Late yesterday afternoon, my friend james brought something very interesting to my attention. UKIP has started the process of electing a new leader, and a guy called Daniel Baldwin has thrown his hat in. what is interesting, though, is that Baldwin has Cerebral Palsy.
Ordinarily, I try to ignore UKIP in the hopes that they might just go away. Anyone with any intelligence can see they are just BNP-lite, appealing to the fascists who don’t like to admit to being fascist, even to themselves. Their isolationist, anti-Europe policies would make the UK a pariah, but noooo, they’re not fascists. That’s just what the BNP says too.
Anyway, what, then, is this dude with CP doing in this far-right party, let alone running for it’s leadership? Of course, a person with CP can hold any views he or she likes, but in my experience having a congenital disability tends to make you open minded and tolerant. You yourself want to be tolerated, so you become more tolerant yourself. it baffles me, then, why this dude is even a contender.
Even more intriguing, though, is the prospect of him winning. I doubt this would happen, of course. The party is just too bigoted. As one UKIP supporter on a message board stated: ”Sorry to be negative but this strikes me as gesture politics. While Daniel maybe able to do a lot of good for the cause I simply do not believe that anyone with cerebral palsy is capable of leading a serious political party.” He clearly has underestimated people with cp and has confused UKIP with a ‘serious political party.”
That aside, what if Baldwin does indeed win? Firstly, I think it would just be seen as a stunt. People would dismiss it as a bit of cynical PR – as UKIP trying to appear nice and tolerant. Yet this might, in turn, split the party between those who crave validation as a modern progressive party and those who want it to reject tolerance and cling firmly to the far right. Moreover, if I’m right about people with CP generally being more tolerant, Baldwin (who, I should add, used to be in new Labour) will probably try to steer the party back towards the centre. The combined effects of this, I think, will be catastrophic for the party, causing all sorts of in-fighting and fracturing along ideological lines, which might just send the bunch of morons over the brink into political oblivion.
Let’s all look forward to the election of the first party leader with cerebral palsy.