Confined to relative obscurity as victims of their own success after Brexit, UKIP have since morphed into an alt-right fan club in search of a new platform and audience.
This was apparent on Saturday the 4th of August 2018 when a dozen or so individuals wearing ‘Make Britain Great Again’ caps and wielding ‘Free Tommy Robinson’ banners stormed the socialist bookshop Bookmarks in Central London, knocking over displays and ripping up newspapers.
Three of the crowd – Elizabeth Jones, Luke Nash-Jones and Martin Costello – were identified as high-profile members of UKIP.
Luke Nash-Jones runs a Youtube channel called Red Pill Factory: a deeply depressing space where the faces of Donald Trump and Tommy Robinson adorn each pixel in Mao-esque personality worshipping memes; where 40,000 extremely online faceless gremlins ‘own the Feminazis’, discuss absolutely everything through cuckoldry metaphors and make sure to add the disclaimer that they ‘can’t be racist because Islam isn’t a religion’ before every ill-conceived dunk on the ‘jihadi paedos’. It is the Mecca of the new Ukipper.
Red Pill Factory posted the video of the UKIP squad invading the bookshop, but quickly deleted it after realising that it painted them in a wholly unsympathetic way. It was reuploaded by Far Right Watch shortly after.
Nash-Jones and his cohort would be benign and slightly pathetic under normal circumstances, but UKIP gained 12.6% of the UK popular vote as recently as 2015. They have nosedived after the referendum, but there is sadly no denying them a place within the UK political mainstream. Their occupation of alt-right territory is therefore undoubtedly concerning considering their platform and household name status.
Ransacking shops and destroying literature have disturbing parallels throughout the 20th century that are too obvious to exhibit. A more concerning development is the huge online presence that the far-right now occupy across the internet, especially on Youtube. Watch any video vaguely related to politics or current affairs and watch your suggested videos sidebar degenerate into a selection of middle-class Canadian white girls discussing how a 1934 essay of Julius Evola actually predicted Gamergate, or a 3 hour lecture on ‘cultural Marxist’ infiltration of office HR departments by someone called Sargon of Akkad.
Roughly 3,000 people joined UKIP in the month of July, coming after years of steady membership decline. Though many of these are likely Brexiteers who are frustrated with Theresa May’s softish Brexit compromise in her Chequers white paper, a large proportion are also young people inspired by an avant-garde recruitment drive led by the Youtubers Paul Joseph Watson and the aforementioned Sargon of Akkad (actually a tubby middle-aged man from Swindon called Carl Benjamin who makes videos on how Harvey Weinstein’s victims are ‘gold-digging whores’, not an ancient Mesopotamian emperor).
Even UKIP’s former Tory old guard have joined in the fun with the new boy scout division: Neil Hamilton, an Enoch Powell fetishist who was found guilty of receiving bribes from Mohamed Al-Fayed in 1997, tweeted that he looked forward to developing ‘dank memes’ with the new Youtube caucus. Hamilton had been UKIP’s Welsh assembly leader from 2016 until May 2018, when he was fired for calling Leanne Wood a ‘concubine in a Hareem’ in literally his first ever speech to the assembly.
I’d like to welcome @PrisonPlanet, Sargon of Akkad, @CountDankulaTV and Milo Yiannopoulos to UKIP. I look forward to them developing truly dank memes that will trigger lefty luvvies like @GaryLineker, @mrjamesob and their politically correct establishment chums. Onwards! pic.twitter.com/OI1bIJQ9Qz
— Neil Hamilton AC/AM (@NeilUKIP) June 26, 2018
Going from Margaret Thatcher to a Youtuber named ‘Count Dankula’ is a significant decline in quality of dinner party guests, but honestly this isn’t a dumb move from Hamilton. The far-right views he espouses have reached their zenith on the deepest darkest corners on the internet, and this is where he will find new receptive minions.
Socialist bookshop employees beware, but social media users even more so: Irony-poisoned Tommy Robinson fans with Pepe avatars may have just hijacked a major UK political party.