• Trump,  UKIP

    Sorry, Brits. Farage is staying put.

    Despite earlier reports, Donald Trump’s English buddy and Joe E. Brown lookalike Nigel Farage says he is not planning to move to the United States after all. As an American looking for things to be grateful for after the recent election, I will take what I can get. This news comes after Prime Minister Theresa May unaccountably failed to take Trump’s suggestion that Farage be appointed as the UK’s ambassador to the US. Many people would like to see @Nigel_Farage represent Great Britain as their Ambassador to the United States. He would do a great job! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 22, 2016 “Many people” is a very Trumpian…

  • Cities,  Cycling,  Environment,  Ethics,  Tossers,  Transport,  UK Politics,  UKIP,  Zeitgeist

    Incidental nonsense, bicycling nonsense

    When the Plebgate story broke, cyclists were staunch. Though it’s neither big nor clever to swear at the police, a cyclist’s right of way had been unreasonably impeded. According to the law books, there is a right for all Her Majesty’s subjects at all seasons of the year freely and at their will to pass and repass the public highway without any let and hindrance. (Read the rest for how the police have taken control of access to Downing Street). Everyone was partisan about Plebgate. As one of Radio 4’s misnamed comedians said on last night’s News Quiz, it was a hard choice between the Tory toff, and the Sun…

  • UK Politics,  UKIP

    Will John Baron be the next to defect to UKIP?

    A Conservative source has apparently reported that John Baron, MP for Basildon and Billericay, ‘has mentally left the Conservative Party’.  Matthew Parris, writing in the Times (£), puts a positive gloss on these defections, describing UKIP as a poultice draining away pockets of nastiness in order to allow the party to reclaim the moderate centre ground. It’s difficult to find anything positive to say about Labour’s own rather excruciating interventions into the debate: Asked what he thought when he sees a white van outside a house, Mr Miliband replied: ‘What is going through my mind is respect. In response to accusations of snobbery, Phil quite reasonably insists that White Van Dan is…

  • antisemitism,  UKIP

    Candidate vetting: UKIP style

    SWNS reports: A UKIP candidate has sparked outrage by reportedly claiming that Jews deliberately murdered each other in the Holocaust as part of a masterplan to create Israel. The extreme views were posted in Mrs Anna-Marie Crampton’s name on a conspiracy theory website called ‘Secrets of The Fed’. Crampton, 57, is allegedly quoted as saying: “Holocaust means a sacrifice by fire. Only the Zionists could sacrifice their own in the gas chambers. “The Second World Wide War was engineered by the Zionist jews and financed by the banksters to make the general public all over the world to feel so guilty and outraged by the Holocaust that a treaty would…

  • UKIP

    Reducing the voter base, UKIP style

    I’d missed this story from earlier in the week – Magnus Nielsen, a UKIP PPC, has suggested that it would be a good idea to limit the franchise. “I sometimes think the people who fought for the vote in 1832 and 1888 and so forth, trying to extend the franchise were probably doing the wrong thing,” he told an election hustings in West Hampstead. “I think perhaps we should start reducing the franchise.” The only group he admits to having in his sights at the moment is former prisoners. Nielsen suggested that removing the vote from certain groups including criminals would increase its value. “Generally speaking when you start taking things…

  • Europe,  Russia,  UKIP

    Timothy Snyder: A vote for UKIP is a vote for Putin

    In a must-read piece at The New Republic, Timothy Snyder points out a similarity between the Putin regime and the Stalin regime at the time of the Nazi-Soviet pact: The embrace of anti-fascism as a rhetorical strategy is quite different from opposing actual fascists. Further: Putin now presents himself as the leader of the far right in Europe, and the leaders of Europe’s right-wing parties pledge their allegiance. There is an obvious contradiction here: Russian propaganda insists to Westerners that the problem with Ukraine is that its government is too far to the right, even as Russia builds a coalition with the European far right. Extremist, populist, and neo-Nazi party…

  • Freedom of Expression,  UKIP

    UKIP and free speech

    This story picks up on some of the themes in another recent post about UKIP – in particular their supposed insistence on  the importance of freedom of speech.  Michael Abberton received a police visit in response to a UKIP complaint (more on what that means exactly later) about a critical tweet. The police explained that I hadn’t broken any law – there was no charge to answer and it really wasn’t a police matter. They asked me to ‘take it down’ but I said I couldn’t do that as it had already been retweeted and appropriated, copied, many times and I no longer had any control of it (I had…

  • UKIP

    Anne Marie Waters and UKIP: a match made in heaven?

    Anne Marie Waters is to stand as a UKIP candidate in Basildon.  Neither she nor her new party are exactly favourites of mine – although both perhaps come in for a certain amount of misplaced, or disproportionate, abuse.  I was inclined to agree with Andy Newman’s criticism of a video AMW had made (which no longer seems to be available) but it would take too long to catalogue the very many problems with Newman’s wider analysis of secular activism. And I do in fact share many of Anne Marie Waters’ concerns – I am sure we have signed a few of the same petitions supporting secular causes, and, as far…