In a one-man crusade for the truth, Kilroy can get rid of the facts don't matter

The MEP shows who's boss after falling out with UKIP by launching a new party, Veritas. Johann Hari reports
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The Independent Online
I AM sitting, semi-conscious, listening to Robert Kilroy-Silk. He stands before a braying pack, all desperate to make their point. It is like being a student again. Except this time, he is not hosting a "discussion" about a depressed single mum who is pregnant by her father's boyfriend's cat, and I am not in bed retching. No; I am at the birth of Veritas, the party founded to accommodate Kilroy's self-regard. I am at the press conference that will "change Britain forever".

It is time to "end the corrupt, lying politics that dominate this country", Kilroy says with the faintly angry expression I know so well from adolescent years spent rotting in front of Z-list daytime TV. "I am here to speak the truth. It's quite an innovation in politics, isn't it? The truth. But that's why I am running." The People have demanded that He - and only He - can save us now. "When I go to northern market-towns, they come up to me - ordinary people - and they say, `We won't vote. Not unless you stand. Then we'll vote'." He pauses carefully and adds: "And Muslims come up to me. They say, `Why do they ban Christmas carols? We want to sing Christmas carols'." Ah yes, the persecution of the carol-singing Muslims. Yes, only Kilroy will bring us the Truth, I begin to chant slowly.

A rhythmic, self-righteous speech began to ooze from him, full of pledges to "speak the truth, the truth, the truth". The late Roy Jenkins once proposed a test for politicians' speeches. He said that you know a speech is meaningless when saying the opposite would be absurd. Here is the opposite of what Kilroy said yesterday: "The British people want politicians who lie. We are going to ignore the British people and lie to them. We will ignore our compatriots at every single opportunity, in markets and towns across the country. We will not address the needs and aspirations of the British people, ever. They do not want change."

But then Kilroy slithered up to a statement that really does deserve to be reversed. "Mass immigration into this country is a very serious problem. We are the only country to have a mass immigration policy, except for open countries like Australia and the United States." I sat upright, broken from my hypnotic trance. What? Australia has more restrictive immigration laws than us, I thought, and we take fewer immigrants than France or Germany. "This policy is changing the nature of our society and our communities. Lives are being destroyed by the pressures of immigration. Our country is being stolen from us."

Stolen? By immigrants? But if you do the sums, if you add up how much immigrants and asylum seekers cost us, and how much they put back into the economy, you'll find they make a net contribution of pounds 2.5bn. This country is richer and happier because of immigration. But facts have no place here; rivers of blood are flowing from Kilroy. "This is not an independent country. Our politicians have betrayed us," he is saying, his fists tightening around an imaginary neck.

I can't stand much more of this, so I decide to talk to some of the people Kilroy is attracting. The first person I meet milling outside is Paul Becque, a smartly dressed, slightly shiny man who explains he is from Dover. "I've been working on cruise ships for the past 20 years, and I just came back to Dover and I was amazed. The town is a disgrace. The country is a disgrace. There's only one cinema in Dover and it's only got 50 seats." I look a bit puzzled, but he continues. "There are lots of asylum-seekers. They congregated in certain parts of the town and took them over. They stabbed a kid and he had to have 280 stitches. They rape girls. We have to sort Dover out."

Shaken though I am, I must admit: Veritas has converted me. I used to dismiss one particular far-right belief, but now I see it is true. David Icke has long argued that many of our politicians are, in fact, seven- foot lizards with human masks. As I gaze on Kilroy, his skin stretched tight across his face, his eyes bulging as he spits out the word "asylum- seekers" to the cameras one last time, it's time we all admitted it. Icke is right.