Nazi Dancers, Homophobic Leaflets And More - Five Things That Happened At Ukip’s Conference
The Debrief: With only two months to go until the general election, the UKIP conference was not without controversy...
This weekend just gone, Margate in Kent, played host to UKIP’s party conference. The party, which has two MPs but is currently polling at 14% (for context, Labour and Conservatives tie 34%, Lib Dems are at 8% and Greens at 5%) had its members give speeches, throw fundraisers and do those informal pub visits its leader, Nigel Farage, loves so much. In lieu of actual policies being announced, here’s your need-to-know on perhaps the most interesting stuff to have happened at the conference...
1. Homophobic leaflets were handed out
The Christian Soldiers In UKIP handed out leaflets complaining about an educational drive to stomp homophobic bullying: ‘What the LGBT are achieving, of course, is a recruitment drive. As such people cannot reproduce their own kind, they must recruit fresh blood and this is best done among children in schools, the younger the better. The Government, through Gove and Morgan, has given them carte blanche.’
Yikes! UKIP issued an apology, explaining: ‘These groups are authorised but not official, they are mechanisms for members with shared interests to associate but have no official role or status. They do not represent the party or its policies. The apology’s pretty funny. Why? As PinkNews.co.uk found, it’s almost identical in wording to the apology given by UKIP when the same Christian Soldiers in UKIP handed out flyers saying gay people were ‘sodomites’.
2. Protestors outnumbered supporters
Police were called in after 250 anti-UKIP protesters turned up to the conference. Only 50 UKIP supporters were there to meet them. Conflict was minor, with a spokeswoman telling MailOnline: ‘There have been some very minor verbal exchanges. No one has been injured and the protest has generally been conducted peacefully.’ Which sounds a tiny bit boring, until you hear what one had to say: ‘We're here to stand up to the racist lies UKIP have been promoting for years. We're here to give a very clear message that immigration has nothing to do with the financial mess we're in at the moment. UKIP is a right-wing populist racist party and they give fuel to the fire of the fascists.’
3. A female member promised to scrap the Women and Equalities minister
According to UKIP MEP Janice Atkinson - you know, the one who called a Thai UKIP supporter a ‘ting-tong from somewhere’? – she would ‘not be having a Minister for Women and Equalities’, reports The Independent, because apparently women and minorities don’t need a little leg-up in a cabinet that has 17 men and just five women.
4. People dressed as Nazis turned up and danced outside
Really. The performers, wearing skimpy black impressions of Gestapo uniforms, sang Springtime For Hitler, reports The Mirror. They weren’t organised by the actual Ukippers, instead they were there to promote a local production of The Producers, which sounds a load more entertaining than the conference, to be honest.
5. Transwoman Kellie Maloney gave a speech in support of the party.
Kellie Maloney, the former boxing promoter who went public about her transition last year, gave a tearful speech to close the conference. Nigel Farage later said she was proof that the party is ‘open to everyone’. She read out a poem that two children had originally written for their trans parent after they committed suicide: ‘This poem I am going to read is a really personal poem for me and my family.
‘Both my daughters and I met this brother and sister and my daughters feared they might have to do this at my funeral but we pulled through all our dark moments.’
It’s fantastic that Kellie – a long time supporter of the party – is accepted within its ranks, but in terms of UKIP’s actual policies on trans people’s rights? Um... there are none.
With almost 60 days to go until the election, Farage also threatened that more Conservative MPs (there have been two so far) will defect to his party.
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