UKIPwatch had a bit of fun reading Nigel Farage's shameless interview with Iain Dale in the new Total Politics magazine.
In it, Nigel claims that "we are a non-racist, non-sectarian, pro-libertarian outfit. We are so far away from the image of the authoritarian right on issue after issue." But, this is simply not true and Nigel does rather spoil it at the end of the interview by admitting that his political hero is the 'mad prophet' Enoch Powell of 'rivers of blood' notoriety, whose anti-immigrant and anti-foreigner rhetoric inspired both Monday Club Toryism and the National Front in the 1970s and, latterly, the BNP.
Besides, you only have to spend an evening with a UKIP MEP/official or check out the party faithful on the Democracy Forum to see that they are, with a few honourable exceptions, a collection of hang 'em and flog 'em, right-wing authoritarians and assorted lunatics and conspiracy theorists. If you called Tory defector, and now UKIPs sole MP, Bob Spink a libertarian, he'd punch you in the jaw.
Farage also reveals his contempt for his own MEPs, admitting that "you attract a few people you would rather not have had" and, in a thinly veiled reference to convicted benefit fraudster Ashley Mote MEP and the alleged expense abuses by Tom Wise MEP, "part of the weakness of being a small, grassroots based party (is that) a con man can come along and con people".
More astonishing chutzpah can be found in his claim that "there is no preferential treatment for existing MEPs or party officers." Funny then that Gregg Beaman, a UKIP stalwart in the North-West who topped the members ballot to claim the No 1 spot on the UKIP list in the region was swiftly forced to stand down in favour of new party chairman Paul Nuttall, who, lest we forget, was personally appointed by Farage without the agreement of the UKIP NEC. No favouritism for your cronies, Nigel? Come off it!
It's also good to see that Nigel Farage's commitment to public service knows no bounds. On being asked "have you ever thought: why am I doing this" Nige replies "every month when I get my bank statement". Is he really saying that £60,000, plus expenses, not forgetting the £25,000 Farage pays his wife to work as his secretary, is not enough to live on?
It all rather smacks of Godfrey Bloom's remark upon hearing that his parliamentary salary would be just under £60,000 that "I can't possibly live off that"! If Farage is really claiming that MEPs, particularly those that do as little work as UKIP MEPs, deserve to be paid more, then he needs his head examining.