I was so upset at Andy suffering again from poor umpiring last night I had to curtail my blogg.
UKIP's big winning topic is clearly immigration. I wanted to run this as UKIP's number one issue in 2009. The late Malcolm Wood, Farage's presence in the South West vetoed it as it was BNP's big issue. Farage was, and still is, terrified of the connotatins of racism attached to the BNP. Eventually the media have now conceded its not racist to talk about immigration so Farage has tackled it to UKIP's advantage aided by the disintegration of the BNP. Farage should be embolden by his success with this topic last night. Clegg will try to confuse the issue next time with his usual recital of dodgy statistics. Farage needs to get and master some stats himself to rebut Clegg's lies.
The most interesting facet of last night's after debate discussion was how most of the media thought Clegg had one. The You Gov poll gave the electorate's view Farage 57%, Clegg 36% Don't know 7%. That did not stop the EU loving media pumping out numerous EU biased vox pops. The don't like facts they like opinions however ill founded but as Alan Sugar says, opinions are like arseholes, everyone has got one.
The London based media and the Westminster politicians have a profoundly undemocratic symbiotic relationship. They both need each other for their bread and butter. I used to be privy to Alastair Campbell's lobby briefings around the time of the dodgy dossier. The 6:00 news political correspondents spewed out Campbell's words verbatim as claimed exclusives. If they crossed Campbell their invite to the cosy briefings would be withdrawn and their sacking would follow. Who wants a political correspondent that Campbell starves of stories?
Jacky Smith picked up on this at 10:30 pm on Sky but she saw it as a big problem for the old political parties. It certainly is but its worse for Joe Public who speaks for him?
Don't be conned by programmes like QT where questions purportedly come from the audience. Its a heavily pre-screened audience selected to represent the BBC agenda. Then when you arrive at the venue you are asked to submit your question in writing. The BBC production team then select the questions that suit their agenda. Dimbleby is instructed who to take supplementary questions from, black faces and more important who not to take questions from, white faces. The questions selected are also media type questions that the politicians are used to.
Where politicians come unstuck is where they have to take random questions direct from an intelligent audience. These will be non-media type questions that politicians are unused to. Look at how G Brown came unstuck against Mrs Duffy at the last election. One of the social media types gave sound advice when looking at Twitter last night. Ignore everything from party spin meisters, around 95% of the posts, and look at the residual 5% from real people.
UKIP of course are up to the same tricks. I remember going to one of their leadership hustings where all the questions had to be pre-submitted and those selected by Farage placemen put to the candidates so where is democratic debate in UKIP? Stone dead!
I weep for our country.