While Nigel “Thirsty” Farage feigns outrage at the Rotherham fostering affair, he is in reality ecstatic at all the publicity his party and its by-election candidates are receiving. Sadly, though, not all those candidates are on the same page when it comes to showing the world that they are of mainstream opinion and have no problem with people who speak foreign.
Moreover, UKIP’s founder, Alan Sked, told the HuffPost UK that the party today was “unbelievably right-wing” and was about “creating a fuss, via Islam and immigrants. They've got nothing to say on mainstream issues”. He went on “at the last general election, with the country facing the greatest economic crisis since the Great Depression, [Ukip's] flagship policy was to ban the burqa”.
And, in case you didn’t quite get that, “They're not an intellectually serious party. Their views on immigrants and on [banning] the burqa are morally dodgy”. Not surprisingly, a UKIP spokesman characterised Sked as merely an embittered former leader, while stressing that the burqa policy had now been dropped. But it was not denied that it was UKIP policy at a General Election in the UK.
But that wasn’t the only shot across the bows of the good ship UKIP: the Croydon Advertiser’s reporter was given an exclusive interview by Winston McKenzie, who is representing UKIP in the Croydon North by-election next Thursday, and he was most certainly not on message where tolerance of minorities is concerned, and especially on the subject of gay marriage and adoption.
McKenzie, who seemed to treat “adoption” and “fostering” as equal terms – they aren’t – said that placing children with gay or lesbian couples was “unhealthy”. When asked why that should be, he explained that the couple might try and raise the child to be gay: “There are people out there who bring up their kids encouraging them to believe they are gay themselves”.
Then he managed, without prompting, to bring deportation into the discussion: “If it's a case of being adopted by a gay couple or deportation then what can do you? But if you ask me, I'm not for heterosexual children being adopted by gay couples”. And how would he know whether a child was gay or straight? “I don't want to get into that. It's a touchy subject”.
McKenzie then went off on a rant about people who supposedly pretend to be gay: “They can't help it but the other bunch take on being gay as a fashion and push it because they have nothing better to do with their lives. They let the side down”. But he knows that “Whoever has gone out today to make UKIP look really terrible is wrong and it has backfired”. I wouldn’t be too sure about the last part.
Maybe Farage and his pals are not as mainstream as they’d like voters to think.