Surprised to see today's publicity concerning a suggestion that UKIP and the BNP should consider an electoral pact by which the two parties stand aside for each other in the next General Election. I hope its not true. UKIP are denying it. I hope its not a case of there being no smoke without fire. This story is very damaging to UKIP, and there is clearly a problem. Two members of UKIP's National Executive Committee have been expelled, and it appears that there are another 40 'disenchanted' members.
The 'relationship' between UKIP and the BNP carries a special interest in Montgomeryshire, as it does for me. The two best known local UKIP activists, Bruce Lawson and David Rowlands are good friends of many years. I've never been able to understand why they make so much effort to help the Liberal Democrat cause. This may not be the intention - but it is the inevitable consequence of UKIP's illogical focus on taking Conservative votes. I don't complain. Its a free country.
And of course Nick Griffin, Leader of the BNP has lived for many years in Montgomeryshire. I know his parents, Edgar and Mrs Griffin quite well. A few years ago the New Statesman ran an article which suggested that Montgomeryshire was a racist hotbed. At the time I was appalled by it, most of which I believed to have been invented. I thought that the journalist was extrapolating Nick Griffin's presence into an assumption that many in Montgomeryshire shared his opinions. I became quite famous when I accused the magazine of lying, and demanded a public apology from the editor, on the Today programme. At first he tried to ignore me, but eventually was pressured into debating the issue on the PM programme, where he admitted that the offending article was 'allegorical', (a synonym for not based on truth) and that the journalist would never write for the New Statesman again.
We don't know the extent of any links there might have been or might remain between UKIP and the BNP, but I can understand why the former are deeply concerned about the publicity about it. Whatever, I do hope that there is no link whatsoever between them in Montgomeryshire.