Sunday 26 May 2013

UKIP founder says party has “gone completely fruitcake”

Remember Professor Alan Sked? He was the original founder of UKIP in 1993 but left the party shortly after the 1997 general election. Today he is the subject of an entertaining interview in the Sunday Telegraph:
Professor Alan Sked, who set up the euro-sceptic party 20 years ago, believes the party has become “anti-immigrant, anti-intellectual and racist”.
In an interview with The Sunday Telegraph, the historian also revealed that he once expelled Nigel Farage, the party’s ebullient leader.
Sked seems to think he has created a Frankenstein’s monster:
“My great regret is that the party I founded has been captured by the radical Right and has gone all anti-intellectual. It’s gone completely fruitcake.”
He obviously has little time for UKIP’s present leader:
The academic paints a vivid picture of a young Mr Farage, the loquacious and hard-living former City trader who has led Ukip since 2006.
Prof Sked said it was not uncommon for the commodities broker to turn up at the party’s national executive evening meetings in a “relaxed” mood after a long day working — and drinking — in the Square Mile.
Not just drinking but, worse, bad grammar:
The academic also said that he received letters complaining about the spelling and grammar used in Mr Farage’s election literature.
“There seemed to be a bit of problem distinguishing its from it’s,” Prof Sked recalled, adding that Mr Farage did admit that writing was not his area of expertise.
“It was not always easy to portray us as a party that took education very seriously in such circumstances.” Mr Farage attended Dulwich College, the leading public school, in south London.
Ukip’s original leader even said that he tried to oust Mr Farage when he organised a conference exploring Ukip’s future direction after it failed to win any seats in the 1997 general election.
UKIP contains the seeds of its own destruction. These seeds seem to propagating nicely. We need to switch our attention to a more fundamental problem, popular disaffection from democratic politics, which has created the space for a party even as chaotic as UKIP to thrive.

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