The political fringe grouping, the UK Independence Party (UKIP), is rejoicing at the recent controversy in Rotherham for all of its free publicity and the lack of critical comment.
I thought it helpful to remind readers of the unsavoury characters in and around UKIP.
Firstly, Aidan Rankin, who according to his confessions in the New Statesman, once “had held standard progressive views and written occasional contributions to New Left Review” later to be sucked into the xenophobic world of UKIP supporters via the Far Right. Perpetually stupid, Rankin seems to have associated with well-known Far Right figure Patrick Harrington’s Third Way. Older readers will remember Harrington as a National Front member and one-time student of North East London Polytechnic. Rankin finally left UKIP, but as much in sorrow as in realisation. Harrington, predictably, has joined the BNP.
Next, Alistair McConnachie a one-time UKIP executive member and candidate for the party, was an open Holocaust denier and supporter of David Irving.
Andrew Moffat was a member of UKIP for 12 years and a long standing candidate. Hope, not Hate relates:
“Andrew Moffat: A former National Front member who was booted out of the Army in 1980. He was once David Irving’s political secretary and has remained close friends with former NF National Activities Organiser Martin Webster. He stood for UKIP in Beaconsfield in 2001, finishing in last place. He later joined the BNP, becoming the BNP’s economic spokesman and became Andrew Brons’ close political assistant, running his Brussels office. Moffat will become deputy chairman of True Brits. “
Another unsavoury element was Alastair Harper, UKIP’s one-time candidate in Dunfermline West. Harper had been a leading activist with Roger Pearson’s neo-Nazi, Northern League.
One of UKIP’s MEPs, Mike Nattrass, was a member of the Far Right, New Britain Party in the 1990s
I expect that their excuse will be “we have moderated our views” or “we have changed”.
But what they really need to say is “UKIP has been a party full of racists, cranks and misfits from the Far Right, but now we are different”. I am not sure how many people would believe that, even if UKIP had the courage to say it!
In the interim, Richard Corbett’s PDF pamphlet on the UKIP makes interesting reading.
I would recommend studying UKIPwatch.org’s blog and Junius on UKIP.
Still, I must have missed out any number of questionable characters snugly hidden in the UKIP family, or other examples of racism within UKIP.
I would welcome readers’ contributions on bigotry in UKIP.