UKIP, the United Kingdom Independence Party, has been in the news lately. This relatively small political party has been gaining momentum and support in recent times. Classed at one time as something between a fringe party and an insane one it now has some political credibility. This may be largely due to the party's leader Nigel Farage who talks a great deal of sense.
UKIP is a firm advocate of Great Britain leaving the EU. Some of its policies on the EU, the Euro and immigration have appealed to a wide range of Brits. Many British Tories are leaving the Conservatives in order to support UKIP. Whether it is simply a protest or would be the case come a general election we will know in due course.
In late November in the UK, conveniently for UKIP around the time of three by-elections, there was news of a foster family losing the children in their care as a result of being UKIP members. It was claimed that the removal of the children was due to UKIPs policies on EU migrants entering the UK. In the ensuing row the Tories were once again reminded that in the past David Cameron had called UKIP party members "fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists, mostly".
Yet now that UKIPs star is ascending there are rumours that given the right election scenario the Tories and UKIP would form a coalition. The latest news seems to indicate that UKIP still has its "loonies".
Geoffrey Clark is standing as a UKIP councillor in Kent, or rather he was. In today's election he will be listed as a UKIP candidate but if elected he will not represent the party. It was too late when the story broke to do anything about the ballot paper. We would have thought though that such an obviously incorrect listing would void the vote.
So what is Clark in trouble for?
Mr Clark has been espousing about the NHS with particular reference to children with Downs Syndrome and spina bifida. The BBC reported that he "called for an NHS review to look at compulsory abortion of foetuses with Down's syndrome or spina bifida" He has been suspended from UKIP.
Clark has tried to clarify his words by saying on his website, "he did not endorse the abortion idea but suggested it to cut the national debt."
Here comes the rub, Clark is a Christian, or so he claims, who would help roll back Islam. Apparently he did not mean to cause any offence but rather initiate debate on the ever increasing cost of the NHS, The debate would be with regard to "compulsory abortion when the foetus is detected as having Down's, spina bifida or similar syndrome which, if it is born, could render the child a burden on the state as well as on the family". He says the review should also look at medical treatment for those aged over 80, "which is disproportionately costly to the NHS" and might also include "legalising euthanasia and giving free euthanasia advice to all folk over 80".
UKIP are ow trying to distance themselves from this nut saying they did not realise he held these views. May we suggest then that in future they make sure they do know what their candidates stand for.
"fruitcakes, loonies and closet racists, mostly". - Yes that seems about right. For once Cameron was right.