Dead Men Left

Sunday, June 06, 2004

At least they're not Muslims, eh, Nick?

I'll deal with Nick Cohen in a minute. For the time being, let's take another look at his new pals in the UK Independence Party.

It would appear all is not well in this "respectable" (Cohen's word) organisation of the far-right. For, according to today's Mail on Sunday (unavailable online, the Luddites):

THE UK Independence Party is at the centre of an extraordinary race row after one of its leaders was accused of referring to black people as niggers and nig-nogs .

Nigel Farage, regarded as the driving force of the anti-EU party, also faces allegations of visiting sleazy sex clubs and missing crucial parliamentary votes after drinking sessions.

The claims come in the run-up to Thursday s European elections in which the UKIP is forecast to make a historic breakthrough, pushing the Liberal Democrats into fourth place and wrecking hopes of a Tory revival.

Dr Alan Sked, a lecturer in history, was amongst the committee of six who founded the UKIP back in 1993, as a single-issue, "no to Europe" organisation. He now claims the party, which he left some time ago, is in the hands of the far right.

Mr Farage is alleged to have made the racist outburst during an argument with former UKIP leader Alan Sked, a respected historian who has now left the party. He is alleged to have said: We will never win the nigger vote. The nig-nogs will never vote for us.

The alleged remark came during a row over the fine print of the UKIP s membership forms which stated it was not prejudiced against minorities .

"Respectable" it is, then. Equally respectable is Alastair McConnachie, a member of UKIP's Scottish Executive, who despatched an email to party members stating that: " I don't accept that gas chambers were used to execute Jews for the simple fact there is no direct physical evidence to show that such gas chambers ever existed... there are no photographs or film of execution gas chambers... Alleged eyewitness accounts are revealed as false or highly exaggerated."

Curiously, McConnachie had no such qualms about describing the foot-and-mouth livestock cull as a "Final Solution". UKIP's response to Holocaust denial by one of its leading Scottish members? A disciplinary hearing initially pronounced a five-year suspension of McConnachie's membership. This was then over-ruled by the party's national executive, who delivered a slap on the wrists - one year's suspension. UKIP only acted at all against a vociferous hardline antisemite occupying one of its leadership positions after a party member, disgusted by UKIP's inaction, resigned and went to the press. A few weeks later, Dr Richard North, the party's research director at the time, attended a small Roxburghshire anti-cull "Stop the Slaugher" protest largely organised by McConnachie. Good to see them maintaining a "respectable" distance, then.