Looks like U.K. Independence Party are causing media chaos again but can they really do no wrong when it comes to the opinions of the British public?
For those who have been living under a media-rock and are unable to believe that UKIP could possibly embarrass themselves further after BongoBongo-gate, here it is in a nutshell.
UKIP Councillor David Silvester, in an act of patriotic goodwill, addressed a letter to David Cameron in his local constituency newspaper explaining the environmental dangers of legalising same-sex marriage. Mr Silvester, who has since been suspended from the party, went on to attribute Britain’s recent flood outbreak as a response from God, writing, “This is not new, this happened in the Old Testament- they were warned if they turned against God…there would be disasters”.
While UKIP’s leader, Nigel Farage was quick to distance himself and the party from these comments it was too late as social media responses began to spring up in response. A twitter feed dedicated to Ukip-themed weather forecasts has since racked up over 100,000 followers alongside a campaign to get ‘It’s Raining Men’ back to Number One.
This is far from their first media gaffe with former UKIP MEP Godfrey Bloom continuing to act as a caricature for the party and make headlines after criticising Britain’s levels of aid to so-called ‘Bongo-Bongo Land’ and labelling all women who dare to not clean behind the fridge as ‘sluts’. Not content with stopping there, Bloom has since compared a disabled student to Richard III (often portrayed as being physically disabled) during an Oxford University debate. While Bloom is no longer a member of the party, his reputation continues to be linked.
In an attempt to make the most of all this somewhat questionable publicity, Farage has since filmed a spoof weather forecast for the BBC’s Sunday Politics where he predicts the weather “for all areas of the British Isles but definitely not Bongo-Bongo Land”. He then proceeds to reveal similar outrageous claims from the other UK political parties, including the Labour councillor who recently claimed to have fathered a child with an extra-terrestrial.
In a pledge to professionalise his party Farage has announced tougher screening of potential candidates in an attempt to weed out the “Walter Mittys seeking a role in politics which, in the end they will let down not just us but themselves with”. However he remains adamant that UKIP can provide an alternative option against the dominance of the Conservative/Labour machine, and maybe he’s right, with recent opinion polls showing UKIP ahead of the Liberal Democrats, with 12% for the Lib Dem’s 9%. While margins between third and fourth place are relatively small they remain significant. In fact, a poll carried out by The Independent on Sunday revealed that UKIP was viewed most “favourably” with 27% while Farage, as an individual, wasn’t far behind with 22% of respondents feeling the same.
Could this mean that there really is no such thing as bad publicity for UKIP?