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Monday, March 04, 2019

UKIP membership swings to the right

Today's front page headline by the Guardian must be one of the most unexpected of all time. Faced with a leader who describes Islam as “a death cult” and who has appointed the anti-Muslim activist Tommy Robinson as an adviser moderate members of UKIP have abandoned the party to replaced by right wingers who are more sympathetic to this world-outlook.

The paper's sources say that many of the 8,000 or so newcomers who have joined in recent months appear to be younger and more radical, attracted both by Robinson and the party’s links to controversial YouTube agitators. Members of UKIP’s youth wing have posted antisemitic and other extremist messages online, and there has been a rise in the popularity of news websites pushing the party’s message.

The dire warning by analysts is that with UKIP’s poll numbers rising amid the continued deadlock over Brexit, there is a danger the party could soon be reinvented as a street movement, becoming the first significant far-right force in UK politics since the demise of the British National party:

According to party insiders, Batten appointed Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, without consulting colleagues. They say he is increasingly adopting what one called a “bunker mentality” in which he relies heavily on Robinson, the founder of the English Defence League, and other confidants from the far right.

The Guardian has seen antisemitic messages posted on an unofficial Ukip youth web group, including one saying that life under Hitler was “better than anywhere else on earth”, and another describing Jews as “hook-nosed masters” who control the media. The member involved has since been expelled.

And while Ukip has publicly sought to reject links to the yellow-vest protesters who have harassed politicians and journalists outside parliament and have links to far-right and anti-Islam views, their main Facebook page is run by Martin Costello, the chair of Ukip’s Wiltshire branch and a former parliamentary candidate.

Costello told the Guardian he was helping to coordinate the movement, describing himself as a “modern-day Wat Tyler”.

Since Batten took over as Ukip leader last year, he has proposed new policies including extra checks for immigrants from Islamic countries and Muslim-only prisons, while his families spokesman has said Muslims gangs are responsible for “a holocaust of our children”.

Such changes, together with the appointment of Robinson, prompted a series of MEPs to quit the party, among them the former leader Nigel Farage, who has since launched a new Brexit-based party.

Of the 24 Ukip MEPs elected when the party topped the polls in the 2014 European elections, only seven remain.

AS far as Wales is concerned, the remaining members of the UKIP Assembly group need to be asking themselves whether they belong in a party that has swung so far to the right, or not? I shall watch with interest.
What with Labour's anti semitism problems and now ukip turning to the right the Tories seem to be innocent bystanders, that is until you hear Baroness Warsi pointing out islamophobia in the party. Unfortunately they are not being covered by the media. Is the media paying lip service to them?
Hate ,wherever it comes, from should be confronted.
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