UKIP, smears and facts: A case study

To maintain its access to the gravy train in the EU parliament, a couple of weeks ago UKIP teamed up with Polish MEP Robert Iwaszkiewicz, a member of the Congress of the New Right, a party that openly questions Adolf Hitler’s knowledge of the Jewish Holocaust during WWII.  UKIP’s defence of this entirely financial decision consists of a woolly comment – repeated as a mantra – that Iwaszkiewicz is just a member of Congress of the New Right and not, according to UKIP, responsible for its stance on the Holocaust.

There has been condemnation of UKIP’s decision to align with an anti-Semitic party from a broad church of political opinion, including the right-wing British-based Board Of Deputies whose vice president Jonathan Arkush said “for UKIP to choose such a figure as Robert Iwaszkiewicz as a bedfellow, apparently for money, is beyond belief,” see Arkush.

In accordance with party protocol all statements of fact from critics regarding Robert Iwaszkiewicz and Congress of the New Right have been described as “smears” by UKIP.  This clumsy tactic of response to negative criticism reached a new low this week with a incoherent statement on a UKIP website about the parliamentary candidate for Stockton North, Mandy Boylett.  The statement claims that the Labour MP for Stockton North, Alex Cunningham, sent a letter to her indicating some tactics he intends to use during the campaign ahead of the general election in May next year.  No quotes are published from the “letter” and so it is not possible to know if Cunningham does imply what UKIP and Boylett infer or indeed whether the letter exists; however, what is presented as her response to the “letter” is typical of the style of response spat out by UKIP whenever its unpleasantness is exposed.

The UKIP statement is here Boylett.  A full analysis of what is said may seem to overstate its importance, but the statement is a revealing example of how UKIP reacts when it is challenged.  This analysis is not intended to target Boylett specifically but is merely using the statement as a case study of UKIP behaviour.  Note that the analysis makes no assumptions about what is said by Cunningham in the “letter” to Boylett nor whether such a letter exists.

Analysis 

In the first two paragraphs the phrases “threatening letter,” “smear her campaign,” “shocked and deeply disturbed” and “vile letter” are used to guide the emotion of the reader because, bizarrely, it is common practice for UKIP people to posit themselves as the victim of an attack.

The third paragraph is an extension of the mantra mentioned above wherein the writer claims to be denying that UKIP’s partnership with a member of Congress of the New Right is actually a partnership with a member of Congress of the New Right.  Indeed, UKIP’s partnership with a member of Congress of the New Right is, apparently, “totally untrue” and any suggestion that it is true is, apparently, “totally perverse.”  The only problem with this assertion is that the existence of said partnership is a fact.  The differentiation between the views of the Congress of the New Right, (a party with a very small number of MEPs), and one of its prominent members, Robert Iwaszkiewicz, is laughable.  (Some extreme views expressed by the leader of Congress of the New Right, Janusz Korwin-Mikke, are merely “attributed” to him by Cunningham.)

The fourth, short, paragraph is an interesting interjection.  The writer of the statement claims that Cunningham wrote “Boylett will publicly defend Mr Janusz Korwin-Mikke’s comments with regard to “n*****s”, Hitler and rape.”  If Cunningham did write that then his, wholly reasonable, intent would be to note that if UKIP teams up with a more extreme political party then the latter party’s outlook will be a topic for questioning of UKIP during an election campaign.  Such questioning would be entirely appropriate and necessary.  But, the inclusion of that “quote” in UKIP’s statement is done only for shock value: A unspeakable racist word, a mass murderer and a very serious crime, all flung at a poor defenceless UKIP candidate.

The final paragraphs are the words of Boylett herself and consist of a rapid-fire concoction of half-baked phrases and words that try to ram home the UKIP description of Boylett as a poor victim being harassed by big bad Labour MP: “Intimidated,” “personally offended,” “level of behaviour,” “borderline blackmail smear.” “what depths these people are willing to stoop to,” “I am really, really hurt,” and “self-serving, cruel-natured character.”  The penultimate paragraph claims that Cunningham got “his facts so grossly wrong” and “twisted reality” but all assertions attributed to him by the statement are in fact true.

Pathetic

As stated, the “letter” sent by Cunningham to Boylett hasn’t been published, if it exists, and this blog was written merely to use the UKIP statement as a case study to describe UKIP’s tactics regarding ordinary and reasonable criticism of its behaviour.  The tone of the statement and Boylett’s words are pathetic in the true sense of the word and reveal not only that UKIP wants to shut down criticism, (a tactic that is a symptom of its fascist tendency), but also that it will assiduously refuse to discuss or debate any topic with an honest and adult tone.

(N.B. I am not a supporter of the Labour Party and I think its MPs should focus on what Labour stands for rather than what other parties do.)

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UKIP, smears and facts: A case study