Nigel “Thirsty” Farage and his fellow saloon bar propper-uppers like to tell anyone who will listen that they are a libertarian party. They dislike the idea of intruding on others’ right to say what they like, when they see fit, and on whatever subject. They abhor dirty campaigning. But when someone takes the piss out of them, all of these fine principles are abandoned in short order.
Squeaky finger up the bum time once more
As Chortle has told, “UKIP is trying to stop musical comedy duo Jonny and the Baptists from touring”. Er, why? “Their current show is called The Stop UKIP Tour, prompting party supporters to target venues with a sustained written and phone call campaign. They have also put pressure on venues' sponsors and benefactors”. That’s mightily libertarian of them, then.
What is worse is the ease with which the party’s deputy leader Paul Nuttall (crazy name, crazy guy) dishonestly intervened with “Everyone is entitled to their own opinion and UKIP is very much the party of free speech but I think it is wrong that taxpayers money is being used to back this production”. That’s not quite true, is it, Paul? The assertion is at the very least misleading.
UKIP are telling that “The Arts Council has come under fire for wasting public money on a political satire show due to start touring in the North West”, but Jonny Donahue (after whom the duo are named) hit back “the Arts Council aren't in any way involved with our show. They might be involved in a small way with some of those venues but that's a very different thing”. Naughty Nuttall!
And the party faithful are doing no better with their campaign against venues hosting the tour: “A spokeswoman for the Royal Exchange confirmed that 'we've never had as many complaints about a show ... We had calls from people saying they were loyal customers and they come a lot but when we checked their names in our database they've never bought a ticket before’”.
This is, remember, the party whose leader defended a comedian who told jokes at their spring conference by saying “We are heading down a road here where we would kill all humour in this country if we tear things to pieces ... Enough is enough, let people tell their jokes. If what they say is inappropriate they won't earn a living because they won't get booked again”.
But, instead of practicing the libertarianism they preach, UKIP are behaving like just another bunch of spin-doctoring bully boys, prepared to tell whatever whoppers they feel they need to in order to do down someone just for winding them up. What they might do if ever given the reins of power does not bear thinking about: Farage and his pals appear underhand and intolerant.
That should surprise no student of the far-right. Another nail in the coffin.