UKIP in backlash for firing activist on gay marriage


11:30 pm - January 8th 2013

by Sunny Hundal    


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UKIP is facing a backlash tonight from its own members after the chair of Young Independence (the party’s youth wing), Olly Neville, was abruptly ousted from his role.

His offence? Stating his opinion in the media that Cameron was right to pursue the legalisation of same sex marriage. So much for the party’s dedication to libertarianism.

Olly Neville himself published emails on Twitter that recounted his removal as chair.

(Update: he has now deleted tweets with emails. I didn’t save the larger versions, sadly)

He added

UKIP, the democratic party!

So, just to recap:
– UKIP fire their youth chair unceremoniously for taking a position that apparently contradicted party policy, though it was unclear since Farage is always evasive.

– The party’s chair admits their focus isn’t on Westminster because they have no representation there.

– UKIP are neither libertarian, democratic, nor particularly willing to encourage free thinkers.

One UKIP elections officer said on Twitter tonight he was resigning. Several others have also pledged to do so.

Meanwhile, UKIP’s communications man Gawain Towler helplessly claimed on Twitter that Neville’s removal was nothing to do with his views on gay marriage.

Others highlighted Farage’s hypocrisy:

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About the author
Sunny Hundal is editor of LC. Also: on Twitter, at Pickled Politics and Guardian CIF.
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Reader comments


Further proof that the anti-EU position is, inevitably, something that leads to extreme right wing positions on just about everything else. “left” anti EU idiots take note. Also Cruddas.

Jim Denham,

Yes, because The Communist Party of GB, Tony Benn, Bob Crow, and the late Michael Foot are/were all raging swivel eyed right wingers, weren’t they?

3. Richard Carey

Well said, Arouet.

@ Jim Denham, ironically that kind of knee-jerk reaction is often associated with right-wingers.

Especially in light of Jonathan Calder’s tweet, the gay marriage part doesn’t put UKIP and its supposed libertarianism in a good light (though that’s always been a sham – they’re a right-wing populist party and they know it).

Having said that, in UKIP’s defence they seem just as annoyed (or even slightly more so) about Neville going way off-message with regard to electoral strategy, the 2014 Euros and UKIP’s parliamentary position. If I were them, I probably would be annoyed at what the chair rightly calls Neville’s “political ineptitude”. Luckily though, I’m not them, so I get to sit back and laugh.

UKIP are trying to do what all 3rd parties have the luxury of doing – being all things to all people. Right wing classic liberals like myself choose between the LibDems, UKIP and the Tories (probably in that order), however LibDems while appealing for my vote also appealed for malcontent Labour votes, and hand wringing environmental votes, and the establishment are all in it together votes… now that they’re in government they can’t position themselves in this way – they can’t please all of the people all of the time.

UKIP cannot afford to be vocally socially liberal because the Little Englanders will drop their vote, and they can’t afford to be vocally reactionary (in recent years they’ve really clamped down on that) because they’ll alienate people like me.

I’m uncomfortable voting for them because while I don’t believe in a EU superstate I also feel that the party has a bit of an reactionary taint to them.

the bnp,ukip,the green party,the liberals,what have they all got in commen,yes,they will never ever get elected as a proper goverment to run this country,protest partys like the above are what they say on the tin,protest vote partys.2 party state tory or old/new labour is the way it is always going to be,simple as that.case closed my my noble lords.

7. tigerdarwin

Farage went to an expensive but second rate private school, he failed academically. He also failed as a stockbroker. He is not the first right wing xenophobe to be a schoolboy failure/ career , nor will he be the last.

Once the spotlight is truly on him he will evaporate like gas in the wind.

I actually hope they do well so they keep the Tories out, somehow however I think this is the first of their many many mistakes.

8. tigerdarwin

@2
There was a strong strand of Euroscepticism in Labour, it is less bitter than the Tories and would be very convenient for Labour if it reignited.

Well if UKIP is after more younger voters I suspect Neville’s position on gay marriage will likely win more over than the main party’s stance, given we’re talking about the generation that increasingly knew and has gay friends at high school while growing up.

“I’m uncomfortable voting for them because while I don’t believe in a EU superstate I also feel that the party has a bit of an reactionary taint to them.”

I may overcome my discomfort in the European elections, despite being in a gay marriage.

11. Chaise Guevara

@ 1 Jim Denham

“Further proof that the anti-EU position is, inevitably, something that leads to extreme right wing positions on just about everything else.”

Correlation is not causation. I notice you provide no reasoning behind your hypothesis, which is hardly self-evident.

12. Chaise Guevara

@ 9 Cylux

“Well if UKIP is after more younger voters I suspect Neville’s position on gay marriage will likely win more over than the main party’s stance, given we’re talking about the generation that increasingly knew and has gay friends at high school while growing up.”

Could have benefits beyond that: when you’re generally perceived as being hard-right, being liberal on things like this might soften your image.

1@Jim Denham.

Sorry Jim but whilst happy to stand politically well left of New Labour and to be seen as a critic of a less than openly democratic European Federation/Superstate without personally having had the opportunity to vote on it, I really resent being called an idiot.
The term might have served Victorian enumerators to describe anyone with a physical/mental disability but I had hoped we had moved on from that.

Some absolutely kosher libertarians have joined UKIP but, it has to be said, they are pretty much acting as infiltrators- most UKIP members are instinctively social conservatives despite Farage’s wishful statements. They don’t read Rand and Rothbard- they read the Daily Mail.

That said, there is a cherished tradition of entryism in UK politics and, who knows, our boys may have some success.

@15 good luck !

16. Left Not Liberal

Jim Denham wrote

“Further proof that the anti-EU position is, inevitably, something that leads to extreme right wing positions on just about everything else. “left” anti EU idiots take note.”

That is logical fallacy 101 – “all swans are white therefore everything white is a swan”. Your average five year could see what toss that is.

17. Left Not Liberal

Jim Denham wrote

“Further proof that the anti-EU position is, inevitably, something that leads to extreme right wing positions on just about everything else. “left” anti EU idiots take note.”

Logical fallacy 101: ‘all swans are white therefore everything white is a swan’. A five year old could see through this utter toss.

18. Planeshift

“.2 party state tory or old/new labour is the way it is always going to be”

Unless you live in Scotland or Wales.

@2. Arouet

Actually the Communist Party of Great Britain support the European Union. The Communist Party of Britain, however (a very different organisation) IS anti-EU. Just to clear the very muddy 57-varieties water.

Do libertarians necessarily support gay marriage? Even the Rothbard-Rockwell conservative faction?

Do libertarians necessarily support gay marriage? Even the Rothbard-Rockwell conservative faction?

They have devised a rather long winded way of saying no, largely involving the phrase ‘out of the marriage business’, which they only really started pushing around the 27th of June 2003.

You seem to be very keen to take everything this chap says at face value.

No mention of his support for the legalisation of necrophilia and beastiliaty then?

He was embarrassing UKIP. Nevertheless, poor guy never once glorified leftist dictators and mass-murderers (Benn, Galloway, numerous other Labour MPs). And some jokers above have the nerve to talk about ‘extremism’. Some of us still remember Militant and all those fun games.

The little moron should have kept his mouth shut.

24. Chaise Guevara

@ 21 Cylux

“They have devised a rather long winded way of saying no, largely involving the phrase ‘out of the marriage business’, which they only really started pushing around the 27th of June 2003.”

Rather good synopsis, this.

What sort of amateurish excuse for a political party puts a 20-year-old on The World at One, anyway?

But Nigel Farage was in favour of same-sex “marriage” until David Cameron decided to legislate for it. Farage is also on record in support of the legalisation of drugs, another of the apparent heresies of young Olly Neville, and on record in support of the legalisation of prostitution.

I told you. Both the Old Right and the New Right think that UKIP is, solely, specially and exclusively of, by and for them. As it were, they cannot both be right. Neither is prepared to be part of a broader coalition. Each feels that has been there, done that, and ritually burned the T-shirt.

But the same party cannot be solely, specially and exclusively of, by and for both conservatives and libertarians (Neville describes himself on his Twitter page as “an Anarchist. No Gods No Masters”), both Unionists and English separatists, both economic patriots and “free”-marketeers, both foreign policy realists who put Britain and the Commonwealth first and those who wish to make the world anew at the barrel of a gun commanded by an American in the interests of an Israeli.

Those of you whingeing about the Obama Administration’s intervention, expressing the same view as every one of its predecessors since the 1940s, you are the ones who want the whole world to be run by America.

UKIP is starting to unravel. That unravelling will not take long.


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