The Aged P

…just toasting and ruminating….

19 December
Comments Off on Spectator Readers Hurl Venom & Vitriol At C of E’s First Woman Bishop – Shame On Them

Spectator Readers Hurl Venom & Vitriol At C of E’s First Woman Bishop – Shame On Them

women

The fragrant Isabel Hardman interviewed Libby Lane, the Church of England’s first woman bishop. In classic hack fashion she tried the “gotcha” technique to get the lady to pigeon hole herself and thus generate a headline or two. Instead Libby skilfully steered clear of the traps and thus irritated Ms Hardman.

Good for her – in my book the more journalists we can irritate the better…

However what did initially shock me were the comments underneath the article. Then I realised that in fact this was no surprise. Nothing like a post about a woman bishop to generate a wave of misogynistic bile and venom  at the Speccie proving once again that the so-called Religion of Peace and Love is home to a vast regiment of bitter and twisted haters who yearn for the good old days when heretics could be burned at the stake and women waterboarded for withcraft.

Now I’m no fan of positive discrimination – in my view the job should go to the candidate best fitted for the task without reference to gender or race or age. But I do know this – when I was teaching in a tough comprehensive and had to ask a police officer to come in to discuss an incident or an individual pupil I found the female officers more aware, more flexible and more willing to work with us than the men who generally were plodlike in their lack of imagination.

Many of my female colleagues in the school were excellent teachers with good discipline and a willingness to get stuck in whereas some of the weakest teachers were men who had as much social awareness as a pilchard.

I’m not saying that all women police or teachers are wonderful – but they need to be judged on their ability to do the job – so give Libby Lane a break and judge her in five years time.

After all she can hardly be worse than quite a few of our male bishops….

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14 November
Comments Off on Two Big Myths Parroted About UKIP Nailed – By Left Wing Writers!!!!!

Two Big Myths Parroted About UKIP Nailed – By Left Wing Writers!!!!!

parr

Listen to most of the political class and media pundits talking about UKIP and there are two dominant narratives

UKIP HAS PEAKED AND WILL FADE AWAY AT GE 2015

UKIP IS JUST A PROTEST VOTE

Hmmmmm…..

UKIP HAS PEAKED AND WILL FADE AWAY AT GE 2015

John Harris at The Guardian

supporting Ukip is essentially an act of defiance and a hostile media is one of the forces Ukip’s most enthusiastic fans think they are resisting. Indeed, the place of the media in this story shows the rise of Ukip to be as much a cultural phenomenon as a political one.  Tellingly, a lot of Ukip supporters defiantly describe themselves as “English”, a deep, complex identity that transcends the dry stuff of elections and voting behaviour. At its core is a latent anger about snobbery and the supposed sidelining of the white working class, and antipathy towards most things considered “politically correct”, which can explode in response to stories and events that are said to fit that basic narrative. Ukip will not win all of the Westminster seats it is targeting, ……But make no mistake, Ukip’s support now runs deep and wide, the public’s faith in mainstream politics shows no signs of any revival and through 2015 and beyond, what Nigel Farage calls his “people’s army” is hardly likely to go away.

UKIP IS JUST A PROTEST VOTE Tim Black at Spiked

And this is why UKIP’s emergence is so potentially significant. The withdrawal of the party-political establishment from the public, its separation from the people it is meant to represent, has finally been seized upon. The emperor is wearing deeply unpopular clothes. Or to put it another way, UKIP is effectively confronting the political class with its own estrangement from vast swathes of British society. To those who have long been condescended to, whose views and lifestyles have been dismissed as backward or unhealthy, UKIP offers a voice. To those whose sense of dislocation amid so much politically championed social change have been ignored, UKIP offers a bulwark. And to those who have found little to vote for from the mainstream political melange, UKIP offers an opportunity. (It’s no surprise that a survey of UKIP voters at last year’s Eastleigh by-election revealed that over 20 per cent had not voted at previous General Elections.)

Fascinating….and what is strange is that both Harris and Black are left wing commentators. Strange that they can be a little more perceptive than the “experts” at supposedly right wing organs like the Telegraph, the Mail and Spectator…..but then they don’t have to keep in with Tory HQ

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

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

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

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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01 October
Comments Off on Spectator Schoolkids Set Onto UKIP As Per Memo From Tory HQ….Epic Fail…..

Spectator Schoolkids Set Onto UKIP As Per Memo From Tory HQ….Epic Fail…..

The UK Spectator and its Coffee House Blog has always regarded itself as the intellectual power house of the Conservative Party. Of course I don’t mean the Conservative Party in the sense of the grassroots members in the cities and suburbs and market towns who do all the electoral donkey work delivering leaflets across muddy fields or damp council estates.

I mean the pudgy fingered public school lads and lasses who hover around Westminster buttering up Tory MPs and schmoozing with spotty Telegraph hacks hoping to either parachute into a safe seat or gaining a comment spot on the Telegraph….or both.

So, everything you read at the Speccie is viewed through the prism of Westminster gossip and is about as relevant to the politics of real people as the tittle tattle of the Imperial court in Moscow in January 1917

Therefore the Speccie school kids are unable to comprehend the nature of UKIP. They appear not to have had a presence at UKIP’s recent conference and, in general have made no attempt to get out and about the country engaging with the party’s membership.

So we get Isabel Hardman, in a feeble attempt to encapsulate the essence of UKIP digging up an obscure anecdote from a bit of Lib Dem soul searching after they squeaked narrowly past UKIP’s Diane James at Eastleigh

Or Sebastian Payne trying to pimp that relic of failed Maastricht rebellion Bill Cash as the hammer of Farage and producing a hacked e mail from the UKIP Press office as a mortal blow to the party’s credibility.

Then, finally, the genius Payne uncovers William “Syria” Hague’s Master Plan to pulverise UKIP into granules of dust

  • Remind every voter that Cameron has offered a referendum on a renegotiated EU Treaty
  • A vote for UKIP will let in Labour
  • Errrmmm..that’s it, folks

….and they get paid for this????

The best riposte?

Who will listen to Hague? Honestly he is a man who has swallowed all his own beliefs for ‘power’ and control by the EU, Foreign Office and the USA. Yet another man who broke his promise on the EU to the people. 
Vote Conservative get broken promises and no in/out referendum. Just a ‘Do you agree with the changes we have made within the EU!! Mark my words.

Amen to that, my friend.

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25 April
Comments Off on “Let’s Face It, Chaps, This UKIP Business Is All A Bit Of A Fantasy…..I Say, Could You Pass Me An Olive?”

“Let’s Face It, Chaps, This UKIP Business Is All A Bit Of A Fantasy…..I Say, Could You Pass Me An Olive?”

One of those clever young chaps at The UK Spectator has poured some cold water over speculation that UKIP could do well, even win, should a by election be held at in the Portsmouth South constituency of beleaguered Lib Dem MP Mike Hancock.
Young Mr Jones points out that the Portsmouth South demographics indicate a younger population and, as we all know, only old people, hankering over a Britain that never really existed, support UKIP.

But we can expect the average Portsmouth South voter to be at least slightly younger — and therefore less likely to vote Ukip — than the average Eastleigh voter.

Moreover the Lib Dems are deeply entrenched locally, as they were in Eastleigh

And, like in Eastleigh, the Liberal Democrats dominate at a local government level — they hold 17 of the 18 City Council seats in the constituency (the Tories have one).

Therefore, he implies, let’s stop fantasising over UKIP and get down to good old fashioned traditional three way party politics…..it’s all a bit of a fairy story.

What he conveniently ignores, of course, is that the Lib Dems only won Eastleigh through the rather dubious organising of postal votes. On the day real time voters went massively UKIP because, during the actual campaign, voters were impressed by the party’s actual messaging (as distinct from the usual media inspired caricature) and the quality of the UKIP candidate.

Eastleigh has given the party a tremendous boost by proving that voting purple no longer a Raving Monster Loony Party moment. The media has begun to take the party a little more seriously, Nigel Farage’s Common Sense tour has played to packed halls and the national polls has shown UKIP pushing ahead of the Lib Dems.

This is not to say that the party would win in Portsmouth but the fact that a high tory outlet like the Spectator is engaging in a little agitprop shows that Cameron & Co are worried..

And so they should be…..membership is growing fast and a lot of these are from the younger demographic. Moreover they are not all disillusioned former Conservative voters. Some are from other parties and a number are people who were previously apolitical and who see the party as giving a voice to ordinary folk outside the metropolitan cultural elite.

Instead of pontificating from his media perch why doesn’t Jonathan Jones get down to some real journalism and get out and about to find out why so many people are joining UKIP – and what they are doing to bring it closer to the corridors of power…

But then that would take expenditure of shoeleather and chatting with the great unwashed – and that would never do…..might miss a few cocktail parties….

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21 October
1Comment

Why Can’t We Have “Real” UK Conservatives Commenting On USA 2012 Rather Than Tired ReTreads Who Can Only Tune In To Douthat, Brooks & Frum?

How do I know in my bones that the coverage of the 2012 US election will be total crapola, not just from the card carrying rainbow and unicorn lefty luvvies at the BBC but also from the “official” so called right wing media?

Like any sane, well balanced and nuanced English conservative populist I hardly ever bother to get my information about US politics from the established UK media.. BBC (MSNBC in drag), Telegraph (Country Club GOP), Mail (National Enquirer)…or the right wing blogosphere.. ConservativeHome (Douthat/Brooks/Frum), Spectator Coffee House (Frum/Brooks/Douthat)

Why should I bother with yesterday’s stale bread when I can go to Hot Air, Stacy McCain, Dan Riehl and Prof Jacobson to get the just baked bagels? Or fly around the Twitterverse with @SissyWillis, @pepper_10, @ginthegin and other wild Tea Partiers/Palinistas

It was from Hot Air & Co. that I first learned about the Tea Party as early as February 2009, long months before it appeared on UK media radar. It was also from those sites, articulating a fierce anger, not just against the Obama stimulus and healthcare plans but also against the Douthat/Brooks/Frum nexus of GOP choirmasters that I began to realise the strength of the fireball that hit Washington in the 2010 mid terms.

Until well into 2010 the UK media and blogs were following the Brooks line of working with Obama and the Democrats because they had won so overwhelmingly in 2008. Avoid outright confrontation and maybe, in 2016 or 2020 an Obama- lite GOP figure might be able to slip into the White House – the Huntsman scenario.

Palin, of course, was sniffily dismissed as an airhead. Herman Cain was blanked when he was an outsider and still is being relatively ignored even though he is currently pushing out Perry in the polls. Neither of them passed the David Brooks trouser crease test.

At almost every stage the UK media and “official” blogosphere has got it wrong about the US political scene.

Which is why I am dreading the forthcoming coverage of the 2012 primary and presidential campaign

We could really do with a UK website that totally ignores comments from NYT, WaPo and the official newsletter of the DNC, Politico, and the legions of lobbyists, consultants and seedy academics paraded by Rentaquote.

There has been progress – the relatively new Commentator isn’t interested in what David Frum opines, Spiked is wildly anarchic poking it’s rapiers from both the left and the right into the pompous and self serving political/cultural media elite and Biased BBC continues its never ending crusade against the smug, arrogant North London dinner party cartels that run the BBC. But it’s an uphill battle against a powerful network of establishment quislings who rely on the collective mental inertia of a an intellectually disenfranchised population more easily seduced by watching the degrading antics of publicity seeking clowns and charlatans and being politically masturbated by the politics of greed, envy and ignorance…..

We are beset by snakes – why isn’t there a mongoose around when you need one……

I suppose I can always dream….

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