I now live in a disturbing country. I say this because I can make neither head nor tail of what’s going on at present. Police officers are sacked or jailed, as is a part-time judge; some politicians resign in disgrace or are imprisoned; for decades the BBC was complicit in harbouring a serial sex offender of unprecedented evil – but what is the issue that proves so vexing?

The rise and rise of a small, young political party, which suffers occasional hiccups, but one which dares to challenge the moribund state of affairs that paralyses our nation; dares to raise the issues the others are scared to mention; dares to offer a truly different choice to the electorate.

The old parties, their policies no longer valid or of interest, resort to negativity, the sure sign of failure. Common sense, that instinctive guide to what is right, has been turned on its head; minorities dictate policy; reasoned democratic debate is shouted down; disagreement with central doctrine is condemned with words ending in -phobe or -ism.

The level of scrutiny and invective directed at UKIP by the establishment is grossly disproportionate and reminiscent of a totalitarian regime determined to preserve itself and crush real opposition. Defying this dangerous mindset is reason enough for UKIP to exist.

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