This is Derek Wilkes, who next week will bid to be Ukip’s first councillor on Wigan Council. He is standing in the Douglas ward election on Thursday the 13th.
He stood in the same ward for May’s local elections, losing by 712 votes. This entry will mostly focus on Wilkes’s social media activity.
Firstly however, some background on Wilkes. He grew up in Pemberton among the local mining community, whom he became part of as a young adult. Despite this, he appears not to be deterred by Ukip’s Thatcherite soundbites, policies and photo opportunities, such as the ones below:
Nigel Farage: “I’m the only one keeping the flame of Thatcherism alive.“
Nigel Farage: “A young Margaret Thatcher would have joined Ukip.“
On Facebook, Derek Wilkes shares memes from far-right pages. Here he is sharing a post by Britain First:
Here he is sharing from a page named ‘Was enoch powell right?‘. Presumably given its anti-immigration posts, the page is sympathetic to the inherent message of Enoch Powell’s ‘Rivers of Blood’ speech. But what is utterly confounding about Wilkes sharing one of its memes, below, is that it contradicts one of UKIP’s main political arguments and arguably its raison d’être: it actually repeats the claim of the recent UCL report that immigration from Eastern Europe is GOOD for Britain.
Admittedly though, this is followed by a jibe about ‘Third World Muslim migration’ which raises further questions about Wilkes.
Then there’s his sharing of this rather baffling meme which claims that the US has somehow lost control of its borders.
Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of Wilkes is his call for ‘hanging by treason’, on the official UKIP Facebook page. (Note the 794 likes.) None of us are pleased with how the powers-that-be run this country, but most of us can express our frustration without resorting to sadism. Is this man really fit for local office?
We will only say the following to the good people of Douglas: You have rejected this man once. Please do so again.