Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Playing with the big boys

The Eastleigh by-election has proved to be even more boring than the usual run of such events. None of the candidates are of the slightest interest and the rather squalid scandals that surround some of the parties remain of little real interest to anyone except election geeks.

There is a whisper going round that UKIP might do very well, indeed, and a "surge" is being reported on the doorstep. Of course, a surge on the doorstep is not necessarily a surge in the polling booths, which is the only opinion poll that matters in real life. Still, after twenty years in existence, with a great deal of media coverage (of the Dear Leader if not necessarily the party) and a propitious political situation, it would be pleasant to see some kind of an electoral result on UKIP's part.

As I have pointed out before, the Labour Party at this stage of its growth was four years away from its first government (albeit a short-term minority one).

In the meantime, some of the UKIP boys (no girls so far) have decided to play with the big ones and to set up their own site to rival ConHome and Labour List, called The Ukipian. I have a feeling that there have been such blogs in the past but this is the one that is set, according to the two founders, to do well and to grow and grow.

There is an article in The Commentator that introduces the site and explains the need for it:
This Thursday, UKIP looks set to achieve its best ever result in a Westminster election. Yesterday, Channel 4 News’ Michael Crick tweeted that he thought the party could “pull off a surprise victory in Eastleigh”, and with the polls standing as they are, there’s every chance that he could be right.

In the last 12 months, we’ve witnessed the Party rise to the very forefront of the British political scene and in turn UKIP has gained a significant increase in press coverage. This is largely testament to the unwavering dedication of Nigel Farage, Paul Nuttall, and other party officials getting out there and spreading UKIP’s common sense policies on a new and unprecedented scale.

UKIP will celebrate its twentieth birthday this year and naturally suffers the occasional growing pains felt by all that go through the process of developing into maturity. Criticism of UKIP has often been prejudiced and unfair but occasionally right in highlighting some of the challenges that the party has yet to overcome. As UKIP continues to professionalise and develop into a mature political force, it’s crucial that the voices of its members and activists remain heard. Although the party is young, the vast wealth of experience and wisdom found within its ranks is spread generously throughout its membership.

As an unofficial collaborative blog run by UKIP members, The Ukipian aims to provide a platform for those within the party who won’t necessarily ever get the opportunity to appear on Question Time or the Andrew Marr Show, but whose views and ideas are as intriguing, valid and relevant as any other within the party.
Some of that is true and some not so much and a good deal the usual political guff. Naturally, there is praise being heaped on the Dear Leader and his henchmen. On another thread I pointed out that they cannot really be taken seriously as a rival to the other blogs until we see some criticism of the Dear Leader to which one of the founders solemnly replied:
Unlike the Tory Party, UKIP is currently led by a Leader delivering record poll ratings and election results. That's hard to criticise.
My question as to the election results and what they have actually won so far has elicited no reply so far.

Let us have a look at The Ukipian. A suggestion that Lord Ashcroft should drop metro Dave for conservative Farage, an article that promotes grammar schools (a nice idea but probably out of date), Margot Parker (not totally sexist after all) on needing to protect British jobs, several "reports" from Eastleigh that can be disregarded until the results come through tomorrow, Tim Akers banging the anti-Bulgarian and anti-Romanian drum, and so on.

Should they not do as well in Eastleigh as they expect, will there be any criticism of policy, strategy or of the Dear Leader? We shall see.

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