Digging at UKIP just digs their own grave
Mainstream media and politics was cruising for a bruising in "exposing" undesirables in UKIP. Inevitably and marvellously UKIP is now pointing out the crooks and crazies in Lib, Lab and Con
‘Be thou as pure as snow, as chaste as ice thou shall not escape calumny’. This admonition from the Bard is pretty good advice for our present crop of politicians. Muck raking can cut both ways.
It is well known that each of the three main parties is spending much time and money on digging up every bit of filth to smear UKIP or Farage or both. And the more they do so, the more UKIP climbs up the polls, profiting from the ‘underdog’ effect that so appeals to the English. It’s the politics of the dung heap.
Scarcely a day passes without the ‘outing’ of a UKIP worthy for making some outrageous statement -- outrageous, that is, to Guardianistas and PC pundits. But the danger of this is the undoubted fact that all parties attract fruitcakes and weirdoes, some of whom reach the pinnacle of politics.
So it is not difficult for Nigel to say ‘And you’re another!’ when charged with harbouring undesirables.
Some examples have been inserted by UKIP into the public domain. They include a Conservative who stole £150,000 from a pensioner with Alzheimers, a former Conservative councillor found guilty of child sex crimes, a Labour candidate who is a convicted fraudster, and a Liberal Democrat councillor convicted of ‘racially aggravated assault’.
There's a candidate selected to contest a safe Conservative seat in a District Council who was an activist in the BNP, a Labour councillor who was convicted of lying to the police over a car crash involving her son, a Labour candidate convicted of defrauding the council to which he is seeking election, a Liberal Democrat councillor convicted of “racially aggravated assault” in a railway station pub.
UKIP has also responded by saying the following:
“UKIP thanks to the national media, all other political parties and various trade union and government-funded lobby groups for the immense amount of work they have put in, to undertake the Stasi-style ‘scrutiny’ of the Facebook pages and Twitter feeds of UKIP’s 2,200 local election candidates – a substantial task which must be costing someone a bundle – and assures them that every offensive remark reported to us will be considered seriously by our National Executive Committee’s disciplinary committee.”
Nigel is finessing both the leaders and the media at every turn. It ought to have been abundantly obvious to anyone with three brain cells in working order that Farage had not the slightest intention of standing in the Newark by-election.
They all fell for Nigel’s ‘Maybe I will; perhaps not’ "dithering". When after several days of media speculation, he finally "ducked out", the media were besides themselves with glee; ‘Farage bottles it’ headlines appeared almost in milliseconds. But they still failed to twig that they had been humbugged.
Yet another ‘revelation’ of racist homophobia in the ranks of UKIP was driven quickly off the front pages. Nice one, Nigel! The main party spinmeisters will be far too young to remember Maggie’s telling phrase about the ‘oxygen of publicity’.
UKIP has been gulping it down recently. The Daily Telegraph put up no less than three rancorous feature pieces in a single edition last week, including inevitably another vicious rant from Dan Hodges. The Sunday Times had ‘Farage’ in its headline story about Cameron’s take on leaders’ TV debates, an entire page from its political editor spelling out how UKIP is going to carpet-bomb the other parties in the EU elections, and two more features.
Media coverage ranges from unfriendly (Murdoch) to paranoid (DT). And the bigger and nastier the coverage, the more UKIP continues on a roll.
Robin Mitchinson is a Contributing Editor to The Commentator. A former barrister, living in the Isle of Man, he is an international public management specialist with almost two decades of experience in institutional development, decentralisation and democratisation processes. He has advised governments and major international institutions across the world
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