Dead Men Left

Thursday, April 14, 2005

Fears about Kilroy-Silk abating somewhat

Permatanned bigot Robert Kilroy-Silk attracted hoots of derision, left, right and centre, at the establishment of Veritas. The Arab-baiting former daytime TV presenter gave every impression of drifting off into the political wilderness with only his ego for company.

I wasn't so sure, writing at the time that:

Some caution seems necessary. To see why, we need to remember how the UK Independence Party made its breakthrough in the European elections last year, coming third in the national result. Three things matter: first, that a UKIP suddenly found itself in possession of a large amount of cash, enough to run a credible, fully-funded national election campaign. Second, that Robert Kilroy-Silk agreed to stand as a candidate for the party, instantly symbolising everything UKIP stood for: anti-Europe, anti-migrant, anti-foreigner. Third, and most importantly, that the two-party system in Britain is entering a period of (perhaps terminal) decline, exacerbated by the PR voting system the Euro-elections use.

On this basis, and leaving aside the ego and the obnoxiousness, Kilroy-Silk presents quite a coherent critique of UKIP: that they don’t understand the splits and fractures in the wider political system, that they are identified with too narrow a set of politics, and that the leadership has absolutely no strategy for taking the party forward and were essentially a bunch of freeloading cranks...

...the directionless desire to piss Brussels subventions up the wall presumably infuriates a man of [Kilroy-Silk's] peculiar ambition. On this reading, UKIP was and is in no position to seriously exploit the gap between an ailing Conservative Party and ill-concealed populist sentiments on race, crime and Europe.

But Veritas might have been. With the launch of Veritas' manifesto, I feel more secure about joining the hooters and snorters:

Euro MP Robert Kilroy-Silk has launched his Veritas Party's manifesto with an attack on multi-culturalism imposed by "liberal fascists in London".

The idea that everybody should respect each others' cultures was "nonsense", he said, adding that not all cultures were equal - some were "reprehensible".

Whilst I'm sure Kilroy-Silk generally has a better insight into the racist mindset than I have, that "liberal fascist" comment doesn't ring true. "Liberal elite" would be swallowed without a murmur. William Hague used the phrase, repeatedly, in 2001. But "fascist" is a little too swivel-eyed, a little too out of kilter with common-or-garden Little Englandism. Between this evidence of Kilroy losing his touch and the Tories' headlong gallop into his preferred territory, I'm inclined to consign this obnoxious creature to the saloon-bar of history. Fingers crossed.