Tuesday, 24 October 2017

Ukip fails its respect-for-women test, ten minutes after announcing it – The Independent

When Ukip can elect a three-time Nobel laureate and Olympic champion in figure skating as its leader and still continue to nosedive in the polls, you would think it might consider it unwise to ban potential Ukip supporters from entering the country. But Paul Nuttall, like his political hero Trigger from Only Fools and Horses, has never been a slave to conventional wisdom.

It was around ten minutes after Suzanne Evans had announced the party’s new immigration policy, in which potential migrants “will not get in if they don’t believe women or gay people are equal” that the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg was told by various members of the party faithful to both “go back down your hole” and, more succinctly, to “f**k off”.

Of course, telling a female political correspondent to f**k off doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t believe women are equal, but if you do happen to be desperate to get to Britain so you can vote for Ukip, it wouldn’t seem like the best way to pass their immigration test.

Elsewhere in the manifesto, we learnt that the burka was not merely a symbol of female oppression but also “prevents intake of essential vitamin D from sunlight”.

However could we have known that, underneath their oppressive garb, Muslim women walk the streets all bandy-legged with rickets?

It also proposes a “ban on flying the EU flag from all public buildings in the UK” which will make life especially difficult for the 27 embassies of EU nations in London that currently do just that and, one suspects, will not desist from it because Paul Nuttall has told them to.

Now, you don’t need to have been awake in too many GCSE history lessons to be aware of the idea that at its outer reaches the political spectrum, like the observable universe, begins to bend, leaving the far left and far right rather similar in appearance to one another.

That the vociferous booing of the media following the launch bore every outward resemblance to a Jeremy Corbyn press conference may be mere coincidence. Or it may not.

It may also be a coincidence that Ukip were by some margin the fastest to insist the general election campaign be restarted in the wake of the Manchester terror attack, and when they did restart it, it was to lay the blame for it at the feet of the Prime Minister. Theresa May had, Mr Nuttall told us, “embraced the niqab and the burka”, had been in favour of Sharia courts and had “slashed police numbers”.

When asked, by everyone from the BBC to Channel 4 to LBC, whether Mr Nuttall was seeking to “exploit Manchester”, only shouts of “Don’t answer! Don’t answer Paul!” could be heard above the boos. As if a politician ever needs reminding not to answer a question.

We were told, again for approximately the ten thousandth time, that Ukip has no problem with immigrants, even if it did launch a frankly bizarre one-in-one-out immigration policy, the first step towards the party’s dream of turning the country into a provincial Yates’s wine lodge.

Again, for around the ten thousandth time, we were told that the only type of immigrant Paul Nuttall and Suzanne Evans have a problem with are the ones that “won’t adapt to the British way of life”.

We must assume this view is shared by Aidan Powlesland, Ukip candidate for South Suffolk, who spoke to journalists at the end of the meeting to further make clear his particular niche concern on humanity’s urgent need to be mining asteroids for platinum by 2026. 

The immigrants that want to mine the asteroid belt for platinum, they’re alright. They’re fine. But some of them just won’t adjust to the way of British life, will they?

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