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20 December 2012updated 07 Sep 2021 11:57am

Geoffrey Clark’s rant is just UKIP rhetoric turned up a notch

UKIP brands comments in Clark's personal manifesto "abhorrent", but the party's official document is equally ill-conceived.

By Hannah Meltzer

UKIP council election candidate, Geoffrey Clarke, came under fire this week for comments made in his personal manifesto that mothers should be forced to undergo “compulsory abortion” when their fetus has Downs Syndrome or Spinal Bifida.

Following widespread outcry, UKIP has since suspended Clark from the party and tweeted that the they “reject the abhorrent views expressed in the personal manifesto of Mr Geoffrey Clark.”

But while UKIP’s official “straight-talking manifesto for the local government elections” doesn’t touch upon the abortion comments which led to Clark’s suspension, it expresses many of the same ideas as the rest of his document. 

Clark has been critisised for his expressed intention to “deport riff-raff”, but this sentiment is only an extension of pledges on immigration in UKIP’s official manifesto, including: withholding “all state benefits” from immigrants until they have lived in the country for five years; deporting “all illegal immigrants and failed asylum seekers”; and ending benefits in cash to “anyone who is not a British citizen”.

Their environmental policy is no less extreme. Under the heading “Climate”, the manifesto proposes closing the climate change department, and “[ending] ugly, cost-ineffective renewable energy scams”.

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The official manifesto is also written in the same rhetoric-heavy, fact-light style as Clark’s document; some loosely-conceived pledges include “[refusing] to tolerate any anti-social behaviour or petty crime”, “[making] sentences mean what they say”, and the spectacularly vague, “[cracking] down on nuisance neighbours”.

Clark’s personal manifesto, which has now been deleted but is cached here, begins with the caveat “I am mainly content with our policies but […] we are far too sqeamish about attacking our opponents. We must attack them mercilessly, remorselessly and harshly.”

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He need not have worried, because UKIP’s official manifesto is almost as merciless and harsh as his own, and every bit as ropey.