The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

12 June
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Labour – The Party Of The Urban Middle Class…..

The chaps at The New Statesman, the parish magazine of the chattering class left, have clearly not been paying too much attention to Planet Telegraph and the musings of Benedict Brogan and Dan Hodges who have used the Newark by election result to prove, beyond doubt that UKIP has shot its bolt and is now in terminal decline

Yet Ukip’s results in the 2014 local and European elections demonstrate the importance of blue-collar voters for Labour. These are the voters it has been haemorrhaging for over a decade; those who once sat at home on election day and are now coming out to vote Ukip………….This is a logical consequence of abandoning blue-collar Britons and becoming a party of the urban middle class alone.

Wow…..you mean winning Hackney with a coalition of young white middle class professionals and ethnic minorities won’t make much of an impression on those working class people in Rotherham and Thurrock? You know, the ones who never appear in colour supplements?

As John Denham, MP for Southampton Itchen, has observed, we need to recognise the pressures immigration has put on some working-class communities

But…but…but…I thought uncontrolled immigration was A Good Thing….

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09 June
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In The Real World UKIP Is Still Doing Well

According to a whole range of media pundits (yes you, Benedict Brogan of the Telegraph) when I arrived at the South East England Regional Conference of UKIP  in Eastbourne last Saturday the hall should have been almost empty with just about thirty party members wandering around all sad and miserable – dumbstruck by the massive Tory victory in the Newark by election last week…you know, the election where the Tories doubled their 16,000 2010 majority and UKIP got even fewer than the 1,900 they got in 2010.

I had been told that the wheels had come off the UKIP juggernaut, the earthquake was now a squeak and purple was so…..yesterday. Clearly the People’s Army was, like Bonaparte’s in 1812, fleeing the battlefield in chaos and confusion.

Yet when I stepped into the hall I found it packed out with a thousand members and the whole place buzzing with excitement. Far from an air of despondency everyone was eager to prepare for next year’s General Election and listened intently as Nigel Farage outlined the leadership’s plan to target those 30/40 key constituencies where UKIP had done exceptionally well in the local and EU elections. They were also pleased to hear that between now and September the party would be putting the finishing touches to its 2015 election manifesto and that the responsibilities of presentation would be shared out between UKIP’s 24 MEPs with Farage himself more “primus inter pares” than the dominant voice he has been up to now.

We heard from new SE MEPs Diane James, Janice Atkinson and Ray Finch, people whose faces will become much more familiar as one part of this collegiate leadership cadre. Local councillors and party officials spoke about political issues, campaigning and branch organisation. UKIP’s national infrastructure is clearly becoming more professional, its message more consistent.

Diane James, in particular, got a lot of respect. She doesn’t do tub thumping but comes across cool, calm and measured especially under fire. She is a great asset for the party at a time when it needs to be taken more seriously.

This was not a congress of the defeated – and why should it be? Those figures in the opening paragraph were figments of my imagination – just as the media’s interpretation of Newark was an expression of their wishful thinking. In this “safe” Tory constituency the Conservative majority was less than half the 2010 figure. UKIP’s share went up from 3% to 25%. They replaced Labour as the main opposition party and the Lib Dems evaporated. True we didn’t win the seat but away from the Cameron cheerleaders at the Telegraph and Spectator there was recognition that it was still a good result for UKIP.

Ukip didn’t quite sustain their momentum from last month’s local and Euro-elections. But it was a good result, especially as Labour’s charge that the Tories threw the kitchen sink and more into the campaign is echoed by Nigel Farage, who will be studying young Jenrick’s election expenses carefully. The Tory money wall and Ukip’s inability to match it are two of the five shrewd reasons Sparrow cites on his blog for the likely outcome.

Just consider this. In 2010 the Tory majority in Newark was 16,000 yet they were unable to gain an overall majority in Parliament. If the Newark 2014 pattern was repeated throughout Britain in 2015 Cameron and his mates would not have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning power in their own.

That’s the real message of Newark – and this is why we departed Eastbourne in such high spirits…the Purple Revolution has only just begun……..

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05 June
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London Getting Worse Than Chicago For Electoral Fraud?

Apparently there have been some arrests over recent electoral fraud in Tower Hamlets. Police are implying that they expect to make more arrests

There is a forthcoming by election in Tower Hamlets in a few weeks time.

Police said they would put in place a “robust policing plan” for the by-election.

I expect that will be like the “robust plan” they put into place for the recent elections where there appeared to be little evidence of officers doing anything to stop crowds outside the count browbeating and intimidating voters. Equally the  election officials seemed to be quite happy to ignore intimidation within the count

The Electoral Commission refuses to act on suspect voting, despite its own report admitting it happened in 2012. The police broke their promise to stop crowds outside polling stations. The race card has worked its usual magic; many officials are afraid of being branded racist for criticising Mr Rahman.

Yes – the old hate crime race card trumps everything again…

The cure, of course, is simple.

  1. Return to the old system of postal voting where it was only allowed for those who had good reason.
  2. Postal voting forms should only be distributed and collected by election officials, not party activists.
  3. Voters on polling day must show ID…..no ID, no vote

Well, I suppose one can dream….

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04 June
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Those Newark By-Election Polls – Are They That Reliable When UKIP Is Involved?

That Ashcroft Newark by election poll has Tory HQ and their media drones at the Telegraph and Spectator ordering extra bottles of champagne.

Purple tide pushed back…..UKIP stuffed……earthquake fails to appear….Brogan & co are dancing with glee….

But are our pollsters  reliable predictors of UKIP by election performance?

UKIP, of course, have never managed to win a Westminster constituency either in a general or a by-election. Their best performance was the 27.8% at Eastleigh in February last year.

It is important to recall that all the polls in that contest, as the chart shows, understated the purples by quite some margin. None of them had UKIP any higher than third place.

It was a similar pattern in Corby in November 2012 when the Tories were trying to hang on to the seat following Louise Mensch’s decision to quit politics. The final Ashcroft poll had UKIP on just 6% – they ended up on 14.3%.

Maybe the Tories should just hold back on those champagne orders until the votes are actually counted……

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01 June
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Tory Candidate In Newark By-Election Is Everything That UKIP Is Fighting Against….

The Tory candidate for the Newark by-election, Robert Jenrick,  appears to embody everything that is wrong with our current political class

 

Robert Jenrick denied being a ‘carpetbagger’ or a ‘career politician’ ,claiming he had ‘has never worked in politics’, despite having stood in Newcastle-Under-Lyme in 2010 and attempting to get selected to a safe Tory seat in Croydon before landing Newark. He stood by his claims that was an ‘entrepreneur’, but admitted to never having set up any business beyond the company he registered while renovating his £2.3 million SW1 property.

Jenrick made much of the fact that he had moved his family to the area, settling in Southwell – although our informants in the Midlands say that Jenrick needs to sharpen up his pronunciation: it’s ‘suthull’ to the local cognoscenti.

 

Do we really want to be continually ruled by people like this?

 

In fact, he and American wife Michal own not one, but two, £2 million homes in London and a £1 million country pile built by an 18th Century slave-trader.

Their Newark ‘home’ is a rented house obtained when he was picked as a candidate six months ago.

And his Party CV omits to say he went to a £13,000-a-year private secondary school.

Together with his director’s job at Christie’s auction house, it is just the type of posh Tory boy image Cameron and co can’t shrug off.

Mr Jenrick, who looks even younger than his 32 years, sticks rigidly to his Tory HQ autocue when asked about national issues.

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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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21 May
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White Anti Racist Zealot Thrusts “Racist Scum” Poster In Black UKIP Member’s Face

The most surreal Dan Hodges moment of the 2014 election…in Croydon a white “anti racist” zealot labels a black UKIP member “Racist Scum”

 

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21 May
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Isabel Hardman (Westminster Bubble Princess) Gives A Master Class On How To Write A Piece Of Anti UKIP AgitProp

Isabel Hardman at the Telegraph owned Spectator Coffee House blog on the UKIP street event in Croydon (I doubt if the fragrant Ms H would ever go further south of the river than a Clapham dinner party – it looks as if she “commented”…)

Ukip’s we’re-not-racist ethnic minority carnival in Croydon always looked as though it was going to provide plenty of material for sketchwriters and critics. It was another attempt by the party to showcase its non-white members and candidates, with local candidate Winston McKenzie on hand too.

The event did not go as planned, apparently, so UKIP could learn lessons from the Tories

The Conservatives have become increasingly control-freakish about their big campaign days, excluding the press in favour of selected broadcasters so that the party can stage manage every moment as much as it possibly can.

The Tory party “stage manages every moment as much as it possibly can”……which is exactly why it has become less like a political movement and more like a corporate PR show where the audience is as much part of the stage managed presentation as BGT. UKIP is a living, vibrant force of nature driven by an enthusiastic membership – sometimes shambolic, always passionate – the equivalent spirit of a village fete. This might be the reason that it retains a certain measure of popularity.

Secondly, and sadly, Ms Hardman has had months during which she could have visited Croydon and met up with Winston McKenzie and other black Croydonians and asked them why they supported UKIP…you know, Ms H, do an actual bit of shoeleather journalism. But no, you would much rather pop down there and mock Mr McKenzie and his friends……indeed there is almost a hint of a sub text here, y’know, coconuts, Uncle Toms, stoogesw…real black men and women or Sikhs or Hindus or Moslems would never support UKIP

A shallow, cheap and patronising piece of hackery….

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20 May
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The Telegraph’s Line On UKIP…Never Mind The Facts, We’re Busy Honing Our Fantasy Narratve

That the Telegraph, Mail and other papers had reached an agreement with Tory HQ that they would be fed the details of UKIP candidates making questionable/oddball statements (usually via Twitter/Facebook) in return for ignoring  or downplaying similar remarks/actions from the candidates of other parties is blindingly obvious. Low level, zero contract Tory interns provided a similar service during the run up to the 2013 local elections.

The process is straightforward enough.

The names of these UKIP members are  inserted multiple times in successive articles about UKIP in order to give the impression that a) they are legion and b) to imply they are just the tip of an iceberg.

The next stage, however, is the most important. The writer must create an atmosphere of frenetic mass disapproval as if the whole nation in pubs, shops offices and homes puts aside all other topics in order to declare their shock/horror, or, as the Mail often puts it, UKIP is once again “engulfed in controversy”

Ukip is taking a pounding, but will it make a difference? The polls give the party first place on Thursday in the Euros, but anyone reading across the papers would wonder how that can be. The main parties must wish there was a bit more time to go before polling day, as they reckon the tide has further to turn ( Benedict Brogan)

Similarly the pundits will big up someone who “fearlessly” tells Farage (or any other Ukipper) that he/she is  “Racist – Xenophobic – Fascist – Fearmongering – homophobic – Islamophobic etc etc” and applaud them for “stopping the UKIP bandwagon in its tracks” or even engineering a “car crash”. LBC’s resident pseudo socialist, the middle class public school educated 40 something white blowhard James O’Brien is the latest in a list that includes Tory politicians Eric Pickle and Anna Soubry.

Just think of all the trouble that could have been saved in the Thirties if LBC’s James O’Brien had been around to interview European party leaders. It was O’Brien, you’ll remember, who cross-examined Nigel Farage on air last week and derailed the Ukip leader’s election campaign ahead of Thursday’s vote (Iain Martin)

Over egging the pudding, Mr Martin? In Telegraph anti UKIP world fantasy reigns supreme….a mouthy talk radio host is transformed into James the Hitler Killer…

Thus is created the all important Narrative, the implication that many ordinary folk are so easily swayed by “bigotry” or “anger” that their unsophisticated minds simply cannot know what is best for them and they need to be guided back onto the proper path by those wiser souls who have true insight.

Trouble is it appears to be only those “wiser souls” in the political and media metropolitan bubble who are “engulfed” in the “car crash” “pounding” that they have created from their own imaginations. The ordinary voters do not appear to be taking any notice of the media’s anti UKIP fenzy at all…

 I wonder why?

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