Patrick Moore has always been regarded as the quintessential British eccentric. Often portrayed as a stereotypical boffin, perhaps reinforced by his monocle, he was the face of The Sky at Night. In recent years, other astronomers like Chris Lintott have been used to fill in those parts that would have been occupied by Moore, who was beginning to look less capable. Moore also appeared as himself in a number of programmes from Morecambe & Wise Christmas specials to GamesMaster on Channel 4.
But not many people know about Moore’s political activities and some choose to see past them. Nostalgic for the Empire, he was chairman of the anti-immigration United Country Party (UCP) in the late 1970s. The party had close ties to The Freedom Association (he was a friend of the McWhirter brothers) and other right-wing pressure groups. The UCP could be seen, in some respects, as the forerunner of UKIP, which Moore later joined. The UCP was absorbed into Dennis Delderfield’s racist New Britain Party in 1980. Some former members of New Britain joined UKIP.
Nowhere Towers will not be mourning the passing of Patrick Moore. For us, he was not some charming old star-gazing duffer who played a xylophone but a nasty old reactionary who held far-right views.