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Did Carl of Swindon — aka Sargon of Akkad — just destroy an entire political party? An analysis, with memes

Fake news — or all too real?

By David Futrelle

The results are in for the European elections, and as a confused American I have no idea what they mean, for the UK or Europe as a whole. (I’ll leave the explanations to people who understand this better than me.)

But there’s one thing that’s clear to even me: Barring a miracle, the UK Independence Party (UKIP), is toast, and a good part of the blame for that rests on the shoulders of YouTube-blabber-turned-UKIP-candidate Sargon of Akkad, aka Carl Benjamin of Swindon.

UKIP earned a whopping 3.3% percent of the vote, winning the party a grand total of zero seats in the European Parliament. In Swindon, Sargon’s home town, the party scored a little better, but the dropoff in votes for UKIP from the last elections was even more humiliating than in the country at large.

To be fair, most observers agree, the real cause of UKIP’s implosion was Brexit kingpin Nigel Farage’s defection to his brand-new Brexit party, which came in first in the election, boosted by all the former UKIP voters who defected with Farage.

But Sargon definitely didn’t help. Indeed, he may have driven the final nail into UKIP’s coffin. Over the course of his brief campaign, Sargon managed to embarrass himself and his party so thoroughly that neither may ever recover.

He began his candidacy by doubling down on a rape joke directed at a Member of Parliament, and spent much of his time answering questions about the joke and other horrific comments he’d made in the past — including a pretty creepy take on pedophilia (“it depends on the child”).

Also, he got milkshaked, and at one campaign stop he was pelted with fish.

But it wasn’t just Sargon who was constantly getting asked questions about his rape joke and other awful statements; other UKIP candidates spent so much time dealing with the Sargon issue that a top party official told the Guardian yesterday that she thought

Ukip’s EU campaign has been overshadowed by Sargon of Akkad’s disgusting comments and rape jokes and things he has said in the past. That’s very much marred Ukip’s reputation.

Naturally, Sargon’s many detractors online — of all ideological stripes — reacted with glee to his massive failure, prompting one person to post this meme highlighting this rare moment of agreement between Twitterers and the trolls of 4chan.

And then there were these memes:

On Twitter, the jokes and comments were mostly clean, if not always polite.

https://twitter.com/MrCruelWorld/status/1133004726453194752

Things got a little more … intense on 4chan’s /pol/.

Here are a couple of fans defending Sargon and fellow far-right election-loser Tommy Robinson:

We didnt elect Tommy or Sargon

We dont deserve our country. The masses are cattle, brainwashed by the fifth column. We need to be annexed by the US
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Diptych
Diptych
1 year ago

@occasional reader: It’s a perfectly common phrase, but I have to say, as a non-francophone, “Gauche Radicale” really speaks to me. I endeavour to be radical and am very often gauche.

occasional reader
occasional reader
1 year ago

> Diptych
Well, it really depends if you look at it in term of notion or in term of actual political parties. More than a century before, notion and parties were obviously closely related. But since about the half of the Trente Glorieuses, the radical left parties, while keeping their name or making small changes to it, began to drift to the center in term of political orientation. And nowadays, they are mainly considered as right-center (with heavy streaks of liberalism inside).
What is currently considered as far-left main parties currently are : what left of the Communist Party (PC) ; Lutte Ouvrière (LO, Trotskysts) ; and between them, the New Anticapitalism Party (NPA in french). While the last two never been huge parties, the PC had a huge influence and size until the late 80’s (in my opinion ; i am not good at political stuff, so if you are really interested in it, you will find better sources online), but more and more of persons constituing its base turn to the far-right (which bring, alas, many people to consider it a proof that far-right and far-left are not that different in the essence).

Who?
Who?
1 year ago

@Herbert West:

The more Partysystem and more dificult coalitions is normal for the system we have in Germany (globaly speaking), so the few partys with easy coalitions are a rare historical situation.
There are some other diferences:
1. In Weimar the partys were literal fighting each other in the streets.
2. There were very few partys who could get in coalitions at the times, a lot of partys were anti-democratic. Today we have 1 party who is out of the talks (The AFD). Coalitions of other partys are posible. (Okay CDU/CSU and the Leftparty not really).
3. At the moment a 3Party-coalition would be posible CDU,CSU and The Greenparty. Any coalition with the CDU has always been a 3-partycoalition.

So I don’t see it as bad as you. I am more worried about the generationgap and how to loose the far-rightparty.

In short it is in my opinion not so dark as you

Simon
Simon
1 year ago

UKIP were always this dreadful but Nigel Falange is such a publicity sponge that when he was in charge they could just about keep a lid on their BNP-in-blazers reputation. Once he stepped down all that poison burst through to the surface. Carl of Swindon was merely a symptom.

Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
Kat, ambassador of the feminist government in exile
1 year ago

@panzerboy39

I think that its creepy you give this nobody any thought at all. It outs you as the leftist mirror-image of Sargon really, which in essence is just as bad.

Yes, you are making all kinds of sense. Definitely it’s creepy to discuss a person and that person’s politics and actions. Of course this kind of discussion outs the participants as leftist mirror-images of the person under discussion. Obviously this makes those who discuss a Nazi essentially just as bad as that Nazi.

Whereas the name panzerboy39, calling up images of Nazi Panzer tanks rolling into and over Poland in 1939, is absolutely not creepy. Or evil. Nowhere near creepy or evil.

Susan
Susan
1 year ago

1) I LOVE that Mammotheers are from all over and can explain stuff from German, Hungarian, British, Irish, French, etc. points of view. Merci! Danke! Köszönöm! Go raibh maith aga! Etc.!

2) Now, will someone please explain the meme with the doors? Is Sargon meant to be the grim reaper who has destroyed what is behind each door? If so, how did he destroy Gamergate? Or skeptics?

Shadowplay
1 year ago

Susan

It is, rather unsurprisingly, a favorite meme of the Russians.

https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/death-knocking-on-doors

Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
Valentin - Emigrantski Ragamuffin
1 year ago

t h e r u s s i a n s

ColeYote
ColeYote
1 year ago

Because this campaign really was quite a phenomenal thing in my opinion.

I absolutely agree, they managed to go from the fourth-largest party in EU parliament to not holding a single seat, that is impressive turnaround.

John Devalle
John Devalle
1 year ago

We in the UK voted to leave the EU because of a loss of faith in the political class, and the growth of nationalistic party’s in Europe is for the same reason. It’s a mistake to focus on Farage, or his like in Europe, as being a threat to the EU, it’s the EU establishment that’s digging its own grave, with its relentless forcing of austerity on all but the rich, and its war on democracy.

There was a by-election in England today, polls show the Brexit Party will get its first MP. Result will be known in a few hours.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee
1 year ago

Oh my. That weirdo from the Cassie Jaye thread is back to once again try to splain how it couldn’t possibly be racism driving a vote.

What’s happening, John? Your anti-WHTM Facebook group not getting any clicks, so you need to get new material?

Jon H
Jon H
1 year ago

I don’t have any evidence but I think UKIP self-immolated on purpose, tasked to do so by Farage.

Farage likely knew that UKIP’s reputation was a problem and it couldn’t be fixed. So he left “due to ukip racism” and started the Brexit party. In order to make the Brexit party look more mainstream, he had UKIP go farther right and recruit known slime like Sargon, “Tommy Robinson”, and others, without particularly caring whether they won or not.