Monday, 6 May 2013

Still room in the Klown Kar, apparently

Neil Hamilton is planning to stand for UKIP. And it gets better.
Party members hope his wife can be convinced to run alongside him.
Showing that the debacle of Robert Kilroy-Silk’s nine-month membership has not put Nigel Farage’s party off celebrity candidates, the pair could be joined on the list by DJs Jon Gaunt and Mike Read. But The Independent has seen internal emails from grassroots members complaining about being “totally ignored” over selection choices.
Mike Read? The author of the legendary Oscar Wilde musical? Jiggery me sideways, this is getting better by the day. In Mike's own words: "Your barbaric ways/ Leave me quite amazed."

But let's focus on the one with a real political pedigree. Neil Hamilton is a controversial figure, not so much because of his wacky personality but because he is obviously dodgy. He can be guaranteed to screw up, big time, if he gets back into the political limelight.

He sued the BBC for libel back in the Eighties in part because Panorama reported, correctly, that Hamilton had given a Sieg Heil salute on a parliamentary strip to Berlin. In his defence, Hamilton noted that he often did impressions, and had once blacked up to portray Idi Amin.  

That was comparatively trivial, however, compared to 'cash for questions'. Hamilton escaped any actual criminal conviction, but he was ousted from his seat by Martin Bell, who stood as an independent anti-corruption candidate. Hamilton then sued Harrod's owner Mohammed Al Fayed - who had paid several MPs to advance his interests - and lost, becoming bankrupt as a result. Al Fayed famously compared Hamilton to a rent boy, adding that if you pay a rentboy to do something, he does it, whereas Hamilton just took the money and did nothing.

Overall, UKIP's latest recruit comes across as shifty, greedy, and very accident-prone. An ideal candidate, really. He and Nigel Farage can get together and discuss the best ways to make hefty personal profits from a political career.

And I'll bet they can come up with some hilarious jokes, too. One recalls the sparkling Commons debate when Greville Janner, a Jewish MP, noted that half his family had been killed by the Nazis. Quick as a flash, the witty Hamilton replied: 'Unfortunately, the wrong half.' What a guy. If people really do become more right wing with age, I shudder to think what Hamilton will come out with if he does stand for parliament again.

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