Poll: Is Ukip a racist party?

 

Max Benwell
Friday 02 May 2014 16:57
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Nigel Farage masks worn at the spring conference
Nigel Farage masks worn at the spring conference

Ever since Ukip burst onto the political scene, a growing list of its members and supporters have been accused of racism. But does this mean Nigel Farage and his merry band of predominantly white men are all nasty nationalists?

It's unclear what polling data the party has been looking at recently, as they seem to be playing very strongly to the UK's “racist” demographic. Politicians will say anything to get elected, right?

Although in this case, many of Ukip's members actually seem to be speaking from their hearts.

Like William Henwood, a Ukip candidate for Enfield, who got the ball rolling on Tuesday by saying that Lenny Henry should “emigrate to a black country”.

Or the Lewisham candidate Matt Pavey, who said that the murder of Stephen Lawrence gained too much media attention.

There was also David Wycherley, who described Mo Farah as “African”, and Gary Port who had “liked” the BNP on Facebook. In response to the revelation, Port hit back with a well-measured response, saying “I don't think it's clear whether the BNP are racist.”

Could this all be part of a wider Ukip strategy? Unless their main priority is to win the vote of Jeremy “N” Clarkson, it seems unlikely.

However, there are Ukip supporters who feel genuinely let down by conventional politics; it would be too quick to assume that they're racist, as guilt doesn't always work by association.

Farage himself has defended his stance, and said that he has no problem with Europe or its inhabitants. After all, as he was at pains to mention during his debate with Nick Clegg - his wife is German.

What do you think? Is Ukip racist, or is the party's image just being tarnished by a few badly prejudiced eggs?

@maxbenwellreal

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