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?