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There’s only one thing worse than being talked about, and that’s not being talked about.

I suppose a back handed compliment can be irritating, but at least it is evidence that you are being taken seriously. Certainly that is my take on the recent spate of negative propaganda that has been posted recently at The Spectator and Guido Fawkes

Both of these popular websites are a must read for anyone interested in UK politics and, judging by the comments, are frequently visited by those of a more conservative (small c) disposition, plus a large cross section of UKIP members and/or supporters. It was fascinating, therefore, to see the reaction to a rather odd Spectator Coffee House piece by Sebastian Payne in which he claimed that Tory minister Anna Soubry plus the BBC Question Time audience in Boston had turned on Nigel Farage, labelling him a “scaremonger” over the issue of open access for Romanians and Bulgarians from this coming January.

What was strange about Payne’s article was the fact that many of his readers had seen the same programme and drawn different conclusions. True there had been some cheering for Soubry’s outburst and faux anger, but throughout the programme Farage also won a lot of applause for his points.

The nature of the driver for the Payne piece, however, became a little clearer a day or so later, again on Coffee House. Far from being “spontaneous”, Soubry’s rant appeared to be part of a rather weird “good cop/bad cop” strategy by Conservative HQ whereby UKIP is ignored as beneath notice by the big Conservative beasts (even while they attempt to half heartedly imitate a UKIP agenda) while minor players like Soubry are encouraged to dip a toe in the water of outrage with the well worn xenophobe/hate crime card.

The Spectator is essentially a repository of Westminster Bubble gossip emanating from the lobby and Conservative spin doctors. Very few of the articles from their journalists are the result of in depth research in the pubs, clubs, factories, shops and offices of what we might call Tesco Britain. Has any Spectator writer ever worn out some shoe leather going out to UKIP branches and chatting to the members, particularly the 10,000 newbies who have joined within the last year?  I think not.

The Spectator as a conduit for Conservative HQ spin is, of course, old news. But the strange little “subverting UKIP” messages such as this and this coming out of Guido Fawkes and his surrogate Alex Wickham (published by the Spectator but not Conservative spun) is a different kettle of fish. Guido has never been a Conservative HQ “useful idiot” so these little tales must be being fed in from another direction. Fortunately the sources appear so obvious that there is no need to send a telegram to Sherlock Holmes – they seem to come from disgruntled elements either within the party or who have only recently left.

In his piece, Wickham claimed that

The highly secretive selection process for next year’s European elections has seen impressive, big-name Ukip supporters rejected in favour of some frankly unhinged candidates. James Delingpole, the hugely popular journalist, was turned down. As was Jon Gaunt, the well-known former Sun columnist and radio broadcaster.

Gerrymandering indeed….echoes of elections in Beijing? Hardly.  As “Rollo” reminisced in the comments section,

Funny, I remember being sent papers with the words of every candidate and being asked to vote under the supervision of some electoral company; the votes were counted and some people won, some lost. I do not recall any type of pressure or even advice on who to vote for from anyone.

Now as one of those 10,000 newbies, the intake of 2013, I have no idea of the nature of the currents and counter currents that swirl and eddy around the older established elements of UKIP. Stuck as I am deep in the ancient Wealden forest of Worth I am not privy to gossip within the upper echelons. But I am old enough and ugly enough to recognise a dirty tricks operation when I see one.

Such tittle tattle can be annoying, especially to those high and low who are working their socks off to embed UKIP firmly into the body politic and away from the fringes of the farther shore. But in another way it is also a factor that ought to embolden our hearts. It means that UKIP’s enemies in the political and media class (and they are still legion) are fearful. The rise of a fourth party completely unconnected with any powerful interest group, led by outsiders from beyond the dinner party circuit of north London and supported electorally by millions of ordinary folk who feel they finally have a voice is making them nervous…

….and so they should be.

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About David Riddick (15 Articles)
David Riddick is a grandfather, pensioner, retired teacher, rambler, drinker, amateur thespian, historian, political junkie and lover of rock’n roll.

7 Comments on There’s only one thing worse than being talked about, and that’s not being talked about.

  1. I have to latch onto your comment about the in-house MEP elections. The people you mention were excluded during the pre-selection process which downselected to 60 names for England. It comprised various elements, one of which was an assessments by 20 randomly selected members attending the hustings to hear their public speaking skills. James Delingpole himself revealed why he had not been downselected, mentioning that he flunked on the psychometric testing element. If I may observe on him myself, only from his writings and not having met him, it seems he is a high risk in terms of going off-message and being a bit of an attention-seeker. He does an excellent job for the party in his journalism, though.

    In terms of the member vote, I was one of the observers of the “count”, although it had all been handled electronically with scanning, plus some manual interpretation where the character recognition software had trouble. The ERS showed us the process, ran us a sample scan/interpret and then provided a copy of the results in a sealed envelope to the meeting. There was criticism of the way in which we were only given a minute to inspect the results, before they were taken away again for later presentation to the NEC for final approval, but my memory tells me that the published results were as we saw them that day…

    …with one exception of course. Between the count and the announcement we had the events of Conference and one of the candidates having the party whip withdrawn, but that is mostly history now.

  2. I agree: the speight of attacks simply demonstrates that LibLabCON are terrified.
    As Ghandi said:
    First they ignore you
    Then they mock you
    Then they fight you
    Then you win
    We are well into the “fight” stage now. Roll on stage 4.

  3. The Dirty tricks will simply continue and they will get far worse as we near the elections of 2014 and 2015. So if anyone is going for any serious position in the party do the sensible thing and get rid of anything that could be even slightly embarrassing from your social media sites such as Facebook because the moment you name even slightly shows you will be trawled by those looking for things to discredit us. It is simply no use setting security on Facebook to friends only because even if the likes of Hope Not Hate, SLATUKIP, etc have not yet befriended you, they certainly have accounts that have befriended many others to make it look like you can trust them. I do not recall seeing David Riddick on the UKIP forum and as that is a UKIP members only forum, you can get an incite into things that you will not have privy to elsewhere, so well worth a visit for David and any others who have not popped into the madhouse yet. It is actually a far better place to criticize party policy, rather than on public sites like this one, especially when the criticism is a little ill thought out. I have seen a couple of topics on UKIP Daily that I think would have been far better of expressed on the private forum. Food for thought there for those in charge.

    Register here for it: ;

    The one thing that is clearly apparent is the likes of Lab/Con/Lib much prefer to use the smear campaigns to try and discredit UKIP, this is probably because they do not want to attack our policies in case they need to steal them at a later date. 🙂

    • Thanks for your comment, Marty. I have been knocking around politics since the General Election of 1950 when as a schoolboy I went around delivering leaflets and I have always written as I see things. My viewpoint, for what its worth is that of one of the 10,000 new members who have joined in the last year or so. When I started reading this online magazine I welcomed it as a forum for open discussion and exchange of ideas on politics, culture etc for UKIP members, supporters and potential supporters. As Gawain Towler said in a previous piece the very success of UKIP has attracted a substantial constituency of newer members and UKIP Daily is a great vehicle for allowing these new members to get involved in the debate. The editor (God bless her) saw fit to publish my piece and ,more power to her elbow say I

      BTW, Marty, I am sure you didn’t intend your comment to be interpreted as a wrist slap……

      • Not a wrist slap as more an observation because as it is most definitely three against one in the political game we do not have the luxury of being allowed to get away with doing our dirty washing in public, our opponents have decided to take the smear route rather than attack policy so it just makes sense not to hand them unnecessary ammunition, especially when we have a policy section on the forum for ideas and criticisms.

  4. Steven Whalley // November 15, 2013 at 8:37 pm //

    I buy the Spectator from time to time and they do have some good commentary on issues such as global warming from Ridley and Delingpole.

    I have commented on a number of articles recently on their website, with a pro-UKIP slant. However, this week one of my comments which was shown for a short while, mysteriously disappeared a few hours later. It contained a link to another UKIPdaily article. Perhaps there is a certain sensitivity or even irritation at the obvious UKIP presence.

  5. The Emperors New Clothes // November 15, 2013 at 5:56 pm //

    They have every reason to be scared. The employment position for their parties is looking very grim indeed. After all they created the mess we’re all in. If UKIP actually formed a government it would be an end of a 40 year era of lies and deceit and the gravy train for the EU. I suspect many will be fearful of their liberty, and take flight, when the true nature of their trickery emerges from out of the shadows and into the light.
    For UKIP it would create fantastic opportunities for ordinary folk to rebuild this once proud nation state, once unshackled by the EU. To rise up from the ashes reborn, to hold its head up high in a sovereign country once again. Vote UKIP!!

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