Unrest in the UKIP Camp    
    Jeffrey Turner looks inside a party of contradictions    

Some of my best friends are UKIP members. Well, not strictly true: I know one or two, but not closely. However, that will do for an introduction to this article - the point being that nothing written here is intended in any spirit of hostility to the vast majority of members and supporters of the United Kingdom Independence Party, whose intentions are no doubt thoroughly patriotic, if a little naïvely so. As always, when dealing with parties in critical terms, the target figures are those at the top who determine policy and strategy. That will be the case in what follows here.

It is an interesting fact that UKIP, as I shall call it henceforth for reasons of brevity, was founded in 1993 at just about the time that the British National Party won its first council seat in East London's Millwall. This latter event sent shock waves through the British establishment. The Millwall victory was achieved by a campaign mainly concentrated on immigration, but the BNP's stance on Europe, ever since the party's foundation in 1982, had been clear to anyone who cared to enquire. We wanted out. It took the UKIP people eleven more years before they decided to form a party to fight for the same thing. What were they doing all that time? Maybe many of them were actively opposing the EU in any one of the myriad of non-party organisations that had been founded for that purpose, but the fact is that no initiative had been taken by any of these people to form a proper political party to bring the issue to the voters at election time.

Stole BNP's clothes

The honourable thing would have been for those people who had come to recognition of the need for a political party to campaign against the EU to join and support the BNP, which had been doing just that for over a decade. But no, they decided to steal our clothes and form their own party, and in doing so split the anti-EU forces at the polls.

Of course, there will be a ready answer to this charge. The people forming UKIP did not want to be tainted by connection with a load of 'racists'. The BNP was 'racist'. It would be much cleverer, so they obviously reasoned, to avoid issues of race and immigration and fight against European Union on a 'non-racist' ticket. Tremendous efforts were made to underline UKIP's 'non-racist' credentials, including a reminder of them at the bottom of every leaflet and the parading of a few ethnic minority members as candidates. But none of this achieved very much. Until the Euro Elections of 1999, the 'racist' BNP performed consistently better than UKIP at the polls.

There never was any logic in a party like UKIP purporting to fight for national freedom and sovereignty while being 'non-racist'. A nation is nothing without its core racial component. If, say by the year 2050, the ethnic minorities have grown to a size at which they become the majority in this country (as some statisticians have predicted), there will no longer be such a nation as Britain as we know it. And if there is no such nation, what is the point of bothering about freedom and sovereignty? We will have disappeared anyway, so that the question of whether the new mongrel Britain is governed from Brussels or London would become academic.

But of course this absence of logic was not lost on everyone in UKIP. Many in that party – perhaps the majority – knew full well the imperative of the race issue. But they chose, as a matter of tactics, not to talk about it publicly, and in the meantime to pretend that they "abhorred racism." Here the reasoning was that it would be a short cut to mass support.

But when this 'non-racist' stance was adopted by the UKIP leaders they failed to read in the tea-leaves the coming winds of public opinion. Through a combination of riots, rising crime and festering unrest over New Labour's open-door asylum policy, the race issue has burst its way to the very forefront of public concern; and what party has benefited most at the polls from that rising popular anger? Why, the party that has maintained a consistent and unapologetic stand against immigration and multi-racialism from the beginning: the BNP! It was against this background that the UKIP spin-doctors began not long ago to revise the party's policy of not mentioning immigration. A very watered-down proposal for immigration limits was brought out in the recent Euro Elections, rather coyly disguised by way of talk about recovering from the EU "control of our borders." But of course, the familiar prattle about it all being 'non-racist' was nervously added. UKIP leaders lost no opportunity to slag off for its 'racism' the very party that had brought the immigration issue to the front of national debate and thus made it safe for them to talk about it, albeit in diluted tones.

The picture we have here is a constant one of the BNP leading and UKIP following – while always taking care to disown and dissociate itself from the source of its guidance.

The golden rule for UKIP has always been the role of 'softly-softly': appeal to the weaker instincts in the population because, the reasoning goes, that is the best way to obtain mass support. The assumption is that the British of today are a gutless crowd of people who will allow their nation to be sunk without a trace rather than support politics distinguished by honesty and robustness, so that everything presented to them must be dressed up in such cotton wool that they will not be able to find an excuse for rejecting it.

This has always been a seductive formula for getting ahead politically, but there never has been any real evidence that it works better; and in the meantime those who adopt it can often pay an extremely high price. Like tends to attract like, and parties whose approach is weak and flabby run the risk of recruiting many members who turn out to be totally useless when they find themselves in a game that can become tough and nasty.

1999 boost

In the Euro Elections of 1999 UKIP managed to get three MEPs elected. This was undoubtedly a triumph when measured by what was possible at the time. Of course, in elections where Europe was not just the number-one issue but in fact the 'sole' issue, and where consequently the entire national focus was on Britain's relationship with the European Union, a party like UKIP was bound to campaign at a big advantage in relation to the BNP; and so it proved. The BNP won no seats, but it did learn some valuable lessons – lessons which should have guided future strategy but were in fact later ignored.

But what did these three Euro seats avail UKIP? It still remained on the margins of national politics in Britain, regularly being outperformed at the polls where other issues, such as race and immigration, came to the fore. And that was not all. Within less than a year, UKIP was torn apart by internal quarrelling. One factor in this was that the 'liberals' whom the party's soft approach had attracted became quite hysterical about the alleged presence of so-called 'racists' in the ranks. Accusations and counter-accusations were hurled back and forth. There were mass resignations. And of course no doubt the state security services, which had been alerted to possible dangers in the party by its successful bid for seats in Europe, had their people planted within who were briefed to fan the flames of division at every opportunity (there is in fact a theory that UKIP was started by the state security services in order to draw support away from the BNP, but this will probably for ever be unprovable).

Big money pours in

Not too much more was heard of UKIP until the 2004 Euro Elections loomed into prospect. It was then that the party started to receive a lot of generous media publicity, together with considerable new infusions of money. The warning signs should then have been read that UKIP was getting a build-up which would enable it to upstage the BNP, just as it had done five years earlier, and vastly reduce the latter's chance of getting MEPs elected; but as stated earlier these were ignored.

It transpired that Mr. Paul Sykes, a self-made multi-millionaire, had invested hugely in UKIP's 2004 Euro campaign. A very large and powerful UKIP presence began to manifest itself everywhere. A bandwagon was obviously on the roll!

Now enter Mr. Robert Kilroy-Silk, a failed one-time Labour politician, big on charisma and with an ego to match, who was looking for a cause that would propel him back into the limelight. As a Labour MP of little distinction over a good number of years, Kilroy had never said or done anything to suggest even moderate leanings towards nationalism. On the contrary, he had always been ready to join the 'anti-racist' chorus of his party colleagues whenever such issues presented themselves. He had not been a supporter of the EU, but neither had he ever shown any particular strength or passion in opposing it. He later quit politics and hosted his own TV chat show, which made him a lot of money until he was fired by the BBC for a less than complimentary article about Arabs, written in the heat of the war in Iraq.

Just whether Kilroy first approached UKIP or UKIP first approached him is open to some argument, but it is clear that the party saw him as a very welcome recruit who would give it a much higher personal profile than previously. It seemed to matter little that RK-S would only be interested in joining up if he saw the party as a vehicle for his own self-aggrandisement. He was gladly taken on board.

Dangers with celebrities

In an extremely perceptive article in Right Now! magazine in August headed 'Kilroy, Europe and the Limelight', Edward Dutton warned of the dangers to political parties of using celebrities as short-term expedients to court mass-popularity, saying of Kilroy's joining the UKIP camp:-

'We cannot yet know how Robert Kilroy-Silk will behave but his past might not make us particularly optimistic. Clearly, Kilroy is a showman and self-promotor. Even his closest friends remarked upon this - and his lack of political principle – in an interview in The Guardian ('Smooth Operator', 8 June 2004). If Kilroy is not in the limelight, he will simply move to where it is. If he was really interested in politics, he might have stuck out being a Labour MP in the 1980s.'

These words might shortly afterwards have been seen as prophetic. After getting 12 MEPs elected in June, UKIP seemed on the crest of a wave. Yet it was soon in the throes of two massive internal quarrels, both interlinked. It quickly became evident that Kilroy would be satisfied with nothing less than being party boss – though he had contributed absolutely nothing to the hard work of the previous decade in which the foundations of UKIP had been laid. He made a claim that he had been promised the leadership by the incumbent, Roger Knapman; but now after the successes of the Euro Elections Knapman no longer seemed so keen on stepping aside. In a statement which betrayed his contempt for his chief – probably matched by his contempt for just about everyone else – Kilroy spoke of Knapman getting "a massive election result" and went on to say that "probably he liked the size of his new train set." With such party comrades, who needs enemies?!!!

Kilroy's big gaffe

But that was not enough. At the ensuing UKIP party conference in Bristol Kilroy, perhaps assuming he had the right to speak for the party as its leader already, announced: "We must kill the Tories." In any other context that would have been a perfectly reasonable thing to say, for how can Britain be saved other than by the Tories being killed off? But this caused enormous offence in a party in which many still considered it to be no more than a Conservative ginger group. Among those offended was the man who had done more than anyone else to make UKIP's massive Euro challenge possible. Mr. Sykes went off in a huff and quickly declared that he was going back to support the Tories under Michael Howard. Kilroy had committed the gaffe of the new century. The goose who laid the golden egg had been alienated!

From all this, it may be seen that UKIP, notwithstanding its recent rapid rise to prominence, is a party built on shaky foundations. It is dangerously dependent on a tiny number of big financial benefactors. Its members cannot really agree on whether it is a party at all. And in its desperate quest for cheaply-won public glamour it has welcomed a wolf into its camp who looks like splitting it right down the middle.

We in the BNP have our internal problems, but right now I wouldn't swap them for those of UKIP. Not for all the money in the world!

Will UKIP even survive to be around this time next year? Yes, it most certainly will because it is essential to the globalist establishment that it keep going in some form or other. And to those who do not understand what is meant by this, one can only say that it is time, politically speaking, for them to go back to school.

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