8 Oct 2014

Why Ukip has a problem with women

If the Labour Party had any sense, or money, they’d get some vaguely Ukip-coloured campaign flyers made up in Heywood and Middleton, bearing the slogan: “We do have a problem with women.”

Because that’s the classic soundbite which emanated from the mouth of Ukip‘s deputy leader Paul Nuttall after a poll yesterday showed that women in the by-election seat were blowing the party a giant raspberry.

Ok I’ll be fair. Nuttall went on to say the following: “We do have a problem with women, in terms of – we are disproportionately supported by males. That has got to change over the next parliament.”

Nigel Farage in a cafe with women

There’s something very Ukip about the use of the word “males”, but leaving that aside for a minute, I must applaud Nuttall for his honesty.

The poll in question showed Ukip attracting 41 per cent of male voters and only 21 per cent of female voters. By contrast, 38 per cent of men and 58 per cent of women planned to vote Labour. So clearly Ukip does have a problem with women.

‘Bloke-ish’

The leader Nigel Farage was as commendably upfront as his deputy. “The problem with female voters and Ukip is that, over the last five to ten years at times on a very bad day we’ve looked a bit bloke-ish, a bit like a rugby club on a day out and I’m probably the most guilty person of all,” he said.

Resisting the standard Westminster spin is one reason why Ukip has garnered the anti-politics vote so successfully, and to the great detriment of the mainstream parties. But it’s also true that Ukip couldn’t spin itself out of its women problems even if it wanted to. And therein lies the problem.

Farage no doubt doesn’t need to be reminded of his pal Godfrey Bloom’s description of women as “sluts”, not to mention Bloom’s declaration that “no self-respecting small businessman with a brain in the right place would ever employ a lady of child-bearing age”.

And while the Ukip leader has rightly said he won’t “pretend” to win over women voters, he should perhaps search a little harder for his inner feminist.

Female MEPS

Bloom was suspended but he wasn’t sacked, and ended up leaving the party of his own accord after Farage said he didn’t want to see his friend “hounded out of the party”.

And the leader himself has opined that a woman in the City who takes time off to have children is “worth far less to the employer when she comes back than when she went away”.

With gems like that coming from Ukip mouths, it’s not difficult to see why the party is struggling with women in Heywood and Middleton, but it is difficult to see how the Ukip leopard can change its spots.

The leadership points out that it now has seven female MEPs, and cites the prevalence of female party apparatchiks as “a complete sea change”. Certainly there are vocal and passionate women climbing the ranks, though we’ll see if they stay the course.

Farage was quoted yesterday as being in something of a quandary about his little local difficulty with the ladies. “I’m not sure what you want me to do, I might go and sell flowers,” he said.

Somehow I think something rather more fundamental than saying it with flowers is needed.

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6 reader comments

  1. Michael Kelly says:

    It appears that you would like to see UKIP do well next year, I hope that Mr Farage takes heed to what you’ve hinted at. Thank you for a woman’s view.

  2. Philip Edwards says:

    Cathy,

    I’ve always said you girls got a bad deal from Mother Nature. By comparison, us blokes have a doddle.

    Then along comes UKIP and makes things even worse for women.

    But really, the Farage gang are just tories gone even more loopy – the “social democrats” of the right……and bound for the same eventual demise.

    Anybody who votes for them should be sentenced to community service for life. In Bradford.
    :-)

    Should provide some laughs though. We’re talking real Keystone Kops stuff here.

  3. Nigel K. Williams says:

    I have watched you interview/interrogate Nigel Farage and can only say it is you who have the problem with UKIP…. The rest of us think they are fine and dandy……..

    1. Philip says:

      I wish UKIP supporters would stop assuming the majority of people support them or “have no problem” with them. Count me out, please. They are garnering a protest vote – albeit deserved – based on essentially a single policy to solve all the UK’s ills – a policy which will prove to be economically & socially disastrous, since it’s based largely on wishful thinking and a negative reaction to change, rather than any way of adapting to change which can’t be undone. I have never voted Tory in my life, as I detest all they stand for, but if it looked as though UKIP were going to win in my constituency, I’d even vote Tory to keep them out.

  4. Andrew Dundas says:

    UKIP and the SNP share similar delusions.
    There is, of course, no such thing as “Independence” for countries these days. No country can make it’s own policies any more. All of us have to secure agreements with others and rely on market determined prices for their trades. For example, US oil prices and development are determined largely by thousands of dealers spread across the world.
    Even the USA is seeking an agreement with others; the proposed N Atlantic trade deal requires concessions from both the EU and USA about their respective internal agricultural & other policies. The NAFTA trade deals steers commerce in Mexico and Canada as much as in the USA.
    Voting for any of these “independence” parties is support for a profound delusion. Perhaps that’s why so many women are sceptical of their offerings?

  5. anon says:

    some unpleasant comments are simply incomprehensible, but perhaps this sort of attitude and related behaviours exist across the Parties, in people with power they can misuse, in religious organisations, everywhere, but where such people are not so open about it? Fortunately there are outstanding news outlets like Channel 4 News who can shine a light on the darkness and this will /is helping to change things for the better..

    Something that has come across very clearly is that many journalists have far more idea about what is happening in the World and have a greater heart to see justice and healing for those who are suffering than [seemingly] many of those they interview?

    Your very brave journalists impassioned pleas from the mountain for someone to come and help the Yazidi, I am quite sure helped change the Political agenda, and stopped a lot of suffering that might otherwise have taken place

    My question would be how do we make what should happen, happen a lot faster than it does at present? To stop the suffering almost as soon as it starts, and one day to stop it altogether?

    best wishes

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