The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

Archive for the 'media' Category

24 March
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Who Told Reporter The Name Of The So Called McCann Twitter “Troll” Whose Tweets “Did Not Constitute A Criminal Offence”?

leyland

Remember Brenda Leyland, the lady who killed herself last October after being doorstepped by Sky News crime reporter Martin Brunt who accused her of being a “twitter troll” for posting “abusive” tweets about the parents of missing Madeleine McCann?

There appears to be a bit of a mystery about how Brunt got the tip off.

One report said that he came “into possession of a dossier of alleged Twitter “trolls” which had been handed to police by a third party”

But another claimed “Brunt approached her after a dossier of tweets about the McCanns was passed to him by a source, whom he declined to reveal”

You would have thought that, since she took her own life soon after Brunt’s approach, the coroner should have pursued the question of the source a little more closely;

Did it come from the police – in which case was it passed to Brunt from a police officer?

Who obtained the information and gave it to the police in the first place – and how was the information obtained?

Did the source by pass the police and send it to Brunt directly?

But the coroner thought otherwise.

The coroner said she could not compel him to reveal it and that Brunt was not accused of any criminal offence.

All very strange – especially when the police told the coroner

Her tweets did not constitute a criminal offence

In which case one might ask why didn’t the police simply close the file.

Am I the only person who thinks there are still some questions to be answered about this affair?

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11 February
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The Telegraph Still Doesn’t Get UKIP…

A few days ago The Daily Telegraph sank to a new low in its coverage of UKIP. Of course it seems hardly possible that the circulation losing Telegraph could sink even lower in its coverage of UKIP. After all their hacks, no doubt under instructions from Tory HQ, have been merrily dumping on the party since early 2013 when Diane James nearly won the Eastleigh by election for UKIP and knocked a Cameron cutie into third place

Publicly dismissing Eastleigh as a blip, in private the editorial team reached out to Tory high command and offered to headline any item that appeared to show Nigel Farage and UKIP in a negative way supplied to them by Tory staff – be it true, half true or simply inadvertent. The Telegraph (and the Mail) gleefully went to work in the weeks leading up to the 2013 local elections.

UKIP won more council seats than they had ever won before.

Nevertheless during subsequent by elections, local elections and Euro elections the anti UKIP drumbeat continued – and the party continued to prosper both at the ballot box and the polls.

Finally the bright young things in the Telegraph officers mess have begun to grasp that their two year offensive has been a dismal failure and they have admitted such in a recent, rather pathetic cri de Coeur

If Labour’s performance in the long general election campaign has thus far been so risible, why do the polls remain so close? For the simple, frustrating reason that the British centre-Right is split. While Labour is stuck at around 30 per cent of the prospective vote, the Tories fail to build up a comparative advantage because so much of their support is sapped away by the Ukip revolt. Yet Ukip’s supporters ought to consider the warnings of businessmen and think carefully about the consequences of dividing the centre-Right and letting Labour back into power by default. Labour is anti-capitalist at a time when the country desperately needs innovation and enterprise. Its accidental victory could indeed be a “catastrophe” for Britain.

Yes folks, it’s the familiar Vote UKIP Get Miliband Ploy – the old ones are the best ones, after all.…

Ignoring for the moment the assumption that UKIP supporters are fans of big business, multi nationals and corporate tax avoidance let’s just ask ourselves why the Telegraph failed to answer the obvious question – why is so much Tory support “sapped away” by the UKIP revolt – and why, instead of burying their heads deep into Cameron’s posterior for two years hasn’t the Telegraph given some attention to analysing this phenomenon and made a serious and sympathetic attempt to understand it rather than encouraging the sneering, dismissive put downs peddled on an almost daily basis by their political hacks.

The answer, I fear, is that the Telegraph, like much of the metropolitan media, is targeting Richard Curtis Land, those parts of London where the bright young things supposedly chatter at dinner parties and network about servants, food, fashion and culture and where the Tesco shelf fillers, taxi drivers and hairdressers are peripheral to the action, like the sentries or country yokels in a Shakespeare play.

Trouble is that the Richard Curtis strategy isn’t working. The Telegraph is remorselessly losing circulation, alienating much of its old core readership without gaining the “bright young things” while UKIP is gaining support from those very “peripherals” who feel they have been left behind.

Sad for it was once a great paper…

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14 December
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Are The Mail on Sunday & Margaret Hodge Really Accusing Three Distinguished Academics Of Creating A Racist Quiz For UKIP?

 

 

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Thus thundered Simon Walters, ace reporter, otherwise known as  Political Editor For The Mail On Sunday

Nigel Farage was in another race row last night after asking supporters to rate ‘blacks, Muslims and Eastern Europeans’ in a game – with prizes of cash and a Ukip golf umbrella.The ‘rate an immigrant’ survey is part of a Ukip private survey of members aimed at helping the party draw up its policies.Sent last week by Ukip chairman Steve Crowther, it asks members to say ‘how close they feel’ to a number of groups.They include ‘Blacks, Asians, Muslims, English, Eastern Europeans and Whites’ as well as the four main political parties.Ukip activists are urged to rate each on a scale from 0 for ‘not close at all’ to 10 for ‘very close.’But the survey was slammed as a racist stunt after details were leaked to The Mail on Sunday.Last night, senior Labour MP Margaret Hodge condemned the Ukip survey as ‘shocking’

Gotcha, UKIP….we’ve finally caught up with you. It’s Hate An Immigrant week and obviously the biggest prizes will go to the biggest haters. Another coup by the fearless UKIP sniffers at the  Mail

Except ………….there is something that was missed by ace reporter Simon Walters and his team…..the survey was designed and distributed on behalf of UKIP by a team of highly respected academics. It was framed to gain an overall picture of UKIP member’s views and attitudes. Simon Walters took a set of perfectly acceptable questions, a regular feature of many of these surveys, and pimped it up as a “race quiz”. A shoddy piece of reporting that, regrettably, is often par for the course for the Mail.

Here is your UKIP Members Survey.   Please help UKIP by completing the Members Survey.

Your Answers Help the Party and You Can Win Great Prizes!

Three academics are helping us. They are Professor Matthew Goodwin (University of Nottingham and author of Revolt on the Right),
Professor Harold Clarke at the University of Texas and Professor Paul Whiteley at the University of Essex, who are former
Directors of the prestigious British Election Study.  Professor Clarke is distributing the survey.

That’s this Prof Harold Clarke

That’s this Prof Matthew Goodwin

That’s this Prof Paul Whiteley

Now, are Mr Ace Reporter Simon Walters of the Mail on Sunday and the very wealthy Labour MP Margaret Hodge (who gained a Third Class Degree at LSE) really ready to accuse these three highly distinguished academics of putting together a racist quiz for the entertainment of UKIP’s membership?

I really think we should be told….

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13 December
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When Russell Brand Was Treated Like An Adult Rather Than A Precocious Infant He Collapsed Like A Deflated Balloon

Russell Brand – sliced and diced during BBC Question Time by a member of the audience (who was obviously a UKIP supporter)……

It had all been going so well for Brand – he had been interrupting with impunity, shouting over the women on the panel, shrieking simplistic slogans buttered by vulgarities.
‘Stand for Parliament then!’ the old man boomed. Russell looked as though he had been rabbit-punched. ‘Stand!’ repeated the man. ‘Do it!’
‘I’m scared I’d become one of them,’ mewed Brand. He meant become one of the Westminster crowd. The audience scoffed at this pathetic excuse, perhaps suspecting that multi-millionaire Brand would hate to be an MP because he’d have to declare his income and would soon be exposed as a political fraud……….The fight went out of Brand. A balloon shrivelled

Brand had prepared for the show by memorising a few pithy phrases (Farage as a “pound shop Enoch Powell” was clearly contrived but nevertheless a neat barb) and, on a series of cards, had written down a series of Unite bullet points. Add to the mix those trusty old BBCQT crowd pleasers ”bankers” (BOO) “the city” (HISS) “tax dodgers” (SNARL) and orgasms of ecstasy were rippling through many in the “balanced” audience.

Everything was working to script.

But Russell had made a fatal mistake. He had forgotten that BBCQT is a two way show. Unlike his own routines or the regular chat shows or HIGNFY the audience is not there as a congregation of sycophants whose sole purpose is to massage showbiz egos with rapturous applause. It’s there to come back at the panel with awkward ripostes – and that’s where the script gets blown out of the window.

Brand was obviously shaken by that man’s contemptuous put down and, for the rest of the programme, appeared visibly shrunken.

But why the hell does it take an anonymous face in a crowd to show up Brand as a stuttering, stumbling knownothing with less grasp of political and economic reality than an earwig of average intelligence?

It’s because, on television, he’s been given an easy ride with softball interviews, indulged like some sort of precocious infant actor from a remake of “Annie”….Paxman, anyone?

That hasn’t always been the case with other inarticulate peddlers of political  infantilism. BNP’s Nick Griffin was mercilessly dismantled on one BBCQT show and the assault was so savage that both himself and his party slipped mercifully into oblivion.

So why not Brand?

The answer, my friend, is obvious. His infantile pseudo revolutionary rhetoric, his friend of the downtrodden posturing, his carefully choreographed presence at left wing protests fits comfortably with the mindset of the middle class metropolitan poseurs who dominate the worlds of the media and the arts. They despise the “fatcats” of industry and commerce, the men and women who run the systems that generate the wealth that funds the cultural sector either directly by paying the wages which enables their employees to purchase the tickets or indirectly via the taxes that subsidise elements of the media (BBC) and whole swathes of grant funded artistic ventures.

If only once, on television, an interviewer or a fellow panellist had just turned round at the end of one of Brand’s unintelligible diatribes, looked him squarely in the eye and and said “What a load of bollocks” and asked him to explain his commercial activities in Hollywood, his association with nice little tax avoidance schemes in the UK and his regular forays into the Ritz and Claridges.

But he’s a luvvie – and luvvies never eat their own…unless they’re called Angus Deayton

 

 

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08 November
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Media Hacks Know Frack All About UKIP – So They Make It Up….

tsar

Rod Liddle at the Speccie has gone all Dan Brown and reckons he’s cracked the UKIP code….it’s a London thing…

 I suspect that the real pull of Ukip in England is that the party, and Mr Farage particularly, are seen as a corrective to the vapid, flaccid, spineless, politically correct and wholly London-centric mitherings of what, until May next year, we must call the main three parties.

I do love it when media hacks and TV pundits who know frack all about UKIP and its 40,000+ members pontificate about the motives of its supporters and why it is rising in the polls. Fact is these scribblers and prattlers have long lists of contacts in the lobby and among the bright young things at party HQ (whose parents they know from their own Oxbridge days)…they are all constantly networking, sharing gossip and swapping nannies.

UKIP leadership cadres simply do not move in these circles and, until a couple of years ago, were, at best, politely ignored or, more often, treated with contempt by these hacks. Even today, like their political contacts in the three main parties they cannot bring themselves to contemplate the possibility that the tectonic plates have shifted. Come “real politics” next May they are convinced that UKIP will fade away and once again North London dinner parties will be where it’s all happening. – so why bother to cultivate any UKIP contacts?

Hence the tendency to treat the party in a similar way to those newly discovered tribes from the depths of the Amazonian forest. There are a few photos published in the Daily Mail alongside a report big on hype and short on facts, a brief flurry of media interest that peters out after six days – and then the whole story just..evaporates.

I suppose it was a bit like that in St Petersburg in the last few months of 1916….

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28 July
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The Telegraph’s UKIP Problem – Chapter 376….

Wow….it didn’t take long. That Ashcroft poll marking Thurrock and Thanet South a possible UKIP gain (and Great Yarmouth almost as close) obviously made the folks at Cameron’s PR HQ (aka The Telegraph) nervous because it undermined their carefully cultivated narrative. Ever since the Euro/local elections last May the message has been clearly defined. May was “peak UKIP”, Cameron was “relaxed”, Labour was imploding  Miliband, Clegg was drowning, the economy was now in upturn. Throw in “tough” talk about Juncker, glam up the cabinet with a few skirts and – hey presto!!! – the polls would turn around. Only they didn’t….the Tory “bounce” failed to appear, even under the disastrous Ed Labour  stayed ahead and, above all, UKIP did not melt away.

Then Nigel Farage announced UKIP’s “cabinet”, a collective which would act as the public face of the party. Shockingly the new team confounded those racist, misogynistic stereotyped images so lovingly projected by a largely hostile media.

Klaxons were now blaring at Telegraph House. Team Cameron wanted something done and done pretty damned quickly so an editorial conference was obviously convened to implement some  damage control.

The results, unfortunately, merely helped to demonstrate the general perception of a once great newspaper unable to escape from a cycle of decline.

First James Kirkup was tasked to write something “witty and amusing”….he could only come up with some meaningless survey which appeared to show that UKIP supporting men were shorter than anyone else……even Kirkup probably realised it wasn’t his finest hour.

Then Iain Martin penned a thousand words saying how Farage’s “reshuffle” wasn’t worth writing about (never mind, Iain, you survived the purge so you obviously got paid for that pointless exercise)

But the crowning glory came from Political Correspondent Georgia Graham who was obviously told to write a hit piece on Diane James and the other women in the UKIP team. It was a shallow, poorly researched collection of sneers. Ms Graham, in common with every other Telegraph hack, made no effort to find out more about them. She just cut and pasted stuff via Google and filled the column to order

Many of us had hoped that after May the new regime at the Telegraph would actually have started to use some serious journalism in their approach to UKIP rather than recycling Tory Party agitprop. It is clear, however, that we were naive in the extreme. They have no intention of exhibiting anything but blatant bias which is why Dan Hannan’s peculiar little salvo against UKIP quite enlightening.

I have great deal of respect for Dan. His euroscepticism springs, like mine, from a feeling that our long established mistrust of rulers who are unelected and see themselves as above our laws makes us a poor fit for a bureaucratic one size fits all regime like the EU. Yet he remains a loyal Tory and puts all his trust in David Cameron.

For that reason he gets some negative comments on his Telegraph blog and on Twitter from UKIP supporters or those who claim to be UKIP supporters. He claims these are hurtful (lol…join the club, Dan) and then comes up with an astonishing suggestion

A fair number of online haters are happy to identify themselves as Ukip members. That party would do itself a huge favour by expelling, with much fanfare, the next cyberkipper whose words bring it into disrepute.

Several other Telegraph “pundits” have made the same complaint. They write something critical about UKIP and then are shocked by the “venomous” response…..UKIP people are so ….aggressive…..

In actual fact, Dan and all you other Telegraph pundits, it’s not the criticism of UKIP that is the issue……it’s the sneering, dismissive and contemptuous manner in which you do it. None of you has made any serious attempt to use up some real journalistic shoeleather and talk with party members at branch meetings or conferences. Instead, like Georgia Graham, you rehash old stories (sluts, anyone?) to pad out your googling.

It’s clear that the upper echelons at the Telegraph (owners? editors?) have no interest any serious analysis of what makes UKIP tick. Perhaps, as a party of political outsiders, its members, unlike LIBLabCon (sorry…couldn’t resist it) simply do not inhabit the upper middle class North London milieu of our media elite. The idea that the concerns of Thurrock and Great Yarmouth should be treated with as much respect as those of Islington and Notting Hill is probably simply incomprehensible to the likes of Kirkup, Graham and Hannan.

Or perhaps it is simpler than that

“The most insignificant people are the most apt to sneer at others. They are safe from reprisals. And have no hope of rising in their own self esteem but by lowering their neighbors.”

Yes, William Hazlitt often did hit the nail on the head…..

 

 

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24 June
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The Telegraph Hates UKIP So Much They Decided To Recruit Stephen Bush As Dan Hodges Mk 2….

You don’t need to be Sherlock Holmes to work out where the zombified Daily Telegraph might well be heading as it lurches towards the horizon ….just look at Stephen Bush,  “Editor-in-Chief” Jason Seiken’s replacement for Benedict Brogan, one of the most highly respected political journalists in the game today and the brains behind the Telegraph’s widely read weekday political e mail

During the weekend Labour’s so called rising star Chuka Umunna, a privately educated lawyer and grandson of a High Court judge, made a rather bizarre claim about UKIP voters

On the Marr Show this morning Chuka Umunna claimed voters feel disconnected from mainstream politics because they don’t know how to send emails or browse the internet and that “a lot of those voting for Ukip” in the European elections were not computer literate and can’t do things like use email or browse the internet.

UKIP’s Donna Rachel Edmunds demolished this nonsense

Umunna’s suggestion has provoked mirth because it is, quite literally, laughable. Kippers have been well known for their keyboard activism for years now. Visit almost any page on the MSM news sites and political blogs and there will be comment after comment, often thoroughly evidenced, culminating in the two words “Vote Ukip”.

But Stephen Bush  supported Umunna 100%

Why are the Cyberkippers so angry with Chuka Umunna? Because he’s right

Mr B then proceeds to scribble a piece so weird and so dismissive and ill researched that one might initially suspect it could be a parody of Dan Hodges

Such a party might yet emerge, but it won’t be Ukip, because Mr Farage’s alliance of convenience with the enraged elderly has left an unpleasant taint around the party that will not be easily expunged. To make matters worse for Ukip, it appears that Labour may, at last, be beginning to work out how to win its share of the angry octogenerian vote back.

It’s not a parody, unfortunately – Mr B, in a previous incarnation,has form

No – it’s clickbait. The new DT regime is betting the family silver on Cameron. Over the last few months the resident pundits of the supposedly conservative organ (with the honourable exception of Janet Daley and Peter Oborne) have been religiously pimping Dave and sneering at UKIP. But that was not enough so they decided to recruit Dan Hodges Mk 2

So, who is Stephen Bush?

Stephen Bush is an assistant comment editor at the Telegraph, who mainly works on Morning Briefing, the Telegraph’s must-read morning e-mail.

He , appeared out of the blue a few weeks ago “helping” Brogan – always a portent of assassination at the DT.

Where did he come from?

Guardian Bush

Guardian Bush

Telegraph Bush

Telegraph Bush

The Guardian……

Stephen Bush writes a weekly blog for Progress and works in a bookshop

And left wing websites Progress Online and LabourList…….

Stephen Bush is a writer from London. He studied history at the University of Oxford, and has written on everything from party funding to underwater hockey. He writes a weekly column, the Tuesday Review, for ProgressOnline on politics and current events, and for LabourList on European affairs.

If Mr Bush is a sign of things to come then it looks like the DT zombie might be lurching towards the metropolitan chattering class hilltop currently occupied by the Guardian and BBC where, of course, UKIP is simply not acceptable. Trouble is if you check on the majority of the responses to his Chuka Umunna/UKIP post you get the feeling that the zombie might not be taking a substantial chunk of its  readership with it.

What’s that sound?  Bill Deedes turning in his grave…..

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30 May
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The Media does evidence based analysis on UKIP? My A*se!!! It’s more like Political Astrology…..

“Let’s calm down, Ukip’s popularity won’t last” proclaims David Aaronovitch from the peaks of Mt Olympus in Islington

“Association with Ukip and the bigots in its core membership won’t help the Tories pick up those votes.” simpers bright young Tory thing Kate Maltby

“Nigel Forage’s earthquake seems remarkably short on aftershocks” sniggers The DT’s political guru Benedict Brogan (Remember Brogan’s insightful “UKIP slipping” prediction just before the recent elections?)

Only three of hundreds of articles about UKIP that have been scribbled by metropolitan hacks over the last few months. From the Telegraph alone you would set your chimney alight if you tried to burn them all at once. “Analysing” UKIP has proved a goldmine, especially for the mainly white middle class penpushers and keyboard tappers who infest the broadsheet “Comment” pages. Pontificating from their book lined studies in their million pound houses in Notting Hill and Islington they predict the future with the arrogant confidence of those Roman seers who would tell you your fortune after slitting open a live chicken and throwing it’s entrails across a glistening marble floor –for a few pieces of gold, of course.

The Roman seers can be given the benefit of doubt because they could claim to be operating at a time when a belief in magic and the powers of the supernatural was deeply embedded within the culture of the time.

We should not give our broadsheet hacks such an easy way out.

The fact is that not any one of them is able to make any prediction based on incontrovertible data. They know very little about UKIP. Since when did any of them make any effort to highlight anyone from the party other than Nigel Farage – apart from recycling any smear or innuendo dug up by unpaid interns from Tory HQ. How many times have they contacted local branches to get some sort of insight into who these UKIP members are and why they joined? Why is any interview driven by references to oddball quotes (both true and untrue) by a tiny minority of members?

It’s because they just cannot grasp the concept of a party that has managed to move from the outer edges of the political fringe to the centre of public debate within two years. It is a phenomenon that is as far from their view of the world as the ships and muskets of the Spanish must have been to the native tribes of America.

None of the leadership cadre has ever been a big player in the political arena. They are not regular attendees at North London dinner parties. They have never been part of the Westminster village. They do not mix or marry into the media elite.

Their voters are from deeply unfashionable places – Great Yarmouth, Lincolnshire, Rotherham, Dudley, Thurrock, and Portsmouth. Their roots are from both the Tories and Labour – and many have never had any interest in politics before.

It’s like an alien invasion. Who the hell are these people – and what do they want? Why are they here? It’s an intriguing moment when proper journalists should be eager to expend shoe leather in answering these questions.

Instead you get people like Aaronovitch blithely predicting the future course of UKIP without even cutting up a chicken.

Evidence based analysis? My arse!!! It’s more like Political Astrology…..

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23 May
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ROTFLMAO!! Daily Mail’s Stephen Glover Says Mail Never Indulged In Anti UKIP Smears…

Stephen Glover in the Mail today

Anyone who has the remotest sympathy for the abused underdog will have felt for Nigel Farage as the major parties and much of the media have lined up to trash him.

How true….as Peter Oborne pointed out in a characteristically trenchant article a few days ago

Much of the media has obediently been doing the work of the three main parties. The BBC’s normally admirable political editor, Nick Robinson, interviewed Mr Farage in the tones one might employ for a convicted international war criminal.

Agreed – though maybe Stephen could have signposted this before the election? Anyway better late than never’

But then Stephen goes one hundred percent porkie pie…

 Most newspapers of Left and Right (though not the Mail) have depicted Ukip as an extremist party inhabited by fruitcakes, crooks or dangerous lunatics.

ROTFLMAO!!!

Did Paul Dacre or Lord Rothermere tell you to slip those brackets in, Stephen? Because the Mail, just as it did before the local elections of 2013, has been the pack leader in publishing and constantly recycling both the smearing titbits thrown to them by the industrious zero hours interns at Tory HQ and garnering unsubstantiated quotes from former colleagues of Farage who clearly had an axe to grind……leading to that surreal moment when the Mail had to settle out of court for spreading a false story about Mrs Farage.

Pull the other one, Stephen…..

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07 May
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Exclusively White Pundits At Telegraph/Spectator Tell Us To Celebrate Diversity

Scribblers at the Daily Telegraph and The Spectator (both owned by the Barclay Brothers) have made much of the recent Policy Exchange report which predicts that Britain’s non white population (currently 14%) will be 30% by 2050. They use the report to knock UKIP (quelle surprise) and chatter on about “diversity”

Strange how all these Speccie/DT scribblers celebrate “diversity” and tell us how good it is for those of us who make up  the great unwashed – yet there is very little evidence of “diversity” in the ranks of the scribblers themselves. They are almost universally white and could hardly be described as multi ethnic (but I suspect their cleaners, nannies and gardeners are…..)

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