Matthew Tempest, Guardian (London), Feb. 2
Britain’s newest political party, Veritas, was launched today on a populist platform of “straight-talking” and defending the country against asylum, immigration and multiculturalism, under former chatshow host Robert Kilroy-Silk.
In a 15-minute debut speech to reporters at Westminster, Mr Kilroy-Silk lambasted Tony Blair and Michael Howard as “liars” and said his new party would be looking for the votes of those who had “been made to feel ashamed of their culture and being British”.
Mentioning only “mass immigration and uncontrolled asylum” as policy areas, the former TV star and MEP — now on his third political party after spells with Labour and Ukip — bordered on ranting as he repeatedly dismissed the entire British political establishment as liars, before saying the British public were “tired of yah-boo politics”.
With only Mr Kilroy-Silk and ex-Ukip London assembly member Damian Hockney so far signed up as the public face of the party — which hopes to replace Ukip as the home of the anti-EU vote — the new leader did not explain who would fund his “straight-talking” party, or how many candidates it would put up at the next election.
Unrolling a scroll of paper symbolising the “lies and broken promises” of the mainstream parties, Mr Kilroy-Silk said: “The British people are fed up of being lied to, talked down to and patronised.
“They are tired of yah-boo politics. They are tired of paying obedience to the norms of ‘multiculturalism’, tired of being ashamed of their culture and being British.
“We are different. We will listen and engage in a conversation with our compatriots. There is a magical mood out there for change.
“No more lies, evasion, spin.”
Despite making no mention of any policy platform beyond asylum and immigration at today’s launch — the MEP promised there would be “detailed policies” laid out over the “next few days and weeks”.
In the meantime, Mr Kilroy-Silk accused the prime minister of “still lying” over asylum, saying: “We have now lost control of our own borders. A country without control of its own borders is no longer a sovereign state.
“Mass immigration is a very serious problem, as is uncontrolled asylum. Have you ever been asked about that? I know I haven’t.
“It’s another deception — don’t they know they’ve been rumbled?”
Mr Kilroy-Silk left the BBC last year after an Express column penned by him described Arabs as “limb amputators and women-oppressors” who had contributed nothing to world culture.
He then joined Ukip, standing for and winning a East Midlands seat as an MEP last June, and helping the party to its highest profile and most successful campaign ever, where it won 12 seats in Brussels and two on the London assembly, before acrimoniously leaving the party at the end of the last year after a failed bid to launch a leadership coup.
Disillusioned members of Ukip have nicknamed his new party “Vanitas” in sly tribute to Mr Kilroy-Silk’s permanent suntan.
(Posted on February 3, 2005)
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