“The fact that Nigel Farage praises the Conservatives’ manifesto for having UKIP policies should ring alarm bells among traditional Conservative voters.
“This is not the party it used to be.”
So warned Dominic Grieve QC, the former Attorney General in a Tory government who was squeezed out of the party because after it was taken over by Bullshit Boris Johnson and the so-called European Research Group of hard-right Brexiteers. Grieve was one of 21 Conservative MPs who had the party whip removed from them in September for refusing to support Johnson’s Brexit Bill.
Grieve, who has remained as a Remainer, is standing for election again in Beaconsfield, where he has been MP for 22 years, holding a 24,000-vote majority in 2017, though this time he is standing as an independent with Bullshitter Boris’s Tory Party putting up Joy Morrissey as its “Get Brexit Done” candidate.
But it is not just out in the shires where Tory candidates are actively seeking, and getting, the support of Farage and other far-right figures and racists. Here in Croydon, the Conservative candidate standing against Steve Reed OBE has also actively sought the backing of characters on the fringe of politics who hold some particularly obnoxious views.
Donald Ekekhomen is the candidate who was hand-picked by the local Tory leadership of Tim Pollard and Mario Creatura to lose in Croydon North: Reed has seen his majority grow to 32,000 at the last General Election.
But the hopelessness of the task facing Ekekhomen does not lessen the insidious danger of the far-right influence in his campaign.
At the weekend, Ekekhomen was quoted on the website of the Croydon Constitutionalists, a group set up by disaffected former UKIP supporters who include Michael Swadling.
Swadling was a candidate for Farage’s party in Croydon North in 2017, where he polled a pathetic 753 votes to Reed’s 44,213. Indeed, Swadling’s brand of politics has been rejected by the democratic will of the Croydon public on the numerous occasions he has stood for public office. Yet so warped are the values of Swadling and his far-right mates that the Ekekhomen article on their website describes Reed as “the anti-democracy MP”. They offer no justification for this.
Swadling is a former Conservative Party member who left because they were not right-wing enough, and so joined UKIP. That Ekekhomen is the kind of Tory which Swadling can now publicly support does, indeed, demonstrate how far to the right the Conservatives under Johnson have shifted.
Swadling and the anti-constitutionalists are also backing Chris Philp, the Conservative candidate in Croydon South who in 2016 campaigned to Remain, but has recently gone full-on for the Bullshit Boris Brexit, coincidentally around the same time that he was offered some career advancement at Westminster by the unelected Prime Minister.
Swadling’s anti-constitutionalists say that they are, “Always keen to support people in Croydon prepared to support democracy and Brexit”, though their interview with Ekekhomen asks the candidate nothing about his views on Brexit or how he thinks it might work.
Nor did the anti-constitutionalists ask rookie candidate Ekekhomen what he thinks of racism and racists, or immigration.
Because had Ekekhomen done any homework before his interview with the anti-constitutionalists, he will have discovered that Swadling regularly dabbles in racist language, using social media to spread divisive hate-filled racist tropes, the kind of which the majority of voters in Croydon North would find deeply offensive.
Ekekhomen is not the first Croydon Tory to seek support from Swadling and his far-right mates.
In 2017, Swadling, then a paid-up member of UKIP and official in the Farage-run party, assumed “bouncer” duties at a poorly attended event where the star turn was Gavin Barwell, just before he lost his parliamentary seat. Swadling’s conduct that night, including some sneering, dismissive comments directed at a young Muslim woman, yet he received support from another Tory, Jason Cummings, the local councillor who remains the deputy leader of the Conservatives at Croydon Town Hall.
Winning at any cost appears to have become a common trait among Croydon’s Tories, who so eagerly sought support from the controversial cult-like SPAC Nation church, which is currently under investigation by the fraud squad and subject to two probes by the Charity Commission.
But for Ekekhomen, and his Croydon Tory backers such as Mario Creatura and Tim Pollard, such matters appear unimportant and ignored in their support for Bullshit Boris’s Brexit.
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