Daily Express porn baron’s reasons for £1m UKIP splurge are a bit rich

UKIP an 'anti-establishment' party standing up to Vladimir Putin? Don't make us laugh

 

Defender of traditional Christian Britain / debaser of public morals Richard Desmond, owner of the Daily Express, Television X and Red Hot TV, has today lobbed £1.3million into the coffers of Nigel Farage’s UKIP, hailing the splurge on the front page of his newspaper

This is a bold move from a newspaper proprietor during an election campaign (Desmond is urging others to follow suit and donate), and the National Union of Journalists has condemned the showy price-tag when Express journalists have not seen a pay rise in seven years.

Thus the party of national tradition and patriotism is now bankrolled by the man behind Television X, ‘the best of British porn’. Rule Britannia etc.

tvxporn

But beyond that, Desmond’s reasons for switching his money from Labour (which he has funded in the past) to UKIP are a bit hard to stomach.

First and foremost, the millionaire claims he is backing Farage’s party to ‘shake up the Establishment’ (caps his). Says Desmond:

“I always have challenged the Establishment and I want to continue to challenge it. […]

“I am fed up with the complacency and cronyism and I’m fed up with the floppy-haired Eton club.”

Right. So why not support Labour or another left-wing party?

“I am also fed up with the champagne socialists who just tell people what they want to hear. UKIP is a thorn in their side. That is why I am doing this.

“I want them to carry on being a thorn in the side of the Tories and Labour.”

This conflation of ‘the establishment’ (that is, entrenched power) and political parties, by a soft-porn merchant and press baron, is as silly as his choice of rebel.

As the economist Chris Dillow wrote in an excellent piece in 2013, as the Dulwich-educated son of a stockbroker, Nigel Farage’s class background is ‘indistinguishable from Cameron’s or Clegg’s’.

He goes on to say that border controls, a flat tax, opposing gay marriage, cutting Brussels ‘red-tape’ (read: workers’ rights), and enough ‘reform’ of the welfare state to make Ian Duncan Smith blush, are an assault on individual liberty that shores up the power of the state and the rich.

Desmond’s other reason is just as laughable:

“I was concerned about the threat from Russia under President Vladimir Putin and was encouraged that Ukip want to spend 2 per cent of national income on defence and our Armed Forces.”

Farage even tried this one in the debate last night. Can this foe of Putin be the same man who said the EU had ‘blood on its hands’ over Ukraine, because ‘if you poke the Russian bear with a stick he will respond’? Who named Putin as the world leader he most admired? And whose party chairman Paul Nuttall recently blasted the EU for not recognising Putin’s annexation of Crimea?

If a party like this is our last line of defence against foreign tyrants, we really are in trouble.

This is before we even consider UKIP’s all-over-the-shop policies on immigration, or its race-baiting over a black plague of HIV-ridden African ‘health tourists’.

Arise then, Sir Farage of probably nowhere. King Richard the dirty anoints you his champion of the little guy.

Adam Barnett is a staff writer at Left Foot Forward. Follow MediaWatch on Twitter

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