Martin Hannan: Farage & Co no friends of Scots

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There are 30,852 admitted racists in Edinburgh, the Lothians and Fife. There are more than 140,000 British-white supremacists in Scotland.

If you believe that Ukip is at its core a racist and British-white supremacist party, then that can be the only logical conclusion of the vote in the Euro elections at the weekend.

Of course, most of those Scots who voted for Ukip and its anti-immigration policies are not racist, and the party is at pains to point out that it is not racist, even if Nigel Farage would be “concerned” if Romanians moved in next door.

What happened last Thursday is that a great many discontented people who detest the coalition government of the Westminster state decided to protest. We have a sophisticated electorate in Scotland, and people are quite comfortable with voting Ukip to have a dig at David Cameron and Nick Clegg and then going back to their normal voting at a general election.

I believe, however, that the extraordinary Ukip victory in England will show the referendum “don’t knows” and “No” voters just what the future might hold – a Conservative-Ukip coalition running the Westminster state, with Farage already claiming his party could hold the balance of power a year from now.

Don’t know about you, but that makes me want to redouble my efforts to get a Yes vote on September 18.

What really, really bugs me about Farage and Ukip is that they get such an easy time from our political journalist class. This mob of lazy Londoncentric timeservers are complete rottweilers when it comes to Alex Salmond, the SNP and the Yes campaign, yet they allow to go unquestioned – in some cases, actively promote – a party whose goal is to withdraw the UK from the European Union.

So where is the fierce questioning of Farage about the impact this will have on investment in Britain? A lot of global companies are in the UK precisely because it is part of the EU; so how will Farage replace that investment and the jobs that go with it?

The problem for Ukip is that now they have proven that they are a force in politics, their MEPs and councillors, and maybe soon MPs, will start to face serious questions from the electorate, if not the media.

For all his beery bonhomie, Farage can’t be everywhere at the same time and his lieutenants will not be able to stand the scrutiny that will come their way.

In terms of Scotland and their opposition to independence, it’s easy to nail the lack of logic of Ukip. They want to withdraw from a super-state because of the democratic deficit whereby unelected people in a different country make laws and rules that control our lives.

This is what Farage said early in the campaign: “We believe that the United Kingdom should be an independent, self-governing, democratic nation, not part of a political union with its headquarters in Brussels.” Substitute Scotland for UK and Westminster for Brussels and he could be a Yes voter.

Ah, but it’s the Westminster state, not the EU, which is the Yes target, and Farage so wants to be part of London’s ruling elite that he will deny to the Scots what he wants for the English – the right to run our country again.

Tony is up to Bakehouse job

Good to see that incredible spice man Tony Singh is expanding outside Edinburgh, having taken over the Old Bakehouse restaurant in West Linton. I’ve been a fan of Tony since Oloroso opened in 2001, and I’m sure the Singh magic will work at the Old Bakehouse which, I predict, will become a ‘destination restaurant’ less than 20 miles from Edinburgh.

He has a hard act to follow in Steve Harper and Fiona Ingram, who made the Old Bakehouse very special, but Tony’s haggis pakora alone will make a visit worthwhile.

We must bring the Mack back

As someone born in Glasgow who often visited the place just to marvel at its genius, I was stunned and deeply saddened by the pictures of the fire at Charles Rennie Mackintosh’s magnificent School of Art.

It seems that the building can be saved and some of its treasures restored. Ministers in Westminster and Holyrood united to pledge that the school will be rebuilt, and that is to their credit.

There will be those who say “it was only a building and why all this fuss - why not build a new one?” That denies the simple truth that the School of Art was the most influential building in Glasgow. It must be rebuilt as good as new.


Regular readers know I like to praise good service, so thanks to the good people at The Finishing Touch in St Patrick Square for saving a party with amazing masks.