Farage channels his inner Pol Pot

UKIP, the party keeps telling us, is not like all the other political parties.

Yet as the Conservative and Labour parties are coming in for justified criticism for trying to conceal their broken promises and ridicule-worthy releases by removing significant chunks of content from their websites and YouTube channels, UKIP has joined in the party political airbrushing of history with a Year Zero moment worthy of Pol Pot.

The party has, according to Bloomberg, wiped everything from its web archive prior to January this year and there is not a single Farage speech pre-dating March.  The story highlights a topical, apparent change of policy that has been erased as part of the disappeared UKIP 2010 election manifesto:

While the party now opposes the planned high-speed north-south rail line, the 2010 document advocated building three new routes. “We’re in the process of updating everything,” Heaver said by telephone. “We’re going through a policy review.”

We can but imagine on what other subjects UKIP is going to change tack now it thinks it has hidden its previous positions from scrutiny in an effort to avoid allegations of flip-flopping on policy.  It is becoming increasingly difficult to identify differences between the cynical mainstream party approach and the way Farage runs UKIP.  The long journey from idealistic mould-breaking party to full member of the establishment continues apace.

How long are UKIP members going to continue kidding themselves their party isn’t run in every bit as cynical a manner as the ones they profess to be so different from?

8 Responses to “Farage channels his inner Pol Pot”

  1. 2 kenomeat 16/11/2013 at 1:01 am

    AM , yours was the first political blog I ever read and I used to take great pleasure in introducing your insightful criticisms of the EU to my like-minded colleagues at work. I am now retired and a member of UKIP and (this may be the whisky talking) am becoming a little irritated by your apparent change in targets from the EU to UKIP. The headline on your latest piece is a case in point. I fail to see anything particularly sinister in a party undergoing a policy review, especially as any changes are likely to be minor or simply changes in emphasis, Then why erase previous speeches etc? Why not. It may be just a tidying up exercise but you have chosen to believe it to be a dastardly attempt to hide something; as if admitting to a different policy in the past but now having a different policy is somehow a bad thing.
    A few weeks ago you suspended your blog through frustration at Ukippers attacking you or (more commonly) defending Farage and his refusal to countenance the Article 50 option or to have a viable exit strategy. Your criticisms were, indeed, reasonable, but this latest attack is going too far. You answered one of my recent comments by confirming that you had no intention of voting for UKIP at the next GE. This is disappointing. Of course you have a right not to use your vote but surely a large UKIP vote can only help our cause.
    I will continue to read your blog every day because of the quality of content. But I do hope that you will remember who the enemies are. Ukip may be performing poorly in your view and missing many opportunities to damage the opposition, but they are still (realistically) the best we have in the short to medium term. Your HA may well be the ideal but it is decades away and we can’t wait that long.

  2. 3 Autonomous Mind 16/11/2013 at 7:47 am

    I don’t like hypocrisy, Kenomeat, no matter where I find it. UKIP makes a great deal of not being like the other parties, but it is acting exactly the same way as the rest.

    Clearly you’ve not read what I have explained elsewhere. THA is not a rival to UKIP. So there is no point in trying to contrive an impression that I am talking down UKIP to boost THA. I’m doing nothing of the sort.

    If you don’t like any focus on UKIP where, despite claiming to be anti establishment or even anti politics grouping, they are shown to be just another tribal entity that are more of the same, then why not use your membership to change things from the inside? Unless that is you are quite content with UKIP achieving nothing other than securing a nice EU pay, expenses and pension package for Farage and his handpicked preferiti?

    I’ve laid my cards on the table previously. I want UKIP to get its act together, get in the fight and do what it was formed to do in striving to get the UK out of the EU. Under Farage UKIP and its objective has been more than blurred. It is failing Eurosceptics and its antics are letting the whole side down. The party is so amateurish, despite a fortune spent on hiring advice which is then ignored with the adviser fired for some trumped up reason or other, it is almost dysfunctional.

    Whether or not a political party can make any difference via the ballot box, and you know my argument there, the fact is UKIP has previously asserted itself and been recognised by many as the anti-EU organisation. Therefore we still need it to use its profile and platform in a beneficial way for the anti-EU lobby. Its subsequent failures are undermining the Eurosceptics. So I am hardly going to surround them in loving embrace, am I?

  3. 4 kenomeat 16/11/2013 at 11:14 am

    Thank you AM for your detailed reply. I apologise for suggesting that you were talking down UKIP to boost THA. I accept that they are not rivals.

    You ask “..why not use your membership to change things from the inside?” I have neither the wit nor wisdom to reach a position in UKIP where I could have any influence. Nor am I interested in getting embroiled in local party politics beyond possibly distributing some leaflets for them. Anyway, I have to disagree with your statement that UKIP is achieving nothing. But I accept that it could do more to counter the FUD.

    Some time ago Farage made it clear that UKIP was going to be more than a single issue party; that it would fight elections on a whole range of issues. I think the move broadened its appeal because the majority of the electorate were simply not interested in the EU. There may, as a consequence, have been a recent lack of focus on its original objective but surely that is understandable when it is being questioned on a whole host of topics rather than just the EU. To gain credibility as a political party, especially if it wants to overtake the Lib Dems, UKIP must have a policy on everything.

    In summary, I accept your frustration that UKIP should be doing a lot better but still maintain that all eurosceptics should get behind it at the next GE.

  4. 5 Autonomous Mind 16/11/2013 at 1:23 pm

    What is interesting about this broader appeal UKIP claim to have achieved is that their increase in support has been in direct correlation with the level of support previously given to the BNP.

    Hoovering up BNP votes might see a bump of several percentage points, but it turns off other potential support that does not want to be associated with such people. UKIP has created a glass ceiling for itself. It has limited its own potential.

    You’re right that Farage said UKIP would be more than a single issue party. At the time it was clear the focus on Brexit, that UKIP was created to achieve, would wane. Time has borne this out.

    UKIP made that change because other parties mocked them for being EU focused. Instead of re-doubling efforts to show how so many of the things that anger voters are direct consequences of EU membership, UKIP took fright and played into the hands of the Europhiles. The party has been neutered because it reacted to taunts from Europhile parties with a vested interest in undermining UKIP by dragging the party onto their ground. There’s no easy way to say this, but UKIP sold out.

  5. 6 flyinthesky 16/11/2013 at 5:53 pm

    Kenomeat, I too am a member of UKIP and as far as my old bones permit an activist also.
    I have found AM’s an others continual attacks disconcerting to say the least but one has to be mindful of their frustrations also.
    The charge laid against the party of being focused and continually “banging on” about the eu has led to a broad base of sensible policies and now promote these issues ahead of their core intent, they now find themselves in a damned if you do and damned if you don’t situation.
    My concern is are they losing sight of the core issue swayed by the benefit and trinkets of office thereby as much wanting to remain in the game as win it.
    My hope is that they’re doing a powder dry exercise and state a ground breaking set of proposals at the most pertinent time.
    As for AM’s suggestion of reforming UKIP from the inside that’s a non starter as it would be with the established parties only syncophantic opinion would and is canvassed. Richard tried that and look where that led.
    My Mantra: almost every problem we face as a nation, from dustbins to national security, have an eu component preventing their satisfactory resolution.
    Most polls cite the eu issue as far down the list of priority circa #10, the powers that be and the eu itself are happy with this, what is deliberately concealed is that the 9 issues that they do attach more importance to has the fingers of the eu all over them, UKIP should be continually all over this and illustrating it at every opportunity.
    Disappointingly UKIP have missed or ignored massive opportunities to capitalise on the situations, even I could have scored.
    That said they will continue to get my membership and support as contrary to other opinion they are still the only game in town.

  6. 7 kenomeat 17/11/2013 at 12:54 am

    Flyinthesky, I think we have exactly the same viewpoint on this subject.

  1. 1 UKIP Flip Flop Policies in Cover-Up « UKIP-vs-EUkip Trackback on 16/11/2013 at 10:20 am
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