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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Trouble for Farage's pro-Brexit party

The Guardian reports that Nigel Farage's latest berth, a pro-Brexit party. allegedly set up because of the rightward drift of UKIP, has run into similar problems of its own.

The paper says that Catherine Blaiklock, the leader of the Brexit party, resigned on Wednesday after she was asked about repeatedly retweeting posts from far-right figures as well as sending her own messages. They add that among the messages she shared was one by Mark Collett, a former British National party (BNP) activist, referring to “white genocide”:

The term is often used in extreme rightwing and racist online activism of the sort seen as having inspired the man suspected of shooting dead 50 people last week at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand.

One of her own messages read: “Islam = submission – mostly to raping men it seems.”

As the paper says this news will call Farage’s judgement into question after he left UKIP because of its “fixation” on Muslims and its alliance with far-right activist Tommy Robinson:

Among other tweets sent by Blaiklock was one that referred to Islam as “a non-democracy ideology that is incompatible with liberal democracy”. Another said of Islam that it was “perfectly rational to be phobic about people who want to kill you”.

Another, from December 2017, recounted being at a north London tube station, and read: “8 people waiting for lift, 5 Muslim girls, 1 black, 1 other Asian Chinese, 1 white. Immediately outside saw a drug deal take place. Looked like Turkey.”

She also retweeted a message by the US radio show host and former state congressman Joe Walsh saying: “Haiti is a shithole and it’s run by blacks.”

Blaiklock was formerly Ukip’s economics spokeswoman. She left the party late last year, shortly after Farage, who is listed on the Brexit party website as “supporting” it, and has promised to stand if new European elections are held in May.

She shared 45 Twitter posts by Collett, who formerly headed the youth wing of the BNP, one as recently as January this year. One retweet, from 2018, shows a photo of a multiracial primary school class with the message: “This is a British school. This is white genocide.”

Another post by Collett retweeted by Baiklock claims that multiculturalism amounts to “the replacement of the indigenous European people”.

As well as Collett and Robinson, Blaiklock also retweeted dozens of posts by the far-right agitators Peter Sweden and Stefan Molyneux, and Paul Joseph Watson from the US conspiracy theory website Infowars. Her own tweets about Islam also included: “Islam = submission, slavery. Western thought = critical thinking freedom.” Another, sent 10 days later, read: “I want my country back. I want seaside donkeys on the beach and little village churches, not acid attacks, mobs and mosques.”

As gratifying as it is that Blaiklock has fallen on her sword, the investigation by Hope Not Hate, which exposed these tweets, has highlighted another worrying trend, namely the way supposedly legitimate parties are being infiltrated by the right wing. This sort of activity is worrying and needs to be exposed.
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