‘It’s the fault of the Meedja.’ was the cry from our erudite and (apparently) miffed First Minister Alex Salmond.
Maybe, for once he has a point. But then again trying to use UKIP threat to get support gave UKIP more coverage courtesy of the SNP.
I think that the coverage of UKIP on the Beeb has been excessive but how much this has led to votes isn’t really demonstrable. Irritating? Yes. Unfair? we all (political parties) think that the Media are biassed against us at times. However, they did get a fair old chunk of the vote and as such are deserving of some coverage.
For me the interviewing skills on most channels are pretty poor and the print media are generally not much better these days (everything was better in black and white….cue the hovis theme).
I saw a great tweet the other day Beeb : ‘Farage, farage, farage, farage, farage.’ Beeb : Shock lead in the polls for UKIP.
‘UKIP are the party of Racists, Xenophobes, sexists, Mysoginists and Homophobes. And that’s their good points.’ This tack has been used to discredit the ‘swivel-eyed loons’ and to slay the UKIP beast. Newsflash! It doesn’t work.
The Electorate voted for UKIP in varying numbers across the country. These are the same voters that when they vote for your party are respected and when they vote UKIP are nutters. Anyone else uncomfortable with this line of thinking? I am.
There is a simple three step plan to defeat the UKIP (or any of the other far right mob that pollute ballot papers – No2EU, BNP, Britain first)
Engage the electorate (turnout and apathy are major issues)
Demolish their (UKIP) argument
(not just sloganeering but solid analysis and facts. You know those pesky things that trip people up)
Offer electorate a solution to the issue.
Thats it. Simple isn’t it?
So the mainstream parties have only themselves to blame on the UKIP success story. No one else. A self inflicted 20 year cock up. If voters are not engaged and given facts and treated with respect they will invariably end up at the (political) door that feeds on their problem.
We have (all parties) refused to discuss immigration or Europe and have left a vacuum for the vacuous UKIP to fill. That needs to change in a grown up way. Not in a we can out UKIP,UKIP kind of way. You can’t out UKIP them, so don’t try. Their policies are toxic and need real solutions not easy slogans with nothing but blame behind them.
IF the solution is difficult say so. But say so clearly.
Remember the old adage ‘Never argue with an idiot. He will bring you down to his level and then beat you with experience.’ Nick Clegg found that out to his cost in the television debates. Free publicity for the UKIP leader, free credibility too. The party of IN got found out.
If ex-banker, Nigel Farage is the answer then god knows what the question was.
I would suggest that UKIP isn’t an answer ( to anything) but a symptom that has been too long ignored at our peril.