Category Archives: UKIP

The Greek Tragedy Of Suzanne Evans

Her political descent has been a tragedy.

A year ago Suzanne Evans was riding high in UKIP. Appointed deputy chairman of the party, she was widely applauded for producing the party’s best-ever manifesto for the May 2015 general election and was seen by many as the next leader. Indeed Nigel Farage recommended her for interim leader after he resigned following his defeat at South Thanet.SuzanneEvans

But ten weeks ago Suzanne was sacked as deputy chairman and four weeks later suspended from the party for six months. As a result, she was dropped from the party’s London-wide list of candidates for yesterday’s London Assembly elections.

Since then she has become a minor celebrity both as a surprisingly inert panellist on the quick-witted BBC TV show Have I Got A Bit More News For You  and as a participant in a women-only debate on the EU organised by the feminist Fawcett Society.

However, despite her disputed claim that she is still UKIP’s Parliamentary spokesperson (she is spokesperson only for UKIP’s sole and semi-detached representative in the House of Commons Douglas Carswell; she is not authorised to speak for the three UKIP peers in the House of Lords) and her stated hope that she still has a future in UKIP, her return to the party fold must be in severe doubt.

And I was an unwitting participant in her downfall.

In a recent post I wrote how, back in February after I had been selected as a UKIP candidate for the GLA elections that took place yesterday, my defeated opponent, gay activist and lawyer Richard Hendron, rushed off to the anti-UKIP Pink News to complain that I was a “vile nasty homophobic individual”. He resigned from the party too with the maximum of noise and self-publicity.

mad-doctorWithin hours fellow UKIP gay activist Richard Hilton set up a public petition accusing me of being “an outspoken homophobe who has addressed ‘gay cure’ meetings” (I haven’t) and demanding that I should be removed from UKIP’s list of approved candidates.

The next day Pink News too commenced a series of hostile and inaccurate articles claiming that I believe in ‘gay cure’ (I don’t) and that I have compared gays to Nazis (I haven’t).

Suzanne was still deputy chairman of the party at the time so it was astonishing that she immediately joined the baying herd. She tweeted excitedly that she had signed Hilton’s petition. She informed the twittersphere that “Alan Craig’s views have no place in @UKIP” and commented on the petition website that, by choosing me as a candidate, the party’s selection process “has clearly failed”.

I immediately emailed her suggesting that, as a matter of courtesy let alone party protocol, she should contact me before publicly criticising both my selection and me. There was no reply. Instead the same day she gave an exclusive interview to Pink News  . She told them she was confident that I would not remain a candidate.

The next day I emailed her again, asking what evidence she had to back up her statement that there had been a “failure in the party’s selection process.” Again, no reply.

Two weeks later she was sacked as deputy chairman.

A month after that, following a disciplinary hearing of UKIP’s National Executive Committee, she was suspended from the party. The NEC cited as the reason a complaint that she had “publicly criticised a fellow candidate in breach of party rules”.

squarepegIn an attempt to prevent her suspension, Suzanne sought an injunction in the High Court. Acting on her behalf was, yes, the same Richard Hendron. In the documents presented by Hendron to the court Suzanne repeated the Pink News falsehood that I have compared gays to Nazis. She also claimed that she publicly signed Richard Hilton’s petition because she “did not agree with Mr Craig’s stance on ‘gay cures’ for homosexual people” – a stance about which clearly she had no knowledge except what the hopelessly biased, unreliable and foolish Hendron-Hilton-Pink News faction had told her.

The High Court rejected her application. Her suspension went ahead.

Of course there were many bigger factors leading to Suzanne’s downfall including her perceived lack of loyalty to Nigel Farage. But it seems her unfounded public criticism of me was the straw that broke the camel’s back. Certainly it was the trigger for her suspension.

Janice-Liu-AntigoneIn Greek tragedies the demise of the hero is often self-inflicted. In her rush to censure me and her zeal to climb aboard the shrill Hendron-Hilton-GayNews bandwagon, Suzanne didn’t check the facts. She didn’t restrain herself from knee-jerk public criticism of a fellow party candidate and the party’s selection process. Nor did she demonstrate the discretion and adherence to party protocol expected of a deputy chairman.

She also lacked judgement. She leant on broken reeds; she relied on her unreliable friends.

In the end she brought her demise down on her own head.

It was a tragic waste of talent.

C’mon Nigel, It’s Your Churchill Moment

We’ve been here before of course. The UK is facing an existential threat from a corrupt unelected assertive Imperium from across the Channel chamberlainand we have been landed with an appeasing invertebrate weasel occupying the prime minister’s residence in Downing Street.

The huge difference this time is that, in a magisterial act of betrayal that could only be perpetrated by a certain type of Philby-esque former public school boy, the occupant of 10 Downing Street and his establishment friends are the ones who are training their guns on us.

Night after night the Biased Broadcasting Corporation bombards us with pro-EU and Remain stories and highlights the latest salvo orchestrated and fired by prime minister’s heavy weaponry:career children elite figures from the military, the scientific community, the arts and media, academia and FTSE 100 companies are obediently paraded across BBC airwaves to trot out Pavlov platitudes about the supposed benefits of remaining in the EU.

Next door in No 11 the Chancellor of the Exchequer moves the beads around on his abacus and expects us to believe his forecast that each household will be £4,300 worse off if we leave the EU. Really, George? abacusIs this one similar to your previous economic forecasts? So why not £14,300? Or £144,300?

And together these two architects of austerity Britain lavish £9m of our money on a glossy pro-EU propaganda publication that is dumped unsolicited on every home.

“If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it,” someone nasty said once. That’s certainly the hope of the Quisling boys in Downing Street.

Then last week weasel turned poodle; the prime minster hosted the president of the United States at Downing Street and asked him to do battle on behalf of the Remain campaign. poodle-groomingCameron stood smilingly obsequious beside the presidential podium while his friend Barak Obama instructed us with threats to surrender our sovereignty to Brussels and to become a sort of Michigan in a United States of Europe.

Followed by similar stuff from Hillary Clinton, there is no doubt this was a US Exorcet that hammered at the heart of the Leave campaign, and it hurt. An acquaintance tweeted that he has never harboured a scintilla of anti-US feeling in his life, until now. I was reminded of the Duke of Wellington’s comment at the height of the Battle of Waterloo; “Hard pounding this, gentlemen,” he exclaimed as Napoleon’s cannon ripped into the British troops.

Many Leave troops are struggling from the onslaught of Cameron’s guest and the official Vote Leave leadership seem to have been battered into silence or, like London mayor Boris Johnson, into squawking impotence. Although some believe Obama’s intervention in UK domestic affairs will boomerang back on the Remain campaign, the president was strong in challenging Leave arguments – and also in making clear that the ‘special relationship’ between the US and UK is a dead letter and not worth the paper it was never written on. True friends don’t publicly threaten each other.

But we Leavers have two key factors in our favour:

First, timing is everything and Cameron may have fired his heaviest guns too early. There are still two months to go until Referendum Day and a week is a long time in politics.

Second, there are not many people who single-handedly have changed the national agenda and turned political tides, but Nigel Farage is one.

nigel_farageWith focus, courage and a thick skin, for twenty years Nigel has toured the country promoting the benefits of leaving the EU. Dismissed by many including Cameron as a fruit cake, nutter and worse, he has sung his song and made the strong case for Brexit. Slowly the tide has turned in his favour until the prime minister, who a few years ago instructed the Tory Party to “stop banging on about Europe”, has been forced to hold a referendum and to bang on about Europe almost full-time.

Now, post-Obama, we must urge Nigel to step up to the plate and raise his game even further. He must take the lead to raise morale amongst Leave grassroots campaigners, to constrain the squabbling Leave factions,winston_churchill with cigar to re-frame the Brexit arguments, to set a fresh campaign direction, and to hold aloft the vision of a sovereign independent Britain that together we can achieve once again.

No one else can do it.

Nigel, it’s your Churchill moment to Speak for England and save the nation.

We’re right there with you.

UKIP: Christians Welcome!

Last year I helped set up Christian Action in UKIP, aka ‘CAUKIP’, an informal group whose aim is both to promote UKIP to the churches across the UK and to promote mainstream Christian ideals within the party.

Ade AmoobaWe held our first fringe meeting at the UKIP party conference last September. It was attended by Steve Woolfe MEP, the party spokesman on migration, and addressed by UK-based Nigerian Pastor Ade Omooba who talked for 30 minutes on “The Moral Argument for Controlling Immigration”.

Interestingly, Pastor Ade quoted the New Testament (1 Corinthians 6: 9,10) to demonstrate that God Himself created immigration controls for the Kingdom of God, and that therefore we are free, responsibly, to control immigration into the United Kingdom.

UKIP listeners loved this application of Christian values to political policy, especially by a Black pastor from a Commonwealth country. Contra our sniffy metropolitan critics, UKIP doesn’t do racism. It was a good meeting.

However, CAUKIP is closely associated with another informal but long-established group in the party, Christian Soldiers – UKIP, and we were concerned last month when a gay UKIP councillor based in Dudley & Halesowen, Shaun Keasey, called publicly for the party to cut all ties with Christian Soldiers. He was supported by UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge and on twitter by the official LGBT in UKIP group.

microwave-2-resizeCllr Keasey’s argument simply reheated cold meat. He focussed on a leaflet promoted by Christian Soldiers at the party’s Spring Conference a year ago as his reason for the ban. The leaflet had denounced attempts to create gender confusion and promote sexual-orientation discussion amongst primary school children, especially through a now-withdrawn LGBT programme called ‘CHIPS’. Although the leaflet had used robust language, it was in line with UKIP’s excellent and politically unique manifesto promise to ban all sex education in primary schools.

The Daily Mirror happily pursued its anti-UKIP agenda by manipulating the story and creating a fuss. The party was forced to handle this and, light of foot, it smartly insisted the Christian Soldiers leaflet should be withdrawn. As a result the issue was reduced to a storm in a tea cup, and was dead and buried within 12 hours.

And so it stayed for almost 12 months, until Shaun Keasey decided to resurrect it four weeks ago.

Fortunately the party is growing canny. This time around it did absolutely nothing. Cllr Keasey’s call to ban Christian Soldiers was flatly ignored and the group continues to be free to hold its regular stall and promote its Christian literature at the UKIP Spring conference this coming weekend. As they say in church: Alleluia!

Then, at a party hustings three weeks ago I was selected as UKIP candidate for the London South West constituency in the London Assembly elections on 5th May. The only other applicant at the hustings, gay activist Richard Hendron, immediately and loudly resigned from the party publicly accusing me of being a “vile, nasty homophobic individual”.

Pink News and the Daily Mirror rapidly crawled all over the story claiming that I support ‘gay cure’ amongst other things (I don’t, of course), and LGBT in UKIP activist Richard Hilton put up a public change.org petition to have me removed from UKIP’s approved candidates list.

agreement36 hours later and unknown to me, a party member in the North put up a counter-petition, “Say NO to political correctness infiltrating UKIP”, asking the party not to remove me as a candidate because of my “traditional Christian views”.

Regrettably, the party’s deputy chairman Suzanne Evans – who has since been relieved of her job – weighed in against me too. She tweeted that my views have no place in UKIP, declared openly that the party’s selection process had failed and wrote to the party chairman requesting that my selection should be reviewed. She gave Pink News an exclusive telling them she was confident I would be removed.

For a few days it was The Battle of the Petitions but, as news website Breitbart pointed out, the LGBT in UKIP petition was soon seen to have “backfired” as it was rapidly overhauled by the counter-petition. As I write, the second petition has more than 13 times the signatures of the first.

I became aware too of growing grassroots support as people told me they had called and emailed party officers asking that I should remain a UKIP candidate.

Finally, I was invited to appear before a panel of senior party officers to discuss my views about ‘gay cure’ and related issues. The meeting was confidential, but I was informed the next day that the panel had decided unanimously that I should continue as an approved candidate for UKIP – a decision then ratified by the party chairman and the National Executive Committee.

So in my experience UKIP is maturing into an excellent anti-establishment party. As you see, with a few exceptions it is fair, robust, hard-working, committed to free speech and democracy and stands firmly against the suffocating tenets of political correctness.

Unlike the old parties, there is ample room for social conservatives, grassroots Christians and supporters of family values.

bojesen_brexitIf that’s you, and you urgently want the UK out of the EU on 23rd June, join us now. There are only 16 weeks to get our country back from the dead hand of the Brussels bureaucrats.

Mega-Mosque: The End

I was waiting on Dagenham East station one Saturday recently when out of the blue I received a call from Andrew Gilligan of the Sunday Telegraph.DagenhamEast

I had been door-knocking with Peter Harris, the excellent UKIP candidate for Dagenham & Rainham at the general election last May and for the London Assembly in the GLA election in May next year. He had discovered that Barking & Dagenham council were trying quietly to foist a mosque onto greenbelt land in the predominantly White English neighbourhood of Eastbrook, so we had been assessing local opinion with a door-to-door survey.

But Gilligan had good news for me about a different and much bigger mosque, the proposed London mega-mosque at West Ham in Newham close to the 2012 Olympic stadium. Mega-mosqueOriginally this mosque had a futuristic design and a proposed capacity of between 45,000 and 70,000 which would have made it one of the biggest in the world. In the face of our vociferous opposition the mosque capacity was downsized but the mosque architect still claimed the building would be the size of Battersea Power Station with a capacity three times that of St Paul’s Cathedral. I’ve been campaigning against it for nearly a decade.

At first on my own but in due course backed by a superb small team, I had spent months studying, analysing and understanding Tablighi Jamaat – the fundamentalist and isolationist group behind the project. As our opposition campaign took off I encountered vicious verbal hostility and a death threat, and had a website set up against me personally; our combative team produced the MegaMosqueNoThanks campaign website, video channel and Facebook page and participated in two huge Public Inquiries; we delivered at least one campaign leaflet to each of the 97,000 homes of Newham’s 300,000 residents, and four or five leaflets to each home in the West Ham neighbourhood;  2000px-Seal_of_the_Ronald_Reagan_Presidential_Library.svgI was flattered to receive a ‘Hero of Conscience’ award for our efforts at a glittering American Freedom Association event in the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum in Simi Valley, California; I undertook public debates in Newham and at Speakers Corner in Hyde Park, and engaged in informal discussions in cafes and on the street with mosque supporters many of whom live near my home in Muslim-majority Forest Gate; and I was interviewed by journalists and on TV and radio from around the world as well as in our national media.

crossculturalHandshakeIt has been an extraordinary journey during which I have come to like and respect the overwhelming majority of Muslim people I have engaged with, but also to loathe the dark fundamentalist Islam that is rising across the world from Saudi Arabia and the Middle East to the UK and Europe, from Pakistan in South Asia to Nigeria in West Africa. And recently in Paris too.

But the journey was coming to an end. “The mega-mosque isn’t going to happen,” Gilligan told me. “Reliable sources say that the DCLG (the Department of Communities and Local Government) will announce soon that the trustees’ appeals have failed. The mega-mosque isn’t going to be built. My exclusive on this will be in tomorrow’s Sunday Telegraph,” he continued, “and I need a quote from you.”

My joy was great and relief was deep.  I could hardly believe my ears. Gilligan swore me to silence until his exclusive was published the following day, but that didn’t matter. This massive platform for promoting fundamentalist Islam globally which also would have had a disastrous effect on social integration locally, was over, sunk, dead. My colleagues and I could relax, be grateful and celebrate. Our job was done.

Gilligan’s story was published and four days later the formal decision of the Secretary of State at the DCLG, Greg Clark, was published too. To our amazement he took a firmer line against the mosque project than the Planning Inspector recommended;Bulldozer not only is the mega-mosque not to be built, but within three months the mosque trustees must cease using the site and must demolish the 2,000-capacity wood-frame buildings they are using there as a temporary mosque.

Technically the trustees still have the right to challenge the Government decision. However, due to new and tighter regulations that came into force just two days before the decision was announced – the Government was astute in its timing – they have first to apply to the High Court for permission to make the challenge before submitting the challenge itself, and they have to do so by 9th December. Also the challenge can be only on technical points of law and not about the decision itself. This is a huge mountain to climb for the trustees and if they have any sense they will not waste their time and money.

Meanwhile I now find myself involved with UKIP in the much smaller mosque project close to Dagenham East station where I took the call from Andrew Gilligan. Here, as in Newham, the authorities have been secretive and ignored local opinion until we forced the issue into the open: Peter Harris contacted and briefed the Dagenham media; we undertook a door-to-door survey where we found 93% of locals were against the mosque for reasons ranging from “too much traffic already” and “save our greenbelt” to “no Muslims live here so no need for a mosque”; Eastbrookmeetingand ten days ago we held a residents’ meeting in a pub and invited UKIP heavyweights Peter Whittle – our London mayoral candidate – and Roger Gravett. The pub was packed. You can read about it here and here.

Inevitably, as in Newham, Labour’s borough leadership in Barking & Dagenham has been incensed by our actions.

So deja vue. Here we go again…

Homerton Hospital’s Politically Correct Prejudice

Political correctness has developed into a putrefying ideology of propaganda and untruth promoted by the elite political class and liberal opinion-formers. Homerton University HospitalIn order to foist their poisonous ‘progressive’ agenda on us, they demand frequently that evidence should be ignored, facts should be changed, truth should be denied and history should be rewritten. A well-known east London NHS hospital is a case in point…

Homerton Hospital in Hackney has been serving the people of the East End since Victorian times. Completely rebuilt and modernised in the 1980s, it has 440 beds and a staff of 2,200, serves as a teaching hospital for undergraduate students and was the designated hospital for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Although recently embroiled in controversy over the number of deaths in the maternity unit, in many ways the Homerton represents the beating heart of the NHS, the nation’s favourite institution.

The hospital claims to be rooted in the local Hackney community and to demonstrate this is currently displaying – just inside the main entrance – some 25 portraits of Hackney residents taken in the 1970s. They were photographed by local man Ron Gibson who for over half a century from 1952 ran a portrait studio at 97 Lower Clapton Road.

Carefully selected from Gibson’s huge archive to represent “memories of past and present Hackney residents” as the blurb says, the pictures are superb, colourful and well presented. Singles, couples and family groups, the subjects are dressed variously in their security guard uniforms, nurses’ uniforms, wedding dresses, national dress or normal clothes.  It’s a high quality display and it is regrettable that for copyright reasons some of the portraits cannot be shown on this blog.

There is just one glaring and hugely significant error. Not one single portrait of a white British resident is displayed. Not one.nhs-logo

Certainly, according to the national census the percentage of White British residents in Hackney has been rapidly declining, down
from 44% in 2001 to 36% in 2011, and they have been replaced predominantly by Commonwealth immigrants from the West Indies and elsewhere.  But by common consent Hackney’s population in the 1970s was overwhelmingly white working class, and indiginous white Brits today still represent over a third of the borough.

But all the white residents have been airbrushed out of the hospital’s gallery of “past and present” local people. White people don’t exist. They didn’t exist. They have been written out of the script. Not even a cockney barrow boy or traditional Pearly King or Queen is shown. They are all – according to the hospital – irrelevant and presumably an embarrassment.  Africans, Asians and West Indians are proudly and beautifully portrayed and promoted at the entrance to the hospital, often in their national dress. But not one single white person – working class East Ender or otherwise – is deemed worthy of the honour.

So Hackney’s demographic history has been falsely rewritten and re-presented by the hospital to fit a progressive politically-correct pusagenda.

It is in-your-face untruth, ‘diversity’ gone mad and it reflects blatant prejudice, discrimination and, yes, racism by the country’s major caring institution. And the political establishment wonders why bitterness and disenchantment is growing on council estates up and down the country.

There is only one way democratically to lance the boil of Homerton-style prejudice and wipe the seeping discharge of politically correct pus out of our public life.

Go anti-establishment. Vote UKIP.

UKIP’s Runners and Riders for London Mayor

For political parties in London it’s choose-your-mayoral-candidate time.

city-hallA couple of weeks ago the Greens selected Sian Berry as their candidate for the May 2016 election; any day now the LibDems are expected to announce Caroline Pidgeon is their woman for the race; and on Friday Sadiq Khan upset all expectations except his own and won the Labour Party ballot for the position. The Tories are expected to announce their man for the job by the end of the month.

UKIP too is selecting and reckons to announce the party’s mayoral candidate in a couple of weeks. And, as it happens, I’ve thrown my hat into the ring…

I was enjoying the white beaches, blue skies and blistering heat of Sardinia last month when the news website Breitbart London, jointly run by Nigel Farage’s former election strategist and right-hand man Raheem Kassam, published an assessment  of UKIP’s ‘runners and riders’ for the mayor contest. RaheemKassamKassam reckoned my ‘tough stance against gay marriage’ and my campaign against the London mega-mosque could cause the party ‘operational and public relations problems’ – but nonetheless scored me 6/10.

Then, on successive days over the August Bank Holiday weekend, Breitbart published each candidate’s responses to ten key questions, seven of which were common to all and three of which were tailored to the individual. The other candidates’ responses are here: Suzanne Evans, Richard Hendron, Elizabeth Jones, David Kurton, Shneur Odze and Peter Whittle.

I was abroad and I missed out on the Breitbart exercise, but my formal party interview was postponed until this coming week. So here are my responses to Kassam’s questions and assessment:

Question 1: What makes you the best person to represent UKIP in London in 2016?

AC: For three decades I have lived and worked at street level in east London which is about as far from Boris’s Westminster/Whitehall/City Hall bubble as a Londoner can get, and my track record for standing up for ordinary people against the establishment powers-that-be is as good as anyone’s.

Locally I cut my political teeth campaigning – both successfully and unsuccessfully – against the council’s social cleansing, imposed top-down ‘regeneration’ and the large corporate developers who make people’s lives a misery.

Lemons-and-limeI have lengthy experience of UKIP-style grassroots and outsider politics. For a time I was the sole Opposition councillor on Newham Council and, later, leader of the small Opposition group. In 2008 I stood for London Mayor against Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone and also for the London Assembly. 

Q2: If it were a straight choice, would you rather be a London Assembly member or UKIP’s Mayoral Candidate?

AC: In May 2016 I’d rather be UKIP’s Mayoral Candidate. The May election almost certainly will be held prior to the vital EU referendum and I want to bend every sinew to promote London’s own case against the EU.

Debating at hustings with Sadiq Khan and maybe Zac Goldsmith about London in the EU will be a great high-profile opportunity to promote the ‘Leave’ campaign. 

Q3: Uber – are you for it or against it?

AC: I am in favour of commercial competition in principle, and we’ve seen that under pressure from Uber the black cabs recently reduced their fares for off-peak long-distance rides. This is good for the customer.

black-cabBut the black cab is an iconic part of London scene and a safer choice especially for women at night. It must retain its privileged status as, for instance, the only taxi that can be hailed on the street.

Q4: Tube strikes and union drivers. What is the solution?

AC: The tube drivers’ unions held us to ransom before the Olympics and filled their wallets at our expense. They must not do it again.

So, eyeball them and see who blinks first.

Advertise externally for new drivers and introduce driverless trains as soon as possible.

Q5: How do you feel Boris has done as Mayor? What would you keep, what would you change?

AC: He’s brought fun, laughs and global media attention to London. When he retires as mayor next year he ought to do stand-up at the Hammersmith Apollo rather than on the green benches at Westminster. He also removed the western extension of the Congestion Charge zone.

But he and his Russian billionaire friends who push up property prices simply do not understand London’s burgeoning housing crisis caused also in part by mass immigration. Ordinary young people – the future of the capital – cannot afford their own home and are being squeezed out by the lack of affordable housing.

Q6: What are the best things about London in your estimation?

london-2012-crowdAC: Londoners’ vitality, variety, open can-do spirit, and the city’s rich culture and history.

Q7: What are the worst things about London in your estimation?

AC: The widespread poverty caused by London’s exorbitant cost of living.

Also the personal pushiness on public transport that is threatening to the elderly and vulnerable. I’d welcome back some old-fashioned English queuing!

Q8: You left the Christian Peoples Alliance party and joined UKIP. Why?

I left CPA in 2012 having been variously joint-founder, leader and CPA local councillor since 1999. I had no major issues with the party. I just thought I’d done my bit.

I met UKIP MEP Gerard Batten in 2008 when we both stood for London Mayor and he started encouraging me to join UKIP. Four years ago or so I sat on the same political panel in Tottenham as Nigel Farage and he impressed me by his forceful but, then, politically lonely opposition to the EU. In 2012/13 UKIP confirmed its gutsy anti-establishment status by standing alone against the imposition of gay marriage by the metropolitan political class.

In 2014 I threw in the towel and joined the party.

Q9: You have run a lengthy high-profile campaign against the proposed Tablighi Jamaat mega-mosque at West Ham. That can’t make you an attractive UKIP candidate to the Muslim community can it?

telling-the-localsAC: When I started the campaign in 2006 I got all the knee-jerk insults – racist, Islamophobe, bigot, Christian crusader, the lot. But while I strongly opposed these mosque plans and the separatist ideology behind them, I like and respect Muslims and slowly bit by bit this message got through.

Further, I campaigned closely with moderate Muslims who also oppose the fundamentalist Tablighi Jamaat ideology and their mosque plans. There is no single ‘Muslim community’; there is a variety of ‘Muslim communities’.

Lastly, I live in the Green Street West ward of Newham which according to the 2011 Census has the highest concentration of Muslims in London. They are my neighbours and I like and respect them even when I don’t agree with them. I think they know that.

Q10: You took a strong stand against same-sex marriage. That isn’t going to get UKIP votes from the LGBT-types.

AC: Alone of all the national parties, UKIP too stood against same-sex marriage. This gained the party a lot of recognition and votes from social conservatives like me.

The gay marriage debate centred on adult rights and issues and ignored the rights and nurturing needs of children. Also, in order to make their legislation fit the lifestyle of many gays, the government – like a monster Ashley Madison – deliberately undermined the loyalty and faithfulness implicit in traditional marriage.

But currently there is no political will to repeal the Act and, like UKIP, I do not seek to do so.

My Journey Into UKIP

Out of the blue, less than 24 hours before nominations closed on 9th April, I received a call from UKIP London Region chairman asking me if I would be a candidate for the party in the General Election. He wanted me to stand in the Brent North constituency where the intended candidate apparently had gone AWOL.

Immediately I consented. Then, working with local activists, we managed to submit the required papers, signatures and deposit with just two hours to spare.

ukipIt was an unexpected and personally significant turn of events, so I thought I should email an explanation about my UKIP journey to people close to me. This, then, is what I wrote to them back on 11th April; the UKIP hierarchy requested that I shouldn’t publish it on my blog until today when the General Election campaign is over:

Dear family, friends and colleagues,

In October I joined UKIP, which surprised many, horrified some and delighted others.

Further, over the past month I have been campaigning at weekends for UKIP’s excellent candidate in the party’s most winnable London seat, Dagenham & Rainham. Then this week UKIP suddenly asked me to stand as their paper (that is, nominal or non-campaigning) candidate in the unwinnable Brent North constituency – which I readily accepted.

When I lost my seat on Newham Council in 2010 after eight satisfying years as Christian Peoples Alliance councillor, I decided that my period of electoral politics was over. I’d had my time and I’d done my bit. So I am, perhaps, as surprised as anyone to find myself back in the fray ahead of the general election on 7 May, this time on behalf of a different party.

I thought I’d try to explain why to those who know me and may be puzzled by my recent political conversion to UKIP. If however you are simply not interested or find it boring, please be free to ignore and delete this email.

the crossWhen I became a Christian in my late 20s, my worldview changed dramatically. While there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with the corporate success, high income and jet-set lifestyle that I enjoyed then, I realised immediately that the Christian God rejects egotism, arrogance, selfishness and untruth: Christ showed us that His compassion is for the weak, the voiceless, the marginalised, the deprived, the disabled and the despised.

As a result and following my faith, I left the prosperity of leafy Highgate in north London and moved to inner-city Canning Town in London’s east end, then the most deprived neighbourhood in the country according to the London Research Council. There I founded and became live-in warden of an after-care home for young offenders following their release from prison, and I ended up running a local church and community centre for the disadvantaged docklands population.

My heart was primarily with the outsider and the underdog, so when in 2001 and without consultation Newham Council highhandedly and Mugabe-like announced a brutal housing clearance scheme across Canning Town (“social cleansing” the appalled locals termed it) I moved into action. I door-knocked, leafletted and held mass meetings. I was then elected onto Newham Council as the sole Opposition member facing 59 Labour councillors and a Labour executive Mayor. I was the first non-Labour councillor in Canning Town for nearly a century and this small local earthquake helped kick-start my short political career…

The union of one man and one woman in marriage, faithful to each another “for the procreation of children” and “till death us do part”, is an almost uniquely Christian ordinance. Like Christianity itself, this monogamous ideal has for more than a millennium so influenced our society, culture and language that we hardly notice it; for instance it is a bit of a shaker to consider that if I had been born in, say, traditionalist Africa or Muslim Middle East, my beloved Sally could be merely the first of my three or four wives without anyone batting an eyelid or me breaking the law.

wedding handsThe social benefits of Christian-style faithful marriage have been so great, especially for the nurture and socialisation of the nation’s children, that I put the promotion of the marriage-based family via tax breaks and other incentives at the top of my agenda. For instance when I ran for Mayor of London against Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone in 2008, my prime election pledge was to “Promote marriage and stable family as a long-term solution to youth crime, educational underachievement and child poverty”.

I was stunned therefore when in 2011, without prior notice or indeed, initially, the support of gay campaigning groups like Stonewall, David Cameron commenced his crusade for same-sex marriage and, consequently, the debasing and degrading of traditional marriage. Under the government’s gay marriage legislation, loyalty and faithfulness were negated as a key defining characteristic of marriage (“Go on, be modern, play the field, everyone does”) and, necessarily, so was procreation and the nurture of the marital union’s offspring.

Yet same-sex marriage was not in any of the main parties’ manifestos at the previous general election; there was no Green or White Paper consultation over the issue; debate in Parliament was severely restricted and one-sided; opponents were excoriated as stone-age dinosaurs or homophobes – in this way the whole metropolitan liberal political bubble (led unitedly and enthusiastically by David Cameron, Ed Miliband, Nick Clegg and Boris Johnson) highhandedly rammed through the destruction of this foundational building-block of a healthy society. They betrayed our children and it’s the coming generations who will suffer the consequences.

For me it was the last straw. It was shades of highhanded Newham Council again, but at the national level. Until this betrayal I still had – just – some residual respect for our political elite and our existing party system. But no more. Their cavalier and flagrant abuse of the political process over this vital social issue was, for me, jaw-dropping. They shoved it down our throats, and it made me sick.

But not UKIP.

UKIP is an unsophisticated grass-roots party of mainly ordinary people, warts and all. The leaders make mistakes but deal swiftly with the jesters and worse that any new party attracts.

The leadership has common sense and very real courage: alone they stood against gay marriage; alone they want the UK to exit the corrupt and undemocratic EU; alone they campaign to end to the madness of uncontrolled mass immigration; alone they plan to protect childhood innocence by banning sex education from primary school pre-pubescents.

I don’t agree with some of UKIP’s stuff, but as despised outsiders and in spite of virulent opposition the party has single-handedly shifted the political agenda on both the EU and mass immigration. The party is currently doing the same over health tourism and wages depressed by cheap labour. Yet encouragingly a significant percentage of supporters come from ethnic minorities who too, of course, are outsiders.

So I’ve joined UKIP and am campaigning and nominally standing for the party on 7 May. I want our society to regain its identity and confidence, to come out of the cosy but crumbling rich men’s club that is the EU and to engage independently with the wider world (including Europe) so that we stand or fall by our wits.

friends-fingersI don’t expect all my friends to agree with me (that’s not what friends are for!) or to support UKIP. But it is important to me that you understand why I am actively campaigning for them.

If you want to know more about the moral fury that has driven me into UKIP, I urge you to read my post “Matthew Parris’ Poison” (especially the second half) at www.alansangle.com/?p=1531.

Also if you have any comments, favourable or otherwise, be free to email me. I’d love to hear from you.

Very warmly,

Alan

Minor Is Major

It’s a cast-iron undertaking written in just a couple of lines towards the end of the recent UKIP publication Policies for People, such that you might well miss it. It hasn’t been promoted like the party’s policies for leaving the EU or limiting immigration, and for many it is a minor matter. But it contains a major democratic principle:

“UKIP will amend the smoking ban to give pubs and clubs the choice to open smoking rooms properly ventilated and separated from non-smoking areas.”

scolding nannyThe 2007 blanket ban on smoking in all enclosed public places was a crass piece of infantilising nanny-state legislation and a denial of the right of freedom of association.

If law-abiding and adult citizens in their right minds and fully informed of the likely (medical) consequences choose voluntarily to come together to set up a peaceable smoking club, on what possible grounds can a supposedly mature democracy refuse them?

There are no grounds of course, except the instinctive desire of our masters – whenever they can get away with it – to close down our exasperating liberties, limit our frustrating choices and knock us into the shape they think is good for us.

The ban on smoking in public places where non-smokers are present, such as restaurants, offices and on public transport, is certainly to be welcomed. And there is a good case for the forthcoming ban on smoking in cars when children are passengers.

But the complete and total ban insisted on by our legislators in 2007 – and indeed the current contested proposal to ban smoking in city parks and outdoor areas – amply illustrate the bossy small-minded we-know-best attitude of the governing class that is the antithesis of an open and free participative democracy. They are managers not leaders; they act as political masters not public servants; they use coercion not persuasion; they are long on patronising paternalism and short on grass-roots common sense: and our freedoms of choice and association are suffering because it.

cigarUKIP’s track record is far from perfect, but consistently it shows that the party has the courage to do democracy, challenge established categories, confront the mainstream PC consensus and go where the LibLabCon elite refuses to go. Amending the smoking ban is a brilliant if unnoticed case in point.

So if all goes well on 7th May, next Christmas I’ll once again be free to enjoy a festive cigar alongside a pint and a game of pool in my favourite pub.

It’s yet another reason for joining and voting UKIP.

Sack Revd Giles Fraser – For Christ’s Sake

In my previous post  I told how I have applied to join UKIP. This simple democratic act seems to have caused some fluttering in some dovecotes.

I was contacted by a self-styled ‘business reporter’ from the HuffPost, left-liberals’ right-on answer to the Daily Express, who in his subsequent piece avoided business issues and instead attempted to generate a media puff by citing my three-year-old bullseye post about the gaystapo and claiming that my application had “sparked fury on Twitter”. ukip badgesFortunately UKIP would have none of it and dismissed this with the comment that the party is “very wary of joining in a witch-hunt against somebody who holds those views that the vast majority of the world would also hold” – which explains why UKIP is the popular and rising power in the land.

Another anti-UKIP political weblog, the gay-run PinkNews, also tried to climb on board but in its article it paid me the compliment of accurately quoting at length my views about gay marriage taken from two posts on this blog. I’m grateful for the further coverage.

And down amongst the minnows, here in east London a parochial blog called ForestGate.net ran the unimaginative headline ‘Alan Craig gets kippered’. It claimed that I have always been a bit mad and that I am not really that much of a Christian at all. “Just as Nigel Farage is a bigot who dresses his nasty prejudices up as ‘common sense’, Craig dresses his up in scripture and calls them religious convictions,” it snarled, desperately trying to create some local froth. But I don’t think Forest Gate was listening…

In the previous post ‘Matthew Parris’ Poison’, I highlighted a sniffy article by Times columnist Matthew Parris about Clacton and its residents (“Ten tattoo parlours, no Waterstones”) as a prime example of why UKIP is so popular, coming as it did right from the heart of the out-of-touch metropolitan political class where Matthew Parris resides. I now have another example, but this time from the Guardian:

Rev Giles FraserIn his day job The Revd Canon Giles Fraser was, until 2011, Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral. He is now parish priest at St Mary’s Newington just a few streets from Lambeth Palace, London home of the Archbishop of Canterbury.

The Revd Giles also has a regular Saturday column in the Guardian. Earlier this month he turned his attention to UKIP in a piece headlined “Jesus wasn’t much taken with biological kith and kin – he said we’re all one family”.

For three paragraphs he paraded his professional compassion for a struggling parishioner – whereby, as Christ said, he like the hypocrites has received his reward in full. Then Canon Giles turned his journalistic cannons onto UKIP and, grandstanding for his Guardian readers, pigeonholed UKIP-supporting fellow citizens with a loathing and poison that out-Parrised Parris.

“I despise them (my italics),” he sneered sanctimoniously. “I despise them for their Little England mentality (my italics). I despise them for their total absence (my italics) of fellow-feeling towards vulnerable people who look and sound different. I despise them for the way they scapegoat (my italics) immigrants and whip up (my italics) the resentment of white working class. IDespiseYouBut I especially despise them (my italics) for the way they dress all this up (my italics) as the protection of something they call Christian England.”

This is such inaccurate dishonest hate-fuelled stereotyping that it is a parody of itself. Indeed the article would be laughable if it didn’t come from an establishment figure of the national church. As it is, it is unbelievable and unfair. “Physician, heal thyself,” Jesus might chide him for his inflammatory bigotry. “Take the log out of your own eye.”

The Lord also might remind him that it is not an option for a Christian, especially a Christian minister, to despise anyone whatever their views. “Love your neighbour” and “Love your enemy” are foundational for all Christ’s followers.

Justin WelbyAnd if he doesn’t want to follow Jesus, the Revd Giles should at least listen to his boss just down the road at Lambeth Palace. “The language we use must reflect the value of the human being,” said  Archbishop Justin Welby, rightly, about the recent immigration debate.

By ramping up his language and displaying his bigotry across the columns of the Guardian, the former Canon Chancellor of St Paul’s Cathedral works wonders for UKIP, just like Matthew Parris. But I’m not sure that’s what he intends. And I’m not sure heaven smiles on his article either.

If he continues to write such bile, for UKIP’s sake the Guardian should give him more frequent space and more column inches.

But for Christ’s sake the Archbishop should sack him from the church.

Matthew Parris’ Poison

yes-scotland-poster-dont-let-them-tell-us-we-cantGay marriage illustrated it; Brendon O’Neill exposed it; and more recently the #YesScotland campaign highlighted and traded upon it: the UK’s political class is a corrupt, elitist, irresponsible, disingenuous, patronising, self-serving cartel. It must be urgently broken up and closed down.

Whatever you think of the issue itself, the gay marriage legislation last year was a democratic disgrace. Faithful one man/one woman marriage has been a defining and enduring bedrock of our society and culture – and the preeminent place of nurture for the nation’s children – for a millennium and a half.

lemmingsYet without warning, electoral mandate, Green or White Paper consultation or intelligent debate, and egged on by media, the PR industry, Hollywood celebs and the all-powerful gay lobby on both sides of the Atlantic (the UK perennially follows where the US leads), our political leaders like lemmings rushed off the marriage cliff and into the gay sea while emoting loudly and stupidly that it is “all about love”. Overnight, unitedly and unnecessarily they redefined, enfeebled and wrecked a hugely beneficial social institution.

As a consequence procreation and child-rearing are no longer primary purposes of marriage and conjugal faithfulness is no longer a primary characteristic. Marriage is no longer marriage.

This was extraordinary and irresponsible social vandalism by the Tory Bullingdon boys, their ilk in all parties and their fawning followers on the issue across the political class. Short-sighted adult gay rights today were prioritised over the weighty matters of our children’s upbringing and our society’s tomorrow. And sexual activity, identity, licence and gratification were legislatively endorsed by the Mother of Parliaments as the rising public values of our time. So, like Roman civilisation before us, hereon it’s all downhill.

Brendon ONeillIn a series of biting articles Brendon O’Neill, editor of Spiked Online, excoriated the whole democratically-bankrupt process. The titles of his pieces indicate where he was coming from: ‘The iron fist in the velvet glove of gay marriage’;   ‘Congratulations, gay marriage campaigners – you have completely destroyed the meaning of social progress’; and ‘Gay marriage: a case study in conformism.

The articles are worth reading in full as he incisively challenges the top-down soft-authoritarian imposition of gay marriage by the select liberal metropolitan elite. One sentence exemplifies O’Neill’s thrust: “The push for gay marriage has taken place entirely at the level of respectable society, being spearheaded by tiny handfuls of sharp-suited gay lobbyists, lawyers, celebrities, commentators and the Notting Hill/Hampstead sections of the political class.”

This is the same political class that Alex Salmond railed against so roundly in his #YesScotland referendum campaign; he labelled and damned it as “Westminster” or “London”. An astute Scottish observer of my acquaintance reckons that when all three UK party leaders were forced to drop their above-the-fray aloof posture, leave the capital and make panicky visits north of the border during the last 10 days of the referendum, 5% of Scots promptly switched sides to vote Yes against them.

Clackton on SeaAnd early this month the same patronising arrogance received an airing in its most ugly expression – so ugly that it’s almost a parody of itself. Matthew Parris, columnist for The Times, took a day trip to the former Tory stronghold of Clacton-on-Sea in Essex where a by-election takes place on 9th October and wrote about the experience.

His article reeks of racism, elitism and condescension. He reckons Clacton is peopled by the elderly, the ill, the has-beens and the anti-immigration English. “This is Britain on crutches,” he sneers. “This is tracksuit-and-trainers Britain, tattoo-parlour Britain, all-our-yesterday’s Britain.” “There are ten tattoo-parlours and no Waterstones,” he sniggers.  “Somebody has to represent the static caravans and holiday villages and the people and places that for no fault of their own are not getting where a 21st century Britain needs to be,” he sniffs.

I simply don’t see how a reputable newspaper in our modern egalitarian democracy can publish such neo-Nazi political eugenics. Parris advises the Tories that the residents of Clacton are not part of the metropolitan master race that inhabits Canary Wharf and other gilded, up-market neighbourhoods in the capital and that therefore they safely can be ignored. “The weak, the unlucky, the resentful, the old and the poor will always be the easiest to enlist as clients, for they have nowhere else to go,” he snorts cynically. Joseph Goebbels couldn’t have put it better.

Matthew ParrisOf course even Parris wouldn’t want to hasten their end by consigning the weak, the old and the poor to the gas chamber. But his logic tells the Tories that there is no point in applying the scarce resources of the NHS or the welfare state to such nobodies. Better to invest in the Canary Wharf future than prop up the Clacton past.

It is pure poison. Parris’ stomach-churning and profoundly unChristian attitude towards his fellow citizens is both beneath contempt and amply illustrative of today’s metropolitan political class.

Two weeks ago I spent my first day campaigning for UKIP in Clacton.

Last week I applied to join the party.