With its popularity declining and having seen a collapse in its vote last June, one might have thought that the last thing the motley collection of saloon bar propper-uppers at UKIP would want was another controversy involving the far right. But for the party’s alleged youth wing Young Independence, a far right controversy is just what they are walking in to, and it seems, with full knowledge of what they are doing.
As has been reported, “UKIP's youth wing, Young Independence (YI), have invited one of the organisers of the Defend Europe network to speak at their annual conference in Sheffield next Saturday … Martin Sellner, 28-years old, is the leader of the Austrian part of the Génération Identitaire (GI) network which has been taking direct action against migrants and refugees”. The people who were on the ill-fated C-Star.
Helpfully, the report goes on to tell “Sellner is due to talk for just under half an hour, starting at 12:40pm, at the UKIP event which is taking place at the Hilton Sheffield Hotel on Victoria Quays … Also speaking at the event is former Pegida UK leader Anne Marie Waters who is mounting a bid for the UKIP leadership. Her campaign is being worked on by ex-BNP member Jack Buckby who is barred from joining UKIP due to his fascist past”.
And it contains this warning: “By inviting Sellner and Waters to speak at the event, YI are exposing young members of their party to speakers who advocate direct action and street protests. This is particularly risky as YI has been an entry point to far-right organising for neo-Nazi youths”. This appears to be most prescient, as the Sheffield anti-Fascist Network has picked up on the event and is organising against it.That group have urged supporters to contact the Hilton Sheffield, reminding them “Martin Sellner is the leader of the far right Identitarian Movement of Austria and was a key player in the farcical Defend Europe mission this summer, which aimed to hinder the work of NGOs attempting to save migrants from drowning in the Mediterrannean Sea”. That movement, as Zelo Street has already observed, has Nazi connections.
The Génération Identiaire crowd on board the C-Star, whose mission to find migrants they could intercept and send back somewhere, included “a motley convocation of Nazis, white supremacists, Holocaust deniers and other specimens of forthright bigotry”. Sellner, by his own admission, was one of those on board. He’s at the very least a Nazi sympathiser. And the UKIP youth wing is now inviting him to their conference.
Worse, the party has among its leadership candidates Anne Marie Waters, a virulent Islamophobe whose team includes at least one person who is too extreme even for the Kippers to allow into the party. Former leader Nigel “Thirsty” Farage has voiced his admiration for France’s foremost bigot Marine le Pen - as well as the Austrian far right. We seem to be close to seeing the true nature of this beast.
No-one who values democracy, tolerance and the rule of law should go anywhere near UKIP. Calling them “fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists” was putting it mildly.