Youtubers Carl ‘Sargon of Akkad’ Benjamin and Mark ‘Count Dankula’ Meecham may stand for UKIP in the upcoming EU elections–should the UK take part.
The news that the UK will remain in the European Union until at least 31st October 2019 leaves it quite probable that the UK will be required to take part in EU elections–to be held on May 23rd–in order to elect new MEPs.
Recent UKIP additions Mark ‘Count Dankula’ Meechan, 31, and Carl ‘Sargon of Akkad’ Benjamin, 40, have responded by indicating that they may stand for election on the UKIP ticket.
Neither man is a stranger to controversy.
Meechan, who says he will represent Scotland in the election, was fined £800 for recording his partner’s pet dog performing a Nazi salute as he shouted phrases at it such as “Gas the Jews” and “Seig Heil.”
Meechan was found guilty of breaching the Communications Act by posting material that was “grossly offensive” and “anti-Semitic and racist in nature” in an offence aggravated by religious prejudice, following a trial at Airdrie Sheriff Court in April 2018.
Meechan had intended to defy the Court by withholding the fine, possibly risking jail time in the process, but he had failed to realise that the Court could simply seize the money from his account, as they did last month.
Meanwhile, Benjamin, who describes himself as a “classical liberal” despite courting numerous right-wing figures on his popular youtube channel, first came to the wider public’s attention when he tweeted “I wouldn’t even rape you” to Labour MP Jess Phillips.
The tweet inspired a slew of 4,000 rape threats to Phillips, campaigning on behalf of the victims of sexual assault at the time.
Benjamin, who was a major player in the ‘Gamergate’ controversy, describes himself as an ‘anti-feminist’ and has almost one-million Youtube followers.
In a bizarre rant last year, Benjamin described alt-right critics on live stream as “acting like white niggers” and demanded that they “act like white people.” by treating him with respect.
The rant saw the Youtuber’s Patreon account permanently shut-down after he refused to enter into mediation with the company which would have required him apologising for his actions.
Benjamin has also repeatedly been removed from social-media platform Twitter but flouts rules by continuing to use a series of fake accounts such as his current “Backworldsman” profile. It has also been suggested that Benjamin operates the official UKIP twitter account.
Both men joined UKIP alongside Paul Joseph Watson, of US conspiracy channel Infowars, last year in a move generally considered to be an attempt by the party to reach out to a younger demographic. Since then they have attended events alongside party-leader Gerard Batten and rubbed shoulders with former leader Nigel Farage.
The two, who describe themselves as ‘free-speech advocates’ travelled to the EU parliament last September to warn of the dangers of passing Article 13 in relation to internet dialogue and culture.
Not everyone within the party has welcomed Meechan and Benjamin with open arms.
Some have linked the addition of the pair to the appointment of Tommy Robinson–real name Stephen Yaxley-Lennon — as an advisor to leader Gerard Batten, believing that this represents a shift to the right and a blatant attempt to pander to right-wing extremists.
This perceived shift has seen an exodus of several senior party members.
David Lawrence from Hope Not Hate, which monitors hard-right groups, told the Guardian: “Benjamin has a history of using vile racist terms and misogynist politics, so it’s hardly surprising he would stand for Ukip given how far right they’ve shifted over the past few years. They sound like the perfect fit.”
Thus far, UKIP has declined to confirm if Meechan or Benjamin would stand on May 23rd, stating: “UKIP will not comment on potential candidates for European Parliament election lists. UKIP will provide a full slate of candidates in every region, and we will announce our candidate lists within the next fortnight if a European parliament election is called.”
Meanwhile, Meechan was more forthcoming, announcing his candidacy, and urging his followers on social media to donate to UKIP’s election fund.
Meechan said: “Since Brexit is being betrayed, there is an extreme likelihood we will be taking part in the May European Elections. I will be a candidate.
“UKIP are crowdfunding the costs for the campaign, if you can help in any way you can, please do.”
In a message to his critics, he added: “You all seem so upset, the elections haven’t even started yet, save your anger.
“Hilarious thing, see if you guys just actually let me get a job, then none of this would be happening.”
Meechan claims that negative attention brought to him as the result of training a dog to salute vile antisemitic rhetoric, filming and circulating it to millions of people has damaged his chances at gainful employment.
He was removed as a host from a late night BBC politics show after complaints from the public.
Apparently, this leaves representing Great Britain in Europe his best bet of securing a job despite having zero political experience.