As Zelo Street predicted last week, the Mail titles had a hatchet job in the works on UKIP leader Adolf von Batten, and today they have, in the style of Kelvin McFilth, taken their bucket of shit and emptied it all over him. “UKIP has sold its soul to the far-Right: How leader Gerard Batten, who is married to a Filipina immigrant, has made Tommy Robinson a key lieutenant, calls Islam a 'death cult' and has ultra hard line on migration” they tell.
I em not a racialist, but, und zis is a big but ...
The only disappointment is that the article was not given to hatchet job expert Guy Adams, but Richard Pendlebury manages to achieve a similar outcome. The nudge-and-wink begins right at the start, as readers are told “has been married to Filipina wife, Frances Lina, 60, for 30 years … Proud of his Anglo-Saxon bloodline”. That means he’s a bigot. As well as being a nailed-on hypocrite. And there is more. A lot more.
Pendlebury homes in on Batten’s paranoia from the off: “He left school with few, if any, academic qualifications (he won’t confirm) and believes the EU was planned by the Nazis”. Also, “He abhors the Koran, though he has admitted to never having studied it closely”. Bit like most of his followers, then. And someone else is in the Mail’s sights.
Batten, the article claims, “has also frightened off many of the old guard, because the Batten vision involves a key role for a man who’s become poster boy for the far-Right and racists across the world … Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, better known as Tommy Robinson, is a convicted fraudster and hooligan, as well as being founder and former leader of that boot boy collective the English Defence League (EDL)”. Lennon won’t like that.
Nor will Lennon or Batten like “Both he and Robinson are Islamophobes. Mr Batten has described Islam as a ‘death cult’. His ‘interim’ UKIP manifesto calls for Muslim-only prisons and an abolition of hate crime laws. In 2006, he suggested that all 3.7 million Muslims in the UK should sign a code of good conduct.Tory MP Robert Halfon said this was ‘literally akin to the Nazis saying Jews should wear a yellow star’”. Note: Rob Halfon is Jewish.
What will burn with Batten are comments like “Colleagues say he hated attending the chambers in Strasbourg and Brussels. And he disliked and envied Farage, who was public school-educated and charismatic. Batten was neither”. Then come the far-right links.
“What he didn’t mind was sharing a platform with racist loons. In 2011 he addressed the far-Right Traditional Britain Group, whose vice president Gregory Lauder-Frost was last year reportedly recorded calling broadcaster Vanessa Feltz, a ‘fat Jewish s**g’ who ‘lived with a negro’ … Lauder-Frost also spoke in derogatory terms about Doreen Lawrence, mother of murdered black teenager Stephen Lawrence”.
UKIP’s latest recruits don’t escape, either: “At the European Parliament Batten has hosted the far-Right internet troll Carl Benjamin, who once described opponents as ‘acting like a bunch of n******s’. In another tweet, Benjamin told a female Labour MP: ‘I wouldn’t even rape you.’ Another speaker at the conference was Mark Meechan, aka Count Dankula, who is best-known for being prosecuted over a video - described in court as ‘anti-Semitic’”.
But it is Batten’s links to Russian dissidents that makes truly uncomfortable reading for UKIP followers: “there are question marks over his links to other dubious interest groups … He has … employed as his researcher, a Russian called Pavel Stroilov who arrived in the UK in 2006 seeking political asylum”. Stroilov is a head case, a complete wacko.
As Richard Bartholomew has pointed out, Stroilov inserted himself in the case of terminally ill toddler Alfie Evans, and was duly rebuked at the Court of Appeal by Mr Justice Hayden - “I don’t need to be reminded we have a human being. You do not have the moral high ground in this court. It is treacherous terrain”. The Mail has more on Stroilov.
“In 2011, Mr Batten and Pavel Stroilov attended one of [Julian] Assange’s extradition hearings and held a small ‘free speech’ demo outside. Documents show that in February 2011, Mr Batten met Assange’s lawyer to explore ways in which he could help the hacker. Mr Batten then spoke up for Assange at the European Parliament … He also suggested in a blog post that if Assange failed to block his extradition he should seek asylum. He wrote: ‘I would be delighted to advise Mr Assange on how to go about it.’”
And guess what Assange ended up doing very soon after Batten said that? The Mail has also homed in on his connection to another singularly unsavoury character: “Also unclear is Mr Batten’s relationship with James Goddard, the far-Right activist arrested for allegedly harassing MP Anna Soubry outside Parliament earlier this month. Mr Batten has denied knowing James Goddard and said it was ‘malicious’ to suggest there was a connection. But there are pictures of the two together”. Indeed there are.
That slice of Batten dishonesty was highlighted on Zelo Street earlier this month. But neither that aspect of the Mail’s exposé, nor any other, has featured on the Batten Twitter feed today. The thought occurs that The Great Man is keeping his head down and hoping there isn’t going to be a follow-up. And there may well be.
The time of Gerard Batten’s credibility was for a time, but not for all time.
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