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Tuesday, December 03, 2019

UKIP leader flounders over trying to define degrees of racism

Is UKIP a racist party? Well its latest interim leader, Pat Mountain seems a little confused by that question, insisting that she that has only met “a few” racists in the party, and that none of them were “seriously racist”:

Speaking at the launch event, Ms Mountain told members of the media: “We are here, we want to answer your questions. We want you to give a good impression, please, to the public that we’re not nasty racists – we are good, honest, caring people.

“I’ve never met any racists in Ukip – well, maybe a few people on the edge but not seriously racist. Only people who are concerned about this country.”

In an earlier interview, Ms. Mountain told Sky News that far-right activist Tommy Robinson, whose real name is Stephen Yaxley-Lennon, could not join UKIP “because of his association with other racist parties” before quickly correcting herself by saying: “Not other racist parties – racist parties”.

The idea that there are acceptable degrees of racism is not one that any non-racist party would embrace, never mind allow their leader to articulate unchallenged. The fact that Ms. Mountain feels able to do so speaks volumes for the kind of party UKIP are.

I am indebted to Evening Post journalist, Jason Evans, for drawing my attention to a quote from Lord Justice Rose in a chapter on 'Racism, Discrimination and Diversity'. He wrote: 'racism must not be allowed to flourish....it is incompatible with democratic civilisation.'

UKIP may be an irrelevance in this election, but they are participating in a democratic contest nevertheless. Is it too much to ask that they acknowledge that they are doing so because we are a civilised nation, and that they act and speak accordingly?
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