Wednesday 7 August 2013

How to attack UKIP?

At the risk of sounding like one of those bad novelists Sue described...

The harsh machine-gun like cackle of magpies in the morning. That's a grating sound, isn't it? Another is the sound of party politicians pretending to be outraged about something or other. 

This morning's Today had a pair of party politicians doing just that, waxing fake-sounding fury about the 'Bongo Bongo Land' comments of UKIP's Godfrey Bloom (a transcript of whose earlier interview with James Naughtie can be read here). 

Unfortunately for Today's reputation for impartiality, the programme only introduced one of its two guests (at about 8.50) - Rushanara Ali - as a Labour MP. It failed to identify its other guest, Laura Pidcock, as also being a Labour party figure - a councillor for the party in the North East. They merely introduced her as being from an anti-racism campaign group. 

As they used to say on The Fast Show, "Nice!"

Incidentally, just now on BBC One's News at Six, the report on this story said that Godfrey Bloom had "been thrown out of the European parliament for using a Nazi slogan" - which is perfectly correct, except that many viewers might have been misled by the phrasing of that statement into assuming (wrongly) that Godfrey used that Nazi slogan approvingly, in a racist way, as if he were identifying himself with the Nazis - and thus amplifying the message that he's a racist.

No, Godfrey was in fact using that slogan, in an overheated fashion, to insult a German socialist leader in the European parliament, Martin Schulz, over Herr Schultz's "Nazi-like" attitude to Ireland during of the country's Euro-referendum.

As they used to say on The Fast Show, "Nice!"

Update: If you're interested, the Godfrey Bloom story was afforded just 19 seconds by ITV News this evening while the BBC's News at Six, in contrast, spent almost exactly 3 minutes on it.

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