Monday, 28 November 2016

New UKIP Leader elected

The UK Independence Party finally has a new leader, after its second leadership election of 2016. Earlier this year Diane James, was supposedly elected, until it was found that she hadn't submitted her documentation correctly, submitted her resignation and Nigel Farage was made interim leader until a second leadership contest could be held held.

This morning the result of that contest was announced and Paul Nuttall is now the new leader of UKIP, elected with two thirds of the vote from party members.

As the news was announced the key question that came to my mind was "is Nuttall on par or worse than Nigel Farage?", it's UKIP after all so the thought that he might not be as bad never crossed my mind. I'm sure UKIP will offer us the same divisive rhetoric blaming foreigners for everything, that we have become used to.

For starters Nuttall has in the past made some pretty disgusting comments. He once called for people who are HIV positive to be banned from entering the country, citing that 60 countries currently bar people who are HIV positive from entering.

Nuttall has also condemned plans for LGBT sex and relationship education in schools saying it would put the "innocence" of children at risk, adding that LGBT education would "confuse and worry these little children". He also once said that UKIP was the "natural home" for Catholic voters, angry over same-sex marriage.

Perhaps strangely, despite his clear prejudicial views, Nuttall named Peter Whittle, an openly gay man, as his deputy, which is usually used by the pro-UKIP crowd to say it proves Nuttall couldn't possibly be homophobic - his record tells a different story.

As difficult as it is to say, this rhetoric of division, appears to be resonating with voters who feel the "establishment" doesn't represent them, so they vote for these extreme parties as a protest vote, this can be seen through Brexit and Donald Trump being elected US President.

It is a complete nonsense as Donald Trump is establishment to the core, he's a multi-billionaire who owns hotels and casinos for christ sake. Farage is no better. Last week he attended a party at the Ritz to celebrate Brexit, just weeks after standing in a gold plated lift in Trump Tower, boasting about how he and Donald had stuck it to the establishment. More like lied and conned the public into doing something in their interest, rather than something to benefit the people of the countries they claim to care about.

But it does scare me that parties with these views can gain power, based on nothing more than hate and trying to divide the public. Luckily UKIP only has one MP, Douglas Carswell, who may be going back to the Conservatives anyway, so they're not exactly going to win a general election anytime soon, but in the political climate we're living in never say never.

This year undoubtably has been a good one for the far right, and that may continue into 2017, with right wing candidates in France doing well. The favourite to be the next French President Francois Fillon, has said he wants to ban gay couples from adopting, Fillon won the centre-right conservative primary last night.

But Fillon is by no means a dead certainty to win. Nothing is a certainty these days. The far right Front Nationale leader Marine Le Pen, who has even more extreme views such as putting a complete stop to immigration, could pull off a surprise win, following in the footsteps of Mr Trump.

Uncertain times! I just pray that the Liberal movement, of tolerance and respect for all will have a glimmer of hope and deliver the Liberal Democrats a new Member of Parliament, as Sarah Olney aims to become MP for Richmond Park. The by election is taking place there on Thursday.

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