The response to the Nicholas Fromage game is yet another reminder that Ukip can dish it out, but they can’t take it
It is sad, watching Britain’s professional offence-takers take over more and more of our public life. You can’t say anything these days without someone clutching their pearls or dropping their monocle and telling you how terribly inappropriate your harmless banter was.
Yes, it is absolutely extraordinary how thin-skinned Ukip supporters are.
Which is funny, really, since they’re the ones who are always telling us that the latest hilarious outburst by a Ukip councillor or MEP or parliamentary candidate or whatever is just a bit of fun and that the people who raise an eyebrow at it are out of touch with how real people speak outside the Westminster bubble. A man called Kerry Smith calls gay people poofters and Chinese people “Chinkies” and suggests going on “peasant hunts” in Essex, and Nigel Farage thinks that’s earthy working-class man-of-the-people stuff. A chairman of a local Ukip branch claimed that some gay people “prefer sex with animals”, so in apparent agreement the local candidate told a story about how a “homosexual donkey” tried to rape his horse. A potential candidate called Chris Scotton “liked” a Facebook site which claimed that racism was “just ethnic banter”. Another blamed Jewish people for the Holocaust. All this stuff, according to a Ukip spokesperson, was “ordinary people many of whom are young and have made the odd excessive comment on new media”. It’s just top bantz, a bit of silly horseplay, nothing to get too excited about, and the Offended of Islington like yours truly just can’t take a joke.
In fairness, maybe that’s true. These aren’t, generally, the Ukip standard bearers, although Roger Helmer and Godfrey Bloom were pretty senior and said/did some pretty spectacular things (sluts and bongo-bongo land were the best, probably). And Farage himself has dropped some clangers. But in general, it’s local councillors or even candidates for council elections; the fact that in the serried ranks of party nobodies it is possible to hunt out some boorish and/or stupid people saying boorish and/or stupid things should not, perhaps, surprise us. Maybe we should be able to rise above it a bit.
What’s funny, though, is how incapable of rising above it Ukip is when something faintly rude is said about them. Yesterday, it broke that a mobile game had been made in which you could play Nicholas Fromage, the leader of a party called Ukik. The game was you kick immigrants off the White Cliffs of Dover, winning racism-points and damaging the British economy as you did so.
The real-life Mr Fromage, fierce defender of banter-squadrons everywhere, of course, took it with the sang-froid and buffalo-like hide for which he is rightly famous. Oh no wait, sorry, he blew his lid in spectacular style. “Those elements are risible and in many ways pathetic. I think I’m quite well known for having a sense of humour… but elements of this game appear to cross the line.” Which is particularly funny since the Ukik game was made entirely by a bunch of Kent schoolchildren.
But this is just par for the course when it comes to Ukip. They can dish it out – “it” being a series of ugly comments about gay people, immigrants, ethnic minorities, bi-curious donkeys, women, Muslims and, of course, LibLabCon – but as soon as anyone issues the faintest criticism of Ukip itself, out come the smelling salts. A Green party member in Cambridge had a visit from the police after tweeting a jokey piece called “10 reasons to vote Ukip”. The Ukip-supporting James Delingpole, formerly of this parish, has complained that Farage was “stitched up” in an interview with Steph and Dom, the posh ones off of Gogglebox. You really aren’t in the right job if you’re a politician who’s been outfoxed by two tipsy B&B owners.
The place you’ll see this the most, of course, is online. Under every piece criticising Ukip – even gently; even in the context of a generally positive piece – there will be 5,000 comments, most of them from people with names like Aethelred or Defender_Of_The_Realm44, roaring about anti-Ukip conspiracies and the mainstream media’s efforts to keep the party down. (By, for instance, getting Farage on Question Time every three days.) Tweet anything remotely rude about Ukip and you’ll see a similar response (the trick is to mute them, and leave them shouting ineffectually into the void, guys. You can have that one for free). And this is unique to Ukip. If you say comparably critical things about Labour, or the Tories, or the Greens, or the Lib Dems, you won’t have to spend two days fighting angry spam.
And yet no one in Ukip has the self-awareness to see that they can’t have it both ways. Either you’re a proud warrior for free speech – I may not agree with what you say about sluts who won’t clean behind the fridge, but I will defend to the death your right to say it! – or you’re not. You can’t be a Voltaire for the things you agree with and a weeping crybaby when someone’s a bit mean to you. For all their posing as brave sayers of the unsayable and champions of the forgotten British values of calling a spade a spade or whatever, Farage and his weeping bunch of milquetoasts have skins of dry parchment. Toughen up, guys. Nicholas Soames once put it brilliantly, in reference to Mr Fromage: “In politics, there is no point being a shrinking f—–g violet is there?”
John Rees-Evans has joined the ranks of Ukip members whose comments are attracting more attention than the party would like
“Just don’t,” Ukip’s chairman, Steve Crowther, recently told party members tempted to express odd views on Twitter. In the light of a “Gay donkey tried to rape my horse” headline generated by a Ukip candidate in Cardiff, Crowther should probably tell them to avoid being filmed on YouTube too.
The culprit was John Rees-Evans, Ukip’s candidate in Cardiff South and Penarth, who produced his bizarre claim on Saturday in an exchange with protesters outside a new campaign office Ukip has opened in Merthyr Tydfil.
Ironically, Rees-Evans unveiled his contribution to the list of wacky Ukip quotes when he was being asked to respond to some of the most controversial things that Ukip members have said in the past. What about the claim from the chair of a Ukip branch that “some homosexuals prefer sex with animals”?
“Actually, I’ve witnessed that,” Rees-Evans replied in an apparent attempt at humour, prompting a burst of hilarity among the protesters.
“I was personally quite amazed,” he told them. “I’ve got a horse and it was there in the field. And a donkey came up, which was male, and I’m afraid tried to rape my horse.”
So, in this case, whoever made the original claim was “obviously correct” because in this case a “homosexual donkey” was attracted to a horse, Rees-Evans said, in an exchange that was videoed and has been posted on YouTube.
The would-be MP, who runs a tour company taking travellers to east Africa, told the Guardian on Monday: “It is not as though I was making a serious point. I was simply answering a question, rather than telling the person that he was ridiculous for raising it.
“I was asked to respond to quite a bizarre statement, and it’s my view that British people are fed up with politicians evading uncomfortable questions and so I tried to give the only kind of answer I knew how to give because, frankly, I do not have any experience of homosexuality, or humans copulating with animals. So the closest match, from my personal experience, was the case of what appeared to be homosexuality with animals.”
Rees-Evans’s tale may be judged naive, but he conceded that “some people who do have connections with Ukip do say some outrageous things from time to time” and that this was probably related to the nature of the party.
“The reality is that, when you have a party that does not have a whipping system, where politicians fear being disciplined for saying the wrong thing, inevitably you will have quite a diversity of personal opinion,” he said.
David Cameron once dismissed Ukip as “fruitcakes, lunatics and closet racists, mostly” and there is a long history of Ukip figures having to stand down after making offensive comments. The “some homosexuals prefer sex with animals” claim was made by Julia Gasper, who stood down as chair of the Oxford branch after it was revealed last year.
Godfrey Bloom, a former Ukip MEP, sparked outrage by complaining about aid being sent to “bongo bongo land”. A Ukip councillor was suspended last year for sharing offensive material on Facebook about Muslims, and only recently Kerry Smith stood down as a Ukip candidate in South Basildon and East Thurrock after being recorded mocking gay party members as “poofters” and referring to someone as a “Chinky bird”.
Rees-Evans said that, in his experience, when Ukip members said things that were genuinely unacceptable, the party got rid of them.
But some extremist Ukip comments are better classified as bonkers than offensive. The most notorious of these was the claim by David Silvester, a town councillor in Henley, that last winter’s storms and floods were divine punishment for gay marriage. Nigel Farage, the Ukip leader, responded by saying that no one had complained about Silvester’s views when he was a member of the Conservative party.
Another category of Ukip “gaffe” has involved party members expressing views that may have once been considered mainstream, but are now widely considered reactionary, such as a Ukip MEP’s remark that women do not have the ambition to get to the top “because babies get in the way”. Farage has repeatedly stumbled into this territory himself, for example with his recent complaint about “ostentatious” breastfeeding.
Rees-Evans said Ukip had to decide whether it wanted its members to continue to be allowed to speak out or whether it should exercise more discipline.
“Ukip is essentially at a crossroads, in the sense that it can go two ways,” he said. “It can either say look, sadly, you guys are going to have to shut up and avoid answering questions, or crack on, answer questions honestly.
“We will occasionally get into trouble but we would prefer to have that kind of libertarian ethos in the party that allows you to say whatever you think.”
Ukip’s parliamentary candidate for Deal and Dover has come under fire for posting a map containing “disgusting, anti-gay and anti-women” jibes on his Facebook page.
The party’s hopeful David Little uploaded the spoof cartoon of “The Ukip Map of the World” on the social media site, prompting a backlash from MP Charlie Elphicke.
The sketch refers to Africa as “Bongo Bongo Land,” London as home to “cosmopolitan poofters” and “zillions of immigrants” and the people of Scotland as “ungrateful bastards”.
The map by cartoonist Martha Richler also brands women in Wales “God-fearing fridge-cleaning women”.
Mr Little, who will take on Mr Elphicke in next year’s general election, insists he posted the map poking fun at his own party in an attempt at “self-deprecating satire”.
But Mr Elphicke claims he has received complaints from constituents about it, and has called for Mr Little to apologise.
Of all the people involved with UKIP, one person has constantly been at the front of the queue when it comes to scandal and controversy.
Godfrey Bloom, The Ex UKIP MEP became a household name after stories such as “Bongo Bongo Land” and “The Sluts Row” hit national headlines.
Some of the more gullible UKIP members would label Bloom as ” A loveable rogue”. It’s not a term I would use.
Now that Bloom is no longer on the UKIP gravy time, he has to find activities to fill his diary and it looks like he has found a suitable one for the middle of October.
Godfrey Bloom is to be a guest speaker at a Traditional Britain Group conference held in London on October 18th. The fact Bloom is speaking at the event is controversial enough, however Bloom will be sharing a platform with a collection of far right politicians.
Whilst Bloom name does not appear on the original TBG flyer, their website and Facebook page confirm Bloom is a late addition to the roster.
The Traditional Britain Group is a tiny right wing campaign group that has some links to the Ultra right wing of the Conservative Party.
The man who stands at the helm of the TBG is the controversial Gregory Lauder Frost.
Lauder-Frost is a former BNP member and was previously a member of the Conservative Party’s Monday Club as well as the Western Goals Institute. He believes that the UK was wrong when it declared war on Nazi Germany in 1939 because the Nazis had no quarrel with our country.
He also believes that the Nuremburg trials where a “farce… without an ounce of legitimacy” and defended the Luftwaffe’s bombardment of Coventry, saying: “Britain had all its small arms and tanks manufactured at Coventry. If you did not want to be bombed you should not have declared war on a country who had no quarrel with you.”
Lauder-Frost was jailed for two years in 1992 for embezzling money from his employers, the Riverside health authority. The court heard he had channelled money into extreme right-wing political causes. It also emerged at the end of the trial that he was implicated in attempts to sell Russian arms to US based far right groups.
The Traditional Britain Group was criticized for overt and disgusting racism after they called for the Labour peer Doreen Lawrence and millions of ethnic-minority Britons to “return to their natural homelands”. Lauder-Frost said of Doreen Lawrence “: “We do not feel there is any merit in raising such a person to the peerage. She’s a complete nobody. She’s just a campaigner about her son’s murder. It’s ridiculous. She has made countless anti-English comments over the last 10 years. She’s no friend of the English people.”
He continued “This woman has done the British nation no favours whatsoever. If these people don’t like us and want to keep attacking us they should go back to their natural homelands.”
Sharing a platform alongside Bloom and Lauder-Frost is the former Croatian diplomat Dr Tomislav Sunic, who has regularly addressed racist gatherings in America and Europe.
In August 2003, Sunic gave a lecture alongside the far-rightist ex-lawyer Horst Mahler, currently serving a prison sentence in Germany for Holocaust denial, at a conference sponsored by Germany’s nationalist far-right party, the National Democratic Party.
Sunic spoke at the BNP conference in 2013 and has also addressed several meetings of the National Front including its 45th Anniversary meeting in 2012 and a meeting in Bradford in 2009.
The Croat sits on the board of the American white nationalist political party American Freedom Party (AFP) and is the author of the vile anti-Semitic book, Homo Americanus.
Also listed to speak is a name familiar to Hope not hate readers, Paul Weston, chairman of the miniscule Liberty GB party.
Weston was previously better known as the chairman of the now defunct British Freedom Party, the political wing of the thuggish English Defence League.
Paul Weston is a regular blogger for the “counter-jihadist” anti-Islamic website Gates of Vienna. Norwegian mass-murderer Anders Behring Breivik took inspiration from the website and Weston’s articles claiming that there is a “civil war” brewing in Europe with Islam. When questioned in 2012 Weston admitted that the articles may well have inspired Breivik.
The far right barrister Adrian Davies has spoken at TBG gatherings before and will be again later this month, indeed he spoke at their re-launch meeting in 2010, alongside controversial racist lecturer Dr Frank Ellis.
Davies unsuccessfully represented the Holocaust denier David Irving at the Court of Appeal in 2001 after Irving had failed in a libel action against Deborah Lipstadt and Penguin Books.
Previously chairman of the now-defunct far right Freedom Party, Davies is also linked to the BNP and is a regular speaker at meetings of the far right “New Right”. He was one of the founders of the far right farce that was The British Democratic Party.
Godfrey Bloom is still very much a member of UKIP and is very popular in the party, particularly in his old European region of Yorkshire & Humber where he very close to newly elected MEP’s Jane Collins & Mike Hookem. In fact there are a large number of UKIP members in the region who would like to see him back in the forefront of the xenophobic party.
Only time will tell.
Godfrey Bloom, the outspoken MEP who had the Ukip whip withdrawn after jokingly calling a roomful of women “sluts”, has made another gag – involving child molesters.
Speaking to the Huffington Post UK, Bloom, who is currently an independent MEP and not standing again in this Thursday’s European elections, said that he was looking forward to no longer having to tell people that he was an MEP. “Sometimes I try and pretend that I’m a child molester,” he quipped.
In less close-to-the-knuckle remarks, the ex-Ukip MEP, who infamously derided Britain’s aid to “bongo bongo land”, weighed in over Ukip’s disastrous carnival that the party hosted in Croydon in a bid to rebuff allegations of racism.
Bloom said that events like Ukip’s carnival smacked of “tokenism” and were a sign that the party was “slipping into political correctness”.
He said: “Ukip have got a problem and that is you tend to inherit the politically correct lexicon and you start nodding in the direction of tokenism and it follows through for policy. They’re slipping into political correctness.
“I fear we may be drifting into a ‘don’t frighten the horses’ policy,” he said, warning that the party was adopting an attitude of “let’s go mainstream and let’s do all the things the main parties do”.
Nigel Farage has fought to dismiss suggestions that Ukip was racist, with the Ukip leader using a London rally earlier this month to show off the party’s ethnic candidates, saying: “Please do not call us a racist party.”
Ukip’s Croydon carnival was thrown into chaos on Tuesday after the steel band walked out and dozens of anti-Ukip protesters had assembled for the carnival, with one holding up a sign saying: “We are Romanians and we don’t feel comfortable with your racism.”
Bloom said that Ukip’s tactics to rebuff allegations of racism “ring a little like saying ‘Some of my best friends are black'”, but admitted that it can be “very difficult’ to avoid doing anything else.
“If you accuse a party of being racist, they’re going to stand up and say well that’s not true we’ve got lots of BME people. It’s very difficult, how would you counter that accusation?”
Farage was forced to back out of appearing at the Ukip carnival, where he was set to make a speech and an appeal to black and ethnic minority voters, citing security concerns.
Winston McKenzie, who stood as the Ukip candidate for parliament in the constituency’s 2012 by-election and organised the carnival, said there were “certain situations you have to avoid” and that Croydon had “become a dump”.
Bloom declined to say if he agreed with McKenzie’s about the area becoming a “dump” as “I don’t think I’ve been to Croydon for 40 years and I couldn’t tell you how it is.”
The ex-Ukip MEP, who used by the party’s economics spokesman, attacked the reporting of the carnival for “keeping out” Mckenzie but “interviewing the British blacks playing in the steel band.”
Farage earlier this week tried to explain away controversial comments about the desirability of living next door to Romanians by saying he was “tired out”.
Bloom, who shares a flat with Farage in Brussels, said that the Ukip leader would be “over-tired at this stage of the campaign” and “been run ragged”.
He partly blamed the fact that Farage was a “hopeless delegator”, remarking: “General Monty made sure he got his 7 hours a night, and he wasn’t making mistakes!”
A star of Ukip’s latest political broadcast has been suspended from the party after claiming Ed Miliband is “not British”.
In a major embarrassment to Nigel Farage, Andre Lampitt, a Zimbabwean decorator and kitchen fitter who appeared in the party’s television broadcast, posted a string of “repellent” messages online.
Africans should “kill themselves off”, Islam is “evil” and Nigerians are “bad people”, Mr Lampitt claimed.
Mr Lampitt, who describes himself as “Born British in Rhodesia” and speaks with a Zimbabwean accent, was filmed on a building site wearing a hard hat in Tuesday’s television broadcast.
He warned EU migrants are undercutting natives’ wages, saying: “Since the lads from Eastern Europe are prepared to work for a lot less than anybody else, I’ve found it a real struggle.” He was wearing the shirt of his company, Kamina Kawena Services.
Messages on his Twitter account described the Prophet Mohammed as a “pedo” and say Islam is “an evil organisation respecting a prophet who was a pedo [sic].”
He said Ed Miliband, the son of a Jewish refugee, is “Polish and not British”.
One message read: “Miliband is not a real Brit. I hope he never gets to be PM! He was only born here.” He added: “I believe in being British. It is earned through generations of existence not through birth.”
Another message read: “I was born and grew up in Africa. Please leave Africa for the Africans. Let them kill themselves off.”
Another said: “Most Nigerians are generally bad people.” Another message said: “Enoch Powell was right!”
A Ukip spokesman said: “We are deeply shocked that Mr Lampitt has expressed such repellent views. His membership of the party has been suspended immediately pending a full disciplinary process.”
Mr Lampitt did not respond to approaches for comment, but his Twitter account has been deleted.
The outbursts by a prominent new face of Ukip will be highly embarrassing to Mr Farage, who has repeatedly insisted his party has no place for racists.
He has sought to strike a balance between preserving free speech with his party while presenting an electable face to the public.
He was humiliated after Godfrey Bloom, one of his closest allies, made a series of outbursts describing foreign countries as “Bongo Bongo Land” and women as “sluts”.
In response Mr Farage promised to weed out “Walter Mittys” from the party’s candidates to ensure only “reliable, steady, solid people” could run for election.
Controversial East Yorkshire politician Godfrey Bloom is standing by his comments after saying it would “be right” for European commissioners to be hanged.
The MEP made the remarks in a speech to the European Parliament on why “the state is an institution of theft”.
They were later uploaded to YouTube, racking up more than four million views.
Mr Bloom’s comments were made as he attacked Brussels bureaucrats for “tax evasion”.
In the speech last November, made while commissioners were in the audience, Mr Bloom said: “I would point out to the commission that the message is getting home to the people of the European Union.
“You are going to find that Eurosceptics are coming back in ever greater numbers.
“And I can tell you worse – as the people get your number, it will not be long before they storm this chamber and they hang you, and they will be right.”
The remarks infuriated civil service trade unions, Mr Bloom said, and he has now been formally reprimanded for them by EU president Martin Schulz.
In a letter, Mr Schulz said he did not show “due respect” and had ignored “human dignity”.
Mr Bloom was unrepentant, although he did clarify he did not want anyone to be hanged.
He made the comments, he said, because he feared civil servants’ finances would lead to a bloody revolt by irate Frenchmen.
Mr Bloom said: “I didn’t actually say I wanted to see them hanged.
“What I said is they probably would end up being hanged, and it would be their own fault.
“They’re going to storm the building like they stormed the Bastille and history will take its course again.”
Mr Bloom said thousands of people had written him letters to agree with what he said.
He believes he tapped into a deep reserve of frustration at high taxes. Mr Bloom said: “People feel they are very heavily taxed, especially the French.
“Everybody feels they are being crippled with high taxation.
“People are really struggling in parts of Hull, with electricity bills, which are frightening, and food bills that are huge on a tiny pension.”
Mr Schulz was unimpressed with the MEP’s words of warning.
Although the reprimand did not impose any actual penalty on him, it included some strong words.
The president wrote: “It is one thing for a member of parliament to forcefully disagree with commission policies.
“It is quite another to call in plenary for the commitment of a crime such as the hanging.”
Mr Bloom sits as an independent MEP after quitting UKIP last year.
He left following a row with party leader Nigel Farage for joking a group of women were “sluts”.
The politician was in hot water before that for referring to countries getting British aid as “bongo bongo land”.