My frustration at UKIPs ability to miss opportunities right in front of them will not have escaped readers attention. I'm not an out and out UKIP advocate - far from it. What I'm lamenting is that everything is ripe for them to harvest and wake up the three party inertia that grips this country and they're missing it each and every time.
One of their mistakes (in my humble opinion) is they're trying to make a big noise nationally which they're really going to struggle with that for all sorts of reasons. Their best chance is local. They need to wake up and organise their local network and presence - and quickly. It doesn't have to be about politics in the classical sense. They have to start by getting in the hearts and minds of local people by getting involved in their everyday lives and struggles.
Right now there's an advantage just waiting for them to pounce on. It's actually there for anyone who wants it but as UKIP seem to be missing obvious sitters I'm going to make the suggestion to them, here on this page. It's not rocket science. In fact it's really small beer, but it's a start.
So here it is.
The horse meat scandal has taken on a life of it's own. To the average man and woman in the street the detail is of little importance right now. Precisely who has done it they're not much bothered about, especially with (as Richard North is pointing out) the mainstream media is playing chase on this and reporting off the cuff thoughts as though they were fact.
What's bothering the average man and woman right now is that they just don't know who they can trust to sell them beef that has no other meat but beef in it. The effect is that some people are foregoing supermarket beef and looking more locally to places like the butchers (if they still have one).
Maybe it might help them to establish their local credentials if local UKIP representatives mounted campaigns in their local towns and villages to promote the local butchers. They can come up with poster slogans for butchers to put in their windows extolling the virtues of buying local beef. They could be clever and find ways to make a political angle out of it. Maybe something along the lines of "there's a downturn on and whilst they're fighting for the own careers and interests, where here fighting for your food security and your community businesses". I'm sure there's a big letter campaign somewhere in there too. I'm sure the local news media might also be interested somehow. They're always looking to get the national and international news hooked to the local agenda and this is a damn sight more relevant than the type of stories about broken fences that the council haven't fixed for a decade. I'm sure some wag can even think of some very clever link between 100% beef and politics.
Sometimes it's the little things that can make the difference.
Of course they could always look a gift horse in the mouth.