The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

08 October
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UK Telegraph Hack Forced To Go To The Seaside To Listen To Clacton’s UKIP Supporters….Ugggghhhh..

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The top brass at the Telegraph obviously felt that they were publishing too many positive reports and comments about UKIP so they rang up their ace travel hack Tom Rowley and ordered him to get up to Clacton and write a bit of a sneer piece about the natives (y’know, mocking their ignorance and parochialism) to undermine UKIP’s candidate Douglas Carswell in the forthcoming by election.

“…after all, Tom, they’re not real people over there. Unlike we clever Telegraph types they don’t live in Somerset rectories or go to dinner parties in Notting Hill…normally we wouldn’t bother with such a bunch of losers…but with all this UKIP/Farage/Carswell nonsense they do seem to be getting ideas above their station. David says that Samantha is telling him he needs to be a bit tougher on them as she’s damned if a crowd of has beens and pensioners from a crumbling seaside town will edge her out of Downing Street….without all that publicity how can she market those bags?…..Anyway, Tory HQ is putting the squeeze on us so if you want more of those gigs in New York, Austria or Barbados you’ll get to the Essex coast pronto – or you might end up in Monrovia reporting on cut price hotels next to hospitals…don’t worry, we won’t allow any comments, they only come from the readers and what the hell do they know..”

Naturally Tom rushed to Clacton

Eileen Mattacks, at least, was hearing all the right things. Across the road from a shop selling all manner of mobility scooters, the elderly voter embraced Mr. Carswell. “For years I voted Conservative but I don’t think they’ve done the job properly,” she said. Despite her Huguenot surname, she, too, is concerned about immigration. “We are only a small island,” she said. “And we’ve got too many here.”

“Well done, Tom – you hit all the right buttons…just the sort of copy the Telegraph wants. Mrs. Mattacks just doesn’t realise that here in London we simply couldn’t survive without cheap baristas, nannies, builders and gardeners from the outside world…why, I don’t expect she even knows what a barista is…”

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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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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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09 May
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The Telegraph & Spectator – Cameron’s Palace Guard When Dealing With UKIP?

A couple of days ago Isabel Hardman at The Spectator’s Coffee House blog briefly let her mask slip when she cavorted with glee over the selection of Roger Helmer as the UKIP candidate for the forthcoming Newark by election

His selection as the party’s candidate for the Newark by-election is a gift for CCHQ, which now needs a teaspoon rather than a spade to dig out awkward comments the MEP has made.

The Speccie , like The Telegraph (both owned by the rather secretive Barclay brothers) has, since the beginning of 2013, consistently sought to undermine UKIP either by constantly recycling and repeating the remarks of a handful of oddball members and, between the lines, implying that they reflect the opinions of the party’s ever increasing membership.

It’s the oldest trick in the book – guilt by association. Strangely, however, they never appear to use reports of the antics of many of our current set of MPs to push that implication to its logical conclusion – that Parliament is full of fraudsters, drunkards, gropers and liars.

Hardman is comparatively new to the Westminster media village so her lack of nuance could be put down to experience. Not so her DT colleague Benedict Brogan. He has been reporting on politics for many years and, until recently, could be relied upon to provide an insightful and perceptive analysis of the political scene.

Over the last few months, however, his comments about UKIP have followed the DT/Speccie line of recycled put downs and sneering asides, arousing suspicions that, like Hardman, he is working quite closely with Tory HQ.

But even a worm can sometimes turn and it looks as if Mr Brogan might well have decided to re-assert his independence

Will Mr Helmer make a difference? He’ll certainly attract publicity for the Ukip campaign. He’s up against the typically vanilla candidates chosen by the main parties……………………………Yes, Newark is ripe territory for the Ukip insurgency. It’s the ideal place to give Dave a bloody nose. The Tories can’t make too much of Mr Helmer’s behaviour, because his most egregious remarks were made when he was a Tory, and the party did nothing about them then.

Perhaps BB had a preview of this report in The Guardian

Ukip’s Newark byelection candidate Roger Helmer was greeted like a celebrity as he launched his campaign to be the party’s first MP – in a sign his controversial comments about rape and homosexuality appear to have had little effect on the electorate.

The 70-year-old was cheered by market traders as he visited the Nottinghamshire seat, which was vacated by former Tory Patrick Mercer after a lobbying scandal.

Helmer will be hoping to replicate and build on Ukip’s previous byelection gains, which has come from a tiny proportion of the vote to take second place in five of the past seven contests

It’s rather strange, isn’t it, that a paper which would appear to be diametrically opposed to most, if not all, of UKIP’s political positions, should actually go to Newark and report on Helmer’s campaign and treat him fairly in an interview when the Telegraph/Speccie are content to rely on their own self generated caricatures.

Cameron’s Palace Guard, perhaps?

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24 January
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UKIP Chooses Local Boy Who Made Good For Key By Election

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Ukip leader Nigel Farage said: “He’s a local boy who really cares about the community he is from and has incredible experience working in international business which sets him in very good stead to be a brilliant parliamentarian.”

 

Meet John Bickley, UKIP’s candidate for the Wythenshawe and Sale East by election

  • He isn’t from the public sector
  • He didn’t go to Eton
  • He didn’t get a non job in PR from a relative’s contacts to get “business experience”
  • He wasn’t the son of a former minister
  • He wasn’t an MP’s “research assistant” who then worked briefly for a pseudo charity
  • He wasn’t a TV presenter
  • He didn’t pay £50,000 for a “face to face” with David Cameron
  • He didn’t cross over to UKIP a few months ago because of the floods
  • He has been a local UKIP activist for three years
  • He grew up on a local council estate
  • His family was staunch old fashioned Labour
  • His first job was as a lab technician
  • He is now a rich man from his own efforts in business
  • He is a family man
  • He is 60 years old

In other words he hasn’t just talked the talk – he has walked the walk…

Imagine – once upon a time almost all MPs were like John Bickley

Sounds like he would make a bloody good MP….

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21 February
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Maybe UKIP’s Stand On Immigration & Taxes Is Striking A Chord…..

That Eastleigh by-election, so the pundits tell us, is looking like a Lib Dem win although, in politics,nothing is a certainty until the votes are counted. Locally the Lib Dem machine is well established and their canvassing effective and efficient – but it could be that the most significant outcome of the election might well be not who wins but who comes third….

I suspect that another story next Thursday night will be how well UKIP does. They are surging there and I’d be surprised if they didn’t come a strong third. When I was down earlier in the week, I found it picking up voters off all three parties. It is getting disillusioned working class votes in Eastleigh town itself, which is a bit of the de-industralised north in Hampshire. While out in the more prosperous parts of the constituency it is picking up protest votes off the Lib Dems as well as playing on concerns among Tory voters about how sound Cameron is on Europe, immigration and tax.

Maybe a response to this piece actually hits the nail on the head

UKIP represents working class Britain, whether in-work, out of work, or retired from work. The other parties represent the wont-works, the on-benefits, the we-want- benefits, and the socialist state employees. And the penny is finally dropping. Voters : please don’t fall for the ‘don’t split the vote nonsense’.
At the heart of democracy is voting for whom we want, not for whom we don’t want.

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