As UKIP gathers for what surely must be their last death throes (er I mean conference) in Torquay, one might be forgiven for thinking that this limping wreck of a party has chosen, in the dimming light of its autumn years, to celebrate the contribution the European Union has made to Great Britain.
1: An EU funded Venue
The party has chosen (once again) to host its conference at a venue generously built with funds given to it by …….the European Union. The Riviera Centre in Torquay was built in the 1980s with the help of a £3 million EU grant
2: German Keynote Speakers
UKIP continues to seek closer ties with other European political movements and the resurgence of the far right in Germany has obviously set their hearts aflutter, in much the same way that their political forebears, the BUF, swooned over that moustachioed lance corporal from Linz. A senior member of the AFD is on their way to Torquay and will address the conference.
3: An immigrant leader?
Anne Marie Waters, current favourite to become UKIP leader, is an interesting fish in many ways but she’s not one that could be caught in British waters, on account of her “not being British”. The sometime Pegida leader and chum of pint-sized Tommy Robinson is an EU immigrant. Born in the Republic of Ireland, educated in the Republic of Ireland, a citizen of the Republic of Ireland – she’s as British as the Blarney Stone.
UPDATE – The party has instead elected the relatively unknown former army officer Henry Bolton. Henry too is an immigrant, having been born and raised in Kenya. Thrillingly Henry has married not one but two European emigres. His first wife was Danish, his second Tatiana is Russian. Clearly UKIP’s concerns about immigrants do not stretch to their leaders, the leadership runners up, the leaders wives, ex wives or girlfriends. Very reassuring.
4: A European Party – funded by the EU
Perhaps the greatest irony about UKIP is that the party would never have existed without the EU. It is a product of European politics, bankrolled almost entirely by Europe. The party may have 7 AMs at the Welsh Assembly (out of 60) but this is hardly going to be a springboard to forming the next government. Despite losing both Helmer (who resigned over misuse of funds) and Janice Atkinson (who resigned over misuse of receipts) UKIP MEPs still make up the largest single group in terms of British representation. Without the funding it receives from the EU parliament UKIP would (and will) go the way of Monty Python’s Norwegian blue. Sadly things haven’t gone well recently with the “failing EU project” starting to ask horrid questions like “where has all the money we gave you gone” and even nastier things like “we aren’t going to give you any more.”
5: As the delegates make their way to the sea-front to soak up the last rays of the dying sun they might be tempted to dip their toes in the sea, or dig their feet in the sand. If so, they can paddle safe in the knowledge that this regenerated strip of sand has been made habitable by EU laws which forced Britain’s government in the 1980s to stop pumping shit onto our coastlines.
There’s an obvious joke to make at this point, but you won’t find it here.