A smokey kipper

Nigel Farage’s regal progress was yesterday checked on the Royal Mile. Tee hee! It came down to both sides — Farage versus the “Campaign for Radical Independence” — declaring the other was “fascist” and “racist”. Pot-ism meet kettle-ism.

Let’s not get involved in the semiotics of racism and UKIP. Suffice it to quote a nice throw-away that’s been doing the rounds of late: the English Defence League backs UKIP, presumably because of their shared views on sustainable farming.

However, Farage is quoted in the Guardian‘s story:

“We’ve proved we can get votes in Wales, England and Northern Ireland. We’re still untested in Scotland,” he said. “We’ve not had an opportunity to test Ukip policies with the Scottish people for a very long time.” Asked about Ukip’s chances, he was optimistic. “I wouldn’t be at all surprised if we did quite creditably.”

At last! a germ of testable UKIP “truth”

UKIP’s “elected” presence in Northern Ireland amounts to one local councillor and one Assembly Member:

  • David McNarry was elected the UUP AM for Strangford. There was a rancorous bust-up in the UUP. McNarry was  unstoolled as Vice-Chair of the Assembly Education Committee. He got huffy; and was disciplined by the UUP. It was made clear by Mike Nesbitt that McNarry was unlikely to have the UUP whip restored. McNarry went rogue; and last October announced he had joined UKIP.
  • Henry Reilly was also UUP, but is now the duly-elected UKIP Councillor for The Mournes. His address seems to be also that for UKIP NI — which could imply a one-man band. Councillor Reilly is currently involved in a spat with his local press:

A high-profile councillor has been criticised after claims he described regional newspaper journalists as “Provos”.

Cllr Henry Reilly, who is chairman of the UK Independence Party in Northern Ireland, has been urged to withdraw his comments which came at a meeting of Newry and Mourne District Council.

The National Union of Journalists has condemned his comments, saying they were “entirely unacceptable”…

Journalists at the meeting represented the Newry Reporter, Mourne Observer, Newry Democrat, County Down Outlook and the Armargh Down Observer.

NUJ president Barry McCall said the journalists concerned had no right of reply at the meeting and should not have been subjected to verbal abuse.

For the record, at the last Assembly election UKIP stood six candidates and garnered the grand total of 4,152 votes — six-tenths of one per cent of the goal first preference poll. The Kippers didn’t manage quite so well at Council level.
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Filed under Elections, Northern Ireland, Northern Irish politics, Scotland, UKIP

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