I've been for a bit of a lie down as I found myself coming to the defence of Farage today.
I first started when listening to Radio 4's Today programme and then later driving home from my meeting during the 2pm news.
His decision this morning to not run for the Newark seat made sense to me and seemed to make sense for the same reasons Farage gave. I'm not sure how much he meant them, but as reasons they made sense, especially when he suggested it would make him look like an opportunist as he had no real connection with the East Midlands.
I've been a critic of UKIP's ability to fail to score in an open goal, but this makes sense. UKIP do need to be aiming for seats but if they want to be perceived as more than a one man show others need to be running for Westminster seats.
Today demonstrated something quite interesting to me in the sense of fear that UKIP are generating and what it tells us about the media either living in their own bubble or being willing to work towards maintaining the status quo I.e there seems to be a concerted effort to stitch up UKIP generally.
The story that has me intrigued is the idea that not running for the Newark seat is because he is "frit".Sorry but that notion is a load of old pony, especially when Labour and the Lib Dems join in. The truth of the matter is that none of the other parties will make a genuine effort at Newark given that last time out, the Tories enjoyed a 16000 majority - bigger than the total turnout in some by elections. They know it's not worth their time and effort. Sure some man or woman starting out on the greasy pole will show their face on some local flyers and all that, but at the end of the day, they will be the sacrificial lamb. I know this because an old friend who was once a prospective Labour candidate, was that lamb and received sod all input from the party.
It's an approach all the parties understand and take part in. It's this fact that suggests to me that the others are a bit worried by Farage and that the press (well the BBC certainly) are willing to go along with this fatuous notion. Added to which, all this stuff about various UKIPers making offensive comments and it getting into the press shows what seems to be a concerted effort to nobble them. Don't get me wrong, I'm a critic of some of the views expressed and the lack of campaign discipline amongst other things, but something's afoot here. Step back a bit and ask yourself, how we seem to be learning of one of these situations after another? Many of these people are nobodies, making comments on social media on their personal accounts. These aren't UKIP press releases, so their being released suggests there are a number of people looking for this dirt. Somewhere out there is an instruction for party activists or other groups of some description with a list of names to go on the hunt for dirt. I can't really think of any other reason for it right now, which makes it quite telling.
This post isn't to defend UKIP or the individuals and their viewpoints. It's simply there to peer behind the veil and ask why everyone seems so rattled.