Latest UKIP scandal – disgusting views and appalling sweary drivel from UKIP’s Norwich North candidate

Seen the bit at the bottom, here?
This is really shocking. Tingle scored UKIP’s highest ever vote for Westminster, last year. This is the kind of person that one is voting for, if one votes UKIP. This is the kind of person their MEPs are, and the kind of person their MPs would be if (God forbid) they were ever to get any elected. Virtually everything he says is either a disgrace or factually-false. He’s condemned by his own words as a climate-denying, xenophobic, anti-poor, war-mongering, scare-mongering bigot (Yes, the word this time is well-deserved).
Jess Goldfinch, my successor as the Green Party candidate in Norwich North, comes out of the survey very very well by comparison, obviously!
Having written these things, frankly, Tingle should stand down. There is no place in a civilised society for such a candidate for public office.
Here’s the way the story has entered the media so far:
Notice that his remark about Afghanistan was so bad that they do not even want to quote it in the media. But you can see it on ‘enemies of reason’, above.
It’s good that Tingle has apologised. But I don’t see how there can be any excuse for these kinds of remarks. Other candidates for other Parties have stood down during this election campaign, for lesser crimes. Tingle should go, over this.

My TotalPolitics interview: Full vesion

[ For the digested version, go to: Here’s the full version of TP’s interview with me: ]


Why did you start blogging?


I don’t think there was ever a question of whether or not I would start blogging…I was just waiting for the blogosphere to be invented! 


I’ve been passionate about politics my whole life and I see blogging as another vital way to reach people and to spread and (in the process) improve my Green philosophy. The blogosphere (at its best) encourages and nurtures intelligent debate, the exchange of views that is necessary if we are to acknowledge (never mind address) the enormous ecological and social challenges we face. I like blogging best when it results in a wiki-like process of EVERYONE, including the original author, learning from it.



How would you describe your blog?


Green minded-news, comment, insight and discussion on the political scene and the media in Norwich, Norfolk, Eastern England, Westminster, Brussels and beyond…and when commentors are being civil it is often a hot-bed of lively debate!



What do you like best about your own blog?


Well, I blog in a lot of different places, including:

Plus I write sometimes for the Morning Star: and I have a column each month in the Eastern Daily Press:*%20Author%3A%20Rupert%20Read

So, what I like best about my own blog (and about and ) is very simple: It’s that there I can say just whatever I want…



Greens are a little voice in a big blogosphere.  What motivates you to carry on and how do you see the Green blogosphere developing?


Although there are fewer of us out there (at the moment!) than there are Tory or Labour bloggers, I think we are making a big enough noise to worry the traditional political groups!


I’d like to think that the Green blogosphere will develop globally but function locally, with a huge network of people sharing ideas and working together on projects that promote sustainable living conditions on the ground while always being ready to fight the self-serving interests of big oil and big finance.  


The Greens are the only truly progressive Party out there and hopefully, with a couple of victories on 6th May, a hung parliament and the ensuing electoral reform, we can take advantage of the huge level of support there has always been for the Greens amongst the country’s youth and become one of the major political forces in the UK within the next ten years.  That’s what keeps me motivated…and I imagine it’s something that scares the cr*p out of the LibDems, because a lot of our support will come from their base! That’s very much what we’ve found in Norwich.


So I think, with the likely end of the Labour government, this could be a very fruitful time for genuinely oppositional voices, such as (crucially) ours.



What are the key Green issues that you wish Lab/Con/LibDem would damn well take notice of?


In a country with almost zero manufacturing industry, a burgeoning carbon footprint and fast-dwindling supplies of fossil fuels, I would have thought that wholesale investment in low/zero-carbon technologies would be a no-brainer for any political party. The Green New Deal is essential – and the beauty of it in economic terms is that it pays for itself, over time. Because wasting energy (and emitting excess carbon) means wasting money too. And such waste would be finally put into reverse, if a Green New Deal were brought in.


The other key Green issue for me right now is equality. Everyone needs to read Wilkinson and Pickett’s THE SPIRIT LEVEL. Green policies are strongly oriented toward creating a more equal society, and such a society benefits everyone, including the rich.



There is sometimes the perception that Greens are a bit anti-technology; how does digital media fit with the Green philosophy?


We believe in the Precautionary Principle (so we are sceptical for instance about GM food, which, if it went wrong, could go so very horribly wrong); but we also passionately believe in the ability of technology to improve lives. Especially appropriate technology! (We are big fans of E.F. Schumacher.)


Greens love digital media for many reasons, including that it allows bottom-up mobilisation, and that it can reduce quite drastically the need to travel (Remember that transport emissions are the fastest-growing climate-dangerous emissions.). More attention however needs to be paid to the massive problem of computer-waste (a problem particularly severe because of the tinyness of many components of computers, making them hard to re-use or recycle) and to the growing energy consumption of ‘server-banks’.



If you could change one thing about politics (generally) what would it be?


We need democracy – rule by the demos, the people. We don’t have it at the moment. The place to start therefore is with electoral reform…STV or AMS. PR, and an elected second chamber (or one picked by lottery) and legislation to ensure that any politician caught lining their pockets (e.g. like a number of the greasy bastards were last year) ends up doing six months staring at the top bunk waiting for 30 minutes exercise time. In the long run, true deep democracy will require localisation, which we stand for (as opposed to globalisation, which all the other Parties support).



Best news story of the last year and why?


Copenhagen was pretty disastrous; but some really great news that came from it was the emergence of the small island nations and of the left-leaning Latin-American nations as brave bastions of climate-action, setting out clearly and starkly what needs to be done to save the future. My belief is that the green movement now needs to unite behind these countries, and to press our own governments to do what they are saying. So, one specific good news story soon after Copenhagen was Evo Morales’s re-election.



Favourite politician and why?


In the UK it would have to be Caroline Lucas.  She has been instrumental in professionalising the Green Party (a task in which I have assisted), has done great things in locally Brighton Pavilion and nationally across the media and many many public meetings etc., and her Parliamentary work in Brussels has been exemplary.   



Least favourite politician and why?


It’s Nick Griffin.  Do I really need to explain why?



Least favourite blogger and why?


‘Harry’s Place’ is mostly a nasty, unreliable and nefarious waste of space…



Favourite blogger and why?


I don’t know if he is my favourite blogger, and of course I disagree with him periodically, especially over the day-to-day practical realities of politics on the ground (the danger for some bloggers is that they don’t fully understand how electoral battles are actually won and lost on the ground, through money, leaflets, staffers, etc.), but I think that Sunny Hundal is an important blogger (and twitterer) who I always find stimulating to read.


[For the digested version, go to: ]


Licensing – getting the facts straight

My old debating-sparring-partner from Oxford, Michael Gove, said an hour ago on TODAY that local authorities need new powers in order to be able to act firmly on licensing matters, so that local people can get pubs regulated or closed down if they (the pubs) are too noisy, etc. . This is not true. The powers that the licensing act passed by this government has given us in local authorities in order for us to be able to do this are very extensive; and they have already been used on several occasions in Norfolk.
It appears that Michael has not been able to come up with a good example of how his ‘big society’ would actually make a difference.