Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Rupert Matthews and the UKIP golliwog

We have seen Rupert Matthews as a lecture in the paranormal and warning of EU plans to invade Britain. It is time to look at his activities as a political publisher.

Earlier this month Political Scrapbook (from whom I have borrowed the photo) reported that a "golliwog book" was on sale at the Conservative Party Conference. That book turns out to have been Britain - A Post Political Correctness Society by Bill Etheridge, published by one Rupert Matthews.

It turns out that Etheridge and his wife were recently forced to leave the Conservative Party after posing with golliwogs on Facebook. They have since joined UKIP. And though it is not a "golliwog book", it certainly has one on the cover.

I am on record as being relaxed about golliwogs, but I doubt that Tory high command will be amused. If anything threatens Matthews' fledgling career in the European Parliament it will not be his paranormal interests or his vision of EU tanks rolling into London. It will be his sticking up of two fingers at David Cameron. 

There are signs that someone close to Matthews has recognised this. Etheridge's book does not appear among the political books on the website of his firm Bretwalda Books. And a video about it has recently been taken down.

But you can still read about it on the Bretwalda Books Facebook page:*
In this fearless and controversial booklet, Bill Etheridge argues that the political and social elite have cravenly surrendered to the diktat of the Politically Correct dogma that has crushed free speech, smashed enterprise and reduced Britain to a mere shadow of its former self. Using personal insights and real life examples he shows how our political leaders can no longer be trusted and issues a powerful rallying cry for all lovers of freedom to stand up against the totalitarian bigots who have forced Political Correctness upon us.
"Our political leaders can no longer be trusted." It's an odd view for a Conservative MEP to be promoting.

* This page has now disappeared too.


Anonymous said...

Hmm, not really sure how relevant you being 'relaxed' about golliwogs is to the debate. I see from your picture that it's unlikely they've ever been used to demean you or your ancestors...

As for Rupert Matthews - should I be pleased that this is the best the euro-sceptic wing of the tory party can dig up, or depressed that this man now represents thousands of us Midlanders in Europe? Both, I suppose.

Jonathan Calder said...

If you think my views are not relevant, this may not be the best blog for you to read.

Anonymous said...

You misunderstand me and don't want to make a big ho-ha out of one remark because I do enjoy your blog a great deal. The Midlands needs interesting and informative blogs such as yours. But on the specific issue of golliwogs I am trying to point out (perhaps rather clumsily) that whether you are 'relaxed' about such things (as no doubt Rupert Matthews and Bill Etheridge feel they are too) is neither here nor there as it is not (with all due respect) middle-aged, white men who are affected by the issue.

Jonathan Calder said...

Perhaps "relaxed" was a little flippant - employing Blairite terminology for humorous effect – but as I have written the post it links to it would have been hypocritical of me to write a post calling Matthews a racist because of that cover.

And I doubt that he or Etheridge is relaxed about golliwogs. They seem very exercised by them to me.

I am happy for people to disagree with my views. I take less kindly to people telling me I have no right to an opinion because I can be assigned to a particular social group.

Still, I am glad you like the blog (most of the time).