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Sun 26 May 2019
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Carl Benjamin, the would-be UKIP MEP for South-West England, must recognise that he speaks out of both sides of his mouth when it comes to issues such as racism and misogyny.

I have no better way of putting it: Carl Benjamin is the Dunning-Kruger candidate. He is the walking, talking embodiment of an overestimated, overinflated belief in one’s intelligence and critical faculties.

Anyone who saw his performance at the recent launch of UKIP’s MEP could understood immediately that he was manifestly ill-equipped for the business of politics.

Adopting the poses of a Poundland Mussolini, yet looking like IT middle-management, he railed against the assembled press and pouted as his tweet to Labour MP Jess Phillips – “I wouldn’t even rape you” – was brought up.

When pressed for an explanation, he responded: “If a woman is being a giant bitch and laughing about male suicide I’m going to be a giant dick back to her”. He was much like a petulant teenager, caught out.

In selecting Benjamin, UKIP has not only lowered the bar, the party has broken it over its knee.

No matter that Phillips never did make light of male suicide. Here’s the actual exchange.

It’s not even the first time he’s been dishonest about this issue. At the time of the incident, he filmed himself calling his mother to explain, leaving out a critical part of his tweet – the “even” – in his explanation.

Now, footage has emerged of Benjamin talking about race on a live stream. It must be noted that this is just an excerpt of a longer discussion about his experiences in speaking with members of the Alt-Right.

In it, he paraphrases the beliefs of a YouTuber called ‘Millennial Woes’, noting that he doesn’t agree with him, but simultaneously opens himself to further discussion.

Now, let’s be clear, ‘Millennial Woes’ – exposed as Scot, Colin Robertson – is an avowed white supremacist who once called for the execution of migration officials.

Benjamin claims that the best way to get rid of bad ideas is to expose them, to let them be shown for what they are, in open discussion.

Yet, in spending hours in speaking to Robertson, Benjamin shows a disturbing lack of understanding of how Far Right extremists such as Robertson spread their ideas – by presenting a calm, civil front and seeking an opportunity to speak.

Benjamin has made his career as a YouTuber – a reactive presence, masquerading as a ‘classical liberal’, cynically monetising the disillusion and lack of direction of a generation of young men.


In the conversations that Benjamin and his fellow UKIP MEP candidate Markus Meechan have had with figures such as Robertson, they normalise and inadvertently spread extreme ideas to their audience. In his live stream, Benjamin even talks about how “pleasing” Robertson’s vocal cadence is, as if inviting viewers to go watch.

Benjamin may think that he is providing a counterpoint to Far Right extremism, but the entirety of his persona, manufactured over a thousand online rants, is one of a reactionary, sympathetic to those Far Right figures he claims he’s debating.

He lacks the self-awareness to realise this, and must understand that his platforming is a vehicle for hatred to spread. He considers himself smart enough to counter it in his responses, and that’s a serious misstep. He quite often agrees more than he objects.

Benjamin has made his career as a YouTuber; a reactive presence, masquerading as a ‘classical liberal’, monetising the disillusion and lack of direction of a generation of young men.

He’s serving up extremism to them on a plate.

Benjamin’s online career has netted him no small amount of cash, in addition to a great deal of attention. In his weekly soapboxing, and the response from his fans, his ego has been massively inflated to the point where he believes he deserves a place at the big table, to call the shots for real.

Adopting the poses of a Poundland Mussolini… he railed against the assembled press and pouted as his tweet to Labour MP, Jess Phillips – “I wouldn’t even rape you” – was brought up.

However, Benjamin has neither the temperament, nor the critical eye, that is essential for a sustainable career in politics. As a creature of ego, he considers every question a challenge, an attack on what he considers his rightful position of power. He lacks the focus and the desire to critically pick and choose the ideas he gives voice to. Instead, he entertains all as equal – and that’s incredibly foolish.

UKIP and its leader Gerard Batten have been clear about why the party selected Benjamin as a candidate – because he brings an audience with him. He may even secure a few extra votes for them, come the European elections.

Yet, in doing so, UKIP has demonstrated an alarming lack of respect to the electorate and a callous disregard for several marginalised groups.

In selecting Benjamin, UKIP has not only lowered the bar, the party has broken it over its knee.

We can only hope that he is not successful in his bid to become an MEP. The people of South-West England deserve someone better than someone willing to give voice to white supremacists on an equal footing.

Furthermore, his entry into politics would signal a disengagement that could signify significant trouble for the future of parliamentary democracy.

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