The rumours concerning UKIP’s financial stability, or rather the lack of it, have been circulating for some time, not helped by the party’s former Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage and several of his fellow MEPs having their salaries either docked or stopped outright following European Parliament investigations into the legitimacy of some of their expense claims. Put directly, the Kippers are on their uppers.
That is why current comedy leader Henry Bolton is so confident he can weather the little local difficulty caused him by an almost unanimous vote of no confidence in his leadership, following the revelation that his publicity stunt girlfriend Jo Marney had racist sympathies. Bolton has calculated that UKIP is so skint, the party cannot afford to mount another leadership ballot - not unless it sacks at least one member of staff.
This was bad enough, but all might have settled down for a few days, had not comedy UKIP backer Arron Banks, another whose supposed wealth may not be quite as grand as he would like everyone to believe, decided to have an “Oh What A Giveaway” moment and let the cat out of the bag in no style at all, confirming the money had run out.
Using his piss-poor propaganda site Westmonster, Banks has let it be known that “We could have [a] clear majority for real Brexit in [the] Tory Party if UKIP supporters join”. Wait, what? “Arron Banks has given his vision for the Brexit fight moving forward, insisting that UKIP is no longer the vehicle as it is ‘melting away before our eyes’ but that Brexiteers could force through change by joining the Conservative Party to push through the will of the people”. What was that, “Brexit moving forward”? Oh, just f*** right off.
But there’s more. “Banks said: ‘It is said that the Tory Party, once millions strong, now couldn’t fill Old Trafford – and I mean the cricket ground!’” The Tory Party has never even been one million (singular) strong, but then Arron Banks and reality, eh?
What say Banksy to that? “In that case why don’t the Brexit forces, the insurgents, do a Momentum and all join the Tory party? With just 30,000 members the Corbynite Momentum now dominates popular discourse on the left of British politics”. Momentum has a total supporter base of over 200,000. And UKIP … doesn’t.
Never mind, he has even more rubbish to spin. “I reckon we could have a clear majority in the Tory party for a real Brexit within months if UKIP wound up and all its members and FORMER members, all of its latent support in the country now joined up to the Conservative Party … Maybe by flooding back into the Conservative party we can change the course of history again. With a leadership challenge on the cards once more, this may be the perfect time”. Flooding my arse. There wouldn’t even be a trickle.
But what Arron Banks has inadvertently revealed is that the dark money has been turned off, the European Parliament money likewise, UKIP is on its uppers, Brexit is slipping from view, and he’s even more out of ideas than usual.
UKIP may be wound up within weeks. The party is fortunate not to have ended already. It’s a joke, so is Banks, their backers have run off, and he’s got nowhere to run.
The shelf life of UKIP and Arron Banks was for a time, but not for all time. Good thing too.