The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

08 April
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Why Is The Telegraph Deliberately Insulting A Large Tranche Of Its Readers By Sneering At UKIP?

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What is it with the Telegraph and UKIP? You would think that an anti EU, small government, low tax party standing firmly for stricter immigration controls yet free of the racist, corporate state baggage of the BNP would merit a certain degree of sympathy from a broadsheet that has always been the standard bearer of middle class conservative values. Yet over the last few months the resident political “pundits” have unleashed a constant stream of bile directed at the party in general and its leader, Nigel Farage, in particular.

Is it possible that there is a daily conference with Messrs Brogan, Wigmore, Kirkup, Hodges, Martin and Young in which they giggle like crazy as they encourage each other to deliver as much vitriol, innuendo and half truths about UKIP & Farage as possible? Surely that thought is just a flight of fancy…..surely….

Yesterday Iain Martin posted a piece on the storm battering David Cameron and Maria Miller, his Minister of Culture, over her expenses claims. A scandal the Tories need like a hole in the head, he claimed – and then proceeded to use it as a hook for an attack on UKIP.

After months of the DT over egging sundry UKIP “scandals” Martin feared that Farage might seek to capitalise on the Miller/Cameron affair. This is so unfair, said he, because UKIP scandals are ignored….UKIP is Teflon. Martin conveniently “forgets” that the so called UKIP “scandals” have been bigged up, in fact,  by the DT (via CCHQ?) in the face of UKIP’s post Eastleigh (and sustained) polling performance.

I wonder why?

Then James Kirkup (fresh from “proving” that Clegg actually “won” the EU debate with Farage) needing to fill up a column with a few hundred words but clearly suffering from Writer’s Block, decides he might as well follow the DT editorial line and sneer at Farage through the prism of “Game of Thrones”

So, just when you think the DT “pundits” cannot sink any lower in their systematic attempts to undermine UKIP – and those who either support him or, at the least, feel he has something significant to say – the bar is pushed further down and more drivel is spread around.

Memo to the DT pundits. UKIP is not just Nigel Farage….it has 34,000 members, of whom 20,000 have joined within the last two years or so. Astonishingly most Ukippers don’t slavishly agree with Farage over everything he does or says….we tend to be ornery souls with a fairly cynical view of human nature. But, as with Mrs Thatcher, we are more inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt because he is going in the same direction as us

Would it be too much to ask of the DT pundits that we would appreciate a modicum of balance and some evidence that they have used some shoe leather and left Westminster/Notting Hill/Islington to actually talk with a range of UKIP members?

Once upon a time that would have been called “journalism”…..

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27 March
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That Farage/Clegg Debate – Media Pundits Caught With Their Trousers Down…

Animal - Woodland - Weasels, various

 

Probably the most significant outcome of the Farage/Clegg debate was not so much the verbal fencing of the discussion itself but the final piece of evidence proving, if any further proof were needed that, with regard to UKIP most of the media establishment is as out of touch with the views of the man and woman on the street as the political class which claims to represent them.

I’m not talking about the liberal/left ramparts of The Guardian or Daily Mirror – at least the bias in those quarters is so blatant that one can immediately discount much of their “reporting” or “comment”. But the barrage of sneering anti UKIP bile filling the pages of the Telegraph and Mail, both supposedly rightward leaning and Eurosceptic, has certainly puzzled many of us in UKIP.

Many have suggested that the Telegraph/Mail have merely been pimping Tory HQ propaganda as part of a campaign to buttress Cameron. Yet the Mail is often scathing about Dave so I cannot see the Tory HQ line as being the whole story.

My feeling is that, though “journalists” work for media outlets that have varying political stances, the bulk of them are all part of the London media “village” and intermingle professionally and socially not just with each other but with the political class. All of them see politics as a political game where the terms of the debate are exclusively set by the metropolitan elite and the role of the electorate is to be as passive as a TV audience, maybe cheering or booing on cue, but otherwise happy to leave decisions about the important issues to the “professionals” who know best.

What these people hate about UKIP is that it is a party of political outsiders with no connection to the metropolitan elite. No political “big beast” SDP type defections have brought the party into the dinner party conversations in North London. They hasten to characterise UKIP members, supporters and potential voters as simple minded, racist, ignorant etc but they have made no attempt to get to know UKIP members or treat their views seriously.

The result? They constantly get blindsided…

During and immediately after the debate, Westminster observers appeared to come down on the side of Clegg – or that both men had performed competently. Initially, Lib Dem cheerleaders apparently satisfied with the performance of their leader and several “gaffes” from Farage, who they pointed out appeared to denigrate the European car industry and claimed the EU had “blood on its hands” over Ukraine.

“The truth is it was a score draw,” said Andrew Mitchell, the senior Conservative backbencher and former chief whip.

However, the mood shifted to visible disappointment in the Clegg camp as the first opinion polls showed Farage was ahead by 57% to 36%.

Asked whether the loss mattered, one Lib Dem aide said philosophically: “In a snap poll, populist arguments may well win over. The real win tonight has been that we wanted this debate and talked directly to the voters.”

Let’s face it – the media hacks were all caught with their trousers down

Backstage, Westminster’s hack-pack was necking cheap vino and Pret sandwiches after carrying out a spectacular volte face. Initially ‘the spin room’ had called the duel for Clegg, on both style and substance. But, as news of the Sun/YouGov poll filtered through to the scribblers, headlines were rewritten and awkward tweets deleted. Soon, only the BBC was left flying the Clegg flag, with the help of Danny Alexander and Tim Farron.

The moral of the story? Simples… On every Mail snide anti UKIP piece, or Tim Stanley/Dan Hodges ill informed rant, or snooty dinner party Spectator put down keep on hammering the comments with the phrases that wind them up…..LibLabCon, Tory HQ agitprop, out-of-touch media luvvies….believe me those remarks really get under their collective skin.

The media expects to be courted. Until the age of the internet there was no other option if you wished to be heard. But today is different. Journalists are ranked with estate agents, car salesmen and pimps. They don’t need to be courted – when they lie and distort and misreport they need to be exposed and attacked from every angle.

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06 March
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That BBC Farage/Clegg Debate – If It’s Dimbleby Nigel Needs A Very Long Spoon…

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Classic anti Farage tweaking via the Telegraph’s James Kirkup in a snarky piece about the forthcoming Farage/Clegg debates – Kirkup uses that pic of Farage perspiring during his UKIP conference speech alongside a standard stock photo of Clegg looking steady and serious…..par for the course, I suppose.

Young Kirkup claims that the format is nearing some sort of agreement

LBC, the radio station that hosts Mr Clegg’s weekly phone-in, will stage a debate expected to have fewer rules and restrictions than the BBC. The debate – also before a live audience – will be hosted by Nick Ferrari, a more combative broadcaster than Dimbleby, who is expected to allow more “lively” exchanges.

So far, so good….Ferrari won’t take any prisoners but, unlike anyone at the BBC (except maybe Andrew Neil) he does tend to resonate with white van drivers and their wives, a constituency that is not renowned for going starry eyed over beards and sandals.

But warning bells did start to ring in my head when I read about the TV debate

The two men will be given an hour to argue about the merits of Britain’s membership of the European Union, moderated by David Dimbleby.

Ah, Dimbleby, the Grand Panjandrum of BBC Question Time who inevitably intervenes when he feels a member of the BBCQT panel is simply not up to his own intellectual level. Pompous, smooth and trousering sackfuls of taxpayers’ money via the licence fee he is the epitome of BBC smugness, socially and culturally closer to Clegg than Farage. When you also hear that the audience will be carefully selected to demonstrate “balance” red lights should be flashing in the Farage camp because we just know the BBCQT definition of “balance” from week after week of handpicked rent-a-quote lefty androids who always seem to get chosen when Dimbleby’s eyes scour the audience for his “random” selection…..and isn’t it strange that they often seem to be allowed a few additional comments just in case the message didn’t get through.

During the 2008 and 2012 US Presidential elections the TV debates were organised and “moderated” by the big networks, all dominated by the same liberal/left viewpoint  as our own BBC. The Republican establishment is now coming under increasing pressure from the Tea Party movement to demand a less Democrat friendly structure to the 2016 debates.

I certainly hope that Farage and UKIP also box very cannily with the BBC. It is an organisation that is institutionally inimical to almost everything UKIP stands for.

When you sup with the Beeb you need a very long spoon…..

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11 February
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Farage And The Floods – Somehow He Steals The Show Again…..

While the government’s floods “strategy” appears increasingly confused UKIP’s Nigel Farage scores points

  • Actually dresses like a countryman and wears waders rather than wellies from Harrods
  • Chats to a Sikh chap who has brought down some mates from his temple in Slough to help the locals rather than give PR puff to selected hacks
  • Suggests  we pay for massive works to lessen flood risk by not sending taxpayers money to corrupt third world regimes via bloated “charities” led by fatcat troughers

Strange how a man totally outside the Westminster bubble of the chattering class is able to hit the spot while Cameron, Clegg and Miliband, surrounded by legions of spin doctors and “brilliant” young interns fresh from Oxbridge  often appear to be 2/3 steps behind…

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24 January
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UKIP Has Higher Positives & Lower Negatives Than Other Parties – Bang Goes The UKIP=Marmite Myth…

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ComRes does a monthly poll for a couple of the Sundays and for Jan 19th the figures panned out this way (figures in brackets indicate changes since December)

CON 30%(+1), LAB 35%(-1), LDEM 8%(nc), UKIP 19%(+1).

But the backroom boys and girls at Polling Report did their usual number crunching on the accompanying figures showing how positive/negative those polled felt about the parties and their leaders – and came up with findings about UKIP that challenge the accepted wisdom of the political pundits

  • That people either love or hate UKIP
  • That Nigel Farage = UKIP

The interesting findings are UKIP. There is an assumption that UKIP are a bit like marmite – love em or hate em. Their supporters are very positive (and vocal) but are vastly outnumbered by detractors. The ComRes results however paint a more positive picture for UKIP – 27% had a positive opinion of the party (so marginally higher than Labour (26%) and the Tories (25%)). Only 38% had a negative opinion though, which was significantly lower than the Conservatives or Labour, giving them the most positive net figure. The other interesting finding was that Nigel Farage polled significantly less positively than his party – a net rating of minus 18, compared to minus 11 for UKIP.

It’s only one poll, of course, and there are still many miles to walk. But it could mean that with members like Paul Nuttall, Diane James and Patrick O’Flynn appearing more often on the media and a large number of UKIP councillors making an impact on local government the party is beginning to emerge as a credible political force in its own right

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11 December
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What David Cameron Was Really Saying To US TV Hackette Christiane Amanpour ….


No, Christiane, I do not want to talk about bloody Nigel Farage…..

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03 October
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James Forsyth’s Fantasy – The Tories Have “Solved” The UKIP “Problem”….

The Grand Panjandrum of the Conservative Media, James Forsyth, has officially declared UKIP and Nigel Farage dead and buried.

Tory strategists talk of a ‘carrot and stick’ approach to dealing with the threat of Ukip on their right. The carrot is more robust Tory policies on welfare, immigration and human rights. The stick is the prospect of Ed Miliband as Prime Minister.

Not only have those brilliant “strategists” discovered the magic formula for collapsing the UKIP vote, the venerable figure of Bill Cash came forth and crushed Farage at a fringe meeting with one blow

Farage was harangued by Bill Cash for ‘not acting in the national interest’ and for making it less likely that there would be a referendum on Britain’s membership of the European Union.

According to Forsyth Farage was then barracked by Tory MPs and had to slink away a broken man. Afterwards Forsyth scuttled up to a “cabinet minister” and described the scene with great glee. Said minister was astonished that the UKIP threat had been neutralised in just a few minutes and probably thanked Forsyth from the bottom of his heart.

Really, Mr Forsyth? Other reports of that Farage/Cash incident paint it in a far less one sided light. He didn’t come as a supplicant, seeking Cash’s blessing and reacted forthrightly to his rather patronising put down.

We know that The Spectator and, to a slightly lesser extent their fellow Barclay Brothers employees at the Telegraph have been peddling this line about UKIP for quite a while. But I suspect this position is not at all based on hard facts. It is either a classic example of wishful thinking or the Forsyth is so enclosed in the Westminster bubble he has little, if any, contact with the real world.

The fact is that Cameron and his clique captured the Conservative machine thinking they could win power by being Tony Blair. It was a disastrous miscalculation.

Rather than locking in the Conservative base and – like Ronald Reagan – building out from there, creating a winning coalition around a couple of big, unifying themes, they rushed to what they thought was the middle, attacked some of their existing voters and activists, and created the space for Ukip’s rise.

However much the Tory “strategists” and their media lapdogs like Forsyth try to big up the shifts and twists of their party’s priorities those who already vote UKIP and the millions more who are moving in that direction are doing so because, if they are not Tories, they have lost faith in the political class, and, if they were they simply do not believe anything Cameron says.

The vote UKIP get Miliband scaremongering so loudly pimped by Forsyth and the “strategists” is an empty threat. Many would argue that, beyond the rhetoric, a Miliband regime would be little different from Cameron/Clegg – EU friendly, High Tax, Corporate Crony and Nanny State. But in opposition the Conservative Party, without the perks of power would collapse like a powdery fossil leaving a resurgent UKIP as the only effective alternative to rule by Big Government.

No, Mr Forsyth, UKIP is here to stay.

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26 September
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You Don’t Fool Us, Mr. Miliband…Like Cameron, You Are Scared Of Facing Ukip’s Nigel Farage In TV Debate

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Labour leader Ed Miliband is eager to confront David Cameron on TV during the 2015 General Election campaign but, he claims, Cameron is scared of him.

David Cameron should stop “ducking and diving” and agree to take part in televised debates ahead of the next election, Ed Miliband said.

Cameron certainly has got good reason to be nervous of another TV Debate for in 2010 his weak performance is often credited with being the cause of the Conservatives failure to win an overall majority at that election. He had an open goal but the smooth PR man allowed himself to be Clegged.

But Milliband’s portrayal of himself as the alley cat fighter willing to take on anybody in the mean streets of TV politics is a hypocritical charade

Mr Miliband said: “I will debate [with] anybody. In the end that’s a matter for the broadcasters.

“In the end that’s a matter for the broadcasters” – and in that phrase he showed himself up to be a blustering windbag, using tough guy talk to cover up his own cowardice. Because that was his answer to someone who asked him if he would debate with Ukip’s Nigel Farage.

It’s obvious that Cameron and Miliband have made it crystal clear that they don’t want Farage, whose party’s polling now regularly parallels Clegg’s Liberal Democrats, to play any part in a TV debate. They have watched him hold his own with fellow panellists and audiences on BBC TV’s Question Time too often to fail to realise that he is a formidable debater with a message that resounds not just with disgruntled Tories but also with many Labour voters. Recent elections and polling show there is a great swathe of the working class who feel that Labour has sold them out to a metropolitan elite who despise them for their failure to grasp that mass immigration, multiculturism and the creation of a swollen class of work refusers subsidised by their taxes is the best thing since sliced bread.

Cameron and now Miliband are playing the usual establishment game of stitching us up to keep us quiet and, at present, the media is willing to play by their rules. The worn out husks of political parties that were once vibrant movements energised by mass membership are messing their pants over Ukip, as are their hangers on in the media and the lobbying “industry”

So let’s take the battle to the court of public opinion…..raise such a fuss that the media will have to sit up and take notice and shame the toadies of the political class at ITV, BBC and Channel 4 into admitting Farage into the debate.

Because we have a lever.

It’s not politics because the Grand Panjandrums of TV loath Ukip and all it stands for. But they have a higher love than politics. They worship RATINGS.

The formula is straightforward.

Cameron, Miliband, Clegg…..yawn yawn, universal narcolepsy

Cameron, Miliband, Clegg plus Farage…..ratings gold!!!

Bring it on…….

 

pic h/t

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23 September
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Sorry, You Media Hacks, The Kebabbing Of Godfrey Bloom Won’t Stop The Rise Of Ukip

Iain Martin applauded Nigel Farage’s response to Bloomgate

it was refreshing to hear a political leader not resort, in a tight spot, to the standard political phrases used by other leaders when something has gone badly wrong. The script usually runs: “I am getting on with the job… we are focussed on doing the right thing… I won’t be distracted by media tittle-tattle…”

But both Iain and Nigel are wrong when they said the “row” was a disaster. The Ukip conference was not a disaster. The Bloom incident was an unwelcome distraction but I doubt if it will have much lasting impact on the public outside the bubble of the political class and their hangers on in the media.

I am a Ukip newbie – I only joined a few months ago so the conference was my first opportunity to meet up with fellow ukippers on a large scale. The Great Hall of Central Hal, Westminster (which can hold 2000 people)  was packed.  There were no corporate  lobbyists, no consultants – just ordinary party members, quite a wide range of people, giving the lie to the stereotype peddled by a media generally hostile or demeaning. Chatting to other attendees at conference I discovered that many of them had memberships going back no further than 2012….this was their first conference and the opportunity to find out they were part of a growing political phenomenon. They, like me, listened to the presentation, put faces to names that previously were only seen on party handouts, chatted easily and eagerly between themselves – and left conference determined to work their socks off for the party

It was only at the end that we learned of the “incident” and it was patently obvious that Bloom was kebabbed. Crick and co. were on his tail like terriers on a ratting expedition because they knew Godfrey has a shortt fuse – and Crick’s weaselly face and sneering voice is perfectly programmed to rile any target. This is why he is such a brilliant investigative reporter. Some reporters disarm their subject with charm in order to reveal the inner man or woman. Crick makes you lose your temper and then it all comes out. He has you on tape and, with some clever cutting and editing the whole event is choreographed to over emphasise the subjects loss of control, red face and angry outburst and to highlight Crick’s feigned innocence and “I only asked” sensitivity.

Bloom is in actual fact  intelligent and well informed and he  has a good track record on issues like pensions and military procurement and is not afraid to think outside the box. Unfortunately there has also been a constant trail of foolish and unsettling incidents of public behaviour that have gradually convinced a substantial number of people inside Ukip that he has become something of a PR liability.

He is clearly a well liked figure in the party but Farage’s angry denunciation of his conduct and decision to suspend the whip was greeted with strong support at conference. As he and other Ukip veterans had pointed out earlier the political class has been thrown into confusion by the rise of Ukip and its continued presence in the polls as a credible fourth (or even third) party – and they want to lash out.

The fact is the political/cultural media just do not know how to deal with a movement made up of political outsiders and whose leaders are not part of the North London dinner party circuit. The “Conservative” media in particular at the Telegraph, Mail and Spectator are highly confused. To them politics is about lobby tittle tattle and gossip in the up market enclaves of Notting Hill, spaces currently uninhabited by Ukip so  they are left with spreading lies and half truths fed to them by the posh, nice but dim student interns from Tory HQ.

Yes  there will be more kebabbing – so our response needs to be honest but also thoughtful, measured and….civilised  Above all remember, when they start trying to kebab you it means they are frightened of you.

It’s really a badge of honour.

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19 September
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“If You Vote UKIP You’ll Get Ed Miliband” So What? Miliband, Clegg, Cameron – They Are Clones From The Same Laboratory…

 

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From his lofty eminence at the top of his pillar on the roof of the offices of The Daily Telegraph, Peter Oborne, the Simeon Stylites of the political media casts his ascetic eye over the comings and goings of lowlier folk and occasionally enriches our muddled lives with exhortations to avoid vice and pursue only virtue.

Such a sagacious utterance sprang from his pen earlier this week when he offered David Cameron the silver bullet that would cause Nigel Farage and UKIP to crash to the ground in a sea of dust and broken bricks.

A vote for Ukip is a vote for a Labour government. Why can’t the Tories get this message across?

Wow – what wisdom…

Only one thing wrong with that, Mr O – many former Tories are turning to UKIP because voting Conservative in 2010 has produced a government that on questions such as the EU, Global Warming, Human Rights, Immigration and taxation has sometimes made “conservative” noises but in terms of action has clearly placed the approval of the chattering classes and their house magazine at the BBC at the top of the agenda.

That’s the trouble of observing the world from the top of a 40 ft pillar – you don’t see much of what is happening on the ground….

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