Tag Archives: UKIP

Why would Channel 4’s decision to broadcast call to prayer ‘inflame community tensions’?

Channel 4 has announced that it will broadcast a call to prayer every day during the Islamic month of Ramadan.

As you could imagine, the tabloids have jumped on this.

The Sun goes with the headline ‘Ramadan a ding dong’ and goes on to explain:

“Daily broadcast of Muslim call to prayer ‘stunt’ could inflame tension”

The article expands on this point through the ever valuable medium of the UKIP’s spokesman. The Sun writes:

“But UKIP accused Channel 4 of a cynical PR stunt and said it risked further inflaming tension between communities in the wake of the Woolwich killing of soldier Lee Rigby – allegedly linked to Islamic extremists.

A spokesman said: “This is a priceless piece of attention seeking. I cannot believe that the majority of mainstream Muslims want to see this. It will inflame community tension.”

In light of this, I have a few questions for the editor of The Sun:

  • Can you clarify why you think the broadcasting of the call to prayer will inflame community tension?
  • Would you agree that quoting “Radical preacher Anjem Choudary, accused of encouraging terrorism” and “Abu Zakariyya, of the radical Islamic Emergency Defence Group”  as your two Muslim representatives might be more of a cause of ‘inflaming community tensions’, than the broadcasting of the call to prayer?
  • Did you approach the Muslim Council of Britain for a quote? If yes, why did you not run with it? If no, why not?
  • Why did you use a UKIP quote in this story? What connection do they have to broadcasting, Islam, sociology or any other element to this story?
  • Do you accept that the structure and nature of your article perpetuates the false link between Islam as a religion adhered to by millions and the extremist violent ideology adhered to by a minority and that this link risks ‘inflaming community tensions’?

And of course a few questions for UKIP:

  • Can you clarify why you think the broadcasting of the call to prayer that will inflame community tension?
  • Do you feel that The Daily Express’ use of the adjective ‘fury’ to describe your party’s reaction to the news is accurate? If so have you considered collective anger management for the party (it could be part of the membership deal)?
  • Can you explain how Channel 4’s decision to broadcast the call to prayer differs to the BBC’s decision to broadcast a Sunday morning service? If you’re answer is numbers (more people are Christian) can you explain why you think a broadcaster should not show minority interests?
  • Can you really not believe that the majority of Muslim’s would want to see Ramadan highlighted like this?
  • How would you respond to the accusation that your party is a baseless bandwagon jumping parasite?

Lastly, an open question to anyone:

  • Why would Channel 4’s decision to broadcast the call to prayer ‘inflame community tensions’?

This list of questions is by no means exhaustive….feel free to suggest others.

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Filed under Far-right politics, Media, Politics, Religion

UKIP’s glass ceiling

As the UKIP media frenzy spirals further out of control, I take a quick look at why UKIP is doomed for political failure. 

Nigel Farage, the leader of UKIP, has declared that his party’s recent local election results represent the “first substantial step towards a party that can credibly win seats at Westminster.”

Sadly, for UKIP at least, this seems as far from realty as UKIP’s policies. Let me explain why

UKIP are edging closer and closer to a glass ceiling, a point at which the party in its current form cannot pass. The reasons for this are numerous but let me pick out two, starting with the most obvious –their policies.

UKIP stands alongside a set of policies that are described in the Independent as ‘a wet-dream’ for the far-right. They call for a tax-cut for the wealthiest while suggesting lower earners should pay more income tax (through a flat-rate 31% income tax), they want to abolish national insurance, and of course they think that climate change, well, doesn’t exist!

Liberal Democrat blogger Mark Pack put’s it less favourably summarizing their policy as, “a 1950s-style society of white men at work, white women at home and gays in the closet.”

Not only are these sorts of policies repulsive to protest voters on the centre-left but they are also far beyond what most on the right would call for.

When it comes to the crunch time of 2015, few will actually want UKIP in parliament. In Lab/Con marginals few Tory voters will risk letting Labour in through the back door.

Which leads me to my second point – the electoral system.

Mike Smithson over at Political Betting has today blogged saying, “the harsh fact for Ukip [is] that by having a vote that’s more evenly spread across the country then they would not win any MPs.” His comments are based on the well respected Rallings and Thrasher projection.

We have seen time and time again small parties failing to grasp the political nettle because of our electoral system. The SDP stand as good example who at their peak polled support over 50% and we all know how that ended.

The contemporary Green Party serve as another illustration. Polls suggest that Green policies are more popular than any other party and yet in FPTP elections they have, with only the odd exception that I will come on to,  consistently failed to break-through.

Popularity does not equal success in the broken politics of the UK.

However, the Greens actually serve to illustrate another lesson for UKIP – a lesson that I doubt they will listen to. In 2010 the Greens threw their energy, volunteer base and limited money at Brighton to ensure Caroline Lucas was elected. They succeeded, but at a price. They struggled in all of their other target seats.

What was impressive about the Greens in this sense is that they did what they could within a broken system; they consolidated their efforts into one seat. Will UKIP follow this lead?

As I write, UKIP show no signs taking on such a strategy but instead they semm to be continuing their world domination rhetoric fueled by the media frenzy that is following them.

Even if UKIP do follow the Greens lead, what one seat will they focus on? Unlike the Greens (who have been building their support in Brighton for the last 15 years) UKIP do not have any natural constituency home.

A word of warning to finish on though, UKIP have not yet reached their glass ceiling. In 2014 we have elections for the European Parliament and more local elections. There are many reasons to think that UKIP stands to do very well in these elections.

Equally, this last weekend William Hill was offering odds of 5/1 on UKIP winning a by-election before the general election takes place.

UKIP are a doomed political force destined for the political obscurities of Hamilton after dinner party speeches. The question that concerns us all though is how damage they will reap before they hit their glass ceiling and start their inevitable demise?

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Filed under EU politics, Far-right politics, Politics

UKIP MEP’s continue to humiliate Britain in the European Parliament

UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom has added his name to the prestigious list of UKIP MEP’s who have managed to humiliate the UK in the European Parliament by acting in a totally unacceptable way.  Mr Bloom shouted “Ein Volk, ein Reich, ein Fuehrer” at Martin Schulz (the leader of the Socialist grouping in the European Parliament).  He then held up proceedings on a couple of occasions by refusing to leave the chamber (when asked).

Mr Bloom joins his party leader Nigel Farage in letting the UK down.  Mr Farage notoriously told President of the European Council Herman van Rompuy he had “the charisma of a damp rag” in an outburst in the European Parliament.  These incidents are hugely unusual within the European Parliament, but are increasingly becoming normal for UKIP members.

These men continue to embarrass the UK by breaking Parliamentary rules around treating members with “respect”.  Voting UKIP will not bring the UK any closer to leaving Europe, but it will move the UK away from holding influence in Brussels.  They do nothing but isolate us further.

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Filed under EU politics, Far-right politics, History, Politics