Saturday, October 08, 2016

Fighting Bigots

So, the illegal bare knuckle fighting ring within the EU parliament has finally been exposed thanks to the recent bout between two UKIP MEPS, which left one of them hospitalised.  I mean, what other explanation could there be for two grown men, both elected representatives of the people of the UK, having a fist fight (allegedly) at the Strasbourg EU parliament building?  Did Nigel Farage have big money riding on the outcome?  Is this how UKIP really chooses its new leader?  Or was this some kind of qualifying bout, to select a UKIP champion to fight, say, the French Socialist EU champion?  If nothing else, this 'altercation' might explain why UKIP's new leader only lasted a couple of weeks - clearly she wasn't up for the fist fighting.  Of course, I have to make clear that the alleged aggressor in the incident, the UKIP defence spokesperson, has denied that, although there was an 'altercation', he didn't actually punch his opponent, Stephen Woolf. Obviously not.  He headbutted him.  (I hasten to add, for legal reasons, that I have no proof he did that - it's a completely made up allegation for purely humourous purposes).

But should we be surprised that a political party that has so often engaged in violent rhetoric and peddled so much hatred toward immigrants, also sometimes participates in actual, physical, violence? Whilst there is a part of me which takes a perverse pleasure in seeing UKIP MEPs knocking seven bells out of each other, another part of me is appalled and saddened.  Not least because, happening as it has at the European Parliament, it just reinforces negative stereotypes of the British amongst fellow Europeans.  A bunch of violent bigoted thugs really isn't the image of the UK I like to be perpetrated in the heart of Europe.  Mind you, with the Tory conference happily demanding that British companies list their foreign employees, amongst other knee jerk nationalist proposals, Europe probably won't be surprised that some of our MEPs resort to violence rather than reasoned debate.  This whole UKIP ruckus just underlines how difficult it is becoming to satirise British politics - you simply couldn't have made something like this up.  



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