READERS who turned to David Challice's corner of the Trago Mills advertisement last week expecting a laugh will have been disappointed. Instead of his usual jokey dig at the EU, the UK Independence Party's wittiest writer told the unpleasant story of two Somali men who came to Britain as refugees and went on to break the law.

The European Court of Human Rights (which has nothing to do with the European Union) has ruled that they may not be deported to Somalia, since they would receive there neither a fair trial nor humane treatment.

'This is why,' Mr Challice says, 'a UKIP government will scrap the Human Rights Act and withdraw from the European Convention on Human Rights.'

Does Mr Challice know that the ECHR, which was largely drafted by British lawyers in the years following the second world war, is one of the great human rights achievements of all time?

Or that Sir Winston Churchill, whose name was hijacked by UKIP in their last election manifesto, and who would have detested much of what the party stands for, was one of the first presidents of the Council of Europe, which was responsible for the Convention and the Court that administers it?

You would expect that as a supposedly patriotic party, UKIP would keep quiet about their lack of interest in human rights. You would also expect them to cherish, as most of us do, our country's proud record of protecting those less fortunate than ourselves.

You would certainly not expect them to trumpet in a paid-for advertisement their contempt for the rights that in a better world everyone would share.

Perhaps this is the joke. But it's not a very funny one.

Christopher Denne 

Churchtown Farm

Sydenham Damerel