James Delingpole

Am I politically correct enough to stand for Ukip?

22 June 2013

9:00 AM

22 June 2013

9:00 AM

A few weeks ago I drove to Market Harborough for my test as a potential Ukip candidate. The process was very thorough. There was a media interview section, where one of my examiners did a bravura impersonation of a tricksy local radio presenter (he even did the traffic bulletin beforehand). Then came a test on the manifesto. Finally, there was the bit where I nearly came unstuck: the speeches.

My problem was that the stern lady interviewing me had seen me speak before. It was at one of Nigel Farage’s boozy fundraisers at the East India Club. Coming out as a Ukip member, I had vouchsafed to the audience, had been as thrilling as finally admitting you’re gay and realising you now have the pick of London’s finest fisting clubs.

The analogy — it just came splurging out: do such specialist venues even exist? — seemed to go down well with the lairier half of the room. But not the more sedate half. ‘It’s just as well my husband doesn’t know what fisting is!’ my examiner rebuked me. The impression I got — though we parted on excellent terms — was that she wasn’t 100 per cent sure I was the kind of person she’d like to be representing her party in Westminster or Brussels.

It’s a reasonable concern, I think. Polished, smoothy-chops, Shakespeare–quoting Dan Hannan I ain’t. Nor am I as clever or fluent or subtle as Michael Gove; nor as capable and diligent as Owen Paterson (who holds the parliamentary record for most questions tabled on a single subject: over 600 on badgers); nor as funny and charismatic as Boris Johnson; nor as palpably decent and admirable as Frank Field; nor as mad-keen dedicated to constituency work as Rory -Stewart; nor as brutally effective as, say, George Galloway or Alex Salmond.

What’s more, I don’t even like politics. It’s ideas that interest me, not committee meetings and backstabbing and negotiation and compromise and other people’s crap speeches. I think it’s as well that my potential supporters are aware of this before we go any further: if you vote James Delingpole what you’re going to get is James Delingpole — not ‘James Delingpole does a half-arsed impression of what other people think a politician should look like’. Let me tell you some of things I won’t do. Peter Hain — my perfect anti-role-model — gave me some excellent examples on Any Questions? the other day. One is the cloying, sanctimonious speech designed to Show How Much You Care. Because we were in Machynlleth, scene of the murder of April Jones, Hain just couldn’t resist grandstanding about how sincerely he felt everyone’s pain.


Hain has form in this regard. This was, as far as I’m aware, the first time in recorded history where Hain didn’t use Any Questions? to cram in at least five mentions of the heroic and selfless role he played as a young man in the struggle against apartheid. But I suppose that wouldn’t have left space for the three mentions he managed to squeeze in of another of his pet topics – the expensive, pointless, environmentally destructive Severn Barrage project.

Don’t get me wrong. I get as upset by a child’s senseless murder as the next sentient human being. What I can’t bear, though, is this formulaic parading of empathy that so many politicians feel is required of them these days. Especially when it’s followed by a posturing demand for yet more intrusive and counterproductive government -legislation.

Cant — that’s what politicians like Hain specialise in. (Change the odd letter and it also describes what they are.) And I absolutely refuse to engage in it, no matter how much cheap applause it wins me, because it’s intellectually dishonest, morally wrong and, worst of all, conducive to ill-considered, knee-jerk policymaking.

The electorate, I fear, are as much to blame for this as the political class. We pay far too much attention to surface trivia, like how much MPs claim in expenses or how nicely they answer your letter grumbling about the potholes in their constituency, and far too little about what matters most: the social and economic consequences of their bad decisions.

Consider just one example: the 2008 Climate Change Act — drafted by hard-left environmental activist Bryony Worthington, voted for by all but five MPs — will cost the taxpayer £18.3 billion every year for the next forty years, driving up the cost of energy but doing absolutely nothing to solve the largely imaginary problem of ‘climate change’. Do you know how many £1,600 ornamental duck houses you could buy with that every year? More than 11 million.

No one benefits if politicians are forever worrying about what some chippy, resentful git might think about their salary or their travelling first class. Nor if they are forever treading on eggshells to avoid saying or doing anything at which some lefty pressure group or some hysterical Twitter troll might choose to take offence. God knows, our political class are far too dull and career-safe as it is.

But what I do think they ought to be terrified of, all the time — to the extent that it keeps them awake at night, sweating cold fear — is enacting poor policy. You can be the most devoted constituency MP in the world with the most parsimonious expenses record in Westminster, but if you’ve spoken up for or voted for something as ill-thought-through and damaging as HS2 or renewable energy policy, then, quite simply, you have failed your country and your name deserves to live in infamy.

So that’s where I stand. There’s the deal. Take me or leave me: I really don’t mind which.

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Show comments
  • dalai guevara

    If you blamed Europe for the mess created in the Square Mile, blamed immigrants for our lack of economic competitiveness, blamed miniscule renewables subsidies for a disastrous energy policy which excludes the populace from decision-making, blamed gays for abandoning your Christian heritage, yes, then you will fit right in.

    • pjl20

      Rather odd logic from you isn’t it dalai guevara?

      Just compare how our economy is doing with that of Canada and the USA, if you require an example. After all they have been through the same banking crisis as we have in Britain.

      • dalai guevara

        Erhm…what? US citizens are not blaming Goldman Sachs, derivative gambling and easy credit? The Occupy movement never happened?
        Everyone knows who the delinquents and beneficiaries are. Why blame someone else if not to divert attention?

        Banking curtailment – Europe led
        Bonus caps – Europe led
        Gambling tax – Europe led
        Basel II and III – Europe led

        Yet, we blame Europe.
        Now fill me in on your logic, if you could.

        • http://hesspartacus.tumblr.com/ He’s Spartacus

          Oh look! Someone who thinks (a) that the banks were deregulated and (b) that the regulatory system (for that is what it is) is there for any other purpose than to shield our casino banks from the competition that might keep them honest, and their executives from the gallows.

          Bless you.


          • dalai guevara

            Yes, and that PPI fraud, swap fraud, Libor fraud and the proven laundering of drug money aren’t really criminal activities. Unfortunately, serious corporate governance failures aren’t covered by the law either!

            Oh hang on, when it come to the NHS, we will probably find that it is.

            Curious that.


          • http://hesspartacus.tumblr.com/ He’s Spartacus

            The NHS?

            Let me know when Sir David Nicholson starts his prison sentence, won’t you?

            Has anyone been jailed yet for the Mid Staffs death camps?

            Curious that.

        • pjl20

          dalai guevara

          As I said yours is rather odd logic.

          Both Canada and the USA economies are recovering very well. Whilst the moribund British economy suffers, along with those of the other EU members.

          • dalai guevara

            The US is printing $85bn per month, one trillion bucks a year. What ‘recovery’?

    • Baron

      dalai, you’re a typical left leaning tosser, you set up your opponents’ take on things, then kick it. Nobody blames Europe for the mess in the City, what Baron blames Europe for is its democratic deficit, they push us around, we cannot get rid of them; nobody blames immigrants for our lack of economic competitiveness, who Baron blames are the politicians who let millions in to boost their electoral chances without ensuring the infrastructure, social services could cope, without insisting they should integrate…; but Baron does blame subsidies on renewables, big or small matters not, because AGW is a con, and lastly, the blue veined barbarian never blamed gays for the society’s abandoning of its Christian heritage, who he blames are the opportunistic politicians for screwing up the institution of marriage even more than their predecessors succeeded in doing.

      The good thing is contrary to what Fukuyama says history ain’t ending yet.

      • dalai guevara

        hahaha – I urge you to google ‘tempora’ and see what happens. Take in the reactionary state of affairs. Welcome to modern-day Britain.

  • Druth

    Iconoclast, politically incorrect, sometimes just plain rude – it’s all fine. But nose in trough – erm sorry no thank you. Start by rewarding yourself with an ornamental duck house, because you feel your worth it, and we’ll soon see you signing up to carbon trading ponzi schemes and the like. Politicians must have have integrity.

  • simontmn

    Just cut out the references to anal sex and related activities and you’ll be fine.

    • Goodgulf_the_Grey

      Surely just the odd one. I have often thought that a thorough airing of Londons clubs where fisting may be had has been one of the lacunae in Any Questions and Question Time.

  • Goodgulf_the_Grey

    James, I’m very pleased that you decided to join UKIP and proud to have you on our side. We need people like you, prepared to call a spade a shovel and give the lefties both barrels. Leading UKIP lights such as you, unafraid to tell the unvarnished truth, set us apart from the rotten liberal elite in the minds of people who pay little attention to politics, and will help win us power.

    “Why isn’t this woman [Cynthia Bower] in prison?

    Why aren’t all the other people responsible also in prison?

    Why do so many people still describe the NHS as the envy of the world?

    Why is the Coalition ring-fencing NHS spending as though all is
    tickety-boo and as though as long as you keep pumping squillions of
    taxpayer pounds into the system all shall be well and nothing needs

    What do we think would happen in the private sector to a director on whose watch more than a thousand customers died?”

    Like art. Not very pretty art, but it needs to be said. Where else could we read that in a national newspaper?

    • dalai guevara

      But but but how could corporate governance failure in the NHS be a criminal act, yet in banking it isn’t? You ought to make your mind up on that one.

      • Goodgulf_the_Grey

        Where did I say that a corporate governance failure in banking isn’t a criminal act, Dalai? I think many bankers should be in prison too. On the other hand, they didn’t kill anyone.

        You display a common lefty tactic: misrepresent your opponent’s beliefs into something unreasonable, then attack those imaginary beliefs instead of what he actually said. It works well until someone points out what you are doing.

        • dalai guevara

          Where did I state you did? You have now declared that you too believe corporate governance failures ought to be followed up on in other sectors – that response will suffice for me.

          My point here is that when diversion tactics are played out (the NHS is one of JD’s fun topics, banking curiously isn’t), it is advisable to do precisely what I just did – go compare.

          • Goodgulf_the_Grey

            The NHS kills thousands unnecessarily. Bankers don’t. Go compare.

        • Susan Foyster

          Very nicely put Goodgulf. You should also note that the mudslinging anti-Ukipers take care never to say how they would solve the huge problems our country faces. Presumably they don’t want the same sort of criticism they dish out themselves. Much safer to hide in the bushes and snipe. Welcome James, I hope you are selected.

      • Thomtids

        The behaviour on the part of the heads of the CQC was by definition “a conspiracy” which, under the English common law, is criminal. All conspiracies are criminal ergo the suppression of the Report is prima facie triable as an indictable offence.
        Why have these conspirators not been arrested, questioned and charged? Followed by some drawing and quartering.
        No possibility that their political masters were also well aware of this appalling act and sanctioned it, allowing the guilty actors to move? Thus retaining their pensions, liberty and the politicians their lives.
        Nicholson, Bower and how many more of these venal conspirators are there and who is going to cleanse the Augean Stables? Hunt the *unt…….no. He’s much too..”nice” for that.
        Why are most of our visible politicians ragingly odd, and our Administrators so evilly sadistic?

    • Tim Toddles

      ‘join UKIP and proud to have you on our side’ the side that gets eggs pelted at your face when you travel up north, no thanks, no pride in that.

      • Fergus Pickering

        Heavens, every good and reasonable person will be the target of Scotch eggs. The SNP has a very large fascist wing. The poet High MacDiarmid, a founding father of SNP was a classic Stalinist fascist. Salmond is a useful idiot.

        • Goodgulf_the_Grey

          I think I would rather be pelted with Scotch eggs, hard as they are, since breadcrumbs are easy to brush off.

  • terence patrick hewett

    In July 1964 John Harris, a close friend of Hain’s family, left a time bomb in Johannesburg railway station. It killed one person; a grandmother out for the day with her grand-daughter (she was Welsh as it happens: ironic since Hain represents a Welsh constituency). They had to shovel granny into a sack; her granddaughter had her face blown off; 20 others were seriously injured. Harris was hanged for the crime. Peter Hain spoke at the funeral eulogising this act and soon afterwards Hain and his parents left South Africa to continue their mischief here. The horribly injured child travelled to England to see Hain; he refused to see her. Hain is an inveterate and bitter enemy of Britain and always has been. He is also a moral coward, a liar, a faker and a fraud. He pollutes British politics by his oily presence.

    • CortUK

      You missed a few points:

      – Hain was a child at the time of that event. 14 when it happened, and 15 when Harris was executed.

      – His family didn’t “leave” SA as much as flee from persecution by the Apartheid authorities. Hain himself had experienced harassment from the security police from the age of 10.

      – Hain has had a life of death threats several assassination attempts since, due to his support for majority rule in SA.

      I detest Hain as much as the next guy. He is a snivelling worm of a Labour politician. But that doesn’t mean you should portray him as you did here.

      However, I am very interested to learn more about the child victim’s attempt to contact him. He should have the courage to defend all of his actions. Please can you provide sources.

      • blindsticks

        Bank robber. Just saying.

        So why cant he got back now? They have laws against picking on white anti apartheid/ ‘anti racists’ – don’t they? And if he loves Africans so much….

        Just saying.

      • http://daedparrot.blogspot.com/ Daedalus X. Parrot

        The bomber gave, at most, only 12 mins or so notice about the bomb going off on a busy station during the Friday rush hour. Other reports say that he gave only 8 minutes notice.

        What did Hain do regarding this atrocity? Show sympathy to the victims? No, Hain publicly praised the bomber at his funeral. Even though he was 15 at the time, he still should have known enough about right and wrong to have realised how wrong it was to praise a homicidal bomber.

        I can’t find any record of Hain making a public speech of sorrow at the grandmother’s death or showing sympathy concerning the horrific disfiguration of her 17 year old granddaughter.


        planting the bomb at Johannesburg’s central station which killed a 77-year-old woman and injured 23 others

        Peter Hain MP, who as a 15- year-old schoolboy read the address at the bomber’s funeral, said yesterday: “John Harris was one of several family friends who sacrificed their lives or were imprisoned in the struggle for freedom in South Africa.”


        On July 24, 1964, a bomb made mainly from sticks of dynamite and petrol exploded in the main concourse of Johannesburg railway station, killing a grandmother, disfiguring for life her 17-year-old granddaughter, and injuring others.

        Mr J H Openshaw of the Rand Daily Mail told the court that he received a call “soon after 4.20 pm” [note: this differs from the time given in the RDM news report of 25 July, above] on 24 July from an anonymous telephone caller who told him to listen very carefully as what he had to say was very important. The caller said that a bomb timed to go off at 4.33 pm had been placed in the main concourse of the station, repeated the message, and hung up.

        On 12 October John Harris confessed in court to planting a suitcase with dynamite and petrol in it next to a bench in the Johannesburg Station concourse at 4.05 pm, and then driving to the Jeppe Street post office and “telephoning the station and two newspapers to be cleared so that nobody would be hurt”.

      • G burleigh

        If you are still interested…l can ..l am that girl who at 12 yrs old recieved 70% burns …not just getting my face blown off..a lot more. Google may help… I was being interviewed in or around 1971 ..and the journalist telephoned Hain to ask if he was prepared to meet me…Hain refused. He persists in saying that Harris did not intend to hurt anyone …Hmm …So why did he place a VERY explosive petrol bomb just two feet away from a family in a cubicle..the concourse was HUGE ..and he could have put it in a vacant space ….and not at the busiest time for commuters…in a cubicle.!!

    • chris_xxxx

      He is the MP for Neath. You could put a red rosette on a donkey there and it would win. His mate Neil Kinnock made sure he got a nice safe seat.

      I cannot stand listening to the man.

  • terence patrick hewett

    I apologise for one error in my last post: the grandmother Ethel Rhys was not shovelled up in a sack; she died one month after the incident: reference, the granddaughters letter to Francis Bennion:


  • Alexsandr

    Farage admittied attending lapdancing clubs. James mentions fisting here. These things exist, are legal and some people enjoy them.

    I find it refreshing that some politicians are not afraid to mention stuff like this and if criticised, say ‘so what’. And Farage has already done this, and I hope James is the same. I think being up front like this should be UKIP policy

    If you are weak hearted dont follow this link.


    what is funny is when i was a kid in Yorkshire fisting was the verb for punching. As in ‘I fisted him in the gob’ meaning I punched him in the mouth.

    • NotYouNotSure

      At least one knows that Farage is a real human being, with politicians like Cameron I wonder if he simply a robot manufactured to utter the correct political phrases, like those toys where you pull a string and they say something.

  • Hugh Jardon

    Ah the “stern lady”, would that be UKIP’s resident main UAF linkwoman?

  • rob from kingston

    “What I can’t bear, though, is this formulaic parading of empathy that so many politicians feel is required of them these days.” – Now there’s a refreshing chunk of good taste and common sense. Bravo.

  • raymond francis jones

    some non trained speakers have a strange way of being believable,the experts come across as rehearsed waffle.

  • welshdai

    Hain is up there with the slimiest of the slimy like Mandelson still in the closet,Straw,Cooper Balls up,McShane, Milburn etc.etc
    Just look at Hains record? Like Kinnock never had a job?
    What were the good people of Neath thinking when they let the failed Kinnock impose this scum bag on them?

  • Mnestheus

    Dellers’ sheer force of quackery makes one fear for the occupants of his ornamental duck house.

  • Jules Wright

    Good for you D-POLE. I’ve just joined UKIP. Coincidentally used to be the dep chairman of an award-winning conservative branch office near Market Harborough. Currently weighing up whether, like sonar, I now should go active or passive. Your coming out analogy is bang on target and gigglesomely accurate; I feel … intellectually free.

    Keep up the good work by the way. Disruptive discourse is invaluable; the establishment retards – and something odd called ‘Nick Clegg’ – hate it.