Thursday, October 23, 2014
That UKIP Calypso
Racist it isn't. Second rate, corny, simplistic yes. But how many pop stars over the years have sung with fake American accents? No criticism there. The song was a calypso, which orginates in the Caribbean so I don't understand the fuss about somebody singing in an albeit very bad West Indian accent. I remember going to see UB40 in the '80s and don't remember anybody attacking Ali Campbell for singing like a rasta man, or for the band, predominantly white, for playing reggae music like they do in the West Indies. We have white kids walking the streets of our cities talking like kids from a Kingston ghetto. Are they racist?
Then you have the British Red Cross refusing to accept the proceeds from the song when Mike Read was scared off by the politically correct hysteria and withdrew it from sale. The Red Cross came over all self-righteous and indignantly told UKIP to stick it. Well it's good to see that the Red Cross have so much cash swilling around that they can turn down substantial donations. Remember that next time you are tempted to donate to them and maybe give to a charity that actually needs your money instead.
The big issue for me with the UKIP Calypso is yet again the total lack of awareness of UKIP and the constant change of direction as they react to publicity. Only the other day Farage was urging his Twitter followers to buy it and get the song to number one. They even trundled out ex-boxer Winston McKenzie to defend it and declare it not to be racist. McKenzie is a black UKIP supporter if you didn't know. The next day Mike Read apologised for causing offence and withdrew it from sale.
Do UKIP still not realise that the media are desperate to brand them 'racist' at every opportunity? You don't have to be a media genius to think that a UKIP supporter, singing in a fake West Indian accent was going to draw heavy artillery fire from the politically correct UK media. That gave UKIP two options, dig in and defend their position or do a runner. UKIP pulled out the white flag and ran for cover.
A serious political party does not land itself in positions like this. It comes after they announced at their conference that they would hike up VAT on luxury goods, the infamous 'WAG tax', only to withdraw the idea when it was widely ridiculed. It comes after the party's vice-chairman declared that they supported attacking ISIS, only for the interviewer to inform her that Nigel Farage had only that morning stated that they opposed it.
No, the UKIP Calypso was naïve, stupid and showed a complete lack of judgement. Imagine how much more dangerous UKIP could be if, God forbid, they find themselves in coalition after next year's election and those qualities, or lack of, are brought to bear on dealings with Russia, the Middle East and dealing with the European Union.
That prospect is every bit as terrifying as the thought of Miliband in No 10.