A UKIP MEP apologised last night for retweeting a link to a virulently anti-Semitic blog after her party had initially mounted an extraordinary defence of the politician.
Jane Collins, who was elected this year to represent Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire, posted a link to a page of an extremist blog attacking Labour’s deputy leader Harriett Harman over allegations an organisation she once worked for had links to paedophile rights campaigners. The opening sentence referred to the politician as a “Jewess” – which she is not.
Featured elsewhere on the blog are vehrmently anti-Semitic posts including one entitled ‘Book review: Jewish supremicism by Dr David Duke’. Another post called ‘Holocaust or Holohoax? 21 amazing facts’ is featured in a list of the site’s most popular posts. Although the UKIP MEP did not retweet any of theses pages, the list is clearly visible alongside every post on the website.
After Jewish News repeatedly pressed the party – which is expected to secure its first seat in the House of Commons in tomorrow’s Clacton by-election – Collins deleted the Tweet and subsequently apologised. “I have deleted my retweet after seeing how vile the cigpapers blog it linked to is. Sorry to have caused offence to the Jewish community,” she wrote on the microgging site. The retweet had remained on her account for three days and for around 24 hours after this paper brought it to the attention of the party.
The about-turn came less than 24 hours after UKIP defended the MEP. After this newspaper’s first call to the party, a UKIP spokesman told the Jewish News “wholeheartedly opposes anti-Semitism” and added: “She is in no way endorsing the blog, or its previous content, which I am sure she has never read or would never read. That somebody is described as a Jewess, whether accurately or not should be of no more consequence, nor should it be any more insulting than saying that Mrs Collins is a Yorkshire-woman, it is merely descriptive not pejorative. Unless of course the Jewish News is suggesting otherwise. If so then an apology would be appropriate.”
And in an extraordinary remark, the party goes on to refer to a listing for a comedy event featured on the Jewish News’ website earlier this year in which the antiquated term is used. It highlights a “5 starred collection of stories-in-song; charting feuding tailors, a Jewess who joins a 1950s Christian cult, a cocaine-addicted rabbi and many more”.
“That the story has been highlighted by a collection of hard left anti-UKIP bloggers and online warriors says more about them than any falsely perceived anti-Semitism.”
It was only after a second call to the party that a UKIP spokesman described the blog as “vile”, though he continued to insist that the term ‘jewess’ was usually “as unloaded a term as Yorkshireman”. He acknowledged this was not the case with this blog.
The Community Security Trust earlier urged UKIP to look closely at the link and apologise. A spokesman said: “It is clear that Jane Collins has made a serious error of judgement. The article’s opening words are ‘Jewess Harriet Ruth Harman’. Above all this, the website itself has two sections, ‘home’ and ‘Join the British Truth Movement – Stop White Genocide’. Another plainly visible link on the site is ‘Holocaust or Holohoax? 21 Amazing Facts’.
“So it is ridiculous for UKIP to claim that this website’s word ‘Jewess’ is merely descriptive; and it is a gross insult to use the Jewish News website as a point of comparison. I hope Ukip will do the responsible thing and issue a sincere apology.”
Board of Deputies Vice President Jonathan Arkush said: “We are amazed by the UKIP spokesperson’s response. Not only have they failed to acknowledge the irresponsibility of an elected politician retweeting an article posted on a white supremacist and racist website , but they totally missed the point that reference to Harriet Harman’s supposed faith was wrong, irrelevant, deeply offensive to Jews and could encourage anti-Semitism.”
The retweet was first highlighted by former JLC chief executive Jeremy Newmark. The specific page posted by Collins to allegations highlighting by the Daily Mail earlier this year that the National Council for Civil Liberties, where she worked as a legal officer, had granted “affiliate” status to a paedophile rights group. The
long-time politician denied claims she had been an “apologist for paedophilia” and, while expressing “regret” at the links which were established before she began working for NCCL in 1978, insisted she had nothing to apologise for.
The UKIP spokesman said: “Let this be a lesson to UKIPers and politicians of all parties, it is deeply unwise to just send a retweet without first checking where it came from. This blog is vile is and it’s beholden to people on people to check their sources.”
Former Christian Peoples Alliance leader Alan Craig – who has warned that same-sex marriage amounts to “child abuse” – says he’s campaigning for UKIP by-election candidate Douglas Carswell.
Mr Craig is notorious for his extreme anti-gay views. In a recent blog post, the right-wing Christian branded same-sex marriage a “democratic disgrace” and described it as “social vandalism by the Tory Bullingdon boys”.
The ex-councillor and former 2008 London mayoral candidate also revealed he had applied to join UKIP and was supporting former Tory Douglas Carswell’s bid to become UKIP’s first elected MP.
In his blog, Alan Craig wrote: “Whatever you think of the issue itself, the gay marriage legislation last year was a democratic disgrace. Faithful one man/one woman marriage has been a defining and enduring bedrock of our society and culture – and the preeminent place of nurture for the nation’s children – for a millennium and a half.”
“Yet without warning, electoral mandate, Green or White Paper consultation or intelligent debate, and egged on by media, the PR industry, Hollywood celebs and the all-powerful gay lobby on both sides of the Atlantic (the UK perennially follows where the US leads), our political leaders like lemmings rushed off the marriage cliff and into the gay sea while emoting loudly and stupidly that it is ‘all about love’.
“Overnight, unitedly and unnecessarily they redefined, enfeebled and wrecked a hugely beneficial social institution.”
Mr Craig added: “As a consequence procreation and child-rearing are no longer primary purposes of marriage and conjugal faithfulness is no longer a primary characteristic. Marriage is no longer marriage.”
In a post published earlier this year, titled ‘Gay marriage and child abuse’, the former Christian Peoples Alliance leader mocked the wedding announcement of gay parents Barrie and Tony Drewitt-Barlow.
“The problem is that all gay marriages are a counterfeit,” Mr Craig wrote. “According to the government and unlike conventional marriages, gay marriages cannot be consummated and adultery cannot be reason for divorce. So same-sex partners in a gay marriage are free to play the field whereas husbands and wives in a real marriage promise to be faithful ’til death us do part’.
“By firmly bolting a counterfeit on to the hallowed institution of marriage, parliament has diluted, distorted and, in the end, dismantled an invaluable social institution. And it is the nation’s children, who need stability, commitment and faithfulness at home to best flourish, who will suffer.”
Mr Craig, an ex-councillor for the London Borough of Newham, was nominated for Stonewall’s ‘Bigot of the Year’ award in 2012.
No doubt a lot of the readers of this blog will be perplexed by the Latin title of this blog.
Qui Cum Canibus Concumbunt Cum Pulicibus Surgent is widely attributed to Benjamin Franklin’s “Poor Richard’s Almanack” a yearly best selling journal published by the noted American statesman.
Translated into English “He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas” meaning “You should be cautious of the company you keep. Associating with those of low reputation may not only lower your own but also lead you astray by the faulty assumptions, premises and data of the unscrupulous.”
Franklin’s statement can be applied to Mark Reckless MP who announced at UKIP’s party conference in Doncaster yesterday that he was defecting from The Conservative Party to UKIP, resigning his seat and forcing a by election in his Rochester constituency.
By joining the xenophobes of UKIP, Reckless has displayed he has poor judgement with the company he keeps, however, this wouldn’t be the first time.
Reckless has been seen keeping the company of South African adult model Claudia Bryan aka Dalgleish on a number of occasions. This is the same Claudia Bryan who was once one of Nick Griffin’s close confidantes and was also the partner of London BNP Organiser, pornographer and supplier of date-rape drugs, Steve Squire.
The South African model hit the headlines in 2012 when she claimed that BNP leader Nick Griffin exposed himself to her in a car park of a Kent Indian restaurant.
Bryan/Dalgleish is also known for the occasional spot of anti Semitism as well.
Welcome to UKIP Mark Reckless, I’m sure your fleas will be very welcome.
The father of the main prosecution witness in Britain’s biggest child sex grooming scandal has accused Nigel Farage of exploiting the issue for political gain as the UK Independence party attempts to unseat Labour in a Manchester byelection.
The man, known as Tom, whose daughter’s testimony led to the prosecution of nine Asian men and an overhaul of Crown Prosecution Service rules, said that the anti-federalist party had resorted to British National party-style tactics while campaigning to win Heywood and Middleton in Greater Manchester.
The town of Heywood, where Tom lives, was at the centre of the Rochdale scandal, after a sex-trafficking gang of men of mainly Pakistani origin were found to have preyed on at least 47 girls, all of whom were white.
Statements issued by Farage and leaflets distributed by his party have blamed Labour’s “love affair” with “immigration, political correctness and multiculturalism” for the betrayal of “white working-class girls”.
The byelection, due to be held on 9 October, was triggered when the veteran Labour MP Jim Dobbin died this month. Labour figures are concerned that Ukip could overturn the party’s 5,500 majority.
Tom said Farage should stop adding to the distress of local families. “I find it abhorrent that Ukip are trying to make political gains from this and use it as a tool. It is not what my family wants.
“Ukip have rarely mentioned child abuse before they came here. It is obvious why they are mentioning it now. It’s for the game.”
Farage visited the constituency this month and told the media: “Just look at the local grooming scandal. This is a prime example of the local authority failing to protect vulnerable residents because the people in power were more afraid of being seen as racist.”
Two leaflets distributed by the party in the campaign have highlighted the grooming scandal as evidence of Labour’s “betrayal of the working classes because of political correctness”.
Tom was moved to speak to the Guardian about Ukip’s tactics after receiving the leaflets through this door. To heap blame on “political correctness” did not fully explain the many reasons why the abuse was allowed to continue, he said. “Its a complex issue about the police, the Crown Prosecution Service and social services, all turning a blind eye. It’s not all about political correctness, although it was a factor.”
Tom moved to an estate in Heywood during the credit crunch.
He first noticed that his eldest daughter, when she was 14, was becoming difficult and unruly. Over a matter of weeks, her behaviour declined as she began to swear and occasionally came home drunk.
In August of that year, Tom and his wife were told by police that their daughter had damaged a restaurant.
While being interviewed, she told detectives how she had been plied with drugs and drink and repeatedly raped by men of Pakistani origin.
She told the detectives that the perpetrators worked in the takeaway trade or as taxi drivers. The gang offered gifts to girls, won their trust and then forced them to have sex.
Some victims were driven between Rochdale, Oldham, Bradford and elsewhere to have sex with men for money.
The Crown Prosecution Service decided not to prosecute in 2009 despite DNA evidence linking the 56-year-old owner of a local kebab shop to the rape of Tom’s daughter. Prosecutors said at the time they doubted whether the girl would be a credible witness.
Distressed by the CPS’s decision, Tom felt drawn to the British National party. He was convinced that they could offer a valid explanation for his daughter’s abuse – that Pakistani men had been allowed to get away with this because of political correctness. However, he soon found he could no longer stomach their hatred of people based on race.
He said: “My mother suffered from Alzheimers but every time she went wandering off, it was Pakistani people who brought her home. You don’t forget that.”
The language that Tom heard used by the BNP was now being used by Farage, he said. “They are the same tactics. Farage doesn’t blame the race of people, he gives national attributes, he thinks that is okay. But there is a fine line.”
At the last election Ukip won just 1,200 votes in Heywood and Middleton, while the BNP received 3,000. With the collapse of the BNP as a party, Ukip can now expect to get most of the combined vote.
The Conservatives’ vote in 2010 was 27.2% of the electorate. Neither Labour nor Ukip expect the Tories to run a strong campaign, which could leave the way for a Ukip surge.
The party’s distinctive purple colour adorns its campaign headquarters on Heywood’s main street, a quarter of a mile from the kebab shop where Tom’s daughter was abused, and a mile from Tom’s home.
Ukip’s candidate, John Bickley, a businessman with historic connections to the area, acknowledged that the issue of grooming was an issue that regularly came up on the doorstep as he canvassed support for the party.
“It is an issue, but immigration and the fact that we are not part of the Westminster establishment are also big here,” he said, whilst pushing leaflets through the doors of houses.
A Survation poll commissioned by Ukip across the constituency has shown that immigration is the top political concern, their activists have claimed.
Labour insiders have grown increasingly concerned by the response they receive on the doorstep. Their candidate, Liz McInnes, a Unite member and NHS biochemist, is fighting her first byelection.
If Ukip’s tactics are successful, there are other seats linked to grooming in Rochdale, Derby, Manchester and Oxford, which would be seen vulnerable.
Toby Perkins, the MP for Chesterfield who successfully fought off a Ukip challenge from Bickley in a byelection in Wythenshawe this year, has taken charge of the campaign.
Simon Danczuk, the Labour MP for Rochdale who has campaigned for greater transparency around child sex abuse, has been drafted in to help.
“Ukip are a genuine threat and people across the party are working hard to fight them street by street,” said Danczuk.
Following pressure on the CPS at the dropped prosecution, Tom’s daughter gave evidence against the gang in 2012 as witness A. Her testimony led to nine men being jailed for up to 21 years each for charges relating to grooming and the abuse of children. About a dozen more grooming cases involving gangs across the UK are under investigation.
Tom said that he continued to wrestle with the truth of his daughter’s abuse and the knowledge that other abusers had not been caught. “It is hard to go into town and not know if the bloke standing in front of you in a queue has raped your daughter,” he said.
His eldest daughter has moved away to study at university, and they talk everyday. He is glad she is not in Heywood to witness the current Ukip campaign.
“She has hope. We are not giving up,” he said.
Tom’s name has been changed to protect his daughter’s identity
Ukip’s existing general election candidate in Clacton-on-Sea said he had no intention of standing aside for the Conservative defector Douglas Carswell – and even said that the Tories had been making overtures to him.
Roger Lord, a former Conservative candidate turned Ukip member, said that the announcement by Carswell “was a complete surprise to me”. He said that he had first heard about the news whilst at work, when he was called.
“There are some basic courtesies that one expects. Douglas Carswell could at least have called me an hour before his announcement,” Lord said.
“It’s pretty arrogant of Douglas Carswell to assume that the voters and the electorate are like sheep and they will just go along with this.
“I genuinely hope that the national executive of Ukip will hear me out. For starters though It’s pure bad manners for someone from Ukip who I have never met to just ring me up and tell me to shut up.
“Nigel Farage also contacted me and I had a word with him. I have known him since 1997 and have stuck with him but I do have a few options open. I have been contacted by a prominent Eurosceptic who I have known for a long time and he said that he would back me 100%.
“A bottom line though is that I would like a fair hearing and to stand on a stage with Douglas Carswell to put my side of the story. I have stood in several general elections and I have stood on platforms with a good many MPs and I know that I can hold my own.
“After I was selected I had already formed campaign team, which actually includes campaign members who are former supporters of Douglas Carswell. They have already said to me that they are not going to support him.”
Tory Douglas Carswell has defected to UKIP and quit as MP for Clacton, saying he will contest the subsequent by-election for the party.
If he wins the support of voters he will be the first elected UK Independence Party MP in the Commons.
The maverick Eurosceptic backbencher said he wanted to “shake up” the cosy Westminster “clique”.
Mr Carswell made his surprise announcement at a news conference in central London.
He told reporters he did not believe Conservative leader and Prime Minister David Cameron was “serious about the change we need”.
He said the decision to jump ship from the Conservatives had given him “sleepless nights” but he wanted to see “fundamental change in British politics” and UKIP – a party he believed belonged to its members rather than a “little clique” of political insiders – could deliver it.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage, who this week was selected to fight South Thanet at the 2015 general election, said it was the “bravest and most honourable” decision he had ever seen in British politics.
Mr Carswell has been an outspoken critic of Westminster politics since being elected in 2005, calling for more democratic accountability such as open primaries to select candidates and recall elections for MPs who break the rules.
Explaining his decision to force a by-election – which he did not have to do in order to sit as a UKIP MP – he said: “The only honourable thing to do is to say to the people of Clacton, who I represent in Westminster, it’s their choice.”
Mr Carswell, who was an early supporter of Mr Cameron when he was bidding for the party leadership, said he had not spoken to the prime minister before announcing his decision.
Roger Helmer has been declared the official UKIP candidate for the Newark by-election on June 5th.
So just who is Roger Helmer:
Helmer, who is UKIP’s leading critic of green energy was accused of hypocrisy after it emerged he was making more than £1,000 a year by having solar panels fitted to his property.
The MEP said that a government scheme that allowed householders to profit from fitting solar panels was “sheer lunacy”. However, he said his decision to fit the panels was “a straightforward financial proposition”.
Helmer caused a storm when he claimed that 15 year old girls can consent to sex with pop stars. Helmer said “Suppose a 15-year-old girl is at a club with a pop star, and he says ‘how about it, dear’? and she says ‘yes please, I was hoping you’d ask’. In most people’s book, that constitutes consent. Legally, she cannot consent, but in real terms, she can.”
Helmer also claimed that if an underage child asked for sex then they were contributing to the problem.
Helmer suggested that gay marriages will lead to incestuous and polygamous unions.
Roger Helmer MEP’s wrote on his blog, Straight Talking, that Cardinal Keith O’Brien’s comments about “grotesque” plans to introduce gay marriage were “impressive” and “brilliant”.
Of the Cardinal’s comment that gay marriage was ‘a grotesque subversion of a universally accepted human right’, Helmer continued: “I wish I’d thought of the phrase. Perhaps he ought to be a politician.”
Helmer, who once described the Catholic church as ‘systematically paedophile’ wrote yesterday: “Archbishop Keith O’Brien also makes the point, quite reasonably, that once you start to tamper with the institution of marriage, you get into some very murky water indeed. If two men can be married, why not three men? Or a two men and a woman?
“He could have gone further. Why not a commune? If two men have a right to marry, how can we deny the same right to two siblings? Are we to authorise incest?”
Discussing rape on his blog Helmer said: “Let me make another point which will certainly get me vilified, but which I think is important to make: while in the first case, the blame is squarely on the perpetrator and does not attach to the victim, in the second case the victim surely shares a part of the responsibility, if only for establishing reasonable expectations in her boyfriend’s mind.”
Helmer was rebuked by his own party for sending out a tweet during a spate of riots suggesting that the army should “shoot looters and arsonists on sight”.
Writing on his blog Helmer stated of the Roman Catholic Church that: “it would be perfectly fair to describe it as systemically paedophile.”
Helmer wrote on his blog that homophobia does not exist and that the word: “is merely a propaganda device” designed to “denigrate and stigmatise those holding conventional opinions”
A month later Helmer defended himself, saying he was not claiming “that there is no discrimination, and that homosexuals do not suffer violence and prejudice from people because sadly, we all know that is not the case.” but rather, he states, that the word homophobia has “no meaning” because he has “never met anyone with an irrational fear of homosexuals” and claims that the term is a propagandist one created by the “militant gay rights lobby”
In August 2009, Helmer courted controversy when he criticised the NHS. Speaking to BBC Radio Helmer stated that: “If 80% of Americans are getting better health care than we are in the UK then we ought to ask why, and we ought to ask how are we going to deliver equally good results.”
In November 2005, Helmer admitted that he regularly breaks speed limits on motorway runs. He argued that “No matter how fast you are going, you get people passing you” and confirmed that he has recently been caught speeding with his Jaguar, driving at 38 mph in a 30 mph zone.
In April 2004, Helmer was criticised by Friends of the Earth for his voting record on environmental issues, voting in what they claimed was an environmentally friendly manner in only one out of ten possible “eco-friendly” votes.