Saturday, November 24, 2012
Well done Nige (and Sky)
If you happened to be up early yesterday morning, enjoying AC and KP devour the Indian bowling attack and happened to switch over to Sky for the 9 a.m news you could be forgiven for thinking that you had, in your bleary eyed early morning reveille, slipped through a hole in the space continuum into a parallel universe . The 'bloody outrage' expressed by Nigel Farage was understandable but what followed was pure political genius.
The upcoming by-election in Rotherham has slipped under most people's radar to be honest but this story about three white 'non-indigenous' children being taken away from their UKIP supporting parents brought it sharply into focus. Initially the focus was on what Rotherham council had or had not said on the subject (news watchers would be able to note how the story changed throughout the day), the retraction of comments by David Cameron that he made in 2006 about 'closet racists' and the Labour leaders comment, which I suspect went un-noticed by anybody only half awake, that people who were members of parties 'like UKIP' shouldn't be treated any differently to anybody else.
It was the leader of UKIP however who had his fifteen minutes of fame and the nations early risers for company as he was allowed to express in calm and measured tones not only his outrage at the situation but also give a full and detailed account of UKIP's policies on immigration, the EU and the right of everybody to do what they liked, within reason. There was no interruption from the Sky presenter, Gillian Joseph on this occasion, and the facts about the case (as known at the time) and UKIP's position on this and other subjects were presented coherently, calmly and in a way that made you warm to Nigel Farage. Of course it didn't exactly hurt his cause that he was sat in front of a large UKIP poster along the top and bottom of which were written the main bullet points of the parties by-election campaign.
In later interviews, from presumably the same office, the poster was absent, the shamed Councillors were made to look stupid rather than callous or misguided and Sky's Westminster correspondent seemed to enjoy the fact that both Labour (Ed) and the Conservatives (Gove) had been forced to let the centre stage be seized by one of the lesser parties.
From a political point of view it will be interesting to see how this impacts on the Conservatives rather than how it affects Labour. One of the key points that Conservative voters are making on various messageboards and comments pages is that there should be a moratorium on immigration for a period of up to five years, which party fighting the Rotherham by-election has that in their manifesto?
I happen to think that a lot of posturing by those of a right-wing persuasion is simply that, UKIP are to the 21st Century what the Liberal Democrats were to the late 20th Century, a party with sound, well though out ideas but still tarnished by a 'slightly loony' image and much as many 'traditional' Conservative voters are appalled by what is happening to their party they at least have a share in policy making decisions, something they haven't come close to since 1992.
Posted by Paul at 12:28 PM