One usually high profile figure lying low right now is Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, perhaps preparing himself for a reprise of his contempt of court hearing, which will happen later this month. But when it comes to the rump of saloon-bar propper-uppers at UKIP, Lennon is big news. Because they want him on board.
Under the less than benign leadership of Adolf von Batten, the Kippers are poised to abandon such niceties as barring former EDL members from becoming members, if only because they are so desperate, what with Arron Banks and Andy Wigmore preferring instead to try and infiltrate the Tories. Banksy and Wiggy will probably be taking former UKIP Oberscheissenführer Nigel “Thirsty” Farage with them.
So it was no surprise to see Kipper Central telling “UKIP’s National Executive Committee (NEC) will this weekend consider giving party members the power to decide if Tommy Robinson should be allowed to join UKIP … The motion calling for Robinson’s recruitment to the party … must first be given the go-ahead by the party’s ruling body, the NEC, this Sunday”. UKIP Family and Children spokesman Alan Craig is proposing the motion.
This demonstration that he and his party are detached from reality reads “Conference believes that Tommy Robinson stands on the long English tradition of anti-establishment rebels with a cause from Robin Hood to the Suffragettes and Nigel Farage; admires his campaigns both for #FreeSpeech and to expose the authorities’ decades-long silence and inaction over industrial-scale child sexual abuse by rape gangs; and requests the NEC to offer him membership of UKIP.” Tradition of thugs and grifters, more like.
UKIP has recently welcomed Battersea bedroom dweller Paul Watson, purveyor of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, Mark Meechan, famous because he got his partner’s dog to respond to the command “Gas the Jews”, and petulant man-baby Milo Yiannopoulos, who may well be on his way back to the UK soon, as the Stateside money is running out. If they add Lennon to that list, it will mean one thing for the party’s future.
That future will then be one of hitching its wagon to the far-right, and especially the viciously racist and indeed neo-Nazi fringe, typified by groups like Generation Identity and other far-right political parties like the French Front National and German AfD. Kippers welcoming Stephen Lennon will mean ignoring the real terrorist growth industry - groups like National Action - and instead demonising Scary Muslims™.
Time was when UKIP was a party with serious aspirations. Now its backers have abandoned it, many members have lost interest, and it is in danger of morphing into a single issue irrelevance, a far-right migrant-bashing fringe rabble happy to deal in incitement, intimidation, thuggery, and ultimately street violence and mob rule.
So go on, happy Kippers. You already let several of the far-right into your tent. Let Stephen Lennon and the rest of the former EDL gang in, too. If you’re going to foul up your party, you might as well go the whole nine yards and do it properly.
The age of UKIP was for a time, but not for all time. Good thing too.
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