Nigel Farage is the official face of the right-wing UK Independence Party (Ukip). But usually a nicer face than the one below:
Thing is, Farage has to be careful what he says. If he talked like how many Ukip members and supporters felt, most of the public would be horrified and would never even entertain the idea of voting for Ukip.
But other Ukippers don’t have Farage’s public focus, and they are free to discuss their vile philosophy more openly.
Take, for example, Victoria Ayling,Ukip councillor on Lincolnshire county council. The Mail on Sunday has obtained video footage of her making some unsavoury comments.
At one point she says: “We must basically [re]patriate those that shouldn’t be here. That’s not quite policy yet. Maybe I should soften it a bit … OK, send them back.”
At another point she says: “OK, I just want to send the lot back, but I can’t say that.”
In the message she was recording that was intended for a wider audience, Ayling said immigration had to be controlled, that a points system should be introduced and that immigrants should be encouraged to speak English. That bit is standard Ukip talk. But the “send them home” rhetoric is more reminiscent of the BNP or National Front. Ukip has regularly had problems with candidates expressing extremist views. Many have been low-profile, but in September the MEP Godfrey Bloom left the Ukip group in the European parliament following a row after he jokingly referred to women as “sluts”. He had earlier been in trouble after being recorded referring to “bongo bongo land”.
The Beloved Leader Nigel Farage supports Ayling, saying “Farage said: “While this comment looks odd and unpleasant, there may be a context here that is slightly different to the way it appears.” But that’s pretty weak. The context is quite clear: Ayling was making a video to voice her opinions on immigration. And while I totally back her right to say these things, I also think it’s important that potential Ukip voters learn exactly what kind of party and people they want to vote into power.
You can watch – and hear – her voicing her opinions on the Daily Mail website. If you think Ukip is a sensible, mainstream political party, please go watch the video. I’d love to read your remarks in Comments.