With just 124 days till European election polling day, you’d expect Ukip to be working tirelessly to professionalise the party’s operations and hide away any controversial opinions. They don’t appear to be doing a very good job so far. David Silvester, a Ukip councillor in Henley-on-Thames, has written to his local newspaper explaining how Britain’s recent spates of floods are David Cameron’s fault — because he has angered God with the Same Sex Marriage Bill:
‘The scriptures make it abundantly clear that a Christian nation that abandons its faith and acts contrary to the Gospel (and in naked breach of a coronation oath) will be beset by natural disasters such as storms, disease, pestilence and war.
‘I wrote to David Cameron in April 2012 to warm him that disasters would accompany the passage of his same sex marriage Bill but he went ahead despite a 600,000-signature petition by concerned Christians and more than half of his own parliamentary party saying that eh should not do so.’
‘Now, even as Cameron sheds crocodile tears on behalf of destitute flooded homeowners, playing at advocate against the very local councils he has made cash-strapped, it is his fault that large swathes of the nation have been afflicted by storms
‘He has arrogantly acted against the Gospel that once made Britain 'great' and the lesson surely to be learned is that no man or men, however powerful, can mess with Almighty God with impunity and get away with it for everything a nation does is weighed on the scaled of divine approval or disapproval’
Ukip has experienced more than its fair share of embarrassing statements from members and candidates, but as an elected politician Silvester’s comments are damaging to the party. Strangely Ukip's official response fails to condemn his remarks:
‘If the media are expecting UKIP to either condemn or condone someone's personal religious views they will get absolutely no response…it is quite evident that this is not the party's belief but the councillor's own, and he is more than entitled to express independent thought despite whether or not other people may deem it standard or correct. That is what makes the United Kingdom such a wonderful, proud, diverse and free country’
As we discussed on this week’s Spectator podcast, Ukip candidates are about to undergo more scrutiny than ever before as the party becomes a more serious electoral force. By taking such a laissez-faire approach on unconventional views, it does not bode well for a party hoping to convince the country they are more than a bunch of fruit cakes and loons.