Ukip if you want to, LFG is not for (U)kipping

Warning: this post contains images of confrontation and challenges by door-staff

By this morning it was confirmed: the weird UK Independence Party (UKIP) made many gains in the local council elections in England. What does this unfortunate party stand for? They stand for repealing the climate change act (because climate change is a myth peddled by pigmented European intellectuals); they stand for repealing the ban on smoking in public places (because cancer from second-hand smoke is a myth spun by public sector types who like libraries, tax and falafel); they stand for ‘freedom’ to allow our protean, base animal psychology to do whatever it feels like within the private and public sphere and hang the sensitivities of people for whom the market is torture-by-barter; they stand, in other words, for science, for knowledge, for learning to have no part in how policy is confected, preferring the sort of prejudice and gut-instinct you find at the bottom of a racist toby-jug.

With this in mind, last week we hopped over to Cardiff to lend support to Welsh Labour’s fight against UKIP in the concurrent European elections in Wales. As Welsh Assembly Minister for Health and Social Services, Labour’s Mark Drakeford has made a lot of positive noises regarding the malignant influence of bad lifestyle choices on the health of his nation. It was also a chance, courtesy of Gerskzer, to raise some awareness about making people who ‘vape’ look like they’ve got Parkinsons disease (to put children off). At least, that was the plan.

Sadly, what should’ve been a productive day out turned bubonically sour when heavy-handed forces – at a guess ultimately deriving from Big Tobacco, Big Alcohol, Big Sugar, Big Sodium, Big Carbon and Big Silicate – put pressure on the door-staff of the Welsh Assembly – beyond the purview of Mr Drakeford – to shunt us away from effective areas of action and deny us our right to free assembly in the heart of a nation which sings ‘hymns and arias’ whenever such gathering happens above five or six figures.

But then, the bullies didn’t have the last word. Fortunately, the trip was saved by Len Jones, leader of Caerphilly Council. Unbidden, Len came down to Cardiff to make up our figures and after the rude shunt upstreet by security goons was determined to show us the real and positive side of Welsh health policy. With his invitation, we headed up to Tredomen in the Valleys, home to the HQ of Caerphilly Borough Council, for a chat about the truly brilliant forward-stance Caerphilly are taking on health as it applies to its own staff inside council spaces. Other councils would do extremely well to take note. Click on the first pic to begin a photostream of our journey to the Welsh Assembly. An audio report of the extraordinary efforts at Caerphilly Council will become available in the next day or two.

UPDATE: Our audio report, embargoed since we made this post, is now finally available here. 

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