Last week, Britain First famously pledged to deploy “armoured vehicles” to “protect” Ukip leader Nigel Farage from the outrageous prospect of peaceful protesters waving banners, chanting and playing rebellious music during his Edinburgh visit (your report, 9 May).
A natural peacemaker, I tried to calm the situation. I attended the protest without a banner, without chanting and (probably to the relief of most), without singing.
My diplomatic efforts were, sadly, inadequate. Britain First still turned up and the inevitable confrontation followed. There were at least six of them (some press reports estimated as many as eight but I believe this to be inaccurate) and they demonstrated extraordinary tactical skill by sneaking up towards us behind a line of police offers.
They seemed to have forgotten their armoured vehicles; an easy oversight in the heat of the moment, or perhaps they had parking problems. Whichever, undeterred, they proceeded to demonstrate their eyewatering bravery by pulling horrible faces and making obscene hand gestures at the 500+ singing protesters from behind the police lines for nearly three minutes before making a tactical withdrawal (described by some uncharitable observers as running away) after some in the crowd started shouting at them.
I feel obliged to deliver a warning to the Monster Raving Loony Party: your traditional last place and your laughing-stock status at future elections look to me to be under serious threat – and not just from Nick Clegg and Willie Rennie’s Liberal Democrats.
Little France House