Sunday 25 January 2015

Ukip's sour grapes

Amid much wailing and gnashing of teeth, Ukipists are in full apoplexy over the defection of Amjad Bashir, in a hurry to denounce the apostate. I'm minded to reserve judgement on the man's apparently dodgy dealings. But it's interesting that Ukip are now in a rush to dish all the dirt, which means they have been aware of his colourful history for some time - and it suited them to ignore it while the going was good.

It remains to be seen if any of it stands, but one does not imagine the Tories would be in any rush to accept a Ukip cast off without thorough checks first, but you never know. Ukip does not have the monopoly on bone-headedness. But it doesn't actually matter. What does matter is that, whether he's dodgy or not, Bashir is certainly not what you'd call a heavyweight, nor indeed is he particularly bright. The Tories ought to have rejected him on that basis alone - and embracing him so readily may just come back to haunt them. But it's Ukip who might well worry. Should he turn out to be a wrong 'un then Farage has knowingly shielded him and allowed him to remain, apparently amid urgent warnings to get rid of him. Make of that what you will.

But yet again we will have seen another talentless, sub-par Farage appointee producing negative, but avoidable, headlines for Ukip. A point somewhat lost on Ukipists who still think Farage knows what he's doing. Indeed Raheem Kassam, Farage's strategy spiv, was so convinced that Bashir "represents everything Ukip stands for" he was pressing for Bashir to be the candidate for Newark. In his estimation, a Bradford curry house owner would do well in a middle class rural shire. What on earth was he smoking?

But here above we really see what Ukip is really about. Buck passing. Suzanne Evans is now seeking to deflect from her own incompetence along with that of Aker for failing to produce Ukip policy. The simple fact of the matter is that policy should have been done and dusted long before Christmas ready for a manifesto publication. Now we learn Ukip hadn't even checked if the groundwork was done.

If Bashir had not been producing the goods, disciplinary measures should have been taken months ago. And one has to ask why the election campaign document has been such an after thought for a party which should be keen to capitalise on its media presence. Now it looks like the Ukip manifesto will be recycled passages from Suzanne Evans's book "Why vote Ukip?", which has already been widely lampooned, and it would not be unfair to say it will follow in the Ukip tradition of scatter-gun church tombola suggestions - when we were promised professionalism.

This is a matter of professionalism, management, integrity, strategic acumen and leadership. And once again we see Ukip showing nothing of the kind, with all roads leading back to Farage once more. But as ever, to the cultists, nobody but Bashir is to blame. It's always someone else's fault. And that pretty much sums up the character of Ukip losers and their politics. The first reaction is always to look outward for somebody else to blame, be it Muslims, immigrants or the "LibLabCon". That's what it takes to make it in Ukip. They are losers in every conceivable way.

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