UKIP vs. Scotland: Round 2
UKIP Edinburgh rally met by protests.
Yesterday, the controversial United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) held a rally at Edinburgh’s Corn Exchange. Eurosceptic UKIP, who advocate cutting immigration and oppose same-sex marriage, were accused of being “racist”, “homophobic”, “fascists”, and “Nazi Scum”, by a crowd of angry protestors who gathered outside their rally.
At present, UKIP have no representation in Scotland. They received 0.91% of the vote in Holyrood’s 2011 election. However, as support for them has increased across the UK, their leader Nigel Farage has expressed high hopes for elections for the EU Parliament later this month.
Farage says that he predicts UKIP will win a seat (“possibly even two”). Adding that what they lack in size, they make up for in “argument”.
David Coburn, a UKIP Scottish MEP candidate, said: “I’m sure we’ll win. Our chances of taking a seat are extremely good.” Coburn also emphasised that UKIP are appealing across the political spectrum.
The protest was organised by Radical Independence (who see Scottish Independence as a vehicle for left wing-reform), other leftist groups such as Scottish Socialist Party, and anti-racism and disability rights campaigners. The protest was a champion “a Scotland that is multicultural, welcoming and diverse.”
Andy Ashe, Radical Independence Campaign organiser in Edinburgh, said:
“In Scotland we want to pull everyone together, no matter what there background, and say we can have social justice and equality for everyone in society. Farage, a banker from the City of London, stands for elitism, isolationism, nostalgia for empire and general bigotry. That’s everything that we don’t want Scotland to be.”
John McArdle, from the Black Triangle Disability Rights campaign, said:
“UKIP is deceiving the people, immigrants are not to blame.”
Protestor Barbara said to The Tab: “We’re here today because we think UKIP’s policies are wrong, you can’t choose who you fall in love with or get treated differently because of where you come from or the colour of you’re skin. It’s wrong.”
UKIP have dismissed their critics. Coburn, has said UKIP reject same-sex marriage because it undermines religious freedom. Coburn is openly gay, but said same-sex marriage: “shows a lack of toleration towards others who look on marriage as a holy sacrament between man and woman.”
Farage has defended the immigration position and attacked the racism charge:
“UKIP would have a stringent immigration policy because they also know it would be a fair one: based on a comprehensive points-based system designed to ensure that those coming to settle in our country are the most able and public-spirited people from all around the world.”
He also highlighted that UKIP have “more than 50 candidates and senior members from ethnic minority backgrounds” and that if UKIP does have any “racially prejudiced members” they are not welcome.
UKIP have faced a similar welcome when visiting Edinburgh before. Last year, Mr. Farage was barricaded into Canons’ Gait pub by a group of students. The escapade climaxed when student Mike Shaw was arrested for pouring coke on Viscount Monckton’s head.
Nothing that interesting happened this time.
Review/feature coming soon!