Donald MacInnes: It would be childish and unhelpful to compare Ukip to the Nazis...


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The Independent Online

As I dictate these words to my long-time stenographer, Mrs Cooper, I am reclining on my sick bed, its inert, Bauhaus-inspired lines interrupted and, to my shame, very much corrupted by the gothic filigree flourishes of – and there is really no way of putting this elegantly – my hardened snot.

I am recuperating, you see, from perhaps the worst cold that has ever been visited on my respiratory system. And, although the darkest days of it would appear to be mercifully behind me, I would hesitate to put myself at anything more than 40 per cent fit. I thus missed a day in the office, spending it groaning under a blanket on the couch. And not in a good way. The previous three days had been truly memorable in their bleakness. Indeed, if my December 2014 cold had an official poet, it would be Siegfried Sassoon.

This column tends to go online overnight on Friday into Saturday, so I often log into The Independent website and have a read of it, checking for any typos or technical glitches as I'm going to bed. I'll also post it on Facebook and Twitter for my eleven overseas readers. If it hasn't appeared on the Indy website by the time I fall asleep, I'll read it after breakfast on Saturday. However, given that I was so ill this past weekend, I didn't even open my laptop for about 48 hours. When I did? Well…

It seems that you attempt to besmirch the good name of Nigel Farage at your peril. In last week's column I had made the not-in-any-sense-exaggerated claim that the cosy, smiling intolerance and insidious, paranoia-sewing unpleasantness exemplified by NF (blimey; I hadn't even noticed that) shared DNA with the circle-the-wagons mentality shouted from German street corners in the mid-1930s by Men in Brown. This caused a few people to get in touch via Twitter and bleat their displeasure at my impertinence. Actually, now I come to think of it, one of those Twitter bleaters has not had a reply to their question: "Are you serious comparing Ukip to the Nazi party?"

Well, here is my answer: of course I wouldn't seriously compare Ukip to the Nazis. That would be childish and unhelpful. Anyway, there are so few real similarities. Mind you, they are both political parties, so there's one shared feature. And they both use vivid colours on their rosettes and armbands (although Ukip's purple does tend to remind one of the livery of some cheque-cashing payday lender). Then there is each party's choice of logo. Ukip's pound sign is a benign, long-established symbol which they are hijacking to get their message across, nothing like the Germans… But the principal reason why I would never seriously compare the two parties is that I am intellectually under-developed to do so. I don't have the linguistic wherewithal to really do damage to Ukip's purple prose. But someone somewhere will. And that makes me happy.

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