For McKenzie’s political ambitions, the carnival is over

VOTE 2014: Winston McKenzie’s colourful career as a failed politician and hit-and-miss community activist has seen him accused in the past of not being able to organise the proverbial piss up in a brewery.

The carnival's over for Nigel Farage in Croydon

Isn’t it rich? Nigel Farage may have sent in the clown in Croydon

After today’s shambles on North End, it will be known that the UKIP candidate for South Norwood in Thursday’s Town Hall elections is incapable of organising a carnival in Croydon.

On the eve of the local and European elections, UKIP are trying hard to make it across the finishing line on polling day without again managing to fire both 12-bore barrels in their own feet with another scandal or allegations of racism or other assorted bigotry. So McKenzie tried to put on a carnival to demonstrate his party’s “diversity”. But there was barely any music, no food, no drink and no dancing. Just bad tempers, some shouting and some placards.

What unfolded, as Malcolm Tucker might have said, was a clusterfuck of an epic PR disaster outside Dorothy Perkins. “The most extraordinary political event I’ve been to in some time,” said Michael Crick, Channel 4 News’s veteran political correspondent.

McKenzie, the chairman of UKIP’s Croydon North and Lambeth party, had put it around that Nigel Farage would be attending. That the UKIP party leader never showed up may have done Farage a small pre-election favour. Some have suggested Farage’s absence was because McKenzie had forgotten to tell his party leader about the event.

McKenzie had certainly failed to inform the youngsters from a local steel band that they would be playing at a political event run by UKIP. They started packing away their instruments after one number, as various protesters, including some saying that they were Romanian, gathered to give Farage a piece of their mind. 

I'm in charge: Winston McKenzie presiding over the shambles outside the Whitgift Centre today

I’m in charge: Winston McKenzie presiding over the shambles outside the Whitgift Centre today

With broadcast microphones thrust into his face, McKenzie kept digging himself ever deeper into the massive crater he’d created. Croydon is “a dump”, he said. Asked why his leader had failed to arrive, McKenzie said something about Croydon being unsafe. “Certain situations you have to avoid.

“Can you blame him?” McKenzie said.

The last time McKenzie staged a public UKIP election event, when the former boxer was standing in the Croydon North by-election in 2012, his party leader was also billed to attend. He did not show up then, either. Can you blame him?

For McKenzie, political allegiance has always been about the expediency of getting himself elected, as he has managed previously to stand for Labour, Tories, LibDems, Veritas, as an independent, and for something called the Unity Party. But now for McKenzie’s political ambition, the carnival may finally be over.

 

Inside Croydon’s recent coverage of the local elections:


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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
This entry was posted in 2014 council elections, South Norwood, Winston McKenzie and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to For McKenzie’s political ambitions, the carnival is over

  1. davidcallam says:

    Winston is a fantasist, whatever party he represents.

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