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Matthew d’Ancona has unwittingly shown why people want to vote Ukip

22 May 2014

10:24 AM

22 May 2014

10:24 AM

Well it’s polling day, and if anybody wants a spur to vote Ukip they have two options: Peter Oborne’s stirring cover piece in the new issue of The Spectator and Matthew d’Ancona’s column in yesterday’s Evening Standard.

If the sight of white activists pretending to be Romanians so that they could accuse black UKIP members of ‘racism’ did not push you over the edge, then d’Ancona’s column probably will.

His article was headlined: ‘We must expose UKIP as the racist party it is.’ This is some promise: for years, Ukip’s enemies have been trying to suggest that the party is racist. D’Ancona’s evidence? Ukip seemed to be racist because it – like the vast majority of the British public – is opposed to mass immigration. Then, happily ignoring the crime figures on Romanian immigrants in London (which Rod Liddle writes about in some detail in the Spectator today), d’Ancona said:

‘Last week, in an astonishing LBC interview, he [Farage] went even further: “I was asked if a group of Romanian men moved in next door, would you be concerned? And if you lived in London, I think you would be.”’ 

D’Ancona then adds:

‘If this is not racist, then nothing is racist.’ 

Really? Nothing? That’s not how I see it. Kristallnacht was racist. Apartheid South Africa was racist. The Rape of Nanking was racist. But to refer to an LBC interview with Nigel Farage as ‘racist’ is to rob the word of any meaning. It’s also a grave insult to those fighting genuine racism, in London and elsewhere. It strikes me as shameful that the ‘racism’ card is played so blithely.

D’Ancona concludes by asking his London readers to rise above the provincial Ukippery and save the rest of the knuckle-draggers in the country from themselves. He even crow-bars in the Olympics, finishing:

‘So — as so often in history — it is left to Londoners to speak for the nation. Tomorrow, they will vote for representatives in 32 boroughs, choose four borough mayors, and select eight MEPs to go to Strasbourg. Ukip has a single elected borough councilor, in Havering, although the party claims that 19 further individuals have defected to its banner. One of our eight MEPs is Ukip’s Gerald Batten. Two years ago, in an unforgettable Olympic summer, the voters of London reminded the world that this is the truly global city. Tomorrow, they should speak out again.’ 

A political elite and its supporters in the media has spent weeks trying to brow-beat the public into believing that it is not just wrong, but actually ‘racist’ not to vote Conservative, Liberal Democrat or Labour. D’Ancona is simply elaborating on a theme that has been played through most of Fleet St – even The Sun has depicted Farage as a demonic figure.

What effect will this have, as Britain goes to the polls? I don’t know how many people are tempted to lend their vote to Ukip in this election. But after this gang-up on the British public, you can certainly see why so many people are willing to take up Farage’s offer: to give this bullying and smearing political-media class, the bloody nose they deserve.

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