At the recent UKIP spring conference, Exeposé interviewed party member Winston McKenzie, who shared his views on racism, David Cameron and the Conservative government, and young people helping UKIP on their journey to power.
Winston McKenzie, UKIP member and ex-boxer, is probably most well known in politics for two things.
Firstly, he came third in the North Croydon by-election, beating the Liberal Democrat candidate Marisha Ray. Overall, UKIP’s votes rose by 4% to 5.7% in the election. This, McKenzie told Exeposé, ‘was brilliant’, and clearly a boost to the party’s ego. Secondly, you may remember the public backlash that ensued after he claimed adoption by gay couples constituted ‘child abuse.’ But McKenzie is not fazed by the criticism.
The 59-year-old politician, who has been a member of every major political party at some point in the last thirty years, still believes UKIP will go far. He told Exeposé: ‘I really sincerely hope that we sink the Tories in the forthcoming local elections, I hope that we sink them in the general election and I hope that we sink them in the European election so that they’re wiped off the face of the earth.’
It seems apparent that his dislike of the Conservatives is rooted in his evolving conflict with Prime Minister David Cameron. McKenzie explained: ‘He (Cameron) tries to be tough but he’s soft so I couldn’t aspire to him.’ McKenzie divulged that he has taken offence from ‘the quips that he (Cameron) has made about UKIP being fruitcakes and closet racists,’ which were ‘very disrespectful.’ He added: ‘I think it’s a personal jibe at me.’
But McKenzie praises UKIP’s leader Nigel Farage, saying that he is ‘greatly inspired’ by him. McKenzie also feels that UKIP are inspirational to young people and are the party of the future. ‘Many young people are looking at UKIP as the party that is listening to people, and as the party that will carry their voice,’ he told Exeposé.
‘We are turning over a new leaf now where we are getting a lot of young people showing interest in the party and that is great.’ He added: ‘I’m so amazed to hear the young people in UKIP holding seminars and talking about the future and putting ideas to the party, it’s absolutely amazing.
‘These young men and women are going to make great leaders one day.’
On the question of racism, of which UKIP are so often accused, McKenzie does not seem too fazed. ‘As far as UKIP is concerned I don’t notice racism on the level that some people do.’ But he does recognise the issue of racism. ‘Racism is everywhere. It’s everywhere in all walks of society. Racism is blatant, it’s abundant and it’s alive and kicking.’
Contrary to popular belief, McKenzie also believes that UKIP is becoming more attractive to ‘black and ethnic people’ who are ‘showing far greater interest in the party.’ Of this McKenzie noted: ‘I’m glad to say I’ve contributed to that.’
Where many may see racism as UKIP’s weak point, its relationship with other countries is certainly its strength for Eurocsceptics. There is no doubt that voters are drawn to UKIP for its unwavering stance on Europe and immigration.
McKenzie recognises this and believes the current system of electing MEPs is ‘a travesty of justice.’ He added: ‘They are unelected bureaucrats which we are throwing our money to and asking them to rule us, asking them to make policies on our behalf.’ McKenzie sees the European Union as a ‘big boy’s club’ and blames David Cameron for seeing fit to ‘brush this terrible injustice under the carpet.’
It must be quite crowded under that carpet, as McKenzie also feels that Cameron has failed to act upon the role of the bankers in the downturn of the economy. He told Exeposé: ‘They’ve taken our money; they’ve taken our souls and everything we own.’
Meg Lawrence, Features Editor
Interviewed by James Roberts, Features Editorbookmark me