I Went To The UKIP Diversity Carnival And It Was A Total Disaster

Nigel Farage's party organised a racial diversity event in Croydon. Everything that could go wrong did go wrong.

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Welcome to Croydon on Tuesday afternoon, where UKIP is holding a racial diversity carnival.

Jim Waterson / BuzzFeed

Nigel Farage's party have had a few issues with race, so they've decided to put on a carnival, complete with steel band, to show that they don't have any problems with race.

First problem: The steel band weren't told this would be a UKIP event when they were booked.

Jim Waterson / BuzzFeed

UKIP candidate Winston McKenzie apparently told them they were playing outside a shopping centre. They deny knowing anything about politics but bravely agree to play on and stay out of it.

(McKenzie is a former boxer and peripheral figure on the fringes of UKIP who has previously been involved with the Conservatives, Lib Dems, Labour and Veritas. This is his show.)

The band are ordered to get playing by a female UKIP press officer who's looking nervous. Under orders they start drumming, reluctantly, in the name of UKIP racial diversity or something.

CARNIV— Oh. This UKIP man isn't really getting into the spirit.

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In fact it's all going a bit wrong. No one's smiling. Everyone's getting angry. Where is the love?

UKIP carnival seems to be over after 3 minutes. Now just men shouting "not racist" at cameras.

Jim Waterson@jimwaterson

UKIP carnival seems to be over after 3 minutes. Now just men shouting "not racist" at cameras.

2:38 PM - 20 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Winston McKenzie is now involved in a pitched argument with most of the UK's political correspondents, a couple of passersby and sometimes his fellow UKIP candidates.

This bloke on the left is with UKIP. He's just realised that he's got a disaster on his hands, and Nigel Farage is due to turn up any minute now.

Meanwhile this UKIP candidate emerges from the scrum. She tells BuzzFeed she left Labour because it moved to the right under Tony Blair and UKIP is now the only party for her.

An advertising van turns up to display pro-UKIP slogans. A rumour starts to do the rounds that Nigel Farage is within the van, about to jump out as if he were in a giant wedding cake. No such luck.

Instead we turn to Winston McKenzie to keep the party running.

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Which works well for about 30 seconds until Anthony St Croix turns up.

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He starts getting angry about comments a UKIP candidate made about Lenny Henry having the option to leave the UK.

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Everyone's forgotten about the band, who have now packed up and are pretty pissed off.

Jim Waterson / BuzzFeed

They're also wondering whether there's any chance of them getting paid for the afternoon's work. Right now it's not looking hopeful.

The UKIP press officer on the left admits Nigel Farage is now unlikely to turn up. Because it's a total disaster.

This UKIP man says 90% sure Farage not coming, Michael Crick suitably saddened as a result.

Jim Waterson@jimwaterson

This UKIP man says 90% sure Farage not coming, Michael Crick suitably saddened as a result.

3:17 PM - 20 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

Dirk Muller, a UKIP council candidate who is originally from Germany but has lived in Britain since the '80s, said Nigel Farage should apologise to people for not turning up in Croydon.

His wife doesn't quite stick to the script. Regarding Farage's comments over Romanians, she says: "I don't think the apology was strong enough" and calls for him to go on the news and apologise for flirting with racism.

Winston McKenzie, who shows no sign of realising that he's organised an event that will go down as one of the greatest disasters in recent British political history, keeps battling.

Winston McKenzie refuses to confirm that he was on phone to Nigel, says Croydon is "too dangerous" right now.

Jim Waterson@jimwaterson

Winston McKenzie refuses to confirm that he was on phone to Nigel, says Croydon is "too dangerous" right now.

3:33 PM - 20 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite

THE EARTHQUAKE IS STILL COMING, with or without the CARNIVAL, he explains.

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McKenzie, UKIP candidate for Croydon council, goes on to explain that Croydon is "unsafe" for Nigel Farage to visit and is also "a dump".

Just to make things better.

And then the local schoolkids arrive and we’re left with a handful of UKIP activists having the piss taken out of them by children.

vine.co

But the worst bit? Endurance, the band booked to provide the Carnival vibes to help UKIP overcome their image issues, admitted to BuzzFeed that they hadn't even been paid.

Jim Waterson / BuzzFeed

Members of Endurance Steel told BuzzFeed that the event had left them £350 out of pocket as McKenzie did not return with the fee that had been promised.

Still, same time next year?

After reading this article XPatJobs, an employment agency that specialises in overseas job listings, has agreed to cover the £350 fee to the steel band that UKIP did not pay.

"It was a decision made after seeing the circumstances the steel band were expected to play under and then hearing via BuzzFeed they had not been paid as promised," a spokesman said. "XPatJobs has offered to pay the band and will sort out arrangements in the next couple of days."

Our cheque is in the post to @EnduranceSteel for the fee that UKIP failed to pay for the #ukipcarnival @jimwaterson

Xpatjobs@xpatjobs

Our cheque is in the post to @EnduranceSteel for the fee that UKIP failed to pay for the #ukipcarnival @jimwaterson

10:18 AM - 22 May 14ReplyRetweetFavorite