous article, is as accurate now as it was when it was first typed, a couple of months ago. UKIP, or high-level members, did put forward those policies. There is no reference in today’s article to whether they are from the past or still active.
“2010 manifesto – 4 years ago for the 2010 General Election “2015 manifesto – Released in September this year for 2015 General Election.”
None of the references in the meme – or those that were discovered when VP was researching its allegations – are from this 2010 manifesto, though. Some are from the 2013 manifesto, and some are from the party’s own policy page (now deleted, although the likelihood of eliminating embarrassment is muted by the fact that UKIP cannot say it was left there for so long by mistake and still expect to be taken seriously).
“UKIP have only divulged a handful of policies non of which are detailed on the picture you referenced.”
Perhaps they weren’t relevant to the points being made.
“What you have referenced has been discussed to death on Twitter and Facebook and even the Green Party chap who created it has admitted it is outdated information.”
We’ll get back to Mr Abberton momentarily.
“Nigel Farage party leader said 5 MONTHS AGO that the 2010 manifesto is outdated, unwanted and will not be used again policies wise for the next General Election.
“Lord Pearson of Rannoch was the party leader at the time of the 2010 election, he compiled and produced the manifesto.”
Irrelevant, for reasons mentioned above. Now we get to the grit:
“Your comment about ’embarrassing the party’ is more an ’embarrassment’ to yourself. You are referencing outdated information as if it is current policies and information. So what you are in fact doing as you have been informed to this fact by myself is lying to your readers…
“Is this what you are? A person intentionally lying to mislead the electorate? If so please tell me…
“You say that UKIP are misleading the electorate. Feel free to tell me how?
“UKIP have said on numerous occasions, varying members and reps that the 2010 manifesto is defunct and not worth the paper it is written on. It no-longer represents UKIP.
“Yet you are posting it as current information which is misleading.
“You are the liar. You have been informed and if you continue to mislead people with discredited and past policies I will make people fully aware of your willingness to do so and your willingness to mislead people for your political agenda.
“You have been warned.”
Let’s go back to Michael Abberton, the “Green Party chap” mentioned a few paragraphs ago.
He and his meme first came to attention when it was revealed that the police had been sent to visit him after UKIP complained about an entry in his own blog, The Axe of Reason. He said he knew the image had been on Twitter for a while so he had set about seeing if its claims could be verified.
In his blog discussing the police visit, far from admitting he was quoting outdated policies, he states: “All I had done is promote the party policy using links to their own sources – no editorialising, no commenting. And in fairness highlighted those allegations I could find no evidence for.”
Take a look at the date on the blog – May this year. “So outdated it’s cringeworthy“?
Mr Abberton continued: “About fifteen minutes after they left I received a threatening tweet from a party member I had had an exchange with earlier in the day. Though appearing to be no more than a party supporter, he seemed to know that the police had been involved. I copied the tweet and sent it to the police.”
So we have evidence that Kippers are willing to cause a nuisance with the police in order to silence critics who have divulged information that UKIP would rather keep quiet, and we have a Kipper who has denounced Yr Obdt Srvt as a liar (despite the evidence to the contrary) and who has “warned” that he will act against VP if the blog continues in its function, which is to provide accurate information, no matter what he asserts.
For further information on Vox Political‘s attitude to this kind of interference, see the Scriptonite blog on the same matter.
That is why he got this response: “They are not discredited policies. They are not past policies until they are replaced with something else.
“It is UKIP that is trying to mislead – the party’s attempts to shut down its critics are a clear example of this.
“Don’t think for a moment that you can threaten me. I’m fully aware that UKIP and its adherents like to throw their weight around and I am not impressed at all.
“Now you’d better get off my page before I have you slung out of Facebook for threatening behaviour.”
There will be no tolerance of any UKIP member or representative who wants to threaten this blog, Mr Evans.
Not great reasons: Most of the links on this now-infamous meme have been taken down by UKIP members, anxious to hide the embarrassing facts they revealed. The vote in favour of marital rape is not so easily removed as it is recorded on the European Parliament’s official website.
Everybody loves a good political debate in the letter page of the local paper, right? Everybody but UKIP, it seems.
In the recent European Parliament election, the party of right-wing anti-Europeanism won more votes than anyone else here in Powys. Dismayed, Yr Obdt Srvt wrote to the papers to ask whether those who had supported UKIP were aware of the facts surrounding their chosen representatives.
“Policies put forward by UKIP or by high-level members of UKIP include raising income tax to a flat rate of 31 per cent for everyone (a rise of 11 per cent for the poorest; a cut of 14 per cent for the richest), speeding up NHS privatisation (in all parts of the UK), and making it legal for a man to rape or assault his wife (UKIP voted against a law to ban this in the European Parliament),” I wrote.
The response, the following week, was predictable: “Is this likely? I cannot imagine a political party of any hue, anywhere, in favour of such abhorrence,” wrote a UKIP supporter of very long-standing, of the vote in support of marital rape.
“My guess is this assertion comes from the rumour mill in the fibs factory. It should be taken with a large pinch of salt and Mr Sivier should check his sources.”
This should be enough for some, but not for UKIP and its adherents!
“It is true that in 2006 UKIP voted in the European Parliament against a non-binding resolution – not a law – to ban marital rape. Context and interpretation are relevant. They did so simply because of their opposition to the EU and all its works.”
Well, now – this response puts UKIP in a bit of a quandary. Firstly, the writer had to twist my words to make his interpretation of the 2006 vote fit – the resolution was calling on member states, including the UK, to create their own law regarding the subject. My comment that UKIP voted, in the European Parliament, against a law to ban marital rape is correct because UKIP opposed the resolution.
Now it seems that opposition has come back to bite them because the Welsh Government is considering just such a law at the moment. According to Assembly Member Joyce Watson, the Gender-based Violence, Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence (Wales) Bill places duties on the Welsh Ministers, Local Authorities and Local Health Boards to prepare and publish strategies aimed at ending domestic abuse, gender-based violence and sexual violence.
If UKIP and its supporters say they support this law, they will make hypocrites of themselves – publically – in the light of their opposition to such legislation in the European Parliament. If they oppose it, then they prove my point about their policies. Either way, UKIP is shown up as a gang of evil-hearted villains.
Oh, and if Mr Farage and his friends voted in support of marital rape “simply because of their opposition to the EU”, why did its members not simply avoid voting altogether – as that party has done in more than two-thirds of European Parliament votes since 2009?
UKIP has the worst voting record of any British party in the European Parliament; the fact that its members took the trouble to attend and vote on this resolution indicates that they actively opposed ending marital rape and the many other examples of violence against women that were included with it.
It seems these last points may not see the light of day in the local newspapers, as editors can tire of long-running debates.
How fortunate that we have the social media to save the day and bring this important information to the masses!
Feel free to disseminate this article as freely and as often as you like, to get the message across.
The result: The Tory who won is so unremarkable that I’ve forgotten his name. More interesting is the chap in the big hat behind him; at first I thought he was the Monster Raving Loony candidate, but it seems more likely he’s one of the voters.
One has to ask what is wrong with the people of a Parliamentary constituency when, after four years of a desperately inept and corrupt Conservative-led government, they decide to elect another Tory as their representative in a by-election.
Which of the government’s policies clinched it for you, Newark? Was it the brutality inflicted on people who are out of work – particularly those with long-term illnesses and disabilities? Does the fact that people are being driven to suicide at an almost-hourly rate turn you on?
Was it the determination to push your wages down in order to inflate bosses’ and shareholders’ salaries, forcing a higher take-up of taxpayer-funded in-work benefits? Do you like paying high taxes to support the very, very rich?
Was it perhaps the ongoing privatisation of the NHS? Do you think that’s healthy for the people of Britain? Perhaps rickets hasn’t yet reappeared in your constituency but it’s just a matter of time. Are you looking forward to getting tuberculosis?
Maybe you are looking forward to the government’s Legal Aid changes that will put innocent people in jail and leave criminals free to roam your streets and victimise you any way they want?
Or do you really want a Conservative majority in Parliament so they can push through their long-cherished dream of taking away your human rights? Is that what you want?
That’s what your votes supported!
Worse still, you put UKIP in second place. UKIP! The party that, besides supporting the destruction of the NHS (you’ve come out very strongly for private healthcare, Newark, I hope you know that) wants to put your taxes up (although they’re trying to hide that now because people found out and didn’t like it), and supports marital rape.
Way to go, Newark.
At least you had the good sense to kick the Liberal Democrats down to sixth place and the loss of their deposit – but that just means you’re schizoid, Newark! You reward the Conservatives for policies that are a hazard to your health, and punish their coalition partners for the same reasons!
Way to go, Newark.
It should be noted that turnout was just 52.67 per cent. Presumably the other 47.33 per cent are the “disenchanted” voters of whom Ed Miliband spoke so eloquently in his response to the Queen’s Speech (did you hear the Queen’s Speech, Newark? She listed 11 more-or-less pointless bills put forward by a zombie Parliament – which you have supported).
Let us hope those 34,779 lost voters can be persuaded to re-engage with democracy in time for next year’s general election, and restore sanity to your constituency.
Now go away, Newark.
You really don’t deserve all this attention.
(The latest Vox Political book collection – Health Warning: Government! – is now available. It is a cracking read and fantastic value for money. Only available via the Internet, it may be purchased here in print and eBook form, along with the previous VP release, Strong Words and Hard Times.
Was anybody else astonished to read, on Facebook this afternoon (May 12), that police had visited a person who had posted a version of the above meme on Twitter, and told said person to remove it as UKIP had made a formal complaint?
The truth of the matter became irrelevant very shortly after, when the image was merrily shared and re-shared across the social media by those of us (let’s face it; a version is directly above these words. VP is as much a part of this act as anyone) who weren’t going to put up with even the rumour of such heavy-handed behaviour.
Shortly afterwards, the referenced version of the meme appeared – it’s what you saw when you loaded up this article.
Readers with good taste in comedy will recognise our headline as a catchphrase of Lance Corporal Jones in Dad’s Army, made with reference to the German Army and to the “fuzzy-wuzzies” – as Jones refers in casually racist (yet of-the-times) terms to his erstwhile opponents when he was fighting colonial wars in South Africa. Although they’re not likely to enjoy being ranked alongside either of Jones’s targets, UKIP supporters proved that they really don’t like it up ’em – and responded with fury.
“This is not doing the right thing by Britons by posting propaganda rubbish like this one,” wrote one outraged ‘Kipper’.
That would be “misleading information that is systematically spread”, according to the VP dictionary. Thank goodness we can look up the websites referenced on the image and make up our own minds! But it should be noted that anyone trying this should hurry – some of the sites mentioned have already been changed.
For example, VP is informed that Amjad Bashir has changed his website to remove the reference to maternity pay and other employment rights. Fortunately, another member of our online community had the presence of mind to keep a copy of the site as it was before the edit, and created an image that demonstrates the differences.
The point is confirmed on UKIP member Keith Rowe’s website, where item 3.2 states: “UKIP proposes to vastly simplify this legislation. It would be up to each employer to decide whether to offer parental leave.” That would mean the end of Statutory Maternity Pay.
Further down, Mr Rowe confirms UKIP’s plan to raise Income Tax for most of us, while also cutting it for the richest people in the UK: “The cornerstone of UKIP’s tax policies is to roll employees’ National Insurance and basic rate income tax into a flat rate of income tax of 31 per cent for all sources of personal income (except pension income).”
On holiday entitlement, Mr Rowe tells us: “UKIP would put an end to most legislation regarding matters such as weekly working hours, holidays and holiday, overtime, redundancy or sick pay etc.”
UKIP supporters would argue strongly that the party does not intend to speed up privatisation of the NHS, and Mr Rowe’s website expends a large amount of verbiage trying to obfuscate what is intended. But the gist is here: “UKIP will abolish the complex competitive tendering rules which currently make it very difficult for smaller companies to bid; as a result of which, a small number of large companies have a disproportionate share of NHS business. In addition, the UKIP will require the NHS to use people with commercial experience to negotiate with the private sector.” This means that UKIP would continue the Coalition policy of inviting private companies to bid for the right to provide NHS services, making a profit from the taxpayer in doing so.
The section entitled ‘Looking Ahead’ suggests worse to come: “UKIP would like to offer people a choice of how they wish their health care to be delivered… We believe that other models are worth considering to see whether lessons can be learned from abroad… which appear to offer more choice, shorter waiting times and objectively better health outcomes at comparable cost and have been praised for their lack of bureaucracy.”
On climate change, the UKIP leaflet referenced in the meme states: “UK’s cuts in CO2 emissions will have no meaningful effect on global climate and … the Climate Change Act’s unilateral action is in vain”. Further on, it states: “We criticise the EU for creating serious market distortion by favouring some low-carbon technologies (wind, solar) over others (e.g. nuclear). There are, however, some clear priorities: gas, nuclear, and coal.”
UKIP’s own ‘issues’ page makes it clear that the party will “remove the UK from the jurisdiction of the European Court of Human Rights” (even though this would be a travesty – the UK was instrumental in setting up that institution and wrote much of its rule book).
Coming to marital rape, if the reference in the meme does not provide help, then try this link. It shows that, of the 14 MEPs who voted against ‘Combating violence against women’, which included “to recognise sexual violence within marriage as a crime and to make rape within marriage a criminal offence”, nine were members of UKIP. Thanks to Rachel Harvey (on Facebook) for this information, and for sourcing the image on maternity pay.
Ms Harvey adds: “The ‘no’ vote to rape within marriage being a criminal offence was also a no vote to making FGM [female genital mutilation] illegal. Such lovely blokes these UKIP MEPs.” Indeed.
Admittedly, policies are mentioned for which proof is not directly available at the time of writing (although any help with this would be appreciated). Nevertheless it should be clear that the image at the top of this article is absolutely not “propaganda rubbish”.
It is a genuine attempt to alert the British voting public to the true nature of the United Kingdom Independence Party.
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