UKIP's leaflet blunder
PUBLISHED: 14:59 28 May 2009 | UPDATED: 16:14 07 September 2010
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Katie Davies AN eagle-eyed Hampstead resident has spotted an historical error on UKIP's European election leaflets, which have been dropped in letterboxes across the area. Translator Philip Slotkin saw the stirring image of Winston Churchill on UKIP s lea
AN eagle-eyed Hampstead resident has spotted an historical error on UKIP's European election leaflets, which have been dropped in letterboxes across the area.
Translator Philip Slotkin saw the stirring image of Winston Churchill on UKIP's leaflet calling on voters to say no to the European Union by voting them in, but it had the opposite effect, causing him to recall a pro-European speech by the former UK leader.
In Zurich in 1946, Churchill called for a "United States of Europe" and Mr Slotkin says, as a result, the party has misrepresented the legacy of the politician who was actually open to greater political ties between nations.
He said: "I noticed Churchill and it reminded me that he had made a very pro-European speech so I looked it up.
"It includes the following statements: 'If Europe were once united in the sharing of its common inheritance, there would be no limit to the happiness, the prosperity and the glory which its people would enjoy. We must build a kind of United States of Europe. In this way only will hundreds of millions of toilers be able to regain the simple joys and hopes which make life worth living. The structure of the United States of Europe, if well and truly built, will be such as to make the material strength of a single state less important. Therefore I say to you: let Europe arise.'
"I think it is either ignorance or effrontery that made UKIP use Churchill. I think they probably thought Churchill was a great symbol of Britain standing up to Europe, in the shape of Germany in the war, but obviously they are wrong that he would oppose the EU, given that particular speech."
Mr Slotkin, who describes himself as pro-Europe, will be voting in the elections next Thursday.
But he thinks the vote hadn't been very well promoted by the mainstream parties.
"We have had some literature from the smaller parties but nothing from the major parties at all," he said.
"I don't think we are told enough about Europe. The government of the day is not very keen on Europe, like the Conservatives."
Local UKIP campaigner Magnus Nielsen has defended his party's apparent error and claimed he still believes Churchill would oppose the European Union "as it has evolved".
However, both men, despite their disagreements on the wartime prime minister, are equally encouraging people to use their vote on June 4 to decide which party represents them on the European Parliament.
Mr Nielsen said: "Just like you have to exercise your muscles to remain strong, one has to exercise one's vote to keep democracy healthy.
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