Diary: The candidate even UKIP found too embarrassing


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The Independent Online

Steve Moxon was a Home Office civil servant who won plaudits five years ago when he sacrificed his career to reveal that the immigration service in Sheffield had been asked to "fast track" applications by migrants from East Europe. A month after Mr Moxon blew the whistle, the Immigration Minister Beverley Hughes resigned.

Not much has been heard from him since, though he has written a book called The Great Immigration Scandal and is writing another called The Woman Racket, expounding his thesis that men are the disadvantaged sex.

He was also running for a seat on Sheffield council, as a candidate for the UK Independent Party, but he was dropped as he has proved to be too embarrassing, even for the party that David Cameron once characterised as a collection of "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists, mostly".

Mr Moxon had blogged that the "manifesto" written by the Norwegian mass murderer Anders Breivik was "fully in line" with "scholarship on the origin and development of 'political correctness' fascism (and that is an accurate application of that term)".

For the record, Mr Moxon does not believe that mass murder is the proper way to advance the ideas that he and Breivik have in common. "Breivik's actions were clearly appalling and insupportable," he said.

Electors in Sheffield's Dore and Totley ward can still cast their votes for Mr Moxon, if they wish, but in doing so they won't be voting UKIP.

Widdy wades into 'posh boys' debate

Ann Widdecombe, arguably the second best known woman Tory politician of our lifetime, does not wholly go along with that famous description of David Cameron and George Osborne by Nadine Dorries, also a well known Tory, who called them "two arrogant posh boys".

"Mr Cameron's background is a plus," Ms Widdecombe argued in yesterday's Daily Express. "The country doesn't mind posh but it sure as heck minds arrogance and incompetence and at the moment it thinks it is getting a large dose of both." Very helpful.

Is it time to dust off Big Ben's cell?

While committee clerks scratch their heads over what to do about three former executives from Rupert Murdoch's business empire who are accused of giving misleading evidence the Culture Select Committee, one option seems to have been discarded.

There is a cell underneath the tower that holds Big Ben. No one has been locked up in it since the humanist MP Charles Bradlaugh created a disturbance in 1880 by trying to take his seat after refusing on principle to swear the Oath of Allegiance.

Though it has fallen into disuse, I doubt whether the power of the Commons to lock up miscreants in that cell has ever been rescinded.

So, who will vote for Salford's 'Mr Big'?

One of the places where voters will be choosing a directly elected Mayor today is Salford, near Manchester. There are ten candidates. It can be said without fear of contradiction that the most controversial is a 52-year-old Salford businessman, Paul Massey.

He has been known around Salford for at least 20 years. When the council was discussing a riot that broke out there in July 1992, during which police were lured into an ambush and attacked by men in balaclavas, a councillor – rightly or wrongly – named Mr Massey in the council chamber as "Salford's Mr Big".

In 1999, he stabbed a man in the groin, leaving him for dead, and fled to Amsterdam to avoid justice. He was extradited and served a 14-year jail sentence.

Last December, he was one of five men and a woman arrested by Greater Manchester police investigating money laundering, but he has not been charged and insists that he is innocent. He is entitled to run for Mayor because he has not had any criminal convictions in the past five years.

If elected, Mr Massey has generously offered to do the job for no salary. What a gent.