Tuesday, 30 April 2013

Ukip and Scrutiny in Political Life

YESTERDAY, Patrick McLoughlin, the Transport Secretary, said Ukip candidates were being put under the same scrutiny as those from other parties, and asked whether it was right to trawl through would-be councillors' social media accounts, he said:  'I don't know whether that's happened, I'm just saying it happens to all parties and candidates are put under scrutiny.'

This is interesting.  Years ago, Jim Pinkerton told me:  'Brian, we (the anarchists) must always be prepared for the floodlight of publicity to fall upon us!'

He ought to know; for Jim worked formerly for the Daily Herald, and later for the Sunday People in the Copy department, he had also in the 1960s been interviewed by Perigrine Worsthorne, then a journalist on the Sunday Telegraph about the radical and militant National Rank & File (trade union) Movement and its involvement in unofficial strikes at that time.   At the time Jim Pinkerton was the International Secretary of the Syndicalist Workers' Federation (SWF), one of the affiliated bodies attached to the National Rank & File Movement.

Anyone who involves themselves in politics or public life ought to anticipate that they may be exposed to publicity and have to answer for their actions.  This must be the case with Ukip in the forthcoming local elections as it must be for some tin-pot left-wing group like say the Anarchist Federation.  Any organisation that is grown-up and sets out to change society must expect to be put under a microscope and investigated.  That must go for Nigel Farage as it must for the leaders of some smelly little orthodoxy.  It may well be that as Ken Clarke has said about Ukip that some of their candidates are 'clowns', but all parties and candidates should be put under scrutiny. 

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