More on Nigel Farage’s fake resignation

This a story is a bit like a suicide attempt- it was an appeal for help, with Farage repeating the Cleopatra stunt at the end of Shakespeare’s play where she pretends to kill herself in the belief that poor Antony will come limping over. All, as GBS, observed, a bit adolescent as indeed is Mr Farage’s stunt.

Here is the finished cartoon of the incident.

Pantomime season returns colour2

Here is an early sketch of the same picture

Pantomime season returns

The Farage /UKIP resignation is interesting in many ways. Firstly, it establishes very clearly that Mr Carswell is of no consequence to the party machine, and was simply brought in- as we know by Simon wheeler who had given the party large donations after himself defecting from the Conservatives. Presumably Carswell sees himself as leader material. Carswell is his own man and as the only sitting UKIP MP, is determined it seems, to hold a moral line. That, I think, is commendable but will be difficult.

Many of the current UKIp Rankers, particularly the MEPs were parachuted into office under the personal direction of Farage, so forming his own college of cardinals and they owe their careers and present prosperity to him. Coburn is certainly one of these and no doubt was given license long ago to create as much mayhem as he could, undermining not only the SNP but also the existing UKIP branches that may not have been as Farage-focused as the leader would have wished. Coburn’s job, in otherwords, it is alleged, was to destabilise the local Scottish party. This is why he will not resign and why Farage will never apologise to Humza Yousaf no matter how often he is requested to do so.

My prediction therefore is very simple- should Farage genuinely be back in power, there will be some bubbles of resentment. There may even be a Carswell defection, but to whom? The Conservatives will not welcome him back. And Farage will probably win an early by-election gaining parliamentary credibility in the process. I may not like what he stands for but, as I have said before, I cannot fault his skills as an orator and I would be the first to applaud these. The place for such skills is certainly the House of Commons.

Other UKIP defectors, however, have warned me of the barrage of personal attacks and trumped-up charges that they have faced for speaking out. I am told darkly that UKIP has inherited, from the BNP/NF/EDF, a string of complicit police officers with power to corrupt the justice system. I am not sure this is a warning or is itself another threat.

I have been sent messages about the fate of Justin Adams, for example, the pilot whose plane crashed in 2010. This was the same plane in which Farage was travelling and which was flying a doomed banner. The whole thing ended in disaster and recrimination. Farage was in hospital and is still doing physiotherapy for a bad back, while Adams complained that the crash led to the disintegration of his marriage, and his being “incarcerated” in his elderly mother’s home. In 2011, he was convicted on 5 counts of threatening to kill Farage. Apparently, he made a telephone call to Samantha Sutton, the UKIP national secretary, claiming, “It’s just been delivered. I now have a 9mm pistol. I have got the means to do it and I will take them and then myself.” He was threatening to kill Farage and the civil aviation investigator, Martin James. Indeed, the whole story sounds a bit alarming. Later Justin Adams was found dead. It seems he had taken his own life.

Certainly, I did not expect the degree of pressure I have so far experienced or the personal attacks against my family. But it is far from clear from the story of Adams that there is some sort of Cabal or conspiracy against ex-UKIppers.

Indeed, when you look more closely, the conspiracy theories seem wrong. Mr Farage is on record at the time of the crash urging the pilot to steer clear of the village of Charlton. I am not sure who told us that but it is hugely commendable. If Adams became abusive as the investigation proceeded at snail’s pace, that is probably understandable though not prudent. People react to trauma in different ways but threatening to kill someone seems a bit excessive. I see evidence here that perhaps there was a lack of care by UKIP, but certainly not of a trumped up charge. It would be wrong to indulge paranoia.

I have also been told to look up the story of Nicole Sinclaire, an ex MEP- thrown out of the party for refusing to sit with Liga Nord/ EFD. She said that some of the group had extremist views. It certainly took her a long time to work this out! According to one report, the trigger for her defection was being called a “queer” by fellow UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom. Bloom is the man who was himself thrown out of the party for calling women “sluts” and referring to “bongo bongo land”. When challenged by journalists who showed him a newspaper article, I recall he hit one of them over the head with the said newspaper. At some point he also criticised David Cameron as “pigeon-chested; the sort of chap I used to beat up.” Bloom simply seems to be a bully, and I feel rather impressed that UKIP ditched him. But did they not suspect he was a bully in the first place?

bloom

There was a case of sexual discrimination which Sinclaire won. She said,

“During my time as an MEP I put in more than £120,000 of my salary into the cost of my work activities. It was also me who in 2010 drew the attention of the West Midlands Police to irregularities I discovered had taken place, without my knowledge, in my Ukip office.” She was arrested herself in February 2012 and accused of money-laundering and misconduct in public office. This story is more troubling, but there are parallels with the recent Atkinson story and it seems to confirm only that there is dodgyness in high places. We know that!

No doubt, if I am suddenly faced with a string of allegations, then there might be some credibility to the consipiracy theorists, but as yet, I think it best to be cautious and calm.

Kipper MEP Racially Insults Muslim SNP Politico as ‘Abu Hamza’

This is a thoughtful and insightful blog.I could not say anything in any clearer way frankly. TIM WILSON

though-

The story did not seem to me to be “a non-story” and Coburn and Farage compound the original insult by referring to it as a joke however crass or tasteless they may describe it. these people deserve to be thoroughly and mercilessly ridiculed until they sit up and pay attention. It is time they understood and appreciated what a joke can be!

James Gillray is one of my heroes

George III and Queen Charlotte

this is what the UKIP spokesman said at the time:

Glenn Campbell, BBC Scotland political correspondent

UKIP said David Coburn had apologised to Humza Yousaf.

They said he would be making no further comment on what a spokesman described as a “non-story”.

But that’s unlikely to be the last word on the matter.

Mr Yousaf said he was taking “legal advice” to see if he could pursue a complaint under legislation against race or religious hatred.

It has also emerged that the Scottish government is inviting MSPs to vote to express their disapproval.

Cabinet minister Alex Neil has tabled an amendment to a motion celebrating Scotland’s diverse communities.

It says parliament “unites in condemning the recent comments by David Coburn MEP”.

MSPs will decide on Wednesday whether or not to endorse that rebuke to Scotland’s most outspoken Euro MP.

Beastrabban\'s Weblog

David Coburn

David Coburn, the openly gay Kipper MEP for Scotland, is in the Groanoiad and Scottish Daily Mail for allegedly referring to Humza Yousaf as Abu Hamza in an interview with the latter paper. Yousaf is the MSP for Glasgow, and the Minister for Europe and International Development in the Scottish parliament. Yousaf and Coburn were due to take part in the BBC’s Big Immigration Debate, but Yousaf did not arrive. Coburn said of Yousaf’s failure to appear, “Humza Yousaf, or as I call him, Abu Hamza, didn’t seem to turn up.”

SDM Yousaf Insult

His remarks have been condemned by Scotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, the Conservative’s leader in Scotland, Ruth Davidson, and Kezia Dugdale, Labour’s deputy leader north of the border. Coburn, however, has said that the remark was supposed to be private, while the Kipper’s Scottish chairman, Arthur Misty Thackeray, said he had simply got the name wrong through a…

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Apologies Chuka! there really is racism

high ukip rankers

A few months ago, I wrote a blog-piece here in response to claims by Chuka Umunna who said there was racism at the heart of UKIP. This is a party I know well and I was, until two days’ ago the Parliamentary Candidate for South Northants.

Review of recent events

humza

About 10 days ago I learnt of a comment tossed off by David Corburn, UKIP’s only MEP in Scotland, who compared the Scottish Minister for Europe, Humza Yousaf to convicted criminal Abu Hamza, a man who is serving a life sentence in New York for terrorism. I immediately requested a meeting with Mr Farage which was denied- I am too much of a small-fry! I was told to go through the hierarchy and approach my “Regional Organiser” whose name is Paul Oakden. Oakden had already revealed himself to be a thug who threw his weight around, and never returned telephone calls. Time dragged on and I spoke to Humza early the following week to ask what I could do to help, talked to the Daily Mail and found myself resigning. For the next few days, I was at the centre of a media circus that was actually located somewhere in Edinburgh.

Bits of the furore tricked down to Northampton, and Oakden went in for the kill, accusing me on live radio of behaving like a brat, throwing his toys out of the pram. He questioned my competence as a candidate and so on, which meant I was obliged to answer back and the thing duly had a more local manifestation. But I was at pains to stress I had no evidence nor suspicions about any member of the local party being racist, homophobic or prejudiced.

And then came Adam Collyer’s blog which was a nasty attack on my partner- suggesting that he was not the victim of a torture event in Greece but probably the aggressor. It undermined my integrity, of course, and seriously upset my partner who had suffered 11 years’ of a legal battle for proper redress through the ECHR.

adam

Adam Collyer, like David Coburn is an elected UKIP politician, one of the current high ranking and experienced leaders of the party. As a UKIP ranker, I think he must be held to higher standards than ordinary members who might aspire to but have not attained elected office. In other words, he is on the same rank as David Coburn and I hold him to the same standards. If he wants to lambast me, well I am fair game of course, but if he wants to attack my family, he should check his facts first and also make sure that what he writes is unambiguously clear.

One significant fact was wrong: Necati did not enter the UK as an asylum seeker. Another fact was presented in such a way as to be misleading: here is the offensive phrase: “… Necati Zontul, a Turkish asylum-seeker who has been involved in allegations of torture against the Greek police.” I was first alerted to this by a Greek friend who sent me a message : Κάποιος κύριος γράφει άρθρα σε “blog” για εσάς και τον Necati. Αυτός ο άνθρωπος δηλώνει πως Ο Necati δεν είταν’ το θύμα αλλά ο κατηγορούμενος της υπόθεσης. Αυτή την εντύπωση μου δίνει.
This person tried to leave comments on the blog, but was unable to do so. Adam does not like feedback.

Two points: firstly I am proud of what we did to bring Necati’s case to a successful conclusion – against the odds and under serious pressure to keep silent, and secondly, I do not doubt that Adam might have intended to write something else, and I agree what he writes is also open to a number of interpretations, but one of them is utterly wrong. We are in the business of using words to change people’s lives: that is what we do in politics. It’s also what we do when we make films and work in the media. That gives us a responsibility to do the job properly. We cannot make stupid jokes and get away with it. We cannot write things and say we did not mean it. People have lost their jobs for less- and today a bad tweet can cost us everything. Adam and Coburn just were not careful enough…And moreover, there was no reason at all to bring the story of Necati’s torture back into the public arena.

Anyway, where does this lead us?

The bottom line is very simple- the ordinary activist in UKIP may not be racist or homophobic, but it is quite clear that senior UKIP rankers will do anything they can to seize or hold on to power, often with personal abuse or inuendo. They are also equipped with the sort of thuggish views that should never be expressed or even considered – and Farrage will endorse the lot! Roger Helmer was excused for making a series of homophobic comments, Coburn was excused for making his racist attack on Humza, Collyer remains undisciplined for attacking a torture victim and on it goes.

Westminster

These people are ready to pontificate about our lives, and look set to be thoroughly electable, many of them have already been elected to represent us in Brussels. UKIP will achieve a powerbase in Westminster in May. I wanted to ensure that among those elected were some reasonable individuals and they certainly exist too- I have met many of them. Douglas Carswell is a fine example, Tom Rubython, Rose Gibbins, Michael Gerard – all people who I am sure are as appalled at the racist stuff emerging from the ill-toothed mouth of Coburn, and yet I was the only one to resign.

This is it: the thugs have bullied their way to the top and they are the ones who, regrettably, control the destiny of the party. And racists attract racists – we should not be surprised by some of the astonishing things written on pro-UKIP websites and facebook pages. Bile against Islam features prominently.

The Black hole and personal Regret

My great regret about resigning the other day is this- that the media storm focused a little too much on the resignation rather than the reason. I thought I might stimulate debate on racism, but what happened was alot of questions about why I took this so seriously when Farage did not. I take it seriously because it is almost the most important thing in life- to have respect for the person sitting next to you. Humza and Coburn may be in different parties, and be political opponents but Coburn does not have the sense or the prudence to realise he is in the same business – and that fact alone should command proper respect. Coburn used his mass and stupidity in an attempt to belittle a good, no a great man. If we take an astronomical image, Humza is the rising star and Coburn is a black hole and the sooner he implodes completely, the safer we will all be.

Chuka Umunna

Apologies 

So, apologies Chuka – you are not entirely wrong. But racism is not found at the heart of UKIP, it is found at the head (the Greeks say the fish smells from the head). The heart of UKIP, I think, beats with a passion that questions the wisdom of Brussels and the efficacity of the Brussels bureaucracy, something any Greek would be eager to applaud. But the UKIP rankers look down from their turreted fortifications – oddly for the most part in Brussels not the UK- and wince when they hear people on the train who do not speak english, whose skin is a different colour, whose religion is not anglican. There really is a danger that these people will have power.

And across the way will be the Scottish nationalists – I cannot say I favour a fractured Kingdom at all, but I have never met an SNP politician I do not like. It’s odd- it’s obviously nothing to do with being Scottish- because I detested Gordon Brown in a way I can barely describe in words. (I will add a picture of him in a few minutes to entertain). I think it is something about being fresh and having a very specific message. It does not matter whether we like that message- we have to admire the way it is presented. Now, UKIP also is relatively fresh and focuses on a single message. In so many ways, there are parallels, except that UKIP is top-heavy with racist, homophobic “has-beens” and the SNP is quite free of these. Even Alex Salmond is endearing. And just think back to the speed of his resignation: that is a picture-book demonstration of honour and integrity.

We hear all this nonsense these days about the importance of policies, but UKIP has yet to publish a manifesto and the election inches forward. I rather fancy making my mind up on the basis of who is the most polite, the most honourable, who has the most integrity and is the most personable. I think I would fill the whole of Westminster with the SNP!

Coda:

Despite claims by Adam Collyer to have resigned and to have left UKIP, after a short illness during which he said he felt his family was under attack, he has returned to work as usual. He was assisted in this process by none other than Paul Oakden.

Screen shot 2016-03-08 at 10.11.39