Andy McSmith's Diary: Ukip’s ‘rising star’ is rising no more; she’s quit in disgust

Back in November 2011, Ukip posted a video on YouTube in which Nigel Farage tried to knock on the head the notion that Ukip was a “whites only” party – propagated, he said, by The Independent and The Guardian – which was peopled by “very angry old men.” As evidence, he produced an 18-year-old named Sanya-Jeet Thandi, who had taken that autumn’s Ukip conference by storm. “A rising star of the party,” he called her.

As such, she was on Channel 4 only this month defending Ukip’s immigration policies, on the grounds that Ukip would give equal treatment to all would-be immigrants while the EU favours EU citizens.

But Sanya-Jeet Thandi is a rising star of Ukip no more. She has quit in disgust at the anti-immigrant campaign Ukip is now running. “Ukip is exploiting the stupidity of ignorant anti-immigrant voters for electoral gain,” she wrote. “While the party deliberately attracts the racist vote I refuse to be associated with them.”

Ukip’s garagistes

The events of the past couple of days have also raised questions about how much certain members of Ukip value free speech. Janice Atkinson, who chairs the party in the South-east, thinks protesters who shout “fascist” at Ukip members should be arrested. And an unidentified councillor sent for the police because he objected to a tweet posted by a Green blogger, Michael Abberton, lampooning Ukip policy. Finally, the Camden New Journal recorded a Ukip candidate in West Hampstead, Magnus Neilsen, reflecting that the Reform Acts of 1832 and 1888, which extended the vote to working-class men, may have been a mistake.

But there is a group of Ukip activists who value free expression – their own, if no one else’s. Protesting against the treatment of “hard-working, right-thinking, garage-owning Brits”, they have been busy in Cambridge decorating the doors of a row of garages with large black vinyl letters spelling out the words “Farage garage” – which they presumably pronounce so that the two words rhyme, though some of us make Farage rhyme with barrage and garage with carriage.

The letters were easily removed without damage to the doors, but when Cambridge News asked Ukip’s Cambridge branch chairman, Peter Burkinshaw, what he thought of this stunt, he replied: “I hate graffiti of all kinds. I think these messages should be illegal.” Spoken like a true Ukipper.

Where’s Benn?

Voters in Croydon, in south London, have noticed an odd omission from an advertisement in their local freesheet. It is from the local Conservatives and lists their candidates in 23 wards in the borough, but not the 24th, West Thornton, although they have three candidates on the ballot paper there. West Thornton is a Labour ward, where one of the Labour candidates is Emily Benn, granddaughter of the late Tony Benn.

Pippa’s body blow

What a shock it was to read in the Press Gazette that The Daily Telegraph had dropped its star columnist Pippa Middleton because, allegedly, the readers did not rate her and the columns “ran out of ideas” for subjects that Prince William’s sister-in-law could safely cover.

I mean, who could fail to be stirred by Ms Middleton’s incisive thoughts on Pancake Day – “savoury versions aren’t my first choice. I’m more of a crêpe Suzette girl, especially after a day’s skiing”; or the circus – “Of course, the potential for accidents is huge but injuries rarely happen”; or cocktails – “The best thing about learning to mix cocktails is that you get to drink what you make.”

It’s a body blow to contemporary journalism.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Guru Careers: Graduate Software Developer / Junior Developer

£20 - 28k + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking a Graduate Software Develop...

Recruitment Genius: Delegate Telesales Executive - OTE £21,000 uncapped

£16000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: High quality, dedicated Delegat...

Recruitment Genius: Field Sales Consultant - School Playground Designer

£25000 - £60000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Recruitment Genius: Traffic Planner

£20000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: As the successful candidate you...

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor