There are some words that are so charged that they are not in polite use, and one such is retard. But some activists, and at least two candidates, for Nigel “Thirsty” Farage and his fellow saloon bar propper-uppers at UKIP have hit on a brilliant wheeze for getting round this: they just use a derivation of “retard” instead. This practice has been going on for some months now.
So, given that the first instance of a Kipper using the R-word in its modified but still rather obvious form was last October, Nige and his pals cannot claim that this is a minor aberration. And the way the UKIP faithful have adapted “retard”? Simples. They change it to “leftard”, to mean, well, anyone from the mythical “LibLabCon” that they don’t like. But they’re not saying “retard”. Honest.
This singularly unpleasant strain of abuse appears to have been inaugurated late last year, as one UKIP follower took exception to the replies of a BBC Question Time panel (some things never change): “Quotes from Caroline #leftard Flint tonight [Question Time] Labour [and] Milibrain standing up for ... cost of living crisis [yawn yawn]”. Yes, folks struggling to pay the bills is so boring to the average Kipper.
But the practice has really kicked off in the past fortnight, with a UKIP supporter – who, it should be noted, also backs the EDL and BNP to be on the safe side – observing “Severe case of Mad Cow Disease at the Observer as #Leftard journo excuses Halal cruelty. Abhorrent”.
And one Kipper who has been out campaigning for his Party, Jason Hellawell from somewhere in Kirklees, has joined in: “#leftard #Labour supporter called me a sheep for voting UKIP, so voting for a new up and coming party, not the establishment makes me sheep”. If you say so. It also makes him the purveyor of the nastiest kind of abuse, but there’s worse to come.
Because there are UKIP candidates also indulging in the practice, among their number Khalid Khan from Barnet, who has Tweeted “White middle class #leftard protestors yelling ‘racist’ at Black Asian and Ethnic UKIP candidates including me today”. Doesn’t justify your response, though, does it?
And observing the same demonstration, David Coburn, who is bidding to be a UKIP MEP for Scotland, responded to Khan by telling “Here is our #LibLabCon #Leftard this time with his Ipad. Hilarious what a totally fake demonstrator?” because in UKIP land, having an Ipad disqualifies you from joining in. Or something like that.
So being a UKIP candidate means you can kick your opponents by calling them retards. So long, that is, as you make it sound different. Stay classy, Farage fringe.