How dull would Sky News be without Nigel Farage and his band of merry madhatters? In the politicosphere this week, Ed Miliband exerted an earlier-than-expected influence on the banking sector, while the Liberal Democrats have, rather typically, “managed to create a whole sex scandal without any sex,” as Lord Steel amusingly phrased it.
Nigel Farage also stole his fair share of newspaper headlines, having recently pledged to cleave any remnants of bible belt nuttery from his party in the manner of an over-anxious predator drone. Yes – Farage will pass all 1818 UKIP candidates through a hunger games-style vetting process (one can only hope), after David Silvester’s bizarrely unscientific declarations about the recent bad weather.
Silvester wrote to his local newspaper the Henley Standard: “The scriptures make it abundantly clear that a Christian nation that abandons its faith and acts contrary to the Gospel (and in naked breach of a coronation oath) will be beset by natural disasters such as storms, disease, pestilence and war.”
He added: “I wrote to David Cameron in April 2012 to warn him that disasters would accompany the passage of his same-sex marriage bill. But he went ahead despite a 600,000-signature petition by concerned Christians and more than half his own parliamentary party saying that he should not do so. It is his fault that large swathes of the nation have been afflicted by storms and floods.”
Farage’s clearout has so far seen 5 MEPs told to either jump or face being pushed from the UKIP ship of inclusivity.
It’s worth noting that Silvester was not dismissed for becoming the first UKIP politician to admit climate change was caused by human interference – but because he continued to speak with the media, thusly disobeying a direct order.
A party spokesperson said Silvester was completely entitled to his beliefs, (no matter how illogical), adding UKIP was willing to tolerate any ideology among their ranks “whether Jain or Sikh or Buddhist or Sufi or Zoroastrian or Jewish or Muslim or Baptist or Hindu or Catholic or Baha’i or Animist” or practically anything else Wikipedia verified as an organised religion.
The one thing Farage will not stand, is bad press, especially ahead of the European elections. This is not surprising. He isn’t very different from the other party leaders – both in terms of political insecurities, and a crippling fear of a negative public image – no matter how far he may try to make it seem. The smile-beaming, cigar-toting poster boy was exposed the moment he promised to waithe through his party with a fine-toothed garden rake of tolerance.