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This Britain

Minor British Institutions: UKIP

Politics, as we've seen recently, is a volatile business, but so long as the United Kingdom remains a member of the European Union, the United Kingdom Independence Party will continue to play its small and colourful role in our national life.

Founded by the intellectual historian Alan Sked in 1993, it seems here to stay, to the irritation of the bigger parties; David Cameron called them "fruitcakes", though many are ex-Tories.

It is odd that that which UKIP wishes to destroy – the absurdities of the EU – should give it so much sustenance. UKIP's leader, Nigel Farage, has a very continental-sounding name, and seems not to have thought of making it a little more Anglo-Saxon – Farridge, perhaps.

But we should be grateful that yoo-kip has survived its dangerous liaison with Robert Kilroy-Silk. Having such a powerful figure near the top of UKIP was a very un-British thing, and Kilroy turned out to be too fruity even for the fruitcakes.