One of Britain’s influential political blogs, Guido Fawkes, has published an edited video of UK Independence Party (UKIP) leadership candidate Anne Marie Waters under the headline: “Anne Marie Waters: ‘I am a Left Winger'”.
The three-minute video from 2014 shows Ms. Waters describing her politics as she stood for a parliamentary seat for the Labour Party. Ms. Waters’s previous affiliation with Labour was never hidden, but bloggers at Guido Fawkes are seeking to make a point of it, hoping to influence the UKIP leadership election.
During the edited video, contrary to the headline, Ms. Waters clearly states: “I don’t really describe myself, most of what I believe would be standard left wing but I wouldn’t really describe myself as as left or a right or anything of the kind”.
In the Guido Fawkes copy however, they selectively quote the following, leaving out the above caveat:
Most of what I believe would be standard left-wing… I believe in what I believe in. I believe in a strong public sector, I believe in the NHS. If there was a traditional left-wing, yes… that’s what I believe in…
Ms. Waters’s comments about being neither left nor right wing on the political spectrum have also been uttered by former UKIP leader Nigel Farage on a number of occasions.
In an interview with the New Statesman in 2014, Mr. Farage said: “There is no left and right any more. Left and right is irrelevant… We need big change. We’ve got to get back control of our country. We’re in deep denial about how we’ve given away control of almost everything. When you get back control of your country you get proper democracy. You get back proper debate. I mean, who is debating employment legislation at the next election? Nobody. Why? We don’t make the law any more. In the Seventies we scarcely talked about anything else.”
Ms. Waters left the Labour Party in 2015, choosing to join UKIP who she has previously said represented issues closer to her heart. She has become a widely quoted campaigner on the issue of radical Islam, Sharia, and British communities.
Recently, the Dutch firebrand politician Geert Wilders offered Ms. Waters his support, tweeting:
She is very brave, intelligent and strong. A real freedom fighter!
— Geert Wilders (@geertwilderspvv) July 2, 2017
The Guido Fawkes blog has taken aim at the populist nationalist movement a number of times in previous months, even attacking its own readership.
In 2016, the site’s editor Paul Staines declared “jihad” on the website’s commenters, stating: “This is a good time to update readers on our periodical jihad against toxic, boring repetitive comments from people who would not want to be sat next to in a pub. We want the comments to be like a fun pub with a good atmosphere and friendly banter. Last year we introduced Disqus comment registration and we were told – by the same boring, repetitive comment makers – that it would be the end of the site. Traffic rose. We blocked 20 toxic trolls last month and it made little difference to even the number of comments received, we still had 81,772 comments. We warned toxic trolls they were in danger of getting blocked and we blocked them for repeat offences. That is our arbitrary policy.”
Guido has also taken aim at Rebel Media’s Tommy Robinson in recent months, comparing him to the Islamic hate preacher Anjem Choudary whose al-Muhajiroun group has been linked to a number of terrorist attacks and plots in the United Kingdom.
Guido said the two were alike because they both understand Islam, have been in prison, have been interviewed by the BBC, have enjoyed drinking and smoking, and come from Luton.
After making the comparison, the blog’s Twitter account lost hundreds of followers.
It is unclear why the Guido Fawkes website opposes opposition to radical Islam, though the site’s traffic is not what it used to be, with many preferring to find their UK political news at newer websites like Rebel Media, and Breitbart.com.
Guido Fawkes’s News Editor did not respond to a request for comment.