And so another UKIP leadership election comes around: after Nigel “Thirsty” Farage found it more to his taste doing even less work for those who elected him to the European Parliament, and spent more time talking well but lying badly on air at LBC (plus his stints on Fox News Channel (fair and balanced my arse)), the field was rather bereft of talent. Some of the candidates will, how shall I put this, struggle for name recognition.
David Allen is described as “a longstanding contributor to UKIP Daily”. And, so what? Henry Bolton is an OBE and former soldier. But, er, who? David Kurten at least has the advantage that he is moderately well known in the South-East, being an elected member of the London Assembly. But UKIP’s other AM, Peter Whittle, who is also standing for the leadership, opposes Kurten’s anti-LGBT stance.
But then, Kippers and party unity, eh? Without the likes of Farage as a distracting figurehead, the cracks just keep on opening up. And talking of the gay-bashing tendency, John Rees Evans, who claimed a gay donkey tried to rape his horse, is also standing. Well, we have to have one or two comedy turns.
All of which brings us to David Coburn, the sole UKIP MEP for Scotland, who lives in the Edinburgh suburb of, er, London. He is openly gay, openly bigoted, and openly stupid. As such, he is ideal Kipper leadership material. Anyway, enough of the comedy turn. How about someone from the nursing profession?
This brings us to Marion Mason, with over 40 years’ nursing experience, who used to be a councillor, but now is not. It is three years to the day since she committed anything to her Twitter feed. I’m not sure she gets this communication business.
Anne Marie Waters - UKIP's one way ticket to oblivion
But at least not using Twitter saves her from opening mouth and inserting boot, unlike Aidan Powlesland, whose ideas include a Government prize fund for the design of “an interstellar colony ship”. Er, yes, fine, moving right along we come to Ben Walker, who also used to be a councillor, but now isn’t. He’s ex-armed forces, and mostly unknown.
It’s all looking like a bad intake for Celebrity Big Brother, isn’t it? Isn’t there anyone who has some kind of track record? And there’s the problem: there’s Jane Collins, whose best known recent achievement was to lose a libel case over her ill-considered tirade against the Labour Party over the Rotherham grooming scandal, and then there is Anne Marie Waters, and we do know who she is. But maybe not for the right reasons.
Ms Waters has the most distinctive USP of any UKIP leadership candidate: she is virulently anti-Islam. This unswerving opposition to followers of The Prophet will have one clear effect if she is elected leader: many of the party’s elected representatives will quit. That will leave the Kippers to drift out further to the right and become some kind of safe haven for Britain First, EDL, BNP and others who claim not to be racists, honestly.
But turning UKIP into a greater Pegida UK will only send the party further into fringe irrelevance, which may well happen - after all, who else among the other candidates has enough visibility, and credibility, to hold back the tide of rabid prejudice?
The time of UKIP was for a time, but not for all time. Just rejoice at that news.