Social Media and the UKIP – by Madison Stapels

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Today we were lucky enough to be joined by Gawain Towler, the head of press for the UK Independent Party,  The party ultimately wants to withdraw from the European Union, and to stop mass immigration  from Eastern Europe.  Their main issue with immigration is the fact that far overqualified individuals are immigrating to the UK because of better paying jobs, even for the lowest paying and most menial jobs.  This is an issue because they are taking away jobs from people born in the UK, who may not have the opportunity to do anything else other than those menial jobs, but to them its something.

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One of the main struggles that the UKIP has is the fact that they are a small, insurgent party and their representatives that they are trying to get elected are not trained politicians.  They try and target the everyday person, and by doing that they want to get the most relatable candidates.  However, their untrained candidates tend to speak their mind and sometimes say rude things because of it.  They have been under fire in the press quite often for things that their members have said because its purely what they believe.

UKIP logo

But what is interesting about the UKIP is that they don’t necessarily get rid of anyone that causes a problem.  Instead they go about it by asking one question: Is it malicious or is it just odd?  Gawain said they can deal with odd and defend the oddities of their members, but they will expel anyone from the party that causes something malicious.

UKIP PICTURE FOR A LEAFLET

Social media plays a huge factor in this party’s campaigns and day-to-day functions because they simply do not have the funding to pay for advertising.  They take full advantage of Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and the like to get themselves out there and to promote their ideologies. During this past election one of the heads of Twitter contacted the party directly about what their Twitter strategy was, and they simply said that they don’t have one.  Yet despite not having a strategy they are able to be one of the most if not THE most successful political party in terms of social media.  This is crazy to think about considering their ideologies that the party is based on are lose of the liberals in the 1890’s.

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