With half of us fighting the fag end of a cold, we return to discuss some literal Ukip in-fighting, the political turning of Theresa May’s Tories, a threatened return of Tony Blair and this week’s American presidential debate.
As someone who spends much of his time listening to left-wingers, I’m used to seeing people upset after losing an election.
Contrary to popular cliché, such events rarely look like the five stages of grief, and the aftermath of the British decision to leave the European Union has been no different.
The Kippers are finally rolling out the tanks for Britain’s upcoming referendum on membership of the European Union, launching an attack video against David Cameron on Wednesday.
The gist of the video is that the prime minister is a naughty man who is deceiving the public about his ability to renegotiate more favourable terms for Britain’s continued membership.
Many commentators have noted the lack of a defined shopping list going into negotiations, which most have interpreted as a means of hedging – if you don’t say what you want you cannot be criticised for not getting it.
Those of a mind with Mail on Sunday columnist Peter Hitchens will no doubt argue this is the latest in the long line of deceit by British politicians with regards to the European question, a view he put forward in BBC doc This Sceptic Isle.
Image Credit – Map of Europe, October 2008 by Kevin Hale
Ukip selected Peter Whittle as its candidate for next year’s London mayoral election, fulfilling previous reports that deputy chair Suzanne Evans would not be chosen for the role despite her public stature.
A journalist before entering politics, Whittle has been the party’s culture spokesman for two years, and stood in Eltham in South East London during the general election.
In the past he has been a critic of multiculturalism, a potentially controversial view for a London mayor to hold given the diversity of the capital, a British city where white Britons do not constitute a majority.
Speaking to Ukip Daily in March 2014, Whittle said:
“I think it is a priority now to look at how we best achieve integration, as opposed to the failed policy of multiculturalism which had been entrenched for years. Voices from both the left and right have admitted that a doctrinaire multicultural approach has led to social segregation, and a fragmenting of the kind of communal values which are crucial to the survival of any society.”
Whittle also topped the list of Greater London Authority candidates that Ukip is putting forward, with Evans placed third behind David Kurten, a chemistry teacher who stood for the seat of Camberwell and Peckham in May against Labour MP Harriet Harman.
Challenged by the BBC over whether Evans, who was interim leader during Nigel Farage’s temporary retirement after the general election, would have made a better candidate, Whittle said this was not the case.
In August party members briefed the press that the central committee used to select the London mayoral candidate was being harnessed to block Evans, a potential rival for Farage.
In the general election Ukip underperformed in London compared to the rest of the country, with the party picking up 8.1 percent of votes in the capital to put it at third place, below the 12.7 percent it scored nationally.
A poll by Survation earlier this summer also put Ukip ahead of both the Lib Dems and the Greens in the contest for first preferences in the London mayoral election.
Sian Berry, the Green candidate for London mayor, previously told the Right Dishonourable that the interest in Ukip would not last until the election in May, the implication being that its poll ratings would soon shrink.
Image Credit – Peter Whittle outside National Gallery via Twitter
Rent-a-gob Katie Hopkins, formerly of the Sun and now of the MailOnline, has an original approach to constitutional reform, albeit one with some rather questionable overtones.
Speaking at an Electoral Reform Society event on the fringes of the Kipper conference, Hopkins was asked what she would do to fix the House of Lords.
— Sebastian Payne (@SebastianEPayne) September 25, 2015
“As for the House of Lords, sir, people like me, the people I represent, the things I articulate for the nation, actually, we don’t really give a shit about the House of Lords because we think they’re all a bunch of plonkers.
“They’ve just put [bra tycoon] Michelle Mone in there – frankly, once you’ve got Michelle Mone in anywhere you really don’t really care about it. Frankly, I don’t really mind if you seal up the room and gas the lot of them.”
Later in the day Hopkins told ITV’s political correspondent Paul Brand that she thought the widely spread photo of Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi had been “staged”, a comment even the Farage himself thought went a bit far.
When I pressed her: ‘ the more we encourage them to come, the more people are going to drown…so I say don’t get upset about one photo’.
— Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) September 25, 2015
Asked Nigel Farage whether he thinks the photo of 3 year-old Aylan was ‘staged’. ‘I doubt it, but I don’t know’ he says. — Paul Brand (@PaulBrandITV) September 25, 2015
Image Credit – House of Lords during Queen Caroline trial, via Ashley Van Haeften