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CMU Beef Of The Week #238: Alcopop! Records v UKIP

By | Published on Friday 9 January 2015

Earlier this week, for some reason, the UK Independence Party’s official website went down and the domain it uses became available to buy on domain registration sites.

UKIP website

Many Twitter users noted this and joked about buying it, but seemingly it didn’t occur to any of them to actually do so. Until the matter came to the attention of Alcopop! Records man Jack Clothier.

“We were first alerted to it when a Noisey journo tweeted that the domain was down and available”, Clothier told CMU. “We checked on GoDaddy, it seemed to be available for £200, so we paid – got the receipt and confirmation of purchase, tweeted it and the internet went nuts!”

“Initially I had a vague plan to fill the site with a load of unicorn gifs, so that everyone could see something lovely rather than the right-wing nonsense that UKIP spout”, he added. “But as the tweets rumbled in it became clear that their were better options – either redirecting to a wonderful charity, or forming the United Kingdom Indie Parties Party, which would take something of an Andrew WK style approach to life”.

Which sounds like a brilliant idea for all of us, but such a development would have been quite a knock for UKIP, especially in an election year. Their policies maybe firmly stuck in the distant past, but even Nigel Farage and co presumably recognise the need for a website in this here modern age. So they would surely have been relieved when it turned out that their domain was not actually available to third parties after all.

Not long after Clothier’s domain purchase tweet, an update on Alcopop!’s Facebook page informed the world that, while GoDaddy had confirmed the purchase of and taken the label’s money, the URL seemed to be back or still with the political party anyway.

What exactly happened still isn’t entirely clear. GoDaddy’s PR rep passed us on to a spokesperson for the company through which the domain was originally registered, 123-reg, who said: “UKIP has a long term registration with 123-Reg services. Due to a technical issue on our customer’s side was unavailable yesterday morning. Using our expertise we helped UKIP to restore its website facilities”.

Blame firmly placed on UKIP then, so we went and asked the party’s head office for comment, where we were told: “You’re asking the wrong office. We have no involvement with the website and cannot help. All I can tell you is that it went down for a few hours and is now up and running again”.

I reserve the right to take back my previous comment about UKIP understanding the importance of a website. According to Clothier, the explanation he received from GoDaddy was that “it was something to do with a third party they represented selling the site when they shouldn’t or something along those lines”.

On his motivation for attempting to purchase the domain name, Clothier explained: “Not only do I detest UKIP and what they stand for, I’m also genuinely scared of them – because they present a much more palatable media picture than previous right-wing dickheads ever did. The BNP for instance were terrible human beings, but Nick Griffin was also an absolute joke who continually shot himself in the foot”.

“Farage has been named Briton Of The Year by The Times“, he continued. “Briton of the fucking year! This absolutely terrifies me, and while we wouldn’t consider ourselves much of a political label, I think we all have the duty of making sure that this UKIP threat doesn’t come to pass/flourish in this election. That’s why spending the morning reminding people that UKIP are unable to run a website, let alone the country was a positive thing… even if we didn’t end up with the website itself”.