Andy McSmith's Diary: Political incorrectness – Ukip's way of choosing a candidate

Alan Craig's adoption as a candidate for the London Assembly has caused a rumpus because of his views on homosexuality

Andy McSmith
Monday 29 February 2016 20:44 GMT
Alan Craig once compared gay marriage to the "invasion of Poland"
Alan Craig once compared gay marriage to the "invasion of Poland" (Image taken from

Alan Craig, the Ukip activist who once exhorted his fellow Christian soldiers to march as to war against the “Gaystapo”, has had some good news. His adoption as a Ukip candidate for the London Assembly has been confirmed.

His selection caused a rumpus because of his views on homosexuality. Craig has been accused by Pink News of advocating “gay cure” therapies.

He says that is not true, but there is no dispute that in 2011, he posted a blog on his website under the heading “Confronting the Gaystapo” in which he likened the pressure groups Stonewall and OutRage! to the SS, the Home Office to Sudetenland, and David Cameron to Neville Chamberlain, and speculated that same-sex marriage “could be the invasion of Poland, the catalyst for war and a cultural fightback”.

His main challenger, Richard Hendron, a gay activist, threatened to resign from Ukip when Craig was selected. Ukip’s deputy chairman, Suzanne Evans, tried to have his candidacy annulled, so provoking a petition to “Say No to political correctness infiltrating Ukip”, which has attracted nearly 2,500 signatures.

Last week, Nigel Farage sacked Evans. No sooner was she out the door, than Craig was called in by party officials to have it confirmed that he is indisputably an approved Ukip candidate. Anyone who cannot tell a gay activist from Adolf Hitler now knows who to vote for.

Victory out of self-defeat

John Bird, founder of The Big Issue, explained his extraordinary journey from juvenile delinquency to the House of Lords in his maiden speech there. “I was brought up to hate black people, Jewish people and even English people, because we were London-Irish,” he said. “I was brought up with all that poison. I was sent to all sorts of institutions. I slept rough and I stole. Someone asked me how I got into the House of Lords, and I said ‘by lying, cheating and stealing’ – because if I had not gone through that terrible self-defeat, I would never have been able to learn to read and write in a boys’ prison at the age of 16.”

John Bird, pictured in 2003, said he would not have become the man he is today if it wasn't for growing up in poverty (Getty Images)

A stake in squirrels

Rory Stewart, whose packed life before he was elected as a Tory MP included walking 6,000 miles from Pakistan to Nepal, has mastered Whitehall jargon since becoming an environment minister. Explaining what the Government is doing for the endangered red squirrel, he says in a Commons written answer that they are “working together with a range of stakeholders under the UK Squirrel Accord, which aims to… increase public awareness and support for action to protect red squirrels”.

I am all for protecting red squirrels, and I am sure the UK Squirrel Accord is second to none. What puzzles me is “stakeholder”. Are there people who have a “stake” in the future of the red squirrel? Are they gamblers? If so, is there an opposing set of gamblers who have a stake in the red squirrel’s extinction? We should be told.

Too hot to touch

Tom Bower, whose new biography of Tony Blair is creating waves even before its publication, was originally known as a biographer of business moguls who did not want him to write about them. His life of Conrad Black, the former owner of The Daily Telegraph, landed him in a protracted libel case in 2009. Oddly, it was not Lord Black who sued, but Richard Desmond, owner of the Daily Express, who objected to a single paragraph which said that he had been “ground into the dust” during business dealings with Black. Desmond lost the case, yet it may have achieved its purpose. Bower has written what is said to be a blistering biography of Desmond, but no publisher has yet risked bringing it out.

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