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Kilroy's brief encounter (part four)
JUMPING BEFORE he was pushed, former Labour MP (and second-rate chat show host) Robert Kilroy-Silk has quit the UK Independence Party (UKIP) after months of bitter feuding.
Kilroy-Silk's brief affair with UKIP began amicably enough as he profiled their success in the European elections last June. However, celebration turned to acrimony as Kilroy-Silk, seeking reward for rescuing UKIP from obscurity, challenged Roger Knapman, a former Tory Party member, for leader.
Frustrated by his failure to convince UKIP's membership of his credentials he has now rubbished UKIP as a "joke" and declared he was ashamed to have joined the party. Kilroy-Silk has mooted the possibility of establishing a new party, incredibly named 'Veritas', Latin for truth.
In October, depicting himself as a moderate, he resigned from UKIP's European parliamentary group accusing them of being engaged in "barmy politics" after they joined the same political grouping in the European parliament as the League of Polish Families, which has been condemned as racist and anti-semitic.
UKIP has been described as "the BNP in blazers". UKIP's more genteel image cannot obscure their racist policies that seek to blame immigrants for social problems that arise from the capitalist profit system.
But Kilroy-Silk, who chauvinistically branded Arabs as "limb amputators" and reportedly made xenophobic comments about asylum seekers and Irish people, has no political differences with UKIP. A leaked copy of Kilroy-Silk's proposed manifesto and statement of aims apparently bears a striking resemblance to UKIP's own policies.
Kilroy-Silk's motives are deeply rooted in vanity and personal ambition. But underlying the UKIP spat were real differences over whether UKIP should maintain its character as a pressure group appealing to Eurosceptic Tories or, as Kilroy-Silk wanted, replace the Tory Party with a wide-ranging programme that panders to nationalism and racism.
UKIP's difficulties have given a temporary respite to the desperate Tories who are now seeking to capture the ground lost to UKIP on the issues of immigration and Europe.
In The Socialist 29 January 2005: