While attention has turned on the forthcoming announcement by Stephen Yaxley Lennon, who styles himself Tommy Robinson, that he will stand as a solo independent candidate in next month’s elections for the European Parliament, his pals in the new-look UKIP have tried to carry on as before. One of those hoping to continue his fifteen minutes of fame is Carl Benjamin, who styles himself Sargon of Akkad.
This photo has a message, and the message is CREEP
To this end, Benjamin has advertised “Sargon MEP Campaign: Swindon … Fountain on Canal Walk, Swindon Town Centre”. It’s happening today. So what is it? “Meet at Fountain in the Town Centre, will be talking to as many folks as possible then heading to the pub in the evening for a more relaxed setting and more political discussion”. The Great Man is going out among his flock in an effort to win hearts and minds.
There was, however, a problem. As the Swindon Advertiser has told, “The chairman of the town’s UKIP branch pushed for the party’s local MEP candidate to be deselected for making controversial comments online about rape … Aubrey Attwater has spoken out against Carl Benjamin after a tweet sent by the MEP candidate for the south west to Labour MP Jess Phillips attracted criticism from other politicians”.
Put directly, Old UKIP was not enamoured of New UKIP. And on the day it got worse, as Tom Seaward of the Advertiser observed: “The scene at Carl Benjamin’s campaign event in Swindon town centre. The @UKIP MEP candidate is yet to arrive”. Benjamin had advertised the event as starting at 12 noon. Almost quarter of an hour later, there was still no sign of him. Benjamin finally arrived at the venue more than half an hour late.
While aides tried to keep a little space clear for The Great Man to set up his pitch, a few raised voices demanded to know about his views on rape, and rape Tweets. It was not until almost an hour and a half after the advertised start time that Benjamin’s campaign Tweeted “Having a great time talking, table and 2 chairs, anywhere on the tour come and sit down … (Maybe learn what Carl looks like first)”.
What he looked like, dressed in black while wearing his shades and therefore not making eye contact with those with whom he was talking, was a Z-list Milk Tray Man impersonator. But credit to Benjamin, sitting there at a table draped with the slogan “To delay is to betray - just LEAVE”, in the town which is facing the loss of the Honda plant - partly down to Brexit uncertainty - and being prepared to defend the mess takes some brass neck.
There was, though, one nagging problem. The media. There wasn’t any. The man from the Swindon Advertiser did not hang around. There appeared to be no-one from the national press, and certainly no-one from the broadcasters. One-on-one meetings, unless they are going to be the subject of, say, a campaign round-up on regional TV, aren’t going to move his attempt to get elected to the European Parliament anywhere.
Kept his shades on. What a pro
That isn’t to say the press has lost interest - the ones who enjoy putting the boot into ill-prepared political wannabes don’t need to come to his events in order to have one of their pundits assemble a hatchet job on his past work. Of which there is plenty to go at.
Carl Benjamin is already yesterday’s hopeful. Let’s hope it stays that way.
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