By Guy Smallman, in Birmingham
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Bigots, alt-right bloggers and vicious Islamophobes at Ukip conference

This article is over 3 years, 4 months old
Issue 2623
Inside Ukips conference
Inside Ukip’s conference (Pic: Guy Smallman)

The annual Ukip conference in Birmingham saw an organisation of bitter, paranoid ultra-conservatives trying to revive their fortunes by moving yet further to the right.

Despite the recent recruitment of young high profile alt-right media personalities, the age range inside the conference hall remained unchanged from previous years.

Delegates were posh, older and 99 percent white.

The only one of the new additions to address the conference was Mark Meecham.

Also known as Count Dankula, Meecham is the YouTube “personality” convicted of antisemitic hate crime.

The disgraced former Tory MP Neil Hamilton warmed up the crowd with a childish rant against equality which saw snide attempts at humour.

The keynote speech came from leader Gerard Batten.

Islamophobic

There was plenty of self-congratulation combined with the Islamophobic lies he is well known for.

His policies for segregated Muslim prisons and the scrapping of hate crime legislation push the party into territory previously occupied by the likes of the Nazi British National Party.

His address pretty much set the tone for the rest of the event.

The whole conference was dominated by Islamophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia and climate change denial.

By contrast the noisy demonstration outside organised by Stand Up To Racism saw a range of speakers from local communities and trade unions take on the bigots.

Several Muslim women took to the microphone to counter the lies that were coming from inside the conference centre—and the platform.

And a local teacher gave an excellent speech about how his workplace was enriched by many languages, religions and races.

The handful of Ukip members who ventured outside to make cringeworthy attempts at heckling were a pitiful sight by comparison.

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