Riding high in the opinion polls ahead of the European Parliament elections on the 23rd of this month, the Brexit Party, latest self-promotion vehicle of Nigel “Thirsty” Farage, has been given sympathetic, even fawning, coverage by our free and fearless press. But even those who scrabble around the dunghill that is Grubstreet have now noticed that the latest incarnation of the Farage fringe is playing host to some less than savoury characters.
Squeaky dodgy candidates finger up the bum time
As Zelo Street pointed out recently, the Brexit Party is the new Nasty Party. And it has a problem not merely with policy on Ireland, and the Irish border problem, but the attitude of some of its candidates to terrorism. This puts Farage in one of those Very Difficult Positions: Mr Thirsty has made bashing Jeremy Corbyn over his connections to Republican politicians in Northern Ireland a staple part of his act.
The presence of Claire Fox, formerly of the Revolutionary Communist Party, at the top of the Brexit Party list for North West England was already known. What is now also becoming clear is that Ms Fox, far from disowning the views of the RCP - which said Irish nationalists had the right “to take whatever measures necessary in their struggle for freedom” just after the Warrington bombing - has been doubling down.
As Otto English has told in a Byline Times piece, Ms Fox was prevailed upon to call Colin Parry, whose son Tim died after being caught in the blast. This did not go well. Instead of apologising, “as the conversation went on, Fox doubled down. According to a tweet put out by Mr Parry, the Brexit Party candidate ‘repeatedly refused to disavow her comments supporting the IRA bombing which took Tim’s and Johnathan’s young lives proving she hasn’t changed her original views’”. And now has come more bad news.
Ms Fox is not the only former RCP presence on the Brexit Party’s Euro-election slate. Alka Sehgal Cuthbert is on the party’s list in London, where Republican terrorists bombed, killed and injured their way through a campaign that covered three decades. All the bombings, as Otto English reminds his readers, were defended by the RCP.
Alka Sehgal Cuthbert
As he puts it, “Does James Glancy, Brexit Party prospective MEP and former SBS officer know that his fellow candidates celebrated the deaths of his comrades in the pursuit of Irish freedom? Does Ann Widdecombe appreciate that she is rubbing shoulders with people who feted the Brighton bombing of the Grand Hotel that nearly killed Margaret Thatcher?” Even the press is beginning to take notice. Well, some of them, anyway.
And, as Private Eye magazine has observed in its latest issue (#1495), “The question is not how Fox can bear to be in the same party as Farage, but how Farage can bear to be in the same party as her”. There is a world of difference between cobbling together contrarian froth for Spiked Online, or to order for the right-wing press, and being put before the public as a potential MEP. Right now, the Brexit Party’s nominees aren’t making it.
So perhaps the press could stop the fawning and start asking questions. Just a thought.
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