Mike Read defends ‘racist’ UKIP song: ‘You can’t sing Calypso in a Surrey accent’

The former disc jockey sings in a mock-Jamaican accent on a single to raise money for Nigel Farage’s party

Matilda Battersby
Tuesday 21 October 2014 11:11
Mike Read, former DJ
Mike Read, former DJ

Ex-BBC DJ Mike Read has defended a ‘Calypso’ song he has recorded in a faux-Jamaican accent to raise money for UKIP.

The track, which hit YouTube yesterday, has been branded ‘racist’ by commentators on Twitter.

The song, in which Read sings the praises of UKIP leader Nigel Farage, was described by The Independent’s Andy McSmith as “truly, excruciating, sickeningly, sordidly, cringingly, toe-curlingly awful.”

The chorus goes: "When we take charge/And the new prime minister is Farage/We can trade with the world again/When Nigel is at number 10."

Supporters are hoping to propel the Calypso to number one to raise money for the party.

Speaking to BBC Radio Berkshire this morning Read defended the song against the “extraordinary” accusations of racism.

“If anyone has taken it the wrong way, many apologies. But it was never meant to be remotely racist,” said, adding: “It's an old-fashioned political satire... you can't sing a calypso with a Surrey accent.”

Last night UKIP’s commonwealth spokesman Winston McKenzie got into a heated debate with DJ Nihal from the BBC's Asian Network.

Denying that the track is racist, McKenzie said: “From ever since the beginning of time, the Beatles, Elvis, the Rolling Stones - they've taken up the black man's music.”

McKenzie, who failed to win a seat as a councillor in Croydon after calling his own constituency “a dump” , said he thought Read was a “good man” and that the fuss surrounding the song was “crazy”.

The song, which is credited to The Independents, is available to buy on Amazon and iTunes. 20p from every 79p download will go to UKIP.

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Mr Farage took to Twitter to promote the single: "Help get the UKIP Calypso by The Independents to number 1."

UKIP recently gained its first elected MP following the defection of Tory minister Douglas Carswell.

Former Radio One DJ Read was also a Top Of The Pops presenter. He switched his allegiance from the Conservatives to UKIP having tried to stand as a Tory candidate for London Mayor in 2008.

In 2009 Reid was forced to sell his £1m vinyl collection after being declared bankrupt for the second time.

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